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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-06 10:19pm
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Location: The Tower at Charm
The Senate
Sandresha
The Free Federation



Rhaven Hellborn watched as flames gushed from the wreckage of Directorate Headquarters. Dark clouds were gathering overhead. "Battlecommander report," he said, his voice dripping venom. "What are you doing to prevent my city from falling into enemy hands?"

The response was calm and measured. "My lord, the enemy skilled, numerous, and well armed," said Serenday. "This city is not the ideal terrain in which to resist them. We are slowing them, but at cost."

"I've noticed the cost fool! They're tearing through you!"

"I recommend evacuation," was the response.

Rhaven's face twisted in rage. Evacuate? Abandon the capital? The seat of his power? He would never be able to get the Senate away from here and without the Senate all government functions would be decapitated. Wait.

"Get up," he sneered at Solem. The man shakily got to his feet. "I still have uses for you slave." With the President of the Senate he would still have the head of the government in his possession. The loss of the rest of the Senate hurt, but it would be enough. Escape. Have the fleet glass Sandresha as badly as the Slavers nuked New Eden. Spend the next couple of years putting down the enemy and emerge as the absolute ruler of known space. It would work.

"Come with me," he ordered Solem as he hurried down the halls. Callum Solem, a man who had woken up this morning as the most powerful man in this part of the galaxy, mutely followed his master.

Kormaraq Mountains
Sandresha
The Free Federation



A violet beam flashed three times in a second as the beam cannon tore through shields and armour. Sandren Hest slid down, a smoking hole where his chest used to be. "Rape this!" Senior Sergeant Callia Stann. Her helmet targeting interface had enemy bunker locked in. "Support sections, I need fire on this target now!"

Rock exploded around her beam cannons tore apart her cover. She tossed a seeker grenade and shuffled left. The Kormaraq Defence Complex was a lot tougher than intel had lead them to believe. Wasn't it always the way? Some other bastards got the cake walk and she was hip deep in shit.

Their was a blinding flash, muted by her helmet, and then thunder smote her like a hammer. The bunker higher up the mountain was gone. Kinetic kill hit, either a heavy rail gun or hyper rocket. That just left a shitload of enemy positions left. Time to abuse her seniority positions to keep her people alive.

She switched to a command channel request. "Sir, we need to hit them with the heavy iron or they are going to eat us alive."

"Hold the line," said Overcommander Lessha. "Help is on the way."

The Mosenti Plains
Sandresha
The Free Federation


Her armour pumped a cocktail of stimulants, Serox, and vampire blood into Celene Nightfire's veins. She was in the belly of a heavy shielded command tank, standing next to the commanders of the Reserve Group. They instinctively deferred to her, the Lord of Battle, despite her disability. She was only an advisor now, not a commander. Not with seizures happening with increasing regularity. She couldn't be relied upon. At least she had been able to help with the breach.

"North and Center are proceeding well," she said. "Kormaraq is a different story. We should commit all of our reinforcements there."

"Agreed and in process," said Battlecommander Kline.

"I'll be joining them," she said.

"No," hissed Shemassa.

"My value here is minimal. I have, however, been able to rest and recuperate since forcing the breech. I have a measurable amount of my command of The One Power back." And that was in part because of the nearly lethal dose of chemicals flooding her body. "The importance of this battle justifies the risk."

"If you die Incaradine will flay us alive," said Kline.

"If I die, the brother of my heart will weep for me," she said matter of factly. "Such is war." She exited the hatch. They did not try and stop her because they knew she was right. Winning this battle could mean the early end of the war. Her power was unreliable, but great enough to turn to the tide. It was worth the risk.

She leapt on a passing tank and seized a hand hold with the physical strength that had allowed her go hand to hand with Daemonstraum himself. She saw dark clouds gathering over Tehendrosh. Enough D-jammers had been knocked out for Zerakis and Zarana to lend their power to their chosen. And darker gods as well.

"Be well brother of my heart," she whispered. Her husband was long since gone and she had taken no lovers since her resurrection. The ache of his loss was too fresh. The Slaver Lords had killed her parents and maimed her brother. The White had killed him where he slept in the Vault of the Sleepers. Incaradine and his family was all she had left.

That wasn't quite true. She was a Lord of Darkhold and she was Free Federation. Her people needed her and she would not fail them. "May I die in harness," she repeated soflty. The mountains seemed to race toward her. "Loyalty beyond death." She began to gather The One Power. The time to fight and die was upon her.



