LotD Guild Lore - Written in 1995 In the ancient days of Athas before the yellow sun was turned to crimson by Rajaat's evil magic a group of powerful entities in search of new worlds to conquer sought to cross the barriers that separate Athas from the rest of the multiverse. As they passed through the many layers of dimensions powerful magical pulses resounding through the cosmos caused them to turn their attention towards the section of the cosmos where the world of Athas rested. Before they could fully enter the world of Athas they had to cross a barrier plane called the Gray, otherwise known as the Athasian Plane of the Dead, that surrounded the world. Being powerful entities they boldly entered the Gray without regard to the consequences it might bring to them, and that decision would alter their fate forevermore. The entities underestimated the powers of the Gray and found themselves trapped within its dread boundaries. The Gray slowly stole their memories and ate at their immortal minds to an extent that they forgot that they ever existed outside the pocket sphere of the cosmos in which Athas existed. Ages passed as they waited for a change in the Gray that would allow them to escape the plane that had become their prison. After eons of imprisonment they noticed a change in the Gray which could only be caused by the release of tremendous amounts of magical power. They turned their attentions towards the magical emanations of power, and followed them to their source. The entities watched the Athas sun suddenly change to a crimson color, and strong magic began to pulsate through the Gray as it was unleashed upon the world. The entities watched as the green planet began to change to a dull muddy appearance, and took note that the oceans dried up as well. Rifts in the Gray opened up while the world was still green. The entities took notice of the small rifts but were unable to fathom their cause since the rifts were many in number and small in size. As the world began to lose its lush green appearance, the rifts condensed in number to form one large rift in the plane of the Gray. The entities discovered that the rift was caused by large numbers of dead souls from the world of Athas. The entities knew that only mass destruction on a planetary scale could cause such a tunnel to exist. The entities saw their chance to escape this cursed plane in which they had become trapped, and they moved through the tunnel to enter the world of Athas. The hot sun of Athas beat down on them as they took their first steps onto a magic blasted world. Lord Hades, Murder, Carnage, Umbrage, Mobus, Demon Eyes, Abhor, Gaunsaku, and Thorizdin all stopped to take in their new surroundings. They noticed that the Gray had altered them, weakened their power, and stolen some of their memories. Their spiritual forms were transformed to human forms, and they took note that even though their bodies would not die from aging that they could still be killed. Over time as contemplated their new forms they discovered that their bodies had superior strength, endurance, resistance to harm, and immense innate magical control over the magic of death. Thus they named themselves the Lords of the Dead, and went out to learn the ways of this new world that would one day be belong to them. The Cleansing Wars continued to rage on Athas in full fury, and the Lords in their weakened state had no desire to become involved in world affairs at that time. They made their way to the Thunder Mountains outside the city of Saragar, which was also known as the city by the last sea. There they encountered some of the Masters of the Way, who utilized powerful mind magic, and they planned to learn what they could from the mortals. Deciding that subtlety was a better course than displays of power, the Lords masqueraded as wandering students in search of guidance in the art of the Way. They made no use of any type of magic while in they city because the rulers had received a vision of the future and did not permit any sort of magic to be used. They spent many years mastering the Way, and eventually each Lord became as powerful as the collective "Mind Lords" who ruled the region. After they were unable to learn more the Lords left the city of Saragar and returned to the Thunder Mountains to begin their study of how Magic worked on this world. Their study of magic progressed at an inhuman pace since they already knew the fundamentals magic use, and their own abilities allowed them virtually complete mastery of death magic and its many aspects. They also discovered that the time they had spent trapped in the Gray altered the nature of their essence to where they could tap into the power of that plane to fuel their magic. However the strain caused by casting powerful spells would bring them immense pain, and sometimes they could not maintain their concentration and they would lose control of the magic. Although their bodies were more sturdy than that of the mortal races even they had their limits, but they eventually discovered that obsidian stones could be easily used for magical purposes. With this knowledge the Lords devised Death Stones, which were capable of allowing them to channel and control virtually limitless amounts of magic, and the Death Stones could use the life force of a living being or tap directly into the Gray to power spells. Once the proper rituals were completed they used their magic to implant the Death Stones into their hearts to prevent the