Chaos Gods is a series of fantasy books by Aneeka Richins, who is also the author of the webcomic Not a Villain.
Set in a world where four separate realms connected by portals are ruled over by a pantheon of nine gods, the series follows a girl named Ki. To save her parents, whose deaths were demanded by the Rising Gods, she made a bargain with Tavk, the much-feared Fallen Chaos God. In exchange for completing any task he assigns her, no matter how ridiculous or seemingly impossible, he'll keep her parents alive. However, as a result, Ki has become the most feared and wanted criminal in the Four Realms. And Tavk isn't interested in making things easy on her: when the series begins, his latest task for her is to become a trainer and mentor to De, the very Hero who has been tasked by the Gods to hunt her down and destroy her.
The series consists of The Wanted Child, The Servant Lord, and The Unified God.
Chaos Gods contains examples of:
- Apocalypse Maiden: It is believed that the deal Ki made with the Fallen Chaos god Tavk will bring about the end of the world, and that only by killing her can it be prevented.
- Big Bad: Rising Chaos, a long-imprisoned god which is struggling to break free so it can destroy the Four Realms and eradicate all life.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: After Maggie badmouths the Fallen Gods while in the Fallen Lands, she gets struck by a bolt of lightning. She immediately protests that the Fallen Gods shouldn't be allowed to strike her with lightning because she's a Blessed of the Sister Gods, only to get struck by lightning again in response.
- Can't Live Without You: A ritual called a Binding allows two people to share their souls and energies. This allows each to draw upon the strengths of the other; but it also means that if one dies, so will the other. De's parents are Bound to each other
- Cast from Hit Points: Ki normally uses magic provided by her god, Tavk. If Tavk chooses to withhold his power from her, she can cast spells using her own energy; but doing so consumes her own flesh as fuel.
- Charm Person: Missus Belana, as a devotee of the High Sister, is capable of imbuing her voice with magic that makes everyone who hears her want to please her.
- Deal with the Devil: Ki made a deal with the Fallen Chaos god Tavk to save the lives of her parents. Tavk is not a well-regarded god, as the majority of his followers are insane, blood-crazed killers.
- Enemy Within: After Ki absorbs the ulghaar, it becomes this to her. It constantly tries to overpower her mind and take control of her body.
- Gender-Blender Name: De's real name is Jannina, which is usually a girl's name. He dislikes it and prefers going by his self-chosen moniker of the Great Designer, or De for short.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: The gods are empowered by prayer. Strangely, however, despite it being a source of power to them, most of the gods seem to dislike and discourage human prayer. This is because the so-called High Gods and Low Gods are actually Demon Lords elevated to that rank by the Chaos Gods. Prayers directed to them actually feed the Chaos Gods instead.
- Horror Hunger: As a result of the demonic taint in her soul, Ki feels the urge to consume the Life Energy of other people, particularly when she's injured.
- I Know Your True Name: True Names are an important element of magic for those who follow the Sister Gods, as Blessed can use them to place people under mind control. All servants in the Sister Lands are under such control, and it is common practice for people to go by nicknames so that their True Names don't become common knowledge.
- Living Battery: In The Unified God, De discovers that people are being abducted en-masse and transported to the Sister Lands to be used as living batteries to power the magic of the Blessed.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: Ki's magic dagger returns to her hand when thrown and melts the skin of anyone else who tries to wield it.
- Magic Hair: Ki can use strands of her hair to cast spells. She wears her hair in two pigtails of varying length, so that she can quickly pluck short or long hairs depending on the amount of power required.
- Older Than They Look: Ki is fifteen years old at the start of the series, but looks eleven; she stopped aging after absorbing a demon at that age.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Rising Chaos intends to destroy everything — all humans, all demons, the Four Realms themselves, and even his fellow gods. His goal is a completely empty, eternally unchanging world where nothing exists but himself.
- Phlebotinum Overload: Demons instinctively try to consume and absorb as much energy as they can. Demons whose appetite exceeds their intelligence will feed until they literally explode
- Portal Door: The Four Realms are connected by the Gates, large portals which transport people from one Realm to another.
- Power Incontinence: Although some Fallen Servants are able to control their flesh-destroying "death touch" ability, Ki cannot turn hers off.
- Power Tattoo: Ki has a tattoo on her forehead which marks her as a Servant on the god Tavk. It glows when she invokes Tavk's power.
- Restraining Bolt: The mines in the Mutual Lands are worked by demons, which are restrained by magical collars that prevent them from attacking humans.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Rising Chaos, the most powerful and destructive of the nine gods, was overthrown by the others and imprisoned within the Rising Lands. At the beginning of the series, Genius Meoif's war against the gods threatens to release him again.
- Tainted Veins: When the demonic energy tainting Ki's body rises to the surface, her skin becomes covered in black lines.
- Vast Bureaucracy: Whereas the other three Lands are ruled by pantheons of gods, the Mutual Lands are governed by a vast bureaucracy. Extensive paperwork is required for everything, from travel between towns to holding birthday parties.
- Walking Wasteland: Part of being a Fallen Servant is that Ki causes anything touching her body to age and decay. Living flesh is instantly destroyed as Ki breaks it down into energy and absorbs it. After Ki absorbs a ranked demon at the end of The Wanted Child, this effect becomes even stronger and larger in area, causing all living things in a radius around her to wither as she drains their life energy.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: De regards demons as beings of pure evil which must be destroyed. Ki prefers not to kill them, and believes they can be reasoned with — but is still aghast when Tavk suggests treating them as equal to humans.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: When someone kills a ranked demon, they absorb that demon's power. This alters the configuration of their soul and turns them into a demon themselves.