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The Rise of Kul

Smor’Gen’Blok


Hi’Wor. Great. Za’Kul had reservations about the meeting as a whole to begin with, and now he and Ju’Kul were forced to meet with War’Boa’s petulant son. A spoiled brat. An idiot, in Za’Kul’s firmest opinion. Hi’Wor likely thought the same of Za’Kul. The real difference between Za’Kul and Hi’Wor was Hi’Wor possessed every negative trait Za’Kul did and each was pushed to its worst extreme.

To say Hi’Wor was outright evil was unfair. He was a typical Lok’Sha without the necessary aegis to be chieftain apart from his father’s approval--which, in most tribes, all one needed was the backing of the chief--and all the penchant for precise violence necessary to make people fear you; but nothing to make them love you. Za’Kul didn’t bother speaking, though he was the chieftan’s son, he held no considerable stature among any of the men and women here.

All the same, he wasn’t sure how much of Hi’Wor’s smug he could take before he put hands on Hi’Wor. He would have to wait and see. If anything did happen--such as him losing his temper--he had come prepared, and filled with enough constrained rage to unleash on Wor’Boa’s idiot seed.
The Rise of Kul

Smor'Gen'Blok


Za’Kul stopped in his tracks. Slaves! No, never. Before there was mistrust, seeded hatred. It was becoming anger; it burned in the depths of his stomach,

“Slaves? No! Cannot!” then he realized how close they were to the Wor holdings and his rage involuntarily died. It knew. He knew he couldn’t cause a scene; the fact the High Wor even considered negotiation was a miracle itself; it was unbecoming of him to ruin their lone chance at reasoning with them. He had to bite his tongue and bide his time.

All that pride he had would be swallowed; his father climbed the ranks of his pitiful tribe through cunning; Za’Kul would have to at least mimic some of that if he wanted to assure Ju’Kul and himself made it out alive. To do something stupid which got one’s tribes fellow killed was an offense punishable by death. He kept behind Ju’Kul so that the elder could handle much of the talking, he was in no mood or mind to do so himself.

He just hoped the Ju’Kul had some sort of plan.
The Rise of Kul

Smor'Gen'Blok
“Worse? Can be no worse. What demand Wor make?” Za’Kul couldn’t imagine what else the High Wor required of his meager people. They had already ‘given’ the Wor everything. Many of the Kul worked for the Wor: mining, forging, picking. Could they be demanding all of the scraps of tunnel the Kul had to themselves? A sacrifice for a ritual? It made no sense.

“Nothing for Kul to give!” a growl muddled alongside a shout carried Za’Kul’s incensed declaration against the walls and through the maw of the cave he and Ju’Kul walked down. A horde of guards stood guarding its exit; two of which he knew: Da’Kul and Sa’do’Kul. One, Da’Kul was younger than his company--around Za’Kul’s age in fact. He was quiet for a Lok’Sha, and Za’Kul had only heard whispers of the node ritual he underwent, the sacrifice it required.

To feel pain for Lok’Sha was a given, but to desire to feel more than one already would during his potential century of existence was something Za’Kul could not fathom. More, he was not brave enough to do the same for himself--or so he thought.
The Rise of Kul

Smor'Gen'Blok

Za’Kul trained his visage along the path of the running woman who scorned Ju’Kul. Ever defensive, he had mind to rectify her sin then and there. Then again, even in Lok’Sha culture, unprovoked violence against women was frowned upon to a degree.

“Dumb,” was the sum of his opinion on the trespasser. Za’Kul continued to follow behind Ju’Kul with steady pace,

“Wor,” contempt flared with mention of the name, “what business with them? Thought we stop long time ago?” Za’Kul had no love for any of the High or Great tribes of Smor’Gen’Blok. The High Wor received the focus of his repulse because they were the ones who prevented the Low Kul from entering and exiting and buying and selling as was necessary for his people to advance in social strata.

Wor’Boa was among the most vicious and cunning chiefs there were, more than some of the chiefs of the Great tribes. Far as Za’Kul was concerned, the leaders of the Great tribes were so because of inheritance and because they were among the oldest tribes of Smor’Gen’Blok. They were still to be respected--nay, they had to be respected for their sheer number alone. With a single warcry, entire tribes could be erased from existence should the Great Warchiefs desire.

And so Za’Kul would feign respect best as he could. Less was Za’Kul’s forced reverence for the High chieftans, though they too were more accomplished--and much as it pained him to concede--better and more fit for their station than Za’Kul was at present. Perhaps today that would change, perhaps today he could show the Wor and the Low Kul that he was not just “ant”--that he belonged among the big boys.
I'm tossing in an archer.
In.

The Rise of Kul

Smor'Gen'Blok

9 A.M.


To his father Za’Kul knelt with his fist still pressed over his heart. He rose and spoke,

“I go. You rest.” Ju’Kul, the informal second in command. Smor’Gen’Blok’s tribes had no formal ranking system besides the official chieftans, and within the tribes themselves there were those who were respected enough to hold positions of power. Ju’Kul was one of his father’s oldest friends, though he was nowhere near the same age as his father. Lok’Sha remained in their primes until he died, and Ju’Kul--among the Low tribes--was respected as a warchief, but more for his leadership. An old Lok’Sha tale long circulated around the Low tribes about Ju’Kul’s stand against an army of Maw Hounds with nothing but a rock. The truth of said legend was doubtful indeed.

