Surrender to Disorder!




Chaos is reigning down all around him, and he loves it.

Overhead, the clear dome protecting his palace from the destructive atmosphere of his home world is refracting the light from the three suns. The refraction creates a cascade of spidery rainbows that gives an angelic sense to the surroundings. Generators powered by mystic energy sources work silently, purifying the poisonous air outside the dome, cooling the domed city, keeping its inhabitants safe from the destructive powers outside.

With a grin on his face that his enemies have called “the pure embodiment of chaos” Grand Monarch Mishak Nallesh, ruler of this world and the entire Plane of Entropy, once again surveys the scene around him.

The battered bodies of four Rikti spies lay, prostrate, at his feet. One of them is dead already, the rest will be shortly. Grand Monarch Nallesh only hopes that they will reveal their plan before their bonds with this life are broken. But not too quickly. These invaders threatened his children, something he does not take kindly to. He steps forward to the nearest spy and flips him over with vicious kick.

“What happened to the nanny of my children, invader?” he asks, his glowing red eyes narrowing in anger. Few have witnessed his anger and survived. Even the fierce Rikti cowers briefly from this visage before collecting himself.

“Dead. As you all soon will be. This plane is but a waypoint for us, but your pathetic excuse for a “kingdom” stands in our way. Already we are massing for a brief assault that will wipe away any memory of your people. Surrender now and perhaps you can be spared.”

Never in 1,347 years of rule has anyone ever spoken to a member of the Royal Family with such insolence. Mishak Nallesh, 45th generation of the Nallesh family, the eternal rulers of the Plane of Entropy, says nothing for several long moments. Every eye in the chamber is cast down, none daring to risk meeting his eyes lest they bear the brunt of his anger. Only the Rikti invader glares back, defiantly.

And then, Grand Monarch Mishak Nallesh, self proclaimed and long worshipped Lord of Entropy, begins to laugh. It is an alien sound, coming from this man who many worship as a God. Even his closest advisors have not heard his laughter since he was a small boy, and even then it was heard only rarely. But now it cascades out like a tremendous waterfall, a deep, booming sound that rings throughout the room.

“Surrender? To you?” Again, laughter. “Indeed, we should surrender, thank you for the offer. Tell me, to whom should I offer my terms of surrender? I assume it will be unconditional, but considering this generous offer, perhaps you will allow me to keep some small slice of my kingdom?”

He is laughing again, and now his ministers and advisors are joining him. A couple of them shout out jeers of their own. “Yes, spare us!” and “Please, we give up!” cause a redoubling of merriment in the room. Only the Rikti captive is silent, and his eyes have not left those of Grand Monarch Nallesh. Eventually, the Lord of Entropy calls for silence with a wave of his hands, so that he can continue his parley with his captive. He is no longer smiling.

“Listen to me, slave – for that is what you will be for the rest of your days. Your plot has been uncovered. Your attempt on my life has been unsuccessful. If you had the power to invade us, you would have done so already. Only a weak foe seeks to assassinate his enemies. I suspect that when your attack comes, it will be short lived and feeble, as you are. I truly hope that you enjoy the rest of your days in our mines. I trust that you will not find them accommodating. Guards, take this slave away.”

Two burly guards move in from the door, chains in hand. The Rikti struggles to his feet, an impressive feat of will considering at least one of his legs is broken. He turns an icy glare on all those around him, finally bringing it to rest on the Lord of Entropy.

“Fool.” He hisses. “You will not be laughing when the invasion force comes. My job here was not to assassinate you. My task was merely to distract you so that our saboteurs could access your generators. I suspect you have only a very short time to live now. More than me, however.”

With those words, the Rikti takes his hand and slams it into his chest with enough force to crack ribs. Grand Monarch Nallesh turns toward him, eldritch energies crackling on his fingertips. He points at two of the other Rikti who have been silent witnesses to this event and they are enveloped in sizzling energy which quickly incapacitates them. Now, it is only the final Rikti spy and the Lord of Entropy, glowing eye to glowing eye.

Glowing eye?

Grand Monarch Mishak Nallesh has had red glowing eyes like two embers since birth, the evolutionary result of living under the harsh glare of three blinding suns. However, until now the Rikti’s eyes were merely two white orbs with small black pupils in the center. Now, they are glowing with a pale green light that is quickly intensifying. The Rikti is smiling a pained smile, tinged with madness and a touch of glee.

One of Grand Monarch Nallesh’ royal guardsmen leaps forward, and with a single swipe of his entropic blade swipes the Rikti’s head off it’s body. Oddly though, there is no blood. A flash of light and the smell of burned ozone assails the bystanders. Wires poke from the bottom of the head and the top of the neck. Still, the green light grows. The flesh begins to melt from the head of the invader, peeling back to reveal a dark, metallic shell.

Suddenly, Grand Monarch Nallesh’ most trusted advisor, T’neth Agdur, leaps forward and with a wave of his hand creates a powerful force field around the Lord of Entropy and all those nearby. “Get down!” he yells, leaping towards his closes friend in a diving tackle, covering him with his own body.

Now, chaos comes to the plane of entropy, truly.

The explosion instantly incinerates every living person in the royal palace; wives, children, brothers, sisters, and friends, all gone in one blazing moment. The generators that protected the inhabitants of the city are gone in a flash, and the poisonous atmosphere of the outside comes rushing in. Anyone caught outside of their homes and the safety zone of their own atmospheric generators is killed within minutes, horribly asphyxiated. The explosion creates a crater almost a half-mile wide around the palace, a zone where not one living being survives.

Except for one tiny bubble in the middle of the crater, shimmering softly, protected from the atmosphere and the explosion, if only briefly. Inside, the Grand Monarch and his most trusted advisors and ministers lay prone, stunned and disoriented by the force of the explosion. The effects of that destruction are only now beginning to dawn on them.

