Tales of Villainy

His Heart And Actions Are Utterly Unclouded

Valentine walked into the House of Profession with only a simple goal in mind, he was barely even noticed as he walked through the halls. There he saw the person he was after Elizabeth, Though he knew what her true name was. He had heard of the power that she possessed, power that he had, he decided that this sort of ability was not going to wither under a overprotective failure that ran when his country needed him the most. No Valentine was going to help this girl for The Good of the country.

Valentine: Hello Ma’am, I am President Funny Valentine, I would like to discuss something important with you

Elizabeth turned to the voice in question seeing a stranger that she had never seen before, She was slightly unsure that she should say much due to Booker claiming that there were bad men here and that she shouldn’t go talking to almost every person here. However, this man whoever he was did not look evil, strange surely but not evil.

Elizabeth: I’m not really sure what The President would ever want to talk to me about, but what would want to speak to me about

He merely smiled and verbally told her what he came out here to do.

Valentine: I know about what you can do and I want to help you truly understand your powers

Elizabeth looked at him with confusion, she knew a lot of people could claim that here but no one ever would claim to want to help her with her own.

She was going to ask how until he called out

Valentine: D4C!

A strange humanoid form with large, upright horns that somewhat resemble the ears of a rabbit appeared behind The President. Elizabeth prepared herself for the worst but Valentine merely chuckled at her worries.

Valentine: This is my power, it is known as a stand I call Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, though you may call it D4C if you wish, it gives me the power to travel through dimensions, The same as you

Elizabeth was not sure what to make of Valentine nor the creature behind him. Though she knew that she did not understand the depths of her abilities, she started to feel as though she couldn’t really trust this man. Though at the same time she knew that if she understood her powers more then she could be so much more helpful.

Elizabeth: I’m sure that you know much, but I think I have a pretty good handle on what I can do, so if you could leave, I would be thankful

Valentine nodded and acted as though he was going to leave, when he pulled a American Flag out of seemingly nowhere. Elizabeth was going to ask what he was doing when he lifted it over her head. She thought that the moment would not get any more bizarre until she fell down into the shadow of the Flag as it descended down.

She quickly realized that she stop dropping and moved herself quickly from under that flag, Valentine also moved from under it. Elizabeth slowly stood up and as she tried to move back she bumped into someone. She turned around only to look at herself. She turned back to the president only for him to be standing next to another version of himself as they both exclaimed.

Valentine: Dojyaa~~n!

Both Elizabeth’s looked on in anger.

Valentine: Impressive, I wanted to see if there really could be two of you in the same dimension, I am glad that I was proven right
Elizabeth: That is great that you now this but I will not be staying here.

They both exclaimed as Elizabeth quickly opened a tear and moved through it back to her own dimension. As she walked back to where she was, she realized that an American flag was spinning open and Valentine suddenly reappeared.

Booker: Sorry about being gone so long, had some business with-

Booker was happy to see Elizabeth but that suddenly changed as he noticed the stranger with equally strange hair.

Booker: Who are you?
Valentine: Hello Mr. Comstock, I had some business to conclude with your daughter.

Booker and Elizabeth were not happy to hear either of those revelations. Booker quickly wanted Valentine gone.

Valentine: I will make this offer one more time Ms. Elizabeth, you can do so much more, I have already learned how to use it to feign death, and fight my enemies I am offering the same to you
Elizabeth: I think it is time for you to leave
Booker: Right now!
Valentine:That must make you Booker not, hmm. . .

Valentine could defeat Booker that much was certain, however he knew that besides Gentaro, harnessing her power would have to come voluntarily, thus fighting here would prove unwise.

Valentine: My offer still stands, travelling will only get you so far Ms. Elizabeth

Valentine then decided to take his leave, that left Booker and Elizabeth to ponder who this Valentine was and what to do if he were to show up again. Elizabeth began to wonder what a Stand really was and how there was another Elizabeth, she was suppose to be the last.

