---Disclaimer---

Ranma 1/2 and all its associated characters and locations are used without permission and belong to their respective copyright holders. Anything else (Teh Sthlhu, The Four Empires, Typhon Sidhe, Ceoeff, Merac, Hiwt, etc.) is owned by me. So there! ^_^

---

"...And out of Darkness came Light;
A warrior of might midst the plight;
'Round his head was a crown
Made of purest gold,
And polished like mirror-glass.
(Or so I've been told)
He rode on a ship high in the sky,
And there was no wave he could not ply,
Onward he rushed to his Doom.

The Enemy did turn
And cowered like a worm
As the King returned
to the place of his birth.
For through Death
and hardship he'd proved
His honor,
And courage,
And worth.

High in the hills,
And low in the seas
Did their battle rage on
'Till all their strength
had been gutted and gone.
Out of the sea he did rise,
Sun on his shoulders,
And Stars in his eyes.
He had dispelled the gloom."
- From the 'Warrior' manuscript

---Title---

Wanderings
(Rewrite of The Wandering Saotome)
A Ranma 1/2 Altaverse
By Dr. Suekeiichi Kaiton
(Skaiton@netscape.net)

---China---

"Well? What are you waiting for boy, get in there and learn a new technique!" Genma Saotome nudged his twelve-year old son, Ranma closer to the gaping cave entrance. Somehow they had managed to elude the band of villagers pursuing them and made it up a steep mountain to their destination. Little Ranma whimpered as a harsh wind seemed to blow from deep inside.

Genma had discovered the cave while flipping through a manual on ancient, forbidden training grounds. The article had mentioned that anyone sent into the cave would return wielding either power or death, for his sake he hoped that Ranma returned strong and not dead. Still, if the legend of the glowing warriors _was_ true, then Ranma could become the most powerful martial artist in the world at the precocious age of twelve! A new milestone and award to place around the portly neck of Genma Saotome. Besides, the fat man could almost see cash some people would shell out for breeding rights to his son. The fact that he was thinking of his son as a prize-winning stud horse was lost on him, however.

"C'mon Pops, it's really dark and scary in there, who knows what kinda snakes or spider or c-c-c-cats might be hiding in there?" The preteen squirmed in his father's grasp and tried to pull away as the larger man forced him forward.

"Stop being such a wimp, Ranma! I thought I raised you better than to whine like a little girl!"

"Hey! I ain't no girl, Pops, you take that back!" Genma chortled and looked down his nose at the diminutive figure of his son.

"Well, prove you aren't then boy...get in there!" Genma picked up Ranma by the back of his gi and threw him far into the black depths of the cave. Bringing his hand up to his ear, the man didn't hear any sound which might have indicated a landing. "Boy?" He called, worrying about his own life should Nodoka get a hold of him, rather than that of his progeny. "Stop being a sissy and come out boy! It's getting cold out here!"

---Later---

Ranma awoke to the sight of a naked girl with pale-green skin bouncing on him. The girl was smiling and obviously enjoying herself but stopped as he began to rise. She toppled off and drew a hand to her mouth in embarrassment and fear. Ranma looked at his surroundings, a soft forest glen with a crystal clear lake beside him, green grass as far as the eye could see, and a naked girl with pointed ears and green skin wrapped around his legs.

"Where'm I? What's happenin?" Ranma groggily rubbed his sore head and tried to file all the information he was receiving from the land. A yellow sun blared down on him from the centre of the sky and he rubbed his eyes against its glare. While he was engrossed in the motions, the nymph began to remount him, entwining her legs with his and pushing his unruly top-half back down to the soft, cold, grass with a thud. "Ow!? Whaddaya do that for!?" He rubbed his bruised head once again as the girl piled plucked strands of green grass on his chest before laying her head down upon the bed of foliage. "What're ya doin'?"

The girl answered by pushing her hand into his face, her fingers simultaneously going into his mouth and nostrils.

"Be quiet, bed, Ceoeff wants to sleep!" She managed to intone from between the leaves of grass. He could see a smile on her lips as began to drift off into dreams.

"Get off me! Ya crazy person, I ain't no bed for no whacked out chick!" He pushed himself upright from the ground and rolled her to the side. She seemed to take this as a kind of game and continued rolling down the gently descending hillock towards a placid lake. Ranma noticed her destination and sprang up with a start. "Hey wait just a minute! I don't even know yer name!" So began the chase down the hill. He leapt quickly halfway down to catch her but instead of being caught she rolled off to the side and lay on her stomach with her head resting on her palms. She was staring intently at him.

"Merac told me it was fun, so Ceoeff did it." The girl rolled over onto her back and stretched out on the grass. Ranma shook the debris out of his hair and waved a fist in her direction.

