A brief history of the world of Teros.
The year is 18 DA (death of Akrim).
In the beginning, the universe and it’s Outer Gate was built by a coalition of gods to protect themselves and their servants from the Void and the mad beings that dwelt in the primordial emptiness of the Before Time. 18 gods, known as the Founders. Inside the protective barrier of the Wall, the gods each built their own planes of existance – Tovalus’s Realm of Glory, Broktals endless jungle plane of butchery and combat, Death’s silent High Hall’s of memory and knowing. For countless eons, the gods existed together but separate, each in their own realms with their own servants, friends and companions to each other.
The three most powerful gods – Tovalus, Akrim, and The Namless One (nameless for reasons that will become apparent) became interested in the idea of creating independant life, a neutral plane of beings that were not bound in service, but could choose their masters (or lack thereof), and who’s souls might find their way to the gods upon death. The idea of mortality was invented, and the three most powerful gods lead the remaining fifteen to create a new plane, tied to no diety, that they could each propogate with their ideal mortal creatures. Thus the birth of Teros.
The rules the gods mandated were thus – The Gatekeeper, the god responsible for the maintenance of the Outer Gate, the door that sealed the universe off from the Void and the madness that lurked there, would create a new gate – an Inner Gate, to prevent any gods from pysically entering Teros. The gate could only be opened from the inside by a god. All the gods would be sealed outside. The world could be influenced by the Gods and their servants, but no servants could enter without being first summoned by a mortal.
Akrim and the Nameless One realized something during The Propogation – the souls of the newly created mortals brought power with them. Not a lot, but a little. And a steady trickle of souls who worshipped a god of their own volition could bright a great deal of new power to a god. Greed struck. During the closing of the Inner Gate, while the other 16 gods looked on, Akrim and the Nameless One slipped through just before it sealed, locking the other gods out.
Then, Akrim betrayed again, and struck down the Nameless One, claiming Teros, and all the souls that were within, and all the souls that would ever be, for himself. The gods found themselves for the first time disagreeing with each other. Some understood Akrims desires, others said death was the only punishment, and others wished they had thought of it first. Good, neutral, and evil were born, as were law and chaos.
He used the shattered divinity of the Nameless One to bestow godhood upon his most trusted mortal servant, Illyich, who was responsible for creating the first undead – an experiment designed to deny the other gods access to souls. And Akrim summoned his servants from his own plane, which was being laid waste to by the 16 gods locked out of Teros. Most of those servants died before they could be summoned, but many were saved and brought here by Akrim.
Akrim created The Darklands, with it’s capital The Spike, the largest and by far the most powerful kingdom in the world, and for thirty thousand years ruled Teros as only a god could.
18 years ago, after a thousand thousand struggles and battles, Akrim was struck down by one of the five God Killers, weapons designed by all the gods and crafted by their most trusted servants for the one task of killing Akrim. After countless failed attempts by a multitude of faiths, the Paladins of Tovalus succeeded.
Vania, Kingdom of Tovalus and ruled by King Toval II, with the secret help of the Undead God Illyich, succeeded in a plan to murder the High God Akrim.
The reasons for Illyich’s betrayal were simple – he wanted Akrims power. And with the death of Akrim, his divine might was free for the taking – though the Vanians were clever enough to hide the Divine Shard from Illyich, denying him the power he sought.
But as happens, Illyich found adventurers to aid him in his quest. Though they didn’t know who they were working for, and were kept in the dark about the reasons for a number of missions and quests, they eventually found the Isle of Regret where the divinity was being secreted. Illyich then claimed the divinity of Akrim, elevating himself into the single most powerful god in the universe. He then left the realm of Teros to create his own plane of existence, after his minions laid waste to the northern half of the world and created Utopia.
A short while later, another group of adventurers unearthed a hidden ocean-sized artifact hidden under the Badlands by Ay’Matahl, god of artifice and craft. It was a “reset” button, designed to disjunct and destroy all magical fields, items, active spells, and enchantments in the world, and it did just that. Chaos reigned for a time. Magical kingdoms based on equality and knowledge fell to hordes of barbarians. Magically supported towers toppled killing all inside, and magical defenses across the face of Teros fell quiet, and the Year of Loss began.
Magic is rare now. Most of the great wizards and sorcerers are dead, the high temples and their high clerics killed, and their floating castles and mighty towers lie in ruins. Their beasts escaped unchained. Their bound servants free to do as they wished. Their prisons of demons and devils escaped. Chaos and destruction visited the world like it had never seen, and all the magical protections the civilized races relied on were gone. The Year of Loss saw entire kingdoms swallowed, entire civilizations reduced to ruins and myth, and the spread of ignorance, fear, barbarism, and superstition became rampant.
Then revelations began – another group of adventurers discovered that Akrim wasn’t dead! He had staged his death on a grand scale so he could secretly assault the the Outer Gates. All of the gods were watching Illyich, and so Akrim broke free into the Void with powers beyond all the other gods combined. 30000 years absorbing the worship of the faithful had made him into a god beyond gods, and he was free to orchestrate whatever plans he had in the Void beyond the universe. The Outer Gates have since been reinforced by a coalition of gods and their faithful, including a group of mortals who first discovered Akrim’s plans, but during Akrims violent passage through the Outer Gates a multitude of creatures slipped in – all drawn to the Teros and it’s corruptible mortals.
Creatures of madness and nothingness began appearing all over Teros, and a thousand cults sprang up in the absence of powerful wizards to fight back the Void Beings. That was two years ago.
Your story starts here, 4 years after The Year of Loss, and 18 years after the “Death” of Akrim.