Thursday, November 24, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
The Life and Times of Derek Verona Pt. I (also, a bit about e-fedding and Creative Commons)
The Mediterranean port of Ostia. In an empire where proximity to the capital was an indication of the rank of a city, the thriving port city of Ostia was the Queen of the Empire. The terminus of the Via Ostiensis (Ostian Way), and one of the greatest centers of maritime trade in the Empire, Ostia was located only leagues from the Imperial City of Rome. It was there, in Ostia, that the tale of the story of the Verona family began.
It was the year 19 b.c.e. Octavius, adopted nephew of Gaius Julius Caesar, had but four years earlier emerged victorious from a bloody struggle for supremacy against the combined forces of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra Ptolemy of Egypt. Octavius had taken the name Augustus, and the Republic of Rome had given way to the Roman Empire.
As stability returned to the young Empire, trade had resumed between the great empires of the West and the East; between Rome and the Chang'an, home of the Dragon Emperors of the Han Dynasty in what’s now China. Trade routes spanned the thousands of miles between Rome’s eastern frontier and the lands of the far east, most notably the Silk Road. In those days, many western merchants could be seen in the cities of Asia, dealing in all manner of valuable commodities, such as silk, spices, and musk. One such trader was a prosperous silk merchant named Desiderus Lycineus Marcella. Marcella had a wife at home in Ostia, but was drawn to the kingdoms of the East by the prospect of a great fortune. Marcella had been born a Pleibian, but had married into the Patrician class. Nonetheless, he was one of those people who accumulate great wealth, yet still never quite feel “full”.
In 19 b.c.e., Marcella departed from Ostia on his way to the East, via the roads of Asia Minor and Persia, and two years later, he reached the lands of the great Han Empire, Rome’s mighty eastern counterpart. Travelling for three years in the lands of the Han, he was mightily impressed with the great Imperial cities at Loyang and Chang’an, and it was in the latter that he met and married his second wife, a Princess of the Wu named Chan Qiao. When Desiderus Marcella decided to return to his people in 14 b.c.e, Qiao went with him. They returned to Ostia a few years later.
Desiderus Marcella’s first wife was barren, and could not bear him a child. His second wife, however, had no such problem. She bore him twins in 14 b.c.e, one a girl named Lucia, and a son named Titus Quintillius Honorius. By the time Marcella died in 12 c.e., he had accrued much wealth, and left his children a nice inheritance. In time, Lucia grew up, and married into a prominent family at Hippo, in North Africa. However, Titus Quintillius Honorius, like most of his peers, joined the Imperial Army. Titus quickly made a name for himself, and rose in the ranks of his Legion through his great battle prowess and keen intelligence. In 8 c.e., his wife, Drusilia, gave birth to his only child, a son named Gaius Maxim. Though the tour of duty in the Imperial Army at that time was 20 years, Quintillius visited his family at every opportunity.
However, the Imperial legions were having trouble with the Germanic tribes to the north of the Rhine, and Emperor Augustus dispatched several legions to pacify the area. Tragedy struck in year 9 of the common era when the highly talented German, Arminius, ambushed the overconfident Roman forces at the battle of the Teutoburger Wald. Three Roman Legions were wiped out in that battle, and Quintillius was among those killed.
When news reached Drusilia of her beloved husband’s death, she took her own life, and Gaius Maxim was orphaned. Too young to have known either of his parents, he was taken by his maternal aunt to live in the city of Verona in northeastern Italy, where he was raised. Since he had never known his parents, he decided to take the name “Verona”, because he was “of the city of Verona”. And so the Marcella family gave way to the Verona family. When Gaius Maxim reached adulthood, he, like his father before him, joined the Army. Like his father before him, he rose through the ranks, but his ascension came at the expense of the son of a powerful Senator. His rival headed a conspiracy to discredit him, and in early 34 c.e., Gaius Maxim of Verona was cashiered out of the Imperial Army, and sold into slavery.
Like many young, physically capable men, he ended up being sold to an arena master, for use in the Gladitorial contests which were so popular at that time. Forced to fight almost every day against human and inhuman opponents, the fact that Gaius Maxim was still alive after several years was a testament to his martial skills. In time, Gaius Maxim earned his freedom. But, much like his ultimate descendant, Derek Verona, he would discover that it’s very difficult to leave behind the adoration of the crowd as they chant your name. Gaius Maxim remained a fighter for many more years, and even at one point journeyed to Rome to fight before the Emperor Claudius. Gaius Maxim’s skill in the arenas of Roman Italy gained him a huge celebrity, making his name very famous. In time, however, Gaius Maxim Verona rather reluctantly retired, having never once tasted defeat. He married, and opened his own gladiator school in the city that bore his name. He died in 74 c.e., and with his passing, the Roman world lost a true fighting legend.
The centuries passed, and the Verona family accumulated much wealth and power in Verona. On two occasions, in the third and fourth centuries, members of the Verona family became members of the Imperial Senate in Rome.
In 476, the Western Roman Empire perished when the Ostrogothic King Odoacer deposed the last Emperor, who was rather contemptuously named “Romulus Augustulus”. At first, the Veronas were loyal subjects of Rome, and fought very valiantly against the Ostrogoths as the barbarians overran northern Italy. However, in time, the Verona family withdrew itself from the struggle, preferring survival over fighting a lost cause. Though it was not unheard of to see a member of the Verona family within the Ostrogothic armies at Ravenna, the family more or less kept their nose out of such affairs.
