The Early Lore
A brutal village; a merciless Queen
In the beginning, long before the Hundred Years of Darkness swept across the Seven Realms, there was only good. Before fire and ashes rained down upon the earth, blackening the grass and the snow and the rivers, everything was whole and pure and innocent. Peace and prosperity were all that were known. And it was this way for many long summers; they who lived in this time grew old and died knowing only light and joy.
But like day begets night, light begets shadow; and a shadow it was that crept shyly across the land. Slowly first, then all at once, the world was consumed by fire and rage. Good disappeared, replaced by hate. And they who lived did not grow old, but died young, knowing only hunger and fear.
It was from the darkness that the Blood Queen came.
And so it went for hundreds of years; good and evil, day and night, until balance was finally struck. Banding together to cast the wicked beings of the East back from whence they came, humans once again returned peace to the Seven Realms.
But the world is large, and there were some things that didn't want to be found. Hidden somewhere in the darkness of the Forgotten Forest, where the ground is frozen and the cold relentless, in a place known only as the Red Village, the Blood Queen lies in wait.
Dark and evil creatures roam the outskirts of the village walls; wolves with glowing ruby eyes can be heard howling through the long nights. The impenetrable peaks of the Endless Ranges encircle the village, hiding its gates from the outside world. Obscured from the world beyond, time has passed the village and its inhabitants by.
Whispers of the Red Village echo across the Seven Realms; rumours exchanged over thick tankards of ale in taverns throughout the land. Maps of the Forgotten Forest, stained brown from the touch of hundreds of curious hands, are traded between the brave and the foolish. Some leave to seek it, chasing stories of endless chests of golden coins and eternal life. They never return.
Some places are best lost to history.
The Blood Queen rules the village and the Darklands beyond. She is merciless, driven by an unquenchable bloodlust and desire for violence. From the Eighth Realm, she is neither dead nor alive, neither human nor demon. Powerful, captivating, terrifying, she draws the fiercest warriors from across the earth to fight for her entertainment. Answering a call that they cannot hear, these warriors travel across the seas, chasing visions of the unknown. When they arrive, she promises them an endless life and unimaginable riches in exchange for their service. None refuse.
Those who are doomed to fight in the village are known as Champions. Champions may not leave the village; they are destined to fight, to bleed, and to die over and over for all of eternity. Traded between powerful Battlemasters who keep them, house them, clothe them, train them, and submit them to Tournaments, they are showered in riches for their wins and suffer endlessly in defeat.
When the Blood Queen Calls they must answer. With another's blood, or with their own.
A ruby red the sky doth glow,
Embers, snow and flames below,
Engulf the world with bitter rage,
Friend vs friend, a broken age,
Trust thyself, thyself alone,
For with the Blood Queen on the throne,
Hell is here, and here is home.