Rifts®: Megaversal Highway™
High Magus Perseus Aerihman "Pegasus"
“Can’t you see? I’ve done all of this for you! I have the power to save the world and you would dare stand in my way!”
Early Past and the Fall of Atlantis
Perseus Aerihman grew up in ancient Atlantis. The son of a prominent Stone Master, he showed an incredible aptitude for magic at an early age and there were always high hopes for youth. Even so, his childhood would be one filled with conflict, as his father desired for him to follow in his footsteps as a Stone Master while Perseus himself wished to train as a Ley Line Rifter and voyage beyond the dimensions to explore the Megaverse. As a result, their household quickly descended into what often felt like non-stop circular arguments and needless power struggles; with the true feelings of all involved being carefully veiled behind an impenetrable emotional mask, it was a skill that would later become an invaluable tool in Perseus’s life as a master liar and manipulator.
Eventually, Perseus would indeed bow to his father’s will and give up on his dreams of dimensional travel. However, this instilled within the young man a deep-seated resentment for his father which bled through into a loathing of traditional Atlantean culture as a whole. Consequently, Perseus rebelled by keeping a breast of of the latest technologies, new magical discoveries, and heading debate clubs, youth rallies, and trivial teenage protests. Enabling him to rise to prominence as one of Atlantis’s youngest and most revolutionary thinkers and new-age philosophers. This put him in the unique position to be approached by a cabal of free-thinking practitioners of magic that were working on creating stable rifts by harnessing the power of the Megaversal Highway.
Keen to change the world and enamored with his childhood dream of of being able to explore other dimensions, Perseus joined the sorcerers cabal as their youngest apprentice and eagerly participated in numerous rites and rituals in an effort to unlock the secrets of the enigmatic Megaversal Highway and gain a measure of control over it. Unfortunately, these experiments would eventually lead to the Fall of Atlantis. Distraught and horrified with the terrible power they had unleashed by meddling with forces beyond their ken, most of the cabal were so overcome by terror that they threw themselves into the seas and perished. However, Perseus was still young, vital, and rather than ending his life and joining the torrents of souls cascading from the bodies of his people into the crucible of creation, Perseus fled and desperate, killed those weak and dying from the cataclysm to gather enough power to create a dimensional portal so he could escape their fate.
However, witnessing the heart of all creation had left its mark on him and his guilt over his involvement of the destruction of Atlantis and the murder of several of his people had changed him forever. Spiraling into a deep depression, the young sorcerer attempted to commit suicide on several occasions but had learned that he (like Atlantis itself) had become a cosmological constant, like gravity. Theorizing that the souls of those on Atlantis might have also been transformed in a similar manner, the young sorcerer returned from his self-imposed exile and gathered together with his other clansman; claiming that he had been off-world when the incident had occurred.
Naming himself after the legendary winged-horse that had been born of the blood of a monster, Perseus (now Pegasus) spent thousands of years traveling the Megaverse becoming familiar in alchemy, techno-wizardry, Zodiac magic, Temporal Magic, and many more arcane arts all while continuing his studies into the fundamental laws of the Megaverse and awaiting the inevitable return of Atlantis. During this time he watched pantheons rise and fall, had multiple families, loved, lost, and watched once great empires slip into little more than obscure memories. All while misguiding his clansmen in the Aerihman with claims that his longevity was the simple a result of discrepancies in the timelines and the frequency with which he was traveling.
During this time Pegasus formed Tend All Truth, a conspiracy dedicated to the recovery of relics that had been scattered from Atlantis during its fall and studying the unique psychic energy fields permeating them. However, Pegasus’s long-term goal was far more sinister. Having hunted and enslaved a number of Weirdwings, Pegasus had originally sort to use their predictions to create a utopia on Atlantis when it returned and thereby prevent it from falling into further chaos and make a mends for the part he played in its destruction.
However, while having the creatures tortured Pegasus learned that the Splugorth Lord Splynncryth would seize the power of Atlantis for himself and distort the legacy of his people; forever snatching from his grasp any hopes he might have had at redemption. Driven insane by the revelation and the knowledge that his forces were no match for the Splugorth Empire and never would be, Pegasus transported himself to the Dark Dimension and attempted to commune with sleeping consciousness of the Old Gods for insight into cosmic secrets lesser men were never intended to know. Ironically enough, although his will was too weak and he was unable to acquire the knowledge or power he sought, Pegasus was able to catch a glimpse of the fundamental blueprints of reality and saw a potential loophole he might be able to exploit. Theoretically, using the dimensional energies saturating Atlantis as a foci, the power of The Blue Flame, and the mind of a powerful psychic born of his own bloodline, he could destroy the current reality and recreate the Megaverse like a noble phoenix rising from the ashes (or perhaps a graceful white Pegasus springing forth from the blood of something once terrible).
Whether this revelation was shared with him by the slumbering Gods of Darkness or was a product of his own machinations mattered little to Pegasus, all that mattered now was his penance and his redemption, something he was willing to pay any price to achieve.
