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Lord Terebinth

First Lord of Mithridatium


Lord Terebinth, also known as the Alchemist and the Scourge of Volepra, is the First Lord of Mithridatium. Beginning his life working in the alcohol business, he would eventually become a powerful drug lord, and would create a sizable criminal empire for himself. Soon becoming unsatisfied with this, Terebinth would found his own interplanetary empire, and unleash a series of bloody conquests upon the Vade galaxy, seeking to subject more territory under his rule. Committing countless heinous crimes across the galaxy, he has enslaved billions and has murdered millions across the Vade galaxy. Having long since abandoned the desire of money, Lord Terebinth solely wishes to increase his power in the Vade galaxy, and hopefully expand it to others as well. He has ruled Mithridatium for nearly four centuries, and his bloody reign has resulted in the enslavement and disfigurement of much of his native galaxy. Having effectively secured his own power, the wicked Terebinth will continue his cruel rule for ages to come.

Born on the planet Chibbade at an unknown date, the person who was to become Terebinth was born into a relatively irrelevant family. Chibbade was located in the Vade Galaxy, a backwater and relatively decentralized galaxy far from the Milky Way. A member of the Checlite species, his peoples' ancient profession of alchemy and brewing was greatly sought after in the Vade galaxy. It is assumed Terebinth left his family and homeworld immediately once he was able to, which was customary for the hardworking Checlite people. After traveling from planet to planet for some while, Terebinth found work on the forrest moon of Sumtrat. There he worked to produce alcohol, using tree resin, sap, and gum to flavor alcohol and turn it into a sweet intoxicating liqueur. Terebinth himself discovered a certain tree sap that had psychedelic properties. Once combined with sweet saps, other flavoring, and the base alcohol, the drink became an extremely intoxicating, as well as partially psychedelic beverage. It quickly became a bestseller, and was in great demand. He also harvested the sap and turned into a powerful drug, which also was a hit. For this feat, Terebinth was promoted from a low level brewer to the assistant brewmaster of the moon. Unsatisfied playing second fiddle to a superior who he believed was incompetent, Terebinth poisoned his boss' drink one evening. Naturally he was then promoted to brewmaster of the moon. Being unfazed by committing murder to further his own goals, Terebinth never fully grasped the concept of sentient life. He viewed his subordinates as cogs in a machine, little else. So in order to save money, Terebinth gradually began to retract the rights of his workers. Eventually, laborers who worked under Terebinth eventually stop being compensated, and were extremely mistreated. They became practically enslaved. With Sumtrat being located so distant from the galactic center, laws of the Galactic Assembly, the nominal legislature of the Vade galaxy, could not be effectively enforced. And so, Terebinth completely enslaved his workforce without much fuss. Slavery was a semi-common occurrence in the far reaches of the Vade galaxy, and so Terebinth was able to purchase millions of slaves to expand his labor force, and never was prosecuted. Assembly officials who came and went to inspect star systems around Sumtrat were bribed to look the other way, and not inform the Assembly of the slavery and other plethora of crimes committed by Terebinth and likeminded criminals. As Terebinth learned that he couldn't be prosecuted for his actions, the conditions of his 'workers' became atrocious. He had them work all day in the extreme heat of the moon's summers, forced unrealistic exceptions upon them, and inflicted severe punishments upon dissenting and exhausted workers. He also had his workers branded like cattle. This mistreatment only affected certain species though. Terebinth treated all fellow Checlites with respect, unless if he viewed some as rivals, in which case they were poisoned. Like most Checlites, Terebinth was a speciesist. Viewing the Checlite race as the most inherently superior species in the galaxy, he mistrusted and looked