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Maelstrom had lead Dragonisia back to independence. He headed a movement for autonomy, a gentle break away from the empire that had seized most of Asia.. and restored its  old domains. But he wearied of this world and knew it was slowly in the process of rotting from its many wars and radioactive fallout. He initiated a program to use Istarian portal technology to find valid alternate instances of Bob/Earth that may support life and the citizens of the Empire. It would be a very long project.The first part of his project, would be to open a portal home. He would need more tinker gnomes and that was the only place to get them. Istaria was his home of origin, though he served the Dragon Star Empire in this realm, he had not been born among them and collaboration with them had always been intended as a stepping stone to greater projects. He stepped back through an old portal that had been long covered in a tarp.


Once he went back on Istaria he looked for the two gnomes that had forged his first portal off of Istaria to Sigil, the city of doors. Tank and Gild, had been servants of his A'meo, (Father) Stratus. His appearance took them by great suprise as they still worked in his old lab. "Maelstrom? Holy.. by Telak! We thought we'd never see you again! Your father has been getting your messages, but.. "


"It's good to see you again too Tank." Maelstrom smiled. 


"You look so different, is it true you're ruling an empire on another world?" Gild stated as he stared at Maelstrom's stately uniform.


"It is, and we need your help. Our world is dieing. It is time to move on." Mael stated.


Tank was confused about something, "But.. your eyes are glowing green, almost like they're filled with blight, are you okay?"


Maelstrom shook his head. "Reincarnated  repeatedly after being hit by to many weapons the hominids on Bob call nukes. Radiation from it can make things glow an eerie green. It may subside in time, but I'm likely stuck like this forever. If it weren't for the gift and the bind to the plane of life energies, I'd be long dead."


The two gnomes looked at each other and looked back to him, "So.. what do you need us to do?"


Maelstrom sighed, "We're doing a dimensional survey. We have to find a new candidate for a world to jump to. So the first thing we will need is an observation portal, and then we'll need a full on gate. Time is not critical, the decay of Bob is slow, but the matter should be treated with some urgency in the event it accelerates. I have everything you need on the other side. Hopefully the world I will be moving to will be a little less on war, a little more on magic attunement to the mystic planes.. so let A'meo, A'mea, A'meo by Bond and A'mea by Bond know that I am moving and they may wish to come with me, but if they do not I understand. Istaria's not all that bad, if you like.. endless warfare between life and death. Once you've done that, I'll meet you on the other side."


He stepped back through. The gnomes set to their business. Maelstrom waited. Petram had risen and fallen, Orbis was an invasion in progress, a dieing Bob had him 7th in the world and dominated by his alliance and its allies.. but that wasn't enough for this Emperor. He always, ever, had his sights on the stars and what was beyond them. In Franco's name, he will order the stars again.

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Days later, Tank and Gild had joined Maelstrom, Emperess Koudoawaia Vortex had finally used the gift to return from the long years long sleep of death and awaken at their binding shrine in their lair below the palace. They had shed their false forms imitating humanity completely, Koudoawaia, a gorgeous black dragoness with white underbelly scales patterned like a tuxedo admonished her Sebeo, "I told you blending in here was futile. The fact I had to remain asleep for so long to hide what we are was not pleasant."


"They had to think you dead. The concept of Immortality on this planet would have caused panic, confusion, and most of all they would look into how to do it themselves including and up to potentially torturing it out of us." Maelstrom replied. "We still need to keep your living secret.. but only as long as we reside here." The old grey storm dragon sighed. 


The sound of hammers rang through the halls as in the room adjacent the transit portal was being construct. As tank and Gild worked, Koudoa and Mael quietly flipped through alternate dimensions and universes checking out the known co-ordinates of Sol and other habitable systems. 


"On Fire.. at war.. freezing.. at war... destined to be consumed by green house effect(our actual reality and yes, he would skip over it).. extinction events in progress due to super volcanoe.. no magic whatsoever rendering our primal magic impotent.. ahhh.. what is this one?" He had stopped on a world that was filled with humans and other races that appeared to wield a variety of powers. It was developed, had a strong force of protectors.. He remembered a teaching of Magnival Lunus, Where there is strength, go.. make it your own. He continued to study this world in depth and came to eventually realize that it already had denizens of many different universal parallels and dimensions. It was an extremely rare, Nexus World. "I think we have a winner Koudoa. I'll have to study this a few more days, but what do you think?"


