Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All Portals for RPG

There are an infinite number of portals, limited only by your imagination. As a matter of course, Nine Portals offers a default for portal creation based on the Nine Greater Portals of power. Therefore, review the updated portals and their attributes before working them into your game plan.

There are two primary manifestations of portals—Natural or artificial. Natural portals are caused by phenomena of various kinds. These might be rifts in space/ time due to the alignment of invisible forces of chaos (unconscious forces). Artificial portals are created by sentient beings, or are natural portals which have been fixed into one location by an arc. An arc is a housing structure for a natural portal. For instance, a phenomenon known as a gas portal will drift in interstellar space, and on occasion finds its way to terrestrial worlds. Sentient beings knowing of such portal movements in space, may decide to erect structures to snare, and confine, the portal to a fixture.

All lesser portals, whether natural or artificial, draw their power from the essence of one or more of the nine greater portals.

The Nine Greater Portals

The Nine are a preexisting family of portals adrift in the absolute void beyond space and time. These portals are told to us to have been brought into the realms of space/ time by the giants of chaos.  While some of these portals are natural, the artificially created hyrdo portal is still considered a greater portal, having been created by god-like entities.

The greater portals have been revised in 9PRPG in 2014. They are as follows:
1.    Ice (giant portal)
2.    Fire (giant portal)
3.    Air
4.    Water
5.    Metal (polarity of fire, air, iron)
6.    Necro (elemental salt)
7.    Diabolic (elemental venom)
8.    Hydro (elemental yeast, water, and polarity of ice)
9.    Earth (A harmonious combination of the elements)
All of the nine greater portals were spawned from the ultimate portal, also known as the chaos portal. The term chaos portal was later applied to all magically crafted or technologically engineered portals for accessing any part of the same realm by bending the harmonious frequencies of various elemental forces found in nature.
Ice portal
Opens to realms of ice, or to another specified location by the game admin.
Fire portal
Opens to infernal realms.
Air portal
Opens to places ordinarily difficult to reach with other portals. For example, a part of adventurers wish to reach the loft of Azerel, a city resting aloft the zenith of Mount Arabrak. This mountain is impossible to climb by any means, for its sides are a smooth marble stone, and its height is a few miles to the top. So, a hidden beacon is placed at the foot of the mountain somewhere, and an air portal is nested at the city on the top of Arabrak.
Water portal
Opens to aquatic realms, places where water is the centralized theme or element, and other portals pertaining to water.
Metal portal
Opens to high tech structures, bases, or ancient places associated with the element of metal. The metal portal was first duplicated as a usable portal for humans by the cyborg race (See Threshaven, by Thomas P. Walton).
Necro portal
These evil portals are scattered across the earth in hidden places, such as graveyards, ancient tombs, battlefields of old, and derelict ships. A necro portal crosses between the human world and the necroverse. The necroverse is a temporary magical universe created by the necromancer’s elite, as a means of accessing power from the world of the dead, and to have the best of both worlds.
Diabolic portal
These portals are a one-way-door-to-death. Every one of these portals is the orifice of a gargantuan devil waiting to devour whomsoever enters the event horizon. Some diabolic portals are more aggressive, and have evolved into masses of flailing tentacles, which can drag unwary adventures into the portal. 
Hydro portal
A water, gas, ice, metal portal—all in one. This portal is primarily a gaseous portal house within a metal frame. Hydroportals are artificial, but very powerful, and the most accurate portal known to super-science. You can go anywhere there is a beacon for the portal.
Earth portal
The most stable portal of all elemental portals. The earth portal is a magical fabrication of the original greater earth portal. These portals are either natural or elf made. Druids use them, but do not have the full knowledge or ability to create true earth portals to the source. However, earth portals may be magically cast, so as to move from one place of harmonious earth forces to another. An earth portal, for example, will not operate properly if there are necroportals or metal portals too close by. Thus, wars between druids and cyborgs have been fought over such territories.
Portals defined
A portal is a door between two entirely separate places. Any kind of threshold is potentially a portal. When forces are exacerbated by magic, psionics, or technology, the threshold will create a portal—A door to another place in space/ time.
There are subclasses for portals:
Dimensional door
Smash portal
Temporal door
Time door

Dimensional door
A dimensional door opens between dimensions humans normally can’t cross over. For example, opening a portal through a wall on the first floor of a building, crossing through the second dimension (flat surface of the wall), and passing the third dimension again at the second floor. Dimensional doors are typically opened by spell casters to move from location to another very quickly. Similar to teleportation—Yet, whereas teleportation takes a person instantly to another location without the need of movement, a dimensional door requires the person to step into the threshold.

A rift is created where there are leylines crossing, forming a nexus, and opening a portal on the mark of the nexus. (See Rifts by Palladium). In essence, a rift is a tear in the fabric of space and time, or between two completely different dimensions.

Smash portal
A smash portal is a colossal time storm, like a giant wheel of electromagnetic and gravitational forces, bending and exchanging realities from one dimension to another. Unlike most other portals, a smash portal can destroy its surroundings. These kinds of portals are natural or supernatural. Little is know as to how these portals manifested in the realms. (See Smash Portal, by

A small platform which will teleport a person to another telepad.

A man-size portal, much like a dimensional door. This portal can be combined with a telepad by synchronizing technology and magic.

Another word for an object which will teleport whom so ever touches it. Teleporters are usually activated by touch, and then a word of power, or a magical gesture. A psionic may use mental powers to use the same portal without the need to utter magical words. It’s the thought going into the teleportal that counts.

Temporal door
A door leading to a different time, rather than a different place.

Time door
Also called a temporal door.

A portal of darkness. The entrance to a waygate is an arch through another surface, like a cave in a mountain. The event horizon of the portal is at the point where light cannot break the darkness. Walking through a waygate can lead to anyplace the game administrator chooses. No body knows where waygates arrived from. This idea comes from the literary works of Robert Jordan (See The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan).

In 9portals RPG, we can implement waygates into any other game, such as Rifts or Dungeons and Dragons. How the waygate operates is subject to the better judgment of the game admin or the dungeon master.

A spiraling tunnel of quantum properties which allows travel from one point in space to another in far less time (subjective). In a nutshell, a worm hole allows for starships to travel at warp speed through space.

Other kinds of portals which do not necessarily fit into any subclass are listed below:

Gas portal
Creature portal

A man-made portal for transporting anything from one place to another.

A very large man-made portal—Or a construction built to house and harvest the energy of a natural portal or magically created portal.

Gas portal
A zone of gaseous substance which bends space and time around itself. These can be natural or artificial.

Creature portal
An entity or a creature who can teleport other sentient beings. Such creatures are usually guardians of secret places, assigned to protect ancient secrets or highly advanced technology. A password can be used to ensure the creature teleports only those who have knowledge of the secret phrase or password.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Portal Lore, Volume 1

Portal Lore
Volume one
Thomas P. Walton

Rumor has spread about the portals of the nine archetypes manifesting here and there, in both the realms of fantastic beasts and the medieval lands of men and dragons.  – Malaar, the wise.

About this book…

To better understand why there are nine portals in my role-playing system, I will tell the tale of the legend behind all portals.

As with many of the ancients, the elements were the building blocks of the world. The lore of portals would be incomplete if I did not include the history of the elements, and the creation of the ultimate potential for existence… Midgard (a.k.a., Middle Earth), which in my fiction I call Gaia Saar.

Most game lore is based on the Hermetic philosophy in regard to elements. I’ve decided to run my RPG universe a bit differently, mainly because the Teutonic system is so much more interesting, and in greater detail.

