Musings from the Fifth World

Safely enraptured under his protective shield, Mallon Kas Tun beheld the surreal beauty of the Fifth World. Once, there had been Six Worlds, but his overeager rivals had plunged one world into the sun. The other, a gas giant named Tregis, had been ejected into the abyssal void between the stars. The three moons of the world, all uninhabitable spheres of slush and stone, were only home to scattered outcasts when they were cast between the stars. He had always considered it a needless act of spite toward those least deserving of it.

Despite extensive surveys from his clanking servitors and divination spells, Mallon found no signs of life or un-life on any of the three moons. He savored the vistas that each world provided, as he was the only one to walk upon their naked surfaces in over a century. He hovered between the ejaculate of a cryovolcano upon the first moon as its frosty spume fell back to the world. He drifted over the crashing continents of ice underneath a liquid water world, heated by elements in its core. He savored the startling beauty of the cratered third moon, where he beheld his native sun as a naught but a distant star.

During his travels, Mallon had found what he considered to be the perfect solution for his ennui. He had learned how little the people of his worlds knew of each other and how the deputies he had left to govern them often had little reason to follow his whims. Therefore, he reasoned, the first phase of his desired transformation would be to open (mostly) permanent portals between worlds to allow for travel that he could control but his underlings could not. New cultures would arise and old ways would be challenged.

It was not mere politics or social transformation that Mallon intended, but they were useful steps. The Tsanasian Cognitor would find it more challenging to scheme against him with his delicate mind control methods threatened. The petty warlords of Iplath would be easily quelled by a reinforced regime. The Guild of Financiers on Karoom would undoubtedly devise more ways to advance their pecuniary interests. The Exarch of Rlim could find a stream of new settlers to help resettle the areas reclaimed from the ice. These were good things to him, but the best was yet to come.

Having seen his old friends from the Unification, Mallon Kas Tun was reminded of the excitement of his younger, conquering years. After conquering the Four Worlds, he had allowed his solipsism to blind him to the obvious solution. It was after reading his old comrade Herald's account of her recent adventures that the perfect idea came to him: was he not the Lord of Broken Stars?

Mallon realized he only commanded Four Worlds around a single sun. There was a nearly infinite number of stars in his galaxy and the others. Further, Mallon knew the ways that sorcerers conjured and bound otherworldly entities. Therefore, he reasoned, even if he should conquer the entirety of his universe, there was an infinitude of others. If he was bored, it was truly his own fault. Even if he should encounter a greater force or more ingenious foe, it would certainly be a welcome change from boredom.

That brought Mallon to the purpose of his visit. He intended to build an armada of conquest that could travel between the stars. He realized he had most of the resources he needed back in the Four Worlds: Tsanasian technology, Iplathian soldiers, Karoomite wealth, and Rlimite crews. But the Fifth World and its moons offered him more than just raw materials. They offered him a potential base of operations. Therefore, he realized, he would convert the gas giant into a miniature sun, encase it within a metal shell, and use it as the flagship of his fleet. The leaders of the Four Worlds all owed him favors, and he was certain they would be brought to support his plans. With an eternity of realities before him, Mallon Kas Tun prepared to conquer them all.