The Twilight Kingdom, the central city of the Twilight Realm, is a strange otherworldly mirror of the world above known to the residents as the Light World.
Time here seems to flow strangely here compared to the time in the Light World, making years to the Twili seem like seconds to the residents of the Light World in one moment then matching the time frame of the Light World second-by-second in the next.
The world, though now shrouded in Eternal Twilight, used to look almost identical to the Light World, with blue skies and green grasses lining flowing waterways of crystal clear rivers. This all changed when a cataclysm, thought to be caused by one of the other kingdoms as revenge for some sort of offense, caused this Eternal twilight to cover the world and plunge it into a never-ending sense of woe.
Residents of Twilight
The residents of the Twilight Realm are called the Twili and bear odd, almost monstrous appearances when compared to the races living in the Light World, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, the residents of the realm used to look exactly like normal Elves and even some humans, normal skin and even normal colors, the worlds were nigh indistinguishable. This changed when a Cataclysm struck their realm and caused a tremendous influx of Eternal Twilight to flood the realm like a torrent of destruction. The few Cities and castles that survived became tribal aside from one, the first kingdom, The Twilight Kingdom.
The monarch of the kingdom during this time was Darbus Shiku, the Crown Prince, and he had ordered every member of their society, in order to save them all, to undergo a radical process to drastically alter their dna in order to more easily fit into their new situation. ((Credit to Daphne Chanel)) ^
This change came at a large price, as many of the residents outside the royal family had their appearances drastically changed, with their skin changing to a pale blue and gaining black markings with green rune-like symbols all over their bodies. Younger Twili became cartoonish versions of themselves with large eyes and coats made from the black markings sealed to their bodies, Elders became large, monstrous beings without faces and bearing giant Mirror-Like stone masks that were often cracked and faded to show their time. The royal family, meanwhile, were saved this drastic change, keeping their basic forms but gaining glowing, pulsating hair as well as the same markings as the rest of the residents. The Army, however, was not as lucky.
The Soldiers became near mindless beings, masks covering their heads where helmets once were and only following the orders of the superiors they once served in sentience. They receded into using basic weapons like Bows and Clubs and were often seen as expendable since they would rush in head first without regard for their own safety unless ordered otherwise and seemed to respawn themselves at a later date. These new beings were named the Twilit, with the smaller beings named as Twilit Soldiers.
The Captains of the Army became even more monstrous than the Soldiers, gaining exaggerated limbs, tendrils, and giant flat, ornate masks made of stone and bodies harder than any armor they had before despite the slimmer stature. They also grew immense in size, with the largest measuring to nearly 8 feet tall. These new Twilit Guards took charge of the smaller Twilit Soldiers whenever they were given the opportunity, with a larger mental capacity making them ideal for leadership roles when available.
These beings were also known as Shadow Beasts when they were first brought into being, being violent and rabid beasts only tamed when Darbus and his cousin Midna were able to show they were far more powerful than them.
Through the centuries the Twilit evolved to regain their sentience and had even began to help rebuild their relationships with their old families. The influx of sentience led to some of the Twilit Guards even going higher up the chain of command and becoming Royal Guardians who would serve ONLY the royal family and had full command of the armies whenever the Royals were unable to do their duty.
These Royal Guardians were far more advanced than the Twilit Guards, to the point they even knew how to operate machinery and even wield magic. They were always easy to spot, since they all wore branded, polished, metal masks in place of their old Stone one each branded with the symbol of the Royal Family. Darbus and Midna were always accompanied by at least two of these Royal Guardians wherever they went as an extra precaution, and they were known to even prevent potential threats before they happened due to their extreme speeds letting them move quicker than sound.
The history of the Twilight Kingdom is older than even the Light World, and as such much is unknown about it.
The known history begins around the time the mysterious Corelion Lelouche Shikaru appeared before Elibretha in the Light World when they were young and told her about her past...as the runaway Princess of Twilight who he'd helped escape many years earlier as her personal guard when an evil monarch tried to forcefully take over her kingdom. When he helped her escape, he had gotten trapped in the Light World and had lost his memories of that time until he encountered Elibretha by chance when wandering through a forest she oversaw.
After this revelation, Elibretha wanted to learn everything she could of the Twilight Realm and her lost kingdom. Over the years, she and Corelion had grown closer and closer until everything culminated in them dating once more just like how they did back in their younger days in the Twilight Realm. Luckily, this reestablished connection was the condition they needed to fulfill in order to return home...with a portal opening just outside their home in the forest leading straight back to the kingdom they had left behind, they both knew what they needed to do. Traversing through the portal, they began the trek to take back their kingdom from the Usurper King, Malus. Upon finding and executing Malus, the two took back their lost kingdom and finally settling into their roles as the kingdoms new rulers. After decades under their rule, they gave birth to a son and named him Darbus, but shortly after they had vanished and abandoned him by returning to the Light World via a mirror-like device Corelion had created during that time to easily get between the two realms more easily.
