In the beginning, all creation was within Tian, the silver river that spanned the breadth of the cosmos. There dwelt within it only the God That Was, the Emperor Upon the High Throne who ruled from the Celestial Mountain of Turesh.
Our world drifted atop the river like a lotus blossom, beloved before all others by the Emperor.
But in time our ancestors grew wretched and craven in their indolence, and the corruption within man awoke a slumbering nothingness from Diwa, the black mud of the river's bed: the Dark One.
Twilight ate the sun and ate the sky, whipping the river into a violent froth and threatened to submerge the world into that roiling torrent. Penitent men sought the attention of the God That Was, so made a mighty pyre and upon it cast the bodies of sinners and thieves, of perjurers and traitors. Wicked men burned until their fat ran as tallow and their bones cracked like dried mud.
The God That Was manifested upon the face of the world in a roar of thunder, one hand holding fury and one hand gripping wrath.
With a spear forged of uttermost light, the Dark One was riven, its body cast deep within the earth of our world.
But the struggle demanded much of our Emperor.
Highest Tian was broken, the eternal planes shorn and cast away so that only a shattered mirror's shard remained, and the halls of the Emperor Upon the High Throne fell silent, abandoned but for his waiting servants.
The waters of the river grew muddy with the blood of the Dark One, and the flesh of our world withered to bare rock and fallow dirt to taste its poison. Even the light of the righteousness of the God That Was could only burn the filth away, and those fires ate the life of stone and sea wherever they fell.
When all seemed at an end, a whisper came upon the wind and urged the last survivors of man to follow the last star in the night sky. There they found the spear with which the God That Was had shriven the Dark One, and perched atop it was the Middle Throne.
Upon that Throne she sat, the heir to the world and the salvation of man: the Armant Empress.