Along the Old Silk Road from Silg to Filenfoe, there is an old brick and timber building called the Tavern Hodlestone. In its heyday, it was a bustling location, with hundreds of merchants and adventurers stopping in day and night to fill their bellies before taking the long and dangerous journey toward the lands in the east, where fortune and legacy untold were said to wait for them. But those long forgotten rumors turned sour centuries ago, and the tavern now stood almost always empty, save for a few unfortunates who chanced their luck along the desolate path headed toward the city Ziggurat in the deserts of the ancient hastu lands.
It was at this old tavern that another great revelation came forth, on scale with the Revelation at Spade collected by Sachii the fordrin scholar just a year before. It is well known throughout all of Alteris that there is a magical world all around us. This magic often manifests in forms easy to understand, such as elemental phenomena, spiritual beings, even visions. However, one aspect that has to this point been lesser understood by all but the hastu is that of realms.
Realms, or parallel dimensions, for the most part throughout Alteris history are considered little more than legends of a “Dark Dimension.” However, among the hastu people, they are a major part of their culture. It is well known that the hastu reappeared in Alteris about 1600 years ago, after having vanished from the world for millennia. They have held that their people were in another realm, fighting against dark gods and beings who lived there, to keep our world safe from their influence.
Some hastu continue the practice of Poek Pamatang, or the Dark Hunt, where they return to this realm and continue their fight against the darkness there. But no other being, save a hastu, had ever been to this realm; this lead many to believe it to be little more than superstition. Until the revelation of the Narë-Ka-Han at Tavern Hodlestone, where the first being appeared to have come from the Dark Dimension that was not a hastu.
In hastu tongue, Narë-Ka-Han translates roughly to the word “fracture.” In the year 815 ME, there began to be people appearing in Alteris who claimed to be from ‘other worlds,’ the first of whom appeared just outside the Tavern Hodlestone. Each time one of these interlopers appeared, there appeared with them a member of the hastu, who explained that these individuals were in essence, refugees. They called the event that lead to the appearance of these refugees the Narë-Ka-Han, and explained that they appeared in the Dark Dimension by some misfortune of a magical cataclysm.
The Narë-Ka-Han Revelation has given more insight into the Dark Dimension than ever before revealed in Alteris history. It is a real place, and it appears that many hastu still live there in fortress cities of their own design. As these refugees appear in the Dark Dimension, some lucky few are rescued by the hastu, and are educated well enough to migrate to Alteris. But before they are allowed to enter, it appears they are sworn to a binding spell of influence; they cannot remember many details of the Dark dimension.
There have not been many instances of Narë-Ka-Han refugees in Alteris. But each instance has been accompanied by the same story. These refugees have unusual stories to tell of their own: vague memories of their time wandering the Dark Dimension before a hastu found them. In their tales, they describe the Dark Dimension as a world of eternal twilight, where the lights of the cold north play in the sky constantly. There are no stars there, nor moon, nor any constellation or light to guide oneself through the dark land. Some have described being torn between time, aging rapidly and then suddenly finding themselves a helpless child, or losing touch with their corporeal forms all together before their hastu saviors found them and helped them return to their true selves.
The Dark Dimension appears to be a place where magic is so palpable that it can and does change the world around it at rapid speeds. When pressed for information, some hastu have described that survival in the Dark Dimension is nearly impossible without strong resistance to the natural influencing magic which is in the air of that world. Given the incredible difficulty of survival there, it is unknown how many Narë-Ka-Han refugees are never found by hastu, and perish in the magical wilds of the Dark Dimension.
Narë-Ka-Han refugees do not all come from the same place. Most describe worlds that are vastly different as their places of origin. This suggests there are many realms beyond the Dark Dimension, but how many is impossible to know. What can be determined from the information we have is that the Dark Dimension appears to act as a border world for places that have experienced a fracture due to some magical cataclysm on their side.
Most nations have freely offered asylum to these Narë-Ka-Han refugees. However, Silg and Udai have established strict immigration policies, allowing their entry and integration only after they have proven their loyalty to the nations. Since the first documented cases began to appear in 815 ME, there have been less than a hundred Narë-Ka-Han refugees in all. But the presence of these travelers from other worlds has sparked great interest all across Alteris. Why are they finding themselves in the Dark Dimension? And does whatever drew them there pose a threat to Alteris itself?