We begin with the element of ice, and thus, our first portal in the entire universe is born…

The Beginning

Darkness held the ultimate void in its tendrils of domination. Yet, it was from this darkness that the polarity of contraction manifested as ice. From ice came forth the fire of the younger gods, who then formed the ultimate portal for giants--the fire portal.

Between these two polarities emerged the parallel universe of air and water, thus forming the air and water portals. These four portals are referred to as the primary portals of power.

The secondary portals formed from fire and air, and gave birth to iron. The aggressive, wild expansion of elemental fire threatened to burn away all that darkness dominated. So, then, the spirit of air flew before the curling flames of endless energy, and presented fire with the element of iron as its child god. Fire taught iron the ways of strength, determination, and conquest through expansion—unlike the contraction of the great darkness the elements fled from through outer-space. 

And so, the metal portal was born of fire and air.

Hearing of this newborn god-child, the element of water went unto the ardent god of fire, and gave him a second child. The child was Venom.

The spirit of venom was as restless as her fiery father. She projected herself out into the void, but found that she could not expand, nor create, nor find joy in any part of the universe.

The father of ice was envious of his fiery children, and so drew water to himself. Ice tore away the power of life from the spirit of water. Fire saw this, and in a fit of rage fought against the great darkness of Ice. In their cosmic struggle, the element of yeast scattered everywhere in the cosmos.

Water and ice formed yeast.

The quick intellect of Air saw the opportunity to steal power from the spirit of darkness. So, he took from Ice the designs of the elder gods. In his cleverness, the great spirit of air breathed his life-force into ice, causing the darkness to slumber, and took from him the salts of the essence of life.

Ice and air formed salt, and thus the first necro portal was born.

These were the first eight portals.

Then something miraculous happened… As the fairies and the giants waded in the fiery depths of their great work, a new element gave birth to all life. This element, the ultimate potential in the entire universe, is a place we call home, or also known as Earth. 

These are the nine portals of power.

The giants settled down beneath the earth and the seas. Others took up great houses for themselves upon the earth. The fairies settled in the trees, and others hid in the secret portals of flame, in the infernal realms beneath the deepest depths of the earth. Those who remained built doors of magic. With these magical doors, the giants could traverse the realms in the entire universe, and keep mechanisms of the greater portals in order.

From the Darkness

In the beginning there was only darkness.

Wading in the fiery depths of their great work, the fire giants were the first to behold the work of their fairy cousins: A new elemental spirit formed from the variations of the primary and secondary components of the universe. Alu sung the child a beautiful name, and her name was Gaia. From Gaia’s gay and merry voice a song was heard. The giants took up the song, making variations of their own. The fairies picked up the melodies, and Alu cried with joy! 

The earth was then formed from the great composition of the elements. The realm of Gaia Saar was then born into existence by the imagination of the children of Alu.

When the age of men reigned strongest on Gaia Saar, the fairies hid their younger cousins in the sea, while the fairies themselves entered the secret doors set in trees and knolls. The fire giants returned to their infernal realms by way of the mountain, which later became the center of all power in Gaia Saar.

Gaia Saar, once a great kingdom (driven from power by the cybernetic armies of Truul, and again by the Borg from the necroverse), built its brick monasteries and towns closest to the ancestral mountain of the gods. It was from this mountain that all the spoils of wealth pored into the kingdom.

((Truul came from the depths of Threshaven, and was a foul mutant expelled from the world of gaints. The Borg, a cybernetic race of machine-men emerged from the first metal portal with the help of the dwarves.))

A final battle was fought on the peninsula of Talos, between the druid-mages and the necromancers. 

However, an unforeseen consequence of the firing of vorpal weaponry triggered a cosmic phenomenon unseen before such times. A great smash portal tore the realm into ruins, leaving fragments of Gaia Saar across multiple realms in the cosmos.

A rare journal was set down by the sage Malar, or Malaar, who in legend is said to have walked firsthand among the people of Gaia Saar on their day of doom. We cannot completely dismiss the legend as myth, nor can we ignore the importance of the value in this lore.

((Talos is the south peninsula where the counsel of mages resided in Gaia Saar’s kingdom))

Alas, the orifices of Threshaven are all that remain of the dead planet. For in all realms exists the greater portals of power; whether these be manifestations of nature, the supernatural, or replications of the elder archetypal portals, all realms harbor a secret door to the center of the universe—a pinnacle of all dimensions, which was so very long ago the beloved kingdom of Gaia Saar.

Taking account of the recordings of Malar, the great sage of that period in Gaia Saar, we can see that the kingdom of Gaia Saar was in its last years a historical treasure trove of artifacts—Many relics baring symbols associated with the gods who were believed to have dwelt deep within the mountain Threshaven. 

Relics of the ancients aside, Gaia Saar in its latest years was indeed a historical treasure.

It is said that long ago there was an uncanny rogue-mage venturing the farthest reaches of the realms in search of the origins of Gaia Saar’s many people. The rogue is believed by the sages of Talos to have discovered the secret to unlocking the first of the great doors of Mount Threshaven. Barring the curious adventurer from the secrets of the gods, Threshaven was shrouded in vorpal mists, which is said to cause men to lose track of time, or disorient the human mind enough to cause hallucinations of other dimensions. Malar, having been the first explorer to sketch a rough map of the mountain, sought the entrance to places beyond the realms of man, and to seek out the secrets of the gods.

Malar describes the mountain of Threshaven as a colossal rock, broken only at various angles by smooth stones which must have once been the great stepping stones of giants. These flights of steps reached a monolithic door at either side of the mountain. Other orifices or doors existed in this great mountain of the gods which seemed to mock the senses of men. Sometimes these were pools of glistening light and mist. Other thresholds were described as being entirely made of empty spaces never illuminated by the light of the sun. 

Malar describes one particular portal of interest, which he referred to as the fire portal.

From the portal of fire came both the builders and destroyers of the world—the fire giants. - Malaar, the wise.

The coming of Lord Truul is a tale of bitter seduction.

In the earliest years of man, the giants remained inert in a cloister of portals at the base of Threshaven. From therein the haggard and twisted giant spawn, Truul, emerged from his long slumber. It is written in the ancient lore of our people that, slender and seductive spirits came upon the lonesome giant, Truul. They were the daughters of Venom, one of the secondary elementals to shape the earth.

Truul was lured by the silky smooth beauty of these spirits, and lay with them. The passions of great magic were shown to Truul, but in everything the spirits taught him there was no love—For the daughters of Venom were not unlike their mother, who was without joy, and who was herself as restless as her fiery father. Therefore, Truul shared their pain, anxiety, which drove Truul to prove himself worthy of recognition. It became a burning anxiety, which in time drove Truul to do the will of darkness.

The other giants were angered by Truul’s insistence, for he had roused all of his cousins from their epoch of sleep. The great work is done, protested the elder of the giants. But, Truul did not feel satisfaction.

Obsessed with the rite to rule, Truul sought the advice of the ladies of Venom, who in time taught Truul all that they knew of portals and sorcery, for they were unreserved spirits who held nothing back, and shared Truul’s passion for extreme outcomes—For to them, the daughters of Venom, nothing short of conquest was worthy of invention.

After the poisoning of his kin, Truul ruled supreme all the lands of the underworld. But this was not enough for Truul. In time, his hordes withered into weakness. They had not the power of order, for that power rested in Alu, their elder father, and the giants of Truul were chaotic and vulgar in their practices. So, Lord Truul set out to find human consorts.

Capturing the daughters of men, elves, and other humanoids, Lord Truul deformed and molested the gene pool of order. He created the dark and foul creatures of which were feared throughout all of Gaia Saar.