However, it was Umberto Verona (501 – 577 c.e.) that brought the family back into the affairs of the Roman world. While the Western empire had faded into history, the Eastern Roman Empire, better known as the Byzantine Empire, had flourished, and the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had decided that it was time to take back what was his. The great Byzantine general Belisarius invaded the lands of the Ostrogoths, and between 534 and 565 c.e., he reconquered a large portion of the former Western Empire. But it was Umberto Verona’s tactical genius that brought northern Italy under Byzantine control. Verona held a very important strategic location, and when the Verona family and other great families of Verona allied themselves with the Byzantines, they opened the door for a siege of Venice as well as Byzantine penetration into the Alps.
Umberto’s success in the siege of Milan was truly awe inspiring, and ever after, he was regarded as the “Hero of Milan”.
However, Umberto met his end when the shaky Byzantine hold on northern Italy collapsed under the weight of invasions from the Lombards. The Lombards seized northern Italy, and once again, the focus of the House of Verona returned to more domestic matters.
The years rolled by, and the secular struggles of earthly kingdoms gave way before the arrival of a new “Holy” Roman Empire. Carolus Magnus, Frankish descendant of Charles Martel, the hero of the Battle of Tours, was crowned “Holy Emperor of the Romans” on Christmas Day, 800 c.e., after conquering the Lombards of northern Italy. The Verona Family, all of them devout Roman Catholics, supported Carolus Magnus (Or “Charlemagne” as he’s better known) wholeheartedly, and though the “Empire of the Romans” was really not Roman at all, but rather an almost purely German and French domain, several members of the Verona made names for themselves at the court of Charlemagne at Aachen during the Carolingian Renaissance.
The true glory of the Verona family, however, would not be realized until the late 11th century, when the destinies of Verona and the great Republic of Venice would be forever intertwined, through a simple marriage. For it was in 1096 that Umberto Verona, a strapping young nobleman, wed Matalin of the House of Dandolo, a marriage that would eventually produce three Doges and numerous admirals of Venice. They had two sons, the youngest of whom was named Enrico Dandolo. Though he was called after his mother's more dominant family, he nonetheless had all the characteristic qualities of a Verona, such as the adventurous spirit, sharp mind, and even sharper tongue seen in all true members of the Verona family.
Enrico ascended the throne of Venice in 1198, at the age of 84, and as the Doge of Venice, he led the Fourth Crusade (1202 - 1204 a.d.), diverting the Crusaders to attack the city of Zara in what is now Croatia, and seizing it as a part of Venice's ever growing commercial empire.
Though the Fourth Crusade was begun at the behest of the Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople, Isaacus II Comenus, Enrico, showing that true Verona shrewdness, realized that there was far more profit to be gleaned from an attack on the richest city in the world, Constantinople, than to continue on to the Levant.
So it was that the forces of the Fourth Crusade, led by a scion of the House of Verona, conquered Constantinople, driving the Byzantine Emperor out to Nicaea, and seizing the seemingly infinite wealth of nations contained within the Golden City of the Eastern Emperors.
However, the ninety-seven year old Doge of Venice, Dandolo, was old and blind by this time, and even a Verona has to die sometime. Shortly after Dandolo and the Emperor of the newly formed Latin Empire of Constantinople, Baldwin I, were defeated in 1205 by the Bulgars under Ivan II off the coast of Adrianople, Dandolo returned the fleet to Constantinople, where he finally succumbed to old age....
His son, Andrea, would continue to play a huge role in the Latin Empire of Constantinople, right up until the Latin Empire was overrun by the forces of Michael Paleologus, the deposed Byzantine Emperor at Nicaea, in 1261 a.d.
For the next several centuries, the members of the Verona family continued to prosper, involving themselves deeply in trade with the east. It was extremely ironic that members of the Verona family journeyed to China to trade with the the locals there, not knowing that they themselves felt Chinese blood flowing through their veins, as the result of the introduction of Chan Qiao into the family, some fifteen centuries before.
Not much more is known about the fortunes of House of Verona during the next few centuries, as they stayed mainly out of the historical spotlight. However, with the growing sentiments for Italian unification and independence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Veronas once again began to play an active role in Italian politics.
In 1848, Carmino Verona took part in an uprising of Lombardy and Venetia when they rebelled against foreign oppression in the form of the Austrian Habsburgs. Though the uprising was later put down, Carmino and other members of the family continued to fight on the side of the Risorgimento, the organized resistance and unification effort.
When Italian unification and independance was achieved in 1870, Carmino was appointed to a position of Minister of the Interior in the new Italian Government.
Yet there was a new world opening up. Many in Europe at that time viewed the so called New World, the Americas, as a land teeming with opportunities, and it was for that reason that several members of the Verona family left Italy to go to America.
So it was that, in 1878, that several Veronas made the journey to America. Among them was Luciano Verona, a man whose great great grandson would rise to fame as "The Lone Wolf".
The Veronas, most of them anyway, settled in New York. The economy was booming in the aftermath of America's Civil War. New innovations in Industry were leading to more and more work for enterprising immigrants, and the effort of the United States Government to "conquer" the American West led to opportunities in the United States Armed Forces.
Verona's son, Charles, eventually moved his family to Chicago in 1923, amidst the surroundings of the wild period of economic prosperity and unprecedented speculation in the Stock Market, known in the U.S as "The Roaring Twenties". Of course, having lived a hard life as an immigrant in New York, Charles Verona hadn't gone as wild as many of his fellows during the twenties, but instead saved quite a bit of money. That turned out to be a happy decision, as the stock market crashed a mere six years later, and the entire country was plunged into the depths of a Great Depression. Life was hard for the Verona family, but they managed to survive during those terrible years between the Market Crash and the beginning of World War Two.
