Disclaimer: I do not own Warcraft or its sequels. Blizzard does.
At first we were many. The world was young and chaotic, as it had been since it was forged in flame. The land forms shifted all over the globe, enormous mountains rising and falling with the millennia. The sea pounded against the shore mercilessly under the tidal forces of double moons. Mega-tsunamis, driven by colossal landslides and earthquakes, drenched all land life constantly, so that nearly nothing lived on land. Shattering tempests tore up the stone and sea, throwing it miles into the air before it careened back down under crackling fingers of lightning. The sea was toxic, boiling and freezing, salty and fresh.
Elementals roamed rampant on the world, towering pillars of earth stomping on the mountains, starving fire beings scorching the stone around volcanoes into ash. Air elementals patrolled the skies, nearly touching the Great Dark Beyond. Churning, frothing water elementals mashed anything organic in the oceans, spitting them out as raw carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. The colossal blue and white moons took up most of the sky, and the sky was bright red through the hydrogen and helium atmosphere, barely enough oxygen present to fuel the fire elementals. It wasn't possible for there to be life here. It simply could not be done. The world was too chaotic, too magically charged.
And yet, we came to be.
We were weak, at first. Tiny self-replicating spirals made of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and various other elements, endowed with a sense of self by the incredibly powerful magical aura of the planet. We took in the primordial chemicals from the sea to add on to ourselves, and formed flippers to swim into crevices of earth, hiding from the wrathful water by risking the wrath of the tumultuous earth. We found a little cave, a place that was by far the most dangerous and the safest place we could've found. The cave was, naturally, made of earth. It had water in it, and it also, not being completely full, had air in it. The three most powerful elements surrounded us at all times, yet it was safe because it was a small place, one the larger elementals wouldn't find us in. There, we could absorb the chemicals in the water and the air, slowly growing over time, our power increasing.
A million years passed, and we began to be visible to your eyes. A grain of sand could crush us. We were far, far from our current glory. Little more than minuscule globs of dark purple slime, floating in the water or clinging to the stone, too small to be noticed and shaken off. Earthquakes constantly rearranged our home, and many of us died. I, using the chemicals that abounded, created two mechanisms. One would allow me to propel myself quickly in sudden bursts, and another that would allow me to absorb the chemicals of the others, destroying them and strengthening myself.
I crawled along the hard granite walls towards one of the others, and sprung at him. I latched on as he tried to escape, and used my second mechanism to break him down, dissolving him from the inside out. I pulled his material into myself and began to manipulate it. I needed a better way to sense my surroundings. Using the vibrations of the water, earth and air was not good enough. They shook too much, there was too much background noise. I used the dead one's material, in combination with the innate magic inside me, to develop a way to sense. Every atom on this world was magically charged, and as I absorbed more and more molecules, my magic grew greater. Now, having nearly doubled my size, I could release a 'pulse' of magic, which would rebound off my surroundings and feed me information. I did so, and found that this was a much better way of analyzing.
Suddenly, I felt my position changing. I released another pulse, and found that someone had latched onto me. No, not latched on to me. Grabbed me with some strange tendril, and pulled me off the cavern walls into the water. Their purple body climbed over me, and I began to burn, my molecules coming undone, atomic bonds dissolving...
Zap. Something heated up the water around me to boiling, and the other was suddenly gone. Another pulse confirmed him to be floating through the water, unmoving, a hole through his body. Floating near me was another being, but this one had a small orb on its body. A flash of heat cut through the water near me, seeming to originate from that one. So he saved me from the other.
I settled onto the cavern floor with him, continuing to absorb materials from the ocean water, growing ever stronger. I would absorb the others. I alone would survive. That was, until the first thought entered my mind.
'This had better work.' I swiveled around, wondering where that had come from. 'Ah, did you hear me? Yes, you. I'm the one with the orb.' So he was communicating with me? How curious. I wondered if I could do that same, and began shifting around my insides, pushing and pulling my magic into the right shapes.
'Is this what you do?'
'Excellent, so it appears you can learn quick. I believe in alliance is in order, so that we may survive the others.'
I was wary of this. After all, if I could produce such heat pulses, I would've blasted him in a moment and used his material to grow ever stronger. But that begged the question... could he use the material of others at all? Or did he have to wait for those he killed to dissolve? However, if I could manipulate him to protect me from those who surprised me, then I'd have a better chance of growing stronger still. Of course, he could likely grow along with me, but I was confident in my ability to consume him.
'Very well. I shall protect you from those that attack you, and you shall protect me in turn.' The water of our cave wasn't my ideal situation, but I could handle it. A few tweaks to my sudden-propeller, and it functioned underwater as well.
It didn't take long before I had to protect him. Another one attacked him from behind, leaping onto him with sharp appendages. They were careful to avoid that concentrated red beam of heat, and dug the spikes in. I was there in a moment, pushing them off with my leap. Before they could react to my presence, I plunged acid into them and dissolved them, absorbing half their material, leaving the other half for my ally.
