The Vemrillion Syndicate, also known as the New Brotherhood, the Insurgent Alliance, and the Inner Order, is a large organization of violent races, criminals, gangsters, and psychopaths recruited by Fenric Vermillion, a deadly crime lord and insurrectionist who has for years fought a bloody campaign against the Mendel Pact over the title of Ugandalore, which the Vermillion family desperately wants. Unlike other rebel movements, which have used cells and terrorism to achieve their goals, the Vermillion Syndicate prefers a more direct approach; gathering as many soldiers and weapons as possible to strike their foes. This often leads to bloody battles and huge losses on both sides. The organization is believed to be heavily run from Mirus' Eastern Shore, the Red Veil, and tribal reservation areas on Ugandalore.
Before the Split EditThe Syndicate had its first small roots on the planet Vermis, the Mendel-owned world ran by the Clett's distant Lupotragus relatives; the Vermillion clan. Fighting loyally for their masters for two centuries, the Vermillions were in a good position. However, all that would change. Reyner Vermillion, youngest male of the newest generation, harbored a dislike for Barda Clett's rule and the way he did things. But he was too young to command his own troops and there were no rebel organizations he wished to join. This would change when Iyoka Quista had Javik Vort and his men betray first the Blood Knights, then their successors the Tul'kaarin. As the Quista Clan and Iyoka's organization the Ta'adhartha absorbed what was left of the Blood Knights, Javik's Ugandalorian gang the Suicide Watch promoted an atheist, feudalist and isolationist answer to Ugandalore the Untouchable's rule, Reyner and those few who would follow him joined Vort and his halfway-Groxic clan. Fenric and his troops, including his brothers, were sent to stop him.
But Barda underestimated Fenric's loyalty to family. Having seen both his parents, a brother, and a sister die, Fenric had no intention of killing or excommunicating Reyner. Instead, his armada joined the Suicide Watch. Fenric's men, forever called "the Crusaders" in disdain by loyalist Mendel, conducted a purge in their ranks, executing any they suspected of having loyalty to Barda. They would conduct several operations against the Mendel, but not before Fenric transmitted an apologetic message to Barda officially confirming his betrayal. Fenric could not bear to backstab a friend without at least letting him know first. After that, when the Suicide Watch joined the newly-formed and Darkling-led organization called the Blood Brotherhood, Fenric and his family followed them into service.
The Vermillions and their men fought on several fronts, including the fateful battle on the planet called Weeping Sorrows where the Brotherhood leader, a Darkling called Abaddon, was killed by King Brygon of the Volver Empire. Fenric refused to participate in the new leadership organization, Brotherhood Command. He knew he was no good at politics, and preferred a military role. After that, the reorganized Brotherhood moved into the Red Veil, absorbing and allying with the Simnu Socialist Ascension and the Viterva Khmara on the way. In the Red Veil, the Brotherhood sat itself up as the lords of the new lands. They made it their base of operations. Soon after, a war broke out in Cyrannus between many different factions coming from Mirus. The Blood Brothers went as well, mainly to stop Glacier's brother Frostbite from taking over the region. The Vermillions helped the Brotherhood win many battles, but ultimately retreated with the rest of them during the Battle of Draconis when many of the Brotherhood's ships were shot down.
The Vermillions and their close allies would also fight on behalf of the Brotherhood during the Red Veil War, a massive war between the Blood Brotherhood and allies, the tribals who resented their rule, violent Spodist extremists, and various mercenary and corporate organizations who had stakes in the Red Veil threatened by the incursion of the communistic Brotherhood. The war was won by the Brotherhood, the victory causing the addition of millions of tribal soldiers to its army. As a result of the rebellion, the various regions of the Red Veil were divided by the Brotherhood Command and ruled over by appointed lords to prevent another uprising.
The New Enlightened War Edit
Soon after the Cyrannus-Mirus War, Reyner Vermillion was given control of a region of the Red Veil called Starscape and married Princess Scovia, leader of the Scythiag Empire. Her brother, Arryg Wainrider, became Fenric's best general and most loyal friend. Because of this, and rewards given to him by Brotherhood Command, Reyner commanded a 25 million strong force of Scythiag soldiers, recruits from Starscape, mainly of the Dingo, Weithgar, and Skinwalker races, and a hired Prizrak force called the Micogenic Brigade. Fenric owned the Darksky region, and commanded two million men, made up of his own Crusaders, his wife Celyre Ferquievy's soldiers, and Trinary, Jammat, Yagdrassil, and Sasanik tribals from Darksky.
However, the stability of the Brotherhood was being threatened. A small force of remnants from the Enlightenment Collaborative, the New Enlightened, which included most of the Alliance's Olympians, had trespassed into the Red Veil, settling on the eastern edge of it. This was enough to put the entire Brotherhood on edge. The last straw was when the New Enlightened sent scouts through the Blacksmear, a region of the Red Veil controlled by Fenric's general, a Jammat called the Bonerider. The Bonerider's forces caught the intruders, and the Bonerider himself cut out their eyes and sent their bodies floating back to New Enlightened space. When their ruling council found out, they prepared to go to war with the Brotherhood, falsely believing their army was a loose coalition of tribals and savages. They sent their army in, but were attacked continuously by Arryg Wainrider's vanguard. Finally, during a battle on the snow-covered planet of Wildside, New Enlightened forces ambushed Arryg's vanguard, destroyed it, and killed Wainrider himself.
This split the Brotherhood in two. Many of the original members and their factions, like Glacier, Iyoka Quista, and Javik Vort wanted to wait for an opportune time to strike. The other half, mainly led by the Vermillion clan and Arryg's sister Scovia, demanded the immediate death of those responsible for Wainrider's death. Reyner impulsively moved his forces into the Northern Territory and the Black Channel of the Red Veil in preparation of war. Fenric relucantly had the Bonerider and another of his tribal generals, a Muthanna called Grenka the Flathead gather their forces in the Blacksmear to protect his brother if required. Reyner began raiding the New Enlightened much as Arryg had done, keeping them out of the Veil. This proved to be a huge setback for them, since Reyner's numbers could effectively blockade the region, even if it was against orders. Ironically, this is not what set off the war. The catalyst was provided by a younger, more hate-filled hand.
Pollimer Ghurka was the only surviving member of the royal family of the Carpathian Khanate, an extragalactic empire that invaded Mirus and was defeated by the Collaborative. Pollimer, still in his teens, tried to rally a remnant force, but it was crushed once again by the Collaborative before he could do anything. The Brotherhood took him and his surviving men in, and they became a distant yet useful part of the Brotherhood. But Pollimer was very hotheaded. He demanded revenge and refused to wait for it. When he discovered that the New Enlightened had moved Matrukoris into the Red Veil, he knew it was the perfect target to attack. Nothing his advisers told him could cool his head. Finally, he took all his men, as well as as many Brothers looking for vengeance as he could and went after Matrukoris. He punched through Reyner's blockade, who committed all his own forces to the attack when he realized Pollimer was attacking Matrukoris. They were then joined by the Bonerider and Grenka the Flathead's forces upon Fenric's orders, who joined the battle as well.
When this force, about forty million strong, attacked Matrukoris by surprise, thus overwhelmed its defenses and landed on the station. When they scored this victory, other Brotherhood generals joined the battle. Iyoka committed his Volver Knights and Cthonian forces to the battle. They were joined by Glacier's Aeba Shuka, Viterva Khmara Zealots, and the Suicide Watch. The Darklings were very irked by this display of insubordination. Despite that, the Brotherhood easily overwhelmed the planet's guards, since the majority of the New Enlightened's forces were spread out trying to get around Reyner's blockade. Within a few hours, an army of AWOL soldiers captured the planet their predecessors had spent years trying and failing to take over. Matrukoris was taken deep into the center of the Red Veil, and the New Enlightened was left without a capital. They regrouped on Wildside, where they attempted to create a plan to retake Matrukoris. But it was not to be.
Spurned on by the victory, Fenric's army landed on Wildside intent on crushing the New Enlightened once and for all. The army destroyed all of the New Enlightened's outposts, and captured, killed, or pushed back any of their New Enlightened who were outside of the main base. Unfamilliar with the terrain and cut off from Olympian support, the Covenant pariahs were easy prey. The only casualty of significance was Fenric's cousin by marriage and leader of the Valrakian Feudalry, Hadrian Kardvark. While leading his berserkers across a stone bridge spanning an ice river, Hadrian was decapitated in a swordfight by the Ahrat of the Solar Siblings, Elegant'e. The victorious Brotherhood army then began the long march towards the main base. However, a huge snowstorm, which was common on the planet and the main reason it was neither colonized nor inhabited by indigenous life, messed up the battle plans of both parties. The heavy snows froze most of the army's pack, mount, and food creatures to death and shorted out much of their electronic equipment. It also filled many of the passes with snows and forced Fenric's forces to crawl through meters of snow to reach a place suitable enough to camp at.
But the worst was yet to come. Not wishing to die, all of Fenric's mercenaries and some of the desert or jungle-loving tribals deserted, running for the ships the army had landed in but could not take to the base itself due to an ion cannon. To top it off, New Enlightened members on jetbikes attacked the camp at night, killing the Chieftain of the Variags, called Thagg the Mountainthrower. However, they lost more than they gained, with the Bonerider killing the Archon in charge of the assault. During the attack, all of the Brotherhood's food, ammo crates, and artillery were destroyed. However, Fenric was determined not to retreat and stain his family name. He ordered the leader of the Kingdom of Hyrax, King Kallinox, to take his men back to the ships and contact Brotherhood Command for more men and resources. The next morning, Fenric found that all of his men but the Ferquievys, Scythiags, and his own Crusaders had fled back to the ships. Apart from them, only the Bonerider and Grenka had remained, with their closest guards. Also remaining were the giants known as the Zek and their loyal and ferocious leader Reg Hurrex. The nearly-extinct race of giants had gone from a few hundred to less than a dozen during the war, and Hurrex was determined to see his race have one last memorable moment. Out of options, Fenric continued to wait for the Hyrax to return with more men. They did not. Realizing the outcome, Fenric ordered his remaining men forward anyway, determined to die a warrior's death rather than freeze to death or be shamed as a rogue. His men loyally followed him.
The New Enlightened Olympians met Fenric in battle just outside the fortress. They rained down explosive shrapnel down on the charging Scythiags, whose wooden arrows were relatively ineffective against the New Enlightened's power armor. Fenric himself threw down his gun and used his sword to hack down as many New Enlightened pariah soldiers as he could reach. During the volleys, the last of Fenric's cavalry was wiped out, alongside all the Zek except Reg Hurrex himself. Finally, they were surrounded by a ring of veteran Olympians wearing extremely heavy-duty power armor. Using their shrapnel launchers, chainblades and power fists, they blasted, eviscerated and pulverised dozens more of Fenric's men. Fenric knew they had lost, and prepared to lead his men on one last charge.
But his battle cry was drowned out by warhorns and the howls of charging warriors. Kallinax had returned with his Hyrax soldiers, the deserters he had gathered up, and a fresh Brotherhood force consisting of Viterva Khmara, Blood Cthonians, Volver Knights, and tens of thousands of Marauder tribesmen. The warriors tore the slow New Enlightened Terminator Troopers apart and laid the path to the base bare. The New Enlightened Olympians barricaded the doors, but a mortally wounded Hurrex tore down the gate and allowed the Brotherhood inside. The Olympians inside prepared for an heroic last stand and were, over the course of an hour, all cut down, the last ones continuing to use their rifles as clubs when their ammunition had ran uot. The majority of the New Enlightened's fleet escaped, but it was clear they would not escape the system alive if they did not reclaim Matrukoris and use it to escape.