Charles, being able to speak fluent Italian, was drafted and employed by the Armed Forces during the years of WWII as both an interpreter as a liason between the Army and the Italian Mafia in New York. Seeking to enlist the Mafia's help in aiding the upcoming allied invasion of Sicily, Charles Verona proved invaluable to the United States Army in getting the Mafia to go along with the plan. The result was a very successful, if bloody, invasion of Sicily and Italy, which opened up the second front desperately needed to take German pressure off of the Eastern Front. It has been argued that the invasion of Southern Europe ultimately made an Allied victory possible.
After WWII, Charles and his wife, Teresa, had a child. In 1949, Jacob Verona was born, and with him, the massive legacy of the Verona family in the world of Sports Entertainment. Jacob grew up to fulfill the Verona Family's legacy, becoming an accomplished, if not overly famous, fighter like his ancestors before him. Following the money, so to speak, Jacob signed a contract to work his magic in the ring in Illinois, so he and his wife of two years, Celia moved to Chicago in late 1971. The following year, on August 11, 1972, their first child, a boy named Derek (after Jake's best friend and rival, Derek “Baka” Stodden), was born. One year after that, the twins Cassandra and Cindy, Derek's sisters, were born.
Derek Verona grew up in a rough, crime ridden area in the southern part of Chicago, Illinois. The area was known as "Stoney Island". Plainly put, he was a poor Italian kid who grew up in the ghetto. As a boy, Derek Verona developed a fascination with Professional Wrestling. His father, Jacob Verona, made a name for himself in the Territorial Era of Professional Wrestling, wrestling for Illinois Territorial Promoters as Jake Vicious. While Jake Vicious would never achieve the level of mainstream success that his son would, he nevertheless became a legend of “Oldschool” Wrestling.
Derek Verona spent much of his early life getting into fights. Because as a boy, Derek was a small, wiry youth, he was often picked on by bullies. However, Derek soon learned to fight back, eventually becoming quite feared at his school.
As an adolescent, Verona grew into a rakishly handsome youth, and was quite popular with the young ladies of his age group. However, Verona, due to his childhood of being picked on, had yet to overcome a chronic case of bashfulness. It had been said of Verona by one peer: "What a jerk. Every girl in school wants him, and he doesn't even get it..."
Vicious worked assorted jobs during the years of early adulthood, at one time working as a Supermarket clerk, and also at one point as a construction worker for a local southern Chicago-area firm. However, his life was about to change.
In January, 1997, Derek Verona was laid off by his Construction firm, a common practice during the winter months. Jobless and going poor, Verona made a decision that would change his life forever. He happened across an advertisement for a local wrestling school in a Supermarket parking lot. Deciding to give wrestling a go, he entered the school, using the last of his savings to pay for the training. While in the school, he learned very rapidly, and within a month was a VERY competent wrestler.
During a small show that Verona's wrestling school put on, Verona got his big break. There were only about 50 people in the audience that night, but one of those fifty happened to be a talent scout for the World Wrestling Federation (Now called World Wrestling Entertainment). The scout, impressed with Verona's athleticism, offered Verona a development deal, which Verona quickly accepted.
Derek Verona began training in WWF Training facilities, and by August, 1997, was wrestling at a few WWF House Shows as "The Destructor", basically a rip-off of one of the barbarian dudes from "The Road Warriors", one of the Mad Max movies. It was a stupid gimmick, but it was enough to pay Verona's bills.
However, it was a tough time for the WWF. Pressure from citizen's action groups, slumping ratings, and the success of an upstart competitor called World Championship Wrestling, was costing the WWF millions of dollars, and the WWF started downsizing. Unfortunately, Derek Verona was cut from the WWF Roster before he had a chance to make it big. The choice had been down between keeping him or a young ex-football player named Dwayne Johnson, who would later become one of the true legends of the WWF as The Rock.
Verona found himself once again out of work. Then, he got a call which would forever change the history of Professional Wrestling.
His father's close friend, Baka, called him one night in early September, 1997. Baka had heard that his old friend and rival had a son in the business, and wanted to recruit Verona for his fledgling sports entertainment company, the Central Wrestling Alliance. Verona jumped at the chance to once again wrestle, having come to love it as most wrestlers do.
Verona drove to South Bend, Indiana, where the new company was based, and met with three of the true legends of the business; Baka, Michael Alkire, who had achieved fame in Indy Feds as Mike Rocket, and Michael "Trash" Williams. There, Baka agreed to enroll Verona in the CWA's training school outside of Mishawaka, Indiana.
All during 1998, as the CWA rose in popularity, fast becoming the fourth member of the "Big Three", Verona trained, working at CWA House Shows as Derek Verona. Then, in January, 1999, Baka and Mike Rocket decided that Verona was ready for television. They agreed to give him opening bout on an episode of CWA Monday Massacre. It was at that point, being on television, that Verona decided to use the name that his father had used. At that point, Derek Vicious was born.
Portrayed as a cocky, arrogant jerk, Vicious immediately showcased his charisma, as was evidenced by the high volume of negative pops that he received in his first days on CWA Television. But, gradually, Derek Vicious began to develop a definite fan base, which grew at an astounding rate. Derek Vicious quickly grew in fame as a great Hardcore competitor, and on Monday, April 12, 1999, Derek Vicious defeated Hard F'N Core, and became the CWA Hardcore Champion for the first time. At this point, Derek Vicious' fan base had increased to outnumber those who still hated him. Derek Vicious had accomplished his first face turn, not by the things that he said, but by the things that he did.
Derek Vicious defended his Hardcore Title with pride, and defended it successfully several times. Then, his real life best friend became his primary rival in story. Trash, who had before then played mainly a useless piece of White Trash who couldn't win a match if his life depended on it, shook off his loser gimmick, and decided to go after the CWA Hardcore Title. What followed was one of the most legendary matches in Sports Entertainment history, the first Derek Vicious-Trash battle. Trash eventually won the match after dropping a brick wall on Derek Vicious.