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

Librium Arcana


Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2007-06-13 03:15pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-07 10:32pm
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Location: The Tower at Charm
Kormaraq Mountains
Sandresha
The Free Federation



Dead soldiers and burning vehicles lay scattered through the field. Disruptors and plasma charges had been enough to overwhelm the Kormaraq Complex's shields, but the ground defences had survived intact. Hundreds had already been killed despite the best in shields and armour. Some of them would be reviveable by necromancers. Many wouldn't.

High energy lasers scored the air as Grand Alliance troops tried to struggle forward. Chains of explosions ripped across the mountain face as heavy weapons tore up the rock as they attempted to dig out the White positions. Beams, slugs, and missiles struck back.

It would be easier to use heavy weapons, like say heavy plasma charges or battlefield nukes, to just smash Komaraq flat but they needed the facility relatively intact. To do that they had to force an entrance not turn the place into a pile of rubble. That the ground defences were at least twice as strong as anticipated was not helping.

Missiles and lasers flashed from the onrushing tanks as they joined the battle. Riding one was Celene Nightfire. She felt pressure growing in the back of her skull. "Not now," she whispered. Just a little while longer and she could fall, her mission accomplished. Just a little longer.

Celene leapt free of the one she was riding, her feet not quite touching the ground. She flew just behind the tank she had been riding on for cover. Power flowed toward her like the tide.

It was a fraction of what she could normally handle. She had slaughtered whole legions, engaged ships in orbit, and fought Daemonstraum himself hand to hand and spell to spell. It was, however, enough to change the tide.

Intense cobalt beams flashed from her hands and struck two enemy strong points. White hot rock was blasted away from the impact points as she bored through armour and mountain rock. She struck again and then again. A swarm of missiles flew towards her, but most were cut down by laser clusters. Two missiles exploded near her and plasma rolled over her. Earth and grass became ash and molten glass as it was blasted away. Celene drifted out of the crater. Her shields had been strained, but with her own power reinforcing her ward talismans her shields had held.

She raised her right hand. The pressure was like having her head in a hydraulic vice. Just another minute. Just one more minute. Images of her death flashed before her eyes. Crawling forward with shattered bones over flagstones that were cracking from the heat. A dozen rune marked shafts protruding from her body, her skin peeling away and her flesh failing. Crawling blindly forward to where her husband was, towards life. And failing.

She fell, the power flowing away from her grasp. Her body hit the scarred ground. A tank slewed to a stop, narrowly missing her. A hatch opened and a squat Kordassi tanker leaned out. She seized Celene's arm. "I have her!" she shouted.

A pillar of white light struck down from the sky, a few meters from the tank's position. Clouds of frost rolled away from the column as the light faded. A great tower of melded bone and orichalcum, three kilometers high, was visible for a moment and then the light faded and it was gone.

In its place stood a man, two meters tall, armoured in bone and black leather. Ancient talismans decorated his armour and a battered shadowcloak fluttered around his lean frame. Skulls looked out from the pools of darkness that were his eyes. A long scar marked the right side of his face.

For a moment the Kordassi tanker gaped at the apparition and then beams from two rapid fire laser cannons struck him. The air around him became intolerably bright for a moment as the lasers interacted with his shields. The glow began to fade and then an antitank laser and three rockets slammed into him. A cloud of fire rose into sky. Nearby tanks were battered and buffeted by the shockwave, two of them almost flipping over. Celene's eyes fluttered opened and then went wide. A single word escaped her lips. "Kail."



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-11 07:52pm
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Kormaraq Mountains
Sandresha
The Free Federation


"Kail!" Celene shouted. A shadow figure stepped out of the column of fire, shields shining around him. "Kail!" The ancient links between them, severed with her death, flared to life. The part of her that he had carried with him after her death slid back. In one brief, intense moment she was whole again.

She was Celene Nightfire, the woman who had fought Daemonstraum hand to hand and spell to spell. She was again the woman who had masterminded the strategy that had shattered the last of the Slaver Lord armies and burned their navies. She was again the woman that had unleashed fire and death upon whole legions. Weakness and infirmity was burned from her body as the last part of what she had been was returned to her.

She left go of the hand holding her and leapt from the tank. Her knees bent as she hit the ground. His shields extended, enfolding her within their protection. "Beloved," she whispered. The sounds of battle obscured her words, but they echoed through their links to him.

"How?" he asked and realized it did not matter. He had seen her die as he crawled through the fire with shattered legs to try and save her. The Slavers had murdered her and here she was. A clone wouldn't have her links. They were in the middle of a battle. Questions could be answered later.

