The Resurgence (Pantera)
(OOC: I know alot of you are anxious to jump on board with me and Pantera, but this is just for us.....for now.)
Damien sat in ULE City, long abandoned. It's halls still silent, filled with the cobwebs and dust of ages. It's halls still echo with the vigor that once ran through it. The lights flicker, and the sound of nothing is the only thing heard.
Damien walks to the Presidential Office and opens the door. Inside, a desk, a large chair, a few cabinets, and some shelves filled with dusty and yellowing books. He looked around and nodded his head, for he had made up his mind. This would be the site of his new throne room, where he would rule the Empire with his first of iron. He ordered the decorators in, and throughout the night, the ULE City Presidential Hall would be transformed.
Large painting from the medieval ages were brought in, depicting torture, plague, death, war, and torment. Gargoyles lines the upper walls, and statues of the Corpse God, along with other AMF Gods and warriors lined the corridors.
In the throne room, Damien watched as his throne of red obsidian was erected atop a pile of skulls fused with marble. The windows were tinted, so that when the moon rose, the room glowed with an eerie crimson color. The floors were redone, and polished obsidian covered the one highly traveld on tile floors. As the cusions were mounted on his throne, Damien sat. He felt rejuvenated by the power of the obsidian, and he watched as his oak tables, desk, and cabinets were put into place. The once bright halls now had an ugly, demonic, and haunting aura to it. The downstairs rooms were being transformed into interrogation rooms, where the most vile of offenders would go to lose their minds.
Sitting on his throne, perched atop a pile of skulls, Damien called to his messenger to send a transmission to Lord Bastien.
Tell him, I will be with him soon. For the first time, a Sentinel shall set foot on the lands of Pantera. And tell him, I bring gifts, and a promise. A promise that through this meeting, the very foundations of the Earth would never be the same.
The messenger scurried off to the broadcasting room.
Bastien watched as his hounds tore into the prisoner. The man's piteous cries could be heard across the Seastone Palace, his wails anguished and terrible. The furry black warhounds savaged tore at the poor wretch, mericless, though they have care not to kill the man beforetime.
Bastien had enjoyed the prisoners torture for long enough, however, and quickly put him do death. Of Tilsitsin was the man, but he still had the courage to spit at Bastien before the longsword he carried thrust through the mans ribs.
Shaking his head Bastien wiped the blade clean on the mans shirtfront and turned, making his way from the dank dungeons and up into the sunlight. Since news of Dreadfires imminent arrival had reached Toke, the city had been afire. Feasts planned, wenches... With the aftermath of War being taken care of, and another conlict looking to the south of Pantera, in New Genoa, Bastien was pleased with Dreadfire's visit, and prayed it would go well. The smallfolk surely needed reassurance...
In the Grand Hall two great thrones have been placed, one a great hunk of burnished iron, fashioned into the likeness of a cresting wave, the other black marble and carved with hundreds of intricate figures. The marble shone in the firelight, the shadows dancing through the grooves of the carvings seeming to give life to the nude women and fully-armored warriors, the longships and the seabirds that had been carefully an intricately carved.
Calling to a servant, Bastien grunted,You there. To the cellars with you, eh? I want a crate of my finest brandy brought up, now."
The man bowed, hurrying away as Bastien headed for the Great Vault, set behind the dais and thrones and almost hidden by a fantastic tapestry depicting a burning village, longships sweeping across the bay in the distance.
Pulling a key from beneath his shirt, he thrust open the door and stepped into the musty old room. Not opened since Dayne was wed, almost two year ago, dust coated many of the treasures and crates stacked throughout the room.
He thought Dreadfire would be pleased with his gift, and should his Lady come, Bastien had a gift for her as well, though it wasn't foun in the musty cellar.
Locating what he came for, Bastien finally moved and instructed his servants to remove the item and prepare it for Dreadfire's arrival.
Sighing, he went to visit his toddler son who frolicked happily in the shallow hotsprings beneath the great dome of the Glass Gardens. His wife, Queen Reaver Aquila Windwail sat nearby, smiling at the ferocious little boy as he leapt from a high rock into the pool of steaming water.
Bastien's own smile was bright as he moved and sat alongside her, speaking softly of Dreadfires impending visit, and the respnsibilities entailed. Aquila only smiled, her brilliant green eyes flashing as she waved away her husbands concerns, saying only,"Calm yourself, Bastien. Dreadfire doesn't care about your brandy or your horses. He'll speak of Wars and Glory to come, love..."
Bastien smiled once more, wrapping his great arms around his wife's slender midsection and nipping lightly at her neck with his teeth. She was right, of course,"Yes, Wars and Glory to come, My lady..."