But Derek Vicious was not so easily beaten. He came back a few weeks later, and beat Trash for the Hardcore Title once again to become the 2-time Hardcore Champion. HFC defeated Vicious a month later, but Vicious won the title back at the 1999 CWA Hellfire Pay Per View (Now CWA Corruption). Derek Vicious defended his title several times, then lost it AGAIN to Trash. This Time, Derek Vicious had had enough. He wanted his damn title back, and he was determined to take it no matter what. He demanded a match, and Trash granted him a shot, but with a stipulation of his own choosing. The result was one of the legendary matches of CWA History, the South Bend Streetfight at 1999's Horrors Unleashed. Derek Vicious and Trash battled all over the city of South Bend, Indiana, Trash's hometown. The two of them battled into the St. Joseph River, they battled in a deserted causeway suspended about thirty feet off the ground, they even battled in and out of several downtown skyscrapers. In the end, it was Vicious who was victorious. At that point, the friendship and respect that these two men had for each other in real life could not be denied. After such a fight, where each took the other past the limit, Derek Vicious and Trash formed the Roughnecks, and embarked on a path that would make them arguably the greatest tag-team in CWA History.
A year later, and several Hardcore Title changes, and Tag Titles, later, Derek Vicious rose to superstardom, winning the CWA Hardcore Title at 2000's CWA Hardcore, after fighting his way through five rounds of Hardcore Tournament Hell in one night.
In the months that followed, Derek Vicious, as cocky as ever, rose to even greater heights. But still, he had never been given a shot at the richest prize in Sports Entertainment, the CWA Title.
His chance came in September, 2000, at CWA Mauled. Derek Vicious defied the odds, defeating the heavy favorites, Karma, Dakron, Blood, and Mike Rocket, to become the Number One Contender. Then, at CWA Horrors Unleashed 2000, in the United Center in his hometown of Chicago, Derek Vicious made history by becoming the CWA Champion for the first time, beating Amp for the title.
All the fans cheering for the Lone Wolf, however, soon were dismayed, as Derek Vicious turned heel, joining with Warren Nations, Mike Rocket, Karma, and Lockdown, to form the original Eclipse (back when it was a stable instead of a tag team). Drunk with power, these men in their egomania, threatened the very security of the CWA. They had all the power in the company, and they were corrupt as hell. It seemed that the Eclipse couldn't be stopped.
Then, Derek Vicious got screwed, thus establishing a pattern that would endure for the next couple years. Derek Vicious had lost his CWA Title to Joe Francis. He had won it back, but had then lost the title to a recently-turned-face Mike Rocket, who had turned his back on the Eclipse mere weeks before. Vicious was determined to get his title back, so he entered himself in CWA Mauled. However, the leader of the Eclipse, and part owner of the CWA, Warren Nations, demanded that Vicious throw the match in his favor. When Vicious refused, Nations not only threw him out of the Eclipse, he also had the Entire remaining group, plus a bunch of other heels, attack Vicious. Vicious was gravely injured, suffering a broken right arm and internal bleeding among other things. But Vicious was determined to get his title back, so he fought in Mauled anyway, making it to the final two. The other remaining combatant was none other than Warren Nations, who had cheated to get that far. Vicious was within grasp of becoming the CWA Champion for a third time, when his old friend Lockdown, who had shown signs of turning face, turned on Vicious, and annhialated the Lone Wolf. This allowed Nations to get a very sickening three count on the Lone Wolf, and become the Number One Contender.
Vicious attacked Nations the next Wednesday on Wednesday Wargames, and as a result, Nations gleefully fired Vicious. Derek Vicious, once again out of work, wound up in a company called Totally Xtreme Wrestling, where he began an amazing career, rising very quickly through the rankings. At one point, Derek Vicious joined forces with Special Giznap, Zombie, the Road Dogg, Mr. Sin, and others as the School of Hardcore, and they had a hell of a rivalry with Big D and D-Generation X, but Vicious eventually left the School in his quest for the Undisputed Title.
In early June, 2002, Derek Vicious was booked in a Six Way Hell in the Cell for the TXW Undisputed Title (Against The Money, Phoenix, Mark the Wild Man, Torn, and the then Champion, Special Giznap). During that match, Vicious' arm was rebroken, and he was forced to leave the ringside area by physicians. However, by doing so, he was never actually defeated, so he was granted a rematch against the new TXW Undisputed Champion, Mark the Wild Man, and another Contender, none other than his old stablemate, Special Giznap. However, this match would never happen, and the world would NEVER know just who would have won the title that night. A domestic terrorist destroyed the TXW Empire, and all was lost, or so it seemed....
However, Derek Vicious was not one to be defeated so easily. He returned to the CWA, and participated in the Six Pack Match on Monday Massacre (6/17/02)for the CWA Title. Special Giznap and Team Nations, secretly in collusion, worked together to screw Derek Vicious, thus continuing the tradition of screwing that had begun in the CWA, carried over into the TXW, and returned back to the CWA.
Following his betrayal at the hands of Special Giznap, Vicious felt he had no chance but to retire. And so he did, or so it seemed. However, at CWA Bloody Sunday in late June, 2002, during a Tables, Ladders, Chairs, and Thumbtacks match between Special Giznap, Big D, and Shawn Walsh, Vicious returned with Kevin Hall and his old friend Trash, reforming the Wolfpac. They screwed Special Giznap out of his title, and Shawn Walsh was crowned the CWA Champion.
