One of the earliest lifeforms born from the Earth that was spawned by the Demiurge, Chthon is an Elder God and brother to Oshtur, Set, and Gaea. He soon dedicated himself to studying the dark mystical forces of the Universe and thus became the first Master of the Dark Arts.
"A long time ago, when the world was so new nothing had a name, something woke up. It learned all about what was and what would be... but most of all it learned what couldn't be, what shouldn't be. And it gave those things names, names it wrote on indestructible pages, because a namer has mastery of the named."
As part of his quest for knowledge, Chthon experimented on sentient beings. One of his greatest works is the Wolf Men of Valusia.
Chthon is one of the many elder gods that degenerated into demons. To save the innocent life growing on the planet, Gaea, the Goddess of the Earth mated with the Demiurge and created Atum who eventually became the Demogorge, the God-Eater. Chthon, having the talent of foresight, knew the threat of Gaea's son so he inscribed all his knowledge of the Dark Mystical Arts onto indestructible parchments that would serve as a testament to his power and a link between him and this world. Chthon, sensing the end was near, cast a spell that allowed him escape into another dimension before the Demogorge could slay him. Before he left, Chthon left behind the parchment he had written to serve as a touchstone. This parchment would soon be bounded into a book known as the Darkhold, the Book of Sins which would later cause so much evil throughout history.
Chthon created a realm very close to the Earth Dimension so that he could continue to influence things. He also added the Demogorge Page to the Darkhold to ensure that any future Domogorge would be at his behest and a counterspell to stop the Demogorge that could only be cast by someone non-mystical in nature. Chthon also spawned a race of demons known as the N'Garai, who would later return to Earth while Chthon himself could not. The N'Garai ruled Earth for millions of years until the angel Lucifer and his angels banished them to another dimension before his fall from grace.
Chthon also whispered lies to the ears of Varuna, lord of the winged beings know as the Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at, creations of Oshtur. Goddess of the Dawn. This resulted in their corruption, and they became the Asura, the assassins, and judge of what they call "Lower Races." Chthon also instigated a war between the Asura and the Seraphim. The war caused so much destruction that Oshtur decided to banish them to another dimension. The Asura resides in the plane of Sephirot to this day.
Chthon is apparently also responsible for the creations of Vampires. During the pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis, many sorcerers including Varnae, founded the Cult of the Darkholders and used the power of Chthon for them to become vampires in a bid to attain immortality. Varnae then manipulated a war between the Turkish lord Turac and the Transylvanian prince named Vlad Tepes. Vlad Tepes would later be turned into a vampire himself known as Dracula, Lord of the Vampires.
In the Sixth Century, the sorceress Morgan le Fey became the leader of the Darkholders. Morgan and the Darkholders attempted to summon the Elder God Chthon to make him do their bidding, not knowing that a demon of his power and sentience is uncontrollable by any of 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 Darkhold) to a single Earthly location, Mount Wundagore. Years later it would become the Eastern European nation known as Transia.
Years later, a pregnant gypsy woman named Magda arrived at Wundagore about to give birth. Unknown to all, she was the wife of the man who would later become Magneto. At the same time, Magda was giving birth with the assistance of a female bovine midwife Bova, Gregor Russoff, a man tainted with the curse of the Werewolf was attempting to summon Chthon. During this time, the summoned aspect of Chthon battled the High Evolutionary and his Knights of Wundagore, killing many. Chthon was then banished again when Magnus' spirit (a man who wanted to put a stop to the evil caused by Chthon and the Darkhold) possessed Russoff's body and allowed the feedback from the Darkhold's magic to kill Russoff, and thus sending back the essence of the demon Chthon.
As his presence on Earth faded, Chthon "blessed" one of Magda's twins, Wanda a portion of his demonic essence. Wanda Maximoff grew up and eventually became the Scarlet Witch, a mutant who possess the power over probability and Chaos Magic as well as the power to alter and re-create all of the reality itself.
After the War of the Seven Spheres which significantly damaged the fabric of magic, Chthon (disguising himself as Oshtur) tricked the sorcerer Ian McNee into gathering the Four Cornerstones of Creation, composed of the Sword of Bone of Oshtur, the Ebon Rose of Gaea, the Serpent Crown of Set and the Darkhold of Chthon in order for the archdemon to corrupt the very fabric of magic itself. As Chthon attempted to corrupt the other cornerstones with the Darkhold, Ian fought against him with all his power and was successfully banished once more by the combined effort of Oshtur, Set, and Gaea. It was then that the true Oshtur appeared and healed the very fabric of magic.
Chthon later resurfaces again during the Dark Reign, where he took over Quicksilver's body. His presence on Earth caused many supernatural disasters which threatened to destroy not just Earth, but the entire universe as well. To stop this, Loki disguised herself as the Scarlet Witch and created a group of Avengers known as the Mighty Avengers to faced the threat of Chthon.
