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The Fall of Nithia - A Tentative Guideline

by Giulio Caroletti
based on ideas by Håvard/Cherrington/Calvin/Kaftal (and Mystaran Canon)

It is the year 500 BC. The Nithian Empire, having incurred Immortal dislike, abruptly ends; the Immortals alter the climate, divert the headwaters of the River Nithia, promote social unrest, deny magical powers to their clerics, and take other actions which cause the Empire to collapse catastrophically. The Immortals use magic to ensure that almost all trace of the Empire is wiped from the face of the Known World. The colonies are systematically destroyed - except for Thothia, which has already turned away from the Entropic Faith which led to the destruction of Nithia.

"Coming of the Elves"

However, the desertification of the land of Nithia had already begun since the start of the descent of its rulers in the hands of Entropy. Following the plot begun by several Energy and Time Immortals (probably Ixion, Ilsundal and Ordana were involved), the elf-leader Mealiden conjures the Rainbow Path to Thyatis. The Doulakki there repel the invaders, and the Elves, after having presented a long-thought lost clan (the Vyalia) with one of the nine Seeds of the Tree of Life, move through Karameikos (where one of the elven clans, the Callarii, stops) to Canolbarth, a steppe-region where some minor Nithian outpost is threatened by the Orcs. Nithians welcome the Elves and trade the lands of Canolbarth in change for their help against the Orcs. With the presence of the elven buffer state and of the Traldar and Doulakki of the Selenica region, the Nithians had no external threat whatsoever (although things will change slightly when the Thyatians make their appearance on Brun two centuries later). While the Immortals hoped that the contact and presence of the Elves could help the Nithians to avoid their downfall, this simply allowed the Nithian rulers to turn their interests inward, to civil war, entropic cults and forbidden magic.

The Elves had come to the Known World because the Immortals had told Mealiden that in the distant regions of Eastern Brun, a race of humans were meddling with obscure magics. The Elves had the duty to remove that treat, to avoid a second destruction that could be dangerous for the world like the ancient destruction of Blackmoor, still present in the heart and memory of the long-lived Elves. They had to avoid that destruction, but this they should accomplish not through violence. The humans had the right to prove the Immortals were wrong, and that they could fight off the evil cloud that was forming above their heads. So the Elves should try to help them and watch over them, without interfering too much; in case the humans should fail, their duty was to destroy the danger they represented.

Only some of the elven clanmasters and treekeepers that joined Mealiden knew about this. When the Elves settled in Canolbarth (800 BC), they decided to use some of their magic to magically grow a forest in the steppes. This magic would drain magically some of the rainfalls that bathed the lands of Nithia, but the Elves paid attention not to change too much the climate. When the Nithians increasingly turned toward evil, the elven leaders' plans changed and, like the Immortals suggested, the Elves took their steps to contribute to the destruction of Nithia, draining all the rain from the land and transforming Nithia into a desert. This process took place during the 600-400 BC years.

"The Spell of Oblivion"

Apart from the direct intervention against Nithia and the indirect intervention of the Elves, to ensure that the Nithian knowledge is forever removed, the Immortals activated the powerful Spell of Oblivion, that in the short span of two or three human generations, erased almost all memories of Nithia from the minds of the people of the Known World. The Spell didn't destroy outright the memory of Nithia in those who knew about it, but weakened it. People tended to forget important things about Nithia, to forget the existence of its powerful magic and wondrous inventions, their memories of Nithians became unfocused, they begun to avoid mentioning it in conversations.

Through these means, the memory of Nithia disappears in a few generations, while Immortals and their minions systematically remove physically all evident traces of Nithian presence in the Known World. The few ruins and memories that survive after that time are extremely confusing, could be mistaken as Thothian, and make totally impossible to recreate Nithia, its nation or any form of magic or cult tied to Nithia. Among the worse consequences of the Spell of Oblivion is the loss of the knowledge of remedies to control and fight lycanthropy. This is especially bad in Alphatia. Modern lycanthropy spreads through Mystara.

