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The Dark Side of Fantasy...


Armageddon... Of Myths & Monsters

Started by Armorbeast, September 14, 2019, 05:09:01 am

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Armorbeast

September 14, 2019, 05:09:01 am Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 10:38:09 am by Armorbeast


The House of Frankenstein

So who am I you ask? That is not so simple to answer as one might think as mine is not the story of a man, but of a people. It had taken me much research to learn the past leading up to my birth and it is a complicated story to tell. My people claim descent from the Trojans following their defeat by the Mycenaeans during the Trojan War. Refugees fled north to find allies among the Dorians and traveled further west where they mixed with the ancestors of the Celts and Germanic peoples. From them would come the Franks, a savage peoples skilled with both spear and ax from which my bloodline originates. My ancestors fought on both sides in the wars with Rome and proved so successful that many tribes sought alliances to become Franks as well.

The name Frankenstein means "Stone of the Franks" with he earliest known meaning simply to be "hard as a stone". Many of my ancestors would be knights and soldiers carrying the name with the first recorded use of the name being one Arbogast von Frankenstein who won a series of duels and jousts in 948. Being a mercenary by trade, he was given a series of contracts to defend Lorsch Abbey from which he grew wealthy enough to build a manor atop a spur of the Odenwald mountain range near Darmstadt in southern Hesse. It would be Arbogast who established the House of Frankenstein and who lay the foundations for Castle Frankenstein from which to rule over it.

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Arbogast had been named for a famed Frankish general who served the Roman Empire known as Flavius Arbogastes and became famed for killing three West Roman Emperors (Magnus Maximus, his son Victor Maximus and Valentinian II) and appointed Emperor Flavius Eugenius. The Lords of Burg Frankenstein claimed descent from Flavius Arbogastes through intermarriage into their bloodline even as they expanded their own estate by intermarrying with the Reiz Family who came from Saxon roots. Berg Frankenstein grew powerful under their leadership but it wasn't until the arrival of Konrad II Reiz von Breuberg that they could take full advantage of their position.

Wiknand Reiz von Lützelbach was descended from this mixed bloodline and had attained a level of wealth fighting in the holy wars against the Seljuk Turks leading up to the First Crusade. Taking over a derelict Roman fort, he created Lützelbach Castle before beginning construction of nearby Kernburg on behalf of the Imperial Abbey of Fulda. Securing a contract to protect their Odenwald estates, his son Konrad Reiz Von Lützelbach finished building the castle and named it Breuberg Castle on behalf ot the mountain it was built upon. Assuming the name Breuberg to distinguish himself from his brother Albrecht von Lutzelbach, he became Graf Konrad Reiz von Breuberg.

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Like his father, Konrad II wished to set himself apart becoming a knight during the Sixth Crusade before returning home where he was approached to take possession of contracts to defend Lorsch Abbey by the Lords of Frankenstein. He would finish construction of Frankenstein Castle and assumed the name Konrad II Reiz von und zu Frankenstein. Ruling with his wife Elizabeth von Weiterstadt as Lord and Lady Reiz von Frankenstein, Konrad II would send a force of Franks and Saxons under the leadership of Frederick von Frankenstein to retake Frankenstein lands lost during the Mongol invasion of Central Europe in 1241-42 that decimated Hungary and Transylvania.

By the time Frederick von Frankenstein arrived with his forces, the Mongols were already pulling out and easily defeated in retreat near Burzenland. Frederick established his base at a site where Dietrichstein Castle once stood and where the Saxons of Kronstadt would erect an almost exact copy of Frankenstein Castle called Bran Castle in 1378. Their connections with the Frankensteins of Hessia and Dietrichsteins of Carinthia established powerful trade relations that made the Frankensteins wealthier and more powerful than ever. While the direct male line may have died out in the 14th century, the Frankenstein Family remained Burgraves in Zwingenberg, in Darmstadt, Groß-Gerau, Frankfurt am Main and Bensheim.

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The Lords of Frankenstein ruled a feudal system of vassals and fiefs with many notable members. One of these was a Teutonic Knight named Heinrich von Frankenstein is mentioned in 1430 fighting a series of battles against Vlad II Dracul as the Lord of Bran Castle which ended when he was impaled by Vlads son Vlad Dracula. The story of Georg von Frankenstein fighting the monstrous Lindworm takes place in the 16th century during the final decades before their fortunes began to wane. Lord Johannes I von Frankenstein sold the lands he ruled to the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1662 using the money he received to buy a new Lordship in Ullstadt, a part of Franconia which had been devastated during the Thirty Year's War.

Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I of Germany granted the title "Baron of the Holy Roman Empire (Freiherr)" to Johannes I in 1670 and this branch of the Frankenstein family went its own way. Meanwhile, the Landgraviate only wanted the Frankensteins territorial possessions and turned the castle over to serve as a refuge and home for invalids allowing it to fall into ruin. Ludwig von Frankenstein saw an opportunity in this as Landgrave Louis VI had need of allies, not meaningless titles, against the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. Purchasing the title, Ludwig moved to Geneva in the Republic of Geneva advocating on behalf of Hesse-Darmstadt where he proved a successful merchant and moneylender who built Frankenstein Manor as a legacy for his own children.

