Chaos Tempests Physical / Metaphysical Law in Niorath | World Anvil

Chaos Tempests

In my long life the chaos tempests have always been a problem. They make the already dangerous regions such as the Silent Forest even more perilous to visit. But what I see now worries me deeply. Not only are there more tempest they start coming into existence at new places. The ancient ruins of Bagor have been tempest free for more than a thousand years. Not anymore now.
— High Sage Syronikir
  During most of recent history chaos tempests were only a very rare occurrence, limited mostly to areas like the Silent Forest. But now they seem to be popping up more often and sometimes even in new places.   With each new Tempest the amount of monstrosities of the Primal Chaos increases. The lands can get warped and become inhabitable afterwards. But so far no way to prevent them has been found.  

Inside the tempest



  The chaos tempests are manifestations of the Primal Chaos and are therefore mostly found around places that were previously affected by it. Originally people thought that they were drawn to areas where chaos magic was rampant. This is mostly true but chaos tempests can also appear near places with high amounts of magic, but there are not many cases of this happening.   People generally believe that the Primal Chaos itself is a realms filled with strange phenomena and constant violent storm. Many therefore see the chaos tempest as part of the Primal Chaos escaping through a portal. Although this thus far has not been verified, the appearance of chaosborn aberrations and demons shortly after the start of a storm does gives some credibility to this theory.  
Chaos Crystal by Guild Wars 2, Dragonfall art
Chaos Storm by Guild Wars 2
Silent Forest
The Silent Forest is believed to have been the site of an ancient battle which went terribly wrong. Today it is a haunted place filled with petrified trees, permanent mist and according to survivors untold horrors.


  At first a chaos would look like a regular thunderstorm. Those that know what to look out for know better, however. The distinction can already be seen before a chaos tempest hit by observing the color of the clouds. An oncoming chaos tempest will have dark clouds with a slight purple tint to them. Once someone is inside a tempest it is hard to miss the differences.   Whereas a normal thunderstorm would have typically have lightning going from the cloud to the ground, a chaos tempest does not have the same limit. The lightning strikes are more frequent and purple in color. But the strangest thing is perhaps that they do not always touch the ground. Lightning in a chaos tempest is alive and actually seems to fly around.  
Chaos Crystals
  Every time a lightning strike in a tempest does strike the ground it creates pieces of Chaos Crystals. However, if other crystals are already present the lightning is thought to prefer to hit them instead. Every time this occurs the chaos crystal grows. In regions where the chaos tempest are frequent, such as the Silent Forest, these crystals can become enormous in size.   The area around each of these crystals has becomes warped beyond recognition. Additionally the area is often too dangerous to be around for a regular humanoid. Anything that comes to close to the Chaos Crystals is likely to get affected by Chaos Corruption and those that stay long become shells of their former selves and mutate in grotesque ways.

Creations of the Tempest



  Normally an area can recover from a chaos tempest. Many creatures and plants will have died or become corrupted but over time nature can usually restore itself. This is, however, not the case when the chaos tempest become frequent.   The first thing anyone would notice is how different the trees and plants look. The trees often become petrified with chaos crystals growing in their trunks. Those that travelled through these regions and lived to tell the tale, talk about plants with strange colors and a feeling that all the plants are looking at them. Some even claim that they frequently saw eyes among pop up among the flora of the area.   The ground itself becomes devoid of regular grass and turns a black color. The only things growing there are strange looking mushrooms whose spores are thought to drive people mad.

Silent Forest by Kefkejaco with Assassins Creed Odyssey

Guild Wars 2 concept art by Kekai Kotaki


  Anything that is hit by lightning in a chaos tempest can be affected by Chaos Corruption. Those that are corrupted have chaos crystals growing out of their body and their body parts can be completely mutated. Some even change in height or build, although this is believed to be the case for those that have already been corrupted a long time.   But every tempest also has the ability to bring creatures from the Primal Chaos itself into Niorath. These are often strange aberrations or demonic creatures. Other strange creations of the tempest are the living magic. These strange things attack anything that they see as a threat. But there are myths about even more dangerous apparitions. Some say that portals to the Primal Chaos can become alive themselves. Attempts to destroy them a deemed to be futile.  

