The Dark Ones
In ages past, the Lands of Men and seas were held under the sway of The Dark Ones. They were cruel beings who held the lives of all creatures in their grasp and squeezed them of almost all hope. Legends have it that they created several races, including the Dwarfs and Orcs, as mindless, obedient chattel since Men and Elves had proven themselves too independent and troublesome.
A millennia and a half before The Doom, the elves and humans freed the dwarfs and together they overthrew the Dark Ones and cast them out of the lands. The races and Lawful/Neutral Gods rejoiced as balance was brought to the lands. The horror of the Dark Ones receded into the past, the subject of books, scholarly interest and rustic warnings to scare children into behaving.
There were some who warned that the Dark Ones were merely defeated, not truly destroyed or gone forever, but they were ignored – that is, until The Doom fell upon the lands.
Little is known about The Dark Ones as to what they look like, what their powers were or their purposes, or even where they come from. They are known only to be beings of Chaos, maybe even gods. Their power was terrible and complete. It was said that to look upon the Dark Ones was to look into madness. It is rumored that some scholars had collected information on the Dark Ones from elven lore, interviews with ancient dwarfs and recollections of heroes from ages past, but such writings were probably lost in The Doom. The one thing that they were always known by was the dread symbol of the three fingered hand.