Where neither Seraphim nor raindrops go...
There is perhaps no civilization that evokes a stronger response than the ancient empire of Bael Turath. The thrice-damned throne of Bael Turath looms as a shadow in history, warning everyone since of the price paid for short term gain. Once a growing human nation famed for its patrons of arts and culture, the city was famous for the innovations in style and breathtaking beauty. As it rose in power, it had the curious distinction of having several regions and city-states actually choose to join themselves to it.
But beauty is seldom well-tolerated in a world pierced by chaos and pain, and the Turathi empire was besieged suddenly on two fronts. On one side, the Eladrin whose cities bordered the Feywild marched in high regalia over an affront to one of the archlords of the Fey’ral. On the other, the mighty empire of Arkhosia marched forth legions of proud Dragonborn and Human soldiers and massive wardrakes. It was with their empire already doomed that the nobles of Bael Turath were informed of a terrible plague and famine sweeping their lands. With trembling fear and the last thread of hope, the Turathi leaders made desperate pacts with the devils of the Abyssal Hells. The Eladrin were easily repelled by the swarming hordes of demons that burst from the summoning portals and the Arkhosians defeated so soundly they dared not attack again for a decade. Even the plague and famine ceased suddenly, suspiciously to some. But the nobles who invoked the pact were irrevocably warped, their appearance slowly taking on aspects of their demonic associates.
Meteoric success proved a more terrible foe however, and as the empire continued to grow in power, so too did its corruption and self-absorption. Having unseated the two most powerful armies of the day, Bael Turath’s pursuit of style and beauty became an obsession to revel in its glory. Nothing seemed beyond the limits of what they could do, and with the encouragement of demons echoing through the courtrooms, nothing indeed was off limits. Monuments were built higher than ever before, magics explored that were previously taboo, wealth horded in unseen amounts, and the populace of the empire grew fat on cake and circuses while slaves and pleasure-cults tended to every whim.
Arkhosia returned though, and the Turathi empire was drawn into a war that lasted almost two centuries. Yet more infernal pacts were made, and many indeed were even broken, their terrible price too steep even for the devil-blooded who styled themselves Tieflings. When the war was finally over, both Arkhosia and Bael Turath were unable to sustain their massive holdings. The Turathi throne stayed in rule for another century and a half, but the empire itself was overun even as the cities collapsed.