She took his hand and targeting data flowed to him. He was Kail Deathwalker e'Zerakis, The Deathless One, The Scarred Lord, The Lord of No Mercy. He had all of his strength and was at the height of his power. She told him what needed to be done.

Brilliant beams of cobalt light flashed from his hands. Deafening explosions and white hot rock flew from their impact points as Kail hammered the mountainside with bolt after bolt. It took him less than a minute to shatter the Komaraq defences. Grand Alliance troops stormed forward as their comrades hammered what little survived with heavy weapons and suppressing fire.

Several squads were equipped with weapons far more deadly than standard issue. One of the them was the second to reach the shredded doors that lead into the mountain's heart. Seeker grenades and beam weapons were fired inside by the first squad as the second began its preparations.

"Banner Sergeant Kadrin," said Lieutenant Renn, "execute." The old veteran didn't need to be told once, let alone twice. The armoured case he carried on his back opened. Renn removed a smoky glass sphere twenty centimeters in diameter. Dark mist swirled inside.

"Careful with that," Isen said.

"Go teach your grandmother to suck eggs," said Kadrin. His gloves were laced with orichalcum circuitry that connected to crystalline power sinks, allowing him to pull off a number of sorcerous effects as long as the charge held out. "Not the first time I've done this." Power flowed. Tiny lightning flashed through the clouds. "Armed and directed."

"Get rid of it," said Renn. Kadrin tossed the the sphere inside where it shattered against the floor. The death wind howled as it sprung free of confinement. The death storm blew into the mountain, killing all in its path. "I hate those raping things," said Renn. "Give me nukes any day."

"Nukes don't leave intact facilities with readable corpses still inside," said Kadrin. "Readable corpses with all the right codes in their brains."

More units moved up to secure the entrance and unleash their own deadly cargoes. The deepest parts of the complex might be able to survive two or three death wind globes. The Grand Alliance troops unleashed seven.

"Beloved," she said softly, "we have done enough here. We are needed elsewhere.

"As you say," he said with a faint smile and a touch of wonder. "As you say."



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-12 03:03am
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Tehendrosh
Sandresha
The Free Federation


A single drop of blood dropped from Incaradine's left hand as black clouds gathered overhead. It hit the ground and hissed, smoke rising from it. Then there was another. And another. "Legate," Sandro Stormfist began, "it is beginning."

Incaradine opened his eyes. Silver light spilled out. "Yes," he said. There was enough access to the Between for the Powers to send aid to their champions. Incaradine had long ago paid the price demanded by the Slaughter God of the Zarkos Elvindar and billions had been saved. He looked up.

Gold eyes glowed briefly in the clouds, the sign of Zerakis. A woman in white came up behind him, a shadowcloak fluttering around you. "Incaradine," she began. Her voice was ragged, her toned clip. She hated him. He was everything about the Darkhold that she hated, a cruel man who took savage joy in wrecking death and destruction.

"Yes, its happening. I take it that Zerakis and Zarana have lent their might to their grandson."

"Yes."

"Thirty seconds from my mark until we strike. Mark." Thirty seconds until Incaradine and the only living grandchild of Zerakis and Zarana smashed into the Praetorian defences and tried to break them with enough power and fury. It had a good chance of working and even if it failed it would probably weaken them badly enough for the rest of the push to succeed with relatively light casualties.

If it failed, they were probably dead. There was a small chance that they could be extracted, but Incaradine wasn't going to put money on that. His wives would fight to save him with all the terrible fury they possessed, but it would probably be too late for that. Victory or death awaited.

Data poured down comm channels, from the general channel to the height of the command net. The torrent consisted of a series of images and one word. "Kail."

"Belay the advance!" Incaradine ordered. "Celene! Confirm!"

"It is true, brother of my heart. He has returned. We are coming. I am whole." Rain began to fall.

Ten thousand voices took up a chant. "KAIL! KAIL! THE GREAT LORD KAIL! KAIL! KAIL! THE GREAT LORD KAIL!"

"The Lord and the Lady! The Lord and the Lady!"

Lightning flashed from the gathered clouds and the golden eyes appeared again. An image appeared, a two kilometer high form that bestrode the city like a colossus. It was of Kail in his full glory. A voice boomed. "None can stand against the Deathwalker! None can stand against the fury of the heirs of Zerakis!"

"Rape it," Incaradine snarled. "If that doesn't demoralize them nothing will. Hit them!" He ran forward and his Twelve rushed to keep up with him.