After a victorious battle between the denizens under Threshaven and the Alfs of the far eastern shores of Gaia Saar, Lord Truul returned to his grotesque kingdom. With him were many slaves. But, few were in the service of Truul, for he did most of his own fighting, being the biggest giant alive on the earth, standing at eighteen-feet tall.

Back within his gruesome abode Truul ate a portion of his slaves. Their viscera littered the morbid halls under the earth. His meal however, was interrupted by the swift return of his spirit wives, the daughters of Venom.

When the daughters came to him, they did not make love to him as they had many a night before. Rather, their faces were grave, and Truul recognized the fear in them. It was a fear that made Truul, sick, and he detested them. However, the sisters pressed their concern upon the deaf ear of Lord Truul, who feared nothing himself.

It was told to Lord Truul by the sisters of Venom, that the eldest father, Alu, was aware of their destruction upon Truul’s kin. All-father Alu, who ceaselessly holds back darkness, and transforms chaos into order, forever painting the beauty of the cosmos, stopped in his great work to look upon the daughters of Venom with furious vengeance.

So terrified of the wrath of Alu, the daughters begged Truul for protection. But, Truul had forgotten Alu, and could not remember ever hearing of him. So, Truul laughed contemptuously at his slender spirits, and named them as lying serpents. Truul’s nonchalant retort offended the daughters of Venom, for such spirits did not tell lies—at least not intentionally. They were, though venomous and fiery, very pure spirits of their elemental maker.

Alu sang his sadness into the hearts of the daughters of Venom, forbidding them to traverse the realms, and removing their ability to fly between the great spaces of the stars. Never again would they behold the beauty of Alu’s almighty work. So, the sisters, fearing for their end, slithered into the pores of Truul’s gigantic body.

When Truul had finished his feast, he carelessly fell asleep. Abruptly, Truul awoke. He discovered great pain in his body, a pain he’d never felt before. The very blood in his veins burned, and every nerve in his body was on fire. His oversized heart, a gift from the fairies of old, was burdened with labor.

The daughters of Venom gave their remaining life-force to Truul, so as to hide their identity’s imprint within the monster they had created. In the process of nesting their spirit DNA into Truul, the power of venom turned Truul’s blood to acid, and corrupted his body.

Truul found himself driven by a great thirst, and went hastily to the pools in the depths of his lonesome cavern. Upon seeing his reflection in the water, the giant roared with confusion and anger. And he felt something else… fear. Lord Truul had never known fear or defeat, even before his victory over his brothers and sisters of the giant mountain.

In the waters of the dark cavern, the giant looked upon a face which was a texture of foul color, greenish and gray. His eyes were completely black, which did not contrast well with the dark spots growing all over his body. Truul touched his hooked nose with a long talon-like finger.

Desperate to breathe the sweet air of the world above, Lord Truul made his way up the bone cobbled steps to the surface world. Upon reaching the outside world, Truul tried to stand erect, but found that his back was hunched. Terrible pain moved the bones in his body, and his neck shot fire into his melon sized skull.

What came out of that mountain was a monstrosity so fearful, that the people who remained in the kingdom of Gaia Saar hid in a fit of ultra-phobic terror.

The eldest giant, Gygatherion , was a good and faithful son of Alu, though he was prone to wandering from the great halls of his father in search of adventure. It just so happened, that one evening Gygatherion  stumbled upon the horror that was Truul.

Aloft the highest peak of Threshaven, Gygatherion  battled Lord Truul. The beast known as Truul was fiercer than Gygatherion  had ever fought before. Truul’s talons tore through Gygatherion ’s divine armored breastplate, and wounded him. But the valiant son of Alu was not easily defeated. With all the power of his will and his heart, Gygatherion  hefted a mighty ax, and decapitated the arm of Truul.

Truul leapt a hundred feet down to an adjacent tier of rocky slope on the side of the mountain. The ugly giant entreated the magical stone empowering a metal portal. Truul slipped under the arc, and then passed through the glowing threshold.

Gygatherion  pursued his prey, but Truul was gone from the lands of Gaia Saar.

After this epic battle between the sons of Alu, Gygatherion  freed what remained of the slaves of Truul. And for good measure, Gygatherion  ensured that all monstrosities created by Truul were slain by his own ax.

Alu was briefly dismayed by the actions of Gygatherion , but he received his son warmly. And all was forgiven. Then, on the next beautiful day on Gaia Saar, Alu visited the lands with his son. Therein the strongest bones of the earth, Alu commanded his son to take a bride from the daughters of men. Alu believed that the good heart of his son, Gygatherion , would flow through the bloodlines of men, and a fair king would be ensured for a long, long time.

True to his father’s will, Gygatherion  married a wife of unearthly beauty. They had a son, who Gygatherion named Futharion.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Empire of Imagination, By Michael Witwer

Actually, one of the most enjoyable reads in my life-time, Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons by Michael Witwer, is a book about a man who changed my thinking forever, and my interest in gaming, reading, and writing

Meet Ernest Gary Gygax, the godfather of Dungeons and Dragons! This book is both adventurous and very human.

If you've ever wanted to know the real man behind the influence of all fantasy-adventure games, books, and film, then you will read this book.

As my blogging and tweeting in the past (beginning in 2008) made some popularity among my 900+ followers on Twitter and Blogger some years ago, and on the subjects I wrote about (DnD, Vin DnD[Vin Diesel and Dungeons and Dragons], fantasy-adventure, and retro-games), I think that it is important to give credit where credit is due.

All the credit of role-playing games belongs with E. Gary Gygax. (9Portals is merely a portal router system intended to play alongside and within any role-playing game. Without Gary Gygax, such a system as 9Portals would be without a place in the world. In fact, I would never have thought of it!).

Like many others who enjoy role-playing games, I'm just a participant, hoping to keep alive the great work E. Gary Gygax did for all of us to enjoy.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fire Portal 101 Free eBooklet

Fire Portal – Continent of Agnus
Thomas P. Walton
C. 2013

This is the unedited version of the book on the first discovered fire portal in the land of Gaia Saar. (Note: Gaiasaar may sometimes be interchanged with Gaia Saar, and there are some other inconsistencies).

In this first book of portal lore is the life and transformation of the subterranean humanoid creature - Vroc, the red handed. Not only did Vroc discover the first of the giants' portals on Gaia Saar... He united the forces of the underworld, while overcoming the weaknesses of his more or less human body in the infernal realms.


Fire Portal is part of the Threshaven series of fictitious history books for the 9Portals RPG portals matrix system.

Drifting in the lava realms is a series of volcanic islands. In one of these realms is the hidden chamber of the dark gods of chaos. The door to their inner sun is barred from all mortals, save for the one who possesses the chaos key. And this key remains hidden in the corrupted lands of Agnus.

To understand the key to this realm one must embark upon a journey into the academia of portals.

 Nowhere else is there better to learn than in the pages of ancient Gaia Saar, our home world. As a matter of course, the evil land of Agnus lies beneath the kingdoms of old. The continent of Agnus is buried away in the infernal lands beneath the deserts and the oceans of the planet Gaia Saar.

Moreover, it was in Gaia Saar where the first metal portal was crafted by the dark dwarves, and used to call forth the saviors of our people. Inevitably, it ensued our enslavement to the cyborg mastermind, who was our great savior and tyrant. The great cyborg warlord emerged with an aura of prophecy; For he was one who did not doubt that his victory was ensured. He wore the face of our greatest warrior, and yet there was no recognition in those laser perfect eyes sweeping over his old homeland of Gaiasaar.

