The Worldwound

Before The Worldwound

Prior to Aroden’s death in 4606 AR, the area that is now the Worldwound was once a proud nation of Kellid barbarians known as Sarkoris. It was a savage and fierce land of painted warriors and witches.

Even before the destruction of their nation, Sarkorian mystics spoke of a chaos that would ascend, though it is a bit confusing to say the chaos would “ascend” isn’t, wouldn’t we traditionally say “descend into chaos”? that the barrier between this world and the next would grow thin and join their nation. Ravenous and frightful creatures would stalk the region in central Sarkoris dubbed the Northmounds, known for its mysterious tombs and barrows. It was also the home of the Cult of Deskari, Lord of the Locust Host and usher of the Apocalypse, and purveyor of terrifying titles!. The cult had long tormented the people of Sarkoris.

One of the many miracles of the early years of Aroden’s life as a mortal wandering Golarion was defeating Deskari and his cult, which with Aroden being an ascendant creature would disqualify it as a miracle since I would expect a god to beat a cult. Aroden drove them into the Lake of Mists and Veils and secured the Northmounds for the barbarians of Sarkoris. Over a century ago, around 4604 AR, though none know the exact time since the Kellid people do not write their history down, much like Goblins; did you know they think writing words down steals the thoughts out of your head? What rubbish! Though I do suppose I didn’t take a poo for six months after my mother told me the “gods are always watching” so I shouldn’t throw stones, strange signs of the cult’s returned began manifesting. The people of Sarkoris grew anxious, but held on to the hope that the prophesized return of Aroden in 4606 AR would finally rid them of the demon lord Deskari. When, at the hour of his prophesized glorious return, Aroden died, and so did the nation of Sarkoris. Vile abominations overran the Sarkorian clan-holds. Though no place is Sarkoris was hid harder than the city of Iz, the capital of Sarkoris, with the initial demonic attack making quick work of the city. A mile-wide cosmic blight linned with black flame opened up a day’s ride southwest of the city, the Worldwound was open.

Opening of the Worldwound

No creature that has spoken on the matter can give a definitive account surrounding the opening of the Worldwound. Many claim it was a result of Aroden’s death, while others say it was retribution for Sarkoris’s witchery; though those individuals are almost exclusively heretical dimwits would cannot conceive of a faith outside of those good deities they claim to be “correct”, these are the same people who believe druids are sinful ravenous brutes who only mask their proclivity for sexual deviance behind religious beliefs, or finally an act of desperation by Deskari, believing that Aroden would return and finish his reign of terror. A strong case could also be made that nothing was the cause of the Worldwound, that simply the barrier between the Material Plane and the Abyss had simply weakened to the point that travel was permitted between them. It has happened before, though not with such a devastating plane, well the Fey is no picnic in its own right, although I do have quite a few allergies so all of the plant life may be the cause of an ingrained hatred of the Fey, also gnomes. The most prevalent rumor however originated in the simplest of documents, a prison warden’s log. The Sarkorians, despite the long heritage with witchcraft, did not trust arcane magic, and those caught practicing it were often taken away. The most powerful of these were placed in a tower called the Threshold, a combination laboratory and prison , where powerful arcane spellcasters continued their research under the watchful eye of the nation’s druidic and religious leaders. One such spellcaster is named as Areelu Vorlesh. Her arrival at the Threshold is well documented, and the warden believed her to be one of, if not the, most powerful spellcasters they had ever taken in. She was allowed to continue her research, which the warden admits was beyond his capacity to comprehend. The warden’s log then indicates that Areelu escaped the Threshold with two other captives, who are of little concern to this document as they have not been spotted as a high-ranking member of the Worldwound’s heirarchy, should have tried harder in their carrer paths I suppose. It was shortly after the documenting of this escape that the Worldwound opened. It would appear to be the most logical conclusion, that Areelu assisted Deskari in opening the Worldwound, though in my time in the study and documenting of history in regards to the Crusades, nothing appears to be logical when dealing with demons.

The Worldwound Expansion

The opening of the Worldwound destroyed the capital city of Sarkoris, emptied rivers, rent the earth, and unleashed a hoard of demons into the world. The plague of storms striking Golarion that same week was a blessing in disguise for the people of Sarkoris, not so much for people who were out to sea, for the fury of those supernatural tempests slowed the demons’ advance beyond the edge of north-central Sarkoris, giving the rest of the nation time to rally and prepare defenses along the Riftshadow; the storms also allowed neighboring Mendev to bolster its only lightly defended border with Sarkoris, marked by the Sellen River and send for help. The arrival of the crusaders of Iomedae and other faiths from the south contained the demonic army for a time , but soon thereafter, a second wave of fiends, stronger and prepared for battle, boiled out of the Worldwound. This time, even the prepared armies of holy crusaders could not stem the demon tide. This time, Sarkoris was well and truly lost.

The Worldwound Today

The Worldwound itself: which from henceforth will refer to the region formerly known as Sarkoris rather than the specific rift that opened, unless of course I otherwise notate that I am referencing the rift should the need arise, although I don’t see why it would. You see, the Worldwound, the rift this time, is as it always has been, but bigger, so I suppose saying “it is as it always has been” is an incorrect statement, but a lovely turn of phrase. You see, it’s expanding, growing, throbbing, undulating, pulsing. It is believed that within a decade the city of Iz will be wholly swallowed up by it. Well then, now that the Worldwound, still talking about the rift, has been covered; the Worldwound, region now, can be discussed.

The Worldwound itself, always region now, is much more than terrifying. It is strange as well. The terrain seems to shift and move, and the earth groans as if it’s in pain. The stars do not appear as though they should, in that they appear to be someone else’s stars when they appear in the sky. Oftentimes though, the sky at night is pitch black, no stars, no moon. I once set up camp in the Worldwound, region, good gods and goddesses why would you think I set up camp in the actual rift what is the matter with you! and spent the entire night staring up into the vast empty expanse. I feel as though I changed that day, though whether is way for the better is a matter of debate. There appears to be no government that we on the outside would understand, just a collection of demons and fiends ruling over the various regions, though presumably all answer to Deskari, de skariest Demon Lord of them all! Do you see what I did there?

The greatest of these rulers, and by all accounts the newest is Khorramzadeh, the Storm King. Having only arrived in the demon armies during the Fourth Crusade, scholars of the war are divided as to whether or not the Storm King had been ruling from Iz all along, probably, or if he was but the latest arrival in the region, rubbish. Regardless, the Storm King’s first assault on the border resulted in no less catastrophic an event than the cracking of the Kenabres wardstone. The ferocity of this attack caught the crusaders off guard, but in the end the wardstone held.

Yozef Steelpen

Dwarven Historian of the Crusades

First Draft
Edits by Aravashnial

The Worldwound

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