Many years ago, in a faraway country, there was a land called Myrtana. It was a thriving kingdom. Year after year, the granaries were full and the mines gave good copper, iron and Ore. No one wanted or needed. The priests of the gods had great power and influence, and the gods were keen to the people.

The greatest was Innos, the god of the Sun and the Law. He was revered as the first and highest god and his priests were the Fire Mages. The priests of the god Adanos, who held the scales between good and evil, were the mages of the circle of water. There were no priests to serve Beliar, god of the death, for his might was pure darkness.

The blooming cities were also centers of knowledge where magic, astronomy or geography were studied. But joy and peace were soon replaced by want and mistrust. So it happened that the neighboring empires became jealous and wanted Myrtanas's treasures for themselves, and none more than Varant. Armies of knights gathered on the hills of the Empire and ships made of dark woods were seen on the horizon, raising frightening standards of war. The armies of Myrtana were summoned to protect what was their homeland.

It was war.

The King's Armada sank ship after ship, but suffered great losses. On the land, the first battles were easily won, but then both sides altered victories. Despite the many battles won by Myrtana, the Knights of Varant progressed in the land. The war, which Myrtana thought would be short, lasted many moons, skirmish after skirmish, battle after battle. And many, who wanted to make a name for themselves, earn fortunes at war or just protect their homeland, soon ended on the battlefield. By thousands they came, and by thousands they died. King Rhotbar did not only try to protect the borders of the kingdom, but with his men he fought to reconquer villages and counties deep into his country. And what he could not reconquer, he destroyed. The war had already last more than four seasons. But his strategic science, that of his generals, and the alliance of army and magic allowed him, on a fine spring morning, to stand in front of the doors of the Varant capital. As if they woke up from a dream, the people of Varant saw the army camping in front of their city and quickly surrendered.

The doors were opened, the weapons sheathed, and King Rhotbar and his knights rode into town as true victors. The city was not plundered, the people not made prisoners. The King executed the leader of Varant, then appointed a regent and a council, who were to rule the Empire from now on, and returned to Myrtana. He had won the war, but the price was high. Many men, sons, fathers and brothers had gave their life for the Empire. Furthermore, the supplies were low and winter was near. In many places there was hunger and distress.

During this winter, weakened by his wounds of war, King Rhotbar died. His son, Rothbar II, accessed the throne without ceremony. He summoned his priests, his advisor's and his sages. Together, they developed plans to bring back the Empire to the state of prosperity that his father once knew.

Although the dreadful winter was over, another danger lurked upon the kingdom. Orcish hordes from the North crossed the border and plundered hamlets and manors. The king sent once again his armies to the border. Countless battles took once more many lives. It was just a short combat with no clear victor. But King Rhotbar knew that the Orcs had become strong enough to wage a war against Myrtana. Still, his own army was weak, diminished and poorly equipped. In order to craft new weapons, he needed Ore. The situation was overall bad, and worse in the mining cities.

Thieves and deserters ran galore and many prisoners had fled from the mines. The city of Khorinis, one of the main suppliers of Ore, was too important for the King not to act. It was because, in the mines of Khorinis, the prisoners extracted a special, rare kind of Ore - Magical Ore.

This Ore, if rightly melted, could make a blade indestructible, with an edge so sharp that no armor could resist it. The King called the twelve most powerful Mages of the empire, six from the circle of Water, and six from the circle of Fire. He ordered them to create a magical barrier around the mining city of Khorinis, in order to prevent the prisoners from escaping. A Barrier, which could let living creatures enter, but not escape. Together, the twelve mages started writing a magical formula to invoke the barrier. As the formula was completed, with the help of five magical focuses, which they laid in a ritual pattern, they united their magical strength and spoke the words of power.

The skies were torn asunder, and in deafening sounds of thunder, it was there. The barrier stood there as a huge dome over the land, covering a gigantic area - much bigger as planned. The confused mages soon found out that they too were trapped within the barrier. And the prisoners killed the guards, who were trapped with them by the magical dome. The mages and the prisoners did not join force, as the mages feared their weapons, and the prisoners quickly understood that without the mages, they did not stand a chance of escaping this magical jail.

In the watchtowers gathered the prisoners, and at their head was Gomez, who lead the resistance. The joy of victory was soon replaced by concern about food and survival. The prisoner knew that for goods and wares they depended heavily on the outside world. The King needed Ore, as well. So they came up with a plan to satisfy both parties. The King will pay supplies of Ore with food and other goods, so the prisoners could survive. But all of the prisoners were not interested in working for the king. One of them was Lee. He left the town and many followed him. They founded a new camp, next to another mine, which came to be known as the New City. The Water Mages joined his side as well. They were looking for a solution to destroy the barrier. For their magical researches, they needed the ore of Lee's mine. Their goal was to use it to find a way out.

The Fire Mages stayed with Gomez in the Old City. The installments paid by the Empire guaranteed the survival of the prisoners. Gomez enlisted the strongest of them as his personal guard. Soon he ruled a small empire. Although all were prisoners, while some were toiling in the mine, Gomez was asking for more and more in exchange of the Ore, and soon good wine, fine food and magical books abounded in his Castle. After many moons, a man in the colony began to tell others about his visions of freedom. He called himself Y'Berion, the Illuminated. His words were deep and persuasive, and he attracted many followers, with which he retreated in the Swamps to found his own city. And soon there were rumors of strange powers, magic and summonings that were even unknown to the mages. And this city did flourish. They lived from the culture of Swamp herb, which smell was coveted, for a smoke of herb gave the men pleasant dreams. They traded the herb with the Old City and soon they lived still rather meagerly, but pleasantly.

The Empire recovered slowly from the wounds of the past. Wheat grew in the fields and new trade routes were opened. Only the Barrier reminded of a time of war. And then came the orcs. Like a storm rages over the land, they stroke the armies of the king and killed every man who tried to resist them. So Rothbar II readied his troops once more for war and every available man was sent to the border. In these times anyone who committed a crime, no matter small, was sent to the Colony of Khorinis. The fire of the smithies burned day and night and the hammers of the artisans were constantly beating. A man was sent to the prisons this day. A man that would change the tides.