Ominous Rex

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Invictus
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Invictus » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:42 pm

speaker-to-trolls wrote:So, since you mentioned his innner circle in this article and how those who stand with him are the same ones who stood with him when Atlantis fell, does this mean that his minions actually get summoned back to Ominous Gard in person, or just that they stand with him in spirit by being enslaved to his dread immortal will?
Both, sorta.

When Ominous Rex massacred the Omin and channeled their vital essences into his great spell of ruin, the souls of his inner circle were not part of the sacrifice. They just bought it because the stress of channeling the spell overwhelmed them, but their deceased souls were still bound to Ominous Rex so they went into the Abyss with him alongside their dead bodies. Since the soul-bond gave Ominous Rex total control over their souls, he just resurrected them by putting their souls back into their bodies, which were preserved by the timelessness of the void. Ominous Rex can put these souls in new bodies, or even just have them as independent spirits; his necromancy is good enough for that. It's the first case for Quys Il Zanna, but for others...you'll see when I release the Coda.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Invictus » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:21 pm

Alas, it's not over yet!

Coda: The Inner Circle

To be soul-bound to Ominous Rex is synonymous with joining his inner circle. It is to tie yourself to the apogee of sorcery that is the Warlock-King, creating a channel that allows his personal power to flow to you and yours to him, the contrasting natures of the master and the supplicant commingling into both. However, this potent ritual was never designed to create an equal relationship. It is not through Ominous Rex's sheer strength of spirit that grants him sovereignty over your deepest self, for in truth he is not so superior to his most immediate lieutenants in some such aspects. However, it was in Ominous Rex's twisted genius to write something of his own desperate, trapped nature into the effects of the bond so that it sinks deeply its talons of irreversible flaw, barbs settling deeper at every exertion. It is to place yourself beyond any possibility of rebellion regardless of your might or wisdom, and it is not an honor he lightly grants. His original inner circle was bound to him to ensure their silence in the face of Atlantis' scrutiny and to allow them to assist in casting his titanic ritual of sacrifice. Their diversity is no accident; each represented a race or people subject to Ominous Rex so together they cast the spell as the Omin Empire in miniature, a vital component of its sympathetic nature. Each of them was hand-picked and personally mentored by Ominous Rex to be equal to their role, so in addition to their innate abilities each was one of the most skilled sorcerors within the Omin empire, a single step below Ominous Rex himself. Each of them was present in the ritual chamber of the Ominous Gard of old as the Omin Empire died. Each of them died as the final agony of millions overwhelmed them. It is only through the soul-bond that Ominous Rex was able to recall their spirits from the infinite depths of the Abyss and quicken them to his service once more. Through this trial the connection between master and servant has been further tempered by the Deepest Law, stronger and more subtle than ever before. You are not one of them. You know their names, though you do not know how:


Quys Il Zanna, the Silver Mirror, The Presider Upon the Tower was among the first of the Warlock-King's agents to depart from Ominous Gard and she has not returned since. Much of her tale is either already known or will be chronicled elsewhere, so it will not be recounted here. After Ominous Rex reunited her bound soul with her cold body and restored her to life, he sent her out into the world with her true skills and memories curtailed, allowing only her innate talent and a few subconscious urges to guide her in the mission she was given. She was to acquaint herself with the strange new magics of the modern world and master those she found useful, allowing Ominous Rex to partake in the same knowledge through their soul-bond. The Warlock-King trusted Il Zanna to best accomplish this through the same natural canniness that propelled her up the ranks of Atlantis and to his own side, working her way up the social ladder which inevitably existed in the unfamiliar new world to seek the best view of it. When the time is right, Il Zanna would exploit whichever high position she has achieved to facilitate Ominous Rex's return. That Il Zanna would earn the good graces of an organization which not only compiled and refined centuries of arcane learning but was also a foremost defender of the world was well beyond Ominous Rex's expectations. However, the heavy scrutiny upon her has also made it increasingly difficult for Ominous Rex to activate her tethers and commune with her true identity, and he worries that her cover identity may grow increasingly adrift from her nefarious purpose. Neither did he expect her to conceive a daughter, the first Atlantean-blood born on earth in countless millennia.


