NationStates Jolt Archive

Into the Bone-Cave: Conference on Io/NDA Relations

02-10-2003, 00:54
There are no easy paths into Burninatonia. On most days, the vast ship ports--indeed, the only way for non-Io residents to enter--are sealed shut, guarded by more than a few scaley, writhing Hordesmen trained from birth to shoot intruders. Necron's Gate, the airlock entrance for inhabitants of Io, is usually equally sealed. All who approach it are shot on sight; all who attempt to leave it meet a similar fate.

But on this day, the ports are open, as is the gate, as Burninatonia welcomes her friends and allies from across the cosmos. Docking instructions have been relayed to those arriving by air, parking instructions to those by land. The Hordesmen have been instructed to stand down, to hold fire for all but the most hostile guest. This is a day for celebration.

In the center of the Great City, a great green obelisk looms, a grotesque orange light cast against its perfectly smooth surface by the red rock of Io. It is known only as the Bone-Cave, four kilometers tall, a marvel of engineering genius. At the bottom of its nondescript surface are two wooden doors, each about thirty meters tall, their surface carved into the grand Burninatonian flag. Under normal circumstances, this is the most heavily guarded place on Io, and only the bravest adventurer--or the adventurer with the most fervent death wish--dares venture here.

But the invitations have been sent out.

Today, the doors to the Bone-Cave are open. Today, for the first time in its history, Burninatonia welcomes foreign dignitaries.
Dread Lady Nathicana
02-10-2003, 08:36
ooc: This obviously takes place a bit before all hell breaks loose with the Treznor situation. We've been planning it for some time, and well ... here goes. Any NDA folks who wish it, and don't have a 'ride' so to speak, I'm willing to let hitch along on my wee shuttle.


Nathicana follows the instructions given her to the letter, carefully guiding The Tempest ( in to the designated landing spot, as always, thoroughly enjoying flying the sleek ship.

She smiles over at Devon, riding shotgun, and gives him a sly wink. "Well, this ought to prove interesting."

The Iotian landscape is like nothing she's ever seen before, and upon careful consideration, she thinks that's probably for the best. Though holding a distinct beauty of its own, the molten landscape gives her a feeling of wary apprehension.

Admittedly, as does this whole visit, allies though they be.

Making a smooth landing, she announces to any and all passengers their arrival, instructing all to gather their belongings and disembark.

Careful to maintain the illusion, she disconnects her jack from the false headpiece she had designed for simple subterfuge, glancing over at Devon and sharing a private smile as she stows it away.

She rises gracefully, stretching, then straightening her clothing.

"Lets go meet our host."

And with that, she makes her way out of the cockpit, and down the small ramp, her breath nearly taken away by the heat that is Io.
02-10-2003, 09:12
Hearing Nathicana's words Carlos puts actions to said words and gathers his things. Nodding to the pair as they descend the ramp he follows them down his eyes surveying the landscape with obvious glee.

"Such a firey and heated place. Comforting in a way." he whispers to nobody in particular as he stands off to the side of Nathicana and Devon.

Putting his bags down he stretches lightly and looks about some more taking in the landscape compeletely.

Couldnt resist hitching a ride with ya nathi ;)
02-10-2003, 22:13
Treznor yawns and stretches, smiling at Nathicana as he stands and makes his way down to the ground. "Smooth ride, Nath. Thanks for the lift."

He gives Carlos a friendly nod. "I'm glad you could come with us. I'd hate to interrupt our poker night."

Then he pauses to take in the landscape, and his breath catches. "By the gods, it's a wasteland. What kind of people live here and call it home?"
Gehenna Tartarus
03-10-2003, 01:38
[ooc: I'm hitching a ride as well Nathi, thanks]

As Nathi brought the Tempest into land, Gehenna carefully gathered up all her belongings, and made her way to the exit. She had remained silent during the trip, this being only her second flight in anything space capable, and her first off world planetary visit.

Stepping down the gangplank, she stopped suddenly, after almost walking into the person in front of her. Her eyes surveyed her surroundings briefly, before she looked at the others, who were all staring around at the view in front of them.

She run her hand through her hair, absent-mindedly tucking some strands behind her ear. Noting that the others in the party we're still admiring - if that was the right word- the scenery, she followed suit.
03-10-2003, 04:50
OOC: Although I am an NDA member, I have to say that I do not recognize future tech. I RP at current or very-near-future tech levels, and colonies on Jovian moons are not in the forseeable future. So, while I continue to support any and all NDA actions on Earth (or even the Earth's moon), I am sorry to say that I cannot participate in this. I have to be consistent, and not changing my tech levels as it suits me is not consistent... Sorry! :( I wish the best to the other NDA members and remind them to telegram me without hesitation should I ever be able to provide any help (on Earth!)!
03-10-2003, 10:03
Grinning Carlos directs the wink back to Devon and shakes his head ruefully. "Our poker night indead, remind me to invite our Lord Lancaster as well. Perhaps maybe then I might win something other than thin air and debt pools."

Looking over his shoulder at Gehenna he winks and picks his things up. "A sight is it not Gehenna?"
03-10-2003, 12:11
"Our wasteland is worse." Rene tells Treznor, grinning. She's been relitavely happy the past month, since Shodan restored her bones to use; freedom from the chronic pains which had pained her was delightful, as was freedom from the wheelchair she'd been trapped in for several decades.

And to be in space again; that in itself was almost as good. She meant to look into the technology of Nathicana's craft eventually; whatever kept it's interior gravities at reasonable levels would be a blessing to Tsaraine's spacecraft.

Io looked like something out of a book, looming and ominous. Looks like someone's trying to beat Morgoth in the architectural stakes, Rene thought with an inward grin.
Endless Crimes
03-10-2003, 16:13
The Feuerräder, one of the sixty capital ships Endless Crimes possessed, took it`s time, as the pilot`s telepathic connection to the ship was broken by a sudden electromagnetic storm coming from the sun that reached 'a bit far'.

However, finally, shortly after the other invited guests, they arrived.

The 144 pilots (except the one that piloted the transporter that brought them down) stayed on board, only special ambassador Tanya Hochstätter and her secretary landed on Io.

Quite an impressive view... she though. Although somewhat... tawdry- looking...

"Seems like everyone else used Nathi`s shuttle..."
"Well, we are isolationist..."

*assumes he`s now in*
Burning Mountain
03-10-2003, 16:44
Lancaster's Shoulder

The warship-grade lasers burn at Lancaster's left shoulder, applying a chiaroscuro shading to the five hundred kilometer image burned into the anguished moon's ever shifting surface. Perhaps an improvement on the original, simple figure of the great man, or more properly turtle man.

Atomics flare. Mountains flow.

And the Burning Mountain folk keep up the endless sacrifices. Hordesman "overseers" lead human Meteorapolitans to focal points in the great image. They don't return. This isn't discrimination of human or Hordesman. On the great images at Io all mortal creatures are sacrifices to angry gods. Lancaster. The White Tigress. Others; a smoking mirror and a meeping, glibbering thing.

The country and the sacrifices scream.

[OOC: This is more a tag until I come up with a few suitable Burning Mountain characters]
04-10-2003, 06:27
(OOC: May I suggest some sort of RAWR!ing creton, Terr?

Oh, wait... they're all RAWR!ing cretons on Io. Except the Menelmacari. Hippy bastards...

Moving on...)

A hollowed-out volcano. That is such an Alegnan idea, it pains me.

Darian Creed, Earth Mystic of the Burninatonian Hordes, paces and mutters quietly to himself within the steel-lined cone of one of Io's few remaining dormant volcanoes at the far edge of The Great City. The man is not particularly tall, standing just a smidge under six feet, but his build is sleak and muscular, his greyish-brown skin sharply accented by his flaming locks of well-trimmed red hair. His dark brown reptile-leather pants and breastplate are trimmed with tiny jewels in the shape of the Burninatonian seal, and the sheathed gladius at his side serves as a silent ward for those who would dare cross this bizarre creature.

The foreign vessels descend into the cone of the volcano, as per the instructions of the message. Creed takes a deep breath, casually wiping the dust from his shoulders and arms as he steps to the edge of the boarding platform. Upon the exit of the diplomats, he flashes what would be generously described as a forced smile and more accurately described as repressed chagrin, his thin lips forcibly curled beneath his monstrous proboscis.

"Welcome, dear friends, to Io... and The Great Capital City of the Empire of Burninatonia," he says, his voice deep, slow, calculated, careful, and expectedly aloof. "I am Darian Creed, Earth Mystic of the Burninatonian Hordes. In laymen's terms... I am the viceroy of Burninatonian affairs on Earth." He kowtows slowly, revealing a bizarre bald spot on his head that appears to be in the shape of a crescent moon. There is nothing to indicate that the mark is shaved. "I will be escorting you to the Bone-Cave, where Lord Lancaster awaits. Please follow me."

Creed leads the group beyond the huge port into the steel hallways of the unusual structure. There is nothing at all groundbreaking--or even interesting--about the architectural design of the building. A few hanging lightbulbs light the tunnel just enough to allow passers-by to notice how nondescript all of the walls are.

"We are in Section IX of The Great City, which is commonly referred to as Necron II. The original Necron was the home of the Alegnans, Lord Lancaster's people. This city is in large part a replica of that one, but on a much larger scale. Like the original, The Great City of Necron II is divided into thirty sections, each serving a specific purpose. Section IX is designed specifically for the reception and departure of space-bound vehicles; in the original city, it was designed for the use of the great digging machines of the Alegnans."

Creed lets out a slow chuckle as the group stops before a large steel door just as uninteresting as the rest of the room.

"I imagine this talk of Alegnans and Great Cities is rather confusing to you... so I implore you now to ask me any question you may have about Burninatonia, Io vassalship, the Alegnans, myself..." His once sky blue eyes turn a deeper midnight blue. "...myself to an extent anyway. But please, do not hesitate to ask."
Gehenna Tartarus
04-10-2003, 13:52
Turning to Carlos, Gehenna nodded her head slightly in agreement, her eyes flicking between his face and her surroundings. "It is indeed a sight." She smiled, as her attention was distracted by the arrival of Creed.

Slowly following, and listening as he spoke, Gehenna glance flashed along the interior of the volcano, she had never been in one before, but then she had never been to Io before either.

A thousand questions pop through into her thoughts, but she stores them for another time. She knows there's nothing worse than being crushed under the weight of countless questions, especially if you've heard them all before. She continued in silence.
Endless Crimes
04-10-2003, 19:54
"I imagine this talk of Alegnans and Great Cities is rather confusing to you... so I implore you now to ask me any question you may have about Burninatonia, Io vassalship, the Alegnans, myself..." His once sky blue eyes turn a deeper midnight blue. "...myself to an extent anyway. But please, do not hesitate to ask."

Tanya looks curiously at the rather... uncommon 'style' Darian Creed uses... but prefers not to ask about it.

Other planets, other cultures she thinks.

"Oh, not really... quite interesting, but... so far, no real questions...

Although i wonder where the toilets are... and damn hot here, phew.
Dread Lady Nathicana
04-10-2003, 20:44
Nathicana takes the time to speak to each of her passengers as she looks around, breathing shallowly in the oppressive heat.

She grins at the banter between Carlos and Devon, shaking her head slightly.

Boys will be boys ... those two are trouble.

She's quite pleased to see Rene up and walking, quietly commenting on how well she's looking with a knowing smile. Shodey, as always, did excellent work.

Nathi gives Gehenna a brief, gentle pat on the shoulder. "I hope you're enjoying it," she says quietly. "I never thought to see space myself. Now I find I can't get enough of the freedom it offers."

Nodding to the representatives from Endless Crimes, she waved, inviting them over to the group with a warm smile.

My goodness, we've gotten quite a crowd here. This should prove interesting.

She watches the approach of Darian Creed with interest, studying him closely.

Not what I expected. Excellent.

She returns his kowtow with a polite bow of her own, from the waist. Low enough to show respect, shallow enough to show her own elevated level in the political scheme of things. Courtsies would look awkward in her current attire of a soft white linen shirt under a light black jacket of the same. Her preference for taller boots was shown in the soft black leather ones she wore, their tops turning down just below the knee, heels low and comfortable. Snug black leggings completed the clothing, with a simple gold chain and delicate loops of the same her only jewelry, aside from the beautiful ring on her finger that she toyed with often.

"A pleasure," she says to Creed, easily falling in behind him as he leads the way. She listens carefully to the descriptions, her eyes taking in as many details as possible as they walk. At his bidding, she nods quietly.

"Yes, the Alegnans. I'd like to know more about them, if you could. I'm not wrong in assuming that the majority of the populace here consists of Hordesmen? And why so much talk of 'what once was but is now'? Are we speaking ancient history, or of some sort of cataclysmic event that changed things?"

Her tone was genuinely interested, her brow furrowed slightly as she pondered. Always questions, ever thirsty for knowlegde, she. And of course, as always, bold in her approach.

Knowledge, after all, is power in the end. He offered, I'll accept.

"And yourself - are you a native? Are there many others like you? How did you come to serve Lord Lancaster?"
04-10-2003, 21:20
Treznor smiles at Nathicana as he falls into step behind. He winks at Carlos. "You know, my people told me that it's pretty cold this far out from the sun. If I'd known it was going to be this warm, I would have packed my hawaiian shirt. I mean, this even puts Gothmog City to shame!"

In spite of his banter, he pays close attention to Nathicana's questions, and the answers she receives.
05-10-2003, 05:59
Laughing silently Carlos salutes Devon on a well played shot. "Indeed my friend indeed. The heat here...quite relaxing to say the least. although I am dreaming of some air conditioning soon." Chuckling he listens closely to the questions asked and peers about filing bits of information away.

Interesting place.....Interesting designs I wonder how much it'd take to blow up. Grinning ruefully he walks along drowning his senses in all of the sights.
Burning Mountain
06-10-2003, 00:56
They've been running for some time, running toward the great city of Burninatonia.

Emilio Three Moons is in the lead, an ambitious man. There are a great many marks etched in his armored skin - name-marks of friends and lovers and victims, marks of honor, marks of several totems - all framed inside the mark of Lancaster's image, his life's work.

Ana Jaguar-Kissed Flower runs behind him to his right. She is not just of any tribe, but of La Tigra Blanca's. One might wonder why she does not lead... still, she moves with all the arrogant hostility one might expect. She bears only part of Lancaster's mark - it segues into the White Tiger and into an alien face that some might recognize as one of the piratical Zoir.

The two runners come to the gates and request entrance in their inimitable manner. "Where is the Bone Cave?"

[OOC: Burning Mountain people are Territory posthumans modified for life on Io. More importantly, they're people who actually fit into Io's environment; they worship the fiery violence of that moon and a deity that represents the less civilized side of the TCPS.

They look like short, sleekly muscular humanoids sealed into chitin and leather armor - platelike faces with mouths that seal hermetically and black, armored eyes. They are hairless and generally go naked - females lack obvious breasts and males and females alike keep their genitalia internally. The designs on their skin are burned in permanently, altering local pigmentation.

