In an opulent command tent, the king sits with his head in his hands. His tall pale advisor, Abendiir, leans over him and sets a weak, long-fingered hand on the kings white furry collar, “my liege”, he rasped, “it must be done”, his mealy mouth clicking, and bald pate shining in the candlelight.
“Done?” the young King responds, looking up. To the old veteran guard at the front flap of the tent, the crown looks heavy upon his shoulder length blonde hair with a centre parting (that’s not a metaphor by the way, the crown was dead heavy – made of lead). “Done!?” he squeals, banging his strong hands against the old oak table, sending silver plates and golden goblets of red wine flying. “And how, dear Abendiir”, he says, turning to his advisor, “does one kill… A God?”.
Abendiir smiled (or was it a smirk, the old faithful guard thought), “mmm, my liege, leave that”, he brushed down his long black gown, “to me”. He straightens and walked out the tent, smirking still as he walked past the guard.
“What a mincer” the guard muttered.
“What was that?” demanded the king
“Nothing, your grace”.
Phewf! The stakes have been raised! We’re trying to kill a god now. Ah yes, the Greatgod KOK I mentioned before has become quite the annoyance ‘mongst the pantheon. You see, he’s started believeing in another god! At first, the lesser gods were tolerant of KOK’s new religion, thinking it a test of their own faith. But then he started posting leaflets through their doors, and wouldn’t shut up about it at dinner parties and in chance meeting on the cloud-streets. The lesser Gods had had enough, and so had our mysterious priest Abendiir. I’ll give that advisor credit, he’s got ambition. With his infernal blacksmisth Slurg, he came up with a design for a dagger which could surely kill any immortal. Let’s take a look at this unique, cursed blade:
The priceless gemstone in the pommel is the Aiye-of-Khandaar. This cursed diamond, in ancient times, was blamed for a great many deaths in the sub-eastern land of Ynndya: A filthy land home to ten billion people; almost all beggars, pickpockets or petty criminals. The ancient leader of that land, S’hlamm Ak’khander, ran a massive diamond mine. The health and safety was atrocious, and loads of the workers died. They all wore loincloths and it was dead hot. They had big blokes in turbans whipping them all the time it was mental. Anyway, a young lad, his name lost in the mists of time, had been underground for over a month due to an argument with his sadistic line-manager. As he wept for his simple village life he had been stolen from, something caught his eye in a fissure, glinting in the pitch black. He crawled towards it and picked it out of the rock. It was this gigantic ruby. He was carried to the surface a hero, but alas it was too late. The lad raised the gem and belted out “With my last breathe, I curse thee all, and thys gemstone! Death to thee emperor!” and died. All the workers were naturally upset with getting cursed by the lad. As far as they were concered they were in the same boat as him in terms of being enslaved, but cursed they were. The emperor went on to lead a long and happy life which made it even worse (but isn’t that always the way- the poor suffer while the rich get richer and better healthcare. Remind you of anywhere?? (Earth)).
The 7 gems inlaid in the quillion block signify the seven curses Abendir infused into it. These are (l-r): pain, murder, hex, poison, death, chornic pain, lack of life, and illness. Abendir reckoned that that lot should do the trick.
The actual blade’s design is very careful. The point, followed by the curve, and the serrated bit was perfect for piercing through a big muscly back which the scholars of the age assumed KOK had. But of course, a sharp bit of metal alone isn’t going to be enough to kill a god. So, imbibed in the blade are two pieces of the rarest mystical metal, known only as sharrash, or Death Metal in the old tongue. Rarer than gold, it has a mystical property that poisons blood incurably as soon as it makes contact with it.
The design phase over, Abendiir thought long and hard about how to actually strike the mortal blow on KOK the immortal. He knew he couldn’t do it on his own, so he enlisted two of the lesser Gods- the God of Betrayal, and the God of Good Hospitality. Did he succeed? Come closer, friend, as we peer down unto this night of epic portentions…
Slurg beat away in his dungeon smithy through the night, as Abendiir watched on, his bald pate reflecting in the furnaces flame, a sinister grin on his gaunt face. Cock’s fearful crowing informed them of dawn. Slurg lifted the blade to his master.
“’Tis done master, what ‘ee think?”
Abendiir touched the Black Metal. Red hot, yet cool to the touch. He gazed lustfully into it’s endless blackness “Slurg, dear servant, tonight we will be killed by a God”, he flicked his eyes to the blacksmith, “ or become gods ourselves”. He smiled a sinister grin, and the dagger disappeared into his large sleeves. He strode from the smithy.
Slurg put down his worn hammer, wiped his big green face and spat onto the hot floor. “What a mincer” he muttered.
Night. Abendiir stood at the altar of the Cathedral of KOK. His hands in his massive sleeves, the light from the myriad lanterns licking his bald head. He was bowed in silent prayers.
“ooh! He’ll be here any minute!” wailed the God of Hospitality. He was running up and down the centre aisle, straightening the pews and brushing imaginary dust from the cold slabs of stone. “How does the place look?! I hope he likes it! Oh no, look at that candle, its dribbled right down to the holder! Abendiir, help me, its-“
Abendiir slammed his fist down on the altar and turned to the minor god. “For the last time, the place looks great. You’ve done a lovely job. Now, fuck off and find a place to hide. If this shit doesn’t work I’ll need you in here with your massive fireballs”.
The God of Hospitality scurried off up the stairs with a whimper. Abendiir finished his silent prayer. And not a moment too soon, for from the massive oak doors came three booming bangs.
“Child. KOK has come”. At the sound of the name there came an enormous low rumble, as if the very foundations were shuddering.
A curtain to the priest’s right twitched, and The God of Betrayals impish face appeared, “Psst… that’s him arrived I think”, he said, and then disappeared back into the folds of heavy gold cloth.
Abendiir straightened up, and then did that thing where you clench your jaws a few times, then turned and strode to the door. Opening them, he saw KOK, naked muscly and massive. He was holding a leaflet.
“Ah almighty KOK, please, enter…” the priest bowed low and KOK strode in, each sandaled footstep causing a huge boom around the church. As KOK reached the altar, he turned to study the room, and then turned to his arch-priest. “Look at the state of that candle, but no matter… What summons thee of myself?”
The priest rubbed the back of his bald pate. “Well, ah, it’s just, uh… God of Betrayal! Now!” he cried, and the little scamp ran out from his curtain hideout with a hideous cackle and stabbed the Greatgod in the back. A momentous boom echoed round the whole chamber, and loads of blood and a bright light spurted out of his back. He staggered, and turned to the priest. His face a picture of shock. “Et, tu Brute?” he sighed, then fell to the floor and died.
Abendiir strode over to the rapidly cooling body of his former god. A single tear appeared on his bald face. “Sleep well thee, for thy has- ughnn!”. As he spoke, the little God of Betrayal jumped up and stabbed him right in the arse. Blood spurted everywhere as the infernal priest collapse and died. The God of Betrayal cackled like a mad man and ran out the door, carrying the sacred knife with him.
Echoing footsteps filled the cavernous space, as the God of Hospitality ran down the stairs. “Ooh! Abendiir what’s happening! I heard screams!”. He appeared at the base of the stairs and stared down at the two bodies, entwined as though lovers. “Oh. what a mess” he whimpered. Then vanished.
What a mess. Indeed