The New Enlightened fleet flew straight for Matrukoris. With Reyner's blockade scattered due to the battles on Matrukoris and Wildside, they were able to slip onto the station, where they met little resistance but for some stationed guards and marauding plunderers, which they quickly dealt with. But before they could reclaim Matrukoris' command station, the Blood Darklings arrived with a huge army made up mainly of Glacier's men, determined not to lose their prize. Both sides lost many men, including important leaders. Finally, New Enlightened leaders reached the control station and put Matrukoris into slipspace. They then jettisoned parts of the station while still inside the slipspace tunnel, sending them to parts unknown. The Brotherhood lost almost half its strength with that move, and the New Enlightened made it out of the Red Veil.
The Brotherhood was damaged but not destroyed. Glacier had survived the slipspace event by riding on a piece of Matrukoris. He would land on another planet, but would eventually make it back to the Veil. Darkling Terror and his Convents were not part of the battle. But with half its forces teleported into oblivion, the majority of the Brotherhood was made up of those who would rather follow Fenric than Brotherhood Command. This would be the spark that started the next war, the one that would lead to the creation of the Vermillion Syndicate itself.
The Communion Conflict Edit
Almost immediately after the war with the New Enlightened, the Blood Brotherhood began tearing itself apart. The majority wanted to follow Fenric and the other Vermillions, while Terror and his men desired to consolidate power around the Darklings once again. Glacier had not yet returned, putting an even heavier strain on their loyalties. This would eventually reach the boiling point when, in fear of losing his power, Terror made alliances with remnants of the Proditkar Movement, including the leader of the Unitech Citadel of Sapients, a massively intelligent Psiteon known as the Father-Brain. When the rank-and-file of the Brotherhood discovered that Terror had allied with those the Brotherhood had broke away from and fought long wars against, they rebelled with Fenric at their head. He declared himself the Supreme Leader, and consolidated his forces into one organization, not yet called the Vermillion Syndicate.
On Fenric's side were the Red Veil tribesmen, his Crusaders, the Kingdom of Hyrax, the Suicide Watch, the Valrakien Feudalry, the Ferquievys, Goar Taboryur's gang and the Scythiag Empire. Many of the gangs and cartels Glacier had recruited long ago, such as the Spyke Syndicate, Sids and Sars' gang, and the Corsairs of Corruption were still loyal to Terror, as were the Regyareyen Anarchate, the Viterva Khmara, the Simnu, Aeba Shuka, the Ta'adhartha, the Chu'ot Cognatus, the Carpathian Khanate (reluctantly), Sheba Shuka, and Baquea Ezin Dago Onargarriak - Benetako This meant that Fenric's side was outgunned but not outnumbered, due to the fact that the majority of deaths caused during the retaking of Matrukoris were loyalists. Only a few hundred members of the Ta'adhartha and Aeba Shuka remained, the Viterva Khmara were reeling from the glassing of their world, and the Simnu grew tired of war. Also, Fenric had one ace card in his sleeve:
The Ta'adhartha force that went to Wildside to save Fenric, consisting of a few thousand Knights of various rank and the majority of the Cthonians, were being led by Daal and Dante Quista, brothers, cousins to Iyoka Quista. They were both well connected but resentful of Iyoka for the power he held. After the battle of Wildside, they became loyal to Fenric. Fenric gave them a loyalty test: they were to kill Iyoka before he could mobilize his troops against the Brotherhood rebels. An ambitious fellow, Daal organized and led the attack on Iyoka's mansion himself. Iyoka was able to cut down dozens of Daal's men until a squad shot him in the back with a volley of lasers. Mortally wounded, Iyoka could only lay and snarl as Daal revealed himself. Daal allowed Iyoka to remove his helmet and speak his last words before striking him on the top of the head with his sword, splitting Iyoka's skull and killing him instantly. Daal and his men then departed, leaving Iyoka's body to rot where he had fallen, amidst the bodies of the warriors he had dispatched. The Impaler, the Shadow Volver, the Lord of Spears was dead, slain by his own cousin. This was when Terror truly began fearing Fenric's power. If he could corrupt members of the Ta'adhartha then not even his own Darklings were safe from his sway.
So Terror decided to strike back. Reyner Vermillion was once again amassing his fleet, this time on his brother's orders, to enter the Red Veil and purge the Brotherhood from its core. But it was not to be. On board his massive supercarrier called the Convalescence, Reyner thought himself untouchable. But while staring out the windows on the bridge, a Darkling assassin materialized behind him and jammed a sword of shadow through his back, killing him instantly. The Darkling then vanished, leaving Reyner Vermillion dead in a puddle of blood. When Fenric learned the news, he was furious beyond measure. He added Reyner's fleet to his own and immediately headed for the center of Blood Brotherhood territory. Aboard his flagship Irredeemable, Fenric laid siege to the Brotherhood's bloackade, shooting down several ships. He was only repelled by the Darkling ships themselves. But now it was certain. It was war.
To be continued
The War of Thorns Edit
The Mendel Schism Edit
After the War of Thorns ended, Fenric and his squad were left victorious, but low on ships, weapons, supplies, and men. With the Blood Brotherhood all but destroyed, Fenric added those who would follow him to his gang and kept the leaders who would not imprisoned deep in the bowels of his new flagship, Bloody Raven. Among the imprisoned were Morg, Pang Vore, Pollimer Ghurka, and Lime the Changeling. These four still harbored loyalty to the now-deceased Glacier, except for Pollimer who was imprisoned simply because he could not be trusted. Fenric refrained from killing them only because he figured they would be useful at some point.
Fenric's ragged fleet traveled space for days until they received word that an Ugandalorian called the Hand of Retribution had killed Barda Clett and taken over the Mendel Pact. This caught Fenric's interest, because he himself harbored desires to claim the throne. However, his army was weak, and Fenric knew he needed a bigger one to be of use to the Hand. His henchman the Bonerider suggested going to the Cthulhu Bank Accord for a loan. Fenric, the Bonerider, and the new second-in-command of the Syndicate, Hadrian Kardvark's sister Trevagr, traveled to the Bank and asked for a large loan. The Accord was initially reluctant, knowing Fenric and his pack were a broken rabble, but when Trevagr threw Glacier's severed head onto the table, the Bank gave in and paid them.
Using the money, Fenric hired Force Seventeen, an elite mercenary gang led by a Duetzalanian known only as the Brown Bastard. However, during the meeting, Fenric was also introduced to Covrig, a member of the Hyperspace Cartel, and the Shattered Princeling, a mutilated Duetzalanian harboring a hatred of Gridlock and Galorian. The three mercenaries gave Fenric his money back on the condition that they also take down the Zarbania Powers and install the Princeling as its leader. Fenric accepted and added the two gangs' seven million men to his army.
But Fenric knew he needed more. Still, there was nobody else in range to recruit. Then the Shattered Princeling told him of a legend that caught his attention. Apparently, the Wasterlings that Morg had unintentionally released on the universe had not been the "real" Wasterling Emirate they had originally heard about. It turned out that they had only been imitations, the form assumed by the demonic Shin Akiba. The real Wasterlings still lived, as isolated and cut off as they had been assumed to be by the ignorant Unitech. Fenric pried the coordinates to the Wasterlings' homeworld from Morg, promising him a possible pardon if he found the Wasterlings. Fenric intended to possibly bribe them the same manner as Morg had done to their imitations. So they set a course for the planet of the Wasterling Emirate.
Fenric, Trevagr, and a force of Scythiags went down to the planet's surface, seeking them out. The Wasterlings found them first, encircling the group and bringing them before their Emirs before the party could utter more than a few sentences. Taken before the Emirs, they explained their goals; to ally with the Hand of Retribution and take revenge on all who had wronged them. While Fenric could not promise the Emirs revenge on the Shin Akiba, he could promise them an escape from their desert world and the chance to expand their Emirate to other worlds. The ever-ambitious Emirs liked the sound of that, and they agreed, on the condition that Fenric evacuate the fifty million women and children hiding under some sand dunes.
For the better part of the day, Fenric did so, saving about three million and bringing them to Alpha Rosetta. Unfortunately, an accident with a ship caused the dunes to collapse, killing all the remaining Wasterlings except for two million survivors who were out of range. Fenric saved those, and returned to report his failure to the Emirs, who cared little. They had wanted that population gone, and either way their goal had been achieved. Trevagr was disgusted with them, and opened fire, causing Fenric's men to start shooting as well. The Emirs were killed, and Fenric had a Wasterling captain gather the rest of the elders and chiefs. He convinced the leaders to let him take the remaining twenty-five million Wasterlings offworld. They accepted, but Fenric kept ten million in his fleet for use as soldiers later.
With ten million Wasterling soldiers, seven million mercenaries, and his remaining men, Fenric believed his army to be large enough to approach the hand. They set course for Ugandalore and called for a meeting with the Hand. He accepted and met with Fenric and his inner circle. The Hand of Retribution, while seeing Fenric as little more than a traitor and a killer, did want to use his men. So he gave Fenric a task he believe would result in his death: go to the Mountain Forests of the Northern Continent and recruit the Mountain Clans to the cause, then go to the Bleeding Plains and convince the Feral Clans to join them. The Hand hoped the Clans would butcher Fenric so he could take command of his forces, but Fenric went anyway.
Fenric spent the next few days with the Mountain Clans. He discovered them to be extremely hospitable hosts who fed him and gave him and his soldiers many gifts. When he brought up the idea of finishing off Clan Clett, the chieftains were thrilled and hoped to expand their lands. They joined him entirely, providing him with about five thousand warriors. The Feral Clans were another matter. They were not unified, barely spoke Common Ugandalorian, and despised outsiders. But when Fenric's army arrived, the Ferals knew it was do or die; if they did not bow to Fenric, they would be slaughtered. So one by one, the clans joined him. They brought about three thousand men.
When Fenric returned with the clans in tow, the Hand was shocked, but took it in stride. He decided that Fenric might make a worthy ally after all. Later, Fenric would oversee the wedding between his brother Raeger and a Wasterling Warrior-Princess. Fenric was glad, because it put the Wasterlings even further into his corner. He also appointed a feared Wasterling chieftain known only as the Redeye as one of his lieutenants. During this time, two more clans would bow to Fenric, not the Hand: Clans Urggum and Krayrett. Fenric had the Krayrett's chieftain killed so his son, Harrion, would bow to him. He also forced his brother Halverg to marry one of the Feral Clan leaders, who was something of a prophetess to her people.
Fenric then set his sights on another goal: he would travel to the dark planet of Lagorth and recruit the native Lagorthenes to his cause. A ferocious race of pirates and raiders, the Lagorthenes were confined to their world by the Ugandalorains for a reason. They were foul, savage beasts who raped and sacrificed those they did not kill. Some of Fenric's men, mainly his Crusaders, were concerned at the thought of bringing the beats to their home, but the Hand of Retribution was intrigued. He knew brining in the Lagorthenes would sway public opinion against him, but the Lagorthi were as strong as Kadarian Giants, and far more vicious.
Fenric and his men immediately set off for Lagorth, and touched down all over the world. He and his men went from camp to village, keep to castle, and forced the various robber lords and judge-kings to meet in one secluded spot, where Fenric talked them all into joining him. Dozens of reavers, pirate princes, and slave-barons pledged their allegiance to Fenric and his organization. The following day, a hundred million Lagorthenes were brought to Ugandalore on cargo ships and supercarriers, and were promptly dispersed across the lands. This led to much carnage as the Lagorthi slaughtered those who would not leave the lands they claimed, as well as genocide of the planet's Kaguran, who were opposed to the Hand's rule and despised by the Lagorthenes. Kaguran were killed on sight, leading to them being entirely wiped out in certain areas.
