EDIT: Added Reavers to the Wiki. Feel free to remove them if they don't work.
EDIT 2: Lepimorphs look somewhat like this: http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/ ... 4kbpsd.jpg
Yes, they ARE based (very loosley ) on the "Mothman" urban legend.
After reading Snowdrop's revised Shadow Guild/[Insert Name Here] concept, I quickly saw a lot of the issues with the previous ideas kicked around, as pretty much any spin put on the previous incarnations of the faction still made them look like bad Star Wars villains. The term "Guild" also doesn't really work given the fact that the faction now appears to be a society of nomadic refugees from a country outside Wesnoth that grew over time.
Some of the ideas I previously posted still work (such as multiple groups within SG, evil sages, etc), but the basic concept is getting a total overhaul, and my additions will also be changed to fit the new lore, something I feel is for the best. (In fact, the only reason I even called them the "SG" is because we still haven't figured another name out yet.)
This time, I'll simply be writing the backstory as a few basic paragraphs, so I can edit it with ease, as opposed to the italicized and stylized stuff in my previous entry. Once suggestions/revisions ahve been posted, I'll work on the Wiki and submit an outlined and drafted peice of work for your consideration if you decide to incorporate a "Lore" page on the main site.
Once again, this is all a very early concept, and I'll be more than happy to adjust the lore if anything seems redundant, out of place or in conflict with the game mechanics.
So basically, the SG (Before they became the SG) originally lived in a country far beyond Wesnoth (Known as the "Voidlands" there). They were either a nomadic society or an established kingdom/empire until a strange man claiming to be a "bringer of truth" arrived in their territories. The man was a Reaver* Master, a mage with the power to turn ordinary people into horrible, disfigured beings known as "reavers". These reavers were controlled by the Master via a psychic symbiosis that allowed the him to directly control his new minions by either telepathically giving them orders or directly possessing them, resulting in the widespread looting and destruction of the pre-SG society by its own (corrupted) members.
The curse spread like a plague, infecting and corrupting several of the pre-SG towns/cities/encampments, forcing the inhabitants to flee the country and seek new territories. Among the survivors were those who contracted the telepathic capabilities of the curse, but remained immune to its full effect. These men became pariahs among the survivors, and were subsequently chosen as leaders from that point on. Under their power, the SG was formed, and as they traveled far and wide for a new home, other races afflicted by Reavers, disease or societal discrimination joined the pre-SG humans. This resulted in a nomadic society of humans, elves, goblins, lepimorphs (moth-monster people. because.) and dwarves who were bound by faction loyalty and a disdain for the tyranny of kings and empires.
As the SG continued to flourish outside the reach of the mighty Empire, several sub-factions were formed, the largest and most influential of which was the Children of the Moon**. Led by the former bandit leader Jorrath Morneau, it sought to improve the relations between the SG nomads and the other factions, which were at best, shaky.
The empire in particular felt that the SG represented everything in life they stood against, as the general acceptance of practices, religions and races deemed "unclean" by the empire were often tolerated or encouraged by SG nomads. To make matters worse, a group of SG Fanatics known as the Priesthood of Nightmares began committing atrocities against Imperial subjects. Attacking their children, livestock and property, the Preisthood worshipped fear itself, whom they belived was fully manifested in the form of "He Who Sits on The Black Throne". Though the Children of the Moon and other SG tribes denounced the Preisthood as a destructive cult, The Empire quickly retaliated against all SG members, claiming they were "disgusting vermin". Several sackings and raids of known SG communities followed suit, forcing Jorrath Morneau and his followers to flee, seeking asylum in the long-abandoned caves of the ancient Mountain Trolls.
Those within the SG unfortunate enough to have stayed behind were ruthlessly and publicly executed by burning, hanging and the gillotine, having been blamed for every major calamity and disater that happened. One of these victims was a Reaver Infiltrator, created to follow the SG refugees until they came across a large concentation of potential victims. Disgised as a frail old, man, the infiltrator was, along with dozens of SG members, accused of "black magic"; the punishment being an iron maiden. As the spikes, pierced his flesh, the Infiltrator suddenly exploded, spreading a gaseous black cloud containing the dark energies of the reaver curse, infecting hundreds of Imperials who quickly went berserk. As the Reaver curse ran rampant among the Imperial territories, The Preisthood of Nightmares made their move and smuggled several infected humans into quarantined zones, making this the deadliest pandemic in Wesnoth's history.
After a decade of horrific deaths and destruction, The Empire's influence was all but ended, and an aged Jorrath and his loyal followers once again ventured forth to settle new land, unaware that the reavers, now hidden in the dark forests and barrows, were merley biding their time till they once again heed their's master's call for blood.
Not as fancy as the last one, but a bit easier to edit, if need be. The reason I added the "Reavers" (*Or Plaguewalkers, Voidwalkers, Revenants, Wights or The Dirge if any of those names sound better), was that the "plague rocks from outer space" thing suggested earlier sounded suspiciously close to a certain George Romero movie that inspired a certain movie moster that you might have heard of. I'm sure it was unintentional, but I think the idea of Reavers (or some other magically-engineered sickness) allows for the possiblity of Reavers/Evil to appear in future expansions as factionless (or SG if used by Nightmare) creature cards with an "infect" mechanic. I've also totally axed the "mafia" analogy, references to "necromancers" or "dark mages" and completley ignored the skellies. They're still there, I just think giant mothmen are WAY cooler personally. Feel free to edit those guys out if you don't like them though.
**Also, not sure about "Children of the Moon". I just used that as a placeholder title, as I'm still not sure what the SG will officially be called yet (I'm persoally leaning towards "The Voidwalkers")
[Rest Coming Soon!]