-From the Dungeons & Dragons: Player’s Handbook, pg. 7
“The current age has no all-encompassing empire. The world is shrouded in a dark age, between the collapse of the last great empire and the rise of the next, which might be centuries away. Minor kingdoms prosper, to be sure: baronies, holdings, city-states. But each settlement appears as a point of light in the widespread darkness, a haven, an island of civilization in the wilderness that covers the world.“
”...Little is known about the cataclysm that almost wiped out civilization as we know it. Few ancient texts hold detailed accounts of the event, but most scholars agree that it happened roughly one thousand years ago. The great human empire of Nerath, the teifling empire of Bael Turath, and the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia were reduced to little more than rubble. Since then, life has struggled to regain some foothold in this world that has been overrun by foulness and corruption…”
-excerpts from the writings of Tinomir the Wise, 978 A.C.