The Great Fissure had always been there. None who lived knew how it had come to be. None who lived knew what lay beyond it. There were tales of dragons and restless mountains, constantly clashing, spewing fire and ice at each other, the resulting sky obscuring the sky. There were tales of people living there.
They said the people beyond the fissure knew naught of daylight and the sky’s blueness. They were nomads, constantly on the move, as the earth around them shifted and warped in the ensuing conflict of titans. To better hide from such immense forces, the fissure folk were short and nimble, their skin was gray, and their legs and arms were disproportionately long. Just as none knew how the Fissure came to be, so did no one know how the fissure folk came to inhabit it.
The fissure folk had their own myths, however. They too wished to know how life looked like beyond the Great Fissure. They’d heard rumors that water flows there much in the same fashion as fire did in their Black Lands, and that cattle and woodfolk could roam free, and that men built steady houses, for the earth there was still as a rock. But they would not go there. They believed the Black Lands were theirs to inherit, theirs to guard. The Great Fissure, as the story told from generation to generation went, was created when the Archangel Uriel had the Abyss Wyrm shackled. The fiery sword’s mighty strike was enough to rend the world asunder, and the fissure folk were there to guard the hallowed land, so that the beast may reign the skies no more and there be peace forever after.
And yet, far away to the north, beyond the boundless ocean, there was a land of people who worshiped the Wyrm. For eons they had prepared a pilgrimage to help relieve the Wyrm of his prison. Only then, they believed, would their befouled land be restored to a peaceful state. They would not allow for anything to stand in their way. Not the fissure folk, not even Archangel Uriel.