The Gray Vale Group
Nearly 100 years ago, the goddess of magic, Mystra, was murdered. The god, Cyric carried out an impossible scheme to ambush Mystra on her home domain. Using ancient knowledge given to him by the dark goddess, Shar, Cyric killed Mystra, and almost killed the world.
Mystra had long been the protector of the Weave. It was long thought that the Weave was the source of all magic on Faerun, but this has proven untrue. It is now thought that the Weave was a balanced flow of magic, kept in check and sustained by Mystra. Powerful wizards were able to manipulate the Weave to maintain great magical effects, or could pull lesser spells from it. The Weave flowed all across Faerun, and with Mystra’s death, it ignited.
No longer bound by Mystra’s divine hand, the Weave tumbled, collapsed, and burned in on itself. The skies across Faerun erupted in blue flame that washed across the land. Where the blue flame touched, it warped flesh, stone, time and space. Much of Faerun’s population, across all nations, disintegrated into motes of blue light. Others were horribly disfigured and died days later, due to starvation, organ failure, or simple madness.
Not all life perished, though. Some cities were protected by powerful magic that even the Spellplague could not break. These mythals saved the lives of countless thousands, and preserved ancient cities such as Waterdeep, Silverymoon, and Balder’s Gate. In other, more rural places, the Blue Flame didn’t touch the ground, or skipped and swirled around farms and towns, leaving them untouched.
The land itself was changed by the Spellplague. Stone was shaped like it was mud, leaving canyons, kills, and twisting columns where there were none before. Entire nations rose up on giant plateaus, while others plunged into the abyss of the Underdark. The Sea of Stars was altered, washing over newly low ground, or falling back from sudden cliffs. Across Faerun, giant chunks of earth rose up into the sky and remain floating there today. These earth motes range in size from a few yards across to several miles wide, and are valuable real estate due to their defensive and sometimes mobile properties.
As it shaped flesh and stone, the Spellplague also warped space. The world of Faerun, named by scholars millennium ago as Toril, has always had a sister world, named Abeir. As the Spellplague ripped across the world of Toril, parts of the two worlds merged and became as one. Far to the west of the Sword Coast, the continent of Maztica vanished and was replaced by a new continent known now as Returned Abeir. On the continent of Faerun, two large areas were replaced with portions of Abeir. The old region of Unther was devastated when a section of Abeir known as Tymanther, literally fell from the sky. This new land is ruled by the mysterious Dragonborn. Part of the ancient Faerunian land of western Chessenta was replaced by the land of Akanûl, a land of floating islands ruled by elemental-infused Genasi.
A century after the Spellplague, life has returned to somewhat normal. Arcane magic users have found new methods to harness the magic of Faerun, no longer relying on the Weave. Towns and cities have rebuilt, though still only at a fraction of former populations. Countless ruins still litter the landscape, a testament to the devastation wrought by Mystra’s death.
Though the Blue Fire is gone from the sky, pockets of it remain on the ground. These plaguelands are bordered by shimmering walls of blue flame, and the landscape within is a nightmare of twisted landscape and creatures. For unknown reasons, these pockets of plaguelands sustain themselves, sometimes expanding dramatically and other times contracting or winking out all together. Living creatures who venture into these lands and stay too long suffer lasting effects. Lesser creatures can become warped and maddened, such as a pack of stray dogs that gets warped and blended together into a single, multi-limbed beast. These warped creatures are called plaguechanged. Creatures of more powerful will often leave the lands bearing a spellscar, a magical scar that manifests in bizarre ways. Some spellscars are a burden of pain and contempt, while other can bring power to those that learn to wield them.
The Order of the Blue Flame is an organization that views the Spellplague as a divine catalyst for change, sent by the gods to reshape the world. Though they recognize the dangerous effects of plaguelands, they work to contain plaguechanged threats while simultaneously exploring the mysteries of the flue fire. They work now to provide aid and assistance to the spellscarred, and actively patrol plaguelands for dangerous monsters, so while they are often seen as a bizarre group, most of Faerun the Order as force of good.