During the following months, Vicious and Giznap clashed time after time, and Vicious ALWAYS ended up getting screwed. It appeared that Derek Vicious was a loser, who could no longer win to save his life. Vicious lost match after match in his battles with Special Giznap and Team Nations. Finally, he had one more chance to regain his glory. CWA Mauled, 2002. Vicious entered himself, but his enemy, Warren Nations, snatched Vicious' spot away from him. Vicious, now at the end of his rope, made one final vow. He would not only be in Mauled, but he would WIN Mauled, or his career was over. He abducted Warren Nations, who was now the Co-Owner of the TXW, and threatened to throw him over a bridge. Nations capitulated, and agreed to give Vicious a chance to get his spot back. So, Nations, the next night, stipulated that Vicious must run the gauntlet of TXW Members, to win the #1 spot at Mauled.
Vicious, in a hard fought battle, defeated TXW Member after TXW member, until it was down to just him and Amp. Vicious' old enemy, Special Giznap, ran down to ringside, but instead of interfering and costing Vicous yet ANOTHER victory, instead attacked Amp, and allowed Vicious to get the win. The world was shocked, and so was Vicious. Nonetheless, Vicious had won his place at Mauled.
At CWA Mauled, on September 29, 2002, Derek Vicious was first to enter the ring. He proceeded to shock the world as he fought his way through opponent after opponent, absorbing enough damage to kill a lesser person. Finally, after foiling a TXW plot to cost Vicious the match, it was down to an utterly exhausted Derek Vicious and the man heavily favored to win the match, The Game. Vicious and The Game battled back into the ring all the way from the parking garage, and at one point, it seemed that The Game had the match won. But all of a sudden, Warren Nations, in one last desperate attempt to cause Vicious to lose, brought the entire TXW locker room out to attack Vicious. But all of a sudden, many of the faces of the CWA rushed to Vicious' defense, out of respect for all the Lone Wolf had accomplished. Then, in one final twist of irony, Special Giznap, Vicious' perennial enemy, attacked Warren Nations for the second time that night, and this act allowed Vicious to gain the win over The Game. At age 30, The Lone Wolf Derek Vicious had defied all odds to become the Number One Contender for the CWA Title.
On October 27th, 2002, at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, CWA Horrors Unleashed 2002 saw the meeting of Special Giznap and Derek Verona in a match so legendary, it's only been done twice. And never will be competed in for a third time. The Death Cage, unforgiving steel that reached sixty feet up into the air, had been known to end careers, and only one man had walked away from it before, that man being Baka.
History has shown that Derek Verona won the Death Cage match against Special Giznap, though with some very controversial help from Joe Francis and the MOD (Method of Destruction). Special Giznap almost died as the result of a sixty foot fall to the mat below from the top of the cage.
Verona and Special Giznap eventually ended their feud with a really bloody battle in the infamous Isolation Match at CWA Merry F'N Christmas in 2002. Though they went into the match as enemies, they came out of the match as, strangely enough, friends, with a respect for each other that endures even to this day.
In January of 2003, the CWA saw history in the making, as Derek Verona joined forces with old enemies Special Giznap and J Dub, as well as Joe Francis and HFC, to reform the storied "School of Hardcore". The School went on to many victories against the Nathan Wallace-led "Miracle Army" over the next few months.
Verona continued to dominate for a few more months, until a loss to Nightmare at CWA Hardcore in February, 2003 caused him to come slightly unhinged. His best friend, Michael Williams, also known as Trash, turned on him and helped Nightmare to win the day. The Lone Wolf disappeared for a while, but when he came back, the world was shocked to see a completely different man appear. For it was at this time that the seeds of what he would one day become had begun to take root.
His face hidden behind the war paint of a medieval barbarian, wielding the mighty sledgehammer Wild Card, and with no word ever escaping his lips, the Lone Wolf returned in time to see the CWA being ripped apart by the megalomaniacal whims of the CWA's founders, Derek Stodden, Mike Rocket, and The Power, Warren Nations.
The Lone Wolf, now accompanied by a full grown black wolf known only as "Wolf", organized a resistance to the so called "Triumvirate" of Baka, Rocket, and Nations. He called it "The Union", and it included such legendary names as David Shand, Special Giznap, J Dub, Mark Lewis, and of course, Rob Arnold. The Union fought to overthrow the Triumvirate, but all seemed lost when The Lone Wolf seemingly betrayed all his allies by joining the Triumvirate.
An unwilling member of the Triumvirate at best, it was the Lone Wolf who finally put an end to the Triumvirate once and for all. When the Union and the T3 had a Wargames match to decide the future of the CWA, the Lone Wolf helped the Union to defeat the Triumvirate, and put an end to Baka and the rest of them.
Of course, the dejected Baka, soon after, committed suicide. Ever after, the Lone Wolf felt the blame of that act most keenly, and has never forgiven himself for driving Baka to such an act.
He didn't have time for that, however, as soon after, the biggest challenge in his life so far had arrived, in the form of David Shand. These two men had always given each other a grudging respect and had a very wary friendship. Yet now, they found themselves at odds with each other. For the first time in his career, the Lone Wolf actually tasted bitter fear, as he looked into the eyes of a man who defied all logic or reason. David Shand was a giant among giants, super intelligent, with the strength of ten men and the speed of a cat of prey. For the first time in his life, Derek Verona found himself standing toe to toe with the perfect fighter, a machine which could not be stopped. Yet the two had been destined to meet for a long time.
When David Shand made the feud personal by playing mind games involving the Lone Wolf's love interest, Teresa Kobayashi, the stakes were raised. And the two of them met in one of the most memorable matches in history, the Trinity of Iron match, at Horrors Unleashed '03.
The Lone Wolf, though sustaining horrendous injuries to the head during the course of the match, managed somehow, to defeat the giant Shand. But the price he paid was very dear. Immediately after the match, Derek Verona passed out, and slipped into a coma. He was taken to a local hospital, where he lay comatose for many months. During the time of his coma, the devil hidden within Derek Verona, the last remnant of his ultimate ancestor, the pit-fiend Dregath, began to manifest itself.
