In the time before the Ice Age, the lich Nevinyrral was the king of the City of Urborg, a hellish metropolis whose laws were enforced by the use of powerful magical artifacts. Nevinyrral's lust for power impelled him to send his undead armies to neighboring Bogardan, offending the mysterious entities who rule that volcanic island. Nevinyrral's forces were destroyed, and the Bogardans counterattacked. While hellkites attacked from the air, fire masters surrounded the city. Pounding the ground with their metal-gauntleted fists, the Bogardan masters triggered a volcanic eruption in the middle of Urborg. Realizing that the city was lost and wanting to deny his enemies access to his trove of magical spells and artifacts that might survive the flames, Nevinyrral poured all his magic into his disk-shaped phylactery (Nevinyrral's Disk), detonating it and vaporizing everything within a ten-mile radius. Many Urborg lich lords claim to be Nevinyrral's heir, but none of them have a tenth of that ancient necromancer's power.
"Nevinyrral" is the name of science fiction author Larry Niven written backwards. He came up with the term "mana" to denote the amount of Magic as a nonrenewable resource tied to lands. In Niven's The Magic Goes Away series, his protagonist Warlock invents a spinning disc that depletes available mana in its vicinity to power its rotation as an experiment to investigate the mysterious appearance of areas where magic grows weak or ceases to function altogether. This disc inspired the designers of Alpha to create Nevinyrral's Disk.
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