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Assuming the titled identity of Lord Ludwig Reiz von und zu Frankenstein, Ludwig considered himself a historian and antiquarian who began seeking out objects from across Europe for his growing collection. His interest in archaeology began as a child finding "treasures" and believing that the Frankenstein estate corresponded roughly to the lands of the Chatti, Grandfather sponsored digs and his workers would not disappoint him. Grandfather would die long before I was even born but I inherited much from him that we shared in common... and perhaps I inherited much more than I would know. It was from his diaries and research into family history that I was to learn so much even if I ignored his claims to have learned some of his knowledge through necromancy.

To rule over the Nouveau Royaume des Francs (the New Kingdom of the Franks) as Parrain (Godfather), he had a magnificent crown fashioned from his treasures around which two Chatti crowns were placed. When he died, his empire was inherited by his only son Alphonse Ermenrich von Frankenstein who had become a wealthy merchant by his own efforts and even became Syndic (Mayor) of Naples, Italy. Father remained a bachelor until late in life and only married a woman a third his age because he finally developed a desire for someone to bear his children the first of which would be stillborn. Undaunted, they would go on to have three surviving children with myself being the oldest.

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My mother's name was Caroline Beaufort and she would also serve more as a business partner as Father became enfeebled with the progression of age. Yet, where his body was failing him, Father's mind for business remained as sharp as ever so that he remained a force to be reckoned with. With care and a firm hand, my father had molded her in his own image of the perfect Georgian socialite and nurtured her interest in medical science, an interest she would pass on to yours truly, Victor von Frankenstein. Geneva was the capital of a financial empire which he ran like a corporate aristocracy from Frankenstein Manor in Geneva with myself as his principal heir making me Mother's special boy.

Father had secured a lease to the area of Burg Frankenstein from the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, but it would be another Castle Frankenstein in the Palatinate that he was allowed to purchase. Built by a knight named Baron Helenger von Frankenstein (aka Hellinger; from Hellingen meaning hills), the castle overlooked the nearby town of Frankenstein. His lineage evolved into a knighted order of mercenaries and assassins called Der Eiserne Orden (The Iron Order) who proved exceptionally gifted at whatever he asked of them. Had Father been a lesser man, he might have done great harm in the world... instead, he was just a greedy man obsessed with wealth.

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Turning Burg Frankenstein over to Mother to continue the looting begun by Ludwig, Father now took an accounting of his purchase of Castle Frankenstein in the Palatinate bringing me along for the experience. Overtaken by a storm, our coachman hastened to find shelter and Father looked at me as if to reassure me that all was well. It was at this moment that a bolt of lightning crashed down upon us and the carriage exploded from the ferocity of the thunderburst. As I came to my senses, I pulled myself up from the wreckage finding nothing but death surrounding me as I sought after where my father might be located.

It was then that I saw Father lying flung against a tree with his head split open. As I approached him, I could tell Father was dead as part of his brain had been dashed from his head. Then came a second lightning strike hitting the tree that flung me away and when I gathered myself screaming from the pain, I became still as I could see Father on his knees reaching out to me as if desperately seeking a final embrace. When I was later discovered, my rescuers set my broken bones and tended to my burns assuring me all would be well. When I later told the doctor tending to me what I had seen, I overheard him telling Mother how I was delirious from the pain and imagining things.



Credits
Art:
Song: Das Tier in Mir (wolfen) - E Nomine

Armorbeast

Mother would oversee my recovery and reminded me of the burns upon her own legs where superstitious peasants tried to burn her as a witch when she was but a child. Now she was the executor of fathers estate with myself as the primary beneficiary when I came of age. When I had sufficiently recovered, plans were made to celebrate my upcoming thirteenth birthday. After the daytime celebrations had ended, my adopted sisters (Elizabeth and Justine) led me blindfolded to a secret place where a cult seemed gathered for some ritual on my behalf. Then a woman with rams horns on her head was led to an altar where she disrobed and lay down awaiting what was to happen.

Then Mother approached and, to my horror, cut the womans throat to the bone letting her bleed out. Having seen mother cut into cadavers and tend injuries, I was nonetheless unprepared to see her commit coldblooded murder! I was then urged to keep looking by my sisters and witnessed them pouring a mysterious green liquid upon the injury and then, into her mouth from a bull's skull which held five horns upon it. Mother then approached me with Father's cane which I had been told was carved from a willow tree representing the Tree of Life. I then beheld the woman rise from where she lay and, with assistance, walked to me smiling as if this had all been with her approval.

