Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ogmundr, the Usurper

[File Archive - One hundred and twelfth year of the Reign of Our Lady, Zesiro - 01:37 PM local time, Throne Room, Palace of the Sands, Ineb-Hedj]

Two snake-headed men lead another man across the room, towards the throne. The stranger, dressed in torn leather clothes, seems almost half machine, as his left arm and right leg are obviously metal, and in place of his right eye sits a glowing red orb. Despite his obvious wounds and beaten appearance, he is smiling as the snake-men push him onward. Four other snake-headed men follow behind, carrying a motorcycle.

[Zesiro's voice begins.] A strange beginning with an even stranger ending. While I thought that I might someday choose a consort, I did not expect him to come hurtling through the dome, and practically land at my feet. I had ordered the ship to follow a shadow-pathway, and we emerged in the midst of a battle, although the combatants were but mosquitoes to us. A dome breach is not completely unheard of, but because of the battle, I sent the Poisonous Ones to investigate. They then brought the prisoner to me.

Zesiro speaks, "Who are you, that dare invade the realm of the Firstborn?"

The stranger smiled. "I am Ogmundr the Usurper. And the only invasion I saw was you filching me from the realm of death. Which you have my thanks." He stands, unflinching, smirk growing wider. "I would bow, but I am unfamiliar with your customs, Firstborn."

"Most grovel before me, praying they do not invoke my wrath. The Wrath of a Goddess can be most terrible." She stands and walks down towards him, looking him over. The Golden Scorpion, ever present on her royal brow, hisses and clacks its front claws together.

"I should make things understood. Gods in my former world are myths, but jokes told like wayward lovers and lost farts. I will allow you more respect than such." He stays at attention, eying the scorpion.

Why is it that I am continually visited by the godless? Are there no other gods than I?

"Jokes? Your gods must indeed be dead to stand for such insolence."

"There have been none since the Destruction has fallen. And as such, I am insolent and in your service. What would you have of me? I should point out that I am called The Usurper. Keep me alive and I will try to destroy you. Destroy me and you will not know my true worth."

A challenge. I knew from the beginning this one would prove to be special.

"Tell me, what use would you be to me, that I should not return you to the arms of Osiris? As for my may try all you wish, but I am Immortal."

"So am I. The Metal Gods knelt before me. As I, apparently, stand before you, wielder of my death. I should point out that your snake-headed, though potent, have not been trained truly...They have not the common knowledge of flank and skill and rely merely on poison, which is a potent beast. But two hands of poison will not pierce those that wear true metal. Only blade and skill. Both of which I can provide." He pauses, "Also, I appear to have gone a bit mad and am not entirely sure of your existence."

"So you would teach my Army? And what would you want in return, besides your life?"

He arches an eyebrow. "Nothing. Because then we would be equal."

No one yet has dared to think themselves my equal...except the other Visitors.

She laughs. "Equal?"

"Fine, slay me on the spot. You have given me life. You may give me death."

He was too valuable to die...and I thought he might be a Visitor as well.

"Death or Equality? Those are your only two choices? I do not see you as my equal...yet. Perhaps you may show yourself to also be a God."

"I have defeated Gods with my Hordes. I can defeat more with your army. My only request is Equality. I died when you saved me. The choice should be easy. Wipe me from existence or rule the cosmos."

She turns and walks back to the throne. "Come and stand beside me, at the head of my Armies, and you may have your equality."

The Poisonous Ones suddenly take an aggressive stance, then strike! Ogmundr brings up his metal arm and it expand into a shield, protecting him from the sudden bursts of poisonous spittle that rain at him. Drawing a sword of light he swings and beheads the snake-man next to him and in the same stroke guts one of the men behind him.

The motorcycle suddenly shifts into a vicious panther. It tears out the throat of one snake as it falls to the ground, then launches itself at another, tearing its throat out with its massive fangs. Ogmundr, taking advantage of the confusion, drives his elbow into the back of the second snake man beside him, and with a loud crack, the creature collapses. The remaining creatures move to a more aggressive stance and launch more attacks, as Ogmundr speaks, "It's your people you're losing.," but Zesiro seems unphased.

My people were worth expending if it would show him to be a Visitor.

A toad man leaps at Ogmundr, but the panther intervenes. At the last second, he seems to realize toad man is covered in poison, so he returns to his metallic, vehicular form, and with a great crash, they fall to the ground

Ogmundr reaches toward the queen and his hand fires from his arm. The four scorpion men surrounding her suddenly burst apart into hundreds of scorpions and fall over her like a protective blanket. The other scorpion head dives to intercept it, and the hand latches around its throat. Before the toad can recover, Ogmundr splits it open and beheads one of the other cobras in a single swing, crying out in triumph.

The panther returns to its feline form, and leaps at the last remaining snake, ripping out its throat but not before it lands a glob of poisonous spittle in Ogmundr's eyes. The scorpion man, clutching at the hand on his throat, falls apart into a small hoard of scorpions, heading over toward Ogmundr. He dives toward the place he is to stand, but is tripped at the last second by the last snake man. The swarm of scorpions washes over him, but can find only metal to strike. The panther strikes at the scorpions but neither he, Ogmundr's crushing hand, or his sword of light can seem to penetrate the carapace of the scorpions. The snake man dives on the prone Ogmundr and bites deep into his shoulder. The panther, in fear for its master, latches on to the back of the snake man's neck and decapitates it with a great tearing. Ogmundr, now under the weight of the scorpions, drags himself onto the place to stand, struggling to his feet as he cries out, "EQUAL?!"

The scorpions drop away and Zesiro motions for a chair to be brought. Ogmundr stands next to the chair, wiping himself off.

Zesiro speaks. "Your coronation will be in a few days."

Ogmundr smiles. "And where are my items back?" She motions to a servant, and they bring his sword back to him. "Good, you savages heard of Ann-Tee-Dote?"

As he says that, Ogmundr seems to almost slip into unconsciousness. Zesiro walks over to him, breathes a word of obvious power over him, and he begins to recover. She then motions to several servants, who lead him away.

Ogmundr smiles as he looks back at the Queen. "I believe not your Gods, but I would have haunted the living shit out of you." He looks over Zesiro again. "Equals. I have destroyed bigger worlds than this," then, turning back to the servants. "You first." They lead him away from the throne room.

I performed the Rite of Purification that night, to cure him of the deadly venom of my children that coursed through his veins. Thankfully, he was also bathed in the process. Not what I had ever imagined as a consort...but if he is a great a teacher as a fighter or a braggart, we can do great things together.

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