Bemerul the Hunter, the Tide That Turned, the Beast and its Wake was a vast and formless titan of aquatic suggestion, and its kin once warred with mighty Atlantis over the sovereignty of the nine seas. It was the effort of generations of Atlantean warrior-mages to subdue the leviathans and trap them in the shallow Mediterranean, erecting great wards at the Gates of Gibraltar to prevent their escape. This was another accomplishment writ in the golden age of Atlantis, and like all such legends the Atlanteans of latter ages relegated it to a footnote in the chronicles of their ancestors. Inspecting the condition of the ancient wards was a task which the Silver Pyramid thought nothing of delegating to Ominous Rex, a handy man of reasonable proximity who was deemed to possess the necessary minimum in magical competence for the task. Biting his tongue, Ominous Rex went south and saw that the rumored wards were in a state of advanced disrepair. A flash of insight linked their fraying geomancies to the unnatural storms and tsunamis plaguing his new domains in the south, the spirits of Bemerul's kin slowly and inexorably loosening their bonds.

Roused by knowledge of a potential ally, the Warlock-King launched an expedition beneath the vastness of the Mediterranean to secure their allegiance. There, he discovered the fitful forms of the leviathans lurking half-material in the shoals of the spirit world, shackled with mighty enchantments of sleep. Communing with the leviathans in their cold, primordial dreams, Ominous Rex also discovered that even in their need their immense self-absorption did not let them humor meddling outsiders, and he was rebuffed with crushing currents of reflexive vitriol. After days of delvings and recuperation, in an occluded valley of ghostly coral, Ominous Rex managed to make itself aware Bemerul, the wisest and strongest among its surviving kind and whose thirst for vengeance was enough to overcome its oceanic pride. The two communicated in a fashion and came to an agreement – Ominous Rex would free its kin from imprisonment, and Bemerul would lead its kin to assist his overthrow of Atlantis. Honoring his side of the bargain, Ominous Rex was also doubly eager to test his skill against Atlantis' past works; successfully he engineered a subtle failure in the Gibraltar wards over the next decade and blandly reported their long-foreseen decay and collapse to a bemused Atlantean audience.

The leviathans, once free, did not act as predictably. Some immediately bolted to strange seas beyond Ominous Rex's knowing, while others charged clamoring for vengeance and were repulsed by the skyship fleets of the Atlantean Navy. Upon his own skychariot, Ominous Rex tracked down Bemerul and demanded that it honor their pact, but Bemerul blithely answered that the spirit of its kind was such a vast and ferocious thing that it was simply their nature to act as the waves drove them. Even if it had willingly swore an oath, it would never be able to follow it with its whole heart. What were the obligations of mortal man to the grandness of a leviathan other than flotsam, to be dashed to pieces tomorrow or to resurface centuries hence? Ominous Rex retorted that such a condition could be remedied if he were to bind its soul to his own with an oath of most potent sorcery. Bemerul laughed and unfolded its soul before the Warlock-King, an endless abyss of reefs and waves and strange shimmering schools, and said he was welcome to try. Without hesitation, Ominous Rex conjured into his hand a chain fit to moor a skygalleon and dove into Bemerul's inner world, the speck of his form lost in an instant. The creature moved on, idly looking forward to the burst tatters of the mortal adding color to its choir of thoughts when they resurface, but Ominous Rex was far from finished. He drew his chain inexorably into the depths of Bemerul's soul, his surroundings growing blacker and more crushing but never succeeding in slowing his momentum. He fended off waves of desultory predators which grew more determined and more numerous and which eventually metastasized into swarms of nightmarish things formed of realized panic. He navigated sargasso mazes of ancient memories and battered down coral walls of unthinking self-reliance. By the time Ominous Rex found the lightless bottom of the spirit-ocean, nothing more opposed him from plunging the end of the chain into the abyssal murk, and Bemerul was bound by every fiber of its being.

