Millennia ago, in a hidden corner of the World Web, there existed a kingdom. Upon its throne sat the Emblem Lord: Camdar, a hero of unparalleled strength and renown.
Under his righteous reign, the kingdom flourished - countless artisans flocked to capital to ply their trade in the arcane field of “romhacking.” Those who lacked the will to partake in this sacred art enjoyed the fruits of these craftspeople’s labor - “hacks” as they were called - and all prospered. “Long live Hero-Lord Camdar, peerless in strength in vigor!” they chanted.
… But though no individual could rival the Emblem Lord, the combined might of several nefarious warriors could prove his equal - or his better.
Barrier, Ensorcel, Warp, Rewarp, and Sleep. 5 vile sorcerers, known as The Staff, rose to challenge the Emblem Lord. The battle was fierce, but not even the Hero-Lord himself could withstand the merciless onslaught of spells and teleportation, nor penetrate the fiends unbending wards.
Defeated and disgraced, the Hero-Lord Camdar was locked away within his own castle walls. The Revolution of the Staff had succeeded.
Theirs was an era marked by tyranny and terror. The Staff imposed their twisted desires upon the land with foul decree after decree. Dissidents were jailed - and never seen again.
Just as all hope faded from the hearts of the kingdom’s citizens, their Hero-Lord returned to them. Supported by his great ally Pandan, Camdar broke free of his shackles and tore into The Staff anew. It was another bloody battle. All but one of the staves yet lived. But the once Emblem Lord’s strength had failed him, just as he had failed his title as hero. In darkest moment, Camdar suffered the greatest injury of all - betrayal.
Pandan gazed upon the weakened forces of The Staff and Camdar his ally. When he saw that both had nearly destroyed the other, he merely smirked. His gambit was successful. A single Staff and a weakened hero stood no chance before his sword. And raise the sword he did, striking down the final staff… and incapacitating his friend. The knights of Camdar trusted in power above all else. Their loyalties lied with whoever had the strength to protect the kingdom. And so, a new hero was born - Pandan, the next Emblem Lord. The former, Disgraced Hero Camdar, was exiled.
Though he coveted power, he and his former ally were like-minded. Pandan restored order to the kingdom, and eliminated all the tarnish that The Staff had left upon the land. He preached a message of compassion, nuance, and enjoyment - values which raised the kingdom’s hacks to quality never before seen. And yet, Pandan could not help but wish his own will upon the hacks. Compassionate as he was, his inner will was weaker than Camdar’s. Tempted by his own visions, the Emblem Lord started down a path of corruption.
Once content to leave the kingdom in the traitor’s hands, the disgraced hero knew he could leave the fate of hacks in Pandan’s faltering grasp. But Camdar was still far from his once glorious strength. Again, he needed an ally. There was only one man who could assist him. A man not seen in the kingdom since a bygone era. A man known as Arch. Camdar knew the sort of man Arch was. He knew that, should they prevail over Pandan, Arch would challenge him for the title of Emblem Lord. But he had no other choice than to put his faith in the legendary wanderer. The two amassed a mercenary army from the borderlands of the kingdom, and declared war on Emblem Lord Pandan.
It was a long and arduous campaign - prolonged enough to fill 30 chapters of a history book. But the 1st of April, one year after The Staff Revolution, Camdar and Arch arrived at Pandan’s castle. The Emblem Lord no longer resembled his kind self. He had become Nadnap, a monster that lurked in the dark recesses of his psyche. His newfound connections to his dark side granted him power, a power that rendered him nigh invincible. The two challengers had no opening… until the compassionate soul of Pandan leaked out of the toxic Nadnap exterior. The Emblem Lord attempted to talk of peace and compromise. Camdar had his chance. Knowing the strength of Nadnap could take hold at any moment, Camdar plunged his sword into the ruler’s chest. It was over. He had reclaimed his title of Hero. But he could not yet claim the title of Emblem Lord.
As was expected, Arch was not inclined to relinquish claim to the throne. He challenged Camdar to a duel. The winner would become Emblem Lord. Upon the throne room floor, the two comrades waged a fierce battle. But in the end, Camdar had used too much of his strength on Nadnap. Arch stood victorious. Camdar kneeled, defeated.
… But Arch only laughed. He declared his first action as Emblem Lord would be to transfer his title to Camdar. He apologized - he had no intention of ever ruling the kingdom. Such a duty no longer appealed to him. He merely wished to test the mettle of the one once called Hero-Lord. And so, his wish fulfilled, Arch left to wander the lands beyond the kingdom once again, leaving it in Camdar’s capable hands.
Long live the Emblem Lord!