Alas, a final stand against our common enemy (those of the races from the Necroverse) was fought fiercely upon the shores of the peninsula of Talos. Machine-men marched against the city of Talos. Refuges from the kingdom of Gaiasaar had hidden themselves among the protectors of Talos, and the machine-god wanted his subjects returned. An unexpected player emerged on the battlefield. The necromancers and their undead warrior fired upon machine-men and the wizards of Talos without prejudice. Then, the portals landed like iron javelins in the battlefield of Talos.

These portal projectiles are described as coffin shaped mines, which exploded into hordes of nightmarish fiends. These enemies were undead, but with biomechatronic enhancements. Some were mecha reanimated by demonic entities. No weapons were effective against their might. Even the great cyborg warriors from the metal portal were destroyed; They were either smashed by necro hulks or torn from their mechanical limbs by armored fiends.

In a last attempt to save Talos, the high wizard released a prototype portal projector. Unfortunately, an anomaly occurred which altered not only the war, but the entire realm of Gaiasaar, and perhaps the rest of the universe.

A smash-portal of tremendous power opened upon the battlefield of Talos; Engulfing the necro portals first, and taking the cyborg warriors next. In its own turn, Talos was stripped of its normal space/time flow, and the lands were pulled into a darkness greater than the necroverse herself.

The towering city of the wizards was not defeated in battle, but rather lost in it.

The Orifices into Darkness

Fire Portal
All the realms beneath the surface of the planet Gaiasaar encircle an inner sun, a black orb sealed within the deepest chamber of the earth by a series warded tunnels. The key to the door of chaos was discovered by the most unusual creature. His name was Vroc – the Red Handed. In part, this name seems to indicate his plans were intended to be discovered by the surface dwellers of Gaiasaar. Another interpretation is that of a sardonic riddle, one which implies that the creature was a butcher or murderer of his own kind. Yet, as Vroc’s journals indicate in his own handwriting that he was indeed tortured or cursed by a priestess or witch who dominated his homeland at one time, it could be that his name is implying Vroc’s malice and resentment for his misfortunes.

Moreover, Vroc may not have been a member of the inner races of Agnus. More likely, he was of a social scale higher than the creatures who dwell beneath the realms. Yet, his status was born into poverty upon the death of his predecessors. Reestablishing his rite to family property was a battle against the priestess of Agnus. And of course, Vroc did succeed in taking back his home… what was left of it. Part of his success in overtaking the priestess was likely the inconsistency in her rule as a demi-god in the lower realms. She taxed one the whim, and showed no integrity for promises to the dwarves to reestablish their social status in the developing cities of Agnus.

As well, and as we shall soon see, Vroc made use of all his knowledge of the varying races of the realms, and showed them how to work to accomplish a grand empire of Agnus.

In later years, Vroc became supreme ruler of all of Agnus and the realms surrounding it. He was also the inventor of the chaos key (although the dwarves also lay claim to developing the first prototype).

The importance of this chaos key will become apparent to the reader, as we explore the journals of Vroc, and his establishment in the orifices of darkness, deep beneath the sleeping cities of men.

Excerpt from: Asgandor the Sage

Deep below the dark depths of the earth, drifts the infernal continent of agnus. A sun of black energy suspended in the fathoms of pitch darkness at the planet’s core, whirling on its own axis, populated with eddies, projects electromagnetic pulses over the infernal subterra. And farther up in the earth’s crust rests the great door.

After many futile attemps to open the great door, Lark spent hosts of goblins to war upon the surface dwellers of Gaiasaar. His throne was taken over by Marcus, a tyrant who indulged in the spoils of war too much for his own good (or evil).

Alas, the conquests of the victorious Vroc, who employed powerful diviners to find a very special chamber under the caverns of the planet’s surface. It was a chamber which had been buried far below the church and state of Gaiasaar.

It was a temple for which our people shunned, for fear of its black magics hidden only by centuries of folklore. Yet, to Vroc it was the entrance to a great map room, wherein he supposedly constructed a lab of sorts, and consulted the ancient sorcery of an alien technology (apparently not intact, as we know that Vroc claims to have pieced the “[..]puzzle together from those who had fallen into the abyss”).

Vroc may have labored alone in the furnace temperatures, for he was described by the fiends who knew him as a sort of hybrid. His face and torso resembled a man in most ways, save that he was red in color, and his back was covered in dragon-like scales. Vroc’s human-like hands allowed him to work within the intricate system of alien components. His eyes were keen, so it has been told, both in the brazing furnaces of the dwarven forges, and in the darkest pits of the unfathomable, forgotten subterra (Map of Forgotten Subterra is duplicated by the sage Malar, and is displayed at the museum of portals at for free viewing).

I have referenced the libraries of Castle Hvel, near the port of Caladrake (Map kept by the museum of to further inquire of the sinister devices constructed by the red hands of Vroc.

Sinister, no doubting, were the intentions of the marshal and keeper of Agnus. However, his mechanism for opening portals was not a weapon per say, but rather a key to tranverse all manner of doors—especially, where warded doors had denied entry to his ancient predecessors, who reportedly attempted such a feat without a proper key.

It was in Port Caladrake where the first of the ancient artifacts appeared. Coincidently, or arguably not, the terror known to have swallowed the good kingdom of Gaiasaar also came to Caladrake (ref. Smash-Portal, Port Caladrake, Threshaven). This artifact was given the name “Hexacube” by the sage and scribe Malar.

While I do not wish to deviate too far from our focus of study, a hexacube does require some explanation.

Given all the conjectures, and none of them agreed upon, about the design of the hexacube, I cannot say for certain that we are anywhere close to understanding how this artifact works. However, the manner in which the hexacube operates seems fairly straightforward. It operates as a chaos device, displacing order in nature.

Swarthelmr, grand magus to king Futharion of ancient Gaiasaar, had been one among the first wizards to visit the cursed shores of Port Caladrake. Swarthelmr left documentation on the chaos device in the tunneling caverns beneath mount Threshaven. The explorer Dimidi and Malar were able to interpret only certain points in Swarthelmr’s journals—most of which made reference to “All thresholds are oscillating between thought and memory […]” and “where the true doors are hidden among the great spaces of darkness […]”.

It would seem that the scholars of our fragmented worlds still agree with the interpretation of the sribes from long ago. That the hexacube is a puzzle of cosmic models balanced in all dimensions (save one, the Diablocleus, which has no opposition to evil), is by far the best theory to date.

Now, a smash portal opens when the hexacube is placed upon blessed ground. That is, the ground upon holy orders, divine houses of the bishop, and in the halls of a just ruling king. It is, however, very impractical to yield to theories of moral selectivity in anything mechanical, no matter how mysterious. Yet, there it is in practice. The hexacube detects something like divine presence, and I am not one to argue how this is accomplished. Perhaps, the hexacube negates the laws of order by means which we cannot readily understand. This is, unfortunately, one of the explanations Vroc elected to elude from his own journals.

Vroc left trails of his evil doings beneath the surface world of Caladrake in the form of journals, maps, and sculptures. As well, there are a number of manuals written by Vroc, instructing his minions in how to implement ‘foreign’ components into their primitive systems, resulting in a new kind of metallurgy altogether.

As for Vroc himself, he was quite a scribe for one who lived and died in the underworld. His journals prove that Vroc was well versed in several of the ancient languages. As a matter of some interest on the part of Vroc’s peculiar fondness for the human tongues, the lord of the molten realm employed infernal characters strictly for magical formulae, as can be readily seen in his use of English for the name of his home and places he subjugated, and then the use of demon glyphs for secretive doors on the maps. Few of the maps, however, were penned by the lord of the molten realm. Rather, the tablets among Vroc’s collection were authored by other lava fiends reigning long before him. Vroc favored parchment, as it was a rare luxury in the underworld.

