Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.

Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.

Shift in Power

With Darke gone the Dark Gods had started to position themselves to establish their place as his rightful successor. Holding the belief that there could be only one ultimate being of evil within their ranks and that all others had to bow before that being, they refused to share power or negotiate. The dark forces were divided by infighting as the struggled to claim the title of Darkest. Eventually through conquest and alliances three of the Dark Gods emerged to claim their place as Darke’s successor.

The most powerful was Jeng’garr, the self-proclaimed Source of Evil. While to those that would come later all of the Dark Gods were immortal, they were capable of killing each other. Jeng’garr it seemed was immune from harm by either mortal or non-mortal means. Jeng’garr existed as dark energy possessing a lesser host. When the host was destroyed Jeng’garr would simply find a new host and without a host it was immune to harm. Jeng’garr was believed by many to have been one of those spawned by Darke himself. Currently inhabiting the body of a female, she was seductive, manipulative and vicious. She had drawn many an opponent in with her acts of supposed weakness only to strike the moment they fell for her deception. Jeng’garr led an army of those representing what some would consider the sinful evils.

Mallerok was considered second only to Jeng’garr, and many felt that was only because the two had never fought without interruption. While Jeng’garr sought the ordered corruption and subjugation of existence, Mallerok was wanted chaos and destruction. Mallerok corrupted all that followed it. Mallerok’s influence could be felt throughout existence and while it lacked Jeng’garr’s immortality, it was simply too vast to slay. In opposition to Jeng’garr taking on a female host, Mallerok was male. He was an unorthodox tactician, as skilled in planning as he was in combat. His schemes were designed to spread discord and chaos. He grew stronger as the universe around him burned.

Finally there was Sinn’narr. Compared to Jeng’garr and Mallerok, Sinn’narr was considered weak. He Sinn’narr lacked Jeng’garr’s immortal form and Mallerok’s ability to spread chaos wherever he went; he was magically and physically weaker than either of his rivals, but was ambitious and willing to do anything to get ahead. Sinn’narr emulated Mallerok, feeding off the energy of the Universe around him.

The last of Darke’s successors had yet to emerge as Sinn’narr, Mallerok and Jeng’garr fought. It was clear that Sinn’narr was outmatched, likely only considered a contender because reality seemed to value the number three; three faces of The One, three Avatars of Light, Darke and Shadow; three clear divisions in the moral outlook of the universe.

The infighting spanned for countless ages. It was impossible for the combatants to eliminate their opposition when they had to protect themselves on two fronts. Sinn’narr proved to be a frustrating foe since his actions often prevented the other two from finishing their battles. Eventually Jeng’garr and Mallerok joined forces, just long enough to strike against Sinn’narr, easily disabling their weaker foe. By mutual agreement they did not finish him, deciding that the victor of their confrontation would do so as a sign that they had triumphed.

Sinn’narr didn’t know what became of the others. When he had regained awareness, he had sought them out but could find no trace of them. He hoped that they had destroyed each other although witnesses had suggested that Mallerok had somehow tricked Jeng’garr into a battle she could not win before he too found himself in a losing battle and that both had somehow been imprisoned far away. Regardless of where they had gone, Sinn’narr had emerged as the unlikely victor, only to discover that his efforts had been for nought; in his absence other Dark Gods had emerged to claim the throne and with the continuous infighting, the idea of there being one absolute force of evil had been dismissed.

The throne of the Avatar for Darkness lay empty for a long time. While those that considered themselves the natural successors of Darke and Mortilus fought each other for dominance, there were others waiting in the shadows, watching for an opportunity to snatch power. And when those fighting for dominance suddenly vanished, the Dark Gods that had held back, emerged to stake their claims.

Since claiming the throne was seen as counter productive to their aims, the idea of there being one absolute force of evil had been dismissed. Instead of opposing each other they agreed to share power until a clear leader emerged. The evil Satan, the prideful Lucifer, the devious Mephisto, the mighty Poneros, the invincible Oligar, and the twisted Haz’tur; the disfigured Javius and the machine goddess Hysteria, along with their lesser siblings Nore, Gorg, Mu, and finally Ramon. Each claimed their own territory As they were joined by others that not been slaughtered in the previous fighting.

The followers of Mortilus snatched up the territories that had not been claimed. They considered themselves first class demons or devils as they preferred. The titles had little importance other than bolstering their egos. Those that were left were simply regarded as demons and developed their own caste system always with the intention of making themselves seem more important than those around them.

And with the question of who would lead settled by a mutual agreement to fight it out at a later date, the Dark Gods were able to turn their attention back to their real enemies. Before the infighting it had been discovered that there were ways to escape their prison.

Both sides boasted powerful entities capable of manipulating mortals on a mental, physical and magical level. Only the soul was immune to these influences since the only way a soul could be controlled was if the individual wished it to be controlled.

