For millennia, the miraculous power of the crystals of Graxia acted as the lifeblood for the entire realm. Their mystical energies kept the continents afloat and ensured that nature remained in a perfect state of harmony. Because of that, the people of Graxia enjoyed bountiful harvests and weather that was predictable, stable, and not violent. The crystals also made it possible for the Guardians to deploy portals, facilitating making movement between the continents possible.
And then the crystals began to die.
At first the changes were nearly imperceptible. A few failed harvests. Dead birds plunging from the sky. Bloated, rotting fish washing ashore along the banks of the Sunspire River. Things took a turn for the more serious when a battalion of Elven soldiers stepped into a portal and vanished forever. The only thing they left behind was a bloody helm, cleaved in half.
But a thousand small tragedies never get the attention afforded to a single cataclysmic event.
Every spring the people of Easterlands held a week-long celebration that commemorated the coming growing season and rebirth of the land. As they gathered in the fields and groves of their homeland, they sang songs of their forefathers and celebrated victories long hidden in the mists of time. None of them knew that these would be their last moments of life.
The earthquakes struck with such ferocity that within minutes the Easterlands capital of Bthal-Tud was reduced to rubble. Hundreds died. And yet the worst was to come.
Moments after the last earthquake, the entire continent split in half and plummeted to the surface of the planet. In moments, ten millions souls were snuffed out.
Fear and panic swept across Graxia like a white-hot flame, each continent wondering if it was next, and if the destruction of Easterlands signaled a new war, an attack by an unknown force. Only the dwarves of Scoldarr (the original miners of the crystals) understood the enormity of what had happened. For in the moment that Easterlands plunged to its doom, several of the largest crystals in the Scoldarrian mines went dark, their mystical energy gone.
Led by Cethuk the Wise, uncle of Balak the Hunter, the dwarves hurriedly developed new technologies that would help harness the power of the crystals, magnify it. To help guard against another cataclysm like the one that destroyed Easterlands, the dwarves distributed their technology across Graxia.
Each continent would need to build at least one Shrine that contained and amplified the power of the continent's crystals. As long as the shrine remained intact, their lands would be safe. Or so the dwarves believed. After all, even technology has its limits.
Years passed, and life resumed to normal. Occasionally tremors would strike, but the nearby Shrine would quickly compensate for the lost energy and the afflicted continent would stabilize. The average person believed that the tragedy of Easterlands would never be repeated, that technology had saved Graxia.
But the dwarves knew the truth -- nothing would stop the slow death of the crystals. Graxia was doomed. In fact, the only real solution was to destroy as many of the crystals as possible and thus focus what energy remained in as few crystals as possible. But this meant the death of tens of millions of souls.
The burden of this decision became too much for the dwarves, who split into multiple factions. Some believed that they should sabotage as many Shrines as possible and keep the energy for themselves; others believe that the citizens of Graxia needed to be warned of the impending doom; while a third group believed that nothing should be done, that Graxia should die as it lived. Together.
Unbeknownst to the dwarves, a spy had infiltrated their ranks. When he reported back to his masters, war broke out across Graxia as each race fought to claim as many crystals as they could, and destroy those that they could not claim.
With the conflict spiraling out of control, and countless lives already lost, Sherrt The Great, a wise mage from the Sunspire Kingdom, proposed a solution. Each continent would summon forth an Immortal, a champion that would fight on their behalf. The Immortals would decide the fate of Graxia -- they would fight one another until a victor emerged. And at the conclusion of each battle, the losing side's Shrine would be destroyed, along with its crystals.
And so the call went forth and Immortals were selected. Some, such as Balak the Hunter, already lived among their people. Others, like Scorpix, were plucked from strange, otherworldly realms, chosen not for their loyalty to a particular people, but because of their ferocity on the field of battle.
These days mark the end of Graxia as it has existed for millennia. With the crystals withering and dying, and the world turning into a corrupted, sick version of its old beauty, the Immortals loom over all that they see. The fates of millions hang in their hands, and those that lose will doom its people to a swift and brutal death.