Otherworldy of Vathis – Arkhos, Sleeping Titans of Elemental Might
The most commonly told legends are stories of the gods and their chosen heroes, the Vandiels and the havoc they’ve caused, and the Zodiacs and those they’ve blessed with their touch.
There is another group of immensely powerful beings that are less known, but should be equally feared or revered; the Arkhos. As the raw elemental essence of creation given life, the Arkhos wield considerable power, but in history have only earned enmity from the other forces of the multiverse. The Arkhos are largely unknown to mortals apart from myths, but expert sages have a bit more knowledge gained from unearthed ancient texts and contact with planar outsiders. What is clear is that the Arkhos are unkillable colossi who rival the Deities in raw power. The very elements that make up our surroundings are said to be what the Arkhos are made from. This includes flame, ice, air, and the rock on which we stand. It is also said that the power they wield could lay waste to whole worlds. The Arkhos are beings of utter chaos, and as such, they only wish to inflict change upon the cosmos, seeking destruction of all things only to rebuild again and again. The peculiar and mysterious nature of these beings has only made it harder to study them, and no one even has names for them, as how can you name what you do not know?
Before the multiverse existed as it does today, there were only the Zodiacs.
From them, the Ether that encompasses creation was born, and it coalesced into the various planes of existence. Some of these realms make up a layer known as the Vast, a collection of planes manifesting elemental power, law, and chaos. These energies gave life to a variety entities over time, but chief among them were the Arkhos. For countless eons, the Deities and the Arkhos manipulated existence before butting heads over the Material Plane. The Arkhos wished to use it as they did everything else, by destroying and recreating, but the Deities had a grander design in mind. Their disagreement spurned a catastrophic cosmic war. During this war, the Deities captured some of the Arkhos and created the Vandiels as an amalgamation of god and Arkhos. The Vandiels aided the gods in turning the tide of the war in their favor, and in the end the Deities imprisoned the Arkhos deep within the recesses of the multiverse. Unfortunately, the last Arkhos used its final breath to lay a curse upon the Deities and Vandiels. Called the Bane of the Overworld, this curse prevents them from traveling to the Material Plane in full power. To this day the Arkhos remain locked away in places unknown, never to be released.
Even though the Arkhos are currently considered a sleeping power, their mark on the universe is still felt today.
From them came the plane-prowling elementals, beings made of raw energy given life. These creatures share the Arkhos’ desire for chaos and destruction, and any who attempt to conjure them should be wary. Their touch is also felt among humanoids: There are people, few and far between, who are born with clear connections to the raw elements. Some call them the Children of the Arkhos, but they are born so rarely that the wisest sages still have more questions than answers about their existence. Arkhosian essence was also supposedly used to give life to the dwarves and duergar, and some say giants and the rancar bear their touch as well. Another artifact of their existence is the magic they wielded when they were present. This magic is rare and known as the Primal. It is one of the oldest and rawest forms of magic, and though obscure, reclusive witches and warlocks practice the Primal in dark corners of the world. In recent years some groups in Rancagesh have begun practicing and teaching the art as well. There are also loose tribes of barbarians and druids who revere the elements and where they came from, but they call the Arkhos by different names that they can comprehend. The most mysterious are cultists and priests who do the same, but actually wield magical power. These worshippers are often outcasts, or hidden within society, and they seek to find and free whatever they believe their masters to be.