And so, kiddies, we near the end of this blog post. I hope you all have been enjoying my writings. There's not a whole lot in this world that redeems me. But my writing, I think, is one of those things. Actually, I think my writing is just about all that validates my meaningless life.
Anyways, a few things to point out, since most of you, I'm certain, probably have no clue what a lot of that CWA stuff was about. Here's a little background. Just under eight years ago, I and my one time best friend, Mike (the inspiration for Mike Rocket) founded a fictional wrestling federation called the Central Wrestling Alliance. This was in the days before Fantasy Football and e-feds and stuff, and we basically would just create characters on games like WWF War Zone or WWF Attitude, and then simulate the matches between our created superstars, doing play by play commentary during the matches and coming up with storylines for the characters to be involved in.
It was during that time that I created a persona which has come to be identified with an entire side of my personality. Derek Vicious, "real" name Derek Verona, called by many "The Lone Wolf". One of my three main alter egos. The other two, if you're curious, are Baka and Gillespie. But I digress.
Anyways, as wrestling themed video games got better and better, the stories of the CWA's stars grew more and more in-depth, laying the groundwork for many of the things you've just read about in the above history. And then, in the early aughts, there was the advent of the e-fed. That's right, the internet had made possible, through message board technology, the creation of entire fictional feds, just like the CWA, with everything stored in writing. People would create a character, write a roleplay for that character, and compete for fictional titles, etc. etc. A true, written simulation of a real fed such as the WWE.
It was only logical that the CWA would take that next step, turning from the adventures of pixelated beings on the Sony Playstation to larger than life "literary" characters on an e-fed. And so, the CWA became an e-fed on June 3rd, 2002. The next few years would see the character of Derek Verona, as well as my other characters, grow and evolve. That's right. The uber-powerful arch deity that Derek Verona is now did not always existed. And I like to think that without all the stories that went before, he could not possibly be as he is now...
By the way, I know a couple of you probably read the parts about "Derek 'Baka' Stodden" and thought, "Wait a minute. That's Derek Stodden? That guy is, like, fifty years old! Derek's not fifty! Hell, he won't even be turning 25 for another month and a half, yet." Allow me to explain that while my name is indeed Derek Stodden, the character of Baka represents, how shall I say it...a fictional version of me. An alter ego. And that alter ego happens to be a lot older than I am. And by the way, he does not look a thing like me, either....
But I digress.
At any rate, I cut all ties with the CWA not too long ago. And while the CWA played a huge part in the story of characters such as Derek Verona, it is obvious that the character has so completely transcended that. In fact, considering that Derek Verona retains very little of what one could term "humanity", can one even identify him with an e-fed anymore? Not at all.
So I hope that you all, in the future, will take into consideration that the story of Derek Verona is written, now, on a completely stand alone basis.
By the way, if you look down at the bottom of the page, you will notice a line that says that this stuff is now copyrighted. I take my writing very seriously, so it was only right that, since I'm putting this stuff up on the Interweb, I should protect it from people who would change it or steal it outright. I don't mind people using it for a good purpose. But if my stuff is used by other people, I do ask that you give me due credit for it, and that you don't use it to make money. At least, not without my permission. And whatever you do, please don't try to modify my work in any way. It was written the way it was written for a purpose.
That said, I hope you enjoy the further adventures of Derek Verona, and I hope that my recent posts on the subject have brought to you a greater understanding of why, exactly, Derek Verona posesses the great powers that he does.
One final note: Those of you who have read the opening chapters of my current novel may recognize the words "Deiamarah Ahrimaiel", "Sieleansu", "Dekath", etc. etc. This is because I tried something very experimental with this series of blogplays. I have attempted to tie the history of Derek Verona to the story of my novels. And I think I did a decent job. Anyways, I'm kind of tired now. So I think I'm going to catch a few winks. Ciao.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
It is the nature of the truth to be lost in the passing of time. With the passing of the ages, facts become rumors. And rumors become legends. And legends become myths. And so it is that what was known in antiquity becomes the hearsay whispered in secluded places darkened by the night. Such had been the fate of the tale of Deiamarah Ahrimaiel. The great Deceptress had existed from the very earliest days of this universe. But She had not always been as she was now. Once, it was believed, She had been a being of goodness, blessed above all in existence with beauty and grace. But the fair Goddess was corrupted by the influence of the Dark Scions, the children of Chaos, and waged war against her own kindred. Her fall from grace complete, She and her worshippers, the Sieleansu, were cast down by the combined power of her fellow Gods, and Her domain, which the peoples of that time had called “Dekathialinaraelis” or “The Nine Hells”, was ripped asunder from the world, and cast deep into the lower planes.
But the Deceptress was a crafty one. She knew the secrets of the deepest magics, and She knew the weaknesses of her fellow Gods. And so, Ahrimaiel gathered Her Generals about Her, and gave them instruction. Upon that day, the diabolical armies of the Nine Hells of Dekath went forth to conquer the Abyss. For in the unification of the lower planes, the designs of the evil Deceptress might be accomplished.
The demons of the Abyss had proven themselves to be worthy adversaries. For they were the Champions of Chaos. Furthermore, the hordes of Demons were aided by the power of the Dark Scions, and their magic was born of the Void itself. The armies of the Nine Hells suffered grievous losses in their war, and would have been decimated were it not for the evil intelligence of a pit-fiend named Dregath Viellelaimar. Dregath slew his Master, Kreyanaith, Lord of the Third Realm, Gei'henn, and seized power there. As Ahrimaiel looked on in silent approval, Dregath led the armies of Gei'henn back into the Abyss, and there, by the use of superior strategy, he smote down not one but two of the Dark Scions. The screams of Chaos, originating deep within the void, so pleased the Deceptress that She rewarded Dregath with true mastery over Gei'henn, and bestowed upon him the greatest of diabolical powers: the Flamma Maleficus, the Unholy Flame of Ahrimaiel. With it, Dregath could speak with the voice of the Goddess Herself, and all within the Nine Hells, and most who dwelt elsewhere, could not help but obey him.