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She would be introduced to me as Katarina Vanderbridge and that those in my presence were called the Cult of Taranis, a group dedicated to the worship of pagan gods forbidden by Christianity. It was explained to me that the miracle I had witnessed would be the last as the powder used to create the Elixir of Life was used up. Katarina had sacrificed herself to prove to me that it did what they were now telling me it could do and that she had been seeking a way to recreate the elixir and failed. Now, it was my turn and the cult expected me to do what they had failed to do after decades of trying.

Katarina's father was a man named Johann Conrad Dippel who was born at Castle Frankenstein in Darmstadt who was conceived through adultery just as he fathered Katarina illegitimately. He was of Frankenstein blood as was Katarina's mother meaning she was conceived through incest. Katarina called me Baron because I was her "young warrior" but I took the official title inherited from Baron Helenger von Frankenstein because Father purchased the title with the castle. My exceptionally gifted intellect excelled in my teachings at a pace my educators could not keep up with and where most were ready to enter institutions of higher learning, I was ready to complete them.

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I was then taken to a secret library in the bowels of Frankenstein Manor where I had never been and which held writings from throughout history. Research by the ancients seeking the gifts of healing, immortality and resurrecting the dead until someone got lucky... or proved exceptionally skilled. The only time I made myself free from learning was when Elizabeth came for me as our mother intended that we one day be wed and the chemistry between us was strong. This would have to wait as I was about to embark on a world tour to learn the latest in medical sciences, technology, and theology.

Men in my time sought after degrees to prove their intellectual worth to those lesser than themselves but I was a man of wealth, breeding and superior intellect well beyond my years. Amassing numerous degrees and certificates, I attained a medical license before I was seventeen and became a student of Luigi Galvani and his nephew Giovanni Aldini soon after. As a proponent of Galvanism, I was given the nickname Prometheus by fellow students because of my pursuits in alchemy and desire to steal from the gods the very secrets of life. Conrad Dippel had followed a similar course believing he could create a "new man" and I found no flaws in his reasoning.

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What would be created should men of science one day learn to graft the flesh from one person to another? Might not their souls become mixed creating a new man with a new soul much as Conrad Dippel had dreamt of? Mother did not want me to follow in his footsteps because he had fallen into madness, but then, he was not the only one who had taken this fall. Dippel was tormented by his theological beliefs getting himself banned from several countries leading to his involvement with the Cult of Taranis. For all his faults, there was much to be learned from him as, even should he have been a madman, Dippel at least was an original thinker.

Where modern men of science were enfeebled by reason and atheism, Conrad Dippel sought to learn about the ethereal nature of the soul and what lay beyond the material world. Compared to men like us, they are little more than old women scattering bones upon the ground with not an original thought in their heads. This disease was not limited to men of science as the nobility were similarly affected. France had become weak and decadent by my time, an illegitimate kingdom whose king had blundered his way into the Seven Year's War and emerged defeated. Louis XV would lead France to ruin and rebellion as he was a timid man unfit to rule the world empire that he had inherited.

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When his grandson, Louis XVI, was a reformer who was doomed to suffer the consequences of the revolution that followed. Louis XVI was a reformer who tried to help his people recover from his grandfather's incompetence only to find himself opposed by the nobility. He would avenge the loss of France in the Seven Years War by supporting the English colonies in North America successfully rebel against the British, a feat which created a new nation but which further depleted the treasury of France leading to famine and revolution. Both he and his queen, Marie Antoinette, were destined to lose their heads to the guillotine as the French Revolution devolved into the Reign of Terror.

Grandfather had foreseen all of this and that it would lead to a strongman taking power, a man deserving to rule and he wanted to be well placed when it happened. Secure in his manor in Geneva, he would not live to see that day come... but I would be there when it happened! The chaos in France spread beyond its borders under the Jacobin government until it was overthrown and many of its leaders executed only to be replaced by the Directory which restored order until it became divided by Jacobin influences. The French then invaded Switzerland in 1798 and established the Helvetic Republic so named after an ancient Celtic tribe called the HelvÄ"tiÄ« who were known for their ferocity.

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The rise of Napoleone di Buonaparte (Napoleon) drew my interest to the ancient lands of Egypt after he invaded the country bringing with him hundreds of scholars. Katarina saw this as the perfect opportunity to explore this region and to learn first hand what I had only learned from books by men like Athanasius Kircher, the founder of Egyptology. She possessed certain necromantic abilities to speak with the dead when in contact with their remains. While this proved invaluable to our endeavors, Katarina lacked the understanding to make sense of what she learned and if the best they could achieve was mummifying the dead, I was not readily impressed.

Napoleon had returned to France to launch a coup d'état becoming Emperor of the French and establishing the First French Republic. Grandfather would be proud to know how correct he had been and while I was still coming of age, Mother was busy reorganizing Der Eiserne Orden, the Hessians, the Directory, the Cult of Taranis and parts of the Helvetii Republic after its collapse in 1803. She would rechristen this new organization as Der Eisen Reich (The Iron Reich) following Napoleon's dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 with herself as its leader Totenkopf (Death's Head).

