In the years following the War of Fire, humans and other overworlders began their exploration into the earth. As they drove deeper, they uncovered the vast underground cities of the shuddeni and their army of chaja slaves. Bringing with them the knowledge of Fire, Earth, and Water, these explorers had much to exchange for the diabolic magic of the shuddeni: Void. The temptation of power enticed every mortal involved, leading to a painful, if profitable, expansion of all. The shuddeni took quickly to the magics of Fire, in particular, and this gift bought for them an opportunity to challenge the established hegemony of their underground realm.
Through magic, violence, and general mayhem, the first shuddeni acolytes of flame forced the demon-callers of the temples to concede them a place within their black halls. Initially, some historians suggest that these marauders called themselves Arhakhla. As time wore on and the War of Night shrouded the world in darkness, Arhakhla was fully understood to be the name of their deity. However, the power of the Dragon and Its influence far overshadowed these meager few, ambitious though they were. A place in the temple was not the same as being its master, but what could challenge the Father of all shuddeni? This question was answered in the most unexpected of ways, with the emergence of the ch’taren and their heathen goddess, Rystaia Lightbringer.
As the Dragon took to Its timeless slumber, the power vacuum in Its wake offered further opportunity to those willing to claim it. Sensing the weakness of the temple, an even more vicious sect emerged than the Arhakhla of old. With an unprecedented level of bloodlust and destruction, these new acolytes devoured their forefathers and their legacy. It is said that first among this murderous lot was called Arkhural. Shuddeni in particular posit that He was powerful son of Yithoul, while period-scholars suggest that He was likely a lesser god in mortal flesh. Yet, it is evident that in short order, Arkhural had claimed the onyx throne of Arhakhla for Himself. This unquestionable assertion of dominance led to the rise of many modern expressions of shuddeni virtue. By His will alone were the remnants of the shuddeni war machine driven to the ch’taren Haven of Wind, obliterating it. While the Warband of Calaera would eventually rout these fiends, it did much to salve the wounded shuddeni ego, and affirm the ascension of the Darkheart as foremost among their post-War deities.
In modern times, Arkhural’s influence has come over far more than the shuddeni alone. As a patron deity of the Raiders of Twilight, His desire for greed, ambition, and murder are ever fueled by a wider array of subjects. In the midst of the Eyeblight War, it is said that the Darkheart was the driving force behind the shuddeni Scourge, His relentless lust for power bringing hundreds of years of bloodshed. It is unmistakable that His mark upon the mortal tapestry has been great, and with each moment He lives, does it stand to grow greater.