Eons earlier, before the elders of Oa ascended to become the Guardians of the Universe, the galaxy was still awash with the powers of magic. Among the most horrific practitioners of the dark arts was the Empire of Tears, deathless demons of pure evil. The Oans decided that it was the time for technology and science to rule and sought to eradicate the evil of the Empire's magic from the universe. Ysmault was the final battleground in their war. There, the Empire tortured those Oans who were not strong willed enough with visions of ghastly horrors. The Oans who prevailed in the battle, however, were unable to destroy their demon foes. The Oans chained down and crucified the demons on the surface of Ysmault and declared the planet permanently off limits to all.
Millennia passed until one day, Abin Sur attempted to aid a badly damaged Ungaran starship that was sent careening to the surface of Ysmault. Ignoring the Guardians edict against traveling to Ysmault, the Green Lantern pursued the falling starship in an effort to save the lives of the many passengers on board. Abin Sur located the damaged craft but was unable to locate its passengers. The entombed demons offered assistance to Abin, enticing him to free them. One of the demons, Qull of the Five Inversions, promised to give the answers to any three questions, free of charge.
After Qull answered Abin Sur's first question, the Green Lantern located a young Ungaran girl, the only survivor of the crashed ship. Although still skeptical, Abin Sur was intrigued by the demon and returned to ask Qull a second question about his own fate. Abin was told that he would die when his ring failed him during a crucial moment and that his successor would eclipse him to become the greatest of all Green Lanterns. Now annoyed by the demons obvious trickery, Abin Sur asked to know the fate of the Green Lantern Corps, of which concerned the final battle of the Green Lantern Corps.
Qull, in turn, shared with Abin Sur a prophecy:
Abin Sur laughed dismissively at the demon's transparent attempts to rattle him and left the planet with the young girl, intent of wiping his mind of Qull's nonsense. The demons reportedly laughed for nineteen weeks after he left, convinced that they had broken the strong-willed Lantern. Although he refused to admit it, the demon's warnings deeply troubled Abin Sur. He began charging his power ring excessively, trying to ensure that it did not fail him as Qull predicted. He also began using a spaceship rather then his ring for long space flights and missions.
Qull's actions would anger his fellow demon Atrocitus, who felt that Qull's machinations were short-sighted. Atrocitus planned to escape after the Guardians transferred the two demons from Ysmault, to a less oppressive prison planet. However, because the Guardians had taken notice of Abin Sur's behaviour after his visit to Ysmault, they had chose to leave their demonic prisoners on the barren planet. Atrocitus blamed Qull for planting the seeds of doubt which led to Abin Sur’s death and eliminating their chance for freedom.
Qull was undeterred by Atrocitus' anger. However, Atrocitus bore a grudge. He had uncovered the power of the red spectrum of light and formed a red ring and power battery. This new weapon was powered by the emotions of hate, anger, and rage and needed to be anointed in blood. Atrocitus raised the red lantern above his head and used it to beat Qull to death. The lantern was bathed in Qull's blood which apparently unlocked its power.
During the Blackest Night, Qull and the three other Inversions were ressurected by a black power ring and became Black Lanterns. On Ysmault he ripped out Atrocitus' heart.