But there were those within the Nine Hells of Dekath who feared the rising power of this usurper. And they banded together to discredit him, and bring upon him the disfavor of his Goddess. And so it was that Dregath of Gei'henn was banished from the Nine Hells, and given the punishment of wandering the central planes forever.
Dregath the Sieleansu wandered the central planes, such as the one that you and I live upon, for ages untold. He watched with uncaring eyes the rise of the human race, the ascendancy and decline of great empires, the lives and deaths of kings and philosophers. But it came to pass that the hold that the Deceptress had upon Dregath began to weaken, the longer he spent away from the Nine Hells. Dregath became corrupted by the emotions of the lesser beings around him. Where once, there had only been devotion to his Goddess, now there was conflict within him, a struggle between the evil firmly entrenched within him, and a rising goodness he did not understand.
In those days, the human race had gathered into several great empires, not the least of which is known today as “Lemuria”. Situated upon a great continent in the western ocean, Lemuria stood proudly over a great dominion, one only matched in size and grandeur by the eastern empire of Atlantis. The people of Lemuria, it is said, were kindly, but strong. They were highly skilled in the ways of warfare, yet highly reluctant to use such tactics. In the lands of the Lemurians, trade was paramount.
It was here, in Lemuria, that Dregath ceased to wander. For the battle within him had seen the goodness gain advantage, and he was no longer compelled by Ahrimaiel's dark will to wander without rest.
Now, in his natural form, Dregath is very hideous, so that the sight of him can overcome the mind of a person, and drive them insane. But, when traveling among the central planes, Dregath had always assumed the attributes of an attractive seraphic male, and in this form, he was quite beautiful. Now, it came to happen that a Lemurian woman named Vita fell in love with him. And, as Dregath was much confused by the emotions within him, he was not completely on his guard. Vita had a child by him, a son who was named in favor of his father. But soon after that, Dregath left Lemuria to continue on his journey...
The centuries passed. And the descendants of Dregath the younger, son of Dregath Viellelaimar, went on to accomplish great things. But there came a time of sundering, when the world was ripped apart by a great cataclysm. And the lands of Lemuria and Atlantis and the other great empires of humankind were swept away. The heir to Dregath's legacy, a man named Achaedus, fled from Lemuria with his family, seeking the relative safety of the asian mainland. Achaedus died in the crossing of the turbulent ocean, but not without having produced an heir to his legacy, a son named Dagan. Dagan and his family fled to what is now China, where they dwelt for centuries. Over time, they married into royal houses, including the royal houses of Wu and Yue.
In China, the great dynasties of old, and the era of the warring states came to an end with the rise of the Qin and Han Dynasties. A great trade was established with the western countries, and with the great empire of Rome. Many a western trader would travel along the silk road, seeking his fortune in the orient. Such a one was Desiderus Lycineus Marcella, a spice trader from the port of Ostia in central Italy. He came to the land of the later Han seeking to become rich. He did that. But he also found a wife in a Princess of Wu, Chan Qiao, a direct descendant of Dagan, and thus a direct descendant of Dregath the Sieleansu. From Chan Qiao and Desiderus Marcella, the House of Verona would find its origin. And two millenia later, this union of Roman merchant and Chinese princess would produce a truly extraordinary being. A being who would one day break all the rules of the physical world when he ascended to Godhood. A being born into the world as Derek Verona.
Since I'm here, I guess I will talk about something. That something being....Wal-Mart. That's right. Satan's Five-and-Dime itself. I worked for Wal-Mart for quite a while, and I have to say that, on a corporate level, the company does indeed do well for their employees. But on a local level, Wal Mart is the most evil, despicable organization I have ever seen.
I suppose I could get into more detail here. But I don't think that would solve anything. Let me just say that I spent about a half hour in the office last night, quitting my job, and delivering every manner of vile epithet I could think of, and it felt good to walk away from that hell-hole. Oh, how it felt so good to say all the things that I wanted to say. I didn't have to hold my tongue anymore. How very liberating....
Anyways, so I'm in the market for a new job now. And to that effect, I suppose I should go now, and look for one. Ciao.
Monday, November 07, 2005
......And the Lupine Enigma returns....
First of all, I would like to apologize for the lack of posting here in the past week or so. Honestly, it was not really my fault. At least not much. You see, I was trying to transfer the copy of the novel I'm currently writing, which was saved on my corrupted old hard drive, over to my new hard drive. This I did. But somewhere along the line, I must have tripped something in my computer, because all of a sudden, my internet connection was gone. Annihilated. Completely wiped away.
Um, perhaps not completely. My connection still WORKED. But none of my browsers would recognize it. And, boy, was I ever angry about that. I don't watch television. I don't listen to the radio. Quite frankly, the internet is, like, my only connection to the world, and the only way I would ever know what is going on in the world around me. Without the internet, I've pretty much been living in a bubble, completely cut off from the world. And that sucks. There's, like, some sort of withdrawal that a human being gets when they are denied news, I guess....
So my posting on this blog has been somewhat impossible, to say the least, over the last week or so. But have no fear. I have returned. And though there is no Lone Wolf story this week, our dear friend, the Lupine Enigma, shall return with my next post, hopefully within a couple days. This post, I have devoted simply to just making sure everyone knows what's going on....
