The Chaos Age and the Severance Pact
Long ago, during what is called the Chaos Age, the Inner Planes were unseparated, with everything from fey and humanoids to aberrations and monstrosities co-inhabiting one vast realm. Life for the mortals was a whirlwind of constant pandemonium and fear, and great clashes between the dominant races resulted in entire mountain ranges and forests being reduced to rubble. In the Outer Planes, the deities grew ever-more angry with each-other, all blaming one another for creating the destructive monsters that were tearing the Inner Planes to shreds. Three factions arose among them— Alsul’s Starbringers, Mlek’s Dusksingers, and Vikor’s Nightwatchers. After warring broke out on the divine level, Alsul, Mlek, and Vikor quickly realized that without armistice the Outer Planes would be torn to pieces, just as the Inner Planes were being. The three met in what is now called the Preservation Conference, and came to an agreement: the Inner Planes would be separated into three parts— Leriel, the Feywild, and Shadowfell. Each faction would receive one to rule over, and in it would reside the races whom their members had created. The Nightwatchers were given Shadowfell, with its horrifying monstrosities and empty black sky. The Dusksingers were given the Feywild, a twilight realm of beauty and rampant magic inhabited by playful fey. Lastly, the Starbringers were given Leriel, the most similar to the original land, which would be inhabited by a vast diversity of humanoid, beastly, and monstrous creatures. This was called the Severance Pact.
The Mellow and the Ingression
Thus, the Inner Planes were divided in three, and relative peace was restored to both mortals and the divine. For hundreds of thousands of years, in what is now called the Mellow, the deities contented themselves by watching their realms grow into empires, intervening when they pleased to shape their domains as they desired. The many races were given time to build expansive and diverse cultures and creations, exploring themselves and the new planes they had been given. Eventually, as the races developed more and more, the Ingression began. Some inhabitants of the Inner Planes started to discover ways of travelling between the realms. As the planes were stacked one atop another, with Leriel in the middle surrounded by the Feywild above and Shadowfell below, few portals connected the plane of twilight to that of shadow. In Leriel, however, rumours of fearsome aberrations and mischievous fae pervaded the land. Some even claimed to have visited other realms, but these were mostly dismissed as madmen. In the Outer Planes, as the deities realized their perfect secluded realms were once again intertwining, unease festered and began growing into a reestablishing of old grudges and hatreds. Each pantheon blamed another for opening the portals. Tension peaked when Yzarrelon, a particularly monstrous shadow dragon, burst through a portal into Leriel, ravaging dozens of towns before a group of Starbringer celestials descended from the Court of the Stars to slay the beast. Direct interference, especially physically setting foot on the Inner Planes, was, though not technically forbade, heavily disapproved of. The Nightwatchers were indignant of the celestials’ behaviour, especially since their incursion had resulted in the death of a Shaden. The Starbringers were angry with the Nightwatchers for not intervening themselves, and believed they were accountable for the death of the many Leriellans. The Dusksingers feared their twilight realm would be invaded as well, and were wary of both other pantheons. Heated discussions between members of the pantheons quickly devolved into skirmishes. At first, the deities made half-hearted attempts to stop the brawls, but soon they too ceded to their rapidly-growing loathing of each other. The Outer Planes broke out into war.
The Coalescence War
The Coalescence War, also called Chaos’ Echo and the Divine War, lasted three centuries, and resulted in both the Inner and Outer Planes being left in ruin. During the war, celestials often descended to the Inner Planes to encourage citizens of their realm to attack those of the others, and some even occasionally fought alongside their mortal subjects. An unwarranted outcome of this was the mixing of celestial blood into mortal bloodlines. These half-breeds were known as the plane-touched. Divine power raged on the Inner Planes nearly as much as on the Outer.
Only when Varius Tal-Kesek, the plane-touched descendant of a particularly powerful celestial, nearly killed Iyre, the Goddess of spite and storms, were the deities shocked back into reality. Finally, the rage of the deities subsided to fear as they realized the catastrophic damage they were doing, both to the power-balance and physical landscape of the Planes. The regal courts and majestic cities of the Outer Planes were reduced to rubble, with thousands of celestials laying dead inside. Each of the Inner Planes was affected in a different way by the outbreak of divine magic and warring. Leriel was torn apart, with barely a half-mile of land left inhabitable, and technological advancement reverted to a barbaric state. The Feywild was overrun with wildly lush and thick magical underbrush and forests, and its inhabitants were driven feral and mad. Shadowfell, previously gloomy, was wiped clear of any trace of light, and the blackness of the surroundings seeped deep into its residents’ souls.