With the leadership of Hank Pym, the group managed to outsmart the Elder God, exorcised his essence from Quicksilver and banished him once more from Earth's dimension. Later on, Eternity, the embodiment of all reality thanked Hank Pym and claimed that if Chthon were left unhindered, all of the reality itself would have fallen before him in a blink of an eye. Eternity later granted him the title of Scientist Supreme as a reward.
Chthon is a being of immense magical power, so great in fact that this is the very reason why he cannot leave his realm for it takes such an enormous inter-dimensional rift to accommodate the massive magical forces within him. Within his realm, he is omnipotent in every sense of the word, having total control over every aspect of the dimension's reality. He is the master of Chaos or Chthonic Magic, considered to be the most powerful and destructive of all forms magic.
Until Chthon can truly free himself from his other-dimensional realm, he operates on earth through a host. It is also must be noted that no mere host can fully contain his dark essence, and most of what takes over their body are just a mere fraction of his demonic might.
Chthon also has the power to empower a sorcerer when invoked, although the sorcerer will have to surrender his soul after he gained the power from Chthon. Mephisto imprisoned the demon Darklove to one of the pages of the Darkhold and when Dormammu used the Cauldron of Chthon to plunge Earth into permanent darkness, which speaks for Chthon's power.
Chthon's mere presence is enough to corrupt and kill Doctor Strange, who was saved only by his faith to what he calls "something far subtle and far more majestic than the Great Shadow."
When Chthon possessed the body of Quicksilver, he wove a series of spells at superhuman speed while running around the Earth. Some of his feats include:
- caused a river of blood to flood New York City
- encased San Francisco in solid amber
- made Oklahoma disappear, placed the city of Asgard in an other-dimensional prison
- boiled the seas of Atlantis
- created and activated volcanoes
- overwhelmed Philadelphia with vegetation
- incapacitated the New Avengers
- melted vibranium ore
- summoned swarms of flesh-eating insects in Toronto
- reduced the Fantastic Four into television signals
- transformed the Young Avengers into stone
- summoned an intense snowstorm to strike the Arizona desert
According to the Asgardian God of Thunder and possessor of the Odin-Force, Thor that even he as master of the mystical Runes which enables him to see that which no others cannot, a being potent enough to banish Asgard into a void dimension against his will is so powerful that he does not believe that even the combined forces of Midgard could stand against before its might.
Eternity himself, the embodiment of all that is, later likened Chthon to a "cancer" threatening the Universe, and if not stopped, all of the reality itself might have fallen before him in a blink of an eye.
Chthon is one of the greatest horrors in the Universe and has been described as "the shadow that creep furtively behind the feet of God", so his imprisonment in his dimension must be assured. With this, Gaea, Goddess of the Earth has erected magical screens, reinforced over millennia by human sorcerers, which prevent him from traveling to Earth unless he undertakes highly elaborate preparations.
Oshtur, the Goddess of the Sky and Dawn who is depicted as an angelic being is both Chthon's opposing power and sister, and her Vishanti are also set against Chthon. The Vishanti have protected the Earth dimension for eons from beings such as he and have specifically created the office of the Sorcerer Supreme to help battle his threat. The Vishanti also created a powerful tome of White Magic known as The Book of Vishanti to oppose the most powerful tome of Black Magic known as the Darkhold created by Chthon.
Of all the devil-figured beings in Marvel such as Mephisto, Satannish, and Marduk Kurios, Chthon is probably the closest and Marvel's equivalent to the true devil himself. One reason is his portrayal as the devil by the Montesi Family, a family line of a priest who has served the Holy Catholic Church in the Vatican as the custodians of the Darkhold, the Book of Sins. During the 12th century, the founder of the family, Paolo Montesi obtained possession of some scrolls from the darkhold and discovered a prophesy about the future of Catholic Chruch and the world itself that would be called the "Malachy Prophecy." He shared this and the other dark secrets with the then-Pope Eugene III. Henceforth, Paolo Montesi was the only priest in the Catholic Chruch to be allowed to marry so that his descendants would continue to keep the Darkhold safe from the hands of those who wants to use its power for only he and his descendants possess the strength of will and faith to withstand the corrupting influence of Chthon's demonic might. The other reason is that Chthon's creations the N'Garai who once ruled Earth were driven to another dimension by the angel Lucifer and his heavenly army before his rebellion and corruption.
The true testament to Chthon's power so far was probably when Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch who was "blessed" with a mere fraction of Chthon's unholy might altered reality itself. She casted her spell over billions upon billions of souls, worlds, and dimensions, affecting alternate realties and permanently shifted all the possible futures of the entire Marvel Universe, a feat which is nearly unprecedented by even the most powerful of Cosmic Entities.
Chthon's name is derived from the Greek word Chthonios which means "Earth" or "Earthly", but it does not pertain to the life-giving earth which is "Gaea", but rather to the dark and empty soil of the grave and the underworld.