Because we felt we owed you an explanation, here is some info about the Cabal of Evil Ne’er-do-wells:
they were founded 1000 years ago by a group of 7 mystics who realized they could amass an amazing amount of power if, instead of doing the usual villainous crap that people in their position did, like minor dictatorships and terrorist campaigns, and instead focused their energies on creating a real army and collecting real wealth, then they could go around being as big a group of assholes as they wanted to be.
Their model worked, and they ran around amassing more power than anyone would have imagine they could, and started an army of people as brutal as they were, just not as smart. This eventually lead to the formation of the SWORD; Seven Weapon-Oriented pRedatory Despots. These were the seven military heads that rose to power and offset the brilliance of the PES, Primary mEmbers of Seven. The PES decided to make their name an acronym because the SWORD managed to shoehorn one out of SWORD, although with much less success.
The SWORD and the PES managed to accomplish quite a bit in their first seven centuries of conquest; they built a really big ship, imaginatively called the “Leviathan.” They destroyed several planets, and managed to breed an army of werewolves. One of the original PES introduced the first round of werebadgers, which quickly became their elite soldiers.
The PES was originally made of wizards of many disciplines; necromancers mostly, but there were a couple of evokers, and one guy who was an evil ice cream conjurer. Then the six that had nothing to do with deserts decided that necromancy was really the way to go. So the PES became the Primary mEmbers of Six. The evokers then decided they needed to learn necromancy in case the others decided to go pure-necro. This proved to be a good idea, because very quickly, the other four decided that was exactly what they were going to do. The result was six necromancers, two of whom could make zombies that breathed fire.
Sadly, they wound up being outgunned by the SWORD in terms of votes. As a result, their conquests wound up being more along the lines of “Capture the gun manufacturing planet”, when they produced plenty of their own guns, and seeing if they shot a sun enough if it would blow up (it didn’t.) Before long, the PES became frustrated and bored with simply blowing crap up (or trying to when the SWORD decided to try and shoot something celestial) and conspired against them.
The first attempt to work against them involved 2 full necromancers and one of the evokermancers developing a new type of undead that ate plutonium. It worked incredibly well. Too well, in fact. When they tested it on a moon to see if it would eat uranium as well, things got ugly.
The zombie prototype had a jaw and teeth made of reinforced titanium, and vibrated to chomp through the extra-dense radioactive metal, and they put it in a really cool looking helmet with goggles to make him more intimidating. When he would eat the radioactive material, his eyes and teeth would glow. The whole effect was completely intimidating, and they managed to show that the amount of radiation put off by their project (codenamed Pluto. For Plutonium (not everything they do is an acronym)) was capable of killing a grown man if he just touched him. This meant that their zombie did not even have to bite their victim to kill them, they just had to get near them; and they would look cool in the dark to boot.
Unfortunately, Pluto never wound up getting a field test; the uranium and plutonium had the same effect in his stomach as eating ice cream and washing it down with lemonade, except instead of a tummy ache caused by an acid/base reaction in his stomach, he instead experienced a zombie fission/fusion reaction that made a really impressive mushroom cloud and turned the three members of the PES into vapor.
The remaining members of the PET saved the recipe for the nuke-zombie for future use, and set out to create a new group; they would incorporate six new members and every last one of them would become undead. The remaining PET members all learned the ritual for lichdom, and after many months of preparation and work, the three of them drank their potions and promptly died. They awoke the next morning to find their eternal souls nicely tucked away in phylacteries (objects that are nigh-indestructible and house their souls) and their bodies immune to the ravages of age. Not time, though, and the lot of them got pretty smelly very quickly.
These were the original 3 members that were still “alive” after all of this (we will ignore the others since they were kind of dumb):
Inigo Chervil: One of the remaining pure necromancers. He wears purple robes and likes making better zombies by sewing together parts from other zombies.
Brandon: The one called Brandon; he is mysterious. He has always worn black robes, with a deep dark hood that covers his face. He has glow in the dark contacts that make him look really eerie; more eerie than a dead guy in black who casts death magic already is.
