Hundreds of years ago, much of the land was ruled by the human magiocratic empire of Dalar. In those days, magic itself was different, more wonderous and powerful, and wizards of incredible power ruled the land. These ruling wizards were eight in number, each the master of a different school of magic, and were called Magelords. Some took their lordship in order to aid and enlighten the population, while others ruled just for sheer power. But always, they had worked together to advance the cause of magic. For a thousand years, the empire of Dalar had expanded across the continent of Andrannar, bringing a multitude of the various races and cultures under its dominion. The elves and eladrin cared not for the rulership of humans and retreated to their forests or the Feywild, while the dwarves closed the doors to their mountain halls.
It was over two hundred years ago when the empire of Dalar began to tear itself apart. Some of the Magelords, lusting for even more power, schemed to conquer the others by force. These rebels attacked their former comrades, ruthlessly hurling spells of destruction. The few who survived and escaped rallied their vassals, massing armies of warriors and wizards while the rebels did the same. In massive, titanic battles, these armies clashed together. Magical energy of a magnitude never before seen by mortals was unleashed across the lands. Entire mountain ranges were destroyed, and new ones raised up. Entire cities were flooded or swallowed up by the land. Lakes and rivers boiled dry and forests burned to the ground. In time, the devastation was so complete that the empire of Dalar was no more.
Perhaps by the interference of gods or primordials, but magic itself was changed. In order to ensure that the world was never again scarred by such overwhelming destruction, spells of that power were placed beyond the reach of mere mortals.
After the collapse of the empire, the survivors banded together, forming towns and villages built upon the ruins of fallen cities. Beasts and monsters now roamed unchecked through the wastelands, killing and devouring any they could. Ever resourceful, the survivors discovered new sources of power, whether it be a different arcane type, or divine, primal, or even stranger sources. Mankind would survive its own folly.
Now, two hundred years after the fall of Dalar, the world is still much the same. Humanity has reclaimed a small fraction of their former lands, though vast sections are still untamed. The elves, dwarves and eladrin have come forth to explore these remade lands and to aid their neighbors against the strange and monstrous dangers that threaten every settlement. Beyond the safety of city walls, creatures wait to trap and slay the unwary. Forgotten magic and treasure lie waiting for the brave. Ruins of vanished empires dot the landscape, reminders of the past.