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Dredge last won the day on January 22

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  1. @danzilla3 @SteamWarden @notmuch_23 @The North Wind The words “our kids.” filled Patricia with a new sense of hope and determination. From the get go this was a suicide mission without little to no hope of success. She had been shot multiple times, drained of her energy and strength, and was starting to reach the limits of her power. That nagging feeling in the back of her mind where those dark thoughts rest had been pushed back by her lover’s words. Thoughts that said this was just her way of ending herself and being done with her loneliness and self hatred. That she was too far gone to be any semblance of a mother or good person. In an instant they were expelled and the fleeting sensation of hope for the future retuned. Hope for a family and a life where she could give back everything she had taken. Patricia wasn’t about to let that slip away from her. ”Let’s.” She said as the rifle in her arms primed with an electronic hum. Racing forward through ever cramping city streets, Patricia and her merry band of mercenaries rode the skiffs until the time had come. Roads and airways that could only fit two lanes of speeders had taken over and it was time to bail. With the exodus of the skiffs came a problem though. One had carried the wounded and this trip had caused a number of them to join them. To get to Reclaimer they’d need to move fast, and taking the fallen would only slow them down. The Empire controlled the skies so an airlift was out of the question. But she had to make a choice and she had promised them that no one was being left behind. Even if it cost her, she wasn’t abandoning anyone. ”Get the stretchers and the bikes!” With a swift hand the woman reached to her wrist devise and from underneath the the skiff, their cargo doors opened. Inside each bay there lay five speeder bikes per skiff. The bikes were of the highest quality and could outrun even the fastest cop speeders on Coruscant. Blonde had them made for a job that never came to pass due to her being transported to Val. So now was as good a time as ever to test them out. Standing at the top of the skiff they had a few moments to talk as the war raged on in the distance. ”Most of you have probably never rode one of these before and I don’t have time to give you a lesson! Myself and nine others are going to push ahead on the bikes and clear the way for the droids to move the wounded to Reclaimer Headquarters! Good luck and don’t die!” Speaking out to her men Patricia grabbed her rifle and slung it around her back. When the bikes were rolled out as Blonde finished speaking, she ran out from the back end of the skiff and swan dived off the edge to perfectly land in the saddle of the speeder bike. Without so much as a word the Bike roared to life and she took off down the road like a bat out of hell. There wasn’t time to sit around and discuss the best plan and formation. At this point this was a smash and grab operation that had to keep moving forward or perish under the weight and danger of their environment. With the rifle back in her hand, Blonde was out headhunting. Any and all Shock Trooper squads that were in the path of herself and Reclaimer needed to be dealt with before proceeding into the building. Without a doubt they were sending recon squads to the location. As one of the Galaxy’s premier weapon and vehicle distributors, it would be on the list of high priority targets. Anyone who had decided to follow Blonde on the bikes would find a trail of sizzling and blaster riddled bodies of Sith Troopers. There were more out there and they needed to ended as quickly as possible.
  2. @Akako Akari ”Meat.” Dredge said with his back to Akako. A loud piercing shriek filled the sky once again, and descending down from massive black wings that kicked up the sand and sprayed ocean mist was the one and only Jeremy. With its talon tipped claws in the water, It lowered its head and was lovingly stroked across the sleek black scales of its head. With the snap of his finger the chairs laying on the beach lifted up into the air and neatly folded in on themselves only to next be laid inside the brown leather bag. Hovering over to him, Dredge strapped the leather bag onto Jeremy’s side before once again speaking. ”Raw, rotten, preserved, or fresh livestock. My people are weak and hungry, and the first order of business is a meal. We will be self-sufficient from that point on in terms of food production.” Dredge would then saddle up and mount onto Jeremy’s back. ”Oh and just so we’re crystal clear about this engagement.” Dredge’s pointed red eyes stared directly at the Yokai Queen with a burning intensity. ”We will be loyal to you, and we’ll fight for you. But if you ever betray us, treat my people as lesser beings, or so much as even try to sell them out to the governments of Terrenus.” And the next few words Dredge spoke were of great importance. ”I don’t know if I can kill you or not, but I will damn sure try.” The points of intensity faded and Dredge’s eyes returned to normal. ”Anyways have a great day! with all due cheer, happiness, and good will. The wyvern screeched and took flight towards the the Forgotten Fleet to hopefully spend its last night aboard the cramped confines of a ship.
  3. @danzilla3 @Turquoisie @Djinn&Juice @Thotification @The North Wind @Trigger2Red @notmuch_23 @SteamWarden Green lines of plasma screamed down towards the skiffs, but highly explosive blaster cannon fire was not their only problem. As they traveled deeper into the city at blazing fast speeds, it became more dense and tougher to navigate, plus the Sith weren’t the only ones here. Relovian Military, Citizen Militias, and civilIans that stayed to fight off their future oppressors. Sith Shock troops around the city also took shots at them as they rode past, and a few from the city militia and military took a few pot shots as well. However most were smart enough to recognize the logo on the sides of the vehicle. A lion head with a cobra within it, one that belonged to the city’s largest company. Reclaimer Arms & Industrial. So with what skill the pilots of these skiffs could muster up, they pushed through the narrowing streets and made it over any barricades in their path. This was of course all while fighters rained green death upon them. While both main guns on the skiffs were once again operational and firing, even with those going at full force, the portal dude summoning whatever insane gun to shoot down ships with, and Jack being an absolute madman, the situation was not sustainable for much longer. With eyes on their position from above, they could always send more fighters and worse bombers and gunships that would make short work of them. This was coupled with the news that eyes on Nocturna were lost, while Blonde knew she was out there, she didn’t know what condition she was in. Things had gone south at the beach and now they weren’t improving fast enough. ”White! You have the helm!” Patrica yelled out to her companion. With a rolling crack of her neck and a few deep breaths, Patricia looked up at the remaining fighters in the air. With her mask marking all targets and sparing the one Jack clung to in midair. One last deep breath of air filled her lungs then slowly exhaled as she quieted her mind. This was no simple task that she had set out for herself. With her eyes now closed her psychic powers flowed out of her and scanned over the fighters. Using a technique known as Shatterpoint, the woman found a critical weakness in each of the fighters build. A small manufacturing error, a previously ill-repaired point of damage that had been had glossed over, parts of the machine that were vulnerable and would cause a complete system failure. Hanging her blaster rifle from her body by its sling, the woman raised both her hands at the fighters and interceptors. With each point of weakness found she would apply immense amounts of pressure to each point. From there it was an absolute fireworks show. Fighters exploded in midair, windows shattered causing the pilots to veer off into buildings and crash, bright blue chemical fueled flames erupted from the sides and immediate altitude was lost making fighters an easy target for the guns and crew. The fighter Jack was on was not effected as she was more than confident Jack could either destroy it or take it for himself. Pulling herself out of the trance she was in, she took a few deep breaths and hunched over a guard rail. While they weren’t dealing with explosive blaster cannons from above, they weren’t out of the woods. Reclaimer Arms and Industrial was about five minutes away in these conditions, and some of that distance would need to be traveled by foot as the skiffs were far to large to squeeze between the buildings. ”Everyone prepare to land and proceed to the target on foot! Expect heavy door to door and urban combat. We don’t know how many shock troops are in the deeper reaches of the city.” Patricia lifted herself up and reloaded her rifle. She was ready to keep moving. Hopefully Jack and Nocturna could get back to them soon. The drop off point was rapidly approaching.
