Location: Nektar’s Cauldron, Kra, and Rhokii Pass
Time: AO 314-AO317
Still transfixed by The Ghast and not wanting to miss any of the action on the battlefields below – no matter how frustrating it was for him to watch – Gwar didn’t immediately answer when he received my summons (1).
Eventually, however, The God of War could no longer stomach the debacle that was The War of the Ghast, and therefore begrudgingly came to Nektar’s Cauldron to answer my call. Gwar’s plan was obviously to take out his frustration on me (2) – complaining that the pitiful creatures I had created were making a mockery of his challenge to the Drokka. By railing against me I guess he figured that he might at least get some small amount of satisfaction – a fruit he had not tasted since this war began. Yet, even that opportunity was denied to him — for upon his arrival at my volcano home, Gwar was quickly seduced by Hekubuz before he even knew what hit him!
The nigh irresistible evil temptress had previously seduced first a Drokka, and then later a Valdermakken (3), and had held the seed of both inside her in preparation for her final coupling with Gwar. All of this had been arranged at my command, of course, for I then used the fertile Hekubuz to create the first Myz — a full-grown killing drone birthed by the evil goddess that I at once took to my labs to clone.
Within the year I had created a veritable army of Myz warriors!
Meanwhile, by the time Gwar recovered from the soul-sucking lust of Hekubuz – which no mortal could live to tell about (4) — at first, The God of Hate was overcome with anger at being used in one of my experiments, and he threatened to destroy both Hekubuz and I for using him. However, when I presented him with a band of the new Myz warriors, the Gwar smiled that sinister smile of his, and as the black saliva of his own blood spilled from his lips in delight.
That’s when I knew I had him.
“Why, Nektar, you shouldn’t have,” Gwar sneered sarcastically.
“Yes, I thought you might like them,” I replied, my form hidden beneath my flowing ebon robes as always. “Well, don’t just stand there, you big lummox. Do the duty which our master created you to do.” And pointing a bony figure to the door, I commanded, “Go! Take your people and destroy the cursed Drrukka!”
With pride, Gwar looked upon HIS new people (5). At seven feet tall or more, the Myz had big, broad bodies, often weighed more than 20 stones a piece (6), and would obviously tower over any Drokka who opposed them. Their rough, scaly skin was dusky gray, their eyes all-black, their teeth razor-sharp, and they too had long black hair like their father.
Quite satisfied, the God of War at once trained them in the ways of battle. This didn’t take all that long, for with the genes used in their creation – from a warrior Drokka, an agile Valdermakken, and even mighty Gwar himself – the Myz were, by their very nature, the most skillful of fighting machines – powerful, intelligent, fearsome and physically unmatched!
Perhaps most importantly, because of my own vile designs,the Myz were nigh unkillable – decapitation, dismemberment, or crushing being the only ways to stop them (7).
For a short time, Gwar trained his Myz within the confines of my Cauldron, instructing them day and night in the gruesome art of killing. He repeatedly forced them to fight with one another to hone their skills, and thereby did they learn to live to fight (and fight to live) — reaping destruction with little regard for their own safety – for any who did not develop their skills fast enough quickly perished as a result of my colleague’s merciless training exercises.
Then, upon the one-year anniversary of their first creation, Gwar released his star pupils out onto the killing fields of Kra, on a mission to overcome the Drokka and restore his dignity.
He was not disappointed.
Less than a year later, little did Hacktor Derkillez first believe that the mighty kingdom of Oz could have fallen so quickly (8).
That sacred site was the Drokka’s original kingdom and, although it had been abandoned for nearly 250 years, Hacktor had considered Oz’s resettlement as one of his greatest accomplishments. Even though Oz was in the most war-torn locale of all — so near to Death’s Door at the northernmost end of the Rhokii’s — still it was unthinkable for the Kon-Herr to accept that such an ancient pillar of his people could have been destroyed again during his reign.
Yet when the reports came in from the Drokka intelligence network to confirm such a disaster, Hacktor and his generals could deny it no longer. When news of the disaster reached the common people in the remaining kingdoms they began to panic (again) – thinking their towns would fall next and calling for Hacktor to end his war. Yet the king shirked off their calls, and instead took a massive host north with him in the spring of AO316, intent on getting revenge for the destruction of Oz.
Although his army suffered worse casualties than they had in any prior campaign, Hacktor and the Ghast overcame even the Myz, and by the summer of that year, he’d recaptured Oz again. Hacktor immediately installed Haraclez as the new Kon-Herr of this location — not only putting his most trusted man in this key post but also (finally) paying back his boyhood mentor.
When he arrived back at Rhokii Pass, Kon-Herr Hacktor and his men were celebrated for their accomplishments – Queen Hecla having made sure that the Coinmaster arranged a glorious triumph to recognize the king for his efforts. And Hacktor again promised that the end of the war was in sight.
Yet for all the praise Hacktor received, the winds of war continued to blow against his army in The Overworld.
When the spring fighting season of AO317 arrived, Hacktor was frustrated (and his men were afraid) to see that Gwar and I had unleashed even more Myz into the world to reinforce the Derkka’s ranks. Whenever a Myz appeared on the battlefield, the Drokka knew they were in for a fight, and it often took ten or twenty Drokka to bring down just one Myz – for knowing how to stop a Myz vs. actually being able to do it are two totally different matters (9).
