History of Dominance - Dominance Live_ by qingyunliuliu

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 79

									CONTENT

0. Introduction
1. Prelude
2. Introduction to the Worlds
        2.1. Men
        2.2. Wud
        2.3. Haad
        2.4. Erol
3. The First Interplanar War
        3.1. Boundaries
        3.2. Invasion of Haad
        3.3. Retaliation of Haad
        3.4. End of War
4. The Second Interplanar War
        4.1. Infiltration of Erol
        4.2. Purge of Erol
        4.3. Renewal of worlds
5. The Third Interplanar War
        5.1. Chaos
        5.2. Final invasion and the battle of Klantia
        5.3. Flight of Urnebesh and the battle of Ghania
        5.4. Flight of Vermalion and the battle of Pandronia
        5.5. End of an era
6. Interlude
7. Brixholm Contamination and the merging of worlds
        7.1. New world and the menen
        7.2. Gods and Planes
8. Rise of Elders & creation of Dominance
        8.1. The brave new world
        8.2. Rise of elders
        8.3. Summoning of the avatars
        8.4. The creation of Dominance.
        8.5. The first fifty years
9. Dominance wars
        9.1. Second Rite of Dominance
        9.2. Third Rite of Dominance
        9.3. Fourth Rite of Dominance
        9.4. Fifth Rite of Dominance
10. Postlude
                                     Introduction
                        *(rezi, ljepi, nije me briga sta ces s ovime)

       The author of this book is Ivo Elezovic (Therion), and this book has been written
with a goal of it becoming the official Dominance history. Since by the time of it's writing
there had been no such thing, you are free to accept whatever is written in these pages
as the truth. But if you wish, you are (of course) free to write your own version of the
entire history, noone will mind. Note that this book had nothing to do whatsoever with
the admins - creators and designers of the game - and all of the ideas and events
inside are completely superficial, coming from my mind and my mind alone.

        A thorough reader who is a veteran Dominance player will notice that there are
some inconsistencies with the actual game. That being morphs from some creatures to
some other. This was done deliberately, as in the actual game the morph chart is too
much mixed up to let any good storyline be formed behind it. Again, I stress, if you are
able to conjure something better, you are welcome to do so and without doubt people
will love to see more Dominance fan fiction out there.

Well, enough chatter, on with the story!

                                                               Therion
                                       1. Prelude

I know who I am. I know I do exist. And I know there is nobody else. Knowing that time
passes, and that I do not change, brings me boredom. I will create others, and bring
some entertainment into my existence.

There. I imagined a world. I will now create a single man upon it. And there he is,
standing on the ground of his little world, waiting for my orders. Heh, he is so funny. I will
now imagine an object, say, a chair, in front of him. I will make him touch it. I feel what
he feels. He feels it is solid. Silly hu-man does not know he does not exist but in my
mind, together with his world and his chair. But still, the chair is solid for him. Fool.

I will create other people. And I will give them consciousness.

There, they exist, they move, they think and feel. Now, let me observe what they do.
They move around. They look at each other. I like watching them live in my mind. Like
ants in an ant farm.

But it may not be enough. I will now create more worlds. Different worlds. But with the
same basic design. There, three more worlds in my mind, all with their different
inhabitants. Let them live. Let them realize themselves. Let them communicate and
interact. And when the time comes, I will bend these worlds into one. I will love to see
them mingle. For even I do not know what they will do now that I have given them the
gift of thought.

And who knows, in time, I may even find a way to bring them out of my consciousness
into my world.
                          2. Introduction to the worlds

                                         2.1. Men

Know that is the year 17999 A.C. My name is Therion, I am a human cleric of the third
order, and these are my pages of Dominance history. My task was to compile all
available data on the history of our world - it's creation, happenings in the ancient past
(before the Contamination), all to the current time - and to put it all in a chronological
order into a volume that finally makes some sense. I have done so, I have all that
knowledge and I will try to present it to you in the only reasonable way - covered by
facts. You most probably have heard many stories in your youth about heroes and
deeds in the ancient history, that are told from generation to generation, but
unfortunately most of them are fabricated. Or have been twisted in time so much that
they have no connection at all with the original happenings, except in the names of the
heroes. In these pages all will be explained in details. Only the truth, and no myths.

I will start this book, the Dominance history compilation, with the first thing that we know
of.

There was a beginning. And a very abrupt one, or so it seems. The archeological sites
that we worked on have proved that life existed on this world about 28 thousand years
ago. The ruins and bones and many wooden artifacts imply that the life and civilizations
existed in the past, to the point of, as I said, 28 thousand years. But note one frightening
thing. There are no ruins or anything at all that would indicate life before that. So it is
reasonable to assume that either there WAS nothing before, or that it was all erased by
some extremely powerful spell. Whichever choice you prefer here, it will make no
difference, this book will start at the beginning that we know of, and will not go further. It
could, but then it would be based on hypotheses' and rumors, and that is something I
will not allow here. At least, not formally.

We now live in the world of Men, as you know of course, that is inhabited by four
different basic species, the Menar Um, the Wudar, the Erolek and the Haadar. Of those
four species only Menar Um are somewhat indigenous to this world, and the first
presence of other species dates to approximately 2300 B.C., before the time period we
clerics refer to as the Brixholm Contamination.

The year is around 9800 B.C., but we shall approximate it to 10000 B.C. (Before
Contamination), and the first Men have risen. We do not know how or where did they
come from, but we do know that in the beginning they were all very similar in
appearance, that there was about 3 million of them, that their numbers have had been
divided equally between male and female, and that they were very much unlike us
today. Both in mind and body.

They were about five feet tall, had two arms (!), two legs, one head with two eyes (only
two, yes) and had facial hair. In other physical attributes they were much alike us today,
but weaker and thinner. Considering their mind, their way of thinking was different. We
can not describe what it was like since they were are all gone by 0 A.C., but what we do
know is that their behavior varied much from ours at this time. This book will at least try
to explain it, amongst other things.

They lived in houses that were built on the ground, which at first were made of wood,
and in the centuries that followed they used other materials, like stone, metal, and glass.
They talked with their mouths, just like Erolek and Haadar species do. The language
that was most commonly used was that of Enochian, and unfortunately we recovered
only fragments of their literature so the full aspects of their vocabulary are still unknown
to us. The texts that are dug up at the ruins of the ancient city of Pandra, describe their
standard life patterns. Here is the list of some interesting facts.

They were day creatures; their eyesight was adapted to allow them to see clearly during
the day, and dimly during the night. They definitely needed some light source in order to
see anything, poor creatures. No night vision whatsoever was ever noticed in the
documents we found. Furthermore, they could see colors much more clearly than we do
now. They vision was so refined they could recognize millions of different colors during
the day. That fact was the most probable reason they endured in nowadays-dubious
efforts of creating visual art. The lifestyle of a standard Man was that of a peasant. Not
that it changed much to today. They developed agriculture, which ensured the constant
food supply, and did not do much except that. However, in the more developed areas,
namely towns and much later the metropolises, the work force was not solely intent on
agriculture, but another more social tasks as well, namely politics, economy, education,
art and so on. Some of their practices have been imprinted deeply into our society, and
some of their inventions are used today as well.

They were unaccustomed to war, as the war seems to be a complete unknown to them.
Furthermore, although magic potential was apparent on all four worlds, the Men never
used it. We are not sure weather they did not want to or were unaware of it. I assume
they simply did not know it existed; otherwise they would be a very silly race.

Throughout the Men ancient history, although there were no wars whatsoever,
Men often participated in different kinds of competitions. Of those competitions only a
few are relevant or interesting to us today, those being the sport tournaments. They
have competed against each other in various forms of body practices, but note that
there was never any indication of fighting skills, most probably because those could be
potentially dangerous and besides, the Men civilization in those days never had any
reason or need to practice the war skills. Other competitions most often were the ones,
which included creating various art objects, or tests of knowledge. As I said, nothing
relevant to us today.

From the year 10000 B.C. to the year 4000 B.C. the Men civilization was forged, almost
immediately united, and was developing without any noticeable problems. By the year
3000 B.C., there were about 15 major urban metropolises (besides numerous towns), 3
on the continent of Pandronia, 7 on the continent of Klantia, 4 on the continent of Gharia
and one on the isle of Mantras. The government which ruled the entire world switched
every fifty years from one metropolis to another, so that in time every major city had a
chance to do what they felt was the right move for the further development.

Unity like this was never recorded on any other world, or in any other time. The world of
Men was in a state of constant Utopia. The reason for this may lay in something that we
are very familiar today, a specific mind process, which allows people to "see" things with
other senses beside their eyes. We call it the Awareness ability today, but the fact is
that the ancient Men had this power in much stronger form. They were not only able to
see objects, but to "see" other people as well. They could effectively read other people's
emotions, so they could instantly know if someone tried to lie. Thus, they did not lie.
With such a lifestyle they were able to live in a today unimaginable union. They
remained this way, oblivious of the existence of other worlds until the Third Interplanar
War.
                                        2.2. Wud

The world of Wud, now long gone (and thus not exploreable, historically), was created
at about the same time as the world of Men. The Wudars were much like they are
today. Physically they look similar to the ancient Men, but are a bit lower in height,
about four feet high, and of somewhat different constitution. They are much slimmer
and agile, have proportionally longer arms and legs then Men, do not have any hair on
their head or body, and have one major difference, that being the third eye placed on
the back of their heads. That eye does not see as well as the two normal eyes on their
face do, but it can be hidden by extra skin on the back of their heads and used when
needed. Wudars have no Awareness ability and because of that they never lived in
unions similar to Men. Moreover they developed their lifestyle to the other extreme, a
totally individualistic one.

They did not work in unions but preferred to do things separately. Not only Wudars did
not live in organized groups, and even the term of family meant to them not much
beyond the bond of two people to produce offspring, and their families were dismissed
as soon as a Wudar child was old enough to live on it's own. Love as a concept existed
but not between Wudars, but between a Wudar and his work, his status, and his power.
As opposed to all other races, Wudars were the only ones that communicated with their
minds. But somehow, along the way, they developed a behavior code, a taboo,
forbidding any Wudar to broadcast his thoughts "aloud", uncontrolled. Meaning when
they communicated with each other, their thoughts were hearable only to the listeners
Wudars would want to hear them.

Their culture has been divided from the start into two major fractions - the mind
explorers and the body explorers. The former fraction was intent on exploring the magic,
its laws, its applications on the world, and in learning the laws of physics, and how to
bend them effectively. The latter fraction was intent on exploring the body, it's abilities,
it's limits, and how to extend those limits further than the physics would allow, by
magical and non-magical means.

After about two thousand years of their existence (that we know of), they managed to
find a way to drain mana (the source of magic), from inorganic materials, i.e. their
surroundings, and to induce the mana into them directly, thus eliminating the need for
food. You could say they were super-vegetarians for that matter. This discovery lead to
major changes in their social structure, as agriculture was no longer needed, so Wudars
were given more room in pursuing their own wishes. Although they lived on their own,
their society was formed under very strict laws. Every Wudar had its place in the global
picture, and the Ruling Committee was formed of two hundred most influential Wudars
on their world. Most of these were of the magic explorers fraction, as through time they
managed to get a grip of controlling the body explorers and using them as the work
force and/or lab rats. Note that it is very likely that they used much magic to preserve
this state and numb the ambitions of the body explorers. Ambitions, and power, were
the two vital factors in their society. Everyone wanted to be influential, and to gain
control over others, so it is only logical to assume that after a couple of millennia the
most shrewd, vicious and power-crazed individuals were controlling their entire world.
Since they put much effort in the search for new knowledge, mostly the magical one,
throughout the history they discovered many different ways of controlling the mana
flows, and forcing the magic essence around them to do their bidding. To this day they
remained the most powerful force in magic exploration and general knowledge of mana
flows.




                                      2.3. Haad
The world of Haad was much different than the other worlds. It was barely habitable by
other life forms, as the atmosphere contained a high dose of methane, which a Haadar
body was dependant on. But the methane in air was only the smallest of the problems,
for the world itself was completely inhospitable to anything but Haadars. The earth had
an extremely high percentage of metal in it, which was often flowing, molten, on the
ground, much like rivers on other worlds. Volcanoes erupted constantly throughout the
world, pouring molten lava, so you could say that the sky rained lava storms on
occasions. The temperature was over 100 degrees Celsius, which forced any "normal"
life on this world to adapt greatly, or to perish instantly.

Haadars physically have not changed much to the current time, except that they are
now reduced in size, due to them having to adapt to life on our world. Original Haadars
were about eight feet tall, had four arms, two of which have naturally developed into
working arms (or fighting for that matter), and the other two were most often used for
controlling spells. The spell adaptation (possibly due to heat/energy around them) in the
Haadar body was so high that even their inner mana, once generated, flowed through
their arms (the two casting ones), and through their palms, only to vaporize in the end
as a red mist. They had two legs (much stronger than of any other species), a tail, and
on their forehead two horns, which glowed in silver glow. The glow eventually was
reduced as a Haadar was aging. The two fighting arms were about the same strength
as legs of some other specie, so physically they were really intimidating. Also a trait that
they have and that is different than on other species are their four black eyes on their
face with white pupils. So in case a Haadar lost an eye that would not affect him at all.

Their culture was a warrior like one. They had an Emperor, which commanded his
Warlords, who were the executive force for all his actions. Those Warlords had their
counties to control, or as most often it was - to own. The counties were not strictly
defined, as they often fought against each other. Even the total number of counties was
a variable, often changed. To a Haadar words like love, virtue and truth meant nothing.
But the words pride and honor were almost everything. If a Haadar loses a battle, that is
the worst dishonor imaginable, and only rectifiable by suicide. To ensure this does not
happen, their battles, even the smallest argues, always lead to a fight to the death.
There was hardly anything that could unite their culture, so that is why all of their
counties were ruled by the Warlords, who had to torture, overtax, and by any means
necessary force their minions into obedience. And have fun while doing it. Still, they
fought each other in constant pursuit of glory (which could easily be gained through
tales of battles won), and the Emperor always had a hard time in trying to keep them on
a leash. On a leash meaning they wouldn't dare to challenge him to a
personal fight, for if a Warlord won that fight he would kill the Emperor and take the
throne as a new one.

The Haadar culture has never reached the stage of development that the Wudar or Men
cultures have, they remained primitive and unwilling to change. The constant battles
only helped them to stay this way. New ideas or inventions were very hard to accept.
However they did pursue the search for magic knowledge, but only to specific goals -
the quicker destruction of their opponents. That is why almost all of their magic spells
were of destructive force. That does not surprise us, as they hardly had anything to cast
prosperous spells on. In their pride they would neither acknowledge the possibility that
they were not perfect and could be upgraded so they did not invest much in researching
themselves either.

They lived in small groups; up to a thousand was the biggest village they had. The
reason for this was because they had no material to build houses so they dug big caves
in rocky mountains. They lived in those caves, and their lifestyle was a very Neanderthal
one.

There is an interesting question that rises today among people - what did Haadars eat
when their world was so hot that practically every food supply would be ruined? Well,
you have to understand, that on their world "food" was much unlike ours. They ate
crystals that remained after a lava flow would pass over the ground. So they collected
these crystals, refined them by various techniques, and finally grinded them into fine
powder. This powder was almost completely, but not entirely, totally unlike our flour.
They used it as a base for all of their meals. Today they eat regular food, but that is only
due to their adaptation.

Their culture was like this for many millennia, all the way from it's beginning (estimated
as well at around 9800 B.C.) to the Wudar invasion (a.k.a. the First Interplanar War) at
2326 B.C.




                                         2.4. Erol
The beautiful world of Erol is what humans often imagined paradise to be like. And what
Haadars considered hell, for that matter (due to a lot of green color I guess). The name
which we use today for Erol is but a shortened from of their world's already shortened
name, Eroleilayai. The actual name is unfortunately been lost in time. Anyhow, the world
Erol was a beautiful, lush paradise garden, sweet in scent and rich in colors, warm, and
relaxing. It was something every Men would ever dream of. But Wudars did not perceive
its beauty in a similar manner.

Eroleks were created together with their world in the same "big creation" as the other
worlds were created in. Upon creation, it seems that they split into two subgroups, the
day folk and the night folk. The reasons for this are most probably due to the nature of
their world, which was a great pleasure to behold during both night and day. The world
was never asleep, even through the night, as there were as many night creatures as
there are day ones. Imagining elephants trumpeting around while you try to sleep, and
you will realize what it sounded like.

Erolek were dreamers, philosophers, artists, and druids. They were in touch with the
nature, and they appreciated it more than anything. They sang numerous songs about
their world, and they still do so even today when Erol is but a fading memory. The life of
Eroleks was an ode to life. They rejoiced at singing, hunting, making art out of wood
(note wooden pendants here as well), and feasting at great gatherings of their people
throughout the world.

Eroleks were very similar to what they look now. Humanoid appearances, tall, slim, with
silky silver hair and big blue eyes. They could see equally well at all times of the day, as
their eyes can see heat in addition to normal colors. Their voice even today has some of
their ancient hypnotic force, for they were able to "talk" to the animals while hunting, and
hypnotize them, so the animals would remain still until they would be killed. That ability
today is not so powerful any more, because it somewhat depended on the unique forces
of their world which would carry their voice over many miles, but still, they are able to
hypnotize the masses. That is why most of the good diplomats today are Erolek in
origin.

They usually lived in tree huts, "huts" here being their name for structures that were in
the size like Men palaces, and that were really weird in design. Not only were these
enormous buildings built the trees (which were also enormous for that matter), but also
the corridors interloped on themselves, and even the force of gravity was magically
shifted in some places. Their huts often had a dazzling effect on non-Eroleks, and the
unwanted visitors were totally lost and thrown into panic. But the original design was not
to protect the Eroleks, no, as when the first huts were created, there were no enemy to
protect them from, but that design was made for art, and art alone. As much as ancient
Men enjoyed visual art, the Eroleks enjoyed spatial art. It's a wonder why they never
created spatial wooden pendants; those would be more than interesting to study.

Magic is one if very important aspects to Eroleks. They had invested numerous
centuries to bring their world to perfection by casting prosperous spells all over it. One
sometimes wonders, what is a prosperous spell exactly? To start with, it was a spell that
bounded Nature itself to the will of the caster. The weather would be always sunny,
never too hot nor too cold, the earth would never be drained, so crops could always
bare their maximum, the trees would constantly perceive it was fall so they would give
fruit all the time, and to shorten the story, with the food supply abundant, and the
populace never ill, they procreated and were able to fully enjoy life.

There was never any ruling force controlling Erol. Each hut, with it's couple of hundred
(sometimes up to a thousand!) inhabitants, had it's own Elder, which worked towards
the benefit of his little society. But the status of an Elder was nothing like a "ruler", but
more like a counselor, a wise old Erolek to whom younger ones would come when they
needed an advice, and who was deeply respected for his wisdom and knowledge.
Vanity was unknown to poor Eroleks.

So, from 9800. B.C. to approximately 2040. B.C., the Eroleks were spread all over their
world (note that there were only about 100 thousand of them in the beginning), and
transformed Erol from a somewhat standard world to a Paradise. Their way of life was
ruined in 2039 B.C. when the Second Interplanar War hit them.




                           3. The First Interplanar War
                                     3.1. Boundaries
It was the year 2340 B.C. A Wudar named Basheen, a mind explorer, was doing
research on projecting mana through air towards a target, and trying to manipulate the
target by his will (and mana flow) alone. He placed a cup on a table in his garden and
stepped some yards back. Then he projected the mana towards it, trying to get the
mana flow to take a form of an invisible hand that would take the cup and lift in into the
air. However something happened that he didn't expect. He projected big amounts
mana, which in turn flowed about half the way towards the cup, and then - bounced
back off the thin air. The invisible hand rushed towards him, lifted him and he was
thrown in a tree behind him. The force that hit him was so great that he instantly died
upon hitting the tree. But this is irrelevant to the story.

What's important is that his temporary wife, Kaneeda, was a mind explorer as well. She
was with him when this happened, and after she handled the cremation of Basheen,
she spent several weeks trying to figure out what happened there. For, she "saw" the
invisible hand, and was aware that it bounced back for no apparent reason. After some
weeks of testing with far lesser forces, she came to the conclusion that in her very
garden, at that spot where the table with the cup was, something bounced back the
magic energy, as if there was some kind of a force that existed in that location alone. It
was known that generally, the normal mana projected towards the ground would bounce
off into the air since the world has its inner force. And thus a wild hypothesis was born.
What if there was an invisible boundary that hid an *other* world behind it that was
responsible for reflecting the mana flow? What if there were more worlds besides their
own that partially interloped but were hidden one from each other? This theory was wild
to the extreme, but the proof was there. After years of researching throughout the world,
Kaneeda found that only in the most distant edges of their world this reflective force
existed, as if a glass bell was put over their world and would permit neither them nor
their magic to cross over it.

