The World As It Is
The fallout from the Cataclysm that struck Krynn 348 years ago has lasted for centuries. Famine and plague wracked the land in equal measure, with great nations crumbling to dust or literally sinking beneath the waves.
Trying to fill the void, cults of false gods have risen up all over the continent of Ansalon, as they – and the small lords that yet remain – try to build something new from the ashes of their world.
And in the distance, in the shadows, it is said dark armies have begun to mass…
On the Cataclysm
It is widely believed that the Cataclysm occurred as a result of the Kingpriest of the empire of Istar’s overweening ambition. The Kingpriest sought godhood to not only purge the lands of evil, but of anything that did not agree with his viewpoints.
However, such an act would ultimately have destroyed the Balance, so Thirteen Warnings were sent to the Kingpriest and the nation of Istar. A storm battered the city for thirteen days, trees wept blood, and other ill omens were seen. The warnings were misinterpreted as signs from gods of Darkness that wanted to stop the Kingpriest, and went unheeded. On the third day of the year 963 IA by the Istar calendar, the Kingpriest demanded that the gods answer his call. Instead, the Cataclysm occurred. Though it was widely believed that the gods abandoned Krynn, this was not so. Instead, most of Krynn’s populace could not understand why the gods refused their cries for aid, and turned away from the gods for over three hundred years.
Ansalon felt the Cataclysm as a burning mountain that struck the Lordcity of Istar, though the changes wrought by the Cataclysm were far-reaching. The countries of Falthana and Seldjuk were destroyed; it is likely that Gather, Ismin, and Midrath were as well. The nation of Istar, as well as Dravinaar and Taol were radically altered and later subsumed into other nations. The Kingdom of Icereach was destroyed; its cities buried under snow and ice. The Blood Sea formed over the sunken city of Istar; the Maelstrom in its center supposedly sits over the ruined city. Northern Ergoth and Southern Ergoth were formed when Ergoth was separated from the mainland, while the Blood Sea Isles were formed from existing mountains to the west. Water rushes in from the Sirrion Ocean to form the New Sea, while waters recede from the port city of Tarsis.
The Cataclysm is known by other names as well: Plainsmen call it the Rending, the Hest call it the Great Shattering, and some Qualinesti elves know it as the Great Sundering.