Damien moved from room to room, gathering his clothes, his papers, his "other" papers, and his gifts that he would present to the Lord Reaver. Damien regretted that Xel could not go with him, for she was aboard a Steel Buterfly ship, trying to mend old wounds of the past.
Making his way towards the AMFS Cataclysm, AMF's largest battleships, Damien and his close staff boarded. One lumbering step after another, Damien made his way onto the vessel, and walked towards the forward deck. Soon, he would be in Pantera, land of Blood and Fire, land where fools went to meet their demise.
Damien looked out at the vastness of the ocean, and he felt a bit nervous. This would be his first time in Pantera, and first time in a foreign land, save for returning to ancient AMF soil. He looked at the motionless waves, and the rising sun cast its colors about the silent tides.
The Cataclysm set sail for the Free Land of Pantera at 9 am, and Damien retired to his private quarters until the ship arrived.
As the Cataclysm neared Panteran shores, Damien looked through his window, staring at the gentle tides as they sway from side to side. The noon sun was bright, and reflected off of the waters below.
Sir, Pantera is just on the horizon
Damien looked up at the intercom on the wall. He pushed the black button on his desk, and replied.
Good. Tell the servents to make ready.
Damien rose from his chair, and moved towards the exit. Opening the door, he stepped into the hallway, the red carpet leading towards the stairs, which lead to the deck above. Damien climbed the stairs, and stepped out onto the deck. He felt the heat of the sun on his bald head as he moved towards the bow of the Cataclysm.
Pantera was becoming more visable, and he stood at the very nose of the ship, obviously anxious to meet the Lord Reaver in person. He then turned, and began walking about the decks. His mind was not so much on the metting with Bastien, but on his lover Xel, high in the heavens, negotiating with an age old enemy of the Empire.
He would have to cast aside his thoughts for his mate, because his mind needed to be focused on Pantera, and nothing else. The smell of death and fire swept across the deck, and Damien knew exactly what it was. It was the charred remnants of the Tilsitsinian forces, smoldering, festering, and rotting on the beached, in the water, and elsewhere. Damien inhaled, taking in the smells of war. He hld his breath, and soaked up it's unholy aura. He exhaled deeply, as the Cataclysm neared port.
Standing silently along the ancient stone piers stand rigid rows of thousands of Reavers, all dressed immaculately in ceremonial shining silver chain and platemail. All is quiet for the moment, save for the lap of the waves against pier and hull.
Far in the distance are the great cliffs of Toke, towering some three-thousand feet above the waters. Perched there is the Seastone Palace, it's soaring towers and walls grown thick with lichen. To the south stand the foothills of the Range of Rage and the great gate known as the Gade of the Gods, leading into Pantera impenetrable heartland stronghold, the Vale. Great grey clouds hung low over mountain and valley, the bright sunshine above strangely at odds with the gloomy cloud cover of the southern mountains.
As the great ship slid into port and secured itself, the Lord Reaver emerges from the midst of the crowd. Encased in golden platemail chased with ebony gliphs, Bastien the Bronze is a stunning figure, seemingly torn from legend and placed on the dock. A full seven feet tall, his long golden hair unbound and blowing in the breeze, he is a commanding presence.
As the ship settled, and the Warlord appeared, Bastien raised his voice, calling the ancient challenge,"Who are those who come to Lands of the Reavers, friend or foe? Those who would be friend, come, and embrace me as a brother. Those who would be foe, have out with your blade, for you shall meet your death before you walk the Free Lands."
The assembled Reavers await a reply, stoicly intent on the huge Dreadfire and his retinue. Thier Lord watched, however, carefully studying Dreadfires face as he awaited the ritual response.
Sir, it's time.
The ship had pulled into port. The ramp leading fro the deck to the port was extended, and Damien made his way to the stairs. Dressed in black, red leather straps clasped in chain, were strung across his chest. His wrist guards and single elbow gaurd were made of leather as well. This was his battle attire, worn in times of conflict. Swinging from his waist was the Relic's Sword, and he lumbered across the deck, and down the ramp. His servents followed behind, keeping their distnace as the warlord decended onto the deck.
Damien moved across the deck, and stood face to face with Bastien. Standing 7 feet tall, he stood nose to nose with Bastien, only inches away from his face.Having heard the challenge of the Lord Reaver, Damien drew the Relic's Sword, holding it mightily in his right hand. He stepped back, stopping about 6 feet away from Bastien, Damien looked on with fiery eyes, but then raised the sword to his face in a salute. Swaying the sword to his side, he bowed his head in respect, then sheathed his weapon.
