Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Kryx, the Mad God-Emperor of Kryx

Kryx is a god – a god of lesser stature, to be sure, but still a god. And unlike most gods of his potency, he takes direct, personal action in the mortal world. His ancient history and origins are unknown to all but himself and a few other gods. Kryx is not even his real name; it is a name he adopted long ago, when his real name became too dangerous, and he has kept it since. He is a super-genius, a master tactician, physically mighty, and amazingly skilled. He is seductive, languorous, impetuous, and brutal. He’s also completely insane and perhaps the most megalo-maniacal being in the Olden Realms.

His common form (which he cannot now abandon, due to the Weeping Wound), is that of a muscular male human form, varying in height from 7’ to at least 30’ tall (he is able to alter his height instantly, and is always the tallest being in sight, always). His skin is a dark reddish-brown with purplish-black overtones and whitish-gray highlights; he is dark by northern standards, light of skin by southern standards, and perhaps an ideal combination of all skin colors known to men. His eyes are shining liquid gold in an orb of pure, glowing white; those who see him close up swear that stars shine in his pupils. His hair is the same color as his body, though he usually maintains a clean pate, and seems not to keep any body hair other than eyebrows, save when he wishes to affect a spike beard in the style of the ancient Deshreti.

When he speaks, every person who hears him aloud hears him speaking perfectly in their own native tongue and dialect, unless he chooses otherwise. He can speak telepathically with anyone he can see. Those who hear his spoken voice and feel his voice in their mind are numbed by the combined power and the resonance it sets up in their consciousness. He is innately able to read emotions, but not minds.

When he chooses to wear clothing (he often does not, in his palace or when he stalks his city of Kryxophon), he usually wears a kilt in the Deshreti style, along with such jewelry as he finds worthy of gracing him at the moment. He wields a spear and a khopesh sword, both of unsurpassed quality and invariably magical (if merely of mortal enchantment). All his clothing, jewelry, and accoutrements grow or shrink as he does; when his items are handed to his bearers, they shrink to fit the bearer’s size.

He never wears armor. He has no need for it, as no mortal weapon, even the most potent magical device, cannot so much as bruise his skin, let alone break it. No mortal spell can touch him; in fact, he can pluck mortal spell energies sent his way out of midair and reshape and redirect them as he so chooses. He is a master of more spells than are known to men, and many that men have never even conceived.

What Kryx truly is, his origins, his deeds in the elder days, are unknown. Speculation is all sages have, as even the lore of the elves does not speak of him. It is assumed that he was a Dark Lord of the Elder South, perhaps in Deshret, or Manday, or even in the Far West. Whether he is a Fallen Titan, Elder God, Younger God, Demi-God, Ascended God, or Chaos God is unknown. He wields Chaos, but does not depend on it, and he seems to use it purely as a tool; he is not consumed by it, as were the Dark Lords of the North.

What is known about him is that sometime around 1350, Kryx was freed, or rather, awakened, as he writes in his Kryxonomicon, though anything from that tome must be taken with a large grain of salt. He was awakened from a long imprisonment somewhere in the depths of the Ormakh Mountains. He refers to his “refuge” and “cage” somewhere amidst the roots of the tallest peaks. There a group of men found him; who they were, why they were there, and how they had found him, even Kryx does not know. By their dress and speech, they seemed to have been hierophants, evil high priests, and archmagi, with their potent gathered henchmen. He blithely claims that, as they awakened him, he prepared to thank them for their service and grant them great power and prestige as his first slaves when they, ever so foolishly, sought to command him to their bidding. To command HIM! And so he blasted them all from existence with but a single word.

When he walked out of the Ormakh he found a world completely unlike that which he knew before he had gone to sleep/been trapped. He found the land changed, wholly new races of men (so he writes), strange beasts; nothing he recognized. But one thing he noticed, as he got far enough away from his “cage,” was something so very different, so very importantly different, that he stopped for a long moment to feel it, take it all in, and to savor it.

He did not feel the presence of the Elder Titans!

For as he writes, for those that could feel, the Elder Titans had ever had a presence upon their creation, even from afar, unto the furthest corners of the world. But he did not feel them. The Elder Titans were gone. GONE! His mad laughter and quakes from his capering could be heard all the way in Nótixiphon, the great city on the shores of the Shining Bay. They should have realized it was a terrible omen…

The next day Kryx arrived, and by the end of the day maps were being changed to reflect the new name of the city, Kryxophon, and the new name of the bay, the Bay of Kryx. Paynims, orcs, gnolls, and ogres flocked to his side. The priests of the King of Hell and the Crimson God who did not convert on site were all blasted into atoms, had their still-beating hearts offered to him by his newly-converted priests, or were burned alive on great pyres (sometimes in combinations of two or all three). And from there he began to build his empire.

Fortunately for the peoples of the Olden Lands, Kryx is also very, very lazy. He hates expending his own energies on doing things like conquering cities and enslaving tribes. After all, that’s what followers are for! And so it took him and his followers almost 50 years to subdue and consolidate the former lands of Notixos. By 1450 he ruled all of Eosha, and by 1475 most of Deshret; he left the scraps in the wastes for the Crimson God, so that he could hear him fret, fume, and curse.

From there he and his vast armies, the likes of which had not been seen since the Elder Days, moved across the Purple Plains like a roving metropolis. Paynim tribes swarmed to his banner or fled into the Far West; the cities of the Paynim Coast opened their gates and offered him their fairest maidens and greatest treasures. The world, in short, was now coming to his door, and giving him everything he wanted.

As he crossed the River of Stars upon his royal barque at midnight he knew his time had finally come. The whole world was finally falling into his hands…

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