- Weak souls taste lovely.
- -- Chthon src
Prior to the era in which the first single-celled organism formed on Earth, Earth's biospheric energies coalesced and eventually gained consciousness, becoming the precursor to the Elder Gods, the Demiurge. As conditions on Earth began to support life, it became curious as to its own existence - the Demiurge split itself into countless aspects, seeding the Earth with its own essence, one of which evidently became Chthon. Consequently, Chthon is billions of years old.
The Elder Gods are the forerunners to the modern god pantheons and Demons of Earth. Other contemporary demons that would become known as the “Elder Gods” as well are:
Gaea came into being and became the “Protector of the Emerging Life” that began in the Seas.
Chthon devoted itself to the study and manipulation of mystical forces, becoming Earth's first master of black magic, even experimenting on his fellow gods.
Set, the “God of the Dead” spawned a number of offspring (e.g. “Sligguth” and “Damballah”).
Realizing he could increase his own power by consuming the energy of his fellow “demons”, Set became the first being on Earth to murder another. By consuming the life energies of a fellow Elder God, Set started down the path to degeneracy. Other Elder Gods quickly began following Set's example, killing each other to for their power. The more they consumed, the more they hungered for power. And with more power, the hunger becomes insatiable.
Many became corrupt and began warring to satisfy the thirst for power. The victor feeding off the other - and after millions of years, all the Elders except for Gaea had degenerated to less than their Godhood, becoming evil and demonic.
Chthon, Demon of the Darkhold
As the Elder Gods degenerated into violence only Gaea remained peaceful (Oshtur had already left Earth centuries earlier to explore the stars). Seeking a way to protect the innocent life that was growing on the planet, Gaea mated with the Demiurge creating Atum, the first of a new generation of gods that would protect the world from the “Demonic Elder Gods. Chthon's sister is Gaea. Chthon (as well as many of the Elder Gods) had the talent of foresight. As the threat of Gaea’s offspring came to light, he inscribed all his dark mystical knowledge (acquired through a millennia of practicing the darkest sorcery) on indestructible parchments to leave in this dimension (should he be defeated) as a testament to his power and a link between him and this world.
Atum indeed became a threat to the Elder Gods, as he began destroying them for their evil and degradation, absorbing their energies into himself. The demonic-energies he absorbed made him more and more powerful and caused Atum to undergo a metamorphosis into the form of Demogorge the God-Eater.
Most of the demonic Elder Gods fell to the might of Atum. Those who weren't destroyed fled to other dimensions:
Chthon, sensing the end was near, cast a spell which allowed him an escape into another dimension before the Demogorge could slay him. Before departing, Chthon left the parchments he had written behind, the Darkhold, serving as a touchstone to the Earth.
After the demon-war, Gaea was the only original Elder God permitted to exist on the planet, and she infused her godly essence into the Earth and into all living things (she became known as “Mother Earth”). The Demogorge released the energies he had absorbed, reverting back to the form of Atum. He then took residence within Earth's Sun, not returning to Earth until the modern day (when he assisted his half-brother, the “Odinson” Thor, with whom Atum shared his maternal parent, Gaea. Together, Atum and Thor engaged and defeated the Elder God, Set).
The demon-war was also allegedly one of the causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Chthon added the Demogorge Page to the scrolls to ensure that any future Demogorge on Earth would be at his own behest. He also added a counter-spell to stop the Demogorge that could only be cast by someone non-mystical in nature. The “parchments” would one day be bound together in a single volume and aptly titled the Darkhold, the Earth's first tome of black magic.
In his new dimension Chthon spawned the race of demons known as the N'Garai, who would return to Earth though he himself could not.
However, Chthon is not without formidable and prominent sworn foes as well; the Sorcerer Supreme has been charged to bar threats of such nature from his native realm, the most recent one having clashed with him, and those whom support him are also personally opposed to Chthon’s evil, such as his benevolent sisters, the Earth spirit Gaea and the Goddess of the Skies Oshtur, along with Oshtur’s child Agamotto and Hoggoth, with whom Oshtur formed the mystic trinity of the Vishanti. While Gaea and the Vishanti’s united efforts were able to repel the threat of even reality-threatening entities such as Chthon, locked in a struggle with him from afar, Doctor Strange’s own soul was mortal, and thus nearly succumbed to darkness to Chthon.
Chthon whispered lies into the ears of Varuna, leader of the Winged Lords of Akah Ma'at (creations of Oshtur), causing him to grow suspicious of those he called the lower races. Becoming their judge and executioner, Varuna, swayed many of his brethren to his cause, with those who did becoming known as the Asura. Seeking balance for Chthon's corruption of the Asura, the Vishanti intervened, Oshtur & Agamotto converting four of the most malevolent demons into the service of justice: one of these was the Pale Rider (aka Cadaver).
