The Alchemists were indirectly responsible for creating the demon fiend Baphomet.
Long ago, before the existence of the power known as ether, there existed only "magic". Those who were wise enough to study and comprehend the magical arts were known as Alchemists. Initially, the Alchemists began as a faction of scholars who wished to unlock the secrets of life itself, wishing to use the knowledge they gained in order to lead human kind to a brighter future. However, the temptations that this knowledge brought were too great, and many Alchemists soon succumbed to greed and a lust for power.
Their magical prowess allowed them to quickly climb to prominent seats of power. Instead of aiding their fellow man, the Alchemists became a faction that sought to rule over humanity. Many of their plans were made at the expense of common folk, and soon, disdain for these tyrants grew among the populace. Still, nobody dared to speak out; the Alchemists were too mighty to trifle with. Any objections against their rule was lambasted as heresy, the punishment for which was torture before a cruel death.
They soon found opposition in an order of warriors who called themselves the Knights Templar. At first, the Alchemists easily fended off their meager attempts to sabotage their plans, but soon the Knights began raiding their arcane armories, and learned to arm themselves with arcane weapons and artifacts. The strength of the Knights grew in power until the two forces became equally matched, resulting in a stalemate in which neither side could claim total victory with equal loss.
It was then that the Alchemists happened upon a young boy, who had joined the ranks of the Knights as an apprentice. The boy showed great strength, but his wanton desire for power made him ill-suited for official knighthood. Repeated rejection by his masters sowed seeds of frustration and distrust in the boy. The Alchemists took advantage of the turmoil in his heart, and had a spy coerce the youth into performing an arcane ritual in order to gain the power he desired. This, of course, was nothing more than deceit, and as soon as the boy performed the ritual, dark magics surged forth and took hold of his body, binding him to the Alchemists' will. Indeed, the boy had become more powerful than he could have ever imagined, it was at the cost of becoming nothing more than a puppet of destruction.
The Alchemists sent the boy to exterminate the Knights Templar. His natural strength, combined with the magic that the dark ritual had granted him, made him a match for even the most skilled of the Knights. The boy's consciousness, trapped inside of a body no longer his own, could only watch helplessly as he was made to slaughter his former comrades. It was at that point that the last of his sanity slipped away. Having succumbed to madness, his dark powers raged out of control, devouring his own body and soul, and transforming him into the first Blight to ever exist: the hellish fiend known as Baphomet.
The Alchemists had underestimated the boy's magical affinity. They could never have anticipated that his abilities were great enough to conjure an abomination of that caliber. In an instant, their reliable pawn had become an unstoppable monster that was impossible to control. They were powerless before the vile colossus as it rampaged across the land, destroying everything it met in its path.
Transformation into PanzersEdit
Eventually, Baphomet fell at the hands of Raydric Haze, a hero from the Order of Knights Templar. By then, both sides had dwindled in strength and numbers in their struggle against the demon creature.
However, the Alchemists' own magical prowess would ultimate become the source of their downfall. As Baphomet perished, his body burst into particles that scattered throughout the planet, infusing all life on Earth with a small fragment of his power. For ordinary creatures, this essence combined with their life force to create the power now known as ether. However, for the Alchemists, whose bodies were already acutely in-tune with supernatural forces, Baphomet's essence was a toxic miasma. Not only did it rob them of their ability to use magic, it also slowly corroded their souls, and eventually resulted in many of their deaths.
Left weak and utterly powerless, the remaining Alchemists had no choice but to retreat away from the world.
Eventually, they learned to overcome their ability by fusing their souls with those of animals, effectively making themselves immune to the poisonous effects that ether had on their souls.
The Alchemists who had survived slowly began to rebuild in secret, away in a hidden world they made for themselves.
They became known as the hybrid race of half-beasts called the Panzers