Eight years have passed. Kaneeda had formed a team of glory-wanna-get researchers
that located practically all points in their world where this boundary was present. With all
this evidence and their theory she finally stood up in the Ruling Committee and stated
her case. It was a scandal but a positive one in the end. Most part of the Committee
were mind explorers and they as well could not find any other possible reason for this
phenomena. And finally the theory was accepted and it was time for "doing something
about it".

It was the tenth year of the death of Basheen. Kaneeda was in charge of the
researchers that were given orders to find a way to breach these boundaries. They
worked hard, and many theories have failed, except one. They would magically drill the
boundary by incredibly little magic drills. Like poking a wall with a microscopic pin. Once
the drill was through to the other side, they would fill the tunnel with mana and then set
fire to it. The result was very much like doing the same with an actual pin and a glass
wall. The boundary magic was interrupted, and it failed for a brief moment for the
researchers to actually see the other world, before the boundary would reassert itself
and the hole was closed. However this achievement was still not good enough, they
needed actual gateways that would last for longer periods of time and would allow
Wudars to cross them.
So, in the year 2326 B.C. finally a way was found to open gates. No longer would they
fill the pin tunnel with mana, but they would insert larger "pins", and even larger until
they got to a reasonable size that would allow further stretching to be done with magic
supporters. And voila, finally there was a gate (a rather unstable one), leading to the hell
world of Haad, for all to behold and cross. None of the researchers did, of course;
needless to say it was a furnace on the other side. Briefly they did the same experiment
on other locations throughout the world and they managed to map how he world actually
intersected.

       eexeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
     ee x               ee
   ee x                  eee
 ee x                       e
eHaadx                      xe
xxxx                       x e
e                          x e x - locations with reflective force
e         Wud             x e
e                        x Mene e - end of the world
e                         x e
xxx                        x e
e x                       x e
 e x                       ee
  eErolx                  ee
   e x                   ee
    e x                 ee
      exeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

The Ruling Committee was pleased by the results and decided to send scouts into the
other worlds to gain information needed for the invasions. The scouts have returned
some time after Wudars managed to recreate the gates. Creation of a single gate
required about two days of constant work, drilling and stretching, drilling and stretching,
so this whole effort took quite some time. However, the scouts did manage to return
(only half of them actually, a great number of them was lost on Haad alone) and brought
detailed data on other cultures, and their weak points. Understandably, the most
threatening civilization to the Wudar way of life was the Haadar one. Haadars being
warriors, could easily swarm over Wud and take it by force. To prevent even this distinct
possibility from happening, the invasion force was set up and a hundred thousand
Wudin assassins invaded the unsuspecting Haadars in a surprise attack. It was just the
first wave, many more would follow.

Of course, there was an option that they try to isolate their worlds from potential
breakthroughs from the other sides, by doing the opposite - strengthening the bonds,
but the Committee quickly discarded this proposal in their constant pursuit of power.
                                  3.2. Invasion of Haad

The Wudars knew what awaited them at the world of Haad, they knew they would not
survive it or it's inhabitants without adapting to the Haad itself. To avoid the risk of losing
a hundred thousand troops to the temperature alone, the mind explorers found a way to
magically transform Wudars into something they called Wudins. Wudins were the result
of a forced evolution; they were creatures with the same physical appearance of a
Wudar, but with many more useful traits. They could make themselves invisible for a
short period of time, by cloaking themselves in mana shields. They could also survive
the temperatures and the atmosphere of Haad, due to advanced magical treatment to
their constitution. But no matter how much the Wudins were prepared, the Haad could
always be crueler than they could imagine.

It took approximately a month for the Wudins to cross the worlds through unstable
gateways, and many thousand were lost in this process alone. Instead of Haad world,
they sometimes simply appeared *nowhere* and were lost. Or in Haad rivers of molten
metal. That was a sight to behold. But still the force pushed through, and managed to
occupy key locations in Haad world. The Imperial Palace was first to be struck.

The Haadar elite forces that were guarding the Emperor proved to be quite a threat for
each Haadar killed dozens of Wudins. They were terrific warriors, never to be seen
again in the world. For three days they stormed out of the palace, massacring the
Wudin forces that were laying siege to the place, and then they would return back only
to regroup and charge again. Well, that could be expected since an elite Haadar warrior
was almost ten feet tall and wielded two enormous blades that would cut through half a
dozen Wudins in a single swing. And of course, they constantly had cast fire bolts from
their other two hands that would inflame groups of Wudins in a fire bursts.

The history will recall that a Wudin leader, named Taneeb, decided that this could go on
no longer. The Wudin losses were already at twenty thousand, while they killed only a
hundred or so of these Haadar berserkers. So it was time for improvisation. He thought
of and cast a spell that was never cast before. It was a tremendous spell. The earth
shook, and cracked. Mana rose from the ground and flowed throughout the battlefield,
like a river, and washed over the dead Haadar warriors. And they twitched and stirred.
The mana entered them, and they stood, dead, but alive. Their spirits were the ones
standing actually, the mana gave them a physical form and Taneeb was the one who
controlled them. Together with these warriors that were now even deadlier than they
were, the Wudins attacked the palace gates and finally managed to crack them open.
The Emperor screamed in panic: "I see dead people!" but couldn't do anything about it.
The Wudins rushed inside and after a long battle all the Haadar forces there were killed.
For each Haadar that would die, the Wudin force was stronger by his spirit and was
even deadlier. The Haadar Emperor and some of the Warlords were caught alive. This
was special bonus. They were brought to Wud where they were publicly executed. This
gave the Wudars a morale boost so even more of them were willing to volunteer to
Wudin assassin evolution and later to join the invasion forces. The Wudar army force
now has risen to five hundred troops.

Taneeb, having won the battle and managing to capture the Haadar Emperor, was
given a reward - he could name the spell he thought of with his own name. He simply
named it Bane, for those spirits were indeed a bane to any normal creature. Later the
spell was named many other names but the most common one was the Weakling's
Bane for it would always summon the ancient Haadars that would battle hand to hand
and were not efficient at attacking some other, magically more advanced warriors.
However, since Taneeb had lost more than a fifth of the original invasion force in the
assault on the Palace, he was executed as well, for incompetence.

Next target on the Wudar list were the settlements. Haadars never lived in big towns but
rather in small villages or even the smaller hamlets. The Wudins razed all they could,
but fortunately for the Haadars, here was not much to raze. There were no crops to be
burned, no wooden houses to be demolished. After a while they started killing the
populace because the Haadars would still not yield to the Wudar control. The Haadar
world was in a state of chaos. But chaos being nothing new to the Haadars, they
reorganized, a few leaders were found and they formed resistance cells. Randomly
hitting Wudin patrols, magically affecting the weather so that lava from volcanoes would
always pour on Wudin encampments, etc. after a while they managed to stop the Wudin
progress. Wudins were trained to fight against armies, but there were none present. The
populace simply resisted any oppression from non-Haadars, and always fought Wudins
even if it meant their death. After all, for a Haadar, death is a far better choice than
defeat. (silly Haadars).




                               3.3. Retaliation of Haad

The war lasted for 15 years. A lot of things have changed in the meanwhile. Out of 6
million Wudins that entered Haad, only about one and a half were still alive. But the
Haadar population was decimated as well, and it is believed approximately half the
Haadars were killed. It was one of the worst genocides ever to occur in the whole
history. The Haadar resistance forces were somewhat successful in terrorizing the
invaders but were doing more dying than killing. They were mere peasants, not the
trained warriors. No wonder, as all the trained warriors were dead a long time ago.
By the end of the 15th year finally some progress was done on the Haadar side. It took
them a while, but they managed to reproduce the gateway spell, and to create their own
gateways into Wud. Furthermore, they even improved the spell by using their innate
skills to brute force the gate open so the opening would not take two days but two
minutes. This was a breathe of hot methane the Haadar resistance needed so badly. In
a matter of weeks, they mustered their remaining troops and were ready for the counter-
invasion. A counter invasion likes of which Haad has never seen. After almost sixteen
years of constant warfare, even Haadars were tired, and bitter to say the least. Driven
mad by the constant slaughtering of their people, they swore they would not rest until
they devastate Wud.

Wud, having a lot of good tacticians foresaw this turn in events so they had time to
prepare for this. But still, they had a hard time repelling the counter-invasion. The
maddened Haadars swiftly poured through the inferno gateways, killed as much as they
could and then ran back to their world, less they be frozen or suffocate. They started
making general surprise attacks in many Wud metropolises, and the Wud casualties
(casualties of their untrained people) were indeed staggering. Unfortunately for
Haadars, they could not establish a foothold in Wud because of the temperature
difference. Even if they could survive the lack of methane, it was simply too cold for
them to remain there for longer than a couple of hours at best.

By the end of the war, Wud was slowly winning. It was about that time that one young
Haadar managed to do something spectacular. He was a part of the counter-invasion
force, rather as a backup than as a warrior, since he was from a peasant family with no
army training at all. Nevertheless, he was an excellent spell caster, and a very
innovative one. The Haadars that invaded Wud, at this point, didn't actually try very hard
to come back home. They would rather stay in the Wud and die, but instead kill twice as
many Wudars as time would allow them. That was the general idea. But he had even a
better plan. By looking at the Wudin assassins cloaking and decloaking with their mana
shields, he precisely saw the tune to which the mana should be adjusted in order to
make them invisible. Such tactics would normally be considered dishonorable, but he
didn't care much. He was about to die anyway. So if he went away, he would go in a
style, dealing the hardest hit he could think of - the Ruling Committee.

So, he easily reproduced the Wudin mana-shielding spell and as invisible he simply
walked in the Committee. The Committee was a large building, with a central chamber
that had two hundred seats laid out in circles, one above the other, much like an arena
on Haad, And the Chairman sat in one corner of the chamber, by a specially designed
table at which he made the all-important decisions. So, our young spell caster entered
the chamber, right in the middle of the meeting session, and silently approached the
Wudar Chairman, invisible as he was. He took the blade out and was prepared to chop
his head off in one strike, and then try to deal as much damage he is able to before he
would be killed.

But in that last moment, an idea flashed to him. The Wudar gateways, when out of tune,
lead to *nowhere*, killing (better say, vanishing) the troops that try to use it. Everybody
knew this, since the same mistake sometimes happened with the Haadar gateways as
well. It was very difficult to get the gateway in the right tune and it required much skill.
So, he figured if he could deliberately create such a gateway, and place it (as invisible
with a mana shield around it) on the Ruling Committee exit doors, Wudar leaders that
would pass through it would simply vanish. And after the killing of the Chairman the first
reaction of those two hundred fat Wudar politicians would be to escape through the
main exit doors in futile hope they would save their lives. So, he cast such a special
gate it the right position. Slowly he walked to the big fancy table, and was about to kill
the Chairman. He opened the gate, but imagine his shock. It did not lead to *nowhere*.
Where exactly it lead he did not know. And neither did the Wudar leaders which were
massacred by the swarms of wraiths who flied through that gate. Wraiths may be too
bad a description, for it was horrible. Half in this world, half in some other, the semi
transparent creatures entered flying through the gate, they were like ghosts, disgusting,
disfigured ghosts of who knows which specie, they flied towards the panicked Wudars
and killed them all. He saw those creatures, but they did not see him, as he was still
wearing the mana shield, and was too terrified to move. Even for a Haadar the scene
was mind numbing.

Young Haadar, seeing what he did, waited for the massacre to end, and for the wraiths
to withdraw back to their *place*, and then simply closed the doors and aborted the
spell. Silenced and crazed by the horrors he saw, he returned to Haad, where he was
praised as a hero beyond heroes. But that meant little to him. He never recovered fully
from the shock.



                                   3.4. The war ends

Condition of young Kazgoroth did not concern much the Haadar resistance. They
accepted what he told them and named that place where the wraiths came from "Tars
Muna", meaning "hell fury" in their language. They used the same spell many times
again on Wud, mostly in very public places where the "wraiths" could do most damage,
eventually killing millions of Wudars in a matter of weeks. With the both worlds
leaderless and chaotic, the end of the war was apparent. The gates between those
worlds were closed and the time for recovery was at hand. The Haad revenge has been
fulfilled, the Wud deaths were too numerous to ever be counted correctly.

One year has passed. Kazgoroth managed to kill other participants of the emperor
contest, by using the same dirty trick. He lured them all into the same room, released
the wraiths and left the battlefield as the only victor. He became the Emperor and
reigned as such for two hundred years. He was killed as an old Haadar, and a new
Emperor was in his place, but his name lives still in the Haadar tales and will never be
forgotten.

Meanwhile on Wud, in the Wudar Ruling Committee, the seats were not empty for long.
As soon as the blood was cleaned up from the walls, the new members were more than
happy to replace the old, and now somewhat wiser of what to expect of Haadars, turned
their attention elsewhere. Namely, to Erol.




                       4. The Second Interplanar war

                            4.1. The Infiltration of Erol

The Haad was obviously too much for the Wud to handle. Haadars were fierce warriors
and would never be subdued willingly. However, Erol was much different. With its
inhabitants benevolent, The new Wudar Ruling Committee considered Erol an easy pick
and have started creating plans for it's occupation. This time, the new Committee
members started thinking first, and then acting. What could they possibly gain from
Erol? Why would they need to attack it at all? The answer was obvious - mana. Mana
unlimited. Erol was so filled with mana, which has been spread in numerous beneficial
spells all over the world that the Wudars could easily drain it away and use it to their
purposes. To do this effectively they started researching a spell they named Planar
Drain. The spell was supposed to lock onto all mana in a certain location, wrap it all and
concentrate it, drain it from it's previous location into big balls of compressed mana that
could be transported back to Wud.

A few years in researching this spell, the Wud mind explorers have perfected it, and
tested in on various Wud locations. It worked. All the mana was drained and big balls of
red mist could simply be rolled to the mana warehouses. The unfortunate effect this
spell would have on the area it was draining mana from was that the earth would need
many months to recover, and no spells would work or even could be cast into that area.
But that did not concern The Wudars much, once they drained all Erol's resources, they
would have had all the mana they could ever need, for millennia to come. That was their
plan which now needed a prelude - how to do it with as little casualties as possible?

A direct warfare on Erol was not a nice solution. Wudars have already been morally
devastated by their losses on and from Haad, and it was impossible to recruit armies
that would be so abundant with new recruits as it was before the Haad invasion. So, the
answers lay again in the Wudins. This time they would go in and infiltrate Erol, rather
than war against it. Wudins were undergoing final preparations for the scouting when
some new ideas poured into the Committee. Body explorers thought of creating
additional traits that they could imprint on the Wudins.

The problem with the Wudins was that they could remain invisible only for a short period
of time, namely a few hours, which was far too little for them to be able to scout the Erol.
It was known already from the first Wudar scouts which started exploring Erol a few
decades ago that it was impossible for anything to remain undetected under keen
Erolek eyes. Once the Wudin mana reserves were spent and he had to decloak, he
would most assuredly be noticed and hunt down as an intruder. As a spy, for that was
what he is. Eroleks despised spies and already most of the Wudar and Wudin scouts
have been killed. Something had to be done to assure that Wudins would never be
detected, and an easy solution to this was at hand.

Easy, being and idea of course, the actual implementation was much harder. About two
hundred of Wudin "volunteers" were lost in the attempt to create a super Wudin. Finally
after months of experimenting on the Wudins a prototype was ready. One Wudin
survived the experiments. He was the super Wudin. Or, in Wud language, the Wudin
Um. His name was Tarkeed. He was able not only to remain cloaked for days but to
even change shape into any creature he wished at almost no mana cost. He was
stronger, much faster, and much more powerful. Never forget that he could also talk
verbally, not only by telepathy. He was perfect both as a spy and as an assassin.

The mission that was laid out for Tarkeed, at least until other Wudin Ums were created,
was to infiltrate Erol, find out all he could about Erolek leaders, find their weak spots,
and assassinate the leaders of the Erolek huts in one specific Erol area that Wud
decided to start casting Planar Drain on. Once he would create enough commotion
Wudins would invade, secure the area by dispatching any opposition and start draining
mana. And the plan was set in motion. It couldn't be easier. Or so they thought.

The Erol gate was opened. Tarkeed set his foot through it. He looked back, at the
deserts of his home world, and step through. The gate closed. He was there alone and
with a mission to fulfill.

He was cloaked already so he went towards the nearest hut that scouts have marked on
his map. He walked and walked through the beautiful forest. The scents were dazzling;
he never experienced something like that. The birds were singing beautiful melodies,
forest animals ran to him, sensing him by some sixth sense they had. He stopped and
looked at the beautiful world around him. It was so pure, so untouched. As if noone ever
lived here, as if the nature created a paradise only for him. There he stood. There he
realized what he was about to do. He realized what he had to destroy and it pained him
greatly.

After some hours of contemplating he realized it was too beautiful for him. He just
couldn't do it. But once he made his mind about what he would do instead, there was no
stopping him. He ran and ran towards the hut. It was peaceful there, the Eroleks were
working around the trees, gathering fruit, and some were sitting in the high branches of
the trees and sang lovely songs that he did not understand. He did not yet know this
language but he didn't even need to. After concentrating a bit, he sensed the thoughts
of the Eroleks, and he knew them. He knew their minds. Once prepared, he took the
form of an older Erolek and aborted his mana shield spell. After a long climb of the very
long stairway carved in the tree, he reached the Erolek hut and after a few days
wandering around the twisted hallways found a way to their Elder. Those huts can really
be nasty. The Elder was sitting in his room, decorated by lush living flowers, and looked
at him.

Terkeed closed the door, and silently regained his original form. The Elder remained
sitting, watching him silently. There was no surprise in the old Erolek's eyes. Nor any
other emotion except calmness, and willing to accept his faith, whatever that was.
Tarkeed sat in front of him and sent his thoughts into the Elder. He described the Wud.
He described the Wudars. And he described himself. He also described his emotions,
by directly sending them into the Elder's mind. And there he sat, waiting for the old
Erolek to make his move. The Erolek did not move, but silently let a tear fall from his
eye. He knew there was nothing that could be done. They could not prevent Wudins.
They were not warriors - they were peaceful folk. They couldn't fight cloaked assassins
by bows and arrows alone.

But there was one thing they could do. They could prevent Wud from destroying the
Eroleks, even if it meant destruction of their world. Destruction of their beautiful paradise
garden. And to that cause a great Elder gathering was assembled, a gathering like
which has never occurred on Erol before, nor would ever again. Thousands of Elders
came to the gathering, which was held at the First Hut. There, Tarkeed had told them all
he knew of the invasion at hand. And they understood him well. They went their
separate ways, with heavy thoughts of what had to be done.
                                     4.2. The Purge

In the weeks that passed, Tarkeed had taught the Erolek Elders the techniques Wudars
used to produce Wudins. He could not teach them how to create Wudin Ums, since he
did not have that knowledge. All he knew were the basics of magical warfare, and some
advanced tactics he learned on Wud in his training. Soon, a few dozen thousands of
Eroleks were separated and trained to become warriors. Those that volunteered had a
basic choice, shall they let themselves to be magically treated and become Erol Wudins
and learn all about the stealth attack tactics he was very familiar with, or will they accept
different treatment, the one he learned from the Wudin military academy, in which he
would teach them how to create better weapons, better bows in this case, since they
were all excellent marksmen, and furthermore treat them magically to allow them to
read thoughts, just like he did. Those that picked the second option were called the
super Eroleks, i.e. the Erolek Ums. The thought reading ability had let them to sense
living beings nearby even if they did not see them, weather they were cloaked or not, so
they could prepare better for Wud Wudin attacks. Same stuff the Men had.
But the main force of Eroleks had a much different and a much more sorrowful duty to
perform.

