Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.

Shift in Power

The Dark One was locked away deep within the darkest depths of reality and his most capable generals had been incarcerated throughout the rest of the universe. The traitor that had brought The Dark One near to victory had been stripped of his physical form and tossed far from where he could prove a problem for eons to come. As the remainder of Paladin’s army sought to hunt down those that had served The Dark One, but escaped his fate, the more powerful survivors of the Dark Army tried to regroup.

Aside from his generals, who had served loyally and competently throughout his campaign, The Dark One’s forces had been made up mostly of those he had turned to his will. Twisted alien races that had been promised power in the growing cosmos, malignant spirits that had been promised souls to torment and astral parasites that served in return for the opportunity to plunder the planets they conquered in his name. Although they had negotiated the terms of their service, they had been little more than toys and puppets for The Dark One in his fight against Paladin. Yet there were still some that possessed the ambition, the cunning and the intelligence to seize upon the opportunity defeat had granted them. The Dark One was gone and in his absence an opportunity to take control of the Dark Army had arisen.

The more ambitious survivors of The Dark One’s soldiers pushed themselves as the most likely candidates to succeed him. They adopted the title of Dark gods and proclaimed themselves superior to all others. While some had been higher ranking warriors and valued by their generals, others had been mere servants that chose to take the opportunity they had been granted. Most proclaimed themselves his rightful successor, although a few claimed only to be loyal servants following his previous instructions.

The Dark One had led alone, despite having generals at his disposal. He had not shared his power or his position and he had ruled over those that followed him, crushing any opposition or supposed threat. It was only fitting therefore that those seeking to replace him demanded the same absolute loyalty and obedience from those they saw as their subordinates. They made their claims and waited for the Dark Army to flock to their banner, not anticipating that with more than one potential leader claiming the position that some would naturally chose their rivals. It was in that way that clans arose claiming that they were the superior forces and threatening retribution on those that disagreed. The Dark Army descended into a bitter civil war as the many factions fought for supremacy. Eventually through conquest and alliances three of the Dark Gods emerged to claim their place as The Dark One’s successor.

The most powerful was Jeng’garr, the self-proclaimed Source of Evil. While to those that would come later all of the Dark Gods were immortal, they were capable of killing each other. Jeng’garr it seemed was immune from harm by either mortal or non-mortal means. Jeng’garr existed as dark energy possessing a lesser host. When the host was destroyed Jeng’garr would simply find a new host and without a host it was immune to harm. Jeng’garr was believed by many to have been one of those spawned by the Dark One himself. Currently inhabiting the body of a female, she was seductive, manipulative and vicious. She had drawn many an opponent in with her acts of supposed weakness only to strike the moment they fell for her deception. Jeng’garr led an army of those representing what some would consider the sinful evils.

Mallerok was considered second only to Jeng’garr, and many felt that was only because the two had never fought without interruption. While Jeng’garr sought the ordered corruption and subjugation of existence, Mallerok was wanted chaos and destruction. Mallerok corrupted all that followed it. Mallerok’s influence could be felt throughout existence and while it lacked Jeng’garr’s immortality, it was simply too vast to slay. In opposition to Jeng’garr taking on a female host, Mallerok was male. He was an unorthodox tactician, as skilled in planning as he was in combat. His schemes were designed to spread discord and chaos. He grew stronger as the universe around him burned.

Finally there was Sinn’narr. Compared to Jeng’garr and Mallerok, Sinn’narr was considered weak. He Sinn’narr lacked Jeng’garr’s immortal form and Mallerok’s ability to spread chaos wherever he went; he was magically and physically weaker than either of his rivals, but was ambitious and willing to do anything to get ahead. Sinn’narr emulated Mallerok, feeding off the energy of the Universe around him.

The last of Dark One’s most likely successors had yet to emerge as Sinn’narr, Mallerok and Jeng’garr fought. It was clear that Sinn’narr was outmatched, likely only considered a contender because reality seemed to favour the underdog.

The infighting spanned for countless ages. It was impossible for the combatants to eliminate their opposition when they had to protect themselves on two fronts. Sinn’narr proved to be a frustrating foe since his actions often prevented the other two from finishing their battles. Eventually Jeng’garr and Mallerok joined forces, just long enough to strike against Sinn’narr, easily disabling their weaker foe. By mutual agreement they did not finish him, deciding that the victor of their confrontation would do so as a sign that they had triumphed.

Sinn’narr didn’t know what became of the others. When he had regained awareness, he had sought them out but could find no trace of them. He hoped that they had destroyed each other although witnesses had suggested that Mallerok had somehow tricked Jeng’garr into a battle she could not win before he too found himself in a losing battle and that both had somehow been imprisoned far away. Regardless of where they had gone, Sinn’narr had emerged as the unlikely victor, only to discover that his efforts had been for nought; in his absence other Dark Gods had emerged to claim the title of Dark One and with the continuous infighting, the idea of there being one absolute force of evil had been dismissed.

The alleged throne of The Dark One – for there were many who claimed that he had never sat upon it and would never have settled for any throne other than that of his father – lay empty for a long time. While those that considered themselves the natural successors of The Dark One and Mortilus fought each other for dominance, there were others waiting in the shadows, watching for an opportunity to snatch power. And when those fighting for dominance suddenly vanished, the Dark Gods that had held back, emerged to stake their claims.