He’s A Righteous Man

Dreams or maybe Nightmares, so many things haunted her dreams, whether it be past trauma, recent betrayals, or creatures that wanted the end for everything. But so many of those dreams were foggy abstract, she knew she was sleeping in her part of the Main house, yet somehow she felt the dirt below her, the small of dew heavily in the air. She was somehow standing in a road surrounded by fields of corn. Night had fallen in this strange dream land.

Whoever wanted to take care of it did a terrible job, large rats moved in between scratching a nibbling at what they could. She walked forward watching the road beneath her feet. It seemed endless as no matter how far she walked she made no real progress. Then she looked forward. Hearing the steps as Someone was walking towards her, in the darkness she could barely make him out, then he stopped. He pointed his finger towards her, she at first was unsure of what would happen, she realized he was pointing at something behind her.

She turned and looked at a large yellow smiley face, It slightly startled her as she took a step back. She realized that it was a man in denim holding a smiley face sign to his face. He started to chuckle as he slowly moved the sign away. That noise made her feel as though every part of her should run but something made her stay in place. The Dark Man dark hair covering his face and a large smile on his face, it almost seemed to split his face in half.

???: Well, well, you must one of the big ones he is looking for.
???: Am I dreaming?

This earned her a jovial laugh, she was unsure what was wrong but even his talking made her start to shiver. Something felt very wrong about this man. She was unsure why but staring at this person in front of her made every part of her instinct tell her to get away that this thing merely looked like a man.

???: They can surround you with an army, they can put you in the deepest, strongest bunker, but in the end the realm of dreams is a door to anyone even me.
???: Who are you?
???: What should I pick today?

The grin faded as he put his hand to his chin very thoughtful, She used to be a kind, patient figure and to her friends she always would be but due to recent events she could no longer have the luxury of having Patience towards people she didn’t know.

???: Please just give me a name.

He turned to her, he knew she was attempting politeness but he could feel the embers of anger underneath it. He gave a look of being hurt by this rudeness but she knew it was fake as his grin returned to his face.

???: You’re sleeping, we have all the time in the world, but if you truly want to know you can call me Randall Flagg and you my new buddy must be Madoka. After all this time, he wanted to meet you.

Madoka looked at Flagg with alarm, Before she thought her reputation was going to help so many lives, now it was becoming an instrument of destruction played by cruel fate. She already felt that this man was going to be danger and somehow he looked at her as if he could read her mind.

Flagg: I always wondered something, do they ever let you do what you want?

The question created a look of confusion. His smile turned to grimace.

Flagg: Your Friends in this useless pantheon, do they let do what you want? Not what they need, what you want?
Madoka: They have done so much for me, much more then he-

She was going to speak further before he raised his hand. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out three cards.

Flagg: Before we truly get to the big question why not play a little Tarot

Before she had a say he shown them to her. The first card was Wheel Of Fortune, in the center was a small drawing of herformer friend Homura behind the letter K.

Flagg: Ka, it has taught me in my travels that Life is a Wheel, once we begin it’s path and stumble it allows for anyone to start it all over again, your friend stumbled on this, my buddy Roland stumbled on this, I have a feeling you will too, but know that once you start Ka over you can make sure things change in the next spin of the wheel, maybe it doesn’t have to include your friends staying on the side lines.

He grinned as he knew she went over the implications. he let her think about it as the card disappeared in he flick of the hand. Then he revealed the next card revealed a destroyed tower burning with failing small figures that vaguely looked like people that she knew.

Flagg: Not The Dark Tower that holds the realms together, but all of your friends, your allies, they claimed to be the power that helps you and allows you to be the lynchpin that keeps your little girl scout group together. Building a sky high defense that was thought unshakable but then a certain someone decided to break apart, leaving you to hit rock bottom and everyone treating you with kid gloves, but then again I think you can find more strange ways to form your own strengths.

His growing speech was meant with one part anger and one part conflict. Flagg grinned further as he then showed the last card. The card showed The World, in front of the world was her radiant glowing self behind her something was holding the earth something with yellow eyes.

