Here's a look at the idea I had for a campaign setting for the Open Legend RPG, from 7th Sphere:
The world we have now is not the one we started with. We know that in the times before, the times of antiquity, that our world was massive, with great land masses and majestic oceans. Dozens of races and groups claimed dominion over parts of the world, and we knew war and famine, but we also knew peace and prosperity. Champions and heroes were storied even in those long lost days, and the world was green and bright. I know that from the stories my ancestors told of those long lost days, that something terrible happened to us.
The tiny gem winks to life, projecting an image on an old human woman, her face heavy with age, and her lungs barely filling with breath
“Late one winter night, terrible riders criss crossed the land, and everywhere they went, an eerie green light followed. Terrible sickness followed that glow, and our people grew sick. The news we received from other villages was just as bad. The champion of Daed, the high god, had ridden out to meet these riders, and they had left his shattered body on the altar of his god. Panic spread like wildfire, and the divine blessings that had been with us for so long were gone. We were alone in the universe, and Evil was stalking us.”
She coughs heavily...a bit of dark red phlegm coming out of her mouth. She wipes it away with an old, well used kerchief.
“Seeing the devastation that would follow, the ancient magi and shamans who’d hidden among our people for so long hatched a desperate plan. Opening a Gateway deep in the rocks and the land, they would lead us on an exodus, to a new place where greenery could grow, and we could rebuild ourselves. We would have a chance to start over.”
The old woman sighs, her voice cracking from the strain.
“We wandered the world below for nearly two generations. We explored the deep places of the world, and met its denizens. Some came with us, and some of us stayed behind. Eventually, the Aracanist Yeltha found what she’d been looking for, and with a great and terrible spell, opened the sky back up for us again.”
She takes the offered water, sipping it slowly. The tiny dribble of red around the lip of the glass is wiped away by unknown hands.
“Thank you, Mardun.” Her eyes leave the stone, and her tiny frail hand brushes gently against the stone fingers that wrapped the shawl around her shoulders.. THe Gedra stands behind its owner, protective of her frail form. “I’ll be joining my ancestors soon” She says, smiling at the stone statue.
“We had inherited a mass of land, far from the world we’d known. Some of the animals were familiar, but we had not cattle, no horses to start over with. Yeltha and her people found other sources of meat for us, and eventually, we started to put our world back together again. Every family that survived the Dark Walk was granted a Gedra,” She points gently with her wizened fingers at the statue behind her. “Gedra’s gave us the ability to clear and work the land, chop down the trees, and build roads and cities. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to rebuild so quickly.”
“What had entered the World below were twenty some odd distinct races of creatures. What emerged from the Dark Exodus were something completely different. Time had changed us, and we came out looking mostly like the humans of old, but there were oddities. The people of far off Franduil look like marble statues and have extra fingers. The folk of the Daeris have a third eye, and can see into the hearts of men, so the stories go. None of us come out unscathed from our experiences.”
“It took explorers another generation to find the full size and scope of our new island home. Rich with resources and vast in its spaces, Yeltharan (named after our Wizard Queen), was capable of sustaining our people. The very edges of the island were treacherous with wild, uncontrolled magic, and what the magic touched, it warped into great and terrible things.”
“Eventually, Yeltha conceived of the Boundary, a magical barrier that was intended to keep out the wild and untamed magic, and with a great surge of energy, brought it into being. After that, we heard very little of our Queen, and eventually we heard she’d passed into the beyond, the magics that had sustained her long life had finally run out.”
The old woman reclines, the Gedra stooping over her protectively. The woman gives out one last gasp, and her essence passes from her lips to the waiting Gedra standing over her. The tiny gem blinks and the vision ends.