- you might also check Primordial (disambiguation)
The Primordials originally formed in the Wyld, where they slumbered for eons until Oramus and Cytherea's awakenings, who then awakened the rest of their kin. Led by their first king, Mardukth, they created the now-forgotten realm of Zen-Mu, where they lived until their first king's existential crisis and his despair over it became too much for them to bear. A combined effort led by Theion, the Empyreal Chaos and the Dragon's Shadow led to Mardukth's fall from power and the rise of Theion as their king by sheer force of will. Eventually Theion and the others abandoned Zen-Mu to seek the Shining Answer, a meaning to their existance. In their quest, they created Yu-Shan as a new home for themselves. During Theion's rule, Cytherea and Gaia built Creation out of the Wyld's energies, with the help of the other Primordials. They also created the gods to be their servants, and the Incarnae to enforce their will.
The Primordials lived in Yu-Shan with the gods managing affairs from the Blessed Isle. Eventually, using the knowledge they obtained after taking Autochthon's Clay Man apart, they created Humanity. Eventually, the gods engineered a revolt against the Primordials, and with the help of Autochthon, Gaia and the Incarnae, they created the Exalted to be their agents of liberation. (Due to a powerful Geas placed on the gods at their creation, the gods were unable to violently turn on their Primordial creators).
With their death, the Neverborn cursed the Exalted with the Great Curse, leading to the corruption of the Solars and the end of the First Age. Only two of the gods are even aware of the Great Curse (Lytek and the Incarna Jupiter, the Maiden of Secrets).
Only four known Primordials survive with their ancient majesty intact: Gaia, who remains in Creation, and the Great Maker Autochthon, who fled into exile in the void of Elsewhere. A third fled into the Wyld during the Primordial War and remains at large. Cemunian, the Constellation of Sinew and Dream, opposed the building of Creation and dwells still somwhere in the Wyld. The rest were either slain, becoming the Neverborn, or imprisoned, becoming the Yozis. Primordials created the gods as administrative assistants, to manage creation while they played the wondrous Games of Divinity.
Unlike the gods, who are somewhat comprehensible from the human perspective, and who can be bullied around even by a Terrestrial Exalt when necessary, the Primordials are a different order of being, closer to fundamental laws of the cosmos made manifest. The most basic difference between the Primordials and other entities is a simple matter of size and scope: The Primordials can have several physical forms, or "jouten", as they're known by them. For example, the joutens of Malfeas, first among the Yozis, are both the Demon City containing all the other Yozis in some fashion, and a man of brass and long, blue hair. Autochthon and Cecelyne are also each a separate world unto himself or herself.
In addition, the Essence of the Primordials is too large to be contained in a single soul. Primordials subdivide their beings into 3 groups of separate souls, with a central soul, the Fetich Soul, representing the Primordial's central concept and identity. Each Primordial has at least seven Third Circle Devas/Demons, who represent different aspects of the Primordial's personality. At the same time, Each Third Circle Deva/Demon has a dozen of the Second Circle Devas/Demons, who represent the different aspects of their Third Circle counterparts and lesser aspects of their Primordial. These Demons/Devas can breed and create lesser beings known the First Circle Devas/Demons, who are technically not souls of a Primordial, and their deaths will not affect them in any way. A Primordial can have hundreds of souls. In Autochthonia, these souls form an additional pantheon of deities.
Finally, death for the Primordials is of a different nature than it is for other creatures. Before the Exalted existed, they believed it was impossible for them to be killed. But when a Solar killed one of the Primordials for the first time, the Essence of his/her soul was too large to be recycled by Lethe, which was never dedigned to recycle a being so potent and great as a Primordial.
There are very few things that can kill a Primordial: The best known is the Ghost-Eating Technique Charm used by the Solar Exalted, which can cleave into their very being. When a Primordial dies, his/her souls do not enter Lethe or reincarnate, as they are too massive to be recycled. Instead, a tomb forms in the Labyrinth, and the slain Primordial becomes a Neverborn. The Neverborn, in turn, are capable of activity - not the least of which being the creation of the Deathlords and continuously plotting to bring Creation to Oblivion. Even dead and asleep, the Neverborn are power incarnate, and trapped in a state of endless agony.