They move with the casual grace you'd expect, but there's something very wrong about them.]
The SLAGLands
08-10-2003, 11:40
You Have Many Questions, Young One...

Creed listens with only half-interest as Nathi spouts out her long stream of questions. He expected this; Lord Lancaster had told him that these outsiders would be very curious for no other reason than to know what they had gotten themselves into. Allowing enough of a pause to make absolutely certain the Dread Lady has no further questions, Creed speaks in slow, deep tones.

"The Alegnans were, at one time, a race of cave-dwelling beasts. They lived in a network of caves in the earth's mantle beneath what you humans now refer to as Argentina. Like Lord Lancaster, the Alegnans were turtle-like creatures of incredible strength and cunning, all blessed with a tolerance for heat and the ability to breathe fire. Lancaster's father, Faxanadu Lancaster, was King of the Alegnans and their great underground city of Necron. He spoke often of the ancient prophecies of a World of Fire, a place free of the caves where the Alegnans would someday rule in glory as the great Empire of Burninatonia.

"Lucius Lancaster, however, grew tired of his father's constant insistence that the Alegnans remain beneath the ground. He knew that the great digging mechanisms that the Alegnans had constructed, coupled with the numerous incredible machines they had built for ease of their own existence, was proof enough that they could have the World of Fire. Faxanadu, on the other hand, insisted that the Alegnans remain within the caves until such time that he saw fit."

Creed takes a slow breath, leaning back against the door.

"It was here that the uprising began. Lucius Lancaster had for some time been breeding a new version of Alegnan, a creature he referred to collectively as the Horde. The Horde featured a physical makeup akin to the other Alegnans, but was designed to live a shorter lifespan and to follow stupidly the will of Lord Lancaster. Although they were weaker, the Hordes numbered in the millions even in this time. They crushed the dozen or so Alegnans, Faxanadu included, and burst forth to the surface to establish the Empire of Burninatonia on Earth... until such time that the World of Fire could be reached and the new Necron established."

Realizing that he has reached the point where he must talk about himself, Creed stands back up again, sighing.

"All you need to know about me is that I am a Meteorapolitan and that my people are worshippers of meteors. I was once the ruler of Meteorapolis, but Lord Lancaster... managed to convince me to join forces with him. There truly is little more that needs to be said of that matter."

Creed cracks his neck, waiting for any further questions.

Necron's Gate

The Tempest never cares if he was the welcome party. Eight feet tall and six feet wide at the shoulders, the gigantic brute loves nothing better than seeing the snivveling peons of Io trot to the gate. His once pink skin is so greatly enhanced, modified, tweaked, rewired, buffed, and reconfigured, it no longer even resembles its former self, taking on mostly cyan tones from the metallic chiton that covered his body. The red cape flung about his back is his only bit of clothing, save a few metallic plates and devices here and there about his body. Each has a purpose, and each purpose is well-studied. The Tempest is a master of himself.

Necron's Gate is little more than a parking garage on the interior, one set into a stone wall directly beside the landing bay of Section IX. The gate itself is monstrous, easily large enough to fit a medium-sized vessel with room to spare. Set into the gate are several smaller doors, each designed to open for guests on foot or in smaller vehicles. Opening Necron's Gate is a tremendous hassle, after all, and The Tempest is not about to do it if it's not necessary.

The two Burning Mountain folk head through the gate as instructed and into the interior of Necron's Gate. The Tempest smiles, letting out a ferocious "RAWR!" greeting common to all Iotians. He speaks in a deep, jovial voice, one quite hardened from battle and seemingly so aware of the ways of the universe, it is incapable of being surprised or even caught off guard by anything.

"We wait now, my friends! Still others are to come! When the Menelmacari arrive, we'll head to the Bone-Cave with Mystic Creed."
08-10-2003, 12:03
Listening intently Carlos nods and files away all the information. Muttering to himself "Simply amazing, such ideals... Perfect." Eyeing Creed slightly he files away features and body apperances.

"Creed, I must ask.... you said you were Earth Mystic....what exactly are the mystics? I'm assuming there are more than one?" He asks quietly.
The SLAGLands
08-10-2003, 12:10

Point of clarity here, since Iraqstan and Endless Crimes both made the same mistake:

Most of the arriving delegates are with Creed near the gate to Necron II. Only arrivees from Io colonies--Burning Mountain, Menelmacari Io, Billcifer, Meteorapolis, and Melkor Unchained Io--will enter through Necron's Gate. As such, most of you did not hear the comment about the Menelmacari that The Tempest made.

And another, since I don't feel like deleting and retyping the last post: I do indeed roleplay as Burninatonia, for those who may not have known. If I accidentally post as The SLAGLands or The Outset Islands on this thread, it's still an IC post for Burninatonia. :P

Any further questions, just ask.
08-10-2003, 13:19
Treznor stirs once Creed's tale comes to a pause. "Lord Lancaster didn't challenge his father's authority directly? He simply unleashed these Hordesmen. He sounds like a remarkably cunning fellow, especially considering how much this sounds like a warrior society.

"Unfortunately, I don't recall the Empire of Burninatonia on Earth. How long ago did Lancaster lead the Alegnans and Hordesmen to Io?"
Burning Mountain
08-10-2003, 19:03
Necron's Gate

Emilio and Ana come before the Tempest, and it becomes obvious why Emilio leads. The Tempest smiles and lets out a "RAWR!", Emilio smiles with tilted head rather than plated face and shouts "RAWR!", Ana returns the Sage's show of teeth and screams and leaps and collapses in a heap, larynx impacted. She backs down as the offending piece of cartilage returns to shape under blunt weapon fingers.

Order of dominance established, Emilio answers. The Tempest can beat down Emilio easily, and Ana has let the more cunning Burning Mountain man beat her easily as she responded to the Sage's greeting with hardwired Tigra Blanca ferocity. "We wait, Sage."
09-10-2003, 07:28
The small gravshuttle cruised low over the sulfur flats, towards Necron's gate.

"Necron's Gate, this is Menelmacari gravshuttle Io-394, requesting permission to dock. We are carrying Viceroy Gondramil for the Bone-Cave summit." Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Chancellor of CENNA
"If it is to be war between us, it shall be war to the knife and the knife to the hilt."
~Foreign Minister Duke Paolio, The Outlands
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-10-2003, 05:01
"Yes, and how did they get here?" Nathi interjects after Devon's question. She's been listening intently, and is obviously curious about Creed himself ... however, she simply nods in response to his wish to not share more for now. Time and place, after all.

"All the same, please continue. I'm anxious to meet our gracious host. I'm afraid the most information I have comes from the bloodsport matches a while back."

Alas, poor Alexae. At least she put in a good showing, and died as she wanted.
The Ctan
12-10-2003, 13:15
On hearing of "necron's gate" Princeps Kopinski sat bolt upright and read the report with immense interest. Having decided it was nothing to do with him, he returned to his normal posture and went on to the next report.
13-10-2003, 08:07
Do You Like My Hollowed-Out Volcano Lair?

"The Mystics are akin to what you would call viceroys," Creed replies. "Burninatonian interests extend all over the Sol system, you see. We have villages and colonies on Earth, Mars, the Moon, the asteroid belt, and many places in between. Lord Lancaster simply grew weary of overseeing them all; as such, he selected five Mystics to look over them in his stead. I oversee Burninatonian affairs on Earth. The other Mystics are Grendelynne Magg of the Moon, Kretian Thorne of Mars, The Tempest--whom we will meet shortly--of the asteroid belt, and Princess Tiki of Space-Void One, the area between the Jovian system and the asteroid belt.

"With regard to your query about Io... Lord Lancaster combined purchased knowledge about space travel with his own vast mining resources to get the program off the ground; from there, it was just a matter of surviving the trip. We have been on Io for several decades now. I imagine this event predates the appearance of many of your nations on the international scene and perhaps even the births of several of you. Luckily, we Mystics live a long time..."

Creed turns back to the door and places his hand on the handle.

"And it is because we live a long time that we are capable of building... this."

No Need for Formality... The Door's Already Open

Io-394's attempt at formality is greeted only by the high-pitched squeal of a Hordesman into a radio, screaming something akin to "DOOR OPEN! GO INSIDE! MEET OTHERS!" The vessel touches down inside the gate, and the Menelmacari delegation joins the Burning Mountain folk and The Tempest. The Tempest sends out a wave and a "RAWR!" as he leads the group to the door.

"I guess this'll be everybody's first time in Necron II," he says, grinning. "Well then... here we are."

And the Groups Are Reunited! It's a Dramatic Plot Point!

As the two doors open, the two groups become suddenly aware that Necron's Gate and the hollowed-out volcano dock are neighboring structures, and Creed and Tempest quickly reunite the two groups as they stare out into the twisted splendor of The Great City. Its tremendous bubble rises high and long across the expanse of the city, which is marked by numerous mountaintops capped by huge metallic structures--apparently some sort of power plant that feeds from the volcano. The orange light of Jupiter casts an eerie orange glow about the city's perfectly smooth, perfectly polygonal buildings.

Everywhere one looks is a new sign of industry and production, and each and every operation is manned by Hordesmen. The creatures are thin and boney, their long green faces drawn out almost to a point, their feet flat, their claws long. Some of them wear clothing akin to turtle shells, but most work in the nude, their disgusting genitals bizarrely set into their back. There seem to be no supervisors among them, but no supervisor seems necessary. For all their brutish idiocy, the Hordesmen are remarkably efficient workers.

Sometimes, in a bizarre accident, one of them will become wounded. The group specifically witnesses one group of Hordesmen working on a large rocket-like structure when one of the Hordesmen working on top falls. The Hordesman screams, apparently injured. The others leap from the rocket and onto their injured comrade, and all that can be heard is howling and gnashing of teeth. Moments later, the group scatters, and one of the workers is scooping up a pile of blood-covered bones and carrying it toward a nearby waste receptacle.

The foul stench of smoke, burning metal, and unbathed turtle creature is only matched by the sound. The whirrs, clunks, and bangs of industry are all throughout, and accompanying them in sickening dissonance is the chatter of the Hordesmen. Some yell back and forth in a neanderthal version of English; others scream and howl back and forth; still others can be heard making loud, aroused moans, as if they are fornicating in the streets. The diplomats will recall being warned of such an instance.

And yet, in the midst of the chaos of its inhabitants, there is an eerie sort of order about Necron II. The streets between the perfectly shaped buildings are entirely straight, each leading exactly to where it logically should, each street never wasting a moment in an inefficient dead end or cul de sac. Transport vehicles and other general maintenance machines chug above the city, each piloted in flawless form (by Hordesman? by computer? It's impossible to tell.). Oddly enough, the result of a society fueled by id is a remarkable order the likes of which the diplomats have never seen before.

The grandest structure in all of Necron II is the large obelisk in its center. The structure appears to stand about four kilometers tall, its greenish surface perfectly smooth all about and carved into perfect right angles. It juts out of the city's middle like a monstrous sword set into the stone of the World of Fire, and Darian Creed motions to it with his hand.

"That is our destination. Please follow me and The Tempest... and please, take care to stay near the center of the path so as not to disturb the labor of the Hordesmen."

With these words, Creed leads the group into The Great City, The Tempest at his right flank.
13-10-2003, 10:31
OOC: Oh my gods! He posted! He posted!

IC: Treznor stops in his tracks, overawed by the sight in front of him. His normal poker expression is sorely tasked by the feelings of amazement and disgust which travel up and down his nerves. His head cranes slowly back and forth as though he's memorising every detail he can see. Eventually he focuses on the obelisk. "Does Lord Lancaster live there?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 15:48
Nathicana, lost in looking around, bumps into Devon accidentally, her eyes wide, though not neccessarily in alarm. She slips her hand around his, giving it a gentle squeeze of acknowledgement before sliding past and walking on. She shivers slightly at the sight of all the hordesmen, their rough, crude ways, and the sheer number of them.

"Il mio dio, la grandezza pura è incredibile," she whispers quietly, quite awed at the sights, then continuing in a hushed, excited voice. "Gli anni che questa deve occorrere, il lavoro, l'abilità... Il Dev di amperora, allineare abbiamo fatto una scelta favorevole qui, io crediamo."

She does however take the time to observe the newcomers, and the one who leads them. Nodding politely to the Menelmacari delegates, she then gives a tight-lipped, brief smile to the Burning Mountain folk, her head high, save for the curt nod of respect. The Tempest, she eyes with no small amount of trepidation.

He's HUGE! Lord almighty, what a monster. She shivers again.

She nods without comment at the directive to keep to the center, most pointedly doing just that as she falls in with the rest of them behind their guides, still looking around, taking everything in she can for later reference.

(translation for politeness sake: My God, the sheer magnitude is incredible. The years this must have taken, the labor, the skill ... Ah Dev, we truly made a favorable choice here, I believe.)
13-10-2003, 15:59
Wandering absently along with the rest of the group Carlos listens to the answer to his question and other questions. Nodding slightly he files away yet more information. Watching the great doors open he cranes his neck to look up at them and smirks. "Quite large." he whispers.

Turning his head he nods to the burning mountain people, bows his head respectfully to the Menelmacari delegate and stares open mouthed at The Tempest... "In the name of Sirithil he is massive!" he whispers sharply staring openly with unbridled curiosity and awe.

Shakeing himself away he turns and once more has cause to let his jaw drop in amazement. "Quite the layout eh Devon?" he mutters smugly and steps forward to take in all around him. Watching with unadulterated fascination as the hordseman falls and the others jumping their fallen comrade he smirks knowingly. Only the toughest survive. I truly feel at home here......

Looking all around him he files information away and wonders about the massive time and effort taken to build such a place. "If only I had such dreams when I was a boy....This could be what I built rather than a cobblestone hole and sandstone huts." he whispers to nobody in particular.
Burning Mountain
14-10-2003, 14:16
The lead Burning Mountain person - probably man, he's a bit more narrow-hipped than the other one - flicks his gaze across the distinguished visitors. His face is really just a chitinous plate, so when Nathicana nods to him it's his stance that tells people that he feels a lot like a killer bunny caught in some very large headlights. The other one - female by the above reasoning - just looks vicious.

Give him credit though - he manages to carry off a pleasant tilting of the head that is probably the equivalent of a smile and a bow, acknowledging that the Dread Lady is in point of fact his superior. A low "ma'am" pitched for better-than-human hearing.

They fall in with the group.
Endless Crimes
16-10-2003, 14:28
Wow... nothing is wasted here... we could learn from it. Tanya is at the same time frightened and impressed at what is going on in the caves.

Esspecially the hordesmen interest her, as the view in indeed impressive.

The sheer size of... well, anything that is to see, is impressive. However, she tries to stay calm, cool.

After all, i have to represent my nation.

Suddenly, she catches Carlos whisper...

