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The Abyssal Release war came about from primordial machinations in the Dawn War. In the last thousand years of that great war, demons started attacking the primordials and their minions. They fought to break the primordial hold and influence on what was then called Piranoth's Steps, but would soon become known as the Abyss.
When the Dawn War ended, the primordials relinquished their hold on Piranoth's Steps, leaving the place to creations of chaos that had turned absolutely evil - the demons. There are some who say that giving up the Abyss was intentional, a last great act of primordial retribution against the Nawirrûs Covenant and the Creation they crusaded for. A monolith on the Step of Foundation gives another story, saying that defeats in the Dawn War led to diminished primordial power and forced them into relinquishing their abyssal dominions.
There is a balance of power settling across the multiverse like nothing I have ever felt. The power of chaos has diminished, and law has gained. Piranoth says he will release a flood of evil upon the gods and their mortal worlds, but the truth is with the weakening of the energy of Chaos, his mental might has been greatly reduced, such that he will no longer be able to keep a lid on Piranoth's Steps. When this happens, hordes of fiends will go wild with reckless abandonment, becoming a scourge to all.
The Abyssal Release ended with the Dawn War. The new found freedom of the demons and their satraps immediately led to a land grab by anyone strong enough to hold it. They also used primordial technology that was both natural and magical to open rifts between the Abyss and the Quara'tun system, starting the Demon Spawn War.