A prelude to the Titan War.
The youth stepped out onto the terrace to stand in the harsh wind. The icy air whipped his purple scarf to the side and mussed up his silver hair, but he did not appear to care. He was Z, the Titan Prince of Death, and this was his realm. Gazing off into the distance, he appeared to become lost in thought, until a deep, rasping voice brought him back to reality.
“Are you waking them?” The voice growled. Z turned from the terrace to see a large shadow crawl, head first, down the tower towards him. A distant flash of lightning illuminated the shadow, revealing a beast that seemed to come straight out of a nightmare. The creature fit the common description of a demon, a hulking armored creature with a mouthful of fangs, no eyes and a pair of ram-like horns decorating its head.
Unsurprised, the youth turned to face the demon, which had now descended and stood in front of the doorway. Z nodded cordially towards the beast. “Indeed, Baal-Mortuus, I am. The black tide has come. Now, I have something for you to do.”
The demon bowed, symbols flickering across its eyeless, domed forehead. “I am thy servant, thy tool, thy warrior. Command me.”
“Go and collect the Nameless Ones. We shall require their… assistance, shall we say.”
“I obey.” With that, Bal-Mortuus seemed to vanish, clambering down the tower into the darkness of Necropolis. Z walked back to the gothically designed rail and rested his arms on it, his black veins appearing even more visible against his pale skin. His eyes glowed like polished amethysts, and he began to whisper a tune befitting a twisted nursery rhyme.
Life unto the cold and dead
Our weapon is their dread
Wake up, sleeping bone
The time to rise is here
Wake up, in your halls of stone
Our enemy draws near
Wake up, come before the throne
You shall feel no fear
Wake up, under the tombstone
This day they shall remember evermore
The day the Resting marched to war
Across the barren world, in tombs and mausoleums of every kind, the Resting awoke at the call of their master. Skeletons, garbed in cloth of white and armor glistening like black stone. Arcane runes glowed green in the armor and tears of mist fell from their empty eye sockets to dissipate on the stone floors. Some of the Resting lifted staffs while others chose swords and maces. The beat of countless feet filled the cool air as the dead marched towards Z’s Mausoleum.
Back atop the residence, the Prince sent out another call, this time one of a different sort. At his signal, hundreds of machines came online, machines made of cursed Black Iron. Skeletons with felinid heads, halberds in their claws and a lust for blood in their magical programming. Along with them came greater robots, sphinx-like creatures of a similar sort. Tails like scorpions stood raised behind their heads, and pincers fitted into shields replaced hands.
One more group of creatures answered Z’s summons. Statues of humanoid creatures, their necks unnervingly extended and with skull-like masks fitted to their faces. Silently they made their way towards the Mausoleum, seeming to be fleeting shadows as they crossed through the cities of the dead. Upon their arrival, they glided up the sides of the fortress until they appeared to be simple gargoyles, awaiting command.
Z smiled to himself as the legions of Necropolis amassed before him. “One last thing…”
Creating a small sphere of green and purple energy in his cupped hands, the Prince twisted it into a miniature replica of the planet. With one finger, he swiped across it to form a fanged mouth, then again to create a pair of eyes. Satisfied, he let the energy fade away. Off in the distance, the ground shook as fissures erupted to form the changes to the landscape. Z leaned on the rail, content to wait for the army to finish massing.
The Prince did not have to wait long, for soon the Resting and both sorts of machines surrounded his Mausoleum, the ground changing to make room for them. He looked over the army, then at the thirteen beings that strode from the doorway and took their places behind him. Clad in black, the only colors on the thirteen came from the glowing eye carved into their armor, the red skull paint on their sleek helmets, and their green visors. Z placed his hands on the railing and laughed. “As they say, ‘Die Todten reiten schnell.’” The Dead travel fast.
Raising his hands towards the raging sky, the Prince’s body froze as his eyes cast a sickly light across the balcony. His arms seemed to twist around and around, then broke apart into eight flailing tentacles. A human head flattened and widened, his mouth stretching into a gaping maw fixed open as his hair turned into dreadlock-like tentacles. Both feet turned into blades, and Z’s clothes became a pale, leathery skin. From his chest a second mouth opened, and then the Prince’s transformation was complete.