The image faded, but the fear did not fade from the hearts of the defenders. Many of the Praetorians were brain burned into mindless loyalty to their master, but a few possessed free will as did the police and most of the Directorate troops. They knew that they were naked before the fury of gods, sorcerers, and ancient heroes returned from the grave.

The White had done its best to paint the Lords of Darkhold as villains instead of heroes, but in doing so they had not diminished their fearsome reputation. They were men and women who could reach beyond death and wrestle out of its embrace. Men and women who could slaughter whole legions. Legion killers.

Fear gripped hearts with fingers of ice as they saw the legendary signs of Zerakis's will manifesting. The human founders of the Free Federation were siding with the enemy. Figures out of legend were attacking them and dead heroes were returning to fight alongside the enemy. For some it was too much. They inched away into hiding as the rain became a torrent.

Then they struck, Incaradine and Nerath Shadowstorm, two sorcerers wielding borrowed power, their very flesh sizzling with the consequences of the abuse they were putting it through. The Praetorians had set up in rough semicircle around the Senate building, using the bunkers and blockhouses as strong points. The buildings were surrounded by rose gardens and covered in white plaster to make them seem less like a hostile fortress, an artistic endeavour that was modestly successful.

Stray beams and missiles flew past to blast apart the gardens or hit the shields protecting the actual Senate. The Praetorians returned fire, those that were still in position and fighting. Lightning flashed down from the sky and struck a figure somewhere in the Grand Alliance lines. Then another and then a chain of lighting arcing down towards him.

White hot bolts flashed from the Grand Alliance lines, turning bunkers into fireballs. Whirlwinds dropped down from the storm clouds and sent Praetorians flying. Guns slipped from nervously fingers as fear turned to terror and soldiers began to run.

Incaradine hit the Praetorian lines like a rabid wolverine. Power spilled out of open wounds, white streamers of energy that sliced or blasted through flesh while Incaradine slew with blades or searing beams from his eyes. Blood trickled down the Paingiver's chin, but he did not slow and he did not stop. He was Incaradine and he had faced a greater doom long ago and emerged victorious. He would not give in now.

Shadowstorm fought with him, wrapped in a corona of blazing power. He was a quiet and earnest man who would have been happier having never picked up a sword. He would never believe how close he was to his grandfather in spirit. Blood sprayed off his shining blade as he hacked and slew like a butcher in a mud pit. He spoke words of power and flesh burned. His shields faltered from the weight of enemy fire and he reinforced them before engulfing the enemy in a column of blue-white fire. Armour melted away, flesh turned to ash, and teeth exploded in the conflagration. Blood was all over his hands, some of it his own. He could not remember how it had gotten there.

All along the line the Grand Alliance hammered the Praetorians, paying for every meter taken in blood and fire. The Praetorians wavered under the onslaught and then, seemingly all at once, broke. Like a fire or a fever the rout spread as they fell back or ran. A few hold outs stayed and fought as others hustled towards the Senate building for one last stand or fled into the rest of the city.

"Forward!" Incaradine screamed over the command net and on the general channels. They had won the fight, but they could still lose the prize. He staggered and almost fell. Arms like steel cables held him up. "Forward! Take the Senate!" They had to take the Senate. They had to. If the Praetorians turned their weapons on their charges then billions more could die. They could even lose the war. Holding them was no guarantee of a victory, but by the uncaring gods it would help.

"Easy my husband," Dianna said as she held him.

"Go," he snarled. Bloody spittle dripped from his lips. "Go! Finish it!"

She nodded and dropped him in the mud, as much as it pained her. He would survive, their newborn victory might not. There was only one right move. She raised Night's Edge, once the sword of Zerakis and Kail and now hers. Cyan light clung to its adamantium edges. "Advance!" She shouted. "To victory!"



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-13 12:26am
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Location: The Tower at Charm
The Senate
Sandresha
The Free Federation


Gods and ancient heroes had descended to fight among mortal men, but it was common infantry sithi who took the Senate. The Praetorian center and left were crumbling, but it was the right wing that collapsed first. Sithi soldiers moved around to flank the remaining Praetorians while a detachment pushed forward towards the Senate.

Sharehless lead her squad up the hill and under the shield umbrella. The Senate building had been constructed in faux-Roman style complete with white paint and columns. It was, in Sharehless's less than humble opinion, ugly and only its stark simplicity saved it from being completely hideous. In her opinion, only sithi and Lios Elvindar architecture should be used for parliamentary buildings.

