Baphomet is a mythical demon that is said to have existed in ancient times. It possessed unimaginable power, supposedly being able to split the earth asunder and then remake it at will. According to legend, it came close to destroying the world, but was ultimately slain by a hero who pierced its heart and severed its head. Like all stories of this sort, it's widely believed to be just that; a fantasy tale and no more. However, as with many things in the supernatural world, the stories may be closer to reality than one might think.
Legend of BaphometEdit
Long ago, in an era before Crossers, before Strays, before Panzers or Blights, and indeed, even before ether, there lived a nameless boy who desired power. He desired power to protect a girl irreplaceably precious to him, and to exact revenge upon corrupt Magicians who've caused them to suffer. In order to gain that power, he out sought a secret order of Knights that opposed the Magicians, and begged to join their ranks. After three days and three nights of chasing after the Knights without rest, they finally took him under their wing.As an apprentice, the boy proved to be rather bumbling. Born a mere, uneducated peasant, he showed no promise in his studies; he lacked the nobility and finesse to appreciate the fine arts; and his sense of chivalry only extended as far as the one person he had wished to protect, no further. However, in combat, his strength grew to be unmatched. The boy mastered technique after technique, arms after arms, easily excelling in every single one. His fervent desires pushed him to his limits; never once did he ever back down, not even in mock battles against his peers, and there was never such a battle that he did not win. His swordplay soon rivaled that of even his masters'. But despite his achievements, the Order sensed doubt and darkness in his heart. Time and time again, he was declined full knighthood.
"You are not yet ready", they told him, "You have grown strong, but you are not yet ready."
Being a Knight was about more than just about combat, but this was something the boy could not comprehend. After all, he simply desired power. That was all that mattered to him; the ability to overwhelm his enemies and crush them beneath his feet. To him, his masters were the ones who did not understand. Did they keep him from knighthood because they feared his strength? If that were the case then they, too, had become his enemies.
Within the ranks of the Order laid a snake; a spy sent by the Magicians to observe and exploit their weaknesses. He had been watching the boy, and knew that someone like him would play perfectly into his plans. Keenly, he approached the young apprentice, slowly worming into his favor.
"I understand", the spy said to the boy, "I was the same; they kept me from power because they claimed I did not understand... but I found another way."
The spy told the boy of a source of unparalleled power that he had discovered. It involved delving into the Magicians' arcane arts, something that was forbidden among the apprentices. The spy was old and could no longer make use of it, but the boy could... and if he did, then he would have no more use for those foolish masters of his.
The boy was reluctant to rely on something coming from the very enemy he sought to destroy. Then, the spy revealed to him another secret: that the Knights themselves had used magic stolen from the Magicians!
"They talk of honor, but they are nothing but liars and thieves! Look at the way they abuse their positions, claiming the secrets to true strength for themselves while forbidding their pupils from the same. This Order is nothing but a den of serpents, spewing bile and venom through their forked tongues."
Spy had brought proof; a magical weapon taken from the armory that only official Knights were allowed to enter. The boy was aghast at this revelation. His masters, the ones whom he had admired before, and sought to join, were revealed as nothing more than base hypocrites! No longer did he have any qualms about the spy's claims. That night, the two snuck out of the Orders' stronghold and conducted a secret ritual that would supposedly grant the boy the abilities he craved.
"This apprentice was a simpleton and a fool" the spy thought. "But, there was no denying his skill and potential."
In reality, what he had prepared was a dark rite what would imbue the boy with the same magics that the Magicians possessed. The procedure would give him power, yes, but it would not leave him free; it would bind his body and soul and make him a puppet for the Magicians' whims... a pawn that they would use to finally smite those accursed Knights once and for all. The last thing the boy saw before a torrent of erupting shadows overtook him was a rancid smile creeping across the spy's face.
When the boy regained his senses, it was to a scene of utter destruction. The stronghold of the Order lay in burning ruins, and the lifeless remains of his former peers lay in a grotesque heap all around him; their bodies blackened and mangled into horrid shapes. Upon his hands, covering them so completely that not a space remained unstained, was their blood. The boy felt terror surge through him, a dread so deep that he could not control the desire to scream. But his mouth did not open, nor could he muster his voice. His visage remained cold, without emotion, and his body poised unfaltering against the nightmarish scene.
In front of him stood the Knights of the Order. Their faces grimaced with anger and apprehension as each one brandished their weapons against him; the one who had betrayed their trust and slaughtered their kin. But there was no hatred in their eyes, only bitter sadness. Even as he was now, they could not bring themselves to hate him. Though he was young and foolish, he was once their pupil. He had showed promise. He had held a desire to serve and protect.
