This is a new project. I’ll be switching out between this ADL and any one shots that come to mind for me. Enjoy.
The small tavern by the docks was a dirty place. The food was barely edible, and the chances of someone breaking into your room at night and slitting your throat was about as high as seeing guards on the walls of a castle. But it had strong ale, and was conveniently close to the River Seine’s docks, so there was always more than a few river men and those going downriver seeking to be sailors and looking for work.
It was especially crowded when the strangers came. None of them were Frankish or Gaulic, the people usually seen in this part of France.
The last of them arrived alone. He had the appearance of someone from West Byzantium, dark skin, black hair, and green eyes. He was also 1.8 meters. His eyes had a glint of madness within them, and always seemed to sparkle with laughter. He looked around the room, quickly finding the other three groups that had arrived before him. He snorted as he saw the three 2 meter tall blonde Nordic men silently glowering at the entire room with their blue eyes. A smirk formed on his face as he saw the two men who appeared to be from his own homeland. Then he saw the man who he was looking for, sitting in the corner of the room, on his own.
The man had white skin, black hair worn long and tied in the back, and to most his eyes were green, but to the other six foreigners there was flashes of red appearing and disappearing within his eyes. He was aged at possibly 20.
The man who just entered strode through the room, everyone in the room at least glancing at him. Except for the two with the appearance of his countrymen, they were watching him with cautious and worried expressions on their faces.
As he arrived at the table in the corner, the single man looked at him with a suspicious gaze. The newcomer said with a friendly, almost jovial tone, in the Saxon language, “Sir Mordred Drake, of Camelot. You know, you are a difficult man to find.”
With a blank face, the seated man said, “Sorry, but I don’t know who you’re speaking of.” He was carefully keeping his cloak closed, not allowing any glimpses of his clothing.
“Come now, don’t be like that. You’re the newest player in the game. It’s impossible to mistake someone else for you, especially with that aura of yours,” the man said laughingly as he sat down at the table without permission.
“I’m telling you, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who are you?” The man asked after drinking from his ale.
“Well, if you were Sir Mordred, I’d be able to tell you that my name is Hêlêl, but a Latin speaker such as yourself would more easily recognize me as Lucifer, perhaps? Of course, that would only be if you were Sir Mordred.” He said, laughter apparent in his voice, obviously not believing him.
Mordred, realizing that he can’t lie to the minor god in front of him, sighed. “What do you want from me, godling? I’m going to say right now, that I want nothing to do with your divine games. You can tell that to the other two of your kind, and the three dead Nordic men as well.”
“Hahaha. I thought that you would’ve noticed them. I apologize for my brothers. It has been a very long time since something of your caliber was in this part of the universe, the only things even remotely resembling you were nothing more than pale imitations and copies made from other gods as pets or methods to scare the mortals into worshipping them. So my little brothers who have never truly seen your kind before have no idea that the basic magics usually used are ineffective against you. They probably think of you as nothing more than an unusually intelligent beast. It isn’t surprising considering they are of the Powers Choir, and generally look down on everything. As for the Valhallans, well, you can’t expect anyone who worships the brutish Asgardians to be particularly clever, or cautious. I mean, look what they did to the most intelligent member of their kingdom. But those Einherjar in particular weren’t cut out for covert operations. The Asgardians wanted strength to deal with you, so they chose what is likely some of their best who happened to have the Curse of the Bear. Can you see now? They aren’t here to ask whether or not you want to participate in our games. They’re here to kill you.”
Hearing all of this, Mordred’s face tightened. The Powers of Heaven were the warriors of the group of minor gods known as Angels. Most of the Sons of Yhvh do nothing more than sing the praises of their father and carry messages for him. If it were any other beings you were to use that description for, they’d be considered sycophants and beings trying to improve their standing by saying yes to everything their master said, but the Angels truly enjoyed doing those things and wanted nothing more than to do that. All things considered, they were an extremely odd group. But the Powers were different. When Yhvh wanted something destroyed, they’re the ones he sent, and they didn’t care if they destroyed a city if it was unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of their target. Mordred started wondering why they haven’t made their move yet, considering they have been in the room for almost 15 minutes by now.
As for the Berserkers, they had a tendency to slaughter everyone in the vicinity of their target as well. But, unlike the Powers who simply didn’t care about the mortals, the Asgardians supported the actions of the Berserkers as everyone who died in battle against them was taken by the Valkyries to Valhalla. So the Asgardians saw it as an easy way to gain warriors for their Ragnarök, they also enjoyed the fact that they were stealing souls from other gods and pantheons. When Mordred first heard this from Morgan, his first thought was, ‘As expected of gods worshipped by pirates.’ Naturally, the Aesir and Vanir aren’t liked very much by the other European pantheons. Or Yhvh for that matter.
