|Office||Usurper to the Reydovan Throne|
|Term of Office:||October 15, 2375-March 16, 2376|
|Date of Birth:||June 21, 2328|
|Place of Birth:||Castle Devaneaux, Reydovan Prime|
|Date of Death:||March 16, 2376 (December 24, 2376)|
|Place of Death:||Castle Devaneaux, Reydovan Prime (Artimopolis, Defileron)|
|Portrayed by:||Christopher Lambert|
For the mirror universe counterpart, see Artimus Devaneaux (mirror).
Artimus Lucanus Devaneaux (born June 21, 2328, Castle Devaneaux, Reydovan Prime; died March 16, 2376, Castle Devaneaux, Reydovan Prime; spirit destroyed December 24, 2376, Artimopolis, Defileron) was a fictional character created by Joshua Underwood in the Star Trek universe. Artimus was Underwood's primary villain, and had been portrayed by Christopher Lambert since 2003; he was originally portrayed by artwork from Phantasy Star Online when he was created in 2002. He was known also as the Defiler of Worlds, the White Death and Evil Given Form, along with other unflattering titles such as "murderer", "warmonger", "traitor" and "usurper".
Underwood credits Rich Terry, the founder and host of the Star Trek: Generations Ahead room on Warp1.net, for giving him some of the ideas that made Artimus a truly evil and powerful character. Though they have had a "falling out" due to Underwood being banned from that room due to conflicts with the moderation staff, and a misunderstood comment made by Underwood in the Center of the Universe room on the same server, the two "roleplaying masterminds" have had discussions of creating more levels of mayhem with their storylines. "Mayhem, chaos, war, that's what we did," Underwood says. "Rich and I usually didn't come up with anything without blowing something up or killing some character in some novel way."
Note: The date and location in parentheses for Artimus' death symbolizes his physical and ethereal death.
Artimus was born on Reydovan Prime, the homeworld of the Reydovan Empire, to a fairly powerful family. He stood out among his family, however, as he was also proven to be a near-supergenius. He also possessed psionic powers, uncontrolled because of his inexperience with them. An Imperial official passing by noticed the boy's violent psionic spasms, and alerted the Emperor, Kiran Joshmaul I. Joshmaul took it upon himself to train the boy, then 12 years old, in the art of psionic mastery - defense as well as combat. Artimus trained under the Reydovan Emperor for six years, and when he returned to his family he seemed more in control of himself and his powers. Under his confident, cool demeanor, however, was a cruel and unfeeling heart. The day after he came home, his mother was found dead in his parents' bedroom, incinerated from inside out. Many suspected Artimus, but the 19-year-old managed to avoid prosecution due to the Emperor's insistence that Artimus was incapable of committing the vile act. But Artimus had, in fact, committed it, and had hidden it for nearly thirty years...
Artimus possessed intellectual capacity and leadership abilities that made General Daniel Longstreet, commander of the Imperial Marine Corps, think of possibly training him to be an officer. In 2347 - the year that he killed his mother - Artimus accepted Longstreet's offer. While he trained to be an officer, Artimus also continued his training with Joshmaul. He married Anastasia Britanov, daughter of the legendary General Mikhail Britanov, before he moved to Earth to serve as military attache to the Imperial Embassy. He and his wife were visiting friends in northern Ireland in 2355 when Kieran, their son, was born. Artimus was recalled to Reydovan Prime in 2356, allowing Anastasia to raise Kieran on her own. She knew that Artimus was evil, and thought that marrying him would temper his homicidal mania; she was sadly mistaken. She ensured that Kieran would not be evil and corrupt, molding him into a fierce but gentle young man. Meanwhile, Artimus rose through the ranks, and became a General in 2371 not by his military skill, but by intimidation and psionic manipulation of his superiors. And while he rose through the ranks, he continued killing - at first, without the notice of his family.
Tendency for HomicideEdit
Throughout his 29-year career in the RIMC, Artimus is believed to have cold-bloodiedly killed at least 50 people, both on Earth and on Reydovan Prime. Many were just random people on the street. But some of his killings were targeted at someone - and more heinous than the others...
