A Promise of Hope
As mentioned earlier, the inhabitants of Erelandis are settlers, not indigenous to the land. The reason for this is multifaceted, but to understand the motive for moving, the birthworld of the races must be explained in detail.
All the travelers of the Sygaldric Era hail from the world of Sheolan, an old land of long histories and many strata of past glorious empires. Countless millenia have come and gone, bringing prosperity and famine, war and peace, grievous treason and glorious cooperation. No empire has withstood the unrelenting battering of the flow of time, and the civilizations there at the transition into the Sygaldric Era do not actually know the true face of Sheolan, as it is buried deep beneath the numerous layers of graves and debris.
The world is dying at this epochal shift; war and destruction and gluttony have ravaged Sheolan beyond regeneration, and the decay rate of the world is only accelerating. Though done with great distaste, the Sheolanites began working on finding any means to save the collective life of the planet. This gathering of minds and efforts is commonly referred to as the Age of Cooperation. Elves and dwarves began studying mana stones, the Dragonborn looked to the past to see if other civilizations suffered similar fates and survived, the Church of the Loyal Fury begins attempts at communing with other planes, and many traders and merchants begin work at attempting to revive the dead lands of Sheolan.
Minor successes with land regeneration allowed civilization to form on small, isolated oases among seas of putrid planetary decay, but the attempts only prove to slow the spread of the vast dead lands. Archaeology only provided cursory information on the survivability of previous civilizations and pure attempts at communing with alternate planes had null effect on the environmental situation.
For many years, the study of mana stones was stunted by the mining methods and a lack of sygaldry understanding. Because of this, approximately 90% of the Sheolan’s populace succumbed to the encroaching death of the planet. The major breakthrough in sygaldry of proper cutting methods brought with it the new Sygaldric Era, issuing forth a flood of discoveries and exchange of knowledge across the wastes. Within a year, the remaining living population has become aware of the basic methods of sygaldry, and research begins to deviate again from such concentrated efforts.
When Priodym managed to bridge the planes between Sheolan and Erelandis, only 10% of the remaining Sheolan populace chose to take that route to the new world. Rumors of other bridges are common, but as many of the residents of Erelandis are generations separated from the Forerunner Crusade, no one actually knows if the rumors are true.
Erelandis has not always been a home to the diverse fauna that inhabit it now; in fact, there were only small tribes of gnomes living in Erelandis when the Sygaldric Era began and planeswalking allowed colonization of the land. This sparked a land-grab era of colonization whose cost of admittance was the development of planeswalking technology.
Surprisingly enough, the first group to wrap their mind around the concept of planeswalking was neither the dwarves nor the elves who had spent so much energy and resources trying to unlock the secrets of sygaldry. Rather, it was the Patriarchal Body, later to be the ruling body of Priodym, that discovered this technology first. While others sought science in the mystical, the Church of the Loyal Fury focused efforts on better communing with the realms outside the material plane. Because of this greatly developed understanding of the multitudinous array of planes that exist beyond the plainly visible, the Patriarchal Body was able to see the potential of sygaldry in the application of translating between realms.
Now, the zealous dedication to the study of planes did not make the Church a technological superpower. In fact, the only reason that the Patriarchal Body was able to successfully traverse planes was due to the ordination of a crusade into the wild beyond that promised glory and grace for all who took upon themselves the mantle of Forerunner. Countless souls were lost in the attempts to even open a portal to another plane, while magnitudes more were sacrificed to the harsh realities of those worlds that coexist with ours.
Legend tells that the last Forerunner party, who completed the route of safe passage through the nether, had to endure horrendous torture and assault as the exit portal was constructed. Only one of these Forerunners survived, but none claim to know of his fate.
With the end of the Forerunner Crusade, the now-state of Priodym was populated by a flood of pilgrims eager to stake claims in the new land. In 78 S.E., the state of Priodym was formed as the last member of the Patriarchal Body made his pilgrimage across the void. Over the next 30 years, three more human nations formed, known as Ciron, Nestrada, and Wyrest.