"Well... perhaps you will change the architecture in some of your palaces after you return home." She smiles ironically.

Edit: Typohell
17-10-2003, 04:12
Eyeing the burning mountain group Carlos nods respectfully and smirks at Tanya. "Perhaps I should, it'd be fitting the return from the fire with a new outlook on living and expansion." Shrugging mischeiviously Carlos steps forward to take in a better view of the surrounding areas.

Strange folk those burning mountain, the elf isnt too awed by this. Shame that. Hideing his glee well Carlos returns to studying the hordsemen and their work in detail almost as if gleaming ideas from their actions.
17-10-2003, 04:48
"Does Lord Lancaster live there?"

Creed nods back to Devon, a sly smile on his face.

"Yes... that is the Bone-Cave," he replies, as the group continues walking through the industrious Hordesmen workplaces. "Aside from the very layout of The Great City itself, the Bone-Cave is one of the few things created solely for the aesthetic glory of Lord Lancaster. The money that isn't going into extensive education programs, poor-saving welfare, and other such drivvle is being straight to the Bone-Cave."

Creed draws the group to a stop before what can best be described as a breadbox with wheels. The long, black vehicle is about the size of a bus, with long windows on each side. The tires are large and appear to be made of an unknown material--something that most certainly isn't rubber. Behind the wheel of the vehicle sits a lone Hordesman, a backwards-turned baseball cap on his head. Creed and Tempest get on the vehicle first, and Tempest turns back to the rest of the group.

"This shuttle'll take us to the Bone-Cave!" he shouts, boarding the rest of the way.

As the passengers get on, they notice that the vehicle certainly hasn't the most well-kept interior. Claw and teeth marks abound, slashing the foam-padded seats and spilling their contents all over the floor. Most of the seats do indeed have seatbelts still left on them, but only a few are still intact. The entire shuttle smells like some bizarre combination of burnt roast beef, wet dog, and semen. The Mystics, of course, seem none too disturbed; they make absolutely certain to take the seats without seatbelts so as to allow the other delegates ease of travel.

"I must warn you in advance," Creed says, turning back to the group. "The shuttle-drivers enjoy driving rather quickly and recklessly. The vehicle is equipped with stabilizer functions, so it probably won't tip over. Just hold on, and you'll be fine." Creed begins to turn around, but, as if remembering something, he turns back. "Oh, and the vehicle is designed to follow only specific roads... and if the Hordesman decides to go down an unauthorized road, the shuttle will explode. Don't worry. It hardly ever happens." He turns back to the front.


Before the delegates can even think of leaving the shuttle, the Hordesman slams on the gas, and the vehicle fires forth as if shot from a gun, leaving a long trail of black smoke behind it. The shuttle darts from road to road, carefully turning, driving on the sidewalk and into the workplaces just as if they were part of the road. A few Hordesmen narrowly leap out of the way of the vehicle; a few more aren't as lucky as the monstrous obelisk in The Great City's center draws ever closer.
Dread Lady Nathicana
17-10-2003, 05:27
That's a damn sizeable bit of money, I'll warrant, Nathi thinks, looking over the massive building again, and not figuring the 'drivel' bits Creed referred to having all that much funding on account.

She gingerly steps onto the bus, politely not commenting or making an obvious fuss over the interior, though she is very careful where she sits, taking a place next to Devon.

Oh. My. Gods. What ... ugh. She wrinkles her nose slightly, supressing a shudder, and settles in, one hand laid idly on Devon's knee. As Creed continues with his explanation, she grimaces, putting on her seatbelt. As he speaks further, her eyes widen a bit, and she tightens the belt. As he finishes, she quite nearly takes it off to leave, her face paling slightly.

Surely, he's joking. Honestly now. He wouldn't send us this waaaa--- "Aaaaiiiee!" Nathi shrieks as the shuttle launches forward, making its wild way through the city, and she instinctively reaches out to take hold of Devon's arm, wrapping hers around it and holding on tight for both support and security.

"Voi figlio ripugnante della a mignotta! Vorrei uscire da questo vivo!" she mutters darkly between clenched teeth, clearly not amused, her wide eyes flashing dangerously. "Leccacazzi. Putting us off guard so."

(Translation ... um ... no, except for the "I'd like to make it out alive!" bit.)
Endless Crimes
17-10-2003, 11:37
Mhm... smells like Frank... is Tanya`s first thought when the enters the 'vehicle'.

She blinks when she listens to Creed`s explanations. He isn`t serious, is he? But here... She looks around, remembers what she has already seen. Damn, he IS serious... Then the 'ride' begins, and she falls down on her secretary`s lap, crying out. "Hey!"

But the quickly finds some halt, and finally manages to sit down somewhere

Well, at least it`s not boring...
17-10-2003, 11:53
Rene frowns at the smell and the poor quality of the transport.

Smells like a 'ponics still after Founding Day. These guys have no idea how to roll out the red carpet ... if they even *have* red carpet in a place like this.

Grimly, she hung onto the seat in front of her for dear life, swearing obscenities in Sekhel that would make a Div-Four worker wince.
17-10-2003, 16:53
Treznor frowns at the lame attempts at jokes, then winces when the shuttle lurches off and Nathicana nearly squeezes his arm off.

Ow ow ow. Dammit. I've had it with people and their alleged sense of humour. The next person to pull a prank on me gets a bullet. I swear it.

However, he grits his teeth and hangs on tight, trying to maintain an upright position while Nathicana and the others swear vociferously. He glances over at Carlos and shrugs. What can he do?
Gehenna Tartarus
17-10-2003, 17:18
As the shuttle rocketed forward, Gehenna did her best to maintain an outward appearance of calm even if her stomach was in her mouth. If she had know there was going to be a wild ride to get to their destination, she would have seriously thought about sending someone else in her place. But she was here now, and regardless what happened it was entirely out of her hands.

Once the initial shock began to wear off, she sat back in the seat, although she was holding on for dear life. If she had believed in a god, she would have been praying for safe deliverance. She cast a brief look at the other passengers, all of whom seemed to be enjoying the ride as much as her. She smiled to herself, suddenly feeling much better.
19-10-2003, 05:48
Grinning all but stupidly Carlos clings onto the back of a seat with a death grip never experianced before. Watching the others he snickers softly and utters the simple word. "Yahooo!" ignoring the interesting smells and strange stains on the seats he stares straight a head intent on enjoying the mad pace and suicidal speeds of the vehical.

Man I wish I had a ride like this back home! Is all he thinks as the vehical continues to rocket along.
19-10-2003, 06:55
Treznor starts losing sensation in his hands as they grip tightly onto the edges of the seat. He's pretty sure his arm will get amputated if Nathicana continues to hold on like she is. Then he glances over at Carlos and observes him enjoying the ride.

Hmph, it figures. A madman would enjoy this. He probably likes those death-defying roller-coaster rides, too.
Dread Lady Nathicana
19-10-2003, 08:28
Watching Carlos with a look somewhere between shock and annoyance, Nathi suddenly realizes a couple of things. One, Devon isn't looking pleased, but there's something more to it than just the ride. Two, she's been holding on much more tightly than she should.

Stubbornly refusing to admit she'd misjudged, she slowly loosens her grip, still firmly hanging on - more carefully. Her face darkens further, if possible, and she mutters under her breath something that sounds like a curse against 'damn men' for some reason.

She anxiously awaits the end of the ride, already feeling a touch ill.
20-10-2003, 06:31
There's really little to describe in the way of scenery on the way to the Bone-Cave... mainly because the scenery is a blur of orange, black, and green, a sickening combination of colour that resembles vomit being flushed down a toilet. The Tempest's head seems rared back in laughter for practically the entire trip; whether he's laughing at the joy of the speed or at the misfortune of the other passengers is unclear. Creed, on the other hand, doesn't move... his weight doesn't even shift as the vehicle darts around the sharpest of turns. There is an eerie complacency about the Meteorapolitan as the shuttle continues its mad path through the streets and sidewalks of The Great City...

...and for the first time in the trip, something comes gradually. Apparently, someone must have instructed the Hordesman driver that an abrupt stop of a vehicle of this nature may cause unnecessary splatter of delegations onto the rocky ground in front of the vehicle; thus, the Hordesman provides a very gradual stop. The Tempest and Creed both stand up as the vehicle comes to its rest, and Tempest stretches his vast, gigantic arms, nearly bowling Creed over.

"Well, that was relaxing!" he shouts, letting out a long sigh. "Come on!"

Creed can clearly be seen rolling his eyes as the bigger guy bounds off of the vehicle, shaking each side as he goes. The Meteorapolitan wizard follows shortly afterward, leading the delegates from the vehicle. As they pass, the delegates would note that the Hordesman at the helm has apparently fallen fast asleep mere moments after parking the shuttle.

The view outside the shuttle can best be described as Bone-Cave dominated. Quite literally, the gigantic structure is nearly all the delegates can see before them. It stretches several hundred feet square in each direction before rising several kilometers into the sky. The surface of the obelisk is perfect smooth and appears to be entirely made of pure obsidian died a jungle green colour. The sole feature worth noting of the obelisk is the gigantic wooden double doors, which stretch about one hundred and fifty feet into the air before rounding off at the top. The doors are decorated with a gigantic carving of the great turtle-beast and Lord of Io, Lucius Lancaster.

Standing in front of the door are two figures, each one entirely dissimilar to both the Mystics the group has already met and each other. The one standing before the left door is a hairless ape-like creature that stands about six feet tall, hunched over against her massive arms. Her limb strength appears absolutely phenomenal, and her greyish flesh is marked by yellow and brown warts and scabs. Her bald head resembles leather, and her eyes are wild. Creed steps toward her and makes a motion.

"This is Grendelynne Magg, Lunar Mystic of the Burninatonian Hordes," he says. Grendelynne steps forward, extending one gigantic mitt toward no one in particular in the group.

"OY THE'E!" she shouts, her gutteral voice thick with what can best be described as a Welsh accent. "Noice t'foin'ly meet ya acquaint'nce, it is! Moi, whatta pretty buncha wankheads we got royt 'eah!" She chuckles loudly. "Oi'm just razzin' ya! Noice t' 'ave ya aboard!"

The Tempest steps to the other Mystic, who seems much quieter than Grendelynne. The tall, dull-skinned creature has grey hair tied back into a ponytail that hangs slightly past his shoulder as it swoops beyond his elvish ears, his deep red eyes ingrained with a bizarre mark that appears similar to a spider. A rapier rests at his waist, and his thin leather armour is adorned with a similar pattern of bizarre spiders. His boots are nearly as high as his knees, and his gloves extend almost to his elbows. Before The Tempest can introduce him, the man speaks up, a shocking sense of diffidence in his voice.

"Kretian Thorne... Martian Mystic." His voice is scratchy and quiet; obviously, Kretian Thorne is not a man accustomed to speaking. "Lord Lancaster will see you now."
Dread Lady Nathicana
21-10-2003, 05:46
Nathicana breathes a sigh of relief as the shuttle comes to a surprisingly gradual halt.

Insane, the lot of them. AND Carlos, curse his scaly hide. So help me ...

She tries to compose herself, disentangling herself from Devon with a slightly apologetic look. Observing the interactions of the two Mystics, she quietly removes her seatbelt, grimacing again at the filth of the shuttle and what she feels to be the now deplorable state of her clothes.

I don't think I'll ever get the smell out, she thinks, wrinkling her nose in an expression of distaste once more. And the driver ... asleep? Gods, what would have happened had he nodded off while we were in transit? Dammit all to hell I didn't think I was literally taking my life in my hands coming here!

She almost decided right there and then that she was bloody well walking back to her shuttle. Until she thought again at the hordesman-filled streets.

Nathicana shuddered.

The building, commanding her immediate attention as she steps off the shuttle, quite literally takes her breath away. She's never in her life seen anything of the like. She approaches the doors with no small amount of trepidation. The hulking figure waiting there certainly doesn't help.

Gods, what have we gotten ourselves into with this? Wankheads? Did it..she..just call us ... Nathi blinks, and extends her hand looking a touch ... well, shocked, but trying to put her best foot forward, as always. Her eyes widen a bit as her hand is engulfed by the Mystic's.

"An ah ... a pleasure to meet you, Grendelynne."

After drawing back, she looks over the other Mystic with a curious gaze, once again being forced to look up. As he introduces himself, she nods politely, keeping a respectful distance.

"An honor," she says quietly. And with that, she waits to be shown in with the others.
21-10-2003, 07:43
This Lancaster needs to impose some discipline among his citizens, Rene thought irritably. Unlike the irritability she'd suffered until quite recently, this was due to genuine annoyance, and not to the crippling bone degeneration she'd suffered for several decades.

Nathicana, however, was being polite, and Rene supposed she'd best be too. Show these people that we Tsarainese know the proper formalities, even if they are degenerate inbred mutants.

So she bowed politely to the two Mystics, giving them some diplomatic but unfelt greetings.
21-10-2003, 15:26
Grinning openly as he steps off the vehicle and brushes his pants straight. "Well, that was invigorating." He whispers as he nods regaly and respectfully to the other Mystics and takeing in the bone-cave itself.

"It's an honour to be invited to such an.....interesting place and a pleasure to meet you all." He states with a formal bow and throws a loose playful wink towards Nathicana and Devon.

She looks like the trip almost killed her..... Wonder why that is...

Nodding to Kretian Carlos eyes him silently before turning to once more study the bone-cave and the sleeping hordseman driver with a rueful smirk on his face.
Endless Crimes
21-10-2003, 15:36
Ah, seems that at least one had fun...

Tanya, although looking relatively... well, normal, is still quite... shocked by the 'drive', and still tries to get her senses, and, for that matter, her organs, together.

At least it was better than what my husband performs...

Then she slightly bows towards the two Mystics, not saying anything.
Gehenna Tartarus
23-10-2003, 21:26
As Gehenna stepped out of the vehicle, she looked the perfect example of calm, at least there was something she was grateful to her father for, his strict lessons about hiding your emotions. The smile she presented looked perfectly natural.

She gently brushed the small creases that marred the sleek lines of her suit, then ran her fingers over her hair, tidying any strands that may have some loose during the journey.

Following the others in the party, Gehenna nodded her head to the mystics, then cast her eyes around her new surroundings, admiring the uniqueness of the place.
27-10-2003, 07:06
Creed looks over the whole of the group, noting a relative lack of intimidation--and even what appears to be no small amount of interest and curiosity. He frowns slightly--apparently, at least part of the goal of the Bone-Cave was intimidation and fear. There's little reaction from the remainder of the Mystics: Tempest still appears humongous and bemused, Magg still appears relatively drunk, and Thorne only moves enough to step back from the door. He turns back to the group and makes a quick snap with his neck, implying that they do the same.

At once, the door springs to life. The deep, gutteral grind of cranking gears and chains reverberates through The Great City, as if the efforts of all of this massive complex are being diverted to a task as simple as opening a door. It doesn't take long for the door to rise with sufficient room to welcome the delegates, yet still it rises, closer and closer to the ceiling hundreds of feet above it. Creed leads the Mystics and delegates into the monstrous door as it opens enough to accomodate them.

