All Roads Lead to Amber
“For the glory of the Serpent and Chaos.”
Lord Cranmore Theradune was never truly an ambitious man. He is, simply, a covetous one. Whereas some would call him greedy, the term falls short to truly express the sort of person Lord Cranmore is. As a Lord of Chaos, he is a dangerous opponent, and an even riskier ally. Once, he was the master of House Theradune, and the one who had gather the Theraways around his personal shadow of Zelatar. Now, he is a survivor looking for a chance at a return to power.
Lord Cranmore is a powerfully built tall man, standing well over six feet as most would reckon it. Thick muscles cord about his bulky frame, and he dresses in clothing that accentuate his size. His skin is a dark shade of charcoal grey, and his hair is jet black. His eyes are red, and seem to reflect the ambient green light of his home shadow like a cat’s. His hands are calloused and worn, and six fingers sit on each hand. He is not often armed, but he carries himself as a man more than capable of easy murder with his bare hands.
Lord Cranmore regards the world as existing in two categories: the strong and the weak. The weak are pathetic chattel to be directed and controlled. If they are not serving his purpose, they are to be destroyed. The strong are to be respected and feared, and make themselves known by their actions. If you want something that is held by someone, you are within your rights to try to take it. If you succeed, they were not strong enough to deserve it. If you fail, they obviously were. Perhaps because of this key trait, House Theradune does not count many among its allies. It can, however, count House Sawall, the royal House of Chaos, as the only one they need.
Lord Cranmore was the lord and master of his own Great House of Chaos. His home shadow, Zelatar, served as its capital, and he had gathered the nearby shadows of note into his Theraways using his mastery of the Logrus. House Theradune held its strength in having several Logrus masters and sorcerers in their ranks, and its symbol was a black, six-fingered hand, palm down, on a field of green.
Fall of Zelatar
Under heavy assault by the forces of Legion, then-Duke Cranmore gathered his remaining children to him to construct a massive trap. He baited it with his own son, Kored, as well as the Amberite Aiden. Then, he wove a massive Logrus effect with the aid of his three children, and drew the destiny of all the Trump monsters to a desperate charge at the heart of Zelatar. For the survival of his family and to destroy his enemies, Cranmore called forth a massive Shadow Storm from out of the Abyss, tearing asunder the very fabric of reality throughout the Theraways, annihilating every last trace of the Trump monsters.
In the aftermath, he escaped with Geoffrey and Sera, while Alys went mad with the Logrus and was sealed away in a Shadow for her own protection. As they returned to Firegate to present their survival, Cranmore was faced by High King Swayville. While the affection between House Sawall and House Theradune was great, the High King could not change the Code of Uthor. With the loss of the Theraways, Cranmore was stripped of his title as a Duke of Chaos, and had to seek refuge with another Great House for simple protection. Duchess Ishtari Hydrae of House Hydra spoke first, offering Cranmore and his children hospitality in her demesne. He gratefully accepted.
Power for Power’s Sake
Accepting Cranmore as her consort may have been the ultimate undoing of Duchess Ishtari. As one of the craftiest Logrus masters in the Courts, Cranmore wasted no time in confirming his power in the shadow of Avalon. Deconstructing Ygg itself, Cranmore wove his extensive knowledge of the Abyss into a vast channel leading all the way to the edge of Shadow itself. The Well of the Void became the new heart of Avalon, and Cranmore surrounded it with demons called forth and given shape by both his Logrus mastery and his Abyssal mysticism. He found those in House Hydra who, like him, hungered for power, and baptised them each in the Well, inducting them into the ranks of the Abyssal mystics. With the new power coursing terribly in their souls, Cranmore explained to them his plan. It came to fruition with the arrival of Hexian and Amon in the Shadow of Avalon, Hexian walking a path of destiny to slay a Duke of Chaos. Duchess Ishtari met her assassin, and while she proved nearly his equal, Hexian was just enough better to cripple her. Ishtari called out to her husband, who had just handily defeated Amon, but her pleas fell upon uncaring ears. Cranmore let Hexian finish the job, and inherited the mantle of rulership for her House.
Rhys’s nuclear bomb did not destroy the Well of the Void, though it did damage several of Cranmore’s constructs. As the Black Road fell and the Shadowstorms swept the length of Shadow, Cranmore and his followers found themselves in a uniquely beneficial position. Calling on their Abyssal mysticism, they were able to traverse the Shadowstorms without harm, granting them unprecedented mobility. They returned triumphant to the Courts of Chaos, and quickly became brokers of power and communication as nearly any other method could not pierce the storms. Others flocked to Cranmore’s banner, both young Knights looking to join a group dedicated to further power, and old followers of the Serpent who heard the rumor that the original Logrus could still be found in the Abyss. Cranmore took the worthy and the foolish through the Abyss, and those who survived pledged their loyalty to him. Cranmore became the leader of the New Bloods in Chaos, eager grabbing any power available.
As Shadow travel slowly became possible for others, Cranmore and his cronies steadily lost their unique edge. Having resecured the Hydraways in the Courts of Chaos, most of his group were not in Avalon when the Second Battle of Avalon occured. Led to the Shadow by the Pattern mastery of Rhys and his daughter Tomo, the Amberites gathered on Earth launched a massive assault on the stronghold. The new Amberites, powered by the Pattern of Earth, squared off against Cranmore’s demons and Abyssal mystics, with Brutus himself quickly breaking away to pursue the man who murdered his mother. Brutus proved himself his father’s son in avoiding Cranmore’s traps, but youth and talent did not prove out against old age and treachery. Brutus survived, but barely. Once his defeat became inevitable, Cranmore cut his losses, and disappeared into the Abyss, leaving his associates to fend for themselves. Those who could, followed the Duke. Those who couldn’t, died.
Cranmore emerged from the Abyss in the Courts of Chaos, and quickly made his way back to the Hydraways. Without the Well of the Void, his demon-summoning has been curtailed, but he has once again plunged into the dangerous, and cunning world of the politics of Chaos. While he has not thrown his own hat into the ring for the next High King, several parties court the favor of the Demon Duke, knowing him to be a powerful, if treacherous, potential ally.
By Elizabet Veligor of House Sawall (deceased)
- Jander Theradune (male, sorcerer) (slain by Legion)
- Geoffrey Theradune (male, Logrus adept)
- Alys Theradune (female, Logrus initiate) (lost to Primal Chaos infection)
By Cymnea Eaton of House Pandrer (missing, presumed dead)
- Sera Theradune (female, Logrus adept)
- Tannes Theradune (male, sorcerer) (slain by Legion)
- Kored Theradune (male, Trump artist) (disowned and disavowed)