Flames of Vengeance: Symphony of Chaos Prologue

By Mox Jet

In the beginning, all was Chaos…or so the Legend goes.

What really makes a Legend, though, and what makes myth, and what makes fact? Where in history do we really know anything that has passed if it is no longer there to prove its own existence? Can anything that has happened really be proven if it is lost to the fabric of time? And, if we never know what happened, can we protect ourselves from it happening again?

History always repeats itself. To understand why the fighters fight and the watchers watch, we much understand what drives the fighter and the watcher. What does the fighter fight for, or the watcher watch? What caused everything to be the way it is, and more importantly, will history ever be able to wretch itself from the continuing circle that it has locked itself into? The threat is always there…but why? To begin to understand, the only thing we can go to is Legend.

In the beginning, all was Chaos.

It was after this that the Ethereal’s gave form to the world and life sprung forth on the planet Terra. Terra in turn gave birth to a race of explorers and inventors that would spell eventual doom for themselves. They were called humans, and for the rest of history, they would be their own undoing. For it was humans, in the effort to further conquer the planets within their reach, which tapped into Chaos and created the Lavoids: the Ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

Wait…no…it didn’t start there. There was something before the humans. The humans did not create the Lavoids. Something else came before and ravaged the galaxy before the humans and the Lavoids. We must look further back…

Those who came before the humans would set the stage for the Lavoids. While the exact names of the species have been lost to lore long ago, those few who remember call them the Sraphites and the Draconians. Millennia ago, they, like most species that had reached the ability for astral supremacy, wanted power, and this power could only come by conquering the other species. While the creation of the power that they tapped is unknown in its origin, it was the Sraphites that doomed the rest of time.

Using all the knowledge that they had been gained through their eons of sentience, as well as harvesting the powers of species that they had contacted, the Sraphites created an artificial strain of genetic material. This artificial DNA included a new set of genes which gave those who wielded them the ability to draw energy from Chaos, the Plane of Existence that gives tremendous power and brings horrible destruction. They used this DNA to modify soldiers into super-beings capable of destruction that far outstripped anything that the Draconians could fight against.

The Draconians tried to fight, but it was in vain. The new species of soldiers with the power of Chaos was too powerful to stop. In less than ten years, the Draconians were nearly extinct, their far-reaching galactic empire destroyed. Such power comes at a price, however, and the price was something which the Sraphites were eventually forced to pay.

The new biological weapons decided that they were too powerful to be controlled by anyone; they should start a new empire on their own. They turned on the Sraphites and began to enact a reign of terror. The Sraphites formed a last alliance with the remains of the Draconians and they went into a colossal battle with their own creations. In the end, they were able to put down the usurpers, but they became nearly a dead species in the process. The first insurrection of the servants of Chaos had been put down, but at the cost of two species which had held such immense power before. Surly, no one in the future would attempt to tame Chaos again for their own purposes…

Decades passed into centuries…centuries passed into millennia. It was now when Terra began to spew forth the bounty of life that was the human race, and it was greed that was the undoing of the humans, for they desired nothing more than power over others. First, they conquered the others on their own planet. Then, they spread their influence to the stars. Along with the growing span of their empire and their growing control over technology, their yearn for the domination of everything in their sway required the creation of a weapon which could destroy beyond the capacity of any other weapon created in history.

Hold on…no…that’s wrong also. See how time sometimes plays tricks? There was another force that was inserted into that equation before the humans reached the stars…and he was called Zohar.

It was discovered in the year 2001. It was an object in the shape of an eye found in a geological stratum in Kenya dating 3.9 billion years old. The shape of the object suggested that it was possibly an artificial creation, and special research laboratories were set up to study it. Before long, the discovery of the object was announced to the world. It was found that this object, after measuring its age, was approximately 15 billion years old and had existed at its place of discovery in space long before the world came to existence.

