| “Our lord is a thing of unmuffled screams and fire. His vengeance comes in the night and blazes like a star fallen to earth. Prostrate yourselves before His servants, and he may see fit to bring his wrath upon your enemies.”|
— Father Poe
|Church of the Former Day Saint|
|Goals:||Terrorizing and extorting tribals.|
Once upon a time, Avery Poe and his companions lived in a box of off-white concrete, dull steel, and black rubber built underneath a mountain in Colorado. It was a big box filled with all the things needed to sustain a viable population of human beings for many, many years. Avery was a nuclear engineer, responsible for the upkeep of the box's fusion reactor. Avery and his co-workers took their job very seriously and they were very good at their work. Unfortunately, the long-dead contractors who built the box so many years before weren't quite as good at their job, and one day a series of tremors caused a catastrophic failure that threatened to destroy the box. While his fellow residents evacuated the box as they had rehearsed, Avery and his men began the appropriate shut down procedure for the reactor, so that it wouldn't pose a threat to the environment.
Though they lost the safety and comfort of their box, the people were saved and Avery's crew had prevented nuclear catastrophe to boot. They were now confronted with an idyllic wilderness to colonize. Within days, an orderly tent city powered by generators was established, and the people prepared to make their way in the new world. It was not meant to last. Their first contact with other humans came in the form of a hostile tribe who came in the night in numbers, to take captives as tribute to mighty Caesar. Those they could not kidnap were slain, until only Avery and a few of his compatriots who fled into the night in the direction of their old box were left. Stumbling in the darkness, Avery found the entrance to the box, and something else. When the tremors hit and the reactor compromised, the shelter had been evacuated successfully. Success had been defined as achieving evacuation under a particular threshold of casualties, in fact there had only been one. Avery was confronted with the casualty, now a glowing, skeletal wretch shrieking gibberish and clawing at its own withered flesh.
The composure that came with discipline and purpose began to crack. Avery's first week out of the box and under the open sky concluded with the mass abduction and or murder of his friends, family, and neighbors by savages and coming face-to-face with this atomic horror. As his Geiger counter clicked out an angry chorus, he resolved to use the later against the former.
Though he couldn't understand how the transformation had come to pass, or what continued to fuel the ghoul's intense radioactivity, Avery quickly surmised the danger it represented and how to contain it. They were able to salvage the materials necessary to safely contain and transport the ghoul and Avery's quest for vengeance began. His group found an encampment belonging to the Stalled Corvega tribe and unleashed the ghoul on them. The primitive hunters were too terrified of the glowing monster to put up much of a fight and most of them quickly succumbed to radiation poisoning, but Avery and his men wrangled the ghoul once more before it could reach and kill the last hunter. This set the tone for their early activities: wiping out small groups of tribals, always allowing one to escape. Eventually the regions tribes were all familiar with the angry, glowing god and the group of shining men who followed in its wake.
When Avery was one day met by a group of tribals offering him and his men baskets of fruit and jerky and a comely maiden, the genocidal wrath drained from him and was replaced with a devious desire to exploit these people. From that point on, he and some of his men acting as bodyguards would approach a tribe in advance of their "god," and demand tribute or they would unleash it. They soon thereafter also began accepting pay to attack other tribes with it. They now have a tribe of their own, comprised of women sold into their bondage and the children they've had with them, based in a hidden oasis not far from the ruins of the underground shelter from which Avery Poe and his compatriots first emerged.