Nearly a thousand years ago the Wars of Fire raged across the face of Ashan. Men, Elves, Dwarves, and their allies pitted themselves against the hordes of Demons. Great devastation was wrought, but in the end the allied forces were victorious. Their victory was largely due to the heroic sacrifice of the wizard known as Sar-Elam, the Seventh Dragon.
Using his almost god-like powers and supported by his fellow wizards, Sar-Elam cast the Demons out of the world into a limbo of eternal fire. From the essence of his spirit, Sar-Elam wove a prison to contain the Demons forever.
Something went wrong during Sar-Elam's ritual, however. The magic he summoned failed to create a complete prison; the tiniest of flaws remained in the otherwise impervious barrier, a weakness that allowed Demonic influence to seep into the world during times of a lunar eclipse.
Angry but patient, the Demons remained into their prison to wait...and to plan.
All that remained of the Seventh Dragon was his skull. Now called the Skull of Shadows, it was spirited away by those loyal to the goddess Mother Asha, creator of the world and source of all magic. They hid it in an ancient temple on a deserted island, far from the machinations of Men, Elves, or Demons. There the Skull sits, awaiting the day when its powers might be needed again.
The Prophecy of the Dark Messiah
Sixty-seven years after Sar-Elam’s death, his disciple Sar-Shazar prophesied that a half-demon, half-human child would one day be born; a walker between worlds who would be known as the “Dark Messiah” and would use the relics of the Seventh Dragon to shatter the Demons’ prison forever.
Only three complete stanzas, fragments of the original prophecy, remain. They could be translated as follows:
Ten centuries shall the fortress stand
Walls of spirit wrapped in walls of fire
And horned lords shall bow their heads
To one not yet born, of the darkest sire
One century of blood and strife
The moon shall darken and none know why
The resting place at last is found
Of the Seventh who soared so high
Last daughter of a forlorn line
Shall guide him into history
Beneath the crypts prophecies clash
The war of ancient enemies
In Dark Messiah, you are Sareth, young apprentice to Phenrig, a powerful wizard. Phenrig has raised you for a single purpose, training you in the arts of magic and war.
At the beginning of the game you are sent to the free city of Stonehelm, home to the mage Menelag, a friend of your master. Your task is to help Menelag retrieve the Skull of Shadows, an ancient and powerful artifact, the only remaining relic of Sar-Elam, first and greatest mage of Ashan.
Sar-Elam used the Skull in the distant past to create the prison that sealed the demon hordes away. Only the Skull can seal the prison permanently – or destroy it and unleash the demon armies upon the world.
With the help of the wizard Menelag, Stonehelm’s ruler, and his niece, the young mage Leanna, you undertake the quest to find and retrieve the Skull of Shadows.
Meanwhile, learning of the Skull’s discovery, but unaware of its location, an undead army marches on Stonehelm. Their exact agenda is unknown…
Upon this series of events, the shadow of the Dark Messiah looms large, and the world of Ashan stands frozen, holding its breath…
A young man, student of the mage Phenrig. Trained in the martial arts and the ways of magic by his mentor, Sareth is prepared to leave the home he has known and venture out into the world of Ashan. Though great forces are at work and ancient prophecies are being fulfilled, Sareth is well-equipped to handle the situations in which he will find himself.
The wizard Menelag, ruler of the free city of Stonehelm, led a 10-year expedition to locate his lifetime obsession: the Skull of Shadows. He finally discovered it on a savage island, buried within a ruined temple. Menelag and his crew began excavating the temple and its surroundings, harried by hostile Orc and Goblin tribes. They managed to find the crypt wherein the Skull lay, but were barred from it by an impassable stone door. The only way to open that door is to reactivate the magical energies of the temple itself, using another ancient artifact.
Phenrig is Sareth's tutor and mentor. He has raised the orphan boy since his childhood. Sareth owes all he knows of weapons and magic to his master’s severe but patient tutelage. Eventually Sareth has grown to be a strong young man. Phenrig sends him to Stonehelm with an ancient artifact needed by one of his old friends, Menelag.
Leanna is a young wizard of Stonehelm, niece to Menelag and part of the expedition to find the Skull of Shadows. She wishes to retrieve the Skull and use it to defend her city, and she becomes Sareth’s companion on their search for it.
Aratrok is an Orc shaman, chieftain of the Orcs who dwell on the island where the Skull is hidden. He is a devoted and fair leader to his own people, and a fanatical enemy to any he considers to be a threat. Hatred for demons and wizards flows in his veins like in any Orc's, as he is aware of his kind’s origins and past sufferings. He resents the intrusion of Menelag's expedition and will order his people to fight against them to the death.
The Dark Messiah
Son of the Demon Sovereign, he is prophesied to be the one who will unlock the gate to the demon’s prison and allow their hordes to rampage across Ashan.
The Demon Sovereign
Father of the Dark Messiah and ruler of the infernal legions, he waits impatiently for the day when his son will tear down the prison that confines him and his followers in the empty spaces between the worlds.