RACHANAEL, the Hungry

 

Seventh of the Demiurges, otherwise known as ‘the Hungry’, ‘Wielder of Shadow’, ‘the Undying Machine’, & ‘the Iron Deity’. He became the vessel of the Avatar of Shadow, known as Umbávar.

     Appearance: originally described as a shadowy figure with vaguely anthropomorphic features, Rachanael has assumed various guises at different points in history and his current incarnation is perhaps the most extreme.

     Killed while embodying the Avatar Umbávar, Rachanael’s body waned in size and grandeur. When the Archpotentate Malichar discovered him in the Fifth Age, his form was that of a dessicated mortal, around 10-ft. tall with the jet black skin of a plagi. His body was later married with an archaic engine known as the Leaden Throne – a monolithic machine designed to preserve him and keep his thoughts active. His ventral half is visible and in a cruciform pose, though his dorsal half is hidden beneath the surface of the machine, his organs unravelled and sustained by the engine.

     His appearance is that of a rotting corpse that is kept alive by the Throne, dessicated skin stretched thin over piping and tubes that pump life-sustaining fluids without cease.

 

     Characteristics: Rachanael was once a great craftsman, looking to the work of his siblings with envy, wanting to surpass their creations. He was the first Demiurge to resume his work after The Shaper declared their creation of a perfect world accomplished. This hubris would slowly consume him and his siblings, leading to their downfall and the eventual rot of the natural world.

     Rachanael would later become selfish and greedy, his every action designed to better his position, to restore the divine power that was taken from him. He was renowned as a speaker of great confidence.

 

     Other Forms: Rachanael would often adopt the guise of a beautiful androgynous plagi or human of fine clothing and bedecked in gold jewellery.

 

     Children: the children of Rachanael are the plagi; mortals of jet black skin, red eyes and a talent for shaping the Atramenta. Rachanael later abandoned them in favour humans, whose numbers and fervent worship he preferred.

 

     Known Scions: Osseldor, Pathea, and Sathanael.

     History: Rachanael was an accomplished craftsman of beauteous monuments. His eye wandered to the creations of the other Demiurges, and he grew jealous, seeing their works as superior to his own. He would rework completed creations that were already perfect, diminishing their value and beauty with every pass. He was never content and his work suffered. This illness of mind would also spread to his siblings, leading to the downfall of the Demiurges and Elyden’s fall from perfection.

     Rachanael grew sullen after this, blaming the other Demiurges for their fall, but never himself. Talantehut tried to help him, but he shunned her and the other Deimurges, losing himself in the creation of his magnum opus - the Hastanal Daggash, a monumental fortress of obsidian, flint and glass, inside which he placed the plagi, who would come to shun the sun.

     Rachanael would then travel, learning more of the mortal tribes and their relationship with the Demiurges. It was in this time that he learnt the Demiurges drew their strength directly from their worshippers. This changed his outlook on their plight and he became obsessed with accumulating more worshippers, believing it would restore his divinity.

     As the mortals grew more numerous and spread across Elyden, worship of the Demiurges lessened and their power waned. Some of the Demiurges gathered to discuss their waning strength. Rachanael knew why, but did not tell the others. He spoke at length, convincing them that if the mortals had something to fear then that might renew worship of the Demiurges. He offered himself up to be the one to spread this fear and convinced the Demiurges to bestow upon him a fraction of their strength to aid in his role.

     With his new powers he sowed discord and despair amongst the mortal tribes, who indeed turned to the Demiurges for aid, causing them to recover some of their lost strength. However, unbeknownst to them, Rachanael was also drawing strength from the mortals’ fear. This elevated him to levels previously only dreamt of since the Demiurge’s fall. From this new position he plotted his return to full godhood.

     Talantehut, by then already an entity of balance, sensed the growing disparity in power and turned to Allaishada to bring Rachanael’s aspirations in check. They conferred with the other Demiurges and opposd Rachanael. They defeated him, restoring balance amongst the Demiurges.

