While the dragons took centuries to grow and organize, a race of intelligent snake men -- the Shissar -- assumed the forefront. The Shissar were a brutal race who enslaved the Iksar, using Vanusk's ancestors for workers and food. From their capital of Chelsith in what is now The Overthere, they explored dark rites and forgotten evils which would lay the foundation for much of Iksar knowledge and philosophy.
As learned from the rest of Norrath, nothing is permanent. Eventually, the Shissar angered even their own gods. A horrible plague destroyed every Shissar, however, the Iksar survived unscathed.