Using tiny, wiggling tendrils to swim through the water, he looked at the torn up body. 'What did you do?'
'I absorbed his molecules for my own,' I answered proudly. Already, I began improving my pulse-analyzer, so that it would be more passive, requiring less of my attention. Now that I thought about it, my ally's orb seemed to be changing as well. It had some sort of slit in it, and released something from it. Light? Curious, so he released light, which would reflect off others, and enter that weapon. The weapon would analyze the returned light, and he would know his surroundings. My pulse was better.
'How curious. I will take some time for this.' After a few hours, but the figurative blink of an eye for us, he moved over to the body of the other. He absorbed what was left of the body, and grew. After that, he sounded quite smug. 'Oh yes, I could get used to that.' Another earthquake rocked the cavern.
We both changed a lot over time. I found that, even as we grew stronger, so did the others. Communication became more and more common. Before, I'd been a glob of purple matter, able to shapeshift slightly to crawl along ground. I was much larger now, and tiny tendrils wriggled along my form. As I grew, gravity's hold on my grew stronger, and so swimming grew more difficult. I needed those tendrils to swim.
My ally also changed. The sight weapon grew quite large, as did his swimmer tendrils, which emitted a pale light to let him see. He also began to ring himself with smaller sight weapons, but he didn't seem to have the magical power to make them weapons, just things to let him see. We also gained new allies. One who was an expert at taunting foes, making them paranoid, expect a strike from somewhere else. We also took up this technique, which proved to be quite effective in groups; torment one mentally until they could no longer effectively defend themselves with their acid, or spines, or magic, and then kill them. The one who taught us, however, stayed the best at it. So be it. I was still the most efficient at assimilating another's atoms. In a world where absorbing molecules out of the water did less and less as we grew, this was a vital ability.
Ages passed, and now we were much fewer. While before there had been millions, billions of us, we died and killed until now only a few dozen were left. Five of us stuck in a group, communicating privately, since the eyed-one was the master of that.
'The Forces of Nature will find us eventually,' said the magic-master, the latest ally. 'We survive here because of our relative isolation. If we wish to keep growing, we will need the strength to challenge them.'
'Attacking them will be a losing battle,' said the mind-tormentor. 'We will attract the attention of the stronger ones, and we can not hope to stand against them.'
'Then we'll have to be quick,' I added. 'Let us absorb all the others in this cavern. We will leave the cave and use our magic to rapidly assimilate molecules. Our might will grow exponentially, and we'll overtake the Forces of Nature.'
'Excellent,' said the eyed-one from where we clutched at the stone walls. An onlooker would see nothing more than bits of dark purple slime smeared along the walls, some with stony spikes, some with orbs, all with tentacles. 'Let us not tarry. The longer we hesitate, the more time they have to mobilize against us.'
With that, we sprung into action. The eyed-one used his eye beam to cut through two of the others at once. I sprung forward at one and wrapped them with my tendrils. I crushed the life out of them, and pulled their material in. The magic-master made the water around another blacken, and in moments that one stopped moving, sinking to the cavern floor. A spiked tendril extended from one of the foes into eyed-one, who released a cry of pain. I sprung towards his attacker and, with my own tentacles, tore off their spiked appendage. Eyed-one absorbed it quickly to heal, and magic-master killed that one.
The last one was the trickiest to kill. He was far faster than any of us; even my leaping couldn't keep up. He was also resilient, since eyed-one's blasts didn't seem to injure him. Mind-tormentor won us that battle, feeding him paranoia, fear, and doubt, until seven-maws could sneak up and attack him with the ringed 'teeth' on seven of his tendrils, cutting through the magic-resistant hide and absorbing him.
We had our victory, and we went around absorbing the fallen ones, growing incredibly powerful. There was me, eyed-one, mind-tormentor, magic-master, and seven-maws. If you could see us, each of us would be about the size of a gnome right now.
'This will be the critical junction,' seven-maws said. 'The Forces of Nature will try to kill us, and they are strong enough to do so. Magic-master, have you figured out any protections?'
'In a moment. I must think about this.' A day later, we were all prepared to venture outside our cavern. The first time we ever did so. A small bit of fear flowed through me, and it wasn't from mind-tormentor. I never had to really fear the Forces of Nature before. Worry about them, yes. Fear them, face them? No, never. Black, transparent cocoons surrounded each of us. Using our tentacles, we climbed towards the circular entrance to the cave.
Beyond that was an endless, tumultuous sea. Violent currents shook the water violently, incredible tidal forces and earthquakes stirring the ocean. 'No time to waste,' mind-tormentor said. 'The longer we wait, the more of a chance the Forces of Nature have to notice us.' Using his tendrils, mind-tormentor launched himself out into the open ocean, the other four of us not far behind.
