The Two Worlds
No one remembers why the twin worlds of Asteria and Parasonnea stopped communcating with each other and why travel between them became extremely difficult, but it did happen long enough ago that the planets developed along different routes.     The western mainland of Asteria, developed Renaissance technology and the psionic potentials of the mind, thus losing touch with the arts of arcane magic. Through the combined use of psionics, divine magic, and new weapons, the presence of magical creatures dwindled until it became the stuff of myth. A new age of exploration is dawning there, and tales of eastern lands where mystic arts and magical beasts are quite real are spreading rapidly. The skies over Asteria are a brilliant blue.     Meanwhile, Parasonnea has stayed rooted in medievil traditions and arcane lore. All manner of creatures, from orcs to dragons, have staked out their patch of earth. One hemisphere of the planet is covered by water and is home to xenophobic aquatic races. The green sky that hangs over the planet is the result of the high concentration of argon in its upper atmosphere.
The Death of Zalenkas and the Year of the Comet
There came a time when the mighty lich Skull of Ashes, trusted servant of undead overlord Zalenkas, rose up against his master and slew him. In doing so, Skull of Ashes took Zalenkas' place as the God of the Undead. Zalenkas' death was marked by a great comet passing narrowly between the two planets. The comet rained down massive shards of ice, and the greatest heroes of that day took to the skies to fight off the imcoming debris. Many of the shards were able to impact the planets. Severe flooding occured in Eastern Asteria, and the Southlands of Parasonnea were so badly devestated that they were plunged into anarchy for a short time. This event, the Year of the Comet, is used as the new calendar year zero.
The Rise and Fall of Lucas Nightshade
In the year 522, a great war erupted on the planet of Parasonnea. Lucas Nightshade, the respected mage-king of Tear, began a systematic conquest of the surrounding lands. But in wasn't until 525 that his expansionistic tactics became unbearably cruel and oppressive. The presence of any non-evil religion was violently purged from the lands under his control. As his empire grew to encompass most of the Darklands and Vina's Arm, he secretly manipulated those nations that had the potential to oppose him and set them fighting amongst themselves. Eventually a shaky coalition was formed in opposition of Lucas, and in the final battle he died at the hands of the Six Legendary Heroes. In the aftermath, mage-kings became feared & were slain amidst bloody revolts.
The truth of his reign, known only to a few, is a tale far more sinister. In 525, Lucas Nightshade summoned Magraravich, a powerful pit fiend whom Lucas intented to bind to his will. Unfortunantly, Magraravich was too powerful for Lucas to control and the devil slew Lucas and took his place. This was the cause of the dark shift is Lucas' ruling policies. It was Magraravich, not Lucas, that the Six Legendary Heroes actually slew.