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Origins and Fallout Issue #1: The Tragedy of Lord Zeras is a shelved story in The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics. Its events are specifically canon to Comprehensive and Cataclysmic Gerosha. It is the first issue of Origins, the first of seven volumes that make up The Gerosha Chronicles, and documents the Marlquaan's origins. It also serves as an origin story for Marlquaanites, the Meethlite civilization, Zeran holes, Zeran wardrobes, and Zeran teleporters. These stated themes are core-essential to Gerosha mythology.
Zeras Carpathius, who works lowly odd jobs in the streets of Rome, ends up meeting Catalina. The two are both drawn into the First-Century Christian Church, and Catalina begins urging Zeras to attend worship services more often. As they begin to advocate for the rights of the oppressed in Roman society, favor from Catalina's own family begins to waver. Zeras marries Catalina in secret, and the two move out of the city proper. However, Catalina's father grows outraged when his daughter's involvement with the church is exposed. He has both of them abducted and turned into slaves. However, Zeras uncovers a plot by the vineyard owner's higher-ups to poison the food of all Christian slaves working the vineyard. He engineers a successful escape for all the slaves, then flees.
Word gets back to Catalina's father that Zeras and Catalina have escaped yet again. Rumor is that they are heading north, towards the Germanic tribes. Caesar insists that if they are heading north and away from Rome's territory, then they're not worth pursuing. The Germanics will finish them off. However, Catalina's father doesn't want anyone to be exposed to Catalina's teachings anywhere in the world. Therefore, he hires a sadistic bounty hunter named Markus Mortikus to capture and kill Zeras and Catalina both.
With his tracking skills, Markus is able to find Zeras and Catlina's trail. He places in a town of his undercover agents to work for him. They pretend to be friendly town residents, then trap Zeras and Catalina both. The couple find themselves taken to a makeshift jail outside of town, where Markus has then brutally whipped all evening long, after stripping them naked and cutting them with knives in various places.
The couple begin praying silently for deliverance, while Markus parties the evening away outside with prostitutes from town. Zeras, weakened and bloody, notices a weakness in his rope bonding tying his hands. He begins working on it all evening, in an effort to wiggle his way free. Come noon, Markus returns. He beats them both awake, then has a guard force Zeras to watch while he uses his sword to slice Catalina's head off. He taunts Zeras further while showing off Catalina's severed head, stating his doctrine of Decolarent eam, eviscerate eum, roughly meaning "Off with her head, out with his guts!" He promises to return and slice Zeras' guts open, after he's done processing Catalinas skull to make a trophy out of it.
Zeras snaps, breaking the ropes in sheer rage and then breaking the neck of his guard. He steals the guard's sword and charges at Markus with all his might. Markus calls for backup, but the enraged Zeras kills all of them. He finishes off Markus himself by slicing Markus' guts open, repeating Markus' mantra to him. He then injures some of the fleeing prostitutes, and decapitates the ones that cannot run away. He swears vengeance on everyone who had ever wronged him, or Catalina.
One of the prostitutes in Zeras' rampage did escape, and reports to local authorities how he slaughtered everyone in the assembly except for her. Word gets back to Rome quickly, and Catalina's father declares an enraged manhunt on Zeras. Any who are accused of aiding Zeras' escape are to be immediately crucified. However, Zeras manages to stay ahead of his would-be captors. He makes his way toward a large set of hills, when dogs and soldiers begin catching up to him. He climbs atop the hill to continue getting away, still bloody from his having been tortured by Markus. He notices a storm cloud gathering near where he is, but heads towards the hilltop anyway. As the dogs start preparing for their own climb, a bolt of red lightning strikes and fills the air. Zeras vanishes from view.
Zeras finds himself on Metheel, fully healed from his injuries and now able to teleport. He begins generating Zeran holes that aid him in teleporting - or in quantum-storing objects. Alone in this strange new world, he discovers he can even transfer himself back and forth between Earth and Metheel. His exploration of his powers allows him to create Zeran technology. He studies the Marlquaan in-depth. He also gathers other exiles from Rome to Metheel, forming the Meethlite civilization.
He dies as Lord Zeras, and passes away just shy of realizing his dream of revenge. However, the new Meethlite king leads an army to take revenge on those who continue to plot ill towards the Zeran legacy.
The Tragedy of Lord Zeras began its development life as Zeras and Catalina, a beginning chapter to what would have been Ciem: Vigilante Centipede, in October of 2010. The reason for the story existing was to provide an explanation for why Zeras, a fugitive of Rome, was able to become the progenitor of Meethlite civilization. Zeras' adventures were first referenced in the 2007 Ciem webcomic, but were not elaborated on further afterward.
As the chapter on how Markus Mortikus tortured Zeras and Catalina, and murdered Catalina afterward, got longer and longer; it became obvious that the chapter needed to be broken off and turned into its own story. In the summer of 2011, the first chapter of Ciem: Vigilante Centipede was reworked to be a broad-brush overview of the entire Origins and Fallout volume, done in a similar style to how the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring movie gave viewers a broad-brush overview of Middle-Earth history leading up to where the book begins. That new chapter of Vigilante Centipede with the broad-brush overview was then renamed "20,000 Legs into the Backstory," in keeping with the Ciem work tradition of using shout-out titles. Inspiration for Zeras' rampage of revenge came from watching 2009's Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.
The Tragedy of Lord Zeras was moved to a back-burner for writing almost as soon as its tie-in with Vigilante Centipede was completed. On March 1st of 2013, artwork related to the story began to surface on DozerfleetWiki and DeviantArt, providing a visual backbone for future pursuit of writing it.
- Timeline of events in Cataclysmic Gerosha
- The Gerosha Chronicles
- Lord Zeras
- Catalina Carpathius
- Markus Mortikus