A tale of Shadow Era

During the construction of King Rothem's new castle atop the highest mountain in the world, his workers stumbled into a cave system. Here, they found unusual minerals, dubbed Shadow Crystals, with incredible power. These crystals were protected by a massive being of pure energy which quickly corrupted the workers into mindless beasts of hate and rage, enslaving them to protect the cave from further exploration. These actions, however, began the downward spiral. The new resource could tip the scales of power in Balor and made Rothem desperate to finish his new fortress to assert his people's prowess to the rest of the world. Nishaven was sent to the fortress, where he had to defeat the enslaved workers, but he gained access to the Shadow Crystals in return.

Rothem believed these new weapons would allow him to finish what his ancestors had begun in the Last War, and he began experimenting with their powers, sending some to what few allies he trusted. Once he had discovered that he was among a select few people who could control the power, King Rothem amassed several crystals and absorbed all the energy he could. The power shattered his perception and sent him to a higher plane of existence for a brief moment. It was long enough for him to gain an understanding of past events ... and what was coming.

Experiments with the crystals unbalanced the world, requiring more negative energy to balance it, an energy which had to be drawn from outside the closed system of its universe. Portals opened to the darkest, most sinister worlds in existence, drawing the energy from there into this one. Energy, and denizens. The first worlds began bleeding over small creatures and powers, causing the locals to fight back, worsening the issues. Eventually, the main forces of the Shadow began to enter the fray, but without any organization or leadership.

Rothem, having seen the past, knew the only way to defeat what was coming was to unite an army of incredible power under one flag, and arm them with the power of the crystals. The hordes coming through the portals, or Shadow Gates, were the perfect choice. So he donned the persona of the 'Man of Shadows', and began to form his army.

In the moment that the Shadow Gates were opened, another gained a glimpse of what was to come, but without the benefit of the past. Powerful but old, Wizent saw the path Rothem would lead his people to and knew there were few who could stop him. Among them, his adopted son Loest. So he gave the young man his journal of prophecies, and sent him out into the world; sacrificing his own life to give Loest the chance to escape.

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