It is not for mortals to know the inner workings of the gods. But the state of your world is a fault of our own, and so this much we share. We have come to an accord. The fighting that has beset your world ends now.The Arcane Compromise is an alleged document signed by all deities in existence during the Second Divine War, also known as the War of the Arcane. It is the single piece of scripture that brought an end to the war and allowed arcane magic to be accessed by mortals in a limited capacity prior to the Worldrend, and though now obsolete in part due to said event, remains one of the most historically important documents in the history of Istralar.
Over five thousand years ago, arcane magic begin to flow into the world, brought on by a source as of yet unknown to mankind. The gods, previously the sole providers of magic, grew angry, knowing that mortal curiosity would not be tamed by their command. But therein lay a divide, or so describe scriptures from the era and thereafter. Some deities believed mortals could be entrusted with the use of this power, albeit watched and cared for as usual. Others swore that this new magic was born of temptation, of sin, and of betrayal - it could not be tolerated, its source could not be ascertained! Thus began the War of the Arcane - a war between the gods that would sweep from the large expanses of the Sunari Wilderness to the distant shores of Iskaldhal. It left permanent scars on the lands it touched: Tenaerul was damaged during the war and further during the Worldrend, requiring Ypolita to sacrifice her life to restore it. Iskaldhal was swathed in magical energy, disturbing the tenuous energies of the Heartforge of Iskaldhal. Valathe and Xin-Jiyu felt tremors of unforeseen proportions, splitting the Eastern Continent and smothering the former hills of what would become the Tulaant Steppe. All of this to say that the Arcane War was not alone the domain of gods. As the gods fought, so too did their mortal chess-pieces. Champions of the Divine, one for each of the greatest gods. Each called to their banner an army, and each waged their own war. The damage laid down by the gods was minor - only in the Worldrend was the brunt of the damage dealt - thanks to the rules they had set for themselves in the First War, but their Champions had no such restriction. Only the most distant corners of the world, such as the islands of Vexua, would escape the war, and only then by dint of luck alone. Finally, after at least a century - for records then are vague, and time was scribed less honestly - the divines came to an accord, called for by the aeons of universal balance. For if they did not, the fabric of the world, and indeed the universe, might be at stake. At first, a number refused the accords. Dismissing them as unnecessary, or calling for the chaos they would bring. It took the weight of the Boneyard to force even the lower planes to reconsider their decision. And so came about a concordance of rivals and allies alike; a meeting that would bring about a great and final compromise for all but the boldest of gods and men. It ordained the creation of Terra Arcana and the accepted separation of arcane magic - a compromise designed to spare mortal choice and maintain a distinction between those who honoured the choices of the gods, and those who gave into the temptations of the arcane. Each faction had their own reasons for signing, most still kept secret to this day - but the matter was settled, and the contract signed. No mortal is certain where it sits: some guess Asmodeus holds it, others presume it to be Pharasma. Perhaps it could even rest in the realm of Nethys, god of all magic. Whatever the answer, it is not for mortal eyes.
Peace brings with it consequence and cost. And what is a peace that lasts? War is eternal, in one form or another.The Compromise settled the Champions into new roles and let history move on. New nations arose in their wake as they reigned and fought for their causes, now sundered betwixt the worlds. New species and cultures came into being across both Istralar and her sister planet, Terra Arcana. The stories of the Arcane War steadily faded into history, as had the Divine War - now known as the First Divine War - before it. The few resisting gods were either forced to compromise or fell through history's gaps, doubtless stopped by the might of the united pantheons, and the Outer Planes fell in line. Demons and devils alike enjoyed the splitting of souls, for the arcane could be tempted with promises of new magic, and the mundane could be swayed into making deals for power if they were too curious. Arcane power, it seemed, could be granted as well as learnt, and so arrived the first witches and warlocks. And then came the Worldrend, and the world was once again plunged into chaos. Five thousand years later and there is little known of the peace between the War and its Rending; there is even less of the time before. The gods have their histories, but mortals are granted the twin blessing and curse of mortality, and their knowledge oft follows that same pattern.
Above all else, remember that a Compromise was made. Twice have the gods come to an agreement, regardless of their goal. If Lamashtu and Torag may sit at the same table and agree, then so too must the most bitter of mortal foes in the face of darkest defeat.