The day the skies fell away and the ground opened beneath Fangstrum, the world wept tears of joy and sorrow. For the children of kings dragged through the streets to subjugate themselves before the emperor, joy. For the parents of those who fell into the City Below, lost to the unearthly light beneath the city, sorrow.
On that day, two storms rolled in over the mountains, from the east and the west alike. Yet the skies above the palace were clear when the maelstrom appeared. It was as though the sky was falling upwards and away, draining into darkness like a whirlpool below a ship. A great storm funnel, its wide mouth pointed at the ground, dragged chunks of the imperial palace up and away. Entire temples and spires stretched and broke, their occupants screaming as they whirled up and away into the sky. Lightning crackles around the eternal storm above what used to be the most powerful city on earth.
At the same time, the ground below crumbled and fell. Half of the palace's rubble was devoured by the sky, the rest fell into the earth as a massive pit opened in the center of the city and spread outwards. The temple district, the imperial quarter, the Silk Circle—all of the princes and dukes of Fangstrum and their riches, gone.
Even in the ring around the gaping pit, destruction spread. The survivors struggle in the shattered streets. With most of the Imperial Legions either away from the city or lost in the disaster, chaos rules. Factions have taken control of segments of the Ruined Ring, vying for control of what few resources remain.
It was to this hollowed heart of the world's mightiest empire that a small group of strangers came, hoping to plunge into the depths of the City Below and discover the fate of the Emperor and his family. What dangers they will find there, only time will tell…