Vol. 96: Snips, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails...
Snip, snails, and puppy dog tails…
“Time exists only as a tool. Existence is the constant forever instant. An eternal moment existing cross dimensionally in all realities, with no beginning or end.”
The introduction of Bloodspring to the multiverse turned out to be a game changer on many levels. With the loss of T-Traxt enchantment, Bloodspring offered the only true form of resurrection. And with it the Nighttide Trinity became very rich very quickly. Which in turn meant The Counsel was becoming very rich. Over the next few generations, the price of Bloodspring fell. (But not by much, it was still insanely expensive.) It was now cheap enough that high level adventurers were known to purchase it frequently. The rich would also buy it regularly, and kept it on their person, “just in case.”
The demand for it was immense, not just from the rich and powerful, but from the common folk. Why should they not be allowed to have this fantastic elixir as well? Many mobs descended upon Bloodspring Facilities trying to steal the product. Almost none were successful. Bloodspring facilities were occupied by vampires, dragons, O-Boys and more goblinkin than you can shake a Traxt at. What chance did the common people have against that?
Still there were ways that common folk and others could get their hands on Bloodspring. Some would hire thieves, rogues, or even entire adventuring groups to steal it. These attempts met with mixed results, but often entire crates or even entire shipments of Bloodspring would be stolen. There was also a robust Black Market springing up in many megacities, almost exclusively run by the goblinkin. Bloodspring would somehow always find its way there and could be found by those searching for it if they knew how to look. But woe to the goblinkin caught stealing from the Nighttide! Those goblinkin caught stealing Bloodspring from a facility or worse, selling it in a black market, were made examples of, usually eaten whole by a dragon in front of their peers. This risk kept the black-market prices high, but still it was cheaper than trying to buy it directly from the Nighttide.
All of this led to some turmoil on Elysium 12 and in the Multiversal Senate. The Animus & Grinders found themselves being sent on missions to closedown black markets, protect Bloodspring shipments and facilities, and more. The Grinders and O-Boys still had quite a grudge against each other so being charged to protect the O-Boys left many Grinders quite vexed to say the least. This left most of the day to day operation of Elysium 12 and its two “moons” to the Elysium Civilian Corps.
The vampire’s megaship Crepuscular was also causing problems. It had set itself into orbit around Elysium 12 so aggressively the Elysium Civilian Corps (ECC) had to rush to realign the orbits of Puissance and Unity to avoid hitting it. The Multiversal Senate was enraged by this and demanded Crepuscular be moved, but the vampires insisted it was necessary. The vampires explained that their ship still held the vast majority of their population (kind of true, though much of their population now existed running Bloodspring facilities throughout the multiverse) and that with the constant threat of the Xerxes they “didn’t feel safe” straying far from Elysium 12. The actual truth was the Nighttide and the Counsel wanted their base of operations as close to the senate as possible so they could manipulate it quickly if they needed too. The Counsel had already begun its old and devious ways of buying their way into seats on the senate, and what seats they couldn’t buy they attempted to bribe. And by using the Nighttide as their messengers very few would even suspect that The Counsel was coming back into power.
This cloak and dagger political play continued causing disruption in the senate, which in turn caused turmoil for the multiverse. Another barb in the ever-strangling vine of The Panic.
About the Illustration: Here we have some sketches of a warrior in winter gear, a robot from the Technorganic Conglomerate, and a living fireball!