     Rachanael brooded, bitter at what he perceived as biased against  him. He hid from the other Demiurges and studied in solitude, discovering how the Atramenta could be shaped, much as the matter of creation was once shaped by the Demiurges. Unlike his brother Duruthilhotep, who discovered similar traits inherent in the Firmament and shared his knowledge freely amongst others, Rachanael hoarded his discoveries, using it to corrupt those under his thrall to further his own purposes, and shared it with a few of his most trusted Scions and lieutenants, and some plagi, who showed an affinity for Atramental shaping.

     Yet he knew the Atramenta offered far more. He became consumed by the power the Atramenta teased him with, and devoted his entire being to mastering it. He spent an age travelling Elyden and beyond, absorbing what he could of the Atramenta, the Firmament, and the Materia Omna, becoming the most accomplished shaper in all of creation.

     It is unknown how he finally managed it – possibly he formed a link with The Shaper, gaining knowledge that had been withheld from the Demiurges – but he was able to channel the Atramenta and became a conduit for it presence in the material realm, becoming a vessel to the first Avatar of Shadow – Umbávar.

With his new powers, he was able to corrupt Ashterath, Baphomet and Dopellanis to his cause. He later learnt that Achaiah had discovered the secret to immortality and he sent Ashterath after her to claim this power for himself.

     With the aid of his thralls Rachanael began a slow but steady destruction of the other Demiurge’s works. From this destruction he planned to recreate Elyden in his own singular image.

     After years of eluding him, Ashterath finally captured Achaiah but was blinded by her beauty and wisdom. Enlightened, he was freed from Rachanael’s spell and assembled set his armies against his brother for the way he’d been treated, starting the Dragon Wars. Many atrocities were committed by both Demiurges and their children during this war.

     The war ended with the intervention of Talantehut, who banished Ashterath to the heavens and cursed his children to a bestial existence. She commanded Rachanael to divide the monolithic plagi empire to limit its influence in Elyden.

     Rachanael laughed. He was the first being to deny one of Talantehut’s edicts and it broke her. Rachanael, his opponent killed and his armies neutralised, continued sowing destruction across Elyden, unopposed.

     Allaishada saw this and knew that it had to stop. Seeing what Rachanael had done with the Atramenta, she turned to Duruthilhotep and together the two were able to harness the Firmament, turning her into a conduit for its presence in Elyden – the Avatar of Light -  Sillamé. She brought balance to Rachanael’s actions, bringing an order to Elyden that continued throughout the Third Age.

     But Rachanael was forever scheming and planning for the future. He learnt that the end of Third Age would bring about reincarnations of the two Avatars, jeopardising the power he’d accrued. He performed a ritural that separated the two entities from each other. Umbávar was banished, to be reborn in the next age as presaged. This restored Rachanael as a Demiurge. The ritual ended with his death.

 

The Fourth Age came and the Avatar of Shadow was reborn as Ulluíannau. Knowing that he could never truly die, Rachanael planned for the plagi to renew their worship of him after the Avatar’s rebirth.

     And so, Rachanael was reborn. Finding lore hidden by himself before his death, he quickly regained his power and was able to find Ulluíannau, destroying it, claiming its powers for himself. Umbávar was reborn.

Sillamé rallied a great army of otherworlders, illidraen and other mortals against Umbávar. The two Avatars met in the field of battle and duelled for generations. Eventually Sillamé would smite Umbávar, imprisoning him beneath the Elyden, encasing him in Firmamental stone where he could not shape the Atramenta.

     The plagi empire was destroyed by Talantehut and scattered across Elyden, after which they would wane.

Peace came to Elyden and the Fourth Age gave way to the Fifth, bringing with it a mortal who would destroy this hard-won peace – the Archpotentate Malichar.

     After uniting the tribes of Korachan he sojourned in the Kharkharadontis, coming across the entombed body of Rachanael. He venerated the dead Demiurge, restoring him to life. Rachanael rose and smote Malichar, killing him, and resurrecting him as an otherworlder possessed with knowledge of his vision.

     Malichar constructed the Leaden throne with the help of demiurnes (descendants of the plagi who had remained most loyal to Rachanael) and engineered the Church of the Machine and the endless pilgrimage od the Shadow March to ensure Rachanael had enough faithful to remain alive, where he lays patiently regaining his power.

     Sigil: Aah.

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