Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™
Shadow of Xy
“And so that it was the treachery woven by Betrayal and Envy gave light its chance to shine. For when Xy, the Greatest of the Evil Ones, was made to fall victim to magic of his own making and vanish from this world, the darkness did tremble. In the absence of the Great Old One, the forces of chaos warred amongst itself. So it was that the first sparks of light found hope in the darkness and grew to a blaze that surprised the retreating void. Thus, Light was born and rose up to smite the rumbling darkness. But the black of evil was strong. The battle twixt light and dark would rage for an eon. A multitude would perish, and many a time did the darkness seem about to smother the light. So it was, during one such time that he, known as Thoth, did appear to work his magic and force the darkness to retreat before him.
The respite created by Thoth gave the light time to restore its fire and bring others such as Osiris, Isis, Set and the others of their family to join the fray and hold the darkness at bay. From the shadows born from the clash of light and dark, did the three heroes, Lokum, Kym-nark-mar and Lictalon, work their magic and put the evil to rest. And so, as the Old Ones slumbered, the New Ones took their place and brought a new order to the world. The three heroes would rise to shine as gods. Thoth would be embraced by the denizens of Taut and given the honored position as god of wisdom and knowledge. The Age of Chaos broken, the New Age was born.”
~The Tristine Chronicles
Into the Shadows…
Tumultuous and lingering like a rot, the darkness cast by the Great Old One was not extinguished nor transmuted when Xy lost himself. Instead, it was stripped away like a piece of tattered cloth and cast long and deep into the furthest most reaches of the Megaverse. There it would lurk and linger, its darkness deepened and its blackness darkened by Thoth’s own light. Now, a sinister rogue without a master, it poisoned all it fell upon, casting its blackness into the hearts and minds of those the light had long forgotten. There, malevolent and abyssal, it spread like a malignant tumor. Its unholy power growing far beyond the sight of even the most enlightened Gods; rotting worlds and attaching itself to the evil of great men like a cosmic parasite. Enigmatic and nameless, its proportions exaggerated by the atrocities those performed in its name, the entity came to embody the Fear the Unknown and drank deeply from all the grand vistas of power that such a worship entailed. Until at last, having darkened countless worlds it rose up to swallow the light once and for all.
Though it would be The Light who prevailed. Rallying their champions, they struck it down and vanquished fear; freeing many of whom who had fallen under its sway. Exposed and powerless without its Vallax armadas and legions of darkness, The Entity found itself significantly weakened and forced skittering back beyond the furthest reaches of known creation. There, all but helpless, it would feign its destruction and return once more to lurk unnoticed in the dark places deep within men’s hearts. There, silent and cold, it would wait for a time that men might forget its failures and once more grow to fear the Great Mystery.
What is the Shadow of Xy?
It is the Shadow of Xy. Such was the power of the Great Old One that even the shadow he cast was vastly more powerful than even the greatest of the Gods. As the First Race, the Old Ones created all known life and all cosmic laws within the Megaverse. Perhaps ironically, “Good” is merely an unforeseen byproduct of an effort to produce more submissive and loyal minions and “Light” was only created to expose those who would plot against the status quo. Each of these inventions was intended to rob Ya-blik and Al-vil of their power for Xy suspected dissension within his ranks, but ultimately it would be their creation that drove the two Old Ones to rise up against Xy and be the very tools that would make his defeat possible. This betrayal would too be the event that freed the shadow from its master and send it hurtling through the abyssal infinities into the unknown reaches of the Megaverse.
Like the loosed shadow of Peter Pan, the Entity enjoys its new found freedom and has no real desire to join with Xy once more. Though, it too knows all to well that it is merely a shadow of Xy’s power and even were it to obtain the singularly devoted worship of the every being in the cosmos it would still pail by comparison. However, having it’s empires and dreams of grandeur dashed by the Forces of Light, the Entity understands that for it to gain the power it once had it must find a way to free its former master from enchantment placed upon him.