At last I must allow for the studious reader to decide for his or herself as to what purpose the hexacubes played in Vroc’s schemes, and of the first appearance of an infernal door upon the surface world, and of the smash portal at Caladrake.

Without further ado, here are the journals of Agnus, inscribed by the red hand of Vroc.

~ Asgandor, Sage of Gaiasaar

Vroc the Red Handed

High Marshal and Keeper of Agnus

I lay down before you, my successor to be, this journal of my rule of Agnus. Herein you will find the keys to my domain, my empire, and to the black pit of our star. As it is typically a secret to be guarded by all upon even their death bed, my ancestors left little to reveal their secrets, an unfortunate, though often necessary stubbornness of our race.

I have a different vision.

None of our kind may reach the upper world so long as we remain ignorantly under the control of old biddies and bores, like Lord Lark and his successor. No, I believe it requires a greater deal of courage and sacrifice to achieve the dream of what lies beyond this prison.

The doors to the inner sun no longer bar my descent. Hear me truly. If you are reading me right, then you now know that its secrets are with me, and I am the door keeper, as you will soon be.

Unsurprisingly, my fool forebears missed what was in plain view. I shall list them all here for your reference and study.

We’ll start first with the Northern corridors of this great empire.

Waydo was nothing but inertia. His minions scattered about his undernourished dungeons, while he sat idling in the uneventful shadows of a crumbling kingdom. And such is the way of wantons. They are all spoon fed young bulls who grow up to be lazy cows. Watch well, as I plan to alter this reoccurring weak blood line.

Now, as to Nast, who brooded over his loot and gloated over his hordes of wealth, he was too old minded to adjust to the world of changes around his lair. And, unlike Lord Lard, he did not hire enough servants to see to his maze of prisons, wherein the rot of prisoners drove away the underpaid guards—or killed them.

Nast spent hordes of gold to give his son a lavish mansion, at the expense of generations to come (for they are certainly paying for it now, as I am seeing to this personally). Again, we have the wanton at work, or lack thereof. Old Nast who loved his pride even more than his gold was broke long before he lived to see the death of his heir, and the defiling of his mansions (obviously by his own subjects).

Nast often complained that his subjects obnoxiously ransacked his libraries, and were too stupid to do any useful work in his dungeons. (Obviously he had never heard of goblins, I suppose. They are small, but full of energy. To ensure they do their work, a troll with no greater ambition than to smack around smaller creatures will suffice as a supervisor and overseer of their labors).

To the east are the great mountainous peaks of the underworld, rising from the darkest pits, and looming over Agnus. At the pinnacle of the greatest zenith, in a lofty palace dwells Lord Asp. Great magic was at one time sealed away in the high darkness of his lair. Of course, now such magic is available in my own libraries. You must be a wise one to be marshal here.

Study these ancestors well. Their mistakes will not be tolerated if you repeat them.

My home

My own beginnings were on the southern slopes of Agnus, deep down in the molten maze of the lava realm. The secrets of fire and metallurgy were my trade in the days of my youth, though I hated that existence much, and preferred to steal away into the forbidden libraries of the sorceress Magma Prima, who was also a priestess of Agnus. Naturally, and in time, I was caught. It was by the hand of the priestess herself that I was transformed into this creature I am now. Or perhaps it would be fair to say that she only pushed me in the right direction. In to the fiery lake I fell back from Magma Prima. Engulfed in pain and agony, I rolled in a whirlpool of fire, certain that my death would be inevitable. It was at that moment that I recalled the symbols I saw within the infernal book, as I saw before my eyes my meaningless life cast into a ribbon of infinite light, scorching hot light, fire, lava.

I emerged from the slopes of Agnus, slithering on my belly. For many hours I lay, unable to do anything, but I would not die. In me, and of me, the fire burned, and I breathed from it new life. Something I could not understand had transpired in the hours of my death. My flesh was intact! I saw upon me scales, and reddened skin, deeper like crimson, and tougher than the reddish skins of my fiendish cousins, who loved their little horns and tails. I had no tail, nor had I ever grown horns. This set me aside as different from other children of my kind. Yet, now I was a monster to anyone who saw me.

Gloating over me was a watery serpent with bipedal extensions, much like legs and arms. His name was Nast, King of the Watery pools of Agnus. My punishment from the witch, he said, unintentionally separated me from the limitations of the other people of my treacherous race. Now, he called me Salamandaar. (He meant Salamander). His tongue hissed wildly, so that I did not at first believe anything he said. I thought that he meant to eat me. But, to my surprise, his only true intention was to see what manner of creature I would transform into. Nast knew the symbols in my mind as I was thinking them in that pool of death. He could sense those thoughts. I wondered why that, and also why I did not feel any more pain.

Far, far more ancient was this king of Agnus than the witch who cast me into the molten lake. He was a descendent, or such was the story he told, of the ancient gods of Chaos. I welcomed his story nearly as much as the good belly full of lizard stew, and mushroom brew (liken to beer). He explained that his people were not welcome by the priestess of Agnus, who was a descendent of the human race, and a hybrid of devils. Then, Nast went on to talk about my situation.

I had been blessed by the dark woman... unintentionally.

With Lord Nast’s blessings of the ancient gods, I left his hospitality to find and meet all the other ruling races beneath the earth. My purpose was to study them all. I would know, as I now do, all their passions, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. While I could not know every heart, I could learn much more about their various species as a whole. Such was taboo for hybrid humans. That is, we were not allowed, by order of the priestess, to associate or entreat creatures of other creeds or races. I was, as a matter of fact, now one of those “other” creeds.

I became known as Salamandaar to Nast, and Vroc to the rest of the realms. My given name at birth was lost to an old life I no longer had. I was free of it, but it also meant that I had to work really hard to find a new place in the hell we called Agnus.


The neglected buzzers, as they were ridiculed by other races, were a far better organized culture and species than the humanoids and goblinoids of the known sectors of Agnus. The strongest and hottest winds of the deadly corridors trailing out of Agnus did not impede the travel of Buzzers. So, I bent myself on learning their language, which consisted of vibrations which could be partially replicated through nasal overtones, and mentally focusing on an image, and the intent of communication.

Buzzers could not harm my armored skin, and were generally not threatened by me. So, I employed buzzers to do a great work in reducing the police force of Asp (who oversaw from a distance all the ill-workings of the priestess Magma Prima). Then, we took Priestess Magma Prima by surprise. Interrogating her was easy, once my buzzers had deployed their scouts to find and execute her acolytes.

What I had found was that the priestess had watched over my family since I was a tiny boy. I was always interested in drawings, constructing things, and reading books that I was not supposed to touch. I was curious. But it was my potential which burned Prima Magma’s mind. To think that a male of my species could learn lore was not allowed in her world.

I’d heard enough. I sent her out the door, with a minute head start for the lava. “The seas or the bees,” I told her. Then, after ten seconds out the door, I motioned to the buzzers to take her out. She chose the lava after-all. But, it was not her fate to rise again as it had been for me.

Soon, goblins tallied over to my lead. I had a small band to work with. They needed a new lair, and I needed a base to work out my plans. So, I returned to the library which had been denied to me. I poured through books for three nights straight. In the meantime, I sent my buzzers to spy on the east, and to report back to me what they had found out about old Asp, lurking up there in the towering spires of darkness. No doubt, he would soon realize that his priestess was no longer in this hell.

