The Infernal Emergence was a name given to two separate events in Quelmar history, both of which involved massive armies of devils emerging onto the prime material plane.
The First Emergence (181-207 BR)[edit | edit source]
In 180 BR, the drow who attempted to abduct the cocooned citizens of Ta-Shedet utilized Orbs of Calamity. These orbs fell through Pteris, through the Underdark, and (somehow) to the Nine Hells. The Underdark's sea flooded portions of the first layer, alerting the devils to this opening to the Material Plane through the protective Underdark.
Most accounts say the devils emerged in central Pteris via a large hole later dubbed "La Sedienta," since the river Sed poured over its edge into the depths below. Devils ravished the area, but quickly headed north and east to more populated regions with more civilization. Only one higher ranking devil ("The Man in Black") stayed in central Pteris and was often referred to as "the Devil" thereabouts.
The First Emergence was marked with infernal technology only used in those times. Infernal Firearms - such as rifles and pistols - were briefly used over 1000 years before the development of the gun. Infernal Warmachines rode through terrain, a fiendish predecessor to cars. Pelor became the most-worshipped god, often only referred to as "Father."
The story of how it ended is currently untold.
The Second Emergence (792 PR)[edit | edit source]
During the second emergence, the Material plane began to break up, resulting in massive earthquakes across the realm. Many took to the water for safety, only to find out that massive volcanic plumes were rising out of the water and erupting lava, solidifying and breaking up the oceans with a scattering of molten islands.
As the physical landscapes distorted and heated up, an influx of devils and demons portaled in from various levels of the Nine Hells and the Abyss. Ultimately, almost every mortal in the realm was either killed or banished in the ensuing madness, their souls now belonging to Asmodeus. Those who survived did so through planar magic, displacing themselves to any of Quelmar's neighboring planes.
The War to Restore[edit | edit source]
Despite Quelmar having been devastated and purged of remaining souls, those who escaped were certain that one day they would find a way to restore the realm to its former glory. Various resistance forces from the planes arose, including The Last Around.
Asmodeus had made planes to drive away the noble genies of the elemental planes, as it was his fear that a mortal could "rub a lamp" and fix everything. However, one noble Djinn named Shirin was able to survive and join the resistance, offering his lone wish to make things right. However, Shirin had told the misplaced souls that the closer he is to the target, the stronger his magic was, and the more likely the plan would succeed. This began long battle to get to the heart of Asmodeus' operations, his seat in Malsheem.
The War against Asmodeus took a total 28 years, 4 months, and 10 Quelmarian days, due to the time differentials between planes, the war felt like only days for some, and centuries for others. The boundries between life and death itself were blurred as soldiers would die, only to find their souls once again locked in a layer of hell, where resistance fighters were prepared to free them from their torments and have them once again join the fight. The unending burning landscapes of Nessus made for troubled days, but shortcuts were taken when possible thanks to the resistance fighters new knowledge of the outer planes and their secret connections.
In their expeditions, the survivors had managed to gather enough rings and wands of plane shifting that they were constantly forming scouting parties to seek out more survivors who had escaped Quelmar and would join the cause to bring it back. Terra Xeonhart was one such scout who found the survivors who were headquarted in a town they built in the Elemental Plane of Air.
The battle to reach Asmodeus lasted decades and was filled with these patterns of death and rebirth. By the end, their numbers had shrunk from thousands to only a few small camps containing no more than 20 heroes a piece. Countless heroes were created by the war including resistance leader Diegar. After the decades passed, the final resistance fighters had finally made it to the center of Malsheem.
With the Gods watching on, The Last Around and Asmodeus agreed on a renewed Pact Primeval which would restore Quelmar, let Asmodeus keep Hellmar to himself, and ultimately create peace again. The text of that Pact is below:
"EACH GOD WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUNISHING SOULS THAT DISOBEY THEM. LOST OR ATHEISTIC SOULS WILL BE CLAIMED BY ASMODEUS. ALL BEINGS UNLAWFULLY SLAIN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF ASMODEUS' SECOND INCURSION WILL BE REVIVED. DEVILS ARE COMMANDED BY ASMODEUS OR HIS FOLLOWERS TO PROTECT THE REALM OF QUELMAR AND THE PANTHEON FROM DEMONS. CORPOREAL DEVILS ARE LIMITED TO HARMING OTHER FIENDS. DEVILS MAY NOT INFLUENCE MORTALS TO COMMIT EVIL. ASMODEUS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTION OF EVERY REALM FROM DEMONS."
The New World[edit | edit source]
The former Quelmar, now largely empty of mortals, was retained by Asmodeus to form the new Tenth Circle of Hell. The Gods formed a new Quelmar, separated from the lower planes by the Underdark, with conditions nearly identical to those of the old realm before the land had begun to crumble. Souls that had been forcibly relocated during the conflict were reincarnated, and most who had voluntarily fled the destruction were similarly restored.
Complaints about minor continuity errors in the lives of those affected were widespread, as people across the realm lost their trains of thought, stumbled, experienced déjà vu, or swooned. The people marveled at the uncanny coincidence, and many took measures to guard against hostile magics in case the simultaneous incidents had been the result of foul play; but the other shoe never dropped, and eventually they stopped talking much about it. Within a couple of generations, there was little memory of anything strange having occurred because—although written records did exist for those who cared to look, and many communities continued to refer to "the glitch" as a matter of fact—the effects had generally been irrelevant to people's lives.
A few continued to insist on the truth of this realm-wide phenomenon. Among them were those who believed that some life-changing event, such as the accidental death of a loved one, was directly attributable to the glitch. There were also the many who latched on to conspiracy theories or even religious beliefs related to the anomaly. And there were those who had heard some version of the true story from one of the few individuals who had lived through the destruction of Quelmar.