A day at the park
Once upon a time, there was a human known by the name of It the atheist, a mere mortal amongst mere mortals and tall buildings. It was a sunny June morning, It and its friends were spending time in a park’s bench. Suddenly, black clouds darkened the trees and a hooded figure appeared amidst floating embers.
Which of you mortals lives by the name of the Atheist ? Roared the cloaked one.
It is I, It the Atheist, who it is that came here to find me ?
The council of Spywarewolves has been investigating you, as you are the winner of the annual victims lottery. We stole your most beloved possesion and we buried it into our secret vault.
Nooooo! My Virtual Pet!
If you want it back, you will have to become a god in a week, starting tomorrow.
You sword polisher! Son of a biscuit eater! I’ll overcome your stupid task and fluffy will be back with me, i swear!
We’ll see about that. Laughed the cloaked one.
The spywarewolves council took its little fluffy, It never cared about gods, now it had to become one. Sweet irony. It packed its things and after a last soupar with its beloved ones, parted to the city of Godville.
Hide and seek
It spent four days wandering in the streets of Godville, it was the fourth night and the Atheist was walking to the green hay pub to call it a day. No one knew how to become a god, or so it looked like.
When it was about to turn the last corner its feet revolted and ran three blocks to the left. The sprint ended in front of a ruined block with a wooden door engraved with a circle with five circles within. It opened the door, there was a narrow room full of little drawers and a counter at the right. A cloaked stranger appeared behind the counter and faced It, he introduced himself as Danuit.
It the Atheist i suppose, i’ve been waiting for long. I know my fellow agents have burdened you with their lottery, i tried to ban this injustice, but the elder Kazal won’t listen to me. They tried this for eight years now, creating a god and then use it just as a tool for their operations. The last seven weren’t exactly bright but you look smart enough to help me stop this cruelty. We don’t have much time, if you want to win this bet take this ring to a pub called the narrow flute in Bumchester. Look for Jan, she will know what to do.
It took the ring in its hands, a shiny silver circle with a dark gem atop and an ancient engraving surrounding the gem. It jumped out of the door, and when it looked back there was only a rickety wall falling to pieces. It stayed the night and at dawn, a cart was strolling up the Bumchester road, followed by two cloaked hairy beings.
A room for four
It was about tea time when It reached the narrow flute pub atop of a hill nearby Bumchester. It was a lovely three stories hut made of clay and wood with a smokey chimney at the very middle and stained glass windows covering its gaps. The inside didn’t made much of a difference, a sturdy bunch of chairs and tables surrounding a big fireplace already burning and surrounded by hanging painted dishes and herbs.
The bartender, a steady girl called Macy, greeted It and asked him what it would fancy. It said that it was searching for Jan, she just spitted “third floor left door” while looking at the Atheist with a heavy disdain.
It climbed the stairs and reached a curtain with some drawings (which i will avoid describing for decency sake) sewn with gold into its red skin. Behind the curtain laid a lady’s room with a closet and a desk at the right and a velveted bed at left where a pretty girl with golden locks and a white short dress.
Oh! What a handsome visitor, what do you want honey ?
Ummm… I… I was… Sent by Danuit… Told me give this…
Darn! It’s work again, ok, let me see what you have. Sweet heavens, he gave you his ring ?! Jan turned into her natural form a Werewolf.
I was choosen at the lottery, he gave me the ring and sent me on your way missus.
Do you even know what are you getting into ? This is treason punishable by death in the best case, this ring is a priceless artifact that the Spywarewolf council stole from a god long ago. It has the power to turn a mortal into a god if the inscription is sang beside an altar.
But i don’t know how to read at all and i don’t know where to go, or to sing, or run, or flee, or… A claw covered in fur slapped Atheist face with a really comic guise. In the meantime two cloaked shadows crept behind the curtain with long pointy knives aiming at the ceiling. Jan noticed it.
You don’t even know to go in disguise, take this map and this dagger. Now jump out of this window, just run and follow the map. Jan whishpered.
