The Darkness is an event that occurred thirty years before this campaign takes place, but to truly understand it we must go back even further. The three mages that came to be collectively known as the Triad rose to power five years before the Darkness. Despite their initial good intentions, their quest for knowledge led them towards unparalleled power, and (as seems to be the eternal curse of man) they succumbed to its lure. The members of the Triad individually sought stronger and stronger lost magic until each was sure that he had grown more powerful than the others, and then they struck.
From whatever secluded locations that they had hidden themselves in, the three mages waged war on each other with no regard to who or what was caught in the crossfire. Hordes of summoned creatures and undead roamed the continent clashing with similar armies from the other mages. These armies would often run across towns and raze them to the ground; city-states scrambled any available bodies to defend their land. Giant fireballs, ice storms, and flares of energy danced through the sky with alarming regularity, and the mages seemed to up the ante with each passing day. About a month into the conflict one of the mages (exactly which one was never known) cast an intricate and ancient spell that cast the entire continent in shadow and darkness in an attempt to gain an advantage over the others, hence the name of the period. The artificial darkness lasted ceaselessly until the end of the war, over a year later. Famine raged through the land as plants couldn’t grow without light, but careful rationing allowed civilization to endure.
Though the major cities had enough of an army to defend themselves and patrol their surrounding area, they were powerless to stop any of the Triad. The mages had become to powerful to be stopped by normal means, so all the common people could do was pray to the gods that they could somehow destroy each other. Eventually, that’s exactly what happened. Like a spoiled brat with a chest of shiny new toys, Melchior grew tired of the ceaseless clash between metaphorical titans. He proposed a final battle to the other two, a veritable Armageddon to see if any would be left standing.
The others accepted his offer, and all of the magical creatures roaming Sagos converged on the Savage South, the appointed site of the clash. It lasted for a week and rapidly increased in pace and intensity with each passing hour. By the end of the week the battle had reached a frenzied crescendo, and the highest levels of spells were being tossed around like cantrips. What happened next is unclear (everyone who was alive at the end of the Darkness has their own story about what happened), but most historians agree that there was an intensely bright ball of light visible from anywhere on the continent for about an hour. When it vanished, the darkness went with it, and sunlight returned to the land (many experts now believe the darkness was tied to the casting mage’s life force and when he died the spell gave out). Sagos breathed a sigh of relief, people attempted a return to normalcy, and peace reigned…for a time.