The Wudar Ruling Committee was alerted by the disappearance of Tarkeed. He, of
course, did not return to Wud, so they decided to hasten the things up, in fear that
Eroleks did manage to capture Tarkeed, and torture their plans out of him. They did not
know Eroleks would never do such a thing, they would under normal circumstances
either kill him swiftly or let him go, but it did not matter at this point. The gates in the
Arenda area were opened and three hundred thousand Wudins, the remains of a once
glorious army, had swarmed the Erol. The Arenda area was really big, it was about a
fifth of the entire Erol. They were more than a little confused when they did not
encounter any opposition. They encountered noone at all for that matter. Smelling
something fishy they often looked at the sky expecting tunas (Tars Munas) or any other
destructive spells, but of course, there were none. Eroleks would never cast destructive
spells on anyone; they loved life too much to ever be able to take it away in such a
ruthless manner. Confused as they may have been, they still continued with their plan.
Wudar mind explorers entered Erol and started preparing for the spell they had to cast.
It was an enormous Planar Drain spell, one of such magnitude that would drain all mana
in a circle of a hundred miles. For it to be cast relatively quickly, more than a hundred
elite mind explorers had to concentrate in that same spell at the same time, each
investing as much mana as he could. Note: multi-casting?

Finally, after twenty hours of continuous casting, the spell was set and it went off.
Together with half the Erol.

The mana which was everywhere, and in everything, accumulated for ages, in trees, in
animals, in stone and in water, in the sky and in the sea, it burned as hellfire. A fire all-
consuming. It ate thorough the Wudar mind explorers, and through Wudins who could
never hide in their shields from such a mana explosion, it ate through the trees and
through the stone, through the animals and through the waters. It all burned. The mana
fire spread as kerosene on fire thought the gates into Wud, destroying towns, cities, and
army camps. All the gates burned, and so did all that was behind the gates, in a radius
of many miles. Metropolises fell in ashes. The Ruling Committee was incinerated.

And then the fire ceased. The mana was gone.

Far away, on the other side of Erol, Tarkeed looked at the fire in the skies, and the
Erolek beside him wept. Their loss would never be recoverable. The mana on Erol could
never be taken. The Elders knew that. It was Erol mana, not Wud mana. As much as it
was similar, it was not the same. They had done their job well. And their job was to
assure that at least the other half of Erol would be protected by magic barriers from that
all-consuming Fissure, together with their entire populace.

Erol was only partially destroyed, but the Erolek way of life was gone forever. It was
impossible to recover any of the burned areas, since there was absolutely no mana left
in them. It was all dead and sterile. No prosperities could ever help those areas. So they
sealed themselves forever from that half of Erol, away from any Interplanar boundaries,
by raising impenetrable magic walls that would never be broken through. They slowly
started building new huts and doing what they could to try to alleviate the sorrow over so
much life that was destroyed. But they never recovered.




                                   4.3. The Renewal

Tarkeed did not stay long on Erol, as he knew that as the only Wudin Um in existence,
he was much more needed back on Wud than here. The Eroleks and their warriors, Erol
Wudins and Erolek Ums, could take good care of themselves. But Wudars? Who was
going to save them from the endless greed that almost destroyed them again?

He opened his gate to Wud. Terkeed set his foot through it. He looked back at the
endless wasteland, black and dead, and step through. The gate closed. He was there
alone and with a world to save.

For a couple of months he did a city-to-city search for survivors and gathered them all.
There were not many of them left since the biggest part of Wudars lived in the
metropolises that were all destroyed. After ten years his little community started growing
again. There were less than seven hundred thousand of Wudars left in the whole Wud.
Most of them were body explorers that now took their rightful place as the equals in the
new ruling committee that Terkeed founded some miles off the gate through which he
returned from Erol.
Tarkeed spent the rest of his life gathering all of the saved knowledge in a great Wudar
library, and ruled the Wudars. One hundred years after he returned, he died of natural
death. Wud was partially rebuilt by then. Wudin Um project was continued, as from the
Tarkeed experience the Wudars realized that by giving Wudins the ability to sense
emotions, de facto giving then the ancient Men awareness ability, Wudin Ums indeed
became the next step in the Wudar evolution, soon the pillars of their society.

They forgot about the warring and were intent on rebuilding their world. The areas
around the now burned gateways were as dead as they were on Erol so in those areas
Wudars could not live. They required to mana to survive and there was none there, so
they had to rebuild their metropolises elsewhere. This was a task that required
centuries.

And so centuries have passed, and then some more centuries. After approximately two
millennia, the year was 36 B.C.

The Haad was completely rebuilt by this time. Haadar lifestyle had not been changed
one bit since from before the First Interplanar War. They still had their Emperor and
Warlords, and were smarter for the Calls of Tars Muna spell, which only ensured more
fighting on Haad. Their wars were no longer based on having larger armies than the
opponent; now the trick was how to lure the biggest part of the enemy into a relatively
closed space where the wraiths could be effective.

Erol, although never as beautiful as it was, had developed as well. The burned half of it
remained absolutely the same as it was. But beyond the magic walls, the Erolek culture
had slowly adjusted themselves to living in only half the world, isolated, and they
returned to their normal lives. They still trained a part of their populace as Erolek Ums,
and a somewhat smaller number as the Erol Wudins. They sang tales of Tarkeed, and
sang of the death that they could not evade.

However on Wud the situation has changed considerably. The Wudin Ums were now
common among the populace, as well as Wudins, and they all participated in the Ruling
Committee equally. Unfortunately, it was impossible for a single man to change the
entire culture, so the teachings of Tarkeed did not live in their hearts for too long and
they slowly started looking again at the borders of their world, and most of them all - in
the direction of the Men border.
                         5. The Third Interplanar War

                                      5.1. Chaos

The Men world, that has never known war of any kind, that has never even invented
weapons, and with all the mana that has been accumulated there and never ever used
by Men, now, that was a sight that made a common Wudar drool and more than willing
to give it a shot. The Wudar learned their lesson with Erol well, they knew that if they
ever used a Planar Drain on any other world than Wud they would get a Planar Fissure,
but that did not stop them from imagining themselves actually living on Men, controlling
it, and bathing in all the mana that the Men have never used for anything.

However, there were fifty million Men on the Men world. The Wudars, when included
Wudins and Wudin Ums, counted up to only about seven million. Invasion was out of
the question. And with all the experiences with Haad and Erol, invasion was indeed the
last thing any Wudar wanted. Infiltration by Wudins would be as unsuccessful as the
direct attack, due to Men ability to read thoughts. Men would easily sense the Wudins
so they would not gain anything by being cloaked. There had to be a third option. There
had to be one.

And finally they managed to figure something out. As the scouts have reported, the Men
lived in incredible unions, in such Uthopeys of life that even Eroleks did not live in. What
if that union, that trust between them could be somehow broken? What if it WAS
possible to make them hate each other? Will they war against themselves? If they do,
they most assuredly will not waste mana while doing it, as they seem unaware that it's
there at all. The new Chairman liked this proposal, and set plans in motion. It could be
done. All the Wudars needed was again a couple of years in researching some new
wicked spell that would do the job for them. If this worked, they wouldn't even need to
enter Men at all.

After twenty-three years of all but not recreational mind explorer work, tests and
experiments, the spell was prepared. The spell was ready in two years to be precise, but
it took twenty-one years of patient waiting for one other event to take place on Men.
Meanwhile, a special Wudin Um was trained by unique treatment that lasted for months
- he could mask his thoughts, or better yet, not think at all through proper concentration.
He could effectively take form of a rock, shut off his brain and to everyone else appear
as a simple piece of a rock. So, with the knowledge of the precise mechanics of the
spell, he was sent to Men. The Ruling Committee had already deeply discussed the
possibility of his betrayal, just like what happened with Tarkeed, and found it safe to say
that something like that would not happen. Men was not as beautiful and hypnotizing as
Erol, it was an alluvial world, yes, the peasants worked over their lands, and in towns
and metropolises lived the thinkers, artists and smiths. But there was no hypnotic
beauty. Furthermore, even if that spy betrayed the Wudars - this time they did not send
anyone and had already closed the gates to Men. This time they were safe.
Or were they?

The spy had a choice - should he try to be invisible all the time, or take a form of a Man,
but a Man who is not emitting his thoughts for all to hear would be a very curious one to
behold, so he decided to remain invisible. After a few weeks of travel, he reached the
island of Matras, where the Wudar Committee has decided their experiment should take
place. That was most probably due to relative isolation of that metropolis, since it took
days to cross the Matred Sea by boat, so not many people were going on or off the isle.
And of course, the Wudars had the timing just right. It was this metropolis that was
ruling the entire Men world. So the Wudin infiltrated the metropolis successfully, noone
had seen him, and frankly noone was even looking for him. There had been no guards
whatsoever so this was really easy as pie. He slipped into the Senate chamber, and
disguised himself as a big chair there. There he patiently waited for the dawn and for the
Men Senate to take place, and had spent the hours thinking of what would happen if
someone tried to sit on him.

We have managed to recover the actual logs from that Senate session, and many
others from that isle, since the events that followed did not affect Mantras much due to
the same isolation the Wudars picked it for in the first place. Here is the part that is
important:
"President Vermalion: The next topic we have to solve is the food issue in the Nahaz
country. You are all aware that because of the draught, the crops have suffered much
and that Nahaz needs to import food. I advise the food to be imported from Baned
country, as this year it has had good excess. Do all agree?"

That question was a matter of form, all Senators always agreed to the President's
suggestions since he would never suggest something that would be harmful in any way.
The Presidents and Senators throughout the Men history have always competed on
who would make the best rule, that would allow the entire Men to prosper as much as
possible.

"Senator Gorrn: I disagree. I will not allow you to steal our food again as all the years
before!
President Vermalion: What? But.. But Baned has always been the leading country in
producing food; its valleys are one of the most fertile lands in the whole world!

Senator Gorrn: So what? I do not wish to share our food any more! Take it from
Kandear; they have excess as well!

Senator Urnebesh: That is not true. This year we have been hit by the drought as well!
We have barely enough to support ourselves, and no excess to share.

President Vermalion: Please, Senator Gorrn, I hereby make a request, as the president
of the Senate, for you to share Baned's food with Nahaz. You have more than enough!

Senator Gorrn: Denied!

President Vermalion: A denial?!?"

Indeed. The Wudin Um assassin has cast the Arcane Denial on Senator Gorrn, which
changed Gorrn's mind completely. The fact that a senator was sitting on him did not
alter the effectiveness of the spell. Gorrn was a different Man now. And needless to
mention, there has never been anything of the like in the Men Senate, this was the first
major argue they had in the last three thousand years since the Senate was founded.
Gorrn returned home, and started giving weird orders. Orders that Men did not
understand but followed nevertheless. He started building large silos for the food,
instead of sharing it with others, as they had always done. But he didn't start creating
weapons, that was something Men did not even know that existed. Not even for hunting,
as since the beginning all the Men have always been vegetarians. They never killed any
living creature.

Seeing that this may be a problem to the Wudar plan, the spy came to Baned to
observe the situation. What Wud needed was a war. Something to weaken the Men and
throw them into chaos. Make them easy to take over. The Wudin Um took form of a
Man and talked to Senator Gorrn. He tried to persuade him that the Senate was corrupt
and that "a more radical solution" was needed. However Gorrn's mind was closed to his
suggestions - Wudars were still unable to directly influence Men thoughts. Gorrn simply
stored food and refused to share it, and that was all he did.

The Wudin Um, seeing that this was not very much of a success, returned to Mantras,
and cast more Arcane Denials on other Senators. In the weeks that followed the entire
Senate broke apart. In the end only Vermalion was left, and all the Senators have
returned to their countries with various rejections to Vermalions desperate proposals to
bring order back into the Senate. The countries have closed their borders, the trade
routes were cut and the countries isolated. A good part of them started to feel the
effects of isolation and lack of trade since their food supplies were growing thin. And
finally, to the spy's relief, raids started to occur. Starving countries started raiding the
richer ones and stealing their food.

Situation got worse in the three years that followed, since the nature was hash and
those three years had very long and very cold winters. The Wudin Um spy had often
returned to Wud to inform the Committee of the current progress and they were more
than pleased to hear that chaos was starting to build up. They had sent even more
specially trained Wudin Ums to Men to inflict some extra social damage, which these did
very well. Some of them managed to assassinate the senators and take their forms and
offices. Soon it was chaos on Men. But still, there were no wars. Nor would there be any
- the Wudar committee figured. Stoopid Men were incapable of war.



                               5.2. Final invasion of Men

So for the third time, The Wudar Committee had proclaimed a state of war and
started recruiting the Wudars. With the world of Men without any leadership, and with
their Wudin Ums in many key locations, with the populace starved, they thought it would
be easy to defeat them in open conflict, and eliminate them. This was not far from true.

It may seem to you that thought he millennia the Wudars did nothing but oppress the
other worlds through constant invasions and spying. It also may seem it was weird that
the Haadars through the two and a half millennia since they learned about the gateways
did not try to invade other worlds themselves. Know that the Haadars never wanted to
do that. Actually, couldn't. All the other worlds besides their own were too cold for them.
And the Wudars - they were not actually evil. They simply thought different. To them,
power was good. Mana was essential. And nothing they did would be "wrong" as long
as they do it while trying to get one of those two elements. It was just their way of
thinking, their morality.

Unwillingly, the Wudars were drafted for the third time. Young, old, they all went to war.
Male and female alike. This time they knew there had to be no mercy, no regrets. All
Men had to die in order for them to take the Men world, and they all had to die as
quickly as possible. They would not repeat the same mistake they did with Haad, and
especially not now that they are so little in numbers. This time they waited until all the
warring Wudars were upgraded into Wudins or Wudin Ums. They decided to start the
invasion on the biggest continent, that one of Klantia. Two and a half million Wudins
invaded the Men world, divided themselves, and started progressing towards the four
northern metropolises. They burned all that was in their path, and killed everyone. The
starving Men in most cases would not be able to run far and were easily hunt down.

A month has passed. Klantia was in ashes and the Wudins feasted upon the mana that
was in the ground. After that they had rested they regrouped. There were two million of
them left and thirty million Men were annihilated. Nice job, by all standards. Wudins did
not expect such an easy victory. It was not a victory actually - it was a massacre. And so
did the rest of Men perceive it. They were scared; they forgot about their squabbles and
all their eyes were pointed at Klantia. Not many Men ever managed to save themselves
from the burning Klantia, the Wudins were too fast for them. Men were all quickly caught
and their ships burned. Soon Wudins started building great galleys that would allow
them to transport their army across the ocean to Gharia. This took some time since an
armada had to be built.

Meanwhile. Vermalion sat in the empty Senate Council chamber. He was responsible
for the world, although since there was no longer any Senate, he was technically no
longer the President. Something had to be done, but war was not a solution. Men did
not know how to fight. Besides, they were all changed in mind, they no longer
understood each other. Every town and village elder had different opinions and could
not agree at anything with any other Elder. This was the first time Vermalion or any Man
had seen the effects of magic. It was a concept not to difficult to comprehend - an
arcane force, governed by the mind of the caster, doing his bidding at the expense of
the caster's mana. Well, Vermalion decided it was time for him to do some magic as
well. Of course, he never cast a single spell in his life and had no clue how to, so he
figured he could use some assistance.

It was night at the 47th day the Wudins invaded. A small ship landed at Klantia. Two
cloaked figures dressed in black cloaks silently disembarked and started their epic
journey. Those were Vermalion and Urnebesh, who was one of the rare Senators to
avoid an Arcane Denial on his head. They traveled on foot, hiding themselves all the
time, and concentrating really hard on sensing nearby Wudin patrols. A couple of days
later they finally got to the Wud gates, and slipped into Wud unnoticed. Once there they
continued traveling to the west. They found a small settlement where they hid and
rested a while. Their goal was to get at least some information. Who were Wudars at
all? Were there other worlds? Fortunately for them noone was looking for them in Wud.
All the Wudins were building boats back on Men so there were no patrols around. In a
strike of good fortune they overheard two older Wudars talking about ancient past.
Eavesdropping on them (reading their minds actually), they learned of Erol and Haad.
Quickly they understood what they had to do. At that point they separated - Vermalion
went northwest, towards Haad, while Urnebesh continued traveling east to Erol.
                 5.3. Flight of Urnebesh and the battle of Gharia

Urnebesh came at last to the eastern borders of Wud, and saw the burned Erol gates.
They were all destroyed, and there was no mana in the ground, air or anywhere nearby.
But Urnebesh did not know this, of course. He walked through the wastelands and
finally had found the last operational gate that Tarkeed used to return from Erol. In front
of the gate, he stood and said: "Open." The ground shook, and he did not know why.
Something stirred in the sky. He felt something break. He did not know that he had
actually used the magic that was within him, to open the blackness, the emptiness
(contrary to Wudars who manipulated the mana around them). The gate, a blackened
circle that looked like it was made of pure black diamond, started to clear up. The black
color disappeared and it was transparent.

The gate to Erol was opened and Urnebesh was the first person to cross into the burned
wastes of Erol in more than two thousand years. He did not waste much time thinking
about all this, time was of the essence. He ran and ran and ran through the burned
wastelands. There was nothing there to neither eat nor drink so he had to get out of
there as soon as he could. After three days, at the limits of his strengths he reached the
walls in the east of Erol. The walls were as Tarkeed had left them, tall, transparent, and
impenetrable. And there was noone around the gates. Urnebesh could sense he was
alone. It was do or die time. So he screamed from the bottom of his lungs: "OPEN!!"

The ground shook again and the sky cracked. The walls started rumbling, cracking and
great pieces started falling off. The magic was broken. The path before him was
cleared, and he climbed through the hole in the wall that was opened. His words that he
used were actually irrelevant; it was the power behind them that mattered. He denied
the magic in those walls and it was the Deny spell that caused the walls to crack. On the
other side there was real Erol, in it's divine beauty. But there was no time for Urnebesh
to admire it, he plunged into a nearby creek, drank as much as he could and then
passed out.

When he awoke he was in an Erolek hut, guarded by a dozen of Erolek Ums. An old
Erolek Elder was there, standing near him and casting some strengthening magic.
Urnebesh sat and he transferred his thoughts to the Erolek Ums. His thoughts were
panicked, messed, but the picture was clear. He needed help urgently before it was too
late. There was no time to lose. The Eroleks looked at each other and knew what they
had to do. Great horns sounded and the Erol awoke. Hundreds of thousands of Erolek
Ums and Erol Wudins were assembled in a matter of three or four days. The Erolek
Elders were sharp in mind and very wise, and knew well why they were doing this. Once
they had reacted too late and half the Erol was destroyed as a result. This time they
were not going to let another world to fall just because they "needed to think" about
Urnebesh's pledge.

A week later an impressive force made of Eroleks, Erolek Ums, and Erol Wudins,
although still too weak to fight Wud Wudins, landed through the gates back on Men.
They had opened other gates directly from Erol, so they evaded Klantia and appeared
directly on Gharia and Pandronia. First thing they did was to clean all the populace they
could see from all the Arcane Denials. This was done rather quickly as thousands of
Eroleks were casting these enormous Cleansing spells at once. After they had finished,
Men realized what they had been doing and instantly united again under the same
leadership. Urnebesh was a natural choice for the leader since their President
Vermalion was still away and the other Senators were mostly dead. Fearing that
Vermalion may not even return, ever, that he was lost on Wud or Haad, Urnebesh
started preparing for war. Men did not know how to wage war and were incapable of it
so he took some volunteers, as it always goes this way, and with the Erolek help
managed to morph them into fighters, just like the Erolek were. Since these new fighters
had some Men traits like the strong mind control of the events around them, but
physically begun to look much like Eroleks and inherited their keen eyesight and
marksmanship, they were named Better Men-Eroleks, or in Men language - Ish'Meneks.

These warriors had lost their ability to sense thoughts, since Eroleks did not have it
originally, but they gained one other perk as a tradeoff. Not only were they fighters (as
opposed to Men), but they were a bit better than Eroleks themselves. However they
were never as good as the Erolek Ums, which was never the idea actually. The Eroleks
wanted to upgrade the Men mental powers, all for the benefit of greater defense. So,
when two benevolent species work together towards creating a common weapon, they
make it a non-lethal but extremely effective one - the Ish'Meneks could stop arrows in
flight with their thoughts alone, and could bend the enemy spears and blades so they
would be useless. They had the mental powers of telekinesis of course, and with those
powers they could throw the enemy back, and not kill them in the process.
By the time Wud Wudins reached the shores of Gharia, the army of defenders was
ready. It was two million Wud Wudins and Wudin Ums as opposed to five hundred
thousand Eroleks and Men, some two hundred thousand Erolek Ums and Erol Wudins,
and about fifty thousand Ish'Meneks. It was not nearly a fair fight, but it was not an
impossible one either. The Men/Erolek army was fighting on their home ground so they
had big natural advantages.

The Wudins charged, roaring into the battle, on many fronts. All over the continent these
great battles were fought. The Eroleks and their kin constantly lured the enemy into the
range of Ish'Menek attacks who then disarmed the enemy so that Eroleks could kill
them swiftly. But the Wudin forces were too great and since Ish'Meneks could not sense
them, they did not last long. The Wudins made a habit of attacking the smallest troops
first, so this was another reason for the quick disappearance of Ish'Meneks.

