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Runaways


CRIMSON COSMOS
Author : Iceman (Trevor Cates) and Peter LuziferLast Modified : Nov 05, 2003
First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #33

Description
The Crimson Cosmos is a world that exists in some sense within the Gem of Cyttorak. It was created by Cyttorak in part to house the prototype gemstone, and in the past has served as a prison of timeless silence for the Juggernaut himself. This dimension governed by arcane and ominous forces contains a volcanic landscape with sulfurous steam wafting the air.
The Gem has changed the Juggernaut it is embedded to and in exchange the Juggernaut has an effect on the landscape of the Crimson Cosmos. The ground of the Cosmos is psychosensitive, so it forms into whatever Cain Marko’s psyche subconsciously wills it to. In the Cosmos there lies many chambers. In one such chamber, called the Hall of Cyttorak the Destroyer, the Cosmos’ master Cyttorak sits on his throne. Dr. Strange has a theory about the roads in the Crimson Cosmos. He believes that all the roads will eventually lead to Cyttorak’s throne. The Crimson Cosmos is the prison of Cyttorak and his essence is trapped there in.




Crimson Cosmos related plots
There have been few people visit the land of the Crimson Cosmos, but those who have understand the curse that Cain Marko lives with. Centuries ago heretic monks called upon the power of the demon Cyttorak. By accident these monks messed up their incantation and were only able to call forth part of Cyttorak’s essence. Sadly this part was that of his most destructive aspect. This aspect of Cyttorak destroyed the heretic monks and scores of villages along its path. Thankfully, two novice magicians joined forces and banished this aspect into the mystical ruby gem. While transcending into the gem the elemental Cyttorak cursed the ruby saying that whosoever came in contact with the gem would become a human Juggernaut. Inside the gem Cyttorak created a dimension for himself. Knowing that he would spend a lifetime of loneliness he began creating the landscape to his new imprisonment. [X-Men Unlimited #12]

Sometime later the Ancient one battled Xorak, who guarded the Temple of Cyttorak on Earth, and defeated the being. Finishing off the battle the Ancient One sent the guardian into the gem to be with its master. After that great battle it was only decades later before a being would come in contact with the ruby again. An oddity that can be pondered is, since time never passes in the Cosmos how long must it feel to the inhabitants of the Cosmos before another being visits them? [X-Men (1st series) #33]



Several years after the curse transformed Cain Marko into the unstoppable Juggernaut, an experiment of Professor Xavier to undo this change went wrong and left him comatose. With the aid of Dr. Strange, two members of the X-Men were sent into the Crimson Cosmos to find the prototype gem, but they were met by Xorak, who was not willing to fail his master a second time. The two mutants were almost beaten by the magical opponent, when suddenly they found Xorak’s weak spot – the Crimson Cosmos’ status as a world without time. When Marvel Girl threw her watch at him, suddenly Xorak raged rapidly and crumbled to dust. Back on Earth the X-Men could use the prototype gem first on Xavier to remove whatever influence had befallen him during the failed experiment, and also on the Juggernaut. When the prototype ruby made physical contact the Juggernaut was pulled into the Crimson Cosmos, where he was trapped for an uncertain amount of time. [X-Men (1st series) #32-33]

Xavier however wouldn’t want to expose his stepbrother to such fate and built a machine that would slowly pull him back to Earth. By the time Cain gained his freedom and traveled back to earth, unaware that it was Xavier he had to thank his freedom for, he wanted to wreck havoc on his stepbrother only to find that his enemy was now dead (Xavier was believed to have died in the meantime, but actually it was the shapeshifter Changeling who had been killed in his place). His stay on Earth was only short lived, as the gem sucked Cain back inside to live once more in the Crimson Cosmos. [X-Men (1st series) #46]

A short while later Dr. Strange traveled to the Crimson Cosmos and lead the Juggernaut into Nightmare‘s dream realm. Juggernaut showed a new trick that he learned while trapped in the Crimson Cosmos. Mystic spells emanated from his hands and caused Nightmare to shrink down to Juggernaut’s size. Nightmare and Juggernaut started to battle back and forth. The ending of their fight mistakenly released the imprisoned Eternity, who then banished the Juggernaut to another realm from where he later escaped back to Earth, though not before losing again his newfound magical powers. [Dr. Strange (1st series) #128, Incredible Hulk #172]

After the departure of the Juggernaut from the Crimson Cosmos, Cyttorak became bored. He set out to create ecstatic elves to dance and sing praises to him, but this was not enough and when Galactus’ ship passed close to his dimension he sent his Ruby Bands after two of the ship’s occupants, Nova and Dr. Strange. Trapped in the Crimson Cosmos, the two friends were separated with Strange being imprisoned away from Cyttorak. The magician had only one resource left and that was to send forth a teleportation light to someone in the real world that had ties to the Cosmos. That person was the Juggernaut and as the light captured Cain and pulled him once more into the Cosmos, he was enraged at being back in his former prison. After arguing he agreed with Strange that their only way out was to find Cyttorak and request their release. However the deity had plans for Nova and Strange to serve as his Priestess and Priest. After meeting with Cyttorak, Strange convinced Cyttorak that he should let them go. Cain had other plans in mind and upon seeing the Ruby Gem of Cyttorak atop Cyttorak’s brow he attacked the being that gave him his powers and wrested the jewel from him. However Nova blasted the stone from his hands, and it returned to Cyttorak, while Dr. Strange engulfed the Juggernaut in magical bonds. Having enough of them, Cyttorak sent them all away to where they came from. [Dr. Strange (3rd series) #44]