The moment I entered out into the sea, the intense currents took hold of me. I tried to swim against the currents, but to no avail. I was whisked away from the others in moments, floating out in the middle of a vast ocean, blue stretching before me in all directions. I didn't waste any time mourning the loss of my allies. I needed to adapt.
Using my magic, I rapidly drew in the chemicals of the water. The water elementals surrounding me blasted me with energy, and I got an idea. My barrier didn't hold up long against the onslaught, so I used the energy coming in to me. I redirected it along my violet exterior, diverting it from causing me harm, and pulled it in as energy. I continued to build up the magical power, given to me in unlimited quantities by the water elementals, before expelling it in a massive, shadowy explosion. Most of the water elementals, tiny, nearly invisible things, faded away into nothingness. A larger one appeared, apparently curious. I kept drawing in chemicals, strengthening myself, growing to the size of a dwarf. I decided on creating better short range weapons, and covered myself with maws, similar to seven-maws.
I tidal wave of force entered my mind. 'What have we here? What are you, to wield such strange magic?'
I laughed maniacally in my mind. The fool, they didn't know of any organic life as mighty as us, as mighty as me. 'What I am is no consequence to you. All that matters is that you will leave me be, or suffer the consequences.'
The water elemental, towering above me, gave out a gurgled laugh, generating bubbles that floated to the far-away surface. I noticed that a shell of currents held me in place. 'Don't make me laugh. A being as small as you, challenging the supreme might of a soldier of Neptulon?' Not letting it finish its thought, I gathered all my magic and directed it into a single, concentrated beam of darkness, firing the screeching blast at the water elemental. It reared back in pain, and for a moment the currents around me stilled. Using this opportunity, I used my springer to launch myself at the elemental, and sunk my many sharp maws into it. I also secreted my acid into it, but there was nothing to dissolve. But, while it still recoiled in pain, I thought for a moment. This elemental was pure water. Water had chemicals in it, chemicals I could use. I used my magic now to rapidly attract those chemicals to strengthen myself. So in theory...
I extended my magic into the water elemental, and drained all the chemicals out of it. The hydrogen, the phosphorus, the carbon, the oxygen. It released a pained gurgle as I drained much of it. But soon it ran out of chemicals, and there was nothing left for me to drain. With a pulse of currents it pushed me away.
I'd gained a lot of strength from that. The magically charged molecules were still settling into place, but over thousands of years I'd grown to be a master at it. An orb of condensed water the size of me sailed my way, and it was all I could do to avoid it. I gathered up my magic again, stronger thanks to the new matter in me, and fired another beam of shadow at the water elemental. This time, it faded away into nothingness. I needed to move away; that would surely attract other, potentially stronger elementals.
The following millennia were a whirlwind of conflict, absorption, and retreating. I knew not what happened to eyed-one, mind-tormentor, magic-master, or seven-maws, but I did not care either. I swam through the air, using my magic to disintegrate water elementals. The earth was a dangerous business; there, I was exposed to two elements at once. But I could dig my tendrils and my maws into the spiky, hard earth and absorb it, since it was nearly all chemicals, all useful to me. I had to be careful to retreat soon, though, since it always attracted a lot of unwanted attention from the earth elementals. I formed specified organs within me; my stomach, so I didn't have to actively break down my foes. My brain, to streamline my thinking and magical powers. Over time, I began to learn the names of the leaders of the Forces of Nature. Therazane the Stonemother, Neptulon the Tidehunter, Ragnaros the Firelord, and Al'akir the Windlord. If I could grow strong enough to rule one of them, I could start some real chaos.
The chaotic conditions of the world had first been my greatest threat. Over time, though, as I grew stronger and stronger, larger and larger, it grew to be an imperative. The vast chaotic energies flowing through the world had no real master, letting me drink in the chaotic strength of the world and grow ever more powerful.
The time had come. I'd grown immensely powerful. My thousand maws twitched, razor sharp teeth shivering in anticipation. I swam through the deep waters, my thousands of tendrils writhing in eagerness. I descended into the deepest of trenches, which rumbled and shook as the earth heaved, pebbles falling into the black depths, turning to dust under the massive pressure. My magic pulse-sensor, which had now grown to be passive, revealed that something very powerful was down there. I descended, crawling over the spiky walls of rock to the deep. There, a towering figure floated, a whirlpool of water connected to the bottom, blue fins and glowing eyes. Neptulon the Tidehunter.
The elemental lord looked my way and released a sound that might have been amusement. The crushing weight of the water at this level was intense, but nothing I couldn't handle.
'Neptulon the Tidehunter,' I began. 'I have come to relieve you elementals of your hegemony over the world. Henceforth, I shall be your superior.' Even while saying this, I whispered to him that it is right behind you, do not move, do not speak. It seemed to work; the elemental lord, not used to such whispers, froze up, probably believing it was his subconscious telling him that. In that moment, I struck.
