Getting to know 5th Edition
An empire that consisted mostly of southern Humans, it stretched across most of the known world and was greatly feared by its enemies for its use of brutal tactics both on and off the battlefield. Though the kingdom of Soris was responsible for stopping the empire from marching on the rest of Stoneshore time and time again, the kingdoms of the north banded together many times to repel their common foe, the most notable being the God War and the Earthbreaker War.
During the Earthbreaker War, the empire came close to breaking the combined defenses of the north thanks to the betrayal of Quendayar. Fearing what would happen under the empire's rule once more, Gauld formed dark pacts with fiends to get the power they'd need to lay waste to their bitter enemies. Though those pacts ultimately destroyed Gauld as well, they first turned their newfound power on the empire, blasting most of the landscape to the southwest of Soris with hellfire. At that point, the empire forsook the war and left the north alone, refocusing their attention on other lands. The blasted lands refused to grow anything, instead slowly becoming a desert wasteland full of scorched ruins and fell beasts.