She smiled, "It looks interesting. I like their culture quite a bit. I'll like it more if they have guinea pigs to keep as pets."


He sighed and shook his head, "Still wanting that guinea pig farm, eh?"


"You know it." She shoulder bumped him.


"I will check for guinea pigs." He gave a contented smile. "I'll also forward the findings about this world to our parents if I discover it meets all of the needed conditions. See if they still want to join us based on our destination." 


As he spoke a dragon like entity waked across the observation portal, "Hey! Look! They have creatures like us!" Koudoa perked up, her ears going vertical.


Maelstrom raised an eye ridge, "I wonder if they are also Istarian..." He shook his head, "I haven't heard of anyone else traveling off world, doesn't mean it has not happened in our absence over these past couple hundred years."


Kou reminded Maelstrom, "You know it's possible our families won't want to abandon their homes.. maybe.. if we do go there we could make a portal back home so they can bounce between? Maybe even keep one here on Bob til.. you know.. the inevitable. I mean after all, we have so much here, we don't want to leave these people in their greatest time of need."


Maelstrom nodded, "Sure love. It may also convince Tank and Gild to continue to serve in our Research Department."  Rising from his seat, the 21 foot tall dragon in advanced khutit form walked on two legs to a far wall. He pulled off his ammo belt and holster for his flintlocks, which in this form were the size of howitzers and slung them over his shoulder.


"Where you going?" Kou asked.


"I am going to check on Tank and Gild.. see if the portal can transport at least one. If so, I am going to do some early reconnaissance of this world, make sure it is suitable for us." He studied the clothing of the natives and walked down the hall towards the Imperial Tailor with a pattern in mind.


Koudoa followed on his heels, "You won't be gone long?"


Maelstrom shook his head, "No more than a day if all goes well."


"Be safe will you love? That world looks particularly dangerous in that all of our abilities can see parity in its occupants, some even surpass them." Kou said in concern.


"I'll be sure to be very cautious and try to blend in what I can. Fortunately, it looks like entities like us are far more common there." He arrived at the tailor and briefly sketched a new uniform for himself to use on the destination world.


"It looked from their signs like they are using a variant of english as well." Kou said, "So.. I would speak that instead of trying Eilert Erdoten, unless it's with someone like us."


Mael nodded. "Worry not, I noted that as well." The tailor took his measurements again and updated them, then commented, "Sir.. I know it's not really my place, but as your friend you should really drop some of your carb in take." The green dragon spoke in Eilert Erdoten.


"Don't worry Chai. I've already done so. went to a diet drink that has Splenda in it. I'm sure the tonnage should shed fairly quickly." Mael sighed. He was already his own worst critic, but he knew his friend was only speaking from concern.


"Ah, this is good." Chai smiled as he finished the measurements, "Give us a few hours, your Majesty." The tailor nodded. 


Maelstrom nodded. He carried his belt and rounds to the portal room and put them on a rack so that they would be there for him when he departed and hung them on a hook. 


Koudoa observed him racking the weapons and quietly spoke, "You know.. it's possible on this new world you won't need those.. the magic is strong enough there our primal magic may return..."


Maelstrom nodded, "That's the point.. I miss my absolute mastery of the skies. If it is so, building the Empire's outpost.. will be simplicity. But I don't want to be without a fall back plan if the magic doesn't work.""

He looked to the portal.. the hours of wait to enter it would pass like a small eternity. Such was his anticipation to feel the power of primal force surge through his veins once more. To feel the skies bond to him and his will, the more he thought, the more he craved.



Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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First Steps


Maelstrom put on his new uniform and quietly put his flintlocks and his ammo belt around his waistline. The portal hummed to life as Tank and Gild configured its aim for the chosen incursion location. They had select a plaza. He looked like one of the citizens of the targeted world in his new outfit. Given this world had dragons and beings that perpetually portaled in and out, he would seem innocuous among its citizens. The gate crackled and hissed and snapped as the portal slowly opened. 


