This world is broken.
Many centuries ago, when all the races were young, the Arkaathi race discovered they had within them an innate connection to the magical tapestry. This discovery allowed them an edge in cultural advancement and a sense of racial superiority over all the other sentient races. It also gave them a significant edge in dealing with threats outside of their race and allowed them to begin a campaign of conquest and expansion.
Many races fell to the Arkaathi threat, and despite their diminuitive size, they quickly became dominant force upon the continent of Oliera, subjugating many of the other races and cultures. Any sentient race that came into contact with the massive Arkaathi armies were quickly subjugated, or sent fleeing with only a few exceptions. None were so wholly subsumed as the Kytani, the youngest of the races. The Kytani were wholly absorbed into Arkaathi culture, and a slave caste was instantly formed. Kytani slaves filled almost every role within Arkaathi civilization, from hand servants, to manual labor to cannon fodder.
The Arkaathi Conquest eventually came to a halt when they arrived at the jungles of the Tula’Kai, a stout and hardy race of jungle dwellers. The Tula’Kai have had to survive the harshness of a jungle environment since their birth into the world, so unlike many of the other races subjugated by the Arkaathi, they were a fierce and proud race. They were also a race exposed to a magic deadening metal found within their jungles which gave them a resistance to Arkaathi magic.
The clash between Arkaathi spell casters and Tula’Kai guerilla fighters lasted many decades with neither side gaining any advantage. During this time however the Arkaathi had their best scholars searching for more resources to defeat this new and stubborn enemy. This search eventually paid off with the discovery of Thylissium. Thylissium was a rare material found within the bodies of magical creatures. It serves as a catalyst to channel arcane magic for the “magic-dead” races, and served as a way for the Arkaathi to enhance their already impressive magical might. Using this new found knowledge the Arkaathi began numerous devestating experiments, many of which gave birth to horrors which could not be controlled, and were released into the wild. Among these experiments was the birth of the Arghani and Tulasi, as well as the unintentional rift that allowed the Tem a foothold into this world.
Full of hubris, the Arkaathi took two steps that led to their eventual undoing. The first was to arm their human slaves with Thylisium implements and teaching them the secrets of the arcane weave. The second was to build massive implements of arcane power with the intent of collectively channeling a magical cataclysm upon the home of the Tula’Kai. Armed with the power that set their masters apart, the Kytani eventually staged an uprising, one formented by the previous escape of thousands of Vi’Odala slaves. Faced with unrest and civil disobedience in their home lands, the Arkaathi Generals on the front line rushed the construction of the magical devices, causing the slaughter of tens of thousands of magical beasts, enacting a near genocide on many of the magical creatures found within Oliera’s soil.
The device was constructed in a rush, and despite the cautions of those in charge of design, was not properly tested. It was brought to the front line of the war, and unleashed upon the Tula’Kai. What followed was nothing short of a cataclysm that devastated the entirety of the jungle, as well as a goodly portion of the Arkaathi borders. Arkaathi and Tula’Kai both lost immense numbers, though the latter was mitigated by the foresight to travel underground below the layers of Deadrock. Between this devastation of the Arkaathi army and the strife within their borders, this signified the end of the Arkaathi civilization as it had been known.
The Kytani, now free, live as a pale reflection of the Arkaathi civilization, inhabiting the abandoned cities and towns. The Vi’Odala have scattered back to their ancestral homelands, though the centuries of enslavement has robbed them of all semblance of their culture. The Arkaathi are scattered and desperately trying to find a place in a world that now almost universally reviles them. The Tula’Kai eventually returned to the surface to find a desolate and dangerous desert in place of their once lush jungle.
The rest of the races have found their places in the world, some untouched by the Arkaathi, some left broken, but none have forgotten the threat once posed. The magic of the world has been forever scarred by the cataclysm that occurred, and now even the once magically gifted Arkaathi have lost the spark within, and require a Thylissium catalyst to reconnect to the magical weave. Thylissium itself is now the most sought after commodity throughout the world, as the once abundant material has almost vanished by the Arkaathi’s greedy harvesting practices.