I don't own these characters.
A/N: this AU takes places in a fantasy world that is just an amalgamation of ancient civilizations and barbarian cultures. I'll give you guys the inspiration for things, if you wanna know. This is pretty much a prologue. This is it, folks, my first attempt at SheBon (you know, just them by themselves).
Goh Forth and Conquer
1: They Came From the East
They rose like demons out of the deepest, darkest, hottest levels of Hell, led on by the daughter of the God of Death. They were the Gohs, the Empire of the East. Shego was one of their rulers. She was the only queen amongst the five monarchs, but she was easily the most feared. She was the one that followed in their father's menacing footsteps. She was the conqueror and she was coming for lands in the West, just as her father had done to build the empire he had graciously left to his children upon his death. And she, along with her army, inched closer to his city according to a scout.
The Governor of Middleton, Steve Barkin, had just received the worst news anyone in his position could get. The Gohs were marching toward his city, flying a green flag; the color was synonymous with doom as far as the world was concerned. It was terrible news for the entire western half of the continent, but he was the first in the path of the daughter of Death. Damnation, he thought with dread, even though he would openly insist with great force he was not worried about the approaching army.
Governor Barkin wished he could send word to his allies for assistance, but he knew they would never make it in time, if they even came at all. No one was in a hurry to battle against the fierce war machine that was the Gohs, especially Gohs flying the color green. What started out as a small, barbarian tribe at the edge of the world had grown into a ferocious force of four kingdoms that made up a terrifying empire and the worst of them all was coming close.
A hundred years ago, no one in the West knew who or what the Gohs were, but little by little they began to hear horrifying tales of barbarians on horse back that struck with the speed of lightning, looting, plundering, and conquering every piece of land that they treaded upon. They devoured tribes and cities like wild dogs, tearing them apart and feasting upon their carcasses until they were no more. But, it was not until recently they truly became a single empire, only to be split up again upon the death of their first true emperor, Kane.
Kane Goh was known as the Golden Emperor to his friends and the God of Death to his foes. His grandfather had been the one that gathered the Goh tribes together based solely on his will and charm as a leader. He led the tribes as a collective group into pillaging nearby towns at the very edge of the East. Kane's father was the one that started to go west and then came Kane, who was thought to be the worst of them all by some, especially those outside of the Goh nation.
There had been a tale going around that Kane was actually the son of a sky god. There were many different stories surrounding his linage, which would also be true of his children. There was one story that his mother had been struck by lightning and was impregnated with him through the powerful jolt. Another claimed he was born of the earth when the ground was hit by a lightning bolt and that the leader of the Gohs simply found him in the night, adopting him as a son. The main legend surrounding his birth was that Kane dropped out of the sun into his father's arms, covered in the sun's radiance, shining a bright yellow and blinding those that looked upon him until his father soothed him by claiming the child as kin.
Whatever the manner of his birth, Kane was born and the lands west of the Gohs were cursed with his presence. Even when his father was still alive, the barbarian prince could not sit still in his father's kingdom. He had to go out and battle, coming into areas like a plague and taking everything like the demon that he was. He conquered city and country all in the name of his father and tribe, never stopping to rule anything on his own. His one desire in life only seemed to be fighting, battle, the spilling of blood to build on what his forefathers had started.
Kane gained victory after victory and pulled off all kinds of miraculous feats that only fed the rumor he was really the son of a god. Kane, himself, never professed to be anything more or less than his father's son. He claimed his father-King with great pride, seeming to need nothing more in the world than to be his father's son. He did everything in the older man's name, going so far as to giving his father the honor of all of his wins, even though the King never rode with him into battle. It perplexed to many who viewed Kane as the embodiment of evil that he never attempted to take the kingdom from his father as the young warrior turned the small kingdom into an empire. Instead, while his father lived, Kane only marched westward until he doubled the size of his father's land. It was about that time he met his match. Someone dared to challenge his perfect battle record and achieve something beyond a miracle.
Kane had marched to the north, not even three years into being a man, and met his first real obstacle in life. He had gone, searching for wood and hunting grounds for food, but got much more than he bargained for. Surprisingly enough, for those who were not aware of the peoples in that area anyway, Kane's challenge came in the form of a woman. She challenged him, not only in the way a man would expect a woman to do, as a road block in his path to greatness. But, she also challenged him as a man would expect another man to do, by being a barrier to his glory. She stood before him like a valiant warrior, ready to fight him to the death to prevent him from taking over her lands.