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Katarina revealed that she possesses certain necromantic abilities to see and speak with the dead proving invaluable to our endeavors searching for the Elixir of Life in Egypt. It was there that I encountered a most splendid warrior calling herself HÄ"i Liánhuā (Black Lotus Blossom) who sought to take my heart... and my head. She easily killed the men in my retinue who did their job as they injured her slowing her just enough for me to land a powerful blow rendering her unconscious. Regaining consciousness, HÄ"i Liánhuā seemed surprised to still be among the living and felt indebted to me for sparing her life.

The reason she had attacked me was that she could sense what I could not, that we were the same, she and I. We were a breed apart from mortal men known as the Eternal & Forsaken and once we became self-aware of what we were, the only way we could truly die was at the hand of another of our race. She had sensed what I could not as she knew I was Forsaken and wanted to take my head, then devour my heart to transfer my unique life energies into herself. It was something she had done many times before and would do so again as with enough of our soul energies within her, she would evolve into something truly Unholy where not even our own kind can kill her.


Armorbeast

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I was to learn there was one key difference between HÄ"i Liánhuā and myself. Being an Eternal meant that she was still human in her form. But, as Forsaken, I was cursed to become something other than human although she informed me that this wouldn't mean this change would be permanent. On a night with the first full moon after I was made aware of what I was, the first change overcame me and I became transformed as a werewolf which, I suppose, could have been worse. But I was to learn so much more from HÄ"i Liánhuā such as the fact that while she was of ancient Egyptian birth, she had spent most of her life in Asia which is where her name originated.

HÄ"i Liánhuā instructed me as to the Egyptian concept of the soul and how they identified at least nine quantitative aspects beginning with the Khat (body), Ka (personality), Ba (familiar), Jb (heart), Sechem (power of Will), Akh (brilliance), Shuyet (shadow), Sahu (incorruptible) and Ren (name). Theology for me was just another form of learning because the myths and legends of the past were a search for the truth like any other. Learning of the Egyptian concept of the soul would prove invaluable to my research much as having HÄ"i Liánhuā's sword arm and skills as an assassin provided the best protection.

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The Ka is the vital spark that creates life and forms personality. A being could possess more than one Ka explaining, perhaps, the enigma of amnesia and madness. The Khat and the Ka are host to the Jb which is the source for creation and rebirth, that which must be eaten to transfer the strength of the prey to the predator. Thus, an explanation possibly for why the Eternal and Forsaken must devour the heart of an enemy and why so many primitive people believe that devouring the heart of a slain warrior grants you their strength. But it is possibly the work of Shelley which did me the greatest honor as her book was a success meaning my Ren will live on forever.

The Ba I interpreted to be something akin to a familiar which can exist apart to serve the persons needs and even possess a Ka of its own. The Ba and Ka can merge to form the Akh "after death" which I equated with the Indian concept of Nirvana as a state of bliss. I discovered that the Sechem represents the power of will and through it, grants mastery over one's surroundings. The Shuyet provides protection and the Sahu is the incorruptible part of the soul that passes from parent to child throughout the course of time. Ren represents memory, a part of the lifeforce which survives for as long as the persons name is invoked by reading it.

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By this time, I had dozens of people in my employ doing research and investing on my behalf to build my financial empire even greater. I would be very active in these endeavors and, returning home, I was brought up to date on various research projects into regeneration and reanimation that I sponsored. Perhaps I was beyond other men in my thinking as the mind, body, and soul intrigued me leading me into the new field of Alienism (Irrenarzt) to study what set me apart from normal men. And then, there was the enigma of amnesia. How could someone lose their memory only to seemingly be reborn as someone new?

A blow to the head and their memories from the life once lived are restored like claims of the Hindu's concerning reincarnation. Might a person live a good life following amnesia and be judged by God for sins in a past life they cannot even remember? Could not learning to induce amnesia be a cure for madness or an alternative to execution? Would not the man who gains such knowledge become on par with God... or would such a man be found lacking in conscience pretending for all his intellect and breeding that he was something more than a butcher in silk clothing?!

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The women in my life were all part of the Free Love Movement as members of the Hellfire Club believing in a woman's right to control her own body but they were responsible for the consequences much as the fathers should be. This led me to research the reproduction process of frogs that lay their eggs and males fertilize them outside of the females body. What need have men for women if we could create life in a tube from a chemical reaction and would it not spare the lives of women who die as a result of complications due to pregnancy? For all of my views on male superiority, I had come to believe in women's equality in all things where they proved equal to any man.

Thus, I gained the support of Libertarians and free thinkers as I explored the limitations of life in all its complexities... and then, I created my monster! I would prove that I could accomplish everything I ever dreamed possible as my goal had been to create a creature merging the flesh and souls of different men to create a "new man". There would be a terrible price to pay for this as the creature destroyed everyone who was close to me and led to my chasing him to the ends of the world only to return unsatisfied. The creature would elude me because I had reached the limits of my ability to survive and only having discovered I was Forsaken would preserve me.