The leviathan initially found its sudden single-minded need to please quite novel as it was compelled by its new master to hunt down its remaining kin. For all its ages of existence Bemerul could not remember a time where all its vast, indolent power was so focused on any single purpose or by any single thing. The euphoric rush of its disparate currents of thought and multifarious psycho-fauna uniting into a sleek torrent of decisiveness transformed Bemerul, rendering it a maniac by the standards of its kind. However, the very same derangement also made Bemerul more than a match for any of its kin as it followed their secret paths and confronted them in storm and fang, for struggle as they did no leviathan possessed the same unnatural compulsion to fight with all its might. To ensure their secure capture, Bemerul even swallowed each of its battered quarry whole and imprisoned them within its spiritual belly before disgorging them to the tender mercies of Ominous Rex and his sorcerors, who were ready with their reverse-engineered wards. Thus, the Warlock-King was able to claim the accomplishment of taming the leviathan-brood that once troubled Atlantis, and the Knightly Ladder and the Silver Pyramid were able to consider the matter resolved. Seeing its kin imprisoned once more, Bemerul asked Ominous Rex why he made his pact if if not to make use of the strength of its kind. Ominous Rex answered that it was not the strength of the leviathans that he needed, but rather another quality of theirs.

As the mightiest of its kind and already soul-bound to Ominous Rex by expedience, Bemerul found its purpose as a vital pawn to its master's vast unfolding plot. While its kin were relegated as watchdogs to the waterways of the expanding Omin Empire and gradually fattened on souls and magic, the monster was gifted with a selection of magecraft most suited to its nature and given free reign over the breadth of the oceans. It swam and hunted and evolved as it was never able to in its millennia of imprisonment and even in the countless eons of freedom before that, its destiny now guided by a darker and more forceful will. With its new magics Bemerul even learned to sniff out secret doorways to realms beyond the bounds of the world and force its way through them, toppling mirror cities and scattering demons by the legion and always exulting in finding new challenges to pit itself against, such that it did not grudge overmuch the obligation to return inevitably to Ominous Gard to report the findings of its journeys and disgorge exotic specimens. As such, Bemerul rose in name and stature within the peculiar ways of Ominous Rex's circles, and across the Age of the Omin did it gather the sorcerous skill necessary to aid the Warlock-King in his greatest work, true to its long-promised word.

In the great ritual to slay Atlantis Bemerul contributed the power to contain – to open wide its oceanic depths of being to capture the rendered lifeforce of the Warlock-King's subjects, while serving as ritual master to its lesser kin stationed in the fortress-cities just as Ominous Rex was ritual master to his inner circle. Perhaps for all its efforts the great leviathan failed to guard its own soul as closely as it did the bounteous hecatomb that rushed forth from the slaughtered cities, because for all its might it was not spared the effects of the unimaginable arcane backlash that slew it and cast its master screaming from the world. Frozen and scattered irretrievably to the infinite Abyss save for its soul-bond, Bemerul's being had nevertheless shattered into fragments by the time Ominous Rex regained enough strength to recall the leviathan. It took more of the Warlock-King's strength to knit the creature's spirit back together and he had none left to do the same for Bemerul's equally massive body as he busied with the reconstruction of his realm. Instead, he guided Bemerul's spirit towards the frozen nebulae of mana trapped within the ruins of Ominous Gard and bade it to swim, so the vigor of its motions would thaw the geomantic potential of the ley and quicken it into circulation once more. To exert itself against such meager currents was beyond what the leviathan had given its word for and a joyless task besides, but Bemerul no longer possessed the capacity for disobedience and went upon it until Ominous Gard took its first breath and became the small and cold imitation of the world it once was. Satisfied, Ominous Rex turned to other concerns and left the ghostly leviathan to its own devices. However even as Bemerul fretted in unaccustomed idleness and restraint, the Warlock-King promised that he will find another duty for it yet.