  4. @Akako Akari ”Deal.” Dredge said in a low burning tone of a dark lord. The gleaming white fangs beneath the Stygian abyss of darkness within his helmet curled into a smile that while was not sinister in nature, was somewhat foreboding to behold. A Cheshire grin that at times signaled danger to those in front of it. Though Dredge was quick to take the palm of his gauntlet covered hand and smack himself across the face with it. ”Sorry about that! Force of habit. You spend a few thousand years murdering and glassing entire planets and you pick up some nasty habits. Anyways yes, we have a deal and I immensely look forward to working with you to help accomplish this grand vision of yours.” Dredge then stood up from his seat and looked down at the more than unhappy Akako. Which for Dredge it was a vast improvement on how most of his meetings ended. Most of the time the diplomats sent to him would either be injured or dead by the end of the meeting, or he’d be terribly injured, or both. Regardless someone was getting stabbed by the end of most of his meetings. So this was a real step in the right direction. Sure he had upset the Yokai, and had made sure she didn’t get everything she wanted out of the deal. But it was a small concession to be made. It wasn’t as if he planned on betraying her, he wanted everything she did and as long as his people were safe and prospering he was happy to hand the reigns over to her if she proved herself capable. Maybe he could live a life without having to rule and without war. He had never considered it, but for the briefest of moments the dark overlord considered what life would be like I’m retirement. Something that never once was an option in his previous life. With that brief moment of vulnerability shrugged off of his body language, the man read the room and spoke to the queen. ”We’ll give you a tour of the fleet tomorrow. We will sail to the beaches east of Port Caelum and drop anchor a few kilometers from land. On your formal invitation only will we make landfall. You have my word.” Dredge then gave a short yet respectable bow to the woman. ”Your Grace. Keep the bottle. It’s very good.” he said as he recovered from his bow. From there the blackened wings of the wyvern once again expanded from the deck of the Vagrant Queen and began to fly its way over to them. Now would be the last few moments to get in any advice, threats, or words of encouragement. Dredge had no threats to give or much else to say, he’d just sort of awkwardly wait and tap his foot in the sand while humming a foreign tune to himself.
  5. Dredge was not phased by the woman’s shift in demeanor. This was far from his first rodeo as well, and back in his home dimension he commanded armies and controlled entire galactic nations. What Akako held was less than nothing to what he once had, and he had faced off against far scarier people than her. However reminiscing the past wouldn’t get anyone anywhere right now. He had hungry mouths to feed and Akako was willing to help in that endeavor. However Dredge was not wrong when he said that these people needed time to adjust to the new world they were entering. Something he would kindly explain to her on why she had to allow this settlement to exist exclusively to his people in terms of civilian populace. ”A little over a year ago. These people were living in caves, holes in the ground, and in the forests and mountains completely exposed to the elements. They were hunted and killed and their way of life was built on strength and arcane prowess. Most of them don’t even know how to read. So what you are essentially saying is you want to put your people into what’s basically a powder keg of different violent people that fight and kill over trivial matters such as someone stealing a loaf of bread. Having your people there would cause what control and fealty they have to a symbol such as a Dark Lord to potentially crumble into anarchy and chaos at the sight of outsiders with a completely different mindset than that of their own.“ Dredge didn’t care if Akako thought she knew best due to her accomplishments. This came down to simply trust. It wasn’t all about her people coming in to integrate and become one. It was about leaving him to his own devices in her land. Something which was wise to veil under the guise of something more uplifting in nature. However they would need to compromise on this issue. Dredge sincerely was not trying to make this about him and being able to be left alone. This issue truly was about how his people needed time to adjust and come to grips with how her empire functioned. Taxes, courts, legislative bodies, civic responsibilities. All those things might of been on the moon for these monsters to try and grasp at it right now. So Dredge would once again be the one willing to make compromises. He could be less of a dick about it earlier, but that just wasn’t Dredge. So the man simply took in a breath of air and tried to continue to rationally explain this to her. ”Our people are very similar in many ways, however they are also very different. You have succeeded in integrating your people into every day society. I won’t deny you your accomplishments, but I imagine that took time, and many of my people aren’t as intelligent as yours. Like I said, it’s just been a little over a year since the were basically living like wild animals. So while I do not agree with your civilians coming to this main settlement, I will agree to any intelligence service agents, merchants, traders, and public lecturers to help them understand this system of economics and government as we move forward. I will also agree to let you station any diplomats and military forces in or around the settlement. We will also use the colonization force I’ve gifted to help serve as a shining example that your people can integrate in time once they understand more.” Dredge would then do his best to reassure Akako of his abilities to lead. What he said was true about his people and how