The Shadow of Xy is a Fourth Dimensional Being and very likely one of (if not THE) the most powerful Alien Intelligence in the Megaverse. However, it has no material form of its own. Instead, this incorporeal being attaches itself to another being(s) of evil like a vicissitude and uses them like a puppet. The entity (for it has no name, true or otherwise!) appears to have no upward limit of its power, save that of the hosts it can absorb or corrupt. It is very fond of Shifters and Witches; even allowing them a modicum of free will so long as they are serving its goals. This is important because as an imitation of Xy, it lacks his creative core or unique spark and is to a degree, limited by the imaginations and dark desires of men it has possessed or attached itself too. It is possible (though unlikely) that without the forces of Good or Light to contrast itself against, the Entity would lose all its power and any semblance of its identity, but that may also just be idealistic prattle. This much is known, like with the Pantheons of the Megaverse and other Gods, when the entity lost its worshipers and men no longer feared it, it lost much of its power and was very nearly destroyed.
Contracts & Pacts
When given it, the Entity has incredible power and can bestow incredible power on those who willingly give themselves up to it. Shifters, Witches, and other such O.C.C.s who make a pact with the Entity gain the following bonuses. Anyone else who gives themselves up to the Entity is transformed into one of The Corrupt (as per page 86 of Rifts® World Book 16: Federation of Magic™).
Pact Bonuses (Shifter/Witch)
+ 1D4 × 10 S.D.C., + 1D6 × 10 + 20 P.P.E., the ability to Create Corrupt (requires a willing participant; but the transformation is permanent!) three times per day, + 2 to save vs magic + 2 to Horror Factor, and Witches gain P.P.E. and invocations as per a Ley Line Rifter. These apply at level one.
Once the character has proven himself to be a suitable agent of evil or chaos (usually by level three), he is granted one of the following: + 6 to P.S., + 6 to P.P., or + 6 to P.E. attribute (if P.S. or P.E. is selected, it becomes Supernatural!), adds + 2 to all saving throws, and most importantly, the character is given one demonic or monstrous minion/slave to serve him for the rest of his life! This servant may be one of the dark god’s personal minions or a Lesser Demon or other evil supernatural being or monster (although it is normally another Shifter, Witch, or Member of the Corrupt O.C.C. one half the character’s current level of experience). Whatever it is, it will always be the equivalent of a Lesser Demon in power and stature, never a Greater Demon and never one of the undead. (See Rifts® Conversion Book Three: Dark Conversions for a host of different supernatural and evil creatures, also see Rifts® Chaos Earth™ Sourcebook: Creatures of Chaos™ for a range of new demons suitable for use in Rifts®.
The Entity will almost certainly send “its” servant on errands that serve it’s own agendas. This may be something as simple as delivering a message or an item, to retrieving an ancient artifact and delivering it to one of their other henchmen, as well as killing or undermining rivals and enemies, but more often than not it involves performing bizarre ritualistic torture, sacrifice, or unsavory occult rituals.
To give one’s self over to the Entity is to let it twist and corrupt you, both spiritually and physically. Its ghostly essence permeates the character’s being at all times. Although the Entity cannot actively control the character unless it is physically possessing them at the time, it can whisper in their ear, read their thoughts, and observe everything they see and hear.
Weren’t the First Race Good Guys?!
Sorry guys. Santa Claus isn’t real. The Old Ones created the Megaverse. Whereas the many stories about the First Race are heroic and inspiring, they are little more than fairy tales dreamed up by poets and scholars. The Megaverse was created by the Old Ones. They created the heavens, the earth, time and even magic. Then each was given a segment of reality to govern over and bound themselves to laws and policies so they would not constantly be at war with one another. These laws were sometimes abstract concepts, while other times they were more solid or sweeping principles such as gravity. Most of them are concepts we as three dimensional beings could never begin to understand or should we learn would drive us deep into madness. In short, everything you know (perhaps even this) is a lie.
“Copyright © 1990, 2005 and 2013 Palladium Books Inc. & Kevin Siembieda; all rights reserved world wide. No part of this work may be sold, distributed or reproduced in part or whole, in any form or by any means, without written permission from the publisher. All incidents, situations, institutions, governments and people are fictional and any similarity to characters or persons living or dead is strictly coincidental."