Kevmet rests his head down on his right hand, as he begins to think to himself. He snaps his left hand's fingers and a few more cards appear in the air just above his hand. They all have the same exact markings as his Jack of Spades, but they are smaller to star off with. He takes one of them and begins to stretch one of the cards to full size. "Perfect," he says to himself.
He notices a fair sized space rock hurtling towards him. He smirks and raises his arms outwards and he guides the rock closer to him. He stops the rock just beside the one he's standing on. His lonesome isle becomes a little bigger-- about 2 times bigger than it once was.
3 PP: Create Greater Artifact (Deck of Cards): Kevmet adds 4 more cards just like the Jack of Spades to his arsenal of artifacts he's now able to use. He can now use all five cards for many purposes-- besides throwing it at random things. He can use all five cards as a close range weapon (a chain of cards that acts like a whip or mace) and he can strengthen his defenses much better. The only downside is that he can only throw one card away from him at a time. The Deck of Cards artifact provides Guide PP. (As a side note, Kevmet can join the Jack of Spades with the Deck of Cards at will; he will lose the +1 combat modifier for as long as the Jack of Spades is used in this fashion specifically) 2 PP: Mold Land (Moderate): The Lone Isle has been expanded about 2x its original size. Current PP- 0
The swamps were a peaceful place for the most part, with only the occasional loud crash when a particularly large or heavy piece of junk fell from the Junk Falls. Blattaria and some of the Manyu scurried/muddled their way across the piles of junk, the Blattaria looking for inanimate trinkets, the Manyu looking for and digesting any organic wastes that had come along for the ride. It was a perfectly lovely relationship that resulted in the near total recovery of the falling junk. The work fell into a repetitive rhythm, and the Blattaria and Manyu found themselves able to tune out the outside world and feel the satisfaction of hard work.
And so it came as a shock when the black ships appeared overhead, surrounding the Junk Falls. Ships too numerous to count filled the sky in an ordered fashion, screaming in through the atmosphere with technology that those below couldn't even begin to fathom. The Blattaria and Manyu scattered into the swamps as the ships began settling lower and lower...
~The Cult of the Eye, various locations~
Across the great civilizations of Verda, Kahnda and the Isles, hooded and cloaked figures took to the streets, cloaks emblazoned with a red eye.
"The darkness moves inwards from the night! Only those who are the strongest have any hope of survival. Do your duty, protect your own people, for the rest of the universe is lost!"
To those who attempted to contradict or demand more explanations, the robed figures would hold forward a hand, palm facing towards their questioner. The sight of the blinking eye embedded in their palms tended to make most of those questions disappear for some reason.
~Cult of the Eye Warrens, Underneath Casaka~
Ravnos looked out over the gathered priests and missionaries of the Cult.
"And now we move on to the next phase..." he hissed, turning his gaze upwards at the great mechanical engine that hung overhead. He turned to a switch on the wall and pulled it, bathing the area with converted energies from the Lens high above. Those gathered here felt stronger and more invigorated as the energy flowed through them.
1 PP: Guide Populace (Webweaver): Vok'Dar ships move to Lor'quhan 1 PP: Guide Populace: Troll ships move to Lor'quhan 1 PP: Guide Populace: Illithid ships move to Lor'quhan 1 PP: Guide Populace: Death Dragon ships move to Lor'quhan (am I missing anyone?) 2 PP: Create Template: Eye-touched. Abberant Group Template created for higher-up members of the Cult of the Eye favored by Ravnos 1 PP: Nourish Populace (Lens of Casaka): The Cult of the Eye grows stronger. 0.4/9 PP, 0/2 PP
"It's getting quite boring here... let's up the ante." Kevmet folds out his Deck of Cards and begins swirling them around him in a orderly fashion. Several bursts of light flows out from the cards and begin to flow right through the doorway into the Never-ending Hall. The balls of light soon become strange humanoid figures-- tall and slender with black, featureless heads, and bodies covered with clothing of the sort. The figures have no hands-- instead, they only have black voids within their arms. 'Jokers,' as Kevmet politely refers to them as.
He gives them a second look and produces a set of dice and cards for them to use. The voids in their arms now become stuffed with the dice and cards that they seem to have some affiliation with fingers. The Jokers have no complete control over their given limbs, so Kevmet uses his Deck of Cards to reassure them of how to use these items effectively. In return, the Jokers can now use these items as limbs and as minor weapons of the sort.
Kevmet examines the rock surrounding the doorway to his domain. He flicks his wrist and small plant life seem to bloom from the ground before him. The plant life is small, but proves to be more worthwhile during his construction of the new home. For now, he shall keep it the way it is until he can figure out what to do.