The Minister of StateEdit
In 2375, during the negotiations with the defeated Dominion, Artimus quarrelled with Lucius Tyrael, the Imperial Minister of State, over reparations to be paid to the Empire for the Battle of Korolev Prime three years earlier. When the meeting had adjourned, Artimus and Lucius argued in private about it, and when the delegates returned to meet, they saw Artimus' knife go into the Minister's heart. Artimus was arrested on the spot and subjected to a public trial. After deliberation, testimony (including that of Kieran and Celest), and attempts to lessen the sentence, Artimus was convicted and sentenced to death. After Joshmaul departed, Artimus met his date with death...
Rise and Fall of the Mad EmperorEdit
The Reydovan Democratic Republic, which succeeded the Reydovan Empire after Joshmaul left, looked over its list of inmates in Imperial prisons, and the newly formed Republic Congress voted unanimously to bring Artimus to the top of the execution list, in order to "take this vile and sadistic creature off this plane of existence once and for all," as the official memorandum released by the Congress stated. Artimus was publicly hanged, and then skewered on a giant pike and publicly displayed for almost a week, then buried in a shallow grave in a cemetery near the ruins of New Valley Forge - the town he had destroyed with a psionic storm before he was captured. The area is often policed by Marine patrols due to the street gangs that thrived in that area - though the worst offenders became soldiers themselves when the future Celest Devaneaux entered the Imperial Marine Corps a year earlier. However, this was exactly what Artimus intended...
Some time on the night of October 6-7, 2375, two cultists of the Order of the White Hand - a cult created by Artimus that practiced demon worship and necromancy - dug up their master's grave and opened his broken coffin. The two men then proceeded to slit their own throats as a blood sacrifice. The blood sprayed all over the Defiler's rotted corpse, somehow filling his decayed veins with the blood of his acolytes. An unknown psionic energy charged Artimus' decayed form, surging him to his feet. By the time the Marine patrols investigated the odd sounds they heard in the cemetery, Artimus was gone.
Resurrected as a far more powerful being than he had been in life, Artimus stood on a bluff overlooking Montagne Noire, the Republic capital, and made his proclamation to the people. "I have returned from the Nether to rule once more! You will all either bow to me, or you will suffer such an experience of terror and chaos the likes of which has never been seen in all mortal reckoning!" He prophesied a "day of reckoning" for the Reydovan people for killing him, where "the sky will rain blood" and "the oceans will become liquid fire". Artimus' return was a great deal of concern for Republic Chancellor Joshua Underwood, who was so unnerved by the situation that he immediately sent a message to his friend Joshmaul on Earth, warning him of the situation, and asking him to potentially brief his superior, Fleet Admiral James Travis, on the situation.
A week following his resurrection, aided by Reydovan nobles, Artimus overthrew the Republic and re-established the Reydovan Empire, crowning himself Emperor Artimus I. Though his reign was relatively short, millions died in the fires of his madness. Eventually, his old mentor, Kiran Joshmaul, managed to use what resources were available to end Artimus' reign, first sending Marines, then a Special Forces agent, Captain Jasmine Blade. With those combined resources uniting against him on December 13, 2375, Artimus was forced to go on the run.
The Firing of the Hand of JoshmaulEdit
On January 23, 2376, Artimus unleashed the Hand of Joshmaul weapon on the Federation. Seeing as the new Federation President, Scott Matson, ignored his peace gestures, Artimus decided to give a demonstration of his evil power. Onboard the Maquis raider commanded by former Starfleet admiral Charles Leyton, Artimus coordinated with his Flagship in the Korolev Expanse. His target was a colony of three hundred and fifty million people on the Federation side of the Expanse. Giving the order, Artimus and Leyton watched as the Omega beam cut through the surface and smashed into the core, vaporizing the entire planet. Several hours later, a second blast was fired from the station that ignited the atmosphere of another equal-sized Federation colony. No response has been given to Artimus' peace gesture or to his destruction of the two worlds.
