Part 1: Prologue: What has come beforePrologue - What has come before
This is the third game in the series, which spans 70 years since the first game, so theres a bunch of backstory. It contains unmarked spoilers for Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity.
Thousands of years ago on the world of Rivellon, the Seven Good Gods were losing the battle against the evil god Chaos. In a desperate attempt to save the mortal plane, the Good Gods left the mortal plane behind and tried to drag the unwilling Chaos with them. The attempt was only partially successful. Chaos was caught between the mortal and spiritual planes, and there, a new plane grew around him which became known as Hell.
While the Lord of Chaos could not return to Rivellon, his influence over it was greater then that of the Good Gods. To help battle the forces of Chaos, from time to time, they were able to create a Divine Being on the mortal plane who could Mark a mortal to select them to become the Divine, a demigod who could act as the will of the Gods on the mortal plane.
Six hundred years before the events of Divine Divinity, Chaos had managed to return in physical form. His body was nigh-indestructible, and worse, he had an army of demons and evil wizards to aid his bloody conquest.
The leaders of the Seven Races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Lizard, Imp, and Wizards) sacrificed their lives to once again banish Chaos. But they did not know that Chaos had already left a piece of his soul in the sword of Ulthring, his top general.
The hero Ralph slew Ulthring with the chaos-possessed sword, only to realize that his soul was in a losing battle with the soul fragment of Chaos. To prevent the demon from breaking free, Ralph locked himself and the sword away in the treasure vault beneath Stormfist Castle in the Dukedom of Ferol.
Some time before the events of Divine Divinity, Janus, the son of the current Duke had found the possessed sword. His soul was devoured instantly, and his body was from then on host to the Demon of Lies. Janus had his father assassinated so he could assume the throne, and he used the power base to secretly rebuild the Black Ring a dark army seeking the return of the Lord of Chaos.
Janus learned that there was a Divine Being hibernating nearby, and attempted to have it destroyed before it could choose a mortal.
The attempt failed. The Divine Being split into three pieces. One of them Marked the warrior Lucian.
With the guidance of the wizard Zandalor, Lucian re-formed the Council of Seven, who were the only ones who could perform the rituals which would send him to the divine plane to meet the Seven Gods and get their blessing.
Lucian became the Divine One, and he defeated the leaders of the Black Ring who blocked the way to the Demon of Lies, but he was not fast enough.
The Demon of Lies was able to complete a ritual and infuse the soul of the Lord of Chaos into the body of an abducted human baby.
Lucian defeated the Demon of Lies, and returned him and the cursed sword to Hell. But he could not bring himself to kill the boy. Lucian named the baby boy Damian and raised him as his own son.
All was peaceful for a while. Lucian formed an army of Paladins to purge land of the Black Ring. When he was old enough, Damian joined the Divine Paladins himself. But the Black Ring was not entirely gone. They discovered the identity of Damian, and they sent the young sorceress Ygerna to try and bend the fifteen-year old boy to their side.
Damian and Ygerna fell in love. She taught him the ways of magic. But when Lucian discovered that Ygerna was a member of the Black Ring, he had her brought to him. He personally executed her just as Damian was arriving. Unknown at the time, Damian had cast the spell of Soul Forging at precisely the moment of her death, binding Ygernas soul to his.
Lucians execution of Ygerna forever turned Damian against him. Damian fled and joined the Black Ring, where he was told his true nature, and became known as the Damned One. Damian and the Black Ring launched an attack on Lucian and his paladins. Damian was overconfident, and Lucian captured Damian and had him imprisoned in a separate dimension.
50 to 55 years before Divinity 2, a costly mistake by a Divine Paladin allowed Damian to escape the world where he was imprisoned and return to Rivellon.
Excerpt from The Last of the Dragon Knights, by Zixzax the Almost-Wise:
Long ago, the Dragon Knights were once a numerous band of elite warriors, granted power by the Dragons themselves but time and battle whittled their numbers down, and after the ancient disappearance of their leader Maxos, no more Dragon Knights have been created in hundreds and hundreds of years. The Dragon Knights grew cautious and withdrew from the world, content to be guardians of their individual corners.
Damian, the Damned One returned to Rivellon, more powerful than ever. The battle between the forces of the Divine Paladins and the Black Ring changed the face of the landscape: mountains were leveled and became flat, blackened plains, and farmlands were heaved high into the sky, becoming jagged cliffs and bluffs.
The Divine One realized he needed powerful allies. Zandalor told him of the Dragon Knights, and he sought them out to recruit them to his cause. So persuasive was he, that he was able to gather together many of them: Orobas, Talana, Geldor, and more...
They gathered together with the Divine One to meet Damians army but just as the Divine was about to give the order to attack, one of the Dragon Knights suddenly stabbed the Divine in the back, killing him. At the same time, the dragons of the Black Ring swept up from hiding and flew over the battlefield, blasting the alliance with their fiery breath. Leaderless and ambushed, the alliances careful plans dissolved into chaos. They fought fiercely, taking many of the Black Rings warriors and demons with them but Damian was content with his revenge, and withdrew his forces from the battlefield. The outcome of the battle was effectively a stalemate, but the forces of Order had lost their leader, the one holding the fragile alliance of different kingdoms together.
Damian did not attempt to conquer the human lands again. He remained hidden in his base in Yuthol Gor. As quiet years turned into quiet decades, his threat became more and more distant in the back of the minds of the people of Rivellon.
The once respected Dragons and Dragon Knights became the angry focus of a world bent on seeking revenge for the Great Betrayal. In the fifty years since the death of the Divine, all the Dragon Knights were hunted down and exterminated. All except for one