The Ghet were once Spirits before they forsook the path that Creation made for them and as such are capable of influencing the mortal plane of existence. In times past, the Ghet gave to those willing the gifts of Corruption, Consumption and Destruction. The capacity to corrupt the living form and the elements, turning them upon themselves. The ability to devour various aspects of Creation, both living and inanimate, to the benefit of the wielder. And the desire for Destruction, rendering down all that the Spirits have brought into existence into ruin, deconstructing and destroying all that it touches.
Whereas the Spirits create new life, keep the Great Cycle in fluid motion and allow death so that others might live, the Ghet do not care for such things. The gifts their influence imparts are inherently evil, much like necromancy or shadow weaving and having the capacity to wield even the smallest mote of the Ghet’s power taints the mind, planting the smallest seedling that may one day bloom into fractal madness.
Corruption is a literal and metaphysical definition of what this baleful taint is capable of. In the literal sense, those gifted in the Ghet’s corruption are able to turn an individual’s greatest strengths into their weaknesses, infecting those who earn the wielder’s wrath with a rotting disease that afflicts their life’s essence, sapping away physical, magical or mental aptitudes In a metaphysical sense, it can be used to directly attack the font of power that an individual draws from, setting insidious whispers in the back of the target’s mind, forcing auditory and illusionary hallucinations, causing spontaneous eruptions of the target’s darkest fears to be made manifest, visible and tangible to all. Corruption wears on the mind, body and soul of those targeted by the wielder of the Ghet’s gift.
Corruption was the gift granted to the Xhaur, who used it to warp the flesh, minds and souls of those unfortunate to fall into their grasp, creating many of the races native to Xansai. It eats at their minds, having forgotten where their gift had once come from, or where their once great civilization stood.
It was the need to try and follow the path that Nature set for the mortal world that stoked a hunger within the Ghet, despite such creatures having no intrinsic need to eat. To consume and devour was merely a means to an end, a manner in which they would display their dominance over all that was beneath them. As such, those gifted by the Ghet’s hunger are able to derive sustenance from sources that aren’t normally edible for the mundane. The capacity to devour another’s manifestations of the fyres, to leech away the psyche, consume emotions or vitality. Others take a much more physical approach to their gift, which manifests in stronger jaws, sharper teeth and a perchance of eating things normally toxic or dangerous, such as poisons, venoms, most metals and the like.
Consumption was the gift that the Roj’Stadj of Draelyk were born from, unbeknownst to them. They were a tainted copy of the natural sidhe that were born from the touch of the Spirits and of Creation itself. All Roj’Stadj are afflicted by this horrible ‘disease’, though they do not understand that it’s origin stems from the Ghet and wrongly believe it to be all mortal creatures need to eat that spawned them from the dreams of the Spirits.
It was with the fractal insanity that came with their willful choosing of madness that drove the Ghet further and further away from their original function; to create. Much like the forms they now have, the Ghet cannot help but to destroy. The barest touch and the smallest gift of baleful intent invokes entropy, unraveling fabric, rusting metals, decomposing flesh and shattering the bindings that hold essence to form. Out of the three, the gift of Destruction is the most overt, making it near impossible to hide. It manifests in the same jagged, blinding fashion that the Ghet do; inky, abysmal darkness graced and shattered by searing, oft blinding light zigzagging through the pitch. It is force made manifest, eager to rend, rip and tear anything it strikes.
It wasn’t until the second uprising of the Ghet, when several of the Primal Spirits gave into their madness, that installations were built. While a vast majority of these were done through the Xhaur and now lay buried or outright destroyed on Xansai, not all were. There lay ancient cities buried deep on all the continents. The Ghet, clinging to what little of their past as Spirits they could hold on to, made such cities out of the living elements, although warped and twisted. Taking cues from the multitude of hive-minded insects that span the world’s earth and seas, the Ghet fashioned their cities in similar fashion. Their architecture favors soft curves, swirls and other such non-euclidean geometry, crafted to look similar to shell or chitin, with overlapping plates. In several of their cities underwater, they take cues from nautili and other cephalopods, creating a single, central building that spirals in upon itself before descending down into the mire.
In one instance of rampant curiosity, the Ghet create one particularly massive beast, almost the size of the original island of Nri, before killing it so that its corpse might serve as a gigantic laboratory-city.
But these have long since been abandoned and forgotten, the remaining Ghet in existence only partially aware of their existence, yet currently more intent on breaking free of their bonds, but those that didn’t fall into iniquity and ruin are still functional and still have some of the Ghet’s former creations roaming their halls.