Fire lashed out from soldiers hiding behind the columns. Heavy weaponry was contraindicated, so her squad retaliated with seeker shells and shoulder carried beam cannons. Lasers seared the air and blew columns apart as the shielded sithi advanced. Brilliant flashes and loud booms marked the detonations of seeker grenades. Five columns were blasted apart by the blasts which also tore open a six meter wide whole in the outer wall.

A single Praetorian survived the beam volleys and the grenades. The beams cannons blew apart the wall around him. Three struck the Praetorian in the chest and blew his torso apart. A drone darted inside the door, relaying data back to the Sharehless's squad. It was clear. She motioned her troops forward and the entered the Senate.

Crystal light globes cast light over lacquered wood and intricately woven carpets. The floor vibrated under the impact of armoured feet. More soldiers were moving up to join them. "We want them alive," she reminded her people. Clicks of affirmation came from her squad.

Inside the building there wasn't much resistance. The attack had been timed to catch the Senate in session and most of them had remained in the hall. Some had attempted to flee, but most of them were dug out and taken into the Senate chamber either at gun point or by having their stunned bodies dragged in by annoyed soldiers.

The senators milled around the semicircular chamber under the watchful eyes of their guards. The seating was cut up into sections with replaceable seating so that the varying physiologies of the Senators could be accommodated. Fear, outrage, and resignation were recognizable on their faces. The soldiers of the Grand Alliance let them stew.

Dianna strode into the chamber, the light glinting off the silver streak in her black hair and the hilt of Night's Edge projecting over her shoulder. "Illustrious thieves and plunderers of the Free Federation," she cried out, "you must be somewhat dismayed at your present circumstances." Her smile was fierce and white. "I can't say that I feel the same."

"Get on with it, you corpse-whore!" a white haired senator snapped. "I have no stomach to listen to your gloating."

Red light limed her hand and she closed her fist. The man gasped and fell, twitching and moaning. The chamber fell silent. "He'll live," she said, "just nerve induction. Of course, he might not live much longer." It was an easy enough trick even with her current strength.

"I am Dianna Hellborn e'Incaradine e'Kail e'Zarana. I was saved from the hell of Slaver captivity by my lovers Incaradine and Lacana. The Slavers tried their best to make me a thing of horror and torment and they mostly succeeded. I am not a merciful or forgiving woman and it would please me greatly to share your agonized screams with my husband. You deserve no less.

"It is, however, the will of the Grand Alliance that the chance to buy mercy through service be extended to you. It is correctly believed that the lives of Free Federation citizens are more valuable than the excruciations that you so richly deserve. Those that cooperate may even buy a quiet retirement if they perform well enough. Those who do not," she shrugged. "There will be trials and the mind probe. Considering the available evidence, I can say with a certain degree of confidence that those who do not buy mercy can expect the pleasant parts of their lives to be over. Now, who here loves life?"



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-13 04:46pm
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Tehendrosh
Sandresha
The Free Federation


The aircar howled out of the garage at full speed. The vehicle stayed low, barely above head height, as it zoomed downed streets congested with panicked pedestrians and fleeing vehicles. "Can't this bitch move any faster?" Rhaven snarled at the Praetorian driver.

"I will try, my lord," the driver replied. Rhaven snarled and looked behind him at the Senate buildings that were receding in the distance. He had only been able to Solem with him, but hopefully that should be enough. It would be impossible to prevent the Black from making some use out of captured senators but with the titular head of government still under his control he should be able to avert the worse.

Escape by air car was impossible, of course. Grand Alliance drones had undoubtedly spotted him and elements of their military were undoubtedly moving to encircle the city and prevent any escapes. That didn't matter because the Grand Alliance's own actions were going to enable his escape.

What they had not considered in knocking out every D-scrambler they found was that the scramblers not only prevented the Powers from intervening, they also prevented Rhaven from escaping. He just had to make it far enough away to force open a passage and then drag his prize through to friendly territory. He had lost this battle, but he could still win the war.

He could feel the resistance of the D-scramblers. They weren't far enough yet. "Give us another three kilometers," he said to the driver. If they could just avoid being a targeting priority for just a little longer, he would be free.

The aircar raced towards the outskirts of the city. He could feel the influence of the D-scramblers lessen. "Just a little further," he ordered. He could probably force the breach here, but it would leave him too weak. He needed to get further.

The aircar sped past the last of the buildings and into the countryside. From both the north and the south Rhaven could see the elements of the Grand Alliance forces closing in. "Take us down," he ordered. They were likely to try and take prisoners. He could use that against them.