In his meeting with Leyton, the former admiral suggested that the weapon be brought to Earth. Artimus replied that making it mobile will be difficult, and obscuring it even more so, but it was entirely possible. Leyton informed him that he had a stolen Romulan cloaking device that could be expanded to cover the ten-kilometer weapon. This plan remains between Leyton and Artimus, and will not be revealed to anyone...until it's too late for the Federation to respond.
Replacing the ChancellorEdit
In the mirror universe, the Reydovan Empire had been created in 2296 as a breakaway from the Terran Empire, and allied with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance to completely annihilate it. Under the rule of Emperor Kiran Joshmaul I, the Empire was a much more brutal organization than in the "real universe". In 2375, Joshmaul left the Emperor's throne...but not in the way he did in our universe. He was ambushed by his most trusted overlord, Joshua Underwood, and killed in his throne room. Crowning himself Emperor, the mirror Underwood began a reign of terror that made even the Alliance leadership cringe.
In February 2376, Artimus crossed the dimensional barrier into the mirror universe and met with Emperor Underwood on Reydovan Prime. Artimus explained where he came from, and what the situation was. What Artimus proposed was to replace the Underwood of the "real" universe with his mirror counterpart. Fascinated by Artimus' offer, Underwood's counterpart agreed to replace the Chancellor and allow Artimus to claim the "real" Empire.
Artimus' ruse worked. In the week after that meeting, Underwood was seen as becoming increasingly deranged and paranoid, ordering immediate executions of those who disagreed with him. On February 17, 2376, the fake Chancellor ordered Joshmaul's immediate arrest for crimes against the Empire. Realizing that this could be a serious problem, Governor-General of Reydovan Prime Alexander Ross and General Matthew Russell ambushed the mirror Underwood in his office and disabled him long enough to determine what the problem would be. However, the people of the Empire and the Federation were sufficiently fooled by Artimus' plan; Underwood's reputation was destroyed, and war seemed inevitable.
Artimus reclaimed the Emperor's throne once again and restarted the reign of blood that he had started in October 2375. Upon his ascension, open warfare broke out on Reydovan Prime between Imperial loyalists and Artimus' zealots. The courtyards and halls of Whitesoul Spire, the citadel of the Chancellor, were choking with the bodies of the dead, and the city around it fell into ruin. Throughout most of the war, Artimus remained holed up in his citadel of Castle Devaneaux, transformed into an impregnable fortress. He continued to lead the war effort, as well as sending in the Hand of Joshmaul space station to Earth under extreme secrecy.
On March 15, 2376, Imperial and Starfleet forces under Artimus' son Kieran began the invasion of Reydovan Prime, leading fifteen Imperial warships and five Starfleet vessels, all with highly trained crews, with a division of Starfleet Marines and a division of Imperial Guard troops for the ground invasion. The Imperial-Federation fleet came up against former Imperial Guard general David Highland onboard the Flagship Hand of Artimus, and the fifty-plus other warships in Artimus' fleet...all with inept commanders and crews. The force's primary strategist and highest-ranked Federation commander, SFMC Commandant Jeremiah Neill, worked out a plan to corner the Hand of Artimus. He sent in the Sovereign-class Talon and the Galaxy-refit Phoenix to force the escort ships to chase them, thus bringing the Flagship into the open. After that was complete, he gave the order to his two senior commanders, Captain Takeshi Tokugawa of the Galaxy-class Prestigious and Major General Jonathan Ross on the Galaxy-refit Stonewall Jackson, to focus their fire on the weakly-shielded aft hangar.
Neill's plan worked; the Flagship was neutralized, allowing the troops to land in Montagne Noire. Within hours, the guard posts had been overrun, the mirror Underwood killed, and the Imperial Palace secured. The next step required more work: the infiltration of Castle Devaneaux itself. Kiran Joshmaul, leading a group of Starfleet Marines into the bowels of the fortress, managed to get the reactor set to destabilize just enough where it would destroy Castle Devaneaux...and then fizzle out before the reaction spread. The next step was decided on by the Emperor, Chancellor Underwood and Joshmaul...to finish what they had started.
