Legend tells that long ago, before the Firbolgs and Celts had come to Hibernia, it was the Elves ruled the realm, led by the guidance and wisdom of the Seelie Court. One among the members of this court was Leanansidhe, whose great intellect and curiosity led her to begin strange, secret experiments on the creatures that shared the realm with the Elves. When this was discovered, the other Elves of the council were troubled greatly, for in her pursuit of knowledge, Leanansidhe showed no respect for the sanctity of life and the need for harmony and balance in nature. She refused the Court's order to cease her experiments, and was banished.
Bitter and resentful, Leanansidhe swore to avenge herself. She used her newfound understanding, coupled with her considerable magical skills to create a new race she called the Shar. These she fashioned loosely after the Elves, trading the wisdom, beauty and grace of that fair people for belligerence, hostility, and a fearsome, aggressive appearance. As the other races of Hibernia began to make their way into the realm, Leanansidhe broadened the scope of her twisted experiments. She bred monsters called Bainshee, half-living semi-wraiths capable of wielding destructive magic, and Vampiir, essence-draining warriors that sucked the very life from those they fought.
Enraged, the Hibernian gods sent their followers against Leanansidhe's forces and all but destroyed them. Leanansidhe fled into hiding, abandoning her armies. The Shar people, now leaderless, retreated to the far corners of the world and would not be seen again for thousands of years.
For the Vampiir and Bainshees, Leanansidhe had a special mission. In the final hour before her defeat, those who had survived the war with the mortal races were ordered to disguise themselves and infiltrate the societies of the enemy. As generations passed, she hoped, the Vampiir and Bainshee bloodlines would mix with those of their hosts, so that Leanansidhe's power would be disseminated throughout much of the Hibernian population. In this manner, she might be able to someday control those who carried the bloodline.
For thousands of years, the Seelie Court watched vigilantly for Leanansidhe's return. By this time, the Vampiir and Bainshee bloodlines had become so diffuse that Leanansidhe has no power whatever over the heirs to the original creatures. The Shar, left to fend for themselves, had long since forgotten their creator, and the true nature of their origin became a mystery. Similarly, the Elves forgot their old enemy, and so it was that when their descendants encountered the Shar, they did not recognize them as old enemies.
Now that evil forces from deep beneath the Earth have launched an attack on Hibernia, the resulting crisis has given Leanansidhe the perfect opportunity to return to Hibernia. Presenting herself to the Shar Queen as a powerful sorceress, the cunning Elf offered to aide the besieged Hibernian peoples in their struggle. The Shar Queen agreed to seek an audience with the leaders of Hibernia and take Leanansidhe along. There, she informed the council that the peoples of Hibernia possessed ancient hidden powers of which they had lost all knowledge. Intrigued, the leaders of the realm agreed to meet again in a month to see proof. Leanansidhe used the time to seek out and train a number of individuals in whom she detected a trace of her own power. When the assembled leaders saw firsthand what the Vampiir and Bainshees could do with only a month's training time, they agreed to give her whatever she needed. Soon, Leanansidhe dozens of trainers were venturing forth to unlock the dormant powers of those carrying the ancient powers of the Vampiir and Bainshee.
Much to her chagrin, however, Leanansidhe soon discovered that she had miscalculated. The Vampiir and Bainshee bloodlines had become so diffuse over time that she could not exert any control over them at all. She had unwittingly aided her sworn enemies, and this fact drove her already-demented mind into complete madness. She fled the realm and was not seen again.