Vladimir Sergei Deathstare: Probably not his real name, but he is the sole remaining necromancer/evoker. He is really good at making zombies that shoot lightning bolts from their eyes, or animated skeletons that explode into fireballs. He has long white hair that stands up like he has been electrocuted, and his eyelids have receded, making him look perpetually really surprised.
These three put out fliers, took out ads, and even posted on Craigslist that they were looking for evil wizards who wanted a support group and limitless power, with ambitions of eternal life. Surprisingly, not many people responded to the ads, and it turns out that quite a few of them thought it was a fake ad for a role playing game group. They were all fed to Sizlacs and ghouls (they had started incorporating both into the army.)
Eventually, they settled on six prospective necromancers, all of whom survived the intern period. They were then given the choice of what undead they wanted to be; here is how it worked out:
Arliss Smith: Decided to be a vampire. He already had that ridiculous vamp-rocker look, all covered in black leather with long black hair and sunglasses all hours of the day. To this day he claims to be “in it for the chicks.”
Reginald Brightmeadow: Became a Zombie King. Sure, others can create and control their own zombies, but Reggie wanted to BE a zombie, but not the mindless kind. He was cool with the cannibalism and rotting, he just wanted to make sure he got to experience it for himself. He had spent countless hours learning necromancy and writing zombie-related fan-fiction, often involving furries. He has a knack for summoning creatures from other realities, especially Hell.
Magnus Charlemagne Windsor, The Third: There was no question; Magnus was going to be a lich, the kings of the Undead. While not any more talented or powerful than any of the others, he makes up for this in arrogance and a sense of superiority so strong it is practically a superpower.
Mickey “Two Fingers” Gambino: Mickey was already a ghoul king when he approached the PET, had learned a thing or two about necromancy and wanted to make more ghouls, and have an endless supply of people to eat. He creeps out literally everyone else in the group aside from Reginald.
Bartholomew Partridge: Also opted for Lichdom, because he was out of ideas when it came time to choose. He later attempted to replicate the nuclear zombie, figuring he had found a way to prevent the nuclear material from reaching critical mass. He was sort of right; it didn’t explode, but reached such a high temperature that the zombie ceased to exist, and Bart was left as just a head. He is still an active voice in the group, but is no longer a full member, which is why they added:
Marcus Cornelius: Marcus is a late addition to the group, replacing Bart after he destroyed 90% of himself. Marcus was charming, good looking and brilliant, and had groomed himself to be a suave ladies-man vampire counter-point to Arliss’s rocker persona. Then Magnus “volunteered” him to be a lich and he has been slowly rotting and hating Magnus ever since. He has also been trying desperately to find a way to reverse the process, or clone himself a new body, which he would then transfer his mind into and then become a vampire.
Melinda Harris-McAllister-Jones: The sole female in the group; to call her a ball-buster is an understatement. She is the type of woman who believes that being a rotten bitch to everyone makes her a “strong woman” instead of a “heinous bitch.” She was short and fat in life, and now that she is a lich, she has taken steps to make sure she shriveled so that she looks like she has“booty” as she calls it, and retained her other womanly assets she had by virtue of being seriously overweight, but that her waist shrank to nothing. She is under the belief that she now has a killer body, although in reality she looks ridiculous, and pretty gross.
When the group was solidly together (before Marcus came along last year), they made it official; they were now the PEN, and with 2 more people than the sword, and all of them wielding deadly necromantic magic, they announced that the PEN was mightier than the SWORD. Now, you might be thinking that a bloody coup ensued, but that could not be further from the truth. You see, when Magnus made that proclamation, the members of the SWORD were so disgusted by the pun that they decided that obscurity was better than being associated with PEN and simply quit.
The PEN had secured their power, although their standing army had been heavily depleted by the retarded schemes of the SWORD. In fact, their once million strong army of werewolves was a mere 10,000, since one of SWORD’s members thought that if throwing bullets at a sun would not kill it, throwing werewolves would do the trick. As he put it “because, you know, like, shooting a bullet at a person would injure them and maybe kill them, but shooting a werewolf at them would be, like INSTANT death!” The others in the SWORD weren’t the type to argue with that kind of logic.