Since claiming the throne was seen as counter productive to their aims, the idea of there being one absolute force of evil had been dismissed. Instead of opposing each other they agreed to share power until a clear leader emerged. The evil Satan, the prideful Lucifer, the devious Mephisto, the mighty Poneros, the invincible Oligar, and the twisted Haz’tur; the disfigured Javius and the machine goddess Hysteria, along with their lesser siblings Nore, Gorg, Mu, and finally Ramon. Each claimed their own territory As they were joined by others that not been slaughtered in the previous fighting.

The followers of Mortilus snatched up the territories that had not been claimed. They considered themselves first class demons or devils as they preferred. The titles had little importance other than bolstering their egos. Those that were left were simply regarded as demons and developed their own caste system always with the intention of making themselves seem more important than those around them.

And with the question of who would lead settled by a mutual agreement to fight it out at a later date, the Dark Gods were able to turn their attention back to their real enemies. Before the infighting it had been discovered that there were ways to breach the barriers between the many planes of existence, allowing them to descend or in some cases arise to the where the most vulnerable beings waited to be consumed and tormented by a war they could never understand.

While the Dark Army had torn itself apart over a title, the remainder of Paladin’s army had found a new home. Many of the realms they had occupied during the war had been devastated by The Dark One’s forces. Instead of rebuilding they had found a dimension that could accommodate the remaining tribes. They established new territories there.

As the civil war between the dark factions reached an end, the opposing sides turned their attention back to the real war. It seemed that they had failed to notice the distance and obstacles to a direct attack upon the opposing side. There were new dimensions in the way that would need to be claimed before that could happen. Or perhaps for now the glory of claiming those dimensions would serve as sufficient reward for their ongoing battle.

Both sides boasted powerful entities capable of manipulating mortals on a mental, physical and magical level. Only the soul was immune to these influences since the only way a soul could be controlled was if the individual wished it to be controlled. However, as the realms grew larger, so the cost of intervention in the world of mortals became ever greater, making such an act physically impossible. A demon could not set foot in the mortal world and use his great power to subjugate the population; angels also found it increasingly difficult to carry out pointless campaigns for the greater good. At least, not without significant cost. After one demon broke through the barriers only to become trapped in a pocket dimension, the true cost was clear for all to see.

The former servants of Paladin could freely enter the mortal realms by sacrificing their greater powers and descending to near-mortal levels. That meant they could take on an almost normal appearance. Those who existed in a spiritual form had to find a host. Dead bodies, plants and even rocks were acceptable hosts. Some spirits even managed to manipulate technology and inhabit everyday objects.

The main problem was that once they entered the mortal realm directly, their bodies were prone to damage. Spawning was the favoured solution to this problem since most minor demons were capable of creating an exact likeness of themselves, duplicating both physical and mental attributes. When their old body tired or was destroyed, they simply transferred their consciousness to the replacement form.

The other alternative was to transcend the realms through indirect means. By allowing themselves to be summoned, they retained most of their powers and providing they were strong willed, they were free to act. In some cases though they were bound to act as the slaves of those that summoned them. It was the mortals that devised the ceremonies that in effect created a binding contract between the demon and the mortal. The spells required a focus that if destroyed, would send the demon back to Hell. Some demons chose to simply use the access granted by such spells to intervene on behalf of a mortal in return for a soul, they could enjoy devouring, most often a child. The Dark God Lokar wreaked havoc on many worlds before he was vanquished to the Talos Dimension.

The problems with being summoned were eventually nullified when it was discovered that they could inhabit the body of a willing mortal. All that mortal had to do was accept the offer of power and riches in return for their soul. Many demons used these rituals as ways to access the mortal realms and spread their influence. Since they could provide a way to channel the power of the universal energy, few hosts ever rejected them.

For saints and devils alike, there was no such need for ceremony. On the rare occasion that either side entered the mortal realms, they did so in mortal form. Should they desire to remain there they needed only to mate with a mortal. The saints of course had moral objections to such acts, but over time their intervention in the affairs of lesser beings dwindled.

Devils however mated whenever they wished, selecting their partners carefully for physical traits. Consensual sex was preferred since in that moment of passion their lover failed to realise the true face of their lover. However, a virgin sacrificed in their name was just as acceptable. Either way, the soul belonged to the devil involved.

If the devil in question was female though, the offspring had the potential to become even more powerful. It could be born in either realm, but was stuck there following birth. However, if born in the mortal realms it would retain the powers of its mother while looking perfectly normal. Such vile offspring could change at will into a demonic form, which allowed them to use the power of the universal energy field.

For most demons existence was a complex society of politics and treachery. Raw power alone was never enough to guarantee superiority and no position within the ranks of evil could be considered truly safe. By splitting into multiple entities, the evil force ensured its survival, but it also created infighting between the factions. And through all this, Sinn’narr tried to regain the position he had once held in a universe where he was now a nonentity, pushed aside by the creature known as the Adversary to do so.

The Adversary created the High Clan as part of his domain. Although it was an elite band of evil beings, its power and influence came mostly through trickery. The names were mostly creatures from mythology on human worlds; they’d never been seen together. That was because in truth the High Clan’s more dominant personalities were actually one-entity. Each had their own area of the Adversary’s kingdom to control, where they indulged in their own sinister hobbies. In all it added to the illusion of the Adversary’s strength and added to his reputation.

The battle that had started between creatures that were a part of the fabric of existence was rapidly becoming a fight fought by the least powerful creatures with outcomes that not only challenged who would control the universe, but whether said universe would even survive the war. Eventually the fighting grew so intense that a truce was made limiting how the forces of both sides could conduct their battle. That truce was to remain until the end of days.

End of the Beginning

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