down upon most other species. Though he admired the many insectoid species of Vade for their hardworking traits, he despised most other species, especially ones he thought as 'lethargic and useless.' He had a particular distaste of mammalian races, which he viewed as barbaric and ungrateful of civilization. Most mammalians in the Vade were impoverished and living in poverty in urban worlds. Terebinth targeted these species, promising them a better life and a good paycheck if they came and worked for him on Sumtrat. The dense forests prevented pictures being taken on the planet, and so only photos and videos that were prerecording were advertised. These ads painted Sumtrat as a land of great opportunity. If you worked hard, you would get compensated accordingly. These were all lies of course. If any worker on Sumtrat tried to speak out about the actual working conditions of the moon, they'd be beaten and tortured to death by Terebinth's 'hired hands,' mercenaries paid to act as enforcers of his will. Poverty-stricken laborers who came to Sumtrat hoping for a better live and a well paying job were instead practically sold into slavery. Slavery allowed him to maximize production of alcohol and drugs, and the efficiency of Terebinth's business was well noted throughout the market. After decades of running the alcohol/drug production on Sumtrat, Terebinth realized his situation was becoming untenable: soon the trees would be sucked dry of all their special saps and resins, most importantly the psychedelic sap, a key ingredient in his bestselling liqueur and drug. Also, the squalor the slaves worked in day after day was filthy and disgusting, and disease was rampant. If a disease swept through the slave population, they could be wiped out in a short amount of time. But more and more laborers continued to be deceived into working on Sumtrat and overcrowded the small moon. With droves of unsuspecting laborers and purchased slaves pouring onto the small moon, overcrowding was becoming a major problem, and the fear of a slave revolt was ever present.

Terebinth thus decided that he needed to expand his operation. With the immense wealth he had acquired through the alcohol and drug trade, he bought more land across the galaxy from shady sellers and began constructing massive facilities that produced a synthetic version of his sap flavor. He managed to buy a whole planet, and after quietly enslaving and killing off its natives, he dumped hundreds of thousands of slaves onto the world and instructed them to begin constructing brewing and distilling facilities, as well as the synthetic production plants. This planet, Balaria, had scorching hot summers and frigid winters. The first few years of operating on Balaria proved devastating for the enslaved workers, and they died in droves from the planet's extreme conditions, as well as from disease and exhaustion. Angered by this setback, Terebinth demanded his overseers work the slaves twice as harder in order to make up for the lost time. After many long and arduous years, Balaria was covered in alcohol and drug producing industrial complexes. Terebinth's new supply of drugs and booze was eagerly sold across the Vade Galaxy. Consumers noted that the taste was not too dissimilar to the Sumtrat produced products, and some went as far and said the synthetic products produced on Balaria were better than the real thing from Sumtrat. This delighted Terebinth, and he began hiring more and more workers in order to accommodate the high demand in supply. Terebinth continued buying plots of land and even entire moons and planets and used them as giant factories and plantations. Eventually the atrocious working conditions on these factories and farms was discovered, but no one really cared. The Vade Galaxy had always been a quite a cutthroat place, and doing whatever was necessary to succeed was widely accepted among its populace. In order to diversify his products, Terebinth sent out multiple expeditions to find new types of plant life, and retrieve their saps and resin. If it was determined the sap or resin's flavor tasted good, then Terebinth bought the forrest and jungles these plants resided in. 'Tropical Sap Brew' became a hit, with its sweet and also tart favoring quickly distinguishing itself in the market.