Legacy of the Darkhold
The Darkhold was discovered by human sorcerers in Pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis. These sorcerers (including Varnae) founded a cult of Darkholders and used the power of Chthon to become vampires in a bid to attain immortality. Over the next millennia many people came to use the Darkhold and be corrupted by Chthon, including Babylonian savants, Egyptian priests and Hebrew scholars.
In the Sixth Century, the sorceress Morgan le Fey, became leader of the Darkholders who worshiped Chthon's teachings. Morgan and the Darkholders attempted to summon the Elder God to make him do their bidding, not knowing that a demon of his power and consciousness is uncontrollable by Earth’s standards.
When the Darkholders tried to send the demon “back to whence he came”, they discovered they were incapable of banishing him altogether, and so they bound him (with the aid of the text itself) to a single earthly location, Mount Wundagore in what would become the Eastern European nation of Transia.
Having seen the evil that can consume all, Morgan's lover Magnus renounced the Darkholders and took the Darkhold for safe keeping hiding it where “none with negative intent” could be corrupted by it’s inherent evil in a magic tower on the Isle of Wight. However, an apprentice called Modred the Mystic sought the power of the Darkhold for good reasons. The Other, Chthon's host on Earth, tried to corrupt Modred, but he resisted until it threatened the soul of his beloved Janice, for whom he sacrificed his own soul.
In the late 1940s, Herbert Wyndham, the man who became the High Evolutionary made his laboratory base at the foot of Wundagore Mountain with the assistance of Dr. Horace Grayson (the father of the 1950s superhero Marvel Boy).
In the 1950s, a young Philip Masters (the Puppet Master obtained clay from the mountain that had been granted mystical power by Chthon's presence; he would use this clay in his attempts to conquer the Fantastic Four.
A colleague of the Herbert Wyndham’s, Jonathan Drew with his wife Miriam and daughter Jessica arrived during this time. The werewolf Gregor Russoff, a Darkholder whose grandson (birth name Jacob Russoff, legal name Jack Russell) would become the Werewolf by Night, attacked and killed Drew’s wife, Miriam.
Jonathan Drew was possessed by the ghost of the magician Magnus, who had fought the Darkholders for centuries. Wyndham, to protect the Drew’s daughter, Jessica Drew put her in suspended animation.
The High Evolutionary also created a race of artificially evolved humanoid animals called the New Men. He was convinced by Magnus (in Jonathan Drew's form) to pattern their codes of action and conduct after medieval knighthood. They named the elite members of the New Men the “Knights of Wundagore”.
The Birth of a Nation
During this period, a pregnant gypsy woman named Magda arrived at Wundagore, on the verge of giving birth (unknown to all, she was the wife of the man who would become Magneto).
While Gergor Russoff attempted to summon Chthon, Magda was giving birth, with the assistance of a bovine female midwife, Lady Bova of the New Men. Chthon killed many of the Knights of Wundagore, but was banished again when Magnus's spirit possessed Russoff's body and allowed the feedback from the Darkhold's magic to kill Russoff.
As his presence faded, Chthon sent a part of his essence into one of Magda's twin children, Wanda, whose mutation was transformed into the ability to manipulate chaos and probability and, later, to manipulate reality itself. Magda died, and her children were placed into suspended animation.
Several years later, Robert Frank and his pregnant wife Madeline (formerly the superheroes Whizzer and Miss America) came to Wundagore. Madeline died giving birth to a stillborn child that was deformed by the Franks' exposure to radiation at the hands of their enemy Isbisa. When the Whizzer asked to see his child, Bova, knowing that his wife had died in child birth, to spare Frank’s grief presented the two children (born to the late Magda) to him as his children, but when the Whizzer learned of his wife's death, he fled. (He would for years believe that the twins were his own abandoned children, although the Franks also had one surviving son, Nuklo, who was in suspended animation in the care of the United States government.)
The infant twins were returned to suspended animation for a time until Bova brought them to a Transian gypsy named Django Maximoff, who raised the children as his own. The twins would eventually become the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Jessica Drew was also freed from suspended animation, she would become the first Spider-Woman,
Chthon's influence amplified some years later thanks to a proliferation of Darkholders across the planet. Vittorio Montesi discovered he was sterile, but was determined to have an heir to guard the Darkhold that had come into his possession. Montesi gave in to temptation and used a Spell of Fertility from the cursed book. This allowed Montesi's wife, to become pregnant - not with Vittorio's child - but rather Chthon's demon-spawn.
