From the introduction:
Little is known of the origins of the terrible lich king Veloch, though it can be supposed he was once an evil wizard of exceptional talents. Legends regarding the wicked undead lord are as countless as they are obscure and fragmented, making real knowledge of Veloch a difficult thing to come by. Credited by some as the first lich, Veloch was certainly the first to rise to any level of prominence. His empire once stretched great distances in the frozen reaches of the world. These lands were once more pleasant, but his influence stunted all life there, and the withered land is plagued by inhospitality even now. From his throne in his dread fortress of Ghaeridor, surrounded by tall mountains and frozen wastes, he ushered in a new age of darkness, both literal and figurative, for a time plunging the very lands under his dominion into eternal twilight and terrorizing the world with his cruel and ambitious conquests. His own people suffered untold miseries as he experimented with the nature of souls and animating magics. According to legend, his armies consisted of thousands upon thousands of undead terrors, animated skeletons and cadavers supported by enslaved souls of those whose bodies were pressed into his service.