So they had to rebuild their army, and decided that more specialized units would be of great benefit for different kinds of jobs; they designed and made many new kinds of undead, and eventually figured that their coup-de-grace would involve using shorties for sneak attacks; thus the great shorty-hunt/shorty-extermination began. Oddly enough, the extermination of the shorties has not been done out of malice; it just so happens that they are very resistant to the techniques used to turn other people into undead. So, shorties were kidnapped or captured, and then steadfastly refused to cooperate and just plain did not work.
They were defiant to the end; Reginald became especially discouraged at one point. Every shorty he worked on spat in his face and flipped him the bird. Those that had their fingers cut off mouthed “Fuck you” through all of the experiments. When he covered their mouths; they glared at him and had evil thoughts.
Mickey tried to console him and threaten them further, but when he got spit in his eye, he flipped out and ate several of the experiments before they were finished. He was subsequently banned from the experimenting level of the Leviathan.
So it came to be that Shorty was the only one for his race he knew of in about a decade, how he had lost his job as an elite soldier, and wound up on a space station, cleaning chunks of dead pseudo-animal from machinery. The PEN was thrilled because he was the first shorty they had seen in five years, and they were pretty sure they had worked out the bugs in their shorty-zombifying process; mainly that zombifying would be involved at all. They were going to turn him into a ghoul.
However, since Shorty had escaped, their plans had been set back. They had also managed to lose a significant number of werewolf troops. The next time, they were sending in the badger troops; there would be much blood when they finally met again. There was some good news, though. They had caught a man who had been with Shorty, had been a member of his group, and said he knew where they were headed. The man was a Johnson & Johnson’s Witness who said he had been separated from his friends during a zombie attack, and he would lead the PEN to them if they let him live and provided him with some benefits.
Of course, he came up with all of this after he overheard some werewolves chatting about Shorty, and he figured it was a great way to avoid being eaten/shot into a black void. Being that he was a cleric of a major corporation, the Witness (in case you were wondering, his name is Eugene Pickle, so we can call him that from now on) was immune to any lie detecting spells, since they all are surrounded in an aura of total believability/complete bullshit, depending on how naive the person trying to divine them is. This meant that when they checked to see if he really did know Shorty, they gave up because he was protected by his God.
Eugene then went on to explain that Shorty was trying to find Jupiter, because he believed there was a cache of Shorty treasure on one of the moons, and that he also believed that there may be more of his race there. This was all, of course, complete crap, and Brother Pickle was actually hoping that somehow, in the intervening light-years of travel through the empty void, that maybe he would be able to somehow escape a ship loaded with other ships, monsters and undead wizards. Pickle is a bit of an idiot, as you can see; the kind of idiot who thinks he is a genius.
Meanwhile, he was getting his demands; a near constant stream of booze, dirty movies and fast food. He sat in a lush room, guarded by two ghouls and a hall full of zombies (with bites taken out of them, by the ghouls), feeling positively brilliant, and completely ignoring the fact that he would likely wind up as food himself when they found out he was lying.
The PEN eagerly discussed what to do next; as far as they knew, they had the golden ticket to acquiring a new shorty, maybe even many of them. All they had to do was chart a course to Jupiter, which was exactly the opposite direction that the Foie Gras had gone.
They could have benefited from some sort of diviner or clairvoyant, but they were completely death-focused so they didn’t have what they needed in order to track down the escapees, and instead had to trust that they weren’t being lied to. They failed.
In a turn that would prove ironic, the Foie Gras was actually heading in the opposite direction from where they needed to be as well, but they would not find this out for quite some time. The Leviathan pointed straight toward the Sun (because we never got around to giving it a cooler name) and headed for Jupiter’s moons.
Eugene laughed at the absurdity of it all; he went from being nearly eaten by zombies to living the life of luxury. The ghouls outside his room laughed, because ironically, his burgers were made of zombies.