The car landed by the side of the road. Long fields of grass stretched on either sides of the clogged highway. Rhaven dragged Solem with him. They were more than far enough. He called upon all his power and a black gash appeared in space before him. He shielded both of them and stepped through the gushing clouds of icy missed and into the Between. The rift closed behind him.

Distant lights looked down from a perpetual twilight sky. Dark mist swirled and shifted over a bone white road that cut through a dark plain. Skeletal trees reached for the night sky. Rhaven took a moment to catch his breath. He had used great amounts of power to force the breach and that took more than a little out of him. Breathing heavily, he turned to study the sky and orientate himself, looking for the Blood Edge and the route that would take him into friendly space.

A howl rose from close behind him. He spun around to face it. Then another, off to the left. Then another behind him. The mist rolled away, revealing three wolves the size of ponies with fire in their eyes. He spun around to see a three meter tall lupine warrior walking towards him. He wore rune etched steel plate and carried a two meter long blade.

"It was anticipated that some would seek to flee," said Daemonwulf as he appeared from the mists. "Who better but me and mine to guard the way? You would be Rhodan, yes? And what a fine gift you have brought for us. What a considerate Slaver dog."

"There is only one piece of Slaver shit here and that would be you," said Rhaven. A corona of violet light crackled around him. The sword wielding wolf hurled toward him. Rhaven punched a violet bolt through his chest and blew most of his organs out through the back. A whip of power smashed away the wolf that was leaping at him from behind.

He had made an error. He had focused on the pack and not on the master. Daemonwulf was upon him and then his blade was piercing his chest and spine. Rhaven fell to his knees as wolf jaws closed on his arms, pinning them. Scarlet lightning flashed from Daemonwulf's hand, playing over Rhaven's body. Rhaven shuddered and screamed.

"That should do for a few moments," said Daemonwulf. "Not too many augmentations. Was that for stealth? Doesn't matter." He removed a collection of orichalcum needles and adamantine wire from his shadowcloak. He began to drive the needles into nerve junctions.

"I'm curious," said Daemonwulf, "why didn't you stand and fight. You've very powerful. You might have tipped the scales. Instead you ran. And you're a crappy fighter. How did you get that old and strong without learning better." Then it hit him.

"You're no Slaver. A Slaver would have fought, would have known how to fight. You're really old. You've been getting by on stealth and on brute strength. You don't fight, at least not anymore. Whose enemy are you? Nalhen's? Lamech's? Zerakis? Doesn't matter if you don't talk. Kane or Incaradine will tear it out of you soon enough."

Rhaven trembled in pain and impotent fury. "I am more than you can imagine. Did you every why Daemonstraum turned traitor? Why he murdered his legion and joined the Naomar Kordassi? Who he built the Slaver Empire for? Not for himself. He was my slave, just as you were. I made you. The high and mighty Slaver Lord Autocracy was nothing more than a weapon forged to do my will." He took on the Voice of Command. "You will obey your master."

"That piece of conditioning was removed long ago," said Daemonwulf. He hauled Rhaven up with one hand and ripped his blade out of the sorcerer's chest. He turned to Solem. "Come with us. Time to pay the piper."



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

Librium Arcana

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-18 09:00pm
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Tehendrosh
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"Legate," said Canza Sarduka as he approached Incaradine. The legate gently placed the body in his arms down with the others. Incaradine looked up, his face streaked with blood and soot. The blue glow of the preservation field made his skin seem corpse-like and ghastly.

"What?"

"Daemonwulf has captured Solem and a 'prize of great importance'. Legate Kane has assembled the media heads. They are in quote 'more than sufficiently compliant.'"

Incaradine rose. The slaughter-lust had faded with the end of the battle, leaving only rage and grief. His voice grated. "Five centuries of being under the thumb of the Senate does not encourage the development of a backbone. They did at least get well paid for their whoring. No, that's not fair. Prostitutes only sell their bodies, not their integrity."

"Yes, my lord." Sarduka was a veteran of the Fifth Legion and knew the warlord well enough to know Incaradine was still in one of his killing rages. Incaradine's legendary self-control made it quite difficult to detect until the legate erupted into a whirlwind of violence. It was an old saying in the Guard that the most frightening thing one could ever see was Incaradine's hands twitch. "You are wanted for the surrender ceremony."

"They must see the conquerors triumphant and know that we are still strong," said Incaradine. "I know. Where is Kail?"

"Finishing off Staff Headquarters." The military headquarters was about two kilometers of the Senate, but had been a much lower priority target. Unlike the senators it wasn't as important that they be captured alive.

"Status?"