The woman was Isabel and she was merely the daughter of some hill chieftain who could not even control his wife. There was talk that Isabel was like Kane, though. That she was the daughter of a god, which could explain her ability to oppose the God of Death as she did. Supposedly, Isabel's mother had given birth to her after mating with a volcano god and had only carried Isabel for three months before she burst from her mother's womb already a toddler and ready for war.
To her people, Isabel's speedy growth within her mother explained why she was seen as a wise woman at the mere age of sixteen; it seemed that she matured faster mentally than she did physically now that she was in the world. There was also the rumor her mother was a demon, which explained why all at that age feared her, too. Most people believed Isabel inherited her mother's demonic abilities and even though she was a friendly young woman, there was that underlying fear that a demonic nature lurked in the depths of her soul. People claimed to see Hell in her eyes. She did seem to pull out her dark powers when Kane showed up to take over her village.
The story went that Isabel met Kane on his horse not too far from her village. Isabel stood alone and faced the God of Death, looking him in his fierce purple eyes when he rode his army near her village. It was said that when he locked gazes with her, amethyst versus emerald, the God of Death flinched. The legend held that Kane was the only one that looked away, while actually gulping, in front of all of his men. The soldiers, listening to the locals, believed Isabel had bewitched their great General-Prince in that moment. It was the only way to explain how a woman could strike fear into the heart of a man that was fearless.
Kane hesitated in his attack on the village, wanting to negotiate instead of doing battle. It was the first time he asked questions before charging in. In fact, he did not even get to charge in. He only wanted to negotiate; well, there were terms that he desired in that, of course. Before such talks, he needed to know who Isabel was and what that look in her jade eyes had meant. Many people had told him the look in her eyes was the direct path to Hell. He could believe it, but no one did inform him as to whom she was. It seemed like they did not want to speak her name to an outsider.
It was only when the Prince went to speak to the Chieftain about forming an alliance did he learn who Isabel was. He entered the hut of the chief, but found he would not be speaking to him. He would instead be speaking with the chief's wife and his first question had been in regards to Isabel. The Chieftain's wife had chuckled, sending a chill down the God of Death's spine because of the murky sound of her voice. She looked at him with piercing jade eyes that were worse than the look he received from Isabel when he had first met her. He did not flinch that time, though, unknowingly impressing her. It was then she revealed that Isabel was her daughter.
She had called Isabel "the offspring of my flesh and the fire of the underworld." She took pride in telling the so-called God of Death that her daughter was the true bringer of destruction and doom. Kane suddenly found himself challenged by Isabel's mother just as much as he had been by her, but he did not yield to the mother. It seemed that he had flinched enough for one lifetime.
Having regained his backbone and fiery aura, an actual yellow shine seeming to build around him, Kane spoke to a woman who was allegedly a demon with a tone she had never heard before. He sounded beyond strong, like mountains would crumble at his mere presence. He sounded as if he was completely in charge of what was going on. She was intrigued, but sour at the same time. Kane did not care about her attitude and continued on being himself while talking with her.
No one knew what kind of discussions went on in the hut, but by the end of the time Kane had emerged a betrothed man to Isabel, who did not take kindly to the arrangement. Kane immediately learned he was to marry a viper in the form of a human, which only seemed to make him want her all the more. She was an interesting woman; many of his men believed she was actually a witch, especially from the way she acted. The soldiers were also suspicious of the way their Prince had fallen for her.
Isabel had actually tried to do away with her new husband on their wedding night, attacking him as soon as they were left alone. But little did she know her insolence only made Kane want her all the more. The night had been filled with screams and not the ones anyone in the camp expected. Kane and Isabel actually ended up having a fight rather than consummating their marriage, a serious, injury-incurring battle. The following morning, they both had to visit the surgeons for stitches. It took them months before they pulled off that miracle of miracles, sharing a bed.
Kane's marriage to Isabel was allegedly the only thing that the Prince ever did to upset his father. How dare the Crown Prince of the Goh kingdom marry the lowly daughter of a northern barbarian, after all? His father had unwisely expressed such an opinion in front of his new bride and dared to suggest he take other wives in front of her, not knowing that by that time Isabel had fallen for Kane just as much as he did for her. It was at that time his father learned why Isabel would be his one and only queen. Kane had to talk her out of her trying to get him to the throne earlier than intended thanks to his father's words.