Maelstrom looked back to Koudoawaia who gave him a nod. Snowflash, his son gave him a hug around his hips. Maelstrom would likely scratch Snowflash's scales around the base of his growing horns. "Nay worry, I will return. And this world may hold more promise than we might have ever hoped for here."


"Be safe, A'meo." The little one said. "I miss you." He sighed and patted Snowflash gently before pulling away gently and stepping through the portal.


The first difference was the smell of the air. Irradiated air filled with hostile particulates had a distinct, putrid, somewhat ozone like smell, he didn't get that here at all. Bob, on the other hand.. was a war torn world where you would struggle to avoid such odors. This air, by comparison smelled pure. He glanced around where he had exited.. He was in a plaza among some very tall structures.  Dozens of people around, none seemed even aware he had arrived and they continued to mill about as if  his presence were the norm, even though his figure was titanic by comparison to them. "Well, that's different..."


Then he saw his first meta-human fly overhead without wings, seemingly powered by their will alone. His head canted at the odd, seemingly impossible sight. "Surely this place has great magic..." He remembered the teachings of his A'mea and A'meo back on Istaria, he put his claws out to his sides and felt the sudden tinging of immense energy. "Wow, it is definitely here..." He slowly drew it in, crafted it, shaped it, and then vented the energies into the surrounding air. It took form, making a funnel beneath him as the primal induced winds levitated him from the ground. He felt an old friend crackle across his form as lightning traveled from the tip of one talon up his shoulders and arcing over his back down his other shoulder to his other talon tip. Primal lightning was easily drawn here. A broad smile crossed his muzzle. He began to meditate.. plunging the depths of the well to see just how much power was in this world and found the depths of it to be vast, so much so it had trickled into the human population.




He stepped down.. and headed towards a social hot spot, a pub that was peculating with activity nearby. He shifted to his khutit form and entered the building and once inside began to mingle. He soon discovered he was in Millenium City, formerly Detroit.. on yet another parallel Earth. This one appeared particularly unique, serving as a nexus between many worlds, planes and dimensions. Beings ranged from nefarious to heroic as you would find on any world. But one thing was fundamental here, the power of nation states in the traditional means had diminished in comparison to the powers of the individual with some feared more than entire conventional nations. 

Maelstrom resolved to take advantage of this, to gather individuals of like minds and capabilities to withstand even the fall of one of Dragonisia's home worlds. They would not go quietly into the night, they would instead give it the grandest fight to remain in existence. 

He walked around surveying the marvels of this new world and began to look for a place to call home. In an ad, he caught a message from one of the world's conventional powers (Russia). They were retiring an old moon base. Isolated.. distant from interference, barely known.. such a location would make a perfect beach head. He took note of the price, one that Dragonisia could easily pay if they would accept inter-dimensional currency, and it appeared they would based on the ad which had many exchange values listed. They still accepted gold. Maelstrom could get that. There would likely be few bidders on this world that would want it as much or pay for it as well as the Empire could, especially if he kept the acquisition secret. 


He soon discovered by inquiry that the reason that the air was so pure was there were individuals who had powers related to plant life who had the ability to purge it of pollutants. The only way this world would die, is utter calamity. Not entirely impossible given the thrall over which nature was held by its occupants. It seemed most, for now.. were constructive. He would contact the authorities of this earth, a group known as the MCP. He registered himself and his abilities in line with their laws and applied for an embassy. With that stroke of the pen, his intent to bring the Empire to this world was sealed.


He would step back to the portal to give his report to the Council and to begin mobilization of the needed resources.




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Approaching the Council


The room was filled with the representatives of many races, sexes, and origins; from many planes of existence,. These persons had migrated to or become citizens of, by choice or by conquest, the Dragon Empire of Dragonisia (or so that was what the bipedal races called it). It smelled of sweet steam, the usage of e-cigarettes in the main building was not forbidden and about a third of the Council of 42 members still smoked. Snifters of wine or soda and documents littered their desks. They had been addressing the daily affairs of the state, allocations for defense and domestic spending. Local disputes between provinces over the use of sectors of land on shared borders. There was a slight din in the air as a gold Dragonborn from Faerun took to the podiums.