"They've chosen to surrender. They don't appear to desire being on the receiving end of the Death Walker's wrath."

Incaradine nodded mutely and then passed through the guards surrounding the dead. In the days ahead, when their strength had returned, the necromancers would attempt to restore as many of them as possible. There was such a collection of power in this place that most of them would live again. Most, but not all.

Incaradine looked across the open square and across the swath of destruction that had been torn in Tehendrosh. Tens of thousands had been killed, wounded, or rendered homeless. Emergency services would be swamped in dealing with them. Even with assistance from the Grand Alliances forces, there was still much suffering ahead. And all of that was a pale shadow compared to what would happen if the war continued. Fold, he willed them. Fold and end this so we can begin rebuilding paradise.

His sensor net picked up Kail and Celene approaching from another street. He turned towards them. Long legged strides ate up the distance between them.

Kail clasped Incaradine's forearm and they then moved into a more intimate embrace. "How many did you lose?" Kail asked softly.

"Three," Incaradine as he broke the embrace. "Two can be healed. The third, Elezana, . . . maybe."

"I am sorry."

"I know. My heart soars to see you again." He turned to Celene. "And to see you whole again, sister of my heart." She half smiled in return.

"Too many gifts are mixed with ash," said Kail. "Shall we see what the Wulf has caught?"

"Probably a Slaver Lord. Kane has long suspected that deliberate manipulations were involved in creating the crisis."

"Perhaps," said Kail. "Perhaps not. The Slavers are the enemy we are familiar with, the ones we are comfortable with. The ones we expect to see. The ones we know how to deal with."

"True," said Incaradine, "but Kane is not prone to that particular form of selective blindness. He suspects deliberate manipulations and suggests Slavers. Others are possible."

"We'll know soon enough."

-------------------------------------------------------

Kane Kinslayer, legate and once head of Internal Security, left the room full of terrified media execs and addressed the guards outside. "Do not let them leave. Monitor all communications. There is a less than three percent likelihood that they will deviate from instruction."

"Your will legate," said the Internal Security shock trooper as he saluted, fist to heart. Kane returned it, thumping his artificial right hand against his breastplate. The necromancer walked down the corridor, towards the bank of elevators and passed a line of shattered windows. The Mennai Broadcast Center had suffered only moderate damage during the attack and was still fully functional. A sorcerer could send transmissions to any part of the Free Federation from this building.

The Senate had insisted that the headquarters of all major media organizations be in easy reach, a fact the Grand Alliance would now use to its advantage. Kane stepped out of the window and descended to the street below. "Daemonwulf," he said.

Daemonwulf had Rhaven's bound body slung over his shoulders. "Kane, just the man I'm looking for. I have something for you." He tossed Rhaven at Kane's feet.

A ruby beam shot from the gem studded prosthesis that Kane wore instead of his left eye. The beam enveloped Rhaven's body. "Inhibitor spikes and binding wire. Skeletal alteration to conform to Free Federation human normal bone structure. Minor genetic alterations. Extensive sorcerous augmentation, primarily life extension. Conclusion: subject is a Terran-normal human sorcerer with alterations and augmentations to pass as a Free Federation native. Subject is likely to be Terrani and extremely old."

"He was strong, but his fighting skills were lacking. No tattoo on the back."

"Supports hypothesis that subject is a Terrani and not a Slaver Lord."

Rhaven looked up and gazed into Kane's scared face. "When the demon ripped out your eye, know that that was my work. When it bit off your hand, that was my work. When it killed your lover, that was my work." His voice rose hysterically. "When you brother brought it into this plane, that was my work! WHEN HE GAVE HIMSELF TO DAEMONSTRAUM AND PLOTTED YOUR MURDER THAT WAS MY WORK!" He started laughing. "I burned your life to ash without even trying!"

Daemonwulf stomped on his left elbow, shattering it and grinding the bone to fragments. "Oh yeah, he claims to be responsible for the existence of the Slaver Lords."

"Mind alteration would explain Daemonstraum's betrayal and defection to the Naomar Kordassi," said Kane. "It is one of the more likely theories." The beam projecting from his eye narrowed until it only encompassed Rhaven's skull. "Confirmation shall be obtained."



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

Librium Arcana

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-21 02:07am
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The White House
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Terra
United States of America



"This is the latest?" asked William Chen as the report was placed on the desk in front of him.

"Yes sir," said General Phillips. He was a stocky, grey haired man with no neck. "The White Winds has publicly sided with the Black. It's the most important defection to date."

