They said that Mages ruled the world.
They say that Man was the ruler of the Earth.
They were wrong.
They said that Man’s cities were safe behind their Barrier Shields.
They would be gravely mistaken.
Humanity had learnt magic from the forgotten places, but they have forgotten their place in the world. The Modern Man was a wayward falcon who could no longer hear the falconer. It would take another blood-dimmed tide to awash man’s cities before they finally awoke to the truth.
The singular Cardinal truth.
That the strong were the proven victors of tooth and nail, while the weak were food for the wyrms, to exist otherwise would be to disturb the Chain of Being.
They called themselves Rogue Mages. Outcasts. Wildlanders. The Others.
They considered themselves untainted few who were deserving of Man’s great gift from the Higher Beings, the ones who understood the calling. After all, who else could explain why some were gifted with Magic, while others were left to grovel in the dirt?
Clans… Corporations… Nations and their City-States.
All of them were gravely mistaken in a fundamental fact of man's existential creed.
The Mage is the human being. The NoMs are merely simian man-beasts, close genetic cousins, mockeries of the Spellcrafter. Mages, not man, won the Great War. That Mages needed to service and protect their ape-like relates was the great lie that turned the world upside down.
Only a world of Mages, ruled by Mages, for Mages, could survive the usurping ambitions of Magical Creatures and Demi-humans. Only through the Path of the Sorcerer Supreme can the Ubermensch be brought kicking and screaming into the world.
“How close?” A voice asked in the dim light of the glowing glyphs.
A dozen figures, indistinct in their cowls, were watching the cacophony of activity below. They were perched authoritatively over what appeared at first glance to be an open mine of sorts.
“A week at most,” Another voice, a woman’s, answered.
The cowls they wore were enchanted, masking their faces and distorting their voices.
“You are certain the Serpent will come?”
“Of Course.” The third speaker had an illusory display of faces that always changed. The Faceless Man, they called him, the infiltrator of the organisation.
“What of the labour force here? There are some potential candidates.”
They looked down below at the dullard workers below, some hale, some thin as sticks, tireless working themselves to death with faces full of devotion.
“Blood Sacrifices,” The faceless man answered without a hint of emotion touching the tone of his voice. “One cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”
The gathered watched the activity below silently.
“What of the Tower, what news of Shultz?”
“They are tied up with the Drowner Incident over the North Shore,” Another voice spoke up. “We have ensured their full attention.”
“How did you manage that?”
“We gave the daughter of Senator Spencer to the Queen of the hive.”
“She was a tier four water Transmuter. What a waste…’ Another commented. “Surely such young talent could be used more effectively elsewhere."
The original speaker shrugged.
“She has two more sisters, just as talented, if not more so. I am aware of our greater goal.”
“Each Mage you waste on these games could bring us closer! Especially a purebred!”
The female figure raised a gloved hand; it was slim, dainty, and aristocratic.
“Enough bickering." Her voice was eldritch ice and honeyed mead.
The rest fell into silence.
“We will not meet again until my say so.” She announced. “Faceless and Edgar will remain here and finish the ritual.”
The gathering bowed or dipped their heads in acknowledgement.
“Your wish is my command,” A smaller figure replied.
“… and Mine Also,” replied the one called The Faceless Man.
The robes of all but Faceless and Edgar began to warp and shrink, twisting sinuously. An endless stream of vermin of different shapes and sizes seemed to escape from underneath their robes until only black cloth remained. Once the enchantment seemed to wear off, the mass of rats, snakes, and gleaming poisonous insects began a grand melee of eating or be eaten.
“…” Edgar was wordless. “Am I the only one dumb enough to attend these things in person?”
“That Is Why You are still YOUNG,” Faceless said in that strange voice of his that was genderless and grating.
“Let Us Proceed.” Edgar nodded at his companion, “Let us see what rough beast, its hour come round at last, is going to be born.”