Sentry, the gilded head of council, spoke to his peers in Eliert Erdoten.. also known as High Imperial Dragon language, "We enter grave times with the radiation of past wars having left much of Bob fallow. It's nations flee what is becoming an increasingly stale existence.. whether by simple inability to grow in its environs, or due to fear of the hegemony to which we have bound our selves. The prior concerns are already affecting our economy as each day the price of food commodities among unpolluted produce rises. We are headed towards an unsustainable state unless Bob manages to somehow save itself through natural cycle or act of Admin. We fortunately have an outpost on Orbis, if all else fails, that continues to expand. However, it may not be enough to account for all citizens in the Empire. In that line we have commissioned a search for new worlds, parallel universe, planes, or planets where we may make our presence known in relative safety, Our Emperor has a report today on its progress. Without further delay, his Majesty."


The anthem for Dragonisia played as the Emperor, in his khuitit form.. wearing  black duster, blue formal shirt with gilded star on its center, blue pants, black belt and golden chains walked down the middle walkway towards the Podium. He almost never wore truly formal attire to any event, but he still wore the many symbols of his people, including the chains of imperial responsibility. Enchanted flintlocks rest in holsters on his hip. He was the only entity who was not disarmed before entering the council chambers. This was only due to the assassination of his vizier on the chamber floors many years past using a mere pencil. He was escorted by the Imperial Guard, a mix of races though primarily Eilert

He stood before the council, and the press had been forbidden to cover this particular address until the matter had been settled, "Representatives of Dragonisia, as many of you know when I first came to Bob.. I did so with a knowledge of the planes and inter-planar portals as developed by my father with the aid of gnomes upon the world of Istaria. This technology has allowed us opportunities most nations have not had the blessing to enjoy. We have spanned as many as.. " He actually had to stop to count a moment in his head, it was not a pre-scripted speech, "six worlds. One abandoned, one so heavily exploited nothing was left but crumbs, one lost to the dragon wars caused by the native dragons of that world.. Now we reside on two. For me, two is insufficient to guarantee our survival. In our efforts, the portal team has discovered a new viable earth variant, like Bob. We have designated it MC-42, after the name of the city in which the portal was first opened.. and the last two characters of the parallel universe subset to which it belonged. The world is healthy... full of life.. and like my world of origin, Istaria, is full of magic." At the mention of magic, the Helian members of the council began to murmur for they had been out of touch with the primal forces of nature for so very long it could not help but cause intrigue. "Feel free to ask questions in pauses as I give this report, if you need."


The murmur rose to loud conversation, but non one directly addressed Maelstrom Sentry slammed the gavel at his desk a few times, "Order, we will have order as the Emperor Speaks!"

Maelstrom continued as silence fell, "It is well defended by a good and noble people who have eagerly shared with me descriptions of its political climate, history, woes, and triumphs. It is not a perfect world by any means, but for now it is better than what we have."


A dwarf named Flint on the defense subcommittee stood abruptly and spoke up in shock, "You've been there already?! Ye went alone?! Are you out of your mind?! You can't take those kind of risks the people will be in turmoil if you were harmed or killed! The fact you went alone could cause some distress at your recklessness!."


Sentry slammed the gavel a few times as the out burst once again stirred emotions through the chamber.


"Right honorable councilman," Maelstrom politely addressed his critic, "We pre-screened and sampled the world's fauna, flora, and micro-biome before I departed. We assessed its political environment, its culture, and verified the languages it most commonly used via remote survey. Fortunately, the dominant language is strikingly similar to Bob's variant of English. I do not take unnecessary risks and I felt this was something I must do personally due to the delicate diplomatic state of affairs when encountering these parallel entities. I am well traveled of the many worlds and planes and it made me most suited to this task. There are none in our forces who have traveled the planes as I have. It had to be done this way."


The explanation seemed for the moment to placate Flint, who was re-known as a firebrand politician.


