Lord of Darkness, Master of Lies, Bloodletter, Lord Malice, The Betrayer…

He is known by many names, but to the world he is Master Mahan, the killer of souls.

What can be said? Of all the great designs of evil in this world, all the acts of rebellion and violence that seeks to corrupt churches, topple governments, usurp crowns or ensalve the free and the innocent, Mahan is at its center.

With a solid foothold in every culture, every society and race, Mahan is always tied to two specific pieces of arcane subject matter:

The Unembodied and The Book of Dark Bindings

Though there is too much information to include in a brief summary such as this, I can tell you that this creature, or man, or whatever this being actually is, has been here from the beginning.

Before mankind was born, there was Mahan.

Some of the earliest records, dating back tens of thousands of years, talk of a ‘shadow’ or a ‘whisper of anger’ which ‘seeped into the hearts of men.’ A being that claimed this world as his own and saw the growing society of mankind as nothing but cattle—to be bought, sold and used up.

Tales speak of this great evil enticing mankind, whispering that all things may be had in this world ‘for a price.’

Other records, derived from ancient kirk archives say that Mahan was among those beings who formed this world. That he had the respect of the Great Councils before the world was. In these tales he refused to give respect the Head of the Creative Order.

Three times he was warned and each time, he mocked the Father of All.

In an open act of rebellion, Mahan gathered those he could persuade to his cause and sought to take the throne by force.

A war ensued. All creation ignited with the conflict and in the end, Mahan and his followers were defeated.

As punishment for his treachery, Mahans immortal body was taken from him.

Along with his followers, Mahan was cast down to the world, forced to live unseen, inflicted with all the desires of mortality, ever unable to fulfill them.

There are other fragments of records from the ancient times of Arodrin, which speak of the growing shadows of the land.

What’s interesting is that these whispers and shadows become real.

For the first time that I can find, Mahan is talked about as a man. A flesh and blood being, who sought power at every turn, sowing discord among the tribes of men and eventually engaging the first Hero of the Gem in magical combat.

As time continues, we have clearer accounts in more detail.

The Book of Four Kings talks of the campaign of bloodshed and dominion waged against the inhabitants of the world in 6000s. Mahan had hundreds of thousands of troops at his disposal, both vallen and therrin—scourging the lands, while his Tauku mägo drew upon the forces of the dead.

Evolu lands were set aflame, forcing the elves to leave their home in droves, flocking to Humär to ensure their survival.

Yet the greatest scenes of terror always followed Mahan.

Approaching a city or keep, great horns would announce his presence. Messengers would be sent to the leaders of each domain with an ‘invitation’ to surrender and to subject themselves unconditionally of their own free will and choice.

Those who did so, were added to the slave ranks.

Those who resisted were overcome by the bloodthirsty armies pacing outside their walls…and the populace decimated.

Even the greatest of mortal forces could not contend against Mahan directly. He could unleashed fire and ice, plagues of death and beastly elementals upon flesh and steel. Nature, screaming in agony, bent to his will.

Only with the help of the mägo and the Hero himself did the Four Kings gain ground.

In a combined charge of humans, evolu, kutollum and nocturi, Mahan was inadvertently isolated and engaged in one on one combat with the Hero of the Gem. Aided by the Nocturi mägo, the Dark Lord was defeated and brought to Castle Andilain, in chains, to stand trial.

Though sentenced to death, no force the mortals possessed could take away the Dark Lords life.

The Demoni Vankil describes the events which transpired next.

“Two Kutollum take the other irons from the fire and we follow the man in red up the stairs and to the devils side. He examines the iron in his hands and then leans down to the devil’s ear and I am forced to follow.

“‘For this moment I have sacrificed all I have ever had to give.’ And without a moments hesitation, he thrust the burning iron into the devils forehead, chanting words I cannot recall or identify.

“The hysterical laughter turns to screams as the man in red leans in hard. A scream which rends the very fabric of nature. I can smell the stench of burning flesh.

“Trees within the courtyard split in twain and the ground rocks and trembles. The Gnolaum calls out to the man in red but he is unmoving. I question if this is really necessary. He only smiles as he pulls the iron from the wound, casts it aside and holds out an open hand to the Kutollum. I am stunned to see the flesh completely burned away and the marks seared into bone.

“The Dark Lord’s screams grow with each touch until I fear the world will rip asunder. Three times is the devil branded thus, but as the third mark penetrates the devils flesh, silence falls upon us. The ground is still and though evil thrashes, eyes wide in pain and terror, he cannot scream.

“The Gnolaum speaks the words and the Prime Gate is opened. Through the portal I can see only darkness. The devils body rises from the alter, an invisible force pulling him violently into the void, but still being restrained by chains.

“The man in red whispers so only the devil and I can hear: ‘From darkness you came, to darkness you will return.’

“With a snap of his fingers the chains of the alter release their captive. The contorted body of Mahan is cast into the darkness, his eyes wide with a terror I cannot even imagine.

“The Gnolaum closes the gate and all is silent. There are no cheers, no laughter, not a sound of nature.”

The Dark Lord may be banished, but he is not gone and is certainly not dead.

I’ve read too much to know that Mahan has the means to return, if only given time.

How that will be and when that be?

For now, your guess is as good as mine.

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