After more decades working in this trade, Terebinth decided it was time to branch out. He decided to delve further into the lucrative drug market. A newly discovered drug, called Gem, was currently in high demand across the galaxy. It quickly caught his eye. Located only on certain planets in the Vade, it was a mineral that once crushed into a fine powder, could be ingested. It had many properties that were extremely addictive. Terebinth purchased a load of mining equipment and sent out expeditions to discover Gem deposits across the Vade. He was surprised once his associates quickly contacted and told him that a planet located in close proximity to Balaria was home to huge deposits of Gem. Practically overflowing with the mineral, the rainy rocky planet of Hignorix was mostly uninhabited. However, there were small teams of miners already working illegally on the planet, mining huge deposits of Gem. Not willing to let competitors steal his prize, Terebinth dispatched his enforcers to deal with them. Strike teams assaulted the scattered teams of miners and quickly subdued them. Once they were all taken care of, slaves were brought onto Highnorix, instructed on how to use the mining equipment, and then were forced to find and mine Gem. Once the mineral was mined, it was taken off world to the nearby moon of Panorix. There facilities had been constructed which would refine the mineral, crush it, and make suitable for consumption. The illicit substance was then mass produced, and it made Terebinth and his associates rich. Though rivals in the drug business quickly began to oppose Terebinth's near monopoly on Gem. Bloody gang wars broke out across several planets, between Terebinth's enterprise and various rival criminal organizations. The large and well disciplined mercenary army of Terebinth quickly defeated the criminal rabble that opposed them. Planets belonging to these rival drug lords were to be incorporated into Terebinth's own enterprise, and Terebinth had military outposts set up on these worlds. His empire was growing ever larger, and Terebinth's monopoly on the Gem trade was solidified. However, Gem and similar drugs were officialy outlawed throughout the Vade, by decree of the Galactic Assembly Authority. The GAA had no real authority, and only a few planets actually followed their laws. But a new and ambitious generation of leaders now ran the GAA, and they were determined to solidify their power back in the Vade Galaxy, and were also immune to bribes and threats. Terebinth and his growing criminal empire was increasingly growing in size and influence. His domain, spanning over multiple planets and star systems, was a stronger regional power than the whole GAA itself. As such, the GAA saw destroying Terebinth's organization would send a message throughout the Vade, and rejuvenate the Assembly and gain back popular support. The Assembly demanded that Terebinth cease infringing on Galactic law, and give up the planets he bought and surrender his illegal supplies of psychedelic alcohol and illicit drugs, as well free his ill treated workers from bondage. Terebinth refused, and claimed that his holdings did not fall under GAA jurisdiction, and their laws had no affect over him. The GAA then assembled a sizable fleet and army, and planned to make Terebinth pay for his defiance. The whole Vade watched this event closely. It could either mean the resurgence of the GAA, or its ultimate dissolution. Terebinth was not keen in getting his criminal empire torn apart by some bureaucracy, and so he tripled the size of his mercenary army. Now he possessed whole armadas and armies of mercenaries loyal to him. He positioned his forces mostly around Balaria and Highnorix, but a small contingent was also sent to guard the Sumtrat moon.

Terebinth feared that the Assembly fleet would blockade the trade routes vital to his business, and strangle his enterprise. However these worries were misplaced, as the GAA fleet, eager for victory, moved past the trade routes and planned to destroy the mercenary fleet in a direct confrontation. Being far from its home base, the Assembly had no reserves and concentrated all its forces upon the mercenary armada. A massive battle ensued, and both sides began to take heavy losses. After some time, the Assembly fleet began pushing Terebinth's armada back, and their defensive line was close to breaking. However, quick thinking on the Sumtrat Fleet's commander won the day. The Sumtrat defense fleet, after noticing no Assembly fleet was anywhere near the moon, immediately departed for Balaria to assist in the world's defense. It arrived to the battle just as the Balaria defense fleet was about to collapse. The small Sumtrat fleet raced into battle, firing on the exposed rears of the Assembly fleet. Most of the Assembly fighters had been depleted in the battle, and could not defend their capital ships against the Sumtrat force. As such, their engines were destroyed, and the ships were left more or less motionless. The Balaria-Highnorix fleet then stopped its retreat and assaulted the crippled Assembly armada, and completely obliterated it. Hardly any GAA ships were able to escape the slaughter. Terebinth was overjoyed at this victory, and he personally promoted the Sumtrat commander to Grand Admiral of the Armada for his decisive quick thinking that won the battle. Humiliated across the Vade, the Galactic Assembly quickly disintegrated as its power base lost interest and all faith in it. Terebinth became some sort of celebrity after the battle, which was named the Massacre of the Balarian Belt, after the nearby asteroid field the battle was fought next to. Droves of mercenaries pledged to fight for Terebinth, and were hastily accepted into Terebinth's growing empire. With this massive army, Terebinth ordered a new campaign be fought, in which dozens of planets were to be conquered in his name. His massive force easily subjugated these unfortunate planets and moons. Their native populations, if deemed as 'useless,' were exterminated. If they were deemed as 'useful solely in a labor capacity,' they would be enslaved. Planets conquered by Terebinth were plundered, and their resources were harvested or mined by slave labor. Eventually, Terebinth's holdings, initially spread far apart in different star systems, were all connected, and fused together into some massive interplanetary collective. Terebinth then wished to legitimize his criminal enterprise by turning it into some sort of nation. He conquered a wealthy urban planet and named it Rolvaonerth, and declared it his capital and official seat of power. Declaring a new state to be formed in the Vade galaxy, Mithridatium was born. No longer was Terebinth the boss of a measly criminal organization, but was now the ruler of a centralized interplanetary empire.

