Manco is a tough and tanky melee fighter. His energy enhanced greatsword allows him to easily cut through the toughest opponents, while his mutate body affords him extra strength to defeat anyone in his path, on his journey for vengeance against those who killed his husband.
Manco's lost love and forced mutatation and disfigurements fuel his rage. He is on a mission to hunt down the mysterious Dr. Umberwung and enact his revenge.
“Be careful,” Tumas stated flatly. “You may be here for your size, but I don’t want to lose you due to stupid accidents.”
Tumas and Gromdor stood outside an ancient South American civilization, dating back more than 8,000 years. Those who knew of the historical lore would call this place an Incan temple, the rest simply didn’t care what its name was. Apathy amongst the poor was overwhelming.
Their home city was a few kilometers away and was originally established in the 20th century as the city of Lima in the country formerly known as Peru. Now it was just another nearly destroyed wasteland town which sprawled as far as a person could see. It was rough and poor and the heat of South America exacerbated the problem, but Tumas knew there was great wealth in the ruins deep under the hills. Although millennia had passed, the stories of gold and gems made the risk worth the effort of the taking. The men didn’t really believe there would be any jewels or golden riches left after all this time, they assumed those were simply tales told to keep people away from the dig sites. Most likely these ancient locations were hideouts for thugs and vandals, a safe place to stash their gear. If they found gear and tech instead of gems, all the better.
“The tunnels will take us there. I have the lantern; you carry the weapons.” Gromdor was accustomed to taking orders from his husband, even though he dwarfed him in size. Tumas, being a very cleverer man, fancied himself the brains of the relationship, and Gromdor, being the largest but also far more modest, was happy to be the muscle. Tumas’ parents operated a repair shop in the wasteland town; he had the forethought to borrow an energy rifle for his partner and himself.
“When we get there, I’ll show you which wall I saw the glint bounce off. It was an accident I saw it in the first place, I think it’s been missed all these years, covered in dust. I’m hoping it’s at least worth melting down. You’re tall enough to reach it if you stand on my shoulders, I can prop myself against the wall. We come back out the way we came in, it’s a bit maze-y in there. You don’t want to get lost in these ruins, the animals have reclaimed much of this place, and I don’t want to be here after nightfall.” Tumas explained.
As the men drew closer to the site they discovered signs of activity. Upon reaching a dozen meters from the main entrance they found footprints in the soft wet dirt indicating someone had been by recently. A quick scan of the skyline indicated Scout Drones hovering overhead, DAGs dangling just below them. There was no easy way in past the guard drones overhead via surface route to the main entrances. Tumas knew of secret tunnels, he had stumbled upon them while scavenging for salvage from a drone crash.
Tumas had been in before however Gromdor had reservations.
With only a nod the pair entered the crumbling tunnels several hours before dark and went deep underground. Tumas lead the way; it didn’t take long before Gromdor was completely disoriented. Gromdor knew he would never find his way back alone, he felt very much as if they were entering the labyrinth home of a jungle arachnid from children’s stories.
“Quietly.” Tumas whispered to Gromdor. They crept along the corridors for more than an hour before emerging in a large, cavernous room. Hundreds-year-old electrical excavation lights were littered about the floor debris and strung along the walls. Tumas shone his flashlight around the room looking for something.
“Ok. There,” he said, pointing his light to the wall at the middle of the chamber. Gromdor noticed the slight golden glint, made visible only by the reflected light coming from Tumas’ flashlight. Whatever it was, the promise of what it could be was insidiously tantalizing. It could be nothing more than a trick of the light, a false golden reflection, or it could be the tip of a priceless artifact, something that could move their family away from the wastelands, possibly even into a city in the sky.
“Let’s get it quickly and let’s go.” Tumas whispered, his voice just barely echoing off the still walls, betraying his desire to remain unheard.
Gromdor edged his way around massive stones and laid his bare hands on the dusty stone wall, it’s rough surface cool to the touch. Tumas moved closer to him but Gromdor waved him off.
“I won’t need your shoulders, I can move these in place. Keep an eye out.” Gromdor said, shifting a large boulder in place, its stone-on-stone grinding making more noise than either of them wanted.
Once in place, Gromdor hoisted himself up, covering his tattered pants and ragged shirt in a dingy brown dust. He stood on the boulder and reached for the golden glint. His hands moved to wipe away the ageless dirt covering it. It was a large golden half-sphere, about the size of the ball the boys in the slums kicked around. Wiping the settled dust revealed its size and anchor points. It was fully opaque and appeared to be solid.
The object was firmly set in the stone and Gromdor supposed it had been there for thousands of years. Gromdor knew he had the strength to wrench it loose; at most he might need the help of some steel for leverage. He slid the broad edge of his work knife along the edge and gave it one large heave. The relic shattered in his hands, the force of his pull and the edge of the blade made quick work of the glass. Gromdor toppled off his stone and onto the hard rock floor below.
“What… “Tumas began, realizing everything wasn’t as it should have been. The relic wasn’t gold at all. It was glass.
“Gold doesn’t splinter. That’s…” Tumas began, looking around suspiciously at their surroundings. “This isn’t good…”
Faint rustling and clacking echoed from one of the many corridors, bouncing off in every direction. Then another. They were not alone.
“This isn’t good; we need to go!” he snapped at Gromdor.
Acting on instinct Gromdor did as he was told; the men raced back to the room entrance. Too late they realized their exit blocked to them. From every entryway into the corridor misshapen silhouettes moved into the light, their body’s unnatural combinations of humans stitched with inhuman parts. Oversized animal claws poorly attached to human arms, massive insect bodies grafted in place of legs.
Gromdor and Tumas slid to a stop and walked slowly backward; a better defensible position was back-to-back.