Mordred spoke with a disgusted tone, “Are they mad? Or just daft? Releasing mad dogs like this to kill one man? Especially within a city?”
“Ah, but you’re not a man anymore, are you, Black Knight of Camelot?” Lucifer responded with a taunting smile.
Mordred turned to glare at the Archangel sitting across from him, revealing for the first time the hatred, contempt, and disgust he felt for the minor god. “And why are you here, ‘Star of the Morning’? Oh yes, I know exactly who you are. The Warden of Hell, the Torturer of Heaven, the man who turned the gods that were captured by Yhvh into monsters and shadows of their former selves. Lord Ba’al, the God of Fertility, Seasons, and Weather turned into a monstrous Demon Lord of Gluttony and Pestilence known as Beelzebub. The beautiful Lady Leviathan, Goddess of the Deep Sea, turned into a monster that needs to continuously be under an enchanted sleep or else she’ll attempt to consume everything. The God of Wealth and Prosperity, Mammon became a twisted being that depicts the worst of greed. How many others did you help corrupt and destroy, Lord Lucifer? It wasn’t enough that your father stole the worshippers of his local rivals, he had to twist them into horrors and use them to scare other mortals into worshipping him.” Suddenly, Mordred’s expression became a mocking smile, “I wonder how it feels, to do so much evil for your precious father, only to be thrown away, huh, ‘Lord of Pride’, ‘Prince of Lies’, ‘Great Deceiver’, ‘Father of Sin’. Which of your brothers was the one who told us mortals that you were the reason for all of our woes and hardships? Was it Mîkhā’ēl? Or Rāfā’ēl? Gavri’el? Metatron? Do you even know? Poor little Hêlêl, Yhvh’s favorite son, and the scapegoat for all of his followers’s hatred and fear.” With a laugh, Mordred finished his drink. “Enough games, Archangel. What do you want?”
Lucifer smiled, glad that the information his sources had given him about the man in front of him was correct. “I just want to establish a relationship with you. If not a friendship, then a mutually beneficial relationship. I’m certain that you’ll be very interested in the identity and location of the master of two Cambione that recently destroyed a certain kingdom in Britain? They died there, but their master still lives.”
Mordred paused for a moment, but he shook his head. “No. I’m not interested in getting involved with your squabbles. Gwenivere and Merlin are dead by my hands, and that’s enough for me. Now, if you’ll excuse me. Hey, friends. Feel like making some coin?” After refusing Lucifer, Mordred leaned towards the closest table and started speaking with some of the men there in the local language.
The men looked at him suspiciously, “How much, and doing what?”
“You know those five foreigners? They’re part of a bandit group that attacked me before I got to the city. I killed a few of their people in the fighting, and they want revenge. I need you all to keep them here for at least 15 minutes after I leave. As for how much, this should be enough.” He said as he pulled out two silvers from his pouch.
The five men looked at one another. They were careful not to look at the people in question, but they knew what they looked like. It would be easy enough to keep them in the tavern the way Mordred was asking them to, especially once things got started, but the men couldn’t help but wonder if they could get some more from him.
“I don’t know, friend. Those three northerners don’t look like they’d take kindly to it. Plus, it might draw the ire of the local guards. It might get dangerous.” Said the man closest to Mordred.
Mordred nodded, “True. How about an extra three silvers?” He said, as he pulled out said coins.
The five men smiled. The man closest to Mordred said, “You’ve got yourself a deal, friend.”
Lucifer had a bemused expression on his face as the six men came to an agreement. He wondered idly why a simple distraction would have been considered dangerous, and if Mordred was a gullible fool.
Five minutes later, Mordred stood. Walking past the table with the five men, surreptitiously slipping the five silvers into their leader’s hands, he proceeded out the door.
15 seconds after the door closed, the Angels and Einherjar, all still believing that Mordred hadn’t discovered them, stood to follow. At that moment, one of the men Mordred had spoken with started arguing with the drunkest man in the tavern.
It didn’t take long for it to come to blows, and the drunk was sent careening into a table directly in front of the two Angels, causing them to be covered in food and drink. The tavern quickly devolved into chaos after that. The five men Mordred had spoken to had spent the last five minutes getting half the tavern’s occupants in on the plan to delay the five foreigners, and they did their jobs well. There was food and drinks flying everywhere, people were fighting, even the giant northerners were hard pressed to remain standing with men constantly being shoved into them.
Lucifer had stayed behind, partially because he was curious how those five mortals would delay the warriors of Asgard, and the Angels of Heaven. But mostly because he had already accomplished his goal, to make contact with Mordred Drake, and make it clear that he wasn’t the young man’s enemy. He decided not to push it in their first meeting, as that would seem suspicious. Now, he was glad he did, as he was able to witness such an amusing spectacle. Deciding to have some fun himself, Lucifer stood and slipped in behind an Einherji. He took up a chair, and when he heard one of his brother’s voices right behind him, calling his name, the Archangel brought the chair down on the Valhallan’s head and back. Lucifer then spun around, shoved the pieces of the chair into his brothers hands, gave the younger Angel a quick pat on the shoulders and a thumbs up, then walked away.
