The plot behind the Darksiders games so far is that there are four horsepersons of the apocalypse, Death, War, Fury and Strife (Fury being female) who are Nephilim and agents of Balance, being neither for Heaven or Hell. I believe the idea was to have each Horseperson star in it's own game telling the same events from different angles, but the collapse of publisher THQ and the sale of the franchise after just two games may have thrown this into doubt. Anyway, the first game started with War being tricked into kicking off the apocalypse on Earth too soon. The Charred Council who are responsible for the Horsepeople let him go (one hundred years having passed on Earth since), although stripped of his former power (part of the game is getting those powers back) and allow him to figure out who tricked him and he uncovers a conspiracy by Heaven to bring the Apocalypse forwards to ensure Heaven was not defeated in it's ongoing war with Hell. Humanity is wiped out by this point in time, Death's adventure in Darksiders II takes place during War's imprisonment and follows Death's journey to try and restore humanity and save his brother.
The story begins with Death hanging out in Heaven's White City. And like all cities, it has it's "back alleys". Death introduces himself via narration:
Death: "I am one of the four. I and my brothers and sister, War, Strife and Fury have helped maintain the balance between Heaven and Hell. Charged by the Charred Council we wait patiently for the Seventh Seal to be broken. After, we will bring about the Apocalypse when the era of man will end in blood and destruction."
Abbadon the Angel suddenly drops down and attacks him (Abaddon is one of the prime movers of the first game, he is part of tricking War into starting the Apocalypse early, but it rather backfires when he gets killed and reicarnated as a monterous demon thing). Abbadon here though is merely tesing Death's martial prowess. Satisfied, they talk and Death wants to know what an angel wants with a horseman.
|A Wild Abaddon appears!|
Death: "Very well. But take care Abaddon. If I smell treachery on your part you will discover first hand that I am very aptly named."
Death visits Vulgrim, purveyor of demonic goods, serving "the black markets of the Underworld". He requires an exotic fee for providing Death with a blade that will work unsanctioned on Earth. He demands the toungue of a Leviathan that dwells in the depths of the River Styx. Death, being a badass, complies with this request and gets his blade.
|One fresh tongue delivered to your door.|
Custodian: "Your causes have always been just horseman. I have no reason to doubt your word now. But know that the Charred Council has little forgiveness for defiance, and when the heavens tremble with rage it is always the Earth that suffers."
|A portal to Earth is opened|
She sets a mob of humans on him, saying he is responsible for their suffering, he fights his way through them, though he does not kill them - yet. He has eyes only for the Angel and knows he must kill her.
Death: "I have come for the Angel and she will not be my first - though I have often fought besides the armies of Heaven. Killing monsters... demons.. brothers alike. It matters not, as long as there is balance."
|There must be an angel, playing with my heart, ye-e-ah.|
Angel: "The humans lack faith. They lack goodness. THis plague is but a symptom of their unending sin. With each soul lost Heaven's light is diminished. But faith can be reborn. Mankind can be purified. This is what I have given them. You shall not take it!"
Death: "There is something out there. Something dangerous. No longer bound by shadows. It controlled your Angel and drove her to madness. This corruption ebbed when the Angel was slain. It will return."
And return it does. In the second game that stars Death, dealing with sticky black corruption that has infected various places and people is a large part of the gameplay and that Death will act withou the sanction of the Charred Council if he finds the cause to be just. This book also sets up some backstory for the first game, namely the fact that Abaddon is somewhat untrustworthy and prioritises protecting Heaven at all costs.
|Abaddon, the shifty bugger.|