Once, Esh crowned reality a Diadem of planets, planes, palaces, and worlds, each link, one to another like a string of pearls.
The roads of Esh crossed ages and parallel planes. Versions of humanity from many branching paths mingled and merged.
It was beautiful, a realm of realms, boundless wonder and limitless adventure across a cosmic wreath of worlds.
Then came Yggsrathaal. Killer of Gods. Destroyer of Thought. A creature from beyond reality itself. The mother of Entropic Wyrms.
Her touch at first, so soft, so light, invisible to senses, intangible to the mind, that Esh could not even feel its own corruption.
Yggsrathaal fed on Esh, corroding and destroying it slowly, over eons.
As the Waste of Yggsrathaal closed in around the borders of Esh, reality paled away. Esh decayed into Uud. Her power seemed inevitable, an unopposable constant, like gravity. Yggsrathaal sapped the will to fight her. The wit to recognize Her at all seemed to fade from the people of Esh. Nobody knew. Nobody cared.
A few mad radicals warned of Her. They were ignored. By the time the truth became inarguable, it was far too late. A handful tried to fight. They were destroyed. Others fell into despair and died, or hid in pocket realms.
A few made plans to survive. Even if they could not win, they would fight for the survival of thinking beings for as long as they could.
From every corner of Esh, refugees from the advancing Waste flooded into the continent of Blackwater. Here the radical Optimates and crazed Hierophants of the now-sleeping gods built their Great Works. On the plains, vast megastructures were raised, each a precise and individual work of art designed to amplify reality-sustaining magics. In the Mountains of Blackwater, cause and consequence were shifted and folded, realms and histories piled and intensified until what remained were the unearthly Mountains of Reality, vast black sky-piercing spikes who’s very stone beat back the Waste with awesome power. And there, gathered around their cities, and hidden in the Mountains, the lost people of Esh clung to life and mind while the Waste of Uud crawled and writhed around them.
For eons, they hung upon the edge of survival, memories fading, until Esh itself seemed little more than a forgotten dream.
Then, something changed. When Esh was at its height, the Pantheon of Pantheons cursed and banished one being to endless imprisonment. Its crimes are unknown.
Long beyond the fall, this creature escaped its imprisonment. And returned. It found Esh fallen into Uud; the Waste, the Nothing World, and Yggsrathaal licking at the world's pale blood. This creature knew it could not face the Wyrm directly. But it was cunning and crafty. Far from sight, the prisoner concentrated its power into a great Engine of Souls; the Seraphormer.
And took a new name; The Eldritch Founder.
One by one it shaped heroic souls, sheathing them in time, fate, and living flesh. No two the same. Then it cast these souls at Uud, at the refuge of Blackwater. Here, slowly, fresh spirits sparked into life. The Sparkborn. Regardless of their morals, or even their desires, each was heroic, unique, unpredictable, and poison to Yggsrathaal. Now, these fierce new souls awaken in Blackwater, unknowing of the cosmic war that gave them birth, they seek to shape their own destinies.