“Hêlêl, wha-?” The Angel’s question was interrupted when the giant man turned, saw the broken pieces in the smaller man’s hands, and assumed he was the one to hit him with it. The Einherji picked up the Angel, and threw him across the room.
The fight would last for 30 minutes after that. Lucifer thought that it was money well spent.
After the fighting ceased, the Einherjar and Angels cornered Lucifer outside of the tavern. The leader of Einherjar said, “Where did the beast go?”
Lucifer responded with, “I thought you Einherjar were forbidden from speaking when you leave Valhalla.”
The Einherji growled, “Only when we’re in front of mortals.”
“Great, so only the mortals are spared your drivel. Where’s the fairness in that?”
“Hêlêl, enough. What are you doing here, where did he go?” Asked Cassiel, the senior Angel, and the one the largest of the three Einherjar threw across the room.
“Oh, Cassiel, is that any way to speak to your older brother? I’m hurt.” Lucifer said mockingly.
At the five men’s expressions, Lucifer laughed. “Do any of you honestly believe that he would tell me where he went? I wasn’t even able to use you lot to earn his trust, he already knew.”
“Hêlêl, do you have any idea what he is, what he can do?” Asked Verchiel, the other Angel.
“He is a mortal human who found a method of becoming a Beast of Chaos. He is an Elder Dragon, a race that was created to be the servants of the Primordial Ones, and turned on their masters to ensure mutual destruction. He is something that shouldn’t exist. A being with a direct link to the Primordial Chaos stronger than even Egypt’s Apophis and Greece’s Gaea. Once he matures, he will be able to do things that no single being has been able to do in countless millennia. He is the one who holds the key to ascending beyond what I am, and I plan to find out how to do it.”
Cassiel was aghast, “Hêlêl?! He could destroy everything that Father has worked for! Have you gone mad?!”
“I should hope so! How many centuries, how many millennia have I tortured gods and mortals whose only crimes were not kneeling to our bastard father?! How long have I heard their screams of pain and anguish?! If I hadn’t gone mad at some point, then there’s obviously something wrong with my head! No, Brother the truth is that I’m finally seeing the world clearly. The tyrants must fall. Father creates horrors that have no right to exist, are even better off not existing, all so they can be used to scare the mortals into worshipping him. And you three as well,” Lucifer said as he turned to the Einherjar. “The Asgardians cursed you, made you nothing more than beasts, rabid mongrels that only exist to attack what’s in front of you, and they expect you to praise them for it! Even if I cannot ascend by being around him, he will be the one to destroy the tyrannical gods that plague this world, and that’s enough for me.”
Hearing this, the leader of the Einherjar growled deeply. “You whore-son! I’m going to rip your spine out through your throat!”
Lucifer suddenly smiled, “Are you? Do you believe that I would come here without allies?” At that moment, the sound of snapping knuckles came from behind the three Norsemen.
They turned to find a man even taller than them, topping out at 3 meters. Red-skinned with a flat face that seemed to have more snout than nose, and yellow cats-eyes. He sported a smile that showed his mouth full of sharp fangs. Above his pointed ears were short horns that bent sharply and curved forward to end at sharp points, like a bull’s. His body was solid muscle, obvious even under his leather and chain-mail armor. Large, leathery wings sprouted between his shoulder blades. His fingers ended with black talons, and his legs were scaled to end with goat hooves, the top of which was covered by a leather and plate skirt, and he had a long, whip-chord tail ending with a spaded tip. He was cracking his knuckles in anticipation for the fight that was about to erupt.
*Ahem* The sound of a young woman clearing her throat came from behind the two Angels. Turning, they saw a beautiful young woman in a plain cotton dress who looked similar to them, with dark skin, black hair, and green eyes. She wore a beautiful smile upon her face. “Hello, Brother Cassiel and Brother Verchiel. How have you been?”
Cassiel immediately understood the situation, but he couldn’t believe it. “Satan? Abaddon?”
Verchiel, on the other hand, hadn’t realized why his elder sister, the Archangel Abaddon who had been assigned as one of Hell’s custodians was here. “Elder Sister, thank Father you’re here. Perhaps you can talk some sense into Brother Hêlêl.” As he spoke, Verchiel stepped forward and reached out to Abaddon.
Cassiel realized the danger, and screamed out, “Verchiel, no!” But it was too late, as Verchiel looked back with his hand outstretched, Abaddon grasped it and exercised her power.
