Lur and Sol were before anything else was. They laughed as they danced and played in the clouds, and they knew no sorrow. There was an old well on the edge of the heavens, and this the two children would give a wide berth, for around the well the air was cold and the clouds were black, and they feared it. But one day Lur grew curious to know what it was about the well that they should fear it so, and against the wishes of his brother he ventured to peer into its depths. And in his curiosity Lur grew careless, and he fell.
Sol mourned for his lost brother, and no longer did he play in the soft white clouds. But every day he would sit on the edge of the well and call for his lost brother until his throat grew hoarse and the day grew dark. The earth rose from the ocean, and out of the mud crawled the primal ancestors of man. These pale things, who knew death before they fully knew life, would evolve into the kingdom builders that they are today.
But of this Sol saw nothing, and around him the decades stretched into centuries and the centuries into millenia, and many mortal kings rose and fell. It was in the Third Age of Mortals that Lur returned. But when the mad, mumbling creature which was Lur crawled from the old well, he was not alone. Behind him swarmed the grinning demons and devils of Hell, and the gibbering legions from the worlds beyond Hell. Sol looked upon the thing his brother had become, he knew that Lur had died the day he fell. And in his anguish Sol fled.
Lur's greed was great, and having consumed every other plane in shadow, he set his sights upon the weak world of mortals. His damned legions came in their hordes, wreaking red ruin upon the plane of mortals as they had every other plane that dared offer resistance. With the fall of earth would come the fall of the light.
But all was not yet lost. Sol took pity on the world of men, and he and his celestial armies cleansed it in fire. The survivors of Lur's brutal conquest rallied to their angelic allies, and of every ten creatures that fell in screaming death one was felled by a mortal blade. Desperation guided the blades of the defenders, and before them the wretched legions of Lur scattered. Lur fled back to his domain of shadow, and without a leader to coordinate them his army took refuge in dark caves and grim swamps, where they yet lurk.
Thus First War of Divine Right was ended, but peace is not yet to be. Lur has returned to revenge his defeat at the hands of his brother, and to conquer this last plane of mud. He calls his children, and foul creatures crawl from bubbling swamps, lightless caverns, and the green ocean depths where they have slept for centuries to serve him. The Second War of Divine Right looms, mortals must once again take up arms to defend their world, and heroes must rise from the ranks of the weak to combat horrors beyond comprehension.
What is death that it is to be feared more than this Hell on earth?
A thick fog lumbers in from the sea, enveloping the coast in the scent of rotting fish and other, less nameable things. The frigid November air bites into your flesh like steel, and your cloaks offer no protection against the raw savagery of the elements.
The seven drenched figures who wade through the mud and fog are as alike as the earth is to the air. Weapons shine dully in the absolute darkness such as only midnight can bring, and eyes gleam under dark hoods. They are united in the common bond of weakness and despair, but rather than deny this fact they embrace it. And if eight mortal men can slay a single demon before Death takes them by the hand, then one less demon joins the vile ranks of Lur's damned legions.
You are no celestial gods, but where steel can slay and blade draw blood, you will be there to wield it.
The road you walk is a long one, and continues almost to Windshire. Ahead of you burns the faint light of a lantern, and the fog parts to reveal a small seaside town. A tiny gatekeepers shack leans against a crude wooden gate, and the barred doors stand testimony to the troubled times.
"What is your business in Byting, friend, and at this hour?" Calls the aged, sleep-laden voice of the gatekeeper.
The gatekeeper opens a small sliding window above the door to peer out at you, his face silhouetted against the orange of a flickering fire.
"You are welcome here. Allow me a minute, for my bones are old and brittle."
He shuts the window, and a few minutes later you hear the sliding of a rusty bolt and the gate swings inwards to accomodate you. The man has a long white beard and is dressed in a frayed nightgown. He holds a lantern above his head to better see your faces, and beckons with his free hand for you to enter.
"I suggest the Grisly Feast if food and bed is what you seek. There isn't a more comfortable inn this side of the Sunset Mountains."
"Well... I guess even mutt-meat can be fun. It's a mystery...my ma' would have us guess...you know...whether it was rat or pheasant or giant toad or some other small critter. Kept us distracted long enough to get the stuff down."
The town is eerily dark and silent, save an inn here or there with a warm lantern hanging outside its door and wild shouts issuing from within. The town is relatively small and the buildings are built almost entirely of clay and wood, lending a quaint and somewhat crude feel to the place. You find the Grisly Feast without too much difficulty, and it spills a warm yellow light from its open windows into the empty street. The sign depicts a grinning skull and a goblet of blood, an image somewhat at odds with the comfortable atmosphere.
To Stan, "that reminds me of Uncle Jara, he loved red wine, mixed dark, and one night he fell asleep to a goblet and a warm fire. Ma' always said it'd be the death of him. Nothing but his skeleton and the goblet left in the morning. What a dry summer."
The patrons are craggy-faced fisherman, and they swig ale and devour mutton with stunning speed and in superhuman quantities. The innkeeper, a sweating, balding man, looks up as you open the door and allow a gust of frigid air to infiltrate the warm room. A group of three men playing a game of Pirate's Bluff at a table in the corner catch Stan's eye, a game known for its high stakes.
John shuffles to the back of the party, as he doesn't exactly feel comfortable at the moment. He mutters under his breath so that nobody can hear: (God, I hope these fishermen can hold their ale, because I'm not in the mood to fight right now..........)