She had actually pressed a dagger to his father's throat, managing to get to the King before any of his guards could react. Not that the guards dared touch her, as they knew Kane would have destroyed them all the moment they moved. The rest had been a blur. Kane was not sure what he said to get Isabel to drop the dagger beyond assuring her that he would never want anyone beyond her. That was enough.
With Kane and Isabel's union, it was like the Devil and Hell had united. Kane went on a conquering spree with his men the likes of which the world had never seen along with his bewitching woman, who always remained faithful and fearsome, killing as many men as he would. She rode her horse as if she was mentally linked with the beast and stunned their enemies with one glare of her sharp, burning emerald eyes. Everyone that they crushed was not sure who scared them more, Kane or Isabel. The couple did not care as long as lands, people, and soon an entire empire bowed to them.
The couple marched to the edge of one of the world's largest empires and walked in as if they owned it, as if they knew it would belong to them before the year was out. Kane worked like a typhoon when he went into conquer new territory, but it was Isabel that insured the land was truly theirs. Kane's pleasure entailed capturing worlds, marching into them, battling, and then moving on to do that all that once more. Isabel was the one who stopped him to explain a lesson her mother had taught her – people had to be made to serve a ruler. Kane might have taken the lands, but Isabel held onto the people. She did something it never would have occurred to her mother to do; Isabel shared her knowledge and power with Kane, who in turn, shared his tactics and command with her. The entire world trembled at the mentioning of their names now. They became one being, one entity, one force.
Under Kane and Isabel's leadership, the Goh army was unstoppable. There was no wall that could stop them, no body of water, no army, no anything. It was as if they could conquer the gods themselves should they so desire. They just continued coming, taking whatever was in their path if it was not offered to them. Most small towns and villages offered, happily coming into the Goh kingdom for the protection it offered and the opportunities that were starting to be presented to citizens of the kingdom. There were new trade options to be had as citizens of the Goh kingdom, as well as new luxuries. It never seemed like a bad deal, even though the tribute to be paid to the king was staggering.
By the time Kane became king, it was fair to call himself the emperor, which he did with no shame. As usual, he shared his glory with his woman equally, calling Isabel his empress and ordering everyone to obey her as they would him. He took the term "better half" very seriously when it came to Isabel and his subjects made sure to treat her as such, knowing that not only would the Emperor punish them if they mistreated her, but whatever Isabel did to them would be perfectly legal, too, as the word of the rulers was the word of the land. No one was crazy enough to challenge such a law considering they were almost certain that their Emperor and Empress were truly the progeny of highest gods.
Kane was an addict for conquest, though. He was not able to stay in his capital city to rule whenever the weather was fair for war. He left Isabel behind to reign over their affairs of state while he went off in the spring and summer to add to their lands. Isabel did not complain, merely reminding him that he needed to make sure whatever he gained was under their hold and not just bowing to him while he was around. With her words on his mind, he marched, glowing with the aegis of the sun around him. And, seemingly by the divine adoration, Kane always returned to Isabel with more for her to administer to as his gifts. She eventually had gifts for him, children.
For the first few years of their marriage, there had been whispers around that the God of Death had married a barren daughter of Hades. Kane never questioned it, but his bride sometimes could not help wondering if the whispers had a point. After all, she had not conceived years into their marriage, no matter how often they laid together; and they did do a lot of that. She once even returned to her mother, whom she had been avoiding ever since the woman had given her to Kane for unknown reasons, and her mother read bones for her. She was promised extraordinary children and that settled her nerves, even though it still took years for her to become pregnant. Before that, she had to be irked by hushed rumors that she had bewitched Kane and her spell prevented him from seeing any truth about her.
When the Empress finally bore her husband children, it actually did not quiet the rumors; it only bred new stories. When she gave birth to their first son, the nurses looked at the boy, whom Kane dubbed Hego, which was Kane's grandfather's name; the boy's blue hair and eyes reminded him of his grandfather. His strong body and will later on would tell Kane that he had given his son the right name. The women whispered amongst themselves whenever Isabel was not around, saying the boy looked nothing like their divine Emperor. It angered Isabel, but before dealing with the nurses, she needed to know Kane did not believe such nonsense.