stones from becoming lost destroyed. Even without the Death Stones the Lords were a match for any mortal mage, but they needed the Death Stones to give them the additional power to combat Rajaat and his lackeys at some point in the future. They drained the minds of some humans people called preservers or defilers to learn exactly how magic was powered and manipulated on Athas. Once they discovered that plant life was the most common power source for magic spells they no longer wondered why the green world was slowly fading into a barren magic blasted world. Once the Lords were satisfied that this method of powering magic would be a sufficient magical alternative in case their own magics some how failed they were ready to enter the world. The Cleansing Wars had been raging over a thousand years by the time the Lords emerged from their seclusion. The Lords had spent a their time perfecting their arts and even though they were but a shadow of their former selves before they became trapped in the Gray, they were still some of the most powerful beings to ever grace the face of this world. The Lords probed the land with their minds, and saw the vast destruction being waged by the armies of this being called Rajaat. The Lords also longed to rule Athas, but a faint memory from past experiences told them that there was no benefit to lording over a destroyed world. Thus the Lords decided to pay a visit to this Rajaat character and force him to stop his destruction of the world. The Lords arrived at the Pristine Tower by means of simply folding the space continuum and compressing the distance, and they walked from their meeting hall to the edges of the grounds surrounding the Pristine Tower. Lord Hades, the leader of the Lords, called out to Rajaat with a booming voice magically augmented enough to be heard for several miles. Within moments Rajaat and several of his Champions magically appeared before the Lords. Rajaat stood silent for several minutes while he studied the strange beings before him. "In you and your companions I sense great power. How do you stand before me with a power that rivals my own, but I have never felt your presence before?" he asked. Lord Hades simply smiled at him. "We are from beyond the petty confines of this world that you are slowly destroying. We, like yourself, are conquerors, but our victories span the universe. During our travels across the multiverse we became trapped in the Gray until we were able to escape to this world. We do not come here to make war with you, but instead we come to tell you to listen to reason and the experience we can offer. Lording over a destroyed world is the path your wars have set, and soon you will have what you wish for if you do not cease this insanity. What purpose is there to ruling over a destroyed world when you will be the only one left in the end? So I ask that you stop your war, or we will be forced to stop you." Rajaat simply stared at Lord Hades. A look of pure shock was openly displayed on his face, and his champions who flanked him looked uncertain as to what they were supposed to do. Rajaat turned his back to Lord Hades and spoke. "So be it oh mighty Hades" he said as he readied a magical attack. A searing bolt of energy that seemed to come from nowhere blasted Lord Hades from his feet, and Rajaat's champions rushed towards him. "Now fools, I will have no rivals to power here. Your visit only served to announce your presence to me, and for that you will all be destroyed" said Rajaat as he began to cast another spell. The battle began in earnest as Rajaat and his champions fought Hades and the other Lords outside of the Pristine Tower. They sky went dark, winds picked up, and a hellish storm of pure power was unleashed by both sides. The earth trembled as the other Lords battled the champions of Rajaat while Lord Hades battled Rajaat himself. The battle lasted seven days but would never be written in the history of the world because all those near enough to witness it were slain by the powers that were unleashed. Hamanu, Nibenay, Dregoth, Borys, Myron, and Kalak battled the other Lords with a savagery that they, even in their long buried memories, had seldom encountered. They had not been expecting an attack since they had come to merely parley with Rajaat, and thus their defensive magics had not been placed very strongly. Lord Murder battled valiantly but was unable to recover from the initial attack. Myron cut down Lord Murder with the sword called Scorcher, and Lord Murders death cry could be heard above the sounds of battle as he was destroyed by the champions of Rajaat on the second day of battle. Chillion, a lesser lord, fell and was destroyed by the fell magics of Hamanu and Nibenay on the third day of battle. With the injured Lords Murder and Chillion sacrificing themselves,the other Lords were given the time they needed to recover in order to draw enough power to themselves and erect a proper defense. After the initial attack Lord Hades caused a tremor that knocked Rajaat from his feet and disrupted his spell casting. Hades quickly drew the power for a stealth spell from the Gray, and launched it at Rajaat while he was disoriented. Rajaat, blind with fury, never saw the invisible spell plant itself onto his body, and began to launch furious magical attacks back at Lord Hades. Over the following six days of the battle Rajaat was unable to grasp how he was slowly getting weaker while Lord Hades seemed to grow stronger with each