The nine greatest noble houses of what was once Irjis -Morjia (two greatest city-states of the western plains on the continent of Alorian) denied the gods and embraced the Nine arch-devils of the Pit during the great battle to drive the Adversary from the Cunaerai when the gods still walked the lands of mortals. This pact gifted the houses great power and terrible secrets not meant for mortals to know in exchange for the commitment of their souls to the diabolic host after death. The loss of mortal souls inclined to evil to the lords of hell is said to have weakened the Adversary significantly, such that the gods of Day and Twilight were emboldened to confront the enervated god directly and condemn its defeated spirit to the pit – at great cost to themselves.
The change to the Cunaerai wrought by this pact between Irjis-Morjia and the dukes of hell was twofold. First, it allowed the fiendish lords of hell to ascend to minor divinity as the wicked and decadent rulers of a great and powerful land abandoned the living gods. Second, the blasphemy of abandoning the natural divine order and prescripts of Fate forever marked the lands of Irjis-Morjia and those who ruled it. Thus tieflings are the unholy former-humanity born of this dark pact – their souls are damned and tainted with the blood and oath shared between Irjis-Morjia, now the Horned Hold, and the now-deified lords of hell.
Tieflings are descendants of the nine noble families, destined to bear their curse and mark for eternity. Some wear their soulless nature as a badge of honor, others with shame, and still others work tirelessly to wipe away the stigma of their nature. Those few who look to rejoin the fold of the living or old gods and atone for the acts of their forebears seek what is known as the reprieve. Most however, are quite content with their nature and spread mischief and wickedness wherever they can. In addition, as with most things that brush close to the Pit and the chaos within, others have been corrupted beyond the devilry of Irjis-Morjia, and now tieflings can be found whose souls have been tainted by other layers of the Pit – the abyss and the legions of demons there or the daemonic host in what is known as Tartarus or Gehenna.
The stigma against tieflings is great (and for good reason), and so most are still found ruling within their ancestral homeland – the Horned Hold. Others, however, have made their way across the Three Lands to some of the larger and/or more decadent cities throughout the Cunaerai. They are an accursed race and it takes a great deal of trust to see the individual goodness that may lie beyond the corruption of the whole.