Immediately, surrounding systems pledged their allegiance to Terebinth, lest their populations be brutally subjugated and enslaved, or worse. Terebinth proclaimed himself the 'First Lord' of this new realm, reminding his subjects that he was their absolute ruler. Conquests of planets which had not pledged allegiance to Terebinth were frequently commenced, and a bloody trail followed the Mithridatian Armada as its forces enslaved and brutalized peoples across the Vade Galaxy. And with the permanent contract with the elite Sorophian mercenaries, Terebinth's military would become one of the best fighting forces throughout all of the Vade. Soon most star systems realized that resistance against Mithridatium was futile, and they all pledged their loyalty to him. Lord Terebinth demanded a hefty tribute of slaves and resources from each star system, and if they failed to produce, their entire native population would be condemned to perpetual servitude. Their resources would also be ceaselessly plundered. After decade upon decade of ceaseless wars and invasions, Lord Terebinth decided that he had to first consolidate his power in the territory he currently possessed before conquering more planets and species. Garrisons of soldiers were stationed on every planet, moon, and planetoid within Mithridatian space, to oversee the collection of tribute as well as to fend off any insurrections, and keep the local slaves in check. A massive program of industrialization was launched, and once agriculture-dependent or backwater worlds had their landscapes destroyed and replaced with massive industrial complexes. Worlds became disfigured beyond recognition, and were covered in factories and mines. Aquatic words also had their waters drained wholly. The once beautiful and remote edge of the Vade galaxy was transformed into a horrid mess. Agriculture planets weren't much better, as their once lush forests and jungles were bulldozed and made way for sprawling plantations. Urban planets were spared, as they housed the ruling elite who coordinated invasions and managed production of the many resources which were exported throughout the Vade. New types of drugs and other illicit substances were discovered and they were sold and traded across the galaxy, alongside the plethora of goods that Mithridatium provided. Lord Terebinth had since become disinterested with money, as he had as much as he could ever want. Instead, he craves more power over the Vade Galaxy. His newly industrialized Mithridatium was now ready for a new series of conquests, which were eagerly initiated. This 'second wave,' as it became known, was much less bloody than the first, as most systems surrendered and were assimilated without much fuss.

