|Sa Majestat Some atheist the wordy|
|Personality||i like shiny things|
|Domain||Deity of paper cuts and small things|
|Motto||Só aquell qui es diu! ƒ|
|Favourite Town||El Herado|
Some Atheist, patron of paper cuts, missing things and annoying itches. The mighty god responsible for a 17% of your everyday swearings and the commander of the most molest hero, Danuit. Maybe you don't know it yet but you sure have seen its deeds sometime. Cruelties like losing your cable with a 4% of battery left, or find that your wallet is missing just when you're paying the tab, etc. The mischievous deeds of this deity are well known to all the mortals. The only way to appease it is to hide an offering inside your pillow every new moon. The ones who didn't bother to even stash a couple of coins had lost beloved possessions ranging from a key to a finger. But the biggest contribution to a worldwide apocalypse this evil deity of chaos and despair has conceived is the fluffy legion.
On the cursed day of 3181 g.e, Some Atheist designed the perfect device to destroy the world. A perfect mixture of glue, polyester and lavander; designed to wreak havoc wherever it may be, someday a fool will bring a match close to it. Disguised as body pillows displaying the effigy of the deity, they were sent around Godville. In every corner of this land, there's a fluffy one waiting to burst in flames, just as planned.
Amongst other things, Some Atheist gives the best treatment a monk with a PhD in dwarven language from the PearSplit Abbey could get. Feeds him with succulent meals such as breadcrumbs and watermelon seeds, lets him sleep in a lovely cell tall as two chairs and pays him the astoundishing ammount of two gold coins for every tome he writes. What a generous patron.
PS: Also the owner and protector of Danuit the hero, definitively not the legend.
The house of Atheist
On the first of October 2018 A.H. (Anno Horribilis) Danuit finished the construction of the temple dedicated to his god Atheist. This defying take on classical architectural took roughly half a year to build. This aureus shrine was built below a ruined castle that pleases the aesthetical sense of the deity, and while not atop of the hill the temple is still quite elevated and has a nice view of the farmlands around.
Over the ground we have the shrine itself, which is little more than a hollow altar where parishoners can make their offerings to Atheist and murals that surround it, sunlight tends to stay away so the altar steps are littered with candles. In between the steps there is a short tunnel covered by an iron grid, this leads to Atheist's vault where offerings are stored for the magpies to appropiate as the owner allows so, sometimes they even stay to just look at the sea of shiny stuff.
On the third of February A.H. 2020 Danuit, guided by his god Some Atheist, finished the construction of their ark. This ship named the Sekhmet, is a long galley painted blue with a black belly. Her rows red and the rails made of forged iron. At the back, hangs the captain's cabin where Danuit rests and commands the ship, a birdbox for Atheist hang in the center of the ceiling. Connected by a gopher log bridge there is the cannon bridge. Suited with three brass cannons and an observation bridge to spot whatever may come. Finally we can see two masts standing tall from the depths of the ship. Below the rowing benches run across the ship hull, filled with the most loyal believers of Atheist, and further below the hold where loot is stashed.
The Cry of Atheist
Atheist wrote this verses to guide its hero down in Godville. It could just utter commands "drink! fight! dodge! dig!", but knowing the hardships of Danuit, thought that this poem could make him feel (if not better) less alone. The poem reads likes this:
Quest forth, fluffy one! For fame will befell you.
Dig your own grave, fluffy one! For this earthly womb shall make you again!
Destroy the beasts, fluffy one! For their blood will feed my fields.
Sacrifice your wealth, fluffy one! For one day the coins shall pave your path.
Heal your wounds, fluffy one! For I can not reach your mauled body.
Return to the city, fluffy one! For beer will grace your lips.
Fear not, fluffy one! For Atheist is protecting you.
