The races of the Old World had evolved over thousands of years, somtimes fighting against one another, sometimes allies but always striving for the best for their own race.
Dwarves were in conflict with Orcs and Goblins for the mines and tunnels beneath the surface, Humans and Elves at odds over land and resources. Conflict and animosity were common place but so were vast, glorious cities that held centuries of accumulated knowledge from entire races. All of these wars, alliances, achievements - all of civilisation - came to an end with The Great Disaster.
For many the Old World ended when a ball of fire appeared in the sky, getting larger and larger it started to tear the land apart. Tidal waves and earthquakes laid waste to villages, towns and cities.
For three weeks chaos reigned, people - no matter what race - prayed to their Gods for deliverance. Some claimed that the destruction was a punishment, others that the Lords Of Chaos had been unleashed against the world, some that a vast magical experiemnt had gone horribly wrong. The gnomes even suggested that the world was a giant sphere floating in mptiness ana vast ed the ball of fire was a huge lump of rock and ice that was on a collision course - but everyone knows gnomes are crazy.
No matter what the reason the devastation got worse, the fireball filled the sky and night was as light as day, people said that the end of the world was upon them - and for many it was.
Whereas the earthquakes and tidal waves leading up to this point had destroyed whole cities the impact of the fireball from the sky destroyed countries, vapourised seas, levelled mountains and shattered continents.
The devastation and hopelessness that followed are well documented in the histories of every race and people that survived - civilisation faced extinction. The landscape was changed forever - where a continent had stood there were now thousands of islands, once empty seas were now dotted with volcanic islands spewing forth lava and ash.
For decades the world itself reeled, weather patterns changed, seas boiled, land masses shifted or disappeared altogether and amongst this the survivors of The Great Disaster struggled for survival.
Contact between settlements was restricted to the times that a sea could be travelled - often those that set out were never seen again. In order to survive new alliances were formed by some - or at least the absence of war, others fought for everything they needed and could take.
Clawing their way back to civilisation many have managed to survive, and now finally the seas are becomming calm enough to travel and the New World is beginning to take shape.
The various races have started to look beyond the shores of their own lands, to set sail and see what has become of their world, to venture forth into The Shattered Isles...