Our lives are a joke.
We were once gods, and kings. Free to make our own destiny, however we chose. War or peace, honor or trickery; it was ours to decide. And so we decided poorly. We chose war. We chose to fight that war with all that we had at our disposal; all the ancient masteries with all of our greatest champions. And in so choosing, we tore the world apart. Tore, not destroyed. We saw the gravity of our own follies, our own hubris. We saw the terror that absolute power can achieve. We might have learned from our mistakes.
But then came the Summoners.
Our forebears were so disgusted with the state of the world that they decided unilaterally to no longer let the state of the world be determined by us. They appointed the Summoners—great tacticians and generals—to rule over us, and check our power at every turn. No longer were we to fight in wars, but instead the war games: a facsimile of war on the small scale, on an enclosed stage. And not even all of us; only the very strongest. All the heroes of the world who dared to make a name for themselves had to register, and submit to the whims of the Summoners. At a moment’s notice we might be summoned to fight in the games, a summons that cannot be argued or escaped.
That was the day the free world died. Nothing is “real” anymore. Our enemies’ land borders us on all sides, but can we invade it, or even defend our own land? No. Can we exploit an obvious weakness that they have yet to comprehend? No. Can we orchestrate an assassination or take a hostage? Everything of consequence has become the games. Rebellions, feuds, arguments over ascension, ambushes, all of them have become the games. To kick against the goads and fight in reality is to be stuck down with lightning from above, never to kick back again. There is nothing left to do now but comply.