Years later the Crimson Cosmos was visited once again by Cyttorak‘s Exemplar, the Juggernaut. The power of Onslaught was so intense that the entity had been able to rip the now bonded gem from Cain Marko’s chest and send the behemoth through it into the Crimson Cosmos. The unattended gem was sensed by both Dr. Strange and Gomurr, but the later opted to venture into the Crimson Cosmos alone to bring Cain back. Once inside the gem, Gomurr faced off against Spite, a demoness who had apparently been sent by her brother, D’Spayre, into the Cosmos centuries in the past. Spite fought Gomurr over the Juggernaut and finally won, imprisoning Gomurr in magical shackles while she continued to manipulate Cain Marko to her liking. She brought him to Cyttorak for him to become the Earthen vessel of Cyttorak, which is when the Juggernaut realized that he was tricked. Thanks to the timely arrival of Tar, Gomurr was freed and the two rivals put aside their disagreements to help the Juggernaut by magically empowering him to a degree that allowed him defeat Cyttorak and send them from the realm. Her master being defeated also allowed Spite to escape from the Crimson Cosmos. [X-Men Unlimited #12]



Right now, Cyttorak is all alone in his realm, though one can never know what he is secretly scheming there, or who the next poor creature is that ends up in the Crimson Cosmos and gets manipulated by him.




Involved Characters

Tar
Tar was one-half of the team of magicians that banished the dark essence of Cyttorak into the Gem of Cyttorak. In later years he became the Proctor of the Crimson Dawn. While often being rivals with Gomurr, he passed on his mantle to him after he died.

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #329

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: X-Men Unlimited #12

Powers: can summon symbolic neon scorpions as Proctor of the Crimson Dawn, which act as his spies, couriers, and assassins, and can focus his power to infuse other people with beneficial or malevolent magicks



Gomurr
Gomurr and Tar first banished Cyttorak’s destructive essence into the gem. For many years Gomurr hid himself in part of New York’s China Town, but eventually he inherited Tar’s position as Protector of the Crimson Dawn.

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #329

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: X-Men Unlimited #12

Powers: wield certain elemental and magical forces, allowing him to sense changes in the supernatural world, pass between dimensional barriers, summon up aetheric flame, fire blasts of pure energy, reach into the minds of others, shield himself and others from harm and detection, become intangible, and forge ninja servants out of ethereal mist



Xorak
This being was created by Cyttorak to be the guardian of his temple. During his travels the Ancient One opposed Xorak, and casts him into the gem to be with his master.

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #33
Last appearance: Uncanny X-Men #33

All appearances: Uncanny X-Men #33

Powers: scaled demon created by Cyttorak with limited magical power, enabling him to perform a variety of feats such as generation of energy bolts and force shields, illumination and illusion casting, out of sync with the regular flow of time



Juggernaut (Cain Marko)
Cain Marko’s life was forever changed when he came in contact with the Gem of Cyttorak. Several times in his life he found himself trapped in the Crimson Cosmos, where he had to oppose Cyttorak himself, though was also provided with the chance to better learn how to better use the gem.

First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #12
First Crimson Cosmos related appearance: Uncanny X-Men #33

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: Uncanny X-Men #33, 46, Dr. Strange (1st series) #128, Dr. Strange (3rd series) #44, X-Men Unlimited #12

Powers: infused with the power of the Ruby Gem of Cyttorak that gives him immeasurable strength and endurance, a massive indestructible body reinforced by an inercia-cancelling force field, and an enchantment that renders him virtually unstoppable once in motion



Dr. Strange (Dr. Steven Strange)
Some of Dr. Strange’s spells draw their power from Cyttorak, and apparently his mystic abilities also make him very sensitive to what happens in the Crimson Cosmos. Several times he has aided other to get in or out of there, and once he found himself trapped in the place himself and had to summon the Juggernaut to bail him out.

First appearance: Strange Tales (1st series) #110
First Crimson Cosmos related appearance: Uncanny X-Men #33

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: Uncanny X-Men #33, Dr. Strange (1st series) #128, Dr. Strange (3rd series) #44, X-Men Unlimited #12

Powers: Sorcerer Supreme of Earth able to tap magical power through his own psychic potential and the ambient mystical energy of the universe, enabling him to perform a variety of feats such as telepathy, psychokinesis, mesmerism, illusion-casting, astral projection, generation of energy bolts and force shields, summoning of distant objects, illumination, teleportation through time, space, and dimensions, and the animation or transmogrification of unliving matter, able to utilize magic found within extra-dimensional entities, allowing access to power such as the Flames of Faltine, the Seraphim Shield, or the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, wears a coat or cloak of levitation that enables him to move through the air under mystical direction, and the Eye of Agamotto that allows him to see through lies or illusions to perceive the truth inherent to any person or object



Nova II (Frankie Raye)
Frankie Raye was about to join the Fantastic Four when Galactus arrived on Earth. In order to save the planet, Frankie offered herself to become his new herald, and was instantly transformed into Nova.

First appearance: Fantastic Four (1st series) #164
Last appearance: Fantastic Four (3rd series) #75

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: Dr. Strange (3rd series) #44

Powers: flammable chemicals altered her body to give her pyrotechnic powers which have been added to and amplified to near-infinite levels by the power of Galactus, giving her tremendous strength, endurance, and resistance to physical injury, the ability to enter hyperspace and fly at near-light speed in normal space, survive in the vacuum, and produce radiance across the electromagnetic spectrum as cosmic fire she can direct at will



Spite
She is the sister of D’Spayre who banished her to the Crimson Cosmos centuries in the past. Spite tried to form an alliance with Cyttorak himself, but actually it was more a master-slave relationship than equal partners.

First appearance: X-Men Unlimited #12

All Crimson Cosmos related appearances: X-Men Unlimited #12

Powers: demoness specializing in the creation of illusions and falsehoods

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