The Bleak Gate
The eladrin people have begun to withdraw into the Dreaming, and the bishops of the high church of the Clergy invoke condemned spirits from the Bleak Gate to frighten their congregations into worship.
Despite theories that suggest it should be possible to travel to distant planets via mighty rituals, all attempts to visit any foreign world never last longer than a few rounds before the traveler is shunted back to the world. It is possible to wander into the Dreaming or the Bleak Gate and return, but such trips never last long, and are usually only possible when the moon and stars align properly.
Skyseers were the first to learn how to step through the veils that lead to the Dreaming or the Bleak Gate, and without their aid King Kelland could never have defeated the fey titans.
In Crisillyir, the power of the church is supreme, but not unquestioned. While the grand summoners conjure forth tortured spectres from the Bleak Gate to cow their flocks into piety, collegial arcanists debate conceptions of the cosmos that do not match church dogma.
In a similar way, on certain bleak holy days the priests of the Clergy will reach through the veil into the Bleak Gate and capture uneasy spirits, which they parade in front of crowds of worshippers. Compelled by magic, these undead specters wail about the sins they committed in life that left their souls trapped in “Purgatory.” The priests then offer absolution and destroy the unholy beings.
Everyone knows that the fey live in the Dreaming, and that spirits of the dead can linger in the Bleak Gate, but most people are unclear on just what they are. They disagree on whether one can physically go to these realms by walking, or if one would need magic, and if one went there just what one would see.
As for the Bleak Gate, common lore of the Clergy calls it Purgatory, and envisions it as lying underground, a place where the dead pass through on their way to their reward or punishment in the afterlife. The dwarves of Drakr know better, and believe that it is a vision of the distant future, of what the world will look like when everyone has died. Berans believe it lies on the dark side of the moon. In Risur, folk tales say that once the Dreaming was easy to reach, and that the beings there would often come to our world to trade, steal, or play tricks.
The Bleak Gate was thought to be a darker, more malevolent part of the Dreaming, a belief reinforced of late. As industry has narrowed the streets of Flint and darkened its alleys with soot, more and more people have begun to speak of disappearances, and of strange black beings that walk in the shadows.
The Old Faith is the folk religion of Risur, and it enjoins the faithful to honour the spirits of the land and draw power from nature. The stars trace patterns that predict events on our world, but according to the Old Faith the only other worlds are the ones we can visit: the Dreaming and the Bleak Gate.
In 346 A.O.V. a coven of witches took residence upon a jagged mountain at the range’s edge, which ever since has been called Cauldron Hill, deep in The Nettles. For decades they terrorized the city, sending goblins and specters to abduct people for sacrificial rites, then hiding in the veil between this world and the Bleak Gate whenever any tried to assault them.