The sensation of scale is the first thing to hit the delegates after the deep green light of the Bone-Cave Lobby washes over them. Elaborately carved sculptures--twisted Gothic recreations of Hordesmen, of grand turtle-beasts, of dragons--line the wall, stretching nearly into the ceiling. They glow the deep green of the room and are apparently some sort of light source. In the room's center rests a fountain as tremendous as a waterfall. Its center is as twisted as the sculptures, an elaborate labyrinth from which the deep orange liquid flows, enters, exits, turns, falls, is caught, collects, reenters... as random and unpredictable as The Great City itself is not. Even the tiles are vast and monstrous, carved of shining obsidian into elaborate grooves and designs, each carving almost a foot thick.

It is the chamber of a giant--and those delegates who did prepared know that a giant indeed awaits them.

From the right side of the fountain, a deep red tongue darts, kissing the air moments before disappearing again. Moments later, a head appears, a stubby orange and black lizard's head. The creature steps out, and it becomes quite apparent that this is indeed a lizard--a gigantic gila monster about two meters tall. A long black tiara rests on her head, one not at all elaborate or fancy--a mere slightly twisted crown of pure pumice. Her tail drags long behind her, and thin puffs of smok whisp from her nostrils. With an obviously annoyed grunt she sniffs at each of the delegates, one by one. She stares longest at Gehenna, as if something smells particularly odd about her. Then, turning back to the main chamber, she opens her jaw.


As if on cue, the monstrous door abruptly drops behind the delegates, slamming out the light of the surface of Io. The clank of chains can be heard overhead as the shrill scream of the lizard-princess reverberates through the hall. She pads over to the side of The Tempest, who begins scratching the lizard behind the neck.

There is a dull thumping in the distance... a regular beat... one... two... one... two... footsteps. There is no shaking--the foundations of the Bone-Cave are sturdy as the tremendous footsteps boom through the great obelisk. From an opening in the far end of the room, a dim orange light begins to appear, drawing nearer and nearer.

"You'll have to forgive Princess Tiki... she's not used to welcoming company."

The voice is deep, scratchy, and booming, as if coming from all throughout the chamber. It does nothing to help the sensation of incredible smallness that permeates every inch of the room, from the giant statues to the fountain to the tiles to the tremendous lizard. The orange light draws closer, larger, brighter. It appears in the doorway. There is a figure behind it.

The early reports that the delegates received was that Lucius Lancaster, Lord and Commander of the Burninatonian Hordes, was monstrous. However, as the turtle-beast steps into the Lobby of the Bone-Cave, his tremendous teeth, horns, and spines flashing in the green glow of the room and the orange glow of the huge candle he holds in his right hand, it becomes apparent that "monstrous" is a gross understatement. He stands well over thirty meters tall, his tremendous beige arms and legs rippling with power, every vein bulging, every muscle tensing. A lock of red hair leaps from the back of his head like a flame, crawling down his neck and stopping just before his shimmering green shell, its spikes contracted. His claws glimmer eerily in the light as they wrap around the candle and the two tiny--relatively speaking--creatures beneath it. The turtle-beast looks across the room at the delegates, then lets out a dull huff before bowing his head slightly.

"Welcome... I am Lucius Lancaster, Lord and Commander of the Burninatonian Hordes."
27-10-2003, 16:55
Falling to his knees out of sheer fright at the monsterous visiage before him Carlos looks up and whispers. "By all that is Iraqstani, he is HUGE." Shivering he regains his composure after long seconds of absolute shock.

Turning somewhat blushed he bows before Lancaster and smiles. "Carlos Quil'Raya as you of course know. You honour us by allowing us to visit you Lord Lancaster."

Looking around the great room he drinks it all in and shakes his head at the sheer enormousness of it and stares back up at Lancaster with a look of awe and fear running freely on his face.
27-10-2003, 21:01
27-10-2003, 21:04
Treznor locks his knees in place just in time to avoid copying Carlos. His grip on Nathicana's hand is a little tighter than normal, but he gathers himself and clears his throat. He might, perhaps, be excused for a trace of nervousness in his voice.

"Lord Lancaster!" he calls out. "We're honoured that you're playing host for us. Your domain is truly impressive."

Ye gods, what a monster. I'm glad he's on our side.
Dread Lady Nathicana
27-10-2003, 21:36
Nathicana steps back without a word, though she flinches at the sound of the monstrous doors opening, watching with unmasked amazement. Once they're up, she follows the others in, wth no small amount of hesitation passing under the massive door and into the dim interior.

"Sweet Jesu," she whispers, her eyes slightly wide, examining the interior with a mix of approval and apprehension. How do they glow so? How did they manage to create such a massive structure? I'm amazed such beasts as we saw outside could ... but no, they're but the workers. The Mystics certainly are a mixed bunch. Surely the aritsans are--

Her thoughts are interrupted at the sight of Princess Tiki, and she instinctively freezes as the giant lizard looks her over.

Nathicana quite literally jumps as the door comes crashing down behind them, though she manages to stifle the shriek she feels like letting out, her eyes looking a bit wild.

However, nothing, not her intel, not her previous communications, quite prepares her for the sight of their host.

"Sante Maria, madre del dio ..."

A part of her registers Carlos' display and is both amused, and irritated at it. Her own grip on Devon's hand increases as well, though she's careful to moderated it. She's certain he can feel her shaking.

Remembering to breathe again, she swallows once, licking her lips nervously before replying in a voice that first comes out sightly ... squeaky.

"Nath--" she clears her throat, beginning again in the manner she'd been taught in her oratory classes so long ago, though her accent is more heavy than usual.
"Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo, Dread Lady of the Dominion, Lord Lancaster. My thanks for your gracious hospitality. I stand in awe of your accomplishments."

Good God, that's one way of putting it. Christ, he's enormous! Dev, don't go all wobbly on me now ... I need you to help keep me up here.
28-10-2003, 09:44
And I thought elves were odd, Rene thought wryly. Well, this certainly takes the cake.

Her knees seemed to be threatening to give way beneath her, and Rene quashed fear of Lancaster and fear of crumbling bones both. SHODAN did good work, and Lancaster would hardly do anything to them after they'd expended so much effort to get here.

Or maybe he would - who knew, with giant turtle creatures? There was no use worrying about it, anyway.

Almost involuntarily her hand rose in a salute. Sweet Fate, he'd make an excellent sergeant. Although his taste in décor resembles a bad horror vid. Very Xothic Horror.

"Hail, Lord Lancaster," Rene said finally, "Rene Seingult at your service, Domina and Division Five Commandant. An honour to meet you face to face."
Endless Crimes
28-10-2003, 11:45
Tanya watched the Lizard, curiously, not overly impressed. Our biotech can do the same, and better. she thought. Just a little show to impress us. Wont work, though.

So she thought

However, the very moment her eyes catched Lord Lancaster (Which wasn`t that hard, considering the fact that he blocked anything else she could possibly see), her opinion changed. Slightly.

Shocked by the view, she begun to pray Almighty lord, save us from those who threaten to consume us, and our souls....

She hadn´t imagined this.

As impressive as the caves, the hordesmen, and anything here was, it was nothing compared to Lord Lancaster himself.

Still shocked, shaking, she tried to find the words... but she seemed to be unable to speak, her mouth unwilling to open, out of horror, and fear.

A creature of the devil, dangerous and... unholy... Is it the devil himself?

"I... I... I`m Tanya, representative of Endless Crimes... I`m... honoured... to... to meet you..."

Still shaking, she looked back, only to see her secretary on the ground, just like Carlos...

Oh my... not the best impression we give him...

However, slowly, she regained her senses, remembered her faith, and slowly, she begun to move, to act, in a more... normal way.
Burning Mountain
28-10-2003, 16:36
The probable female goes deep into fight-or-flight mode at Lancaster's approach, crouching and snarling. The male looks around, more in flight mode, then he grabs responsibility and his compatriot's arm. Painfully, on both counts. Chitin-like skin armor creaks, then she breaks the hold and backfists his facial plate, hard. Snarls and radio traffic fill their corner of the room, then they turn to Lancaster.

30-10-2003, 17:32
Lancaster observes the reactions of his tiny (relatively speaking) guests and lets out a deep snicker, grinning fiercely and flashing his tremendous yellowed teeth. He makes his way just far enough across the room to set the huge candle down near his guests, but just far enough away not to frighten them further.

"Relaaaaaaax," he chuckles, stepping back. "I promise I won't eat you. You guys are my favorite customers, after all."

As the delegates get a good look at the candle, they note that it is not made of wax; rather, it appears to be some sort of extremely large torch that emits a constant flame. Whisps of gas vapor dance from the top, drifting across the room just long enough to be lost in its vastness. The two men riding the candle stand step down. The first man is wearing a long brown trenchcoat, a fedora pulled over his eyes. His long, narrow face is covered almost completely by thick black facial hair, but a smile and a nose can be seen peeking out from beneath. He bows slightly.

"How do you do... I am the Mouth of Billcifer, King of the territories which bear my name."

The second man is a bit more appropriately dressed in a deep blue military uniform. His right breast is covered in medals and commendations--most likely all self-granted--and a sabre hangs sheathed at his side. His face is muscular and powerful, and his cleft chin juts forth from the top of his uniform as if in constant salute. His buzzcut black hair is hinted with small streaks of grey. As he approaches, he offers an angular salute, then extends a white-gloved hand to whoever is nearby.

"President John Boxwell of the Republic of Antigonation," he says, his voice echoing nearly as much as Lancaster's. "It is an honor to finally meet the heads of the Non-Democratic Alliance."

Lancaster stands back and lets the introductions go ahead as planned before taking another step forward. He holds his arms out to his side, as if spanning them across the vast expanse of the lobby.

"Well... as you all well know, this is my Bone-Cave," he says, smiling. "I'll spare you the particulars of its construction, but let's just say it was an arduous, time-consuming project." He chuckles for a moment, as if he had just recalled some hilarious joke he once heard, before continuing. "Our conference will be taking place upstairs. We have a tremendous meal planned for you all, over which we'll discuss the topic of the day: Io and the NDA itself."

He looks back down at his guests, rubbing the underside of his chin.

"Of course, I must admit... I didn't really prepare for guests so... so..."

Here he squats down as far as he can go--which is, of course, several dozen feet above everyone's head.


He stands back up, stretching.

"But, of course... that's just poor judgment on my part, and it can be undone. After all, I can't have you lil' people trodding about my house like a bunch of bipedal cockroaches."

Lord Lancaster turns back to the stairwell, emitting a loud "NUMBER FOURTEEN!" before turning back to the group. Deep footsteps can be heard drawing closer from up the stairwell.

"I have a temporary remedy for your condition; unfortunately, it's upstairs. For now, you'll have to make do via some transportation."

From the stairwell appears a Hordesman, yet one rather unique in several respects, not the least of which is his physique. His muscles bulge and ripple in a manner that can best be described as "sterroid-adled," yet his head is relatively small, set deep into his huge shoulders. In addition... the Hordesman stands as high as Lancaster's chest. The gigantic creature looks up this master, cocking his head curiously. Lancaster slaps him in the back of the head.


The Hordesman immediately complies, dropping onto all fours. Lancaster, meanwhile, leans over in front of the delegates, extending cupped hands.

"Come on. You guys need a ride."

Boxwell and the Mouth of Billcifer step into Lord Lancaster's palms, and he hoists them onto the rippled back of Hordesman #14. Lancaster then returns his hands in front of the delegates, beckoning them to climb aboard.
Gehenna Tartarus
30-10-2003, 19:06
With several deep breaths, Gehenna managed to recover from her initial shock generated by the arrival of Lord Lancaster. She had heard rumours about him, but was taken aback by his size.

He seems pleasant enough. And he promised not to eat us, and that's always a good sign.

She smiled to herself, as she watched the proceedings, and listened intently to the instructions, a little concerned about being compared to cockroaches, but she took it in good humour. Her eyes rested on the new entrant as he sidled up to Lancaster, and stared as to the two men stepped onto the giant turtles hand, to be hoisted onto the Hordesman's back knowing exactly what he was going to say next.

It appears I have little choice in the matter, and it really cannot be any worse than the shuttle ride.

Taking another deep breath, and making sure her smile was in place, to make herself look confident even if she didn't feel it, she slowly approached the outstretched hand, and carefully climbed on board.
Dread Lady Nathicana
30-10-2003, 20:53
Nathicana nods to the newly introduced delegates, putting on a charming smile despite her rather increased levels of alarm. "A pleasure," she says to both, her eyes flickering over them, storing away details, as always. She gracefully accepts the hand of President Boxwell, giving it a firm yet still ladylike shake.

To Lancaster, she manages to continue her smile, thanking once more the hours of strict discipline she was remembering to keep her backbone straight. Of course he's not going to eat us, she thinks with an internal string of colorful phrases, quite irritated at her own lack of composure.

"I am certain that whatever means you've prepared will be more than adequate," she says in a clear voice, more loudly than she would usually so as to carry to their host.

Diminuitive? Gods, who wouldn't be compared to him? Cockroaches indeed ... I'll warrant he didn't think so when Alexae ripped the f---ing arm off that hordesman in the bloodsport matches a while back. By all accounts, the mighty Lord of Io was speechless for at least a moment. He hasn't forgotten, by damn. He's planned this just as he wished, and orchestrated this all for our benefit. Point taken, Lancaster. Indeed.

She cocks a brow at the muscle-bound hordesman, wondering with no small alarm at just what this 'remedy' was Lancaster spoke of. Gods, not magic ... anything but that. Still, bound and determined to make a better showing than she has so far, she steps up behind Gehenna, a stubborn set to her chin. She tugs Devon along with her, equally determined that he make a good show as well.
30-10-2003, 21:08
Treznor blinks as his mind attempts to formulate a response, and fails. With a shrug he follows Nathicana to their new transport, cocking an eye back at the others as if to say, Yeah, but what can we do?

Once settled on the Hordesman's back as far away from the creature's...genitals as he can comfortably manage, he raps his knuckles on the hard shell. "I don't suppose these guys have any better shock absorbers than the last shuttle we rode, do they?"

If I read Nath right, we've been shown the stick. Now for the carrot.
31-10-2003, 06:22
After regaining some form of composure Carlos bows his head to Lancaster and smirks. "cockroaches indeed, we'll survive just about anything and keep on ticking." He mutters as he steps forward into Lancaster's hand and settles himself atop the hordseman.

Studying the hordseman intently Carlos shivers at the thought of the other remedies and shrugs softly. "Interesting design, does it come with leather seats?" He shouts up with a mischevious grin spreading accross his face.
31-10-2003, 10:52
The turtle is trying to impress us all with his size, Rene thought, climbing onto his hand and from there onto the back of the Hordesman. Well, he's not as big as a fusion blast. Granted, I don't actually have a fusion warhead in my back pocket to compare him with...