Around this time, Fenric learned that Kirta Clett was reuniting all the Ugandalorian rebel factions. To gain an advantage, he ordered Javik Vort to submit to her when she came for him and to pledge his forces to her, so he could act as a spy. Vort accepted, and made preparations. In the meantime, Fenric set out to gather more allies to protect his new world. He knew of two viable candidates. The Pseudopath Empire and the Scythe of Glory. Neither had been heard from much since the dissolution of the UAE, and were considered hostile by the Mendel.
Fenric, taking with him only a small portion of his forces and leaving his brothers in charge on Ugandalore, approached Dread, leader of the Scythe of Glory first. The Scythe was known to be close allies to the old United Federation of Glory, but they despised the Mendel Pact. Fenric had little trouble recruiting the Scythe, who, due to the events of the Stryptospondilus War, had a relatively weak army but a powerful fleet. His next target would be the Pseudopath, but they would be a tougher nut to crack. After the truce between the Pseudopath and Multus, the assumed Pseudopath leader Vertigo had made close allies with many former UAE factions, including the UAE. But Fenric knew there were many hardliners who despised the Multus still. Indeed, the Pseudopath had fought a violent civil war over it.
Unfortunately for Fenric, Vertigo had won the war, and an insurgent faction, Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha, had sprung up to oppose Vertigo. But they were hated enemies of the former Blood Brotherhood Fenric had been affiliated with. What was more, the Pseudopath rebels had suffered a schism, and the resulting faction Baquea Ezin Dago Onargarriak - Benetako was loyal to Glacier and Terror. Indeed, their leader Pang Vore was currently imprisoned aboard the Bloody Raven. Fenric knew he could negotiate neither with Vertigo or the insurgents; he would have to create a third force within the Pseudopath. So he approached three men. Viscivore, Archon of the House of Bloodfinders, Sempralith, Archon of the House of Impunity, and Pesticide, archon of the House of Starvation. An unexpected fourth attender of this meeting was Commandante Diabhal, leader of Ceanglaichean Sìth Nach Eil Iomchaidh, another Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha splinter group. Diabhal despised both pang Vore and Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha's current leader, Gecko Lacerator. He would side with anyone to kill them both.
These four Pseudopath would come to be known as the "Big Four". They decided that Pang Vore and Gecko Lacerator would have to die before they would commit to a new rebellion against Vertigo. By cutting off the corrupted heads of two corrupted snakes, the Big Four intended to take over the Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha title and eliminate Vertigo once and for all. Fenric already had Vore, but to seal the deal he needed to kill Lacerator as well. To do so, he employed Daal and Dante Quista to pose as weapons dealers to attract Gecko's attention. The ploy worked, and Gecko was captured.
The two rebel leaders were brought to the Pseudopath's "homeworld" of Concordia, to Viscivore's keep specifically, where Fenric used a Lagorthene's vibro-axe to decapitate them both while the Big Four looked on. With the deaths of their last obstacles, the four declared the formation of a new organization - Leanúnachas Níl An Tsíocháin Inghlactha, signifying the return to the original rebellion and the rebel movement's origins. This attracted the remnants of the rebels, combined with the Sempralith, Viscivore, and Pesticides' Houses. Fenric now had a strong force to work with, with the leaders' keeps pumping out soldiers and weapons of war. Fenric returned to Ugandalore with the Scythe of Glory and the new Pseudopath rebels in tow, reinforcing the Hand's rule.
Later, Fenric was approached by the Ascetic Order, a fragment of the Tul'kaarin movement, which had bent the knee to Kirta Clett. Unwilling to accept this, the Ascetics fled aboard one supercarrier and pledged themselves to Fenric. Fenric was glad to have these warriors at his command, and he would need them too. Because that same day Kirta Clett assaulted Ugandalore with an army of former Ugandalorian rebels and other supporters, including warriors from the Tyris Major based United Knights Alliance. Fenric immediately scrambled all of his forces to protect the world, though he was cautious to keep his own ships out of the firing line.
In space, the Scythe and Pseudopath fought hard against Kirta's fleet, but they were outnumbered and Kirta was able to slip several ships by them. However, Kirta's forces were weakened by the Suicide Watch's betrayal, which Fenric had planned all along. Even with that blow, Kirta's forces were able to push the Hand and the Lagorthene back. Finally, Mendel forces from the Borealis colonies led by Hrothur Tenauo landed on the planet and beat the Lagorthenes back. Hrothur himself killed several Lagorthene commanders, including the Hornskull and Freefaller. In an attempt to halt Hrothur's advance before he reached Fenric's fortress, Javik Vort led a cavalry charge made up of Suicide Watch bikers and the Ascetics mounted on their Turakhs. They met Hrothur's forces in battle on a river, where Hrothur hit Vort in the chest with a warhammer, finally killing the atheist once and for all. When Javik's lifeless corpse tumbled off his mount into the river, the rest of his forces retreated. Seeing the loss for what it was, Fenric gathered up and much of his force as he could and retreated. But he was hardly defeated. He set his sights on the United Knights Alliance, and followed them back to their galaxy of Tyris Major. He had studied the history of Tyris Major, and felt that many opportunities awaited him there.
Machinations in Tyris Major Edit
Once in Tyris Major, the Vermillions set to work digging their claws into whatever they could. First, they found an uninhabited jungle planet, designated Kamachis, where they set up their base of operations. They then dispatched an expeditionary force to Ascon to infiltrate the destroyed Quista clan underground lair and bring back whatever tech they could salvage. Only a few survivors returned, too shaken and mentally unhinged to tell of their experiences. This was of little consequence to Fenric, who desired to take control of Tyris Major as quickly as possible. To do this, he first studied the current affairs of the Lavatufts, discovering that some were unhappy with the rule of King Magmoss. Fenric immediately saw an opportunity, and spoke with the main commanders of the opposition. He quickly convinced their leaders to join him, and managed to recruit two thousand Lavatuft insurgents.
It was at this point where Syndicate forces made another major discovery. While exploring some ruins on Kamachis, the Vermillion soldiers discovered that much of it was underwater. Then, their commanders lost contact with them. A second team was sent in, only to return with multiple members dead and an account of being shot at with strange weapons. Finally, Fenric himself returned from Volcanis and personally led a strike team into the ruins to root out the attackers. Deep in the chambers, they were attacked by a single surviving Waternan, whose people were believed to be long extinct. Subduing him without incident, Fenric learned from the lone soldier, who had titled himself "Cold", that he was the last of his species, hiding for decades in silence... and sitting on a massive cache of Waternan-class weaponry.
Some of Fenric's lieutenants wanted to slay Cold and steal his weapons, but Fenric instead chose to offer the man a spot in his organization. Fenric eventually won Cold over by telling him that his weapons were going to be used to kill Lavatufts. Cold turned over the cache with one condition: that he be allowed to slay Lavern's descendants personally. Fenric accepted this, and the weapons were brought to the insurgent Lavatuft camps, where Fenric convinced the rebels to use them. He decided to exterminate Magmoss and his family and take over Volcanis and the Lavatufts, to use them to invade Ascon. That night, insurgent assassins jumped Magmoss with Waternan weapons and almost killed him, but he was eventually able to escape from them.
Encouraged by the sight of the false king retreating, the insurgents launched a coup across the planet, using their Waternan weapons to kill any Lavatuft who opposed them. However, their superior firepower came with a heavy price: use of these weapons against fellow Lavatufts, even in war, completely turned the civilian population against the insurgents and cemented their loyalty to King Magmoss. Knowing a defeat when he saw one coming, Fenric recalled the insurgents, giving up his claims on Volcanis but retaining the two thousand insurgents. However, the Lavatufts tracked Fenric back to Kamachis. The Vermillions detected the incoming fleet and evacuated.
The Syndicate then landed on Farmia, home of the Antroths. They made their base in an ancient, abandoned city called Gomoken, made of stone, full of underground catacombs. Fenric's forces reinforced the city walls, turning it into a fortress. After almost a year of imprisonment on board Fenric's flagship, Morg and Pollimer Ghurka were released from captivity. Fenric had decided he would need their support to battle the Antroths. He sent Daal and Dante Quista into Farmia's capital city to sniff out anyone who disliked Queen Si'daal's rule, though Antroth-Rapteranean gangster Goar Taboryur doubted that there were.
As the Quistas hunted for potential recruits and Taboryur recruited more men for his Q-Company, Morg slipped out of sight and sent a message to the Antroths warning them of the Syndicate's presence. King Oskel immediately raised an army to attack Gomoken. However, the walls and security were far too strong to breach, and Fenric's fleet and anti-air guns maintained air superiority. Though the Vermillions were protected, they were also trapped, and Oskel intended to starve them out, knowing no reinforcements would come to back them up as Fenric so often had.
As the siege continued, more United Knights Alliance forces arrived, including Volver soldiers and Hyperon mercenary companies. Eventually, with supplies running low, the Hyperspace Cartel and Force Seventeen defected to the Antroths, doubling the size of their army. Fenric was furious, and ordered the deaths of their leaders, the Brown Bastard, Covrig, and the Shattered Princeling. Things were made all the more worse since the Princeling was involved with Fenric's daughter Shequey. The Changeling mercenary called Lime took several of his men to assassinate the three, but the attempts failed.
Finally, to break the impasse, Lime and two of his men assumed the forms of Hyperon and "joined" the Wartorn Company, a Hyperon mercenary company hired by the United Knights Alliance. Lime and his men got close to the company's leader, Knuckles, and told him about the underground tunnels, claiming they got the info from studying in an Antroth academy. The Wartorn infiltrated Gomoken, where they were surrounded by Fenric's men and thrown into a temple being used as a prison. There, Lime slowly filled Knuckles' head with propaganda about Fenric's side before revealing his true form. Knuckles demanded to see Fenric, assuring him that he would switch sides if he could freely claim Blitz's head after the war. Fenric simply laughed and said he would add Blitz to the list of people who had to die so he could keep his army.
As per a plan submitted by one of Fenric's men, a serial killed known as Vermeo Nyquist, the Wartorn opened Gomoken's gates, allowing the Antroth vanguard to enter. Once inside the plaza, battling a meager force of Lagorthenes, planted explosives were detonated and Syndicate commandos erupted from cover, gunning down the entire army. When more reinforcements attempted to enter the city, the Wartorn hacked them down. The gates were closed, but the Syndicate had fresh meat and would not be starving anytime soon. An enraged Oskel laid plans to besiege the city and take it by force. He also tasked some of his men with finding out how the Wartorn entered Gomoken in the first place. Meanwhile, when Force Seventeen and the Hyperspace Cartel were assembling to attack as ordered by Oskel, the Brown Bastard revealed to the mercenaries that they had always been Fenric's soldiers, and that the Antroths were in for a surprise when the attack began.
As the attack began, Vermeo Nyquist and Pollimer Ghurka organized the counterattack using catapults and poisoned arrows to save resources. When the first waves of Antroth forces attacked the gates, they were met by a hail of deadly projectiles, costing them many lives. Oskel ordered his men to charge, followed by the Cartel. This was a horrible move to make, though Oskel didn't know, as the Brown Bastard and the Shattered Princeling turned their men on the Antroths, hacking their men apart from behind as Fenric's soldiers came pouring from the gate. Oskel's infiltration team discovered the tunnels into the city, but at that time, Thorian the Peon led a strike team of Stonespawn berserkers in defense, rushing from the tunnels with swords in hand and killing the infiltrators.
