This short narrative is taken from the introduction to the “Aesir: The Warrior Gods of Asgard” chapter setting from v0.18. As I prepare to start working on this chapter for v0.19, I found this fiction striking enough to share.
The first shell had killed the other men. Tommy had disappeared in the flash but the others fell back, their skin burned black in an instant, limbs partially amputated. After that every sound was muffled as if I was underwater.
I grabbed my rifle and started to shoot back, roaring in angry and rage but my screams were a distant whisper. As I shot, someone came out of the smoke and fell instantly to my bullet. Ha ha! I tried to roar aloud.
The second shell hit right beside me. I was flung over the upturned the jeep. I couldn’t hear anything then. I must have been missing my right leg for I felt only numbness from it while my left leg was in shearing pain. I know pain. Pain is a reminder of life.
I found it hard to hold the rifle, my hands didn’t feel like they were mine anymore but I managed to point it in the general direction. Another of the fuckers appeared from the smoke with his rifle already raised but so was mine. Somehow I hit him too and he went down.
“It is okay noble warrior, your time is over.” It was a woman’s voice. I heard it clearly through the silence. She was an apparition but as she came towards me she became more solid. She wore bright armour and carried a sword by her waist. Her hair fell in two blond plaits from her cow-horned helmet. She was a vision of an angel in this bloodshed. Her voice filled me with release, “I offer you this choice…”
“Lo, the days of Ragnarok are among us. Loki is breaking his fetters and soon all the worlds will lie in the gapping mouth of the dreaded serpent Jormungand or the terrible wolf Fenrir, foul offspring of Loki!”
Following on from my last post, I gathered up some of my older artwork, for the previous version of Lost Heroes v0.18 (which I never made public). Most of these ones are character-oriented and I used a lot of manga art-books as references.
Following on from last week, here is the second piece of fiction that was at the end of version 0.18 (never released). It was inspired by some of the Poetic Edda.
A lost traveller in the Otherworld
The man stood on one leg. His right foot was tucked in behind his left knee. He had a large brimmed grey hat and a black patch over his left eye. His face was full of ancient knowing that scarred his old skin. A crow perched on his right shoulder and another perched on the long staff in his left hand.
I was lost so I said to him “I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. Where does it lead?”
He smiled, as he looked me up and down. My blue-stripped pyjamas were dirty and torn from my walking. “Where do you want to go? The road is long and never-ending. It is made from the stuff of dreams and leads nowhere and everywhere.”
“I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. I do not know where I should go or even how to return home. Where shall I go?”
The man unbent his right leg and stood. The crow on his right shoulder flew off into the blue sky, making a loud caw sound as it went.
“If you go north, you’ll find the cities of Flias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. They are the most beautiful cities in existence. There elves dance with men and the Gods feast on the passion of life.
“If you travel to the mountain that glows bright even in daytime, you’ll find the Halls of the Olympians. It is a long journey.
“Between them is the land of Asgard, where the greatest warriors fight by day and feast by night in the hall of the Gods.” The crow returned to its perch on the man’s right shoulder and the man fed it some crumbs from his hand.
“I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. I know nothing of Gods for I am just a mere mortal who has lost his way. Where shall I go?”
“Below us is the land of Nightmares. It is filled with goblins, dwarfs and monsters. Beside it there is the Lands of the Dead. Hell and the Land of Shadows exist there. Angels of Death and Demonic monsters search the desolate plains for lost souls. Charon’s ferrymen work the deadly river Styx to ferry ghosts to their afterlives.
“Beyond the Lands of the Dead, there is the Land of Eternal Youth where no one grows old and they feast on the apples made of wonder. Beyond the Underworld of Hades is the Elysium Fields where every wish is granted and hope is fulfilled in memory of a Golden Age. And beyond the tortures of the limbo realms and the ever-screaming hells there is the nine Heavens where the Angels sing eternally.”
“I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. My heart beats, my throat thirsts and my mouth hungers. I am not dead. Where shall I go?”
He laughed a little. “I am glad to hear you are not dead. If you turn back you can find the many worlds, the Shards Worlds. It is the middle earth. Midgard, you seek, where your mortal family wait for you. There is also the world of ladies and gentlemen and there is the world of the great metropolis ruled by a great emperor to describe but two drops in an ocean. But be careful for the poison of the dying lands ever spreads.”
“I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. Every time I turn, I see a flicker of a dark and terrible shadow. What is it and why does it frighten me?”
“Ah, it is the great serpent that surrounds everything. From it the world was created and eventually, at Ragnarok, the world will return to it. It is the darkness. It is the void. It is everything and it is nothing.”
“I have travelled for three days on this road. I’m tired, lost and weary. You have told me much but you have not answered my questions at all.”
“That is because you did not ask the right questions.”
Zonk.PJ in the comments said:
I like to read fiction – on-line or off-line – related to a setting/game I’m pondering to play, at least to get the “right” (meaning with “right” as envisioned by the authors) feeling.
I think it’s a good idea, a small offering of whats in store so to speak. I wrote this short piece of fiction for version 0.18 of Lost Heroes (never released). It appeared at the start of the work, before the introduction and nearly everything else. It fits in one page and it was intended to delimit the actual beginning of the book. There is also a second piece that went at the end that I’ll post later.
And so I present:
A Lost Heroes Creation Myth
The Moerae are more ancient than the Gods and older than Time. The three sisters, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, sit deep in a cave, spinning the fates of man and woman. Atropos cutting one thread here, Clotho making more there and Lachesis weaving them all into patterns.