|“||I play the game of genocide.||„|
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. He and the Ellimist are not really omnipotent, but they are so incredibly powerful that it makes little difference to a human perspective. Crayak wants to pit all races in the universe into a war until only the mightiest one remains, and then have said race worship him. It is also stated that he wants to get back at the all-powerful being who exiled him.
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. He communicates through thought-speak perceived as deafening screams. 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.
His presence is felt for the first time when Jake, the leader of the Animorphs, is briefly infested by a Yeerk: after managing to starve the Yeerk to death, the parasite's death throes briefly grant Jake 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. Eventually, the Ellimist reveals Crayak's true nature and purpose, choosing the Animorphs as his champions against his foe's team of Howlers. After a sustained battle, the Animorphs eventually manage to defeat the Howlers and "reprogram" their race to make them understand the consequences of their actions. Since Crayak mercilessly destroys all Howlers who come to realize the horror of their game, it is heavily implied that he erased the entire species from existence.
Crayak then appears several times before the protagonists, mainly to strike bargains with them - offering to grant their wishes or empower them enough to defeat the Yeerks should they pledge obedience to him. True to his nature as a Satanic Archetype, he makes use of ambiguous wording in order to force them into bargains they never intended to make, and rarely respects his part of the agreement anyway. He eventually takes an interest for Rachel, the most violent of the Animorphs: striking a bargain with the traitor David, he offers to free him from the rat form in which he was trapped, on the condition that he lead Rachel into his clutches.
Crayak's fate at the end of the series is left unclear, but it is implied that the Howlers' destruction and the Yeerks' final defeat allowed the Ellimist to gain a definite advantage over him.