By now, the UKA had regrouped and mounted another rush. Oskel and his personal guards made it through the Vermillion soldiers and broke into the castle Fenric was using as a base. Once inside, they engaged Fenric while he was alone. Fenric used the sword he took from Glacier to kill every one of Oskel's guards. In an attempt to defeat Fenric once and for all, Oskel discarded his code of honor and attacked him full force. Fenric kept up with all of Oskel's attacks and jammed Oskel's own toxic spike into his neck. Oskel was stunned but not down, and the two kept fighting ferociously.
Outside, Pollimer led the counterattack against the Antroth army. He himself fought Blitz, but was easily outmatched. Just as Blitz went to strike the fatal blow, the Bonerider blocked it with his scythe before attacking Blitz and forcing him to retreat. Finally, the Quistas and Goar Taboryur's Q-Company attacked the Antroth army with heavy artillery and warriors from the Forgotten Bloodline, an Antroth secret society intent on destroying Si'Daal. Inside the castle, Fenric fought Oskel to a standstill and finally severed his arm. Oskel fell to the ground, and Fenric prepared to finish the job. However, at that moment, the Antroths launched an artillery shell at the castle, causing it to collapse. As it did, Oskel made his escape, but not before slashing Fenric across the face and leaving his with a nasty scar.
The wounded Oskel was pulled from the rubble by his men, giving the order for a full retreat. He declared that Fenric was using up all of his luck and sooner or later he would run out for good. As the Antroth forces fled the battlefield, Knuckles encountered Blitz attempting to escape back to his ship. The two engaged in a duel, during which Knuckles pummeled Blitz with his spiked gauntlets. Finally, the critically wounded Blitz attempted to surrender, only for Knuckles to hack his head of with a shard of destroyed tank armor. This left Knuckles and the Wartorn fully loyal to Fenric.
After the battle, the Vermillions and Bloodline forces regrouped. The Bloodline expressed interest in conquering Farmia while the Antroth army was in turmoil and Oskel badly wounded. Fenric, sore from his loss on Volcanis, was reluctant at first. However, after seeing what the Bloodline soldiers, who practiced the Forbidden Magics, were capable of, he agreed. The Vermillion army set off towards the capital. Upon arriving, they found it heavily guarded, as expected. But Fenric noticed that the Capital itself was located next to the water. So he sent Thorian the Peon with a fleet of waterships loaded down with Stonespawn raiders and Veer Ultras to take the city ports. Following them were Lime's Corsairs aboard their own waterships, who would attack from the sea much as they had done during the battle when Darkling Lord Abaddon had been killed.
With a large fleet of warriors about to besiege the ports, Fenric sent the rest of his army straight at the gates, where they utilized their catapults once again. Barrio and Quisling explosive experts fired mortars at the city walls while Scythiag, Sasanik, and Jammat commandos attempted to scale the walls themselves. However, the Antroths had many traps built into their walls, and the Vermillions were not able to scale it. Determined to get inside the city, Fenric sent the Lagorthene raider called the Rottenraper with a contingent of Ugandalorians, Lagorthenes, and Wasterlings to circle around the city and enter it from behind, where the walls were lower. At this point, the Antroths began launching barrels of acid at the Vermillion troops, killing hundreds.
Thorian and Lime's fleets arrived quickly at the ports and began firebombing them, killing the Antroth forces guarding them. Then, Thorian and Lime lept off their ships with a squad of Changelings and Stonespawn berserkers, charging up the beach and using swords to slay any remaining Antroth soldiers that had escaped the fire. More Antroth soldiers emerged to fight them off, but they were no match for the bloodlust-filled warriors. The Stonespawn and Changelings quickly reached the city itself and poured through the streets, killing any Antroth citizen they encountered. In an act of desperation, Commander Shal lured them into a series of abandoned buildings and detonated a series of land mines, killing dozens of the Vermillion troopers and causing the buildings to collapse on them. Many stragglers were picked off by snipers before Thorian and Lime gave the order to retreat.
Outside the city walls, the constant acid bombardment had caused the Vermillions to give up on a frontal assault. Instead, they retreated back, raining arrows and explosives into the city and waiting for the Rottenraper's strike team to open the gates.
Fenric, bleeding and bruised from his fight and the collapsing castle, ordered his men to board their ships and retreat. Despite gaining the Wartorn Company and some Antroth soldiers, the Syndicate had taken some heavy casualties. But the battle with the United Knights Alliance had piqued his curiosity. Why had the Soldarians not provided any support? Fenric was intrigued, and took his fleet to Soldarian territory. There, he received a transmission from Ultra Commando Dionne. She informed Fenric that Pulporious the Sixth was a horrible ruler, locking his planet in political turmoil, and Dionne wished to help Fenric kill him.
What Fenric did not know was that Morg had contacted the Soldarians as well, and Dionne was a double agent. The Syndicate landed on Militora, setting up in an old industrial complex and the surrounding area.
Upon escaping Deephold, and still suffering from the loss of his wife and other members of his family, Fenric and his Syndicate went into hiding, where he set about reconsolidating his power over his forces. He named the Draconian insurgent, Yar 'Pedama, as his new second-in-command, replacing the deceased Trevagr. His brothers took more direct control over their armies, and tribal warriors such as the Bonerider, Grenka the Flathead and the Redeye were given much more important roles, resulting in a gradual takeover of tribal politics within Fenric's faction. With the destruction of Deluded Spirit, Fenric commissioned a new flagship, Inflamed Fury, built from Scythe of Glory, Pseudopath, and other designs all merged into one. After recovering enough, Fenric's forces went nomadic for a while, hunting for more resources in every corner of the two galaxies they could reach.
One of the enemies Fenric had made was the Alpha Cyber Collective. Indeed, Fenric had rallied many soldiers under the pretext of wiping them out. When they learned that Fenric's fleet was in the area, they sent the Leviathan's best squad of organics, the Listless Wanderers, under the command of a Bachyeon Overlord to kill Fenric. Sneaking aboard the Inflamed Fury, the Wanderers killed a few of Fenric's Lagorthene troops before surrounding him on the bridge. Rather than engage in combat, Fenric spoke to the Wanderers. Knowing of their history as members of a race who grew so apathetic towards life that they joined the Leviathan and, if their emotion enabler were switched off or destroyed, would commit suicide on the spot out of apathy, Fenric promised them a new life. He told them that he would give their existence a true meaning, one where they could claim their own glory. The Bachyeon attempted to silence him, but four of the Wanderers stabbed him through the back, killing him instantly. The Wanderers all then ripped off their emotion enablers, which normally would have caused them to kill themselves, and bowed before Fenric. He told them to rise, for now they would bow to nothing and serve nothing but their own free will. The Wanderers stood and roared, beginning a chant that would rekindle the fire within Fenric to claim his throne back.
With newly invigorated fervor for taking over Ugandalore, Fenric set out to gather troops. First, he sent Halverg, Raeger, their wives, and some other warriors to the homeworld of the Quisling race, where they began unifying the formerly cowardly and untrustworthy creatures into a single empire subservient to the Vermillions. Meanwhile, Fenric began an intense recruiting campaign of any tribal and civilized races he came across, either conquering them or pretending to be gods, the Vermillions would induct the fighting men of the tribe or city in question, and put the ones who were not warriors to work harvesting resources and operating mills and factories for them. Those who resisted were put to the spear by their more loyal kin, their tents or buildings razed or looted. Due to the remoteness of the planets Fenric recruited from, nobody noticed. Shortly after, the group Fenric sent to the Quisling homeworld returned, having completed their mission. The Quislings were now united, armed, and uplifted, reported Halverg and Raeger. Fenric was pleased. Now the race the galaxy had once called backstabbers and traitors would help him take Ugandalore. He laughed at the irony in it. Though at the time equipped with little more than crude melee weapons, rusty laser guns, and boiled leather and metal scrap armor, the Quisling warriors had quite a large role to play in the future. Now united, with a high birth and growth rate, and the tenacity to take what they wanted, the Quisling Empire would soon rise and spread its claws through the stars. But not yet. First, they had to defeat their first great foe. The Mendel Pact.
Amnesty Campaign Edit
With their power restored but still unstable and somewhat disorganized, the Syndicate launched an invasion of the Multus world of Amnesty, where Glacier's brother Frostbite had once been imprisoned. Fenric ordered this for two reasons. The first was that it was an almost entirely untapped treasure trove of Multus artifacts. The second was that so Fenric could lure the Mendel Pact (who monitored the world after fighting the Tul'kaarin for it) into a long war of attrition and sacrifice any troops he doubted the loyalty of. The Syndicate landed in full force, taking control of many sites and fighting off the local Bahrok. Sure enough, the Mendel Pact detected the incursion and deployed a fleet to stop them, under the command of Hrothur Tenauo, who had much experience fighting the Vermillions.
The Mendel used a mix of soldiers and Green Sun mercenaries under Cerebrum to fight the Vermillions, given the top-secret nature of the mission. Initially, the Mendel had many victories, chasing the Syndicate forces out of dig sites and ancient ruins. However, one particular temple was found that generated intense interest from Fenric himself, who came planetside with the Queen of Thorns, Cerebellum and Cerebellum's brain-controlled Citadelean bodyguard Cortex. Accompanying them were Cerebellum's Lobes, a group of lobotimosed yet formidable fighters cloned from the last remaining piece of the legendary Skordi warlord known as the Black Beast, a retinue of Viterva Khmara Zealots and warriors from the Ascetic Order. Entering the temple (which was heavily guarded by their forces), the group discovered that all the technology contained within was fully functional, but were unsure of its purpose. Investigating further, they activated a portal, which took them to a control room, from which all of Amnesty could be controlled. But it seemed to require some sort of key to use.
Pressing another button, Fenric accidentally activated a sentient hologram of a Multus Esse, who told him that he needed a piece of the Eye of Spode, an ancient Multus artifact, to use the control room. The hologram also told the trio that they should collect all three pieces of the Eye (One currently on Amnesty, one in Tul'kaarin possession, and one in Mendel hands), because when assembled it would provide the location of and access to the Unyielding Trove, a Multus vault full of weapons, ships, and technology the Multus would have used against the Cyber Collective. Fenric immediately ordered his entire fleet to scour the planet to find the Eye. However, the Mendel had learned of this, and also began searching for the eye.
Eventually, the Mendel would reach the Eye part first (which turned out to be the Pupil), bringing it aboard one of their ships for study (they did not know its true purpose, only that the Syndicate was desperate to find it). However, Fenric immediately send a strike team aboard the ship, slaughtering their way through the crew until they retrieved the Eye. The attack team then teleported back to the temple. The Mendel launched an assault against the temple to retrieve the Eye, killing several of Fenric's Ascetics and Zealots but arriving at the portal just as Fenric, the Queen of Thorns, Cerebellum and Cortex disappeared into it and shut it off. Fenric, tired of the Mendel, used the Eye to access the control room and set Amnesty to self-destruct. He then teleported himself and his companions back to their flagship and waited for the rest of his men to reach their ships. When almost all were aboard, the Syndicate vanished into slipspace, leaving the Mendel to escape Amnesty moments before it exploded.
