The Rising refers to the advent of the material plane transforming into Deadrealm. It also refers to the start of the immortality curse known as the deadless.
The Rising began gradually: people simply noticed that dead things were just not staying dead. It was first recorded with livestock, but soon it was apparent that every creature in the plane couldn’t die. The high elves, the longest lived people on the plane, saw this as a slight from the universe itself and jealously began research on the phenomenon. The leading theory is that the material plane’s properties was overwritten by another unknown plane, but the elves’ research eventually proved futile and an exact source was never found.
THE FINAL WAR
As the elves toiled away, the human lands banded together and decided to put their immortality to good use. Demons and devils had been a background threat for millennia and wars between them and the intelligent races were waged periodically. Barely a few human generations would pass before the monsters attempt to steal the lands. But now enough was enough: no more kingdoms would be lost to otherworldly invaders. A long and brutal war began against the devils and the humans used their infinite numbers to stay on top. The monster’s champions were the strongest beings in the world, but they were few. Colossal beings were felled by fearless waves of humans and great wizards grew weary of the unending onslaught. It was a battle of attrition and numbers and morale were not on the demons’ side.
During the war, many intelligent races joined the humans and it seemed like sure win. A well and truly ultimate resolution to the world’s countless wars. But this ending was not to be.
Immortality was not the only effect of the plane’s transformation. The new magic battled against the old material plane with catastrophic results. The skies that protected the earth were broken and energies from the outside planes seeped through. Great magical storms ravaged the lands, the climate changed from extremes in the blink of an eye and animals were twisted into hideous and insane abominations. These creatures had no care about the war and both sides were slaughtered. The humans retreated and constructed the living fortress now known as the City of Light. The demons were scattered and became prey to the new monsters. Most of the world had become an uninhabitable hellscape.
FATE OF THE RACES
The native creatures of the material plane were humbled by the new energies.
The elves and gnomes harnessed the new plane’s power and grew mountain-like trees. They became arboreal and rarely touched the earth again, only sending their flying machines down to occasionally trade.
The dwarves dug further more into the earth. Some communities live in shaky alliances with demons while others dread the day they break through the wrong cave wall. The war against the demons never ended for the subterranean races.
The humans became nomads or hid in the City of Light. Communities still spring up here and there, but never for long.
The dragonborn similarly created a sprawling fortress. It is endlessly growing with each tribe building new sections.
The halflings of the plane were scattered across the lands. Groups can be found amongst any friendly communities.
Hundreds of years after the Rising, the races began to settle and find their place. Chaos still held strong in many places, but there was a type of peace that spread across the land. It was like a wave had cleansed the surface of all emotion and life no longer lived. It only existed. But pockets of hope still survive is some places: beneath the dead land, in fiercely guarded fortresses and far above. The material plane is a close guarded and distant memory, but somehow a future might still be carved out of this broken land.