The revelation of the Object's age only increased the confusion into an epic proportion. If the Object was not a thing of artificial creation, then it might be from the realm of God. Because the Object had a considerable amount of magnetic property and emanated a strong magnetic field, it was called "MAM" (magnetic abnormal material) for convenience's sake. The analysis of the Object was conducted at an international scale. Eventually, though, research plans face a budget problem and only analytical work was continued in detail within the hands of voluntary researchers. Before long, these private researchers gave it another name: Zohar.

Interesting things began to happen after the discover of Zohar, however. Humans began to gain knowledge at a much faster rate. They began to ‘see’ things more clearly, and the invention of faster-than-light travel came to be. They then were able to extend to the stars and reach other planets, making colonies…forming empires. It was all because of some interesting influence that Zohar was having on the population of Terra. Something, or someone, was affecting them.

What they knew about Zohar was that there was an extreme amount of energy that could be harnessed from it. In fact, if the proper engines were constructed which could draw directly from whatever source Zohar was, scientists even dabbled in the concept of the Infinity Drive, where power did not have a limit, it simply increased exponentially. What they did not know about Zohar was it was actually nothing more than a method of travel for something else.

The Wave Existence, while given the name by those who didn’t really understand it, was a member of a four dimensional species called the Finori. This particular Finori, whose name happened to be Zohar, had used the MAM to anchor himself into this Plane of Existence. He came from another time in another timestream where there was much war, and his mission in this stream was to see that the same wars never came to be. Unfortunately, he actually caused the creation of something: the same exact evil that rampaged through his dimension.

Zohar had somewhat of an educating effect on the population of Terra. As they began to learn things, they began to learn about drawing on his supply of energy and making space ships powered by it. They soon stretched passed the bounds of the atmosphere and began to explore the stars.

It was in their travels of the stars that something that should have never been found was discovered; a relic from the past that time itself should have eliminated. It was a space station of sorts, remnants of the Sraphite Empire. And, in this space station, the seeds for the destruction of the galaxy were once again found: genetic remnants of the biological super weapons which the Sraphites had created and destroyed those countless eons ago. The humans had discovered the artificial DNA which gifted the power of Chaos.

It was when some of the colonies started to rebel that the humans, existing in a domain which they called Galactic Federation, were given the need to use this gift that they had found. They would make a weapon, and it would be powered by Chaos, the unlimited energy source whose origin and nature was largely both misunderstood and underestimated. They would build this weapon with the wondrous genetic material which they had found amongst the Sraphite ruins.

Thus set the stage for the ultimate creation of the Federation. A biological weapon the likes of which its enemies could never stand up against, or even expect in the first place. It would be the ultimate weapon. A source of unequaled power equipped to destroy entire worlds with merely one of their numbers.

It was to be based on Human DNA (Humans, already thinking themselves the perfect creation of the Gods), genetically altered with the newly discovered genes to give them the powers of destruction. As such, the living weapon was disturbingly human in form, aside from pigmentation of skin and slight bone structure difference. More elaborate distinctions from Humans only came as the species evolved. The Project was named “Lavoid,” taken from the old language meaning “Being of Fire,” and it would be the bane of humanity.

In the lab, the fetus of a human female was genetically spliced to include the set of genes which became known as the Lavoid Factor. The absorbing of Chaos energy began almost instantaneously, and the growth of the young Lavoid proceeded rapidly.

The first of the Lavoids was called, Pyriorias, the Queen. She, achieving sentience far quicker than anyone could have anticipated, drew on her knowledge of Chaos and the unknown, and made Contact with it. The connection transformed her mind and body, twisting her against the will of her creators. She became Chaos incarnate: a creation of utter evil. It was she who gave birth to the others.

The Lavoids lived with the humans for years, fulfilling their roles as the super-soldiers they were designed as. All the while, though, Pyriorias searched for a way to get the humans to remove the genetic limiters they had all been given as a fail safe. She wanted to free her children from the control of the humans completely.

