Michael Ares Fortuna hails from eons past, during the reign of Dantalion, the so-called "Star Emperor". In ages long before any mortal's memory - beyond even the racial memory of the aboleths, and beyond the knowledge of almost any god - Dantalion ruled an empire that dwarfed any that has existed since. It spanned across distance immeasurable; over countless planes and planets Dantalion ruled supreme.
But Dantalion was a tyrant. He was a wizard of unparalleled power, in the days before there were gods of magic to restrict the mortals' use of such things. He could create planes or destroy them, move the stars through the sky, and control the minds of thousands of people at a whim. So vast was his empire that even death could not free one from his absolute rule; he ruled the land of the dead as well as the land of the living.
But no tyrant remains eternally unchallenged, even one as powerful as Dantalion. And so it was that on a backwater plane on the edges of civilization was born a boy named Michael Ares Fortuna. It was once said that Michael was not born from any mortal woman, but instead plucked from the stars - but even the memory of the legend that once surrounded his life has long since faded away.
Michael lived an ordinary life, for the most part. Gifted in the ways of magic, he was recruited into the Imperial army at the young age of twenty. He was sent out to the borders of the empire, to a minor demiplane called Celestia. For fifty years, he served his empire with distinction, suppressing riots among the subjugated natives, defeating plots of insurrection, and helping to secure the continued stability of that corner of the empire.
On his sixty-third birthday, however, Michael had an epiphany. A vision came to him in his dreams that night - a strange and dizzying whirlwind of stars, falling to the ground and being caught and held in the hands of a shadowy silhouette - a man the size of a mountain, with eyes like burning coals. A voice spoke to him, sounding like a thousand whispers, telling him that the Shadowed Man was trapping the stars, plucking them out of the sky and stealing their light. The stars' patterns of light and darkness, so carefully woven, showing the fate of all things beneath their light, were being irreverently torn apart by the Shadowed Man.
That Shadowed Man, they told him, was the Emperor Dantalion. And the stars had decreed it was his destiny to save fate itself from the Star Emperor.
Michael never doubted for a moment the truth of his vision; he knew it in his heart and soul. He raised an army of the angels of Celestia, who seemed to know of his vision. They traveled the outskirts of the empire for years, liberating countless minor settlements and peoples and slowly building a great army to challenge the Star Emperor. Michael became known as a sort of prophet, heralding fate's decree that the tyranny of Dantalion would soon end. Fate itself cloaked Michael from the tyrant's watchful eye, blinding Dantalion to his fast-approaching doom.
On the fifth anniversary of Michael's vision, they began their invasion, striking at a major Imperial city. In that glorious battle, it seemed the stars themselves sided with Michael - the sun vanished from the sky, replaced by a thousand glittering stars. The stars shielded Michael's army from the retribution of Dantalion's magic, rendering the mighty sorcerer all but impotent, and Michael's army crushed Dantalion's soldiers with ease.
That first victory was the spark that ignited an inferno. Rebellion swept the Empire as Dantalion's image of invincibility was shattered. For the next thirty years, a vast and bloody war engulfed most of the known universe, as Dantalion pitted his loyalist armies and unimaginable personal power against the innumerable rebels lead by Michael. Though Michael's presence seemed to act as a talisman against the Emperor's power, he was only one man. No matter how bright the sparks of rebellion, without Michael's protection any rebellion was doomed to fail, often in an onslaught of magical wrath that left entire planes tattered or destroyed. The rebellion was failing horribly, with only those gathered beneath Michael's personal command surviving to strike against the Empire. And in the meanwhile, the universe itself was becoming torn and broken from the power of the warring armies.
Michael knew this, so in the last weeks of the war he launched a final, desperate campaign against the Star Emperor, seeking to penetrate into the Imperial Palace and confront Dantalion personally - something that no man or woman or beast had ever before done. Though it cost the lives of many of his followers, he eventually succeeded, reaching the heart of the Empire. Michael found his way to Dantalion's throne, the seat of his power and authority, his genius and madness: the Star Engine.
Dantalion had stolen countless stars from the skies of countless worlds, slowly constructing from them an engine of fate that would allow him to control the destiny of the entire universe - a feat of magic and madness unimaginable to all who live today. Michael met Dantalion in the heart of the great Engine, and there they dueled. Fate's chosen was pitted against Fate's usurper in a struggle that has seen no equal since.
How long they fought not even Michael knows. Perhaps there is no actual answer - time has no place in the home of fate. But in the end, Michael was victorious - or so he thought. As he prepared to strike the killing blow, Dantalion released a final blast of energy, shattering his Star Engine. Fate was thrown into disarray, and the two of them were thrown into nothingness.
He found himself in the Nexus, suffering from a temporary bout of amnesia. With the help of a local witch, Michael soon regained his memory, and is now seeking a purpose in this bizarre new world he's found himself in.