- "I am Mardük of Chaos, and the worlds will burn at my hand!"
Mardük was the God of Chaos, brother of Paedün and Dreamweaver, father of Kagetsu I and patron deity of the Clergy of Mardük as well as demons. He was the archenemy of Cardia and leader of the gods of darkness during the Chaos War and the Great War. He was devoured by the Godslayer, which led to the Cataclysm.
- "We serve the Prince of Liberty. The Golden Dawn. He who once shone, before the Andain stole his sanity. He who you know as Mardük."
- "He's responsible for the emergence of the demons in the first place? Remember the Cursed Earth? His doing. Yurius? A pawn of Mardük. Distreyd Thanadar XIII serves the demons himself!"
- "All true, but it was not always thus. Chaos exists to oppose tyranny precisely like that levied upon this land by the demonic hordes. Once, He was a bright, laughing God. It is that memory we hew to, even when His clergy allowed themselves to be twisted by their Lord's madness. Even when the once-noble Chaos Dwarves have abandoned us. Even when He, himself, has been consumed."
- —Alathor and Leon Alcibiates
Mardük was born from Gaea, and he and Cardia were among the eldest children of the Earth Goddess. Mardük embodied the concept of Chaos but unlike his later incarnation he used the creativity of this power to do good and help people see outside the box whereas Cardia embraced an opposite way of looking at things: that is, through Order.
The two gods tolerated each other and tried to prove their chosen concepts right by applying them to the newborn mortal races. At this time Mardük also founded a religion centered around his teachings, and this became known as the Clergy of Mardük. He also built a great celestial city for himself which he named Xar Daeon.
At some point Mardük noticed a human woman with a big rack and had a one-night stand with her. This resulted in the birth of an Andain child who became known as Kagetsu Aurelac. Mardük was very fond of his demigod son and made a sword for him. This sword, Dokubaraken, was passed on to Kagetsu after the latter became an adult. Kagetsu married a mortal woman named Marya and founded Ancient Maar Sul with her and his Andain friends, becoming the Lord of the Andain.
War of the AndainEdit
All seemed fine for a time until Kagetsu noticed that not everything was right in the world. He became upset with the imbalance of abilities between gods, Andain, and mortals, and declared war on the gods in order to redress that balance. His plan was to destroy the world and everyone in it and create everything again...this time as an utopia where everyone was equal.
Kagetsu's sudden change troubled many gods, and Gaea herself went to talk to Kagetsu. However, Kagetsu slew her, and at that time the gods realized that they could be killed by beings of lesser power if they manifested in the world in their godflesh. Mardük was shocked by Kagetsu's behaviour, unable to understand why his son had turned against him and the gods.
Kagetsu was eventually defeated and sealed by Taliesin, and the Andain went into hiding. The war had devastated the world, however, and Kagetsu's name became the worst curse one could possibly utter.
Calm Before the StormEdit
- "Wolf wandered our woods. He had a fiery spirit, and would often aid the tribes in battle against monsters or pillaging bandits. The three brothers grew weary of the endless conflict, and came to our world, to a free people, ones they could guide and coexist with, not rule."
- —A demon storyteller about Mardük and his brothers
Thousands of years passed since the end of the War of the Andain, and gods and mortal races began fighting against one another. Mardük, devastated by the fate of his beloved son and fed up with constant battles, took the form of a big, dark wolf and wandered around various other realms in hopes of pacifying his troubled mind. He was accompanied by his brothers Paedün and Dreamweaver.
The three gods happened upon a certain realm whose woodland-dwelling denizens were bullied by monsters and raiders. Impressed by the peace-loving people's way of life in this realm, Mardük and his brothers decided to settle in and coexist with them rather than rule them. They helped the people of the woods and taught them to defend themselves and eventually managed to drive the sinister forces away and defeat the monsters that remained.
Mardük saw a glimpse of the utopia that Kagetsu had wanted to create in this other realm's wood tribes. He found himself at peace by staying with them, and for the first time after Kagetsu's death he could feel joy again, and even his clerics who worshipped him were empowered by his happiness.