Using her influence and magic, Pyriorias arranged the largest rebellion of a fringe world in the history of the Federation. The attacks came from not only humans, but other alien species as well. The humans, their own troops not being able to move fast enough to combat the threat, had no choice but to fully utilize the power of their creations. After performing a few deeds in good faith, such as placing Time Bubbles around test worlds, Pyriorias convinced the humans to remove the genetic limiters.

With their powers fully utilizable, the Lavoids decimated the rebellions. With their new freedom, though, they finally turned on their creators. Together they ravaged Terra for all it was, for once again those of Chaos could not be controlled. The Fall of Terra marked the end of the First Age, and humans fled the planet in search of a new home. Terra became called Lost Jerusalem, the Gem of the Galaxy that was lost to the humans forever after. History had repeated itself.

Humans somehow managed to survive, fleeing from the growing population of Lavoids that had begun to disperse through the Galaxy. The humans found new places to dwell and formed new political organizations to govern themselves. The evil of the Lavoids seemed to temporarily flee into the shadows, hiding from human society until the time was right. People forgot about the beings of Chaos. Those who had started and completed Project Lavoid eventually died, and the knowledge of what the Lavoids were was lost to the ages. Along with the loss of this knowledge, however, came the loss of awareness of a test that had been orchestrated along with the start of the project...

It began in the year 1999 ES on a planet called Elosia, a backwater, nothing planet in a northern arm of the galaxy. While this planet had been simply an experiment, it ended up producing more individuals with farther reaching influence than any other planet in the history. It was here that the insurrection started. It was here that the fight against the Lavoids had begun…

The existence of the Lavoid Exterminatorum Adeptus has passed into nothing more than legend now, and those who were alive to remember it are few and far between. Nothing has had more of an impact on the history of the Galaxy, though, than the group of individuals who stood up tall and tried to shake the heavens from the grasps of the spawn of Chaos.

It was at the dawn of the third age that Lathain of Zeal, from the Planet Elosia, discovered the plot of the Lavoids with the aid of the Marda, the Airia from the Beginning of Time. Lathain saw that this could not be tolerated and set out on a crusade to rid the galaxy of these despicable beings. But, Lavoids are not so easily disposed of, and Lathain had to deal with problems of his own existence as well.

Given the name Jack McKlane by the foster parents that discovered him (after he had been thrown fourteen thousand years into the future by the Lavoid that would wrest control of his home planet of Elosia), Lathain was what those of learned decent call a Elijiahian. A Planeswalker. He was the immortal, human offspring of a Lavoid whom had fertilized a human female using the power of Chaos. Because of this, he was given great gifts of power, but also a great burden. Lathain took it upon himself to create a group of those willing to fight against the Lavoids, and he set out in his starship, the Weatherlight, to build his army.

Since he could travel through time at will (a gift of the ability to manipulate Chaos), he had the time stream working in his favor. He could construct his fleet within a bubble in time, so that no real time was lost in its creation. Traveling with his fleet to the stars, he began to find those willing to fight by his side against the evil powers of the Lavoids.

The young man named his army the Lavoid Exterminatorum Adeptus, or, Those who Excel in the Killing of Lavoids. It became known commonly as the LEA, referred to by political bodies as the Lavoid Extermination Agency. With the LEA, he recruited those who hated the Lavoids as much as he, and he began the process of killing them one by one.

As the influence of the LEA spread, Lathain came into contact with a new intergalactic political body that was called the Sol Dominion and had existed through the last fifteen hundred years or so. Their ruler was one Emperor Cain, and he held his rule with an army of magical beings called the Wanderers. Lathain used the Sol Dominion and Cain in order to learn what he could about the Galaxy, and to assess the threat of the Lavoids over the span of its breadth. As he had feared, the threat was great, and action needed to be taken quickly.