Last but not least, the Bead of Oblivion is placed under the city of Surra-Man-Raa.

A Tentative Guideline

It is the year 500 BC. The Nithian Empire, having incurred Immortal dislike, abruptly ends; the Immortals alter the climate, divert the headwaters of the River Nithia, promote social unrest, deny magical powers to their clerics, and take other actions which cause the Empire to collapse catastrophically. The Immortals use magic to ensure that almost all trace of the Empire is wiped from the face of the Known World. The colonies are systematically destroyed - except for Thothia, which has already turned away from the Entropic Faith which led to the destruction of Nithia.

The Spell of Oblivion is activated. This causes lots of knowledge to be lost, and many problems arise. As Nithia occupied many Known World regions (like Ierendi, parts of Thyatis, Ylaruam, parts of the Northern Reaches) in these countries their memory is almost erased from the mind of the population. The Spell of Oblivion also causes the remedies against lycanthropy to be forgotten. Modern lycanthropy spreads through Mystara. (see "Treatise on Lycanthropy" by John Calvin for further details).


Situation: The elves had reached the Canolbarth Plains around 800 BC, led by the elven leader Mealiden. The Plains have by now become a mighty forest, and Mealiden has long since been acclaimed king of the elves. Relation to Nithia: Non existent. Elves are secluded in their forest and don't mingle with the affairs of humans and do not care about them.


Alphatians have been around for 500 years. They were the other great Empire around at the time, and they had many and prolific contacts with the Nithians. They are the main victims of the Spell of Oblivion, along with the Thothians. Some problems arise from this, like the afore-mentioned spreading of lycanthropy. Without memories of Nithia, or of how to control lycanthropy, Alphatia was beset with a horrible crisis. A terrible disease was infecting some of their most respected and influential citizens. The Alphatians tried their best to keep the disease contained, but it spread quickly throughout their lands and spilled over into the lands of other nations. The Alphatians end to believe that all the knowledge and relations with Nithians were in fact held with the Thothians.


Situation: Atruaghin has become an Immortal; the Viper Clan has already started worshipping Atzanteotl. The clans are very much similar to what they are nowadays.

Relation to Nithia: ?


Already settled by humanoids. Probably no contact ever with Nithians, and anyway very little influence on the part of the Spell of Oblivion.


Darokin is a mess. Orcs and humanoids may be found everywhere, and Doulakki city states like Akorros and Athenos are located in the west. In the Selenica area, some Traldar descended clans, cut off from their brethren for centuries, are being reached by Doulakki fleeing the Thyatian invaders and some time later by more friendly Kerendans. In the following centuries they will mingle and become the ancestors of modern Daros.


Largely similar to nowadays.


Situation: The Shires have been independent and free from their humanoid masters for more than a century, now. They have already established the division of the land in five shires led each by a sheriff.


Humanoids are present in the southern regions. No known civilisation lives here at the time of Nithia's fall.


Situation: Malpheggi lizard-men are doomed to extinction and wage a savage war against the Nithians that occupied those islands. Most Nithians are killed before the Spell of Oblivion takes place. In the following years, the Malpheggi will soon die out. The Makai, freed of the Nithian slavery, start again living in the peaceful, contemplative manner of their ancestors.

Relation to Nithia: Malpheggi die out, Makai forget everything about the Nithian colonisation (reference from GAZ4 in which Makai remember of the strife between lizard men and Nithian should be dismissed).


North: Alasyians that will soon leave under the pressure of the Dunael communities.

West: Dunael

East: Alphatians will step in to conquer the areas that were under the control of Nithia.

Thothia: allies with Alphatia. (what does Thothians remember about Nithians?)

Great Escarpment: ???


Situation: The Traldar are in the midst of their Dark Age. Communication between communities is infrequent. Local dialects begin to differ widely. The national epic of King Halav is the only thing which gives the people a sense of unity. Linguistic changes are already advanced enough that the people consider themselves Traladarans, descendants of the Traldar, the people of King Halav. The elven Callarii clan already lives here, having stopped in the forests of Traladara during Mealiden's journey.

