The Bleaklands is the wasteland that occupies much of the territory of the Barony of Talador. Talador was annihilated with the activation of a blood marble obelisk set off by Prelate Chaston Griffin. This was supposedly intended for Tamzyrr, but the witch Raznel turned out to be Naimorai Kestrel, who was sent back in time by accident from a future history where the Bleaklands had already happened. Chaston Griffin was manipulated by the magic of Raznel, who would have known the destruction was actually going to happen to Talador. The Imperial Drakes shielded patches of Talador from destruction.
The following is how the Bleaklands appears in its central region close to the ruins of Talador:
[Talador, The Bleaklands] The land is desolate and broken, with an endless terrain of fragmented, grey earth that is caked in layers of ash. The air is suffocating, with a thick, rancid odor and a faint heat still lingers in the area. The sky is bleak, resembling an expanse of ink-whorled slate. You also see a small piece of flesh and a flickering red portal. Obvious paths: east XXXXX moves along the area and the fragmented grey earth beneath shifts uneasily, slowing his movements. XXXXX's group just went east. Roundtime: 3 sec. [Talador, The Bleaklands] The land is desolate and broken, with an endless terrain of fragmented, grey earth that is caked in layers of ash. The air is suffocating, with a thick, rancid odor and a faint heat still lingers in the area. The sky is bleak, resembling an expanse of ink-whorled slate. Obvious paths: east, west [Talador, The Bleaklands] The land is desolate and broken, with an endless terrain of fragmented, grey earth that is caked in layers of ash. The air is suffocating, with a thick, rancid odor and a faint heat still lingers in the area. The sky is bleak, resembling an expanse of ink-whorled slate. Obvious paths: northeast, west [Talador, The Bleaklands] The land is desolate and broken, with an endless terrain of fragmented, grey earth that is caked in layers of ash. The air is suffocating, with a thick, rancid odor and a faint heat still lingers in the area. The sky is bleak, resembling an expanse of ink-whorled slate. Obvious paths: east, southwest [Talador, The Bleaklands] The great northern mountains rise up like a wall of jagged, icy fingers in the distance. Their peaks are obscured by heavy black clouds, and the once fresh mountain air has been replaced by the stagnant, putrid odor of burnt flesh and scorched earth. You also see the Dergoatean disk and a tiny oily black sapling. Obvious paths: north, west [Talador, The Bleaklands] Rows and rows of crumbled, charred stones are strewn about the broken landscape where the towering walls of Talador once stood. Even the wind is hot, swirling around and scattering ash and smoldering debris all about. You also see a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore, a shifting ashen grey spore and a shifting ashen grey spore. Obvious paths: south
This is how the Bleaklands looks farther away from the ruins of Talador. Malvernus went there in 5118 Modern Era investigating a musician who was frozen in a temporal warp:
[The Bleaklands] The ground is a patchwork of broken and cracked hard clay with numerous rocks and boulders of all sizes scattered across its surface. The devastation stretches off into the distance for as far as the eye can see, offering little relief or change in terrain, save for a thick jagged outcropping of rock rising off to the east. You also see a sleek grey mouse and a dark green supply wagon. Obvious paths: east [The Bleaklands] What appeared to be just an outcropping of rocks in the distance turns out to be a jagged mouth of a cavern. Several large boulders lay strewn across the ground near the entrance, clearly having broken off or been hewn from the rock face, and partially block passage within. Obvious paths: west Malvernus's group just entered a jagged mouth of a cavern. [The Bleaklands, Cavern] The smooth rock floor gradually slopes downward from the cavern entrance. Rough striated rock of various shades makes up the walls and ceiling, though its surface is covered with a thick layer of soot. The air within the cavern is heavy and hot, despite being below the surface. Obvious exits: down, out [The Bleaklands, Cavern] Hot, thick air fills the cavern and carries the scent of ash. The rough stone walls continue to slope downward with the floor and are blackened in streaks and splotches across their entirety. Despite being beneath the surface the area is filled with flickering light that filters in from further below. Obvious exits: up, down [The Bleaklands, Cavern] The cavern quickly opens up to a large and wide space, while the semi-darkness gives way to bright light and intense heat. The source of the both is a large ball of fire suspended in mid-air by no discernible means in the center of the chamber. The rest of the area remains empty save for a lone man that stands several feet in front of the conflagration. Obvious exits: up >look man He is an older man with short, straight grey hair with a few faint patches of light brown. He has grey-green eyes, a hooked nose, and a faint scar running down the left side of his face. He holds a silver harp in one hand, with the other frozen in motion as if playing the instrument. >look fire The fire is near blinding to look at, seeming to be nearly as bright as the sun. Though mostly compact, individual flames extend outward from the center. Most unusually the flames appear to be absolutely still, with barely flicker of motion.
Tears of Koar
The "Tears of Koar" are the special regions of Talador that were insulated from the catastrophe by wards erected by the Imperial Drakes. They are island oases of normal lands surrounded by the Blealkands.
The Bleaklands was established to have some temporal anomalies by the Malvernus visit in 5118 Modern Era. This could originate ultimately in the blood properties of the ebon-swirled primal demon from the Southron Wastes, a primitive relative of the oculoth, whose blood was used to make the epochxin and presumably the blackblood curse fueling the obelisk. Bleak soil helped cure the time warped Larsya.
In 5117 Modern Era the Grand Magister Dennet Kestrel of the Hall of Mages was in the possession of the Talon of Toullaire, a "siphon stone" artifact of chaos from the Ur-Daemon War of either Drake or Ur-Daemon origins. It was discovered decades earlier by a team of magisters in the Wizardwaste. Dennet Kestrel used the Talon in the Bleaklands because of its magical similarity to the chaotic Wizardwaste. His daughter Naimorai Kestrel was lost in the past due to temporal rifting under Melgorehn's Reach. She was confirmed by a vision from Jastev in 5118 Modern Era to have been trapped in Toullaire before its destruction with the glow of the Talon visible in a tower. It has been speculated Raznel manipulated her own creation, and this was reinforced when briefly possessing Larsya during her age reversal.
In 5118 Modern Era Praxopius Fortney, who would turn out to be a figure known as "The Alchemist" who was responsible for masked vigilantes calling themselves "Rone", was invited by Breshon Caulfield to help cure his sister Larsya from the epochxin blood curse inflicted on her by Raznel. This blood had been pivotal in curing the half-elven "blackblood" sickness which powered the blood marble obelisk as well as for making a tar-like weapon coating that was lethal to those with the Everblood. Praxopius discovered that soil from the Bleaklands is essentially blood, and he called it an "improved wasteland."
The Shadow Realm
The Bleaklands bears a striking resemblance to the Shadow Realm of Althedeus, which is not coincidental given Raznel and Quinshon as well the origin of Larsya's curse (and other derivatives) in the blood of relatives of oculoth demons. By 5118 Modern Era during the Praxopius trip to acquire soil samples, which he used as an ingredient in the cure for Larsya as a substance of like origins, it was clear that the Bleaklands is bleeding into the Shadow Realm. There were now Shadow Realm creatures present as well as rifts in reality through which places in the Shadow Realm could be witnessed.
Praxopius confirmed that the Bleaklands is physically expanding. This had been previously implied in a vision from Jastev showing a possible future where the ruin of Wehnimer's Landing was in its own part of the Bleaklands. This visit was also accompanied by the returned presence of the bleakworm abomination, previously fled from in a Dennet expedition. There was a brief silent appearance by Quinshon.