A New ThreatEdit
However, Mardük and his two companions were soon summoned back to the High Plane. The realm of the dead had come under attack by a nameless shadow, and Mardük, Paedün and Dreamweaver were sent to counter this threat because they had had the most experience fighting against creatures from other realms. And indeed, a dark shadow had fallen upon the dead lands, and in the very heart of death itself, the three gods found an evil beyond imagining.
Desperately they fought, but they were no match for evil incarnate. Sensing the hopelessness of their battle, Dreamweaver told Mardük and Paedün to fetch the other gods and take them back so that they could defeat the nameless shadow together. He then threw himself at the evil, buying time for his companions to escape.
Mardük and Paedün returned to the High Plane and asked the other gods to come with them to aid Dreamweaver in the struggle against the shadow. But the other gods refused, whether because of cowardice, ignorance or because they had other pressing matters at hand. Although Mardük was disappointed by this, he refused to let his brother Dreamweaver fall like he had let Kagetsu fall. He had failed with Kagetsu, but he swore not to fail again.
The two gods armed themselves as best they could, and returned to try to save their beloved brother. But it was too late. They found that Dreamweaver had fallen to the shadow, and proclaimed himself Lord of Death. Weeping, Mardük and Paedün fought Death. For what seemed like an eternity, they battled across the darkened realm. In the end, they prevailed, and they imprisoned the Lord of Death at the heart of the realm of the dead. Never were the two gods the same, however.
God of ChaosEdit
- "Wolf brooded for many days, until he came up with a plan. He would harness the dark power of the shadow and use it against the others of his order."
- —A demon storyteller about Mardük
Their brethren's refusal to help them weighed heavy on their hearts. Paedün and his children, the Lefein, began crafting weapons of war, fearing the day when Death would escape. Mardük's anger, however, was directed in a different direction. He was angered that he had not only lost Kagetsu but now Dreamweaver too. He rallied the once peaceful people of the wooden realm, saying that they would come to the aid of the humanfolk and defeat their false idols, so that all could enjoy the freedom of the wood people.
The army was not enough, however, to save the humanfolk. Mardük brooded for many days, until he came up with a plan. He would harness the dark power of Death and use it against the others of his order to make them submit to him and aid him in the quest to destroy Death and free Dreamweaver. When he revealed his plan to Paedün, however, Paedün was appalled and refused to let Mardük use such dark, corrupting power. After all, Kagetsu and Dreamweaver had fallen already because of the Unnamed Evil's influence and he did not want the same to happen to Mardük.
Mardük became angry, accusing Paedun of forgetting the face of Dreamweaver and his sacrifice. Paedün remained adamant, however, still trying to save Mardük from using the power of darkness. The two gods ended up fighting against each other, and in the end Mardük prevailed. He cursed Paedün, rendering him weak, and banished him.
The god channeled the dark power deeply and changed the people of the wooden realm while his chaos powers became twisted as a result. His followers grew large and strong and became grotesquely disfigured, such that their former allies cried out in fear when they beheld their new forms. These former people of the woods slew their allies for their insolence, feasting on their hearts. They had become demons.
Mardük was pleased with the demons' dark power and promised to use their power and his own to change the worlds of the Cosmos for the better. From now on he would be known as Mardük, the Dark God of Chaos.
Chaos War and AftermathEdit
It took a long time before Mardük appeared in the Land of the Living again. He had used all this time to grow the demons' strength and numbers in secret, hoping to catch the other gods unaware. Eventually, he acted by convincing Artemicia and Nergal to join him and by influencing the religion of Eblana and swaying the kingdom and its people to his side in 1 CE. However, the people of Eblana soon noticed Mardük's evil and called for help from neighbouring countries, creating the first incarnation of the Grand Alliance as a result. Thus began the Chaos War.
