Pan Post 151 continues Highemperor and Soriel's Adventures in SPAAAAAACE!!! as The Doctor catches them hijacking the TARDIS again and kicks them out. They are pushed by Phractal's interdimensional fart at random and land on Majaethrix where they meet the hecatoncheires, Imhoptah. The world has many portals on it to other worlds and the ultranexus of Earth flows through Majaethrix to allow the flow of aether across the NeSiverse, which allows the creation of magical objects such as the orichalcum by Imhoptah. Highemperor pledges to conquer Majaethrix in the future but he cannot ask Imhoptah more questions as Soriel sees beastmen to kill and drags him into the new world.
Axis of Time and Space
They are inside the TARDIS, pulling levers and throwing switches almost at random. The time machine shakes and rattles wildly, before coming to rest. The two adventurers grin at each other.
Highemp: Where do you think we ended up this time?
Soriel: As long as there are monsters to kill, I don't care!
They rush towards the door excitedly, when it opens of their own accord. There stands the Doctor, crossing his arms as he glares at them. Soriel and Highemp skid to a halt and look at him sheepishly.
Doctor: Again you jack my ride. What is it with you two?
He stalks towards the controls, shouldering aside Highemp and Soriel as he begins piloting to another destination. The TARDIS shakes and rattles again, but considerably less so than when Soriel and Highemp were piloting.
Doctor: What I don't get is why. You--
He stabs a finger in Highemp's direction.
Doctor: --can hop through time and space at will, and I'm sure you have the wherewithal to bring your partner in crime with you.
Highemp: But there's nothing quite like the thrill of joyriding!
Soriel: And this is a pretty sweet ride.
The Doctor cracks a grin.
Doctor: I know, right?!
Then his gaze hardens once more.
Doctor: And now, out you go!
Highemp: But we're still in transit!
Doctor: So? I know you can survive the time vortex, and I doubt the thing that can kill your compatriot has been invented.
Cut to the exterior of the TARDIS, spinning through the time vortex. Highemp and Soriel are booted out and spin through it.
Highemp and Soriel: Whee!
Soriel: So where and when are we gonna come out?
Highemp: Well, I could direct us somewhere, or...we could find out at random!
Then a giant swirling mass of temporal energy catches them and tosses them about violently.
Highemp: It's some kind of interdimensional storm!
Though he does not yet know this, the storm is in fact one of Phractal's transdimensional farts. The storm funnels them deep into the time vortex, and it's a long chaotic ride before they finally appear somewhere solid again.
Soriel: Where are we? More importantly, where are the things to kill?
Highemp: I don't know...
They pick themselves up and look around. They are standing on a golden walkway of light, one of many within their vision. Some vast fantastic city surrounds them, constructed of buildings in an infinite variety of shapes, sizes, and architectures, with the golden walkways threading the air between them. Portals shimmer open and closed everywhere, so quickly that it almost looks like brightly twinkling stars or even fireworks.
Soriel: Hmm, seems empty.
He sounds disappointed. He toes a mineral deposit on the golden walkway next to him. There are several such deposits scattered everywhere, on the walkways, on the buildings, and in mid-air, of many kinds of strange materials.
Highemp: Is that-- is that orichalcum? It is! What is orichalcum doing here?
Soriel: Ori-whatnow? Is it killable?
Highemp: 'Fraid not. It's a potent magical substance, but it only forms in high concentrations of aether. While there's plenty of aether flow here, it's not all that concentrated.
He looks around at some of the other nearby mineral deposits.
Highemp: There's some more orichalcum, but most of these materials I don't recognize.
New Voice: Majaethrix has a great many strange and rare materials.
The two whip around to see the first sign of life they've yet encountered in this place. It is a humanoid about their height, but with six arms.
Soriel: Who are you?
Highemp: Cripple smith?
Soriel: Compared to other hecatoncheires, he is. Most of them have a hundred arms.
Highemp: Since when did you become an anthropological expert?
Soriel: I've killed enough to know.
Highemp: Maybe don't kill this one.
Highemp: At least not yet!
Imhoptah is unperturbed, a faint smile on his face.
Imhoptah: To answer the questions you are undoubtedly wondering, this city is an interdimensional junction world. Perhaps the interdimensional junction world, though in an infinite multiverse it's hard to say for sure. It's known as Majaethrix.
Highemp: An interdimensional junction world? That explains the portals!
Soriel: Portals that lead to things to kill?
Imhoptah: Some of them, yes.
Imhoptah: If all roads lead to Rome, then this is Rome. A massive junction that can potentially connect to anywhere. The god Phractal was created here by the titans at the dawn of the multiverse. That's why the orichalcum is here. Aether from the ultranexus on Earth flows through here to everywhere else, sustaining magic throughout the cosmos.
Highemp: Aha! So while it's not a high concentration, it's enough aether flowing by over eons to form the stuff. And are these other mineral deposits similarly potent materials?
Imhoptah: Indeed. Some are excellent catalysts for interdimensional effects, others can create nigh-invulnerable alloys, and still others do odder things. It's a treasure trove for a crafter.
The two adventurers recall that he had introduced himself as a smith.
Soriel: What do you make? Are any of them golems that I can kill?
Imhoptah: I have created some golems, yes--
Soriel: Great! Where are they?
Imhoptah: Gone. I release all my creations, golems or otherwise, to the universe.
Highemp: Except this city.
This said astutely.
Imhoptah: Yes. I built this city.
Highemp: The craftsmanship is marvelous. You're as skilled as a titan, perhaps more so, but without the infinite energy source of chaos that they have.
Soriel: But why is there no one here to kill?!
Imhoptah: Sometimes others come. Spies seeking to use portals for espionage, or warlords seeking to use them as routes for conquest. All leave after a short while.
Imhoptah: Visions. One cannot exist in an interdimensional junction for very long without sensations of other realities bleeding into your psyche. It drives most mad, and at the very least unsettles the others.
Soriel: Yet you're still here.
Imhoptah: I have a very disciplined mind. Also, perhaps having extra hands to cover my eyes helps.
The two adventurers can't tell if his last line is uttered seriously or not.
Highemp: Welp, this is a great place to know for when I begin my multiversal conquest!
Soriel: You DID just hear the part where he said it drives people mad, yes?
Highemp: Pfft, I'm a powerplayer, I can find ways around that. Also, when I found a great capital, I can employ Imhoptah to build it!
Imhoptah: Present me with a challenge sufficient enough, and you may pique my interest.
Highemp: Excellent. I--
Soriel: THINGS TO KILL!
A portal has opened next to them, and a horde of beastmen can be seen through it.
Soriel: Let's go!
Highemp: But I have more questions--
Soriel grabs Highemp and jumps with him through the portal, which vanishes behind them, cutting off the swordsman's gleeful battle cry. Imhoptah chuckles before musing to himself.
Imhoptah: A multiversal capital...depending on how exotic it is, maybe I could be interested. For now, I'll go back to forging that baby universe.
He turns and trudges back to his work.
NSP: I wrote this as a sort of explanation for Majaethrix, which is mentioned once on page 1 of NeShattered but never explained. It's loosely inspired by the Axis of Time[Ext 1] from the 90s X-Men cartoon[Ext 2]. Also had the idea to introduce a character who will be the future architect of Urbis Imperia.