But this is only the beginning, for as the Lord of Entropy helps his friends and allies to their feet, the Rikti invasion begins in earnest. Huge mother ships land amongst the building of the city, dispensing vast battalions of invaders who quickly sweep aside the reeling defenses of the city. Pockets of resistance fight valiantly, but they are overwhelmed by both the loss of their leadership and the sheer numbers of their invaders. Even an observer unskilled in the art of warfare can tell it will all be over shortly. Victory for the Rikti is assured.

Inside that small bubble of force, T’neth Agdur turns to his Lord, his King, and his lifelong friend, sadness tinged with determination in his eyes.

“My Lord, we must flee. I can open a gateway to another dimension that will be impossible for the Rikti to follow through. But we must go now.”

Grand Monarch Mishak Nalleth, Lord of Entropy, emperor and God to a conquered world, stands resolute.

“Never. I will never abandon my people to these invaders. I would rather die fighting than abandon them.”

“But Mishak, the fighting is already over, or nearly so. Your being captured benefits no one. If we flee, we can regroup, gain allies, and return with a conquering force of our own. But we must act now, before these invaders realize we survived the explosion. Mishak, my friend, my emperor, I beg you. Please.”

For a long moment, no one dared to speak. Mishak Nalleth, a fallen king, stands in the middle of a giant crater, the smoking ruins of his former life all around him. His fists clench and unclench. For the first time in his life, he is uncertain.

“Mishak, we have no time. My force field won’t last much longer, and if it fails, we will all die for nothing. Fighting at this point is pure folly. Hold that anger and hatred in your heart, and we will one day return to this plane, triumphant. But we MUST go now, or never.”

It is night in Paragon city. The neon glow from a small tavern and the dim spotlight of a street light are the only disruptions to the shadow pooling in the street. Down an alley between two dilapidated apartment buildings, the sounds of a struggle can be heard as a small gang of thugs mugs an elderly man.

In front of a small, darkened store bearing a sign which proclaims “It’s 2 for 1 Month at Vanderberg’s Grocery!” the night is split in two, a vertical line 8 feet tall hovers two feet above the ground, then slowly separates, growing into a portal 6 feet wide. Out of this portal several tall beings begin to appear. The first two beings take up positions flanking the portal, followed by several more who step out into the darkness. As quickly as it appears, the portal snaps shut with a brief crackling sound. Again, the night is quiet save for the sounds of the mugging, less than 20 feet away.

“My God, it smells foul here. Where are we?” asks Mishak, wrinkling his nose at the alien smells.

“Truth be told, I’m not exactly sure. Portals are still a new field of study for us. I was focusing more on breathable atmosphere and acceptable levels of gravity than anything else,” T’neth does a few small leaps into the air and takes a deep breath, “it seems acceptable.”

“Indeed, you did well, given the circumstances. I only hope that we can find allies here.”

Just then, the crack of a gunshot is heard, along with a voice yelling “Give it over, old man, or the next one goes in ya!”

Mishak immediately turns to the sound, moving quietly down the alley, towards the sound of a scuffle. What he sees appalls him: 4 young men standing over the crumpled figure of an old man, his hands cast up in front of him in a gesture of submission and fear. One of the young men is brandishing a small gun in a threatening manner.

“B-b-b-ut, this is my rent money. You’ll put me out on the street! What will I eat?” asks the old man pleadingly.

“Awww, you musta mistaken me for somebody who cares. Now GIVE IT!” says the young thug with the gun, leveling it at the old man.

Just then, a blast of energy envelops the young man, sending him to the ground clutching his head in pain.

“What the?” says one of the others, turning towards their new foe.

“That is no way to treat your elders, boys. Do they have no concept of respect on this plane?” Grand Monarch Mishak Nalleth’s hands are crackling with a pale blue energy. Behind the young men, their friend is trying, feebly, to rise to his feet.

“Plane? What the hell are you talking about, freak?” asks one of the gang members, quizzically.

“Freak?” asks Mishak Nalleth with a raised eyebrow. “Since you do not know me, I will overlook the insult. Next time, you will address me by my proper title: I am Grand Monarch Mishak Nalleth, Emperor of my people and The Lord of Entropy.”

“Lord of wha? Grand what? Hey, you guys getting’ a load of this guy?” asks the thug, mirth dancing across his drug-addled features. “Allow me to introduce you to my very good friend, Smith and Wesson!”

As he pulls his gun from his waistband, The Lord of Entropy sends out another sizzling bolt of mystic energy, knocking him flying backwards. The other two thugs rush him, one with a small blade, the other with a baseball bat. The Lord of Entropy steps forward and meets the knife wielding thug with a vicious punch, sending him flying backwards to land in a pile atop his friend. The bat wielding thug, seeing that his three friends have quickly been dispatched, drops his bat and flees the other direction as fast as his legs can take him.

T’neth Agdur rushes over to the old man, helping him to his feet and brushing him off. “Who were those thieves?” he asks.

“Hellions? Skulls? I can never keep em straight these days. Regardless, thank you for saving me. I’ve always heard that heroes didn’t care about the little people, but you sure proved me wrong.” The old man says, gratefully.

Mishak turns towards the old man quizzically. “Heroes? What exactly do you mean?”

“Oh, you know, the usual. Ever since the Rikti invasion, Paragon City’s been full of them. Some of em shoot fire out of their fingertips, some of them control what people think or do, that kinda stuff. Never met many myself, until now.”

T’neth Agdur turns toward Mishak. “Perhaps this plane will prove a good choice, after all. If this city is truly filled with people with powers as this man says, heroes who repulsed a Rikti invasion, we may be able to find allies here.”

“Indeed we may, T’neth. Indeed we may.”