It was in his travels that he came into contact with two others of his kind on a planet known as Celes. They were called Tyrion and Teclis, twins of the Queen of the Nation of Ithilmar, the nation who served the Lavoid Geminus. The hope of being able to release these two of his brothers brought his full attention to this new planet. He sent an agent of the Watchers, his organization for recruiting, to try to gain the confidence and allegiance of these new Planeswalkers.

He also learned that on this planet was the source of a mineral called Crystain.

Crystain was a bluish crystal found only in the seas of Celes. Due to its peculiar properties, it naturally existed in both the Natural and Ethereal planes in a given point in space. Fundamentally, it could alter the physical nature of a piece of matter, forcing it to exist in the ethereal plane as well as the physical plane. These Ethereal weapons, called Phase Swords or Astral Weapons, turned out to be an extremely effective form of killing Lavoids; in striking down their ethereal body, one could bypass their natural resistances to physical damage. Also, it was found that Crystain could be ground down into a power, put through a complex series of reactions, then melted, to form a substance called ARG-71. This substance is extremely lethal to all creatures that are based on Lavoid Energy, the energy of processed Chaos.

Using this knowledge to his advantage, Lathain got Geminus to lead one of his subordinates into giving Lathain the two Planeswalkers, Tyrion and Teclis. The subordinate, also a Planeswalker, then held Tyrion and Teclis captive as a bargaining chip. Only when Lathain confronted the Dark Planeswalker in single combat was the first threat removed. The LEA then dumped massive amounts of Crystain into Geminus’s cavern forcing him to surface. Once vulnerable, Lathain used a new spell called a Lavoid Slave in order to completely eradicate the beast. Celes was saved, and it became the operation headquarters of the LEA. There, they controlled the mining of Crystain and continued their crusade against the Lavoids.

Four years following this, Lathain came across another Planeswalker in the Alpha Quadrant of the Dominion by the name of Andurion. He somehow seemed to elude the control of his parent Lavoid and was discovered selling his skills as an assassin. Lathain, in his quest to gain the loyalty of Andurion ended up getting the LEA caught in a war with a group of Union Terrorists (calling themselves the Free Peoples Union) that had long been making a terror attacks on various targets in the Dominion. As Lathain got drawn into the matter, he discovered that The Free Peoples Union was actually an underground cult of Lavoid worshipers dedicated to Andurion’s parent Lavoid, Aryell. He had used his influence on Andurion to play the pawns of the organization to his whim. Lathain brought this to light, destroyed the cult, and Andurion joined the growing Planeswalker Council as the LEA went on in its crusade.

In the next decade, Lathain later discovered the last Planeswalker that would make up the Planeswalker Council. He was a prince of a magical kingdom called Arinthir in the year 2014 ES. His name was Elithor, and much like Lathain’s original birthplace, this kingdom was a plaything of the Lavoid that rested within the Planet. Elithor, along with a following of young companions, discovered the existence of the Lavoid but were nearly killed when trying to fight it. The Lavoid then surfaced and annihilated Arinthir, a seemingly déjà vu experience that haunted Lathain deeply. He personally descended to the planet and killed the Lavoid, inviting Elithor to take a place on the path to killing more Lavoids then his young mind could hope for. Elithor, a man who reminded Lathain much of himself, became a powerful ally.

It was only a few hundred years later in the year 2434 ES that the quest was brought to a temporary halt by the growing fear of Emperor Cain. Seeing that the LEA was becoming too powerful, he felt that they needed to be put down. The war between the LEA and the Sol Dominion started when Cain ordered to open fire on an LEA Warship. Lathain, not taking such effrontery lightly, vowed to reduce the Dominion to rubble in revenge.

The quest against the Lavoids was put on hold as Lathain, though far outnumbered, began to lead a war against the Sol Dominion and the armies of Emperor Cain. The Dominion was a large place, and the LEA was but a small force in comparison to the legions of the Dominion, but the better trained forces of the Exterminatorum Adeptus proved to be more than a match for any Imperial soldier.