First Tome: Danuit's Chronicles
Chapter I: A day at the park
Once upon a time, there was a human known by the name of It the Atheist. They were a mere mortal amongst mere mortals and tall buildings. Their life pretty much unassuming up until the day the bet befell Atheist. It was a sunny June morning when It and their friends were spending time in a park’s bench. All of a sudden, black clouds fell upon trees as a hooded figure emerged amidst floating embers. The intruder walked towards the bench up until the folks sitting in it had to dodge a couple sparks. Throwing a finger at all of the present asked:
- Which of you mortals lives by the name of the Atheist ? -
- It is I, It the Atheist, who are you that comes here only to find me ? -
- I am none of your concern, I come on behalf of the Council of Spywarewolves. Our many eyes have been on you for a good while. We demand that you comply to our challenge, to make you do so we have stolen your most beloved possesion, we buried your beloved Toto in our vault. -
- Nooooo! My Virtual Pet! -
- If you want it back, you shall become a god in no more than seven days, the challange starts tomorrow. -
- You heartless monster! Pile of a ropes in a trash heap! I’ll overcome your stupid challange and Toto will be back with me, I swear! -
- We’ll see about that. Laughed Danuit. -
The Spywarewolves Council took their little Toto, the thing most dear to them. It never cared about gods, and now it had to become one. Ironic. It packed all things for the trip and after a last supper with their beloved ones, Atheist parted to the city of Godville.
Chapter II: Hide and seek
Atheist spent four days wandering the streets of Godville. On the fourth night It was walking towards the green hay pub to call it just another day. No one in the city knew how to become a god, or so it they thought. When they were about to turn the last corner, the feet claimed a life of their own and ran three blocks to the left like the wind itself was commanding the two legs. The sprint ended in front of a ruined block sporting the most decent of its remains. This was a wooden door engraved with a wide circle keeping the five circles within in a somehow coherent order. Atheist opened the door, there was a narrow room full of little drawers and a small counter at the right. A cloaked stranger was already inside behind the counter and faced them, he introduced himself as Danuit.
It the Atheist I assume, i’ve been waiting you for long. I know my fellow agents have burdened you with their challenge, believe me when I say I tried to ban this injustice. The elder, Kazal, won’t just listen to me or anyone else on this matter. The council has tried this for eight years now, creating a god they can turn into the ultimate spying device. The last seven weren’t exactly bright fellows but you look smart enough to help me stop this madness. We don’t have much time left i'm afraid, if you want to win this bet you should take this ring to a pub called the Narrow Flute in Bumchester. Look for Jan there, she will know what to do.
Atheist took the ring in its hands, a shiny silver circle with a dark gem atop and an ancient engraving surrounding the crystal. It jumped out of the door, looking back but there was nothing but a rickety wall about to decompose. It stayed the night in Godville and by dawn, a cart was strolling up the Bumchester road, closely followed by two cloaked and hairy beings.
Chapter III: A room for four
It was about tea time when Atheist reached the Narrow Flute Pub, an inn atop of a hill near Bumchester. It was a lovely three stories hut made of wood and stone, a smokey brick chimney sat upon the middle of the roof and stained glass windows covering any gap it could have. 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 herb bundles.
The bartender, a steady girl called Macy, greeted It and asked them what was them doing there. Atheist told her that it was searching for Jan, she just replied “third floor left door” while stacking the beer pints that were about to be served. Climbed the stairs and reached a curtain with some nice drawings of flowers, birds and naked folks sewn with gold into the red skin of the cloth. Behind the curtain laid an austere room with a closet and a desk at the right and a crimson bed at the left left. A quite well-looking women with golden locks and a white gown was sitting on it, pretending not to notice Atheist while sharpening a dagger. She suddenly decided to toss it on the sheets and greet them.
- Oh hi! What a handsome visitor, what do you want honey ? -
- Umm... I was... Sent by Danuit, told me give this to you. -
- Do I get paid to entertain mumbling pawns? Ok, let me see what you brought. Sweet heavens, he gave you his ring ?! - Jan morphed into her natural form a Werewolf while clutching claws around the artifact.
- I was choosen at the lottery, he gave me the ring and sent me on your way miss. -
- 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 do you? 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, saw the third floor burning against the night sky, they lost the bet for sure.
Chapter IV: The Rocky Road to the Souls Pike
The map was a rough sketch on a plank of wood, simple enough for an average hero to understand. The mountain at the end of the road answered to the name of the Souls Pike Atheist guessed (claws are an awful substitute for pencils).
It the Atheist travelled far and wide through places such as the forest of the ferocious beasts, the temple of Laxtar or the rickety bridge of Decumanicus. In their travels Atheist endured trials such as climbing walls of naked stone with bare hands only, slaying dozens of assassin spywarewolves or marrying a giant princess to cross a bridge.
