In humanity's golden age comes enlightenment. The land of Selaire stands in the beginnings of its first golden age since the decline of the Suud Empire (times that many would actually classify as dark), or even before the Faerie War.
Universities and free nations- mercantile aristocracies, theocratic empires, budding democracies all expand during this time of ideas and invention. Man changes war forever with the discovery of the gunpowder, soldiers are easier to train than ever before. He masters the power of flight with the first airships built to take to the skies, and leaves behind the Great Continents to venture out into the most turbulent of seas. He builds grand universities into mountain walls and gentle fields for arcane learning, and masters the ebb and flow of magic. Greater discoveries must lie ahead.
And yet, while it seems that the peoples of Selaire are beginning to think as not just individuals, but as peoples, nations, a single people, the stirrings of the world are twisted by nightmares. A dark tide is coming.
At the Fandoon desert's edge, whispers have been made for centuries. Holy men of Suud claim that the dark times are coming, for the rebellion of Kaythanon. Oracles have long whispered that an army is gathers, the eternal enemies of mankind, and that their invasion shall spark the beginning of the end of the world.
When an Ahrimanian oracle dies at the conclusion of his prophecy, the Esoteric Chapel of the Eye falls into panic, and sends emissaries to every nation. Within days, Viceroy Tynderion gets word that one of his mining and fishing colonies on the Fandoon shore has stopped sending shipments. After an initial entourage of soldiers arrives to find the colony overrun by undead, they send word that a larger force will be needed and prepare for a full on ground-war. People from all walks of life and all nations rally to the call against an inhuman foe.
And thus began the conflict.