The Dreamlands of old was known to Ominous Rex, a trackless realm that brushed against the material world in countless places, yet perpetually perilous and untamed in its antediluvian splendor. As Ominous Gard drew its own connections with the world, the Warlock-King grew confident that he could use the Dreamlands not only as a well-hidden staging ground for invasion but also as a fantastic recruiting ground to replenish his ranks. In an uncharacteristically risky and involved quest, Ominous Rex and his savants divined a favorable conjugation of dimensions so that his lieutenants could misdirect and impersonate the gatekeepers of Light Sleep at the right moment to create an uninterrupted passage from Ominous Gard to the Dreamlands. The spirit of Bemerul, the Warlock-King's chosen general for this task, was thus rushed past the boundaries of three worlds, erupting into the weird landscape of the Old Ones' slumber like a newborn sea.

The ancient leviathan was told that it was free to test its strength against all that it beheld and to proclaim its dominion over all that it wished; as long as it kept in its heart of hearts the knowledge that it was under the dominion of another, and that it heeded its master's orders in absolute secrecy. Save for these niggling conditions, Bemerul exulted in its new world: any place was preferable to the timeless torment of the Abyss, but in the Dreamlands it had found the perfect arena. As the leviathan's unclothed spirit soaked into its location of arrival, beaching unfortunate fauna and admixing with the strange energies of the dimension, it found a new awareness over all that it touched – the monstrous creatures, the alien flora, the land itself – a clamour of voices not unlike that of its solipsistic psychoscape. However unlike the catharic storms and the gratifying echoes of its soul-ocean, these voices were real and backed by the discordant wills of myriad minds, threatening to overbear Bemerul's own identity. But Bemerul had learned well from its master and pressed its own will against them, summoning its own inner creatures to subdue these new presences. For days the boundary between the mental and the spiritual blurred around the epicenter of the leviathan's arrival, as monster battled monster in a thousand coliseums real and imaginary. Some combatants furiously wrestled empty air as their opponent made counter-moves in their minds, others found themselves contending with furious apparitions of mist. Towns and travelers vanished or were mysteriously displaced across terrain and emerged drowned and waterlogged, while storms danced over clear skies and floods flashed over dry land. When the furious spectacle finally abated, it was replaced with the peace of an exhausted but triumphant Bemerul marveling at its first conquest, a bedraggled selection of Dreamlands denizens abasing themselves before an unseen godhead.

It was then that Bemerul's thirst for domination was fully awakened, and it gleefully set about using its newfound subjects as vessels for its spirit to expand its influence. Armies of invisible demons or blank-eyed monsters would descend upon towns and groves, driving before them mysterious tempests and plagues; dementia would grip whole populations and neighbor would tear apart neighbor as if seized by unbidden passions; trickles of women and children would steal away in the night under some silent summons, joining a vast and swelling army warping the landscape with their very passage, requiring no provender but emotion. At times the congregation would work itself into grand and intricate passion plays or orgies of bloodletting until the sky moves and the mountains sway, and the boundary between the spirit of Bemerul and the physicality of the Dreamlands would grows thin enough for the leviathan itself to step through in new and resplendent forms, inspiring its hosts to even greater heights of ecstasy.

It was not unlike Ominous Rex's own ascent in his own savage era and there is no telling if something of his nature had tainted the leviathan, but the latter's progress was far less restrained and far more indulgent of its own unbridled desires; unlike its master, Bemerul is no patient empire-builder. Eschewing the petty concerns of morale or consolidation, it moved as a force of nature across the very fabric of the Dreamlands itself and whatever of its host could follow did so, drawn inexorably onwards by the gravity of its power. However, those who sought to obstruct its passage find themselves facing a nigh-unstoppable army of mind made flesh, warped creatures captained by titanic archetypes and godlike aspects channeling great sorceries with their collective strength. Woe if Bemerul itself deigns to join the battle, melding all its followers into an avatar-beast of mindbending proportions that dissolves the very ground beneath it into primordial ocean!