The LEA laid siege on Nova, the capital of the Dominion. Entire cities were completely razed and billions were killed. The entire Planeswalker Council descended to the planet and entered the Imperial Palace. There, they engaged in a brutal battle with the Wanderers that guarded Cain. The Wanderers, though, as powerful as they were, could not stop the combined might of the Council. Lathain then personally tore out the heart of Cain’s only Son, Karius. Cain was in the throne room, his last bastion of safety, when Lathain marched in and tossed the boy’s heart into the Emperor’s lap. No words were even exchanged in the meeting, as Lathain of Zeal’s actions were typically above that of words. Only a glance from the Planeswalker was enough to push the Dominion into surrender. The LEA left Nova, leaving the Dominion to rebuild itself from the ashes. They trusted that never again would their wrath be incurred by the foolish humans.

And so the crusade continued, and the Lavoids continued to fall. All the while, the LEA began to march towards Terra, the origin of the beasts and the home of the First Queen. It was in the year 2981 ES that the war that the LEA had hoped for finally broke out: a civil war between the Forces of Chaos in which Lavoid killed Lavoid and no innocent casualties were ever lost. The civil war raged for three hundred years, oscillating from periods of minor skirmishes to all out battle. The LEA helped both sides, selling Crystain weapons to both ends of the fighting. The casualties rose, and the Exterminatorum Adeptus became assassins for higher, always eager to take a job for either side. As long as the spawn of Chaos fell, then the result was one of success.

The war raged until both sides had exhausted their available resources, and the LEA decided that it was finally time to strike. The fleet moved to Terra, where Lathain planned on using the immense amount of Chaos energy natural to the planet in order to spark a chain reaction that would tear through Chaos itself, annihilating all beings which absorbed Chaos energy in the specific pattern that the Lavoids did (the synthesis pattern by which Lavoids absorb Chaos is thought to be the cause of their abnormal behavior). It would be the final gamble.

His ships circled Terra in the year 3426 ES; the war was finally almost over. This would be the last stand and the galaxy would finally be rid of the menace which had reigned for nearly 3500 years over its helpless inhabitants. All of the energy flows were in place for him to cast the ultimate spell with the amplified power of Planeswalker Council.

The Mera Flux. The final spell. While simple in concept, the most powerful spell in Chaos Magic simply sank everything in the target region into the Plane of Chaos, where the energies of evil would instantly destroy it. Lathain would be combining it with a Mako Bomb, or, an explosion of pure Lifestream energy that a planet uses as a measure of last defense when its natural weapons fail it. It was designed as a failsafe, so that everything on the planet could start over. The energy created by it was enough to form a dimensional shift, and Lathain had hypothesized that if one could initiate it, the energies meshed with that of the Chaos Dimension would cause the temporal and dimensional chain reaction that he hoped for. The math had all been worked out. The only thing that was not taken into consideration was the randomizing effect that comes from emotion…

In a skirmish in the atmosphere above Terra, Lathain’s wife Sarah was killed, carrying with her Lathain’s first child. The loss of his family instantly outweighed all other loss that he had felt through his 1500 years of life. The Legend says that he sacrificed himself in order to revenge the loss, but others argue that he simply went insane. Either way, the consequences rang through the rest of time.

While in a state of emotional confusion, Lathain went ahead with his plan to set off the chain reaction that would purify the galaxy of the Lavoids. Gathering together with him the other four Planeswalkers of the Council, he evacuated the Weatherlight and began to pilot it by himself on a crash course into Terra. As the ship entered the atmosphere, Lathain completed the casting of the spell as the others amplified his magical energy with their powers. They say that the Weatherlight itself expressed the Black Wings as Jack competed his mission with the casting of the Mera Flux. At the same time, the attack which he planned to set off the Mako Bomb resolved, and the two masses of energy came together and swept across both time and space. Those who remember the day, and could see the time stream, say that it was if an infinite number of cries echoed out as the energy tore through Chaos. And then, as quickly as the energy had come, all was quiet.