However in the midst of this second wave, a huge slave revolt occurred deep within Mithridatian space. Slaves managed to overpower the garrisons meant to guard them, and they destroyed the factories, mines, or plantations where they worked, and sought to cause as much damage as possible. Once informed about the incidents, Lord Terebinth became so enraged that he had the regional governors of the rebellious systems executed, along with their staff. Next, he ordered a fleet stationed near Zilara to be dispatched to the rebellious worlds and make examples of those who defied him. The fleet made haste and arrived quickly at the Volepra System, the star system where rebel activity was most significant. They had orders to completely exterminate the population of every planet in the Volepran system, even if said population had not participated in any revolt, and they mercilessly carried out these orders. Orbital bombardment wiped the rebels and all natives out completely. The facilities on the planets had already been damaged beyond repair by the slaves were leveled as well, and so their destruction meant little to Terebinth. The precision and effectiveness of the fleet was made well known throughout Mithridatium. For the utter extermination of both the revolting slaves as well as the innocent native populations of the Volepran System, Terebinth was given the name 'Scourge of Volepra.' Any slaves who had thoughts of rebelling soon abandoned these ideas when they learned of the bloody pacification of Volepra. Determined to make sure likeminded slave revolts never occurred again, Lord Terebinth decreed that all slaves be mechanically augmented, much like his warrior species. Their brains would be replaced by a robotic transplant which acted out orders without question and to the utmost efficiently. Now enslaved workers could work without rest or food for days, but were powered down to give their organic bodies rest, and were fed a nutritional fluid in order to nourish their bodies. This new program was quite costly and lengthy, and it eventually was partially canceled. However, it was used as a grim punishment for unruly or unproductive slaves or any dissident. It became known as 'Transplansion.' It became feared across Mithridatium, as well as the whole Vade galaxy. Its reputation as a fate worse than death became well known, and it propelled the second wave of conquests even faster, for the Mithridatians claimed that people who resisted their conquest would all be subjected to Transplansion. After about seven more long years, the second wave of invasions would end, and the Mithridatian policy of tribute extraction and wide scale industrialization was subjected to the newly assimilated systems. Mithridatium has yet to launch a Third Wave of conquests, though it is indeed being planned. Lord Terebinth, unsatisfied with what the Vade galaxy has to offer, seeks to explore and possibly invade other galaxies.

Lord Terebinth rules Mithridatium with an iron fist, and tolerates no dissidence. A strict racial pyramid has been put in place by Terebinth, in which Checlites and other 'civilized' species are placed on the top, and 'mindless' and 'barbaric' species make up the bottom. These races placed on the bottom end are all enslaved. Whenever a new sentient race is discovered by the Mithridatians, they are immediately analyzed and then categorized into the racial pyramid. If a newly discovered species is deemed unable to function in Mithridatian society, then they are swiftly exterminated. Mithridatium has a state religion, named the Followers of Tere, where Lord Terebinth is worshiped as a god. It has failed to gain many supporters, though the elite of Mithridatian society are forced to become practicing members of this faith if they wish to gain the favor of Lord Terebinth. Terebinth himself only founded the religion it order to humiliate elites and the wealthy by making them literally bow down and worship him, for his own amusement. Most planets within Mithridatium are relatively prosperous, though they must supply the government a supply of slaves or resources when called upon. This system of tribute paying is common for most Mithridatian planets. Slave colonies are planets or moons where slavery is practiced, in order to extract resources or to manufacture things. These worlds are notoriously filthy and deplorable. Enemies of the state are usually enslaved and thrown off to die in these facilities, along with anyone Terebinth happens to dislike. Casinos are very common on Mithridatian worlds, and gambling is a booming industry. And although Terebinth is indeed a tyrant, and has strong control over his realm, his authority is quite weak in many star systems, those being ones on the fringes of Mithridatian space. As such, crime and piracy is rampant in these star systems, and the First Lord seems strangely disinterested in restoring order to these turbulent places, opting rather to rule these areas through his many criminal proxies.