By the time the battle was ended, about five hundred thousand Wudins (mostly Wudin
Ums) remained. The Erolek/Men army was defeated utterly, and there were only about
a couple of hundred survivors left. Urnebesh, with the other survivors had fled and set
sail to Pandronia. After the battle the Wudins had turned their crazed eyes there as well.
It was the last Men foothold. Again, they began building ships since their old ones that
they used to come from Klantia were long gone, burned by Erolek Ums or deliberately
sunk by Ish'Meneks. This act of burning the ships proved to be crucial as it gave the
Men just enough time to prepare for the last attack.
               5.4. Flight of Vermalion and the battle of Pandronia

Urnebesh was gone to the east and Vermalion headed northeast. Men needed an army
and the Haadars were the only race that managed to defeat Wud in open combat so far.
He stole some tebrs - a Wud equivalent of Men horses - and he rode swiftly to his
destination. That took him longer than expected, as he had to pass almost over the
entire Wud to reach the southern Haad gates. The gates were all closed but he
Vermalion did not have much trouble reading the minds of the local populace, of which
some had been warriors, and knew how to open those gates in times of emergency.
They did not know what kind of an emergency it would be needed for them to be forced
to retreat into the Haad furnace, but the need of Vermalion was a great one. He filled
many water canteens and plunged into one gate, leaving the tebrs behind. It was far
worse than he had expected.

The fury of Haad was terrible to behold. It parched Vermalion's skin instantly. He
wrapped himself in wet clothes and ran towards the nearest settlement that was a
couple of hours away. A couple of hours in that furnace can seem like an eternity,
especially without any magic protection. However he was a hu-man in his middle ages
and has practiced sports his entire life so he was in good form. Half the way through he
encountered a small group of Haadars. As he was too exhausted to avoid them they
spotted him and instantly draw their blades. Vermalion has never encountered Haadars
before but from what their minds were telling him he knew he was in trouble. He
stopped, and concentrated hard. The Haadars were still rushing towards him, but he just
stood there. And then he opened his eyes. Waves of mental panic were sent to the
Haadars, overwhelming them. He had sent his deepest fears, his worries and his pain to
them and they started to fall, twitching in pain and rolling on the ground. He continued to
run.
After some hours he reached the Haadar hamlet and a similar thing had happened. The
Haadars were panicked and ran away from him (later committing mass suicides), and
finally realized he was no Wudar or Wudin they hated so much. He was able to stop
them whenever he wished. No Wudar could ever do such a thing. That power raised the
Haadar curiosity and what was more important - their respect. He was a warrior in their
eyes, and a powerful one. It is said that he met with the Warlord of that county, and
brought him back to the Wud gate where they could talk. The Haadar Warlord and his
company were on one side of the gate, in their world, but he was on the Wud side,
where it was much cooler and he could rest from the incredible strain his endeavor
inflicted on him.

Due to the Haadars being unable to cross the worlds for long periods of time, they could
not help Vermalion, although they wanted it badly. Wudars were the hated enemy of the
Haadars for thousands of years and the Haadars had similar feelings towards the
situation like the Eroleks did, but due to somewhat different reasons. They saw the
Wudar invasion on Men as a highly dishonorable act - Men were completely helpless
peasants, and that made the slaughtering a great shame in the eyes of the Haadars.
Those that acted without honor would gain great disrespect; in the Haadar eyes the
Wudars started appearing as even worse cowards and scum, and something definitely
should have been done about it. The time was short, so the conversation between the
Haadar Warlord and Vermalion did not last very long. The Warlord's words were brief
but complex. He taught Vermalion of what it was to be a Haadar, how the mana exactly
flowed through their body and how it could be focused in their hands so that they could
cast spells more easily than any other specie. And Vermalion read from the Warlord's
mind the history of Haad, the exact tunes they used to cast spells, and how did they war
against each other - their tactics of warfare.

Vermalion returned to Men alone about five days before the Wudin task force landed on
Pandronia. There he analyzed the situation and the solution was relatively simple. He
had to apply all he knew about the Haadars and their physiology on his fellow Men. So
for the first time in his life he utilized the mana of his world, and cast a spell on himself.
He morphed. He gained the second pair of arms. His size increased and his
appearance changed, as he now had two pairs of eyes on his face just like the Haadars.
He was stronger, although a little slower due to his size, and definitely no longer a Man.
He was a Man-Haadar, or in his language - a Menar. Seeing what he did the Eroleks
worked with him to increase his reflexes even more, and to adjust the mana flows in him
so he would be able to cast similar destructive spells as the Haadars did. The Eroleks
did not like this idea but his will was unbreakable and he managed to persuade them to
the necessity of these changes. They also helped him to do the same procedure on a
great number of Men who all, united, embraced the change, as it was their only hope of
surviving the onslaught. The change from Men to Menars spread like fire.

Every Menar cast the transformation spell on other Men and repeated it over and over
on the greater and greater numbers of Men that applied for the changes. The mana that
was required for this enormous transformation of an entire species was all over the
place, abundant, and freely available too all that knew it existed. Since over a hundred
Eroleks and Erolek Ums worked on Vermalion alone, they quickly figured what had to be
done to boost him to the limits his body would be able to withstand and by the time the
Wudins landed on Pandronia he and a few thousand of others were already a super
Menars - a Menar Ums.

The Wudins reached the shores of Pandronia and disembarked. Since this was their
final destination, and the last continent on their crusade they did not need the ships any
more so this time they burned them themselves. There was no going back; this was the
point of no return. They divided into three divisions with about a hundred and twenty
thousand Wudins in each, and marched towards the three remaining metropolises. Half
the way to the cities the armies had encountered something they had never seen
before. Formations of weird rocks, each set about a hundred yards away from other,
forming circles. Normally this would not be disturbing but Wudins immediately sensed
weird mana radiations, something they never encountered before and they started
investigating this phenomenon.

In the first division to encounter these rocks, the Wudin Um general approached one of
these himself. He studied its mana flows but he still did not understand what it was
supposed to do. There were two basic kinds of the mana flows - that was the only thing
he could understand. But it remained a mystery to him who had cast these spells?
Eroleks? Haadars definitely not, there wasn't anything intrusive or offensive at those
mana flows. Finally he stepped forward to the closest rock and inspected it. It was not a
natural thing. Its shape was that of a pillar with four branches that would point at the sky
in a clawlike form. It was a monolith of some sort, and all of them were alike. Not a big
one, actually, for it was about two feet in height, but the mana radiation was extremely
high. What caught his attention was a set of symbols that were written in tiny letters
near the bottom of the monolith. Translated, the letters meant nothing so it was
definitely a name of some sort. Letter by letter - it spelled Urnebesh. Icy shivers ran
through his spine. He stood up and looked around.

The Menar Um had appeared from behind the trees where they had been hiding. They
were something totally new to the Wudins and this created a great commotion. The
Menar Ums charged, lead by Vermalion, and after them thousands of Menars and Men
that were not yet morphed swarmed the battlefield from all the directions. As they died
more and more of them kept coming. They were fearless, even Men were fighting the
best they could. What was even more puzzling to the surprised Wudins was that noone
ever ran away. They all fought to the death, weather they were wounded on not. As long
as a Menar could stand on his feet he fought with four blades, and the Menar Ums
constantly were casting fire bolts that incinerated dozens of unprepared Wudins in each
blast. Wudins attacked back, or better say, tried to attack, but something was definitely
amiss. The numbers that they managed to kill were nothing when compared to their own
loses. Attacks on the Menars were most often deflected or even stopped by powerful
magic that surrounded the battlefield so they had a hard time even stabbing anyone,
much less killing.

The battle achieved epic proportions and similar battles occurred with the other two
Wudin divisions. In the end the Wudins were all massacred, and no Wudin or Wudin
Um had ever returned to Wud.
                                   5.5. End of an era

Victorious, the Menar army was disbanded, and Menars have returned to their homes.
In a couple of years that followed there was no Men or Menar left, they were all
transformed into Menar Ums. As such, they had mana flowing through their bodies in a
Haadar fashion, and they started researching those spells that would ensure they were
never again taken by surprise by any force that would attack them. Populace counts
have showed that by the year 3 B.C. there were only about ten million Menar Ums on
the Men world, out of the initial fifty before the war. Plans have been set in motion for
the recovery of the destroyed continents, and those Eroleks that remained on Men did
much to help the effort by casting Erol style prosperous spells for the quicker
regeneration of both Menar Ums and the land.

Wudars, defeated for the third time, closed all the gates forever and have forsaken all
ideas about controlling other worlds ever. Almost the entire Wudar population had been
lost in these futile wars and they were sick and tired of it. Their mind explorers starting
researching improving spells again and did little besides that. Wudin and Wudin Ums
that were all lost had to be replenished so body explorers started working on that
matter. For the first time in history they had started suffering mana lacks as they had
spent far too much mana on upgrading those troops for the last war. As they fed upon
the mana this was the main reason for stopping all war mana spending and
concentrating on survival at last.

Erol had also lost many hundreds of thousands of Eroleks in the Men war, but were
more than pleased with the outcome. The Ish'Meneks were an addition to their small
armies, since, as they could impress their Erolek skills upon Men, the reverse was
possible as well. So Eroleks could change themselves into Ish'Meneks, which they
gladly did. Their lifestyle was not altered much and there was absolutely no desire to do
so. The only major change was the opening of the gates to Men and small but steady
Erolek and Men transfers between the two worlds that ended the many millennia long
Erolek isolation, bringing in new ideas and new practices. Vermalion's discovery of Far-
Sight channeling devices that would allow the users to see each other even when on
different worlds aided this flow of people and ideas much.
And the Haadars, ah, the Haadars. They remained squabbling as always before.
Considering the Men war outcome they were pleased of course, but they gained nothing
by it. The Menar Ums, when compared to Haadars were still inferior by far, although
they fought using the same spells and battle tactics. The only main advantage the
Menar Ums had over Haadars is that they somewhat retained their mind skill of sensing
and reading nearby creatures, so they could detect any hidden assassins and prepare
their defenses against them. But this was something Haadars would never need nor
even want, for they were too proud and considered themselves warriors that needed no
alarm to be prepared for the unexpected.

And soon, out of the blue, the end of an era was upon the four worlds. Something big
and important happened. Very big, and very important. Very very big and very very ..
you get the idea.
                                      6. Interlude
The time has come. I think.
They had all met each other, worked together or battled against themselves. Now it is
time for me to introduce some changes. Hmm. Is it the right time actually? Well, I guess
it is. Nothing is supposed to change much. Ok, so, changes.

But where?
Erol and Wud are destroyed by most part. Haad was too inhospitable for any change to
be done there. That leaves me Men, my first creation, to tamper with.

Hm, how unlucky it is that so many had to die to realize it was not worth it. But well, I
guess it is in the nature of individual creations, it seems. Who knows? If there were
others beside me perhaps I would war with them as well?

Hmmm. What shall I do? I dunno. I should mix them. Mix them all in one big soup. Yes,
that sounds promising. I'll even make create some gods to them. Something they can
see, and pray to. That'll be a sight.

Perhaps they will learn to work together in unity this time. Or perhaps they will wage
wars again? Whatever they do it will be their choice.
So be it. It is done.

Hope this wasn't a mistake.
     7. Brixholm Contamination and the merging of the worlds

                           7.1. New world and the menen

This chapter in my story is most probably the most crucial one. In the year 0 A.C., with
no apparent reason, the entire "creation" was turned upside down. I will try to explain all
that happened, and please note that it all happened at once, instantaneously. Frankly I
do not know where to start from so I will go topic by topic.

Erol, Wud, and Haad were no more. As worlds - they ceased to exist. All their
inhabitants had been transferred to our world, together with their belongings, but this
transfer was a far more complex one than it seems. The worlds had been actually
merged; parts of Erol, Wud and Haad appeared, randomly placed, all over Men. Erolek
forests with their huts, were only a couple of miles away from the Haad volcanoes and
caves in them where Haadars lived, and between them were Wud deserts filled with
Wud villages, all of it surrounded by our standard world. This pattern repeated itself
many times all over the continents, and new landmasses appeared. These new lands
were mixed up in this fashion as well, but reason that makes me to believe this was
done on purpose is the fact that the landmasses now covered big parts of the ex
oceans, and thus connecting all of the three main continents into one new, big one,
while still leaving oceans to surround the new big continent. Mountains were created
and were very often placed in suspicious formations that would isolate the areas that
they surrounded. On other locations the same thing was done with long and broad rivers
or large and deep lakes that could be easily be mistaken for seas.

To summarize. The new continent was divided by natural barriers into thousands of little
areas, with a number of Menar Um, Haadar, Erolek and Wudar settlements "randomly"
placed throughout them. However their isolation was not a complete one, there were
many mountain canyons and natural river crossings that could be easily turned into
passes from one region to the other. These passes turned to be of great tactical
importance throughout the new era and many times battles were fought in such
locations.
None of the magic energies that flowed in the other worlds were transferred to Men,
again due to an unknown reason. Probably incompatibility. The mana that was
generated was still Men mana. This did not affect the other species much with one
notable exception - highly customized spells like the Wudar Planar Drain spell were now
gone forever. Whenever they would try casting that one for example, a Fissure would
occur just like on Erol and the mana would be burned in fire blasts. However, Eroleks
and Wudars had no problems adapting to the new mana flows. Eroleks could still use
Men mana for their prosperous spells just like before, and the Wudars could feed on it.
This fact gave the final proof to the theory that all the mana energies were created by
the same source, with very minor differences.

The interesting question here was the Haadar specie. They were not only transferred
but changed as well, in order to make them able to survive. All of them appeared a lot
smaller in our world, no longer up to nine feet high and a thousand pounds in weight,
but now the biggest Haadars were about seven feet high and waited no more than six
hundred pounds. They were much slower than before, most probably due to the lack of
methane that gave them energy. But they still could breathe and did no longer feel the
extreme cold in our world. It is assumed their body temperature was lowered from
burning 80 degrees Celsius to about 50, which is normal for them now. Switching from
methane to oxygen also changed their physiology, but not much - their inner magical
body was changed because the Men mana was now flowing through their palms. We do
not know in the exact details everything that is different now, as we never had a chance
to study an ancient Haadar. Those summoned by Weakling's Bane don't count, they are
only spirits, and spirits don't react too well to needles.

One very interesting thing was new to this world, and never existed on any other world
before. It was something we now call "a Throne". These monoliths were basically very
similar in form to the monoliths first cast by Urnebesh in the last war but with one
difference in form, that being the top of the pillar, which no longer was in shape of a
claw but took a form of a seat. That is why those monoliths were named Thrones
although they were not necessarily been made for people to sit in them. They just had
that shape. Also they were much bigger than the monoliths before, they were about
thirty feet tall, with the actual "Throne" on top of them about six feet tall and three feet
wide. They were all purple in color, which is puzzling even today. Purple "marble" never
existed anywhere, but then this was no ordinary marble, for it could never be cracked,
broken or burned. As if it was indestructible. Those Thrones were placed in the middle
of these natural regions, one per region, and their "seats" always pointed to the south,
again for no apparent reason, probably the designer's sick imagination. The weirdest
thing was that no magic radiation was apparent in them, as if they were dead, which
was proved later to be false.

This merging of worlds was named the Brixholm Contamination by the hu-man (Menar
Um) clerics for a very good reason. Actually the change did not happen *immediately*,
as in a blink of an eye. It lasted for a couple of hours as the world was rewritten like a
piece of paper would be. The center of Men world - where these change begun - is still
called the Brixholm area. There was nothing special about it, it simply was in the center
of Men, as a small farming community that was first surrounded by Haad, Erol and Wud
scenery and inhabitants. The Brixholm area in time was transformed into the real center
of the world, and the throne that appeared there was bigger than all others. But we'll get
to this later. As for the "contamination", I expect no explanation is necessary. Needless
to say Menar Um clerics did not appreciate their world now being a host for three more
races, without any apparent need or reason. After all, the last war had barely ended,
Men was united again and it was all as it should be when the contamination occurred.


                                7.2. Gods and Planes

What exactly happened to the ex worlds of Erol, Haad and Wud? At least to this
question we have real answers. In short, they morphed from worlds to planes. Of
course, a detailed explanation is needed. Each world lost its physical form. Now,
formless it remained with all the mana it once had. That mana was redone, its patterns
were interwoven like strings in clothing, and a plane was created. Its fabric was the
mana itself. It no longer bordered with other worlds/planes and even if it did it would be
pointless because one cannot live in a world entirely made of mana - noone can breathe
on it. Those planes did not have any immediate connection with the actual world of Men
but as time passed the planes have proven to be crucial to the further development of
the situation.

As these planes were created, so were three beings in them. These beings were made
of pure mana as well and were without a form, simply existing there without the need to
eat, sleep or breathe. They were named the High Lords, for they had the power to
control the mana of their planes to any goal they had, and as it was, most of those goals
were on Men. They had taken the forms of the innate beings in their worlds, but much
larger and full of mana, so that when they would travel to the world of Men, they could
be seen and identified as the High Lords. Though, this occurred only rarely and
throughout the new era such encounters with the High Lords could be counted on the
fingers of a Wudar hand. Today the acceptance of the High Lords in the Men world is
obvious due to every High Lord having his own philosophy in accordance to the mana
he is controlling and the history of his ex world - the Haadar High Lord became
accepted to the menen as the God of Destruction, the Wudar as the God of Mastery,
and the Erol one as the God of Remedy.

As you see, originally there was no God of Resolution, i.e., the Men High Lord. The
three of the High Lords came to Men in the second year of the new era to announce
their presence. It was done in a lovely demonstration - the Haad Lord destroyed a
couple of towns with lava storms, then Erol Lord came and repaired the damage, and
after that the Wud Lord had cast determination spells all over the inhabitants so they
could resume their life at the same efficiency as before the Haad Lord killed half their
population. Although to some a cruel demonstration, it was a very effective one and the
news quickly spread all over the world causing both fear and joy. The populace finally
had something they could pray to, Gods that existed and were real for all to see. Quickly
they abandoned their ancient Gods and beliefs and from that moment those creatures,
the High Lords, even if they were not actual Gods they become such in the eyes of
every menen. To be candid, they are not the Gods only in the eyes of us, the hu-man
clerics, since we have reasons to believe there is something even more powerful and
truly omnipotent that is ruling this world, other planes and our destiny.

I still haven't described the effect that this merging had on menen all over the world but I
want to clarify the Men High Lord situation first. Men plane was created about fifty years
A.C. The reasons for it - purely hu-man ones. After the demonstration of the three High
Lords, the populace was awed. They started worshiping their gods fiercely and those
"gods" actually replied to their praises. They dealt blessings or punishment, depending
on their own morale codes. But the Menar Um population did not praise anyone. They
had no High Lord to worship, and there was no Men plane. This caused discomfort and
jealousy at first, but later open protests and riots at the temples of the three other races.
Soon the situation was very tense and civil war was at hand. The Haadars and Wudars
(Eroleks excluded, they were never aggressive nor an enemy of Menar Ums) begun
raiding human settlements and having revenge for the burnings of their own temples.

This situation did not last for long, for very soon the hu-man clerics managed to gather
enough mana for the first general spell they had ever cast. This spell does not have a
name that we are familiar with today since it could only be cast once and never again. A
month after the riots had started the clerics were prepared and started casting it. The
effects were visible all over the world - all the mana pockets, layers and layers of
unused mana that was collected there from the beginning of the world till now - those
pockets started shrinking. The entire world started losing mana, it all went *somewhere*.
This mana withdrawal lasted for three days and three nights and was there for all to see.
Fights immediately stopped and were replaced by panic, as none except a chosen
number of clerics knew what was going on. In they fear all the mana would be lost
forever they started gathering mana in "secure" locations but to no avail, the mana was
disappearing, no matter where it was. By the third night the world was empty of mana,
except minor quantities that were deliberately left for the Wudars to survive. Finally on
the dawn of the fourth day in the sky appeared the fourth High Lord. It was the Menar
Um God, and he had his own plane to control - that was where all the mana went. He
proclaimed, in a thundering voice, that he was here now and that he would take care of
hu-mans. How the clerics took mana and formed it into a plane is relatively easy to
understand, but how did they manage to create the fourth High Lord, or was it even their
doing, that we still do not know for the secret of that spell has been long lost.
               8. Rise of Elders and creation of Dominance

                              8.1. The brave new world

In this chapter I will explain the immediate consequences the Brixholm Contamination
had on the world. Needles to say, absolutely every living creature in existence was
dazzled and at least a bit scared. They could see the changes although they did not feel
the actual change, they were in their own world, in their homes, and the next moment
they were somewhere else, together with their homes, gardens, and earth that they lived
on. Menar Ums were scared the most, because still a great number of them never saw
any spell excluding the transformation one that changed them from Men to Menars and
then later to Menar Ums. One month after the change, in the still ruling Senate on the
ex isle of Mantras (the isle was no longer an isle, it was now connected to the rest of the
world), Vermalion who was now a Menar Um (as everybody else) assembled a
gathering of the ruling forces from the other worlds. It was a great debate who should
take the control of the menen and it was an even greater fight between the ex Haadar
Emperor Shanzad and the ex Wudar Chairman Marseet. Those two started fighting
(actually Shanzad immediately attacked first) as soon as they were both in the Senate
Chambers, and before anyone could do anything Marseet was dead. Not many tears
were wept for him, although the Menar Um security did manage to overpower Shanzad
and imprison him. Very quickly (in a matter of minutes) the replacements for them were
found and the meeting could commence.