Salamanders slithered to my home in the south. I was welcomed by them. A sign from Nast, that the fiery realms were now mine by rite of conquest. I sent goblins to repair his machinery in the brewery as a sign of good faith, and a return for his favor.

Things Change

Many years have passed. Gold is a great motivator, even in this hell. Even with all progress in magic acquired from my new library, not much societal progress may be made without gold. I had to make my move to procure gold from Nast, if I were to take my forces to meet the high dark king, Asp.

I ventured west to claim the treasures of old Nast. I would need funds to hire working trolls. Only trolls were strong enough to heave great rocks. More goblins would be needed for their skill is enough to do real craft work. There would be mason work to do for our lairs in the south of Agnus.

I came upon the western slopes, and into the cannals of Nast. In the damp caverns ahead, I found the elder water serpent, with long tendrils hanging over his saber-filled mouth. Nast heard my approach, even with a stealth spell (I had to practice on someone). He laughed when he saw me.

“You’re too late, Salmannndaaar,” He roared with amusement. But he was gravely wounded. A lance nailed the old lizard to the cobbled stone floor, where I thought he was sleeping at first sight. Obviously, he would never rise from where he lay.

I inquired, but Nast silenced me. “Go there. To the end of Agnus, and beyond. It doesn’t really matter. You cannot stop the giants. Not with a band of goblins, or with men well armed could you restore the treasury,” hissed Nast.

I had no intention at that moment of restoring the treasury. The old schnorer of the west kingdom had hired too few guards for his lair, and none for his treasury—lest he trust his own kind. None-the-less, I promised to find the thieving giants, and restore the glory of Nast. To this, the elder serpent thanked me. And then gave me warning, that the giants were not so unknowledgeable of the old gods, though the giants themselves were more feeble-minded than ancient lizards. Hm. I’m not sure how I’m to figure myself into that equation, but I guess that’s good for old lizards.

After Nast passed out from loss of blood, I left two goblins to guard over his body, and stop anyone who tries to enter into his lair. As for myself, I stole into his library. Just as I had suspected, the giants were not looters of literature. They probably could not read the books. And that was just as well. I spent about half an hour rummaging through titles in the library. To my surprise, I could read them. One title caught my eye in particular. It was a red skinned book which lay closed on an ornamented mantle. “Enter the Salamander” I read the title to myself, nearly laughing myself to tears.

Dragging over a very big, cushion chair up to the old lizard’s desk (which was covered in so much dust over the centuries he’d spent gloating over his treasury), I found myself surprisingly lost within the pages of a fairy tale for—yep, you guessed it—lizard folk.

“Frizzy and Zippy the lizard twins got lost in the swamp one night. They were happily skimming along the surface of the waters when a whirlpool pulled the young twins down into darkness”. Oh, I guess it’s curtains for them, I thought. But, no. Not yet.

“They found themselves in a lake of fire!” Yeah, that’s sounds familiar to me, too, I thought. “There, just beyond the highest reaches of the greatest mountains in the realm was a black moon looming over the realm.”

That’s when I stopped and marked the page in the book. I looked around on the mantel for other books, but there were none. Sweeping aside maps on the desk revealed accounting books for Nast’s treasury.

Reading through the accounting books, I discovered that Nast had far more gold than could have been carried away by a band of giants. There must have been an army. And yet, they did not leave the place to burn. Giants, perhaps, were too stupid to burn the record books.

So, it was with a bundle of accounting books, and a fairy-tale story that I set my way north, following the giants’ trail.

From what I gathered in the Salamander book, the moon was a variant on a story about the dark sun. I knew of this, as I’d read books on my ancestors who had ruled Agnus long before Magma Prima had meddled into its politics. Funny, I didn’t realize Agnus required politics.

I returned to where I last left Lord Nast. The goblins had begun playing with his tenuous fu-man-chu. Knock that off! Call for the Buzzers. Return to this library when you’ve completed your task.

Buzzers were excellent trackers. I would find the giants soon. But, I’d need to be prepared to battle them. If that would be entirely necessary.


We followed the giants.

Buzzers reported giants were hording the treasuer—mounds of it—in a chamber hidden within the ancient caverns to the north. Once, long ago, these passages were traversed by an older race, a darker species than our own. They were said to be devils from the great spaces between worlds. That didn’t surprise me.

In any event, we traveled along the ancient corridors. Alcoves were along the walls at intervals of ten feet or so, and sometimes at thirty feet. It was random, apparently having no particular pattern. The craftsmanship was roughly the work of humanoid beings of a very primitive age.

How beings who dwell between the great spaces between planets can’t manage to make modern work of their homes is beyond me. But, I digress.

The way was a long stretch of corridor, an the sheer randomness of recesses made any navigation aggravating.

At every turn my goblins jumped or squealed, half expecting for a monster to leap out at them.

Laughing to myself, I considered that we were all monsters afraid of… well, other monsters.

The little green people didn’t make much sense. But, then, I didn’t need them to. They just needed to be handy with their bows and spears, and do whatever I tell them to. And so far they had.

At length we encamped on a slope overlooking a sea of lava. Beautiful! It was the only opening returning to the familiar element of my home. I took up my seat upon a smooth stone slab, and I watched the green creatures prepare camp. They worked without much fuss, save for a few arguments here and there, usually ending in one or two goblins on the end of a spear point.
Halfway into our meal, a scout returned in an excited frenzy. I had become accustomed to their hypersensitivity and anxiety, but the creature’s message was unmistakable. There, just further than we had settled down, was a particularly airy alcove, which hid behind some great rock a narrow cave.
My scout had ventured through the cave, finding in it an opening into the realm of the giants.
At last, I thought. Our scouts were keen on the scent of the giants. We traveled not in vain, but were on the pursuit of glory and wealth unimaginable.
A fire kindled in my dark heart. I had never felt shrill joy in the pursuit of destiny as I had this fine venture. Our party left campfire burning, and food untouched. The pursuit of greed drove us through the cave, and into the heart of the giant’s domain.
The way was jagged, and we traveled in a cramped line. Goblins had less trouble slipping between the rocks than I, but desire for gold encouraged my scaly bulk to press harder after the scouts. The hot and humid passage made breathing difficult for me alone. Despite my adapted form for heat and fire, moisture was a fatal enemy.
I was nearly willing to give up the jaggy passage, and follow the long way around which the giants must have taken (They certainly could not have squeezed their large bodies through this narrow pass of rock and earth). Then, Slyde, our best scout, called back that he had reached the open chamber on the other side of the rock pass. That was the place we needed to go in order to make a map of the enemy’s domain.

