Adventures in Thargothras
The history of Thargothras can be divided into three eras: Ancient history, The Age of Chaos, and a third age we'll get into later. That's the age we're in right now.
The first sapient mortals, which scholars believe to be mainly comprised of dragons and fey, mortal only in the broadest sense, having lifespans of millennia, wielded great magical powers and studied the natural and magical laws of the world for hundreds of thousands of years. Then the titans came, and created new mortal life, starting with the giants, who bonded themselves with elements and energies for power, save for one family that refused, from whom what we now call hill giants descended. The titans eventually left, but not before creating humanity.
It was after the titans but before the rise of the Age of Chaos that there was great drama. The giants enslaved much of the eldorn, the fey precursors to dwarves, and ripped the magic from their bodies to weaken them and bred them with captive humans, thus making them a more easily subjugated race. The result, after a handful of generations, was the dwarves as we now know them. Other humans voluntarily mingled with fey, the fortunate becoming loved as well as pets, and the less fortunate becoming disposable playthings, but it was from these dalliances that the first elves and orcs came to be. Other crossbreeds were less viable, but the elves and orcs bred true and often. Other races, such as gnomes and goblins, began as fey but became more and more mortal over time, for reasons still unknown.
For the next few centuries, humanoid civilizations grew, wars were fought, races divided, and the lands were explored and tamed, and resources were abundant, thus setting the stage for complacency and decadence.
The Age of Chaos
The rise of the Age of Chaos began with two infamous figures, the Silver King, and the Red Reaver. To properly tell the stories, they should be read separately, and not necessarily in chronological order. We shall begin with the circumstances that led to the Silver King's rise to power, and how his power was used to cause the downfall and near-destruction of the world.
So, elves this one time decided to fool around with high magic and tore a hole to a universe of antimatter and okay not really, I'm just kidding. The elves… barely had anything to do with it.
So dragons this one time had been observing that the demiplanes resided on by the gods would often (at least by dragon standards, every 90 years or so) come into conjunction with the mortal plane and affect it in predictable ways relating to the gods' portfolios. The conjunctions were seemingly random, but under long observation were found to have a predictable pattern, each plane arriving and departing according to its own cycle, in unique sequence so that no one plane was in conjunction more often than another over a long enough stretch of time. It was posited by the elves that in theory, one who knew which conjunction was most likely to occur next could prepare for it. It was further posited that, in theory, a vast amount of magic could be sed to delay, hasten, or slow the conjunction, but the elves were wise enough to understand that such an action would inevitably end in folly, and was spoke of only as an intellectual exercise, like rearranging the continents or blocking out the sun. The magical forces necessary were simply to great for anyone to muster. The idea fell into obscurity as more amusing brain teasers and large number games gained popularity.
Enter the Silver King. His given name is now lost to time, but what is known is that he was a human, heir to the throne of a small kingdom, and a powerful mage. While he studied the elven texts and trained his mind, he ran across the theory of stalling a conjunction and recounted other theories on the drawing and storage of mana for later use, and had an idea on how to combine their use, and possibly do so in time for the next conjunction – a conjunction with Dol'haddur. The idea became an obsession, as he engineered designs for larger and more efficient mana storage, and when he was satisfied with his designs, he nearly bankrupted his kingdom to build the device he had in mind. He used it to its fullest capacity, and then used the magic stored within to summon materials for another. After he had built four, and let them fill to the brim, he waited for the conjunction to begin, and when it did, he put his theory to the test. It worked, and thus began the Age of Chaos.
The extended conjunction with Dol'haddur had two consequences – the first was that the mortal world was slowly but inorexable saturated with surplus mana, and the second was that Dol'haddur was losing its own magic, albeit at a much slower rate. The Silver King, having orchestrated this event and planned for it, had also built devices that channeled ambient magic into him for his own uses at will. It was at this point that either his true motive became clear, or, having succeeded in one seemingly impossible venture, he was seized by new heights of hubris, and sought to make himself immortal. Pulling vast amounts of power and scouring every text he could find on magical life extension, he stretched his life for centuries, all the while keeping Dol'haddur in conjunction, while other planes came and went. His kingdom grew ever larger, crushing all resistance with torrents of arcane wrath. At some point, he moved his entire palace and most of the capitol city to Dol'haddur to be closer to the source of his magic, but never bothered to turn off the connection between the planes, in order to more easily travel back and forth to impress his will upon the world and its inhabitants, either unaware or uncaring that the magical overflow was literally transforming and destroying the planet, eroding the natural laws as a river erodes its banks. He took five apprentices who shared his lust for power and immortality, and of them, four rose to such heights of power that they decided to model themselves after the legendary four horsemen of the apocolypse, all the better to intimidate their enemies and inflate their own egos. The fifth was the already infamous Red Reaver, who again, has his own page recounting the highlights of his life.
In addition to the Silver King and his apprentices, there were other mages who took advantage of the magical surplus and did spectacular, if dangerous, experiments. Many new spells were invented during this time, and many new creatures as well. Owlbears, chimeras, displacer beasts, and the like, as well as a few new humanoid races, particularly anthropomorphic races like dover, catfolk, ratfolk, tengu, and pickers.
Now, after some time, the gods had not only taken notice of the planar anomaly, but realized that the problem was self-sustaining, more likely to destroy both planes than simply end on its own. After a moot, they decided the best way to correct this error was not to try to intervene directly, which would have unpredictable effects in regards to the Silver King's eldritch machines, and might make things worse, but to empower about a hundred exceptional mortals and send them in small, tactical teams to dismantle the Silver King's empire piece by piece while remaining mostly undetected. After many successes and failures, there were only twelve left, but by that point, there were only two objectives left to fulfill to bring about the end of the Age of Chaos. One party needed to destroy whatever eldritch device was powering the stalled conjunction, severing the connection between the planes and allowing the conjunction to end and return to its normal pattern, and the other needed to distract the Silver King in his throne room, and even slay him if possible, in order to keep him from defending or repairing the engines powering the planar meld. The efforts of both parties succeeded, and much of the surplus magic returned to Dol'haddur as the connection broke. Thus ended the Age of Chaos, 930 years ago.
I, uh, still have a lot of detail work for this, so for now let's just say, wars were fought, civilizations rose and fell and rose again, and there was a great deal waiting for the ground to sit still long enough to plant fields and rebuild cities. Seriously, the Age of Chaos left the world in shambles while the laws of nature repaired themselves and the excess magic drained away as spells were cast.