According to Everblight, the athanc was the first sentient entity on all of Caen, risen to consciousness and assuming the name Toruk in a language of his own devising long before he clothed himself in flesh and scale. Whether this primacy is true is a matter of debate, since the only one who would know is Toruk and/or Dhunia. Some Dhunian myths claim he was created by the Devourer Wurm alongside other scaled beasts. The Circle Orboros deny this myth, and insist Toruk has no place in Caen's natural cycles - even they do not know when and how Toruk came to be.
In ages past, Toruk became tired of his solitary existence. Desiring company or perhaps servants, he split off pieces of his own athanc to form others, and from each splinter a dragon came into being. Unfortunately for Toruk, the essence of these dragons was too pure, for the lesser dragons were not capable of humbling themselves, even before their creator. Each considered himself a god in turn and refused to bow to the glory of the Dragonfather. Instead the dragons turned on their father and sought to consume him. Toruk eventually destroyed many lesser dragons, and the rest fled and scattered across Immoren. Ancient human records place this event at 3500 BR, though this has since been refuted. More reliable Rhulic records date the first dragon sightings to 5500 BR.
From that point forward, Toruk sought to hunt the dragons down and gather the pieces of his athanc to restore their essence to his own. Little is known about Toruk's earliest hunts and the dragons he devoured during this time.
In 1800 BR, Toruk discovered Everblight hiding under the Kingdom of Morrdh and exerting his influence by turning several Morrdhic lords to him. Toruk threatened the lords whom Everblight was unable to corrupt and convinced them to end their alliance.
Everblight fled as Toruk descended. Toruk managed to inflict grievous wonds on Everblight, who led him to the lair of another dragon, Nektor. Toruk decided to go after Nektor, leaving Everblight alone. Momentarily sated by the consumption of Nektor, Toruk forgot Everblight and gave up the chase.
Toruk continued his hunt elsewhere, consuming Shazkz, the dragon of the Scharde Islands, in 1640 BR. Shazkz's blighted blood rained on the island, creating the Satyxis from its human inhabitants. Gaulvang was his next victim, defeated at the Castle of the Keys in 1387 BR.
In 1270 BR, the great dragon Nidoboros, a champion of the wyrms, confronted Toruk to prove to the others that their father could be harmed. In this Nidoboros succeeded, but after a great battle he eventually fell. Several other dragons, smelling Toruk's blood, rushed from their hiding places, and Toruk was forced to flee, unable to stay behind and consume Nidoboros' athanc, which was soon hidden from the dragons by Zevanna Agha, the Old Witch of Khador.
In 1000 BR, the dragon Blighterghast gathered the surviving dragons and convinced them to drive Toruk of mainland Immoren. The fight ended in a stalemate, with Toruk being forced to retreat to the Scharde Islands west of Immoren.
When Toruk came to the Scharde Islands, it was ruled by fourteen great pirate kings. Toruk sent an emissary to the pirate kings to force them to bow to him. The pirate kings slew the messenger rather than answer, and Threnodax, the mightiest of them, roused the others to defiance and convinced them to muster their armies and prepare to battle Toruk.
Though Toruk could easily destroy the pirate kings, he had need of an empire and generals to use against his brood, so he came to the Atramentous, a Tordoran dirgenmast ship stolen by Threnodax to use as his flagship, and obliterated its crew and captain in a breath of consuming fire. He extinguished their lives, collected their souls, and turned them into revenants bound so tightly to the ship that it could retain them even past death.
The ghost ship Atramentous came upon the pirate kings who had gathered at Threnodax’s fortress in Darkmoor. The revenant crew swept through the harbour, overwhelming the living defenders and added the killed to their number. Thirteen of the kings gathered in a fortress tower and watched in horror as all they had built burned. Only King Moorcraig absented himself.
When Toruk descended upon the fortress, crumbling it to ruin beneath his terrible weight, the pirate kings were the sole survivors. Twelve of the kings prostrated and humbled themselves in the surviving tower. Stubborn to the end, King Threnodax kept his feet, continuing to speak defiance. Lord Toruk annihilated all thirteen in a single breath, but the twelve who had bowed were reborn. Their souls were enslaved and they would become the first lich lords, chosen by him as vassals to rule over a new empire. Threnodax was consumed for a special torment by Toruk.