The main installation the Ghet used in ancient times was on the Islet now called Vrykos, in an attempt to keep the rampant overgrowth from overtaking the city. It is here where the Roj’Stadj were created and, after several millennia without their creator’s control, the Ghet-made city was buried beneath the forest and built over by their fae creations, forgotten by time.
Isles of Nri: Placeholder
The Start of Everything….
To know the Ghet is to know the Spirits and Zhurin.
In Creation, there are a myriad of worlds, each one different and unique. Some are born barren, without the spark of life, others host to a plethora of deities. Others, much like Zhurin, are gifted with the touch of the Spirits. The Spirits are forces of nature incarnate, bound to Creation and the Natural Cycle to remain in balance; while they do more than merely exist, having thoughts and feelings intrinsically linked to the element they represent, they don’t war amongst one another in hopes of surpassing and supplanting them.
For each element, there were not one, but many spirits to guide and that too meant that the great Primal spirits had several in their numbers. Millenia passed, Zhurin was shaped, its continents dredged up from the ocean’s depths or forged with the magma of Zhurin’s core. Life was not created, but nurtured. Allowed to thrive, life bloomed and over the course of those eons, evolved into greater forms and even greater numbers.
For the most part, the Spirits were happy with what they saw. Life and Death, a constant, perpetual cycle that did not cater to weakness — those creatures that could not stand the rigors of such a primal environment were consumed and forgotten, to make way for those that were stronger, faster and more hearty. These things had no names, nor did the Spirits give them any, as they didn’t have any themselves. They were the guardians of the wild places, set in place to watch and only intervene under extreme circumstances.
Such as an invasion of those who could breach the great dark beyond and spread their influence amongst the many worlds of Creation.
The Spirits are as old as Zhurin itself, born into creation and consciousness the very moment that the fires of Creation cooled, forming the earthen crust, as moisture gathered and rained down and the winds of change brought life. They were innocent, aware of only that which they were tasked to. But consciousness and intelligence sometimes brings errant thoughts and ideals. Why were the Spirits above that which they protected? Should they not, also, follow the rules of Creation, to consume that which was weaker in order to grow, and become the apex predators of Zhurin?
These were the thoughts that turned the Spirits against one another. The first of such thoughts started with many of the weaker spirits, who watched the flora and fauna much more closely than those who see much greater things. They saw on what would become Draelyk, that some plants, in order to cope with the choking roots of the many trees, turned to more carnivorous activities. They preyed upon anything unfortunate enough to stumble into their verdant traps and, as a result, thrived in conditions that would have seen them wither and die in the wake of much greater kin.
They saw the smaller sand sharks of an ancient Sorth learn that it is much safer, much more profitable for them, if they band together in shoals, to hunt the very worms that hunted them in turn.
They saw all of these things and they thought to themselves, “We can do this too.”
It was then that balance was shattered. These predatory spirits, who were not corrupted by evil, by demons or disease, turned upon their kin knowingly and willfully. Spirits of Fire and Water, of Air and Earth, of Sound and Soul. There was no unifying aspect that drove these spirits into their self-inflicted madness, but long before the birth of the Jhakkar and Scolani, the Spirits warred with one another.
In the beginning, it was just the lesser spirits and despite consuming many of their kin, were all but destroyed by the greater, more Primal spirits. And all was well again, for a while. Creation does not have a very good memory, unfortunately. The flora and fauna, in their ignorance, continued as they always have, they grew, they fought, they rutted and perpetuated their species simply to survive. But those that took that extra step, those truly blessed by the Spirits, were given a gift.
The gift of thought and sentience.
While each landmass had its own difficulties, it was Sorth that the Spirits had chosen to grant these gifts. A tiny thing, minute, and yet so destructively powerful in the wrong mind. The firstborn of Zhurin would call themselves the Scolani.
The Scolani were smaller, agile and roamed in large packs. They used themselves as bait, planning and strategizing with their limited minds, in fashions that went above and beyond anything else seen on the continent. They marked their territory in a curious fashion too; the pack leader allowed their mate to tear into them, with tooth and claw. The subsequent black ooze, which was not blood, but another natural aspect of their body chemistry, clung to everything that it was smeared upon, hardening into a rubbery mass under the heat of Zhurin’s sun.
But like all things, there needed to be balance. A millennium later, the gift was given to another predator, not unlike the Scolani. Whereas the Scolani were pack beasts before their ascension, the Jhakkar, too, were great predatory felines that walked the wastes of the Eastern Sorth
It was not the great worms or the beasts that would be called sand sharks that received the blessing, but instead, a large predatory feline that scoured the wastes of Eastern Sorth, using their unique physiology to ensnare their prey. They laid out traps, using their pheromones and other body chemistry, to trap both much larger species of predator as well as smaller prey, in situations they could not get out of.
