In the time before humans, the first races lived in harmony. Day and night were fixed things, decided by one's position on the map, not by the clock. The sun always bathed the Daylight Woods in gentle warmth, and the Blond Elves danced through the woods, happy in their realm of eternal light.
The moon always caressed the Nocturnal Mountains with silvery rays, just enough light for marauding, which was the Burnt-It Orcs' favorite pastime (orc tusks make pronouncing 'brunet' difficult).
Both races were happy in their realms, and all was right with the world!
But, stability bores the gods. To liven things up, they created the human race. Humans were strange. They could dance AND maraud! Furthermore, they weren't satisfied with trees or caves, but built 'houses' and 'villages' and 'cities'.
And, they felt their existence lacked variety on the great plains between Night and Day. They could live near the forests and have day, or they could live near the mountains and have night. Some did both, but the commute around bedtime was abominable.
But King David the Elder had a solution! He founded the great city of Arcadia, and there, in the Temple of Dawning Twilight, humankind worked powerful magics, and set the Cycle in motion! The sun and moon were no longer idle. They moved through the heavens, and Night became Day, and Day became Night, and the humans rejoiced! For all was right with the world!
Well no, actually, the elves and orcs were quite put out.
Dancing through the forest at night resulted in bumped noggins and bloody noses. As for the orcs, it's nigh impossible to properly maraud at high noon. Also: bedtimes became a stark reality. Have you tried getting an orc to keep a proper bedtime? No easy task.
Arcadia found itself under siege, so Good King David the Elder founded the Great Guilds to meet these threats and stem the marauding, dancing bands of elves and orcs (er... not respectively). And all was right with the world!
Well, no, actually, the wars took some years to conclude (now that the humans had discovered years and invented calendars), but the Guilds prevailed, and Good King David the Elder established the Sunguard, a loyal band of Arcadia's mightiest heroes to police the Guilds and serve as his royal protectors. And NOW all was right with the world!
Many, many years passed, and the elves and orcs eventually acclimated to the routines of night and day, seasons and years (although the first autumn was terribly traumatic for the Blond Elves who had never seen falling leaves before).
The Great Guilds kept the peace and expanded their activities to trade, industry, and lore. In fact, rivalries became the norm, as the Guilds sought to out-do each other in the King's eyes.
The Guilds began competing on all levels: treasure, arcane knowledge, political influence, new inventions, the tastiest snacks, and best exercise routines. anything and everything was fair game. But the competition was healthy, and the Guilds were prosperous, and, as they prospered, so too did Arcadia. And all was right with the world!
And yet, while all was right with the world, not all was right for Lord Fang (whose name was not-at-all ominous at the time). A vampire, and Brooder of the First Class, Lord Fang had loved his eternal night in his lonely castle high in the Midnight Mountains.
He could still lurk and brood, and wander silent halls reveling in the stillness. but now, even he, the MIGHTY Lord Fang, had a bedtime. Intolerable!
But the Guilds were strong (despite their mutual animosity), and the Sunguard stronger. Toppling them would prove no easy task. And so, Lord Fang brooded. And plotted. And schemed. In the course of centuries, he hired spies, mercenaries, and assassins. He hatched conspiracies, intrigues, and collusions. He even indulged in shenanigans, such was his cunning.
Arcadia had made many enemies by setting the sun and moon in motion. And though many thousands of years had passed, the Orcs still remembered a time when they could maraud free of the sun's tyranny. The trolls could not practice their culinary arts on a people so well-protected by the Guilds. And the goblins, well... they'd always hated bedtime.
Lord Fang summoned a dark council. He laid forth his plans for the orcs, goblins, trolls, and minotaurs, and everyone agreed: Arcadia would fall.
Lord Fang set his assassins to work. His conspiracies hatched. His shenanigans sowed discord far and wide across the land. Outlying settlements, distant outposts, and roaming caravans were their main targets.
He created trouble anywhere and everywhere that was far from Arcadia, and filled dungeon after dungeon with treasure and loot for greedy heroes to plunder!
The Guilds answered these threats and plundered these dungeons over the course of a year. How could they resist? Such treasures! Such forgotten knowledge! And, better, the chance to brag about their achievements in front of the other Guilds! Their rivalries grew to new heights, and their exploits were the talk of every tavern from horizon to horizon, and beyond!
But they were drawn out, stretched thin. So thin, in fact, that
Good King David the Younger sent out the Sunguard as reinforcements.
It was then, with the Sunguard exposed, that Lord Fang's horde struck! They laid siege to the weakened city, and it fell within hours. Good King David the Younger and the Guild Leaders escaped, but Arcadia had fallen!
With the Temple of the Dawning Twilight in his grasp, Lord Fang halted the heavens, and the Moon now rules the eternal night sky. And, ever since, all has been right with the world!
Well, no, actually all is pretty terrible these days!
It has been many years since the horde descended on Arcadia and eternal night fell. The Guilds assumed the monsters would simply maraud their way through the capital, then return to their mountains. But that hasn't happened.
Turns out the monsters kind of like houses! Much more comfortable than caves. And marauding need not take place after a long commute! They've established many marauding-based firms and businesses, all within an easy walk from home.
On weekends, they maraud their neighbors. Or, if feeling peckish, simply maraud down to the market for a pastry and kebab. In fact, their 'maraud & barter' system is downright civilized, and the monsters are loathe to depart Arcadia.
Yet, these are not the monsters' homes, and eternal night gets old. All is not right with the world.
With the Sunguard shattered, and with Good King David the Elder in exile, the Guilds have formulated a new plan: They shall spare no expense to recruit their scattered heroes and re-take Arcadia!
And, whichever Guild accomplishes this task, whichever Guild restores the balance of night and day, shall take their place as the new Sunguard! Talk about bragging rights! An epic battle, the grandest adventure of all time! The stakes have never been higher!
The race is on, the call is sent, and the time is now to join the Arcadia Quest!