After the Galchutt retreated into their hibernation, the balance tipped in the favor of light and order. A wizard-priest named Ni-Gorth put the great and mighty Father Claw in chains. Goblins, undead, and other fell creatures retreated into shadowy holes to hide. Cities grew, civilizations prospered, and new gods came to light to fill the void left by those who had retreated. For fourteen hundred years, the forces of evil were quelled, and during most of that time, the world knew relative peace. Then, a powerful and benevolent cleric set upon a well-intentioned plan.

With malevolence on the wane, the cleric Danar Rotansin sought once and for all to rid the world of its remaining evil influences. This powerful figure began to gather up all the evil artifacts, objects of dark power, trapped essences of vanquished fiends, demonic relics, and even the last vestiges of particularly horrible diseases. Condemning all of these things as “banes,” Danar imprisoned them. He believed that, if destroyed, the banes would simply release their evil into the world to wreak more havoc and bring about other darknesses. Destroying banes begat new banes.

So Danar used powerful spells and magical items to accomplish his task, working tirelessly to bind these legacies of evil. As his collection of banes grew, he began to bury them beneath his tower, Mosul Pearl, located near the sea. Danar constructed a vast catacomb, well warded and sealed, deep underground, and he called it Tremoc Korin, the Banewarrens. He also found allies to aid him in his cause. Among them were the dragon known as Saggarintys the Silver King and a number of celestials.

But Danar’s goal was folly. Concentrating so much raw hatred and despite—so much darkness and evil power—in a single place was a terrible mistake. The earth itself, no longer able to tolerate the concentrated evil that the banes represented, thrust Tremoc Korin away from it, creating a tall, impossibly high and narrow spire atop which Mosul Pearl stood.

Danar’s actions also drew the attention of sleeping Galchutt. These secretive forces manipulated events (perhaps even time and space) to ensure that the Book of Inverted Darkness fell into the hands of this well-meaning cleric.

The Book of Inverted Darkness is an artifact older than the world itself. Scribed by gods and demons, its pages contain vast lore (only The Book of Eldritch Might contains greater lore, it is said), all of it dreadful. Unfortunately for Danar Rotansin—and the world—the book presented this horrid knowledge using supernatural techniques that gave it an irresistibly seductive quality.

While he intended to seal the book away with the rest of the banes, Danar lingered over its pages for an instant too long. Its cunningly crafted words beguiled him to keep the book by his side. Soon, he read more. And more.

And still more.

The book consumed Danar. He neglected his quest to gather the remaining banes. He withdrew from his family and comrades. The book’s dark lore corrupted his spirit and twisted his mind. The allure of the dark power and forbidden knowledge was too much, even for him. Danar Rotansin became Eslathagos Malkith—the Dread One. With the vast resources of the banes he had gathered and the knowledge he had gained from the Book of Inverted Darkness, the Dread One withdrew into his tower, also renamed: Jabel Shammar.

He emerged only a few years later, launching an attack so devastating, it threatened to tear the world asunder. His might knew few bounds, and with his magical aid, the armies he created or summoned conquered the surrounding lands with ease. From his fortress atop the Spire, its former pearly hue now turned black as night, the Dread One could survey the world—a world he desired to conquer or crush entirely.

Only the actions of all the mortal races, led by powerful and stalwart heroes—many of whom had been friends and companions of Danar—stopped the forces of Eslathagos Malkith. It is said they carried the battle into the halls of Jabel Shammar itself. When it was over, the Dread One lay defeated, the world’s greatest heroes sprawled dead and dismembered all around him. Most of them had lost not only their lives but also their souls to their foe’s magic and the banes he wielded.

Some bit of Danar—the good and true man he had once been—still remained, however. His spirit, now free of corruption, managed to seal the Banewarrens once again. Although his quest remained uncompleted, and some of the banes were released again when he became Eslathagos Malkith, Tremoc Korin still contained vault upon vault of evil artifacts, foul creatures, and vile relics that must be kept away from the world at large.

To this day, priests and scholars still debate whether Eslathagos Malkith, at the height of his power, was truly mortal or had become divine.