Relation to Nithia: Almost non-existent. The only trace of Nithian memory was that the Traldar came from north-east, but this knowledge is already forgotten at the time of the destruction of Nithia.


Situation: Northern Davania is firmly in the hands of the Milenian Empire.

Relation to Nithia: Milenians surely knew about the presence of Nithians, having halted their expansion in the southern continent (source: DotE and Hollow World, remember the presence of Nithian slave tribes). Probably the Spell meddles with their memories making them think that they repelled the Thyatians/Kerendans/Hattians and that it was them that had come to expand, forgetting the existence of their masters.




The Antalian tribes have become the Heldanners, the ancestors of modern Heldannics and Northmen. The Nithians had occupied their lands, but showed little interest. A few trading posts were established along the fjords, but many Northlanders' only connection with the Empire were when they or their kin were taken as slaves and transported south. When the Empire is destroyed, the few traces of Nithian culture fade within a decade. After 500 BC, the northern Heldanners live mostly peacefully, forming the freeholds, while the southern Heldanners, settled in the Northern Reaches areas, are at the mercy of giantish clans, and spend most time warring between each other. The gnomes living in the Falun Caverns are kicked out by the kobolds around 490 BC.


Situation: The Sheyallia elves are starting to cooperate with the Gruugrakh gnolls. The desert is home to several Urduk nomads.

Relation to Nithia: Non-existent. Some Urduk tribe might have traded some goods or seen some Nithian merchant in the south, but the Spell of Oblivion has really little work to do here.


Situation: The dwarves are almost over with their 500 years long feud with the humanoids. Their definitive victory will take place in 492 BC at the Battle of Sardal Pass.

Relation to Nithia: Dwarves have been too worried by humanoids to have many contacts with Nithians, although some trading could have been present. The Spell of Oblivion make the dwarves erroneously believe that the mighty Empire they traded with is just the same bunch of small tribes that they will trade with in the next centuries: Nithian Followers of Fire, Alasyian tribes, Heldanners and Northmen. GAZ6 explicitly says that Dwarves NEVER met Nithians, although I find it difficult to believe.


Situation: The racial conflicts between elves and Tanagoro are at their peak. In those years, the prophet and seer Yav, under the assumed identity of Mulogo, leaves with most Tanagoro toward the Arm of Immortals. He will take them back to the Serpent Peninsula about a century later.

Relation to Nithia: ?


Situation: Sind is starting its descending parable into a number of small mumlykets in war with each other. The central government is not as weak as it will become in the following centuries.

Relation to Nithia: Probably some trade, but the Spell of Oblivion doesn't have a big impact on the Sindhi way of life.


The lands of Thyatis were in part occupied by Nithians and in part by the Doulakki city-states. The Doulakki, greatly weakened by the Nithian dominance, are assaulted by the Thyatian tribes arrived from the south around 600 BC, and absorbed in the next 200 years. The warlike Thyatians start repelling Nithians too, until they are erased from the surface and the Spell of Oblivion takes place. Thyatian tribes invent lore of great battles against a vague foe, their history becomes confused due to the Spell, resulting in a variety of discrepancies and inaccuracies.


Situation: Nithia is destroyed and all memory of it is erased from the surface. Some cities, not tainted by the evil of Entropic Immortals, has already been transplanted to the Hollow World. In the following years, the Alasyians of the northern Isle of Dawn (a race of Taymoran descendants who had originally settled here around 1'600 BC), free of the Nithians, find themselves increasingly menaced by the other races of the Isle of Dawn, so they start leaving westwards, toward their "ancestral lands" (they remember their slavery to Nithians in this way thanks to the Spell of Oblivion). By 400 BC, all traces of Alasyians on the Isle of Dawn are gone. The Alasyians withdraw to desert basins and establish a nomadic culture. A small group of fire-worshipping Nithians remain in Ylaruam.