passing day. He looked around him and saw that his champions also were slowly being beaten back by the power of these so called Lords. Heedless of the insight he gained from his scan of the area, he continued to battle this strange powerful human called Hades and thought that eventually he would prevail over this fool upstart. On the seventh day of battle Rajaat could no longer stand, and fell to the ground in exhaustion. The other Lords were just blasting the last of his champions into unconsciousness when Rajaat fell, and Rajaat knew he had been beaten. The world around him was spinning, and he was swimming in the madness of his weakened state when he noticed Lord Hades standing over him. Hades laughed at Rajaat and then reached down to close his hands across Rajaat's throat. Rajaat felt the inhumanly strong grip of Hades hands on his throat, and began to know dispair. Hades pulled Rajaat from the ground by the throat until they were looking eye to eye with each other. "It appears you lost" he said to Rajaat. Hades sensed a disturbance off in the horizon and turned to view its source. In the distance for as far as the eye could see, columns of dust were rising from the earth. Hades knew that Rajaat had somehow summoned his remaining champions and their armies to the Pristine Tower to aid in the battle against the Lords. He turned back to Rajaat. "My fellow Lords were caught unprepared for your suprise attack, and we are too weakened from this battle to fight the rest of your lackeys. I could stand against your armies alone and prevail, but I cannot take the chance you would escape to replenish yourself while my attentions were diverted. Even I cannot stand against you, your champions, and your armies all at once.......not yet anyway." he said while gripping Rajaats throat tighter. He turned to the other Lords "you were unprepared for this battle, and have taken wounds that would have slain even some of the powerful beings we encountered in the planes. We are not as we once were, or we could have taken this planet with ease. However until we can find a path to leave this world, we must survive in these weakened forms. Depart to the place of power where you will sleep in dreamless sleep until I come to awaken you. It will be many millennia before I come for you, but when I do the world will be ours." The other Lords nodded silently and disappeared through a gate way summoned by Lord Carnage. Hades turned his attentions back to Rajaat who was squirming feebly, and trying to dislodge Hades hands from his throat. "I will ensure that your mad schemes fail foolish little mage. If I was not still adjusting myself to this world, and limited by this petty human form I would have crushed you in an instant. Now, I will plant the seeds of madness in your mind. You sill slowly go insane over the next five hundred years, and eventually your champions will rebel against you. All that you have worked for will be destroyed at that time, and you will taste eternal defeat. You nor your champions here will remember this battle after I depart. In the millennia that follow, I shall remain dormant and unknown until I revive my followers and conquer this world. I will succeed where you failed, and the world will bend its knee to me while you become a laughing mockery throughout the ages. Enjoy the time you have left on this world petty mage" said Hades to Rajaat. Lord Hades pressed his left palm over Rajaats forehead and muttered a strange word of magic. Rajaat cried out in terror, his body jerked once, and then he lay unconscious on the ground. Hades poured through Rajaats mind and discovered the full extent of his schemes. Hades walked over to the comatose form of Borys, pressed his palm against Borys's forehead, and implanted the knowledge for Rajaats defeat in his mind to be used at the appointed time. Satisfied that Rajaat’s doom was assured, Hades conjured a portal and disappeared before Rajaat's reinforcements arrived. Five hundred years later, Borys led the rebellion against Rajaat. Borys and the champions had become convinced that Rajaat had become entirely insane and would destroy them as he had tried to destroy the world. Rajaat was defeated and banished from the sight of mortal man. The Age of the Sorcerer-Kings then began. Over the millennia, Hades traveled the world while the Lords slept in stasis. He introduced necromancy as a discipline of magic, and thus many of the undead of Athas are a result of the death magic that those necromancers unleashed upon the land. From time to time another Lord would escape the prison known as the Gray, and Hades would place that Lord in stasis with the others until the time came for them to awaken. Eventually they city of Tyr rebelled against its ruler Kalak, and he was destroyed by his own greed. The city was governed by a council of Kalak's Templars for a time, until Tithian foolishly reawakened Rajaat from his exile. The Sorcerer-Kings once again banded together to stop Rajaat and imprison him once more, but several of them perished in the battle that followed Rajaats release. Hades decided the appointed time had come, and thus he journeyed to the Lords stasis vault deep in the Thunder Mountains. One by one he revived them, and within a fortnight all had been awakened. The Lords set themselves against the world, and the mighty Sorcerer-Kings were swept aside. A new age began as the old order was swept away, the Athas trembled under the iron rule of the mighty Lords of the Dead.