The Return of Atlantis
Upon the return of Atlantis from the dimensional limbo, Pegasus was the first in line to swear over his allegiance to the Splugorth, knowing all too well that for his ambitions to be achieved he would need to keep his enemies close. He would then spend many years working his way through the Splugorth hierarchy and using his new-found influences and privileges alongside his ancient knowledge of stone mastery to subtly rearranging buildings and monuments to gradually transform a large sector of Atlantis into a megalithic magic circle.
Following which, Pegasus took his seventh and final wife, Princess Adava Aerihza to produce psychic progeny to prepare for the final stages of his plan, The Bennu Conspiracy.
In accordance with the prophecy divined from his Zodiac magic, Adava bore Pegasus two daughters – Aldora and Scarlet, with the first intended to serve as the crucible of the new Megaverse with the second serving as her double and bodyguard to better insure the success of the endeavor.
However, in his pride Pegasus had not realized his actions would prompt the suspicions of Lord Splynncryth (as he had hoped to stay beneath his notice) and in an effort to test the Atlantean’s loyalty, the Alien Intelligence requested Pegasus prove his loyalty by donating his first daughter to the Atlantean gladiatorial pits. Fearful of the Splugorth uncovering his long-term agenda, Pegasus agreed and secretly rigged her matches to ensure her survival while assigning a number of Sunaj codenamed Yjorm to serve as her educators and invisible protectors until he could arrange for her escape some years later.
As the years went on, T.A.T. spread its roots into the politics of Rifts Earth and began engineering events and key social situations; sewing discord among several major players in Atlantis and South America in an effort to draw their attention away from the impending disaster in their own backyard. It was a resounding success.
The Bennu Conspiracy Unveiled
Having his plans largely disrupted by his daughter’s inability to awaken her powers and achieve cosmic-ignition, Pegasus was forced to take drastic measures for the cosmic-alignment necessary for the ritual would not happen again for over a millennia!
However, complicating matters further, even with the alignment augmenting her powers dramatically his daughter seemed to be struggling achieving symbiosis with the theata-wave. The reason for Aldora’s potential remaining locked was one part because of an unnecessary caveat placed upon awakening them by Doctor Bastardstro and one part because of her copacetic/carefree nature.
Unwilling to lose ages of planning, careful plotting, and numerous power plays Pegasus did what he did best. He refereed back to his Weirdwing captives and then orchestrated a master play. Snatching up some heroes from a backwater on Rifts Earth and sending them on a number of quests where they would eventually cross-paths with and befriend those who could later become his enemies or a threat to his agenda. The goal would be simple, before the year was out he would adopt Rachel Ariah and nurture the dark impulses within her, then orchestrate events to build a close bond between the two that would ultimately lead to a betrayal and feelings of anger and bitterness. Pegasus’s plan went of almost entirely without a hitch, and the subsequent betrayal and rage experienced by Adora (Claire) caused her to lose control of her abilities; activating the theta-state and temporarily transform her into a Cosmic Forge fueled by the enigmatic elemental powers of the Blue Flame.
Following orders, Rachel contained and retained Adora within the Crysyal Coffin and delivered her into Pegasus’s custody; unwittingly allowing him to utilize her in his rite to destroy and recreate all reality as he saw fit (free of evil, corruption, and the burden of sin). Fortunately for the rest of the Megaverse, while unfolding the layers of the grand mystery of everything the ritual was stalled when Pegasus was set upon by forces sent on behalf of the Book of Heroes, in the form of Jack Ryder, Alfonse Frank, and several of their comrades.
Furious that there would be those foolish enough to come before him, in this; his moment of victory, and dare to stand between him and his dreams, Pegasus revealed his true power and attacked the heroes with an arsenal of Techno-Wizard bionics, rune weapons, and ancient magics!
However, after scoring a victory over the heroes and doing something his minion Doctor Bastardstro had failed to (defeating Jack Ryder), Pegasus was stunned to find the saffron-skinned ex-junkie standing between him and his inevitable destiny. Then, suddenly, before he could so much as speak Pegasus was thrown off his feet by the power of the reborn Alfonse’s sorcerous fury. Staggered, but hardly defeated, Pegasus’s collected himself and replied in full, nearly destroying the would-be hero. However, mad with power and carried away with the thrill of his impending divinity, Pegasus had become careless and while backhanding the flame-wreathed champion accidentally knocked Alfonse back into the Crystal Coffin. Feeling its familiar power surge through his hands, Alfonse focused it through his body and used his new-found mastery over the blue flame to release a gout of powerful flame that vaporized Pegasus; erasing his soul from existence. Relieved at last to be lifted of his burdens, even if it should mean his death, Pegasus surrendered himself to oblivion. Following which, Alfonse used the power of the artificial cosmic forge to sever Clair’s connection to it and bring a final explosive end to the entire Benny Conspiracy once and for all.
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