A DARK SPELL
In 1484, the Drow wizard Tsabrak Xorlarrin cast a mighty spell on the Silver Marches. The spell had been crafted by the Illithid Methil El-Viddenvelp on the order of Matron Mother Quenthel Baenre.
While casting the spell, Tsabrak become a conduit for Lolth, Mother of All Magic. The spell covered the Silver Marches with rolling clouds of smoke that blotted out the sun and changed daylight to something less than moonlight. This spell slowly spread throughout Faerûn, shadowing it in eternal twilight.
A TIME OF DARKNESS
It is 1491 D.R. known as the Year of the Scarlet Witch.
The powerful Drow spell, The Darknening, still lies heavily on Faerûn.
Evil forces are in control of much of Faerûn, however trade routes have reopened and prosperity is slowly returning.
Despite the tyranny of the Dark Powers, order has been restored, wars have ceased, and those willing to bow down are protected from harm.
However, those who oppose the Oligarchy find themselves hunted down and killed.
THE DARK POWERS
The forces of Darkness have risen to power within Faerûn. Lolth remains in control of the Weave as Mother of All Magic. Tiamat has risen and controls a large part of the East from her domain in Chessenta. Asmodeus reigns supreme over the Sword Coast, ruling from the city of Neverwinter. Baldur’s Gate remains under the control of Bhaal and his Flaming Fist mercenaries. Waterdeep is a free-city ruled by the Lords of Waterdeep while the Drow rule openly within the maze of Under Mountain. The city of Iriaebor is controlled by foul creatures who serve The Elder Elemental Eye. Thay is a nightmare land of countless undead ruled by Rath Mordar and his Red Wizards. The shadowy wizards of Netheril gather their power in the North. And the Underdark is now ruled by several Demon Lords who have been set free from the Abyss.
DARK POWERS BRING PEACE
Peace has been restored to Faerûn by and large. This peace has come with a price for the common folk who have sacrificed freedom for protection. In most regions, leaders created a movement in favor of agreeing to the demands of the Dark Powers to be granted concessions in return. Most of the communities in Faerûn were able to start living their daily lives again as long as they acted within the parameters of whatever evil monarch controlled their region. For example, the people of Neverwinter live freely and prosper under the reign of Asmodeus as long as they obey his laws and dogma. Most regions have started to prosper in the last two years, gaining back much of the economic damage that was inflicted during the event now commonly referred to as “The Rise of Tiamat.”
The Forces of Good are still active in the Realms, however they are rather quiet. There are still Factions present in the Realms that promote truth, justice, and freedom but they meet in secret and operate with great caution. The major leaders who have fought—and in some cases died—for the sake of goodness and justice in all parts of the Forgotten Realms are either dead, in captivity, or in hiding. For example, the great wizard Elminster is dead and the Drow hero Drizzt succumbed to madness within the Underdark. Few remain who oppose the Forces of Evil. And those who do remain operate in secret, striking out against Evil where they can. In such Dark times, even small pinpoints of light can shine brightly.