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To any in the world who knew of me, Victor von Frankenstein was now dead and I intended that it remain this way. I adopted the entity of Arbogast von Hellinger and created a fictitious past for myself as the new owner of Frankenstein Manor and all its holdings. Remaining hidden and operating through proxies under my direct control, I began the process of rebuilding my life beginning with a rebranding of all my business holdings. The French Revolution and French Revolutionary Wars had shaken the very foundations of all of Europe resulting in millions of deaths shaping the future of wars to come.

The Helvetic Republic had fallen but it had forged the nation of Switzerland as something more than a loose confederation of cantons who had fallen like dead leaves in the face of foreign invasion. Mother had seen to it that our holdings had continued to grow and turned everything over to my control leading to the creation of Taranis Corp., under Hellinger control. Napoleon had also ended the Holy Roman Empire which I became obsessed with rebuilding under my rule. To my eye, Napoleon was a foreign usurper of lower Italian nobility and not French at all... but of Roman heritage which he embodied as Emperor of the French leaving many pieces to be picked up in his passing.

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A woman by the name of Mary Shelley became aware of my story from the sister of the ship's captain that returned me from the Arctic. Shelley would create a horror novel based on my life story and while she got many things wrong, it was accurate enough to establish my Ren in the Egyptian fashion of assuring my immortality. Our world was changing at a rapid pace becoming hardly recognizable to what I had known as a boy. The rapid pace of development would also lend itself to the ever-escalating magnitude of damage these brainless incompetents were doing to the world.

Unleashing the Industrial Revolution like a starving wolf amidst a flock of sheep killing more than it needs and yet, they could prove useful to me as the world of tomorrow was the world I wished to create in the present. I began buying vacated titles belonging to the Holy Roman Empire and the House of Habsburg as I saw the collecting of vacated titles and regalia as a way to prove myself a worthy successor to them all. Lady Elizabeth had been preserved within a Lazarus Chamber by Mother and assumed the Habsburg name after her release to rejoin me at my side.

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Beneath Frankenstein Manor lay a labyrinth of hidden tunnels leading to the various rooms of my hidden castle that none but those closest to me were allowed to see. I would maintain my relations with the Grand Duchy of Hesse as I began increasing the size and power of Taranis Corp,. as advances in science and biology were also accelerating at a rapid pace. The rise of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867 coincided with the Franco-Prussian War and birth of the German Empire (the Second Reich). After defeating Napoleon III and the Second French Empire, Otto von Bismarck began pushing for what would become the Triple Alliance.

The Triple Alliance formed in 1882 leading me to believe in the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire (the First Reich) where I intended to be well placed. The title of Kaiser was used by the German Holy Roman Emperors to carry on the title from the original Roman emperors who were known as Caesar. When the empire was dissolved, the title continued to be carried by the Austrian Emperors before being adopted by the Prussian emperor of the Second Reich as Kaiser von Deutschland (Emperor of Germany) of the House of Hohenzollern. I jokingly called myself Kaiser von Frankenstein as an homage to my true identity and my aspirations rule in my true name.

Armorbeast

When the monster I had created once more fell into my hands, I did research upon him that proved invaluable because he was unique and had undergone further change since last we met. I learned from my mistakes and, from what I learned, created a superior breed of Hessian Supersoldiers for Der Eiserne Orden and the new age that was to come held great demand for their services. A new age of intellectualism was dawning in the nineteenth century that seemed tailored toward men of my genius. It would be a time of great learning in the World of Men with the discovery of evolution, genetics and the advent of eugenics.

Discoveries by men around the world could be in books, magazines and newspapers within hours of their discovery thanks to faster forms of communication like the telegraph and the telephone. Then came the twentieth century and the pace of making discoveries accelerated with the advent of so much communication and better education for the masses. One man invents something and a thousand inventors are using it in their own inventions within months which would have been impossible mere decades before. I would be mightily impressed by this new age and the even brighter future I could see that would come of it.

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I would be introduced to this future following an event in 1908 over Siberia that had been brought to my attention. Sending a team to seek out answers, I half expected to learn that a massive part of the planet itself had been destroyed after reading reports of people in Great Britain reading newspapers at night by the light of this event. When the team returned a year later, they had a woman with them who I was to learn was an alien to our world but not so alien to the Earth of the future. From her I would gain impossible knowledge for my time and she possessed a device of advanced technology that would give me immeasurable power beyond anything men of my time could dream of.

Her name was Jemna Aelani but I would call her Weiße Hexe (White Witch) because of her milk-white skin and supernatural appearance. She would become one of my minions who helped me to understand my place in the future to come not because she knew of me, but because she knew of Taranis Corp. What I learned from Jemna was enough to change my perspective as I came to realize I did not need to conquer this world when I would rule a corporate empire in the future that spanned worlds. I found myself becoming more enigmatic, more of an antagonist who enjoyed meddling in the lives of others while others in my employ handled more serious affairs on my behalf.

