Welcome to Bannor. It’s been through a lot.
Recently, though, things have been getting worse. Ten years ago two cataclysmic events rocked the very foundations of the material world. The first was the release of elementals into the world, the second was the return of Vecna.
Somehow a scourge of elementals was released upon Bannor. They spread across the land, destroying everything they touched. The presence of so much raw and chaotic elemental energy upset the balance of nature, altering the face of the world. Fissures tore the earth, mountains toppled, volcanoes spewed molten rock, and black clouds blotted out the sun. Cities crumbled as millions died. Their swathe of destruction seemed unstoppable, and after only a few months many thought the end of the world was imminent. Most prayed for a quick death.
The tide of annihilation could only be stemmed by an equal opposing force — as the world collapsed something dark got in. The dead rose to walk among the living, and people thought the end had truly come. But the undead turned against the elementals. The slain victims became an avenging army and rid the world of the elemental invaders. Vecna, a deity forgotten by all but a few religious scholars, marched at their head. He told the survivors that he had finally returned after centuries of imprisonment to rule them. With his vast army he quickly established an empire of undeath in which the living were at best second-class citizens, and at worse little more than cattle.
The world has become a desolate and inhospitable place. Expanses of barren rock and scorched desert are interspersed by poisonous rivers and lakes. Seasons have lost all meaning; people endure blistering heat one week and driving blizzards the next. Ashen clouds blanket the sky and the sun hasn’t been seen in ten years. The only places where plants and animals still thrive are in the conservatories housed in Vecna’s necropolises, kept in order to sustain his living servants.
There are still havens of the living free from Vecnas control, but they are few and far between. Each of you has somehow managed to elude his seeker squads all this time, and have found your way to the Breath
, the only legitimate resistance still around. Whether you sought them out or they came upon you by accident, your skills are of obvious use to them, and they have asked all of you to work together on an upcoming mission of vital importance.