Flagg: This World is possible when Ka decides to allow you to begin again, your friends failed you, your allies merely protect what you represent, but when he comes to you, you can do what you feel you want to do, not what you need to do, what your role is, what you honestly want to and he will let you, he is King of This World after all. If you can understand what he will give then you can give this world Hope without betrayal, you can give hope to everyone as you have with him.

He finished his cards, Madoka let these speeches sink in.

Madoka: I can’t abandon my friends, they have helped me with so much despite what happened, I can worry about all that after we figure out how to fix it.

This garnered laughter, this large laughter made him almost lose his balance as he clutched his sides. He walked close to her with his grin never fading.

Flagg: Always thinking in short term like he said, But what will happen after that, they will treat you the same, kiddie gloves, as though you are nothing but a symbol, not as a person, we’re almost out of time, I think you should understand that unless you regain you power yourself.

He tapped her head and suddenly all sorts of information poured through her mind. All that she suddenly learned as magic, dark and maddening magic.

Madoka: What was that? What makes you think I would use any of that!?
Flagg: Call it incentive, this is magic that I have learned through out the various millennia, sadly I have no power to let you use any of that, but lets say that down the road you might need more then shower your enemies with friendship and alien magic.

He grinned as he pulled something from his jacket pocket, it was a bone white old, cracked mask.

Flagg: When He comes to you, he will help you gain the strength to be able to stand up for yourself and do what you can to help, not to just be some symbol to through around for Hope, not some shoulder to cry and I know sure as hell not to be “protected” whether you want it or not.

He put his hand on her shoulder and this knocked her out of her thoughts, she looked up to him and realized something, she never had a good look at his eyes, now she could see they were not normal, far from it they were completely black with small swirls of glowing red.

Flagg: Never ever lose that rage and hatred towards your enemies, even me if you choose to, he wants you to use it, Hate can bring you strength even bring you back to power, never fear it, embrace it.

Before she could even protest he quickly forced the mask to her face and suddenly everything changed.

She awoke in her bed, she could hardly remember why she was suddenly was so frightened. She suddenly heard a voice faintly singing

She looked around seeing no one then she turned to the only mirror seeing the mask on her face, she grabbed at it but felt nothing but her own skin, she looked back and saw nothing but her face in the mirror, she wanted to run and tell her protectors, but something in her told her that she needed to keep it to herself, that it was merely a figment of her dreams. After all the day was another part of The Wheel and she made her next step on the path. She was unsure why she thought about such a concept but somehow it helped her.

Somewhere in the House of Otherness, The Unholy One Smiled.

The Second Coming of the Demon King

None can claim true privacy in the Pantheon, even the Council of Shadows must be weary of eyes and ears wherever they may appear. And among the many factions, the Grand United Alliance of Evil was perhaps the most well connected. These dark figures lurked in every House, and slowly gathered what information they could to better themselves to claim victory in their own names. One set of eyes looked upon the House of War. It was here that the burning god Yukimura attended to a guest of another House. Sword and lance clashed as the Hero of Legend Link sparred with his ally. Through this tutelage, the weapons god had improved miraculously and could slaughter entire armies on his own. It was the reason he was being spied on now, and the reason one god felt the rare sensation of dread.

The King of Evil gripped the arms of his throne until the stone cracked under his grip. It was not only Link. The keeper of Wisdom was also expanding her combat skills, and soon even Zelda would be beyond his reach should he again vie for the Triforce. Time and again, before their ascension, the three keepers of sacred power fought for control. And while true Ganondorf nearly never tasted victory completely, it was always just within his grasp. His power dwarfed anything they could muster alone, and only through great trial could the Hero and Princess hope to stop him. But now, in this world beyond Hyrule, Ganondorf was being surpassed. If Courage and Wisdom continued on their path, he would be Power in name only, and his share of the Treasure would be lost with little effort. Though few were privy to this knowledge, Ganondorf was growing desperate. And so one he would call ally stepped forward.

