Long before war ravaged the lands of Iris, Eres, the God of Darkness joined with Apollon, the God of Light, to create the world of mortals. Both Gods poured into this world, and its inhabitants, qualities that were unique to each. To populate the world, Apollon created the Elves born out of his love and care for all living things. From Eres, Humans were created to be ambitious, anxious to explore and enjoy the world they lived in. One among many gifts to the people of Iris, the Ethereals were created to oversee use of magic in the world and teach the Irisians how to harness it's use to better their lives.
Upon finding the world complete and to their favor, Eres and Apollon returned to their own realms to rest; Eres to Nephinth, the Realm of Darkness, and Apollon to Arosel, the Realm of Light. Occasionally the Gods would bless the Irisians with their presence, and bring along with them, their gifts. When visiting, Apollon's presence brought joy and delight to the people, while Eres' presence seemed to bring only woes and darkness in the heart of Irisians.
Eres grew jealous of the people's love for Apollon, after all, hadn't they both contributed to the world they so loved? He began hating Apollon and the world they had created. For ages he schemed while building a secret army deep within the depths of his world. Becoming totally engrossed with the task, his visits became less frequent and finally nonexistent. Over time Apollon's visits became irregular as he noticed less rejoicing when he visited the people. It seemed without the contrast of Eres' visits to dampen their spirits, the Irisian people had less need for the refreshment his presence brought.
Reign of Terror
At a time when the people of Iris had not seen or heard from either God in many generations, Eres chose to unleash his hordes. From the depths of Nephinth a bridge was created releasing into Iris thousands of orcs, werewolves, drakes and other terrible creatures born of hatred and evil. Eres created a dreadful race of enormous size, ferocity, and brute strength known as the Titans. By bonding them to his power flow, they received regenerating abilities and innate talents for battle making them the most fearsome warriors the world had ever seen. Having caught Apollon by surprise, the monstrous army swept across the land largely unchallenged. Infuriated by Eres's treachery, Apollon responded by imbuing an army of humans, giving them great skill in weaponry, speed, and battle tactics. These elite warriors became known as the Knights of Apollon and were garrisoned in the city of Randol. The Knights were, and continue to be, a powerful symbol of Apollon's love for the world and its people.
Both sides put out a call for mages, sorcerers, healers and rogues to join the battle. When thousands responded, father fought son and friend bested friend in what became a worldwide civil war. For generations the war continued with tens of thousands perishing by the sword, magic, or bow; most fighting for a cause no longer known beyond their own survival.
As the Irisians fought against the invaders and each other, in the Spirit Realm a climatic battle occurred between the Gods of Light and Dark. In his arrogance, Eres challenged Apollon to a duel to control Iris. Apollon accepted the challenge, hoping it a quick way to end the violence, and the two mighty beings clashed in the battle of the Ages. They fought in levels of power Mortals couldn't imagine, incredible amounts of energy being used by each God in hopes of total destruction of the other. They matched blow for blow for what was many long bitter years in Iris, until each collapsed, exhausted from the exertion of fighting their equal. Both wounded and spent, they retreated to their respective realms to heal and recuperate. Knowing his bond to the Titans could not be restored, Eres severed his connection with them in order to preserve what power he had left. Apollon, happy the battle accomplished something other than Eres' retreat, left his people with a promise of his return.
When their tie was broken with Eres, the Titans on Iris lost their greatest advantage. Instead of being nearly invincible, they became completely mortal allowing the Knights to slay them more easily and balancing the battle lines. With the odds more even, the two armies were at a standoff, neither giving ground. After years of not gaining an advantage, warriors of both armies succumbed to the fatigue of war and began deserting. The races became more withdrawn and isolated; battalions disbanded as Humans and Elves returned home to rebuild their shattered lives. Eventually only the Knights of Apollon and the Titans retained their structure as standing armies. After centuries of bloodshed, a time of relative peace fell across the land; skirmishes with Eres's forces occurred only in distant lands.
As news of a new army amassing far in the North and West came, a conference was called inviting members from each class of the Irisian people to attend. Leaders from among the Knights, Rogues, Mages, Healers, and a small faction of Titans (who've turned against Eres) assembled in Randol to discuss the possible threat. Only the Sorcerers refused to attend, simply sending word that they had their own plans and would wait to see how life unfolded. Several days of heated discussion ended with nothing decided. Some members of the consortium voted to attack while others wanted to wait and see what happened or ignore the threat completely. The lack of direction has left the world of Iris in chaos without any strong alliance among its people.
In preparation for a possible invasion, the Knights have increased security around the city and scouts have been sent to ascertain the threat level. Additionally, spies have been discovered within the city; while werewolves and other evil creatures approach the city walls and attack citizens with more regularity. Skirmishes occur more frequently as friend turns into foe and groups are attacked by thieves and brigands. Squads of Knights have been sent out to patrol the areas and help keep the peace, but have had little effect. Another messenger has been sent to the Sorcerers asking for assistance; their reply has been a series of riddles to be solved. No one knows what solving them may do, but hundreds are doing their utmost to decipher the mystery of the Sorcerers.