they needed an adjustment period for more complicated and nuanced topics, their ability to rally and follow a Dark Lord was unmatched. ”As for my ability to lead. I plucked these people from a life of misery and squalor. I gave them care and attention to their suffrage under the cruel boot of man. They chose to rally behind me so that we could burn the white cities of man and take revenge upon their oppressors. Then we organized into a kingdom of monsters with a professionally trained and uniformed army. We took that army and sacked Last Chance and stole the Forgotten Fleet so we could leave Terrenus and the oppression Men, elves, and dwarves pushed upon them. So over the course of that year, we have an army, we have a fleet, and we have a people now looking for a home where they can be treated as equals. That will take some time to do, I only speak what is true. I have agreed to all your terms and given you a very sizable offer. I ask that you yield on this provision as I know my people better than you do. Whether we walk away or stay and fight for you is up to you.” Akako was a reasonable woman hopefully. Dredge wanted this deal to work out but if the woman couldn’t continue to extend even the slightest bit of trust like she had shown this day in meeting him, then their relationship couldn’t continue to exist. All Dredge wanted was prosperity for his people. So the ball was in her court. @Akako Akari
  6. @Akako Akari Dredge laughed. He couldn’t help it. He laughed at Akako and her naïveté. The idea that she was going to integrate her people with his more chaotic subjects was something to laugh at. His free hand reached up and the iron covered gauntlet covered his face as he did so. His fears and were confirmed that Akako was out of touch and didn’t understand how his people’s violent culture worked. He wasn’t trying to belittle her in any way but it was more than clear that the woman had spent too much time dealing with the privileged races. She was what, thousands or nigh millennia years old? Yet she could not grasp that the ideology of people that lived across the sea and on a far away continent. ”It’s not you! It’s me! Dredge said as he laughed again in her face. ”No, just no my sweet summer child.” Dredge began to contain his laugher as he spoke. With one last stifle of laughter, took the bottle by hand and drank a good glug of it beneath his darkened faceplate. It was clear that she had focused on Yokai and the citizens she governed, people who were at least somewhat educated, and have had her leadership to guide them into civility and normality in her holdings. ”I know you aren’t stupid, I’ve seen that. However you are far out of touch of these people. Which is why if you need us, you’ll need to understand us.” Dredge then cocked his head and while he was sincere to the woman in what he had said earlier, she simply didn’t understand how the monstrous races of Terrenus operated. ”The first army I acquired was that of Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears that lived in an actual cave outside of every idea of government. Only the strong survived, and murder was an every day part of life. This goes for orc and Kobold army I acquired.” Dredge chuckled once again and let in a deep breath of air once again to calm himself. ”When I say I’ll build my own settlement of my disgruntled people. It’s not for you and yours, it’s for them. It’s to introduce them to the ideas of taxes, government legislative bodies, courts and trials. So your people would be walking into a nightmare scenario where murder, death, and survival of the fittest is an everyday reality. So no, I respectfully decline.” Dredge looked to Akako and she would know that this wasn’t a power move, this wasn’t him trying to gain power. It was simply protecting her people from returning to a more savage nature where their worst impulses to kill, maim, and destroy weren’t fed into by the more evil and horrid races that were brought up in a survival situation where the strong ate the weak. ”So here’s my terms on that matter. We will have our settlement where I will rule and slowly introduce these people to your laws and government over the course of let’s just say two years. This will be an exclusive settlement for monsters that will be of course open to trade and visitations by your people as well as taxation that I will personally generate for you to meet your quotas.” Dredge would then roll his iron covered fingers against his grieves to think. ”As much as I like you and your ideals. You will agree to these terms. This is non negotiable for the safety of your people, not mine. If you deny this then I will take these people and leave. While you are my best choice of a ruler to help lead them, I can’t put these people into a situation that they can’t understand. So time is needed.” Dredge then chuckled and was quite clear. He’d agree to all of Akako’s terms but this. The monstrous wild races needed time to adjust and time to be themselves before adjusting into more civilized life. The Queen wanted unity and for them to wave the flag of peace and harmony, but that wasn’t what Dredge and legion were. He gave her the more civilized people in his nation and she’d need to agree to that. ”If you want to see our people, what they truly are so you can get an better understanding. I’ll summon you a wyvern to ride and see. But if you insist that this settlement I intend to set up for my chaotic people, you’re only hurting yourself. I will fight for you, and I’ll come to your aid. It’s just these people need time to adjust.” While Dredge had laughed at the woman, hopefully she’d see he was right. What she proposed was not feasible and she’d be subjecting her people to an environment that would radicalize them back to their demonic roots that tended to feed into their worst desires. They would no longer be hers, they’d follow a literal dark lord who pulsed evil energy into their very veins. Dredge prayed the woman was smarter than that.