Abaddon was the Archangel of Annihilation. If it was an existence that was weaker than her, it would be immediately destroyed when touched by her, body and soul, with no chance of being reincarnated. Even major gods would be hard pressed to resist her magic. Verchiel died never truly understanding how or why.
As he watched Verchiel’s body crumble into sand, Cassiel saw something fly past him. Looking, he saw the head of the Einherji that had thrown him in the fighting earlier roll to a stop. He turned to look behind him, and saw that Satan was finishing the three Einherjar. The chosen warriors of Asgard didn’t even put up a fight against the Lord of Wrath.
Cassiel attempted to run. His brown wings sprouted from his back, and he crouched to jump into the air. But Abaddon had already blocked that route, jumping into the air her ash-grey wings flared, waiting to take her whichever direction she needed to touch Cassiel and end him. Then, a sword sprouted from his chest. Cassiel turned as the flames began to consume him. Lucifer was behind him. His sword in Cassiel’s chest. His flames burning through him. The Flames of Heaven, especially when coming from an Archangel, meant only a death as final as Abaddon’s touch. Cassiel knew he couldn’t fight it.
“Well? What did the Dragon say?” That was the first thing that Abaddon asked as the bodies finally quit burning.
Chuckling, Lucifer answered, “He said that he wanted nothing to do with our divine games. He seems to despise anyone connected to Father, not that I can blame him. It was two Cambione that the Roman Christians had enslaved to ‘use the creatures of the pit to do God’s will’ that had destroyed Camelot. Now that he knows how we found him, it will likely be impossible to find him again.”
“What?! Why did you tell him? Wasn’t the whole purpose of this to bring him to our side, Brother?” Abaddon was angry, barely controlling her voice.
“Calm down, Abaddon. Remember, the purpose of this was to make contact with him, and make sure he knows that we are willing to become allies. Now, when the time comes, he will remember us and come when he requires our aide.” Satan said, his deep voice trying to soothe the angered Archangel.
“Exactly, and it is a question of when, not if. The fact that these five were going to hunt him down means that the gods who fear his power and potential will not stop trying to destroy him. He will be drawn into this, whether he likes it or not. Although, to be honest, I don’t know if there is anything that can kill him.” Lucifer mused, as the trio walked into the night.
Several months later
Mordred was walking away from the docks with a satisfied smile on his face. He had just secured passage on a ship out of Europe. He would have to work, but he was fine with that. Certainly he could easily fly, but ignoring the obvious problem of a massive black Dragon flying around being too conspicuous, he was interested in learning a little bit about how to sail.
As he was walking though, he suddenly stopped and sighed. “I promise I’m not here to cause problems. I’m going to leave by ship in a few days. I don’t want any trouble.”
As he turned around, Mordred saw that the moderately busy street had suddenly become deserted, and only two other people were present. One was a Greek man in his late 20s, his black hair long and a thick beard, his sea green eyes flashing. He was well muscled and wore the clothes of a fisherman. In his hands was a trident that radiated power.
The other person was a young woman in her late teens. She was beautiful. That could plainly be seen, even though she was wearing full armor, with a round shield in her left hand, and a spear in her right. The shield was obviously a divine armament, just like the trident.
From what Mordred knew of these lands, he was certain that these two were Poseidon and Athena.
Poseidon spoke up, “Do you swear that you have no ill will against Greece, Olympus, or the peoples who pay homage to either?”
“I swear. So long as none attack me, I will not attack them.”
At that, Poseidon nodded.
Athena sighed. “Good. I was worried we’d need to turn my city into a war zone there.”
Mordred blinked at that. “You still view this as your city? Even though the local people allowed the foreigners to desecrate and destroy your temple?”
“Of course. The people still pay homage to Olympus, even if they don’t realize it. Temples are just places. It was unpleasant for them to be destroyed, but that is all.” Athena replied off handedly.
“I see. Well I apologize for causing you worry. Like I said, I will be leaving in a few days. If you will both excuse me.” With a respectful bow, Mordred waited for the gods to nod in response, then left to go to his inn.
Athena and Poseidon were left alone on the street, “Thank you for calling me, Uncle. How in Tartarus did I not notice him entering?”
Poseidon shook his head. “He is hiding his presence remarkably well. Honestly, if I hadn’t passed right by him on the docks, I would’ve never seen him. And I think, given a few more weeks of practice, only gods connected to Chaos would be able to notice him.”
“Any idea where he’s going?”
“Yes, actually. The ship he got hired to is going to Egypt, with a short stop at Crete.”
“Egypt? A Beast of Chaos going to Egypt at this time? Do you think that he knows what’s happening with that land’s gods right now?”
“Who knows. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t cause any trouble to spill to our side of the Mediterranean. We’re weak enough now, we don’t need any more problems than we have already.”
Athena nodded in agreement. The two gods then vanished into thin air.