Emerging from the crevice of wet rock, I inhaled the dry and fiery air of the fire giant’s country. Little did I know that I would be discovering something here worth all the gold in the nine realms.
Slyde approached me, hunching in a crude gesture which could only pass as a goblin courtesy. “We stand on a slope overlooking the giant king,” Slyde whispered.
By Slyde’s statement I assumed our scout meant the kingdom of the giants was under and ahead. Rather the opposite was true—and much to our great advantage. Never had luck been so overflowing in my favor, not in any job preceding this day, nor ever after.
I drew my self over the edge of the slope, and took a shocking look below. There, in the openness of great fires, and seated on a throne of pure tungsten and platinum, laid the entire weight of the law of the land. The king himself was directly underneath our little band of goblins.
Two guards patrolled the outer halls, as our scout was able to bypass the giant king’s chamber through a crevice between the masonry on a wall damaged by battles long ago. It was at this point that we decided our best bet was a full on assault. The guards first.
Clusk was the strongest fighter of the goblins, and bigger than all of them. His strength was, however, no match for the giants—for they were indeed fire giants, and of great towering height, clad in plated armor, and well armed. “One, he has mighty spear, and the other a great sword,” Slyde cringed. His tiny and repulsive form shook violently at the thought of a full frontal assault on any of the giants below.
Grimzool and Clusk were unafraid, or at least did not show any sign of it visible to anyone. Goblins could smell fear, and so their stout appearance did very little to ensure a successful attack on the giants.
I needed more time to think. It was best to return to our camp, grab our things, and bring them back into the tunnel. I sent a pair of goblins, Wobbles and Jerry to the mouth of the cavern, with instructions to hide our camp supplies. They would bring up our equipment.
We made ropes of great length from the tents. Then, we tied stones to the ropes, forming a leverage of weight that could be used to ensnare a net from a height. The plan was to entangle the king of the giants in a net, dive upon him, and then drive our spears deep as possible into his ruddy flesh.
No one liked this idea, as was apparent by the looks upon their faces. But, with a whip, there’s a way. Nothing beats a goblin into shape like hard work.
I went over each step of my plan, ensuring that our warriors understood what to do. The weaker goblins were busy with the project of constructing two great nets. One, after-all, was intended for the king. And he was much, much bigger than the guards.
As I reflect back on this glorious day, I cannot recall having felt even an inch of fear in the presence of the king of the fire giants. This, perhaps, was the oddest thing about our adventure into the fiery lands of the giants. Somehow, my transformation into the salamander king had rid me of my former weaknesses. What little humanoid remained in this body was quietly withdrawn from my mind.
All that mattered was the gold. It must be acquired, and with as little loss as possible to myself. For, I could not carry the gold back to my lair alone; Not even the great strength which had grown in my reptilian transformation could allow me to carry this much gold. And what is more, well, there was far more gold and gems here than the old water dragon could possibly have stored in his lair in a hundred years of taxing his minions.
A threshold existed in this land, and was buried in the technology of ancients who were far older than the fire giants themselves—But, back to the king of their ilk.
He was immensely huge! Far greater in size and form than I had assessed from my lofty surveillance of his lair.
Great arms, like those of a full grown red dragon hefted a mighty club. Unfortunately, he could not break free of our webs of spider’s silk, a rare net crafted by these goblins alone.

We were upon him, when we heard the commotion from the outer halls. One of the giants had fallen ensnared in our first team of netters. A struggle ensued.

No matter! I forced retreat out of my mind, and stared the mountainous warrior in his bulky, pink and red eyes. “Your loot is plundered, king!” I spat in his ruddy face.
At this, the king rose with a fierce force, sending goblin spearmen clattering to the floor in their chain mesh armor. I held the medallion from the king’s neck as he rose, and poised myself to jump to a fighting stance at the ground level. My scabbard came, and it left a gash in the king’s chest. I leapt out and away, finding my footing quickly.
As the doors flew open behind me, I leapt again with lizard reflexes, landing away from the charge of both the king and the guard from outside.
The guard had two goblins stuck to his boot—poor Crusk, to end in that horrid way, as the scuff under a giant’s boot. Unfortunately, his maddening charge was met by the full force of the king’s mace, bashing the guard’s helmet clean off his head.

As the corpse fell to the ground, my legs moved like a tiger in the heat of the hunt, and threw my body and sword into the throat of the astonished king.

The remaining goblins quickly fell upon the giant as his life drained away from him into the floor grating.
Victory! The chamber was ours! But, the gold had yet to be won.
It was during our pillage—for it never hurts to increase a goblin’s morale by greedy looting—that I became aware of the particular designs on the amulet around the king’s bloodied throat. It was a seal, or rather a pentacle. With some labor, I managed to heave it from the giant’s corpse.
While my goblins looted the throne room and pillaged the wine wracks, I managed to find the king’s private study. I never realized giants had the audacity for learning books. But, then again, these were fire giants, and not the fat and ugly ogre lineage of their lesser brethren.
In the study of the king I found books too big to lift in one hand, and nearly impossible in two of my own claws. However, I was able to establish a reasonable place to set the journals of the king upon a stone cut table, and prop myself upon his great chair with many fine cushions.
A threshold existed in this lair, read one passage. It was a gate to other planes of fire, both on this planet, and—more interestingly—to worlds far across the vastness of the cosmos. Truly? I did wonder if these were mere tales I read. Yet, further reading revealed the keys necessary to unlock the doors between worlds. The great amulet around my neck, which once was the king’s symbol of power, was unmistakably the seal to this gate.
Countless days lay ahead, and small scale wars broke out between the bewildered giants. Who was to be their new king? How had the king fallen so? Where were the perpetrators?
Descend upon the remnants of the lost kingdom we needn’t have done. All that remained was the gate.
Days in travel it took, for the only way to bypass the hordes of giants flailing and chopping each other to pieces, was to scale the highest walls of rock, and travel hidden between crevices where the earth offered such shelter.
The gate was before us sooner than we had imagined. No one stood in our way. Loot over our shoulders, and packs stuffed to the max with riches, spells, and pendants of immeasurable value, our campaign neared the end of its journey.
I held out the amulet of the king, and the gate opened into a blazing vortex. A portal! No mere gate between worlds. A real portal between fiery realms. I focused on my desired destination, as the goblins watched the gears move in the arch above the threshold.
Heavy boots thundered the ground, and the roar of the giants followed. They were advancing, but I could not break my concentration until the spells was finished.
The portal opened to the slopes of Vroc, my homeland.
Madly, my monstrous party dashed through the portal, nearly losing two goblins to the slashing of swords and the piercing of titan spears.
It was done. The portal opened only for the possessor of the amulet and his companions. We were free of the giants—for the time being, anyway.
Eventually, a successor to the kingdom would be chosen. The next king of the fire giants would raise an army to march upon the slopes of Agnus, seeking the amulet of their fallen king.
I made it a promise that the giants would not succeed in their plight against Agnus. And, so we went to work, rebuilding the first front against the giants, which was the lair of the old water dragon. Boobie trapped, and rigged with nests of wasps, and other nasty creatures, we left the western slopes for the warmth of the southern slopes of Agnus, which I later had renamed to the Slopes of Vroc, in honor of my total reign of the continent of Agnus.
The biggest problem of ruling Agnus was the need for constant micromanagement. Specifically, I required access to a secret room, aloft the peaks of the wind monster, Lord Asp!
I needed to find him. And whence I did, and had done away with him, I required lengthy hours of study in his secret room, filled to the ceilings in a clutter of ancient and alien technology. This, as a matter of course, meant that I’d spend time away from my homeland. This presented a problem, as goblins were unable to govern themselves for too long if left without encouragement.
New minions were raised from the corpses of the dead clerics. These I called forth as my lich kings, to govern and rule the watery realm of the dead Lord Nast.
In my own abode, I hired on dark elves to oversee the orcs, who then in-turn supervised the lowly goblins.
Mountain trolls held the gates and tunnel trolls (much smaller than their ogre-sized cousins) labored in factories to build new weaponry for my army of response to the threat of the fire giants.