3 PP: Shape Moderate Populace (Jokers)- As strange as they may be, these figures possess some strange abilities that Kevmet provides for them. They are tall and slender and have black, featureless heads. They have black voids for hands, and seem to have the strangest array of clothing. 1 PP: Create Lesser Artifact (Cards + Dice)- Used for the Jokers, these artifacts pose as the Joker's way of handling various things as well as being used as weapons. Less intelligent than any of Kevmet's artifacts, they still retain their duty around him and his handless cohorts. 0+ 1 PP: Guide Populace (From Deck of Cards Artifact)- Kevmet trains the Jokers how to use their new peripherals in a fluent and defensive manner. 1 PP: Nourish land: Minor plant life, such as grass, small flowers, bush balls, and saplings grow on the Lone Isles. Current PP: 1
The Horde overran the pitiful defenses of the defenders of this world with ease, washing over them like an avalanche, the Morinsfra and Vok hordes leading the way, followed up by the Illithids and Vok'Dar overlords, who chose choice mortals for their own purposes. The first to fall had been the Blattaria, who had been slightly too busy trying to salvage useless rubbish from a most curious geological feature to even notice the approaching armies, much less mount any sort of coordinated defense. The few that had stood to fight had been cut down mercilessly, a score more had been captured, and the rest had been driven off into the swamplands, where reports were that many had taken to burrowing beneath the mud to hide from the invaders, which ended up being a surprisingly effective trick. If the World Eaters had been here, they would have been found quickly, but as it was, the Horde was forced to allow them to live.
Some among the Vok'Dar overlords that had accompanied Webweaver on the great March were dubious that such a race could serve any purpose in their collective, but the god-Vok reminded them of the rules that their people had passed down since the earliest times when the first glimmers of intelligence, not granted by any God but wrested from the universe through sheer force of will and tenacity, had burst upon the minds of the then-dumb Vok. All were to be incorporated, and the nature of the Vok would sort out the rest. And so it was that two score of the Blattaria were faced by two score of the Vok, who tore the beings limb from limb, devowering them completely before begginning the transformations that would incorporate portions of the anatomy and phisiology of the Blattaria into themselves. Antenna on some, segmented carapaces on others, the addled minds of the Blattaria in yet others, soon the Vok rejoined the throngs milling beyond the edges of the light.
The next were the mighty Leviathans, who dove deep under the surface of the poisoned planet to avoid the invaders as their ships came to hover over the oceans. It was this quick thinking that saved the majority of their race, although some were captured and subverted.
~Lor'Quhan, Taskati Main City~
"This will not do. I do not feel we can win. Without Assimilation, do we know sin?"
These Manyu, as they called themselves, were proving very, very difficult to subvert. The ways of the Vok were clear. One had to eat the entire organism in order to gain portions of its power, yet these Manyu were proving very, very difficult to ingest, seeing that, as far as Webweaver could see, they were not one organism, but many... and yet one. Eating all of the rings produced a very unpleasant reaction within the Vok who was told to eat the captive Manyu, typically involving death by rampant mutation or, in one case, division of the Vok into several component clumps. However, only eating one ring seemed to have no effects at all, the same as if the Vok had eaten a plant or a shrub.
Webweaver paced over to the next captive, leaning down to stare at what he now knew were the things 'eyes' on the third ring from the top.
"Give it up, you cannot hope to win. How many rings do we eat to let us in?" The Vok'Dar hissed.
The Manyu stared back before blurbbling out from its second ring.
"We do not see the point of answering them's questions. We do not know the answer. Why are they here?"
With a cry of rage, Webweaver swept a clawed hand across the Manyu, leaving the deflating being wheezing in pain as the Vok'Dar turned to look at the other hundred captives lined up for experimentation. Not far off, he could see the Illithid leadership muttering to one another, arms folded beneath their tentacled faces as they cast angry glances at the rings. Webweaver knew that they too had had less than ideal results... not only were the Manyu made of up many rings, they seemed to be made of many minds as well, a quality which was proving very difficult to control. Feeling his gaze, one of the Illithids looked up and nodded. Webweaver turned to the Morinsfra captain.
"Kill them." He whispered.
The captain smiled viciously and gave a gesture to his men. As one they brought their blades down across the Manyu, leaving them to die from their wounds as they set off into the swamplands to hunt down as many of the rest of the Manyu race as they could... if the Vok'Dar and Illithids had no use for them... then they were only good for one thing, as far as the horde was concerned... they were good as prey.
~Lor'Quhan~ The devastation of Lor'quhan complete, the Vok'Dar Hordes, led by Webweaver, set off for a glimmering green orb in the distance... one that was known as Verda. Several ships remained behind on Lor'quan, however... finishing the task that the Horde had begun.