Kane was all smiles and grins over the birth of their son. Isabel almost shied away from asking him if he believed Hego to truly be his child, but she needed to know. When she approached the subject, Kane only grinned wider and assured her that he had no doubt Hego was his son. The son of Goh and destined to be a great man, Kane had bragged quite happily while the baby crushed his fingers with an intense grip. She was not sure why he was so certain, but his glee only made her feel the same way. Two demons had reproduced once, but they were not done.
After Hego, Isabel gave Kane a daughter two years later. Isabel found herself having something in common with her mother despite how creepy she always thought her mother to be. She utterly adored her daughter from the moment she saw the child, who had come out with oddly pale green skin. Kane surprised his wife by loving their daughter with the same vigor as he loved their son. It seemed that Kane had no favorites, just loving the idea of being a father.
Isabel allowed Kane to name their daughter upon seeing how happy he was to have one. He dubbed her "Shego," which Isabel had been against at first. She thought Kane was putting their daughter into the shadow of their son with such a name, but he quickly and easily explained he was doing no such thing. He had to explain the culture of the Goh tribe to her for her to understand that "Shego" was an independent name of its own. It was actually the name of a fire goddess that the Gohs believed gave birth to their first leader and he thought it went with their daughter's fiery spirit, which he claimed he could see when she was only a few hours old. Only after that explanation did Isabel accept that as their daughter's name.
Three sons followed Shego, all of whom Kane loved just as much as their first two children. The energy Kane showed toward their children was equal only to the energy he put forth on the battlefield. Other than warfare and his family, Kane was actually a sluggish fellow who was often late to administrative meetings, if he ever bothered to show up at all. By then, it was the opinion of most of the court that if Isabel was never around, the empire would have fallen apart on Kane's watch and the scary thing was that no one was honestly certain if he would have even cared.
The children of those demons were, of course, seen as demons themselves by the outside world while the Goh citizens thought the children were just as divine as their parents. The children showed to have inherited many things from their great parents, but the most noticeable were their skin tones. It had always been noticed that Kane's skin had an odd yellow glow to it, like the halo that accompanied him whenever he charged into battle at the speed of light. His children had similar features, but most notably was his daughter Shego and her green tone, which was also matched with the paleness of her mother's skin. And then there was his son Mego, who had a mauve complexion to him. Their tones only made them seem more god-like because it was something so distinguishing.
Kane did not look at his children's complexions as anything more than proof that they were of his blood. His skin had yellow undertone to it, but it was not as noticeable as Shego's and Mego's coloring. He had been told stories by his father and other elders that his uniqueness ran in their family, going all the way back to some of their first Goh ancestors. Kane just hoped his children inherited more than just the strange skin tones.
Kane celebrated his children's hues and made them all the colors of royalty. He would even conquer lands under their colors and in their names. As one might imagine, it was devastating to his family and country when the God of Death actually died. Isabel had been the most troubled by it, collapsing into tears for the first time in her life when she heard of his passing. She seemed utterly inconsolable when she was given the news that her great husband had died quietly, resting by a river. He had gone peacefully, smiling, but in such a way that was not fitting for a man that had conquered almost half of the known world.
Isabel knew Kane probably went in a way he would have liked. After all, he did not believe it was possible for him to die in battle and she was of like mind on that thought. He was a man that could not be touched in war, so it was likely that he would never die on the battlefield, but there was something anticlimactic to him dying by a calm river, smiling to himself, having escaped going to a budget meeting of all things. It was just like him.
Kane had been in his prime upon his death at the age of thirty-eight. He had plans to continue marching until the entire world was called Goh; he used to tell that to his wife and children. The world might have sighed in relief upon his death if only his most fierce child had not taken up his cause. In honor of her father, Shego decided she would go west and Isabel did not stop her. Isabel believed it would be hard to stop the child that was so much like her father. All she could do was instill the teachings that she had into Shego to make sure she was not too much like Kane.
Shego truly was a totally different creature compared to Kane, but was almost exactly the same to anyone that had the privilege of serving both father and daughter. Shego did not take all of her father's army because upon his death the army was divided, as was the Empire. It was still one empire called Goh, but there were provinces in it now, split into four. Shego and Hego were given the provinces furthest west because they were the strongest of the siblings and were trusted by their mother to keep those lands in check on their own. Mego was given territory in the middle where turmoil was possible, but he could easily call upon any of his siblings should he need help and being a mere thirteen when he was granted that land, it was certain he would require aid. The youngest, the twins, who seemed to think they were one person just given the chance to be in two place at once, had the oldest land of the Goh empire, where the subjects were least likely to rebel because they had not been conquered in their minds. Isabel continued to act as Empress over all of the land, but remained with her youngest sons also to act as regent for them until they were older. Mego remained close to Isabel, too, for a time and she held his lands together for him until he felt prepared to do it on his own.
