When the Guardians of the Universe sought to bring order to existence, they developed an army that would carry out the Guardians will and battle evil where ever it arose. That army was the Manhunters. In time, however, the Guardians soon learned that their creations lacked the ability to see the difference between good and evil, and became more obsessed with maintaining their code, "No man escapes the Manhunters". The breaking point came when a simultaneous glitch occurred within all Manhunters: eradicate all life to secure order.
The Manhunters descended upon Space Sector 666 and wiped out any organic life forms that they found. When the Massacre of Sector 666 was over, only five beings escaped the Manhunters - Atrocitus, Kultonius, Qull, Worz and Roixeaume. Orprhram and Dal-Xauix were introduced by Qull to Atrocitus. Vowing to avenge their Sector, these beings, demons of great power, became the Five Inversions, lead by Atrocitus, and dedicated to destroying the Guardians for unleashing the Manhunters. Fleeing their homeworld of Ryut, the Five Inversions came to the barren planet of Ysmault. They managed to form the Empire of Tears which spanned three galaxies within Sector 2814. During that time, the Five Inversions would peer into the future and see the Blackest Night, the end of all life within the universe.
Eventually, the Guardians came to defeat the Five Inversions on their throneworld of Ysmault. The Five Inversions killed many Oans that day, but in the end the Guardians were victorious. Unable to kill the demons, the Guardians crucified the Five Inversions and imprisoned their servants on Ysmault, which was declared forbidden territory to the Green Lantern Corps, the successors of the unstable Manhunters.
Millenia later, the Green Lantern Abin Sur came to Ysmault during an attempt to rescue the passengers of a crashed vessel and made contact with the Five Inversions. This first meeting was not the last as Kull planted the seeds of doubt in Abin Sur's mind by revealing the prophecy of the Blackest Night. Journeying to Earth with a captive Atrocitus, Abin sought out the being who would bring forth the 'Black'. However, Atrocitus escaped, mortally wounding Abin Sur. Atrocitus was eventually captured by veteran Green Lantern Sinestro and rookie Hal Jordan and returned to Ysmault to live out his imprisonment. Once back on Ysmault, however, Atrocitus turned his rage on Kull and the other Inversions, killing them to provide the means to create the Red Lantern Corps.