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After Hook's death, the heroes decided to head to the Underworld to save him, dragging Rumplestiltskin along with them. When they arrived, however, they realized that saving Hook, and even getting themselves home, wasn't going to be a simple matter of true love's kiss. Still, they persevered and after helping many denizens of the Underworld move on, along with condemning some to torment forever, they managed to defeat the mighty Hades and return to the world of the living. However, they didn't come back alone- many of the formerly dead followed them to the world of the living, a weakness in the magic after Hades' defeat granting them a second chance at life. Among these beings was a dark and sinister evil that had been biding his time in the depths of hell until the right moment to make his return. A moment that came when the foolish heroes of Storybrooke ventured into a realm they didn't fully understand and played with the rules of life and death. This ancient evil was known as the Horned King, though his mighty name faded into obscurity from so long in oblivion.
Now free, the Horned King quickly sought to reunite with his source of power- an evil cauldron that had been stored in a forgotten realm for safe keeping. This realm, known as the Land of Untold Stories, quickly fell under the dominion of his might. Using the power of his almighty cauldron, an enchanted item that had been collecting darkness for thousands of years, the Horned King went back to his original mission- to rid existence of all realms beyond one of his own making. That meant accessing and destroying each and every unwanted kingdom.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, things returned mostly to normal. The formerly dead went about trying to find their places, both good and evil. Many looked to mend their ways, while others were eager to get back to the same tricks that got them killed the first time. Many others simply wanted to figure out the strange new realm they found themselves in, and have a normal life. On the whole, though, it was a bit of a reprieve from chaos as everyone settled in. Naturally, it wasn't to last.
Portals have started appearing at random, staying open from minutes to days, leading to realms both old and new, and seemingly coming from no where. Even the darkest of Dark Ones claims to have no idea where the portals are coming from, or if they're going to stop. These portals have been stealing people away from Storybrooke as well as dumping unsuspecting people from distant lands into the town they know nothing about.
One thing's for sure: it may take all Our Heroes and Villains
to stop this new threat.