~IoW, Edge of Quori Lands~ With a eruption of earth, a black pit appeared not far from where the Titans had entered the Mist-lands. A cyclops and a Beholder cautiously emerged, bodies covered in dirt and slick from exertion, but great smiles on their faces. They had made it... they had found a way beyond the Quori lands to new resources for their rebellion. The Cyclops turned and whistled, and dozens of Eye-Kin emerged from the tunnel, fanning out into the surrounding areas and starting to gather resources.
1 PP: Nourish Populace: Blattaria-forms emerge in the Vok'Dar horde 1 PP: Denourish Populace: Blattaria are forced away from the Junk Falls and into the swamplands 1 PP: Nourish Populace: Leviathan-forms emerge in the Vok'Dar horde 1 PP: Denourish Populace: Leviathans are driven deep into the oceans by the Horde. 2 PP: Denourish Populace: Frustrated that their efforts to incorporate the Manyu seem to have failed, the Horde decimates the Taskati people, driving them to the edge of extinction. 1 PP (from Webweaver): Guide Populace: Vok'Dar hordes head to Verda. 2 PP: Mold Land (moderate): Eye-Kin resistance manages to complete a tunnel system leading from the Eye-Kin mountains to past the edges of the Quori-ruled lands. 2 PP: Nourish Populace: With a conduit to the outside world, the Eye-Kin are able to flourish, increasing their activities both within the fog and without.
Verda Once again, Verda was burning. As Demons, Devlis, and all manner of Revenants, Judicants, and Malevolants scoured the planet of life.
The Gigotaur kingdom, long left isolated by the rivers that had protected it from Bel's Hungering Flame, was no barrier, and the demonic and vengeful hordes paid no heed to the Gigotaurs "Most refine-ed and justeth systeme of honour", slaughtering all in their path. Ironic it was, that the gigotaurs were finally able to unite against a common foe -- only to be mercilessly cut down in spite of their unity.
The orcs and unbound ones were likewise woefully unprepared for the wave of vengeance that swept the face of the earth. Former Orcs, now risen as Taintblood Malevolants, lead the assault against their former nations. The orcs were actually driven away from the tree of corrption, the artifact itself being excised by the demons and carried away as a trophy. The unbound ones fared noticeably better, their innate "elsewhereness" making them elusive foes. But the Harbinger's armies were not concerned with the few individuals that avoided detection. Their homes were burned, and then the army pressed on.
The first real defense for Verda was mounted at the Grotto -- some Deva had frantically rushed to the city to inform the inhabitants of the impending assault (less they find themselves Rakshasas), several bloody hours of battle left the two groups at an impasse -- the grotto had weakened, but the Harbinger's forces were as strong as ever -- every primal spirit that fell rose as a revenant; every demon that fell became a vindicant; and every mortal arose again as a Malevolant, the hatred and drive that allowed their revival twisted against their former goals.
The sun set on Verda, but the planet was not dark -- for Verda yet burned.
The forces of the Vok had made a grave error in assuming Lor'quhan beaten. They had not even touched the Blighted Spirits, despite their grand proclamations of doom to Twist and the one they could only remember as "boomo!". The Yuan-ti were likewise left alone, though the snakefolk took offense to the whole affair: there was killing, maiming, backstabbing, and annihilation going on? And they weren't part of it?! Of all unjust..
The leviathans too had only been mildly rebuked -- afterall, Lohak's return had brought about great change for their dying race -- with the unadulterated power of renewal, each Leviathan that was consumed by the horde of Vok rose again the next day at dawn. Deep beneath the oceans, where no vok cared to go, the Leviathans carved great orbs out of basalt and ammortized pearl. These "Soul Beacons" channeled the Book of Renewal's power directly -- any mortal who attuned with the artifacts (an arcane, and somewhat random process that took many hours) would revive at the beacon, within a day of their unnatural death.
Though they were loathe to do so, the Leviathans grudgingly allowed their necessary allies to attune to the artifacts as well (They were admittedly, curious to see what effects such magic would have on Yuan-ti society - those they backstabbed would, for once, be able to return the backstabbing ad infinitum)
Their first assault freed many of the Taskarti from the Vok's sci-labs and mutification facilities. The Vok were taken completely by surprise -- in fact, some of the Leviathan forms that remained were astonished to see the very beings they had felled to fuel their mutations, had returned to exact their vengeance.
The Yuan-ti had created a new poison specifically to combat their dark invaders, saturating the area, killing Ithillid, Vok, Death Dragon, and the rest of the vok hordes, and it was proving startlingly effective.