It was the Demon Lord that led to this act. A ritual he had spied within the House of Knowledge. Untested, and surely dangerous, but the reward proved too enticing to pass up. Ghirahim and Zant, the two closet to the King of Evil, stood with the Greater God near the outskirts. As far from prying eyes as they hoped they could be.

Ganondorf: You are sure of this?
Ghirahim: As can be, Lord Ganondorf. Written in ancient tongues was a unique revalation. In every time you have faced the Goddess’ chosen, you have been strongest from the start, while the little ones scampered so hard to match you. But, all of these “times” have been divided by Time itself.

Zant’s helmet rose a bit when he connected what Ghirahim was alluding to.

Zant: You mean other realities?

Ghirahim nodded to the Usurper King as he continued on.

Ghirahim: Several would-be-gods have confirmed that such things exist. Out there, in who knows how many worlds where things went differently, there has been a King of Evil, a Hero’s Spirit, and a Goddess’ Legacy. Oh what a ballad of carnage each world faced. But, all that power is split across all those times. Suppose, it were all brought together. One man, with all the power and skill of all those other men?

Ganondorf looked at his armored hand to give it thought. There was truth in what was being said. More than one god was said to be composed of many of his past lives. Where that trait possible for him?

Ghirahim: To my dismay, it seems no one has gone through this change voluntarily. It always happened outside of their control. But… suppose someone could control that phenomenon? And what better way is there to exercise control than through power?

So this was to be the scheme. If they could draw all aspects of Ganon into one here within the Pantheon, it would surely turn the tide back into his favor. He clenched his fist tightly at the thought, and felt his dark power course to the surface briefly. If it was to mean victory, than they would control the very fabric of his own existence. Ganondorf would bend time to his desire.

Ganondorf: I trust you already know what to do, Ghirahim?

That painted smile was all the answer he needed.

Within the hour the trio began the ritual. As all three were connected to Hyrule’s destiny in one way or another, their combined might would open the many doors. Through the portals through history, they could create a connection and draw the King of Evil’s power from all times into this one place where all realities met. Each took his position. Zant stood at Ganondorf’s left, and Ghirahim to his right, both ten paces away from their king. With closed eyes and deep breaths, everyone began.

Zant moved first. With a rising voice, the particles of Twilight littered the air around them, a black portal opening in the space directly behind him. Through that portal and his own memories, the gates of Time were breached. Through Zant, an Era ofimpending doom, eclipsing shadow, and divided Light was made visible.

Ghirahim was next. As he began to writhe and dance his forbidden magics, orange and black diamonds steadily rose off his body like a climbing waterfall. Through Ghirahim’s study and magic, an Era of biblical tides, empty lands, and traped evils was made visible.

Ganondorf was last. With a growl, his body burned black with his own dark power, and he raised his arm up in authority around him. Through Ganondorf’s lust of power and darkness, an Era of tainted paradise, lost heroes, and looming evil was made visible.

These three gates pulsed and shuddered. The three timelines meeting into one distorted the very air in the gods’ lungs, but still they continued. There was but one chance at this, failure would risk tearing all three of them apart between the rush of history. But among the three, one was thinking of more than just the task at hand. While the two kings focused on their gates, the Demon Lord focused on another. Unbenownst to the others, Ghirahim’s memory opened a fourth gate. Through Ghirahim, an Era of ancient evils ruling the world below while the weakness of man clung to the heavens above was made visible only to him.

This was it. All three realized as the ground shook and the air split about them that they had reached the apex of their spell. The timelines were together, it was up to Ganondorf to summon all of his power into his being. There was but one Power that drew Ganondorf throughout history. The one blessing he would tear apart all reality to obtain. Bringing his fist down to face level, the Triforce of Power shone brightly on the back of his hand. That golden light illuminated everything, and the portals were all bathed in that radiance. Within seconds, great torrents of darkness erupted from all sides like a flood. All the power of Ganondorf was called from all times to the Triforce, and into its vessel. Completely swallowed by the darkness, Ghirahim and Zant covered their eyes less the darkness rob them of sight completely. As the darkness seared into his body like a roaring flame, Ganondorf’s voice echoed in pain throughout the Pantheon.