However, as the realms grew larger, so the cost of intervention in the world of mortals became ever greater, making such an act physically impossible. A demon could not set foot in the mortal world and use his great power to subjugate the population; angels also found it increasingly difficult to carry out pointless campaigns for the greater good. At least, not without significant cost. After one demon escaped Hell only to become trapped in a pocket dimension, the true cost was clear for all to see.

Saints and angels could freely enter the mortal realms by sacrificing their greater powers and descending to near-mortal levels. That meant they could take on an almost normal appearance. Those who existed in a spiritual form had to find a host. Dead bodies, plants and even rocks were acceptable hosts. Some spirits even managed to manipulate technology and inhabit everyday objects.

The main problem was that once they entered the mortal realm directly, their bodies were prone to damage. Spawning was the favoured solution to this problem since most minor demons were capable of creating an exact likeness of themselves, duplicating both physical and mental attributes. When their old body tired or was destroyed, they simply transferred their consciousness to the replacement form.

The other alternative was to transcend the realms through indirect means. By allowing themselves to be summoned, they retained most of their powers and providing they were strong willed, they were free to act. In some cases though they were bound to act as the slaves of those that summoned them. It was the mortals that devised the ceremonies that in effect created a binding contract between the demon and the mortal. The spells required a focus that if destroyed, would send the demon back to Hell. Some demons chose to simply use the access granted by such spells to intervene on behalf of a mortal in return for a soul, they could enjoy devouring, most often a child. The Dark God Lokar wreaked havoc on many worlds before he was vanquished.

The problems with being summoned were eventually nullified when it was discovered that they could inhabit the body of a willing mortal. All that mortal had to do was accept the offer of power and riches in return for their soul. Many demons used these rituals as ways to access the mortal realms and spread their influence. Since they could provide a way to channel the power of the universal energy, few hosts ever rejected them.

For saints and devils alike, there was no such need for ceremony. On the rare occasion that either side entered the mortal realms, they did so in mortal form. Should they desire to remain there they needed only to mate with a mortal. The saints of course had moral objections to such acts, but over time their intervention in the affairs of lesser beings dwindled.

Devils however mated whenever they wished, selecting their partners carefully for physical traits. Consensual sex was preferred since in that moment of passion their lover failed to realise the true face of their lover. However, a virgin sacrificed in their name was just as acceptable. Either way, the soul belonged to the devil involved.

If the devil in question was female though, the offspring had the potential to become even more powerful. It could be born in either realm, but was stuck there following birth. However, if born in the mortal realms it would retain the powers of its mother while looking perfectly normal. Such vile offspring could change at will into a demonic form, which allowed them to use the power of the universal energy field.

For most demons existence was a complex society of politics and treachery. Raw power alone was never enough to guarantee superiority and no position within the ranks of evil could be considered truly safe. By splitting into multiple entities, the evil force ensured its survival, but it also created infighting between the factions. And through all this, Sinn’narr tried to regain the position he had once held in a universe where he was now a nonentity, pushed aside by the creature known as the Adversary to do so.

The Adversary created the High Clan as part of his domain. Although it was an elite band of evil beings, its power and influence came mostly through trickery. The names were mostly creatures from mythology on human worlds; they’d never been seen together. That was because in truth the High Clan’s more dominant personalities were actually one-entity. Each had their own area of the Adversary’s kingdom to control, where they indulged in their own sinister hobbies. In all it added to the illusion of the Adversary’s strength and added to his reputation.

The battle that had started between creatures that were a part of the fabric of existence was rapidly becoming a fight fought by the least powerful creatures with outcomes that not only challenged who would control the universe, but whether said universe would even survive the war. Eventually the fighting grew so intense that a truce was made limiting how the forces of both sides could conduct their battle. That truce was to remain until the end of days.

In times to come scientists and experts would estimate the time that it had taken to reach this point. They would never be able to truly calculate such a thing. Despite the supposed passing of billions of years, time was not constant enough to accurately record how long had passed between each of the key events that had led to the birth of the cosmos. However, some bards would speak the truth when they told of how things had changed throuhout the ages…

"Before the beginning, all existence was united in the darkness of the void. For there was nothing else.
In the First Age, there came The One and through him the universe was made.
In the Second Age, the universe grew and evolved. Life emerged and the struggle between Good and Evil began.
In the Third Age, The One chose to withdrawal himself from his creation, leaving agents to work on his behalf. On the Fourth, the higher beings of creation chose to isolate themselves from those they viewed as inferior; the universe was given to an alliance of races to watch over it. It was their duty to protect it and nurture its people as they developed.
At the end of the Fourth Age, those members of the First Alliance stood proudly as they congratulated themselves on a job well done before setting out to explore their work.
And at the coming of the Fifth Age as they turned away from their duties in favour of gaining the upper hand in directing how things should be… the universe broke apart."

End of the Beginning

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