Every good RPG should have a good back-story, whether its fully explained in the game or not. You can always tell when a game world has its own history not part of the central plot.
The following information is not necessary to playing through Valor Seed, nor will it be particularly well gone over in it. It is simply the back-story that I used as the foundation for the game.
The Other Universe, the Esprit, and the Ordiri
The origin of the Universe began in an other universe. The other universe was very old. The spread of Wyrd (entropy) had caused all materials to slowly become the same. In fact, all life-forms had been combined into a single life-form, the esprit.
We designed the Esprit by taking all of modern Earth's most abundant life-forms, ranked by cognition, and merged them into a single gestalt.
The esprit were not very interested in succumbing to maximum entropy. As they were basically boiled-down life, they bestowed life to the remaining materials in the other universe. Thus, the ordiri were created.
They're basically elementals.
The ordiri were made from heat, light, magnetism, metal, etc. A diverse bunch. They reckoned that the only way to escape the Wyrd, was to go to a different universe. For this purpose, they used the dark materials (dark matter) to fashion a colossal spear , the dark spire.
With the Dark Spire they stabbed through the wall of the other universe, and into a new one. As the dark spire passed into the new universe, all of the ordiri were swept down along its length. Those that were flung from it, were simply erased--they were not materials of the new universe.
This Universe & the Spheres
The ordiri found they could not leave the proximity of the dark spire. The esprit, feeling bad for their creations, departed out into the new universe, discovering that it was bereft of any form of life. They gathered new materials and brought them back to the ordiri.
The ordiri were distributed foremost in three areas of the dark spire, its base, its middle, and its tip. Using new materials, all of the three groups created spheres of worlds.
The materials of the new universe were very raw--compliant to being animated. All new life-forms took on a part of the esprit called Sele. To protect the sele from drifting off away from the dark spire, the esprit created a barrier around the center of the spire, and called it the Source.
When these new life-forms were placed into the spheres, however, the results were unexpected.
The Mortal, the Everlasting & the Undying
On the base of the dark spire a festering wound was found. Marking where the pass between universes has closed, it was now a scathing mark, oozing Wyrd. The sphere that had been created around this was greatly affected. All material in the sphere was put into a constant state of flux--including life-forms. The life-forms of this sphere were set to random changes in body. The only constant was the nature of their sele. Bound to a state of constant suffering, it was named the Sphere of Ire. They were named the Wreth. Because they were constantly changing, they could never experience death--life was forced upon them.
The Wreth have unusual physical forms. On their native Sphere these forms change at random, however on the Sphere of Mortality they remain constant, though are always monstrous in appearance. Basically, they're demons/devils, and such is why they look ugly.
The middle sphere, home to the greatest abundance of life-forms, became the Sphere of Mortality. All life could end there. When a life-form expired, its sele would return to the Source, charged with the personality, but not the memories from, its former body.
All creatures are life-forms--animals, plants, humans even. As all were created whole and in their present form, there is great and unexplained variety of personal features that do not have genetic backgrounds that fuel racial bias. So, yeah.
The last of the spheres was called the Sphere of Apathy, for it knew no suffering. It was too far from the Wyrd-wound, and so deep into the new universe, that its life-forms were incapable of undergoing change. They were named the Frith.
The War for Sele
Sele reincarnate constantly. Throughout each life they develop new personality traits that carry over from life to life. Most sele reincarnate back into the Sphere of Mortality.
The Wreth, suffering endlessly as they were, decided that the best way to end said affliction would be to tear open the Wyrd-wound and let the new universe go the way of the old one. For this, they decided they needed more Wreth.
Frith and Wreth can, using treacherous paths, travel to the Sphere of Mortality. There, like every other living creature, they can, however, die. A sele marked with Wyrd, retains that throughout all its lives, and if enough Wyrd marks it, it reincarnates in the Sphere of Ire.
Posing as gods, devils, or whatever, the Wreth infiltrated the inner-workings of mortal society to try and contaminate sele in order to spur on their reincarnation into suffering.
Recognizing this as a bad thing, the aloof Frith did as the Wreth, but for the purpose of purging Wyrd from sele, to avoid bad reincarnation. You get it, now, surely.
The Sphere of Mortality--The Planes
The Spheres are not like a planet in our own universe. They are big and full of space. The Sphere of Mortality is full of aether, which is basically elemental light. There is no sun. Floating in this aether are the Planes--each one a flat world floating in a fixed position, with most being about the size of Australia. Valor Seed does not take place on a planet--its takes place on Plane Pharamonde. Instead of a planet full of countries, each country is basically its own small planet.