When a Primordial's Fetich Soul is slain, their being will be changed in unpredictable ways, as a new Third Circle Devas/Demons will form as a new Fetich Soul. This has happened to some of the Yozis, including Malfeas himself. If a Yozi is entirely killed, whether by the Solars' Ghost-Eating Technique, or by slaying all of their Third Circle Demons, including the Fetich, they will become a Neverborn.
For example, before their original Fetich Soul Lilike was slain, Adorjan was Adrián, the River of All Torments. Lilike transformed Adrian into the Silent Wind.
The exact nature and behavior of the early Primordials is open to debate; while the Yozis and the Neverborn are certainly malevolent, that is at least partly a function of their death and imprisonment. In contrast, Autochthon is portrayed as quite fond of ordinary, unenhanced human beings.
The reason given for the gods' revolt against the Primordials believed by some to have been petty: the gods wanted to have the Games of Divinity for themselves. However other interpretations, and some surviving stories of the Time Before, portray the Gods and humans as cruelly abused and wantonly slaughtered by the Primordials who held them as slaves. Given the state of Yu-Shan and the management of Creation, it is open to debate whether the gods are an improvement over the Primordials.
The reason Autochthon helped the gods was due to one of his most beloved of his creations, the Man of Clay, was vivisected and dismantled by his siblings, which caused him a deep grief.
These are not all existing primordials, but only some of the most important ones. Some primordials were slain so thorougly that they were actually eliminated from reality altogether.
In addition, at the end of the Primordial War a few remained unaccounted for, whose whereabouts and status are still unknown.
Below there is a list of known Primordials.
The remnants of the slain Primordials, destroyed during the Primordial War:
- Abhorrence of Life (Neverborn)
- Father of Murder (Neverborn)
- Mardukth, He Who Holds In Thrall (Neverborn)
- Queen of Suicides (Neverborn)
- Perfected Principle of Consumption (Neverborn)
- Speaker of the Final Silence (Neverborn)
- Tears of Want (Neverborn)
- Whose Whispers Chain (Neverborn)
These are different from the main Neverborn, as they do not exist yet, but might if the Primordial they are is killed.
- The Engine of Destruction, formerly known as Autochthon.
- The Dragon That Was, formerly known as the Ebon Dragon.
The fallen Primordials, still alive, but bound to Malfeas for all eternity:
- Malfeas, the Demon City, formerly Theion, the Empyreal Chaos
- Cytherea, the Divine Ignition, the Mother of Creation
- Adorjan, the Silent Wind, formerly Adrián, the River of Torments
- Cecelyne, the Endless Desert
- The Ebon Dragon, the Shadow of All Things, formerly known as The Dragon's Shadow.
- She Who Lives in Her Name, the Principle of Hierarchy
- Kimbery, the Sea That Marched Against the Flame
- Oramus, the Dragon Beyond the World, First of the Primordials
- Hegra, the Typhoon of Nightmares
- Elloge, the Sphere of Speech, formerly known as He Who Bleeds the Unknown Word.
- Isidoros, the Black Boar That Twists the Skies
- Metagaos, the All-Hunger Blossom
- Sacheverell, Who Knows the Shape of Things to Come, formerly known as The Lidless Eye That Sees.
- Szoreny, the Silver Forest, formerly known as Szoreny, the World Tree.
- Qaf, the Heaven-Violating Spear
Primordials that were killed, but whether they became Neverborn is not known.
- Hunanura, the Heart-Frost Unending
- Jheel-Khan, She Whose Laughter Turns the Skies to Blood, whose death broke Old Sijan.
- Ramethus, The Wyvern Between Now and Forever, slain at the end of the Aftershock War during the Unfurling Horizon era.
- Lykkenan, the Cavern that Devours Cities
- Ta'akozoka, The Great Tentacled One
There are Primordials whose status is unknown. Whether they live or not is not known.
- Cemunian, Constellation of Sinew and Dream, King of Cajerrón
- Mabhaddoth, the Architect of Locks
- Shadow Over Sun
- An unnamed Primordial that left Creation shortly before or during the Primordial War.