Lathain had been mistaken in his calculations though. Perhaps it was the anger with which had cast the spell, but something had gone wrong. True to his expectations, the spell and chain reaction had dutifully wiped the galaxy clean of all Lavoids, but it had also purged anything containing Chaos Energy as well. The surge had ripped through the LEA Fleet, all of who’s ships were powered by Chaos, and it had ripped through all of the Adeptus themselves, who’s own bodies were saturated in the energy due to prolonged exposure. It destroyed the other Planeswalkers, who’s DNA caused them to absorb Chaos naturally. In fact, it tore through Lathain himself, his own energies racking through his body and ending his life mere milliseconds after he had completed the spell. The space above Terra became quiet, all objects and beings existing there having been removed from this Plane of Existence. The Lavoids and the LEA had been destroyed, and in the long run, the only thing that was powerful enough to kill Lathain of Zeal was, in fact, Lathain of Zeal.

But there was a faint twinkle somewhere in the heart of Terra. Something had survived the blast, and would go on to see the next day. It was Pyriorias herself. The Queen. She was still alive. Her empire and children had all been destroyed, but the Mother lived, and would go on living indefinitely. What Lathain had never considered was that you cannot kill Chaos with Chaos, as that was all a Lavoid Queen was. She was Chaos Incarnate. A creation of utter evil.

So the LEA fell back into the non-existence from which it had sprung. The Second Age ended when Terra fell to the Lavoids for the second time. It was aptly called the Second Fall, the Fall of Terra, and the Fall of the Lavoid Exterminatorum Adeptus.

One might say that the Lavoids had been almost completely destroyed, and this was benign, but there was suddenly no one to perform the Time Seal, and the work could be so easily undone. Pyriorias could so quickly go through time and revive the lost Lavoids, giving them back their strands in the stream of time. She could instantly restore her children, and those who had tried to fight her would remain dead. Lavoid Queens, however, do not always have such clear passages of thought.

She did go back and bring back some of her children, but not all of them. Perhaps it was about half of the numbers that had existed before. Something in Pyriorias decided to admit defeat to an extent, and so she felt that the efforts of the LEA should not be completely undone. There was some honor in not staining the life of Lathain, and making the sacrifice completely in vain. Honor…in the end, it was the Lavoid that expressed it greatest of all. Legend, it would seem, can be ironic.

There were some that had survived the Second Fall, and it was seemingly against all odds. The child which Sarah bore did not seem to die. In fact, it was rescued and brought to a place of safety. There it would grow and ponder its fate.

Other decedents of the Planeswalker bloodlines did not appear to all die, either. There were five bloodlines in all, and at least one member of each of these families lived on, most being small children. Even the Marda at the Beginning of Time cannot explain why these children were spared the wrath of Chaos. Again, perhaps Pyriorias deemed that children should not be sacrificed, and she herself protected them. The minds of Lavoids work in mysterious ways, and they are not nearly as one-tracked as Lathain had originally predicted. In fact, it would seem that the Mother of all Evil was not so evil at all…

And so story faded into Legend, Legend into Myth, and Myth into Nothing. The LEA became nothing more than a bed time story which mothers told their children, and the relics of the once great army were lost to time and Chaos. The Children that were spared of the Second fall continued to grow and reach maturity, and eventually began to learn about their past. Their gifts included what still remained in the somewhat diluted bloodlines of the Planeswalker Council, and the gift would always include the genes of the Lavoid; the Blood of the Cursed. Forever they would bare the burden of being part of the thing which they had an instinctual desire to destroy. They would forever feel the winds of Chaos blow and sense the flow of five dimensions. The Black Wings would forever flutter in the unseen breeze for those descendants of the LEA. Such was their gift. Such was their burden. Such was what made them who they were, and such was what made them what they would become.

Chapter 1

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