In the ancient days of the Lost Civilization, Man alone ruled over the world, and all creatures, fish, and fowl paid him homage. Enlightened by their Creator with the gift of Science, there was nothing the Ancients could not do. This is known to all who have seen the sprawling empty cities deep in the jungles, defying the creeping vines and slow rot to remain a testament to Manís birthright.
Humanity chose to fall from the light. Not content with mastery of all lesser beings, men sought mastery over each other. In violation of Godís will, they turned on their kindred. War such as never had been came to the land, and everywhere there was suffering. The manslayers forgot not only their bonds of kinship but also their bonds of obedience to Sol the Creator. They carved false idols whose burning light mocked His benevolence and cast these idols into the heavens.
The idols fell to earth and flames were kindled in the greatest cities of the world. All to ash went the lives of one third of Solís children. Furious winds scourged the earth, bearing the tainted ash of the fallen, which still burden with lost souls and miscast hatred. Within these ashes was all manner of pestilence, and where they fell, no life would grow. Men and women fled their homes; the cities that still stood, stood empty.
But the wars did not cease. For each death another was demanded. Sin grew upon sin, murder outdid murder in atrocity, until sickened by Manís suffering the earth split and sundered. Mountains rose and fell, rivers turned their course, the oceans raced to new lands. Across the world, great ruptures arose, like sores upon the land. Those left to quiver in the darkness called them gates to Hell.
And Hell, from them, emerged. Had the daemons that spewed forth waited, like buzzards circling some faltering prey, until Man broke his might against himself? Or had they answered a call, heard past the very boundaries of Creation? Were they summoned by the cacophony of a thousand thousand voices crying out in unison? Or, perhaps, had so many died that Hell, glutted, vomited back the spirits of the fallen to torment their killers? In the end, neither the question nor the answer mattered.
Wherever humanity hid, no matter how deep the darkness, remote the wood, high the mountain, Hellís hunters found them. The daemons took many forms, as nightmares will do, unique but united in their horrific aspect. Those they killed knew more mercy than those they captured and dragged back to the Scars, toys to torment till welcome death took pity.
Those who cowered died. Those who fled died. Those who fought died. Those who prayed to the daemons, they too found death. The emptied riverbeds of the world were gutters for human blood, the open plains sacrificial altars. Mothers keened in the long night; children wept; the hearts of men failed them.
Only when their prey became scarce, when the tattered shreds of humanity became scattered threads, only then did the daemons creep back toward their hellpits, leaving behind bleached bones and unnatural silence. At last, they vanished altogether. Nothing but the scarred earth from which they had come marked their passage.
The madness ended, but in its grip Man had fallen into darkness that did not lift. Less than the creatures over which he had once been lord, the shadow of the shadow of his former glory, Man eked out a grim existence. And in this state, he long endured.