“The galaxy we call home is an ancient one; far beyond my years and far beyond the years of anyone alive in it. I have come across a myriad of figures with stories that could fill endless books, all different to one another in every way possible. Amid a galaxy in strife and pain, sometimes learning another's life story is a way of quelling that agony.”
The Champions of Tuuros is a collective of short stories revolving around particular individuals that live or have lived within the Tuuros Galaxy. Each section serves as a tale for a different character, displaying certain events of their lives while serving as an example of their personality and characteristics.
“Unlike many in this galaxy who talk with their fists, perhaps you should speak with that part of your body that produces language. Like a civilised being.”
- Date: TY 11706/AD 1793
- Location: Jaqusumac, Xalak-Xittan Sector, Sumikian Commerce Nexus Territory
Jaqusumac was a planet of no true peculiarity within the Tuuros. It was green, luscious and warm; much to the preference of the Sumikians who had made this world one of their key trading outposts in the further reaches of the galaxy. The azure skies of the planet were almost always clear on summer evenings, and as sunset came to pass over the horizon - bringing out several shades of red and yellow as the stars began to dazzle, so sat a lone Mahanayan within one of the several hotels of Jaqusumac's luxurious and rural steads. Mazarothas, as was customary in one of innumerable places he had visited, took one of the plain rooms that had presented him with such a view. The room before had arrived had no furniture, and instead he had brought only the simplicities that a Mahanayan spirtualist such has him took along with him on his travels. A mat for meditation, a bedroll, several tapestries of Mahanayan prayers that were hung on the wall, and of course a smoking pipe that had become a staple of the image of Mahanayans.
Mazarothas often spent days on end on the balcony, ruminating endlessly and at complexities so deep several other beings of the galaxy would have likely gone mad as to have a guess. Though he had spent his long life between people and place, outliving and outlasting several of them, he took solace and enjoyment in viewing a sunset. This one in particular - the warmth of the summer night and the vivid nature of dusk had reminded him of his homeworld. He had not set foot on Mahanaya for years beyond count; he had estimated by now that it was over 1600 years (by the earthly calendar), and unlike many nights in the six hundred thousand or so nights he had witnessed, reminding him of Mahanaya was unique and unusual. That evening he begun to wonder whether returning home was a part of his path - the path all spiritwalking Mahanayans took, although for what reason? Despite how it had began to pain him of the memory of his home, he quickly dismissed all thought of Mahanaya and took a deep inhale upon his smoking pipe.
The pipe was of sentimental value to Mazarothas, or as sentimental as it came to him; it was repaired so many times over the centuries that it was no longer the original item he took with him; nor were the tapestries or the mats he brought along with him. He knew the feel of his pipe perfectly as he examined it day by day with his hands - it was lengthy, about eight feet in total, bronze and steel in colour and polished in sensation. From the base of the pipe, was a tube that lead to the device that provided the inhalant; not so far removed from the hookah of earthly cultures. It was anchored on the ground as Mazarothas sat in his pensive stance, gazing out over the horizon as the sun met the lake that his hotel was built next to. He had become expert at drowning out noise - hotels, particularly Sumikian hotels, were alive all hours with the sounds of frivolity and debauchery. Mazarothas was, of course, not interested. The prospect of a room with a scenic view was all he wanted. It was rather unexpectedly a hefty price to have one of these oddly planned rooms, but years of different professions meant that Mazarothas accrued a strangely high sum of money to travel across the galaxy with.
It was nearing the first hour of the planet's morning, in the middle of Mazarothas' contemplation, that a ruckus kicked up on the bar level, not so far from Mazarothas' own room. Something about the essence of that disturbing sound - something that could not be entirely explained through speech disturbed Mazarothas' train of thought. The presence from that place was dissonant; like a noise or a miasmatic cloud that polluted the room. It was not the first time that Mazarothas felt the quality of that presence - something that he had felt in his days working against the Congregation; although not as violent in its breath nor its intensity. Nevertheless, there was no conclusion needed for Mazarothas to investigate the dark presence that had stained the otherwise already questionable activity of a high-class Sumikian establishment. Setting down his pipe and extinguishing the flame that produced the smoke, he donned a beige and gray robe that hid his figure, and pulled its hood over his head to a darkness where his mysterious and pulsating eyes could be seen at work. Despite his stature, he made no sound nor tremor as he moved his way to the bar level.