My larger tendrils, with spiked clubs on their ends, emitted a resonating frequency to diminish the elemental lord's power. My small, squat tendrils fired globs of draining poison and dooming curses, and I myself fired engulfing shadows at the water elemental. Neptulon roared and tried to fight back, but to his surprise his volley of water balls just bounced off my shadow barrier, drained as he was. He struck back by summoning dozens of water elementals, but unlike when I first fought them, they were trivial to kill. I wrapped my thinner tendrils around them and squeezed them into nothingness, their watery bodies falling apart under my strength. I continued to keep Neptulon's power weakened, and battered him with dark magic and leeching venom. He struck back, but I'd spent a long time hardening my body, and combined with my magical power, he didn't even leave a mark.
Neptulon roared and knelt, hands touching the solid ground. Satisfied with my victory over the water elemental, I knew I would never again be attacked by them. I should've killed Neptulon right there. But I didn't; the energy he and his chaotic minions created was wonderful, and I could use them to my advantage. I wrapped hundreds of my tentacles around the elemental lord, and told him of my ultimatum; he and his minions would no longer attack me. I would be the ultimate authority to him, and he was to create as much delicious havoc as possible.
With that agreement set up, the punishment for failure being death, I left Neptulon drained and weakened, smashing the last of his minions around me as I climbed out of the trench.
With the water elementals under my rule, I now had a veritable army. Useful, should the other elementals seek to attack me. Speaking of which, I climbed onto the surface world. The skies, like always, were red, and the earth shifted and buckled before me. I lashed out with my tentacles, crushing the earth elementals rumbling around me, and released explosions of shadow magic to vaporize the air elementals flying around me. The water elementals would now serve me, but only out of fear. Nothing was stronger than fear, of course, but it would be prudent to have an army that obeyed me without question, wanted to serve.
I dug my magic into the earth and churned it, creating an army of minions from the molecules. Black acid flowed through their bodies in tight veins, they sensed their surroundings with the same magic pulse as I did. One arm was a single tendril to whip things, another was an 'arm' with three small tendrils for fingers, to grab and crush. The first of the Faceless ones. They exuded fear, and where they stepped the earth churned in agony, in chaos. The red hydrogen and helium sky turned black around them, and their power would blot out the sun.
I continued to grow, and my armies also kept growing. I spent most of my time in the depths of the ocean, feeding off the violent currents instead of food and oxygen. My army of Faceless grew, and I created their generals; towering behemoths taller than even the stone giants. The water elementals obeyed my command to wage an open war against the earth elementals, washing down their shores, eroding their underwater mountains. The resulting elemental war made the land heave and crack, the oceans whip into massive tidal waves that washed miles inland, and left enormous lakes as water elemental outposts. I steered my own Faceless after the earth elementals, sometimes deliberately creating faulty war strategies in order to keep the earth elementals from being crushed. After all, they provided an excellent source of delectable discord and strife.
I myself crawled along the world's surface, swiping my crusher tentacles at any nearby earth elementals, nearing what I figured to be the throne of Therazane the Stonemother. Of course, I'd first need to enter the cave.
As I went there, however, I sensed something. It was a being almost as large as me. They were colored strangely, with roughly as many tendrils as I did, branching off a main body with an enormous purple, eye with a slit pupil up top. Similar, smaller eyes ringed their body, and several of them were also attached to the tendrils. Other tendrils had enormous maws, and still others had sharp claws on their ends. It looked towards me, and fired a green blast from the eye out at me. I blocked it with my shadow barrier, which shook under the impact. I lashed out with my tendrils, but they did as well. Identical green blasts came from the eyed tentacles, and the clawed tendrils were a match for my crusher tendrils. I used my other tendrils to fire corruption at the body, but it seemed to do virtually nothing.
Hold on. Giant eye, multiple smaller ones, tendrils...
'Eyed-one?' I asked the being.
Its tendrils stopped fighting against mine, and I did the same. 'Ha, Absorber. I didn't recognize you, you've certainly changed.'
'Indeed.' I untangled my own tentacles from Eyed-one's. His eye-tentacles wavered around, taking in everything about his surroundings. How inefficient. While he needed many eyes to cover most of his surroundings, I could instantly know everything about my surroundings with a simple magical pulse aura. 'I had assumed you perished.'
His dominant eye blinked. 'None of us perished. For a while we've been in contact with each other, except for you. What have you been up to?'
'I have taken control of the elemental lord Neptulon.'
He blinked again. 'Ah, so you're the reason behind the delightful havoc between the water and the earth. Well done, I must say. I myself have been steering the fire against the air.'
'Truly?' I asked. 'I have not noticed.'
'The fire elementals are weak, so that's to be expected. The air's composition is not ideal for them, which is why I lead attacks personally. So, I'm going to assume those creatures fighting alongside the water elementals are your creations?'