The name of Bemerul is slowly leaving the wild places of the Dreamlands as it has had its fill of taming witless monsters. The innumerable new voices Bemerul had added to its soul-ocean had acclimatized it to the Dreamlands and its secret lore, and now it hungers for more even as it struggles to hold true to Ominous Rex's orders in its innermost citadel. To signify the next stage of its ambitions, it has crowned itself Hunter, a taboo title that civilized inhabitants of the Dreamlands hold in particular awe and dread. The kingdoms of the West and South are reacting with alarm to the news filtering through the natural hazards and animosities of the dimension, and even in the waking world increasing numbers of Dreamers are returning fevered or afflicted or not at all. Worse still, the ripples of the leviathan's rampage have reached Earth itself as free-willed monsters seek escape to a safer world through the Crosspoints that would accommodate them.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:48 pm

I like the fact that Bemerul is more than just a hokey giant monster, but that he personally embodies an abstract concept, namely 'the ocean'. It's actually quite hard to visualize him in a physical sense, since it's hard to visualize an ocean personified. His rampages in the Dreamlands provide for some frightening implications.
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Invictus » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:18 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I like the fact that Bemerul is more than just a hokey giant monster, but that he personally embodies an abstract concept, namely 'the ocean'. It's actually quite hard to visualize him in a physical sense, since it's hard to visualize an ocean personified. His rampages in the Dreamlands provide for some frightening implications.
Bemerul really was just an antediluvian proto-kaiju though, albeit with a sea where its soul should be.

Though it eventually did end up as some sort of Moorcockian chaos god/nightmare made flesh. Never let it be said that one can serve Ominous Rex and remain intact.
Last edited by Invictus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:47 pm

I like the idea of its soul being so huge and weird it's like a metaphorical ocean, I also think it's kind of interesting that Ominous Rex sent it into the Dreamlands without knowing that they are themselves the projection of other, even bigger souls. The results would probably be too psychedelic for me even to envisage.
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Ford Prefect » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:22 am

Honestly, my favourite part is probably how it takes Rex maybe about fifteen seconds to decide to leap straight into Bemerul's brain. That's what we call an entrepreneur!
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Re: Ominous Rex

Post by Invictus » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Coda: The Inner Circle

Diak the Shaker, the Tumbledown Prophet, the Denouncer in the Dark is strange for a Morlock; a descendant of the many failed Atlantean missions to civilize the subterranean people and train them to maintain the island empire's geomantic taps. The subtle science of geomantic engineering, built upon centuries of trial and error by a people far more gifted in magic, was obviously so beyond the rude traditions of the Morlocks that they would not even grasp its fundamentals within any sort of acceptable timeframe. The fact that impatient committees of the Crystal Guilds pushed for uncivilized natives do the work of their disaffected expert guildsmen reflected their hubris and short-sightedness; but most of all it reflected the slow trend towards introspection that was already creeping across Atlantean society, invisible without historical hindsight. Other motives were admittedly more noble: some religious orders of the State Cult also launched persistent efforts to convert Morlocks to the Atlantean way so that they could come to appreciate its evident superiority. These efforts too eventually lost steam as the missionary priests found the effort of maintaining the luxuries of their metropolitan civilization in the desolate Hollow World far more laborious than they had anticipated. Ultimately, all outreach came to a complete halt when the scandal of the Star Ban left all missionary religious orders sharply curtailed and the homeland unwilling to support any more ventures beyond its shores.

One by one, expeditions were sent to the taps that could still be located by old maps and hearsay to repair, automate and seal them at great costs in magic and ingenuity. They were then vouched for as tamper-proof, and the struggling, embryonic communities of Morlocks that were assembled around them were officially written off. Torn from their old ways and orphaned in their new ones, many of these tribes simply drifted away or died out, their Atlantean teachings forgotten; but some remained faithfully in their artificial habitat caves, steadfast to a purpose they never really comprehended and awaiting the return of a benefactor they had forgotten the name of, all the while bathing in the conflux of elemental energies that swirled around the crystal taps.

