This has to be the most fascinating opportunity to have come along since... What year is it again? Well since the old clans went to the dogs in any case, and they never even existed within this shard of the universe. So Lord Nythrax mused to himself as he sat atop the furnished roof of his secluded manor, puffing a cigar and looking idly at the blue smear on the horizon where the sun had recently set. In his time he had belonged to many an organization which the common man might refer to as evil. Covens of vampires, necromantic cults, even a cabal of dark elven women who babbled in their silly language and pretended to be unfazed by his manly charms whenever they thought someone was looking. Any group of beings looking to do things they ought not had drawn his attention. Until, in the end, it had all grown rather stale. Grandiose plans to smash the forces of "virtue" and conquer the world never really went anywhere, and the more "subtle" types who styled themselves as "ruling from the shadows" tended to do absolutely nothing meaningful whatsoever. Eventually the banality of it all had driven Nythrax into a state of semi-retirement. Then he discovered the Knights of the Crux Ansata. At first they seemed like nothing he hadn't seen three dozen times on three different worlds, an order of paladins ballyhooing around the countryside smiting whatever idiot demon was attempting to blow up the universe or steal all the cookies that week. Ho hum. He had invited himself along on several of their highly public and incredibly disorganized operations, blending into the crowd to heckle and perhaps vulture a few corpses for loot after the fighting was done. It was slightly more amusing than listening to the grass grow in New Haven, but only just. Ah, but then the world had fallen apart under them, and things had become legitimately interesting for the first time. Witnessing the disembowelment of Queen Dawn the Incompetent at the hands of her addlebrained husband had been a real highlight of his recent life. Nythrax had cared nothing for the policies of the long-departed Lord British, but he had respected the man, and having a vapid nonentity like Dawn sitting on his throne had irked him to no end. The aftermath of this delightful bit of regicide was even better, as the Crux and their spunky little leader Lady Amandine had suddenly found themselves unexpectedly elevated from professional meddlers to the only semblance of government in a rapidly disintegrating nation. Raiders in Britain, riots in the streets, and the closest thing to legitimate succession the kingdom had yet seen had been that debacle where someone had attempted to crown the Time Lord, only he didn't know he was the Time Lord, because he hadn't come back in time to kill himself yet. Or something. It still made his head hurt to think about. In any event, the Crux had responded to their new mandate with a positively intriguing fascist streak, cracking down on anarchists, political dissenters, and starving peasants alike. At first Nythrax hadn't really believed what he was seeing. He dismissed it much as everyone else must have, as a bit of necessary roughness in a time of trouble. He joked that the Crux were fascists, but even he hadn't really believed it. Until tonight. Tresha Trifeux was quite possibly a traitor, depending upon your perspective, and certainly an extraordinary malcontent, but then what reason did she have to be content? Ultimately, for all her political agitation, all she really seemed to want was food in her stomach and no boot on her throat. For some utterly unfathomable reason Lady Amandine had made Nythrax, her resident tag-along heckler-in-chief, a captain over the operation to bring Trifeux in. He had to admit, too, that it was rather satisfying to sit back and "supervise" as Trifeux's boyfriend Nardello singlehandedly beat the snot out of dozens of knights before sucessfully fleeing. And when the battered and humiliated knights had finally managed to track Tresha down and crash her little anarchist party at the Temple of Virtue, they had wanted blood. Not righteous retribution, but blood pure and simple. Her populist rhetoric had incensed them, until they were leaping and hissing, openly exulting in their tyranny, screaming for violence and proclaiming their superiority. It was all rather shocking, even to one such as Nythrax, and to his surprise he found himself helping to shuttle Trifeux through a moongate to Yew for imprisonment rather than an immediate lynching. Her rhetoric about the virtues being empty, a tool of the elite, had appealed to him, and he wasn't quite prepared to let a crowd of homicidal "do-gooders" tear her limb from limb on the spot. And yet why not? Badmouthing the virtues is always worth a few points in my book, but her vision of an egalitarian peasant's paradise means nothing to me. On the other hand a despotic Britannian dictatorship does have some appeal, especially if the despot thinks I make a suitable captain for some reason. He blew out another puff of cigar smoke. Trifeux would come up for trial sooner or later, and Nythrax had seen his share of courtrooms in his day. He knew he could handle himself, and after all, hadn't Casca started his ascent to the throne as a Royal Prosecutor? He resolved to be a part of the proceedings, one way or another. They might not be vampires, but they're certainly bloodthirsty, and isn't that all that matters in the end?