Pathfinder: Hail to the King
In the beginning, the twin goddesses Líf and Andlát created the world from fire, water, earth, air, and aether. Once their task was complete, they brought forth the first living being into existence through their will.
Rather than gratitude, the creature they had birthed knew only hatred and an unceasing hunger for destruction. Xarnifex, the world eater, set itself to consume all of that which the goddesses had created, and thus become greater than they that had birthed him.
A fierce battle raged across the heavens, and as the blood from the combatants fell upon the world, new life was born. From the goddesses’s blood came the races of men, elves, dwarves, halfings, and gnomes. From Xarnifex’s blood came monsters. Twisted abominations that resembled a perversion of the life that was born from the goddesses.
War raged among the two sides of the celestial conflict for a millennium. It was then that a miracle occurred. Five champions, one from each race born from the goddesses, rose to challenge Xarnifex in its lair.
The battle is said to have raged for a day and a night, and could be felt throughout the land. In the end, Xarnifex was defeated, although at the cost of all but one of the heroes, the human Theodorus, who was blessed by the goddesses with the combination of strengths from all the non-monstrous races.
Xarnifex had become strong through its consumption, and had achieved a spark of divinity that prevented it from being completely destroyed. Instead it was bound to the line of Theodorus. So long as he, or one of his decedents lives, Xarnifex will be locked in a sleep like death.
Theodorus assumed the mantle of high king of Ishmera, and united the land against the monstrous races, driving them into the dark places of the earth and bringing peace to the land.
The Succession Wars
For 100 years the island nation of Ishmeria has had to endure since the death of the last High King, Theodorus II. The five great houses lie fractured and divided, with each positioning itself so as to install the scion of the late king that they support on the throne. Border clashes become more frequent with each passing day, and there are unsettling whispers of dark things prowling the countryside.
A ruler is needed on the throne, and the house that successfully installs them will enjoy an era of prosperity that can scarcely be imagined.