The child was Victoria Montesi who would grow to lead a group of mystic investigators (that including Modred the Mystic) opposed the users of the Darkhold powers and incantations. Chthon mystically impregnated Victoria with his own life-force in an attempt to be reborn on Earth, but this was prevented by Doctor Strange.
In the modern era, Modred the Mystic and Magnus opposed the Darkholders and Morgan le Fey, respectively, with Magnus also becoming an ally of Spider-Woman.
When Modred the Mystic transcended into loyalty to Chthon, the Elder God had him delude Magnus into absence when he was to rise again. Modred, captured the Scarlet Witch and performed the ritual allowing the Chthon to use her as his vessel on Earth. While trying to purge the form of the last of Wanda's humanity and conscience, Chthon appeared before Lady Bova and Wanda’s brother, Pietro warning them to leave or be killed. As Chthon began to grow more powerful in Wanda’s earthly form, she attacked Pietro and their adopted father Django Maximoff.
The Avengers (with Django and Pietro) were imprisoned in a mystical circle that would allow Chthon to bring the rest of its demonic essence to Earth. However, the Beast, dressed as one of the Knight of Wundagore, arrived at the last minute and took the Darkhold.
The distraction freed the others and Django (just before he died of a heart attack). He, knowing that Wanda's soul still existed, had crafted a doll in her image as a vessel to shelter her from Chthon’s possession and he gave it to Pietro. Using the doll as a focal point, the Avengers joined their wills against Chthon's, returning Wanda to her body and trapping Chthon's essence in the doll. Pietro threw the doll down the mountain and Wanda caused an avalanche to bury it, leaving the Elder God once again trapped in his dimension.
Chthon resurfaced and killed the New Men at Mt. Wundagore, with no Doctor Strange to counter this new threat. Knowing about Chthon's activities, and how they had taken down most superheroes, Loki, disguised as the Scarlet Witch, helped to reform the Mighty Avengers to combat him. However, Modred successfully summoned Chthon into the body of Quicksilver and Chthon arrived, claiming that this reality would fall before him in a blink of an eye. Using Quicksilver's powers, Chthon altered the effects of the chaos cascade caused by Modred reading the Darkhold to whatever he desired. But the Mighty Avengers defeated him using teamwork. Ant-Man used his ants to scramble Quicksilver's nerve signals, rendering him unable to remember any spells. After a goading from Wanda(Loki) about the destruction of his world, Bruce transformed into the Hulk and pounded the Chthon possessed Quicksilver, while Hank Pym spoke encouraging words to those present, reducing their belief in the Elder God's strength, weakening him further. Though Chthon managed to blast Hulk off, his host body was severely damaged and now unable to contain his power, so he left Quicksilver's body and entered Modred's body, but at the same time, Vision read one of the spells from the Darkhold, imprisoning the Elder God within the tome, thereby averting the threat.
Dark Magic Mastery: Chthon is a being of unimaginable mystical power, specifically that which can be called black magic & chaos magic.
Other-realm Control: In the dimension he has created for himself he controls every aspect of reality.
Mystic Patron: He can also send his power out of that dimension when invoked to do so by a spellcaster, though when this is done the spellcaster's soul is forfeit to the Elder God.
Other Connection: Until Chthon finds a way to truly free himself from his other-dimensional realm, he can operate on Earth through his elemental host, known as the Other, which is summoned when someone uses the Darkhold. The Other can manifest itself in any appearance it wants, but its actions on the Earthly sphere are generally limited by the demands of the user of the Darkhold. If the proper rituals are performed, Chthon can also take over mortal host-bodies on Earth, but he can not easily transfer all of his totality to these forms, and often even the fraction he can is too much for the form to contain.
Demonic Possession: If the proper rituals are performed, Chthon can also take over mortal host-bodies on Earth, but he can not easily transfer all of his totality to these forms, and often even the fraction he can is too much for the form to contain.
Chthon is one of the most powerful Elder Gods of Earth, who has degenerated into a demonic state. He has the vast ability to manipulate magical energies for a variety of effects. He has telepathic abilities enabling him to read, control, and communicate with the minds of others, even across dimensional barriers. He has manifested himself in humanoid form, but can take various forms; his true form, if he has one, has not been revealed. Chthon is a being of unimaginable mystical power, specifically that which can be called black magic. In the dimension he has created for himself he controls every aspect of reality. He can also send his power out of that dimension when invoked to do so by a spellcaster, though when this is done the spellcaster's soul is forfeit to the Elder God. Otherwise Chthon is unable to move freely through dimensions and is trapped in his own because it would take an enormous mystical rift to convey the immense mystical power of the Elder God.