Atheist obeyed and landed headfirst on a haystack below. While it was running away, it saw the third floor burning against the night sky, it lost the bet for sure.
The Rocky Road to the Souls Pike
The map was a little sketch on a plank of wood simple enough for an average hero to understand. The mountain at the end of the road answrred to the name of the Souls Pike, or so it looked like (claws are an awful substitute for pencils).
It the Atheist traveled far and wide through places like the forest of the ferocious beasts, the temple of Laxtar or the rickety bridge of Decumanicus. In its travels Atheist endured trials such as climbing walls of naked stone only with its hands, slaying dozens of assassin spywarewolfes or marrying a giant princess to cross a bridge.
I’m sorry but this epic adventures exceed our budget and my humble capacity to write lies, so we will just skip to the arrival at the Souls Pike.
Weeks have passed, scars have been carved, loot has been taken and beers have been drank. The puny human who was once It the Atheist has turned itself into the Almighty and Feared… Now it was “Some Atheist” the god. And it was about to climb the green and windswept Souls Pike.
Some Atheist walked the narrow dirt road that spreaded around the mountain. The rain was falling straight upon its face, but Atheist didn’t mind about the water. It walked and walked until the storm ended and the top of the mountain was below its feet. There was a rough stone church with a tiny bell atop and rickety windows. Atheist entered only to find four ghosts praying to a rotten altar in the otherwise empty room.
Finally, a client!
A client ?
A client i say! My lord it’s been so long since anyone has crossed that door!
I want to talk with the client!
Stay still, i’ll talk with it myself.
You greedy bonesack!
Break it up you two! we’re attending it together okay ?
We are the Activable Artifacts Client Counseling Office, what service do you require, oh misterious stranger ?
I want to know what says here, in the ring of Danuit.
My dear, you got yourself in a really important mess, i’m positive indeed, you have the ring of the long lost god Athegorn, planning to cross the trans-astral highway ?
Just read what it says.
Well my Txapukiatt is a little bit rusty but i believe it says “Un plat pla, ple de pebre negre escolar”… My bad, “pebre negre està”
That will take some days to learn, teach me oh ghosts.
It is our job, Atheist.
Stairway to Heaven
The day had finally arrived, Atheist sat in front of the altar with the ring in its hands, eyes on the gem. Took a deep breath and screamt “Un plat pla, ple de pebre negre està!”. A beam of light shined across the roof and dragged Atheist to the skies above while the ghosts waved white at it.
The beam carried Atheist through the air, there were all the places it had walked to: Godville, Bumchester, Home… A little pristine tear fell as its feet were gently set upon a tiny cloud floating above the Qu’Tox ocean. There it was, the world below the Atheist, the sly spywarewolves council and its dear fluffy.
The tear reached the sand and sank knee deep on it, at the same moment Danuit landed beside Atheist cloud with his room. The marked door opened and the old wolf came out to greet Atheist.
You have acomplished a really great feat today, maybe you’ll never realize all the things you changed down there and the many feats you’ll do as a god. Now we just have to take the last step towards victory, payback. As you guessed, Jan is dead and so am i if the council finds me, but souls are harder to destroy, especially if they belong to my hero. So i got a new body to fit both Jan and me, with my memory and wits and her ability to drastically shorten lifes we will end the Spywarewolves council for good. The only thing we need is for you to attack the HQ in order to distract them and therefore, buy us some time to slash relevant throats.
Will you take my fluffy back ?
I did, here it is, you won the bet for sure now.
Then fasten your blades because the bad wolves are about to be no more.
Start throwing bolts at the light.
Sir yes sir.
Fire and fur
Night had fallen upon the sands of Tradeburg surroundings, a short banner watches over the headquarters of the Spywarewolf council. A palace of stained glasses and carved stones, and above all the towers, the elders tower. A tall eight-sided bunch of stones with the parliament at its feet and the elder’s quarter at the head. And at the top an angry Danuit wielding two swords and about to smash the roof’s glass depicting a bloodstained Spywarewolf.