Ominous Rex first heard about the sole survivor of such a remnant tribe during one of his expeditions into the Hollow Earth against the hypothetical threat of the Morlock-men, mandated by an older Atlantis which had forgotten much. Scouting forces had been sent before the Warlock-King's main army to draft local Morlock tribes as guides and vanguard, as was his custom. However, at one point the native recruits fearfully refused to advance any further, blathering of a monster they named the Shaker. It dwelt, they whispered, by one of the mysterious glowing crystals that dotted the underways, an immortal, terrifying creature that wielded command over the earth itself. Ominous Rex was using the pretence of the tedious campaign to examine the workings of Atlantean geomancy up close, and he realized that what the Morlocks described was almost certainly a lost and automated tap-node in functional condition. Therefore, the purported monster was either an obstacle to be removed or an interesting specimen to study, and needed confronting either way. Overriding their misgivings, he compelled his tribal allies to guide his elite guard to the site of the tap-node where the monster was said to be lurking. To his surprise, they only found a twisted and hunchbacked Morlock, deformed even by the standards of his lumpen race, pottering about the ruins of a former Atlantean mission illuminated by the glow of a great crystal installation set at its centre, humming in tune with the ambient magic. Attempts to interrogate the creature on the whereabouts of the rumored monster only enraged Diak however, and with a tap of the gnarled stick he clutched he triggered an earthquake, shattering every tunnel in the entire region and burying Ominous Rex's army alive; advance forces, warbeasts, encamped main body and all.

Sorcerously ordering his disciples to extricate surviving pockets of troops and retreat, the Warlock-King blasted himself out of his earthly tomb to challenge the hunchback Morlock, only to be smashed once again between planes of grinding rock. As his initial surprise faded, Ominous Rex finally realized that the unspeakably potent aura of magic he had felt since approaching the tap did not come from the thrumming geomantic conflux, but from the diminutive figure itself. Prolonged exposure to the energies of the Atlantean node had somehow awakened a prodigious arcane potential in Diak, whose race had never been known for its magical abilities. His hypothesis would be proven beyond doubt when the remains of the node were excavated in later years and many gnaw-marks were found on the primary crystal body. Furthermore, Ominous Rex surmised that being basked in converging currents of autocthonous mana for half an age must have given Diak an instinctive command over the same element. A contest of power with the Morlock in its home ground would therefore not be to the Warlock-King's advantage. Calling upon the spirits of the air to bear him, Ominous Rex slipped into intangibility and withdrew to the surface. His Atlantean overseers would surely see the disastrous outcome of the expedition as a defeat, but it seemed to him that he had instead unearthed another puzzle piece for his growing conspiracy.

Once his legions had mourned their losses and avenged them with other triumphs, Ominous Rex returned privately to scry the Morlock mutant from afar, probing for weaknesses in a serious foe. To his disappointment, Diak displayed remarkably few openings for a creature so careless. The Morlock did not seem to need to sleep or eat, and attempted neither except the times it would occasionally pick up a rock and gnaw on it in boredom until it was reduced to grit between his seemingly indestructible teeth. The Morlock drank from a spring some miles away when it could be motivated to make the trek through the twisting underways, though he apparently suffered nothing as a result of any failure to do so. And though his gait was always slow and laborious, there seemed to be no end to his unnatural stamina. He lived with no possessions except his stick, which never left his side during his meandering, murmuring circuits around the tap-node he lived by. How could a creature that wanted for so little be swayed by anything but force, which was a measure that had already proven so imprudent and inadequate? The thoughts of the Warlock-King went back to a time when he could not overcome obstacles with power alone, and though such memories were distant and unfamiliar as though from a life he had long since renounced, Ominous Rex recalled an old and cunning story which could aid him in his current conundrum.