Despite his best efforts, Mardük was sealed by a group of mortal heroes of the Alliance who were working under the banner of Cardia, the God of Order, who had now become the archenemy of Mardük due to their opposing philosophies. Now imprisoned, the dark god swore revenge on Cardia and managed to possess the body of the hero Locke Cole with his evil essence and used him for his dark purposes. The possessed Locke later showed up in Nefarious, forming an alliance with its demonic ruler Yurius. When things went south, however, the angry Yurius destroyed Locke, Mardük's mortal shell, banishing Mardük's essence to the ethereal prison once more.
Angered and weakened by Yurius's betrayal, Mardük tried to break free but could no longer do so, not even send his essence into a new host. He realized that while many of his followers had remained loyal, some had chosen to rebel against him such as Yurius. Even the clergy faced a dilemma and split in two: the Clergy of Mardük embraced Mardük's dark teachings whereas the Forgotten chose to follow the god's original ideas of freedom.
Mardük could do nothing but wait until his fellow dark gods and followers would set him free when the time was right. Matters remained thus for him for thousands of years.
Arawn Losstarot WarEdit
Many hundreds of years later, during the Second Age, the Arawn Losstarot War nearly helped Mardük break free. The dark cleric Distreyd Thanadar I waited until the warlock Arawn Losstarot would tap enough power from Lea Monde, which in turn would break the seal of Mardük's ethereal prison. However, the Grand Alliance and Mardük's freed son Kagetsu attacked Arawn's forces and eventually managed to slay him albeit with the cost of the lives of Kagetsu and every living Andain in the world. Ironically the actions of Mardük's son had once again harmed Mardük. The dark god sensed his son's death, and that drove him deeper into madness.
Distreyd, now the high cleric of Mardük's clergy, would not give up so easily with his plan, though. He promised that he or his descendants would eventually break Mardük free, and thus began the line of Distreyd Thanadars. It would take over a thousand years before the Clergy of Mardük would have another chance to release the dark god, but the clergy and its high clerics were patient. They knew that sooner or later their time would come.
The Plot UnfoldsEdit
The Clergy of Mardük grew into a potent force when Distreyd Thanadar XII became the new high cleric in the Third Age. Distreyd XII sent Mardük's Chaos Dwarves to destroy the last remnants of the Clergy of Hephaestus in Yamato, and this operation was successful, although they narrowly missed capturing the cleric Schuldich Cedheros who fled with the godblades Dawn and Dusk.
The subsequent Yamatian Invasion helped bring the kingdoms around Yamato under the power of Chaos, and Distreyd's power became immense as a result. Meanwhile a few demon agents, including Omaroch d'Zarnagon, worked hard to prepare everything for the coming of a prophecy that would finally result in Mardük's freedom.
By the time the Great War began, however, Distreyd XII became power-hungry and renounced Mardük. This angered the dark god who promised to make Distreyd pay for this treachery. It did not take long for Mardük to find a new suitable chosen one: a cleric named Jemuel was both strong and cunning and a servant of Chaos. Unbeknownst to Mardük, however, Jemuel had secret plans of his own but he nevertheless decided to help Mardük for his own ends.
As the war was reaching its final years, many things unraveled at once. The shards of Krystallopyr were destroyed, Jemuel slew Distreyd XII, and Refan d'Zarnagon and Kareth d'Zarnagon's blades were locked in a fierce battle and released dark energy, and thus the final bits of the ancient prophecy had come true. The resulting energy wave from all these events finally destroyed the gate of the magical prison, allowing Mardük to walk the earth once more.
The God of Chaos was free at last and immediately renewed his grand task of taking over the world as other dark gods accompanied him. He opened a portal to the Demon Realm during the final battle in the Great War and summoned his demonic reinforcements to boost his dark clergy's ranks against the army of the Grand Alliance which opposed him. Then he turned his attention to Cardia who had arrived at the scene and attacked him.
It seemed that the ultimate battle between Order and Chaos would finally take place as the prophecies had foretold, and Mardük would finally claim his rightful place as the lord of all realms, the goal he had sought for so long.
- "Let the blood of the gods spill forth on the soil of their creation!"
