The great Darkness rose up to destroy the world, and it succeeded, in a way.
It sought absolute control, so turned its focus to the arcane crystals which powered the Empire, and which many believed had created life itself. The good, then the brave, and finally the powerful confronted the Darkness, and one by one they fell. After the final battle only a few weary souls remained, and the Darkness smiled. A new order was within its grasp. Then in a final, desperate act to prevent their magic from falling into the hands of evil, those few souls cracked open the crystals, and a wave of raw magic was unleashed. The Darkness was obliterated, and the old world with it.
The capital city shone brightly, then imploded. The mines rumbled, ominously. The roads were deserted. The bridged fell. With neither its rulers nor its spells intact, the Empire's collapse was sealed in an instant. The arcane crystals shattered, sending shards far and wide across the landscape. Shards of raw magic, scattered across a wild and dangerous new world, calling out to those who might need them.