Xend'rik - Past and Present
It is the year 194 P.E. and Xen’drik has radically changed from the land it once was. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Xen’Drik, the following paragraphs will quote a brief history of Xen’drik. If you are familiar with this continent feel free to skip ahead to the brief description of Current Xen’drik.
“Some eighty thousand years ago, Xen’drik was home to Eberron’s first civilized race – the giants, towering beings possessing tremendous strength and intellect. By studying the continent’s ruins, sages have been able to develop a general sense of the lives and history of this lost age, but the precise nature of its people remains a mystery. Scholars believe that the first giants were of a type unknown in the modern age, both wiser and more powerful than the giants of the present day. Some who study them refer to these mighty founders as “titans.”
Though Xen’drik has likely always been a dangerous land, over the course of twenty thousand years, the giants rose from savagery to create a stable and advanced civilization. The lesser races and creatres of Xen’drik were all brought under giant dominion in time. Among the giants’ slaves were the elves, which became common throughout their masters’ cities and settlements.
Sixty thousand years ago, something happened that would change the giants and the fate of Xen’drik forever. Giant explorers made contact with the dragons of Argonnessen, and a group of dragons took a great interest in the fledgling kingdoms. Flights of dragons migrated to Xen’drik to take up residence among the giants, sharing their knowledge of magic with the younger race. The giants quickly mastered these mystical arts, creating artifacts and wondrous locations still beyond the knowledge of modern civilization. The giant nations even taught their Elven slaves to use magic, with the elves’ talent for the arcane arts allowing them to overcome the limitations of their size. For a time, dragon and giant lived in harmony, but conflict in Argonnessen eventually drew the dragons away from Xen’drik. In centuries to come, the dragons became insular and broke off contact with the giants; they would not return for thousands of years.
The civilization of the giants prospered for another twenty thousand years, and its empires spread across the continent. Then, forty thousand years ago, the collapse of Xen’drik was set in motion by an extraplanar invasion from Dal Quor, the Region of Dreams. Living nightmares tore into the nations of the giants, and reality itself was scarred by their battles. In the end, an alliance of giant arcanists drew on the cataclysmic powers to sever the connection between Dal Quor and Ebberon – an action that unleased destruction nearly as disastrous as the war it sought to end.
For almost a thousand years, magical curses and plagues swept through the land, civil war raging even as the giants’ elf and drow slaved seized the opportunity to throw off their chains. Desperately weakened, the giants prepared to call again on the powerful magic that had banished the quori – magic that might have destroyed Eberron if not for the intervention of the dragons. No one knows the full extent of the power the lords of Argonnessen brought to bear, but in the aftermath, the Xen’drik of old was no more. Eldritch energy spread across the land, leaving a twisted environment and bizarre monsters in its wake. The giants were reduced to savagery and have never recovered, their cities falling to ruin.”
For almost forty thousand years, Xen’drik has been a land of mystery, but now Xen’drik has come to be populated by hundreds of thousands and, while this population rarely sets out from their large cities, the island continent of Xen’drik has begun to be explored once again. However, explorers of Xen’drik must be wary.
Every child in Xen’drik is raised with stories of those who leave the cities and enter the wild environments of Xen’drik’s inland areas. There are regions known as shifting areas; areas where a flowing river may turn to solid ice in the blink of an eye, only to be transformed into flowing magma a moment later. In these shifting areas, adventurers may crest a barren sand dune in a scorching desert, only to find a vast arctic expanse in front of them. These areas are said to have been fractured in time and space by the immensely powerful magic used to eradicate this land of not only the Dal Quor, but also the Giants. While most of these shifting zones are said to be stationary, some of the fractured space does wander across the inland areas and commoners are strongly discouraged from wandering too far from the cities or towns that have been set up in safer areas.
The shifting areas are not the only concern for travelers, however. There is also an effect caused by the same fracturing of time and space that has come to be known as the Traveler’s Curse. Little is known about this curse aside from the few experiences that have been shared. One party set out from Stormreach travelling south towards a town called Last Chance only to find themselves approaching Stormreach from the north two days later. Others parties have claimed to have traveled to the exact same destination on more than one occasion, while following the exact same route, and have found that the route that took them three weeks the first time, took only four days the second time. This effect can happen in the reverse, however, leaving adventurer’s stranded in the jungles, deserts, or arctic tundra’s for weeks despite the belief that their destination lie only a few days away.