The battle was about to turn epic, Danuit lit the cloth inside a liquor bottle and thrown it right beside Kazal’s bed. In no time he was at the other side of the palace, and the elders tower was a lighthouse for Atheist to aim. Lightning bolts rained upon the unsuspecting foes who just ran to the courtyard only to be slain by Danuit. At dawn the last warewolf alive finally found her way to the meeting with the reaper. Danuit sat on his knees and sank the blades on the ground while calling for Atheist.
Birth of a hero
Atheist appeared, Danuit fainted with a smile and rested during a whole year. He woke in a little crypt built over the blades. When he crossed the door saw a young one in a black jacket sitting in a crumbled pilar.
Good morning Danuit, it’s been a long time.
Who are you ?
I’m Atheist, your god.
And what do you want from me ?
And this is the story of how it the Atheist and its hero Danuit came to be the mighty duo we know today.
PS: The next tome is going to tell the tale of Atheist, Danuit, and the Forsakens Lament. Maybe, probably not.
Always a first time:
Slime and Rust
There was a day of ancient, when heroes roamed the lands of Godville a sword on one hand and a pint in the other. Those were ancient days, heroes nowadays don’t even know how to perform the old one two (start with a slice, finish with a sip) or even how to quest decently. All but one hero, a mighty champion of unwavering courage and a pure love for all merry souls of this world that drives him to help every single one of Godville’s denizens.
But sadly Aran Karra couldn’t facilitate the details of his endeavors, so we’re telling the story of Danuit’s first quest. It all started one summer afternoon, the sun was pouring inside the troubled waters of a stream that runs near the city of Godville, a narrow pure little road of water playfully striding among the pebbles and the scarce grass that lived in the edges. Danuit was there, washing his face in order to withstand the couple of milestones before arriving into Godville. He was longing for a bath and maybe a pile of hay in which to lay, but most importantly, he was longing for his first mission. And it was waiting there, inside the worn out walls.
His mind was starting to picture that long awaited quest, since Atheist told him about the quest and his role as a hero he could do no more than await for his first quest to happen. May it be an old patron searching for his long lost lover in a distant shore ? Would he have the honor of presenting that last letter ? He was already smelling the wine stains that clouded the (already unreadable) writing, done on a cobblestone under the moon’s light. But maybe it will be a much darker task. What if a stranger paid him to deliver a sketchy package to some forgotten cave filled to the brim with the most forsaken criminals of this world. Staring at their eyes while they reveled in joy, as they ripped apart the envelope, and then the fear. What kind of wretched relic may it be ? Who stole it for them to keep ? How that quest would change the world ? Anyway, it was probably going to be just a sheriff asking him to slay some dragon, boar, snake, spider, spirit, wolf, and so on and so on… Danuit strolled carelessly down the road, into the city gates.
There he began his usual route; first to the doctor, who treated him. Then to the trader, who ripped him off. At night to the barmaid, who got him drunk. And the next morning to the priests, who helped him talk to Some Atheist. But who was that men ? That robe was too unkempt to hang from a monk’s back, the threads were peeled and a little cloud of loose strings hanged around him. Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe even the incense had something to do with it, but it looked like the fellow had no hands. Instead, he had slim and sticky tentacles twitching around a rusty key. “Take this to Harold” said sticking the metal rod in between Danuit’s praying hands. Was this a quest ? It looked like one, it sounded like one and would be dealt with like one.
The sun was starting to creep from a nearby hill, Danuit started to travel the road towards the unknown wilderness. He walked and walked, until the sun was behind his back. The first day had been a total failure, he didn’t find even a bit of information about the mysterious Harold. Nobody knew anything about the man, and all the monsters he tried to ask had attacked him. It was no good to be drinking in a small cave though, he was starting to feel the effects of the lager and decided to throw away the bottle. The great random wanted that glass bottle to crack on an old slab that hid between the tall grass. The slab revealed itself to be a milestone, and a large arrow started glowing faintly in the battered stone. Danuit arrived to a locked trapdoor, seven weighty chains locked the way to whatever breakthrough he was up to. Blow after blow, the shackles rattled to mock the hero, Danuit was on his knees. Then all of a sudden an invisible hand stole a single link, and the door was open.