The President eyed the members of his cabinet, intelligence services, and military assembled around the long table. "This seems to continue the trend."

"Yes sir," said Phillips. "The public signing of the surrender by the Senate and the decapitation of virtually every branch of government service was bad enough, but the reemergence of Kail or a reasonable facsimile along with a Slaver mastermind of some sort to parade around has only helped them. Defections and popular uprisings in support of the Black are continuing and the White loyalists are having difficulty setting up a new chain of command and support systems. Almost all media and propaganda traffic is pro-Black or Black controlled. With the White Winds joining the Black, the chances of successfully prosecuting a ground campaign against the Black is very low and the White navy is torn.

"My best guess, Mister President, is that the lifespan of White senior officers who are hold outs is going to become very short and the Black will continue with their broad amnesty programs. They are the only order in a sea of chaos and they're getting stronger while everything else is weaker. Our fleet hasn't fired a shot, but is helping to keep the pressure up. The White Feet has been decapitated and has lost some of its best fleet officers while the Black has new technology and living legends in command. It's only a matter of time, Mister President."

"Then the question becomes," said President Chen, "how good are the promises they have made to us?"

A senior CIA analyst adjusted his glasses, a sign of personal idiosyncrasy in an age of cybernetic replacement and biological engineering. "There are two strong indicators that they will keep to the spirit and letter of their bargains. One is historical precedent. They always have, especially to an ally that aids them. The second indicator is capacity. They are going to have to govern their new territories and Mister President, they aren't that big of a snake and that's a damn big goat. They are going to be sleeping that off for a long time."

William Chen smiled. "I see what you mean. Still, there is some truth to the old saying that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Let's see if we can grab some territories in the prohibited zones now while everyone is busy with weightier matters. The Grand Alliance made promises that I believe they intend to keep, but lets present them with a fait accompli."

There were nods across the table. "Any more to say on this gentlemen?" Silence answered his words. "Very good. I'll want proposals on the best way to approach the . . ." he paused, "new territories issue. Cover government and private sector involvement. I want something workable as soon as possible. That's all."

There were nods of agreement and then people rose from their chairs and began to leave the room. The war was seemingly over, the decisive battles already fought and won with the victory taking charge of the spoils. Life, however, went on and so did the business of nations. A new phase was beginning for both the nations of the Grand Alliance and the ones born on Terra. The men in this room, like those in similar rooms elsewhere, intended to take advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves. Only time would tell if they were successful.



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2007-06-21 04:25pm
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Sandresha
The Free Federation


Arms that could bend steel grabbed Kail from behind. "What are you thinking about?" Celene whispered in her husband's ear.

He smiled. "The future," he replied, gazing out of the observation dome and into the void. "We've all but won and everyone knows it. The surrenders and defections are coming faster now."

"Yes," she said. "Victory with only a fraction of the blood spilled that it have taken. But the state is scarred. It will take time before the Free Federation is what is once was."

"It won't ever be the same," said Kail, "and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Meanwhile the Terrani grab every planet they can. We are entering a new phase of history. Rhaven Hellborn is screaming his last under Incaradine's blades."

"He deserves worse," she said. "Too bad we can only really kill him once. He should have stayed dead on ancient Terra. Zerakis ran him through and dropped a castle on him."

"But he lived and followed us here, hiding. He made a good man into Daemonstraum and Daemonstraum joined the Naomar Kordassi and eventually the order he founded became the Naomar's masters. We were born in the hell that Rhaven helped unleash on galaxy. And then when that didn't work he gnawed at the roots of the state until he found another way to bring us down. I thought we knew hatred, but we are amateurs compared to Rhaven."

"We have things like love and friendship," said Celene. "Even when we hate, there are other things. With Rhaven there were no limits and no restraint."

"Yes," said Kail. "Even for me, during the dark times, it was different. And now the Free Federation will be reborn again and we will face a future with these young, hungry Terran nations clamoring for space and territories. A challenge that is best faced without using the sword. For once."

"Indeed," she said with a smile and kissed his neck. "Already these Terrani colonies are different from the nations of their birth. The ties are fading. Give them another century or two and they will begin to slip the leash, wishing to join the Grand Alliance as either independents or as members of another power."

"You think so?"

"Things could change my husband, but the colonies are governed too much like colonies. They are different from their mother countries and need them less with every passing year. The Terrani are not adapting well to these changes. Their politicians do not see them. When they do it may be too late for their budding empires."

"We shall see," said Kail. "After all, we have time."



The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

Librium Arcana


Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2007-06-22 03:09am, edited 1 time in total.
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