The player character, a Shaper initiate, is attacked en route to his apprenticeship and forced to land here, without training or tools. Shipwrecked on the Barred island, they must attempt to escape by any means necessary, and in the process disrupt the delicate balance of power that has developed on Sucia Isle for two centuries.
Much of the island's history is unclear, given the sparse and damaged records available.
At one point in its ancient history, Sucia was home to two warring tribes: Heustess' people, who once inhabited the area known as the Sentinels, and another group that lived in the Spirit City. The others discovered a way to use their magic to warp and alter their enemies on the battlefield; in many cases this led to gruesome death as organs disappeared, bones shattered, or skin melted. They continued to use this power with abandon until something unforeseen happened: they changed someone for the better. Heustess was altered, but the alterations gave him incredible power and extended lifespan. He led his people to drive the others from the island, where it is implied that they refined and honed their magic over the centuries to become the Shapers.
The Shapers inadvertently returned much later, and turned Sucia Island into a research center for the pursuit of potentially dangerous experiments. The head researcher, Danette, along with school administrator Defniel and workshop head Corata, began their research into what they called "scrolls." By developing magnification devices, they were able to determine that all living things had tiny codes written inside them in the form of impossibly long, twisting "scrolls," or genes. Moreover, by applying magic precisely, these genes could be changed, and even completely rewritten.
Using this revelation, the three developed the canisters, small vessels full of charged essence that could rewrite a user's genes to give them great physical and magical power. With their proof of concept a seeming success, Danette proposed the true masterwork: the Geneforge, a pool that contained the finest flowering of the Shaping arts ever devised. The Geneforge would make a Shaper akin to a god, and allow them to use that power to rule over the lesser beings uncontested.
The Shaper Council, however, saw a much greater danger in their research. The canisters and the Geneforge could allow anyone, not just a Shaper, to acquire all the powers of a fully fledged Shaper with no training or preparation whatsoever. Fearing the inevitable destruction this would cause, the Council Barred the island: any Shaper found there would be punished, and any outsider who set foot on its shores would be sentenced to immediate death. They recalled all Shaper personnel from the island, forbid them from carrying with them any research made there, and tried to forget it had ever existed. Sucia Island was left quiet for two centuries.
In the absence of the Shapers, their serviles found themselves without their masters for the first time. Many became despondent and disorganized, and many more died. Eventually, they learned to farm and care for themselves, and began to develop three distinct sects centered around their ideologies concerning their absent masters: the Awakened, who believed that their ability to survive on their own gave them the right to be treated as equals; the Obeyers, who wished to remain loyal in the hopes that the Shapers would eventually return; and the Takers, who rebelled against their abandonment and resolved to "take their free," or free themselves with military force. These servile factions vied for power in the Shaper ruins undisturbed for generations, until the Sholai arrived.
The Sholai, outsider explorers from a faraway land, found Sucia Island by accident after a storm. Not knowing the Shaper language, they only discovered the ramifications of the island's Barred status after it was too late. They delved into the Shaper ruins and discovered the remaining canisters, and when they discovered what they did, there was a scramble to use as many as possible. Their leader, Trajkov, and his inner circle claimed the lions' share, but Trajkov's sights were set on the Geneforge, which he did not know how to use. He allied with the Takers, who inhabited the island's former administrative center at Kazg, and developed a plan to capture a Shaper and get them to instruct him in the use of the Geneforge.
The first Shaper so captured was Goettsch, but he was older, more cunning, and was able to not only decipher the function of the Geneforge, but steal the gloves necessary to safely use it and flee to an ancient temple complex at the other end of the island. Enraged, Trajkov instructed his men to capture another Shaper, this one younger and more pliable, to retrieve the gloves for him. The capture went awry, resulting in the player character being shipwrecked on Sucia Island with no supplies, no training, and no idea how to get away. Eventually, however, the Shaper apprentice managed to escape and alert the Shaper Council to the outsider presence on the island, and the Council responded with overwhelming force.
It is unknown exactly how the conflict was resolved, but the Council once again found themselves with Sucia Island's research, as well as hordes of dangerous rogues that the Sholai had loosed upon the abandoned research outpost. They dispatched a cleanup team to destroy the research and the rogues, including a young Shaper and Guardian: Zakary and Barzahl. The pair deciphered the true implications of the Geneforge research, and agreed that it could not be allowed to be destroyed. They smuggled research notes, materials, and even a great many of the intelligent serviles off of the island, and established a colony high in the mountains where they could delve into the forbidden knowledge undisturbed.
With that, Sucia Island's long history of struggle and conflict came to a quiet end. With no remaining secrets to protect and no serviles left to inhabit it, it slipped back into comfortable obscurity, while the events that had begun there spun out into the rest of the world.