Holding on tightly to the creature's scaled skin, Rene strung profanities together at Carlos' inpermeable good cheer, and considered whether or not to slap the Iraqstani Fhürer. Unfortunately, it would probably cause a diplomatic incident.
Endless Crimes
31-10-2003, 11:25
How... embarrasing...

It´s the only thing tanya can actually think of.

She feels humilated, being uplifted by Lord Lancaster... well, she doesn´t have much of a choice.

And now this hordesman... well, i hope it is over soon...

Finally, she manages to smile.

"Well... being 'diminuitive' has it`s advantages... although perhaps not on Io..."
04-11-2003, 06:45
Lord Lancaster makes amply sure that the little people are secure on the Hordesman's back--although secure seems a bit of a strong word, considering the virtual lack of restraints of any kind on the creature's muscular spine. President Boxwell and the Mouth grab hold of a few thick patches of muscle, and the Mouth turns back to the group, his barely visible mouth forming a disgusting toothy grin.

"It's not that bad, but you best hold on anyway," he hisses.

Lancaster steps back to the stairs and raises a hand, and Hordesman #14 bounces forward, following his master up the staircase. The ride is bumpy, but there doesn't seem to be much fear of being thrown... barring, of course, the Hordesman bucking, which doesn't seem likely. Relative to Lancaster and the Hordesman, the staircase is fairly narrow, and it spirals upward beneath the dim orange glow of a few conveniently placed lamps dangling from the ceiling. Princess Tiki plods up the staircase after the Hordesman, her long tongue creeping coolly out of her mouth, tasting the thick air of the stairwell, and creeping back in again.

President Boxwell turns back to the group, running a free hand through his greying hair. He smiles warmly.

"He's taking us to the dining hall," Boxwell explains. "Lord Lancaster has prepared a grand meal for us all, over which we can discuss Io and NDA relations. There is, as I'm sure you know, more to the Empire than meets the eye."

"Yes," the Mouth chimes in. "Lord Lancaster is very gracious. We are so lucky to have him ruling over us."

"Indeed," Boxwell echoes. "So gracious... and so generous, too." An observant onlooker watching Creed at this point would note that he is very much rolling his eyes. Boxwell chuckles nervously. "Well, it shan't be long now before we're at the dining hall."

"Yes, and what a great meal Lord Lancaster has for us," the Mouth says, his yellow-toothed grin not fading from his mysterious face.
Gehenna Tartarus
05-11-2003, 09:20
Gehenna made herself comfortable - or as comfortable as a person could make herself considering the mode of transport. Following the example of President Boxwell, she grabs hold of the creatures back, her whitening knuckles the only evidence of how tightly she was holding on, as her face was a mask of calm.

She let her eyes fall upon each of her hosts in turn, before her attention was directed to Boxwell and the Mouth as they explained the forthcoming events. She smiled to herself, as she listened to their rolling compliments to their Lord, wondering whether these were the views they expressed when Lord Lancaster wasn't within earshot. She knew from her own experiences how the people who appeared the most loyal were the most likely to stab you in the back.

Feeling herself growing steadily hungrier as the talk of food continued, Gehenna turned to her nearest companion with a smile. "I must admit, it's not everyday you find yourself in this position is it?" She let her eyes wander around taking in the back of the Hordesman. "I never dreamed yesterday that I would experience what I have today. It's certainly an eye opener to how other people live."
05-11-2003, 11:15
Treznor looks over to Gehenna and grins. "It's not as bad as I expected. I bet if we market it right, all the important people will be riding their own lumbering behemoth. The ultimate in personal transportation."
Gehenna Tartarus
06-11-2003, 09:09
Gehenna laughed, as the thought of having one of these Hordesmen strolling around the streets of Tartarus, with her perched on the top, holding on for dear life. The thought of climbing on and off with any sort of dignity filled her with dread, it wasn't as if she had a Lord Lancaster to give her a lift up.

"I suppose it would be more enviromentally advantageous, although I imagine the upkeep could be crippling." She again admired the pure size of the beast beneath her. "Not to mention where you would house him."
06-11-2003, 10:33
Listening to Devon and Gehenna Carlos smirks and playfully slaps the hordsemen's head. "Faster damnit!" He mutters and generaly looks quite pleased with the thrill raising adventure so far.

"So do they always dribble on like this?" Carlos asks Creed as he looks at him pointedly.
Dread Lady Nathicana
07-11-2003, 00:56
Dread Lady Nathicana
07-11-2003, 00:58
So gracious, so good ... up up, Boxwell. Up, Mouth. Now roll over. Play dead, she thinks, keeping her wry grin to herself, opting for the pleasant smile she usually reserves for political functions.

"I'm quite certain the feast will be most excellent," she says, nodding to the two. "And I note the 'more than meets the eye' is something that usually holds true with most things, when you get right down to it."

She rides regally as possible, using her experience with horseback riding and sailing to help move with their curious mode of transportation, rather than be continually jolted by it, relaxing and rolling her weight with the motions of the hordesman. Nathi firmly focuses on not displaying lack of control as she had earlier. Her head high, chin tilted up in that imperious manner she has, she nevertheless continues to smile pleasantly, keeping her thoughts to herself.

Nathicana stifles a soft chuckle at the banter back and forth, her smile turning for a moment to more of a grin.

"Gods save us from that eventuality, Dev. I've no idea where we'd stable it for one thing, as Gehenna mentioned. And you know how it'd spook the locals."

Though turning it loose in the Ministry offices, having it conveniently snap up a few ... nah.
Burning Mountain
10-11-2003, 23:28
The pair laugh like hyenas at Carlos' joke (which would have been far more fun if he'd managed to stampede the Hordesman).

Then they draw their combat knives, plunge them into gnarled cancerous growth on the Hordesman's mighty back and hang on.
Endless Crimes
11-11-2003, 13:37
Well... thats nice, isn´t it?

Tanya watches at the Burning Mountain pair, slightly wondering if they treat everyone like this. But finally, she gives up thinking about it.

Local culture. And one has to admit: A rather interesting one.
13-11-2003, 01:16
(OOC: Attempt number THREE at typing this post... this time, sans the mad apologies for the delay... grrrrrrr...)

"So do they always dribble on like this?" Carlos asks Creed as he looks at him pointedly.

Creed nods slowly, running his hand back through his flame orange hair as the Hordesman lumbers on, completely unaware that there are knives being jabbed into its back. He lets out a frustrated sigh, then turns away from Carlos. "Not since they arrived have they stopped singing Lord Lancaster's praises. Of course, I suppose that may be expected when one is forced from his homeland, brought under the control of a foreign power, forced to submit to the will of... of..."

He trails off here, then falls silent, hanging his head as the Hordesman continues its lumbering ascent to the dining hall of the Bone-Cave.

(OOC: Second post coming soon. Just wanted to get something up.)
13-11-2003, 01:48
(OOC: SECOND POST! Let's get this party going!)

The winding stairwell eventually opens up to a room approximately the same size as the lobby: the dining hall of the Bone-Cave. Immediately upon entering, the delegates sense the strong smell of spiced meat and vegetables, as succulent as it is omnipresent. This room retains the obsidian motif of the lobby, but the green lighting is supplanted by flame, which emanates from several six-meter-high torches along the flat walls of the room. Above the room's center hangs an elaborate chandelier decorated by hundreds of normal-sized candles, their light reflected and rarefracted by the clear volcanic glass that dangles from the chandelier, creating a sinister mirror ball effect on the walls and ceiling.

The central feature of the room is a monstrous table that appears to be carved of iron. The rectangular table is fairly simple in design, save the legs, which maintain the elaborate design of the statues on the lower level. A large red plastic dish rests beneath the table, a black crown drawn on its side. Princess Tiki rushes to this dish, sticks her face inside, and sniffs before letting out a deep growl.

The Hordesman stops near the table, and Lord Lancaster smiles, bending over to profer his hands as a mode of transportation.

"I apologize... this is probably a little bit degrading," he says, as he scoops up the delegates in handfuls at a time and transports them to the tabletop. "I must say I don't entertain much."

The delegates are placed next to a much smaller table atop the iron one, this table made of wood, with sufficient chairs set up for every member of the delegation and all of the Mystics. The table is carved in a semicircle, and the tables are laid around the rounded side, each one granted a plate and a mysteriously large pile of napkins.

The most dominant feature of the table is the feast itself. It is laid out symmetrically on both sides of the table. Two roasts are the main course, each one about six meters in diameter. The roasts are garnished with large rings of a green vegetable that appears similar to a cross between a pineapple and a bell pepper, only much, much larger. The meat drips with juices, basking in its own peppery spices. Beyond the meat, the rows of food continue. Huge bowls of normal-sized potatoes covered in a layer of orange spice are next, followed by a large plate of jelly, several plates of vegetables of large and normal sizes, and a gigantic plate filled with loaves of bread.

The rows of food reach their focal point at a large chair at the far end of the table, where Lord Lancaster sits, his huge shell fitting comfortably in the chair's dipped back. He sighs, looking over his feast triumphantly, then bangs his plate against the table, creating a loud CRACK!

"STAND!" he bellows. Hordesman #14 does as he is commanded, panting deeply from the effort of the climb. The Hordesman then answers the order of "SERVE!" by darting off to the large doors behind Lord Lancaster's chair--the kitchen. Lancaster chuckles, baring his teeth as he turns back to the delegation.

"He'll be a few minutes," he says. "When he is back, we feast. For now, though, perhaps we can begin discussing the matters at hand: the NDA and Io. Does anyone have anything to say, or should I begin?"
Endless Crimes
13-11-2003, 12:50
Tanya watches the hordesman run towards the kitchen.

God, i wish i had comparable servicemen...

"He'll be a few minutes," he says. "When he is back, we feast. For now, though, perhaps we can begin discussing the matters at hand: the NDA and Io. Does anyone have anything to say, or should I begin?"

For a moment she ponders answering, but then, remembering that her instructions aren´t exactly detailed, she decides to stay quiet, watching Nathicana, assuming she has something to say.
13-11-2003, 13:03
Well, this is certainly not what I was expecting ... Blessed Fate be thanked for that.

"Tsaraine has little say in the affairs of the solar system, as yet," Rene said quietly. "You may begin. Unless anyone else has something to add?"

OOC: Yukyukyuk, ubershort.
14-11-2003, 06:47
Nodding thanks to Lancaster when he deposits Carlos to a spot in the room he watches as the hordesman rushes off and grins ruefully. "That's one way to get a service with a drool perhaps?" Eyeing the foods about him Carlos shakes his head unable to comprehend the hugeness of it all.

Looking up he blinks slightly for a moment before looking away at Devon and Nathicana showing his willingness to let them speak first. Afterall I've already accepte I'm less than diplomatic when it comes to talking...... I'm sure they've noticed that too.
Dread Lady Nathicana
14-11-2003, 17:30
Nathicana tries to be as graceful, and gracious, as possible while being transferred from hordesman to table. After all, Lancaster is making the effort to be hospitable ... and quite frankly, she respected his methods of making them feel welcome, yet intimidated at once. The casual show of power and command he had demonstrated, the instant and unquestioning loyalty of his people, all impressed her. Order within chaos. It was, in an oddly disturbing way, beautiful, much like the architecture within this vast citadel.

At his apology, she smile, waving a hand dismissively. "Think nothing of it - neccessity, and the effort of a host to accomodate his guests is never something to apologize for."

She takes a seat near the center of the smaller table, next to Devon, arching a brow slightly at the copious amount of napkins. That doesn't bode well ...

The feast is impressive, and her mouth waters at the succulent aromas. The platters of food are simply amazing, and the roast ... Dear god, what manner of beast do you th ... wait, no. Couldn't be, could it? Her eyes go a little wide at the thought, giving a sidelong glance at the hordesman. This doesn't exactly seem the place for gread monstrous grazing creatures after all. Perhaps best not to think about it. Can't be offending here. Lord knows I've had worse.

Nathicana jumps in her seat, shocked out of her reverie at Lancaster's sudden noise and commands. She blinks, resettling herself and assuming once again the pleasant facade to hide her concern and irritation. She had never liked being caught off guard, nor feeling she wasn't in complete control of a situation. This visit thus far, had her feeling both.

Seeing the looks from the others at Lancaster's query, she forces herself to smile. Oh for chrissakes, people, tis simply dinner and business. Sometimes I think we Dominion folk are the only ones who know how to carry such things on properly. Rising to her feet, she tilts her head graciously to Lancaster, fingertips resting lightly on the tabletop. In a clear voice, used to addressing groups, she speaks.

"To our esteemed ally, Lord Lucius Lancaster, our thanks for your hospitality and willingness to so graciously host us here, in your rather impressive home. What we have seen of your land, and your culture thus far is beyond what I myself had expected. Truly, you have accopmlished magnificient things here, the Bone Cave, dare I say, being quite the spectacular crown jewel as it were. We are honored to be here, and honored to count such a renowned leader as yourself among our ranks."

With a final respectful nod, she takes her seat again, still smiling pleasantly.
The SLAGLands
14-11-2003, 17:33
(Heh heh... "Burninatonian culture"...

Anyway, next week is final's week, and I'm going to try to pull myself away from NationStates until Tuesday at least. As such, you all probably won't get an update for a little while. My apologies.

-Bill, player of The SLAGLands, Burninatonia, et al)
25-11-2003, 07:35
Lord Lancaster grins toothily at the compliments paid him.

"I thank you for your kind words, Madame Dread Lady," he says. "The Bone-Cave is my pride and joy, a labor of many, many years... much like all of my fine Jovian state..."

The delegates can catch Mystic Creed mumbling, "Oh, Great Falling-Skies, not again..." as Lancaster continues on.

"Yes, for not without my grand leadership could any of this have taken place. Without my constantly vigilant eye or my grand genius, what would we have here? A barren wasteland full of volcanoes and death, that's what. Yes, this was indeed..."

As Lancaster continues rambling on, the kitchen door bursts open. The muscular Hordesman has returned, a large covered dish in his hands. Lancaster nods at the Hordesman's return as the gigantic creature sets the dish in front of the delegation. Pulling the lid from the dish reveals a huge wine glass, a tremendous bottle of wine with several small notches set into its side, and even more Hordesmen, these of average height and build, each one in a white apron. Lancaster motions to them with a smile.

"I give you the Kitchen Hordes," he says before bellowing a loud "SERVE!"

All at once, the Hordesmen spring to work. One of them pulls the notches from the glass, creating a tap from which wine flows into glasses held by other Hordesmen. The Hordesmen present the glasses to the delegates with blinding speed, snatching their plates in the process. As the large Hordesman #14 begins putting together Lord Lancaster's plate, the smaller Kitchen Hordes hoist themselves onto the various bowls and plates and begin doling out portions for the smaller delegates.

