The last magical age on Earth came to an end over six thousand years ago. The years between those ages are known in certain circles as the bleak time. During the last six thousand years, magic has seeped into the world in virtually random drips and drops, wholly unsuited to spell casting. That did not stop some dedicated practitioners and their descendants from seeking out alternative sources of magical power. These zealots and their extended families called on dark forces, performed evil rites, and conducted abominations against life itself. Murders, mutilations, and ritualized human sacrifice fueled their bleak time spells. Even these diabolical methods produced only trace amounts of magical energies for use in the simplest of spells. Now that the bleak times are over, these dark rituals are no longer necessary, but they may have stained those who participated in those gruesome rites beyond redemption.