The debate lasted for two weeks and still no conclusion could be agreed upon. The
Haadars wanted to prove that they could lead the world by demonstrating their superior
might (which was now vastly reduced by their transformation but they would not
acknowledge it - “We are NOT changed” “But look at yourself! You are smaller and
weaker!” “We are NOT changed” “...”). The Wudars wanted to rule on the behalf of their
superior magic knowledge and efficiency. The Eroleks however were intent on gaining
the ruling chair because they thought that through their government they could create
another paradise out of Men world and cease all the fighting. However Vermalion did
not want to give his position away for he felt it was his place to rule the world just as
before. He was elected by his own people before the last war and he was unwilling to let
any foreign race control their world after all that has happened in the last fifteen years.
So, in a matter of speaking, all of the races had some right to be in command but in
case any were to be elected, it was very likely that more wars would occur and the world
would be thrown into chaos again. This was the last thing any of them wanted so in the
third week the hu-man Senate had managed to persuade the other species that
obviously the current methods of government that were present on any of the worlds
were no longer applicable.

They decided to create a new set of government rules, one that would be a compromise
between all four species. The world was to be divided in areas, and this was not a hard
thing to do since the terrain was already configured in such a manner. This pre-made
division was very suspicious to all but they decided to play along with the “goddish
plan”. Every area already had a weird monolith, a "throne" that would represent the
center of that region. And to please the Haadars, an emperor, or at least some person
of noble blood would rule each region. Since only Haadars actually had any nobles in
their populace, it was agreed as well that the other species would elect their own
representatives that would be proclaimed Nobles. This was according to the Menar Um
request that the government had at least some democracy in it. These temporary nobles
would remain in control of their regions together with their families but would need to be
reelected every two hundred years in order to let some fresh blood and insights in, to be
able to improve the general lifestyle. The Wudars did not object to this but remained firm
in their request that only those people who had above average magic potential to be
allowed to participate in the elections. They thought only wizards were capable of
efficiently controlling the areas and the others also saw this as a good trait to the new
leaders. Without magic this world would be impossible to control, as the ancient Men
lifestyle was gone now. The Eroleks were last to present their terms, and they were wise
to do so. Their terms were that those wizards would not control the regions like despots
but to have their own counselors and that their decisions have to be rectified by local
populace. In other words, they would not be ruthless tyrants; quite on the contrary, they
would be more like the Erolek Elders back on Erol.

Twenty years after this agreement, the elections came. In this time the populace had
the chance to meet and learn about all of the inhabitants and most importantly the
wizards in their region so they would be able to vote for their favorites. Two thousand
Emperors-to-be from all over the world were elected as leaders, and all four races had
their representatives controlling equal portions of the world. These portions were all
mixed up, so in no general area would any race have a dominant power. The question
was, what next? Trade routes were established between areas controlled by fellow
Emperors and mana started flowing again. The regions flourished, all in their own way.
But not all Emperors were wise, and not all were strong.




                                  8.2. Rise of Elders
Immediately after the elections the question arose - from there would these Emperors
reign? From their own home villages? There were no castles of any sort in the world,
and the Haadar Elders were the first to start building them. Always wary of war they
knew they needed some protection for themselves in the case nearby empires attack.
So they used enormous portions of their mana to build magic castles. These castles
were build around those throne monoliths and were neatly designed so that the pillars
with the thrones on top of them would be in the center of those great halls and that the
monolith thrones would finally be accessible for the rulers to sit in them. This was a
great endeavor and lasted for a hundred of years. The castles were not actually built -
the mana was projected into the throne monoliths, very carefully tuned, so the monoliths
would grow into the actual castles, making them indestructible. I hope this finally
answers the question - why are all the throne castles built of purple marble and where
did that marble come from? From nowhere! It were the monoliths that were expanded to
the castles, creating barracks for five thousand troops, accommodations for the Elders,
and other throne dwelling populace that was needed. Still, as I said, we do not know
where the throne monoliths came from in the first place. Most probably - by the same
force that merged all the worlds together, but then again, maybe not. Since even the
High Lords do not know the answer to this question most probably no person does.
After the thrones were built the Haadar Emperors moved their quarters and started to
rule from them. Seeing this, the Emperors of other areas and races started creating
their own castles that were different in form but all had one thing in common - they were
all indestructible.

The populace never really liked the term "Emperor" for it reminded them of how the
Haadar Emperors were cruel to their own people and the term they adopted for the
rulers was that of the Eroleks - Elders. The history will show that some Elders were
indeed Emperors, but this had not happened for quite some time yet. Anyhow what
these Elders did was to insure the prosperity and/or strength of the populace they ruled.
The Haadars started forging weapons and fortifying the pathways that leaded into their
regions, the Eroleks were busy with prosperities throughout their lands, changing
weather to reflect kindly on the people and the crops. The Wudars raised schools that
would teach magic to the people (making them potential assassin recruits) and rebuilt
their military academies for the trainings of Wudins and Wudin Ums. But the Menar Um
started working on a somewhat different project. It was evident to them that war was to
occur sooner or later. They were able to sense the innate Haadar hate for Eroleks and
Wudars, which Haadars considered "weak" species (interestingly, the Haadars actually
liked Menar Ums, probably because they were a branch of Haadars in their eyes).

In this period of time and relative piece no big wars ever occurred. Minor skirmishes
between neighboring Elders happened here and there, but due to the configuration of
the terrain if an Elder wanted to destroy his neighbor and take his lands he would have
to kill all of the inhabitants of that other region, else the populace in question would
simply reelect a new Elder to take the position of the killed one and all would be as it
was. This would be genocide again, and the other Elders would harshly punish the
offender. That is why this never happened. Anyhow in this thousand of years that have
passed a number of interesting things have occurred.
The Menar Ums have completed their work on a first really dangerous weapon they ever
had. Sensing the never-ending tensions they again worked on creating something that
would be a dangerous weapon, but again non-lethal. Constant experimenting, learning
from the Wudar libraries all the topics on transformation, studying Haadar physiology, all
of that finally led to another creature, an upgrade, that needed to be implemented now.
Today we call that experiment the Un'Haadar, or in the Haadar language "Fear-
Haadars". The essence of this project was to eliminate all of the Haadar traits that have
linked Haadars to their own world, such as the need for the methane which was still
present, the burning body temperature that made Haadars always cold in this world, and
the physical attributes which were no longer appropriate, for example the extreme size
and weight. The resulting Un'Haadars were smaller, perhaps weaker in strength of
battle arms, but faster as a result. But these are only side effects, what was really
important is the mind-tune of Un'Haadars. Again, I stress, they were designed to be
non-lethal warriors although they could normally fight with solid blades. But they
excelled at paralyzing enemy by inducing images of terror and distress in their minds
which were so intense that resulted into throwing the enemy into a temporary comas.
Such paralyzed creatures would regain consciousness after a few minutes up to a few
hours, depending on the strength of this attack but they would not die nor suffer any
permanent mind damage. With these Un'Haadars, Menar Um have finally had a fighting
force of their own and could defend their villages without taking lives.

Meanwhile an even more important project was developing in the Haadar battle pits.
Haadars were the only specie that had no advanced warriors of their own. There was a
great debate in the grand Haadar meeting (168 A.C.) weather they should invest any
research into it or not. The Haadars never appreciated knowledge and research much
and for their entire history in their arrogance they always believed that they were the
perfect warriors - strong, fast and deadly. And indeed they were, at least until the
Contamination when they were shrunk, slowed, and weakened considerably. This was
the main contra-argument but generally it was decided that they should spend more
time training instead of researching ways to improve themselves magically. This
decision did not please the younger Haadars, who were influenced much by the last war
and could objectively say that even Menar Ums, whom they have seen practicing their
war skills, could defeat them in case of a war. So a group of young Haadar researchers
went to the battle pits (which were transferred from Haad in the merging) and started
researching their own upgrades. It took them a while to figure what exactly did they want
as a result. They could never compete as archers with Erolek Ums or Ish'Menek, as
they were too slow to be able to fire arrows at such speed, and neither had the eyesight
that could even be compared to the Eroleks. And furthermore, those arrows would not
do much damage considering any army could recruit Ish'Meneks. They neither wanted
to create anything like Wudins or Wudin Ums since a Haadar was as stealthy as an
average Goon. They needed something big, something frightening, and something
deadly.

The story how they figured what they needed was a bit funny to the Haadars. A small
group of the researches was walking at the beaches of the ocean and one of them
decided to try to swim. Haadars were horrible swimmers, they would most often sink. So
he plunged in the shallow sea and started swimming around and the other Haadars
looked at him with awe. He was actually walking on a ridge of rocks that were too deep
for the others to see, and was only pretending to be swimming. At least until a shark
came and bite his right lower arm off. Panicked Haadar instinctively tried casting a fire
bolt to incinerate the shark but what use is a fire bolt under water? The bolt exploded
and killed both the Haadar and the shark. This taught the other Haadars two valuable
things - never cast a fire bolt under water, and more importantly, if you cannot hit the
enemy, then you are as good as dead. So they started working on the Haadun project.
By the year 179 A.C. the first Haaduns were ready to be tested. Actually, those
researchers were now the Haaduns since they couldn't find volunteers for the
experiment, at least not without the Haadar council's approval.

Ten Haaduns dug their way to the Erolek village in their region. There they emerged, but
only a few feet below the ground, and with their four arms now transformed into
tentacles grabbed a couple of local Eroleks and pulled them underground where they
could eat them at piece. The Erolek Ums that were defending the area could do nothing
about it. They saw the tentacles rising from below the ground and grabbing their kin
away but could do nothing except fire half a dozen arrows into each tentacle. The
Haaduns managed to kill about twenty Eroleks before they retreated. They all returned
to the battle pits where their laboratory was located, although most of them had quite a
few tentacles less than before. This did not bother them as in a matter of months their
tentacles would grow back to the original form.

Euphoric about their success, they emerged in the local Haadar meeting, killed fifty
more Haadars and only then introduced themselves. The Haadars were jubilant with joy
that they could morph into something so deadly and soon there were hundreds of
volunteers that were more than happy to be experimented on. Haaduns to this day are
one of the most dangerous creatures that exist and not without very good reasons. They
are extremely hard to kill as they need to be pulled by their deadly poisonous tentacles
out of the ground and slaughtered there. Even on ground they can still fight so this is
even more dangerous.

When all of this is taken into consideration, it is easy to understand why by the year
1480 A.C. almost all of the trade routes between the regions had stopped. Every region
had a share of good warriors that were trained to fight and never had the chance to do
so. Even Elders became greedier, and as always - the neighbor's cows look fatter and
his fields look more fertile. Armies were amassed and trained and one final thing was
missing before global invasions could begin.
                           8.3. Summoning of the avatars

Elders could never lead the armies themselves. There was always a risk that if an Elder
would go to another region and fight there another Elder would easily invade and take
his own region without any resistance. But this was only a minor reason, for in time the
Elders got accustomed to the throne monoliths and managed to use them to amplify any
spells they would cast. Without the throne monolith nearby they felt naked. Something
else was needed. Something reliable. Something that would follow their will and their will
alone. The first avatar was summoned in the year 1497 A.C. when Lord Frainad,
Haadar in origin, had diligently prayed to Haad High Lord to send him a solution that
would allow him to conquer his neighbor, an Erolek Elder. The Haad Lord appeared for
the second time in his existence, before Lord Frainad, and something spectacular
happened. Before Frainad's scared eyes, the High Lord started doubling himself. First
he had two heads, then eight arms, then four legs, and finally there were two of them in
front of him.

The Haad High Lord simply vanished, just like he came, and the other *thing*, that
looked exactly as the High Lord, simply stood there looking at Lord Frainad blankly.
Frainad was an experienced wizard and knew this blank look well. "Kneel!", he ordered,
and the Haadar kneeled. "Who are you?", he asked, but got no response. He was
puzzled but decided to get this to an end. "You are here to serve me!". And the Haadar
looked up to him and replied - "Yes, master.". The Haad High Lord image, but in body
alone, with his mind completely blank, was appropriately named "an avatar". He was a
magical creature, with all the knowledge of Haad war tactics and able to command
Frainad's army, but with no recollection of what he actually was. Nor did it matter much,
at least not to Frainad, since the avatar was entirely under his control, but still with a
mind of his own - imaginative, innovative, and had done his job superbly - he invaded
the neighboring region, broke through Erolek Um and Ish'Menek defenses, killed the
Erolek Elder, and then stopped. There, in the throne room of the Erolek Elder, the dead
Elder was sitting on the throne. But the throne then came alive.

Lord Frainad who was watching all of this through Vermalion's channeling device (which
by this time was installed in every throne room in the world), saw the throne grow,
morph, and finally enclose the Erolek Elder. It morphed into a ball around the dead
Erolek, and there it was, a big ball of purple marble. Neither Frainad nor his avatar (that
still had no name) knew what to do or what was going on. Then, after five minutes of
impatient waiting the ball started morphing again. It slowly assumed it's original form
and the Erolek, previously dead, was alive again. The avatar reached for his blade to
slaughter him again but before he had the chance, a bolt of thunder shot from the
throne itself and struck him in the chest. He fell, obviously dead, and vanished in a puff
of mana. Then a booming voice, apparently coming from the throne itself, said: "Lord
Klaina (speaking to the resurrected Erolek), you have been killed and subdued. You will
now be a servant for six months or else you will die again, and for good." Then,
changing direction into the channeling device the voice said: "Lord Frainad, you have
subdued Lord Klaina. After six months of servitude, if he wishes, he will be free to
liberate himself from your rule. Although it is not yet the right time, the Rules of
Dominance have and must be obeyed."

Astonished, both Lords looked at each other through the device. They quickly agreed
upon some things that this new concept - servitude - required. Lord Klaina was forced to
send his maps and reports daily to Lord Frainad and to give him a part of the mana his
region was generating. A week later Lord Frainad was praying again to the Haad High
Lord, and asking him again the privilege of using another avatar. The Haad High Lord
replied, in Frainad's mind: "Had you stopped your avatar in trying to break the Rules of
Dominance, you wouldn't be needing to pray to me now. You are stupid and boring.
Here." And the avatar appeared on the floor beside Frainad, lying there just as at the
moment the bolt killed him. Even his armor was scorched in that spot but the avatar had
no visible wounds. He was unconscious. "But God, what ARE the Rules of Dominance?
What IS Dominance?" To this question Frainad got a vague reply ("Check the
dictionary, moron.") but nevertheless he was wiser quite a bit. His avatar recovered from
the shock in a day, and was ready to start commanding again. Unfortunately for
Frainad, with the loss of his avatar his entire army was disbanded and had fled to who
knows where, so he could not immediately pick another target.

In the years that followed, Lord Klaina had instructed all of his friendly neighbors to what
happened and the knowledge of this event soon became worldwide. Avatars started
appearing on thrones throughout the world. Every Elder had a privilege to pick two
avatars, that is, to be granted two avatars from any High Lord he wished. Those avatars
would remain with them until the death of the Elder and could not be replaced for
others. Nor did any Elder wish to do so. Avatars, being magical creatures, learned much
more quickly than ordinary menen and after a few years they were indispensable, both
as war leaders, and as diplomats. And furthermore, those avatars would draw their life
force from the lives of the army they commanded. To kill them a person would have to
kill every single soldier in avatar's army and then after he was done, battle a magical
creature. And even then, after an avatar would die, the Elder he served could simply,
with no mana cost whatsoever, summon the same avatar at his throne again. They were
the ultimate leaders.

But to finish the story of Lords Frainad and Klaina. Klaina, although defeated and
subdued, still was alive and wishful for vengeance. He had assembled his counselors
and devised a mean plan to rid Frainad of his power forever. He had immediately
requested two avatars from the Erol High Lord, and indeed he got them. Those were
Erol Avatars, not warriors but diplomats. He had sent them through the now unguarded
mountain passes to the Frainad's region. There they used their innate Erolek
hypnotizing powers to influence Frainad's populace to Klaina's cause. In a matter of
months, Frainad did not have a singe village to draft his armies from, and as much as
he killed Klaina's avatars by directing the Haad volcanoes to rain lava on them, they
kept constantly coming back. Lord Klaina was even more diligent and used his Haadar
counselors to devise a spell that would stir doubt and disbelief in the hearts of Frainad's
villagers. And after they were confused and unwilling to follow anyone he would cast
great spells that would create miracles throughout the villages. The spells had a neat
effect - they would create an image of Klaina in the sky that would talk to them, and
persuade them to follow Klaina. Those that were not fooled by this trickery were
changed from within. They would hear a voice in their mind saying: "Klaina - your friend.
Klaina - your protector. Above all, Klaina... your Elder!" There was no escape from this.
All of Frainad's populace was turned against him, into Klaina's service. Frainad was mad
with anger. His mana flows were decimated, he earned almost nothing. So he asked for
help from a fellow Haadar Elder who assisted him greatly in casting destructive spells at
never-tiring Erolek avatars, and furthermore casting horrible curses over his ex
populace, curses that would bring diseases and suffering. Food would rot, and the earth
would become dead. The villagers either died or were recruited into Klaina's army. In
any case, after six months were over, Klaina had cast a great spell on himself, one that
broke the bonds between him and Frainad, and then invaded his region by force. He
laid a siege to Frainad's throne, and eventually subdued him.




                          8.4. The creation of Dominance

By the year 3000 A.C., there was not a single region of the world that was not ruling
some other or was under someone else's rule. Although the Rules of Dominance had
not yet been laid out, they all believed that they are required to subdue their neighbors
and had created vast armies to that cause. “Vast”, being a relative term, meaning about
a few hundred up to a few thousand menen in the largest army. It was then that the
Gods, the High Lords, appeared for the third time, but this time together.

In the sky above the world, in enormous images that all could see, this is what they said:
"People of the world, arise! People of the world, behold us! We are your Gods, we
control your faith, and we are here so help you. If you continue battling you will
exterminate yourselves. Thus, in order to save you, you will now deliberately, by our
divine will, enter an era that will be marked with wars, magic, diplomacy, and love.

From this day onwards all the ties of your Elders to the others will be broken. All will
start afresh and be afresh. There will be no more wars, except the ones you will create.
There will be no more bonds, except the ones you will make, yourselves.

Elders! You are all equal! Do what you wish to do and make yourselves famous by any
means you can. The most powerful ones will like forever as immortals in the minds of all
the people now living, and the ones who have not yet been born.

The Rules of Dominance are simple. No Elder will die as long as the Rite lasts. No
mana must be spent in the spells except the one the Elder rightfully earned or is given.
Populace MUST NOT suffer the lacks of mana! Otherwise, punishments will be severe.
And finally, no two Elders will be permitted to share the same thoughts, and to work as
one. Every Elder is a unique creature and WILL stay that way!

One Elder, only ONE Elder, that will be the most powerful by the end of the next fifty
years, will behold us in our true form. He alone will win the Rite of Dominance and be
made The Dominator. He will become a Demi-God and gain divine powers to control.
He and his family will rule the world from the Home Throne for eons to come. There will
be no greater accomplishment or honor for the one that manages such a deed.

And when the following fifty years are over, what is done will stay done. There will be no
more wars, nor changes of heart. And there will be piece for the next three thousand
years to come, piece that nothing will break, ever.

After that time, the Rites of Dominance will begin again!"

The Elders took this message to heart. Their bonds were now broken and they were
free to persuade others to join them willingly. The wars had not yet started so they had
some time to research even deadlier warriors, and even more difficult spells.

