Ancient lore of Gaia.
In the beginning was neither good nor evil but the spark of all potential, twinkling like a star in the nothingness. In this time before time the vortex of infinite possibility there occurred the division of spirit into good and evil, light and dark; wrapped around one another, mutually dependent for existence, yet at conflict. The conflict caused the eruption of the universe- spinning, expanding, rippling, until it gave rise to burning stars orbited by worlds. There were also the gods. Gaia, great among the divinities, saw a world of rock and fire, and chose it for her own. She breathed life into the waters, and the land. The Craftsman-King, Zaius, and Queen Esa, fair daughter of Gaia, were the first of the gods to make this earth their home. With their subjects, the vættir, they founded the first city, Gaiapolis, in a land made lovely by Gaia.
Mordok, one of the divinities, left the company of the gods , when his bid for mastery of heaven was thwarted. Taking the name Serpion, Lord of Corruption, he also descended to Gaia's earth, and made his home within volcanoes, far to the north. From there, he invaded the fair realm. He took Gaiapolis by storm, despite the valiant defence mounted by the Craftsman-King. Then Serpion dragging off Zaius as his captive, leaving Gaiapolis in flames. He forced the Craftsman-King to work his arts, and forge from gold and from jewels the necklace Geldastring, putting over it an evil spell. When it was done, Serpion slew Zaius and absorbed his power. Thereby he gained the ability to take-on Zaius's form. In this guise he sought out Esa, and found her near the scorched ruins of her mother's city. He pretended to be her lost husband, escaped from his tormentor, and offered Geldastring, which did sparkle before Esa's eye. But when she put it on, the power of her went out into the accursed stones, and the gold chain became one of bondage, holding her defenceless in the face of the evil one, who now showed his true self. The evil that was all vile, all putrid, all mighty planted itself in the sanctity of the goddess. Beauty and purity were defiled.
Esa lay… Esa wept. A lake formed, a lake of tears, beside her mother's city. Gaia arose to comfort her weakened daughter, and carried her to heaven, to appeal to the gods for justice. The gods resolved to punish Serpion, and took up arms. He stood defiant and fought them, but was ultimately subdued, his forces scattered. The gods made an underworld and casting him down. The term was set with this prophecy:
We bind the Dark Lord Serpion
in Hell, behind His Door;
Till the Key comes that unlocks it,
from the House of Dragonclore.
Forged in the fires of Berghost,
Rising from the Dragon White;
And corrupting Esa's paladin,
while crimson shines the night.
The symbols it shall bear
that fuse the Temple and the Throne.
When the Dark Captain arises
he shall make the World his own.
Meanwhile the goddess Esa suffered, for within her gestated the seed planted by the Dark Lord. She travailed in Heaven. It came to pass that she bore twins, a son named Adaius and a daughter called Ezia.
Adaius and Ezia were fair to behold, but as creatures half of darkness, the gods were loath to permit them to remain in heaven. The council of gods was divided on what to do with the children… Esa pleaded for their lives, they were hers and she loved them, despite the circumstances of their conception. The gods were not without pity, yet deemed it dangerous to let beings with the chaotic potential of Mordok live among them as immortals. It was ordained that they should live only short lives. Adaius and Ezia were banished to earth. The gods decreed that the souls of most of their descendants would face endless cycles of rebirth. Those who yielded to their evil impulses, though, would be cast down to the realm of Serpion, joining his tortured legions. Only those who triumphed over the darkness within themselves would be reborn in heaven. And never could human souls be fully satisfied in their material world, for in heaven they had been born. The dreamlike memory of it was passed on in the blood; and to heaven each soul yearned to return….
The world belonged, thereafter, to Esa's mortal children. The deathless vættir, who had rebuilt Gaiapolis, bequeathed it to the humans and withdrew to remoter parts, where they became known as Elves. Esa watched humanity grow in numbers. The descendants of Adaias and Ezia founded civilizations. Dragonclore, a restless warrior, took his followers north, driving back the Krakens and personally slaying the giant Grundle. The victor founded a kingdom which was named Aratan. The people of Aratan and the land of Gaia were great allies against common foes, but also, at times, came into conflict with each other, to Esa's sorrow. The Divine Queen remained in a weakened state, and was often troubled with grief, and grievous memories, while away from the consolation of the divine realm. She withdrew, at length, to create in Heaven a place to receive her worthy children, where no thought of evil could reach. Before Esa left, she imparted guidance to her earthbound children. She urged that they respect the life, freedom and honour of all souls… that they practice not deceit, nor ever adhere to the doctrine of devils. That they respect wisdom and beauty, defend justice and innocence, and destroy only what is destructive. That they help and comfort they that suffer, and follow the path of light in order that the spirit may one day return to the realm of fullness.
But the people were still tempted by lust and wrath. The wars they fought, over the thousands of years that passed, lent strength to Serpion. They fed his ability to influence the world from his place of incarceration, even to muster dark armies on the other side of his cage, in the mountain known as Serpion's Door, and to make the land desolate round about. He could not yet cross through the door, but his long shadow already spilled beyond the threshold. Fomorians, Krakens and Gargers did his work, whether they knew it or not, and Dark Knights and Witches were recruited to his cause. The time was at hand for the coming of the Key, the thing the Dark Lord craved beyond all else. He appointed his lieutenants and sent his vast armies forth in search of that which could release him, so that he could remake the whole world in his image.