This is the base lore I wrote for a monthly in-person campaign I’m hoping to start in August. Enjoy.
Long ago, there were four continents which made up the Quadrangle of Mythil. The four continents each developed their own cultures, but enjoyed the benefits of trade afforded them by the warm sea which divided them. Wars were unheard of, and knowledge passed across the sea as a beloved commodity. All was well.
Until the coming of Vidoth.
This wizard grew up in the city of Doran and showed an aptitude for magical knowledge even as a young child. He was apprenticed to an important member of the Wizard Conclave and rose in rank quickly. Ever thirsty for knowledge, Vidoth travelled across the Quadrangle. As he journeyed, however, Vidoth was frustrated by the varied rules and traditions put in place by the cultures he encountered. The wizard was frustrated by how much time he had to waste navigating through cultural expectations and came to believe that for the Quadrangle to reach its full potential, it must be brought under one law–one rule to make the sharing of knowledge standard across the Quadrangle. He brought his ideas to the Wizard Conclave, where he was rebuked with prejudice and suspended from Membership.
Infuriated, Vidoth travelled to his home in Doran. He spent fifteen years working his way up into a position of leadership, and in his fiftieth year became the unchallenged ruler of the city. Upon ascending to ruler, Vidoth instilled his vision of a unified Quadrangle in the people of Doran, who then beat the drums of war to see their ruler’s vision come to fruition.
Five years into his rule, Vidoth’s forces swept South over the inland sea and attacked their peaceful neighbors. Other lands were slow to respond to Vidoth’s aggression and, for a time, it looked as though the wizard’s ambition would be fulfilled through conquest. But before Viodoth’s forces could solidify their control of conquered lands, the Wizard Conclave joined in the battle for the Quadrangle. Wielding magic which had heretofore been considered only in theory, the Conclave’s counter attack was furious. Pressed by powers which terrified them, Vidoth’s forces fled back to their home. It took a single month for all the territory Vidoth had captured to be liberated. Then, not wanting to press Doran’s people into a desperate final stand, the Conclave’s forces stopped. It would be their undoing, for Vidoth’s threat was far from over. Facing humiliation and defeat, Vidoth dreamed a new dream–the only way to truly bring the peoples of the Quadrangle together, was to close the physical gaps between them.
To bring unity, Vidoth determined he needed to break the world.
The great wizard created a spell of such power, The World Breaker, the Wizard Conclave has erased all knowledge of its casting. When this spell was unleashed by a wizard with sufficient ability, they would be able to reshape the very face of the planet. It was Vidoth’s intent to take the great plates on which four continents were perched and force them together. The Quadrangle Sea would be erased, and the new land routes would speed cultural integration. It almost worked as he planned.
As Vidoth burned the spell from his memory, however, he was betrayed by one of his apprentices who had become disillusioned. With his master lost in concentration, this apprentice was able to plunge his dagger into Vidoth’s heart, inflicting a critical wound. But the apprentice’s attack was too late, the energy from The World Breaker had already been unleashed. Near death, and unable to tame the powerful forces which he had invoked, Vidoth’s spell misfired. What he’d intended to be a gentle movement of the four continents of the Quadrangle became a rapid surge. Forests burned, cities fell, and mountains rose as the continents crashed into each other. When the immediate carnage was over a new super continent had been formed–the continent of Centren. In the aftermath of The World Breaker civilization was shattered, knowledge was lost, and a new era of alienation and violence began. In the wake of the devastation he’d unleashed, Vidoth disappeared. The world itself burned for many years, until new realms emerged from ruins of the old.
There are some who believe Vidoth did not die from his wounds. They maintain he is still out in the world in some hidden stronghold, bitter about his failures.