Though their first fight was unmistakably decisive, it was only the first in a long series of skirmishes to come.
PP Expenditure -1 guide populace (Volumbra Aegis pours through the Whispergates to invade Verda) -1 guide populace (Demons and Devils also pour through to invade Verda) -3 denourish populace (Gigotaurs, Orcs, and Unbound ones are driven from their ancestral lands. Some flee towards the Grotto, others flee into the wilds, or into the Eladrin/Drow nation) -3 Create Artifact (Greater) -- The Soul Beacons of the Leviathans, +1PP to denourish attuned races. (Currently, Leviathans, Manyu, Blight Spirits, and Yuan-ti) -1 denourish populace - Vok hordes are taken by surprise as the Leviathans direct a sudden resistance to their forces. -1 nourish populace - Manyu are rescued by the Yuan-ti. 10/20 + 2/2
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one.
Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I'm gonna give you six of that PP that Aboleth gave me.
~Verda, Over the Grotto~
With a loud crack, the Black Ships of the Vok Horde broke through the atmosphere, hulls glowing bright red as they slowed down, converging on the largest region of civilization: The Grotto. To their surprise, they saw that their work was already being done for them by some form of army, full of misshapen forms and undead, which were wholly abhorrent to the Vok as they were unassimilatable.
As the ships closed in on the surface, small doors opened all along their lengths and from their sides dozens of death dragons jumped off, carrying Vok and Morinsfra shock troops. Within moments, battle was joined between the devils and the Vok. Morinsfra and Revenants went toe-to-toe while the Vok hunters attempted to pluck smaller demons from the armies and consume them. Already across the battlefield, the muscle-bound arms of the greater demons were beginning to make appearances in the Vok armies, returning punishing blows to the very devils that the features were being borrowed from.
When the great black ships finally landed, the remainder of the horde poured out from the ships, led by Webweaver, who shone with a malevolent darkness. Wherever the Vok'Dar and his elite bodyguards went, the devils were forced to fall back. In the far distance, on the other side of the ring of the Grotto's defenses, Webweaver was getting reports of a powerful foe that none of his army could stand against. Signaling to his guards, he began making his way clockwise around the battlefield... he would find his strongest foe and kill him. That was the Vok'Dar way.
2 PP: Nourish Populace: Devil-forms join the Collective 3 PP: Denourish Populace: 1 each for Demons, Devils and Volumbra
The Siege of the grotto had begun in earnest several hours ago when the black ships erupted from the void and the skies (like the forests below) began to burn.
The forces of Vengeance were taken by surprise, and lost much ground in the first few minutes, nearly pushed back against their very own fortifications. But then, lead by the exarchs Karii and Fulrit, the tides began to shift back into an uneasy equilibrium.
The marilith, Karii, was a whirling dervish of steel and hewn limbs, cackling madly as blood, ichor, and worse stained her scaled skin. She dove into entire regiments of mosinfra and vok, her massive size allowing her to slay dozens with a single swipe of one of her many swords.
Fulrit too was a fearsome sight, though his power was more subtle, and less overbearing. Any who found themselves fighting the wolf could only gape in horror -- their strikes often hit true, but caused no injury to the wolf, their blows reflecting back onto their own bodies instead. As Fulrit howled his dirge of death, all he had to do was walk towards the enemy -- it was a long time indeed before word of the demi-god's "trick" spread, and the Vok hordes would rather retreat than face him.
Fulrit finally ended his spell as a massive Vok, towering above all others finally approached him, his forces scattering out behind him to form a small ring. Several scores of malevolants, firstborn of their dark god, mirrored the action, leaving Fulrit and the Vok encircled, but otherwise alone.
Ah, finally, a worthy challenge... This will be fun, I think.
The wolf crouched, bearing its fangs.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one.
Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
Well, now this was a surprise, Webweaver thought to itself as it came upon Fulrit and Karii. No wonder his foes had rallied here... the power coming off of this being rivaled his own. A circle was forming around himself and the Wolf... the devils too afraid to come near him, and his own horde afraid to approach the foe.
But Webweaver felt no fear, merely calm. What was the point in being afraid? Fear, Love, any emotion. What was the point? Plans were best executed without any feeling at all. And he planned to evicerate this being and absorb its power, growing even more powerful... perhaps even becoming a God.
Webweaver smiled back at the Exarch, white teeth glinting in the pitch black face as his four extra arms swiveled out from his carapace, claws sharp and gleaming, each capped with razor-sharp metal.
"Oh what is this, my dears, my dears. Oh what could you be, my dears..." the Vok'Dar hissed, swaying side to side on his four legs in a hypnotic pattern.
"Come to my web, my dears, my dears. Come to my web. And Perish."