A Cracked Earth
Six millennium ago a great empire spread over the entire surface of the Earth. Ruled by the Witch-Queens, a loosely organized coven of the matriarchal rulers from the nations and races of the planet, this empire enabled unprecedented advancements in art, technology, and magic. Air ships criss crossed the skies, martial artists tapped into ever deeper potentials of the humanoid body, sorcerers and clerics gave life to inanimate objects, armies laid low the kingdoms of the giants and the hoards of the dragons. Progress accelerated ever-on as all corners of the planet joined the Witch-Queens. Humanoid races that had been locked seemingly endless wars found common ground and unlikely peace. The Witch-Queens and their people grew in power for two thousand years until the day that they looked at all that they had done, the demon princes captured and made to power trading galleys, the great machines that put the tides on a more convenient schedule, the mines that touched the very core of the Earth, and as one they declared the gods obsolete.
The birds, closest and most loyal to the gods of all beasts, flew to the heavens and told their various masters what had happened.
Enraged, the creative forces of the multi-verse smote the Earth with a combined force that shattered the planet and reformed it in a great jumble. Sun-baked tundra settled alongside arctic wastelands, fertile rivers flowed into the highest mountain peaks, and the nations of the Earth were broken and scattered. Then the gods turned their backs and divine magic was lost to all peoples. The cataclysm buried the great storehouses and libraries of the Witch-Queens. Arcane magic and engineering all but disappeared.
Chaos reigned for four thousand years.
Until one day a young priest, faithless but holding still to old rituals, successfully prayed a child’s broken leg to mend.
For some reason the gods had begun to turn their attention back to the Cracked Earth.