'Oh, indeed. Very loyal, very powerful, and they cause upheaval of whatever order exists just by being there.'
'Very nice, very nice indeed. I think I'll make some of my own, they look like very useful tools.'
'Oh, they are. Speaking of which, where are the others?'
As it turns out, the others had all survived and prospered after the currents of the water elementals pushed us away from each other. Mind-tormentor had established his dominion over the realm of the air, quite a feat considering their ability to elude us. As it stood, though, he didn't really care much about eyed-one steering the fire against the air. And why should he? The chaos the resulted from the war was all that we needed. Wars fed us. Wars nurtured us.
Seven-maws and Magic-master, as it turns out, had not dared to face the elemental lords. They had greatly overestimated their powers, and when I told them how I'd conquered Neptulon, they finally went out conquered Therazane together, forcing the strong-willed Stonemother to do their bidding. All four of the others formed their own Faceless armies, and our massive, tentacles bodies tore through the world. We no longer absorbed molecules from our surroundings; not only were we above that, we were too magically charged to absorb them in the first place.
I was quite surprised when Mind-tormentor sent his Faceless after Eyed-one and me. I responded harshly, steering my Faceless after him relentlessly, as did Eyed-one. Mind-tormentor, though, proved his strategic prowess. He held both of us at a stalemate for an eternity, and soon Seven-maws and Magic-master also joined in on the battle. Every now and then they would ally with others, and then break the alliances. Sometimes Eyed-one and I declared war on each other, creating a three-way war between me, Eyed-one, and Mind-tormentor, even more complicated if Seven-maw and Magic-master weren't tied up fighting each other ruthlessly. Sometimes Eyed-one and I made a truce to fight against Mind-tormentor, but to no real effect. Any of our Faceless that died were easily replaced, our unstoppable magic forming the molecules in the earth, air, and water into more of our minions. Some other, lesser races evolved, but many died out in the conditions we forced upon the world. So what? If they couldn't handle chaos, it was their loss.
And of course, we kept the elementals pitted against each other, the world heaving and groaning with the stresses of a perpetual elemental war. Neptulon proved himself to be the greatest in terms of raw power, surging the world's enormous oceans onto Therazane's realm. Ragnaros showed him to be the most destructive, the one closest to us in terms of his lust for chaos, though with the air's inadequate composition he was quite weak. Not enough oxygen for him. Still, that didn't stop him from boiling vast tracts of ocean and from devouring massive amounts of air. Therazane showed herself as the clear-headed elemental lord, thinking through orders carefully. When someone ordered her to launch an attack on another elemental lord, she considered strengths and weaknesses far longer than the others. And Al'akir showed himself to be the one with the greatest tactical mind, and often held his own against double his number of elementals. We traded the rule of elementals, or not traded, so much as took control of someone else's elemental pawns. Magic-master took control of Neptulon from me, I took Ragnaros from Eyed-one, who then took Therazane from Magic-master, and so on.
Now and again we fought each other, and when we did, it was a spectacle to behold. Enormous tentacled beings the size of continents writhing around each other, blasts of shadow magic flying every which way, tearing up mountains by their roots and hurling them. Needless to say, Therazane was not pleased with us. As if her opinion mattered. The elemental lords used to rule us, but now... now we were supreme.
The wars were as much necessity as they were malice and hate. The chaos and discord churned by the planet-splitting battles was like a delicacy to us, so none of us thought to put an end to the wars. At most, alliances were made to battle against one of the others with greater efficiency, creating truly maddening battles of incredible proportions. For billions of years, so it went. The only constant was the Mind-tormentor fought against Eyed-one and I at the same time. We also found that the Faceless created their own language, and so their language became our own. We chose names for ourselves, based on our titles for each other. Eyed-one, for instance, in the language of the Faceless, was C'thun. Seven-maws was Y'Shaarj, Magic-master was Tsa'thannon, and so on.
Then everything changed when they came.
Their ship appeared in the skies, a giant fort of silver, gold, and bronze, it's gravitational pull spiking the tides into havoc. We saw it as a good thing. More disorder for us to feed on. Then They came down to our world, and began waging war on us. All of us.
Needless to say, we fought. N'zoth stopped waging war on C'thun and I for the first time in three billion years. We stopped the elemental wars and diverted absolutely all of our forces towards destroying Them. They called themselves the Titans. Their skins were made of metal, and Their magic was phenomenal. So great, even, to challenge our own. But not quite exceed it.