“Well…” a deep voice spoke, it’s true sound muffled behind a mask. A large man, draped in layers of heavy leather scraps pushed his way to the front, “grave robbers…”.
Gromdor and Tumas realized they were trapped. Dozens of the wretched inhuman men surrounded them, draped in torn clothing not fit for the beasts they had been turned into. Both men, weapons raised, scanned their captors, waited for the right moment to take action.
“The big one will make a fine substitute vessel,” the leader said eyeing Gromdor, “the small one is of no use to us.” He waved his hand dismissively. “Do what needs to be done.”
Tumas and Gromdor opened fire, their fingers pulled back hard against the cold metal triggers. Bodies came at them, wave after wave. Blood, skin, and bone exploded through the air, mixed with unnatural pieces of chitin and scales. The creatures pushed their way between rocks and bodies, overwhelming the men through sheer force of numbers. Their disregard for fallen comrades a macabre homage to death. Tumas, cleverer but not as quick, turned in time to watch a long wooden shaft bury itself deep into his torso, impaling him through his back.
“Tumas!” Gromdor yelled, unable to save his husband, he reacted in the only way he knew how, by pummeling his husband’s killer with the butt of his rifle. “My love, do not die!” He shouted.
Without pause the mutates assailed Gromdor, their attacks affording him no mercy, no time to grieve. He swung at them with his well-muscled arms, his fists breaking bone, but in the end, he was overcome. Gromdor, pinned to the ground, watched as the leader dragged his limbs on the craggy stone floor, the scratching of his clawed arms lost to Gromdor’s screams. Gromdor could see the discarded corpse of Tumas a few yards away, his once beautiful eyes now lifelessly looking at him for answers.
“See, the gods get angry,” the leader spoke, “when those unworthy try to take their treasures. That’s what the glass relics are for.” The leader stood over him, his putrid scorpion thorax just inches from Gromdor’s face. “This one will make a fitting new warrior for the old ones,” he grinned a toothy smile as he spoke the last words, swinging his scorpion tail at the disabled man.
For Gromdor all went dark.
He awoke in the chamber of Manco, deep underground, and squinted in the flickering light.
“Back from the dead,” a familiar voice echoed in the dark. Gromdor staggered, unable to see, his eyes blurred, his head swimming with nausea. His body felt different; somehow he was more balanced, heavier than before.
“You have made a fitting warrior for the old ones,” the voice chided him. “You are lucky, you are so big, we only fed half of you to the pit.”
Gromdor’s vision returned slowly, painfully, along with his senses. He tried to feel his body, to make sense of what the voice was saying to him, and what his mind was telling him was wrong. His right arm was tethered to a metal rod, his left free to move over his body. His mind recoiled in horror as his hand felt cold and lifeless chitin where once had been his legs. He screamed in horror and fear.
“All that is left is to affix your mask. You will serve well in the brotherhood,” the voice echoed off the walls.
The room swam as Gromdor’s mind raced. He did not know what his body had become, but he knew well enough that he did not want any more of what these monsters had to offer. The lights to the room switched on, and his vision burned white.
“You are lucky, the old ones chose you for a special purpose, unlike your partner.” The leader of the mutates scuttled towards him, the grotesquerie of his body made painfully obvious by the near blinding light of the room.
The half-monster leaned in close to Gromdor’s face, “I have enjoyed taking everything from you, and giving you even more in return,” spittle dripping from his mouth as he spoke. The mutate smiled and gestured towards the corner of the room where Tumas’ body lie in a heap.
Gromdor’s fear and confusion left him in a cold-sweat rush of rage. His left arm snapped to the mutate’s throat, gripping it tightly.
“You took my Tumas from me!” He shouted into the leader’s face, “Tell me why!”
The mutate looked at him and sneered through strained breath, “Fool…it was… Umberwung…he created us… all” he rasped seconds before Gromdor crushed his windpipe and tore his throat from his body.
The mutate’s lifeless corpse slumped unceremoniously to the ground. Gromdor saw for the first time that his right hand had been replaced with a biomechanical claw hybrid, half technology and half insect.
Gromdor tore at the leather thong holding his clawed hand in place, easily ripping himself free of the bindings; his lower body still held in place. He twisted at and saw what he had been turned into. Gromdor was now a monster like the rest of them, he was half-man, half-scorpion. His tremendous body had been grafted onto an enlarged scorpion torso and tail at the waist. The bestial body still held in place by old leather straps with equally poor buckles.
Within moments the giant man tore himself free. He could feel the power of his new body coursing through him. He moved swiftly over to the body of his fallen love.
“Nos sonhos e no amor não há impossibilidades,” Gromdor spoke softly in the language of his forefathers, gently lifting Tumas’ body. “I will give them what they wanted, I will become Manco, and I will destroy every one of them,” he vowed.
Gromdor left the confines of the old ruins, encountering little resistance from his captors, easily dispatching anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.
Many weeks later, a party of reavers, long-scouts from the ancient temple, returned home, loot and spoils of pillage in tow.
Their holdfast destroyed, the stones that had once stood for thousands of years now collapsed in heaps of useless rubble, smoke still drifting in tendrils to the sky.
Their only clue as to what had happened scrawled in blood along a sole standing wall.
Manco will revenge.
A series of quick thrusts from your sword damages enemies hit.
Swinging your sword in much wider arcs, you slash your enemies with heavier attacks dealing moderate damage.
Releasing an electrical blast from your claw, you deal moderate damage to enemies hit.
Filling with rage, your melee damage is increased.
Swinging your sword in a wide arc you damage enemies with your energy infused blade.
Focusing your inner strength you fly into an intense rage, lashing out with your sword and tail damaging any enemies unfortunate enough to be near you.