Search for Spode's Eye Edit
In the weeks after the Amnesty Campaign, Fenric became obsessed with finding the other two pieces of the Eye of Spode, to the point of becoming maddeningly paranoid about the Mendel beating him to the Unyielding Trove. The Queen of Thorns managed to comfort him somewhat, assuring him that the Mendel could do nothing without Fenric's piece of the Eye. Still, Fenric plotted day and night how to retrieve the other two pieces. After weeks more of planning, studying, and consulting his lieutenants, he believed he had an answer. He would go after the Tul'kaarin first. While somewhat neutral with the Mendel, Fenric knew they would ask for no assistance if attacked, and they would know nothing about the piece of the Eye of Spode they possessed. Plus, the Ascetics under his command had an intense desire for revenge against those they saw as kneelers...
The Unyielding Trove Edit
Mission to Chamataku Edit
With the Unyielding Trove destroyed and the Mimic's Box vanished into the void, Fenric's forces were left with little edge over the Mendel. Adding those to his long list of failures left Fenric feeling disgruntled, and he began to grow desperate. Many of his men were sent out on pirate runs to capture and strip down any ships they found for parts. Others, like Goar Taboryur's Q-Company, were sent out as mercenaries to bring more money, weapons, and soldiers back to the Syndicate. The Mendel Pact was sensing Fenric's weakness as well and were slowly picking away at him. Fenric began to lash out at any opportunity he thought was there.
Finally, one of his scout ships brought news. They had stumbled across a world called Chamataku that had recently experienced an ice age. Further scans revealed that the freeze was caused by a malfunctioning Staff of Life buried deep beneath the planet's surface, which had somehow been triggered. Believing he could use it as a weapon, Fenric sent Yar 'Pedama to dig the Staff up. 'Pedama took a large fleet with him, set up a camp on the frozen world, and began using excavators to dig for the Staff. However, the Mendel had been following the Syndicate fleet and send in Ultra Commando Team Olda to stop whatever they were doing.
As the Ultra Commandos were sneaking or killing their way through Yar's men, his excavators hit near the Staff of Life and they began to extract it. However, it was more damaged than scans had suggested, and it began leaking energy at such a rapid pace that it caused the planet to destabilize and begin to crumble into the core. Knowing the mission had to be completed soon, Team Olda fought their way through the last of Yar's foot soldiers but were almost crushed by an excavator, which Yar had turned against the team as a weapon. Pervartos and Corhufu held off the massive construct as the other four went after Yar. Galiet, Trogov, and Tilaos fought Yar's bodyguards as Arkaalin himself fought 'Pedama. Despite putting up a fight, Yar was not as experienced as Arkaalin, who quickly delivered several wounds to the Draconian before plunging his knives into Yar's neck, killing him instantly.
The Ultra Commandos commandeered 'Pedama's personal transport as Chamataku sank into its own core. As the gravity got weaker and weaker, Corhufu and Pervartos were flung into the atmosphere just as the excavator was about to smash them, and their teammates rescued them before they could fly into space. What few troops could reach the remaining ships quickly fled the dying planet and reported their failure to Fenric. Fenric dismissed the failure, because while they were gone he had pinpointed the location of yet another relic he believed could help him win the war. And this one, he would not lose.
Search for the Death Scepter Edit
After scouring old records for information, Fenric believed that he had found the ultimate weapon. An ancient artifact, believed to be older than the Multus itself, the Death Scepter was rumored to be able to destroy entire armies in seconds. Fenric had to have it. After having Daal and Dante cross-reference their own knowledge, he believed he found its location: Taraquery, a planet whose surface was covered by volcanic rock but whose Mendel colonists made great deals of money from by harvesting lichen. First sending spies to probe the world's defenses, Fenric quickly discovered that the Mendel had upset the shrines of the native Sharakour population, who were launching ever-more bolder attacks against the Mendel.
Fenric did as he usually did; he met with the Sharakour shamans and tribal braves. After much deliberation and consulting with the gods, they agreed to fight for him. Fenric assigned the Bonerider, the Redeye, and Scamish the First-Born to lead a vanguard of Sharakour troops against the Mendel colony, which they did, attacking with volleys of arrows and probing for weakness. Meanwhile, Fenric's men began digging for the Death Scepter. The Sharakour raids got the attention of the Mendel, who dispatched a force to deal with them, not knowing Fenric was on the planet and behind the trouble. They drove off a group of raiders but immediately noticed a problem when they realized that the warriors were using hardlight bows, only made in the Red Veil.
As Fenric supervised the search for the staff, his commanders reported yet another problem to him. Some of his men were plotting a revolution. Led by Draconians who blamed Fenric for Yar 'Pedama's death, they were determined to kill Fenric and take over his armies. At first believing all the rebels to have been hunted down, Fenric's assumptions were disproved when rebels shot down the shuttle carrying the required equipment to access the Death Scepter and took the on-board materials. Enraged, Fenric went planetside with a retinue of elite guards to hunt down the rebels. The warriors slaughtered any they came across, and Fenric soon pinpointed the location of their base. However, at that time he received two more bad bits of news: the Mendel army was bearing down on his location, and the rebels had unearthed the Death Scepter.
The Bonerider and Scamish rallied the Sharakour to hold off the Mendel while Fenric took a large continent of men to retrieve the Scepter. Upon Commandante Diabhal's suggestion, Fenric deployed three Pseudoleviathans to smash their way through the rebel fortress while the Lagorthenes cleaned up the stragglers. Once having breached the rebels' lair, Fenric captured and interrogated their leader, a Draconian called Shuvath 'Neyortha. 'Neyortha revealed that Fenric's own uncles-by-law, the Ferquievy leaders, had helped him arrange his coup. Determined to crush the rebellion's ideals rather than give it a martyr, Fenric ordered 'Neyortha imprisoned aboard Inflamed Fury. He then took possession of the Death Scepter which, contrary to its reaction to 'Neyortha's touch, immediately powered up when Fenric picked it up. Surrendered rebels and Fenric's own troops alike immediately bowed to him.
Fenric walked outside and onto a cliff, where he observed the Mendel armies overpowering his own forces. With maniacal laughter, claok billowing in the wind, Fenric launched bolts of an ungodly fusion between fire and electricity at the Mendel forces. The bolts of blood-colored lighting killed every Mendel it struck while not touching a single one of Fenric's men. In seconds, the Mendel armies lay dead, their ships destroyed. Fenric raised the Scepter high above his head and screamed to his men below that he was the true chosen one. All his forces bowed, including the Sharakour. They then boarded their ships and left the planet. However, one of the Sharakour shamans would come to him later and warn him that the Death Scepter, which was written of in their holy texts, only responded to a certain type of individual, the details were lost to time. He told Fenric to beware his new power, for their holy texts oft warned inquisitive young braves to never seek the artifact, and the destruction it could wreak was truly unknown. Fenric scoffed at this, since he had controlled it perfectly. But the holy man's words left a scratch of doubt in Fenric's mind. The whole process of acquiring it seemed a little too easy...
The Lost Wormhole Edit
With the knowledge that his own uncles plotted his death, Fenric ordered the men gathered in the hangar of his flagship. There, he sentenced them to death by being thrown from the airlock. However, just before Fenric's Lagorthene guards carried out the order, he repented. The uncles thought they had been spared, but then Fenric drew Glacier's sword and ordered the Lagorthenes to find something to serve as a chopping block. Fenric then proceeded to remove his uncles' heads until they lay in a pile at his feet. Then, he jettisoned the bodies. However, this had unforseen consequences for him. Some members of the Ferquievy family, with the loss of Florey and Celyre, had begun to resent Fenric, since he payed little to no attention to the Terquoise throne he had promised the Ferquievys would have. Now, with the execution of their leaders by what they saw as a usurper, this was the final straw. Ferquievy guards slipped a message to Shuvath 'Neyortha within his cell aboard the Inflamed Fury that they were with him.
The dissenters in Fenric's ranks began recruiting, mainly from the factions Fenric had forcefully absorbed. The upper echelon of the Syndicate was unaware of this. Their attention was focused on the fact that their ships were suddenly unable to enter hyperspace. Then, a wormhole appeared in front of them. While trying to enter it, several of their ships were damaged or destroyed. Fenric ordered the fleet back so the damaged ships could make repairs. He decided to enter the portal with only his flagship, Inflamed Fury. Before he did so, he ordered the prisoners on board, including 'Neyortha, to be transferred to another of his ships, a Carpathian battle-chariot called Blade of Remembrance. However, some of the guards aboard that ship had turned traitor against Fenric, and plotted to release 'Neyortha. Oblivious to the rising movement against him, Fenric entered the portal.
Fenric found his ship frozen in midair, with all the power out, yet there was breathable air and gravity. Suddenly, a black crow flew from nowhere, landed, and began to speak to Fenric, inquiring as to how he came about possessing the Death Scepter. Fenric told the entity about finding it buried in ruins. The crow warned him that utilizing the scepter would come at a great cost. Fenric replied he didn't care, because he had controlled the weapon before and at this point all he wanted was Ugandalore. The crow told him he would not have it if he did not pay heed to the scepter's price. Fenric asked what the price would be. The crow replied that it did not know, but it was bound to be horrible. The crow revealed the scepter was an Eitran artifact, "connected to the demon Qlipphogr, and bound to be feasting on someone's soul." When Fenric expressed further disdain and confusion as to what Qlipphogr was, the crow replied that it would have to find someone else who was more "worthy", but that one day soon Fenric would have to face it (the crow) once more. Then, Fenric's ship was spat out of the wormhole - straight into a dogfight.
While Fenric was speaking to the crow, the traitorous guards had released Shuvath 'Neyortha from captivity and begun a shipwide coup, openly fighting any Fenric supporters on board. Not even the Viterva Khmara Zealots could contain the situation. Eventually, the Blade of Remembrance was overtaken by the rebels and fled into slipspace. Fenric attempted to track the ship down, but could not find it. Fenric cursed the crow for allowing it to happen and swore he would kill 'Neyortha and all those who stood between them. Fearing an assassination, many of the Ferquievy Queensguard soldiers who had once protected Fenric's wife were transferred to new units and were replaced by Lagorthenes, Draugar, and Viterva Khmara Zealots. The remaining, trusted Queensguard soldiers were reorganized and renamed as Queenbreakers, who would function as light shock troops in the future. Meanwhile, 'Neyortha took Blade of Remembrance through Mendel and Vermillion territory alike, showing off his new prize.
Qliphoggr's Ascension Edit
As the Vermillion fleet drifted through the galaxy, hoping to evade the destruction the great beast and his allies were causing, their ships momentarily lost power. Many panicked, believing Qlipphogr had found them. When it came back on, the crews eventually came to realize there was something on board with them, a force they could not see. After seeing or hearing several strange things, many ship commanders reported to Fenric that they feared their ships were haunted. Fenric dismissed this as the superstitions of the zealous tribals that now made up the vast majority of his forces. Eventually, however, Fenric himself began to believe the reports when he too began to see things. Finally, when he saw something in a mirror, Fenric was convinced there were ghosts aboard. Using only assistance from a few of his most trusted soldiers, he rigged an electromagnetic barrier to trap a ghost. It worked, and Fenric discovered they were not dealing with ghosts, but rather the displaced souls of the Saucerian Singularity, consumed by Qlipphogr. After a brief conversation, Fenric convinced the beings to join his cause. If they did, he would build bodies for them to inhabit. They agreed, and Fenric had his factories create robotic, emaciated-looking skeletal bodies for the beings to inhabit. They called these husks Draugar.
