In the beginning, God created the Firstborn...

According to certain Gnostic and Apocryphal texts, before Adam, before Eve, there was the Firstborn, God’s first abortive attempt at creating a being in his own image. In a remote desert in the Middle East, near the cradle of all civilization, the earth was wounded. The presence of The Firstborn continued to fester, eon after eon, breaking down the fabric of reality as human civilization flourished around it. The prophecy states that The Firstborn will break through into our world several times. With each appearance, it will ride disease, corruption and perversity like an all-consuming wave until seven mystics sacrifice themselves to drive it back into the Abyss...

The Firstborn has made previous attempts at escape, always returning to the spot of its conception. Due to the immense power contained within it, this piece of earth has been contested for thousands of years by conqueror after conqueror, each with his own agenda for the Firstborn. On its first appearance, seven Sumerian priests entombed the Firstborn within a holy ziggurat and guarded its prison until the desert and their enemies consumed their great civilization and the site was lost. The Roman Empire was the next landlord, the Crusaders the next... on and on until the present day. This is the bedrock on which the modem city of Al-Khali now stands.

Every time the Firstborn is banished, it takes with it a larger piece of the earth to add to its realm, the Pyxis. Whenever it next returns, those layers of time and space overlap with reality, creating a place out of place, a time without time. Like a Chinese puzzle box, the city of Al-Khali has been transformed by the Firstborn into layer after layer of time and space. The further you go into the city, the further back in time you travel until you reach the point of origin, the moment the Firstborn came into being.

The Department of Occult Warfare was founded in WWII to investigate reports that the Nazis were pursuing the development of supernatural weaponry. At first, the D.O.W. was concerned only with analysis, poring over reports and intelligence gathered by the Office of Strategic Services. But soon it became clear that Hitler, guided by the mystical Thule Society, was not only obsessed with procuring a supernatural advantage, he was actually succeeding. Thereafter the D.O.W. began taking a more active role in the war, working closely with their British counterparts on missions ranging from the acquisition of powerful supernatural relics to psychic assassination. It is now the most powerful and clandestine special forces unit in the U.S. arsenal.

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