The Chef are a rather significant being, for all the wrong justifications. Prominent throughout history you will find encounters with the Chef, none of them less unpleasant. From post-modern day to before the eight hundred-year rule of Shieitaklan. They are always there, always present. Singularly icky, collectively nasty. A sly fox, a foul fish, a pedantic satan, they are all forms the Chef can take, given enough time. The only thing unchanging is their affinity for diabolical scheming and psychologically brutal execution.
The Chef exist as a single physical entity that changes form and personality over time. On average every six hundred years they change their physical, mental and ethereal being, morphing into a fresh iteration of the rotten creatures over a period of time anywhere from two months to fifty years. During that transition, their anatomy changes into a seemingly random creature. Sometimes earthly, other times nightmarishly hellish. Along with this come changes to their psychology, transforming the Chef’s character into the next big-time bully.
There are, however, a few constants. During its transmutation they may change the color of their scales, fur, membrane, or whatever else it’s wearing, but they have never been seen achieving palettes of anything more daring than subtle, smudgy grays topped with washed-out cyan and dirty, unrecognizably burnt browns. Eyes, if they have them, never change from a red-shimmering black, and it can’t seem to form blunt, uncrooked teeth.
Interestingly, no relation between its different physiological aspects has been found. For example, its vocal range seems to shift independently of the other changes to its body, even those of size.
Various religious leaders have speculated it to be a malfunctioning soul, never certain of its ego, corrupted by the depths during the earliest of times. Biologists would like to proclaim it’s a change on the genetic level, but the Chef have never wanted to cooperate with the research needed to prove that.
Rare stories can be found scattered throughout any good library’s history section, tall tales of destined heroes confronting the evils of the world. Some such evils are described with words reserved only for something as wretched as the Chef. The travels of a mysterious archmage are the lone descriptor of a detail hidden within the monstrosity, a core of sorts. No other actor has been able to wound the Chef that deeply.
Their visage alone is not the problem — usually. It is those personalities, those wicked minds that do the work. They lure you in, promise you an impossible remedy, the cure to your life’s struggles. But it won’t sound like it, no, that would be suspiciously alluring. The plays the Chef set up are subtle, detailed. Setting you up to trip at the edge of a cliff, as they say. Like a festering disease, slipping under your skin, making everything around it make all the wrong choices.
During transmutation, their personality changes, but the above behavior always remains. As if feeding off only the deepest pains, the most paralyzing fears. And they learn, they remember. Every single victim they have taken in every single form. They claim to have forgotten their first breath, but have also detailed next year’s tragic harvest.
The psychological games they play are documented, scattered throughout old literature and even older history books. Together they describe a vast array of abilities. Summonings, classical magic, raw muscle, biological weaponry. It is feared there is no limit to the things a potent iteration could do, and man can only speculate whether it is for better or worse their powers are used only to indirectly affect their victims.
The Chef aren’t opposed to using people as part of their arsenal. A particularly well-known instance involves them teaching one of that generation’s heroes the craft of manipulation, and had her set the rest of the group up to fight among themselves. They are all believed to have perished in the aftermath.
It has dragged countless individuals down, who often were forced to do nothing but take entire empires down with them. The Chef paint history with a long, endless scar of misery and misfortune. Everything they interact with, to ruins.
Combat against the Chef has proven ineffective and exhausting at best. Reports conflict on whether they regenerate any damage nearly instantly, or if it moves part of itself into other planes of existence. They can understand reason, but only agree to it if it shares their greed for the greater evil.
If one encounters the Chef, they will need the mental fortitude of a perfectly judging God to withstand their lies.
From Dieno Leernheartt’s Wanderer’s Cryptopedia, Volume 6, Chapter 6, section 7.