"I'm not a bed ya crazy chick! And who's Merac?" He suddenly seemed at a loss for words, looking curiously up at the bright azure sky. Ceoeff casually began eating the grass around her in boredom.

"The nymph that lives in that lake over there. She's Ceoeff's best friend. She told Ceoeff you were squishy. Who are you?" She smiled as she asked, the picture of naivete. All in all it came across rather strangely as her smile was covered in grass pieces.

"I'm not a bed, that's fer sure!" He blushed at her nudity and bowed to the nymph, pointedly looking away. "I'm Ranma Saotome of the Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts!" He stated with flourish and pride. He was placating as he spoke and bowed multiple times, hoping that his declaration would convince the girl he wasn't a bed, and impress her, not to mention ease her forgiveness for seeing her naked. She stopped chewing on the grass and rolled over on her side, stretching her right arm up across the blanket of leaves and waved.

"This is Ceoeff," she pointed to herself, "Ceoeff is a dryad." She got up and began to walk away into the glade.

"Wait! Can ya tell me where I am?" he began to follow her, but only ended up running smack into a tree as she merged with the forest. As he fell back to the ground and cursed her loudly while holding his bleeding nose, her petite head of mossy-looking short hair emerged once more from the bark.

"You're in Ceoeff's backyard, Ranma-bed, now it's time to sleep." With that her head disappeared once more into the solid trunk of the tree. Ranma stood there for a good fifteen minutes staring at the tree before he kicked it's roots angrily and stalked back to his indentation back at the top of the hill.

"What the heck've ya done now, Pops?"

---Elsewhere---

Sidhe was fey, naturally, and he ruled over his lands with a fist of bloodshed, war, and terror. The Lord Typhon Sidhe was an old ruler, perhaps the oldest on the continent and had been trouble for his neighbors for centuries. Always waging war on the Landrians or the Dukedom, either that or causing petty squabbling among the rabble in his domain so he could ride forth and kill something that would fight back. Yes, in all regards a cold example of life and the dark excesses a soul, even one of the blessed, could sink to when one had the promise of immortality. As fey, the Crimson Warlord, as they called him, could expect to live numerous lifetimes of men and not age.

Thus is came as no surprise that assassination plots flourished under his reign, for what man would want to live if he were doomed to spend the rest of his days under the heel of a despotic murderer? Typhon was an imposing fey, glowing green at times when he was either in the throes of passion with one of his slaves or consumed by bloodlust on the field of battle. At those times the officers or servants around him could feel the flows of life pound in his veins for the briefest of moments. He was tall and reasonably slim with a crop of short gray hair and a clean-shaven face. His cheeks were set high and poked from beneath the skin of his face like mountains threatening to burst through the crust of the earth. Eyes of the darkest obsidian glinted from beneath thick gray brows furrowed in rage or calculation. These features, as unattractive as they may seem individually, together formed a rather handsome man of indiscriminant age, dressed in black with silver finery.

After seven thousand years of overrunning countries and killing neighbors, Sidhe was faced with the insurmountable walls of the Dukedom, the Empire, and Lan-Dria (1). For they were lands of governments twice as old as he and powerful in resources and technology, it was said that he three opponents had powers of magic greater than the Crimson Warlord himself. Thus, until such a time as his general Toh Gerabeve could construct a viable attack plan against the three world powers, Typhon busied himself slaying peasants, raping servants, and conjuring.

Yes, conjuring, a science that has its positive and negative elements. Sidhe used his fey powers of magic to conjure creatures from other regions of the world for sport. He could conjure an Ifrit (2) from the darkened halls of subterranean Eblis to do battle with, a pastime he rather enjoyed, or take snow tigers or spugorths or lachta (3). He lived for the thrill of the kill, that last blow against a powerful and cunning enemy, and practiced conjuring often when he was bored. However, there was an even darker side to his magic.

Conjuring vicious wild animals was one thing, conjuring living, thinking beings such as nymphs, dryads, and fairies was completely different. Typhon took great pleasure in capturing a young nymph and raping her all night long, debasing and defiling her until nothing but a vegetable or husk of anima was left. His dungeons were filled with poor recipients of his foul lust, ruined creatures left to starve. He took delight in their mews of pain and slapped them to hear them scream as he rutted, often taking his sword to them and dismembering them as he finished.

Above all his rapes and killing was his wife. It may seem odd that such an untouchable and base villain would be able to find any to marry him, but Typhon was not always so. Centuries before he came into power and let the cavalier regard for life twist his natural fey goodness into ebony shackles of evil, he married another of his kind. Her name was Leannan, a proud and beautiful fey of the sea element. As he grew in warmongering and pride, their love diminished but was never extinguished. At the beginning of his fall, the Crimson Sidhe bound their fey powers, ensuring she could never rebel or act against him. At the time it had seemed harmless and she might have treated it as a sign of his gentle paranoia but it quickly grew as he became darker. She learned to resent him, as far as the enchantment would allow, and became cold to the touch.

