Hibantium has been continually inhabited by sentient races for over twenty thousand years. The oldest dragons claim the gods themselves lifted it from the sea for their creations, while the giants say they built it themselves, stone by stone. Regardless of its true origins, everyone believed Hibantium was special, and that they were special for the privilege of living on it.

Over time, civilizations began to ooze across Hibantium’s vast landscape, conquering the unknown at every turn. By 892 AB (After Barthrennian, a large elf city; a common measure), cartographers had succeeded in mapping the entire continent and its outlying islands. The modern ships were poorly made and relied on following the coast to navigate; the idea of people inhabiting a land beyond the sea was preposterous.

The people of Hibantium spent the next hundred years building their empires. Their chief enemies – the chromatic dragons, hostile giants, orcs, and gnolls – were largely dead, killed in the first initial push. It was a time of peace, known as Hibantium’s Golden Century. Knowledge, happiness, and wealth increased across the realms. Cities were founded, roads were built, and people traveled freely.

But peace did not suit everyone. Curious scholars began to look beyond the Material Plane and mastered the science of opening portals to other dimensions. Unfortunately, their ambitions far outstripped their abilities. Four wizards opened a massive gateway to the Underdark on Ningel in 1018 AB, spilling its demons into the world. It took five years and thousands of lives to retake the island.

Some realms banned the practice of opening portals, so the scholars where it was still legal: chiefly, the southern nations of Luo and Zabrak, and the forested regions of Qu’dan. There, they perfected their craft, and brought forth wondrous treasures and knowledge gained from communing with ancient beings. Zabrak, discontented with its small territory, used its newfound edge to invade neighboring Arjhan in 1052 AB.

War exploded across Hibantium. Skilled sorcerers brought forth food and water for their soldiers and shortcuts through nearby planes were used to mask troop movements. Others used their skill to summon monsters to use against their enemies. Within ten years of Arjhan’s invasion, peace crumbled and the Long War began.

The Long War is still ongoing, although with much less fury than its inception. To shorten the almost five-century-long story, it can be said that there were no heroes on any side, and that the greatest sufferers were the ones furthest from combat. The Long War saw the resurgence of tieflings and half-orcs: both were hunted into extinction before the Golden Century and were remade through mating or found in pockets in the Underdark.

In the year 1469 AB, Ningel invaded the southern shore of Qu’dan, quickly overwhelming coastal defenses to move inland. Qu’dan had been invaded multiple times, by Ningel and Ivala to the south and Khura to the north. It had never been a populous realm and, after centuries of fighting, the few mages were remained were young, desperate, and inexperienced. They ordered an evacuation and set themselves in the path of the invading army. The realm they contacted remains unknown to this day, but it killed the mages, Ningel’s army, and anything else in a two-hundred-mile radius – and increasing.

When word reached the other realms, they stopped fighting and sent their best wizards to investigate. They managed to slow the portal’s spread to just six inches a year, but completely closing it remains beyond them.


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