Author's note: I’m sorry but this epic adventures exceed our budget and my humble capacity to make up fake deeds, so we will just skip to the arrival at the Souls Pike.
Weeks had passed, scars had been carved, loot had been taken and beers had been drank. The puny human who was once The Atheist had turned itself into the Almighty and Feared… Now they were “Some Atheist” the god. And it was about to climb the windswept path of Souls Pike.
Some Atheist walked the narrow dirt road that spread around the mountain. The rain was falling straight upon their 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 their feet. There was a rough stone church with a tiny bell atop and rickety windows. Atheist entered only to find three ghosts praying to a rotten altar in the otherwise empty room.
-Finally, a client!- cried one of them, rushing towards their guest.
-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!- argued one of them
-Stay still, i’ll talk with them myself-
-You greedy bonesack!- was heard along other harsh opinions
-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 understand 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- ushered the two minor ghosts
-Well my Katala is a little bit rusty but i believe it says “Un plat pla, ple de pebre negre escolar”… My bad, “pebre negre està”-
-This will take days to learn, teach me oh ghosts-
-It is our job, Atheist-
Chapter V: Stairway to Heaven
The day had finally arrived, Atheist sat in front of the altar with the ring in their hands, eyes locked on the gem. Took a deep breath and yelled “Un plat pla, ple de pebre negre està!”. A light beam erupted from the ring and flew across the roof, dragging Atheist into the skies above while the ghosts waved white handkerchieves at them.
The beam carried Atheist through the air, all the places where they ever walked laid under their feet one last time: Godville, Bumchester, Home… A little pristine tear fell as a raindrop. Their feet were gently set upon a tiny cloud that floated above the Qu’Tox ocean. There it was, the world below the Atheist, the sly spywarewolves council and their dear fluffy.
The tear reached the sand and sank waist deep on the coarse dunes. All the while Danuit landed beside Atheist's cloud which was merging. 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 accomplish as a god. Now we just have to take the last step towards victory, payback. As you may guess, Jan is dead and so am I if the council finds me, but souls are harder to destroy, especially if they belong to a hero. So i got a new body to fit both Jan and me, with my wisdom and wits and her ability to drastically shorten lives we will end the Spywarewolves council for good. The only thing we need is for you to attack their HQ in order to create a distraction, therefore buying us some time to slash the 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. -
Chapter VI: Fire and fur
Night had fallen upon the sands of Tradeburg's outskirts, a short banner watched over the headquarters of the Spywarewolf council. A palace of stained glass planes and carved stones, above all the towers arised 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 glass roof depicting a bloodstained Spywarewolf.
The battle was about to get interesting, 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 with. Lightning bolts started to rain upon the unsuspecting foes, who just ran towards the courtyard only to be slain by Danuit. At dawn the last warewolf alive finally found their way to the meeting with the reaper. Danuit sat on his knees and sank the blades on the ground while calling for Atheist. He finally fainted dying briefly.
Chapter VII: 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 ? - Asked the newborn
- I’m Atheist, your god. -
- And what do you want from me ? -
- A hero. -
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.
Second Tome: Always a first time...
Chapter 1: 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 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.
Chapter 2: 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 for lunch, 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.
Chapter 3: We’re in!
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. A voice grumbled from up above, “i knew you would do the right thing”. And just like the hero was brought in, was expelled from Harold’s body.
Now he saw the former thrall before him, smiling towards the hero. No gold was to be seen, but between the now tentacle-less was a book titled “The art of shaving and cauterizing”. It even has drawings, Harold added. Danuit felt wrath drenching his veins, no gold and only a silly tattooed dead tree to take. The blood of the hero was boiling and his arms itched to take the blade. Atheist stopped eating its popcorn, for a minute at least.
The hero(?) delivered a straight cut to the gut, Harold felt now split in two halfs. Gold coins navigated the crimson rivers and started taking port at Danuit’s feet, piece by piece they started to merge on a big island of aureous glow. This golden block pleased Danuit.
With the block still dripping blood, Danuit set off to Godville to rest until his next quest. He really longed for a beer.