Soon after this, a vile race of undead beings called the Sleepless Night entered the universe in Qlipphogr's wake. These creatures possessed the ability to take control of any race or faction's undead or zombie-like forces. Since the Vermillions possessed none, they did not have to worry. However, knowing Fenric had the Death Scepter, Qlipphogr tasked the Night with destroying him and his allies. On Alpha Rosetta, where Fenric had established a colony for the surviving Wasterling population, the Sleepless Night awoke ancient and long-dead Bio-Morphlings from hibernation. The creatures slaughtered the Wasterlings before barely any could be evacuated, once again putting the species near extinction. The dead Wasterlings were reanimated by the Night to continue the war against the Vermillions, while simultaneously going to war against the Raptoraean Matriarchy, seeking to gorge themselves on the rich banquet of emotion the Matriarchy's Emotive Elite unwittingly offered.
During their scourge against the universe, the Sleepless Night stumbled upon the Pack, a group of creatures uplifted by the Vanara years ago to fight the Scelus. The Night mercilessly destroyed the Pack's fleet, leaving a few thousand survivors. These survivors, under the leadership of Pack Alphas Fang and Thistle, were found by the Vermillions, who forged an alliance to destroy the Night. Fenric's nephew Qucce became infatuated with Thistle, eventually leading to the Pack being formally accepted into the Vermillion clan. But in the meantime, the Vermillions began raiding the Sleepless Night as best they could, destroying their ships or glassing planets they were on. But Fenric knew that they couldn't win by themselves, even with the help of all their allies. He knew they would have to make a temporary pact with their enemies. Determined to avenge the Wasterlings and save the Pack from extinction, Fenric attempted to form a temporary cease-fire with the Mendel, Persan, and Waptoria. They accepted on the grounds that Fenric leave some of his forces with them as collateral. Fafnir volunteered, and stayed with them, accompanied by his force of tribal Geat warriors.
With a truce in place, Fenric could concentrate on the Night. His allies in the Matriarchy informed him of a derelict ship loaded down with antimatter bombs, whose crew had been slaughtered by Qlipphogr. Fenric and his forces reclaimed the ship and acquired the bombs. Lacking a proper plan, Fenric decided to simply bomb the hordes of Night zombies into oblivion. However, the crow once again appeared to him. It told him that he had to destroy the Lagashmuir, a surviving Eitren who had converted himself into the first of the Sleepless Night and who now gave them their power, with the Death Scepter. He was currently on an ice world known as Culcathca, where his army of undead was awaiting Qlipphogr's next order. Fenric immediately set course for the planet, intent on ending the Night once and for all. Before it disappeared, the crow warned Fenric that this was not the time he had to "face" it, and the crow would still be seeing him again. It also teleported the fleets of the Imperii Grox and the Raptoranean Matriachy's Emotive Elite, whom it had told the same information about the Night, to Fenric's location.
The Vermillions, Matriarchy and Imperii attacked the planet with all their force, attempting to break the literal walls of undead. However, the Night's defenses proved adept at intercepting the anti-matter bombs launched at them. Members of the Pack, true to their customs of revenge and dying in battle, strapped the bombs to their backs and suicide-rushed the Night zombies, blowing themselves up and taking huge numbers of zombies with them. This opening allowed the Vermillions, Matriarchy and Inmperii to fight their way to the Lagashmuir himself. The leaders of the Emotive Elite were the first to attack Lagashmuir, but they fell one by one, their attacks strengthening rather than weakening the former Eitren. Fenric then fought him with all his might, launching blasts from the Scepter to no avail. Finally, after being beaten to the ground and badly wounded, the Lagashmuir picked Fenric off the ground and prepared to kill him. Fenric stabbed him in the chest with the Scepter, causing him to collapse and shatter into pieces. With his death, all the undead under his control collapsed once and for all. The fight against the Sleepless Night was won. The Imperii and Matriarchy departed, and Fenric regrouped his men to defeat Qlipphogr.
Meanwhile, Fafnir fought alongside the Mendel, Persan, and Waptoria, personally slaying several of Qlipphogr's servants. He helped them gather up all the thrones they needed to defeat Qlipphogr with, personally led the push against the Hive Of Mirus, and was also present when Koschey defeated the Mae'r Lleill. Finally, the allies regrouped to begin the final attack on Qlipphogr, who sent a massive wave of minions against them to stop their planning. The compound they were in was surrounded in minutes, with pockets of survivors cut off from the others. Fafnir found himself with a small group of members of factions he despised, with a perfect chance to escape. Yet, he found his hatred of Qlipphogr to be too strong to abandon the fight. So he helped those he was with reach safety, slaying any of Qlipphogr's servants who got in his way and becoming severely wounded in the process. He ordered -and when they were unwilling to listen to a criminal like him, forced- the Mendel, Persan and Waptorian warriors to take cover in the underground bunker in the compound. He then reached one of the destroyed ships and pulled an antimatter missile from it. As Fafnir attempted to deploy it against Qlipphogr's hordes, he found it to have been too damaged to activate its timer. By then completely surrounded by the demons, Fafnir kicked the missile off the platform, causing it to detonate and incinerate anything above ground. The Mendel, Persan and Waptorian leaders emerged from the bunker alive and proceeded to defeat Qlipphogr.
With hostilities renewed, and the loss of his brother still fresh, Fenric directed his fury once again on the Mendel Pact. After the war with Qlipphogr, the Mendel were in a weakened state, and most of Fenric's advisers agreed that they would likely not find a better opportunity. Eager to finally take over the world he so coveted, and uncaring of the consequences, Fenric mobilized his army and set a course for Ugandalore. At this point, Fenric's army was about a million strong, with the majority made up of Quislings from their newly unified empire, and the rest mostly made up of conscripted tribals with poor equipment. Still, Fenric and his generals believed that the proper utilization of experienced commanders, berserkers, cavalry, and religious fervor could win them the day. A large portion of his plan involved nullifying the Mendel fleet; for that he would use the Scythe and Pseudopath, placing them under the command of his adoptive son Cerebellum. Using a bit of the powers tored in his adoptive father's Death Scepter, Cerebellum created Stargelet Stargrave, a supercomputer embedded within the crust of a strange star, using a horrific combination of Citadelian and Dominatus technologies. This effectively made the quarck star a sentient, if malicious, being. Once Ugandalore would be conquered, the threat of it's deadly radiation would allow Fenric to keep the planet's population setting up a large-scale rebellion trough pure fear. Fenric also believed that getting a chance to utilize his Death Scepter would give them the advantage they needed.
Fenric's fleet emerged from hyperspace above Ugandalore, immediately catching the attention of the Mendel military. As suspected, the Mendel sent the remnants of its fleet to engage the Vermillions. Cerebellum ordered the Scythe and Pseudopath ships to break off and engage. They did, ensuring that Fenric's fleet was interfered with little as they landed their troops as close to the capital, Koridable, as they could. The ships deployed all of their soldiers, who formed up into battle order as the Mendel army, which outnumbered them three to one, marched to their location. Fenric, standing at the head of his army, attempted to use the Scepter to destroy the Mendel army, but it did nothing. The Scepter had become completely inactive. The crow appeared to Fenric once again, and told him that the Scepter required the sacrifice of a loved one to continue operation. This was the wrong thing to say to someone who just lost his brother. Fenric, already enraged that the Scepter was not working, declared he had lost enough to events beyond his control, and if he was to lose any more it would be in battle. He snapped the Scepter over his knee, drew Glacier's sword, and gave the order to charge.
First into battle was Fenric's cavalry: Carpathian horde riders, Suicide Watch outriders, Ascetic turakh riders, Astria Rough Raiders, Lobe War Bikers, and anyone else who could ride a mount or a bike. On Fenric's order, they charged the Mendel cavalry force, meeting each other in a flurry of lances, spears, and sabres. This melee only lasted for a few minutes as the opposing forces hacked each other off their mounts. After both sides had all but exterminated each other, Fenric ordered his Scythiag, Veer, and Sasanik archers to fire into the mass of fighting men. Hundreds of men, Mendel and Vermillion, died under the hail of wooden, metal, and hardlight arrows. Once the advancing Mendel troops had been softened by several volleys of projectiles, the Quisling army charged. The one advantage the unified Quisling army had over the Mendel was the wall of bullets they could fire downrange, with the next row of soldiers replacing the first as they reloaded their jury-rigged rifles. The solid wall of projectiles toppled hundreds of Mendel warriors before they reached striking range.
As the Quislings continued to rain down fire, they reached the piles of dead bodies left by their attacks and the cavalry charge, where they would discard their crude muskets and pick up a weapon from a fallen warrior, usually a melee weapon. Then, the Quislings soldiers would charge into the crowd of Mendel troops, delivering as many blows as they could before being cut down. This incessant wave of suicidal attackers was bolstered by tribal conscripts, who for the most part followed a much more conservative attack pattern of taking potshots at the Mendel troops, then hiding behind their compatriots to reload. The bloodbath went on for hours as the million-strong armies whittled each other down. Finally, Fenric knew it was time to finish the fight. Raising his blade above his head and activating it, he charged down the hill, followed by his assembled mercenary armies, royal house militias, Lagorthenes, rebel Mendel clansmen, Lavatuft shock troopers, Wasterlings, and the berserking and raiding men from the Red Veil.
This last wave of elite troops came between the waves of Quislings and conscripts, howling in fury and killing any Ugandal that got in their way, or being killed themselves. Fenric himself fought alongside his men, cutting down any Mendel warrior that dare challenge him. Win or lose, he was finally fighting his foe on their own world. After hours more of fighting, the Mendel commanders realized the Vermillions were going to sacrifice themselves down to the last man for victory, and decided to live to fight another day. They called a retreat, evacuating military personnel and figures of importance offworld as the Vermillions marched into Koridable, claiming victory. It had been an enormously costly battle for both sides. The fields they had fought on were now covered in around two billion corpses. Both sides' armies had been reduced in strength by half. The Vermillions had lost half a million men, and the Mendel a well ways over a million. In space, the Mendel war fleet had been decimated by the Scythe and Pseudopath, who had taken considerably less casualties due to the biomechanical and organic nature of their ships, while Strangelet Stargrave was entirely unharmed and had singlehandedly decimated a quarter of the enemy fleet. Afterwards, it left for the outer edges of the system, for it's destructive capacities would now do more harm than good.
That same day, Fenric walked into the palace, surrounded by his guard, and sat upon the throne of Ugandalore. He wasn't technically Lord Ugandalore since he had not killed Kirta Clett in single combat, but for now no one could oppose him. Night fell that day with Mendel families cowering in their homes, terrified that Lagorthenes would once again drag them from their beds and devour them. The next morning, Mendel citizens in Koridable to find most of the visible Pact flags defaced with a boot print. During the night, Fenric's watchers had pulled down the flags and stamped their muddy feet on them before hoisting them back up. A painful sight for the Mendel citizens, this would serve to remind them, at least in the Vermillions' eyes, that the homeworld of their Pact had been crushed by usurpers, and that the people were under the boots of Fenric and his ilk for the foreseeable future. That morning, Fenric made a planetary announcement. The Clan Lord Council and Draiothe Collective were now disbanded. There would be no more unity between the clans and tribes of Ugandalore. This announcement was met with cries of anger in the streets of Koridable, but in the north it was cheered. Violence erupted as enemy clans took up swords to eliminate rivals, settle blood feuds, or right assumed wrongs.