  7. @Akako Akari Dredge listened to the words of the Yokai Queen. Some of them he greatly enjoyed, and others not so much. He was disappointed in her cleverness and guile to an extent. A ruler often had to veil things in vague terms in order to have space to finesse certain truths when dialogue is exchanged. For a demon as pretty as she was, she didn’t have a firm grasp of what Dredge truly had to offer in the sense of some of his proposals. Though he couldn’t entirely blame her. The woman had been leading a rather casually accepted nation of people. Port Caelum wasn’t the White Cities of men, elves, and dwarves, but the woman had been spending too much time with their ilk. The privileged, the beautiful, and the self righteous. It seemed that she had forgotten her roots of infinite darkness and demonic power, and while Dredge would not lead her back to that source. He knew that she was everything he could not be. She was grace, beauty, and someone of every race could rally behind. So rather than telling her these feelings, he opted to try and educate her in a different matter. ”Woah woah woah. Whose saying anything about hostages? Certainly not me. All I said was that I’d gift you three thousand civilians to build a settlement in your outlaying regions. People who are more agreeable in nature to more civilized life. Tengu, hobgoblins, Yuan-Ti, Half-Orcs. Who you add to that colonization force is completely up to you. You could add as many other people as you want and create a town where both monsters and humans alike live and prosper. That’s not for me to decide.” While it was a rose by any other name. Dredge had hoped that when the woman saw his offer, she would see it as an opportunity as he had. A chance for the civilized and wild to come together and build something else. Yes on the surface it would appeared that Dredge was mindlessly tossing hostages at the woman, but it was a test she had both passed and failed. She wanted unity, she wanted solidarity, and Dredge wanted the same. He wanted a place for his people to become one and be normalized in the face of society and the populace as a whole. Not just as monsters to slay, but as real people for the world to accept and see as more. ”I will of course be taking the more.... disgruntled races with me to build a settlement. Orcs, goblins, wargs, etcetera etcetera. And over time I will slowly integrate the more chaotic people into this system of government.” Dredge then sat up somewhat and looked over to Akako. The points in his eyes weren’t focused, they were more rounded and sympathetic in nature. ”We are not enemies. I am simply the worst version of you, and you are the best version of me.” Dredge said with all honesty and sincerity. ”Our people will become one, and I will pledge my sword to you until the end. If it comes to war, we will fight. If it comes to peace, we will build. I’m here because you are their best option. I could sail the world and not find someone better.” Dredge then scoot himself over so that his feet hit the sand and he sat upright to face her. ”So tell me true. Are we doing this or not? I’ll take you aboard the Forgotten Fleet. I’ll show you my people who are living in filth and cramped metal containers, then you can tell me if they deserve a better life or not. Because I clearly have not been able to provide them that. Maybe you can though.” Dredge if anything knew how to cut to the heart of things. As silly and as fun as he was at times. He wanted to make this happen. All of them were counting on him.
  8. @Akako Akari Dredge was happy to hear that Queen Akako understood his methods as bloody and destructive as they were. When he first arrived on this strange world after being thrown into an inter-dimensional portal and being ripped from his galactic nation. The plan was simply to return home, get some revenge, glass a few planets, and genocide a few species. But he didn’t feel that way anymore, being here on this planet caused a deep and fundamental change to the very core of his being. For him evil used to just be burning, killing, and unbridled destruction for the fun of it. Spending time with the downtrodden and monsters of this world and helping them to organize and rise to power to take revenge. It made him not want to go home, that maybe perhaps this world could be such a place. But he was getting ahead of himself. There was still much work to do, and starting with that were these negotiations. With a wave of his hand and another deep and soft chuckle, more wine from the bottle cantrip’d up and into the dark abyss of his helmet where he presumably drank it. After an audible gulp of wine, Dredge crossed one leg over the other and put his hands behind his head in a relaxed position. ”If I wanted to burn your town to the ground. One. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. And two, if I truly wanted to lay waste to this place the best option would of been to attack during the night of the festival. Sure there would be increased security, but with the amount of people packing the streets, guards who are probably drunk as well. All I would of needed to do was firebomb the place from the sea with my fleet, send in the wyverns and raiders to pillage and kill. The amount of chaos and panic would of made mounting any kind of meaningful defense impossible.” It was true, if Dredge truly wanted to destroy everything this woman had worked for. It wouldn’t of been difficult at all. ”But I understand your apprehension and skepticism to not trust us. Hell, I wouldn’t trust me either in your position. So here’s what I’m going to do. I will give to you a colony’s worth of three thousand civilians with zero military men for you to establish within any part of your growing nation. I will of course leave a capable lieutenant of mine there to lead them as they will most likely not follow anyone you appoint to do so. Your people can guard them and provide security, and should I betray you or fail you. You have what I care for most, my people.” Dredge was essentially giving Akako hostages. The man was serious about this deal and he was willing to pay it forward in order to make the woman comfortable with it. ”I am also willing to donate half of my treasury to your nation. In return since citizenship shall not be granted immediately, my people will be given the status of lawful residency and will be shown the same amount of respect when it comes to their need and potential welfare. They will never again be treated like second class citizens or sport for governments and adventurers to hunt and kill. Furthermore not only will we be allowed to build our own settlement, any wild monstrous people found in the wilds of your new nation are not to be killed without absolute necessity and authorization of lethal force. Legion will send it’s diplomats to bring them into the fold of your nation. So to answer your question.” Dredge paused and turned his head to Akako. His arms came back down to his side and one glowing red eye shined at the woman from beneath the helmet. ”Yes. I will respect your orders and come to your aid so long as it does not cause me to choose between you and my people. Because it’s them every time. When it comes to battle though, I will exclusively lead my forces. They would never listen to anyone whose not me or someone I’ve deputized. I’ll stick to whatever it is your battle plan might be, but you know how battles go and the chaos within.” Dredge made sure that he kept his bases covered. The dark lord much rather preferred if this worked out for the best. His demands were reasonable and what he was willing to sacrifice was more than fair.
