The Third Chained One
You were a voracious reader. You couldn't help it; you wanted to see the world but it was so big and vast and your father wouldn't let you leave the castle. So you turned to books. Books let you see the outside world without ever having to leave your bed. You read so many stories that you can't quite keep many of them straight now. But there was one tale that chilled you to the bone. You remember it because of the description of the monster in it, an ancient god from the world's youth that hid in the shadows:
She was all smoke and shadows; light passed through her and darkness was her cloak. Festering wounds opened in the ground at her feet, where mushrooms spewing poison grew rapidly. Her eyes were coals, lit only by whatever light shined upon them... Her mouth was a crooked gash, spilling blood and whispering madness into the wind...As you look now, years and years later, at the entrance to the city of Kharesh as the stairs descend into dim light, you shudder at the memory. Thank goodness it was just a children's story. Or was it?
Long ago, at the beginning of the world, the gods began to move from the void of space to where Orkanis would be. They began to build the various mountains, oceans, and creatures that would inhabit the world. But some resisted. They merely wanted to add colour to the void, to create formless elements and swirling chaos to fill it. They fought the gods, lost, and the two that survived, Tharis'duran and Tharis'ala were chained in the bowels of the earth, never to be free again. Their names were forgotten, their servants destroyed and their weapons scattered or broken. Despite the fact the gods locked them both away and killed the rest, the story persists that there was a third. Tharis'xar, as she was known among the xertilar, escaped the wrath of the gods and hid in the furthest reaches of the Dark Hollows. There, she tends gardens of mushrooms and cages of poisonous spiders, creating an army to retake the surface world. Some say that she is an image of the Corrupted One Valkar. Others believe she was the creator of the Darkness Elemental Motes and not the god Pa'ilver. Whichever story you ascribe to, many fully believe her existence is real.
The war between the Chained Ones and the other gods is well known among the peoples of Orkanis, which means that this story has a basis in historical fact. However, no amount of scrying spells, divine intervention or expeditions to the Dark Hollows have ever found proof of Tharis'xar's existence. Many xertilar immediately following the Great Sundering fell into worship of two gods. One of these was the Free One Xartas, as expected, but a few others turned away from the worship of the Darkened One and worshipped the Spider Queen (Nom'ziranë). The description of Tharis'xar and this Spider Queen are very similar, leading many to believe that she did indeed escape the fate of her Chained brethren.
Like other Chained Ones or fake gods, the worship of Tharis'xar is expressly forbidden. Anyone caught praying or otherwise giving praise to the Chained Darkness is often imprisoned or outright killed. The story through Reports from the Deep has spread the story throughout the rest of Sedesta. Because of this, the idea that there are three Chained Ones is well accepted throughout the world, despite the lack of evidence.
In LiteratureReports from the Deep contains a report of finding Tharis'xar in the ruins of a dusk elf city. The descriptions are rich enough and match the original tales told about her. However, many of the reports have now been proven to be fictional so this one might also be fake.
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