Theme Somewhere on Vjun, a woman screamed. It was a wailing, blood-curdling shriek, something from the very bowels of her being; something so primeval and powerful that, if one were to hear it, they might even feel inclined to join in on the chorus. A man did so, his baritone shouts pairing with hers in a sickening, disconcerting harmony. The screams lasted for hours, well beyond how long they should have lasted from any ordinary fright. This, however, was no mere fright. No, this was something far, far more insidious than the innocent people of Vjun had ever known. Hundreds – thousands, even – of people had gone missing from Vjun and its neighboring worlds. It started on Maridun, but that was merely a taste of what was to come; the appetizer, if one was feeling particularly… thematic. Each time, the people of these worlds justified the kidnappings and plagues with folklore and superstition. On Maridun, he was the Black Beast, for example. The farmers of that agri-world, and there were hundreds abducted, were morsels. Scraps, unfit for even a garnish, but they had proved useful in their own way. The trails from each of those impacted worlds all led here to Chateau Moreaux and its occupants cared not a whit. They knew guests would be coming, which is why they had the palace prepared. It would be hard for people to simply ignore abductions on such a scale that took only a rudimentary search to find the source. There were many landing pads constructed in the past few months, fit to hold even the largest of freighters. After all, they needed to herd their cattle into the chateau somehow, and the master of this estate knew no better way than to have it accommodate many ships. There were no defenses around the place; it was, after all, the residence of a well-known and respected family. With these disturbing reports flooding into most known channels, the arrival of interlopers was certain. In fact, the hosts hoped that they would be joined by outsiders. The chateau was ever-so-dull sometimes. Deep, deep beneath the imposing great hall that visitors would arrive in, a profane and foul ritual was taking place. Buried beneath those cyclopean halls above, a corrupt sorcerer would attempt to usher in an antediluvian horror the likes of which this planet has never seen. If it could come to fruition, a new era of darkness would be ushered in and the galaxy would never be the same. Overseeing this operation was a simple man dressed in simple clothes. He had no discernible accent, nor was he outstanding in any way – at least, not in any way the average person could tell. The people had taken to calling him The Herald, and he quite liked the title. He liked it so much that he had forgotten his true name in the centuries he had been alive after the fact. There were final preparations to make, and so the man sauntered upstairs to retrieve a few things that the ritual needed. Behind him trudged his faithful servants, flesh-bonded and soul-snared to his will. They were nothing more than corrupted, botched attempts at previous rituals who served even in failure. Where many would discard these miscarriages of maleficarum, The Herald found a sort of joy in keeping them around for labor. They were foul, tormented things, and he enjoyed watching their suffering from simply being alive. The rains were going to come soon, and that meant that outside travel was going to be difficult. The dusky planet was known for its acid rain, and its denizens knew better than to expose their bare skin against it. Often, those unfortunate enough to be caught out in the downpour sported red, blistered and peeling skin, the flesh damaged from even a brief exposure to the elements. Paint jobs were redundant, for often the gunmetal grey beneath forced its way to the top after spending time outside long enough. For the denizens of Chateau Moreaux, however, the rain was hardly a threat. In fact, it served the purposes of their new master quite well. To those coming to visit The Herald and his bloody court at Chateau Moreaux, they would arrive at a set of towering, ornate doors that would open once knocked upon by the great brass ring in the front or by simply pushing the doors open themselves. The knocker still bore the mark of the last visitor – a severed hand, stained with blood and black ichor gripping the metal tightly. The doors would open up to a massive, vaulted hall enshrouded in darkness. By now, the screaming had lessened to nothing more than a mournful moan echoing throughout the building, its source indeterminable. The Herald needed to quiet that before any guests arrived. Yes, some guests would do nicely to change up the scenery of this dreadful place. Spoiler: OOC Notes PvP between participants is prohibited - but death is enabled. Please keep in mind that since this is an event, posting time tables will be enforced. Participants will have 36 hours to post before they timeout and are skipped. Delays or lack of opposition, intentional or otherwise, will result in a higher difficulty thread.