  9. @Akako Akari Akako was what Dredge had expected at first. A ruler who conducted herself in the appropriate manner that was expected of her. Fine silk clothing that was custom made to fit her slender frame. Measured and polite introductions even to a monster such as himself. An air of authority that followed her every action down to her movement and speech. Overall the woman was a pilar of strength and was quite frankly overqualified to run this little port city. Yet there was more to her than what Dredge could read off the bat. Something in her that was born of darkness and regret, while he couldn’t put his finger on what it was. His perception of darkness and all things hate and pain could feel it. He didn’t bother to face her when she spoke. Nor did he look at her when he himself spoke. The Dark Lord seemed preoccupied rooting through the large leather bag that was left behind with him. ”Then it seems you have mistaken me already, Akako. Wasting time is an avid pastime of mine.” a soft yet deep chuckle escaped his lips as he continued to root through the bag. ”Yahtzee!” he exclaimed aloud to nobody in particular. Pulling from the leather sack at the ground, Dredge produced three items. Two fold out metallic and padded beach chairs and a bottle of the finest Elven red wine that Terrenus could produce. Throwing the items to the ground they landed on the sand with a light plop. From there he would set up the chairs side by side, his of course being significantly larger due to his monstrous size and weight. Purely for comfort and not to make some sort of subtle power move. In truth, Dredge had not only taken this meeting to secure safety and prosperity for his people. But it had been so long since he found himself on a beach that wasn’t a war zone. Just himself and another sharing a moment and letting the sounds of the ocean and wind upon the trees be the primary backdrop noise rather than screams and blades clashing upon one another. So he took great comfort when he sat down in his chair, as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. It felt nice. ”It’s stressful to rule. You’re this thing, this idea, this commanding force that people look to for guidance and order in their short little chaotic lives. You give your orders and if you fail, people die. You succeed, maybe less people die. So you just do your best you know?” Dredge reached for the bottle and with the wave of the hand the cork popped and he took a deep drink. ”Well have a seat.” Dredge motioned to seat a few feet next to him. Another few moments of silence between them passed as the waves crashed onto the shores. Dredge knew that there was a strong possibility these talks would not go well. So he wanted to savor any moment he could have away from the cramped metal confines of a warship. ”So negotiations. Feel free to have a drink. It’s very good shit.” he said while placing the bottle of wine down between the two of them. ”Legion is prepared to fight your battles, sacrifice our men, build your new nation, and obey your laws as equals within your country. I will retain the right to rule and govern my people in accordance with the laws of your land along with other stipulations that will be discussed as talks proceed today. We will act as your banner-men and in exchange your country will provide my people with full citizenship, land in which to farm and build, and access to well paying work either inside or outside Port Caelum and its outlying regions.” Dredge was to the point and concise with what he wanted. ”I am not a greedy man. I only wish to see my people thrive. While we were founded on blood and death. The crimes I committed on my enemy is nothing compared to the death and ruin that has been brought upon my people. Adventurers clubbing baby goblins to death in their cribs, hunting down wyverns for their skin and claws, forcing my people to live in abject poverty and filth. I make no apologies for what I’ve done, but all nations are founded on blood and conquest. That is simply the way the universe works.” Dredge was honest, he didn’t tell a lie and the Yokai would be able to sniff his emotions to tell that he was completely genuine. Dredge was tired. He was tired of people looking at him and calling him a terrorist when he returned the favor to the white towering cities of man. Yes, he was evil. He was a dark lord, but evil was not simply defined by what the forces of light announced it to be. It wasn’t just abject cruelty and burning things just to burn them. There was a purpose and Dredge intended to focus that and lead his people into the future outside of living in caves and getting rained on in the woods.
  10. The Vagrant Queen, flagship of The Forgotten Fleet. It’s massive size and frame appeared on the horizon in the waters outside of Port Caelum, and aboard it was the one and only Dredge. The Nightmare King and Dark Lord of Legion. He who had brought ruin and death to countless lives. But today wasn’t about ruin and destruction, quite the opposite really. Since the battle of Last Chance, Dredge had time to think while sailing the seas. It wasn’t brought on by losing a battle, Dredge had lost battles in the past. His thoughts were that of his people for once, not the selfishness and desire to conquer, not the need to bend the dark races of the world to his service and throw their lives away as if they were nothing. For this first time in forever, he found himself giving a damn about the goblins, trolls, and orcs he took in. He cared for their well-being and today would prove it. Living out at sea was not sustainable for them. They needed land, resources, and the ability to live peacefully. Or at least as relatively peacefully as a nation of monsters and beasts could. From the beach anyone staring could see the blackened leathery wings of a massive beast open up. Letting loose a deep and sharp ear piercing scream, the monster took flight and made its way to the sands outside the port. Riding atop a truly gargantuan bull wyvern was the dark overlord, he had finally arrived to get the measure of Akako. His emissaries had given their reports of the woman, his walk about her town during the festival gave him some insight on the woman and how she ruled, now it was time to see if all of what he heard lived up to the real deal. Quickly locating where the lone Queen of Port Caelum stood, the Wyvern made haste to approach. Another ear piercing shriek filled the skies above and descending from the air the wyvern bared its gleaming rows of fangs at the Queen. Lowering it’s long head and neck, the beast went silent as the loud thump of metal hitting sand sounded off at his side. Standing there in all his unholy glory was Dredge. Blackened war torn armor covered his body from head to toe. At his back was a jagged blade formed of bone from what one could only imagine to be a true horror. With every step the man took power and darkness radiated off of him in spades, a true dark lord to command the forces of evil. But what caused chills to roll down the spines of men were his eyes, two burning red points that shined brightly through a Stygian abyss of blackness that shrouded all other features of his face that the faceplate did not. Those eyes reduced even the bravest of men to nothing. So what would the dark lord do now that he was face to face with the true Queen of