Third Tome: #2899
The world of Godville is born again. As the clock reaches twelve the great random fills the newspaper with the new day. ‘’’#2898’’’ drips on the left corner. All letters deployed to keep all the lands as they were yesterday, no one thing out of place, all the numbers walking steadily as they were meant. The cycle is at balance today.
The Life and Misdeeds of Danuit. Wrote deep in the bowels of the earth, on the day of 3142 g.e. Special thanks to: Miralew, Sand Devil, Hairplug4men and Delta493.
I do not claim to deserve forgiveness from any soul who might be reading this book. All I ask in return of this confession is that you understand why I commited my crimes and hopefully avoid my very own mistakes.
The night of the burning started on my temple, it should have been an inauguration party. At the moment i was too gone to actually understand what we were going to do. I was standing before an oak table filled with booze, rags and dynamite sticks arranged as if they were flowers. I arranged them, I don’t remember doing it but I know I did. The candles drooled light on the shining temple, glossed over the murals of my lord stealing and commanding me, over my bloodstained armor. A knocking on the door took me out of my thoughts, i know who it was before opening the gates, Rayray.
He stormed in with a troupe of dancers he found on the way. They went around jumping and playing like cats high on caffeine. We had a talk over two dozen beers, we discussed the temple and started betting on who would get their ark first, i bet it’s going to be him. He started assembling molotov’s as I had mine safely packed from last week. All the while we assembled towers of shots on the table, i believe we stopped at round 25 so we would have a straight aim later.
Shortly then I saw my loved one, Bella Rebe, sporting a legionaire armor and a personal guard to match. I cared only for her that night, I foolishly thought that burning all Godville would impress her but it was just my ignorance talking. I couldn’t understand what she said but I knew that she was telling me to stop this nonsense, that “us” was not on any of my cards but I couldn’t hear her over the bells and the chatter. The night would go on and when the clock yelled 12 we all ran causing havok in all corners of Godville.
The surroundings of the temple were a pandemonium, next door’s inn glasses were exploding due to the heat. A smoke column that ended up near the clouds emerged from a bonfire of all the carts that were around. A group of parishoners were slingshooting dynamite towards the farms below, as if the earth itself was taking flight. I walked down the hill trying to avoid rockets and whatever else flew down with me towards the outskirts of Godville.
Rayray and I fetched a wagon filled to the brim with wool, threw our bags inside and pushed the thing downhill towards the port. The port district was full of insulas, to me they were only lights awaiting to be lit up, maybe they looked nice from up there, it’s been weeks without talking to Atheist, not that I mind. The cart kept rolling as the flames started taking their space around the city. The water was near and thus a bail out happened, I wish we were more sober that night. The plan was going fine, Bella Rebe was seeing a trail of fire leading to the galleons coming alive in the dead darkness of the night, hope the now homeless godvillians liked it as well.
A hulking ship called “the daughter of Amphitrite” was just sitting on the waves, looking at me like an innocent lamb awaiting to feel the knife, I wish that the blade wasn’t mine to sway but in my “heroic logic” all sacrifices are worth if the quest is completed. So that’s what i did, i climbed ropes and sails and got atop the masts. I nailed my sign into the log and got ready to zip to the other mast, the rag was a proposal to Bella written in the best grammar I could muster back then. The bombs went off and I waited for the hull to fall apart tenderly.
I scouted the city for a sign, and deep in the city there was a bell tower with a bedsheet that someone clad in armor was waving towards the sea. It was a plain NO headed straight to the sinking heap I was sitting in. I had enough of it all, not only my pointless destruction of the city but of my senseless existence as a whole, my servitude was gonna be forfeit once and for all. I walked up to a nearby manor that was being ransacked by Heybaybay and his mates, as I reached the door he was mounted on a flamingo one hand on a sack and another on a bottle of vintage wine. The other guildmates carried him as an emperor through the flaming orchards.
I walked through the many halls following the scent of spilled alcohol, the stream led me to a narrow staircase bleeding into a dark cellar. The small room at the end of the hallway looked like the best place to make a theatrical farewell, there was a guttered keg lying on the ground to grant me company. I rummaged trough my bag to produce a heavy bomb meant as a gift, it would remain as such but I decided to give it to myself as I would enjoy it better. I lit the fuse and sucked the blood of my savior until i passed out on top of the barrel. A magpie dived in between the window’s bars, tiptoed around a little and dropped down towards my would be remains, the bird leapt upon the bomb and took the fuse in their beak. The magpie flew away leaving me alive to my deep distaste.
