Tales of Etheras's origin
I have been asked, from time to time, "Tell me about Etheras. What is his story?" The truth is, that there is no single answer to that question, because no one really knows. But there are many stories and theories, as varied as the seasons, and as numerous as the graves left by his armies.
Here are just a few of them...
Thief of Apollo's Chariot Hypothesis
Centures ago, on a world much like our own, there was a civilization of fennecs with great technical ability. They didn't know it yet, but they were on the verge of a great opportunity. Scientific breakthroughs were being made that would result in an invention that would shake the world: the Lazarus Machine. This amazing device was about the size of a room, and would allow the owner to imprint his or her consciousness into the machine. It would then track that person's movements (using subspace technology far beyond our own understanding), and if that person were to die, it would snatch the person's consciousness up just as it was leaving the body, and download it into a specially-grown clone of the owner, usually matured to be in his or her early 20's. Thus, as long as there was a stock of cloned vessels, the owner of the machine could not die. Of course it took some time to get used to a new body, so it isn't like this was without inconvenience. But it wasn't long until the inconvenience it cased became clear...
As I'm sure you're familiar, any time a new technology is created, it is expensive. Gradually, of course, the price falls until it becomes affordable by the population as a whole. But the poor and underpriviledged didn't look ahead to the inevitable horizon - they saw people in their daily lives dying of old age, or in accidents, and not coming back. But the wealthy had beaten death, and they were enraged that they were still in their natural circumstances. They felt entitled to immortality as well, and thus, the riots started. Many of the Lazarus Machine clinics were burned down, and their clone stockpiles destroyed. But they could not undo this technology, and so many of the wealthiest of the wealthy had Lazarus Machines built in secret places in their homes, or in remote locations, and made into an entirely autonomous system.
Eventually, the Lazarus Machines were replaced by the Lazarus Nexuses. These stadium-sized computers would track the entire population of a world, and would snatch the consciousness of anyone who was near death. Thus, it avoided the class issues of the previous system. Most of the private Lazarus Machines were scrapped, being redundant and needlessly expensive. But for some of the wealthy, for the sake of convenience, or nostalgia, they still kept their own private (secret) Lazarus Machines.
A second invention came as a result of the Nexuses. While birthrates did begin to decline among the population, death rates had dropped off almost completely. Thus, the world population began to swell. Colony ships had been bringing adventurous citizens to new uncrowded lives on distant worlds for some time by that point, even before the Lazarus Machine was invented. But now with mounting population problems, and Lazarus Nexuses being constructed on those far-away colonies, the allure of vast unsettled lands became tempting. But it took so long for a ship to get to a world, even at relevistic speeds, that the vast Colonization Fleet couldn't come close to offsetting the birthrate. Work began on a means to use subspace as a gateway. These "Babylon Gates" were a system of shared space confined within a building. Thus, if there were say, 6 planets on a network, a person could walk into a Babylon gate on one of the 6 worlds, and would find themselves inside a foyeur that existed simultaneously on all 6 worlds... or more precisely, one foyeur that was shared between all 6 worlds. Then, they simply find the sign for the world of their destination, and walk out the exit and onto that planet. Suddenly Colonization ceased to be a problem. Colony ships were still required to find new habitable worlds and build Babylon Gates on them, but the question of overpopulation had been solved.
But neither of these inventions could hold a candle to what came next.. and it would ultimately destroy them. Now that they had immortality and omnipresence, the people wanted more. And thus was invented The God Machine - A vast machine that would allow the wearer to live in subspace, unaging, able to see anywhere in the Universe at any time, and drawing its power from Subspace itself, and able to unleash that power to manipulate aspects of this reality. In essence, the fennec people were on the verge of ascention to godhood. Jaspian, one of the royal family of the fennecs, was one of the principle financeers of the project, and was going to be given the honor of testing the very first prototype. But, the night before its unveiling, Etheras (Jaspian's half-brother) snuck into its drydock and stole the machine. He was of the opinion that if everyone is a god, where's the fun in that? He ascended, and then drew his wrath upon the Universe, annihilating Lazarus Nexuses and laying waste to the civilizations so that no other God Machines could be built. Then he destroyed the Babylon Gates in order to isolate the civilizations and prevent them from conferring.
Decimated, the colonized worlds fell into anarchy. Many fell back into stone-ages. Some died out entirely. But Jaspian, half-brother of the tyrant Etheras, had kept a secret Lazarus Machine of his own, and while his body had died during Etheras's holocaust, he revived himself. Seeing that his world had become nothing but a smoking corpse, Jaspian sought out to find Etheras and remove the God Machine from him forever. He moves even now from world to world through the ruined remains of the Babylon Gate network, searching and building alliances to one-day rise up against the technological diety Etheras. Despite his unfathomable powers, Etheras has grown complacent. After centuries of immortal youth, he is incapable of empathy for his subjects, and fancies himself the God-King of the Universe.... but even that becomes tiresome after long enough. And while Etheras seeks new experiences to amuse himself, he doesn't notice a tide beginning to grow against his vast empire.
One day the brothers will clash, and the Universe itself will reel.
Other God Hypothesis
There are beings far beyond mortal comprehension - beings so unfathomably alien, born in the darkest places of space and beyond - that meat minds cannot grasp them and remain sane. Etheras is a living cloud of black dust locked beyond and outside the universe, with such horrors as Yog Sothoth (who he often uses as a set of marbles). But such is his power and malace that he reaches his smokey dark tendrils into our dimension and takes control of an individual, devouring their soul and using their body as his own... typically a high-born young fennec male. Like Nyarlathotep, who some presume might be his father, Etheras has an affection for the old Egyptian times, and shows a delight in cruelty.