"Each Hordesman is designated by both genetics and upbringing to have a specific job," Lancaster explains. "Many of them are designed for construction. Still others are our repairmen. Still more fly our vessels, man our turrets, and fire our guns. These are responsible for serving me, my guests, and their fellow Hordesmen--in smaller part, of course. They are the Kitchen Hordes--employees of the State from birth, like all other Hordesmen."

The meal is served at last, and each delegate now has before himself or herself a plate bursting with food--roast, potatoes, jelly, steamed mixed vegetables, and a glass of dark red wine. Just as quickly as they came, the Hordesmen duck under the covered dish and are carried back into the kitchen, the large Hordesmen dumping a large slab of roast into Princess Tiki's dish moments before he leaves.

The delegates most likely immediately note the absence of silverware, but they will just as quickly notice that the Mystics, Boxwell, and the Mouth are digging in already using their hands. Boxwell is particularly cautious of remaining dirty, wiping his hands repeatedly on the pile of napkins granted to him.

Lancaster, meanwhile, takes a huge chomp out of his roast, then scoops up a handful of potatoes and stuffs them into his mouth. He grins, a small potato rolling down his chin and into his lap. He barely notices.

"Aaaaah... delicious," he says. "Candied 'taters... these things are like candy, I tell ya." He lays his food down in front of him, folding his hands in front of the plate.

"Now, to business. The first item I would like to address is the matter of the Burninatonian protectorates. At this time, the Imperial Hordes preside over five official protectorates, two vassal states, and two colonies. The Imperial Protectorates are Meteorapolis, Billcifer, and the Three Sisters: Baala, Armond, and Piewacket. In addition, we are pleased to enjoy the vassal states of Burning Mountain and Antigonation, as well as colonies of--ironically enough--Menelmacar and Lord Melkor's Imperium.

"Now, I cannot speak for the latter four nations--that is why three of the four are represented here. However, as Lord and Commander of the Burninatonian Hordes who preside over Meteorapolis, Billcifer, and the Three Sisters, I can speak for the five Imperial Protectorates. As such, I would like to begin this meeting by discussing NDA recognition of the Imperial Protectorates as full NDA members."
25-11-2003, 08:59
Treznor shrugs and reaches over to the roast to pull off a haunch and bite into it. He becomes aware of the fact that his face and hands are getting particularly messy, but he elects to ignore it for the moment. He does, however, take note of the location of the hand towels.

He starts to reach for the potatos, but stops when Lancaster describes them as "candied." He reaches for a napkin and wipes his jaw politely. "A fine feast, Lord Lancaster."

He nods politely at the description of the vassals, colonies and protectorates, but freezes at the suggestion they be made full members of the alliance.

"Um, that's a hell of a request to spring on us, Lord Lancaster. I believe the Council would want to meet to discuss that before making any decisions, particularly adding five members at once. Although I confess I'm confused as to why it should be necessary. As client states of Burninatonia, why would you feel they aren't be covered by your membership?"
25-11-2003, 09:31
"I concur," Rene added. "I may not be on the Council, but I do believe that, unless you're planning to liberate your protectorates, they should be considered a homogenous unit. If they fall under your command, then keeping them merged with Burninatonia makes nothing but good sense. What would they gain by being considered seperate from Burninatonia that they cannot get under a single membership?"
Endless Crimes
25-11-2003, 11:18

Tanya watches the... well, giant amount of food in front of her, and, recognising the rather... interesting culture of Burniatoria, she doesn`t waste a second, and starts consuming it. In incredible amounts, although not without dignity.

Listening to Lord Lancaster, she can`t suppress the feeling that there is... something more.

Finally, after Rene finishes, she answers as well.

"I have to admit, i agree with the previous speakers. Being Burniatorian protectorates makes it unecessary for them to be full NDA members. Besides..." She hesitates, and takes a small sip from the wine. "The NDA is there to protect the souvereignity of it`s members. Protectorates, especially the five you mentioned, are specefically not 100% souvereign."

She looks at Nathicana, expecting some sort of support for her position.

"Or am i wrong?"
25-11-2003, 13:47
Remaing respectfully silent Carlos focuses mainly on eating and watching the reactions of the people about him. Independantly acknowledged as members.... Interesting. He thinks to himself as he conciously takes note of his nodding in agreement with his peers.

Cleaning himself off respectfully Carlos frowns in thought and continues to listen to the conversation as he takes a sip from his glass of wine looks thoughtfully into it.
Gehenna Tartarus
28-11-2003, 09:12
Watching the others as the food was brought in, Gehenna listened to the discussion going on around her. Looking first at Treznor, then Carlos, then fixing her attention on Nathicana, interested in their replies, knowing that her own opinion was uncalled for.

She sampled a little of the food in front of her, savouring the taste and texture, washing it down with a sip of wine. She played with the stem of her glass, as the conversation continued.
Dread Lady Nathicana
29-11-2003, 18:35
Nathicana nods in recognition of the thanks, then listens politely as Lancaster goes on about his accomplishments, nodding occasionally, though giving Creed a sly grin. Her attention is diverted momentarily by the food being served.

"Lancaster, I'm impressed. Quite efficient. A place for everyone, and everyone in their place. I think I like it," she says, watching the Hordesmen work, and accepting her meal with a nod and smile. Upon seeing the others dig in, and having brought no utensils of her own - something she'd rarely had to to on state visits - she goodnaturedly set to eating, albeit with her usual delicate manner. She takes up manageable portions with her fingertips when possible, making use of the stacks of napkins at the ready. She samples everything, continuing with the dishes that please her best, and sipping continually from her wineglass. Not a bad vintage at all. And it goes nicely with the roast ... whatever it is. She let that thought pass quickly.

At the mention of business, her expression sharpened a bit, though she continued to eat, listening closely. Her expression did not change as Lancaster spoke, though she went from eating, to simply sipping her wine thoughtfully.

Her glance shifted to Devon, refraining from the chuckle she feels welling up at his reaction. Honestly, boy. I'd have thought by now you'd know our ally a bit better than all that. He's all about power, control, and profit. A good part of the reason his vassals are here to meet and greet us, I'll warrant.

As Rene speaks, her gaze shifts to the dark haired woman, thinking again how good it is to see her up and on her own feet. Shodey certainly does good work. Way to go, sis. I'll have to thank you when next I get a chance to visit. She makes no move for now, and simply listens.

Noting Carlos is being rather quiet, she glances at him, mildly concerned. Gods, I hope he's not considering worshipping Lancaster next. He's been rather impressed with this all so far ... with the imbalanced state he's been in, I wouldn't put it past him.

Tanya's words break her out of her brief reverie, and she turns her head slightly to listen. Seeing expectant looks from her, and others, she clears her throat lightly, whetting her lips with a bit more wine, then speaks in a clear voice.

"As these other fine representatives have noted, it is an ... interesting proposal you put before us, Lancaster. For one, I see yourself requesting membership for them - not them for themselves. This well illustrates the point of sovereignty brought up by the honorable delegate from Endless Crimes." Here she nods to Tanya. "And as Devon and Rene have both pointed out, your holdings should, and do fall under the coverage provided by your membership. Being your vassals, by nature they fall under the rule of Burninatonia, and are recognized by the NDA as such, not as sovereign entities, unless being dealt with on a more personal level."

She fixes Lancaster with a steady, yet polite look, smiling softly. "This organization is not a democracy, as one might think from both our name and charter. No one of us holds power over the rest, nor do any outside the ruling council hold the power of final say on issues. What you possibly think to gain from such a move is beyond me. They, under the Burninatonia name, should already benefit from and be guided by, as are all of us, the NDA charter that we have all agreed to upon joining this fine alliance." Settling back in her chair, Nathicana takes a slow sip of her wine, unblinking.

"Now, perhaps there were other matters of business you had in mind?"
09-12-2003, 07:59
Lancaster scowls, as if he had just watched the top dogs of the NDA kick over his sandcastle. The delegates can hear Mystic Creed chuckle between bites and mutter something akin to "Did he really think that would work?" Creed, it seems, feels compelled to be the running commentary of this meeting, providing quips that are unfunny at worst and surprisingly willful at best.

There is an uproar from the kitchen, and the door swings open. Lord Lancaster looks down at the ground, then looks back up with a grin. The words "Bread and circuses indeed..." can be heard muttered from Creed's direction as Lancaster opens his mouth again to speak.

"Well... it looks like despite that unpleasantness... I may have something interesting for you yet," he booms.
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 08:17
Lancaster scowls, as if he had just watched the top dogs of the NDA kick over his sandcastle. The delegates can hear Mystic Creed chuckle between bites and mutter something akin to "Did he really think that would work?" Creed, it seems, feels compelled to be the running commentary of this meeting, providing quips that are unfunny at worst and surprisingly willful at best.

There is an uproar from the kitchen, and the door swings open. Lord Lancaster looks down at the ground, then looks back up with a grin. The words "Bread and circuses indeed..." can be heard muttered from Creed's direction as Lancaster opens his mouth again to speak.

"Well... it looks like despite that unpleasantness... I may have something interesting for you yet," he booms.

Out of the doorway files a surprisingly rigid file of Uruk-hai stormtroopers, clad in the traditional pitch black uniforms of the Imperium's armed forces, the line of them carrying a massive seige ladder. The light from above reflected sharply off the glossed armor of the Uruks as they marched to the table, a six man formation taking up the rear; all Imperial officers clad in their black and beige dress uniforms.

Last of all in the procession was the surprisingly striking Warlord Konrad Althalon, resplendent in his dress regalia, two breathtakingly ornate shortswords crossed behind his back, under his flowing crimson/black cloak. The crew reached the foot of the massive table, propping the ladder to the top surface, the safety latch landing on the table with a startling clank. If anyone had missed the entrance, the sound of the ladder would have surely caught their attention.

Konrad gave a nod to his men as they neatly stepped aside, and several Uruks hissed. He reached a gloved hand to the ladder and mounted it quickly, despite his rather elaborate garb. Reaching the top, he bowed to the delegation, and lifted his chin. "Greetings, Lord Lancaster and friends. I, as you may or amy not know, am Warlord Konrad Althalon, sent by my country to attend this meeting." his hands clenched behind his back, and he grinned. "I hope I'm not too late for all the hot food."

Konrad kicked the safety hitch loose and the crew file out in similar fashion as they entered.

"Now... Where do I sit?"
09-12-2003, 08:30
Lancaster chuckles warmly as Warlord Althalon steps onto the table in a sense of splendor unusual to the guests of the Bone-Cave. He claps slightly over his food, and the Mystics quickly join the applause. Even Mystic Creed--normally cynical and aloof--seems a bit impressed by the delegate.

"Welcome, Warlord Althalon!" Lancaster says, motioning to the table. "Please, have a..."

Lancaster looks over the table and notes that every seat is, in fact, full. His smile turns to a grimace, then to a scowl, then to an abrupt roar.


All at once, the monstrous Hordesman #14 darts out of the kitchen again, fumbling a chair in his gigantic mitts. He slides out of the kitchen and to the side of the table, then plants the chair down next to the smaller table, barely missing taking out a substantial portion of the delegation in the process. The chair lands at the far end of the table... right next to the Menelmacari delegation.

Lancaster looks down at the chair with a scowl, a scowl that quickly turns back into a smile. He motions to the chair with one tremendous paw as Hordesman #14 struggles to make a new plate for Althalon--with the assistance of a smaller Kitchen Hordesman, of course.

"Please, sit. Dine. Join us. Be merry," Lord Lancaster says, grinning toothily. "We're all friends here."
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 08:38
Althalon grinned. The irony was beautiful. He suspected that the Menelmacari would detest his presence far more than he would be offended by them. Striding confidently, alone, to a table inhabited by his most hated enemies, he grins fiendishly through it all, his eyes scanning the nearby Noldor's souls, particularly the one he deems the 'head of the group,' if it could be distinguished by any different type of garb.

Taking ahold of the seat by the backrest, he pulls it out slightly, his boots still clicking ominously on the steel floor beneath him as he swung around to seat himself, adjusting his weaponry to accomodate his seating.

Revelling in the silence, the man leaned down to take enjoy a hefty handfull of whatever the hell it was they were serving. Swallowing his food, he sets the utensil down with a clank. "Well, now. Isn't this amusing?"
09-12-2003, 08:45
Gondramil nos Fingolfin, Viceroy of Menelmacari Valarauka, smiled. If he or his aides were offended, there was precisely zero sign of it. "Isn't it, though? Try the roast, it's excellent. I was wondering when your delegation would arrive. Lord Gondramil nos Fingolfin is my name, and you have already introduced yourself. 'Tis a rare pleasure." He offered, of all things, a handshake. Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Regent of Lavenrunz, Chancellor of CENNA
"We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. We will see freedom's victory."
~US President George W. Bush
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 08:53
Gondramil nos Fingolfin, Viceroy of Menelmacari Valarauka, smiled. If he or his aides were offended, there was precisely zero sign of it. "Isn't it, though? Try the roast, it's excellent. I was wondering when your delegation would arrive. Lord Gondramil nos Fingolfin is my name, and you have already introduced yourself. 'Tis a rare pleasure." He offered, of all things, a handshake. Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Regent of Lavenrunz, Chancellor of CENNA
"We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. We will see freedom's victory."
~US President George W. Bush
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (

Althalon grinned again, and picked another mouthful of food off his plate, extending his hand a moment later to shake the Menelmacari dignitaries' hand. "Indeed. So few of us have actually met one another, despite all the strife."
09-12-2003, 09:00
Again, Gondramil doesn't seem to notice... his hand is already covered in food anyway, despite his best efforts. "Indeed!" he says with that ingratiating smile of his. "Perhaps if we met each other more often there would be less strife. It seems that the problems between us are so ancient, even by our reckoning, that they have no bearing on today's world. What's a trio of shiney rocks among friends?" Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Regent of Lavenrunz, Chancellor of CENNA
"We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. We will see freedom's victory."
~US President George W. Bush
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 09:16
Again, Gondramil doesn't seem to notice... his hand is already covered in food anyway, despite his best efforts. "Indeed!" he says with that ingratiating smile of his. "Perhaps if we met each other more often there would be less strife. It seems that the problems between us are so ancient, even by our reckoning, that they have no bearing on today's world. What's a trio of shiney rocks among friends?" Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Regent of Lavenrunz, Chancellor of CENNA
"We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. We will see freedom's victory."
~US President George W. Bush
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (

Konrad couldn't help but snicker at the thought. "I'm not here to speculate as to the nature of our two countries' relationships. Peace between the Noldor and the Imperium has been a long forsaken notion, in most of our eyes. The difficulties that the followers of Melkor were subjected to during his exile in the Void was a hellish time for endless generations of Haradrim and Easterlings, who are of course quick to blame the Noldor, and rightly so. I'm afraid that most of our differences may yet be irreconcileable at the moment. Though we've sufficiently avoided full-scale war rather well. Things have certainly changed since the First Age."
09-12-2003, 09:38
Treznor blinks in surprise at the sudden commotion at the kitchen, and watches with concern that gradually translates into amusement as Konrad makes his entrance and proceeds to snipe with the Menelmacar delegate. Eventually, when there's a lull in the conversation, he nods politely sets down his food, wipes his hands with a napkin and stands to bow ever so slightly.