However, this left the Kingdom without a ruler since Darbus (who was only around 8 years old) was far too young at the time to take the throne and was sufficiently abandoned by his parents leaving it open to attack from the outside...Which is exactly what happened. After news of the King and Queens disappearance spread to the other Kingdoms, a warlord named Zant attempted a coup to take over the Kingdom...in which he failed miserably, and was executed immediately upon his capture by the acting Lordess, Midna, who was only 15 at the time.
Midna raised the young Darbus until he was old enough to take the throne at the age of 16 but the worst was yet to come...As a destructive Cataclysm soon rocked the Realm to it's core, causing a tremendous influx of pure Twilight to overwhelm most of the world and plunge it deeper and deeper into the darkness. Feeling the heaviest effects, Darbus took matters into his own hands, quickly rallying his people to try and stem the tide of Twilight they activated long dormant machines under the Kingdom left behind by his parents that created a functional barrier that lessened the extreme impact around the main palace and surrounding towns.
Over the course of another decade the other monarchs had discovered similar technology in their own areas and successfully saved their peoples from disaster, albeit temporarily. At the age of 27, Darbus decided he'd had enough. The other Monarchs were trying desperately to overtake his kingdom and take the last few supplies they had for themselves and he was done. Darbus and the kingdoms scientists had been working on a plan to save their people through more permanent solutions and had finally found one...though it was extreme...He planned to completely rewrite the dna of every single member of the Twilight Kingdom to make it so they could survive without the barriers and safely begin rebuilding the world they lost. After ordering his own kingdom to do so he succeeded in his plan...but at a huge cost.
While members of the Royal Family and very close relatives, such as Midna, were given only slight variants of their original appearances and nearly eternal life the rest of the kingdom wasn't as lucky. Guard Captains became the hulking Shadow Beasts with shield-like masks for faces and extended, powerful limbs but lost their free will and began to follow the order of their superiors without question. Soldiers became the Twilit Soldiers, small boorish creatures wielding twisted weapons and reverted to primal impulses but still remaining purely loyal to the Royal Family. The civilians all gained wildly varied forms, with children having more cartoonish appearances and elders donning similar but less ornate masks as the Twilit Guards, now renamed the Guardians of Twilight.
After realizing the new changes his people had undergone, he felt the name of Twili for his people was most fitting especially now. (The name used to just refer to the People living in the Realm) He rallied his new, monstrous troops and was finally able to lower his barrier...to which his people were frightened but then...nothing happened. The constant flow of Eternal Twilight they feared before had become nothing but a gentle breeze to them now, which elated the sentient members of the Kingdom and especially Darbus since he knew his plan had worked. With this new drive, he set out to conquer the rest of the Realm and have them all undergo the same transformations to save them all, beginning The Second Great Uniting War.
After the war had ended, Darbus was the only monarch left standing, the others becoming leaders of their former kingdoms, now becoming provinces, and the Realm was safe again...or he had thought. The flow of Eternal Twilight was threatening the realm again and they needed a permanent solution to diffuse the situation. This took 4 centuries to accomplish, with the kingdom thriving as best it could, and it's people evolving over time to become more accustomed to their forms. The armies became more advanced, with the Twilits regaining their minds and manners, remembering their purposes and losing their more impulsive instincts for more refined ones. Darbus and Midna, meanwhile, were working with the scientists to figure out some way to stem the ever flowing Twilight so that the realm could be saved permanently when they stumbled onto the notes of Darbus' father, Corelion detailing his research into removing the Eternal Twilight from their Realm and he had come to only one conclusion...to link the Twilight Realm and the Light World permanently through the use of the Mirror of Twilight and it's equal in their realm the Mirror of Light but he could never figure out how to do this from their end so he traveled back to the Light World with Elibretha to experiment with the Mirror of Twilight to find a way to link the worlds.
Darbus was shocked, to finally find the reason why he was abandoned was so that his parents could save the world he inherited was a revelation of untold power. This filled him with a determination he hadn't felt since the Second Great Uniting War and pushed him to give an outlandish idea....He would travel in his fathers footsteps and go to the Light World and try to find his parents, should they even be alive, and help them in bridging their two worlds and save his own. Finding the Mirror of Light in the temple linked to the Royal Palace, he took along 2 of his Elite Guardians, 8 Shadow Beasts, and 10 Twilit soldiers and activated the Mirror to finally see the world his parents lived in for all this time. After arriving in the Light World, in what looked to be a similar temple as he was just in but left to fall to ruin, the Mirror of Twilight shattered, leaving only one shard behind for Darbus to keep with him. He arrived with only 5 of his Twilit Soldiers but would soon be joined by the rest of his group by the time he arrived in the nearest village, Sunagakure no Sato: The Village Hidden in the Sand.
While Darbus ventured into the Light World, Midna remained behind in order to keep the peace in the Kingdom and prevent the leaders of the new Provinces from trying to overtake them and take the world for themselves...unfortunately, that's exactly what they were plotting to do.