AD&D - New World
The Chaos Curse
More commonly called the great disaster, more than one-thousand years ago there was a great conflict between the forces of law and the forces of chaos.The allies of the God-King Edrick, Half-Ogre, fought for the forces of Law and Order against the Wolf of Arcworth and the forces of Chaos and Disorder.
Once a human wizard called Nemonad Arcworth, the Wolf was a friend and counselor to Edrick in the days of their youth. But after years away and dark whispers among his former comrades, the Wolf revealed his terrible secret — he was a necromancer who had transformed himself into an undead lich. The Wolf allied with terrible elder gods from the Outer Planes and attempted to enforce his will upon all of Ur.
Although the specifics of what happened have become lost to time, the Wolf of Arcworth was ultimately defeated and his staff — the source of his power and the container of his very soul — was destroyed. The Wolf was killed and his dread masters were banished from this plane.
But the Heroes of Law paid a great price. Almost all of Edrick’s allies were killed or disappeared, and Edrick himself willingly passed into the Outer Planes and seemingly severed his connection to the material plane forever. Again, the true matters of fact are gone from history — but something in the Wolf’s defeat and Edrick’s sacrifice changed the state of arcane magic forever. A chaos curse took hold, and all arcane magic had the taint of wild magic forevermore.
Furthermore, the nexus point of the final battle — the capital city of Zephyrus — became the center of a wild storm of magical energy. All beings in the city were killed or transformed into unurthly profanities, and the surrounding human kingdoms were shattered forevermore. On the fringes of the wild storm, the survivors of man fled to the west and became slaves of the lizardfolk of Middlemarsh, and to the east becoming cattle of the new vampire-lords of Gith.
Humanity remains a scattered people, many of whom exist in primitive wilderness tribes. Only in recent decades have they begun to rebuild their shattered way of life at the expense of the declining Goblin Kingdoms of the Westlands, but it is doubtful that they can ever reach the heights of glory before the disaster.