::: At the Tower of Lord Asp :::

Diablocleus 1

Rumor only tells that such a diabolical stronghold between the known realms and prime evil exists in the ultimate void, just beyond reach of the chaos moon of Terra-X. The mechanical facility nested in the metallic cube of Terra-X has attracted an asteroid of chaotic powers as its new moon. Mining colonies have unearthed a power from the chaos moon which has enabled them to build the diablocleus, an artificial planet of evil laws, in the name of an ancient and diabolical god. It is said that a 10th greater portal of power has been discovered, and the arch to its evil energies creates a disturbance pattern across all universes, leaking its evil power into the natural realms (those places where natural laws are dominant are gradually subjucated to the powers of the Diablocleus).  Nodes of chaos have become extraordinarily active across all planes where they exist. Chaos wizards have become suddenly much more powerful. Creatures and gods of chaos have seen an increase in thier power over the other forces in the cosmos. Diabolic portals now open randomly of their own upon numerous worlds, suddenly snatching up humans and other sentient beings, consuming the souls of their prey. Somehow, the power of chaos has been coalesced with the prime evil forces of the diabolical planes, thus causing a tear between realms, and ultimately making all other portals of power tremble. All blame for evil is now said to emenate from that nightmarish planet, the Diablocleus.

Other Facts:
The Diablocleus was first mentioned in the book, Portal Crisis: Book of Doors, written by Thomas P. Walton. A complete work of the Diablocleus has yet to be published. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Gods of the Gods

Gods of the Gods
By Thomas P. Walton

A blanket of icy mist covered the rocky and barren north-lands. Towering smoke pierced the frost, giving rise above a smoldering fire. Crackling streaks broke the sky like a membrane --firing just within view of another, like great synapses of a great living mind.

It was this great sight which gave Harrick a moment of grandeur and revelation. A new god had broken the silence of his kin. No longer, Harrick though, would he and his people live on the scarce carnage of the frost barrens; while his cousins reaped a good harvest from the south-lands.

But what name is this god, if he has such a name, Harrick wondered. He was powerful, and yet she was wrathful. Was it a god or a goddess, then? Harrick mused at the idea. Why could it not be both. That would be simpler. Yet, his people would not follow a goddess into war. The male prerogative of his tribal ancestors was more lenient in times before the great reign of ice; but now harvest was something of the distant past. A goddess of fertility and harvest would do little good to a people who dwelt in the darkness of ice and rock.

Now, under this new shadow of smoke, and warmed by the fires of hell, his new god would see the reign of the north-lands; and Harrick, having thoughts of much grandeur, fancied that it would be 'he' who would herald the coming of the new god of retribution.

His new god was of great internal strength, and of such power that even the gray-white darkness gave sway to a darkness carrying at its center a flame of masculine power. A power that his people desperately needed in order to save them from a cold and uncertain future.

Such a cold future. But now it was destiny, and only destiny, for which Harrick had in mind.

In the vast realm of chaos, thoughts spun webs of possible truths, and shadows weaved forms upon the curtain of consciousness, wavering in the abyss, which gave forth, and consumed, and gave forth again. A great serpent chased its tail in the chasm of darkness, and spurt up its head at the calling of its name; though it had no name in any tongue known by man, and yet answered the call to the one who had a great will and reckoning.

They were the shapeless ones who dwell beyond the spheres of the nominal universe; and the ones who weaved mind stuff which made and created more mind stuff. It was they who made consciousness conscious of itself; a simple riddle for their own amusement, perhaps. But, alas, they answered the call of their creations. And yet, they were also born to do so, for they were the creations of their own creations, and existed in a way in which no man can comprehend completely, for there is no space/ time as man knows it --not in the vast realm of chaos.

Order spins the cosmos, and it is order who answers to chaos.


Harrick told his people of his new god, and how he was shown their triumph over their cousins in the south, all by the side of the mighty one who sleeps beneath the ice.

"But he sleeps no more. No! I tell you, He hath awaken, and is hungrier than 'we' can imagine." Harrick preached.

To this, some heads shook, particularly those of the young men who had wives and children starving in the frost covered rocks of the north-lands. Yet, it was the elders, who had survived long by the meat and blood of the young, who were wise hard to the words of the new prophet and priest. Such a god, they said, unto Harris, could be the right god for times such as these. For surely, the only blood to be had for dinner was in the south-lands, whereat their lesser deserving cousins dwelt peacefully.

"Yes, yes. Tell us more! Tell us more!" Arose and elder from the tribe.

"Heed his words, says I." Said another boney elder.

"Know of this god, I think we do." Spouted out another wise-man.

"Yea, I will tell you all--who are wise to listen--of the god who has spoken with me aloft the zenith of Erikroth, and who has spat fire in the face of the goddess of ice, Moth-Ravein," retorted Harrick.

At this, the younger stalk relaxed, knowing the ways of the wise-men to be wrathful to the boisterous and foolish. An elder gnawed on the thigh bone of one who had been such a fool. The tribes listened carefully to Harrick.

And much to Harrick's pleasure did the women flaunt themselves at his feet for the protection of the new god, and so the men gave their swords and spear for the right to carry the power of the new god with them into battle, and win them the heads of their enemies (stomachs grumbled at the thought of devouring their cousins in the south-lands).

~End part one.
Written by Thomas P. Walton
November 20, 2012

Fire the #Moonbeamer, Imp! Calibrate to 'Stunning e-Books'!

Gothocracy - Dialogue Writing 101

Lord Cividil and the nine ministers of Babeldel seated around a Tungsten polished table, brooding over their recent encounters of resistance among the resurrectants and the annihilation of the remnants beyond the citadel’s outskirts—the last of what might be free humanity.

The Goths of Citibaad must not be allowed to reach the sentient state. Contact with outsiders, anyone beyond these walls, is to be strictly prohibited. An outskirt rat mingling with our Goths would spell disaster—and ultimately such encounters could lead to the dissolving of our order.

Folds hands. Smiles knowingly.

The Goths, my bothers, are incapable of true sentience. What the Goths imitate is not a display of true self awareness. Rather, what we’ve seen thus far is a display of mimicking. The only consciousness these resurrectants possess is the programming they’ve received from the necro cloud.

Doubled fists, and bloodless, strikes the table.

Not so! Word has reached my ear with quite different news, brother Argos! A community of remnants is not far from this side of the blight. It is only a matter of time…

Shakes his long wavy hair. He pens what is said on to a block of parchment.

It is no rumor. Such a community does indeed exist.

—and of the agency protecting it?

I’ve noted it down as fact—that some agency works against our purposes. Sorry, for the interruption, brothers. Please continue.

Agency? Nonsense. Those in the blight are nothing more than the offshoot of a careless project undertaken by our former head master.

Hardly should one of us refer to Jon’s work as ‘careless’.

Ridiculous! I can’t believe what I’m hearing!

It is a loose end to cleanse… nothing more. I’ve noted your argument. Let us move on to more pressing issues. Please, digress on the matter of the remnants. Continue otherwise.

Smiles knowingly and nods.

In any event, the next horde of Necrotep will sweep our communities branching out from the citadel. The time draws near for his return. Perhaps, it would be wise if we cut those loose ends from our concern, and—

Interrupts Erik.
No, no, no! I have invested a great deal in spreading a culture through the surrounding outskirts of Babeldel!

--and instead fortify what we can afford to reinforce with power and supply.

I won’t stand for this. My investment? Timeless. Priceless work!

Meet the demand, first and foremost, brother Argos.

I understand the prophecies as well as any of my fellow ministers here in this room. But, Jon’s army is a plan of folly. That may just be my opinion.

Looks around the room.
Is it truly wise, my brothers? Is it? To meet this dark force with resistance?

What would you have us do, then? Come. Enlighten us, brother Argos. What strategy have you mustered in all this time you’ve spent on your collateralization projects with resurrectants in the outskirts?


Donning the cog-helm of the citadel, the rogue slips through the necropolis under the veil of monster curfew (a time when citizens are locked in their dorms due to the monsters unleashed by the order of Babeldel.

Eyes ignite like welding torches upon sensing the presence of the rogue, Joseph.

((to be continued…))