For ten thousand years, the mortal realm lived in relative peace and prosperity. In the celestial realm, the living gods sheltered themselves, and focused on rebuilding their home after the ravages of the Immortal War. In the infernal realm, the five Lords of Hell fought amongst themselves in an effort to claim the throne of Exterminis. Thus, both the celestial realm and the infernal realm left the mortal realm alone.
Nations rose and fell while the minds of mortals slowly forgot the Immortal War and all the pain it had caused. Cities were built, and sacked, and rebuilt until the eventually fell into ruin and were replaced by newer cities. The people migrated, and formed new civilizations as the old ones were abandoned. Wars were fought, and peace treaties were signed. Time marched ever forward, and the lessons of the past were forgotten.
Forgotten, until Exterminis awakened.
In the deepest pit of the infernal realm, wrapped in chains of his own hatred, and locked behind bars of the gods’ fear, Exterminis, Lord of Chaos and Destruction, seethed with rage. A white hot rage that eventually turned into a cold, and calculating rage. Icy black tendrils of raw hatred curled from his heart, and surrounded his being. Unable to move, Exterminis shifted his focus beyond his imprisonment, and reached into the minds of mortals. Three he found. Three willing to serve in exchange for power. Three who would sell out the mortal realm, and work to free him. Three who would serve.
A’Etenkah was a slave in the gladiatorial pits of Bloodshire. More than anything, he craved power. His lust for power drove him to freedom, and on to the founding of the First Empire. Insatiable, he led his armies to conquer the known world. Hungry for even more power, he delved deep into the center of the world, where he came upon a door guarded by two angelic beings. As one of the most powerful sorcerers alive, he felt no qualms about engaging them in battle. The battle was long and furious, but eventually, he destroyed both of them and opened the door. A searing white light flayed the skin from his body and blackened his bones. Only his strength of will kept him alive. The pain brought knowledge with it, however, and A’Etenkah became the world’s first undead lich lord. With his new power, he began raising an army of the dead to aid him in his conquest of the mortal world.
Kullervo was a knight of high regard, well known and respected for his honor, courage, and dedication to good deeds. He rose through the ranks quickly, and was the general of Calimshan’s armies while still a young man. He won many victories for the Good Kingdom, as it is often called, and served as a paragon of goodness, justice, and faith in the gods of creation.
Tricked by sorcery, he slew an innocent child in the heat of battle, and was never able to forgive himself. Seeking redemption, he traveled the world alone, looking for ways to atone for his sin. Atonement could not be found, and Kullervo sank deeper and deeper into darkness and depression. When Exterminis whispered in his mind, Kullervo abandoned the light of goodness forever. Delving deep into the Tomb of A’Etenkah, Kullervo found a weak spot in the veil between the worlds. He drew his corrupted blade, and sliced through the veil. Thousands of demons began streaming through the hole, and into the mortal world.
Karan-Kell was a mage obsessed with amassing wealth. He performed countless experiments, always trying to turn worthless materials into precious metals and gems. He had some small successes, but these only increased his desire and infatuation. His obsession drove him to madness, and left him open to the evil machinations of Exterminis. Exterminis gave him the secret of transformation magic, and Karan-Kell used the secret for his most ambitious experiment yet. The magic backfired, however, and a great explosion ripped the very fabric of the mortal realm, releasing pure chaotic energy into the world and opening portals across the land.