An old saying goes that an insect flapping its wings in the Silveran woods can cause a raging storm as far away as the Sho plains. What that story means is that for nearly every action, there are unforeseen consequences. No matter how small and insignificant we may believe them to be, each and every choice we make may eventually build to a spectacular outcome, often a negative one and usually to someone completely unconnected to the original choice. If anyone is aware of this fact, it’s Asheron.

Centuries ago, Asheron, along with a group of the most experienced scholars and mages in the Yalaini Seaborne Empire, used obscure research into planar magic to defeat the greatest threat this world has ever seen, the Hopeslayer Bael’Zharon. However, that discovery would have far greater influence that simply ending the Shadow War. After the defeat of the Shadows, Asheron continued his research into planar magic and soon established what we know as “portal magic”; through this magic, a gateway could be created that would allow instantaneous travel from one point to another. Through the use of this new sorcery, the Seaborne Empire reached heights of prosperity never seen before during its history. Thanks to portal travel, the Yalain stretched their influence to every inch of Auberean, bringing the entire world together under their rule. For a time, they even dabbled in exploring other, far distant worlds via portal, and it was a consequence of this exploration that brought about the end of their world.

Upon one of the distant worlds that Asheron and his people explored, they discovered a formidable and vicious species of insect that they would come to call Olthoi. Through a series of unfortunate events, the Olthoi turned the tables on the Yalain and used the portals to enter the world of their would be invaders. Now a world once brought to the brink of destruction by the Shadows found itself besieged by another army of darkness, as wave upon wave of Olthoi used the very portal network built by the Yalain to spread across Auberean. While their powerful sorcery was able to thwart Bael’Zharon, the Yalain were unable to restrain this torrent of insects. Soon, nearly every one of the Yalaini lands was controlled by one of the endless hives of Olthoi, and so Asheron was forced to carry out his most desperate plan yet.

Once again calling upon his knowledge of portal magic, Asheron would send the Yalain who had so far survived the Olthoi onslaught into a sort of hibernation in a place in between worlds. There they would remain, sleeping and unaging, while Asheron would stay behind in the hopes of finding a means to drive away the Olthoi and return his people to this world. And so did the majority of living Empyrean leave this world. Asheron sequestered himself upon his island off the coast of Ireth Lassel where, seemingly concealed and shielded from the Olthoi, he would carry out his research unmolested. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the last Yalain, his portal magic had once more had unforeseen and lamentable consequences.

The strain on portalspace caused by Asheron’s magic caused great fluctuations that cascaded across the old Yalain portal network. Old portals once used to explore other worlds were suddenly reopened, and rather than bringing Yalain to those faraway places, their denizens were able to come through to Auberean. Because the portals leading offworld were sealed to prevent the Olthoi from invading other worlds, countless creatures who made their way to Auberean, including us, found themselves trapped on a strange new world.

Every action has a consequence. Asheron’s research into portal magic resulted in his people becoming the most powerful nation this world has ever known. The explorations inspired by that power resulted in unleashing a nightmare that plagues this world to this very day. And the drastic measures taken to avoid that nightmare resulted in innumerable creatures, both man and beast, becoming imprisoned on a world not of their making. Each of the actions of Asheron Realaidain has had a monumental consequence upon his world. Regrettably, it is we who must now suffer those consequences.

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