It wasn’t long before the guard broke down the door with their muskets. They took me by the arms as my walking was severely hindered, there was no need to cuff me so they spared themselves the effort and just shoved me in a prison wagon with Cecilia Fletcher and many other “heroes”. We talked about the night, it felt quite uncomfortable to admit all my misdeeds as we saw mobs looting the debris that once was a city, but I understood it was beyond she or me on many levels. We started talking our escape trying to come to terms with the long penitence that would ensue from this night of debauchery. Once in the cell i saw Rayray kicking stuff angrily with a brand new bionic leg, he took out the stress with the iron doors until he shoved them one feet into the ground, it took us all a while to figure out we could flee. Did we really wanted to?
There was a barge unloading fish barrels on the prison’s dock, I just hid into an empty barrel that got rolled back inside the ship. The barge travelled down the River Stinks until the point where it joins the Mainstream, it got docked in down below a trading outpost. It was no more than an inn and a stable that happened to be in the way between Beerburgh and Los Demonos. The latter would be my destination as my sword was desperately sought by a caravan bound for the underground city. Our trip was uneventful for the most part, just the occasional eagle soaring over our camp, sometimes one of the guards would start singing songs only she ever heard. Before the weekend i reached the outermost layers of the Limestone Labyrinth.
After navigating small caverns the derelict city of Los Demonos revealed to me, the ancient stones that threatened to crumble upon their denizens appeared to me as the blue eerie jail i deserved. I delved deeper into the cavern following the troupes of miners in search of Calcite. I found an abandoned storeroom that miners excavated in a now forsaken shaft, it proved to be a decent dwelling as soon as I shoved a couple Calcite crystals around and laid my sleeping sack right beside a rickety bench. After weeks of effort I recalled how to write and read, it’s been five weeks since i started writing my confession on leftover parchments. Today i believe i am ready to tie down all the pieces and deliver them to whomever can get them printed and shared, only then I’ll be at peace.
This three months I’ve hidden from my former deity, knowing that they will force me to retreat into my old ways, and while my soul will never be able to receive redemption I can still decide to hold my hand still for the rest of my life. I swear that if I get out of all this…
- Come on, it was funny to watch the city blaze. Get back to your duties at once. If i wanted a chronist i would have hired a better writer than you, don’t make me repeat myself. – told me a magpie who perched themself on my left shoulder.
- I won’t ever come back to my old ways. As strong as your will may be, the people of Godville has suffered long enough from my hands. Begone Atheist, you can’t compel me anymore! -
- Why do you think you are in this world ? Your role is not to doubt the workings of the great random but to uphold your heroic duties. Do you think that your resign has improved anyone’s life? The monsters you spared by abandoning me have killed more people than you could ever slain even with my help -
- I am assured that I could kill monsters on my own, as I am assured that I myself wouldn’t burn down half of Godville. It is your vile amusement that brings evil to the world, it is only moral to forsake you. -
- It was just my wild guess at what could get a better yield for you, i thought that the molotov cocktail party would be a good way to have fun with your pals. Most of them had good fun, even if they lost a leg. -
- Are the lives and well being of all that people so meaningless to you? I no longer want part in someone who thinks in such wicked ways. -
- The lands around your temple are barely populated, and the major loss that night was the manor that you almost blew up. As I understand your thoughts you have to understand that in your position the truth is far from achievable. -
- As wrong as it is, my mind is already made up. Go now, it would be better for you to manufacture a new minion than trying to regain me. -
- If I flee now, I’ll take your name and your life, none of this rebellious shenanigans will come to change who is Danuit. You’ll be no longer at least. -
- Take whatever you wish, I care not for the name of Danuit nor his burden. -the magpie flew away, back to Godville.
All the sparrows and owls of the House of Atheist were flying around looking for a corpse. Their claws clutched on small pieces of jewelry that cried their hunt all across the fields. Down by a small river, a crippled sparrow discovered an anonymous deceased who had been betrayed and, after their throat was slit, thrown into the loud river. This was few days ago, now they spent their eternal rest on a casket of canes and grain. It was not long before Atheist landed on the scene. The corpse was rebuilt to resemble the former hero Danuit, armed and dressed to look the part and finally transported into a forgotten niche deep down the streets of Godville.