Anyways, I'm out of here for now. Ciao.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Were one to look at the strange figure in a full light, one would see what appears to be a human male, with an apparent age somewhere between twenty five and thirty, with shoulder-length brown hair the color of chestnut, and eyes the color of emeralds. However, the darkness which surrounded him took away the seeming normalcy of his appearance, and lent him a much more diabolical aura.
His eyes, under Sol's fiery gaze, might indeed have seemed like mirrors, reflecting back all which appeared in them. Under Luna's more gentle light, those emeralds shone with an unholy green fire, flickering and flaring in perfect harmony with the ebb and flow of his restless spirit. His face was adorned with painted designs of black and blue, drawn in the ancient style of a people long forgotten in the marching progression of history.
He'd had a name once. Sometimes, when he wished to go out amongst the lesser beings of this world, he would even use it as a means of identification. Derek Verona, they had called him once upon a time. Back when he, himself, had been human. Before he had gained his Ascendancy. Verona had been called by another name, as well. One that now seemed far more appropriate than the one his parents had given him all those years ago. He had been called “The Lone Wolf”.
And how appropriate a name for a man who spent much of his time wandering the world in the form of a blue wolf.
At this moment, however, Verona had not yet metamorphosed into the lupine enigma. He stood, standing upon the edge of a great precipice, looking out over the valley far below the sheer cliff. The frenzied wind whipped his hair, and his long, black coat, but Verona stood there, stoically ignoring Gaea's breath, lost in thought.
Strapped to Verona's back was a mighty hammer, a sledge twice the length in handle and four times in head of any normal sledgehammer. It had once been the weapon of an enemy long since vanquished, a savage brute known as “The Wild Man”. In honor of his fallen foe, he had named the mighty hammer “Wild Card”. And he carried it with him wherever he went. So, too, the Wild Card was with him this night, as he stood here upon the edge of the canyon, contemplating the loss of the only woman he had ever truly loved...
“Thou art weak.” he murmured softly, his lip twisted up in a sneer. “The Nine Hells could not stand against thee, yet thine steely resolve crumbles at the sight of a mere mortal woman.”
Teresa Kobayashi, the One. She had haunted him during those dark days of “The Dream”. All the regrets, all the miserable regrets he felt were the result of the words he had always wanted to say. But never did. Until it was too late. Not even Shand himself had ever been able to leave such a deep, bloody scar on his soul like Teresa had. No matter how far he had Ascended, always there would remain one small part of his consciousness that clung to those days of humanity, when he had loved, and he had lost, the most precious thing he had ever known.
With a motion so quick that his arms seemed to blur, he reached over his shoulder, and pulled loose the great hammer from its sling, raising it high into the air with a tortured scream of anguish that resounded off the hillsides and peaks all around him. He called down the thunder, stood firm as a massive bolt of lightning struck the head of the Wild Card. He raised his arms with a bellow, and the forest took to flame, erupting into an inferno all around him. His eyes burned brighter than ever now, and his countenance was now superimposed with the visage of a great blue wolf, howling with eternal loss.
The wolf within still howling, Verona leaped high into the air, more than five hundred feet, and plummeted down into the canyon, his hammer in his hand, and his eyes, his inhuman, fiery green eyes, burning balefully against the night sky.
Hello, there. My name is Derek. In the podcasting world, I'm known as “DJ Raspy”. But that certainly is not my only alter-ego. Oh, no. Not by any stretch of the imagination. You've just met one of my primary alter-egos. Derek Verona, scion of the ancient Verona family. One time professional fighter-turned Ascendant. What's an Ascendant? That question will be answered in a future post on this blog. As for the whole story between Derek Verona and Teresa Kobayashi...well, I wrote about that because it kinda mirrors a rather tragic situation that happened in my life recently. Life imitates art, sometimes. But that's pretty much all I'm going to say about that. Because the ensuing depression that I've been feeling lately has just about driven me to the brink of insanity.
Anyways, I had a blog over at livejournal for a couple years. But I didn't really update it all that much. Which is fine. I tend to say something only when I have something to say. I came here to blogspot basically because everyone else involved with the Creepy Sleepy Show podcast seems to be blogging here. And I guess it's more or less expected of me to go with the flow. That, by the way, is something I usually avoid like the plague. But this time, I thought “Why not?”. So here I am. Writing a blog that was named after a death metal band. A podsafe death metal band, if you can believe it.
Here's a little bit of introduction for you. I'm a writer, first and foremost. I'm working on a trilogy right now that has a decent shot at being published. I hope. I certainly must like it. Since I've been writing it and rewriting it over and over and over again for about ten years. I have a job that I hate. And a boss that I hate. Nothing out of the ordinary there. I'm also a podcast pioneer. That's right. Though I have to say that the DHP, creator of the legendary and award-winning Creepy Sleepy Show (which I have the somewhat dubious honor of co-hosting) is more of a pioneer in podcasting than I am. But I like to talk shit once in a while to make myself sound important.
So now that I've moved to blogspot, what is my blog going to be about? Good question. Well, I can tell you that it probably won't be about death metal. Or about confirming kills or anything. Actually, what I thought I'd do is just basically write about whatever comes to mind at the time. And then sprinkle said thoughts with a liberal dollop of actual writing. Such as you see above. You know, the ongoing adventures of the Lone Wolf and such. Or, hell, if I don't get a book deal, maybe I'll just publish my novels here on my blog. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, beeyatch!
Anyways, I think this post is just about done. Time to listen to some tunes, and catch some zzzz's before work. Sorry there's no hypertext links or anything here linking to Dan's blog, or any of the other Creepy Sleepy Crew. I'm feeling lazy today, and it is only my first post. I'll get those up later. Anyways, farewell. Until I post again.