From the Throne of Paradox, Chaos rose his head slightly to look out into the distance. The echo of pain and power rang through his body in a strangely familiar sensation.

Chaos: Memories, and power. Flooding in as if drawn into the abyss of one soul…

Garland looked to his master at his sudden words, unsure as to their meaning. The God of Discord laughed to himself as he realized what was happening.

Chaos: One of our own is seeking power beyond reality itself. What sort of bedlam will transpire within him, if he survives?

Several tense minutes had passed. The dark magic had subsided leaving with it a cloud of smoke and rubble as the immediate area was decimated by such a torrent of power. Ghirahim waved away at the smoke to try and find out what became of the others, but he was soon caught in a sight that left him breathless. Zant fell to his knees, his helmet retracting and revealing his face as he looked on in utter awe of who, or rather what, stood before him.

With sharp breaths, Ganondorf was hunched over, trying to command his body to steady itself. When he dared open his eyes, he saw himself reborn. Clad now in armor of royal purple and gleaming gold, with a wild mane of red reaching down his back. It was not his appearance that robbed Ganondorf of speech, but the sensation beneath his skin. He could feel his power, so much of it beyond what he had once thought his prime, surging through him just begging for release. Centuries of power, all bound to him. Ghirahim spoke in a hushed voice, his senses robbed of him.

Ghirahim: It worked….

Zant rose is arms to Ganondorf, still on his knees in admiration.

Zant: Ooh! It is… beyond words. To see you in such glory, my God you bless me!

Brought back into reality by his followers’ words, Ganon took a deep breath, tasting the air a new in his lungs. The reborn King leaned up to the sky and began to laugh and laugh as it all sank in. Let the Hero and the Princess train among their gods. Let them learn to fight armies. It would all be for naught. None could match him as he was now!

Having all gone their separate ways now that they had succeeded, Ghirahim returned to his shrine within the House of Otherness. For several minutes he stood as a statue. When slowly, but gaining speed, Ghirahim began to laugh. Soon he was lost in a fit of laughter, franticly moving from one spot to the next unable to contain himself.

Ghirahim: It worked! It worked! Oh my Demon King, how my heart soars and sails at this day. Now I finally see. I can at last see the truth I did not want to believe. I can see Your will behind that man!

So he spoke to the emptiness about him, that his praise might find the devil Demise through whatever darkness he was forced into.

Ghirahim: This is just the beginning. Oh, soon, so very soon, the King of Evil shall give way and give rise to the one true Demon King. Ganondorf will be your salvation, my Master!

His long tongue licked his white lips at the thought of that long sought reunion.

Ghirahim: I promise!

In The Shadow of an Idea

Allant once thought that in Death there would be his soul devoured as tribute to The Old One. He though that such a fate was better then living in a world in which suffering never seemed to end.

Yet here in the swirling darkness his eyes open and he realized that he was standing on his own two feet. The Demon Slayer’s quest to destroy his arch demons had left him considerably weak and that in turn reflected his body at the time. It was such a decrepit blob like form that could barely stand on its own.

Yet now he realized that he was standing on his own two feet. He looked to himself as best as he could and even in the crushing abyss he realized that he was once again human or as close to a human as he could be.

Then something appeared in The Abyss glowing deep in the crushing darkness a large creature that stood high above him. It was some form of heart, that he was sure of but then it started to pulse. The Heart was alone with words pouring in and out of it glowing red on their own. He was unsure of what this all meant but if this was to be his escape from life he would at least gain an understanding of it.

Allant: What are you creature?

Six eye opened in the heart all staring at him.

The Idea: God.

The simple answer was profound as it was false. Allant had already met his “God” and while this creature seemed similar to his true God this thing was not it.

