[Excerpt from a Natural Philosopher's Journal during an expedition to the Far Continent, Day 12, Month of Earth, 1842]
Contrary to the belief of those uneducated buffoons that prowl the streets of most major cities of the Isles, the Imperial Capital of Dunwall included, the land of Pandyssia is NOT home to dread creatures, a portal to the Void, or men with the heads of dogs or lizards (I had to stop my research on the last myth, after an associate of mine took a perverse interest in that legend). Rather, it is a place where all life has blossomed over untold aeons, creating an amazing organic patchwork that even the great trees of Karnaca or the shadowy moors of Morley could not even rival. However, let me take my time to introduce to the simple minds that drool at the idea of the exotic and lurid, the reality of the Far Continent, and its inhabitants.
Now, you may find yourself wondering, does the Far Continent even have people populating its red cliffs, vast deserts, and ancient jungles? Just as our remote, isolated Islands created industrial civilization, the far continent birthed unique civilizations on its own. The Abbey may speak of them as thick-skulled brutish subhumans that practice obscene rituals in a vain effort to commune with Void spirits, but the reality is that they are simple (although not necessarily friendly) hunter-gatherer folk, the descendants of a greater civilization lost to time. These people, who seem to dwell on the coasts, vary in form of culture, although many of them seem to possess the same level of technological advancement--a rather primitive level, admittedly, that one seems to forget once you immerse yourself in the ornate carved jewels and necklaces, the esoteric and bizarre rituals, (and, for some of the men that accompanied me, the fact that the women lacked the modesty of clothing so common to us more civilized people in the Isles.) But it becomes more apparent that these people were descendants of an even greater civilization that flourished in these dense jungles, that built temples and shrines to unknown gods. The question I ponder to you, dear reader, is how exactly did a civilization as grandiose--probably even greater--than the builders of the ancient ruins beneath Dunwall--fall from grace?
Based on my research in a structure I have taken to referring as the Temple of the Moon, (given its unique astronomically-aligned positioning in accordance with the lunar cycle), this civilization worshipped a plethora of deities, all of which inhabited the same realm. To these deities, the concept of time was, apparently, non-linear, as many of these deities apparently vanished or faded into the "ethereal medium", according to my own translations of the petroglyphs found in the temple. Given that one would consider this as the idea of a "God" dying, these people apparently, did not have concern over the death of their "Gods", as they believed that their attributes were transposed through the ethereal medium into various shamans that could channel their power through what appears to be "runes inscribed on the body" (some of which looked oddly familiar to some cave paintings I had found on a rocky island off the coast of Potterstead.) By worshipping these Gods' attributes and channeling it into their shamans, the shamans, which were considered leaders of this civilization, managed to gain powers beyond that of the average human, powers which, after a translation of the inscriptions in hallway B, involved (pulling men and beasts from one place to another with otherworldly [arms]? or vanishing from place to place). Indeed, many of the folkloric legends of the modern-day Pandyssians speak of heroes that possessed similar powers, although their usage of them in these newer folktales were less grand in terms of scale when compared to these ancient shamans.
Furthermore, these ancient shamans had the ability to enthrall others, based on the petroglpyhs I deciphered in the tomb discovered beneath the temple (apparently that of a shaman.) They could grant lesser variants of these powers to mortal men, and these mortal men would join in their cult, apparently keeping said powers as long as the shaman lived (apparently, these shamans were not immortal.) Disobeying the shaman meant instant exile from society by the rest of the cult, although it is apparent that they still retained their powers up until the death of the shaman. These outcasts, however, could never attain the "demigod-hood" of the shamans, nor commune with the ethereal medium.
So how exactly does my discovery on their beliefs translate to the story of their fall? Apparently, there seems to be no further information (although I have dated their fall, based on a study of the stones in the temple, to have taken place sometime in the year -100.) As such, while the Overseer that accompanied me attributed their fall to "heretical worship and the misuse of said powers", I will simply assign these legends and stories as nothing but simple mysticism, superstitions from a bygone age.