Damien smiled and chuckled, "Good to finally see you face to face, my brother!". He moved towards Bastien with open arms, extended in brotherhood. It certainly was an unorthodox method for the Reavers, but it is custom in AMF to draw swords before saluting, that way you know if you are trusted or not. Damien hoped Bastien did not misinterpret his actions.
Bastien's eyes stared ahead as the blade was unsheathed, stoic and seemingly uncaring. The rows of Reavers stood calmly, rigidly, awaiting the Lord Reavers response.
At Damien's smile, Bastien inclined his head moving to embrace him quickly before turning and lifting his arms,"My Reavers. You look upon those who will lead you into the future. Damien of the Dreadfire, Supreme Lord of Automagfreek. Welcome him."
The formerly stern and stoic Reavers erupted into cheers, screaming welcome and praise. The surging of shouts and the wail of pipes blended together into a single roaring voice, and the Lord Reaver shook his great arms for more.
A lithe woman, garbed in cimson silk emeged from the frothing crowd of Reavers, two large guards flanking her. Her brilliant red-hair and flashing green eyes shining in the afternoon sunlight. The shouting and cheering quiets respectfully as she makes her way forward, her gait smooth and graceful.
Approaching Damien, she holds out her hands, leaning forward to embrace the Warlord and place a small kiss on his cheek,"My Lord Dreadfire, we welcome you to Pantera. I am Queen Reaver Aquilla Windwail, and the guest-right of my hoome is yours."
Bastien took his wifes arm lovingly, gesturing for silence to the once more riotous cheering of the Reavers,"Feast and make merry this night, my warriors. A great day for us all, and one that should be celebrated. Drag the Waters."
Another great shout echoed across the docks before the mass of Reavers began to disperse. A gust of wind piks up and a mist of water coats those setill on the docks. Bastien smiles, looking to the looming mass of clouds to the south.
"A Hellish gale it will be tonight, Dreadfire. A good night to drink by the fire, and discuss glories only glimpsed."
Damien was surprised at the welcome he had recieved. He slowly raised his right hand, at at 90 degree angle from his body. He held it for a few seconds, then snapped his fingers.
Coming onto the deck of the Cataclysm, rows of servents carried Damien's personaly items, gifts, documents, and delicacies of AMF, food worthy of the Gods.
My brother Reavers, it brings me great joy to finally set foot in Pantera, place of legend, where fools go to meet their doom. I will bring back great tales to tell my people, and this is a day that shall echo throughout time itself!
He raised both hands in the air, fists clenched.
The New Dawn is here! Together, the future is ours!
After much cheering from both Reaver and Sentinel alike, Damien turned to Bastien.
Now, let us celebrate, let us feast. tonight, the world as we know it will evolve and enter a new era, and era where Reaver and Sentinel lurk throughout the shadows, striking fear into the hearts of coward heathens everywhere. Gone are the days of old, for the New Dawn has arisen. Come Bastien, I bring gifts from the Gods.
Loading Sentinels and Reaver Retainers aboard a large flatbed, Bastien beckons to Damien and leads his wife to a stretched burgundy limousine, and they make the short drive along the face of the cliff and up to the massive iron gates of the Seastone Palace.
After giving orders for the Sentinels to be billeted along with his own garrison, and that Damien's higher-ranking parties had recieved private chambers, the Lord Reaver led Damien to a quiet study.
A fire had already been laid in the great hearth, and the orange glow gave a warm glow to the room. Bastien gestures to a pair of huge hidebound chairs and makes his way to a long obsidian bar. Leaning over it he pulls a bottle of amber liquid from beneath it and produces two crystal glasses before returning to seat himself with Damien.
Pouring the glasses full and offering one to him, Bastien asks,"What are your thoughts, Dreadfire? After the wait, I now know not what to say..."
Chuckling, he raises the glass and swirls the liquid a bit before taking a large swallow and sighing as pleasant fire spread through his chest.
Damien chugged the drink, some spilling down his chin. He set the glass on the table, and wiped his chinwith the back of his right hand.
Well, I guess I'll go first. The first thing I want to address before we begin is the sudden international attention we are getting via the Blood Pact we both underwent. I know there are alot of nations out there that are worthy of participating in such an act, but we must be wary, for it is no secret that there are those that would see both our nations destroyed. But I'm in no way questioning the loyalty of our friends, I'm jsut saying that when it comes to signing the Pact of Blood, we must be extra cautious.
That being said, let us move on to other matters. The Sentinels are more than ready and willing to commit to Pantera, and the problems that are going on in the area. Should any coward strike Pantera of the Allied Powers, the Sentinels will grind any intruders into dust beneath the wheels of the mighty AMF war engine. I can assure you that through this Pact, nobody shall ever dare to tread near your territory, or ours for that matter. And should some heathen coward gather enough courage to strike us, we will unleash a fury that would make Hell tremble.