"Forgive us. It is we who have failed you."
The Knights moved in to strike, but even with their skill and numbers, the dark magic imbued in the boy proved too much. They were tossed like ragdolls into the dirt as bolts of black flames singed at their armor. It was just as he wished... he had finally come to boast strength that even his masters could not contest. But... was this the power he desired? Was this what he wished for?
The boy could do nothing but watch helplessly as his body, no longer his own, mercilously beat down his former masters. In his mind flashed the familiar image of a girl; the one who he had sworn to protect. The one for whom all his efforts had been for. She was still waiting for him to return. But his hands were no longer fit to embrance her, nor anyone else.
"No! This is not what I desired! This is not what was meant to be!"
At that moment, the mind of the boy trapped inside of the murderous puppet, the last particle of his lingering consciousness, was washed away by madness. In an instant, the depraved energies that filled his body erupted forth, engulfing him completely. His mortal framed crumbled to dust under its weight as his form shifted and writhed. From the undulating mass, massive tendrils shot forth, claiming the bodies of the slain around it and enveloping them into its dark folds. The more the shadows devoured the larger it grew, until, finally, it assumed a terrifying shape.
A great behemoth of warping pitch, that towered into the skies. Crimson embers seethed from its deranged gaze and gaping maw, churning like a forge that tempered chaos and rancor.
The beast would become known as Baphomet: the original Blight, the first one to have ever been born, and the greatest and most terrible of them all.
Baphomet is described as massive creature with a head and lower body resembling that of a goat's, but the torso of a man. It was said to have towered above the rest of the land, being able to storm castle walls in single steps, and possessed bat-like wings that spanned so large that they blocked out the sun and turned day into night. According to the myths, its eyes burned with hellish, sanguine flames and stole the souls of men who looked directly into its gaze, turning their bodies to ash. Even if it was injured, its blood spewed forth as a deadly black mist that melted through steel, flesh, and bone.
Baphomet was a mad beast without sense or reason. It sought only to devour the souls of the living, and moved purely through malicious instincts and a desire to feed. It stormed with unstoppable force across the land, trampling everything in its path, and leaving nothing but lifeless, blackened earth in its wake.
Truth and the Origin of EtherEdit
The events of the legend did indeed transpire; Baphomet was a demonic creature that had once walked the lands in ancient times, in an age before the existence of ether came into being.
After much destruction and strife, it was finally slain by the Order of Knights Templar, at the hands of a hero named Raydric Haze. As the knight pierced the monster's heart, its powers surged out of control, causing its body to burst apart. Baphomet's energies spread throughout the atmosphere, covering the planet and imbuing all of Earth's life with its essence.
The blending of magic and life force was the cataclysm that gave birth to the incredible power known as ether.
Fragments of PowerEdit
Baphomet may have been vanquished, but it was a being too almighty to destroy completely. While much of its body dissipated into the air, portions of Baphomet remained, containing portions its former powers. The Knights Templar became split over their opinions of how to handle these remains. One group wanted to stow them away forever, while the other wanted to use them to continue their fight against their enemies. Unable to settle their differences, the Knights Templar disbanded, with each side taking a fraction of the remains with them.
These remains became known as the Fragments of Baphomet, though most no longer know of their true origins, merely calling them "Fragments" without any idea as to the terrible power of the beast they once formed.
The Right EyeEdit
The Left EyeEdit
Taken by the side that wished to do battle. It's functions are opposite to that of the right eye, holding the power of destruction, and being able to "unmake" material things into ethereal energy. It was used by the Reapers in order to forge their golem bodies, but like all the other Fragments, it eventually became lost and its current whereabouts are unknown.
Taken by the side that wished to safeguard. It holds the power of order, and served to stabilize Baphomet's awesome existence and control all the other Fragments. The mind is currently possessed by the Stray called Phantom Jacket.
Destroyed by the Raydric Haze, hero of the Knights Templar. It now resides in all living things as the energy known as ether. It held the power of chaos, with the ability to distort reality and bring about the impossible.
Relationship to BlightsEdit
Baphomet was the original Blight, and the first to have ever been born. When the demon fiend's body dispersed into the world and became the energy known as ether, it maintained its potential for malice and darkness as well. While ether can be used to achieve grand and glorious things, it is also susceptible to corruption, specifically those that take root in the hearts of sentient beings.
A Blight is formed from negative intents incubated within concetrated pockets of ether. When one is born, it can be seen as ether reverting back to its true nature. As such, all Blights can be considered children of Baphomet's lingering influence. Their ravenous nature and terrible powers are certainly aspects inherited from their parent. Like father, like sons... or daughters.