From that moment onward, Simon Withering became the land of Dizzywood’s greatest enemy. He found out where the nearest monsters were living and told them that he was their new leader. Being stupid, easily manipulated creatures, they believed him.
Soon, he was forming an army. He sent the fastest of the vile beasts out to recruit more monsters before turning his attention to the creatures who were his biggest threat. As evil as Withering was, he was also very smart, and after secretly observing the behavior of the Ancients, he realized that they gained nourishment from large pools of elixir called Faerie Circles. Withering’s first plot then was to invent a device that sucked up the pools. Gradually, as the pools disappeared, so too did the Ancients. (No one knows where they went, but Dizzy citizens hope that the Ancients return if they can bring the Faerie Circles back.)
The way was now clear for Simon Withering to build his empire. He’d chased the Ancients off and in the process stopped any new portal holes appearing from our world to Dizzywood. Now he would set about conquering the land.
The self-proclaimed Emperor built Chop-bots to destroy the forests and Belch Furnaces to leech magical nutrients out of the air. Factory after factory sprang up across the countryside designed to suck elixir out of the ground and build yet more robots and weapons of destruction. He sent diggers under the Tanglevine Jungle to raid magical treasures from a centuries-old lost civilization called the Onakasi, turning local critters into energy for his Core engine.
As his power grew, so did his ambitions. With his monster army he captured a magnificent glass and steel airship to act as his floating HQ, renaming it The Repugnant.
Wherever Withering went he left behind toxic wastelands that he gleefully called Witherlands.
The story continues in Part 4 – The Grand Council.