Hego and Shego were the most independent of the children, jumping at the chance to rule their own provinces. The split was done as a test, or so they assumed, and a way to manage a vast empire better than it could have been done from one capital city as Isabel and Kane had been doing. The children were all aware that when Isabel died, she was going to pick one of them as ruler of the whole land, so they had to prove themselves by reigning over their provinces. Hego liked to think that he was doing the best job of it.
Hego had opted to settle in his lands and called himself "king." He had taken much of their father's army with him to his lands in the north. He was not one for campaigning and ran a peaceful plot of land for the most part, thanks to the presence of the army. His siblings were not likely to follow in that line.
Shego wanted more than what her mother had given her when their father died. She wanted the West. It was her birthright in her opinion. She would take it just like her father took the East.
She barely had any men from her father's army, giving most of what was left after Hego took them to her brothers, proclaiming she would raise her own military like her father had done. Isabel only wished her luck, which had insulted her, as Isabel knew it would. Shego did not believe in luck because her father never believed in such foolishness. She would triumph like her father did and then she would surpass her father, just as he had. So far, she had proven to be quite like him and quite like her mother, too. To her enemies, she was the amalgam of the two demon rulers. She was the God of Hell and she was marching towards Middleton now.
At the start of her campaign, Shego had been rather experienced in battle, having gone out with her father once. She had been brought up as a warrior like her brothers and like her father. She was a trained horseman, archer, swordsman, and even an engineer because her parents had raised her to never ask her soldiers to do something that she could not or would not do. She was to always lead at the front, as they did.
The pale green teen at the time had had no problem gathering small volunteers for her march from the Goh Empire. Land, riches, and adventure seemed to be in Goh blood and they flocked to her for all of that. She did not steer them wrong. There was enough for all of them to go around and in less than ten years Shego almost tripled the size of her province. It would have been more if she did not allow her brother Mego to ride with her when he was old enough.
It was said that when Shego rode near a city, the flames of Hell could be seen behind her, just as people used to say about her father. Kane's flames were said to be the color of the sun while Shego's fire called up something more fearsome, green flames like an unholy specter rode with her; supposedly, it was her father's spirit by her side, supporting her. Such thoughts caused many cities to fall in tribute to her because it was one thing to incur the wrath of Shego, but to possibly incur her wrath as well as her father's was too much for many to bear.
The East was now knocking on the West's door with Shego on the prowl. The West hoped the water that divided the lands would stop her, as they hoped it would stop her father when they learned of his ambition. The West had been thankful for Kane's death, thinking they had been spared being devoured. But, Shego was just as hungry as her father. She seemed to be just as unstoppable because the large river that separated her new territories from the city of Middleton seemed to be mean nothing if the reports were accurate and she was on her way.
When the Gohs emerged from the hills, they were in plain view of Steve Barkin and any other person that could get high enough in Middleton to see. The sun rose behind the army, lighting them on fire in a bright orange, and their leader in front of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. She was clad in green and black, her colors as royalty and in memory of her father. She eyed Middleton with a look of lust and desire.
"Tonight, you shall be mine!" Shego announced and her army roared loud enough for her mother to hear it back in the corner of the east it would seem. She smirked, looking very much like the demon her enemies believed her to be.
Next time: The story really begins. Is there someway for Barkin to save his city-state?
A/N: The introduction of the Goh Empire was inspired by the Mongol Empire, which was the largest continuous land-based empire in history (last time I checked anyway). It was five times the size of Alexander the Great's empire and twice the size of the Roman Empire. There's more to it than that, but I guess other bits can wait for other chapters… if you guys even want the explanations anyway.
Kane's behavior toward conquering was inspired by Alexander the Great, who marched east from Greece to the edge of India and really seemed to be more interested in taking lands than administering to them. He was also said to be the son of Zeus and was the son of King Phillip II, who was amazing in his own right and wanted to conquer the East, but died before hand. This inspired the idea of Kane being the son of a great god and inspired the idea of Shego following in her great father's footsteps.