The Dead Gods
It is said that the Beings we call the Dead Gods, were not Gods at all, but were just Beings of energy. They evolved through the chance convergence of Grim and Radiant energy, two different forces. Each random melding of Grim and Radiant energy created a new consciousness. After a time, each consciousness grew self aware. This continued over eons until all the large pools of energy were used. These new Beings eventually discovered each other. Their nature was made of energy, and they existed in what we now call the spirit world. By human standards they were extremely powerful, but they were not Gods. For by definition Gods cannot die, and yet these Beings eventually perished, torn asunder by the results of their own pride.
In time these Beings discovered how to harness the very powers that created them, Grim and Radiant energy. They decided that they were great and all powerful. So they set out to create something new by design unlike the chance of their creation. After eons of planning, and imagination, they created the first physical place in existence. They called it the World. It was their finest work of art. To make it work they started by designing a great crystal. Into the Crystal of Creation they poured all of their plans, their order of the new universe, the very rules that made this physical place exist… and much of themselves. They wanted this to be the most wonderful creation of all time, so they poured their own nature of Grim and Radiant energy into all they created. And before they were ruined, they touched greatness for a moment as they sparked new kinds of life, animal and plant. But this wasn't enough for them, so they pushed more of their own Radiant and Grim power from within to create a physical reflection of themselves… a kind of melding of animal and their own consciousness, a new kind of life that they called humans. And when they were through, they were much reduced, for this had taken a lot of their very beings to create.
The Beings decided to give their creatures a gift, and so they discovered how to convert Radiant energy into a physical substance they dubbed Elixir, a power the physical humans could use to build, heal, create and much more. But to separate and create Elixir, Grim energy was released… and in the World they had created this Grim energy became a new and free roaming physical substance… Chaos. They converted too much of their Radiant energy into Elixir and poured it into their World, and all the while they were also creating vast amounts of Chaos. They considered the Chaos harmless and thought that it would dissipate. They didn't realize this physical manifestation of Grim energy was a new power. At first much of the Chaos seeped into the depths of the earth and there in the dark it pooled.
Three of the Beings became aware of this pool of Chaos. Their names are now shrouded in myth and gloom. But while still untainted, these three wondered what they might create with this pure pool of Chaos. They thought to surprise their fellow Beings with a wondrous new creation. They delved into this pool of Chaos and pulled much of it within themselves, converting it back into Grim energy. This unbalanced the Grim and Radiant power within these three Beings, far beyond anything any of the Beings had ever experienced. They did not see this unbalance of Grim energy as evil, and they were right, for Grim energy is not evil unto itself. But that much Grim energy without the counterbalance of Radiant energy unbalanced their minds. Or in other terms, it drove them insane. Yet they were unaware that their minds were twisted, filled with the unbalanced Grim power. They began to form something new out of pure Chaos, a vastly different race of creatures. To keep their work hidden from their fellow Beings they went into the dark recesses of the World and there they created a new realm, the Darkhalls. This Grim place was outside the Creation Crystals rules, and there they fashioned new creatures made of pure Chaos. But the three creators did not see their creations as unbalanced, or understand their flawed and one sided nature. These new beings were fueled only by the needs of their Grim nature. But by then the three creator's minds were also unbalanced. So they reveled in their flawed and Grim creations. Because these three Beings had been corrupted by Grim power they were later known as the Corrupted Three.
Due to the Grim nature of the Corrupted Three, they learned to lie and to hide their Grim nature from their fellows. Their new creations of Chaos had a dread sentience… and they fed on death and Radiant power. These new types of Grim beings are what we now in general call Demons. The Corrupted Three thought the Demons would serve them forever. But the most powerful of those they had created with pure Chaos took control of the lesser creatures and eventually turned them all on the Corrupted Three. Like a Black Widow on her husband, the Demon Lords sent their horde of Grim creatures to attack their creators. The demons tore into the remaining Radiant energy still within the Corrupted Three. The Radiant energy was like a nectar that the demon's one sided nature craved to consume. The Corrupted Three's Radiant side was consumed completely. What remained of their sentience was torn and shredded. The largest portion of the shredded sentience fled the World into the empty darkness of the Universe to fester and plot. But the many smaller pieces escaped into the World. These became spirits which roamed the spirit world and attached themselves to grim places and objects in the World. These Grim spirits continue to corrupt the world with their malice to this day.
Then the Demons discovered the other Beings, the ones who had not been unbalanced. They attacked and fed on the Being's Radiant energy, which was a banquet of unprecedented power to them. Unaware of this threat and weakened in power from their efforts of creation, the Beings were overwhelmed by this sudden and unexpected attack. Weakened from what they had given of themselves to create the World, they were sorely hurt in the opening skirmish. They were not used to war, because up until now they had no enemies. To counter the attack of the demons they tried one last ditch effort, and used all their Grim power in an attempt to destroy the demons. But this was their undoing, for they lost the balance of their Radiant and Grim minds. Without the balance of their Grim side, their Radiance could not be contained and what was left of the Beings was torn apart. Each small remaining Radiant piece became a spirit that wandered the world, with varying amounts of sentience and memory. In time these remnants became individual Radiant spirits that forgot their beginnings. Although they had been much reduced, they were at times still powerful sources of power. Each supreme consciousness that had come together through random chance over eons to form one of the Beings… was undone, scattered as pale shadows of their former glory throughout the World that they had created.
Without the Beings to continue to feed their hunger, the insatiable demon horde turned on the creations of the now Dead Gods. They began to feed on the Radiant side of the humans.
What once was a world of peace was now permeated with the Grim power of the Demons and the spirits of the Corrupted Three. It took many years, and many lives before balance was restored.
We call this period the time of Darkness. Scholars believe that this was a time when there was no order and demons ran amok through the world. Scarce human groups banded together in small enclaves and tried to hide from the minions of the hellish Darkhalls. By night, demons came up out of the darkness to feed on human suffering. There was no art, no society, no enjoyment, just survival. It is unknown how long humans toiled under this blanket of nightly death and destruction. It went on until a lone grieving human whose family had been killed by demon hordes crept into the heart of darkness to exact revenge. Peran Tremora went down into the realm of the demons, the Darkhalls. He reached the Creation Crystal where the demons had hidden it away since taking it from the Dead Gods. Peran knew of the crystal, for legend said that the Dead Gods created this crystal to make the one World.
In great grief for his slain family Peran did not care if he lived or died. He just wanted to destroy the demons forever, no matter what the cost. He prepared to end all things and destroy the world. Peran took his great hammer and smashed the Creation Crystal into thousands of shards. He thought he could destroy the crystal, and therefore the World, and with it all demons. But the demon realm was not part of the World, and when his hammer struck, it did not bring an end to the World. Instead, something very strange happened; the crystal shattered into thousands of equally shaped smaller, but geometrically exact, duplicates of the original great shape. And out in the empty places of darkness, new worlds appeared. In each facet of every crystal there was a reflection of the original World. And for each facet there was a complete mirrored version of the original World. We now call these the Reflected Worlds.
The Beginning of the Sorcerers:
When the crystal shattered some of the Radiant and Grim power that had been contained within the Crystal was released and entered Peran Tremora. All humans had a touch of Grim and Radiant energy which made up their soul, but Peran absorbed massive amounts. As the two powers entered his body in this great quantity, the first human sorcerer was born. As he looked into the geometric structure of the crystals his eyes saw duplicate reflections on the facets of each shape. In wonder he reached out and touched one facet, and was transported to that reflection of the World. He was the first human to enter the Darkhalls and escape… but not the last.