This was all part of Fenric's plan. He wanted sectarian and religious violence to shake the planet for a bit before revealing the next stage of his plan. He pardoned the infamous political prisoner, Jicul Tarad, who was imprisoned for ties to the Dead Watchers, Ruins Hand, Tul'kaarin, and Suicide Watch. Jicul was brought to Koridable, where he was named Prime Clan Lord. He would be the face of Fenric's new rule. Jicul gave a well-worded acceptance speech that most of Ugandalore heard, where he begged the people for forgiveness and assured them he would do better than Kirta or the Clan Council. On top of this, Katrus Ardach, the former Lord Commander of the Hand of Retribution's army, was named Lord Commander of Ugandalore, making him the top military official on the planet, in charge of recruitment, training, and deployment of the army. However, Ardach spent more time recruiting and indoctrinating young children in an effort to boost the number of loyalists on Ugandalore. He formed a youth militia, the Homeland's Youth, who paraded through the city strapped with leather armor and daggers. It was a disheartening sight to city inhabitants.
Then, Fenric began demanding that various tribes and clans bend the knee to himself and to Tarad. Four "civilized" Ugandal clans and three Orgaat tribes did so instantly, though the Urggums, Krayretts, Vorts, and Ardachs and the Tribes of the Bone-Eaters, the Flailing Fist, and the Bloodied Claw already owed allegiance to Fenric and it was a farce. The Feral and Mountain Clans, Astria Rough Raiders, and Ascetics also pledged their loyalty as a show since they were Ugandal as well, and were all given land on Ugandalore as rewards. Ultimately, none of the southern clans like the Cletts or the Nitrocons pledged allegiance, but northern clans came out in droves to do so. The clans that bent the knee to Fenric were the Norgomerys, the Underphreys, the Sweetbornes, the Springhills, the Harrishes, the Stonegards, the Campsters, the Bowridges, the Maugors, the Robervers, the Galloretts, the Lockbows, and the Daventrees, none of whom were city clans. As a result, in a matter of weeks the power dynamic of Ugandalore shifted from the industry-based southern clans to the farms and fields of the frigid, anarchic north.
However, many southern clans held out hope that Kirta would return and save them, and so began to organize for guerrilla war. Most of this went largely unnoticed, though occasionally a Mendel family would be found hoarding makeshift weapons and would be executed in the town square. As the occupation went on, the planet itself began to suffer, as landscapes were ruined by industry and Sweetborne flower cultivation, and radicals in Fenric's ranks went about destroying relics thousands of years old. Executions of loyalists and Lagorthene sacrifices were a common occurrence, and sometimes went on for days at a time. The Kaguran populations that failed to escape in time underwent ethnic cleansing by the Lagorthenes, with entire clans being exterminated. This soon gave rise to an underground railroad where Mendel citizens attempted to smuggle the Kaguran off-world. This was much less successful than was hoped, and families found guilty of harboring Kaguran were often fed to the Lagorthenes.
Despite the brutality of the Lagorthenes, by far the most affected area was the north. Clans who had previously stayed in the shadows came out in force, determined to seize all the power they could. Rival warlords fought each other over highly profitable Sweetborne fields, and the slave trade boomed under Fenric's legalization. Vicious war-druids sent out cabal members to gather victims for sacrifice, and cannibal clans such as Clan Maugor began openly displaying their practice, since the crime of cannibalism previously punishable by death was, like slavery and the Sweetborne trade, made legal by Fenric and his puppet Tarad. The north regressed in technology level as bandits raided shipments from the south, and images flooded the news of gun-waving northern insurgents and violent, barbaric executions of rivals. Southerners were heavily discriminated against, to the point where being identified as one meant almost certain death. Indeed, a mass exodus began, with southerners leaving the north in droves, hoping to get as far south as possible. Unfortunately, these long lines of starving Ugandals made easy prey for the bandits and marauders watching the trails, and those not enslaved or killed by the raiders often became prey for Lagorthene robber lords or Feral Clan hunting parties.
At the same time, life became very good for those Mendel previously seen as outcasts and savages. The Ash'iyaar/Ascetics resettled the plains where they once lived, and soon riders on turakhs hunting for food, supplies, and women became yet another reason for Mendel citizens to lock their doors at night. The Astrian Rough Raiders generally kept to themselves, waiting for the time when Fenric would attack the neighboring systems. Unlike the Ascetics, Rough Raiders Feral Clans, the Lobes became a common sight in southern towns and cities. Without Cerebellum to give them orders, they went where they pleased, took what they pleased, and became absolutely notorious for pillaging inns, drinking themselves into near-oblivion, only to recover and pick fights or instigate brawls. Provoking a Lobe usually meant being chained to his War Bike and dragged down the street until death. For his part, Fenric did nothing to keep the massive Skordi in line. The Mountain and Feral Clans gained lots of territory through "concessions" forced on various southern clans by Tarad, where he would send messengers "politely" asking them to vacate sections of their territory. The Ferals would then settle it, and if any squatters remained, they would meet particularly gruesome fates at the hands of those who could barely speak Common Mendel.
Perhaps the worst treatment to the Mendel people came at the hands of Katrus Ardach, Lord Commander. As his Homeland's Youth movement grew in numbers and fanaticism, he began searching for a way to cement the childrens' loyalty. Eventually, he instated a new policy. After training was complete, the children were forced to kill their own parents with their daggers. Those who resisted were killed. However, with their heads filled with Katrus' propaganda and indoctrination, most did not. The sheer brutality of this act was hidden from the public's knowledge. However, the times Katrus would use his paramilitary child army to wipe out entire clans were well-publicized. The Homeland's Youth were trained in the use of weapons of all kinds, but when sent against clans filled with poorly-armed civilians, they discarded their guns and drew their daggers, leaving skinned corpses hanging from burning huts. Katrus only had to wipe out one or two clans before the others got the message. Preparing for guerrilla war would not be tolerated.
Clan Clett was stripped of all its holdings and titles, and their land was given to their distant cousins, the Vermillion-loyal Krayretts. When the three Krayrett brothers entered their new lands, their soldiers all wearing stripped-down summer armor and black masks, they ordered all direct relatives of Kirta to be gathered in the courtyard. There, on camera, the Krayrett soldiers shoved lit explosives up their rectums and laughed at the resulting explosions. News of this reached one of the few remaining guerrilla rebels, Phase-Hunter. Previously focusing on fighting duels with Lagorthenes, when he heard that the Krayretts had brutally butchered innocent people just for their blood relations, he immediately retrieved his weapons and went after the Krayrett brothers themselves. Attacking Harrion, Tomer, and Emar in Barda's keep, Phase found himself almost evenly matched by them. Absorbing and regenerating blow after blow from their swords, Phase was interrupted by the arrival of the Krayretts' elite warriors, who filled Phase with bullets but were unable to catch the human. Phase escaped, but his brazen attack had eroded the last of Fenric's patience for him.
Fenric's forces scoured the countryside for Phase's hideout. Hiding well, Phase was finally discovered on accident by a passing Sweetborne trader, who happened to be a member of Clan Ardach. Within minutes, a High Commando unit was deployed in armored helicopters, and Scythiag, Veer, Sasanik, and Trinary commandos swarmed the farm Phase was hiding on. Pinned down by gunships and highly-trained warriors, Phase held them off for an hour until Katrus and Fenric themselves arrived to deal with him. Enraged by the presence of the two, Phase tore from cover in an attempt to strike them down, but Katrus blasted him with a grenade launcher shot, and the commandos seized Phase as he regenerated. Amused by the human's resistance against his best troops, but nevertheless filled with hate, Fenric remarked that Phase was only so good because of his augmentations, which he saw as cheating. He then ordered his commandos to drop Phase and pulled out Glacier's sword.
Fenric dueled Phase for the next half and hour, the two slashing and hacking at each other. Despite taking multiple cuts, Fenric fought through them and delivered many wounds to Phase, who continued to regenerate. Finally seeing an opportunity to deliver a killing blow, Phase swung his katana at Fenric's neck, only for Fenric to use his own sword to slice right through the katana. Fenric then proceeded to mercilessly hack the disarmed human, each blow calculated to cause as much pain as possible. Finally, after having severed Phase's limbs multiple times, Fenric ordered the human taken captive and brought back to Koridable. Phase was chained up in the castle's dungeon, and informed that until Fenric grew bored of it, he would be tortured endlessly. And so he was, each day. A most favored method by Fenric, and often repeated, was to send in a Lagorthene or two, who would rip open Phase's stomach and devour his ever-regenerating organs.
Aware that Kirta was raising an armada to take the planet back, Fenric began organizing the defense of the planet. The executions slowed down, and the bandits and paramilitaries were reigned in in an effort to coordinate them against the invaders. Indeed, Kirta had raised a large fleet to take Ugandalore back. However, despite the horrible treatment inflicted upon them having a rallying effect on the planet's citizens, the violent crackdowns and mass executions had weakened the general effort of a guerrilla war and prevented large-scale organization. On top of that, the northmen's savage attacks on southern citizens and the Feral and Mountain Clans' general hostilities had effectively purged any resistance in areas where Fenric's rule was strongest, leaving no one around to wage any meaningful war against the Vermillions.
Mendel Drug War Edit
After being chased back into the north by the Mendel, the Vermillions' vast fields of Sweetborne flowers were razed, and their income plunged. Not content with the meager kilo batches able to be produced in the north, the Vermillions turned to another product: Fire Salt, a powerful, snortable narcotic that provided a rush of burning energy but would eat holes in the brain if used for a long amount of time. Fire Salt was not producible on Ugandalore, but Fenric had a contact who could obtain large quantities of it: Scimitar Spyke, the enigmatic overboss of the Spyke Syndicate. Having dealt in the drug for twenty years, the Spikron criminal gang was well equipped to supply the Vermillion Syndicate with all the Fire Salt it could sell.
However, there was a challenge associated with this new business: Fire Salt was the catalyst for some of the most violent gang wars in history, due to the rarity of planets able to produce it and the value of a singe kilo, which is about 30,000 Sporebucks. The Vermillions were at an advantage in the trade: due to the Sweetborne shortage, there was a massive Vixen drought ravaging Ugandalore and other planets affected by Vermillion exports. Addicts entering horribly painful withdrawal turned to armed robbery to buy the last remaining bags of Vixen, which were all horrendously overpriced and so stepped on that they were nearly 99% other substances. Fenric and his cohorts saw this as an opportunity to push Fire Salt on these desperate fiends, as well as using the addicts as a private army, since the Vermillions controlled the only source of Vixen and could buy the tweakers as soldiers for a wrap of the drug.
The Vermillions faced challenges from other gangs, including an increasing number of truly vicious gangsters from the Eastern Shore. Perhaps the most tenacious foe was the gang led by Deloros Clett, Kirta's brother, who was determined to stamp out Fenric's crew. Deloros sought to cut off the Vermillions' access to the drug market and thus cripple their income. However, he underestimated the tenacity of the gang, as well as how powerful they still remained. The Syndicate still had a large reserve of muscle to protect their shipments both on-world and off. So began what would become known as the Mendel Drug War, and would see several bodies drop as Fenric both battled for control of the drug trade as well as attempted to worm his way into Mendel politics.
Despite both fighting and befriending Croxtethian torture squads, Libershan voodoo kingpins, Checken warlords, cannibalistic Serm drug traffickers, Roamerian suffocation experts, and Apreshian hit-men, all extremely dangerous Eastern Shore gangsters, Fenric's biggest and most persistent problem was Deloros, whose gang was hitting him at every opportunity. Meanwhile, Fenric began reorganizing his group to make it more effective. Redundant roles were eliminated, and due to casualties taken in the previous wars the Syndicate was now almost entirely made up of former Mendel, including the Lagorthenes. This would fit Fenric's original vision of conquering Mendel with Mendel. Many Red Veil fighters and Wasterlings still remained in his army, but apart from them other races numbered in the hundreds or even dozens.
