In the beginning, there was Darkness, and then the Darkness began to dream.
From the dream came everything that was, is, will be, and, indeed, all that never will be. As the Darkness made manifest the world that we call Uuld, Uuld itself changed its creator. The Darkness reflected itself manifold, shattering its essence in infinite divisibility. Each new facet of the original Darkness fractured itself further, transforming generation by generation from the dreaming Darkness, as the energy moved over and through the living creatures of Uuld.
These facets are what we call Gods.
Some Gods seem to be indistinguishable from the well of Darkness that spawned them, cold and indifferent, and some seem to contain only Light, but they share the same forebear as all of us. The primordial, eternal Darkness.
The Mystic poet Criox explained our place in the cosmos thus: we on Uuld are a grain of sand at the center of a maelstrom in a vast, black sea.
In the millennia since its creation, Uuld has been home to many now vanished civilizations and races. Historians still ponder over fragments of ancient text, and adventurers plunder ancient ruins of forgotten kingdoms. On the shoulders of these empires rose the great human, elvin, and dwarf powers.
By contrast to the humans, who came from the slaves of monsters called The Ancestors, the elves of Immradil believed themselves, and likely may have been, merely a half step below the divine. Indeed, Immradill felt like a vertical city sometimes more than a horizontal one, with layer of structure and street set above the next, each more dazzling and filled with magickal energy than that below, like an arm reaching heavenward, generation by generation. While humans went forward, elvinkind went up and inward: philosophers, artists, wizards, poets, and Mystics. Yes, it was the Mystics of Immradil who taught the ways of the cosmos to the men of Thranduer when the two civilizations touched.
The Dwarves of Angmoor shared the wanderlust of the men of Thranduer. Coming from the frozen north, Angmoor only could flourish because its citizens learned to carve new paths in the ice to forage and create trade routes by force of will and muscle. By the time Dwarves and Humans met, so many scouts from both sides had come back with stories and half-truths that whole mythologies had been built up. This engendered fear, and the first encounters painted the icy sea red with blood.
Neither the dwarves, nor the elves, nor the humans, nor even the goblins of Qa’Dan to the east have a claim on who invented war first. To battle, right or wrong, is to be a creature that crawls on the surface of Uuld. The gods themselves compete in the world beyond ours, so why should we who have their spirits not clash?
The victor of the wars was nothing human or divine. The Vampyr hid in civilization’s shadows for millennia until at last they struck.
Led by the Pale King, the armies of the Vampyr swept across the world, consuming one kingdom after another. None could stand against an enemy that could so easily infiltrate their own ranks, turning their greatest heros one at a time.
The human kingdoms were the first to begin to fall, and the dwarves would have been next but as the Pale King’s forces moved into the frozen north, infiltrating the icy halls of the dwarven kings, he found them empty. Scoured of anything of value, their empty echoing halls had been abandoned. The dwarves had disappeared.
Raging at this mystery, and the loss of the dwarven treasures and their great artifacts of power, the Pale King turned his attention to the elves. They fought with great resilience, drawing forth spells and summonings the likes of which the world of Uuld had never seen. Even still, it was not enough, and soon only Immradill still stood, the last great city of the elves. But even that great elven base of power had been weakened by the same spreading corruption that strikes from within. The same corruption that had already consumed most of the world. The shimmering silver spires of the city-state may have tarnished, but when they fell, it was as if the sun had set on Uuld, plunging all into night.
Beneath the surface desolation, the Pale King has made the hellish dungeon of Mordim his seat of power. A few walled and fortified cities bestrew the land above, but every night it seems, another falls to the Vampyr. We unfortunate survivors scavenge what we can from the bones of our forebears, living out our days lower than rats and roaches.
The undead reign over most of Uuld at the present, but hope, if little else, remains.