Yokai? Simple. He turned around, looked to his wyvern and spoke. ”Whose a good boy, Jeremy?!Whose a good boy?! You’re a good boy! Yes you are! Yes you are!” lovingly petting the wyvern, the beast returned the favor by nuzzling into his master and extending its slimy disgusting tongue to lick the helmet of his blackened armor. ”You want a treat?! Yeah you do!” letting down one of the large leather sacks attached to the wyvern, Dredge reached in and pulled from it the entire severed leg of a goblin who most likely died in an industrial accident. Taking the limb and throwing it into the air the wyvern flew up and caught it in its mouth only to devour it whole. From there the Wyvern would fly back to the ship and remain until the meeting was over. Turning to face Akako, Dredge smiled a wicked toothy grin beneath his helmet before his next move. Which was of course this. ”Hey, I’m Dredge. It’s so nice to meet you. My people call me the Nightmare King, Lord of Fire and Ash, Slayer of Men, and Dark Lord of Legion. But you can just call me Dredge. Easier that way.” Dredge said in a very casual and friendly tone. ”So let’s get these negotiations started! Again super nice to meet you.” With the snap of his fingers the man transitioned into full on finger guns before giving a slight bow at the waist and moved to rustle through the leather sack he dropped from the wyvern. @Akako Akari
  11. @Djinn&Juice @Akako Akari @Infernal A rousing speech indeed. Though this was starting to feel less like a town hall meeting where the public and other outside entities could meet discuss the various issues plaguing or benefiting the land, and more of a public political statement to the powers that be. Something that Master Privo disliked immensely. Legion while certainly knocked down a step from the numbers lost at Last Chance, their hands were not idle at sea. Recruiting pirates, training a proper navy, and creating breeding programs for their war beasts. Legion was ready to reave and raid the coasts of whatever shore in order to survive. To Master Privo this felt as if they were taking these gained resources and throwing them into the fire of war. What this woman was saying was bound to upset someone somewhere to the point of violence and if his Dark Lord Dredge were to align himself with woman the results could be potentially disastrous. Because if there were two things certain in this life, it was Death and Taxes. Whoever this other ruling entity was, Master Privo was damn sure they were coming for their money. The taxes of a port town alone often exceeded that of cities twice its size. Taxation and tariffs on goods, a steady population growth over time, not to mention the bounty of the ocean. This was without a doubt a very dangerous game that the newly crowned Queen was playing. But it wasn’t his job to tell her all the things she most likely knew better than him. It wasn’t like he could offer any new information. So rather than discuss that he would follow his Lord’s lead and drive the point home. With a short yet courteous bow, the small goblin lifted his head to speak and try his best to somewhat translate what Kru’Gorah had said while maintaining his subservience to him. ”Your Grace. Lord Kru’Gorah speaks true. While your estate is certainly an impressive sight to behold. We simply cannot agree to a meeting where direct action can not be taken if some sort of emergency or dire situation were to arise.” Master Privo began to cycle through a few of his ledgers and pages. Images of warships big and small were drawn in a Tolkien style of beautiful calligraphy accompanied the flowing cursive of names and paragraphs of said ships that were scrawled onto the page. The Forgotten Fleet’s manifest lay at his finger tips, or at least a portion of it did. Hundreds of ships that carried thousands of lives all put to the page by Master Privo himself. He was truly a testament to what Goblins and other savage beasts could become under the guiding hand of Legion. ”As per my master Lord Kru’Gorah’s wishes. The meeting will be set on the main pier of your port at sunrise, as per your request on the time. We may also meet on the beach away from the city you may decide which and we will find you regardless. Furthermore we will be bringing a single warship to drop off Our Dark Lord from a distance far out of range of the ships cannons as to show good faith that we are not here to attack but for diplomacy. Your Grace may expect The Vagrant Queen, I will leave the necessary paper on the ships layout and appearance here for you.” Master Privo removed a page from the Forgotten Fleet’s Charter and placed it on a nearby desk facing down so one of her servants could collect it. ”Though I am afraid these terms are not negotiable, your Grace. We would hate to have to bring the entire fleet to port if our King were to meet you in your home. We live in uncertain and dangerous times, and the protection of our King is of the utmost importance. You’ll find that this concession is more than fair. While I wish we could talk more it appears you are busy with the birth of a new nation and your constituents. Congratulations your Grace and we hope to meet you tomorrow to continue negotiations. Our King is most excited to speak with you in person.” with a deep and dismissing bow, the goblin gathered his things and was given a look by Kru’Gorah that it was time to leave. ”By your lead my liege.” And with that the two exited the room. However that was not before the little goblin made eye contact with the dwarf smoking his pipe. While Master Privo always carried himself with an air of grace and style, on this occasion the normally calm eyes of Privo turned into the classic yellow snake slit eyes of a goblin threatening its quarry. With ledgers tucked under his arms the goblin lifted his hands to the smoking dwarf and tattooed across his knuckles were the words “Kill Dwarfs”. Now the two were ready to leave and walked out the door.
  12. @Turquoisie @Trigger2Red @notmuch_23@danzilla3 @Thotification @The North Wind @Djinn&Juice @SteamWarden Communication moved fast through the empire, while abnormal things happened all the time in a galaxy far far away. It was clear that when it comes to conquering a backwater planet in the far depths of Wild Space, one did not often see combatants of this caliber who completely ran circles around experienced and seasoned troops. What once was a platoons worth of men had been cut down into a few scattered fireteams that were quickly being picked off in the haze of smoke, dirt, and fire. ”Alpha squad come in! Alpha squad come in!” One of the troopers yelled over the comms. ”We’re getting hammered sir! There’s a kid running through us! Top is down and we have zero vis- AGH!” a blood curdling scream echoed through the comms of the troopers. ”Shit! This is SE Shock Unit Spear Two Actual, encountering heavy outside resistance. One of my men has reported a possible visual on a Miss Blonde. We need back up down here now bef-“ In the midst of all the chaos a burning red blade stuck out of the man’s chest. Gasping for air he slid down into the dirt and died. But not before sending his message out to the fleet. This was not good, and Blonde knew it. Blonde had been listening to the comms of the nearby shock infantry, her mask tapping into the comms and her telepathic powers scrying for any