Surprisingly, it took effort for the Mahanayan to ascertain the quality of the character that had entered the room. In fact, it appeared that there was no disruption of the activities going on there, either. Was that all in his head? He was briefly disturbed by that false judgement; it would have taken a force of an immediately great danger for his senses to be thrown off, but his eyes never deceived him - the bar level was only slightly disturbed by his presence instead. Taking to the walkways behind the wall dividers, passing by aliens of several qualities - Sumikian, Nanusuloan, Tyle'an, Lieschi to name a few - none of them truthfully compared to the imposing height of the Mahanayan, although it seemed that in his efforts to hide himself, few in fact took notice of his race despite moving through them like a serpentine mist. As his eyes darted from individual to individual, the noise in his head grew. It was like a detector to the unwelcome presence within this room, his eyes locking on to each face in trepidation that the noise would become clear. Some moments passed as the noise grew more discordant in his mind, until one face magnetised his focus to him; a lone Sumikian, dressed in otherwise ostentatious finery, flanked left and right by Sumikian bodyguards. The loudness of his outfit had actually hidden him somewhat from view - as this individual was none other than Tuk Nijusi - the most wanted individual by the Sumikians and several nations across the galaxy, and the Pirate King of the Covens.
Opposite Nijusi, as he sat casually with a small cigar in his mouth was another Sumikian - a crimeboss by an immediate observation from Mazarothas - who it was was not important nor did he know. There was no doubt that a criminal transaction was taking place, far from the view of any authority there - or perhaps, Nijusi paid them to look the other way. Nonetheless, as Mazarothas entered the view of the booth they were sitting in, all of them turned to face the immense hooded figure that darkened their view. The guards on both sides of the table took no hesitation in priming their weapons in the Mahanayan's direction; it was maybe the most natural thing to have done in such an odd circumstance. Nijusi was rather obviously shocked at the sight of a Mahanayan right in front of him, while the crimeboss almost scurried out of his seat to retreat from him. Before any rounds of ammunition could be fired however, Mazarothas, seemingly with the gesture of his very hand, sent the entire room into a halt. Every individual there, from patron to guard froze in action - leaving only Mazarothas, Nijusi and the somewhat tasteless music playing on the speakers.
A moment passed as Nijusi composed himself - trying to appear as if the Pirate King was fearless, reassuming some nonchalant seating position as Mazarothas looked upon him with an unfavourable gaze. Taking the cigar from out of his mouth, doing his best not to cough, he continued to look upon the Mahanayan with his illuminating eyes with some sense of amazement.
- Nijusi - Well...you're a big one. ...And...you froze the entire room. ...Mahanayan I presume?
Mazarothas uncloaked himself, pulling away his hood from over his head. It revealed the face of the Mahanayan - seemingly not young but not old, with minimal scarring from brutal battles past. Nijusi now looked in nothing but wonder at the face of the enigmatic alien - this was, by his account, the first Mahanayan he had ever encountered. He himself was older Mazarothas by a number of centuries, and possibly never expected to encounter a Mahanayan so close, nor so unexpectedly within a bar so far from the centre of the galaxy.
- Nijusi - I must say...that is a neat trick you just pulled. You only hear stories of the Mahanayans, how they're generally unkind to strangers. ...Well. Do you want drink? I'd order you one, but it looks like you also froze the service.
- Mazarothas - I don't drink.
- Nijusi - So you actually speak the common tongue? I'm surprised. I don't like the common tongue...it's uncultured. Some idiotic language if you ask me that the Nanusuloans put on this galaxy. ...But what is it that you want? Do you know who I am?
- Mazarothas - I would strongly advise against challenging me, Tuk Nijusi.
- Nijusi - So you do know who I am. I could send my entire fleet after you if I wanted to, you know? But I'm enjoying some time out.
- Mazarothas - Enemy territory seems somewhat unintelligent for the Pirate King to hide.
- Nijusi - No better place to hide than right underneath your enemy. So, what is it that you want? Come on, answer my question.
- Mazarothas - No. You will answer my questions.
Nijusi did little to consider arguing with the Mahanayan in front of him. He was well aware of the ancient beings of galactic legend that were said to be able to pull entire fleets apart with their minds - it may have seemed like a stem of tall tales beforehand, although looking into the eyes of Mazarothas with his own, he began to believe the ludicrous notion of the power of a Mahanayan. Instead, he swallowed his pride - almost literally - and nodded in defeat at the Mahanayan's demand.
- Mazarothas - What is your business here?
