The Bleak. The Scourge of Arbitron. The Gods created a whole world. It is full of magic and might. But the very magic that made this world so lively has been twisted. Scholars from the many realms across the grounds of Arbitron have each formed different explanations of the phenomenon that appears to border each continent in these latter days. Those who have set their studies towards the Bleak find that it often defies quantification.

The Bleak holds itself within its own borders. It is stationary in areas. Sailors on the Kasrin Sea know that if they venture two thousand leagues west from the Bloodhoof Steppe they will find a sheer wall of reddish cloud. The wall is penetrable. Some ships have sailed in, only to discover that there is no water in the Bleak. Still the ship sails. The accounts the sailors returned with however are disjointed, crazed. They recall images of their past, their futures. They rant of visions of majesty, desperate cataclysms.

The visions seem to be the only consistent part of the Bleak. In some places, like west of Erenoth, it seems to be a place of vast emptiness. In others, like the long forgotten city of Bre’Thalena Kair un’Thanth, the Bleak is more a living skin of magical chaos. The last being to venture to that doomed metropolis, and survive the experience long enough to speak to another soul, was raving mad. The elf came staggering out of the flows of the Bleak. His eyes had been gouged out, apparently by his own hands. He screamed barely comprehensibly about living buildings walking about. He muttered about solid air suffocating him. And, just before he expired from the strain of his mental torment, he spoke the only clear words. “The searing light of death, seated on a throne of starfire, speaking the wound of a world.”

Some realms ignore the presence of this magical turmoil. Others are forced to endure it as it ebbs and flows over their realms like a chaotic tide. Yet others dare to venture through it. They have learned of the other realms, and so it is common enough that fragments of societies have mingled. A dwarf, in a vengeful rage in Stone Rift in Erenoth, may call upon the name of far-removed Sur Salin to show his dedication to seek vengeance for his family. Such bits of knowledge linger in the fabric of each realm of the worlds, but the Bleak is a vast divide that divides the world in greater ways than the oceans. It is also posited, based on the account of the elf who ventured to the heart of Bre’Thalena Kair un’Thanth, that the Bleak is a malignant force working to destroy Arbitron. But most mortals think only of their own struggles for survival.

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