"Greetings, Lord Althalon. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please convey to your master the regards of our Alliance, and our pleasure with the first shipments we've received. We anticipate a prosperous future in trade with Melkor."
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 09:44
Treznor blinks in surprise at the sudden commotion at the kitchen, and watches with concern that gradually translates into amusement as Konrad makes his entrance and proceeds to snipe with the Menelmacar delegate. Eventually, when there's a lull in the conversation, he nods politely sets down his food, wipes his hands with a napkin and stands to bow ever so slightly.

"Greetings, Lord Althalon. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please convey to your master the regards of our Alliance, and our pleasure with the first shipments we've received. We anticipate a prosperous future in trade with Melkor."

Konrad turned, and looked up at the man who had approached his seat. He holds up a finger to silence the Menelmacari delegate for a moment as he answers the man. "My master? An interesting choice of words. But indeed, it does do us much honour to be doing business with Treznor and the rest of the NDA. Tell me, does the NDA have a presence on Io, or is your presence a token appearance?"
09-12-2003, 09:53
"My master? An interesting choice of words."
Treznor smiles gently, but says nothing.

"But indeed, it does do us much honour to be doing business with Treznor and the rest of the NDA. Tell me, does the NDA have a presence on Io, or is your presence a token appearance?"
Treznor gestures to the impressive sight of Lord Lancaster. "I'm afraid Lucius is the only presence on Io that represents our Alliance, Sir. While there was initially some concern that Burninatonia would not be able to adhere to the principles of democracy and peace, we've had no regrets since adding them to our ranks. Indeed, all of our members have helped us to prosper immensely. Business has been good."
Melkor Unchained
09-12-2003, 10:00
Konrad laughed as he reached across the table for another helping of meat, piling it on to his plate. "Well, I should certainly hope so."

Taking casual note of the table the man had come from, a look of confusion suddenly crossed his face. "I don't beleive we've actually met before.. I don't think I caught your name...?"
09-12-2003, 10:09
Blinking silently Carlos eyes the new arrival quietly and chuckles. "A pleasure to meet you. I am Carlos Quil'raya. Führer of the Holy Empire of Iraqstan." Bowing his head slightly Carlos turns back to concentrating on his meal and listening to the conversations going about him.
09-12-2003, 10:11
Treznor grins and extends his hand, resigning himself to the fact that he'll probably get more grease stains on his good black-and-silver dress uniform. "Devon Treznor, at your service Lord Althalon."
Endless Crimes
09-12-2003, 12:53
Tanya chuckles fromt he very moment Konrad has his soundly entrance.

Here they are, elves, Uruks, representatives from all the most unholy empires the world knows...

To bad i don´t have a bomb here.

But she is quite successful in hiding her feelings, it`s surprising enough that the elven filth didn´t yet try to assasinate her, considering Endless Crime`s position in The Reich.

At the very least, this should be amusing... not to say, intriguing.

But suddenly, she steps in, when listening to Konrad and Treznor. "Well, aside from Burniatoria, not yet... however, i have slight hopes that it would be possible to expand the glory of The R... The NDA towards Io... of course, if the local heir allows it." Speaking the words, she turns to Lord Lancaster, looking much more confident than before.
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-12-2003, 00:56
Nathicana watches the entrance with an amused smile. Having had dealings with the Imperium before, she notes with interest the differences in style and bearing from the others she's met, Alkaphel in particular. She shivered involuntarily, remembering meeting him. Definitely something more there than met the eye. An aura of power.

She lets her eyes wander over Konrad appreciatively, noting the cut and fit of his formal wear on his impressive frame, her gaze lingering somewhat on the crossed blade.

The man certainly knows how to make an entrance. Ballsy. I like. And damn, but those are fine looking swords. I really ought to wear mine more often. Ah, vanity, thy name is woman. Then again ...

Creed's ongoing commentary she filters past, flinching somewhat as Lancaster calls for a chair - damn the creature's flair for the dramatic. She quite carefully schools her expression to one of neutrality, watching the interplay between the Imperium and Menelmacari delegates, though her eyes glitter with anticipation, waiting to see what happens next.

Nathi smiles at the exchange between Konrad and Devon for some reason, though she keeps her silence for the moment. If the words of Tanya bother her, she hides it rather well, never loosing the pleasant smile.

An ally to be watched. Carefully. Their ties with the Reich have always been slightly troubling, still, we've gotten far more out of them than has cost us. So long as that trend continues, I see no particular problems. Ah Tanya, watch your slips, girl. People are watching. We're a far more dangerous group than our pleasant demeanors show.

Chuckling softly, she gracefully rises to her feet, brushing back a stray lock of hair from her smooth face.

"My Lord Althalon, it is an honor to make your aquaintance. Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo, Dread Lady of the Dominion," she says, standing as tall and proud as her 5'6" frame allows. "I have enjoyed pleasant dealings with the Imperium in the past. I hope that the trend will continue in the future, whatever our contacts on Io may or may not be."
Melkor Unchained
10-12-2003, 01:31
A look of mild confusion crosses Konrad's face as Tanya approaches the conversation, interjecting with her bit about NDA's expansion. He shrugged lightly at the remark. It didn't make too much of a difference to him whether Tanya had actually meant to say "The Reich" or not; as both parties in question enjoyed at least nominal support from Arda. Allies were allies, he reasoned. Still, he made it a point to watch this one. The slip could be a costly one.

"Well, I'm sure our friendly landlord over yonder," he tilted his head towards Lancaster, "would certainly not object to that. What's good for the NDA is good for him--and furthermore good for me." He chuckled. "And lets have no illusions, that's my primary interest, a feeling I'm sure is sahred by all at this table." He glanced back to the Menelmacari delegation with his words, giving a polite sort of half nod. He turned back to Treznor and Tanya, his voice lowering slightly--but not so much as to render his words inaudible to the Menelmacari. "It's heartening to see that we've got some friends here, especially with the Noldor about. While we may get on here just fine, I assure you it is only a matter of circumstance. I'm just glad Lancaster had the sense to keep us apart." He reached into a pouch at his side, darwing a flask. He takes a swig, and sets it on the table. "Until now, of course."

At that moment, Nathicana had made her greeting, and Konrad slowly stood. Taking her hand, he bowed slightly and kissed it. "Always a pleasure, my Lady. It's even more of a pleasure to meet you in person as it is to watch all those fat checks roll in. " He smirked, chuckling lightly. "Seriously. I've heard much about you and the Dominion, but am sadly lacking in firsthand knowledge."
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-12-2003, 03:22
Nathi nods in acknowledgement, her smile increasing. "And we've enjoyed the goods we've recieved in turn, I assure you. As for the Dominion, what better way to learn of it than to arrange a visit sometime? I assure you mere words will simply not do it justice. I'm certain, were it acceptable to you and your leaders, that something could be arranged."
11-12-2003, 05:36
Lord Gondramil leaned back and took another chunk of the roast to chew on thoughtfully, along with the snippets of conversation since his brief exchange with Althalon. So the Reich had interests on the world of fire? It figured, really; they had interests everywhere, even if they hadn't the ability to make good on them. The Reich was like a twenty-year-old pitbull... unpleasant and aggressive, but with weak legs and jaws, and cataracts in both eyes. Their time had come and gone, and no signs suggested it would return. That Konrad whispered about his people, also bothered him little. He knew how the warlord felt; and he would have to mouth his statement rather than speak it for it to be inaudible to the Elf, anyway. Konrad himself was an interesting character, though. His statements thus far had seemed alternately to support and oppose the Illuminati Pact. He would bear close watching. Sirithil nos Fëanor
Elentári of the Eternal Noldorin Empire of Menelmacar
Regent of Lavenrunz, Chancellor of CENNA
"We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. We will see freedom's victory."
~US President George W. Bush
We Love the Iraqi Information Minister (
Gehenna Tartarus
12-12-2003, 18:57
Gehenna watched the proceedings with an air that spoke little of her interest. She had sat silently as Athalon entered and took his seat, before he started his conversation with the others around the table, barely registering any of his discussion with Gondramil.

She sat back in her chair, her eyes moving over the each person as they spoke, listening as the conversation continued around her.
Melkor Unchained
13-12-2003, 18:40
Althalon grinned wryly. "Perhaps if we can establish a presence on Mars, our colonies can handle a good deal of the trading, as well. Depends on what kind of goods that you'll be needing on an offworld colony, or if you really even need to ship them elsewhere."

He reached back to the table, taking his flask again, raising it to his lips. "Still, it could be a useful outpost, of sorts."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-12-2003, 22:33
"Well now, there's a thought," Nathicana says thoughtfully. "We -have- been established there for a little while now. Still getting a feel for the politics and all, but I can't disagree with you on the convenience of it all. Should you manage to gain a foothold, we should talk," she finishes, smiling back at him warmly, lifting her glass in a brief toast, full of unspoken hinted promises.
17-12-2003, 08:56
Lancaster listens with quiet interest as the group discusses a good bit of everything. He offers an occassional nod of consent or a "Yes, indeed," but contributes little to the discussion. At the mention of Mars, Thorne's ears perk up. He stands from his chair and slides toward Althalon, whispering in a snake-like tone.

If ever you get to Mars... contact me. We will have much to discuss.

He slides back into his chair with an equal smoothness as Lancaster begins speaking again, an odd smile on his face.

"I must say... I'm pleasantly surprised," he says, surprisingly quietly. "Everyone is getting along quite well. However..." He turns his gaze toward Althalon, lowering his head slowly. "...I understand you have a request."
Melkor Unchained
21-12-2003, 06:50
The Warlord's gaze shifted from Nathicana to Lord Lancater, finding the image rather unpleasant in contrast. He loweres his flask, setting it on the table with a tiny thud. Wiping off his mouth, he stood slowly.

"Yes, in fact I do, and I'm pleased that you brought it up in fact," he started with a wry grin. His gaze shot again to the Menelmacari watching him for an instant as he continued: "The Io Imperium is rather large, as you know. Many people in my nation consider it Melkor's greatest stronghold since Angband. Such as it were, we could use more land for it, in fact. We're not sure as to the extent of Burninatonian claims to the Io geography, and furthermore, other people's claims. To be honest, i'm not even sure it's possible to fill this request at the moment," he concluded, folding his arms over his chest. "I was hoping you could clear it up for us."

Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
23-12-2003, 07:55
Lord Lancaster begins chuckling mercilessly at the mention of "extent of Burninatonian claims." He waits patiently for Althalon to finish speaking... then chuckles some more.

"Lord Althalon, I think you underestimate my precise purpose on Io..." he says. "This is not a matter of how much I 'claim;' it's a matter of how much I am entitled to. This land, you see, is my birthright, the World of Fire destined to belong to my people. It was mine to take, and now, it is mine to give."

Lancaster leans back in his chair, scratching his chin.

"Although... the real issue here is... what to give you. There's not a lot of undeveloped land left. I suppose there's always the option of granting you the... well..." He leans forward again.

"...least efficient sector."

All of a sudden, Darian Creed rises from his chair, wiping the grease from his palms.

"In Burninatonia--and in the Great City of Necron before it--we hold a grand custom of proof through strength. If Lord Melkor desires more land, he may acquire it... but first, his warrior must best the leader of that land in combat... to the death, of course. Unarmed."

Creed walks from his chair toward the chairs of the delegates. President Boxwell turns his head back nervously.

"It just so happens that, at this point, the most inefficient and non-productive sector of Burninatonia is..."

Creed's hand drops, finding its mark quickly and efficiently. It pulls up, tightly gripped onto the back collar of the trenchcoat of one of the delegates from Io.

Melkor Unchained
23-12-2003, 10:06
Althalon grinned, and unhooked the buckle to his sword-sheaths, letting them fall to the ground with a clank. He bowed before Lancaster, and hooked his hands together behind his back. "A custom worthy of a Warlord. I would be delighted to fight this man to the death for your land. Unarmed, as you say."

Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
Endless Crimes
23-12-2003, 15:54
Tanya followed the dialogue closely. That seems to be interesting. Her always present morbit interest in death, blood, pain... it was there, again, in full strength, and she could hardly wait to see the 'battle'. Looks like this trip was, after all, a 'really' good idea... Especially since this Melkor Guy, Althalon... She forces herself to end the thought... While she believes her secretary is the only other telepath present... she doesn´t want anyone to know. Being crucified and stoned due to sexual thoughts... not a nice thing. For a moment, she curses her nation and it`s laws, but quickly turns her attention back to Althalon.
24-12-2003, 11:49
Sitting back Carlos watches the conversation intently, smiling at Lancaster's entrance into it. Flicking a glance to Gehenna and Tanya Carlos gauges their attitudes and reactions to all that is going on about them.

Sipping from his drink Carlos cracks his neck slightly and resumes listening intently to the conversation before him.
Melkor Unchained
24-12-2003, 20:34
[ooc: the following is a transcript of a mIRC log done in free form between myself ['Konrad_Althalon'], and Burninatonia [SLAG/Oz/LordLuciusLancaster, The_Mouth_of_Bilcifer, et al. It's been edited to cut the ooc and timestamps].

Session Start: Tue Dec 23 14:34:10 2003
Session Ident: #Lancaster`sTable
[14:34] * Now talking in #Lancaster`sTable

TheMouthOfBillcifer looks back at Mystic Creed, his grin fading. "You... wnat me... to fight... him..." he trails off, gesturing to Althalon.

Althalon snickers idly, his hands interlacing behind his back

LordLuciusLancaster grins toothily. "Of course, Mouth. Lord Althalon requires land. You have land. The only way to make for a proper exchange is via the bloodsport."

Suddenly, DarianCreed pushes The Mouth out from behind the table, in between the dishes and the delegation. "Fight well, and you will live. Is that so difficult to accomplish?"

TheMouthOfBillcifer looks Konrad over, from head to toe, then flings his fedora over the table's edge. His eyes are enormous and bloodshot, the top of his head covered with loose skin folds and few hairs--obviously some sort of mutation. "If I must fight, it will be your blood upon this table, Althalon!"

Konrad_Althalon slowly shuffles to the right, cracking his neck and jumping slightly to limber up. He unclasps his cloak, folding it up and throwing it on the table. He grins. "I hate to shatter your ego, sweetheart, but this is most certainly not my first deathmatch. I'll not be defeated by the likes of you."

"Oh... and you... uh... think that it's mine?" TheMouthOfBillcifer chuckles."I've... slayed men... twice your size! With my bare hands! He sneers at the Warlord. "I suggest you surrender now, Lord Althalon, and spare yourself the humiliation of dying on top of a madman's table!"

TheTempest puts his palm to his forehead. "He's Horde bait."