King Moorcraig hid within his castle and hoped his collection of ancient relics would protect him, but when Toruk flew over the castle and unleashed unquenchable fire, all of Moorcraig’s plans and schemes burned and were buried in rubble.
At the Dragon's Roost, in the shadow of a great volcano, a blackclad prostrated himself before Lord Toruk and offered his service in exchange for even a fraction of his power. Toruk made no promises but challenged the druid to prove his willingness to sacrifice everything. He climbed atop the lip of the volcano and jumped into its depths. Toruk scooped his bones from the caldera with one massive talon and blew a spark of unlife into them. The blackclad's soul was put into a vessel of power, and from then he became known as Iron Lich Asphyxious.
The lich lords wasted no time or effort in founding Lord Toruk’s empire and were privy to secrets and powers known previously only to the Dragonfather. Toruk allows his servants to rise and fall by their virtues and ambitions, with the weak culled by the strong, who are elevated to replace them.
In those early centuries the lich lords divided the governance of Cryx among themselves, each finding his role in the construction of the empire. They unified the islands and culled the petty faiths of their inhabitants, and Lord Toruk became the sole god and master of these islands.
The arrival of the Orgoth from across the Meredius put any invasion plans of the lich lords on hold. The Orgoth seized the Thousand Cities one by one, then launched an incursion to seize the Scharde Islands. After a Satyxis fleet sent to intercept the Orgoth ships was annihilated, Toruk took to wing for the first time in centuries to deal with this threat personally. Toruk sunk the entire Orgoth fleet, and this was the last time Orgoth challenged Cryx. Toruk instructed his minions that they should deal with the Orgoth at a time of his choosing. The invaders were allowed to occupy the northern island of Garlghast, but any ship that dared Windwatcher’s Passage was destroyed.
When they were finally driven from their fortresses, the Orgoth retreated to their first and mightiest stronghold of Drer Drakkerung on Garlghast Island. Toruk gave his approval to commence the great attack, and five lich lords led an army of tens of thousands strong and sailed against Garlghast.
When the Orgoth saw Cryx would be triumphant, their warwitches invoked a final conflagration to obliterate both themselves and the Cryxian army, including three of the lich lords. The other two, Fulmenus and Tenebrous, forced into somnolent recovery after the near disintegration of their physical forms, were thereafter unsuited to the chaos of war. Toruk thought nothing of these losses and was satisfied with the outcome. The Orgoth could not keep their secrets from him in death, and in time his legions would grow ever more powerful. Certain occult traditions from the Orgoth now survive only among Cryx, such as the warwitches, which have become a vital Cryxian occult tradition.
After the fall of Drer Drakkerung, Lord Toruk gave his leave for additional forces to emerge from the inner island and extend deeper into the continent. He needed generals to replace those destroyed on Garlghast, and for this task he chose Daeamortus and Terminus.
As the duties of rule are beneath the Dragonfather, he has left the governance of Cryx to his twelve lich lords. Toruk currently dwells in a great citadel ornamented with metal spires resembling grasping claws. Beneath lies the Black Temple, the centre of Toruk’s worship, where his undead clergy gather at the direction of Lich Lord Divinitus to chant obeisance to the self-appointed 'God of Caen'. Mainland faiths do not accept Toruk’s claim of divinity, but it is an unquestioned fact in the island empire, and to suggest otherwise is to invite the retaliation of the merciless blighted priests of the Church of Toruk.
In 609 AR, Toruk takes flight for the first time in millennia when he discovers the dragons Charsaug and Ashnephos clashing against the Cygnarans over the lost athanc of Nidoboros. Toruk engages in battle with Charsaug and successfully defeats and consumes him, before the rest of the dragon alliance arrive and confront him. Toruk manages to fight off all the dragons at once, focusing his efforts against Blighterghast, but he is unable to consume the weakened Blighterghast, to whom the Cygnarans unexpectedly give Nidoboros' athanc, forcing Toruk to withdraw to Skell to recuperate.
Possessing vast intelligence and patience beyond that of any living thing, Toruk has no interest in traditional conquest. His only desire is the destruction of his progeny. He has been waiting, watching, plotting, building for thousands of years, and is willing to continue that plan for thousands more before making a move. In time, his armies will arise and lay waste to the petty kingdoms of humanity, enslaving them in death and preparing the army of his final victory. Once the nations of men have fallen, Toruk will drag his progeny from their hiding places and devour them once and for all.