And so it came to be that Typhon lost much conscious control over his fey powers.

Now all was in readiness. Sidhe sat cross-legged in his basement sanctum, nude, and prepared to conjure a nymph for his uses that night. Undressed as he was three things remained on his body, his fey focus in the shape of an earring on his right ear, a wide black bracer affixed to his right wrist, and a thick necklace of ivory and steel which held the key to unlock his sanctum spells. Scars ran down his body every-which way and a tattoo of the Druidic eye was visible on his back between his shoulder blades. The red eye seemed to blink sideways as the muscles shifted under the skin.

Speaking in the tongue of the Warlords (4), he joined his hands thumbs to forefingers and saw the target area through the square area created. There were three nymphs frolicking in a forest clearing with a sparda. They appeared to be no older than twelve seasons each...which would ensure a tight fit. Licking his lips the monstrous Lord began the incantation.

---The Lapis wood---

Ranma really didn't know what to do. Here he was, stuck in a weird place with these three naked girls bouncing up and down and rolling around. One thing was for sure...their antics were making him very nervous.

"Ranma-bed come here! Ceoeff wants to show him something!" The green-skinned dryad beckoned to him from behind a thick segment of brush while the other two, Hiwt and Merac, pranced about under the open canopy of stars. With absolutely no way of getting back to wherever he and Pops had been and having no eaten anything that day Ranma hoped that the girl had food.

"I'm coming, I'm coming..." He parted the foliage and started scratching an itch at the base of his neck where he'd suffered a large scar from Genma's botched attempt at the neko-ken. Funny, that, it usually only started itching when he was...! "C-c-c-c-c-c-c-CATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

On the other side was a sparda, a type of wild cat found in the lapis woods and in various climes across the world. Frequently taken as pets and domesticated there were still several breeds that remained exclusively feral including the one that Ceoeff was playing with at the moment. It was the size of a mountain lion with sleek shanks and very short fur except around the neck and tail. It had a shaggy but short mane like a lion and its tail was puffy; however, its claws were massive. If extracted, the full curved blade would measure seven inches in length. Also, they were not retractable like a house-cat's, rather they stuck out of the paw like vicious ginzu knives and scored the ground they walked on...not exactly a great pet to show one with cat problems.

"Isn't he great? Ceoeff found him in the forest last week!" Ranma was too overtaken by fear to answer. "What's wrong?"

"...cat...cat...nice kitty...you don't want to eat me do ya?" Ranma's eyes were clenched shut as the dryad motioned for the animal to move closer. She thought that Ranma was trying to play a joke...

The sparda could sense that this being was afraid of it...terrified even! In a gesture of reassurance she padded over to the paralyzed boy and sniffed his clothes before jumping up on her hind legs and licking his face. This was unfortunately the wrong thing to do in Ranma's case as the heavy weight of the cat atop him brought back horrifying memories of thousands of teeth and claws ripping into his skin in the darkness. When the rough edge of her tongue slid across his face, Ranma's only reaction was a meek whimper before darkness overtook him.

Ceoeff was watching her friends play when Ranma stiffened suddenly and the great sparda jumped anxiously off his prone form. Sparda apparently felt the flood of animosity emanating from Ranma's feral cat state and sought to escape. In the scuffle between the nymph and the animal neither noticed a portal begin to form under the Ceoeff's feet until it was too late. Ranma jumped off his back and spun around, sniffing the air for the scent of his prey. He saw the two moving forms at the edge of the clearing and knew that one was the female cat. With a throaty growl he leapt at the two figures...

---Sidhe's sanctum---

Typhon could hardly wait to sink himself into the screaming tightness of the nymph, to rip apart her fragile membranes and let a puddle of blood from their union develop on the floor. His penis was already hard and throbbing with anticipation as he finished the incantation and the dark laboratory was bathed in harsh white light. He stood from the floor and checked the containment spells on the door, positive that no one but he could escape back into the castle. Turning back to the subsiding ethereal glow, he moved just in time to catch four ki claws as they sliced open his face.

The cat was not amused. It had just caught the female when this new Alpha appeared in heat. Sniffing around the chamber when it first arrived, it found no trace of the female and so concluded that the usurping Alpha had taken her. The cat would teach other males not to fool around with his pack. As the blinding light diminished he swiped out with a paw, fully intent on punishing the supplanter for touching _his_ mates.

Typhon reeled from the blow. It was the first true wound he'd received in all his life, the first true pain he had ever felt. He fell to the stones clutching his face, feeling the raw torn skin peel off in his hand as he tried to stop the flow of blood spilling out onto the floor. Naked and unarmed as he was, the sudden attack and pain of injury were enough to lock his mind and so it should come as no surprise that Sidhe never used one spell or weave of magic in self-defense. He was far too busy crawling across the floor pathetically while screaming in agony as sections of skin sloughed off his cheek bones.

