The Ruins of Bael Turath
One thousand years ago the fabled city of Bael Turath, seat of the Tiefling Empire, was besieged by a mighty Dragonborn army. The two kingdoms had been at war with each other for years, but finally after countless border clashes, annexations and brutal atrocities the war was finally set to end. The generals of each army agreed to meet in single combat, the victor naming the terms for the others surrender. But something went wrong…
Moments after the duel began members of the Cult of Orcus cast a spell upon the two combatants, turning them to stone and sealing them within a protective ward. The gathered crowd was outraged and quickly blamed each other for this outrage which then almost immediately escalated into brutal violence. As the bodies fell and the blood washed the city streets the Death Priests of Orcus cast a horrific ritual. Powered by the wonton death and destruction the priests were able to transport the entire city into the Shadowfel.
The inhabitants that had survived the onslaught and subsequent teleportation found themselves looking up at a bleak sky and surrounded by a barren world, but the worst was yet to come. The Cult of Orcus began to raise and army of undead from the corpses that littered the streets. Undead that rose to seek out new victims and turn them into lifeless slaves of Orcus. And so the city was cleansed of all life and a vast undead army was created. An army created with the sole purpose of bringing down the Raven Queen so that Orcus might rule the Shadowfel.
The Raven Queen was not alone however. Calling on her Shadar Kai followers to aid her, she rode out to meet the army head-on and a titanic battle ensued. The undead horde seemed limitless however, and every fallen Shadar Kai warrior soon rose again to fight against its former brethren. All hope seemed lost until suddenly vast swathes of undead began collapsing lifelessly to the ground at the feet of the stunned Shadar Kai. It seemed the cleansing of the city wasn’t nearly so complete after all. Survivors, both Teifling and Dragonborn, as well as human mercenaries, had banded together to assault the Death Priests controlling the undead army from within the city.
The battle was not yet over though and countless undead, bolstered by the remaining cultists still fought on mindlessly. However, renewed by this show of unity and hope, the Shadar Kai were able to drive the mindless undead back into the city and eventually meet up with the remaining survivors. Together they fought with such tenacity and vigor that the Cult of Orcus was routed and the undead army scattered.
The Raven Queen was so grateful she blessed the survivors and named them her Raven Knights. They vowed to take up the sword in her name and fight the forces of Orcus, hunting them down and bring them to justice for their horrific crimes. Those Shadar Kai who had lost friends and family at the hands of the Cultist joined the Raven Knights and together they traveled the planes meting out vengeance and justice to all follows of Orcus.