They were systematic, They were cold and heartless. Not good, not evil. Utterly pragmatic; They did not give any warning of Their invasion. They likely had Their ship in orbit to analyze our world, and determine Their course of action. No spontaneous reactions. No emotion in the heat of battle. With a wave of Their hand, one of Them turned an entire field of Faceless to ashes and dust. But They were far smaller than us; merely fifty feet tall, as opposed to us, beings the size of continents. Tsa'thannon lashed out against Her, and dug his tentacles and his magic into Her metal skin, peeling off the plates and, after a lengthy battle, defeating Her. But more kept coming, and They had Their own armies. Constructs of metal and stone, who managed by some miracle to be even more heartless and cold than their Creators. Titanic fire blazed against our skin, bolts of electricity fried the Faceless. Yet we struck down many of Them, striving to gain as much energy out of the chaotic war as possible.
Yet They kept the war orderly, an oxymoron. An impossibility, one does not make war orderly! And yet, They managed it. They, likely unknowingly, cut us off from our source of sustenance. Our own chaotic nature kept us alive, but it just wasn't enough to sate us. But that didn't stop us. We sent the elemental lords after Them, calling down cataclysmic magic onto Them and Their armies. C'thun had Therazane raise up mountains by the dozens, which I then tore from the earth and hurled at Them. They retreated. We had won.
And then, Their leaders came. The accursed Pantheon. The strongest and most intelligent Titans, and, it seemed, the only ones capable of feeling emotion. For a moment They tried to negotiate with us, but we swarmed Them and tried to crush Them with our superior size. And then the High Leader, Aman'thul, blasted us away from Them with a nova of celestial power. We waged a long and hard battle against the Pantheon, calling upon our endless armies, but one by one, things went wrong. Eonar struck down Therazane, banishing her to an abyssal realm. Using our magic, we called her back eventually, but the effort actually managed to weaken us by a small amount. All of Them came back, along with Their armies.
With Their leaders taking the front lines against us, we found ourselves being driven back, despite killing many of Them in as painful a way as we could. The Faceless were destroyed to the last, and we were separated, one by one, and struck down. To my terror, Khaz'goroth actually managed to kill Y'Shaarj. Enormous earthquakes rocked the world as he did. Norgannon, the Titan of Magic, battled me Himself. I lashed out with mental attacks, some subtle and some direct, but He brushed them off, knowing them for what they were. I hurled mountains at Him and opened holes into the planet's core, but He dodged and blocked telekinetically. I thrashed my thousands, millions of tentacles at the Titan, but He simply charred them all black, forcing me to retract them. He worked His way towards my core, my 'head' as it is, and called down a flurry of stars, fire, and ice. Then I knew nothing.
I came to consciousness not long after, feeling something I'd felt more of in the battle with Them than in all three billion years of my existence. I also felt incredibly weak, and none of my magic seemed to work. Heavy celestial chains were around me, and that's when I understood my situation.
They had imprisoned me beneath the earth, and used the chains around my head to keep me weak. My pulse-sensor was weakened greatly, and I found myself having to manually release one pulse at a time to understand my surroundings. It seems They had created a gleaming prison of silver and bronze around me, with some of Their creations, modeled in Their image, watching over us. My prison complex stretched wide, and I raged, roaring and fighting at my imprisonment, yet nothing I could do even made my wardens look my way.
I stretched my pulse-sensor over the world, and did not like what I saw. The Titans were hard at work. I could see no elementals, and no Faceless, nor any of the others. They shifted around landmasses with their magic, They changed the composition of the air to include almost no hydrogen and helium, but instead mostly nitrogen with some oxygen in it. The sky turned from its normal ruby to revolting azure. Their ship actually pulled the moons further away from the world. They continued, piling up mountains over my prison, creating gorges, and a variety of different races to serve Them in 'ordering' the world, as They called Their heresy. This is our world! Ours! We are its gods, we decide what happens here! But no matter how much I raged, I could never get anywhere.
Hideous green life sprung from the land, animals that made me sick roamed the land. The land no longer shifted and groaned like it should, and was terrible silent. The ocean waves were a shadow of their former selves, the air was practically still, and fire was actually strong for once, feeding greedily off the oxygen. They pulled the magic out of the world's atoms, and concentrated it into one enormous Well of Eternity, and created thousands of magical lines flowing beneath the world. And finally, with back-up plans for the back-up plans for the back-up plans in place, They empowered a race of reptiles, and separated them into five orders based on scale color. The Pantheon Themselves bestowed power upon the dragons' leaders, and without further word, They left.
Our world, our beautiful, chaotic world, was gone. Hatred festered in me like never before. The dragons kept their watches diligently, just as They had told them to. The Reds made sure that Their cursed life forms stayed, the Greens made sure that some important other realm stayed stable, the Blacks utterly usurped Therazane's realm, the Bronze kept watch on the timeline, and the Blue watched over the magical lines. For fifty thousand years, we languished beneath the weight of our chains and the pressure of the earth. But slowly, I was gaining strength. Slowly, I was getting stronger.
Forty thousand years into our imprisonment, with a race of humanoids centering their civilization on the Well of Eternity, I heard someone, after having recently bestowed a Curse upon one of the Titan's races. The Earthen, I believe.