Be as it may, the High Lords were right about one thing. If there were no Rules of
Dominance, the Elders would slaughter each other and the world would be thrown into
chaos again. This way only fifty years in every three millennia would be marked with
wars and permanent piece would last between the Rites. This could only benefit the
population so it was generally considered a good thing. Thus, the Proclamation made by
the High Lords was accepted worldwide as a salvation and the High Lords were
worshipped even more fiercely than before.
                                8.5. The first fifty years

The world in the First battle for power was very quickly divided into big Empires. Please
note that although thousands of Elders existed in the world, only very minor number of
them wanted to fight for the Dominance. The reason for this is because this was the
populace's general wish - for them to stay neutral. Most of the peasants were unwilling
to be drafted into armies and virtually all of them wanted for their Elders to remain
neutral. The Elders of that time still obeyed the code laid by Vermalion almost three
thousand years ago that required them to have counselors and to take heed to the
wishes of their people. Later, this was changed due to the increasing greed and lust for
power, but it has not happened until many thousand years later, when the other Rites
begun.

Today it is assumed that only about fifty Elders were powerful enough and had armies
that could be counted in thousands. The actual battles in this Rite did not last fifty years
but only ten. However those ten years were really intense and caused worldwide
changes both in magic knowledge and in world structure. Very much to our regrets, the
detailed progress of the war is unknown to us. Almost all of the records were lost, so it
took us many years to track down what actually happened. We managed to find ancient
scripts in but a couple of Erol huts that date to this period of time, and they were in a
bad state of decay, with the handwriting on them long gone. With powerful magic spells
the teams had managed to pull out some pieces of information.

We learned that by the year 3010 A.C. a Haadar Lord named Ghar managed to
research a spell that improved the already dreadful Haaduns. He managed to imprint on
them the mental powers of Fear-Haadars, and found a way to change their shape so
they could drill through the ground more easily with their tentacles. As a result, their
tentacles became longer and much stronger, and somewhat deadlier. But the main
change was the already mentioned mind-tune of the Un'Haadars which allowed them to
throw the enemy into comas before the actual assault so they were able to kill much
more, and with greater ease. This process worked for the Un'Haadars as well, they
could be easily morphed into Fear-Haaduns, as the spell also included powers of its
predecessor - the "Morph Haadun" spell. However, this process required more mana
than the previous spells as magic was the essential key to the creation of these
creatures.

Today it is widely known that Un'Haaduns are (generally speaking) the best fighters ever
to exist in the world, and are almost always used as a backbone of any smartly created
army. In great numbers the terror that they induce on the enemy is so overwhelming
that the battle becomes a matter of procedure - kill as many as you can before the
enemy runs away and you need to catch them again. This is exactly what Lord Ghar did
- he quickly subdued many Elders that were inactive and by the year 3015 A.C. he
became the most powerful Elder in the world. But his power did not last long.

An Erolek Elder named Shinya worked on a different project. She worked on even
further increasing the favorite Erolek warriors - the Erolek Ums into even more powerful
units. The super-Eroleks, as you know had the ability to sense the hidden assassins,
while the better Men-Eroleks could manipulate object by their thoughts. Together, when
these two abilities are combined, and when their reflexes were even faster, the resulting
creatures were the ultimate marksmen - able to defend themselves like no other
creature could, and were able to deal enormous blows to the enemy in a form of a rain
of arrows that they would shoot.

Also, please note on thing. Since there were no more Men to be upgraded into
Ish'Meneks, the same procedure had to be used on Menar Ums. This had one other
unexpected bonus on Ish'Meneks - the Menar Ums had four arms! Meaning the
Ish'Meneks could effectively carry two bows and fight with them at the same time. When
this trait was applied to the Erolek Ums, together with their mind ability of bending the
incoming weapons, the resulting "better super-Eroleks", i.e. the Ish'Erolek Ums, were
the absolute force in defense. And do remember what archers always do - before the
battle they fire their first salve onto the enemy killing many of them before they even
reach the melee forces - and with two bows on each Ish'Erolek Um this initial attack
always had a devastating effect.
So, to make a long story short, Lord Shinya raised an army that consisted mainly of the
Ish'Ums (as the populace even today calls the Ish'Erolek Ums), and some Erol Wudins
upgraded to Erol Wudin Ums. She lured Ghar (that was power-mad by that time and felt
invincible) to her throne where thousands on Ish'Ums emerged from the castle walls and
quickly slaughtered all of the Ghar's Un'Haaduns, which of course were unable to dig
through the castle's solid walls and were forced to fight above ground. Her Wudar
avatar, which was leading the battle, got enormous amounts of solid war experience
from this battle and become one of the best war leaders in the entire world.

Soon she took over the Ghar's dominion and remained there as the most powerful Elder
until the end of the Rite. This endeavor had a couple of long-lasting effects. Firstly,
Shinya was the first Elder to be named The Dominatress, and she was bestowed
enormous powers, just like promised, by the Erol High Lord (the God of Remedy). Her
lifespan was lengthened from normal three hundred years to nearly nine hundred, in
which time she ruled the world fairly and the world prospered.

The second effect this had had on the world was a more painful one. The Haadars from
all over the world saw her rule as a disgrace since she did not heed any advices
concerning strengthening of the military, nor did she allow Haadar Elders under her to
train any troops at all. As a result, the Haadars through time started to hate her very
much and this hatred after her death was transferred onto all of the Eroleks. To this day
the Haadars have a difficult choice of choosing whom the hate more - Eroleks or
Wudars.

Nevertheless, after the death of Shinya her offspring continued to rule the world, and for
two thousand and two hundred years there was piece very much unseen before. Piece,
but not necessarily unity.

In the time that passed, the only interesting thing that happened was the discovery of
the ultimate fighters. This research was done in secret by Elder Pazzarh, an Haadar,
who decided to oppose Shinya's rule and raise his army in order to take the Rule that
was rightfully Shinya's. Some years after the Rite had ended he worked with his best
Haaduns in order to transform them into the best fighters that would ever walk the world.
Needless to say, two things had motivated him. Firstly, he was a weird Haadar, who
actually liked Wudars. He had hired many Wudar researchers on this project. And most
importantly, he as a true Haadar in spirit always longed for his home world Haad, and
the frightening power his race had once had. A power that was visible only in brief
moments when someone would cast the Weakling's Bane and the spirits of his Haadar
brethren, the true warriors, would emerge and deal lethal blows onto the enemy.

With Wudar help, and the consent of his best Haadun soldiers, he started training the
Haaduns to fight above ground. The Haaduns had a natural advantage over the other
melee fighters - that being their tentacles that were longer than any man's arms and that
could regrow if cut. But the Haaduns were by default underground creatures; their body
was designed to lurk below the ground and to dig it towards the enemy. Once above
ground they were cumbersome and could barely walk, although they could simply stand
and fight with their poisonous limbs.

What the Haaduns needed was an extra pair of legs. As simple as that. With four legs
they could shift their weight more easily and would even be able to run, at relatively
good speeds. Much like an ox would run, to be precise. That is exactly what he did to
them, through strong mana spells, he morphed their bodies so their excessive weight
would go to the lower part of their bodies - into their additional two weights, and once he
increased the size of their tentacles those new creatures, that he named Haadar Kas
(difficult to translate exactly but is the equivalent of Haadar Mammoths), they became
walking tanks. They could easily swing their blades at the range of two meters, making
any normal melee fighter almost totally inefficient. To defeat this walking turret, a person
would have to cut all of his four poisonous tentacles that wielded four enormous blades
and only then, carefully kill the beast before it would spit poison all over the
surroundings. The Haadar Kas were indeed terrific melee fighters, although due to their
size and inertia, they were very hard to change course, once they would put their legs in
motion. For that reason, every agile menen, (such were all who wielded bows, and the
assassins of course) could easily dodge the stampede of Haadar Kas, and run away in
opposite directions to take them down from some decent range. Moreover, the Haaduns
and Un'Haaduns were safe from them as well, as all they needed to do was to dig
underground and hide themselves there.

Pazzarh did not care much for the weak spots his creations had had. He was intent on
gaining the glory through combat, and foolishly attacked Shinya's stronghold. The battle
went well for Pazzarh all the way until there was no enemy standing on the battlefield
alive. The Haadar Kas ran in trembling stampedes over the field and destroyed all
opposition there, which was made mostly of Menar Um fighters. Assisted by Wudins
and Wudin Ums Pazzarh was invincible and it looked like he was going to win. And he
would have, for sure, had the Gods not interfered. A lava storm is nothing when
compared what they did to the poor Pazzarh. A storm made of lightning and ice was
cast from the skies themselves, and his army was annihilated in a matter of minutes.
However, Pazzarh was not dead, nor scratched for that matter. He was taken alive and
drowned in a pool of boiling oil. Please note that the pool, the oil, and Pazzarh's
drowning had nothing to do with Shinya, although she observed the entire scene from a
parapet of her castle. All of the requisites came from *nowhere*, and by divine will
Pazzarh was, shall we say, taught a rather hot lesson.

A century later, his son continued the research on the Haadar Kas, but not in order to try
to take the world as his father had tried, but simply for the love of research he had. They
were indeed a rather weird Haadar family. He took the Haadar Ka's and tried to fix the
errors his farther did while creating them. It was obvious they were utterly useless
against any ranged, burrowing or assassin fighter, so in order to compensate for that, he
furthermore beefed them at what they did good - killing lots of fighters. Their reflexes
were enhanced, their bodies made more agile, so they could run much faster. And as
for their inability to attack the small and agile creatures - he solved it through the only
way he knew - terror! Indeed, he gave them the same ability Un'Haadars and
Un'Haaduns had - to comatose their opponents before slaughtering them, and with that
ability they became the last addition to the Fear Factory. The horrible, the deadly, and
the ultimate fighters - the Un'Haadar Kas!

With the creation of the “Fear-Haadar Mammoths”, we came to the end of the morphing
of units. In the numerous millennia that followed, no new troops were ever created, and
most probably will never be. Too much mana was already invested into creation of each
of them, and any further mana would be a waste. The dreadful Un'Haadar Kas already
had so much mana in them that an Elder could draft and train four other normal fighters
for that cost, and we have to admit, four Wudars would manage to overpower a single
Un'Haadar Ka.

What lay in the future of Dominance, will be mostly seen as battles, many many many
battles, and all of them for one single goal - the Power.




                                9. Dominance wars

                         9.1. Second Rite of Dominance --

It was the year 6000 A.C. Three thousand years have passed, mostly peacefully with
only minor skirmishes, under Shinya's and her family's rule. The regions had prospered
greatly under constant prosperities that were cast, except the regions ruled by the
Haadar Emperors. They deliberately prohibited use of any Erol spells, and since they
were forbidden to raise armies, people their regions had nothing to do except survive
the harsh winters of the Men world.

The time had come for the second Rite of Dominance to begin, and this caused much
anticipation between both populace and the Elders. On the first day of the year 6000
A.C. the sky darkened, and was soon completely dark. Nothing could be seen as it was
pitch black but people were somewhat calm because they know that whenever the High
Lords appeared something weird would occur. And indeed, very soon, in the sky
appeared the faces of the four High Lords, each talking to his own people and Elders.
The message was brief. “The three thousand years have passed and the new Rite has
now begun. Since not all Elders or regions have equally prospered, their knowledge and
mana will be erased so all would be equal. Also since some regions have more
populace than the others, we shall now deliberately even this by transferring people
from some settlements to some other. So do not be alarmed.”

Actually the mana the Elders had and had been collecting (anticipating they would need
much in the upcoming Rite) was not vanished, it was redistributed among the populace
all over the world. This event did not have much effect on the Elders (except the Wud
ones which were stripped naked of their enormous mana warehouses), since the Elders
had spent most of the mana in communicating with others and trying to bribe them into
obedience. A futile attempt, indeed, as all the mana was now gone. Concerning the
erasing of the knowledge of the Elders - mostly all Elders have researched many spells
that they knew they could use (very effectively), but some had not, mainly the Haadar
Emperors. To make all this even, the High Lords had erased all their memories of magic
spells (and magic spells alone!), so that each of them would know only a few simplest
spells, and would have to research them all again.

This erasing was only temporary, as it was later discovered, for when the Rite was over
all of them had regained their spells back. Nevertheless, in this time of general
“stupidity” among the Elders, the way they had researched their spells differed much
from one Elder to another. For not all were masters of all the planes, in most cases they
had one or two favorite planes and would research spells from there quickly, while they
would have to put much more mana/effort in researching the spells from the other
planes that were not innate to them. Indeed, it took quite some time for an Erolek Elder
to research and learn the “Morphing Un'Haaduns” spell, not to mention some even more
complex Wud spells.

To start with the actual story of this Rite. Again, as before, most of the Elders did not
wish to participate in the Rite. They ad felt they were too weak to be able to influence
the flow of events themselves, and decided to remain neutral. SO when the Rite begun
only about 100 or so Elders actively participated. One of the first and most famous
Elders of this era was an Elder named Xorox, who was in charge of the Brixholm area at
that time. Since he was already sitting in the “First Throne”, his charisma had allowed
him to gain many servants through diplomacy. Actually, after a while the incomers
started to join his Empire by inertia alone. Everyone was joining Xorox peacefully, so
why wouldn't they as well? It turned out that although Xorox had an innate gift for
gaining other Elders to his side, he did not have many other qualities. He did not know
how to lead them not how to make strong armies himself. But he did have one powerful
Elder by his side, only a couple of days away, and his name was Viserys. Elder Viserys
was much different than Xorox. Wudar in origin, he had many years of military training
behind him and knew how to create strong and powerful armies.

Be as it may, after a few years had passed, the Xorox Empire was vast, and the center
of the world was his to control. Due to his bad leadership people started objecting to his
inactivity, and had forced him to lead them into a war for power. After all, the power is
what this is all about. Far in the northwest, there was another Empire that was gaining
strength as well, that one being ruled by Emperor Robby G. Seeing him as an ideal
target Xorox as sent his armies towards Emperor Robby G, and after a long battle Xorox
emerged as a victor. This was not an entirely balanced battle since Robby G was not so
powerful and neither had strong armies in his empire.

This is where the story touches another Elder, who was about a week southwest of
Emperor Xorox. It was an Erolek Elder, named Urnebesh. Note that since the ancient
Flight of Urnebesh where Urnebesh managed to draw the Erolek army to Men, many
Eroleks named their children by his name. It is assumed that the “original” Urnebesh
and this Erolek Elder had nothing to do with each other. However we are not certain of
this.

Elder Urnebesh, who was as I said Erolek in origin, did not appreciate the Emperor
Xerox' politics of destroying the weak “just for the kicks of it”, and had secretly forged an
alliance with the defeated Robby G. He gained much mana and raised the troops that
would allow him to defeat his Emperor. This was not hard actually, since Xerox was a
really bad Warlord, and very quickly Emperor Xerox was an Emperor no more. This is
where his story ends, as he was subdued by his ex Neaya and it became obvious that
no diplomacy will ever restore his lost power.

Unfortunately for Emperor Urnebesh the already mentioned Elder Viserys did not
appreciate an Erolek in charge of him, (Xerox was a Menar Um), and especially not an
Erolek who's preferred to settle things through diplomacy rather than through combat.
He quickly cast a Roam Free spell, and detached himself and his dominion from
Emperor Urnebesh's rule. The events that occurred were very much expected. He tried
to take over the entire Urnebesh's dominion by subduing him directly, but unfortunately
for him Urnebesh had Robby G's entire Empire to count on and many other Elders who
liked him much (due to his incredibly high charisma), and they all rushed to help him. In
the weeks that followed Emperor Viserys was finally and re-subdued back into the great
Urnebesh's Empire.

Having all of the problems settled, Emperor Urnebesh continued his previous diplomatic
efforts concerning the Emperor Robby G, and indeed he managed to persuade him into
joining his ever-growing empire. Emperor Robby G willingly accepted Urnebesh's rule
and became his Neaya, and through that act, Emperor Urnebesh Practically controlled
three quarters of the entire world himself.

At this very moment, something weird happened. After a few days of ruling this
enormous super-Empire, Urnebesh's mind was changed and he deliberately fired all of
his Neayas, all of them and dispersed his armies. Why he did this is very much known
to the Menar Um clerics but we are forbidden to discuss it as it could severely damage
the future flow of events.

Forty years of the Rite had passed and in that time another Elder, a Menar Um in origin,
in the far southeast had regained much power. It was Emperor Alphaquiz, whose
empire grew and grew and grew through wise use of magic, warfare and diplomacy. By
the year 40 of this Rite, he practically controlled almost the entire world, and then
AGAIN, for the SAME reason as before, as soon as Emperor Alphaquiz gained total
domination and was apparent that he would win the Rite, he dispersed his armies and
fired his Neayas.

In the following ten years many small empires were forged, ruled by many elders such
as Lords Tvrda Kyta in the far north-west of the world, Tor, Calimon, Mauso and his
arch-enemy Light, Determinator and his successor SuperElder. Lord Mauso and
Emperor Alphaquiz' ex Neaya Light battled very much and in this time Lord Light gained
much experience in leading armies. He was given orders to invade Mauso's Dominion
which he did, and was stopped only a couple thrones away from Mauso.

Time had passed in rather small battles between these relatively small empires and in
this time many of the Elders were utterly defeated and chose to willingly abandon their
roles in the Rite. Thus, the remaining Elders had many settlements to take, that were all
undefended, and this is what they were doing until the end of the Rite.

Lord Tvrda Kyta and his dominion managed to take most of the now inactive territory
and in so doing his power become bigger than of all the others. This was very much to
be expected, since he had almost a hundred of villages and towns under his direct rule.
At the first day of the year 51 of the second Rite, the sky went dark again. Without any
big formalities, Lord Tvrda Kyta was proclaimed Victor of the Rite and was transferred to
the First Throne where he started his three thousand years long rule.

In the following years, all of the inhabitants were transferred to their original settlements,
the memories of the Elders were restored and they resumed their lives in a world that
now had a different structure. But this did not concern many since only a hundred of the
Elders had originally been involved in the Rite and the rest of them saw no visible
difference.
                            9.2. Third Rite of Dominance

The year 9000 A.C. had arrived slowly. New Elders and new empires were in place and
by the time the Rite begun four great Emperors ruled most of the world. Those were
Calimon (and his Neayas Strider, Pax, Jenovauh, AlliX, Light (descendant of the Elder
Light from the last Rite) and Glargath) who controlled a part of the center of the world,
all the west, and south. Second Emperor was the great Cerebus (his notable Neayas:
Messiah, Silverhand and GooberMeister) who were ruling the north. Emperor Gloop
(with Mkuz, Beelzebub (descendant of Viserys), ShadowMaster, RobbyG (junior) and
others) was in the east and his empire stretched to the center of the world, while
Emperor Mauso and his followers controlled the actual Brixholm area.

Many scripts exist of the following events but since the ones made by Strider (ancestor
of Gil-galad) were in the best condition I shall use them as a background for this story.

In the very beginning of the Rite a great war was proclaimed between Emperors
Calimon and Gloop. Both had the equal lust for power but unfortunately for Gloop, they
did not have equal resources. After some time, it was obvious that Calimon was winning
the war. But this is only an overture to the events that followed. By the time Emperor
Calimon controlled almost two thirds of the world it became obvious what Emperor
Cerebus was planning to do. He was a wise elder and he knew he would eventually be
the next target so he secretly invested all of his Empire's mana and resources into
forging a great army, that was led by his first Neaya Messiah.
He made it clear that he will not join Calimon in his efforts to completely annihilate
Emperor Gloop, and had dispatched Messiah upon the entire Calimon's Empire alone.
Was this an act of a madman or of a very brave person, the history had already
answered - Messiah's army roared through the world, burning throne after throne after
throne. The only Elder that managed to stop Messiah's progress was Strider, but only
for a brief moment. He had bravely stood against an opponent who was double his size
and managed to battle to a draw. However his losses were enormous, and without the
mana flows from his empire members (they believed he was not able to save himself),
he was eventually overrun as well.

As Strider was the last Calimon's strong foothold Messiah very quickly destroyed all of
the other armies and Emperor Cerebus subdued the strong Calimon. One would expect
the two of them to begin to hate each other, especially after all that Calimon had lost,
but they had bigger problems ahead. In the meantime that Cerebus took to subdue
Calimon, Emperor Gloop rebuilt his armies, and had sent his Neaya Mkuz to attack the
two of them. The problem was that Mkuz's army was even larger than Messiah's so in
order to save the empire it was Elder Pax that sacrificed his menen to kill all that he
could in Mkuz's army.