possible mention of her name. This little stop had cost them and while it was possible that this was not confirmed yet, it didn’t mean that a bigger problem was now headed towards them fast. The Sith didn’t have any warm and cuddly spots in their hearts. If it came down to the elimination of potentially a wanted criminal and other high risk and dangerous targets, and a few easily replaceable infantry. Well you didn’t have to guess what they would choose. ”EVERYONE BACK ON THE SKIFFS!! NOC!! GET EVERYONE ELSE TO SAFETY AND MEET ME AT RECLAIMER!” Screaming it out just under the wire, any more words she could say would be drowned out by a singular noise. The screaming of fighters and bombers in the air roared closer and closer to them. Right over the horizon with the sun reflecting off their tinted windows and darkened outer shells, they were here to destroy a potential threat. Well over two dozen of them, mostly fighters escorting bombers, began to swoop in and make an attack run. So this was the moment Blonde had to make a choice. While she trusted Nocturna to get everyone out of there, she knew that the Dragon would paint a huge target on her back should she transform. And as much as she liked to tout the armor of her scales, she was no match for a turbo laser from a destroyer, and given enough torpedoes fired at her from that range, it could take her down. Blonde wasn’t about to lose another friend. So rather than making the clean getaway that she wanted by fleeting into the safety of the city’s network of buildings. The two skiffs would give the chance for anyone close enough to jump back in. The main cannons and side gun emplacements turned to face the incoming swarm aerial vehicles and opened fire in a barrage of plasma. With a wildly successful blast of fire, the fighters had not anticipated the skiffs not to run and had come down too fast and steady to take the necessary evasive actions. Catching well over ten of the fighters and bombers in that opening salvo of cannon fire, the skiffs soon after began to move and make their way towards the city. Blonde hoped that Jack and the others had made it aboard, or that Nocturna would protect them if they hadn’t. ”White! Get us to Reclaimer!” Blonde said as she turned around and watched as the beach turned from a battle into a massive explosion of torpedoes and proton charges erupting into cloud of black smoke and ash. Yet there was no time to go back, she just had to trust them. And they were far from out of danger. After delivering their payload, what remained of the fighters chased after the two skiffs. While the bombers retreated back to restock, their fighter escort rained green explosive plasma down on them. Rocketing past Blonde the gunner on the top deck cannon was swept away in a clean shot that left them a mangled and burnt corpse. ”SOMEONE GET ON THAT FUCKING GUN!” Blonde yelled as the skiffs were in a life or death chase. While the safety of the buildings did give them some cover, the experienced fighter pilots still had line of sight on them and made sure to make use of it. They were getting closer to their target, but everything at this moment hinged on getting away or neutralizing these fighters.
  13. What could only be described as the fanciest of goblins quickly followed Kru’Gorah through the door. Dressed in a resplendent suit and powdered wig, the small four foot tall green fop of a goblin carried his books and ledgers with him. His tiny feet barely made a sound when he approached the podium and shortly stopped three feet behind the demonic Djinn that he was pretty sure would actually eat him whole if he dared to stand side by side with the Nightmare King Dredge’s appointed emissary. Not that Kru needed an excuse to consume him, but he’d rather not give the noble djinn of fire and damnation an excuse to do so. With a small yet extremely proper bow to the Lady of Port Caelum, Master Privo, Dredge’s Master of Coin took a deep breath and recovered from the bow. When Kru’Gorah was finished with his opening statement, the fancy little goblin spoke. ”Ah, yes. Greetings Queen Akako of Port Caelum. I am Privo of Legion, Master of Coin to my dark lord Dredge. He has summoned myself and our emissary Lord Kru’Gorah to meet with you on this blessed occasion.” Master Privo said in a polite and gracious manner, his voice somewhat high pitched and scratchy yet smoothed out somewhat more than the average goblin. ”Our Lord Dredge wishes to parlay and I can not stress what a wonderful opportunity this is for both of our people’s and constituents. If you have any requests for technical information or questions I will gladly answer them if Lord Kru’Gorah permits such. Now I’m afraid I’m going to shut up before Lord Kru sets me ablaze.” Finding himself a small chair, the goblin took a seat. Laying out his various books and ledgers, Privo whipped out a pair lorgnette or opera glasses, and began to scroll through his dusty tomes to better acquaint himself with any information he was to relay to the Queen of Yokai and Port Caelum. @Akako Akari @Lacernella Rubra @Djinn&Juice
  14. Too many people crowded around the estate. The Yokai Queen was without a doubt busy tending to the festivities and guests that called this port home. While Dredge did not expect a face to face meeting at once, and especially not on this day. He wanted to get the measure of this woman, of her port and city, of the people dwell within it, and of course the lay of the land. He had no idea if this woman would allow them to come to shore. The Forgotten Fleet was starting to run low on supplies. Men, women, children, beasts, and monsters grew hungry; and when that situation arose it never had a happy ending. For now hunger was staved off by feasting on the last of the POWs from Last Chance. The dead who were killed in industrial accidents and ship repairs coupled with what they could fish from the ocean helped as well, but no matter what it was all simply a matter of time. Terrenus would win its victory over Dredge not though war but simple time. So if Port Caelum would not accept his people for who and what they were, he would take it and figure out the next move from there. Hopefully that would not come to pass. He would however make sure contact was made between himself and the Yokai Queen. A message of what would come to pass within the coming days his arrival. Slipping his way into an alleyway nearby with his two devil body guards, the dark overlord extended his arm and hand outward palm up. Dark magical energy began to swirl around his hand as dark ichor began to drip from the gauntlet he wore. ”Jiak ukummon lat from avhe landuk ti agh plainuk ro darkneukuk. Riuke ma-pak wraiavh agh do mausan biddaumn” Repeating that chant three times, the pool of ichor that dripped down and soon began to gurgle and pop. From a small simmer to a rolling boil of heat and steam, the ichor formed into a dark fog that took a misty shape. An Elder Wraith had been called forth and it’s ghostly body shaped itself into a dark tattered cloaked figure that hovered off the ground. It’s now loosely corporeal body let out an icy breath of undead mist, and almost seemed to inhale as it spoke long and steady words. ”Master, I exist to serve.” it said in that sinister cadence. ”Zal-Thar, Undead King of my VisGhul Servants. I order you to enter the estate of the