The world of Godville is born again. As the clock reaches twelve the great random fills the newspaper with the new day. #2899 drips on the left corner. All letters deployed to keep all the lands as they were yesterday, no one thing out of place, all the numbers walking steadily as they were meant. Danuit is reborn as well. They who was is now wandering, looking for a chance of redemption. And they who never was now wakes up before Atheist. Balance isn’t supposed to be affected, even though balance is all but happy about this intromission.
The trials of Aran
A few weeks had went by since the replacement of Danuit. Aran went on his journey to be an atheist hero, helping out whoever he could all avoiding to be related to the ones above. His quest brought him to the high course of the Mainstream, where he worked as a caravan guard for all manners of deliveries in the triangle between Beerburgh, Herowin and Los Demonos. Danuit, sources claim, kept being a hero and is doing well we assume.
Their paths were unlikely to cross. It would seem that luck was loaded to get them two together, it wouldn’t take much luck to get a drunk hero to cause a mess though. And a mess they did in the fish market of Herowin, a tilted tugboat served now as a drinking spot for a bunch of heroines, laying in the middle of the river and blocking any traffic. One of the barges waiting to keep on with their trip was a coal barge guarded by Aran.
Even if godless, old habits die hard on former heroes, and the quick reckless decision process was still the main way he operated. Without any further ado ran towards the blocking drunkards to clear them quickly, and it would have gone well wouldn’t the guard stop him dead on his tracks. In no time all the offenders were cuffed and had a nice looking grain sack on their nice looking bone heads, all brought to a riverside cellar that was nearby, the mayor was summoned to partake in the interrogation.
One by one the captives were identified, unveiled for the mayor’s amusenent, which his face reflected clearly. This lasted up until the two last reveals. Their ressemblence was not just uncanny, but even exact. This worried deeply everyone in the room, the mayor gave instructions fit for the worse and dangerous crime. A trial for heroic crimes was summoned. The captain of the guard and the priest of choice appeared and started barricading the whole place. Danuit and Aran shrugged before the assembled tribunal.
The mayor produced a rapier and proceeded to read the charges: “Anti heroic behavior, by impersonation of a hero through means unknown”. Remarking every part with the steely sharp tip of the sword making it meet with the tiles on the ground, he stared at them two trying to figure out which was actually the perpetrator. As it couldn’t be solved like a murder or any other lesser crime, the three judges decided to impose each a trial on both suspects so the true (and innocent) hero could be told apart from the impostor. Needless to say the penitence for attempting against heroism in the town of Herowin is death.
First Trial, enter the mayor
The first trial was posed by the mayor as he was the first in the room. He served himself a glass of wine from the casket he was sat upon, slowly gazing into the suspects hoping to spot anything worth mentioning. It was no good as he realized both were equally unasauming. Finally he decided to question them with something allegedly all heroes would do right, which is bragging about their feats. And so faced Danuit to hear his best and hopefully redemptive deed.
He gave an enthusiastic retelling of how he ventured deep into the bowels of the earth looking to sack a treasury, heroic business as usual. All of a sudden he slipped into the coven of a Nachomancer right in the middle of their ritual. The burning souls raced around the walls throwing a light on the eerie murals of hot spice, depicting a dreadful yet somehow tasty prospect for the alleged hero. The monster noticed him and conjured a gleaming red wave of spicy hot sauce that swept the bones and almost our protagonist, who lept away to climb the cheese cauldron. Chips were falling like arrows all around the rocky bowl, Danuit vaulted below it and tilted it with his back, drenching the Nachomancer in their own mixture. In the aftermath, the defeated foe ended up simmering beside a Key to Success and a hefty amount of gold coins. The champion celebrated by writing and drawing in the diary to immortalize his glorious performance.
