Words Upon That Which Went Before – Archbishop Ludwig Schott
The war between the High Heavens and Burning Hells is an everlasting conflict and as such, a stalemate. Legions of demons and angels have been slain in the process, but without causing a significant breakthrough.
Long ago, Athael, tactical advisor to the Council of the High Heavens, grew tired of the constant bloodshed and harm it caused to the ladder. He surmised that the Flesh elves masters would be drawn to the scent of such titanic struggle and pain. The other members of the Council, refused to see Athael’s “reasoning”, so he gathered like-minded individuals from both the Heavens and Hells, and led them away from the carnage. To the middle ream, the border that all forces moved through to get at the other, the home of the ritually mauled Blood Elves and their children the fey. Athael had stolen the Nexus stones, the ancient pathways that led up and down the ladder. He sealed these and made it come to pass that no transport could be made via a circle up or down. Only within a realm., Athael created a realm he called Sanctum, where the renegade angels and demons could live in peace. Athael also fell in love with a like-minded demoness, Kalami. Athael made certain his former masters – and enemies – would not destroy his refuge as he beseeched fate and the gods and fiends to bless their decision for a place of neutrality, where folk could make up their own minds.
From the union of various forms of angel and demon the mortal races were born some say. Humans gretch jotun etc.For a while all seemed right, but eventually both sides of the Conflict were bound to take notice of Sanctum.
It was the lower rungs which first discovered a way into the central plane . Ritual possession. They took notice of the mortal inhabitants of Sanctum and realized its strategic value. Control over Sanctum and its mortal population could gain the decisive advantage in the Soul War
In order not to alert the High Heavens, the forces of Hell opted for the subtle approach. The Fiend Rangosh the red sent his son, Morlok, to the realm, using the unique abilities of flesh elven mercenaries where he established a cult – the Necrophym. This cult would win over humanity at the very least to its side, gradually turning them over the side of the infernals. However Athael noticed the intrusion, and created a counter-sect – the The Church of the Divine – that preached the teachings of the gods. And so the great game had begun: a secret war of subterfuge and manipulations, with mortal folk as its grand prize.
For an extended period of time, the status quo between the The Church of the Divine and Necrophym was maintained. Agents of both religions carried their messages to the people, building places of power, constructing cathedrals, and winning what loyalty they could of faithful supplicants
However, at the war’s end, 3000 years before current times the balance between the Necrophym and the Cathedral dissolved due to the return of Kalami. Kalami had due to her nature become bored and had taken time to find new things to occupy her mind. She became close friends with beings of elemental power who ruled the planes that surrounded the ladder.
Thus she invited in the elemental rulers and saw nothing wrong with their enslavement of the mortals who dwelled with her in her realm across the sea.
The aggressive Necrophym assailed the elemental princes drawing the church in as well who tipped the balance on the side of the princes. Morlok and his ilk were defeated banished and their places of power destroyed.
However, the High Heavens finally discovered a way into the mortal realm as panic filled churchmen called upon angels to aid them. With the Church weakened and Athael diminished the traitor was taken and his renegades slain but the mortals were spared as long as they worshipped the gods. The angels from above declared themselves the messengers of the gods and tied themselves irrevocably to the church as both watchers judges and servants. Humanity etc was left to its own devices and left out of the Great Conflict. At least for a while. But ancient pacts and promises can be broken.