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In the latter years of the nineteenth century, I would be introduced to a secret organization calling itself the Black Zodiac who controlled a subversive international group calling itself the Black Rose Society. There were thirteen members in all but I only knew of one, to whom I gave my loyalty, and addressed as SerpÄ"ntis. He fashioned his identity after the Babylonian gods IÅ¡taran and Nirah envisioning himself a Babylonian god. Yet, there were also thirteen occult grimoires of which only seven were possessed by the Black Zodiac... and SerpÄ"ntis was one of the six members yet to find one.

Learning of the grimoires gave me certain advantages as very few knew of their existence outside the Black Zodiac. Using my extensive connections within Taranis Corp., I became aware of such a book last seen during the reign of the Hohenstaufen kings of the 13th century which apparently was confiscated by the Catholic Church. The arrival of Antipope John XXIII in the Canton of Aargau in 1414 during the Western Schism seemed to make itself known during the Helvetic Republic and disappeared again after the Sonderbund War of 1847. My search brought me to a Swiss bank in Zürich in 1892 where I sent HÄ"i Liánhuā to acquire it for me when my connections failed me.

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Taking possession of the book, I challenged SerpÄ"ntis for his position within the Black Zodiac and killed the would-be god as if there were a god among the two of us... it would be myself! Taking my place in the Black Zodiac, I was given the name Serpentis based on the constellations of Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer) as seen from the Worlds of Shadow. I learned of the possibility such worlds existed from my studies and the Black Zodiac gave me access to prove my suspicions were correct. The importance of this connection is that I became aware of a world called Vaalbara, The World of Beasts where greater powers than my own ruled.

The constellation of Ophiuchus related to me well because of its association with Asclepius, Vejovis and Imhotep. But I would gradually let Lady Elizabeth take my place among them as she was more the team player and more interested in the sorcerous powers contained within the Book of Serpents. I was more intrigued by the constellation of the Gryphon which can only be seen from Vaalbara but is not part of the Black Zodiac. It holds mysteries of its own being largely found in the constellation symbol of Libra which is associated with the mythical beast I favor so much.

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The achievements of men could no longer be contained by ignorance as anyone with vision could become wealthier than the nations they lived in. Even should they merely be rediscovering thoughts of ancient thinkers, widespread improvements in education and communication increased the pool from which ideas could be cultivated. Phones, radio, movies and other forms of communication brought about a rapid exchange of ideas that few world governments were prepared to capitalize on. But, as the world entered the 20th century, unresolved conflicts from the prior century would explode into one of the most destructive wars in human history.

The Great War saw my first use the name Armageddon and Der Eisen Reich contributed greatly to the formation of the Central Powers. Innumerous opportunities presented themselves to exploit humanity during the war as I had enough test subjects to perfect my experimentation and soldiers who died, but served well in battle, could find themselves rewarded with a second life as Hessians. These soldiers trained in all martial arts and becoming men of breeding as fit wearing a business suit as with a knife or gun in their hand. Even death would not be permanent for these men (and women) unless significant destruction were done to their bodies.

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After the Great War, we moved quickly to bring Paul von Hindenburg to power as Reichspräsident of the Weimar Republic hoping to preserve the empire only to find he had become a tired old man with no backbone to do what must be done. When Die Spinne brought German Chancellor Adolf Hitler to power as Reichspräsident promising to restore the German Empire, the German Empire rose to new heights which that drug-addled madman then led to its destruction. Any thought of a rebirth for the Holy Roman Empire died with the fall of the Axis Powers but I had achieved what I was after as a new age of gods was emerging from within mankind.

I bore no ill will towards any due to the circumstances of their birth, but I admittedly did little to oppose the genocide happening before me. I came from an age where human life was not valued as it possibly should have been and one's achievements, or those with strong family connections, were measurements of one's worthiness to survive. This is why one of my more precious possessions became the Amber Room as with all the world believing it taken by the Nazi's or accidentally destroyed by the Allies, it had actually fallen into my hands. This gift from Prussian king Frederick William I to Russian Tsar Peter the Great formed a Russo-Prussian alliance which obviously would not last.

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Then came the Cold War in the 1950's and my attention shifted to what I believed would be humanities first steps towards colonizing other planets. But, humanity failed me in that they became possessed by more terrestrial concerns and we only went as far as the Moon with our adventurous pursuits falling to individuals often limited in their ambitions. Moving into the 21rst century, the space surrounding Earth became a junkyard and my antagonism grew until I became as a super-villain pissing off the world and escaping the consequences of my actions. I came to enjoy being the master of puppets behind the scenes making the dreams and nightmares of others come true.

