In the ancient past, there was no Multiverse, only a single world. This world, Gaia, was home to the Le Shay, a powerful immortal race. In their desire to share prosperity with the lesser races of the world, they inadvertantly created the first Gods, and the system by which those Gods drew power from the worship of the faithful.
In time, these Gods turned against the Le Shay, killing many of them, and banishing the rest to the Dark Plane. Then, one by one, they left Gaia behind, to seek worlds of their own. Gaia was sealed away from the rest of the Multiverse, and the Le Shay were left imprisoned in the Dark Plane.
Cronus’ desire for revenge, combined with his people’s desire to return home, resulted in a conflict that almost destroyed the Multiverse. Coeus had created a device for Cronus that would, in theory, allow the Le Shay to open a gateway to Gaia, however, the amount of energy required to operate it was astronomical. Cronus altered the design, adding a component that could store life-energy, and use it as a battery. With this device installed on his ship, he approached the other Le Shay, and informed them of his plan. Using an army of genetically engineered and cloned soldiers (the Draconus), he would lay siege to the worlds of the Gods, conquering each in turn, feeding the souls of those Gods to the Battery. They would have revenge for the exile and the means to return home in the same stroke.
Hyperion and Oceanus, always the two most loyal to Cronus, were the first to pledge their service to the war effort. Hyperion was charged with designing, constructing, crewing, and operating a fleet of warships. Oceanus was tasked with creating the armies that would march against the mortal forces of the gods. Together with Cronus, these three formed the core leadership of the Le Shay army, which they called “The Titans.”
Not all the Le Shay agreed with Cronus and took up the arts of war, and joined the Titans. Coeus, for example, was disgusted by Cronus’ perversion of his device, and feared how far his leader would go to meet his ends. He began to research an alternate means of getting home, one involving the Time Rune. Others went in to hiding, or stayed near Cronus to attempt to moderate his thirst for revenge.
The opening shot of the war was a plot to instigate Ragnarok on Midgard, home of the Asgardian Pantheon. It was a resounding success, and as each new god lay dying, their souls were captured and fueled the Battery. Loki saw through the ruse at the last, and managed to help Surtir play his part, incinerating what was left of Midgard, and nearly destroying Cronus’ Command Ship in the process.
Subsequent battles had the Gods captured, rather than slain, since, alive and imprisoned, they generated more life energy. But, even this was not enough to power Coeus’ device. Towards the end of the war, Cronus began to order that spires be placed among the mortal population. These spires would drain their life energy over time, leaving them incapable of resistance, and feeding the Battery. He was indifferent to the risks involved.
As the war dragged on, both Hyperion and Oceanus began to have doubts. But Cronus remained steadfast, and his war would see it’s conclusion. Eventually, the Titans brought the war to Arena, which fought the hardest of all the planes. Refugees, mortal and god alike, had come to Arena to escape the Titans, and now, backed into a corner, fought for their very existence.
The Tempus was the name taken by the wielder of the Time Rune. Rather than one being, the Tempus was, in fact, a group of people. Everyone who had, and ever would, posses the Time Rune, about 12 in all. The Time Rune extended the life of it’s wielder significantly, and allowed them to travel back and forth through time. At the end of Tempus’ long life, he found a “successor”, who took the Rune from him on his deathbed. The successor then began his journey as the Tempus, occasionally meeting with the others, including his mentor’s past self. A further power of the Rune allowed the Tempus to share memories between each other, preventing conversational problems. Using this power, the Tempus took on the role of historians, and became the stewards of time. Two conditions limited the Tempus in their studies, however. First, the Time Rune allowed them to travel back and forth in time, but kept them in the same place. Thus, they had to physically travel to a new location to record the events that took place there. Since they could jump forward and backward in time easily, however, they could travel to a place by whatever most convenient means existed in any time (often Arena’s Gate Network), and they simple travel forward or backward to the desired event. The second limit of the Time Runes power was that it could not transport a person to a time before it’s activation. For this reason, all the Tempus’ records on Gaia were second hand accounts, and even those were few. But most distressing of all was the fact that a point existed in time, from which no person could more forward. Any Tempus who attempted to simply “live” through that event never returned, leaving the Tempus to call it “The End of Time”. All that was known about The End of Time was that it took place in the last hours of the final battle of the God War. A Tempus had been sent to investigate, but never returned. Since that particular Tempus was the “youngest” of the Tempus, they dared not send another into an unknown situation. If a Tempus whose future self passed on a Rune died there, the resulting paradox would tear reality apart.
The Coming of The Heroes
It was during the events of the war that a group of mortal heroes were first approached by the Tempus. Going against their firmed beliefs, they risked interference with the timeline. They risked damaging time itself to save all of reality, in their view. This group, they knew, would factor prominently into the events of the God War, so they explained to these Heroes the nature of the End of Time, and asked for their assistance. The Heroes agreed, and began their quest.
Eventually, after many battled, the Heroes found themselves on Cronus’ Command Carrier as it flew over Arena, directing the final battle of the God War. The youngest (and final) Tempus was there as well, attempting to guide the heroes. However, he was discovered by Cronus, and killed, the Time Rune taken from him. The walls to Gaia were weaker in the past, Cronus knew. With the combination of the Time Rune and the Battery, he intended to return to Gaia in the past. Once on Gaia, he could use the Time Rune to prevent the God’s Revolt, save his wife, and prevent his people from ever being exiled.
Clouded by grief and anger, Cronus had either not considered, or did not care what side-effects would result from his actions. In this case, they would cause the Multiverse to cease to exist, as time restructured itself to reflect a timeline in which Pandora’s Box had never been opened. This was the End of Time the Tempus had seen. Only Gaia would survive.
Just before Cronus was able to initiate his plan, the Heroes fell upon him, and with their combined might, defeated to leader of the Titans. During the battle, the entire Tempus seized on the moment, and removed the Time Rune from Cronus. They realized that the Time Rune was too powerful to exist, but lacked the power to destroy it. Instead, they sacrificed themselves to seal the Rune’s power, reducing it to a point where it could no longer travel in time. They gave the Rune to one of the Heroes who had fallen in battle, making him an eternal guardian of the rune. Then the vanished inside the Rune.
Mortally wounded, Cronus still managed to activate the Gateway to Gaia, and jumped through. The Heroes followed him to Gaia. Cronus sat there on his hands and knees. The lush, paradise world of Gaia that had spawned all life in the Multiverse, the world he had labored for so long to return to, was now a barren wasteland of cracked brown earth and salt. Without the Rune, and with his people’s home a ruin, Cronus knew utter despair at that moment, and stated that “It was all for nothing.” before succumbing to his wounds.
Hyperion and Oceanus had come to help defend their leader and friend, but finding him dead, and realizing his sad fate, instead chose to fight no longer. The declared the war over, and took Cronus’ body into Gaia, where they buried him.