A worm breached onto the flesh-rending glass formed in the western deserts bled out and died quickly, while a sand shark banked upon solid stone, could not heft its own weight and expired from exposure.
While the Jhakkar were content to their solitude, hiding within the wastes of the east, the Scolani built their empire under the sun. They forged the first portal rings with the gift of magic, reaching from the wellspring of souls that courses through Zhurin, they explored the dense forests of Draelyk (and fought off the forebears of the Feore), they reached to Xansai, Mauren and what would become the Isles of Nri. The Jhakkar, content to watch from the shadows and manipulate things from afar, saw the Scolani empire rise — this was the way that Zhurin was and would always be like.
The Spirits took notice again. It was not the lesser spirits that started having such thoughts this time though. The Spirits had long memories, as long as Zhurin had been in existence and they remembered the last time when those who had long since been forgotten, tried to enact the will of Creation.
They watched the Jhakkar and the Scolani. They watched the First Child of Zhurin extend their grasp over all that they could see, marking it all as their territory without fear of something fighting. They watched as the Second Born of Zhurin subjugated any and all that fell into their traps, binding them to the will of the master… because there were many flora and lesser fauna that did the same.
Several of the Prime Spirits watched and thought to themselves, “I can do this too.”
But unlike their lesser kin, they did not act out immediately. They did not set upon their kin in hopes of devouring them outright. The Prime Spirits who accepted this madness learned from the mistakes of their lessers. They bided their time, stalking their prey, learning everything they could about routines, strengths and weaknesses… theirs was an evolution from using brute force into becoming ambush predators.
Another thousand or so years passed, the Scolani empire was at its peak and the Jhakkar were stalking amongst the shadows, stealing away knowledge that the Scol would rather have kept secret, when the Spirits again decided that it was time to offer their blessing to those species that deserved it. This time they cast their attention to the north.
The Tyrgo forebears, unlike the Jhakkar and Scolani, was what might closest be described as a wolf. Or rather, a cross between a wolf and a bear, as thick, dense musculature was needed to help them burrow through the earth, ice, snow and stone of the Mauren mountain ranges. Preferring the depths, while they could communicate through audible noises, the proto-Tyrgo had a rudimentary psionic network between the members in a given pack, allowing them to traverse long distance and remain in contact. It also allowed them to sense their prey without alerting them — it was a unique adaptation that the Spirits smiled upon and thus, the Tyrgo were blessed as the Jhakkar and Scolani had been.
Over time, the Tyrgo learned they could crack rock and thick ice with their thoughts
The gap in time between the blessing offered to the Jhakkar and the blessing given to the Scolani was expansive compared to the blessings given to what would be known as the Tyrgo and the youngest child of Zhurin, the Feore. Each time the Spirits gave their blessing, they learned a little more about the experience. It was during the gap between Tyrgo’s ascension and when the Feore would come into their own that the Spirits twisted by errant thoughts sprung their trap.
The Spirits are not creatures of flesh and blood, they have no biological need to consume or procreate, yet those that wished to follow the path of Creation did and could. They took on horrible shapes, of gaping, toothy maws, grasping claws and hands with too many digits, to name a few. The essence they tore out of those that they captured added to their own, allowing them more power than that which they were created. Lesser spirits grew in power, gathering in horrible packs, not unlike how the primal Scolani did, hunting down Greater and Primal spirits.
And the few Primal Spirits that had given in to such thoughts? They went after their own. But consuming such spiritual essence did not come without cost, for such wasn’t meant to happen. Their essence cracked, the elements that each feral spirit was once attuned to bled out, leaving a husk. These creatures, tainted and corrupted by their own thoughts and actions, were equal parts brilliant, bright hot white light and deep, oily darkness. Perhaps it was Creation’s immeasurable sense of humor or justice, but these beings found no balance.
While the Spirits themselves remained aloof, invisible to the races they had blessed, preferring to live by whatever doctrine had been set within their being upon their creation, these corrupted, feral Spirits, which were named ‘Ghet’ by the Scolani, had no such compunctions. They were, in every sense, the essence of Zhurin. They wanted to consume all of Creation and all that was born into it, they wanted to prove that they were the apex predators and that only they were worthy of all that Creation had to offer.
Now driven by hunger, the Ghet turned their attention, first and foremost, upon the continent of Xansai. Using the tactics they had learned from the races blessed by their once-kin, the Prime Ghet used the Lessers as bait, calling to the Scolani and the Jhakkar that had made their homes on the beauteous plains. For a time, the center of the Scolani’s vast empire lay squarely in Xansai, all too eager to leave the sunbaked wasteland that was the deserts of Sorth. They tore open the gates with their mastery of the Spirit’s blessing, allowing them unbridled access to not only the other continents of Zhurin, but beyond.
