Night approaches as you and your companions venture along the road to Demas guarding a merchant caravan. The wind is strong and all about you is the rustling of the leaves on the summer branches of the Alkir Forest. All around you are alert as you were warned that the road may be dangerous as bandits are commonplace in the rural areas of Calenthamir. The road ahead turns a sharp bend and the caravan slows to avoid running off the road, a lone owl zooms overhead, its tooting carried away by the wind unheard.
Around the corner is another stretch of long road. Someone, or something, looks to be laid on the road, the bundle resembles a stricken man, as your caravan approaches it slows to investigate all the while wary that it may be a trick designed for ambush. As you draw close enough you can see that the body in front of you is of a large goblin that has been a large arrow protruding from his back. It appears he was shot whilst running away from someone. Kalin, the merchant suggests you throw the goblin on the wagon and continue toward Demas. As two of the caravan guards are lifting the corpse onto the wagon a ghostly murmur can be heard on the wind.
You look up to see something shambling toward the rear of the wagon maybe fifty feet away. It looks like a wounded man. You and your companions jump down from the caravan and run toward the man to offer help but as you get to about twenty feet away from the wounded man a horrible reality dawns, this man is the walking dead, and worse, he is not alone, five more can be seen a short distance away and closing fast. You hear from behind you a shout from the merchant and the rearing of horses, it seems not only do you have the undead to fight, but the weather and the long road to Demas too."ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!!!"
The ear piercing scream broke out from the corner of the full tavern room. The bards on the stage stopped playing, the dancers covered their ears and dropped to the floor, cowering in fright. All eyes turned to a group of adventurers in the corner, one of their number, a man, dressed in neat fitting leather armour dyed in a stylish blue, a staff with a glowing blue crystal propped up on the wall behind what was his seat. A prop that marked him a psion. He writhed on the table his companions stood around, looking on helplessly. He clutched his head and screamed, "DEATH STALKS ME!! MY EARS BURN!! MY EYES FREEZE!!"
After which his screams were replaced by choking as blood began to flow from his nostrils. A few more moments and he lay still on the table, dead. The sheer terror killed him it seems. It was only the first of many, Psions around the world all cried out at once, thier minds shattered, most lay dead, a few survive driven mad by a voice that haunts them awake and asleep.
A few short Weeks later news began to spread of a cataclysm, a magical incident on the continent of Lamath. Stories abound of a great vortex of elemental power, the Maelstrom as it is called by a learned few. As the weeks pass the storms from the Maelstrom expand sweeping across the world, changing some places irrevocably, infusing people, places, beasts and birds with one of the ten elements. A year of terrible storms ravaged the world, changing it irrevocably.
Then, eventually, its expanse began to slow. The Maelstrom still ravages the broken island chain that was once Lamath. Its storms still run rampant across the world but its expanse has slowed. It has been 20 years since the formation of the Maelstrom, noone knows why it formed, if or when it will dissipate, all can agree it is at least for now here to stay.