Long before lines were drawn on any map, the realm of mortals was rife with chaos. Spouts of fire and torrents of icy gales cut across the lands of Sha’haiya, guided and called forth by the mischievous spirits of nature. Having no corporeal form, they cared not for the devastation they wrought upon its landscape. But, as the wheel of time began to turn, so too did the herald of change begin to call. [Magical Residues] waned and the spirits became unstable, unable to persist in these forms for much longer they gravitated toward [Arcanite], a crystallization of magic in its purest state.
Lying dormant within these crystals, the spirits slept for hundreds of years until the wear of time produced cracks along their crystalline coffins. Tales say that this is how the first demons were born, spirits given corporeal form, an amalgamation of magic that gave birth to a new race of mortals.
Demons vary greatly in nature and appearance, ranging from clever, silver-tongued imps to brutish beasts barely capable of speech. Though the more intelligent ones can be reasoned with, demons are known to become violent at the slightest provocation. Because of these differences, it wasn’t uncommon to see clans clashing against one another in an attempt to gain control of what little habitable domains of Sha’haiya remained. This continued until the Crooked arrived.
Though the stronger demons fared far better than even the other kingdoms in Mortegard, the weaker clans were easily wiped out. Due to the overwhelming numbers the Crooked held, the demons had to make a drastic decision—stay and fight until exhaustion and death, or brave the harsh elements of Sha’haiya, and use their dangerous surroundings as a deterrent against the unrelenting hoard. The choice was simple, and so the hazardous tundra and molten lava fields were called home.
For a time the demon tribes remained isolated from one another, hoping that by forgetting the outside world they could claim a modicum of peace and normality. However, resources were scarce—and so the infighting began once more. Unable to accept extinction by their own hand, a few of the chieftains parlayed and formed an alliance. With these great chieftains to lead the separated clans, they marched back to reclaim what was once called home.
The battle raged for days without rest, the pendulum of victory swinging ceaselessly, until [The Arbiter] summoned what remained of her strength and called upon the forces of nature. Donning for the first time the legendary [Crown of Storms], she blanketed central Sha’haiya in a perpetual storm.
After the initial intensity of the storm wrought its destruction, a field of Crooked corpses and mephitic stew scattered the now desolate plains. As the decaying remains mingled with the area’s volcanic soil, strewn in great swathes by the endless gale, the wasteland now dubbed the [Firthland] was born.
[Three great chieftains], their prowess in The Great War a matter of legend, gained the trust of the Arbiter, and now aid in the running of Sha’haiya. Given the barren nature of the majority of their kingdom, their hand has been forced to trade, and [The Sha’haiyan Merchants Guild] is famed across all of Mortegard for their ability to turn even the most sour of deals into opportunities.