|“||I play the game of genocide.||„|
|“||Sleep well, little human, I'll see you in your dreams.||„|
|~ Crayak's ominous words to Jake|
Crayak is a recurring villain in the Animorphs book series. He is a reality warping Eldritch Abomination who exists outside of the universe and strives to extinguish life. He is locked in a permanent conflict with the Ellimist, a benevolent creature of equal power, in which both indirectly influence the situation to further their goals.
Crayak used to be an extradimensional, cyclops-like alien who was expelled from his world by a never described, all-powerful being. He ended up in the galaxy where the story takes place and grew in power, until he became the the closest thing to a Satanic Archetype in the Animorphs universe.
In the past, he and the Ellimist fought an all out battle that destroyed a large part of the universe, before eventually before forced into their current game of power in order to avoid further devastation. Now they are both bound by the rules of the game and can only act through others. Whenever one of them acts directly, it allows the other to retaliate, so they both try to gain permanent advantage over the other through proxies.
Crayak is never fully described, but he appeared as a gigantic and monstrous entity, far too horrible and alien for a human mind to comprehend, whose only distinct characteristic is a huge, cybernetic red eye sitting on a sort of miles high throne. He communicates through thought-speak perceived as deafening screams. He and the Ellimist are not really omnipotent, but they are so incredibly powerful that it does not make any difference to a human perspective.
He has an enforcer called the Drode, to whom he granted immense cosmic powers. He is responsible of the Yeerks' invasion of the galaxy and is the one who created the fearsome alien race known as the Howlers: children-like being sharing a hive-mind, taught to extinguish the life on every planet they are sent as if it was a game.
Crayak is horribly cruel, vicious, violent, hateful, sadistic, relentless and unforgiving. He only sees other existences as inconveniences to be wiped out, and makes pretty clear that even his devoted servants are tools he uses and would discard without the slightest hesitation, if it means furthering their goals. He ruthlessly destroys his creations who fail him and all promise he makes is but a lie to sway potential pawns.
He revels in destruction and suffering, and is extremely petty, wanting to get rid of all those who dare have a hold over him, ever so tenuous, and spends considerable effort to get back at Jake for defeating one of his major assets. He wants to pit all races in the universe into a war until only the mightiest one remains, and then have said race worship him. Yet, his ultimate goal is to extinguish all life in the universe but his own, including the Ellimist. It is also stated that he wants to get back at the all-powerful being who exiled him.
Role in the Story
Crayak’s presence is felt for the first time when Jake, the leader of the Animorphs, a team of teenagers granted the power to transform, gets infested by the Yeerk that controlled his older brother Tom: after managing to starve the Yeerk to death, the parasite's death throes briefly puts Jake in a state beyond Life and Death and grants him a psychic glimpse of Crayak himself. From then on, he relives the experience in his nightmares, in which an ominous red eye keeps saying "soon". Doubly terrifying is the fact that the true nature of Jake's vision is not explained until much later in the series.
The Ellimist eventually reveals Crayak's true nature and purpose when he chooses the Animorphs as his champions against his foe's team of Howlers. The Animorphs eventually manage to defeat the Howlers and to "reprogram" the entire race, so as to remove them as a threat. Since Crayak mercilessly destroys all the Howlers who come to realize the horror of their game, it is heavily implied that he erased the entire specy from existence.
Crayak then appears several times to the protagonists; mainly to strike bargains with them and offer to grant their wishes or make them supremely powerful should they pledge obedience to him, but he twists his words and never fully respects his part of bargain. He eventually gains an interest for Rachel, the most violent of the Animorphs, attempting repeatedly to sway her by his side to no avail. He also stroke a bargain with David, offering to free him from the rat form in which he was trapped if he could play Rachel into his clutches, but ultimately used him as a pawn.
Crayak's fate at the end of the series is left unclear, but it is heavily implied that the Howlers’ destruction and the Yeerks final defeat allowed the Ellimist to gain a definite advantage over him.