Damien was half out of his seat, and having realized that he was getting too caught up in the moment, he sat, looking about the room.
Since the Sentinels incarnation, it has been made clear that territorial intrusions will be met with extreme force, so I think your naiton and regional friends can rest, knowing the Sentinels wach over them.
Damien's servent entered, carrying a small black box.
Ah, I see my gift has arrived!
Damien rose from his chair, and started towards the servent. He took the box, and made his way back to the table. Setting the package down, he opened it, and said:
What I am about to give you has never been taken out of the ancient land, not even when we left this wasteland called Earth.
He removed it's contents, a life size human skull, made out of red obsidian. It's canine teeth sharped, and almost fang like, the very shiny red stone looked as if blood and brimstone were inside.
There is a special history behind this stone. Being some 5,000 years old, it is thought to give the power of foresight to those that hold it. Through careful meditation, the stone is said to weild mythical power, and was a feared object back in the days of the feudal Lords. Lord Constantine was the first documented holder of the stone, but one day, he was struck down by his own brother, known only as Drake. Drake used the stone for 100 years as legend tells us, and after that time, it drove him mad, and in his bed, he butchered himself alive. Then, the stone was lost for some 2,000 years, until being found by another feudal Lord, and through the power of the stone, was able to unite the nation under one banner, the same banner that would one day be Automagfreek. For good or evil, there is no doubt that this stone is not of this world, and it's corrupting influence tainting only those that are not worthy. Well Bastien, you are worthy, and now the stone belongs to you.
Damien handed Bastien the ancient artifact.
And when the moon if full, high in the night sky, it glows an eerie crimson. Red obsidian is a holy stone in AMF, and the stone exsistance is shrouded in mystery. That is why red obsidian is so widely used in the Empire, for it's unworldly nature.
Damien returned to his seat.
Bastien slowly ran his hands across the skull, his expression somber. For long moments he sits, staring at the artifact in the thickening silence.
Finally though his expression softens and he looks to Damien once more,"A noble gift, Dreadfire. I hope to live up to the honor you've entrusted me with. Though I'm not sure if I am worthy to carry it... My heartfelt thanks, my brother...
Drawing a deep, heaving breath he stands and makes his way to a large chest. From within he produces a steel box, which he also unlocks. Producing a length of crimson silk, he carefully wraps the piece before returning it to the chest.
"It shall go in the Great Vault, along with all other Panteran treasures, until such as time as it can be used...
Returning to his seat and taking up his glass, he takes another drink and seemingly chooses his words carefully."I agree, Dreadfire, about the nations flocking to us. Too many too soon. No telling how many have treachery in thier hearts... We shall see though, some have caught my interest.
With the defeat of Tilsitsin, matters are relatively calm in Pantera, at the moment, though war with the Reich seems to be looming. A shame, that. Though most of them are fools and cowards, a fair chunk of them are implacable enemies. A hard-fought war it shall be, but with Reavers and Sentinels together we shall emerge triumphant.
First, though we must cement our power. Too many nations flock to our banners to leave them all to rot. Some would be well suited to stand alongside us... Others suited only to be used and discarded."
Coughing, he waves a hand and reaches for the brandy bottle once more, pouring a generous drought before offering the bottle to Damien and adding,"A taste of paradise for the unworthy, eh? Promises of paradise and undying ecstasy will sway those who refuse to succumb to fire and sword. A lesson to be well learned, Dreadfire. your own thoughts?
A bump? A bump indeed.
OOC: I have to close at work tonight, so I won't be on until tomorrow.
OOC: I have to close at work tonight, so I won't be on until tomorrow.
**WAILS IN DESPAIR*** NOOOOOO! I've already been so bored I posted in the FUCKING GENERAL FORUM! :cry: :cry: :cry: But, I'm a big-boy, I suppose I can find something else to do. Maybe find a n00b to harass in a good-natured yet utterly hostile manner... Have fun at work. :)
Damien stood, and walked about the room.
It is a shame, Lord Reaver, that those who show so much potential must waste it. The Empire has been watching several nations for some time, but recently, some of those nations have made decisions that...have proved where their loyalties lie. I can assure you Bastien, that we must be extra careful who we trust. All that we have worked for could all be undone in an instant, and we will do everything in our power to make sure that a situation like that does not arise.
But, enough about the affairs of others. For now, let us take to the streets of Pantera!
OOC: Sorry for not continuing sooner, I've been working some gay ass hours at work.