Two events signified the beginning of the Dark Age of Fannonicus. The first was the departure of the last of its legitimate rulers, Grahamcracker. Like the other rulers before him, Grahamcracker never handed over power to anybody else or made any provisions for continuity of government. Rather, he simply wandered off one day, never to be seen again. His departure created a power vacuum, while leaving nobody with the authority or skills to run the city.
The second event occurred shortly afterwards with the arrival of Great Blowhard. Finding the city effectively leaderless, Great Blowhard set himself up as a self-styled warlord and defacto ruler. He had no legitimate claim to power or actual authority, however. Nor did he have the skills, patience, temperament or restraint needed of an effective ruler. All he did have was the lack of opposition at the time, given that there were no actual leaders to oppose him. He was also aided by one other factor, his Mini-Con Five-Six, who effectively served as his right hand.
Rather then attempting to petition the Decepticon Council to legitimise his rule, Great Blowhard instead set about doing whatever he wanted to the city. He ignored every ordinance and law in its book, instead laying into the works of others to fuel his own ambitious, nay, nonsensical schemes. In short order, he laid half of the city to waste as he tore down structures that had been built by others and replaced them with ones built to his own, slipshod standards. Buildings that had stood for millennia were obliterated without mercy or regard for the original creator’s works.
In other cases, he would retain the original structure, but then seek to ‘improve’ on it. This would often consist of demolishing part of what was there, building his own ramshackle extension and then claiming ownership over it. In other cases, he would build new structures in imitation of others, while not really understanding the context of the original’s creator intent. The result was hollow, lifeless parodies that could not stand up on their own. In many cases, he would try to claim that his works were entirely original, despite their obvious inspiration. In one extreme scenario, he went so far as to slander the original builder, Gingercat, attempting to paint them as having grown to hate their own creation and in effect giving himself permission to do what he wanted.
But these were not the limit of his crimes. Prior to Great Blowhard’s arrival, Fannonicus used a rather confused directory system that had never once been properly catalogued and constantly added to in a ramshackle, ad-hoc manner. Great Blowhard only served to make this system even more confusing by overlaying his own system on top of that, which was full of confusing, redundant and even looping directories that made navigation near impossible.
Finally, he chose to use the city as a platform for his own insane political leanings and beliefs, regardless of the fact that it was not what Fanonicus was created for. Soon the city was covered in his graffiti, where every available surface was used as a banner for his own beliefs and thoughts.
Into this nightmarish dystopia stepped Dark Piscine, one of the earliest inhabitants of Fannonicus who has returned after a long exile. Seeing what had happened in his absence, and noting the city’s lack of leadership, he petitioned the Decepticon Council for control of the city so that he could rebuild it and reinstate functional leadership. Five-Six objected, stating that while Great Blowhard was there, Dark Piscine had no need to take over. The response was to point out that Great Blowhard never had any legitimate authority, and had not only been squatting in the city, but had also violated a number of its laws.
The Decepticon Council granted Dark Piscine’s request, giving him full authority over the city while also confirming the removal of its absentee prior rulers (such as Spork). Immediately, Dark Piscine went to work undoing the damage caused by millennia of neglect. Initially, his plan was to leave the existing structures intact. However, when he found the full extent of the damage that Great Blowhard’s damage to the city, he was forced to take action.
Within days, a number of Great Blowhard’s creations had been torn down and replaced with the originals that he had defaced. Great Blowhard responded by trying to tear them down again and restore his own works. Dark Piscine responded by pointing out that what Great Blowhard had done was actually illegal under Fannonicus’ laws and that he was undoing the would-be tyrant’s works. Great Blowhard’s defence was to claim that not only were his works better, but that he had never actually read the city’s laws and thus felt they didn’t apply to him. Dark Piscine was unmoved and continued to demolish Great Blowhard’s works to restore the originals.
Unwilling to see reason or cooperate, Great Blowhard declared war on Dark Piscine, using whatever method he could to launch attacks on the legitimate ruler of the city. Piscine’s response was to levy a series of penalties against Great Blowhard for his actions... until he discovered what Blowhard had done to Gingercat. At that point, Piscine took decisive action and exiled Great Blowhard from the city for all time, banishing him to the toxic swamps.
With the city now clear, Dark Piscine sought to erase all traces of Great Blowhard from the city. However, this was not the end of the conflict between the pair of them, nor was it the last any heard of Great Blowhard. Not to be deterred, Great Blowhard tried to enter the city again under the alias of Patri-Bot, only to be discovered and again exiled. Then, lacking any recourse, Great Blowhard tried to get Five-Six to continue building his works in his absence, essentially using the Minicon as a proxy. However, Dark Piscine saw through the ploy and used the city’s laws to block Five-Six’s actions.
Finally, Five-Six fronted up to Dark Piscine himself and demanded that the ruler reinstate Great Blowhard, claiming that the warlord’s actions were legitimate simply because nobody had been around to oppose him at the time. Dark Piscine responded to explain that Great Blowhard had broken multiple laws on innumerable occasions, each one of which could be grounds for permanent exile. Defeated, Five-Six voluntarily left Fanonicus to follow his master into exile. With the way now clear, Dark Piscine proceeded to demolish the last of Great Blowhard’s works, essentially erasing any traces of his existence.
Having had his plans of conquest dashed, Great Blowhard instead moved into the city of Swanon and tried to set himself up there. However, he once again quickly found himself at odds with its leadership over his refusal to follow their rules, and chose to leave before he was exiled. Finally, he built his own city in the toxic swamps, which was populated only by himself and Five-Six. However, rather then trying to build anything meaningful, he instead used the city as a platform for his own bitter tirades against Dark Piscine and his other perceived enemies. Eventually, this city would sink into the swamp, taking its ruler with it. And nothing of any value was lost.