A cache of letters
As he expected, it was a basement. It was drenched in old letters that fell in the wrong hand, piled around in alphabetical order. Haley, Hank, Ham… Harold! Dozens of Harolds, which one would be the owner of the key? To be sure, Danuit stashed all hundred twenty seven Harolds in his sack, by dawn he was already marching to meet the first.
Harold Parsons lived in a small boat that was usually docked in Last Resort. It wasn’t necessarily merry, nor gloomy to be fair, it just was as a rock would just be in the middle of a forest. A giant black and white flag was dancing on top of the ship, right in the middle.
- Good morning sir! I am Danuit, the champion of Some Atheist. Would you want, by any chance, this key?-
- I want you to get off my ship, if you don’t mind -
- Of course not! Hope you have a nice day -
- Don’t tell me what to do! -
Danuit threw the letter inside an open window, it wouldn’t be easy finding Harold. But well, it must be one of the hundred twenty six left, right? The journey went on, Danuit met a hundred and one Harolds before finding the proper one. At that point he could recognize a Harold with no more than a glance, the quirky personality, their dislike for other human beings, their Haroldesque moustaches…
This Harold was just taking a bath in a small spring, oblivious to the incoming paladin. The water kept him away from the polite salutations, but also from the twitching tentacles that branched from his leg, crawling upwards inch by inch. Danuit withdrew his weapon and prepared to strike. But before any rushed decision came to be, Harold stepped out of the waterfall and greeted the puzzled hero. Before the adventurer could mention the ever-growing tentacles Harold started peeling them off with a dagger. “They grow easily when they’re watered. Hey! You naughty tentacle, stop right there!” said the (dare we say) man.
- Well, now we can go about business. Who are you? – his hands tightening a robe around his tentacle free waist.
- I’m Danuit, champion of Some Atheist. It is my quest to find Harold and deliver him this key. -
- Well, i guess that’s me. No thanks, no need to rush. In fact, i would be honored to have you today, it is after all the least you deserve for your efforts. -
- As you wish sir, which way ? -
- Inside – a whirlwind emerged from Harold’s open mouth.
Danuit had landed on a mostly soft patch of meat, or at least something really similar. This cavern really looked too big to be inside Harold, or at least the Harold he saw. While he was pondering about such a puzzling place, a soft humming melody beckoned him further inside, it was the distant clinking of gold coins being poured. The pourer was a really worn out monk, judging from the almost hundred amphoras brimming with coins it was obvious that she had spent a decent amount of time in here.
Danuit tried to get closer but when his foot got anywhere near the monk, a tentacle tried to catch it. The monk just kept pouring gold into the ground and back into the amphora, oblivious to the hero’s presence or key. Danuit screamed for her attention. The coins kept falling down.
- Who do you think you are? -
- Just a hero, i was trying to deliver a key when… -
- A key you say ?! -
- Yes, i have it right here iff you want to… -
- Give it to me at once! -
Danuit produced the rusty key from his pants and gave it away to the eager figure. The monk let her robe slip and what the poor hero saw outmatched any imagination he could ever come up with. Under the robes was a twitching mess of tentacles resembling a woman’s shape, would that women have twelve arms and it’s hard to tell how many of that would qualify as legs. Whatever it was, it was clear that the key formed part of a shady (probably unholy) scheme. And worse of all, it was likely that this gold would disappear; and help me myself if Danuit was going to stand for that!
Mustering all the focus he could keep, the paladin delivered nine blows to the back of the tentacle mess, brining her down to the ground. Just to be sure he kept bashing the monster until nothing below his knees was moving anymore.