But, I was nobody's fool as my goals were longterm and beyond this world as I had seen a glimpse of mankind's future and my place in it. Taranis Corp will one day exist on several worlds and I am merely biding my time looking to the future all the while exploring my past. Being Forsaken meant I was reincarnate and reborn within my own bloodline time and again. I was to learn that Ludwig von Frankenstein was not my grandfather, he was myself in a previous life and I was just carrying on where he had left off. But, I was beginning to grow impatient with humanity and I began my own adventures into space which often drew me into conflict with the organization known as Dark Op's.

Armorbeast

September 14, 2019, 05:11:47 am #4 Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 04:24:08 am by Armorbeast
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PERSONAL INFORMATION

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Real Name: Victor von Frankenstein
Public Identity: Maximilian von Habsburg

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Date of Birth: December 6th, 1768  // Place of Birth: Naples, Italy
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Legal Status: Lawful
Occupation: Corporate CEO
Marital Status: Married to Elizabeth von Frankenstein
Citizenship Status: Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, EU

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Race / Ethnicity: Caucasian // Gender: Male,
Hair: Black // Eyes: Brown // Height: 6ft 1in // Body Type: Muscular

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Group Affiliation: Der Eisen Reich, Black Zodiac
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Classification: Super-Villain // Supernatural Classification: Shapeshifter
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Known Relatives: Parents: Arbogast (Father), Caroline (Mother)
Siblings: William, Ernest // Adopted: Justine Moritz, Elizabeth Lavenza
Children ~ Victor II, Cassandra, Mina

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Known Aliases: Arbogast von Hellinger, SerpÄ"ntis, Eisen Kaiser (Iron Emperor),
Römisch-deutscher Kaiser (Roman-German Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor),
Imperiōsus RÄ"x   

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Known Superhuman Powers: Strength Level: Class 7, Endurance: Class 10,
Shapeshifting: Level 5, Sorcery: Level 3, Elemental: Level 7

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Other Abilities: Genius Level Intellect, avid collector of historic objects
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DIVINITY

There are questions surrounding Armageddon in regard to claims that he is a god. Armageddon would later learn that the events causing his fathers' death were meant to convey upon him the power of the sacred trinity of Taranis, Esus and Teutates. Whether they accomplished this is debatable because it can just as easily be said that the powers he possesses are as a result of him being Forsaken. As such, he possesses elemental powers over storms which includes forming storm clouds in his visage from which to unleash thunder, lightning, torrential rain and winds. He is, however, a direct descendant of Mérovech who was definately a demi-god sired by a Quinotaur which means that within his veins does exist the blood of gods.

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FORSAKEN & UNHOLY

As a member of the Forsaken, Armageddon discovered that he could shapeshift to adopt the qualities of animals into his human form. His first transformation was into a wolfman but he developed the ability to take on the physical characteristics of different animals of which he most often chose to combine elements to make of himself a human gryphon. He can likewise transform others into whatever form he has taken but they cannot, likewise, pass this on to others such as with a curse. His transformative powers are not limited to humans alone as he has combined different attributes in animals and has created two Griffins that serve as his companions.

Armageddon began hunting others of his kind from the moment he learned he was Forsaken. He would give them a choice to serve him, or be slain to become a part of him. The process for doing this was to remove the head and devour the heart which causes a transference of life energies unique to Eternal and Forsaken. When he became Unholy, a shard of energy formed within his soul that makes him immune to death even should his physical form somehow be destroyed. His soul will transfer to another body which the energies within his soul can transform into a replica of his original form. He can also alter his human physical characteristics often becoming more massive as Armageddon.

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FUTURE TECH ARMOR

In 1908, an explosion took place over Siberia called the Tunguska Event where part of a space station from the future crashed into the region. While most of the space station was destroyed or taken during the subsequent coverup by Dark Op's, some of the tech survived as would those beings possessing it. Der Eisen Reich had captured one of the extraterrestrial beings in 1913 and, in her possession, she held a simple replicating device which she needed an energy source on Earth powerful enough to charge. She was a scientist and because his own powers were too destructive and unpredictable, Victor took her to Kelenföld Power Station in Budapest, Hungary

The device came online long enough to replicate the technology into his armor before the original tech was destroyed because Kelenföld's energy was incompatible with it. Once it became merged with his armor, the supernatural components within it and his natural ability to generate energy transformed the technology further. At first, it seemed only capable of replicating food and drink to provide for a basic need before he began to experiment with its capabilities which were mostly medical in nature but easily weaponized. This includes a powerful force field with the ability to sustain life within it during emergencies for prolonged periods.

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While his understanding of genetics was rather primitive in 1908, his knowledge would grow so that he understood better what it was he had accomplished in the decades prior to this. He gained medical capabilities to scan others internally, ti diagnose health issues, to generate laser scalpels, sonic disruptors and the ability to rewrite genetic code for cellular regeneration or even reversing the aging process. With just a touch, Armageddon possesses the ability to rewrite the genetic code of others or to bestow upon them cybernetic enhancements to create Man-Beasts or to empower others just to see what they will do and could care less beyond this leaving his motivations unclear. 

