A centuries-old prophecy foretold that the Cellend family would be the key to calling forth a horde of demons intent on overrunning the Material Plane. Lord Avel Cellend, patriarch of the family, put in motion plans to prevent such a terrible prophecy from ever coming true. Lord Cellend forbade any of his children from learning magic lest they begin the Demoncall, as it became known as among the family members.
Over time, the details of Lord Cellend’s ban on spellcasters faded from memory, like a prophetic version of telephone tag. Within several generations, paladins and clerics were accepted professions for Cellend descendants. Surely a paladin would never call forth a demon, let alone of rampaging horde of the abominations. Good-aligned clerics were just as unlikely to be party to such a foul task. A few more generations passed and wizardry became an acceptable occupation, provided that casters avoided conjuring spells.
So it proceeded for centuries. Every few generations, the tight restrictions put in place by Avel Cellend loosened a bit more until the current heir of the family’s land, Lady Astriel Cellend, demonstrated innate magical abilities from an early age. Lady Astriel was the first of the family to have such innate skill, and the source of her magical prowess was a mystery to her family. Unknown to the Cellend family, Lady Astriel’s maternal grandmother was a summoner, adroit at calling forth powerful beings from the outer planes and forcing them to perform her bidding. One such meeting resulted in the grandmother being imbued with latent magical powers that passed down to Lady Astriel’s mother, and then to Lady Astriel herself, at which point the latent powers became active and she became the first in her family to exhibit such abilities.
Growing up, Lady Astriel always suspected there was something different about herself. Unlike anyone else in her family, she exhibited magical abilities even from a young age… a floating ball of light here, the ability to see auras around magic items there. Her parents and grandparents were terrified and fought to inhibit the growth of her magical talents. However, young Astriel was not to be denied her power. Dark voices whispered in her mind, always present. They guided her, cajoled her, and scolded her. In the end, the voices taught her to unlock her hidden arcane talents.
Lacking the empathy of others in her family, Lady Astriel grew up aware of the supposed curse on her family. The dark voices whispered to her about it as well. They told her secrets, secrets hidden by her jealous parents and foolish grandparents. Secrets that would allow her, heir to the Cellend line, to finally end the curse, to cease the nonsensical ban on spellcasting.
Lady Astriel Cellend, powerful beyond most mortal’s abilities despite being a mere 23 years of age, broke into the family crypt. Her potential is immense; her hubris is even larger. She believed the dark voices knew how to end the reign of terror against her family. Armed with only a silver dagger, her significant arcane power, and a ritual in her head she didn’t quite understand Lady Astriel started her task. She was convinced this ritual would break the curse.
Instead, Lady Astriel has begun the Demoncall.