Eyes tumbled upon the competing narration Aran would give. He relayed one of his latest routes, bringing food and beer to Beerburgh in a wide cart pulled by two ox. The farmer who hired him was obviously unfit for any kind of fight. The route was thoughtfully planned in order to avoid any possible ambush, mugging and what not. The plans didn’t account for a pack of wild mongrels who spent the last fortnight subsisting on scraps alone, even less on the scarcity of scraps those beasts were facing, but their lust for the cart’s contents was to be expected. Aran produced not a weapon but a bundle of jerky sticks made out of monsters, adequately cheap and better chewed than examined. With the help of a small and slightly sharp knife the chunks of meat were distributed to the famished chasers. The trip was uneventful after that episode, the cart stopped in its proper place and the necessary pay to sustain himself until a new caravan needs protection was issued.
The judges took a small break to assimilate and form an opinion on the whole thing. Luckily heroic matters answer better to guts than wit and thus the trial was back on track in no time. The captain of the guard was weighing her poleaxe trying to figure out exactly what could it do to tell the two captives from each other. A mice was weighing the weapon as well but from a safe distance and between two caskets, seemed to the captain that it would like a closer look at the blade, maybe a top down view would suit the rodent’s aesthetic sense.
The other trials
The poor little thing kept staring at the thick bronze armor that now stretched two arms, attached to a huge weapon that stared back like a bloodthirsty owl willing to bash itself unto the little fur ball with whiskers. It was the turn of Aran, who rose up trying to ignore the shackles that weighed him down, much to his surprise, and hung for dear life to the pole legs crossed on the captain’s waist. They both struggled for a while until she decided to fall on her back leaving Aran utterly defeated. The other judges rolled him back to his starting position. In stark contrast Danuit stood his ground before the poleaxe and managed to derail the strike using the chain between his arms as a shield. The weapon went flying astray straight into a sack of yeast that bled a slight cloud of dust, the judges appeared satisfied yet not impressed.
The priest walked in between the two and asked them to pray as hard as they could to prove how much they adored their deity, they gave each of them a sand bowl with an incense stick thrust upon it, two candles and a multi-purpose holy symbol to build the ritual. Danuit rushed to make a small shrine with the symbol clutched between the other objects forming a small three walled offering. The hero bowed in front of it invoking all his good deeds and praising the many more that Atheist did for the world. Aran stood his ground despising the overblown proof of faith, thus being interrogated by the priest.
“Don’t you have a god or goddess to praise? Perhaps you have more than one saviour.” inquired from below the black cloak while facing the ornate staff’s end towards the rebellious Aran. He negated having any deity to answer to or even that this should be the case, looking straight into the judges eyes claimed the following: “heroes shall be the free champions of humanity, not the puppets of ulterior divine wills”. The priest probably looked slightly shocked that even an alleged hero would have such a hatred for the almighty ones up above, there was no doubt anymore about who was indeed passing as a hero.
The mayor brought forward Danuit, whose soul was blessed before he could even stop the holy folk from doing so, and prostrated him with the strong helpful hands of the captain. “I, the mayor of Herowin, sentence you Aran (if that is your real name) to death for the crime of impersonating a hero in order to harm the institution of heroism.” The mayor tilted the prisoner’s head towards the right shoulder and pointed his sword to the opposite side. A swift incission made the sentence effective and left Aran motionless in the ground, before his remains could make a scene in the floor the captain grabbed him in arms and sent him into the water through the ramp that usually processes wine barrels.
And like a barrel he rolled leaving a faint crimson leak in his woke. The waters of the Mainstream grabbed him strongly, even fought a little to keep it from the magpies who were trying to mount him on a charred door.
The deity , Some Atheist, came ipse (fancy word for themself) to heal the lifeless Aran with divine power. A gentle fire pulled the flesh back together forming a plausible wound for the hero to find. Before they took off they seared a small magpie holding a ring beside the scar, so to remember him about who was his healer, the mark was barely telligible and looked more like a birthmark than a signature. The crowd flew off leaving the reanimated hero float on through the Mainstream.
Later, when the sun was casting no shadow, he woke stranded in a small island amidst the river, no possessions and a nice cut in the neck. Aran now understood that so far he did nothing to bring down heroines but rather upheld their strength in front of every mortal. In this very island he would devote weeks to understand how to be himself akin to the paladins he hated so, by recalling his own life as a hero and his knowledge he would find that it was experience he craved, for it is power itself. Danuit just indulged in wine with his captors and went on with heroic business as usual.