The Phoenix Covenant
In the earliest days of creation, even before the gods and Primordials began their terrible war, one god was not content with sharing power—he wanted absolute control over the nascent universe. This god, whose name is now lost to the world, sought a source of power he could use to gain total dominion over the unfolding realms of creation. Somewhere in the infinite expanse of space, he found the weapon he sought in the form of a tiny shard of utter evil.
The touch of the shard drove this god to madness, corrupting him so completely that he was no longer recognizable as his former self. Nevertheless, he carried the crystalline fragment into the depths of the universe, the lowest reaches of the Elemental Chaos—the heart of the primordials’ fastness—and planted it there.
The evil shard took root, burrowing deep into the unshaped matter of the Chaos and spreading unholy tendrils far and wide. A yawning chasm of infinite darkness opened up at the lowest pit of creation, swallowing all matter and light, defiling anything that drew near.
The Abyss was born.
The evil of the Abyss corrupted even some of the mighty primordial —Demogorgon, Baphomet, Orcus—and reshaped them into the likeness of pure destructive evil. The mad god hoped to wield these demonic princes as weapons in his war of conquest, but they would not bend to his will—or to any will but their own.
So he left the Abyss and marshaled other elemental forces in his bid for domination. But the other gods overcame him, chaining him to the shard of evil and casting him into the depths of the Abyss. Now he is called the Chained God. His only desire is to escape his prison, and he rarely spares a thought for the realm he inadvertently created.
But the Abyss remains, a festering cyst beneath the Elemental Chaos. Within its lightless depths, demons erupt into birth, live out their short and violent lives, and are reabsorbed into the darkness. Demon lords rule their petty Abyssal domains, scheming to destroy the gods and all their works. The goddess Lolth hides in the Demonweb Pits, corrupted and perhaps driven mad by the same power that shattered the Chained God and made the first demon lords.
And somewhere far beneath all imagining, the crystalline heart of the Abyss still beats its unceasing cadence of evil.