Fenric also began to slowly revert to his old ways. His people, the Lupotragii, are a superstitious lot who believe in visions, signs, and fate, though not necessarily gods of any kind. Fenric had come to scorn such beliefs, but after his many experiences began to have some doubts to the Blood Brotherhood's atheism that he had learned and retained for years. He started attending shamanistic rituals with Northern druids, where he consumed drugs, meditated, or simply stared into flames or water. He didn't see or understand much until the day after he returned from battle with Deloros' gang. Asleep in his bed at night, he suddenly awoke to noises. When he awoke, the room suddenly lit up, and he was confronted by his dead ancestors and relatives. All expressed confidence that Fenric would win, but warned him to beware of entering battles he couldn't win. They told him to keep faith with his people's ways as it was the only way to stay strong for battle, both in body and mind. Then, they vanished. Fenric would later note that his father, though believed dead, was not among the visions.
From this point on, Fenric became more and more fanatical. He would stare into fire or water for hours on end. He reforged Glacier's sword, adding in the powdered bones of his deceased family. Eventually, he heeded the advice of various druids and shamans from the Northern Clans, his native Lupotragus, and even the Lagorthene, and began to sacrifice his foes. Raiders began stealing Deloros' men, or other rival gangsters, away at night. Fenric would then either drown them or burn them, and have shamans interpret the spectacle for him. Soon, word spread that the Fallen King, as he became known, was even crazier than before, and even the most hardened gangsters became weary of crossing him. His men converted in droves, since Fenric's own beliefs incorporated elements of theirs. Fenric's army gradually went from a ragtag band of rapists and cannibals to a ferocious cult of pseudoreligious zealots. Still, the drug business continued, and with it, the drug war, though now the Syndicate's methods of dealing with its foes became more and more extreme.
Structure and Operations Edit
Unlike many rebel movements or terrorist organizations, the Vermillion Syndicate does not utilize a cell system, instead maintaining a direct military hierarchy. The Supreme Commander rules undisputed, with the various warlords, chieftains, and crime kings that make up the general leadership pledging direct allegiance to him. Usually, each warlord has his own troops and ranking systems, though the Syndicate itself does maintain a loose hierarchy. Below the Supreme Commander is the Second-In-Command, who assists him and carries out his directives. Also below the Supreme Commander are his Generals, in Fenric's case his brothers. Below the Generals are the Majors, the most trusted warlords and tribal leaders. Below them are the Captains, high-ranking members who are not completely trusted, or those of not as much importance. Still below are the Lieutenants, usually warlords' military commanders. The final rank is that of Sergeant, who are commanders of lesser tribal forces or lower military units.
The only true non-military members of the organization are the wives and sisters of its members, who are typically kept at arm's length so they can continue to provide assistance if their husband or brother is captured and imprisoned. Throughout the Syndicate's operational history they have been used to smuggle drugs, weapons, and orders to imprisoned members. Due to Fenric's brother Fenris' friendship with a corrupt Mendel military general, Vergil Makarog, acquiring military-grade weaponry, classified intel, and a free pass into the prison system's black market have never been more than a communication away for the Vermillions. Throughout the organization's whole history, no wife or sister of any member has ever been prosecuted under Mendel law, not counting those confined to reservation camps on Ugandalore like the Lagorthenes and Feral Clans. In addition, while the various arms traffickers, drug smugglers and producers, procurement specialists, and hired assassins cannot be considered military assets, they are nonetheless highly important parts of the organization's logistics.
The Vermillion Syndicate is primarily made up of tribal Mendel disgruntled with how the system treats them, poverty-stricken youths promised wealth and freedom, and various street gangs, crime firms, and small cartels that the Syndicate has assimilated or contracted. It never had popular support from the Mendel people, and many of its members are much more focused on making money than the Vermillion family's politics. Thus, the organization is much more similar to a drug cartel than a rebel movement. Before the Syndicate took control of Ugandalore, it was primarily run from the various reservations set up to corral and control the many tribal groups that Fenric had rallied to his side during the Mendel Schism, as well as the ferocious Lagorthenes. These reservations were notoriously corrupt and easy to smuggle contraband and messages through. Instead of clamping a lid on support for the Vermillion family, it instead gave them an easy way of spying on their foes and a steady source of income from black market deals between tribal agents and their corrupt Mendel military guards.
The main source of revenue for the organization is drug trafficking. Once the Vermillion Syndicate had formed properly, Fenric used the various contacts he had made in the Blood Brotherhood, such as the Spyke Syndicate and Goar Taboryur's Q-Company, to smuggle huge quantities of drugs throughout Mendel territory. At first, the main drug of choice was Tar Powder. A drug with no ill effects until after years of abuse, it was easy to buy, transport, and sell. However, Tar Powder is very hard to cultivate and extract, and the Vermillions were never able to control the production, resulting in contacts going dark and supply lines being cut, long dry spells where none was on the market for wholesale purchase, and wet seasons when it was so readily available that the price plummeted. On top of that, in a market dominated by "gentleman" drug kingpins who displayed their riches openly and shunned large-scale violence, the Vermillions were seen as savage, backwoods cutthroats best avoided, so nobody wanted to deal with them.
Ever resourceful, the members in charge of revenue turned to a radically different product: Electrogas. A horribly addictive stimulant that gave the user very weak and unstable biotic powers, Electrogas is entirely synthetic. This meant that, instead of wining and dining important, luxury-obsessed drug dealers, the Vermillions could hide in the woods of Ugandalore, dumping weapon plasma and ship fuel into cheap chemistry sets. This further "enhanced" the Vermillions' reputations as unsophisticated hicks of the drug trade, making their cash by turning plasma fluid into a highly dangerous drug and selling it wholesale to dealers with networks of wannabe biotics whose skin and eyes were blue and damaged and whose brains were literally turning to mush. The Electrogas and Tar Powder trade gave the Vermillions a very large war chest to work with, much larger than the organizations they formed from. However, the real cash flow wouldn't start until they took Ugandalore.
One of the clans that would swear allegiance to the Vermillions was Clan Sweetborne, so named for the flower that grew in their territory. Long ago, they had discovered that this flower contained a chemical that numbed all pain and gave a great boost to the senses. Outlawed by the Mendel leadership, it was nonetheless discovered by illicit scientists that the flower could be processed into a much more potent drug called Vixomorphen, or "Vixen" on the black market. When Fenric took over Ugandalore, he legalized the cultivation of the Sweetborne flower and set up several superlabs dedicated to Vixen production. This would lead to an explosion of violence in combination with the rest of the chaos gripping Ugandalore, as northern clans skirmished over Sweetborne fields, rival drug lords executed each other's servants, and regular citizens trying to escape the reality of living under Fenric died of overdoses or became fiends robbing and killing to fund their next dose. But none of this troubled Fenric, as Mendel strategists estimated that he was exporting two metric tonnes a day of Vixen to other planets and netting about 400,000,000 Sporebucks with each such shipment, as just one pound of pure, high quality Vixen is worth up to 100,000 Sporebucks. This equals 14 billion Sporebucks a year.
Another major source of income for the Vermillion organization is arms trafficking. Despite not netting the faction nearly as much as the drug trade, selling guns and explosives to prospecting terrorists and security-minded drug lords brings the organization an estimated 6 billion Sporebucks in a good year. Due to having contacts in the Mendel military, the Vermillions have access to combat-rated assault weapons with illegal modifications, high explosives, antimatter weaponry, various grades of missiles, and even experimental technology from empires allied to the Mendel. These weapons were often found disassembled in food shipments on their way to reservations, the Vermillions hoping to arm their imprisoned members to conduct illicit business on Ugandalore. One notable shipment involved a large number of faux-Asconium blades, the technique for manufacture presumably stolen from the Blood Knights. It is a commonly-held belief that the Vermillions can acquire any weapon they want, and sell it to whomever they want. This often includes buying tecnhology from the late Drakodominatus Tyranny on top-secret black market aunctions in Mirus' vast underworld and then selling it back to their previous owners, not so much the extinct Dominatus as the surviving Overseers and Syenthetics. Such deals are profitable for the Vermillions not because of the wealth they bring -in order to prevent their deaths at the hands of these insanely powerful soldiers, the Vermillions give them the brought technology free of charge- but because of the indebtment of these insanely powerful soldiers to their new mecenas. Arms trafficking has slowed down as the Vermillions now buy large quantities of weapons not for resale, but to arm their forces on Ugandalore to maintain a hold on the planet. The Vermillions also operate several weapons factories on Ugandalore, creating thousands of military-grade assault weapons.
The Vermillion Syndicate has never been focused on inciting the people to rebellion. Rather, it carries out direct attacks against the Mendel government in hopes of destabilizing it enough to mount a coup. These methods often involve sending hired assassins to kill important Mendel clan leaders or religious figures, carrying out armed attacks against targets important to the Mendel economy, and assisting other rebels in their effort to damage the integrity of the Pact. Such assistance is often levied to factions within the Mendel Pact the Vermillions wish to incite to separatism. The most notable case was when the Vermillions convinced the Sharakour tribes to rebel from Mendel control after the Mendel continued to desecrate their sacred sites. The Sharakour received large quantities of weaponry, and Fenric even sent some of his top military commanders to coordinate their attacks against the Mendel colony.
The Vermillions have displayed an uncanny ability to worm their way into every major Mendel government institution. They have bribed clan lords into letting them use areas under their control for the manufacturing of drugs and weapons, bribed military generals into giving up military secrets and sending them combat-rated weaponry, and have even co-opted relief aid organizations. For example, after the Syndicate's apparent defeat on Militora, it was discovered that Mendel shuttles filled with food for allies affected by war were returning loaded down with counterfeit stimsticks and buzzbars, which would be sold by corrupt reservation guards to Syndicate operatives. In fact, imprisoning the main Syndicate leaders in the Deephold facility only expanded the level of corruption and black market trading the Syndicate was dealing in, as the group's leaders made friends with established career criminals. As Vermillion-managed hard drugs flowed into the prison, their new allies had their associates on the outside send weapons to the reservations and continue to bribe the Mendel officials who allowed such trafficking.
Goals and Beliefs Edit
Rank System Edit
|Ranks||Crusaders||Ta'adhartha||Aeba Shuka||Suicide Watch||Viterva Khmara||Scythe of Glory||Pseudopath|
Supreme Commander Edit
Position of Second-In-Command Edit
Non-Military Members Edit
Allies EditYou have made the right choice.
- Raptoranean Matriarchy - Our agreement stands. No crime within your borders.
- Scythe of Glory - Truly powerful warriors, we are glad to have them as friends.
- Pseudopath Empire - Divided and in turmoil, but some remain our loyal comrades.
- Jamis Gredyc's Ruins Hand faction
Friendly EditContinue this path. Do not falter.
- Cognatus Empire - Interesting. Perhaps we can rule Cyrannus together. Perhaps not.
Neutral EditYou test fate. Time to choose.
- Natural Predators - Sometimes useful, sometimes pricks.
At War EditYour demise is certain. The pain you will feel is open to debate.
- Sleepless Night - Vile undead filth. They must be purged before even the Grox.
- Alpha Cyber Collective - They must be destroyed, and we are the only ones who can do that.
- Leviathan Hive-mind - Lapdogs of the Cyber Collective. They will perish with their allies.
- Bio-Morphling Horde - Some we inherited from our predecessors. The rest must die.
- The Brotherhood of Darklings - They must be wiped from the galaxy as surely as the Cyber Collective.
- Galactic Empire of Cyrannus - Worse than the damn Darklings.
Quotes From Them Edit
Quotes From Others Edit
Add your own!
Twilight Zone - For war with the Mendel Pact