When the Qabalrin first settled within the mountain ring, there was little to distinguish them from the many tribes of primitive elves found across the land. But over time, the wisest of these elves became aware of a force within the land. The records hidden deep within the ring speak of a dragon formed of shadows, which spoke to the wise in dreams and whispered arcane secrets in the dark of night. Soon the Qabalrin embraced the worship of this Shadow. A temple arose, then a city; as centuries passed, a sprawling metropolis spread across the valley and down into the depths. Not content with the secrets of the Shadow, the Qabalrin pushed even further into the darkness in search of power. They trafficked with rakshasas and fiends from the outer planes, and dabbled with the corrupting energies of the evil planes Xoriat and Mabar. But one cannot toy with darkness and remain untouched. and the vile work of the Qabalrin began twisting the spirits of the people. Paranoia, cruelty, and greed became the driving passions of the Qabalrin, and in time these traits turned the elves against one another. Factions formed around different magical traditions, and arcane duels and deadly feuds took their toll on the lords of the valley. If not for this infighting, the Qabalrin might have emerged from the mountains to conquer the lands beyond—but the elves were always their own worst enemies.
While there were a dozen factions within the valley, two stood out in power and prominence: the Unspoken and the Shapers of Night. The Unspoken were the preeminent conjurers of the Qabalrin, and had amassed great power through their dealings with spirits and fiends. The Shapers of Night scorned the Unspoken for relying on others; the Shapers sought to gain personal power, not to bargain with others to achieve their ends. It was this quest that led the Shapers to the arts of necromancy, and it is believed that the first vampire was spawned in the darkness of the Ring. The Unspoken feared this new power, and this led to a bitter struggle between the two factions; the Unspoken decried the undead as being an unforgivable corruption of the elven spirit, while the Shapers scoffed at the idea that the Qabalrin should fear corruption. Ultimately the Unspoken triumphed and the Shapers of Night were laid low. Instead of destroying the leaders of the fallen sect, the Unspoken chose to seal the vampires in tombs deep beneath the earth, there to suffer for eternity. Little did the victors realize that they were actually saving their fallen foes from the destruction that was to come.
The Unspoken had little time to savor their victory. Barely a week after the last vampire had been buried, the sky fell on the valley of the Qabalrin. A hail of dragonshards pelted down, shattering buildings and killing hundreds. But the worst was yet to come. The largest shards of the first wave were the size of a man’s fist. The final dragonshard to fall on the valley was the size of a castle. This was the largest dragonshard that had ever been seen—The Heart of Siberys. This vast shard landed directly on the first church of the Shadow, shattering the ancient city of the Qabalrin. The shockwave spread out across the valley, and the Qabalrin were destroyed.
Or so it seemed. While the wizards could not shield their people from destruction, they managed to weave one last enchantment as the final shard fell. Fueled by the raw fury of the dying race, this spell drew the souls of the elves together into a vast well of darkness—a spiritual entity with the power of a newborn god. But despite its power, the Qabalrin shadow was fragmented and disoriented. It took time for the multitude of voices to coalesce into a single force—and by the time the voices were united, it was too late.
The dragons of Argonnessen had long studied the sky, seeking answers to ancient prophecies in the movement of the stars and moons. Their seers predicted the fall of the Heart of Siberys and the power that would emerge, and a force of dragons arrived in the valley shortly after the great shard had shattered the land. Dragon sorcerers caught the lingering spirits of the Qabalrin and channeled them into the vast dragonshard. To bind the darkness, the dragons drew energy away from the Silver Flame, filling the Heart of Siberys with a perfect balance of light and shadow. The wyrms seeded the land with reptilian guardians, and charged these creatures to guard the Heart of Siberys from any who might seek its power. Finally, the dragons filled the sky with a terrible tempest—an eternal storm that would shield the valley from prying eyes and wings.
Forty thousand years have passed since the era of the Qabalrin. The age of giants is now long forgotten, and the ruins of the Qabalrin are buried beneath earth and weeds. The lizardfolk remember their charge only as a distant and distorted legend. But the storm still rages overhead. And the Heart of Siberys remains in the center of the realm, pulsing with untold power…