In ages past, the Archangel Yaerius visited a young ascetic named Akarat and revealed to him the tenets of what was to become the religion of Zakarum. These teachings stressed the necessity of resisting all things evil, and embracing, with total devotion, the Light. The angel appointed Akarat to be the prophet of these new teachings, and bade him take the word to the people of all lands. This new religion spoke directly to the common man, and the people of Kurast embraced it. They sent disciples throughout Kehjistan to spread the word. Popular religious leaders soon sprung up, endorsed by the new church, and within half a century Zakarum was the dominant order of faith and binding political force in the East. As the religion of Zakarum took hold in the East, they encountered many enclaves of demonic followers. Some of these were fully corrupted, and easily identified, but many were under subtle demonic influence, and appeared to be noble and good. The Hand of Zakarum was an order of warriors consecrated by the church, and given powers of Light. These Paladins led the armies of Kehjistan against the forces of darkness, pursuing them tirelessly and leaving no territory unexamined. It was often a difficult task to sort out the wicked from the loyal, but they were relentless in their quest.
The forces of Chaos actively resisted this holy scourge, often by claiming that the Paladins themselves were corrupt agents of evil. There were times when Hell managed to trick these holy warriors into killing an innocent, in the hope that it would spread doubt within the church. Occasionally, the zeal of a Paladin would cross the line into fanaticism, thus opening him up to evil influences. The demonic host took every chance to plant the seeds of chaos, and the forces of Light fought endlessly to weed out every hint of corruption.
It is this zeal that drives the Zakarum to battle any they deem to be corrupted. The Zealots are directed by their Priests and will bring their righteous wrath down upon any who they believe to be tainted by the touch of the Three.