The three men beamed into Artimus' throne room and confronted him. A brief psionic duel between the Mad Emperor and the Admiral broke out, Artimus exhausting himself with his attempts while Joshmaul barely flinched. Realizing he could not beat Joshmaul in the realm of the mind, Artimus then turned his attention to Kieran, projecting images of the torture and mutilation of his friends and loved ones in his mind. But Joshmaul and Underwood were right there, boosting the Emperor's blocking of the horrific images. His resolve restored, Kieran confronted his father and told him to accept fate; the war was over, he could not win. Artimus boasted that Kieran could not beat him on even terms, and he knew it. "So does your mother," he said next, grabbing his ex-wife Anastasia, battered and broken, and throwing her to the floor. That did not have the effect that Artimus intended.
Filling with rage, the Emperor hurled his sword into Artimus' chest, piercing his blackened heart. Stunned and disbelieving, Artimus was left leaning against the base of his throne, his last thought within his body an admission: that perhaps Kieran was stronger than he anticipated. Then he fell forward, and as if time had suddenly sped up, dissolved into dust. All that remained was the blade that had ended his reign and the ring he had worn on his left hand, the Celtic knot wedding band he wore even after Anastasia divorced him, the one speck of humanity that remained in this vile soul. The inscription on the inside was a line from Shakespeare: "For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come."
Artimus is dead, his vile fortress is in ruins, and the reign of terror he had inflicted on the Reydovan Empire remains fresh in the minds of the people who fought in the war to end it. But the vengeful spirit of Artimus remained, waiting for the right moment where his ultimate triumph would be assured...
Artimus' essence was found in the netherworld of the psionic immaterium by his clone "son", Demon-Kieran Devaneaux, who told the weakened soul that he would avenge his death - and allow for the Defiler to return to the material world far more powerful than he had been before. Demon-Kieran intended to "resurrect" Artimus by creating a clone body for the vile spirit to inhabit. But as his plans reached fruition, disaster struck once again.
Emperor Kieran, realizing where the Demon's base was located, led the joint Federation-Reydovan-Gorak'nar assault on Artimus' old base, the planet Defileron, and laid siege to its defenses. His essence chained in Demon-Kieran's mind, Artimus seethed with rage - as much as a disembodied spirit could seethe, anyway - as he watched Demon-Kieran's carefully laid plans unravel with the stroke of a blade. Using his power to augment the Demon, Artimus was present (though perhaps only the Demon - and Kiran Joshmaul, who accompanied Kieran to the throne room - knew it) during the final battle between the Emperor and the Demon. Boosted by the evil anima of Artimus, Demon-Kieran left his enemy helpless on the floor when something happened - something neither he nor Artimus expected. Joshmaul lashed out with a bolt of pure psychic energy, causing the Demon to slam back into his throne. Regaining his footing, Kieran lashed out with a vicious kick, snapping Demon-Kieran's neck.
With his anima stored in Demon-Kieran's body, Artimus Devaneaux screamed a final death cry on December 24, 2376, as his vile soul disappeared into the void, never to be seen or heard from, never to plague sentients ever again - or so it was believed.
The Opener of PortalsEdit
Thirty years after his death, spacial rifts began opening across the galaxy. While several may have been opened from the mirror universe, at least one was opened from the "real universe" - a portal located at the Lagrangian point between Reydovan Prime and its moon of Serenia. The mirror counterpart of Artimus was believed to be responsible, but in fact, he was lured by the "ghost universe" incarnation, now attempting to regain physical form. Legend spread throughout the Reydovan systems of the Opener of Portals, a suit of armor animated by a disembodied psionic essence. Rumors abound that it is in fact the Artimus of the real universe, out for revenge after thirty years of imprisonment in the psionic netherworld.