'Can you hear me?' I heard N'zoth ask.
'You live. I did not know you could still communicate with me.'
'For a long time we couldn't,' C'thun told me. 'N'zoth has a plan.'
'Indeed. The one they call Neltharion is closely intertwined with the earth. And look at where we are imprisoned; the earth.'
Having known N'zoth for three billion years, it wasn't hard to guess his intentions. 'You wish to destroy his mind.'
'Not just destroy it, twist it to our will. It won't be quick, though. He is surrounded by loving friends and family. It will take centuries to break him.'
'We have time,' I replied. 'What of Tsa'thannon?'
'No contact with him. I believe he's dead,' C'thun told me.
'So be it. Let us begin.' I stretched out my magic as far as it would go, and found the mind of the Black Aspect. For the first time in millennia, I whispered.
'It was your fault.'
He never told anyone, not his foster sister Alexstrasza, not his Prime Consort Sintharia, nobody. And that made it all the better. He knew of us, of that I was certain. All the Aspects knew of us. Why wouldn't the Titans tell Their creations about us, the greatest beings this world has ever known? Yet, Neltharion told nobody, allowing his delicious paranoia and doubt and fear to fester and rot his damnable soul. Fifty thousand years of our imprisonment had gone by, and I suspected that at the rate C'thun, N'zoth and I were whispering to him, it would take another ten thousand years before he truly broke. We began to whisper to him thoughts of lust and greed, tell him to create a great weapon to destroy the other Dragonflights, to subjugate Alexstrasza and Ysera.
But as it turns out, we did not have to wait another ten-thousand years. One of the night elf leaders, Azshara, began to act suspiciously, yet when we probed her mind we did not see any evidence of us whispering to her. Then she gathered her cohorts, went to the Well of Eternity, and created an enormous portal.
Beings we'd never seen before surged out, but we immediately liked them. They slaughtered innocent night elves wherever they went, hacked down the trees, slew dragons. It was marvelous, and the first war since They had destroyed us broke out. The dragons and the night elves fought valiantly, but to no avail. The three of us saw this as a great opportunity, and pressed upon Neltharion's mind harder than ever before, urging him to create the weapon that would free us. And so he did, and even added his own creative flare; he tricked the other Aspects into abandoning much of their own power! Such a thing could not have been more perfect. Meanwhile, we began to like the invading demons less and less. It was clear that they meant not only to kill the Titans' races, but utterly level the planet as a whole. And in our weakened states, I had little doubt they could do that. Still, the screams and agony of the night elves sustained me well, and I was nearly sated. Nearly.
Neltharion revealed his betrayal, and unleashed the Demon Soul. Many demons died, as did many of the dragons and elves. With the betrayal of the Black Dragonflight and the involvement of some of the demons' leaders, the chaos in the Titans' so-called 'perfect world' reached an all-time high. Though not able to influence the war directly, we drank in the chaos. I reached some of my magic deep into the Well of Eternity's portal as a strange green-skinned creature leaped in. He began slaughtering demons by the thousands, until the ultimate leader of the demons showed himself.
The nerve! One of Them coming to our world again! We saw the Titan Sargeras looming over the orc, and the Titan easily ended the orc's life, but not before being injured a little. We withdrew our attention. A Titan! But something didn't fit. This Titan wanted chaos and discord; something had changed Him. Sargeras was utterly in love with destruction, as we were. A potential alliance could have been struck, if not for two things. He was a Titan, and the portal closed, ushering in defeat to the Burning Legion.
The Well of Eternity fell into chaos, and a great many of the night elves were tossed into a rapidly-flooding sea. Before they drowned, though, N'zoth reached Azshara and convinced her to join us. He twisted her form, and those of her followers, into the naga. They would be valuable servants in the future, we could tell.
Meanwhile, the Demon Soul was lost to Neltharion, now under the alias Deathwing. We nearly lost control of him, but managed to keep hold, barely. He lowered mountains and ignited wars between the mortal factions, which grew increasingly numerous. Lovely, delicious chaos. Even as the mortals fought, they had no idea that they strengthened the world's true masters. Our strength was returning, ever so slightly, and while it would be ages before we were back to our height of glory, it would not be nearly as long before we could break our prisons, something They had not accounted for.
Ten thousand years after the Shattering, which dealt N'zoth's chains a great blow, we lost Deathwing. He retreated into Deepholm after the Demon Soul was shattered, and now the other Aspects were back at full strength. Curse them! The demons returned, with orcs from another world as their soldiers, but still lost. It mattered not; it just made me stronger. Undead soldiers began to actually steal my blood for their structures and weapons, and I was painfully helpless to stop them, even with my slowly increasing number of Faceless. I slowly whispered to my wardens, slowly bringing them under my control. Then... it happened.
