The Yozis

In the beginning, there was a formless, seething ocean of pure possibility that modern scholars know as the Wyld. Within this roiling sea were an infinite number of unformed beings who lived without time, shape, or space. It was everything and nothing all at once.

Among the beings who arose in this timeless period were a group who sought to be creators—a family-kingdom of Primordials who created for themselves a grand tale of a Shining Path which they would travel together. In order to work toward that philosophical dream, these Primordials shaped the shapeless chaos into a mighty beachhead, which they called Creation. In forming the formless, they made enemies of their cousins who had wished to stay in an existence without time or matter. In time, these distant relations of the Primordials would become known as the raksha.

In order to maintain Creation, the Primordials crafted many tools—living, thinking tools. The overseers of their domain became known as gods, while the smaller, more specialized tools became known as mortals, animals, and plants. The great living machine of Creation provided the energy and raw materials the Primordials needed to power the Games of Divinity and provide comforts for them in their private sanctum in Yu-Shan.

These great entities embodied many possibilities and concepts, but each had an overarching self-image that dictated their interactions with one another and the world they created. Among them were Mardukth, known as He Who Holds in Thrall, the mighty and self-obsessed king of the Primordials, who was in time overthrown and usurped by the Holy Tyrant Theion. As both king and spiritual father of the Primordials, Theion ruled well, if ruthlessly, and was much-beloved by his subjects—save two. The Mother of Life, Gaia, felt that Theion was too cruel to the mortals of Creation, while the crippled and twisted Autocthon was reviled by all of his siblings, but was especially tormented by Theion.

In time, the gods grew discontented with their lot as servants of the Primordials and conspired against their masters. However, because of the mighty geas laid against the immortal creations of the Primordials, no divine being could raise a hand against their makers. The conspiracy truly bloomed when the two dissatisfied Primordials joined the side of the deities who plotted against Theion’s rule. Autocthon suggested imbuing mortals—so small and weak that they bore no geas—with the power of the Incarnae, mightiest of the gods. Gaia was moved to aid the traitors by the pleas of her lover, the goddess Luna, but refused to fight because of her pacifism.

The traitorous gods and renegade Primordials laid plans against their masters, creating the ultimate cosmic weapons known as the Exalted. The war opened with a surprise attack whose first victim was Mardukth, the deposed king. His death shattered reality itself, forming a shadowy mirror to Creation that was eventually called the Underworld. The war raged for years, dragging mortal races and gods alike into it on either side. Finally, the Exalted gained the upper hand and prepared to destroy the remaining Primordials.

In order to save his subjects—his family—from the same fate as the slain Primordials, Theion did the unthinkable.

He surrendered.

At the command of their king, the Primordial forces laid down their arms and ceased the fight. The Exalted still would have slain their foes save for the intervention of Gaia, who pleaded for her siblings’ lives. As a concession to their ally, the Exalted spared the defeated Primordials, but still exacted terrible revenge on them. In order to safely contain them, the Exalted forced awful, binding oaths on their prisoner, mutilated their souls, and finally cast them into a prison-realm formed from their castrated king’s inside-out body. This realm became known by the same name as the one that was taken by the mutilated king: Malfeas.

The defeated Primordials became known as the Yozis, or the Demon Princes. They spawned vast legions of new servants in their hell-realm, even as the Exalted forced from them the secrets of sorcery and murdered their favored races and creatures back in Creation.

The Yozis have spent five millennia stewing in their prison, corrupting the odd mortal back in Creation to form demon cults and working through proxies. Now, they have gained access to the most powerful weapon in Creation—the Exaltations—and have formed their own sinister cadre of Exalted, the so-called Infernals.

Only time will tell what they have planned, and if they can succeed at their mysterious “Reclamation.”

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