The amount he killed was not a big one, but it seemed it was a crucial part. After joint
attacks of ex Calimon's and Emperor Cerebus' Empire Mkuz was defeated, and as he
was the only big army Gloop had, Gloop was subdued. You will notice that Emperor
Mauso is not mentioned much in these scripts, but that was because all the big battles
were fought over his territory and he grew tired of the incidental slaughtering of his
people. He slowly decided to retire from this Rite, and after his Dominion was added to
the already enormous Cerebus Empire, the Emperor Cerebus had practically controlled
the entire world alone.

From that moment on, the years had gone by with very little happenings. Of somewhat
interest is an event that I found in one other script, that describes how Elder
ShadowMaster, who was obviously discontent over Cerebus' rule over his ex Emperor
Gloop, decided to take matters into his own hands. He Roam Freed and ran with his
army towards the Emperor Cerebus himself. There he laid a siege to his throne and was
only hours away from breaking through the castle's defenses and subduing the great
Emperor, when his army was destroyed by spells and other enemies, and his avatar
was sent home in a box. A noble attempt, although a foolish one indeed.

Years had passed. And then more years. Emperor Cerebus had ruled the world, and
this rule had indeed earned him the title of the most powerful Emperor ever to exist in
the world. In those decades that passed, many Elders lost their will to fight in the Rite,
since the situation was obvious - Cerebus was the strongest and nothing could ever
destroy his empire. In so doing, many settlements were now free for the taking and that
is what mostly the big Elders had done. They roamed the world and influenced the
population and did not fight much.

Elder DrateX here appeared, he successfully Roam Freed himself and for the years to
come he ruled a small part of the world that was his. However not many Elders took him
seriously since all knew Cerebus was unbeatable. Noone minded DrateX having a little
power and noone attacked him. Actually, to be perfectly honest, there was Pax. The two
of them hated eachother, but no serious changes of power resulted.

But this situation was not what GooberMeister had in mind. He was very jealous of his
Emperor and in his lust he secretly formed an alliance of Elders that are “unknown” that
would end the Cerebus' rule so he could take the throne instead. But he was too
impatient. And dishonest. Before waiting for his allies to prepare himself, he cast a
forbidden mind controlling spell over Elder Ragnarok, who was a loyal Cerebus' Neaya,
and a powerful one, and through that spell he forced Ragnarok to fire all of his Neayas.
In so doing he severely disrupted the Cerebus' control over the world, but it was not a
fatal blow. Messiah already had figured what GooberMeister was about to do, and he
was prepared. He defeated GooberMeister utterly and the Rebellion failed. The history
will remember the scene - the Gods had held GooberMeister crucified while Messiah
and Ragnarok dismembered him and burned his body pieces for his act.

In the following years the Cerebus Empire had recovered from that deceitful blow, but all
was not as it should be in a loving and caring Empire. Pax had grown strong dislike
towards his Emperor's rule, and mostly those objections he had were focused on
Messiah. As by they time Pax had about three hundred and fifty thousand troops, and
his ally Jenovauh about two hundred thousand, while Messiah had about two hundred
thousand as well, Pax thought he could afford to protest in open. But what he did not
know that through the decades of Cerebus' rule, he had amassed vast amount of mana,
amounts of the like of which were never again seen in one place, ever, through the
entire Dominance history. With that mana Messiah raised additional troops and with four
hundred and fifty thousand menen in his army he rushed towards Pax-Jenovauh
alliance.

Jenovauh was quickly annihilated, but Pax decided to run towards the only region that
was “free” by that time - the DrateX Empire. He equipped his avatar with four of the
most powerful Terrain Lore artifacts and ran away. However Messiah had none of these
Terrain Lores and had yet to cast them. Not only did Pax have those four artifacts, but
he was first to cast a Lu'rhan blade. Note that this Lu'rhan blade was only a shadow of
the Interplanar Lu'rhan that would be cast many millenia after. In his fury Pax destroyed
all that was in his path - as he ran he utterly crushed all DrateX armies, as this was an
ideal opportunity to do so. There was hardly anything he could do beside that. He knew
he was going to be defeated eventually so he did not care, so he destroyed all that was
in front of him. But while doing so he had cast dozens of Tunas on Messiah's army that
killed scores. Do not think Messiah did not return the favor; he was galloping towards
Pax and had cast even more of these horrible spells.

By the time Messiah reached Pax, Pax had already less than a hundred thousand
menen, but Messiah was not in a much better state. In the end Pax was defeated and
with Messiah as the only Elder still standing in the world, the truth was obvious. Emperor
Cerebus had long planned to withdraw from the rule. He had already proven he was the
best and most competent Emperor ever to exist, and had decided to leave the Rite of
Dominance to his loyal Neaya Messiah.
In so doing, at the last day of the Rite, Cerebus fired Messiah and joined under him.
Messiah won the Rite and was the third person ever to achieve the status of Demi-God.




                            9.3. Fourth Rite of Dominance

12000 A.C. was at hand and the world was prepared for the fourth Rite. Messiah proved
to be a good ruler, although a harsh one when it comes to discipline The world grew
tired of him and were more than anxious to battle again for the new order.

Immediately upon the beginning of the Rite, a number of Empires were formed. These
empires were not in size of the ancient and glorious Cerebus or Calimon, but their
Elders were still fierce in their intents to win. The Emperors of this age were (and they
were placed at, with their Neayas): Pax (AlliX, in the center), Strider (Drizzt, Huitz,
Pauss, center, north, north-east), Ith (who's ancestor Pafko participated in the last Rite,
with his Neayas Monday, Louvega, west, north-west), Jenovauh (Light, west, south-
west, south), Bent Twig (King of Scotts, DrateX, Redsport, east, south-east),
ShadowMaster (south-east) and Draghar (TheWerm, Indigo, north-east). You already
see that some Elder families had continued their rule over some regions for thousands
and thousands of years, and were often re-elected, and as the tradition has it - always
the eldest son of an Elder carries his name.

The story of this Rite is not as intriguing as of the last one, there were many more small
wars and there was no “global dominion”. Nevertheless I will try to tell the story the best
I can. For the first ten years there were absolutely no wars. This is a very awkward
situation, but we assume that the elders of those ages decided to save as much mana
as they could for later, when they would invest it in great armies that would easily
dominate the world, instead of immediately spending it all on smaller armies that would
be fairly inefficient against a larger number of opponents.
In the years that followed Emperor Bent Twig grew in strength and as he was close to
Emperor Strider who did not have as much resources, Strider had to do something
about it or be overrun. He formed an alliance and joined under Emperor Pax for
protection. But even together they were not as powerful as Emperor Bent Twig. So
Emperor Strider managed to forme a secret alliance was Emperor Draghar as well. He
had figured that the war was apparent and that he would need a number of good allies
in order to prevail. And so in time the alliance was to be expanded onto Emperors
Jenovauh, Light, and ShadowMaster. A grand meeting was organized and all those
emperors had met to discuss the alliance and the tactics. They needed to attack
Emperor Bent Twig quickly or it would be too late. For a few days they debated and
finally they agreed upon the tactic they would use.

After they were done, with smiles on their faces they looked in the Vermalion's
Channeling device in order to see if there were any notable changes in the Bent Twig's
Empire. And there was one big change indeed - Emperor Bent Twig, while they were
debating how to destroy him, willingly joined Pax' empire, and was now one of them!
With sore faces they returned to their homes and were more than a bit unhappy that
such a good plan was now useless.

All was well, and all was fine. All the Emperors were at friendly terms with each other
and it would have stayed that way, had not Emperor Pax argued with Emperor Ith over
some minor differences. Their argues soon led to a general war. Besides that, Pauss
had requested his Emperor Strider to let him go, which Strider did, so Pauss was not an
Emperor as well, and reigned in the northern areas of the world. Before the war started,
Strider who did not want to have anything with the quarrel of his Emperor Pax with Ith,
requested that he be let free, and he was, too. He had in plan to join under Draghar for
a term of one year so that Draghar would gain more mana and would be able to do
more spell research. After that the plan was that they would whitch positions. Another
reason for his abandoning of Pax was the fact that Mauso and RobbyG were attacking
his Neayas and he was needed elsewhere.

Very soon the real trouble had started. Ith, RobbyG and secretly Pauss (noone knew he
was a traitor) had formed a plan to attack Strider, Pax and Bent Twig (who was loyal to
Pax from the moment he joined him), so they would divide them and conquer. Ith was
supposed to subdue Pax, RobbyG wanted Strider, and Pauss picked Bent Twig. The
plan was perfect and with the surprise attack they had in plan it was more than possible.
But.

RobbyG decided to retire in the middle of the action. Why was that, we do not know.
Without the key factor in the plan Ith's and Pauss' chances were halved, but still they
pressed forward. Ith had managed to subdue Pax once or twice, but Pax would always
Roam Free and Emperor Ith never managed to get a strong foothold in Pax' territory.
Concerning Pauss, the situation was much simpler. Pauss was a diplomat. Strider was a
Warlord. There was no theoretical way Pauss could defeat Strider alone, so Strider was
left alone.
In the time that passed, in the fury of the war, Ith managed to gain more land and mana
and had drafted many armies together with his Neayas. He kept sending avatar after
avatar to Pax and at one moment there were fifteen avatars with great armies swarming
over Pax' throne. Pax army was mostly defeated; all he had left were the Wudins. He
defended his throne day after day, losing each battle but killing enormous numbers of
the enemy. Somehow Pax' war knowledge became suspicious to Emperor Ith, and he
realized Strider was the one behind Pax, helping him greatly. So he redirected all of the
attacks onto Emperor Strider. Seeing he cannot win Strider asked for help from his ally
Emperor Draghar.

Draghar who was silently standing by all this time saw this as an ideal opportunity to
gain more power at Ith's expanse. So he allowed the war-mastermind Strider to
organize his troops and eventually defeated Ith's armies.
As a reward for saving Strider, he requested that Strider joined him, which Emperor
Strider did and became a part of Draghar's growing empire. Still, Ith controlled vast
majority of the world and was one of the most powerful Elders of that age. So he quickly
recovered and financed Louvega who raised a brand new shiny army that he sent
towards Pax (who had Roam Freed in the meanwhile), for who knows which time. The
army had 25 thousand assassins and five thousand other units so it was an army
designed to kill, and kill alone. It quickly destroyed Pax' defences, and Pax was finally
subdued. The army then turned towards Strider who had three times less units, and it
was apparent he would finally be defeated and destroyed as well.

However, this did not occur. Draghar came to the rescue again, and managed to defeat
Louvega's army. In the havoc Draghar managed to get a grip over even more territory
and for him this was a very profitable number of years.

The time for vengeance has come. It seemed that Emperor Ith's resources had finally
been depleted, but so were Draghars. So Pax and Strider started diplomatic efforts
towards Emperor Jenovauh. They managed to persuade him that for his own safety he
should try and subdue Ith, before Ith raises his armies again. Indeed, they talked him
into it, and Jenovauh sent his thirty thousand units to go and subdue Emperor Ith. His
army arrived there and laid a siege onto Ith's throne, and all seemed well. Until the next
day. Ith's first Neaya Louvega who was defeated by Emperor Draghar, still had twenty
thousands of Wudins in his army, and nothing else. He had returned home where he
drafted even more, and with twenty seven thousand Wudins he ambushed Jenovauh's
army, which was a rather normally organized one. Jenovauh kept winning but to no
avail. Very soon he was annihilated, and his avatar needed to re summoned again.

Seeing how their plan failed, Strider and Draghar proclaimed total war. Every elder who
was not fighting was now called upon and with massive armies gathering and battling on
both sides the two of them had some time to rest.. They raised all the mana they could
and from three sides organized a massive invasion onto Ith and Pauss. Three sides
being - Strider's dominion, main Draghar's Empire, and the third allies were Drizzt and
Filip who were powerful elders at that age and were smartly controlled by Strider.
The armies were amassed and it seemed there was no help for Ith and his ally Pauss.
The situation for them was desperate; Louvega's battered army of assassins could
never protect them.
But then, something happened that could only be described as a “divine joke”. Time
froze. Only three days away from Ith’s and Pauss' thrones, all the armies were frozen in
place. Those two looked from their towers and could not believe their eyes. And then
they froze as well, and the entire world stood still.

But the time passed. Fifty years were up, and time resumed again. Why did it happen?
Noone knows. In the end Draghar was the greatest, Light and Jenovauh were close,
while Ith was not destroyed and was remembered with the others as one of the greatest
Elders ever.

Draghar fairly had won the Fourth rite of Dominance and his three thousand years
begun.




                             9.4. Fifth Rite of Dominance

This particular Rite is somewhat different than the others before it. It is the only Rite so
far in which the Rules were massively broken, but not due to the will of the Elders, but
because High Lords "wished it". The story, as always, will encompass the entire time
period and I will note the differences this Rite had when compared to the others, as well
as all breakings of the Rules and their effects.

The Rite begun at the year 15000 A.C. by the seventh coming of the High Lords (note
that a Wudar hand has seven fingers, in case you were wondering about that one). The
High Lords, as always, proclaimed that the Rite begins and that changes of rules were
allowed. The bonds broke and the Elders were free. Their magical knowledge had been
erased, mana removed and shared to the peasants as always before, and had been
made all equal.

Immediately a number of fractions emerged, and these fractions were already defined a
couple of decades before the actual Rite. It seems that the Elders finally got the hang of
this thing and were prepared for the Rite. The fractions were initially all similar is size
and the major ones were ruled by the following Emperors: Bubac (Daywalker of the Filip
line, Drizzt, Sven), Draghar, DrateX (Bent Twig, King of Scotts, DeathBeU),
GooberMeister (Ith, Monday, Maraku, Mauso), Pauss, Pax (Loser, Huitz, Jojo the
Bandit) and ShadowMaster.

Of the following events we today know much since my ancestor was Elder Therion, who
was a member of the Emperor GooberMeister's empire, and he kept the records of the
war that are very much saved to this date. Also, there were scripts made by his avatar
Vovin who kept track of his own battles and experiences.

[link na "Of Blood, Pride and Deceit"]

So, to begin with the story. The Empires were formed and the boundaries were formed.
In a circular fashion I will try to draw the world map to you. Westwards was Bubac's
empire. To the north and northwest, and northeast there was GooberMeister's Empire.
East, southeast and in the center was the Draghar's Empire, to the south-east were
ShadowMaster, and the Councils as well. South and southwest was DrateX' Empire,
and in the center of the world there were Pax and Pauss.

Pauss immediately took a neutral stance and decided he would not war against anyone,
while DrateX and Pax decided to take GooberMeister as their main enemy. Bubac also
decided to spread onto GooberMeister's territory, as well as Draghar. The first major
war was the conquering of the Bubac Empire. Emperor GooberMeister sent his warlords
Ith, Gil-galad (descendant of Strider) and others, and Bubac was subdued. It was a just
battle considering how much trouble Bubac had stirred so far. However his story does
not end here, he remained a sworn enemy of GooberMeister and even as subdued kept
spying and assisting DrateX' Empire, who were southwards of him. Terrorist tactics -
rising of small armies that would cause mayhem on many locations, and casting
Shadows of Doubt and Feyline Vortex Chimeras were his Empire's favorites. He was
never subdued in spirit.

However, as the GooberMeister's empire grew on many new recruits from the north and
northwest, he became strong enough to be considered a major threat by practically all
other big Empires. Very soon Emperor Pax decided that he should send his armies and
the armies of his Neayas to the north to defeat the threat, but he was not fast enough.
By the time the armies reached their destination - Emperor GooberMeister's throne - a
throng of monoliths were placed all around the throne and they gave enormous morale
and defensive boosts to GooberMeister's armies. His first Neaya, Lord Monday, was the
one that defeated Pax, which was not surprising since it was him that has founded many
military academies and to this day a term is known as "Monday's battle tactics".
Defeated, Emperor Pax rightfully feared a counter-offensive, and decided to form a
defensive alliance with Emperor DrateX. He willingly became Emperor DrateX' Neaya,
and remained as such until the very end of the Rite. As a DrateX Neaya, Pax grew in
power and played a key role near the end of this Rite.

Victorious, Emperor GooberMeister decided that he needed to expand even more, since
every bit of power counted. Emperor Pauss was amongst the targets, since Pauss was
true to his word and tried to remain neutral by choosing not to raise any major armies.
This proved to be foolish enough - in the Power-Mad world of Dominance, there is no
such thing as being neutral. The Rite of Dominance is won through diplomacy AND war
AND magic, not only diplomacy. Very quickly Pauss was subdued, and GooberMeister
turned to his east, towards Emperor Draghar.

Thirty years of the Rite had passed until Draghar was finally subdued. Needless to
mention, as soon as Draghar fell, his ex Empire broke, as he was noble enough to give
a chance to his loyal Neayas, considering he was not powerful enough to save them.

Meanwhile, Pax and DrateX started raising armies that would later become huge. A
wise choice. While GooberMeister's Empire battled against the subdued Pauss, Bubac
(who was constantly causing trouble), and the remains of Draghar's Empire, the
Pax/DrateX Empire prospered and expanded. Then the magic wars begun. Spells flew
all over the world. Artifacts of great power were forged. Chimeras were being cast and
denied, cast and denied. Settlements grew into towns and were fought over. Years
passed and not much had changed. The Emperor GooberMeister, in the peak of his
power, controlled two thirds of the world and it seemed he was to win the Rite, but then
the luck switched sides.

It was about the time ShadowMaster was subdued, that many ex Draghar's empire
members decided that they could not stand Emperor's GooberMeister's rule. a reason
for this lays in a number of factors - he was not nearly as charismatic as Cerebus, and
could not hold them in with an iron fist. And furthermore, his family's name was already
tainted by the Ragnarok scandal, and GooberMeister was considered to be as immoral
as his predecessors. Later, history will show this was a valid assumption.

The DrateX Empire expanded as it was swarmed with new recruits coming from the ex-
Draghar's empire. Of the great Elders who joined DrateX perhaps the most notable are
Elder Tellis, and Elder Thunder (who is a descendant of Light). The only “free” empire
that was left standing after the GooberMeister's almost unseen invasion of the world
was that of the Councils. Of Councils we do not know much except their philosophy that
they were here to protect the weak from the strong. This philosophy, although Erolek in
origin and applaudable, did not protect them from "the strong", and so they were
subdued many times as well, but always found a way to free themselves and live in
relative piece in the most distant southeast parts of the world.

Emperor DrateX soon overcame Emperor GooberMeister as the most powerful Elder in
the world, and the entire world was basically divided between him and Emperor
GooberMeister. It remained this way until the very end of the Rite. Forty-five years were
up, and GooberMeister was starting to panic. In his lust for power he again made the
same mistake his ancestor did and did not wait for his allies (meaning his Neayas who
were more skilled at army matters than himself). He abruptly raised an army himself, but
he was never much of a war leader, and with a ninety thousand troops his avatar
headed towards DrateX. DrateX by this time had about a hundred thousand menen in
his army, and Pax had about seventy. What ensued was not a nice sight.

At Pax' throne, Emperor GooberMeister attacked Pax' army and won of course, since
his army was all upgraded and divided equally between Un'Haaduns, Wudin Ums and
Ish'Erolek Ums. Unfortunately for him, Pax was a tough cookie, and managed to kill
much more than expected. While the two of them fought, Emperor DrateX came in, and
crushed GooberMeister's army utterly. Emperor GooberMeister ran away with but a half
of what he had, and with much sorrow in his heart accepted his defeat. A pact was
made between him and DrateX, that would end the spell wars for the few years that
were left to the end of the Rite, and they made a deal - DrateX would win the rite and
GooberMeister would be the second in power. To the end of the Rite he decided to deal
blows to all the other forces that remained, but still Emperor DrateX had the biggest
army, biggest power, and eventually won the Rite. He was bestowed the title of The
Dominator. One other thing might matter here, and that was an Arcane Denial that Pax
cast on GooberMeister's first Neaya Ith, on the very last day of the Rite. As a result of
the spell Ith rebelled and rejected GooberMeister's rule. Instantly, without any power
coming from Ith, Emperor GooberMeister's rule was severed over a great part of the
world and he lost that second place that he was supposed to win. Pax, being the one
who wisely cast this spell, rose to the second place. This infuriated the remains of the
GooberMeister's loyal Neayas and was a cause for the breaking of the Rules that would
happen later.

