You were born a horsewoman of the Marukani, a nomadic people renowned throughout Creation for the fine mounts they breed and depend on. As you came into the full of your life, you became a huntress and wanderer without peer. You could pick out and slay a rabbit at half a mile, and could ride for three days without stopping. In the ways of life you were equally skilled, able to tend wounds, mend broken bones, and craft your own gear of fine quality. In time, you had a son and he too grew into a proud young man who would often accompany you on your rangings.
Two years ago, while on a hunt, the two of you were ambushed by bandits. Though you fought valiantly, you were overwhelmed by their numbers. As you lay on the ground broken and bleeding, from somewhere strange came a great and powerful voice offering you survival. Dazed and dying, you said yes. What followed remains unclear in your head to this day, but you recall the wounds not feeling half as bad as they had a moment before and newfound strength seeping into your battered limbs. You lashed out with your rage, your son standing defiantly at your side, and within moments no other form was moving within sight. The bandits had been slaughtered.
The voice commanded you to come to him as price of your rescue, and you could do nothing but obey. After a day's ride, you came to a strange, darkened land that smelt of ash and dust, and rode past an assembled host of pale, joyless soldiers that could only be the ranks of the dead. They parted for you with awe and respect, and your journey brought you to a great black cathedral lit by the sickly green glow of balefire.
Within, a great armored figure greeted you upon his throne and informed you of your new status. He was the one known as Walker in Darkness, a mighty and terrible Deathlord. You and your son were now among the elite ranks of his chosen Deathknights, commanders of his armies and responsible only to him. He addressed you as Ashes Burnt from Forgotten Dreams and your son as Dust Ground from Conquered Bones. Your old names he snatched up and cast into a gaping black pit before his throne, and they spiraled down into the infinite nothingness of unbeing. At the sides of his cathedral were nine great black cages of tortured metal and frozen screams. Within each of them writhed and twisted a captured soul, and you clearly knew which was yours. Thus began your service to the Void.
Over the course of the next two years, you were sent on many missions to spy upon and assassinate his enemies. You were also sent frequently to the city of Great Forks, as an envoy of his will and ambassador to the gods that rule there. Your son was given command of a legion, and it suited his bravado and fed upon the arrogance that had always lurked within him.
You were and still are confused. A cacophony of voices seems to lurk in your head, just out of hearing but trying to tell you secret things. Sometimes they whisper advice and hidden knowledge that reveals key elements of your situation. Sometimes they goad you to do dark and terrible things, and threaten you with even greater punishments should you disobey.
Aside from the voices, there are also strange memories. You remember great golden palaces and sprawlign cities as far as the eye can see. Great battles and secret missions and grand balls and long nights of passion. In these memories you have old friends, and at times you have felt faint tuggings, as if they were somehow nearby. You are unsure where these memories come from or what they represent, but they have proved useful. One lead you a ring of ancient tombs in the heart of Sijan, where you found a suit of shifting camouflage that somehow fit just perfectly. Others have brought up strange knowledge that was as useful as that of the whispers, or even more so.
Still, your soul has been crying out against the darkness to which you have been chained. Slowly, you have been formulating a plan, waiting until you know more of your situation. A few weeks ago, a strange man came to visit you. He, too, seemed familiar from your dreams, though you remembered him as lithe and handsome, not as a withered husk wrapped in bandages of screaming steel. He addressed you as an old friend, and called upon you to tell him of a minor detail you might remember—where you buried a broken bit of sword a long time ago. Surprisingly, you remembered and told him, and took his leave, trailing great sweeps of shadow behind him. The strange chill that accompanied him penetrated to your very core and made you decide that you needed to get away from all this madness and death.
Calling upon the gods of Great Forks, you asked them for asylum. They grudgingly agreed, despite the potential for retribution from your dark master. You urged your son to come with you, as well as you could without divulging your plan, but he was distant and harsh, thinking you mad for wanting to leave behind the power and prestige you have been granted. He remains in the service of the Walker in Darkness.
After a week of hiding in an abandoned house in Great Forks and fearing how the walls were crumbling as death followed your every step, the triumvirate of gods introduced you to four strangers who seemed familiar. The smiling priest was your old general. The stern sorceror your old confidante and armorer, the brash young pirate your freckled little sister, and the charming old merchant your long-time lover. They are old friends made new, and they have taken you in on their grand adventures. For the first time in a long time, you feel hope.