The Hokey Pokie! Thats what its all about...wait no
Lost in the mysts no one living knows the depth of this tale..till now....
In the beginning in the city of the gods lived the Titans, beings of supreme power. They had children. These gods they forbade from using their powers save as the titans wished. Twin sisters of the Moon snuck away and dreamed together. Goddesses of magic their will created the world in dreaming delights. They called their friends to sneak to their creation and enjoy what they had made.
Each agreed they would dream a race and place it there, as their own children. These races loved their creators and worshiped them. The Gods found they could gain great power through this worship. Fights started breaking out as the gods sought to seduce another’s children away. Belthos the wisest and Vor the strongest spoke and decided that they would work together insead. All would drink their fill from it and with cunning and force the others were brought into line
But this new swelling of power attracted attention from their parents. In terrible wrath they sought to shatter what their children had made yet they were rebuffed in a great battle. Forced to retreat the Titans were also forced to work together. They chose to make their own race and to make it better than any of their children's, place it upon the world and use it to slaughter the followers of their children, weakening them till they could be brought to heel..
Thus was made the humans, children of the titans. They have no inclination to any art but can master what they chose. But the Titans made their new children with less thought or love than the Gods. Humans had something the other races lacked, a special gift slipped in by Rhan the Titan who loved chaos, Free Will.
The War was waged for generations and none could conquer the other. But the humans breed as quickly as the orcs...far faster than than any other race. The Gods came to the war weary human King and asked him to turn against his Masters offering him an Empire and peace. He agreed turning the majority of the humans to the service of the Gods.
The final fight was terrible and in the end the Gods created ships of magic to carry their children away from the continent the titans had chosen as their home and battlefield. Across the seas fleeing as the Gods bound the titans to sleep forever in a gentle dream.
Discovering new lands (new to them). The king founded his country and led a long life. Two main temples honored the gods, the temple of light and the temple of shadow were founded and the lands prospered as the Empire brought it to heel..
In his later years the king grew distrustful of the temples and wished to live forever in the veneration of his people. He changed the ceremony honoring the gods for their salvation more every time it was held till one year he had the idols of the gods removed entirely and only had mention of him as the savior of the nation mentioned.
A blight settled upon the land. Famine and a plague that the priests could not defend against haunted the kingdom. The Emperor ignored the soothsayers and upon the next ceremony the people refused to gather. Dark Omens plagued the land. The Emperor flew into a rage and ordered the Imperial Guards to force the people to come and worship him. When he went onto the balcony to accept their devotion a bolt of lighting from the heavens smote him down.
A seer prophesied that until love was reunited that the land would remain without am Emperor, King, or Queen. the Daugher of the Emperor was but 15, a year away from being able to rule. Kept in a keep far from this by the Advisors she bade the Lords to look after the land while she sought the answer to the prophecy.
Now her hand had been sought by many, and their efforts redoubled now. One most persistent suitors were Strahd, a great Paladinic Knight. He served as her champion. His brother Sigre came to join them in the castle. Strahd was much older that the Princess and she never could quite love him. But she fell for his brother upon meeting him.
Within months they were to be wed, her quest forgotten or justified as being the meaning of the prophecy. What isn’t known is that Strahd made a deal with death, seeking to restore his youth and power to be able to claim her heart. What is known that on the eve of their wedding he sacrificed Sigre in the high temple to the gods of darkness. When the Princess fled he chased her to the overlook. Guards seeing them fired their arrows into him making him fall into the chasm below the castle vanishing into the mists below.
But his deal meant he could not die. He crawled away to recover his strength and learn of his new state..the first Vampyre. The Princess became driven to restore Sergi to life calling for all wise men and those of power to come to her. Especially a powerful user of magic, with abilities from the old lands so that she might be reunited with her love and the prophecy spoke.
She was certain to do this would save the Empire from the God's wrath.
One day a whisp of a man approached her. A Priest of Shadow skilled in the arts of necromancy he quickly won her favor and sending out his apprentice and brought forth the greatest tome of lore, the Deoclyt codex. From it she learned the secrets of life and death. But as she neared readiness her actions had not gone unnoticed..
Long barred the Paladin Order from her court both for the falling of its member Strahd and for their blunt words about her actions. With a small army they assaulted her keep. To her banner corrupt nobles and greedy mercenaries as well as those blindly loyal came. The pitched battle lasted only a few days, with the dark forces driven into the lower levels of the keep. The paladins performing magic to try and keep the dark Princess bound forever if they could not slay her.
Strahd returned as a whirlwind of death, tearing limb from limb those that he once fought beside for daring to try and harm her. The shattered remains retreated from the keep. As they did dark mists rose up out of the forest. They proclaimed the place cursed and planned to make a return.
But the Lords without a ruling force made war upon each other. An ancient evil that had followed them from the old lands possessed one warlord in particular. All of their order was dedicated to entrapping this evil and bringing peace to the lands. None wished to return to the castle and restore the Imperial Throne.
The lords were content to rule themselves and so time passed........