Turn back! Enter not this blighted place, if you value your soul! It has been the death of me, and worse ... All hope is lost, Shadow shall consume all. You cannot understand the dark power that stirs here. Beware the Lich-Queen! Beware the her dread minions! I tried to warn the world, but all in vain. Now we are all doomed, and the All-Father's great secret shall be the death of us all. The Null shall consume all fresh, all light, all warmth! Turn back from this place, before it is too late.
Who are you?
You ask who I am ... I am a wretch, a pawn of cruel fate, doomed to live in death forever, to see the death of all I hold dear and the shattering of my faith. Once my name was Abelon, of Melvaunt, and I stood high in the ranks of the Holy Church. I went from King's Cross to the Abbey of Caerwynt, seeking rumors of nameless fear. I found only horrors. Slaughter, and unholy desecration. We followed the perpetrators halfway across Tyrranth Major, then blundered onto this isle after an accident at a runegate.
The dead came for us ... all of us. We could not withstand them. They did not even kill us, at first. I was kept alive, for fear that death would send me back to King's Cross to warn the world. I cannot know how long I waited in the darkness, tortured, fed the blood of Vampires to loosen my tongue. Baelgor himself tormented me in my pain, mocked my faith, and told me things ... such hideous things. He told me the true cause of the War of Shadows that wracked ancient Ardan, and the arcane traps wrought by the Nameless Titan to keep the Hungry Void at bay. He told me what really happened to Ithriana when she took Shadowbane by treachery, and how her realms truly fell under the Shadow. He told me how Ithriana, silver maid, became the Lich-Queen.
The Lich-Queen herself killed me, with her dark sorceries. She used my soul to power her hideous spell, and return this blighted realm to the face of Aerynth! Now I am trapped, dead yet unable to die, a mute witness to the triumph of Oblivion.
What is the All-Father's secret?
Doom. The doom that swallowed Ardan, that unleashed the War of Shadows and the Dark Years, and defeated Pandarrion Himself. Oblivion was the secret He kept from us for so long ... but now it is revealed. Oblivion, the hungry Void, where dwells the Null -- a power as strong and terrible as the Dragon itself, cold as dragonfire is hot. For five thousand years the philosophers looked at the universe and saw only Law and Chaos -- they were deceived! Oblivion was waiting, waiting for us all ...
Time first drew the Void's hunger to Aerynth. Time which the All-Father began to move the Sun and so undo His greatest mistake. Once Oblivion was roused, the Elves sought to tame Dark, and the men of Ardan held it at bay. Even the All-Father could not stop it: He wrought a truce, but it ended at the Turning. Now the universe is imbalanced, and the very Trees of Life that gave us hope in the Dark Years gnaw at the barrier between this world and the Void, weakening it with every soul they preserve. Why were we so deceived?
Shades were but the harbingers of doom -- the Void has looked out through their eyes and wrought its dark designs with their pale hands. I have looked upon the Gate these fiends have built in this wasteland. I have seen Ithriana, the Lich-Queen. She lives! Even the bite of Shadowbane could not destroy her! I have seen what lies beneath her pallid mask! Doom! Doom is here! None can withstand the power of Oblivion! The Gods have abandoned us! Turn back now, and find what comforts you can, before the end. Or else go on, if you must, and find the Lich-Queen in her dark tower. Perhaps she will smile upon you, and devour your souls utterly. Then you would be spared my fate, watching all that you hold dear destroyed ...