Before the birth of the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe created another group, a robotic police force they called the Manhunters. The Guardians created the Manhunters to keep order and they did until one particular incident.
The Massacre of Sector 666.
A "glitch" in the Manhunters' programming lead them to conclude that the best way to preserve order in the universe was to exterminate all life. The Manhunters slaughtered world after world with trillions of intelligent life-forms being killed. In all, there were five survivors left in the entire space sector. These five became known as the Five Inversions. As it turns out, the glitch had not been a glitch at all; the rogue Guardian Krona had reprogrammed the Manhunters to eradicate life in Space Sector 666 to show the fallibility of an emotionless police force.
For the lives lost in the Massacre, their goal was nothing short of the complete destruction of the Guardians of the Universe. Over time, these persuasive demonic-like beings would move on to build a following and a stronghold in Sector 2814 and become known as the Empire of Tears. They made the planet Ysmault their home and reigned over three galaxies.
However, when the Guardians of the Universe decided to attempt to rid the universe of all magic, they once again came into conflict with the Five Inversions. After a lengthy battle with the Empire of Tears and its followers, the Inversions were defeated and Ysmault went from throneworld to prison planet.