The Cataclysm and its effects.
Almost a century ago the Cataclysm of Magic happened. The Gods withdrew their support of the Clergy temporarily breaking the power of the Unified Churches. Wild magics waxed considerably, and many a mage perished due to the surge.
The common folk saw the sky turn blood red, and the stars shifted. Then came the Kvatch, and other Demons. Dark riders plagued the countryside, and great upheaval plagued the kingdoms of the Taer.
Merfolk, long considered a myth, began raiding the coastline. While strange and dark forces began organizing the disordered tribes of Orcs to the east. Trade along the spice road ceased and the western realms were devoid of external trade. Yet the realms weathered the storm.
Finally, when the fires of upheaval died down, the Taer had been changed. Yet an ominous cloud hangs over the land, as if the storm is not completely spent…