C'thun's presence had twisted a race of insectoids to his will, and he escaped his bindings with their aid. But as he waged a mammoth war with them, still too weak to create Faceless, a guild of mortals went after him. They, mere mortals, managed to -kill- C'thun. N'zoth and I were both stunned in silence. Impossible. Tsa'thannon was likely did. Y'Shaarj was dead, and now C'thun was dead. From five, down to two.
But it would not matter, life went on. Deathwing's Prime Consort was already, under my whispers, cooking up plans to create a race of dragons under our rule. As the ruler of the undead was besieged by an army, stolen dragon eggs were corrupted, and N'zoth and I whispered to them. But with only two of us working on so many of them, we could not control them completely, only brainwash them.
The same mortals that killed C'thun came after me. They knew I had corrupted the wardens, and planned to defeat me. I would have none of it. I'd kept growing stronger, and was now far stronger than C'thun had been when he died. The impossible happened. One by one, the prison's defenses fell as the mortals ran through. A furnace master, a proto-dragon. They freed most of my wardens from my influence, the nerve of them! They came after my Faceless and mortal worshipers, those who had the sight to acknowledge my true authority. They cut through them, and felled my greatest commander... opening the gate right to me.
I'd long ago taken the form of a mortal female, and used her to slowly wear them down with pleas for help, in addition to my whispers. I called in my Faceless to defend me, but I pretended to help the mortals with double-edged spells, ones that did them more harm than good. But they managed to see past my guise and strike down the illusion. I had to take a risk. If I showed myself, I would have the greatest chance of falling, but I could also deal the greatest harm to them as well. For the first time in sixty thousand years, my head broke through the earth, a thousand maws twitching in hunger, because they were so scared and I was driving them insane and it felt so wonderful. The fools had told the watchers to stay out of the fight and re-cooperate; they had the arrogance to fight me on their own!
But something didn't add up. My crusher tendrils, instead of smashing their plated warriors to a bloody pulp, simply battered them. My thin tentacles, instead of bisecting them with a light squeeze, did nothing more than constrict them before I was forced to retract it beneath the ground. And when I pulled them into my mind to drive them insane, they caused me more harm than I did to their minds.
'N'zoth, I don't understand. How am I losing?'
'Don't give up! Fight them with everything you've got,' he said.
'Fight harder, drive them mad! Use your minions!' I heard Tsa'thannon. I was amazed. So he wasn't dead.
They managed to shatter my shadow shell from within, and I had had enough. Weak as I was, injured as I was, I was not going down, not without a fight, not to these mortals! I called to my greatest creations, the ones who simply could not die, and sent them after the mortals. The havoc in their ranks was well-hidden, but they could not hide the truth from one three billion years old. I unhinged their minds just by being in their sights, they were helpless to fight me! I sent out empowering shadows to give the immortal Faceless renewed strength, and I opened my jaw wide to roar. Pieces of metal flew into my mouth, but I paid it no mind as I roared, making my prison rumble and the shattered celestial chains clatter. The Faceless drained their vitality, I sapped their sanity until they broke. But their spells kept peppering my tough hide, their arrows and bullets kept flying into me. It became all too apparent to me. I was going to fall to these mortals.
I unleashed another roar, making the mortals lose their footing. A dozen of my undying minions fought them. The chaos and their screams were so exhilarating, and as much as their assault hurt I reveled in the fact that I broke one, sent them against their allies who they now saw as Faceless. The other mortals knocked them unconscious before they could do much harm, but there were down a number.
'It looks like I am still too weak to win this fight. It falls to you two,' I telepathically told them, even as I laughed maniacally, terrifying and maddening and hurting the mortals all at once as twenty Faceless surged through the battle-field that was my prison. 'Accelerate Deathwing's return. Drive the Twilight's Hammer harder. Take back our world. Enlist the aids of the elemental lords. I am finished.'
'Very well,' said N'zoth.
'Very well,' echoed Tsa'thannon.
As the last of my strength left me, and the immortal Faceless fell lifeless without my magic to power them, I knew I still had victory. I knew all about the ultimate fail-safe They had put in, Their last resort, Their Herald. Even with my fall, their fates were sealed with His arrival. At some point during our rise to power we'd entwined ourselves deeply with the planet, and my fall would cause great unrest. They would know this. They would send the Observer, and the mortals would either die, or deal a heavy blow to the Titans, and the other Old Gods would herald in the event C'thun prophesied, the Hour of Twilight. Either way, even in death, I won.
I opened my thousand maws one final time, one final act of defiance against the creations of the foul Titans.
"Your fate is sealed! The End of Days is finally upon you, and all who inhabit this miserable little seedling! Uuli ifis halahs gag erh'onng w'ssh!"
So if you somehow haven't guessed it, this is my theory as to the origins of the Old Gods, and a look into the mind of one of the coolest ones out there :-)
Review, let me know what you think. Did I make your eyes bleed? Write the best thing you've ever seen? Make you go 'meh'? Let me know!