Before The Great Cleft

Before The Great Cleft that tore the Island of Agamotto asunder, Doctor Stephen Strange was already an accomplished Sorcerer Supreme and master of his Sanctum Sanctorum. As one might be, surrounded by seemingly mundane but powerful objects, Strange became obsessed with uncovering all of their secrets. His study of the Book of Vishanti guided him to discovering a Time Stone. Using the Stone to peer into the future, he saw death and annihilation on the horizon and warned his mentor The Ancient One of the coming doom. His warning went unheeded. When realities began to collide and the Island violently shattered, many were lost, the Ancient One and Strange's lover Clea among them, and Strange was changed forever.[1]

Rumors of a dark bargain

Vowing to never allow such a disaster to occur again, Strange felt it necessary to become one with the Time Stone, affixing it to his mind's eye and choosing to only see the world through a single emerald lens. Some say that Strange's mind was forced to transcend human thought and operate in the metaphysical world because of his use of the Time Stone within the Dark Dimension. Such rumors speak of a tangled web of time woven by Strange that allowed him to live and die in every possible past, present, and future – enough to drive anyone mad. Other rumors speak of a more sinister bargain with the devious Dormammu, but few know of the real reason for Strange's state of mind, and fewer still would understand.[1]

The Mantle of the Ancient One and the founding the Temple

Whatever truly happened in The Dark Dimension, Strange returned with the wisdom required of The Ancient One, a mantle he quickly assumed thereafter. The Ancient One began to stabilize the chaotic dimensional fragments now known as the Isles of Agamotto, creating safe passageways between most of them and calling all mystic practitioners to join together to form The Temple of Vishanti: a bastion of knowledge and interdimensional protection for the entirety of the multiverse.[1]

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