Keraptis was -- or is, if his present-day followers are to be believed -- a wizard of great power, possibly of Elven ancestry, or not. He was the founder of the Onyx Empire, and the architect of the Wars of Arin that plagued Lanad i'Sarois for nearly a century.
Little is recorded of Keraptis' youth, and almost nothing is known of him before his arrival at the Purple Castle to study magecraft. While there, Keraptis spent years copying many of the most ancient and powerful tomes for his own use, and once he had the power he felt he needed, he killed Lorenz, the chief mage at the castle, and it is said that the magical battle and its aftermath brought the entire castle down.
Following the treachery he is said to have committed against his fellows at the castle, he fled across the Golden Ocean to Lanad i'Sarois -- more specifically, the land of Arin -- and there founded the Onyx Empire, which would last for over four hundred years. He brought with him some of his most faithful students: the illusionist Rarth Ilinix, the necromancer Zathmore, the invoker Limmerdin, and his own protege in the study of all magecraft, Morjec. Together, they created a great empire, established the Onyx Army -- one of the mightiest forces ever seen -- and fought many wars in an effort to take over the entire Lanad, if not all of Ardrana.
Final (?) days
Eventually, in the last of the wars, Keraptis was defeated by a coalition of armies led by Sir Roderick Harper of the White Alliance, General Borg of the Thair Mountains, and others. Keraptis was pursued to his last refuge, a mountain fortress in the north, and there it is said he was slain in an avalanche. His followers, however, believe that he still lives, and await his return.
Note: Keraptis originally appeared in the module White Plume Mountain for the Dungeons & Dragons game by TSR, which was incorporated into Ardrana. His appearance here is for the purpose of providing context for the campaign only.