“Only the cockroaches of the universe could survive in that magical and nuclear mess.” Unknown Tolkien survivor.
The Black Mage was at one point only a minor annoyance to the coalition. He tended to find weak points in coalition security, and acquire a ton of equipment, and fund a minor operation against them. They could never figure out where he hoarded all of his ill gotten gains. And just as higher level commanders started to take notice, Black Mage disappeared. His operations simply stopped and the Coalition figured he had simply met his end and someone had done them a favor.
For 10 years he was gone.
During that time, he traveled the megaverse. He spent some time as a smuggler to fund further operations, and to grow otherworldly contacts. Most of his time was spent causing problems for the Splurgoth and Neruni. Something about their desire to take over Earth and enslave humanity may have caused him to dislike them.
He spent a year finishing and building his academy. His apprentices through the years returned to help him run the academy, and support his aspirations. The coalition is right about one thing, he really does want to rule the world. He just realizes that rule and dominion are two completely different.
Then there was the Tolkien Disaster. Technically it was a botched job. The original plan was to capture and return the CS Flying Fortress back to the Academy for a magical refit and use as the new Tolkien City. Many doubted that the plan would work, but the resources were there, and given the Coalition’s stranglehold on the area, they were willing to try anything.
The full moon was a double edged sword. All the mages were more powerful, but the Coalition troops were prepared for something to happen. The Tolkien Resistance attempting to retake their fallen city was merely a distraction. It drew most of the troops out of the Fortress. Unfortunately, due to unforseen problems, they were unable to gain access to the navigational computers. They were able to gain access to the power supply, and set up a delayed reaction to cut power to the Fortress. The resulting power loss caused the Flying Fortress to fall out of the sky causing the post apocalyptic world’s largest explosion.
The Tolkien Survivors knew what was coming and got out. The Coalition moved in assuming they had won…
The Black Mage took responsibility publicly by hijacking the CS tv network and broadcast the explosion. This high profile act made the Black Mage a powerful enemy of the coalition, as well as a feared tactician and mage.
However all is not completely well for him. Black Mage still owes Tolkien a new home for their efforts for his schemes. The area surrounding the disaster has become uninhabitable, allowing the Xiticix to move into the area, and creating a new foe to deal with. Also Black Mage’s anonymity is gone. Everyone knows who he is now. He is not to be trifled with lightly, and because of that he can’t catch people by surprise anymore. They know what he is capable of, and come prepared.
Or so he lets them think.