- Nijusi - ...Odd asking me that question. I'm a pirate. The man you froze right in front of me is a crimeboss on the inside. Add two and two together?
- Mazarothas - Pirates do not work with crimebosses. The implications are that you're going to plunder the Nexus.
- Nijusi - Nothing as crude as that, no. I could do that any day of the week. No. My plan requires more...meticulous thought and probably a longer waiting process. My plan? Take over the entire sector.
- Mazarothas - With what method, exactly?
- Nijusi - I'm a pirate and an excellent smuggler. I can smuggle an entire fleet behind enemy lines if needs be. That will be the case. This man here was going to close my deal.
Nijusi reached for the glass of the blue alcoholic drink on the table, hoping that by kicking it back it would give him a sense of stability again. The drink had only froze in mid-air before Nijusi could feel the warmth of it entering his gullet; causing him to frustratingly narrow his gaze on the Mahanayan.
- Nijusi - You could give me at least one comfort here, Mahanayan.
- Mazarothas - Why are you telling me what you are planning? What is there to say that I will not go to the authorities and tell them of your plan?
- Nijusi - It's rather simple. You and I both know that you don't feel like doing that. Don't look at me like I don't know what you are, Mahanayan. Your concerns are generally to just...ignore the galaxy? Tell me. Would Zhuleshxi be still alive if you Mahanayans bothered to move?
- Mazarothas - Zhuleshxi is beyond us.
- Nijusi - We both know there's some falseness behind that. Yes; you could probably pull apart my fleet, correct? Why not just do that?
- Mazarothas - ...That is not where my path leads me, Sumikian.
- Nijusi - And yet, here you are asking me questions. So let me ask you - what are you doing here?
The folds of Mazarothas' wizened eyes furrowed ever so slightly at the Sumikian. Sumikians were known for their quick talking, but generally not for their staunch confidence in the face of Mahanayans. Nijusi was of course not like most Sumikians - the dark presence that surrounded him was enough for Mazarothas to realise that.
- Mazarothas - Zhuleshxi's trail follows you like a lingering stench.
- Nijusi - ...And what prompts you to say that?
- Mazarothas - Don't look at me like I don't know what you are, Sumikian. A chaotic energy clouds you as if it is a part of you. What are you hiding?
- Nijusi - Heh. You Mahanayans live up to your reputation for perception. Yes. I admit it; I have a secret...but I can't keep it from you. But it's nothing more than immortality, really. Here I am. Two thousand two hundred years old and I have the body of someone centuries younger than me. Of course us Sumikians tend to live three or so thousand years, but have you ever seen one so youthful at my age? No. I have precursor technology to thank for that.
- Mazarothas - Thankfulness is perhaps not the word I would have. Not in the future.
Nijusi's feigned confidence - that mask he had kept on the entire time, faded quite rapidly at that remark. He did not know what the Mahanayan meant by that, but there was an inexplicable certainty behind that remark. Something that hollowed him to the core.
- Nijusi - ...W-what do you mean by that now?
- Mazarothas - We will cross paths again undoubtedly; but I hope you're of a sound mind when we are. Your mind will go before your body does, that I am sure of. ...Good luck with your mission, Tuk Nijusi. I hope it brings you the comforts you will need. You will need it.
Waving his hand in the same gesture only minutes beforehand, the liveliness of the room entered as quickly as it had exited. The drink that Mazarothas had froze shattered on the table, sending shards of glass and drink all over Nijusi's clothing, breaking his concentration on the Mahanayan as the fine spirit stained his expensive suit. As he looked up, Mazarothas was gone, much like the shadowy figure that he presented himself to be. He gazed at where the Mahanayan was for some moments, ignoring the commotion around him as the guards looked around in great confusion. The crimeboss opposite him returned to his seat, rambling on at Nijusi whilst he was caught up in his stupor.
- Crimeboss - ...Nijusi? Nijusi?! Did you see that?! What was that?!
- Nijusi - ...Nothing. Nothing at all.
- Crimeboss - Don't you play stupid with me, Nijusi! You saw that just as clearly as I did!
Without hesitation, Nijusi unleashed a pistol upon the crimeboss, pointed the barrel at blank range upon the fine tissue of the Sumikian's head.
- Nijusi - I didn't. See. A thing. Now shut up, take a sip of your drink, and let's talk business.
- The Champions of Tuuros follows the same format as the Tales of Champions, a collective of stories from the Fantasy Universe.