Konrad_Althalon lowers his shoulders and charges at the Mouth suddenly. The time for words was over. TheMouthOfBillcifer 's eyes go wide, and he quickly sidesteps the charge, putting his guard up. Althalon extends an arm as he charges past, hooking it around the Motuh's waist, slinging his momentum around so as to bring the man to the ground.

TheMouthOfBillcifer hits the ground with a dull thud and an "Oof!" He curses loudly, then attempts a kick to Althalon's leg. Althalon lets the blow hit, and reaches down to pull the Mouth to his feet. With his free hand, he decks the man in the face as he rises, still maintaining a firm hold on his shirt. TheMouthOfBillcifer reels at the blow, his nose bent to one side--quite obviously broken. The Mouth cringes and knees Konrad in the gut several times. Konrad winces and leans forward, his stomach tightening up as the blows fall. Suddenly, the man's knee met Althalon's hand, which slid underneath the joint, grasping his knee fully with his rather large hand. A grunt was given as Konrad shifted his weight to one side. His other hand flew to the Mouth's now immobilized ankle, which he used as leverage to attempt to break his kneecap. TheMouthOfBillcifer falls to heap on the ground, gripping his kneecap in pain and screaming at the top of his lungs. With one quick burst of energy, he shoots forward and attempts to bite Konrad's leg with his monstrous teeth.

Althalon screams in pain and rage as blood spurts out of the opening on his calf. Staggering back, he ripped his leg from the man's jaws. TheMouthOfBillcifer attempts to stand, but collapses back onto the ground. His chops dripping with blood, The Mouth of Billcifer lunges at Konrad once again, uttering a hideous scream as he does so. Konrad_Althalon sidesteps to one side, limping slightly on his afflicted leg. His arms flew up to interpose themselves between his body and the Mouth's incoming face. TheMouthOfBillcifer reaches up with one hand to attempt to pull Konrad's arm away, but he lacks the strength to force the larger man to give.Konrad_Althalon grabs the Mouth by his shoulders, scowling with rage as he thrust his frehead into the man's face several times. TheMouthOfBillcifer reels at the blows once again, his head bobbing, his eyes rolling back in his head. He punches Konrad with one free hand, but the punch is weak and Althalon barely feels it.

Konrad_Althalon lets go as soon as his foot was thrust into the man's stomach, allowing him to finally fall to the ground.

His breathing comes slowly as he falls onto his back, his still-barely-conscious eyes staring up at Althalon. Wracked with pain, the man slowly began to realize that he was about to lose his life. Perhaps his life flashes before his eyes--perhaps it doesn't. He wouldn't be around to tell anyone, that much was sure. Althalon loomed over him, standing grim and stalwart.

TheTempest turns away. "Oh, gods... my..." The remainder of his statement disappears.

LordLuciusLancaster stands up, looking at the two upon the table. "The time has come! FINISH HIM OFF!" Lancaster roars, his voice echoing through the Bone-Cave like a hideous trumpet. Althalon limps around and hoists the Mouth up by his shoulders, grasping him in a headlock. His eyes slip to Lancaster with a smirk. Suddenly, he jerked his shoulder to one side, snapping the man's neck instantly. TheMouthOfBillcifer falls to the ground, his body helplessly broken. His breathing has ceased.

Althalon stood triumphant over the broken body of his foe, wiping teh sweat from his brow. LordLuciusLancaster leads the Mystics in a round of applause. Only The Tempest, whose face is still hidden from the entire delegation, does not applaud. The Warlord took a bow, his eyes flickering back to his table with a malevolent smirk.

LordLuciusLancaster stands up and walks to the other side of the table.
"Well done, Lord Althalon!" he says, grinning widely. "The lands that were once Billcifer will be yours pending the removal of our resources from it."

Althalon wipes the sweat from his brow, and nods. "My Lord will be most pleased. We thank the Burninatonians for thier hospitality, and applaud your honorable customs."

Lancaster picks up the body of the Mouth of Billcifer and holds it in front of his face by one leg. He snorts, the body swaying with the force of his breath. "I don't particularly enjoy eating... DEAD sentients." With a sigh, Lancaster chucks the body onto the ground. There is a loud slurping sound from beneath the table--apparently, Princess Tiki has gotten her dessert.

LordLuciusLancaster returns to his chair.

* Oz has quit IRC (Quit: I AM THE MUSTARD OF YOUR DOOM!)

Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
Dread Lady Nathicana
27-12-2003, 09:03
Nathicana watches the interplay closely, one brow arching up as the challenge is delivered, and accepted.

After dinner entertainment even? How thoughtful. If I didn't know any better, I'd almost say this was planned out ... interesting.

Listening to the trash talk between the two, she smiles, softly at first. Her smile broadens a bit as the two men fight both for land, and their lives. Occasionally flinching sympathetically at a well-placed blow, her eyes alight with expectation and excitement, Nathi sits forward, finally perching on the edge of her seat, her hands gripping the edge of the table. As the fight progresses, she unconsciously licks her lips, appreciating more than just the skill of Konrad as he fights.

Damn, the man can move ... and looks good doing it, too. Check that action out. Nathi chuckles to herself. Nice ass.

As Lancaster calls for Konrad to end it, she finds herself half rising from her chair, mouthing the words 'yes, finish him' as well. As he snaps the Mouth's neck, and drops his body to the ground, she rises the rest of the way from her chair, applauding along with the Mystics, and taking note of the Tempest's lack of enthusiasm.

"Indeed, well fought," she says, making a brief half-bow of respect to Konrad, though her eyes never drop. "And congratulations on your new acquisition."

Taking her seat again, she leans back in her chair with a mischievous smile, then sips her wine slowly, waiting to see what's next.

She makes it a point not to pay attention to the sounds coming from below.
Melkor Unchained
27-12-2003, 10:44
The Warlord stalked back to his table, gathering his belongings before heading back to his seat, where he reaffixed his swords and caps, casually smoothing out his uniform.

His gaze shifts to Nathi as she speaks, a hand absently sliding down his side to retreive a silver cigratte case. He lights it, and tosses his lighter on the table and cracks a grin, leaning back slightly. He tilts his head at the woman, plucking the cigarette from his mouth, exhaling smoke with his words. "You honor me with your praise, Lady Nathicana," he siad, bowing his head at her. "Though I must now get thoroughly sedated due to the pain in my calf. That man had quite a bite," he finised, taking another mighty swig from his flask.

Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
28-12-2003, 01:32
Treznor nods slowly as he takes in the ferocity of the battle. Althalon doesn't fight for honour, he fights to win. I can respect that. I'll remember it, as well. It didn't look like he's been augmented, but I imagine that could change any time he wanted it.

He wipes his mouth and hands clean once again and nods respectfully. "Congratulations. Well fought and well-won. It's a shame Billcifer was clearly outmatched. I imagine you have difficulty finding competition on your own level."
Dread Lady Nathicana
28-12-2003, 23:58
Nathi grins right back at Konrad, giving him a sly wink as he tips back his bottle. "By all means, milord."

She gives Devon a sidelong glance at his comment though. What, thinking of a challenge yourself, boy? Think again. I'd like you in one piece if I can manage it. Still ... She looked over Konrad again, in a slow, leisurely manner, clearly weighing and measuring.

"That could be said several, I'd imagine," she said in response to Devon's observation. She stretches slowly, a predatory light in her eyes. "After all, one cannot properly test ones skills without at least an equally skilled opponent."
Gehenna Tartarus
29-12-2003, 01:08
Watching the battle, Gehenna’s eyes remained transfixed to the combatants, each move followed until the final outcome. She continued to follow the after battle banter between Nathicana, Konrad and Devon, just listening to their conversation.

She took this moment in the proceedings to get a better look at her companions, watching their reactions to the events unfolding around them. Her face remained a mask, revealing none of her thoughts, whether she approved or disapproved of such behaviour.
02-01-2004, 16:59
Dabbing at the corners of his mouth Carlos watches the fight with mild interest his focus instead is mainly staring at the surrounding bone cave and the dining room itself. When the 'entertainment' had finished Carlos turned his attention back to the people around the table and the conversations at hand.

Flicking a glance to Gehenna and Tanya he lifts his eyebrows with amusement before returning his gaze to Konrad, Nathicana, Devon and Lord Lancaster.
Melkor Unchained
03-01-2004, 18:11
The man gave a nod as Devon finished his thought. "As I'm sure you can realize, our society is full of this sort of thing. I've done it dozens of times," he said nonchalantly. He picked the last piece of meat off his plate and swallowed it with a grin."Youre correct to an extent, but not all of my battles have been so easily won. It takes a lot to climb the ranks in the Imperium," he concluded, with a nod towards Nathi and Devon.
Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
03-01-2004, 22:25
Treznor snags another piece of meat and chews thoughtfully. "In a rather morbid way, that suggests an idea to me. We have sufficient members of the alliance and trade partners here. What do people think of starting up some international games? Sporting events, mind."

He glances over to Lancaster and grins. "I'm sure we can come up with something where the Hordesmen aren't grossly overqualified."
Gehenna Tartarus
04-01-2004, 12:53
Gehenna, following the conversation silently, looked at Treznor as she thought about his proposal. She was sure that the Empire could field some more than adequate competitors, although looking at those gathered, she was sure how level the opposition would be.

"Modern sport is a, generally speaking, non-violent way of assertaining superiority over others." She thought of the entertainment recently witnessed and smiled. "It is also a good way of showing the alliance we have with each other in more friendly terms, rather than filling the world with pictures of our joint forces."

She let her eyes wonder to the others sitting round the table, before returning her gaze to Treznor. "Tartarus gives its full backing to such an event."
Melkor Unchained
04-01-2004, 14:02
Konrad laughed. "Well, it would of course be most infuriating to those with a streak of..." he pauses. "Ah, how shall we say: idealism?" He shrugged. "Ultimately, though, they'd probably be hard pressed to stop it. And they'd probably do little or nothing to this end anyhow, as powers from that bloc are wont to do. Still, it'd be quite entertaining."

Warlord Konrad Althalon
First Advisor for Imperial Armed forces, Acting Imperial Field Marshal
05-01-2004, 09:39
"I'm afraid Tsaraine's sporting prowess is nonexistent," Rene said. "It is not encouraged, and thus there tends to be very little sport at all. I don't know if there's any, since it's not watched for.

"So Tsaraine's contributions would probably be limitied."
07-01-2004, 04:26
Lancaster listens to the conversation about sporting events with obvious dollar signs in his eyes. He nods quickly, looking about the Bone-Cave as if planning the expansions already. A new chandelier here... maybe some more sculptures of myself... maybe some sculptures of me crushing the head of a foe...

"This sounds like an excellent plan," he says. "And I can assure you, good Emperor Treznor, that the Hordesmen are far from overqualified or even superior to humans in any way." Almost as if on cue, the kitchen door opens, and Hordesman #14 steps out, a huge piece of paper in his hand. Lancaster continues, "They work for me solely because they are easy to control, stupid, weak, subservient fools. Had I desired to raise companions, I'm certain I could do a better job than these despicable creatures... and certainly the cretins that I've managed to recruit to rule my forces in other lands." The Mystics sit silent, none budging. Thorne's eyebrows lower--the only movement among them. "No, I'll give them to your games, not so I can revel in their victory, but chide them in their defeat. And we'll sell tickets, and recruit sponsors, and we'll grow fat as we suckle at the teat of wealth and power that separates us from those less than us. THAT is the NDA way, if you ask me!"

At the conclusion of the speech, Lancaster feels a tap against his shoulder. He turns, receiving the paper from the stolid and gigantic Hordesman, who immediately walks to the other side of the table as Lancaster reads.

"SHIT!" he shouts, giving no mind for his company in shouting the vulgarity as he throws the paper down in disgust. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut our meeting short and ask you to get out of Burninatonia as quickly as possible. There is something that requires my immediate attention."

"Is there anything we can do to..." President Boxwell begins.

"No," Lancaster interrupts. "The best thing to do now is return to your homelands. Perhaps in short order, we can reschedule this meeting and salvage what remains to be had. But please... go. Thank you all for coming. I bid you good evening."

Without even waiting for a response from the delegates, Lancaster enters the kitchen in a fury. Hordesman #14, meanwhile, grabs the discarded ladder from the orcs and places it on his own back as he drops to all fours, allowing the delegates a means to leave.


The ride down the stairs and the shuttle trip back to the docks sees the Mystics silent. When questioned, they merely shake their heads; when spoken to, they look away. The Tempest in particular seems quite shaken up, as if he has just witnessed something incredibly terrible within the grim halls of the Bone-Cave.

All is quiet at the docks and the gate as well; a simple "fare thee well" are all the good-byes the delegates receive from the Mystics. As the ships leave the docks, an eye shot back down would reveal Darian Creed moving his right hand to his gladius and his left hand from his hung forehead to his heart, then to the left tangental to his body. His eyes look up for a moment, and one can sense within him a rage as red as the sands of the World of Fire.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-01-2004, 08:02
Nathicana nods in agreement with the suggestion of the Games, having always enjoyed watching, and participating admitedly, in competitions. She listens to Lancaster's spiel with a grin and a little shake of her head, becoming more accustomed to his manerisms as the night progresses.

She is taken rather by surprise however at his shout - and not for the content of it. She quickly rises to her feet, eyes darting around the gathering suspiciously, taking in every detail she can.

Get out as soon as possible? Maledizione, it's a coup.

She boards as quickly as is prudent, trying to glimpse the paper Lancaster carelessly discarded. She mutters under her breath, cursing as the writing turns out to be some sort of code, to her at least, indecipherable.

Nathi grows more and more angry as her questions are rebuffed, though she has the sense not to overstep her bounds ... barely. With undisguised fury, she nods in return to the farewell, and strides up the ramp into her ship. She goes through her pre-flight checks muttering darkly in her native languag as she waits until her passengers join her and get settled. Lifting off with perhaps more enthusiasm than needed, she does indeed glance back ... and goes cold at the sight of Creed.

What has he done?
08-01-2004, 09:44
Remaining quiet on the sports topic Carlos relaxes in his chair some what but only for a moment. Rocking back on his chair Carlos yelps as Lancaster shouts out his explicitive and falls backwards smacking onto the table sharply. Mumbling under his breath he stands rubbing the back of his head and blinks about in confusion.

"What the heck?" He mutters as he climbs onto Hordsemen #14. Confused beyond comprehension Carlos listens idly to all the questions being rebuffed and frowns. Entering Nathicana's shuttle quickly for he's sensed the urgency of the matter by now he takes his seat near a window and once more rubs the back of his head. "Damn that table was hard." He whispers to nobody in particular and straps in. As the shuttle lifts off he glances about at the other occupants hoping someone knows something more than he does. Giving up for the moment he looks out the window at the retreating landing pad and pauses. "What are you doing..." He whispers as he spots Creed and his odd actions.

Dismissing it Carlos returns to staring at the front of the cabin and chuckles. "Well, wasnt that interesting?"