The fifty-year war had ended and the world was getting ready to remain in piece for the
next three thousand years under Emperor DrateX' rule. However, this is when
something strange happened. After ten years of piece, the populace (and the Elders of
course) heard strange voices in the sky. The voices seemed not to be directed to them
but to somewhere else.
One said: "And then what? You saw - DrateX won."
And the other voice was heard, saying: "Apparently yes, but I would like to know what
would happen if his army was defeated by Goob."
The first voice said: "Why, I don't know. I can't bring the time back, you know..”
“Yes, but you CAN give him a second chance, right? Just for kicks?”
“So, you wish me to resume the Rite?"
"Yes, why not? DrateX already won the Rite, and he WILL remain in control of the
world, but that does not mean we should stop the others of having but a little more fun."
“I don't see what good would it do, but if you insist...”

This was the first major breaking of Rules. Those voices could not have come from
anywhere except the High Lords themselves. Many Elders heard these words but were
unwilling to resume fighting for an already lost cause, so they did not react to it, but still
a good number of the key Elders heard it and understood it as a call to continue the
fighting. Although there was no Rite to be won, they did not know what to do with their
armies so they had not disbanded them.

Elder Loser started casting an artifact that would be finalized but two years later.
Meanwhile the other Elders started warring again, in minor skirmishes, since there was
not much to do - Emperor DrateX had the biggest army and there was no way in the
world it could be defeated.

As the years have passed nothing of interest happened. The active Elders who did
decide to wage war again had mostly Roam Freed themselves and created their own
empires. Most of the biggest Emperors did remain active, but as time passed a number
of them decided to quit - with their armies gone and no Rite to win, they decided they
should tend to their populace more, and stopped warring, willingly accepting whichever
rule was oppressed onto them.

The two years had passed. Loser's artifact was cast. It was an artifact of such a
magnitude that has never been seen nor would ever be cast again. It was the
Interplanar Lu'rhan - a blade that binded all of the planes in itself, and the person who
would wield that blade would be granted power overwhelming. It was a blade of pure
light; it would cut through anything - from rock to metal without any effort. Mana that
poured from the blade could easily be used as an infinite source for casting terrible
spells, or the ones not so terrible - like controlling the masses and persuading them to
join one's cause. The Lu'rhan increased the wielder's perception by actively telling the
wielder weather enemy spells have been cast upon him so he could hide in time.

By that time my ancestor Therion had decided to join the battles again and he obtained
that artifact through the second major breaking of the Rules. He did it deliberately as he
felt that since the Rite was already over, he would not be punished and the Rules did
not apply any more. And he was right. So, he inflicted mind-controlling spells over the
Loser's avatar, who in turn took the blade and carried it to him without anyone noticing.
That perhaps might be an understatement, for DrateX' first Neaya, the well-known Bent
Twig, ha cast a Distant Presence on the Loser's avatar, but he failed to recognize the
power that come from the Lu'rhan. The blade was well masked and without anyone
even imagining it could ever exist in the real world noone was looking for it.

With the Interplanar Lu'rhan in his possession, and enough mana to raise a respected
army, Colossus Therion had sent his avatar towards Emperor DrateX, who still had a
better army. To compensate for the difference he actually used the Haadar Kas which
proved to be very effective at chopping menen, and with some more mind-control, the
DrateX' empire members begun casting Calls of Tars Munas over his army. The choice
of these “volunteers” was an ironic one - it was Pax that was casting the Tunas, and not
only them - he also cast two total Planar Fissures that set DrateX' and Bent Twig's
castles on fire, burning all the mana stored inside. Thus the GooberMeister's revenge
for Pax taking the second place was fulfilled.
In the end Emperor DrateX was subdued after a glorious (although not entirely fair)
battle, and in the years that followed Daar Therion and his colleague Daar Gil-galad
together ruled almost the entire world alone.

By this time it came to the ex-Emperor GooberMeister (he was removed from the
Emperor Throne and was replaced by Therion and Gil-galad) that he was losing all that
he had, although he did not invest much in battling any more. This is where the
instability that was rooted in his family came to show. He decided to break the rules
himself as well. He deliberately destroyed the then-ruling Emperor Gil-galad through the
same mind-control, stole his artifacts away together with the unique Lu'rhan, and broke
the bonds to all of his Neayas, except Therion. After that he created the bonds again
from ex-Emperor Gil-galad towards the Emperor DrateX and in the mayhem that ensued
the entire world was turned upside down again. This act had horrible effects.
GooberMeister became hated not only by his enemy's but also by his closest loyal
servants that Therion and Gil-galad were up to that day. It is recorded that even Bent
Twig, who switched the Emperor place with DrateX and was now ruling the world, said
himself: “I wouldn't do such a thing to my worst enemy.”

Fifty more years had passed. Gil-galad who was but a Noble now, without any Neayas,
had sent his army towards the end of the world in fear that he may be mind-controlled
again, and in the meantime Emperor DrateX a few times switched places with Emperor
Bent Twig who had recruited an army of three hundred thousand. Equipped with the
best artifacts in existence, that army was indestructible. That is why in this period of fifty
years nothing of greater importance had happened - wherever any army would be
created Emperor Bent Twig would rush there and destroy it. So noone did anything
except battled over small settlements.

However, secretly, Therion who was as well a Noble now had been busy casting more
artifacts. Mana was abundant, and yet scarce considering the needs that were
enormous. After ten years of casting, the artifacts were complete, and sent to Gil-galad.
Through more mind-control the mana was collected from all parts of the world, and as a
surprise, Noble Gil-galad's army returned from the borders to the unknown. It came
back, with two hundred and fifty menen in it that were secretly raised. The Interplanar
Lu'rhan was acquired as well; Emperor Draghar had it in his possession and willingly
gave it to the cause. Furthermore, over thirty Calls of Tars Muna had been cast onto
Emperor Bent Twig, killing great amounts of his army that had reached almost Cerebus'
army size.

Why was all of this done? It's not that Emperor Bent Twig was a bad emperor, he was
considered by many Elders as a powerful and wise Elder, but people always associated
him with DrateX, who was not exactly the most popular Emperor to the most of the
world. That is because he had a low charisma although quite a bit of strategic and
magical knowledge.

And two of them, Emperor Daar Bent Twig and Noble Lord Gil-galad fought in an epic
battle that is yet unseen. Two armies, with equal sizes, had clashed and the battle
lasted for a week. It was the biggest and longest battle ever to occur in the entire history
of Dominance, and quite likely nothing of those proportions will ever be seen again. Two
armies with over two hundred and fifty menen in each, both lead by avatars which wore
artifacts so powerful that even the earth and the sky cracked of the intensity of the mana
in one place, charged one against each other and in the fury of the battle it is seen that
it finally lead to Emperor Bent Twig's destruction.

It was exactly then, about twelve hours after the battle had ended, that the voices were
heard in the sky again. "Uh, this could last forever, up to the next Rite. I think the
populace should rest a bit." "Agreed. This is becoming dull. Two sides fighting and every
fifty years they switch sides. Not much to look at."
In fear, the Elders looked up at the sky but there was nothing they could do. Armies
were dispersed by divine magic, artifacts disappeared and were buried under miles of
ground, remaining there forever and never to be dug up, and the avatars were gone.

The fifth Rite of Dominance was over, and Elder DrateX remained in control of the
world, together with his followers, for the next three thousand years. This is where we
come to the current age.

It is the year 17999 A.C.
In a month the new Rite will begin.
I do not know what it will bring but one thing is sure - there will be changes again, just
like before.
And I, as an Elder, with the blood of Elders in my veins, and the supreme knowledge of
the Rules of Dominance in my mind, its history and its present,
I know I have the power to say:

                       I know the weak shall fall before the strong.
                              There is only one Dominance.
                                There is only one throne.
                             And >I< shall have them BOTH!



                            9.5. Sixth Rite of Dominance

[this history fragment is added to the grand collection after Therion’s ascent to
transcendence, and is written by himself, as a separate peice originally]

I never imagined it would look like this. So much blood, so much violence. So many
problems, so much stress. Years in panic, my mind screaming ENOUGH, NO MORE,
but the harsh world pushing me forward and there is no escape. Elders scream in terror,
thousands of menen die in battles and there is chaos.

How to control it? Is there a way?

The Rite begun as expected, I did not plan to go for the kill. First Neaya was my goal
and I enlisted in service under Emperor Morgoth, of the line of Gil-galad, of the line of
Strider. We were located in the asshole of the world, far to the south-west, facing
nothing on east, south and west. To the north there was Maraku's Empire, and what lay
beyond.. who knows? There were tales of Mauso (and DrateX under him) being far to
the north, in the middle was Lunaticslayer, and to the far east were the evil Councils.
Scores of them. Little it meant to me, we were simply too far away for anyone else to be
of any relevance.

The empire ladder was quickly established, and many great elders were enlisted, names
like TheOne (of Bent Twig), Monday, Zidane, to name a few. And we started out just
fine. Fine my ass. Soon we realized that more and more elders decided to join the Rite,
and behind us, too close to be healthy, appeared MenoPauss, of the Pauss line.
Morgoth knew this meant only trouble. Treaties with Pauss? Impossible, that guy
wouldn't know the difference between Wudars and Eroleks, but he knew only too well to
specialize in Haad magic and to cast Shadow of Doubt spells all over Morgoth's
settlements, and flavour those with the Totems of Death. A nice start indeed. Not even
five years have passed of the rite, when it was too much to stand I guess.
Miscommunication is unavoidable in enormeous empire clusters, like ours was, and
always the maps ended up in the hands of MenoPauss and he continued his SoDs. Of
course, his armies were zeroed, his settlements taken away, but blast, we could not
banish him to the void, otherwise we would have done so a long time ago.

So Morgoth called it quits. He fired all of us, said "Find yourseld a new idiot to be the
Emperor", and distributed his own settlements to us, his first neayas. Jolly good. Who
had he nerve to stand the nice treatment Pauss had in store for us? Basically the choice
for the new emperor was simple. Either me or TheOne, as only the two of us had the
experience of controling masses and were veteran wizards. But TheOne refused it
without further thought. Not enough will to rule he said. He wanted to be a small Elder
and not bother himself much with the general problems. Can't say I blamed him, the
bitch was more than right. "Shit.", I said, "I'll be the new idiot Emperor then, goddamn
you Morgoth, may you burn in Haad!"

Fucking excellent I thought. Do I have a choice what to do next? So I put myself a todo
list:
1. stop Pauss SoD our people by any means necessary
2. conquer the world
3. introduce 10% taxes on milk sales (since milk production was doing pretty good)

The deal with Pauss came easier than I thought. He just hated Morgoth since their
family lines were in a blood fute for thousands of years now. All he requested is that and
Elder named Bubi was released from our Empire, so that he can join Bubi and the two
of them would rule their small empire south of us. ALL he requested? Bubi pulled a
goddamn third of our empire with himself! We fell but to sixty Elders all in all. It was
horrible! Maraku, Mauso, Lunatic, Councils, all had more people than us, more
resources and already begun taking the war spoils. Lunatic's empire was too spread
out, he had no cluster-like form and soon Mauso started picking people off him, one by
one they started subduing Lunatic's neayas. Councils joined in I guess, and quickly he
fell. He was the first to lose the battle.

What happened afterwards was not a nice sight. Gaagl, the cowardly bastard hiding
behind his 1 settlement Rite of Dominance rule, and using forbiden mind-control on
other Elders, took 4 of Dratex throne settlements. Dratex promptly quit the run too, no
sense in participating when you can't ever regain your own original settlements. Mauso,
his emperor, fell with him, and their empire broke in several peices. In the end most of
them united under Wizkid, his first neaya Silverhand also had a vital role in their empire.
On the other side of the world, I was facing a difficult decisions. Our numbers fell from
day to day and there was but one thing that could either save us, or doom us forever.
"CHARGE!", I yelled, "Take their settlements! Steal their Towns! Subdue their Neayas! I
want Maraku with NO power at all! Is that understood?!"
My people, my gods, they have never been happier. All of them rose armies, as I never
introduced mana reductions, they had extra mana to spare, and a dozen avatars ran
towards the Maraku empire. Defenses? What defenses? Maraku's people stared blankly
as my Vovin destroyed practlcally all armies they had, while Lord Keko's Coron started
the siege of Emperor Maraku's throne. What defenses indeed? There was no resistance
at all, and this was the easiest victory I ever encountered. Our numbers were now
doubled and empire reinforced and a fair numer of ex Maraku's people joined us
willingly, in desire to strive for more power under a more organised leadership.

Far to the north Wizkid fought battles with Sarcon (of the ShadowMaster), and Sarcon
would not leave them at rest. In the meantime the Council shadow grew. It was
ridiculous. The Council members suddenly jumped from 5 to 50 "of council" members. It
was obvious even to the most retared child that so much mind-controlling the world of
Dominance had never seen. Mana? They bathed in it. Artifacts? Hell, yes, they casted
enormeous ones. And they fought noone yet, so their army numbers must have been
great I figured.

The total destruction of Maraku's empire and takeover of ex Lunatic's people that fell
into our hemisphere took a while. So, basicaly we had 3 big empires left now. Us,
Wizkid, and the Night Falcon's Councils. What's next?

"People, we got a choice. Either to stop here and start investing mana into towns or to
draft yet again and go for Wizkid (who was somehow on our way to he evil councils)."
This question was basically a rethorical one. So much bludlust my eyes have never
seen, so there was no debate. My people drafted as much as they could and equiped
Maraku's stolen Artifacts. We ourselves never did cast much of these. Yes, we did a few
major one, for my personal use, on Vovin, but to equip an empire with artifacts, one has
to invest much mana and time. So we relied on our battle skills and stealing of foreign
artifacts.

So avatars set their course and started the first battles where they met the enemy.
About that time Wizkid's situation in the empire broke i guess. He was between the
hammer and the anvil. We were the hammer, and with virtually no choice, he decided to
join me and battle the evil Councils on my side. Sure I said, and our numbers jumped
from a hundred to over two hundred. I had no idea how big he was, nor how many
active Elders he controled, but now thinking retrospectively, if I was in his shoes,
goddamn, I'd have drafted my people and attacked both us and the councils at the
same time, he had that much potential. Ah well, I didn't mind. So our first action was to
defend his people from the evil Councils.

Councils. Let me tell you something about the Councils. They were a bunch of
unorganised barbarians with no battle tactics, no investment plans, and definetly the
worst armies I had ever seen. They rode on the waves of mind-controled mana, and
knew nothing of organisation nor had any clue how to dominate anything except their
back yard. The only thing they were good at was mind-control of dozens of Elders, and
so indeed Night Falcon was the first Emperor ever to reach the title of Imdi Daar. Not
that it helped him much though. An enormeous empire to defend required proper armies
together with proper artifacts on their avatars. It was Paf who fought the battles for
them. Paf was of the Ith line of warriors, and was the only person in the world that I felt a
challenge to counter. His army knowledge equaled mine, but his tactics were, should I
say, a bit rusty, dating back to Monday's battle academy. Which was outdated of
course, by some three thousand years.

So yes, the first confrontation we ever had with the Councils was destroying Paf army
which was laying siege to the throne of Luca, far to the north. Dawn’s and my army went
up, got there in time and Dawn managed to win the first battle. They fought a couple of
times, Paf lost much but never all, and in the end he retreated to his throne in he
furtherest north-east corner of the world. I tried to chase him but failed, his speed
matched mine, and I am able to say that at that time no army could ever compete with
his or mine in the aspect of speed. By the time Dawn and I abandoned pursuit, and set
our avatars to return home, knowing we will need much more troops if we were to take
on the entire councils ourselves, something big happened.

The Gods kicked in, punished the mind-controling elders by excommunicating them,
and a hundred or so Elders was dropped out of the race. Two thirds of those were in the
Night Falcon’s empire of course, and both his title and power suffered greatly. If was the
crucial moment for us. They lost their “magic” mana incomes and all we had to do was
to make an united attack with Wizkid troops and the Council would fall.

My ass. Wizkid, in a briliant flash of stupidity, Roam Freed, and joined the Council,
making their numbers great again and mana abundant. Shit, I said, now we are in
trouble and don’t have a moment to lose. I drafted and went up there alone. I had no
time to wait for the rest of my empire to organize themselves, nor wait for them to reach
the Council area which was on the opposite side of the world. It would have taken them
months, where it took me less than a week to get there with my sixty thousand menen
or so, and I applied the “total obliteration” routine to all they had. About two hundred
thousand troops they lost, by the time my army was halved. It was a massacre, a
genocide, to be precise. Thinking “this was it”, I headed for Night Falcon’s throne and
started the siege.

Where they thought of that seventy thousand of Last Hero’s army, I got no clue. The
sheer costs of drafting and upgrading troops of that magnitude, would be enormeous.
But that army attacked me, and knocked my army off the Night Falcon perimeter, and I
had to restart the siege once again. After disposing of Last Hero, of course, in but four
battles I released him of his seventy thousand menen. And for the second time the
siege was interrupted, this time by Paf, and his sixty thousand troops in a high quality
army. Fuck that I said, and went home.

Once home, the grand offensive was organised and half my people went for Wizkid, half
for the Councils with me. Once I had drafted I continued my massacre of all that moved
up there. Now with some serious backup, I confronted Paf for the first time, and the
series of horrible fights begun. Thousands dead on both sides. My menen reinforced by
the enormeous artifacts, some that I cast, some that I stole, his army boosted in morale
and defense by dozens of monoliths around his throne. Seeing that he was losing, he
ran and for the third time I sat on the cursed Night Falcon throne. This time, there was
no removing me. Sly tried, but he lost greatly, although he had enormeous bonuses
from Falcon’s throne. I completed my Subdue, and my people started taking his empire
to peices.

As in any Rite so far, this was the time the mana wars begun. Chimeras flyying on both
sides, Arcane Denials, enormeous Voices of God for big vision, and it lasted and lasted.
Wizkid changed his mind yet again and joined me again. To the end of the Rite not
much had happened. Vovin spent his time either on the travel home to draft the new
army reinforcements from the very limited draft pools, although the mana was abundant,
or killing anything they thought of up there. Years of battling. Years of bloodshed. And
always there was PAf and his never annihilated army. All the Councilmana and artifacts
went into him and he was a constant threat to all but me. Of course, even with my
enormeous speeds I could not have been on all places at once. For the lasti time I
confronted him, on his own throne and it was the most horrible battle of the entire Rite.
He had much, I had more, in the end he ended with little, I ended with little more. Yet
again he was not annihilated as he ran and escaped me yet again. Night Falcon cast
Roam Free eventually, on himself and his own people and I could have done nothing
about it. My draft pools were taxed to zero, there were absolutely no recruits available!
Thirty five thousand, forty five, then a couple of battles and back to thirty thousand.

By the end of the rite, they had reformed their empire and some other problems also
appeared, in my back yard. Lord Keko had pursuaded Bubi and Pauss to attack me,
promising his assistance in destroying me. He told them I was weka, and could not
defend myself from their joint attack. Bubi, as naive as he was, believed him, and he,
Pauss, and Black Death drafted their armies. A hundred and forty thousand troops in
total, on their way to Morgoth’s throne. He did not want to fight on my monolith
enhanced throne, as that would be professional suicide for him. I had but forty three
thousand menen, and by the time I was done with them, they had nothing, and I had
lost about six thousand. Another genocide. How could this be? Simple. Their avatars
had absolutely no experience, nor any artifacts to assist them. It was too easy, and too
easy Bubi fell under instant attack by a dozen of avatars that overrun his little empire.

And the Rite ended. I ruled over more than half the world, Night Falcon one fourth, and
the last fourth was divided among some separate little Elders who were not a part of any
Empire. After I won the Rite, my first decree was the milk sales tax, and my court
benefited greatly from the cash income that tax brought in.


[The myth says that Therion did not achieve the status of Demi-God by winning this rite,
but he was promoted to a real God, as a replacement for now aging Ezul, the Wud High
Lord, who had retired, and dissapeared. Therion left his Avatar in his place to rule the
world for the next three thousand years, and went his own mystic ways, never to be
heard of again, on the face of Earth. Noone knows if he returned.]
                                    10. Postlude
Yawn. Always the same story.
*sigh*
As long as they are happy. Ah, silly silly people. Always bitching about something.
Oh, well.
This High Lord thingy seemed to work out just fine. Nice having some "omnipotent"
beings to observe. Makes it fun through the ages.

Hmm. I wonder.
I wonder I wonder I wonder.
What would happen if I would cancel the mana thing, just for kicks?
..I mean, it is my own thoughts that they kept using all the time, and those Fissures did
sting quite a bit.
But naah, they would all be lost and confused. Prolly all die.
Then again, there's noone else here, so would anyone care?


-I am here, and I would care.
-So would I.
-Me too.
-Same here.

								
To top