Tempest Areas


Silent Forest

  One of the more well known locations where tempests can be found is of course the Silent Forest. It is thought that the forest came into being after a terrible war between Gnomes, Dragons and the Selefer. To some myths it is even possible that the Divine Golem of Tanajin was involved.   After the even the region became corrupted by chaos magic and the tempests grew frequent. Several very large chaos crystals can be found in the area which make it clear that the tempests have been happening there over millennia.   Across the planet there are several areas that have similar looks as the Silent Forest but possibly different origins.  
Silent Forest
The Silent Forest is believed to have been the site of an ancient battle which went terribly wrong. Today it is a haunted place filled with petrified trees, permanent mist and according to survivors untold horrors.
The Crystal Valley

Crystal Valley

  Although it would currently not look like it the Crystal Valley used to be affected by chaos tempest although to a less frequent degree than other areas. This is thought to have lasted for quite a long time and discouraged any would be settlers.   Eventually the tempests resideds for some unknown reason somewhere in the Middle Era. The ancestors of the Raitin are thought to have migrated to the region shortly after the valley became habitable. This worked out pretty well for them since they now control an area containing the largest amount of Falls in the world.


  Perhaps the most well known historical occurrences of chaos tempests is around the ancient Avaronian capital, Bagor. Before the fall of the Avaronian Empire it was the heartland of the Elven nations. However, after the siege of Bagor and the cataclysmic event that followed the entire region was flooded in an enormous chaos tempest.   These tempest lasted around 33 years and were enough to put an end to the Avaronian unity and forced all the Elves out of the region. The only people who returned to the area were the Dwarves, who could remain safe within their mountain halls without being affected by the tempests. By the time the tempests subsided all of the Elves had moved further west to the Avaronian successor nations.   Eventually the Dwarves settled in the region and only left the area around Bagor untouched which remained too corrupted by chaos even after the tempests were gone. This lasted for a long time but for some unknown reason a chaos tempest has returned to Bagor. Even more worrying is the fact that it also does not seem to go away like a regular tempest would.   Chaos Tempests of Bagor   
This map shows the world of Niorath and its various biomes and nations. The north and south pole areas are still rather unexplored because they are frequently covered in ice. Various species live there but they have not played any major role in the history of the planet. The other continents are much more populated and have seen their fair share of changing occupants.

Some areas of the world are quite different from the normal natural biomes. These are chaos areas, region affected by the dangerous Chaos Tempests who can corrupt the land beyond recognition. Many of these are the result of forbidden magic going very wrong and have often meant the end of the empires that performed the related rituals.

Geography of Niorath
Geographic Location | Aug 31, 2023

Cover image: Nervonia by Gam-Ol on pixabay


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Dec 10, 2021 20:24

Very cool article! Travelling throughout your world seems dangerous

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Dec 10, 2021 22:48

Thank you! Yeah those regions are avoided at all cost because no one gets through it safely. Or people try and then fail. :p Luckily thanks to them banning chaos magic in general they tend to not create new areas anymore, so in general travel is still safe.   But if a region gets affected by frequent storms it is best to get all people living there to safety.

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Dec 10, 2021 20:50

Despite it's destructive force, it seems like it would be beautiful to see pass through

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Dec 10, 2021 22:49

Yes it is quite the sight but the longer one admires it, the more dangerous it gets :p of course there are those who think they can contain it.

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 10, 2021 22:31 by Angantyr

That was an interesting read and I need to ask: how close can one get close to the chaos crystal without being affected by the Chaos Corruption? Did anyone weaponize it in the past? :P

Playing around with words and worlds
Dec 10, 2021 22:45

Oh people certainly tried weaponizing anything with chaos magic since it is very powerful :p Sadly for them the more it was used the more the chance for it going wrong, which is how all those zones with frequent storms most likely started in the first place :p   As for the crystal it depends on the size. Smaller crystals can be taken, although best with gloves, and be near someone without issue. But the larger it is, especially if it is bigger than a person, it is more likely to affect someone.

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 11, 2021 13:18 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Very fascinating tempests! Their relationships with the crystals are fascinating and explain well why they're so rare and magical. I'm really curious about what attract those tempests now, since something in Bagor definitely seemed to have done so! I get the impression that it's linked to the kind of forbidden stuff some of your civilisations have gotten up to before their fall...

Dec 11, 2021 19:20

Yeah they are definetly getting triggered by something ;)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!