The Ghet saw this. They saw the ambition of the early Scolani, they saw the uncountable worlds that lay beyond and they saw the blessing that the Spirits had given the races native to Zhurin. So the Ghet, so enamored with all they had beheld, offered first the Scolani a gift… one of change, of revolution. The Ghet gave them the knowledge that was beyond the ken of the Primal Elements… and took that final step that they would never be able to come back from. The Ghet gave this kingdom the capacity to ‘Bless’ others, as the Spirits once had.
It came at a price.
The Scolani used their gifts on the races that came through the gateways, the humans, the elves, the dwarves, on themselves… their lineages muddied and from the fiery cocktail that was their genetic slurry, the Xhaur were born. The called themselves ‘Pure’ and ‘True’, moving away from the worship they gave to the Spirits and casting their gaze to the piercing light and miasmic darkness. They took the gifts given to them and they forged other such races, like the Gath, the Mul and the Shadowborn. They gave themselves over entirely to the whims and wishes of the Ghet and forsook the Spirits in their entirety.
The Spirits, fearful and hiding, removed their touch upon the lands of Xansai, not wanting the Ghet, who in their alien and predatory nature, sought and hunted them down at any and all times, to find even the smallest filament of magical energy to trace back. The Ghet, who had long since lost their ties to the elements could only watch as Xansai, slowly and steadily, died.
Xansai, forsaken by the Spirits, was the purgatorial paradise that the Ghet wanted — this was part of their end-game.
Like the Spirits, the Ghet did not see things in smaller doses, but instead looked at the much larger picture, the Great Wheel that kept Creation turning. The natural cycles were there to be manipulated and ultimately consumed, but when a land such as Xansai retained the blessing, there was only so much they could do. Now… with the grace of the Spirits gone, the Ghet, using their Xhaur creations, started what would become the end of the War between the Spirits and the Ghet.
The Spirits turned to the Scolani and Jhakkar, to the young Tyrgo and then too blessed the race that would become the Feore. With the youngest child of Zhurin born and the Tyrgo only barely capable of forming their cities, the Scolani waged war with the physical, tangible essence of the Ghet. They tore through the lands of Xansai, destroying the once great cities that they had built, now occupied by the Xhaur and their creations, purposefully destroying the Gateway they’d built as they departed. Xansai’s desolation was complete.
While the Scolani (and the Jhakkar, though they fought the Ghet in their own way) scoured out the Ghet and their thrice-corrupted ilk, the Spirits, with reprieve from the hunting that their former kin inflicted upon them, went to work forging the prison that would hold the Ghet. It was the final battle, where the Scolani had driven the Ghet and their creations back to what would become the Isles of Nri, after systematically deactivating the gateways on Mauren and Draelyk.
The Isles of Nri was merely where they were bound. It was through balance, that which the Ghet had forsaken, that locked them away into the deep places within Zhurin. Not deep within the earth, but a metaphysical prison that existed just outside the realms of insanity and agony. All the Ghet that remained had been imprisoned in the dark places between realms, outside of the influence of Creation, as the Spirits feared that anything that the Ghet could consume would allow them a foothold in Zhurin once more.
At first, they did everything they could to find a way to free themselves. They saw the world, they saw the trees of Draelyk, the mountains of Mauren, the dunes of Sorth… but they could not influence them. Like an illusion, the Ghet passed through as they sought to dig and tear, but they couldn’t see Life. They saw but a static representation of the Zhurin they wanted to subjugate and consume, they could not hunt their preferred prey or anything… at least, not at first.
One of the lesser Ghet watched their kin with rapacious hunger in their eyes, remembering when they had hunted and eaten the Spirits and thought, “I can do this too.”
All it took was the first before all the pieces fell into place. The Ghet turned in on themselves, hunting and devouring any that were weaker than themselves, taking advantage of those wounded in a battle between existence and the great void beyond. Lessers became Greaters, Greaters were eaten by the Primals and large packs of Lessers feasted upon the remains of Primals. A vicious cycle that could not renew itself — in the end, there were five Ghet, all of equal power.
One bound to Draelyk.
One bound to Sorth.
One bound to Mauren.
One bound to Xansai.
And finally, one bound to the Isles of Nri.
Time had no bearing on these creatures, once known as Spirits. In their imprisonment, they took on forms and thoughts alien even to those that they once called kin. Their madness was self-inflicted, as such, they retain that crucial spark of intelligence that puts them above and beyond those of flesh and blood. They still seek to subjugate and consume, to destroy any who might challenge them for the territory they believe is theirs. Once creatures of the elements, they retain a spark of what they once were… as well as the sparks of any that they’d consumed in the span of their unfathomably long lives.