It is from cybernetics that he finds the greatest use of nanites as, in the future, people use cybernetics for work, fashion and military applications. The Rüstung auf Auserwählter (Armor of the Chosen One) was created by this means merging technology with objects of sorcerous and occult power. It would incorporate the Armor of Hector adding to its invulnerability and fits him like a second skin. As he gained a greater understanding of the tech, he began using holographic interfaces, could tap into information datastreams and launched a small satellite into orbit for remote viewing.

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In the 20th century, his research on Ultrahumans provided him with the knowledge to "bring out" latent powers and abilities possessed by some and to transfer such powers and abilities to others. By the 21rst century, he was creating Ultrahumans in test tubes tailormade to his specifications as well as cloning and even recreating the dead from dormant dna thanks to this technology. He tends to focus his powers more through his right gauntlet because he is right-handed, but one should not mistake that his power is bound up in his gauntlet as every part of Armageddon is weaponized.

Another manifestation of his destructive power is to create an oversized mace glowing with explosive energy arcing from it like lightning. On one occasion, his left arm was destroyed by causing this mace to explode while he held it. While forced to retreat, this far from destroyed his power as he focuses his tech through his gauntlet but his armor recreated it and the hand that wielded it. Blurring the lines between technology and sorcery blends into a form of technomancy where Armageddon is concerned. The Sabre of Charlemagne came into his family's possession several centuries before but, in his hands, it can cut through almost any solid object and channel energy through it.


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GENERAL INFORMATION

The Gryphon has become representative of Armageddon since the concept of merging different body parts to create a new man first came to him. It was also symbolic for his grandfather to which he would learn his soul was reincarnated from explaining many of his passions and why he pursues the same goals Ludwig sought after. Ludwigs love for archaeology and his desire to rebuild the Frankish Kingdom became inherited by Victor as an obsession with the Holy Roman Empire. Combining this with his growing knowledge of his past lives led him to assume a new identity as Imperiōsus RÄ"x (powerful king, Emperor) and feeds his massive ego.

He has an obsession with collecting pieces of the Reichsinsignien (Imperial Regalia) of the Holy Roman Empire. It is not so important to him to have the original artifact as with just a piece of them, his nanites can reconstruct a perfect replica down to the last molecule and infuse with certain new powers and abilities. He has recovered items in tatters, or even from ashes, which the nanites in his possession have fully restored to make repairs based on probabilities and known designs. His growing collection is massive for these reasons and items thought lost to history are in his possession.

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Becoming Unholy is not an easy process. Most Eternal & Forsaken will never accomplish this and the secret to Armageddon achieving it so quickly was he possessed technology which adapted itself to sense Eternal & Forsaken with the highest life energy count bringing them closer to becoming Unholy. Armageddon can be defeated and even destroyed so that he is not so arrogant as to believe himself invulnerable when even mere mortals can undo him. By being aware of this, Armageddon always has several pathways for escape even if it's just to avoid a fight he does not want or to escape detection as Armageddon prefers to work through proxies rather than making himself visible.

Armageddon also possesses parts of the French Crown Jewels and, of these, Le bleu de France is his favorite if only because of the ruse he played to acquire it. He held a cursed jewel created by demons which he passed off as the Le bleu de France which became known as the Hope Diamond. This is part of his devilish nature taking advantage of the greed of others with the centerpiece of these objects being his recreation of the Sceptre de Charles V which he blended with his father's cane. This scepter is generally carried like a cane but is used as a focusing device for his powers over sorcery and ornately carved with gryphons.

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For as great as my future tech was, it could not replicate the Elixir of Life although it provided me with many means to heal and to replicate such processes. It would, however, enable me to better locate the ingredients and objects which promised the ability to grant immortality and renewed youth. My travels to Asia, Africa and across Europe had not given me the ingredients I was searching for. It took decades of research into myths and legends to discover the Fire Lotus, a rare blooming flower that no one could prove existed. Finding the flower, I plucked it before it began burning into vapor and placed it in the container with the other ingredients.

When it burned, the trapped vapors merged the ingredients resulting in the Magnum Opus, the creation of a Philosopher's Stone. Crushing it created a powder that filled the jar which I then presented to the Cult of Taranis having completed my mission. While I no longer needed the powder, my curiosity had to be appeased and I could finally give the gift of eternity to Lady Elizabeth while bestowing upon her even greater beauty. With this accomplished, Armageddon now possessed the ability to grant immortality as a reward for serving him well. Very few have proven worthy of this but, should he desire to bestow this gift, his nanites can replicate it direct from his armor.


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SPIRIT BEASTS

As with all the Unholy, Armageddon has what is referred to as a Spirit Beast. This is a manifestation of spirit energy, a form of Familiar which in his case takes the shape of two powerful Gryphons.