The Kingdom of Oz continued as a fierce battleground – again and again, changing hands as each side sought to gain control of this strategic location. Yet, always did the Myz take their toll on the ranks of the Drokka. And eventually, the Myz established a hold over Oz that even Hacktor could not break – for although he was all-powerful, the rest of his mortal armies were not!
Thus it was that Hacktor returned home in defeat in the fall of AO317 — the first time in The War of the Ghast that the great Kon-Herr had returned home in such despair.
That Hacktor’s army had suffered an unquestioned defeat could not be denied and not even Monty’s propaganda machine could spin this one favorably. For while Kon-Herr Haraclez had escaped Oz, most of his men had not, and the effort to retake Oz had churned through much of Hacktor’s army too.
The starving populace clamored for help and enterprising factions from the seedy underworld quickly took advantage of the people’s plight – using this as yet another opportunity to hold countless fundraisers to organize protests throughout the Eight Kingdoms to ‘give the people a voice’ (and help the shady fundraising administrators line their own pockets in the process).
Protesters claimed that the Drokka nation was on the verge of disaster, that families didn’t have enough to eat, that children were dying, that the political system was rigged against the common man, that the world was ending, and other such typical fluff. Queen Hecla and the rest of the royal establishment dismissed these claims out of hand, while Monty’s intelligentsia disputed the protesters at every turn, and the Secret Service guards arrested any of the protesters who got too loud (although interestingly enough, none of the protesters leadership were ever targeted for arrest – perhaps because they were smart enough to ensure that a good portion of the fundraising dollars they’d collected from the people somehow found their way into Monty Redstone’s pockets?)
Interestingly enough, the number of Drokka casualties had grown by such horrific numbers as a result of The War of the Ghast that their population really had begun to decline (10) – and so said Grak in a secret missive to the king – again begging him to visit (11).
Home for the winter and still licking his wounds, King Hacktor read the letter in one of the offices attached to his private chambers. The king’s beard was now grizzled with grey and his eyes were sunken and tired. But no sooner had he broken the seal of Grak’s note, and glanced at the contents, then he threw it away, complaining to Hecla. “Don’t let them bother me with trifles like this. I don’t have time for such nonsense – in case you forgot there’s a war I’m fighting and I have to focus my mind on that.”
“Hush. The spring is still two seasons away. Give yourself time to rest, love.” The queen was standing behind her husband’s chair, rubbing his broad shoulders, trying to work the knots from his tense muscles, and ease Hacktor’s tension – for he was ever on edge since arriving back. “With all that is going on here at the palace, why not take Grak up on his offer?”
Hacktor turned around in shock. “You mean travel to Chaldea? Such a journey would eat up too much time. I need every candlemark to devise a strategy with my generals.”
“Do your planning on the journey. You’ll have more time to devote to ideas without all the drivel here at court. And we could take the children. Get them away from court for a time. It could be an adventure for them.”
Hacktor tried waved her off, “I’m sorry. That just won’t do. I have more important things to attend to. I need to be here.”
Hecla tried a new approach. “I understand. Well then, since you’ll be here and since you’re in a planning mode, then you should know that Monty Redstone is on your agenda this week — he needs you to review the treasury numbers from this past year and said something about the need for price hikes for Blackwood needing to offset the drain on the aggrandizement of our coins. Then there are the people from Ra–“
“Enough.” Hacktor interrupted, knowing full well what his twin was doing. “Tell Monty to make the decision for himself. We’ll go to Chaldea. As you said, I can plan on the way.” And then as if to himself, he added, “Perhaps Grak has some answers after all.”
- I expected as much.
- Which I was counting on.
- The Drokka’s name for the race of early humanoids I created ages ago by breeding the first man (Adam) with the goddess Armaros (AKA Alyssa). Adam named these pre-men The Amorosi: they were tall, athletic, lean, and lithe. Unfortunately, they were not under my control and now lived in the forests of Eastern TerrVerde, worshipping Alyssa as their primary god. See The Great Deceiver Chapter called Behold Man… for more on this topic.
- For example, both the Drokka and the Valdermakken, that Hekubuz seduced during the Myz creation process, did not survive their ‘ordeal’ with the goddess.
- Gwar’s people? I still laugh at the thought. Yet I was wise enough to know that when dealing with an inferior intelligence like my colleague if you let fools like this have all the credit, they will happily work to complete your plans without ever knowing that you are using them. Works every time!
- That’s about 300 pounds if you’re wondering.
- I tried to eliminate these little shortcomings too but alas, at that time my skills were still a bit primitive.
- Recall that Oz was the first kingdom of the Drokka, founded by Ajax the Freemaker in AO 1. It fell in AO55 when Ajax fell in battle, marking the end of Drokka Purification War III. For centuries it had been changing hands, until eventually the Derkka established a strong base there and the Drokka finally abandoned this far-away kingdom. Knowing the historical significance of Oz and it’s importance to the Drokka’s psyche, Hacktor had reestablished Oz fairly early after the War of the Ghast began – considering it a requirement to cement his legacy. I was thus rather happy to see it fall again.
- Decapitation, crushing, or dismemberment are easier said than done, especially during the chaos of battle when combat comes from all sides.
- Although it had peaked at more than 500,000 when Hacktor’s war first began, upon the most recent census, the count showed only 450,000 Drokka upon Mittengarten.
- How did Grak know when he was so far away from Oz? I have my ways…