Allant: I have grown weary of lies long ago creature tell me what you are!?
The Idea: I am many things Old King Allant but for now I am God, an Idea that transcends humanity and yet is deeply rooted in it.

Allant was displeased by such an answer, this creature knew his name and yet told nothing that would be any use to him.

The Idea: I see what you are and what you want, The End of Suffering

Allant looked shocked to how this creature and started to really wonder why this creature knew such and yet never met it before. The Idea started to return to what was doing before, more words went through its very veins.

Allant: To know my plan is to know my plight, So many people, suffering, breaking, dying and yet I bring something that will end their pain, giving themselves to The Old One would have created a moment of pain but a loving embrace of Oblivion.

Though as he poured his mind to this creature the eyes never changed and noise of the words of the world swirly through the abyss.

The Idea: I know, I have always known, I have decided to honor your plight with a proposition.

Allant looked to the monstrosity with Hope.

Allant: Then how “God” would you help me
The Idea: There are other worlds then these, The Many Suffer yet nothing is done, I will help you gain the resources to end your world and many others afterword.

Allant was going to reply but others were next to The Idea and each one of them seemed ready for something.

The Idea: There are others that wish to help you, when you enter The Pantheon gain allies, create Enemies and when it is time I will let you gain the way to end everything.

Allant watched as something opened in The Abyss and suddenly he was falling and soon something became clear in his mind. An image implanted by The Idea. A fire, a fire that has burned for the eternity of the world, he needed to find out what this was and what he needed to do.

He heard one more thing as he was suddenly in the middle of some temple.

The Idea: Seek my Chosen One, Seek The Corpse of Primeval man, Seek The Monochrome Forest and seek The Conductor and your next path will be revealed.

He was now alive and for now he will grieve for this later, now he had a mission to end suffering.

Allant: I will!

A Monument to Our Vengeance, Despair, and Sins

 

Yuuki Terumi once had it all. He had been a threat to his own world and the Pantheon, gleefully sowing chaos and despair among its inhabitants without remorse. He had established himself as the leader of Trollkaiger, kick-started a Pantheon-widecivil war, helped ascend some of the foulest and most deities in existence and had once been in the running for the “Most Powerful and Amazing Villain in All of History”.

But alas, all good things must come to end.

 

Monsters of the Jungle

Since his ascension, Mordremoth’s jungle is considered to be one of the most dangerous areas within the Pantheon. Those wandering into the jungle are guaranteed to be attacked by Mordremoth’s minions, the jungle itself is comparable to a labyrinth where a misstep is potentially fatal, airships trying to go over the jungle has been effortlessly destroyed by giant vines from the ground, and the jungle’s tendril roots will attempt to kill those who come near. One of the nastiest parts might be the poison hazes that lurks in the caves and jungle depths, with venom so potent that it will kill even toughened warriors in seconds if they stay within them.

Yet, someone was willing to brave all of that the moment he heard about the poison hazes. That someone would be Lesale Deathbringer the Venomancer, a former herbalist who was transformed into a horrific snake-like monster with a certain love for venom. If the poison hazes can kill in seconds, then he want to reseach them and see if he can turn them into his own. For that purpose, Lesale started his own adventure in the jungle. However, as Lesale went deeper into the jungle in search for poison hazes, he was interrupted by the deep and frightening voice of Mordremoth himself. Normally the Venomancer wouldn’t be able to understand him, but the nature of the Pantheon effectively removes the language barrier when necessary.

Mordremoth’s Voice: Who is this who dare enter my domain? You shouldn’t be here!
Venomancer: Lesale Deathbringer the Venomancer. But honestly, I am just some minor inconvenience from the acid jungles of Jidi Isle, and I am interested in the venom within your jungle. Now if you will excuse me, I have some delightful poison to look at.
Mordremoth’s Voice: How brave but foolish of a mere critter to think that it can just wander here… and alone! Servants! Crush it!

