Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It All Started at Three in the Afternoon

The first bomb hit at 3:16 in the afternoon and the damned fools called it a Toll of John's Bell. Like an army of mad lemmings they charged to their control rooms and pushed the world over the edge. For four days the bombs fell, leaving the world a charred husk so brittle that the winds held their breath for fear that there would be no where left to roam. Then the snows began.

They say that during those first few hours, when the heavens broke open, that the survivors wept in the open believing that god had brought them salvation. Instead their god gave them radiation sickness, mutations, death, and madness. The world grew colder with each passing hour and the last remnants of humanity fled before the world they had created; hoping that as the generations passed beneath the surface of that battered world that it would heal itself.

In the darkness man grew to fear the stranger and pray to false gods. Sacrifices were demanded and gleefully made in their madness. Whole generations fell before the blade of charlatan priest and to the 'healing' ointments of holistic doctors. 

Those were the savage years when we let in the beast and forgot the man. They called it Nammu and men became savages under its guidance. For a hundred generations man worshiped Nammu and dreamed the fraught dreams of the wild animals that they had become. Hope had been lost.

It was during those dark days that the people lamented their lives and called unto the heavens for salvation. In the darkness of the heavens He heard them. The tales say that when the people cried out for him that he awoke and in righteous indignation smoke Nammu and drove her from the halls of man bring them back from the animals they had become. The truth, however, was not so simple.

In the days of the beast, Hold 243 broke its seal and its peoples fled to the winds. They were wild in their freedom and perpetrated many horrors on the world before a portion of them felt the calm. These settled in the Lands of Desolation where the bombs first fell, and for five generations they worked the lands and brought forth a peaceful way of life. They were farmers and craftsmen, and in becoming so they were no match for the barbarians who still held to the old ways. 

For a generation these farmers and craftsmen fell before the blade of their former brethren, and then he came from the Land of Lodi. We called him Azgin Kurt, the Mighty Wolf. And it was he who led the band of thirteen against the horde of Nammu. For twenty years Azgin Kurt drove back the Nammites, ever expanding the borders of Lodi until finally he drove them into the Boiling Sea. 

It was then that he built the Lost City of Keru, which the Rangers ever seek, and he did rule there for ten years in peace. Yet Azgin Kurt was wild at heart and would not be satisfied. He called on the greatest sages within his kingdom and asked them if there were none who could defeat Nammu, for in his wisdom he knew that if he did not stop her that she would overtake his kingdom after his death. And this he would not have. 

The sages came from all across Lodi and they performed many dark rituals yet none could find the answer. For five years they came before Azgin Kurt, who was now called Gri Kurt, and failed to bring forth the truth. Gri Kurt's mood grew dark and it is said that he spent his days sharpening his blade, dreaming of days yet to come - or perhaps days that had long since passed. 

In those grim days she came before him, Guzel Esi, the witch. She who is sometimes called Iblis'in Esi, the Devil's Wife. Standing before our mighty lord, Gri Kurt, she did cry out, "Gri Kurt, who was once Azgin Kurt, there is but one course left for you in these your final days. You must traverse the River Oldu, and wander in the lands of your ancestors. There you will find the one who will drive back Nammu, but in doing so you will never return - living or dead - to the lands you have won."

Time had not quenched Gri Kurt's thirst for adventure. He sprang from his throne and rode his stallion for ten and twenty days to the shores of the River Oldu, from where none may return. There he cut down one of the mighty spruce and did make a boat to cross; it is said that before he crossed that the mighty Gri Kurt, who had never hesitated when faced with blade and imminent death, did tarry for a score and weep for himself. A blaspheme for sure. 

For ten years did Gri Kurt wander in the lands of his ancestors. There he met Sarpanitum, for whom it is said time does not exist, and he asked her, "I have traveled these many years, Lady of Eternity, seeking he who would drive back Nammu. Have you knowledge of him?" And she did take him by his hand, leading him into the mists of Sonsuz Uyku where the slumbering gods have ever rested. 

Sarpanitum brought him before the one who would drive back Nammu. There laying before mighty Gri Kurt was the god Marduk, who had slumbered for untold generations awaiting he who would bring him against the enemy of mankind. Gri Kurt reached out his trembling hand and touched the god. Marduk's eyes opened, and gazed upon Gri Kurt, absorbing him entirely. 

In that moment, when Marduk awoke and absorbed the mighty Gri Kurt, the earth shook and the Holds that had remained sealed burst open releasing their savage inhabitants. These were driven south by Nammu and were joined by creatures from the bowels of the earth and from the cursed lands. Ever on they drove stripping the earth to the dirt, leaving nothing alive in their wake, towards the fabled city of Keru. 

Within the walls of Keru the people did weep for they believed that in this moment all would be lost. The army of Nammu, in its untold millions, surrounded the city. Brave warriors of Keru held shield and spear ready for the onslaught, ready to give their lives to the last man. For forty-nine days did the hordes of Nammu assault the city only to be driven back each day.

On the fiftieth day the weary warriors of Keru stood at the wall, their numbers depleted, praying that Gri Kurt would save them in this their hour of need. Yet what greeted them on this morning made even these legendary warriors falter. For rising above the lines of their enemies, stretching all the way to the heavens and across the horizon was Nammu herself. She belched forth fire and rose up to crush the city beneath her; it was then that Marduk appeared. He stood over the city that Gri Kurt built and hurled his magical net over Nammu, trapping her. As she fell to the earth Marduk pushed her away from the city and onto her armies, destroying them utterly. He then smote her with thunderbolts and destroyed her entirely.

2 comments:

  1. He he he! Wonderful sword-and sorcery yarn, just like an old legend would be told.

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