Za’Kul, nonetheless, aspired to be like him. In age--and everything else, if he was honest with himself--Za’Kul was nearly everyone’s junior and was sometimes treated as such. Unlike many of the other races of Thoris, 30 was near infant. For Lok’Sha especially, one did not reach their ‘prime’, they were always in their prime. Their bodies only got better: faster, stronger, more durable. Blood of four hearts blessed Lok’Sha with physical gifts unparalleled in all the land, and they were a hearty and ignorant group because of it.

Morning lingered, Za’Kul prepared himself for the day by making sure he carried his small armaments--his two battleaxes--with him. The Great Warhammer was for massive battles and sieges, too cumbersome for quick travel. Navigating the system of the Low Kul’s respective cave was not difficult, theirs was miniscule. To the surface is where Za’Kul planned to take his people once given the chance; he would subdue the Shaka and the Wor if necessary, he was tired of looking up at them--tired of having to prostrate before them because they had numbers and connections. Alas, there was nothing he could do but wait for a miracle.

It didn’t take long for Za’Kul to find Ju’Kul. Again with his fist over his heart, he spoke,

“Ju’Kul. Strength. Pa send me. What work for today?” he let his arm fall to his side, the blood red of his eyes fixed directly on the man who had been like an uncle to him.

The Ode of the Pathetic


Attack on Sherman Square


Ebony sky compressed the things below it to silhouettes in Pantheon’s sight. The firmament decor exchanged consistent black for the reds and oranges of explosions, debris found brief illumination in tune with flame. Overhead, thrashing rain settled the steam rising off him; a soothing cool helped him reign his bloodlust. The boy loved rain and any trinket of joy made it easier for him to slip through, to pull against Pantheon’s push.

Eyes closed, he let himself feel the calm. They felt it as one, if only for a brief moment. It was snapped with a beckon. Visage opened to more dancing booms and fire raiding the heavens, a boredom swept and stayed. Love for battle that he had, the collective might of the heroes was greater and more effective even than what he could do on his own. Nothing here was enough of a challenge for him. Focus enclosed around a familiar face and voice, the Alchemyst; she came with another, the witch who--unbeknownst to Pantheon--was the origin of this ethereal storm.

Alchemyst brung him a weapon, a bat forged from her talent. It rolled near his feet and he picked it up to examine it. Spikes were a nice addition though unnecessary for his purposes. As he opened his mouth to greet his nearest acquaintance and introduce himself to her companion, the fume and light of a flare smoked at his feet. Attention drawn toward it and then its general direction, Pantheon turned. An army of Hounds, nothing new; so mundane, in fact, Pantheon initially hadn’t even made a move to confront them. Brazen though he was, the boy wasn’t going to leave Alchemyst nor her friend unguarded, he knew Alchemyst’s powers took time and were of no defense against a hail of bullets.

Lady Hex had mentioned requiring cover; unfortunately, a thick fog would not be enough to deter the marching squadron of terrorists, or so he was inclined to believe. It was not until Pantheon saw the effects of the red smog that he lifted an eyebrow, interest piqued. He would not be getting on her bad side any time soon. She had dismantled many of the Hounds mechanisms including their guns in one fell swoop. It didn’t prevent a few of the silver bullets fired (while the ritual was occuring) to crush against Pantheon’s body and for him to stumble back, woozed by the disrupting enchantments of the projectiles.

By the time he gained his wit, Hex’s ritual had completed and its effects apparent. In those moments following his disorientation, Pantheon took himself and his handy new weapon toward the crowd of Hounds. Spikes dug into flesh and ripped skin from faces; metal banged against bone and one could hear the grinding of snapping ligaments. Loud pops from broken kneecaps and torn ACL’s. He made quick and light work of the platoon of men.

Lying before him were broken, useless, sprawled Hound bodies. A swathe of armored trucks rolled up, replacing the group of Hounds’ depleted numbers fast as he could whittle them down. Pantheon’s eyes dropped to the bat, then raised to the truck. The violence had become comical; he could not help but laugh at the absurdity of his own actions. These were peons. They did not deserve his energy; he was only here because of Charlie and the agreement he had struck with her to begin with. He tossed Charlie’s gift of destruction aside. Standing in front of the group of armored trucks, he sighed and then spoke,

”I let one of you live before because the boy is courteous, ”Pantheon remarked as though the group of Hounds knew who he was referring to, ”but even he grows tired of this. Bore me further and I will assure none of you get a chance to suffer, I will kill you.”

They had forfeited their right to live long ago far as Pantheon was concerned. A dissenting voice cut across his warning from behind, she called herself Blacklight. Pantheon turned to face her, behind him the armored Hound trucks climbed out, weapons pointed. She floated slightly above him, the cold of her wings chilled him briefly before becoming a heat; he admired the strange beauty of the scattered light.

”Blacklight,” he looked her up and down, palleted iris’ chaining finally to her face, ”I am Pantheon.” always respectful of some mortal customs, introduction was merely coded, polite showmanship and the antithesis of humility, as was Pantheon.

”And this is not a courtroom, your charge is foolish. We have done far more here today than is within the right of any of your mortal laws. Do not lecture me, child.”

”Instead, be useful. Let us remove these fools from our presence.”

<Snipped quote by DearTrickster>

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