The cat could hear the Alpha's screams of pain and supplication but knew that examples had to be made. No male ever touched his females and lived to tell the tale. Stalking out of the summoning circle he growled at the retreating figure with his ki claws and fangs fully exposed, visible as iridescent versions of the real thing. A phantom tale swished in irritation as his opponent reached a wall and was unable to run any further. The cat tensed his jaw and paws for the next attack.

It is very ironic that in a span of three minutes the high and mighty fey, Lord Typhon Sidhe, was reduced to bawling and pleading for his life naked and bloody. It is also ironic that his intuition for movement which had successfully dodged killing blows and secured his place among the finest duelists in the Four Kingdoms proved to be his ruination. Just as he turned to shove his back against the wall, blind as he was from the blood running into his eyes, Ranma's claw came down his exposed midsection. Searing pain flared as more crimson cascaded down his body. The blow had nearly severed his manhood as well but amidst the pain and instinct for self-preservation he did not know that fact...yet.

The cat knew the Alpha would never sire any children by any female and was slightly satisfied by that knowledge. Growling came bubbling up from his diaphragm and his breath seemed to steam in the close quarters of the room.

Typhon was barely lucid as the pain and blood-loss were beginning to draw a dark tarp over his thoughts and senses. The pain wasn't even that bad anymore he realized but he was having trouble feeling his limbs. Feeble bloody fingers traced down the deep gashes in his abdomen and trailed down to his penis which had been severed halfway off by a single ki claw and only needed his hand fondling down there to tear itself completely off his body. If Typhon knew this he would have screamed but as it was, he was aware of very little.

It was time to finish it.

The great Cat pounced on the prone and dying body and began to tear into it with claws and fangs. The abdomen opened on its ribs as if on hinges and the heart, lungs, and stomach spilled out onto the floor. A jaw capable of crushing steel girders clamped down on a length of intestine and ripped it clean out of the body. Acting like a feral animal the cat used both front paws in turns to hollow out the torso of its victim before moving upwards to the head. Opening wide its maw the animal's bottom incisors punctured Typhon's closed eyes and moved past them into the brain as the two top teeth split the back of the skull. Hefting the hollow carcass by the head, the cat thrashed the body back and forth vigorously splattering blood and other fluids across the conjuring room. One selective bite tore off the whole left side of Sidhe's face. It was odd and horrifying that even in death Typhon's face still held the smug smirk it wore in life. The effect was completely lost, however, by the fact that he was missing half his face.

---To be continued (maybe)---

I've decided to rewrite 'The Wandering Saotome' since I seem to have written myself into a corner with the original and find I don't want to finish that version. This version will eventually move to Phoenix Mountain and familiar characters will appear but that will happen later. In case anyone doesn't see the similarity, I've taken inspiration for this rewrite from The Grum's 'Chains' series, and Arun's 'Destiny'. Both of which are truly great and inspirational works. I'm going to use the basic setup from 'Chains', meaning Ranma will inherit a kingdom by the death of Typhon but the next chapter will have vast differences (as if the violence and setup for Teh Sthlhu weren't enough of a deviation for those who would cry 'plagiarist!'). This rewrite will only continue if people have positive comments and opinions of it, otherwise I have twenty-four parts of 'The 1/2 Saga' to get through.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Email me!

Skaiton@netscape.net

-Notes:
(1) The Four Kingdoms are: The Dukedom of Ly-Donia, The Teh Sthlhu Empire, The Imperial Republic of Lan-Dria, and the Allied Nations of Siler. Typhon Sidhe's kingdom lies on the border of the Dukedom and the Empire. The Dukedom is governed by Duke Rwedad Lydonia who, despite the title, is a constitutional monarch. Teh Sthlhu is ruled by Emperor Maximillian Falcore and is the youngest of the four kingdoms even though it is also the most powerful. The Republic is ruled by the dictator Lames Geste and occupies the most land but is politically fragile. The Allied Nations are a composed of thirty smaller nations across the Eastern Ocean under the elected official Chairman Siler.
(2) An Ifrit is a spirit that makes its body out of fire. They can withstand enormous temperatures and are physically hardy. They are so notoriously difficult to defeat that in Teh Sthlhu 'Ifrit' is synonymous with 'tenacious'.
(3) Typical beings that haunt old, broken down places. Equivalent to gigantic silverfish and spiders.
(4) Typhon is speaking the chants of the Druidic Warlords, the original rulers of Teh Sthlhu before the Emperor Maximillian deposed them. The fact that Sidhe wears the tattoo of the Warlords indicates he once was of Warlord Status magically.