They were all from different realms, different realities. And yet, all of them were tied together. Some were nobles, some were hard workers, some were peasants, royalty, innocents and criminals, outcasts and social butterflies. The honest, the liars, victims, messiahs, warlords and artisans.

All were brought to the mighty Arena, all for the people's pleasure in watching them be hunted down, in packs, alone, until they were all dead or were deemed dead enough to be used as pawns for the Empire. And it all started with the Mavrathast... the Maze.

The guards, mindless ghouls known as paladins, not unlike earthling's guard enemies in pixelated mindless devices patterning across a screen, controlled with a handheld box hooked up by a cord to a bigger box hooked up to the screen, patrolled the arena mindlessly, quietly, efficiently. They all wore malicious grins hidden beneath heavily armored masks, spears and halberds and maces and morningstars in hand. It was a miracle in itself that their footsteps were silent, the titanium armor weighing their bulk down, padded by layers of leather and thick cloth.

The intricate twists and turns of the paths of the Maze, each holding perils of their own. Small secluded corners of precarious safety, never knowing when you were going to be discovered and put to death with an axe or a blade. Tiled floors with minds of their own, one wrong step and a trap triggered, killing the innocent (or maybe not) who trod on it not instantaneously, but slowly, painfully, long and drawn out.

Statues in hallways stared at the "contenders". Were they living? Were they freakily set with enchanted cogs and gears to turn silently to watch people as they went by, only turning to look straight once again after hours of staring exactly where the passerby went? Or was it the figments of the minds of prisoners gone dull in the head with fear, with caution... days and hours and weeks without barely a drop of water, a morsel of food. Scraps thrown to them from above by the bored overseers. Was it all them going slowly, painfully insane? Maybe so.

The whole ordeal first came to be after ages of war in the world. Elementals, beautiful people, people who watched out for others, and for nature, and everything in it... the Caliandhs. And the Caliandhs slowly went corrupt. Finding themselves higher than the lowly mortals with no reverence for the beauty of the world's naturalness, they struck down, and the first thunderstorms, tornadoes and twisters, the first volcanoes and earthquakes rocked the land's crust. Tidal waves and whirlpools and currents that shredded the body tore across the vast seas and lakes. Glaciers trembled and fell, crunching villages and peaceful icebergs in their path. And so the Caliandh brought about natural disasters. The mortal folk did not appreciate this failing of the Keepers, the abandonment of their relationships, their trust. And so they fought back.

They devised weapons of steel and earth and rock, machines that spit steam, and moved immeasurable weight. Carts and chariots and harnesses that moved more swiftly across the land than Drahks, than horses, than griffon or dragon, though dragons and griffons were already near extinct. And so the human race, so the elvin, the fae, the dwarven and ghouls and the highlanders, the icewalkers and oceandwellers and the firespinners all set war to the Caliandh race, turning their own strengths against them with the bland genuity and imagination that only mortals can possess.

Pollution and oil bled out into the great oceans and rivers of many a land, choking the Caliandhaquaea, the embodiment of water, of ice, of frost and snow. Wildfires and burning pits drove the caliandhteyrrans from the hills and plains, setting them ablaze. Frost and sparks of generated electricity, of lightning rods and overpowered fans and catapults launched the caliandhaeiries out of the sky, grounded the caliandhtunderans in rock tombs, impervious to their thundering might. Bags of sand and dirt, carried by large beasts of burden, stomped out the warmth of the Caliandhferra. Large, towering fortresses and castles blocked out the light of the Caliandhliera, and torches and light bending glass tore through the shadows cast by the Caliandhshayid.

And this worked, extensively. Soon barely any Caliandhs were left, and those that were shied away from all mortal contact, embracing the only kind hearted souls left, that of the Shayid. The gentle night hid the fearful race from the wrath of the mortals death machines, and kept them as safe from death as she could. Even so the mortals struck out at the night and came to hate it utterly and completely. They formed a pact with the highest of all Liera, and the light ruled unrelentingly, stamping out and smothering the night and all she kept safe.

Centuries later, all that remained were the Caliandhs who turned to work for the light, and the Keeper of each of the Divine's race. The final embodiment of all that the Caliandhs had been. And in jealous rage, for they might band together and scatter the light, the Highest, the Keeper of the Caliandhliera locked the others in tomes, and put them in heavily guarded and trapped pedestals leagues upon leagues underground, where they were never to be disturbed again.

The only to escape this imprisonment was Sanaya, Keeper of the Caliandhshayid. The night was weakened, but the land could not live without the solace of night, if it was only for a few hours. Life continued on if barely in the realms. The seas were dead, no longer filled with life. The land itself was cold, no warmth coming from within, the only heat coming from the oppressing burning of the sun most of the day and night. The nights, due to this, were frigid, lifeless, barren. The land slowly started to die, the only things persisting and thriving seeming to be cacti, until they too began to wilt under the sun, no water, no rain to be seen. The ice caps began to melt away, bit by bit. The winds stopped blowing, the air becoming stale, humid, hard to breathe in. And yet the light thrived. And the mortals adapted, and life went on.

The Light began to feel bored with his co-reign with the mortals, and so conquered them, shining them out, blinding them of their lives, of their homes and their sanity and their rule. The Light became the supreme king, and he ruled with an iron fist. The people floundered, and tribute soon came pouring in of failing crops and dusty art, of trinkets and doodads made of rusted over war machines that were no longer used. The Light began to take people from the land, pitting them against each other and against his guard, beasts made of pure light and malice, heavily armored, wielding clubs and maces and halberds, in an arena that he slowly built up over the years into a giant colosseum. It spanned many leagues, and could seat thousands of thousands. Beasts were brought in from all over the world to fight the people. But once again the Light became bored, and so he expanded again. Leagues he dug down, expanding paths and cliffs and caves, ledges for the people to watch, and guardians to record the happenings of the challenged in his pit, his Arena. This he named Arenathallis, and it is not spoken of in polite company to this day. He dug down and down, until his complex workings of paths and traps and arena-esque rooms came down across a large circular masoleum of sorts. And housed in those temples of that masoleum... were the books of the Keepers.

The Light found this to be a great game. Let the people try to fight their way to the surface or die trying... and add in a theme of danger by leaving the books out in the open, traps of many intricacies laid heavily about them, guards constantly on patrol about that. And the only thing that could safely approach any of the books, would be that with the blood of a Caliandh. And so the torturous part of this game was made. The Maze, Mavrathast, came about, was connected to Arenathallis, and the Caliandhs were put to work again. Their blood was taken from them, whether it was willingly, or no. It was injected into the bodies of the competitors, and they were transformed in a sort. The Caliandh blood woke up ancient understanding within all mortals. But it was too strong and their bodies could not take the transformation from mortal to Caliandh, and they died.

So the Light made blends of the blood, and kept vials of it's pure form for safe-keeping. The blends worked well in the bloodstream of mortals, and opened their perceptiveness. A Caliandh without the innate powers of nature of one. A couple abilities may be picked up, but it is only essentially the understanding of the mind of the Elementals that was achieved. These became known as the first Teychks. And they, if they came to survive the surface path, and enough trials in the Arena itself, became the Light's army, strong, unafraid, weakwilled, and easily bent to command.

Even eventually the light of the Shayid was obtained, and Sanaya exiled to a crystal of pure frosty light, unable to move, unable to act, unable to live freely. Her blood was never used. The Night was the sworn enemy of the Light, and he did not want her spawn in his world of absolute rule.