Fading Land of Necros
The Fading Land of Necros is a demi-plane ruled by the undead and sealed off from the Prime Material Plane by ancient magic. Several sects of Nerull -- most notably the Cult of Death Undying -- are obsessed with gaining entry to the lost land.
A millennium ago, in the days before the great, final war between the Bakluni and the Suel empires, there were a band of necromancers so dark, and so evil, that even the royal houses of the Suel could not stomach their excesses.
This band, led by the Prince-Mage Mazidun, spent decades researching the ebb and flow of life from dead and undead bodies and finally transformed hundreds of followers into they dream of “perfect” servants. The rulers of the Suel Imperium, realizing this potent force could not be tamed or manipulated, debated for months in secret before finally deciding to purge them.
The purge failed as the necromancers used their life-draining powers to pull the lives from those who threatened them. Knowing, as all mages know, that they could not stand against a prolonged assault, the necromancers fled the Suel basin, heading east into the wilds of the lands controlled by the ur-Flan tribes. They brutally pushed passed the feeble resistance offered by the indigenous population, and settled in the land that eventually became known as the Poor March of Keoland (The Pomarj in its modern, corrupted form). They arrived in 4631 S.D., took control of a local tribe at the foothills of the Dachendrab Mountains and established a small, fortified city they called Necropolis, literally, City of the Dead. Although originally followers of the Sueloise god of magic and death, Wee Jas, the necromancers found themselves drawn to a new, more powerful god of the people they had enslaved – Nerull.
Following the edicts of this god, the necromancers grew more powerful even as some of their leaders turned to lichdom and began to withdraw for worldly affairs Necropolis – which held nearly 4,000 undead, 3,000 slaves and perhaps 200 human masters – came to dominate the land 30 miles in every direction from the city. They called this “kingdom” Necros, and for nearly 200 years it held sway over the eastern reach of the Pomarj.
By the time the first refuges from the Rain of Colorless Death and the Invoked Devastation fled across the Hellfurnces, the necromancers had tired of their simple, mundane existence on the Prime Material Plane.
Summoning all of their magical might, they transformed their best into some of the most powerful liches ever to walk on the face of Oerth. Then, during a total eclipse of the Sun by Oerth’s two moons, they wove powerful magic that invoked the name of their patron god Nerull and pulled their land into a pocket dimension. There, safe from attacks against the infidels and unbelievers of the “real world,” they continued their experiments and began exploration of the bizarre Outer Planes.
The Fading Land of Necros was born.
A Cult Following
Not all the inhabitants of Necropolis left when the city was drawn from reality. One of these, the lich Charax, stayed behind to ensure that the Flan pursue their hated foes through the collapsing portal to Necros. He defeated the Flan would-be heroes, and then assembled a loyal cadre of undead warriors to serve as eternal guardians of former resting place of Necros. Eventually he tired of his vigil and sought to cast his mind and soul farther than this material plane. The stories say he crafted a skull from chalcedony and used it as his phylactery as he descended into demi-lichdom.
The story should have ended there, the former location of Necros and -- any possibility of re-opening its portal -- lost for all time but the will of Nerull would not be thwarted. A new sect of the death god sought out the final resting place of Charax, bested his guardians, and took control of the crystal skull. Rather than use it to open the way however, these Nerullites used the Crystal Skull of Charax to raise an undead scourge. The legends say another Flan hero -- this one named Telan -- fought his way past that undying army, found the necromancers in their fortress lair, slew them, and shattered the skull. In an attempt to disperse the skull's power, Telan scattered the fragments, placing them in remote locales that no one could ever hope to find.
While Charax chose to defend the secrets of Necros, a few of his contemporaries were enthralled with the idea of dominating the Prime Material Plane and bending the living to their well. They left the city, and set out to establish strongholds of their own. As the centuries passed, these few mages passed on knowledge of Necros to their apprentices. Over the years, a few of these mages found secret ways to enter the Fading Land, always bringing more slaves, and even more magic, to buy their way into the twisted, lightless world of Necros. Those who remained continued to pass down knowledge of Necros. A legend began to grow around that knowledge, a legend that said one day a great necromancer would be able to bring the Fading Land back into reality. On that day, the Liches of Necros will unleash their foulest magics to conquer not only their old lands, but all of Oerik as well.