It began a few months after the founding of the new Greenwood Kingdom and its sole city. The Oracle, in the Monastery of Fate, had declared that she had been given a vision of the future of the five continents, and the world as a whole.
Before the details of the vision are told, some of Aregard's history should be explained. Originally, there had only been a single land mass, a supercontinent that was named the Ancient Land. On this supercontinent, there had been quite a few eras of peace and of war, as one would expect from a single landmass being home to dozens of races. An ancient Archmage by the name of Evandar Stormcrown spent many years documenting the many races of the world, their statuses and abilities, and, much later on, their fates. When he lay on his deathbed, he didn't hope for anyone to be able to finish documenting this, as he didn't want it to be lost to history forever. So, he sacrificed his entire power to enchant a large tome, writing his wish to the gods above to protect his life's work, and to grant it the power to update itself to the changes of the world's race. In order to preserve such dedicated work, and the irreplaceable documentation of the events before, during, and after the event, the gods obliged. The tome became known as the Worldly Archive.
Within the legendary book, the list of races in the ancient era, some of which were combined into one supercategory, such as Undead Race, was as follows:
High Elven Race
Fairy Race (nymphs, dryads, pixies and similar are all fairies)
Magical Beast Race
Beastman Race (also includes flying species)
Divine Beast Race
Demon Race (includes various demon species such as succubi and oni)
Spirit Race (ghosts, poltergeists, and similar)
Undead Race (vampires, skeletons, liches, etc)
However, at the end of the ancient era, several of these races were said to have gone extinct, and the Worldly Archive has documented if they were. The races that went extinct were the Giant Race, the Dragon Race, the Gnome Race, the Fairy Race, and the Divine Beast Race, along with various subspecies of the Demon, Undead, Beastman, and High Elven races.
All of these losses came from one calamitous event.
The Abyss Invasion.
One day, a massive rift the height of the modern-day Tokyo Tower and the width of an Olympic stadium appeared in the mountain range beside a major city. From it came endless legions of horrible creatures, along with 13 terrifying beings: the Ten Devil Kings, the two Devil Ministers, and their ruler, the Devil Emperor. Each of the Devil Kings was capable of flattening a country alone, not to mention their ruler being capable of wiping the ten of them out with a flick of his finger. Faced with overwhelming power and unending armies of devils, it took only a few days for more than 70% of the Ancient Land's countries to become ruins for eternity, along with the entire Giant Race and most of the Dragons and Divine Beasts. What made matters worse was that, by devouring the flesh of the fallen, the devils could continuously grow stronger.
With a rapidly declining population, and thus a quickly lowering survival rate, the mortal races were forced into a corner in less than a month. By now, almost all of the remaining species had been exterminated to less than a tenth of their previous amount, while the Gnomes had died out completely. As one would expect, most had given up on survival and wept in despair. However, a miracle appeared out of the darkness.
A brave company of 10 adventurers, the Sword of Hope, appeared one day at the defensive frontlines, behind each of which was the phantasm of a deity. Each of these adventurers had been given the unique job of [Hero], along with a subclass of it. Their names were recorded in history on this day, as they did what nobody had managed to do since the invasion began: they pushed back the devils.
[Divine Swordsman] Alexander Rain
[Oracle] Amelia Libelt
[Mage King] Harlequin Juneau
[Heavenly Marksman] Gerald Blackwell
[Divine Medium] Miriam Astheme
[Assassin King] Eric Astheme
[Grand Paladin] Arthur Blackwell
[Berserker] Jack Scarlett
[Divine Warrior] Trevor Zion
[Beast Emperor] Trina Zion
With the appearance of the Sword of Hope, mortal-kind's dwindling hope, and morale, began to surge again. Men and women, no matter what age, took up arms, doing their best to cut a future from amidst the tide of devils, all while following the beacon of light that was the ten heroes. Thanks to their aid, and the rise in morale, the remaining races were able to hunker down in a save place, the Divine Sanctuary and keep their state from collapsing further. As the Divine Sanctuary as protected by the worldly deities, it was much harder to do any lasting effect to it, but the Devil Emperor and his subordinates proved to be capable of damaging its defenses. Still, with the constant repairs to counterbalance the repetitive breakages, the situation had become a temporary stalemate.
It was at this point that the Sword of Hope began their first, and only, journey. The Oracle had learned that the Devil Emperor was the overlord deity of another realm, the Abyss, and that he was immortal, even in Aregard. The only chance they had to rescue the world was to kill his 12 subordinates and seal the Emperor away. On the way to the Devil Emperor, many fell.
[Heavenly Markman] Gerald Blackwell died of excessive blood loss after the company had killed the third Devil King.
[Berserker] Jack Scarlett died with the 9th Devil King in self-sacrificial single combat.
[Beast Emperor] Trina Zion, along with her many contracted companions, died in a last stand against a massive ambush while covering for the other heroes in retreat.
[Divine Warrior] Trevor Zion succumbed to several internal wounds after the heroes had defeated the first Minister.
[Divine Medium] Miriam Astheme sacrificed her soul to protect her companions from a preemptive attack by the Devil Emperor.
[Assassin King] Eric Astheme was killed in single combat by the second minister, but dragged his killer to hell with him by detonating his entire power.
When they finally reached the Devil Emperor, the original number of heroes had dropped to only four. Against the impossibly powerful abyssal being, they stood no chance. However, they still had trump cards that would help sway the course of battle. Donning their most powerful gear and holding nothing back, the last four heroes battled to the death with the Devil Emperor.
Of the four, the first to die was the [Grand Paladin] Arthur Blackwell, who performed a similar act to that of Miriam and burned his soul to defend them from a massive attack. With his remaining physical willpower, even without a soul, his body charged forward and self-detonated, greatly wounding the Devil Emperor.
The battle continued to rage for a full day before it came to an end. Drawing his trump card, one of the divine swords created by the goddess of balance, Nemesis, [Divine Swordsman] Alexander Rain also burned his soul for enough power to slice the Devil Emperor into five parts, then stab each part with a different divine sword, save for the torso, which was given a sword to the head and the heart.
Using the great power that she held, the [Oracle] Amelia Libelt used her abilities to transfer several deities power into the [Mage King] Harlequin Juneau's body, which was then used to do three things: to seal the Abyss again and expel the devils around the world; to separate the supercontinent into five separate ones; and to seal the Devil Emperor's body parts on the five continents.
Aregard's mortal races had won, but at a great cost. Still, with the guidance of the last two heroes, the surviving races began to regrow and return the world back to how it had once been, except for the obvious change in land mass.
Since then, it had been several millennia, and the Abyss's overlord deity remained tightly sealed, protected by the descendants of the Mage King's disciples. The Mage King's descendants guarded the sealed Abyss, as was their ancient family duty. The first Oracle founded the Sisterhood of Fate, and from there continued the line of Oracles, who would oversee the destiny of the mortal world constantly.
However, the news that the Oracle had released brought back the deeply buried instinctual fear and dread within all mortals hearts.
The Abyss's seal was breaking.