Volume 22: The Second Crush: A Punctuated Peace
Volume 22: The Second Crush: A Punctuated Peace
So this continued from universe to universe to universe. Traxt magic continued to bloom and make advancements. Legendary spells were developed in all fields and deployed with devastating effect to The Oblivion. Huge pockets of Oblivion were being pushed back and it’s progression slowed over massive expanses. But despite these advances The Oblivion’s march continued ever forward. These stop gaps could only hold so long and sooner or later, The Oblivion always won.
Traxts began showing up in a wide scattering of universes, as did the users of their magic. The populations of many more universes were being saved.
When the Traxt Phenomenon started showing up in universes inhabited by Dark Dwarves they took notice. They began seeking out (stalking and kidnapping) users of this new “Traxt Magic” and persuaded many of them (threatened them and their families and friends) to teach them the secrets of its use (usually by means of torture and imprisonment.) Unfortunately for most of the abducted, the people who would normally come to their rescue were spread so thin battling The Oblivion on its seemingly endless fronts, the kidnapped often simply went unnoticed.
The Dark Dwarves excelled in the fields of Traxt Smithing and Jeweling, but we’re aggressively untalented when it came to Traxt Weaving. However, necessity is the mother of invention, and the Dark Dwarves decided to ply their technological might to these Traxt gems and developed an entirely new style of Traxt use: Traxt Weaponry. Weapons of every type infused with the raw power of Traxts. They even began fitting ships with this weaponry but the amount of Traxts needed to do this was quite prohibitive so only a scant few were actually produced.
During this time several other races began coming to the forefront of the multiverse, aligning themselves with those who oppose The Oblivion. Many are names you would know. The Centaurs, The Humans, the Elves in two forms, the regular Elves most of us are familiar with and a sect of Elves who brought to bear mighty psionic abilities and called themselves, “The Destiny Elves.”
Others you may not have heard of before - The Sliders: A humanoid race naturally bonded with the earth who turn into and live in mud. The Swafts: A race of beings controlling the winds and the air who have been at war with the Dark Dwarves for countless generations. And perhaps the most unique, The Trementians. A wholly unique race strong in magic and look unlike any beings you have probably seen before. (Illustrations will be provided in upcoming posts.)
The 5 and their companions also continued their missions in stride. By this time they had gained the regular companionship of the robotic life form known as Snish. He came to them as a representative of The Technorganic Empire: a conglomerate of cybernetic and robotic lifeforms of all types banded together under one umbrella. They were one of the first peoples to encounter The Oblivion and sought out The 6, as they were known to them as champions of the multiverse. They hoped these champions may have some way to thwart the advancement of The Crawl. Unfortunately Snish ran into many troubles on his way to finding them, having many “adventures” of his own along the way. By the time he found The 6, they had become The 5, but he asked to stay and learn with them regardless.
Another curiosity that began to occur was reports throughout the multiverse of sightings of the being known as Arc. Reports of a “strange man dressed like a superhero in electric blue spandex with a giant thick white 180 degree arc on his chest, rippling with electricity from head to toe” began coming in various forms. Though some reports did say he had a number on his chest instead. Reports varied. Of course The 5 were the only ones who really KNEW him as Arc but their excited cries for more information on the sightings of their former teacher soon sparked everyone’s attention and led many to begin longing for their own “Arc Experience.”
He would usually appear for only long moments in the heat of battle or standing near the wounded seemingly to draw attention to them, only to vanish instantly and silently. Raine (the younger) has his very own Arc Experience right onboard The Slipgate! Returning from his mission early and wandering onto the bridge, Raine came thru the doors to see this unknown muscular man silently gazing at him from the captain’s chair. Raine went to speak when the man stood up in a ripple of electricity and disappeared. When Raine reported this to the others they received the news with quite a bit of excitement but also some sadness as they longed also to catch a glimpse of their old and enigmatic companion.
Amidst these sightings progress continued and it seemed huge swaths of the multiverse were beginning the slow laborious process of gearing up for war. War against The Oblivion. So it was that in the face of unrivaled loss, an attitude of peace and cooperation seemed to be permeating the multiverse. And then in the midst of it all the strangest thing of all occurred. The Dark Dwarves sent a peace envoy to meet with The 5.
Word spread quickly through the multiverse via the surviving Psion Orbs and every reaction imaginable was expressed, disbelief perhaps being chief among them.
However the Dark Dwarves came and offered very serious terms. Their reasoning being they saw The Oblivion as an unbeatable enemy standing alone. It made more sense for them to add their own significant might to that which had already been amassed by this forming alliance of other races and universes. They freely offered to share all the secrets of their newly created Traxt Weaponry, and in fact, offered up 1000 Traxt Assault Rifles and Traxt Pulse Blasters at their very first meeting with The 5, along with schematics to all the other weaponry including the starship weapons. They offered to suspend aggressions across the multiverse and to open wide their slave camps, blood farms, and prisons. They offered proof that they had begun shutting down many of their battle arenas and biological testing facilities. (In truth, it should be noted most of these across the board remained and were simply moved to hidden locations deep inside worlds while token facilities were given up as a display in hopes of an alliance.)
Despite their misgivings and a rather ardent outcry by the entire Swaft Race, the majority of the fledgling alliance saw this offer as an amazing opportunity. Indeed, despite their own suspicions, The 5 also saw the alliance as too good to dismiss, so under their watch - a peace was agreed too and the Dark Dwarves joined the war against The Oblivion.
This time is considered by many to be the greatest peace the multiverse had ever known. And not just because of the Dark Dwarves. Many many races who had fought across realities, time, and space, for centuries or more, put down their arms and turned together with former enemies to face the oncoming Crawl.
The Swafts, who had suffered more than any other race at the hands of the Dark Dwarves, refused to associate with them in any way, but the other races, soon saw their ranks swell with new Dwarven companions.
During this time more about the Dark Dwarves’ culture was learned than ever before. It was a time of learning for the Dark Dwarves as well, as many of them had real conversions of the heart and began to see members of their alliance as something unheard of in their culture. As equals.
Authors Note: So from the end of the First Crush to now we have introduced quite a few new elements to our story. In our next series of readings we will start to flesh some of these out with character bios, class write ups, racial class write ups and more. All of that coming up next and then we will return to the second half of the Second Crush and see what happens as we come rushing at a feverish pace toward The Panic!
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"The end of each universe always brought about a time of great sadness. It was hard for The 5 and their companions not to be disheartened for once again it would seem they were unable to thwart this merciless attacker. But before we talk about the very end of a universe there are a few phenomena that occur around this time that bear discussion."