In time Ominous Rex ordered a way cleared through the earthquake-shattered warrens, widening and straightening them with a grandness that threw the underground tribes into confusion. The Warlock-King let excitement spread unchecked among the dim kind, until even the reclusive Diak had to put aside his rounds to investigate all the hubbub for himself. What greeted the hobbling and suspicious creature by the time it reached the source of the commotion was no less than Ominous Rex himself in stately wear, with a lavish procession of carriages in tow. He apologized for heeding the foul rumours about the misshapen Morlock which were doubtlessly spread by his ignorant and fearful neighbours, and offered peace in the form of exquisite wine. Surely, the Warlock-King suggested, one must tire of drinking bitter spring-water. Diak was a creature of habit and it required much more of Ominous Rex's wits to persuade him to have a taste of anything new, but once the first of the sweet and heady liquor passed his callused lips he quickly demanded more. Of course, the liquor was also a selection of the most potent sleeping potions Ominous Gard's ateliers could brew, specifically designed to overbear the Morlock's constitution, but even so Diak managed to drain Ominous Rex's entire train before slipping into an unnatural slumber.

By the time Diak shrugged off his warm and placid dreams, Ominous Rex was nowhere to be seen and, as it turned out, so was his beloved stick. Months of earthquakes raged as he ransacked the Hollow World and terrorized its inhabitants for his only possession, until desperate and still lacking answers, he ascended to the surface upon a geyser of destruction to seek out Ominous Rex, the sole name he knew out of all who lived there. All Morlocks knew the Warlock-King and his armies as intruders from the accursed surface, that plane of harsh light and unbroken emptiness where the children of the Hollow World feared to tread. But Diak was too enraged to fear. When the sunlight stabbed down at his eyes he merely roared and pounded the earth until it disgorged an ash-spewing caldera, darkening the sky for dozens of miles around. In the fortress cities of the Omin, the sorcerer-sentries scrying from their high towers grew alarmed, for rare were those who still had the temerity to tamper with the domains of the Warlock-King. Swift word was sent to Ominous Gard, and swifter still was the reply that startled those acolytes unaccustomed to seeing their liege act with such haste or abandon: the Warlock-King would see to the threat personally.

The brighter amongst the Morlocks often conjectured how intruders to the Hollow World lived their lives in the scorching spaces above. Diak did not count himself as a bright Morlock, and thus he was completely unprepared for the sight which greeted him from parted ash-clouds as he stomped about aimlessly on the surface. He gazed in slack-jawed shock as Ominous Rex descended on his flying pleasure-barge converted from a massive Lemurian skygalley, its oar-spears decked in garlands and its sails filled with perfumed winds, while seventy-seven flying sylphs cavorted about the vessel and played their unearthly instruments (the services of which was paid for with seven hundred and seventy-seven virgin catamites, taken up to the sylphs' frozen realms and never seen again). The Warlock-King hailed Diak as an honoured guest and cajoled him aboard the terrifying flying thing, seeking only to reciprocate his hospitality when Ominous Rex was the visitor to his subterranean domain. And thus the two made a brief tour of the realms of Omin even as Ominous Rex plied his guest with courteous words and knowing sympathies all the while, and the Morlock, who had never known the touch of silk nor the taste of sweetmeats, forgot his wrath entirely. Seizing this moment, Ominous Rex argued that he could not have stolen Diak's beloved stick – after all they had already made peace, had they not? – but he did know who did. Diak immediately demanded that he divulge the identity of the thief, but Ominous Rex sorrowfully replied that he had been sworn to secrecy over the matter, and as a king he could not break his word. A half-enraged, half-pacified Diak hemmed and hawed, but eventually said what Ominous Rex expected the creature in its childlike ingenuity would say: that the Warlock-King would be free of his oath if he swore a stronger oath to Diak to reveal who stole his stick. Ominous Rex declared this a marvellous idea, and offered to make a magical oath that left no secrets between two souls. Diak acquiesced immediately, and his willingness vastly sped the grand and intricate processes of the unrefined ritual. And thus was Diak soul-bound forevermore, and without the loss of a single more life.