At this moment, a worm-like beast broke through the ground. Before Lesale could do anything about it, the worm spat out a group of four humanoid creatures. These could easily be identified as the Mordrem Guard, Mordremoth’s most intelligent minions. Thinking quickly, the Venomancer set up a small group of plague wards before the Guard could get up from the ground. As the wards were closer to the Guard, they jumped the ward first and started fighting with them. While the Mordrem Guard were busy hacking apart the wards spitting poison at them, Lesale quietly went to the side to give the entire group a toxic surprise.

With the Guard perfectly lined up and the plague wards keeping their attention, the Venomancer spat a large ball of venom (called a Venomous Gale) at them. Preoccupied by the wards and caught off guard, all four of them were hit by the gale, causing them to scream in agonizing pain. Not long afterward, the Mordrem Guard crumbled apart and fell to the ground, destroyed by Lesale’s vicious poison. With two of the plague wards having survived the attacks, Lesale chuckled at the deaths he had caused.

Venomancer: Heh heh, the Mordrem is nothing to worry about! For an Elder Dragon, you don’t seem to have anybody threatening to throw at me.

As if on cue, Lesale heard something out of sight loudly walking toward his location. His eyes would have widened if they could at the sight he saw when he worriedly turned around to investigate the sudden noise.

Venomancer: Oh… shit.

What Lesale saw was not just any mere Mordrem Guard. In fact, this guard was easily at least four times Venomancer’s size, if not more. Heavily armored in what seemed to be thick and impenetrable plant armor, the massive Mordrem also carried a great axe around, its axe blade large enough that it could easily cleave rows of people in half in one swing alone. If there was a Tyrian hero around, they would have been able to identify this guard as one of the three Mordrem Guard commanders, Axemaster Hareth.

Axemaster Hareth: Master demands your death!

Lesale was frightened for once on this adventure, for he didn’t expect Mordremoth’s minions to include towering monstrosities too. Though he may not have knowledge of the Mordrem, he could still feel the Axemaster’s overpowering might and strength, and understood immediately that he must not underestimate him. ‘Is this just one of Mordremoth’s minions?’ He silently asked himself. ‘Just how many of these monsters do the dragon control?’. However, as Hareth walked closer to the Venomancer, he had to focus on the fight at hand.

Venomancer: I know someone who can swing an axe too… and you’re nothing compared to him.
Axemaster Hareth: Come! You will feel the wrath of thousand axes!

Preparing for the Axemaster’s assault, Venomancer summoned more plague wards to accompany the rest, for he was fairly certain that he would be done for if Hareth landed a hit on him. However, that would turn out to be unnecessary, as a certain dragon’s booming voice made them both stop immediately before the Axemaster got within lunging distance.

Mordremoth’s Voice: Axemaster, halt! It would appear that the Venomancer is more than some insect than I initially thought with its impressive abilities. Perhaps we can both benefit from your presence.
Venomancer: If you’re going to call me names, at least refer to me as a snake and not as an insect!
Mordremoth’s Voice: How about I make terms for your presence in my domain. I will allow you to enter my territory and research the poison in my jungle without any interference from my subjects. I will even have them help you if required. But as payment for my support, you will assist me when I demand it.
Venomancer: You’re practically making me your minion in all but name. But I must admit that I can’t resist these hazes, and I like your style. I accept your offer, but don’t expect me to come immediately when I am fighting in the Battlefield of the Ancients.
Mordremoth’s Voice: Very well. Next time you hear from me, you will know to show up. Axemaster, you may let the Venomancer pass.
Axemaster Hareth: As you wish, master.

As the conversation ended, Lesale stopped hearing Mordremoth, almost as if nothing was ever said. While Lesale began speculating on the strength of Mordremoth’s mind powers and how they work, Axemaster Hareth stepped aside to allow Lesale entry to the deeper parts of the jungle. As the Venomancer slithered toward the depths, he heard Hareth say one last phrase.

Axemaster Hareth: Welcome to the jungle dragon’s domain.