Sadly, this is better than the background in some fantasy literature, almost all fantasy movies, and many fantasy games:
Old, Wizened Fantasy Character Confirms That The Darkness Is Rising
You could set that guy in Clichea and be reasonably sure you've done your due diligence in starting a campaign. The players are going to ignore most of what he says and avoid the portal because it's dangerous and ask "What, the Shadow who?" about five sessions later.