Terebinth himself, a member of the Checlite species, is a humanoid creature that stands about seven feet tall. Unable to breath in most planets' atmospheres, he is required to wear a bulky protective helmet, which is filled with a gelatinous liquid substance, which supplies him with nutrition, breathable chemicals, and it keeps his sensitive skin at a cool temperature. However, this substance tends to clog up his feeding tubes, and the sludge can sometimes leak out and cause a mess. This sludge is made to replicate the thick liquid in which Checlites are raised in. Most if not all Checlites wear similar devices to the one worn by Terebinth, if not inferior variants. The sludge placed in the helmet does not require him to eat food like most organic creatures. Though Terebinth can indulge in flavored beverages or narcotics by consuming them through his feeding tubes. There the liquids are mixed up with the gelatinous substance already within the helmet, and it creates a concoction which most would find repulsive, but Checlites and Lord Terebinth in particular, find delicious. The feeding tubes can also suck up small solid/powdery items, like the Gem drug, which the gelatinous liquid can dissolve for Terebinth to consume and thereby enjoy. Straw like systems can be used by Terebinth inside his helmet, where tobacco emitters can be inserted into his feeding tubes, then the vapor travels through a straw and directly into his mouth. This system allows Terebinth to smoke various substances, without having them be blocked out by the liquid in his helmet. Thick tubes located on theses of the helmet connect to Terebinth's chest armor, and they fill up a sac which is located right onto his exposed skin, near his lower chest. There it keeps his chest, and therefore his vital organs, always cool and saturated. Due to the liquid sludge inside their helmets, all Checlites' speech sounds like a gurgling and grunting jargon. It is extremely difficult to translate, and so specially trained servants and robots accompany Lord Terebinth around and decipher his gurgling sounds to his subordinates. In order to protect the rest of his sensitive skin, Terebinth wears thick robes and armor. He wears a specially designed suit, which keeps his body temperature cool and himself relaxed. The outer layer of the suit appears like armor, in order to further protect the limbs of the wearer. Usually always hanging from Lord Terebinth's chest are a series of tubed devices that he often indulges himself with. These are the aforementioned substance emitters which Terebinth 'drinks' or 'smokes' from. He aways carries around a diverse set of flavors, and they are always replenished by his staff once he has used all of them up. A few of the devices contain drugs or tobacco, like Terebinth's preferred drug, Gem. Though he makes sure not to indulge in narcotics too much, lest he become unable to function adequately. Terebinth is always flanked by his dozens of bodyguards and also his personal entourage, consisting of translators, aides, personal friends, entertainers, and concubines. The concubines are there only for show, though. Terebinth has numerous residences throughout Mithridatian Space, and his official residence is a massive spire located on the capital, Rolvaonerth. Though his preferred home is a massive palace located on the planet Rutragua, which is much more secluded and quiet, much to the First Lord's liking. He also possesses a fleet of his own personal yachts, which he uses to shuttle himself and his entourage across Mithridatium and the Vade galaxy. In terms of personality, Terebinth is vain, self-centered, and often egomaniacal. He shows zero remorse or guilt for his actions, and feels no kind of compassion whatsoever. Terebinth is also obsessed with preserving his own life, and has his scientists constantly working to produce aliments and other remedies intended to preserve and elongate his life. It is unknown whether or not these aliments actually work or not, but Terebinth seems to believe they do, and he can't get enough of them. Terebinth is frail and sickly, being constantly wrought by aching and severe pain due to the number of harmful chemicals he injects into his body. Though by taking a specific remedy, he is able to appease the pain for a short while. Terebinth claims that he is immortal, and unable to grow old or get ill. To entertain himself, the First Lord likes to gamble, partially because he never loses. He also likes to sometimes oversee the execution of traitors or rebels, instructing what kind of torture methods are to be inflicted upon them. His sadistic tendencies appear to be mostly satisfied by this. Throwing lavish parties and banquets for his entourage is also a hobby of his. Listening to symphonic music pleases him, too. Despite his fearsome and god-like reputation, in actuality Terebinth is a cowardly despot who struggles to maintain control over his vast realm. Extremely paranoid, he often orders the random destruction of cities and settlements which he claims were plotting against him. And he often kills those whom he perceives as rivals. Also portraying himself as benevolent, Terebinth sometimes showers expensive gifts upon his poorest subjects in order to make himself look generous and caring. Most of his subjects easily see through the lies which Terebinth blankets himself with, and despise him as a cruel dictator. Though there is nothing they do against him that wouldn't be met with the complete destruction of their own communities or even planets. And so Terebinth rules through fear, with his oppressed populace both weary and petrified of their First Lord.