With the formation of the Divine Empire of Elancia, the practice of magic was forbidden. Those who would practice its dark arts were endlessly pursued and brought to justice by her ever vigilant Witch Hunters. But the agents of the church could not be everywhere, and the secrets of black magic lived on in careful whispers and hidden cults.
In this environment, the foolish were culled, and the careful silently grew powerful. A coven of such masters banded together to form the Dark Cabal, and thus united, their seductive charm slowly began to fray at the threads that held the Empire together. Protected by minions born of foul sorcery and infused with energy to sustain their form, they play a patient game, slowly spreading their influence, rotting away the power structures of the Empire from within.
There is no virtue, only a quest for personal power. One should not be deluded of the real purpose behind their pursuits, but rather embrace this pure truth, and strive only to triumph by any means. Warlock Cassius Molgrave, 3rd Age