With a bit of a sigh Maelstrom resumed his report, "Most of this world is already populated, but the technology for moon colonies and bases are not beyond its people and some have been abandoned since its version of a cold war. The Russian government of this world is seeking to sell an old moon base at auction. There are a number of private and state enterprises who have demonstrated interest. I propose we open embassies to this realm, establish formal diplomatic relations, and buy that base. The people there are not surprised, shocked, or impressed by inter-dimensional, parallel, or planar travel. They have witnessed it all. I suspect, MC-42 is a dimensional nexus of a sort. They're generally open to relations with extra-planar governments and entities."


A Githyank councilman, who had migrated from the planes observed, "It sounds like the city of doors made-over."


Maelstrom nodded to Sirruth, "I cannot discount that comparison. The entities here are of such power that they are what other world's inhabitants might consider gods. Some even claim to be actual gods or servants thereof. In my time there I even met a servant of Bahamut named Allastor. I intend to get to know him and his history better. I am not sure how he came to that world as of yet.. but it clearly shows this world is plane touched already. It is because of those facts we need to start recruiting the powered entities of those planes to facilitate the protection of the Empire and its cause to spread Order and Peace to any reality which it touches. The aides are handing out to you my plan for this incursion. If the council approves we will move on it within the week."


The 50 page document was passed around. In summary, it laid out a plan to inhabit the moon and procure land on the other world via purchase and if necessary use the world's extremely high level of magic, technology, and powered beings to fabricate demi-planes for the Empire's citizens to occupy. It budgeted the cost of one moon base and four 20 MT nuclear meteor/asteroid interceptors to protect it that the Russians would be asked to supply with the base. It would be paid for in the universal currency.. gold. The council would convene and reconvene for days discussing the ambitious scope of the plans.


Maelstrom, in the meantime, planned to continue his scouting expeditions fairly certain of his safety on that world.









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Unexpected Consequence.....


Maelstrom stepped through the portal to once again perform his scouting missions. This time the purpose of the mission was a mystic survey.. to determine the full magical potential of this new Earth. He found a comfortable place on a bench.. and let his mind drift into the primal void.


Suddenly, something connected with him.. a vision. He was looking through another set of eyes, but they felt like his own. He also wasn't in control of them. The entity when it looked at itself appeared to have black scales with green corruption of blight upon them. And when he looked at those around, they had startling resemblances to Maelstrom's own family and friends.


He was suddenly aware of another intelligence in his own mind. He became aware of a seemingly endless hunger. A voice cried out in a hiss,  "Who are you?"  He became aware of the eyes that were looking outwards closing, and suddenly looking in as two firey red eyes gazed upon him.. eyes not much like his own which glowed like radiation..


That was enough to startle him out of his meditation and he looked around in shock. "What was that?" He panted panicked. One of his aides nearby came to steady him as he had almost fallen out of his chair.


"You alright, man?" The pink scaled dragon named Strawberries Delight inquired. It was always hard to take Strawberries seriously, but if you didn't he'd get offended. He was a long time friend of Maelstrom's from his days as a hatch-ling on Istaria and had served loyally as the Empire's Royal Cook.

"I'm.. not sure. Something like me.. is out there.. So like me we share the same mental wavelength of primal energy. Our minds just touched." Maelstrom was somewhat in shock.


Strawberries looked at him in an incredulous manner, something that didn't make him any more easily taken seriously. "Another you?"


Maelstrom nodded. Too stunned to appreciate the expression. The severity of the implications were immense. There was a parallel version of himself HERE.. in this new universe.. and it was blight stricken and corrupt. Worse, they both knew each other were present now. "Yes.. and he is now aware I am here. Worse.. he seems to have a craving for power that makes mine look trivial by comparison."


"That's not good man. If you were any more ambitious you'd probably be kinda dangerous, no offense." Strawberries observed. 


"A'na.. I know... This does not bode well if it also has anything near my assets..."


"What do we do?" The pink scaled dragon with blue eyes tilted its head. 


"We have to continue. We don't have much choice. We'll have to prepare for if it comes for me."

Edited by Maelstrom Vortex
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