In due course, Ominous Rex divulged that it was the Atlanteans who stole Diak's stick. Diak was duly incensed, but he was also hesitant to clamour for retribution – he still retained some ill-understood measure of awe for the distant people, and found it easier to agree to Ominous Rex's offer to steal the stick back for him with his superior guile. After an appropriate delay, the Warlock-King reunited the starve of fossilized hardwood with the deliriously grateful Morlock. Even without the unbreakable strictures of the soul-binding, the crude farce of a masquerade may have been sufficient; Diak, simple creature that he is, has faithfully followed Ominous Rex since. Through the Warlock-King's later expeditions, Diak dutifully raised fortresses and favourable terrain for his armies and dispatched his foes with fissures and sinkholes, cementing his unapproachable military superiority against the unfortunate victims of his curiosity. Diak was also returned to the Hollow Earth once and again to use his unique attunement to Altantean energies to sound out the hidden subterranean weaknesses of and geomantic points of entry to the empire. But as to the downfall of his accidental empowerers, Diak played an even more fateful part. At the great ritual to slay Atlantis, Diak served as ritual master to those of his kind under the Omin's thumb just as Bemerul did its brood. More importantly, he contributed his freak affinity to geomancy – to the living power of leylines as well as the crystalline resonances of Atlantean artifice – that allowed the spell to so unerringly seek out and wreck every crystal and every enchantment, and such enmeshment also spelled his death sentence when the global backlash of power overwhelmed the ritual. Nevertheless, the trauma of his entrapment in the Abyss and his bodily resurrection did not break his obedience to the Warlock-King: the soul-bond's power was a deep and subtle thing, and Diak was in any case ill-equipped to even realize its presence.

In the present age, Diak is still the Diak of old and would prefer to be little else – short and hunchbacked, with twisted limbs and a dragging gait – but perhaps made a little more polished by Ominous Rex's laborious tutelage, and a little more hardened by the dark deeds he had been sent out to commit. Barring extraordinary circumstances, Diak is as immortal and invulnerable as an outcrop of the world itself, and can instinctively draw on the magic of the leylines to grant himself tremendous strength and spellcasting force. More formidable still is his command over the substance of the earth, and indeed this power is rarely subtle enough to accomplish anything less than geographic upheaval. Diak is also capable of other magics as befitting of a member of the Inner Circle, but in his case they are limited to cantrips of communication and lesser alchemy. However, Diak's greatest power is his master's. Just as the Deepest Law allows Ominous Rex to claim all magic as his own, it also allows Diak a degree of the same. The mutant Morlock's very presence draws stray power to himself and even disrupts more tightly bound forms of spellwork. Delicate enchantments shatter between his teeth and arcane wards warp like clay as he presses against them with his bare hands. Little of Diak's work would not raise the collective alarm of today's wizardry, and for this reason Ominous Rex has so far refrained from unleashing him openly.

Nevertheless, Ominous Rex has found few enough tasks outside the Morlock's native environment that Diak can perform competently. The latter has little stomach for the intrigues of greater Ominous Gard, and his temper and unapproachable power has made him suitable only as a gruff herald for his master's court. It is with some ambivalence that Diak the Shaker, a weapon of supreme potence, has been sent out into the Hollow World to sniff out and map the occult geographies of the modern age, bewilderingly complex as they are compared to then. An additional task is the preparation of the deep realm as another potential front for Ominous Gard's incursion. To this end Diak plants seeds of his master's power in the roots of the world, where they will fester and eventually grow into sites suitable for portal and sanctums. And for this reason Diak also wages a silent but deadly war against the dominion of the mad scientist-king known as The Shrew, shattering his holdings and leading his subjects to rebellion. So far The Shrew holds the line against the onslaught, but only through the profusion of his genetically and cybernetically enhanced Mega-Morlocks, whom Diak crush with relish.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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