By the time of the Shadow Star's second pass, everyone had forgotten what it's passing meant. Five thousand years, almost to the day, had passed since the Prizm Wars that began after the SisterWorlds War. But the pass occurred, and with it came terrible wounds in the earth, volcanoes vomiting on the land and under the sea, great shakes toppled buildings and even nations, and the very nature of magic altered as the weather changed and the world plunged into chaos.
There were four super-powers at the time: the demons of Argunas, the Elementalists ruled by a necromancer known as The One, the Delturean Empire of Chilleth, and the dragons of Milthel. Each of the super-powers searched the world over for ancient artifacts and powers that would give them an edge over the others. Smaller powers became caught up, too, in the quest for the ancient artifacts, giving the Shaping Wars their other name, the Artifact Wars. The struggles between the four super-powers and all the lesser powers had grown into a cold war four centuries old by the time of the Shadow Star's second pass – and with the chaos unleashed by a world seemingly in its death throes, the cold war became hot.
The demons of Shadareth were led by the Demon God, Argunas. With the frigid continent of Shadareth as their base of operations, they teleported all over Gaeleth, sewing chaos at will, bending weaker minds, playing games with the souls of men, and trying to seduce the world into their form of chaotic evil. They also ruled pocket kingdoms and fiefdoms, here and there.
The Elementalists were a theocratic mageocracy that ruled over much of the world, naming their nation (perhaps unimaginatively) Elementis. Their leader, the lich and necromancer known as The One, had mastered all four of the elements, though he was nominally the Chosen of the Goddess of Fire. The Elementalists worshipped the elemental gods: the god of earth, Tromth; the goddess of fire, Xoriah; the goddess of water, Ayelin; and the god of air, Blervoncara. The One ruled over the Four – each a chosen of one of the elemental gods, and each a ruler over one-quarter of the Sixty Four rulers of Elementis. The Elementalists sought to have an enduring and peaceful reign over men and elves and dwarves, but faced off against super-powers as strong as themselves. Elementis itself ruled much of the north and middle of the landed world.
The Delturean Empire was ruled over by Empreror Akmaen of the Delturan Dynasty's Second Reign. Emperor Akmaen commanded a legion of Var Gauf – specialized assassins expert in the arts of the arcane – as well as a hundred legions of men, dominating as he did all of Chilleth and many of the lands across the Sea of Nor.
The dragons worshipped their god, Milthel, who commanded that all races were subservient to dragon kind. Their rule was consolidated in the west and south, with parts in the center of the landed world, and many islands besides.
By the time of the second pass of the Shadow Star, the unsteady peace had begun to break down, and all four super-powers went to war with one another, tearing apart one another's lands in quests for some of the more fabled of the ancient weapons, such as the God Slayer Giran Howel and the World Killer Al Mudim.
Each super-power thrust and parried with carefully planned strategies, always keeping a reserve for one of the other powers' thrusts. Some fifty years of warfare went on – until all four super-powers had worn themselves out to the point where they fractured into factions and failed. Civil war in the Empire, the insanity of The One and the loss of their Earth Elemental God Tromth, the death of the Dragon God Milthel, and the infighting of the demons, threw down all the super-powers.
The land itself was changed and shaped into new positions and new configurations, and history mostly records that time as the Shaping Wars. It brought about the birth of several new gods, such as the Goddess of the Seas Olorin, the God of Compassion Whalin, and the God of Retribution Ktath. The new gods helped usher in an age of peace in the aftermath of the fallen super-powers – but more truthfully, that era was one of continual smaller scale warfare as bits and pieces of the old super-powers tried to convince the world, rather unsuccessfully, that they were entitled to the titles of the fallen.