Yokai Queen undetected and deliver this message unto her. Within the coming days my servant of fire and ash shall approach her. He shall deliver and extend a potential alliance between the forces of darkness and her. It is better to exist together than to be consumed by the fiery maw of evil. Give this message to her.” Dredge said with all the burning intensity that he could muster. ”Yes, My Master..... should I you know, also see if she’s cute?” The Wraith asked swiftly tacking that bit on the end. Zal-Thar Undead King of the VisGhul Wraith Protectorate. We do not judge and place value on women based on their appearance. How many times do I have to say this? Do I have to send you to HR to talk to Ogra Demoness of Hatred and Pain again?” Dredge said in a firm and authoritative tone. Visibly buckling backwards, the Wraith shook its cowled head back and forth in fear. ”No my lord! I swear you don’t have to!” The Wraith had almost pleaded. ”Good, however. And I know I’m going to hate myself for saying this, but it’s only because the only female company I’ve had the last two days are Gilda and Gron. And let me just say two female troll bodyguards do not make the best of company. So you may let me know if she’s attractive in a sense outside of the standard women are held to by unobtainable beauty industry depictions.” Dredge then shooed his Wraith away to go and deliver his message. ”Alright, boys. Let’s take a walk.” And with that, Dredge would be off for a night on the town with his devils casting heavy illusion magic to make them appear to be normal citizens. Slithering and sliding his way into the estate, the undead Wraith his itself with powerful warding magic. Only visible to those with truesight. Even the more seasoned Yokai with demon and devil sight would not see this being. Eventually finding Akako herself, it had no doubt that the Queen of Demons here would see it. ”Daughter of darkness, child of infinite planes within the abyss, you have been called upon. Within days our Dark Lord The Nightmare King shall send his emissaries to your doorstep to discuss a potential alliance for the turmoil to come in the near future. Our seers have seen it. Our oracles have professed it. And our King shall act upon it. Terms shall be delivered and the forces of darkness shall once again rise to meet the challenge. Do not deny this meeting or there shall be dire repercussions.” The Wraith then let out a piercing screech silent to all those but Akako before vanishing into nothing. @Akako Akari
  15. @Akako Akari Failure. Objective and resolute was that of what transpired. Failure to take hold of Terrenus. Failure to enact the plans of destruction and death amongst the kingdoms of men, elves, and dwarfs. Failure to return home and lay waste to the nations that had plagued the very existence of evil itself. Yet failure and the unsuccessful trappings of the forces of darkness never stopped its agenda. Through defeat and failure, one learns to grow stronger. To take that bile and rage and drive it deep into your dark heart and use it to blacken the lands. He had taken those lessons to heart and in bloody defiance of the world and forces of light and good, he survived, and once again he would have his time to plunge the lands into darkness. Aboard a smaller sail boat the callous filled hands of slaves rowed sturdy and heavy wooden oars against the waves. HEAVE YOU MAGGOTS!! HEAVE!!” the crack of a whip from a goblin rang out amongst the sea as it met flesh and caused the screams of some of the unfortunate rowers. With a malicious smile the goblin slave driver took a sick delight in his job that one could almost admire in terms of workplace ethics and job satisfaction. ”I’LL SKIN THE LOT OF YA IF YOU DON’T ROW FASTER!!” Another crack of the whip echoed out followed by the sharp high pitched laughter of the man wielding it. At the helm of the small ship was a character of pure darkness and vile evil that sickened those around it. At the helm was the one and only. The Nightmare King. The leader of The Forgotten Fleet. The Sacker of Last Chance and former menace of Terrenus. A ruler of darkness and evil that laid his claim to the forces of evil and monstrous races that were hunted down for sport by Adventurers and the governments of light. Dredge. A near monolithic statue of a man who stood near seven feet tall and adorned in black war torn scarred armor with a tattered cape that blew in the wind behind it. Landing on the docks of Port Caelum the rather primitive sailing vessel was moored and soon after the overlord made his first steps onto the wooden planks of the dock. Heavy footfalls thud with each step and soon to follow at his flanks were two creatures born of fire. Dredge had found the ruling body of this port rather cute in nature, the idea that Yokai called themselves demons. While he had no doubt that they might be impressive fighters, they were not devils. They were not devils born of the nine hells and the infinite plains of nightmare and darkness from the lands beyond. Surly meeting them would hopefully change the already low opinion he had of such lesser demons. The Pit Fiends that flanked his sides looked and smelt of sulfur and hatred. Horns that twisted and curled combined with bodies and claws that oozed the raw fiendish infernal energy that their race was well known for. Making his way from the port he and his guards politely paid the tax to dock their ship and proceeded to the festival with no intent to start any violence, unless of course they were challenged by another to do so. ”You know I do love a good party.” Dredge said as he walked the streets of Port Caelum. ”So liberating. Do you have parties where you’re from?” Dredge asked one of the guards in his company. ”We have ash and fire. We walk through the infinite planes of night to drench fear into the hearts of those who dare enter only to then crush their mortal bodies and feast upon their souls.” The fiend responded with all seriousness and horrific gusto that spilled out its fiery maw. ”You know man if you could just keep it at like a cool seventy percent that would be just great. I mean I don’t want to be that guy, but we’re at a party and there’s just like a real unspoken etiquette, you know?” Dredge said after a small awkward pause. ”Yes Master! Seventy percent is where I shall lay my claim and dominion over. I shall blacken the lands and prove to you that I can be cool.” The devil said with the same amount of intensity and rage. Another pause took place as Dredge pinched the bridge of his helmets darkened faceplate. ”Oh god dammit. Let’s just go see whose in charge.” And with that the trio stormed off to what appeared to be the main estate of the city’s governing body. Surrounding the estate were the decorative lanterns and civilians who had come to be with the port’s ruling body. A woman that Dredge’s spies and wraiths had given him very brief information about. The scent of dissatisfaction and aura of change weighed heavy here, something that he very much intended to capitalize on. For now he’d see about getting into this little affair to have a quick chat. Though he imagined that Dredge was not one who anyone would want to be seen publicly speaking with. So a small plan would need to be thrown together to make this meeting happen.
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