Despite his great powers, Chthon cannot freely teleport between dimensions because it takes such an enormous inter-dimensional rift to accommodate the massive magical forces within him. Moreover, Gaea has erected magical screens, reinforced over millennia by hundreds of human sorcerers, which prevent him from traveling to Earth unless he undertakes highly elaborate preparations. Hence, Chthon prefers to manifest himself on Earth by taking possession of mortal host bodies, although it appears that he cannot easily (if at all) exercise his full mystical power through such bodies.
Chthon has an extraordinary knowledge of the dark mystical forces of the cosmos, and cataloged the evil spells of the demonic Elder Gods of Earth in the Darkhold. He is the original author of the Darkhold, an indestructible collection of evil mystical knowledge and spells that he intended to serve as the medium through which he could return to Earth. The Darkhold can apparently change its form, since Chthon created it millions of years before the rise of humanity, to whom it appeared as a set of scrolls with human writing upon them. Most people who use the Darkhold's spells fall under Chthon's mental control as a result. Only humans with great spiritual strength (or aided by great mystical expertise), like Doctor Strange and the members of the Montesi family can successfully resist this mental enslavement. The Darkhold’s power is so vast it took the combined strength and will of both Merlin (the most accomplished Earth sorcerer of all time) and Brendan to contain it, and even together, they were unable to destroy it or its power. Mordred also seemed to believe that use of the Darkhold would grant him sufficient strength to challenge Merlin himself.
Dimensional Entrapment: Without the Darkhold Chthon is unable to move freely through dimensions and is trapped in his own because it would take an enormous mystical rift to convey the immense mystical power of the Elder God.
Dependency on Extra-dimensional Living Vessel: As shown during Chthon's most recent summoning on Earth, though the occupation of a human would enable Chthon to share the human's abilities, he would also be left more vulnerable, in both mind and body, even magically augmented. For example, it is through a physical mind that a human processes information and which a human mystic can utter incantations and thus cast spells to work magic; if the physical mind or its processes were somehow disrupted, even through non-mystical means, Chthon would be temporarily deprived of spell-casting ability.
- Chthon is the foremost authority on Black Magic and is known to masterful at the use of Chaos magic (a magic highly dangerous and thought to be a non-existent and mythical form of magic, even by Doctor Strange)
- The Scarlet Witch was manipulated as a child by Chthon to be his vessel on Earth. Chthon was stopped by the Avengers, but Wanda was already infused with enough Chaos magic (which she uses in conjunction with her natural mutant ability, making her a omega-level reality manipulator).
- In Blade: The Series, there is a Vampire House, called the House of Chthon. In all likelihood, the Vampire House is named after the Dark Deity itself, and is in some way connected to the House.
- Chthon 's name derives from chthon, the Greek word for "earth" and "earthly", especially pertaining to earth that was not life giving soil, but dark like that of the grave or the underworld.
- In the Marvel Tarot, Chthon, though originally an earth god, is described as being best matched with the ancient element fire. Further parallels are drawn to Sister Grimm, the Mirror (with the Darkhold representing the dark reflection of Chthon), the card suit Clubs, the tarot suit Wands, the color Red, the Southern lands, the Sun, the will and the spirit, Summer, Dusk, certain animals (lion, horse, fox, tiger, coyote, wolf, salamander, phoenix), symbols (candle, altar, smoke, blood, thorns), astrology (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), the lion aspect of Ammut, the Will portion of the Ritual of the Sphinx, the Fantastic Four's Human Torch, the Frightful Four's Medusa, the U-Foes' X-Ray, Firelord, Power Pack's Katie Power, the Elementals' Hellfire, the Four (or Three or Five) Who Are All's Fire-Eyes, the Scarlet Centurion aspect of Immortus, the spirit totem of Red Wolf, Marie LaVeau of the Voodoo Council, the Faltine race, the Octseence/Examplar's Balthakk & Inferno (subtly) and Farallah & Carnivore (base), the N'Garai, the Wolf Men of Valusia, the Phoenix Force, Oblivion, the Ruby gemstone, the celestial beast Suzaku - Red Phoenix, the Crowley quote "With the Wand he createth He!", the Impossible Man, the strong interaction force, the Skrull race, radiance of energy, the energy form of matter, Lord Chaos, the Magus aspect of Adam Warlock, Dr. Strange of the Defenders, the Stranger, the Jungian state feeling, and Vampires.
- 32 Appearances of Chthon (Earth-616)
- Media Chthon (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 6 Images featuring Chthon (Earth-616)
- 3 Quotations by or about Chthon (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Chthon (Earth-616)
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