- —Godslayer, before devouring Cardia and Mardük
However, something unexpected happened during the final battle of the Great War when a being known as the Godslayer appeared. The two gods were easily overpowered and devoured by this beast which seemed to hold a grudge against them. Ironically Mardük's manipulations led to his death as the Godslayer was the result of making Omaroch meet with Kareth and Refan, which caused the chain of events which had resulted in the beast's birth.
Mardük's death affected his clergy which was soon forced to join the demonic Northern Horde. As the dark god was no more, demons ran amok and decided to take their lives into their own hands now that his dark influence had vanished from their minds. This resulted in a mass slaughter of Yamatians. The Forgotten were not willing to give up, though, and still wished for a day when the true meaning behind Chaos would make things right in the world and expose the darkness in the hearts of the so-called Clergy of Mardük.
Khasra III eventually entered the shadow of Mardük's celestial city Xar Daeon with help from the Forgotten and managed to purify parts of it from the taint of darkness, thus becoming the first true Chaos Knight in millennia. The full consequences of reawakening Xar Daeon are yet to be seen but it is likely that Mardük's part in the story is not over yet...
Aliases and NicknamesEdit
- Used often by the masses during the First Age.
- Golden Dawn
- Mardük's epithet. Still used by the Forgotten.
- Prince of Liberty
- Mardük's former, mostly forgotten title. Still used by the Forgotten.
- A dragon name given to Mardük by the Akai Tora who worshipped him while ironically thinking that Mardük and Rauhrdskal were two different gods.
Mardük had the golden, godly glow. He was often clad in dark or red clothes and was devilishly handsome, verging on the insane. His preferred animal form was that of a large, black wolf, a form which his son Kagetsu eventually took as well.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Mardük was a cheerful, wise god at first but his corruption twisted him and turned him into a raging, scheming caricature of his former self. He was more than willing to manipulate anyone for his goals and sacrificed even allies if it meant success.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Mardük was one of the most powerful gods to ever exist. His chaotic powers could corrupt even the purest of people given the right circumstances, and he could possess most people with sheer strength unlike most gods who had to have the host's consent first. He was a skilled swordsman and could cast a multitude of black magic spells of the highest caliber.
Despite being a member of the dark gods, Artemicia never spent much time around Mardük. She was too busy with her own schemes and only followed Mardük when her father Nergal did. Artemicia was more than happy to see Mardük gone despite losing a powerful ally because it meant she was one step closer to becoming the ruler of all gods.
Cardia was the archenemy of Mardük, and two butted heads long before Mardük's corruption. Their view of the world was so fundamentally different that they could never see things through the others' eyes, and this eventually led to their long-lasting conflict.
All Distreyd Thanadars, high clerics of Mardük, follow Mardük's later, more violent teachings to the letter and spread Chaos in his name. They're utterly loyal to their lord, even willing to sactifice the world if it means pleasing their patron deity.
Mardük tolerated his mother Gaea. He was shocked to see his son Kagetsu kill her during the War of the Andain.
Mardük seemed to really love Kagetsu, his Andain son. He even forged the blade Dokubaraken and gave it to Kagetsu. When Kagetsu declared war on the gods, it really affected Mardük, and some say Kagetsu's betrayal was what eventually drove Mardük insane.
Mardük possessed a knight named Locke Cole after the Chaos War. Mardük's power was too great for Locke to resist, and he remained in control of the knight's body until Yurius destroyed it.
One of the few gods to match Mardük's cruelty, Nergal was the ideal ally as War breeds Chaos and vice versa. Nergal was willing to follow Mardük for the sake of battle, and Mardük appreciated the armies that Nergal commanded. The two were a truly horrific duo whom few dared to challenge directly.
Paedün was the beloved brother of Mardük. They were originally very close, but something happened between them that made Mardük lose contact with Paedün. They never talked things through after that incident.
Thoth was Mardük's brother. Mardük was angered by his brother turning into Death and fought against him with Paedün to seal him into the Land of the Dead. The fate of Thoth would plague Mardük for years to come and made him eventually channel the dark power of Death through himself and the demons to grow stronger in order to face the threat posed by Death in the future. This helped set Mardük on a dark path which would have great ramifications on the world and bring him closer to Death's grip.