Once upon a time, there was a game that was not a game. Seeded into the universe at creation, it slumbered until one night twelve young trolls woke it from its dreaming and set it free. On the twelfth bilunar perigee of the sixth dark season’s equinox, character creation ended, and the game began.
In one universe string, the trolls played in haste and, though victory was in their grasp, ultimately failed to achieve it. Closed in together with no goal ahead, they fractured and splintered and shattered. The traps laid in their pasts, in their minds, were sprung all at once, and they were caught.
There was another string of ouroboros universes in which things happened differently. In that string, the trolls struggled slowly through the game, taking time (or having time demanded of them) to fix themselves as well as their worlds. Strength failed them early, so they found weakness and made strength of it. Pity and hate tore them apart and forged them back together in strange beautiful shapes. One by one they broke, and two by two they mended.
They succeeded, creating a whole and fertile universe. As such, they unwittingly foiled the plans of a being who had molded them scrupulously for failure. His frustrated rage would be boundless; his vengeance, excruciating. His power, however, was limited in the complete game’s last moments as it had never been before. He could not bar the door to keep them from their reward.
He could, however, change where it led.
They might have escaped him, but he would see to it they got no joy of it.