hile there are, of course, untold numbers of races populating the lower planes, we concern ourselves here with only those who most often frequent the Midnight Realm.
Excluded from this list are the races of devils, which are common throughout the lower planes but are as yet not ready for this preview. You can be sure, however, that Gargoyles, Imps, Gremlins, Shedim, Azadum, the great Nephilim and more will be available in the finished product.
First, an introduction to the Midnight Realm itself...
At a crossroads of the lower planes, past the ancient portal called the Threshold and its twin stone guardians, lays the Midnight Realm. It is a grim and forebidding place of otherworldly aspect, where rivers of molten iron flow across a desolate landscape of smoldering plains, mountains of black bassalt, virulent swamps, and forests of pale deadwood trees. By day, a black sun casts dark shadows over the Realm. By night, the sun sets, and the land is lit by the wan light of distant stars, moons, and suns.
The Midnight Realm
The northern regions of the Midnight Realm, called the Fallen Lands, are infested by hordes of demonic entities. The southernmost territories are controlled by a race of diabolic hybrids known as the Tarterans, who came to the Midnight Realm long ago from a land called Talislanta.
Farther south stretches the Midnight Sea, part of the vast aethereal ocean that spans the myriad dimensions of the Omniverse. Farther still, at the edge of the Midnight Sea, stands the Threshold: gateway to the Midnight Realm, the lower planes, and beyond.
History of the Midnight Realm
The history of the Midnight Realm is a subject of some debate among scholars of the lower planes. This is primarily due to the nature of its earliest known inhabitants, the Thane: a closed and secretive folk who literally took much of their knowledge with them to the grave.
The Thane were occultists who are believed to have delved deeply into the dark lore of the lower planes. They compiled vast archives of arcane knowledge, protecting their writings with complex magical ciphers so that none could steal their secrets. They built the Threshold, an interdimensional portal that allowed their ships to travel to many worlds. Among the many places they visited was Talislanta, where the Thane established a colony at Khazad.
The civilization of the Thane flourished for thousands of years, until a terrible cataclysm reduced the land of Thanatus to ruins. Some believe this was the same catastrophic event known in Talislantan lore as The Great Disaster. Others say the cataclysm was set in motion by an earlier incident involving the rebel shaitan Zahur and his half-mortal progeny, Drax, or an epic conflict between the ancient Sepharans and their enemies (See Sepharans).
The Thane foresaw the coming of the cataclysm, but could not prevent it. Knowing that their homeland was doomed, they evacuated the majority of their population to Khazad. Using necromantic arts to preserve their corporeal forms and prevent and their souls from passing on to the land of the dead, the Thane interred their people in the underground city of Necron. Here, their bodies would lay in stasis until they could be resurrected, after the effects of the cataclysm had subsided.
When the disaster occurred, raging elemental forces laid waste to Thanatus. A rift (now known as The Abyss) opened into the Demonrealms, and hordes of demonic entities swarmed across the Midnight Realm. The great stone idols guarding the Threshold prevented the demon hordes from passing through into other realms, but the gateway to the Midnight Realm was effectively closed. So it would remain until the arrival of a contingent of refugees from a distant land: the Tarterans.
The Thane interred in Necron survived the catastrophe, though they would never be the same (see The Black Savants.) As for the secret lore of the Thane, much of it was lost forever, for the keys needed to decipher their writings perished along with the occultists who created them.