The Age of Reason
No one is quite sure what caused the disappearance/death of the Vaer. Many people have their theories, but no one has ever found definitive proof of what it was. Only two things are for certain: one, it involved magic. two, whatever it was, also screwed up the land.
The area that was once the great nation of the Vaer is now the wastes, a cruel, twisted wasteland ravaged by powerful magic. Nothing grows there, trees stand, now turned to stone, and strange, twisted magical beasts roam the land, feeding on those fool-hearty enough to venture there.
The great cities of the Vaer still stand, though now empty. The few that survived left, never looking back, leaving the cities to the beasts and bandits that have taken their place. Because of the dangers, few archaeological expeditions have been made to try and discover what happened to the once great people.