"When the world was new, Ixhasa rose, a solitary jewel of civilization in an untamed wilderness. It was the first and only of the empires, human or otherwise, to span the face of the continent. Unmatched was Ixhasa in all endeavors and fields of study: art, medicine, magic. There was but one frontier they had not conquered: death.
In his hubris, Ulix, the so-called Eternal Emperor, built his pyramid atop a Nexus—a place where three ley lines intersect—and tapped the power therein to bring eternal life to Ixhasa. But no entity was meant to channel such power. The Nexus festered and erupted, geysering negative energy up through the great pyramid and liquefying the land about it. The great pyramid—and the heart of Ixhasa—sank beneath the waves of a new ocean.
In their absence, the rest of the Empire languished and died, falling to barbarism and internecine conflicts. Ixhasa—or at least that incarnation of it—was no more."
"One of two city-states to rise after the fall of Old Ixhasa, Arcanix was founded precisely to prevent the sort of disaster that destroyed the first empire. To that end, the city’s founders, wizards and magicians from fallen Ixhasa, built their city over the only other Nexus in the world to protect it. Their citadel fortress quickly became a center of stability in the newly fractured world, and grew from a stronghold into a flourishing bastion of civilization and center of learning."
"The other city-state to emerge from the aftermath of Ixhasa’s fall, Esh was founded for purposes far less noble than Arcanix. It began as a trade hub due to its strategic location, a minor city of no special distinction. It wouldn’t become a power until a residual aftershock from the corrupted Nexus that sank Ixhasa tore open more than the ground beneath the fledgling city. The arcanoquake tore open the tissue between worlds, exposing what the Eshene have come to call the Undermarket: an otherworldly bazaar offering all manner of goods and services, all temptations a man could imagine and several he couldn’t. Anything can be purchased there if one is willing to meet the price, which is rarely monetary; blood, firstborns, and souls (yours or someone else’s) are all accepted forms of currency. Since the discovery of the Undermarket, Esh has ballooned into a sprawling mercantile metropolis ruled by an oligarchy of trade princes—men most able or willing to barter with the entities in the Undermarket."
Dread Army of Ixhasa
"Ulix had, in a way, succeeded in his quest to conquer death. The negative energy hemorrhaging from the wounded Nexus permeated the population that had sunk with the pyramid.
Thousands of years later, the Ixhasans awoke anew as the Dread Army, the Empire of the Dead. When they took their first steps ashore, they found their empire gone, overtaken by squatters and invaders, pretenders all. Enraged and possessed of the unending endurance and might of the dead, Ulix commanded his army to retake their conquered lands. Ixhasa had succeeded in beating death. What are a handful of mortal empires by comparison?"
- Vancil, Matt, and Nathan Rice. Romance of the Nine Empires: Rules of Play. Edited by Jeff Quick, Alderac Entertainment Group, 2013, https://www.alderac.com/r9e/files/2013/05/R9E_Rules.pdf. Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20160818132027/https://www.alderac.com/r9e/files/2013/05/R9E_Rules.pdf.