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BEHOLD

One day, He existed. Not in the form He now possessed, nor in any way resembling his current sentience and consciousness. But He existed where and when during a point in time when He did not, and thus considered it to be the single most remarkable event that had happened in his life.

Thus far.

He wasn't quite sure why he had been brought to life, nor why He existed in the swirling mass that He was at the moment. He merely existed, and in the short span of time he did, He was completely directionless.

"Gods, anything to get back at him." He blinked, if He had eyes, which at this stage, He did not. For the first time since He was born, in the very short span of period that He existed, He heard a voice. It was a weak, pitiful voice that dripped with malice and for some indistinct reason, He felt a solid connection to this voice. To his surprise, at his mere will and desire an image formed in the blank void.

The owner of the voice was a man crawling in the dirt, bloodied, bruised and thoroughly beaten. Standing over him was a not-so-harmed man, grinning with pride and accomplishment. He 'blinked' once again and watched with abject curiosity.

"Gods, what I would give to wipe that smirk of your face Thaptus."

The clear victor chuckled. "Every time you say that, and no one replies Maron. Come, you still have much to learn." At those words, Thaptus leaned down and extended an arm to his sparring partner.

Of the two humans that He had just witnessed, his interest grew at Maron's words- his spirit that dripped with a small droplet of black, viscous essence. He was not long in this realm, but He already knew what it was: Hate. He hungrily latched onto that small trickle of emotion, but anguished when it faded away as Maron accepted Thaptus's hand. He hungered for more, but there was aught He could do in his current form. His essence rippled at the thought of creation, and He closed his eyes.

- - - - - -

He awoke, his eyelids peeled back and greeted with the cosmic void that surrounded him. He knew not why he had chosen his name, only that He knew it was his alone. A mouth formed on his featureless visage, glowing coals of teeth that glowed in the dark."I. Am. Haerthus." He paused, thinking hard at his next words that would ring across his realm.

"Behold-" His swirling mass soon assumed the shape of a cloaked and hooded figure, flakes of burning ash floating around him. "-my August Majesty." With a quick flick of his mass-less arms, he coloured his realm a streak of rust orange and gave it form. He gouged earth and hewed stone at the mere thought, sundered soil and cracked open the dark void to reveal the sky. It lacked a finality, so he willed one into existence: it took a few tries until a burning sphere erupted from nothing, sending waves of heat and light to illuminate his new world.

It bore warmth, then unbearable heat and discomfort to Haerthus.

And for the first time in the ages that he was born, Haerthus learned to hate the Sun he had drafted from his own will. Haerthus sat on a chair that rose from the dust, as his realm continued to grow. As it did so, waves of whispered hate soon trickled into his courtly chambers, of the old, the young, the weak and the strong. He listened to one and fed upon their bitterness that to him alone tasted sweet. There in his throne, he remained seated, slowly soaking his fill of mortal malice and wrath.

Yet among the whispers that he listened, Haerthus gleaned a familiar voice. It grew louder with each passing, until Haerthus could no longer hold back himself, and gaze upon Maron, the young man whom had first delivered words of prayer unknowingly to Him.

- - - - - -

Maron had passed many winters yet since his first call for vengeance. He was still recognizable from his scrawny figure, and his dejected form as he watched in silent bitterness as Thaptus planted a flower on the hair of his newly betrothed. Though he smiled, Haerthus saw Maron's cold blackened heart. It shone brighter than the sun over the village's wedding, and radiated with such cold fury. He gave pause and dwelled on his thoughts. As the sun set o'er the village, with barely a fraction of a moment having passed in Haerthus' realm, he came to his decision.

As the dejected mortal sat by the cold stream that cut across his village, his thoughts meandered through the cold night's breeze. Thaptus was the village champion, but Heyla was Maron's.

Until Thaptus played Maron like a fool, and twisted Heyla around his finger.

All Maron could do, the poor son of the village tanner, was watch his old friend went into the arms of his wife. A tear drop ran down his cheek and fell into the cold stream water. As the droplet broke the water's surface, Maron's bitter words brought Haerthus much joy. "If any gods are out there, grant me peace: strike Thaptus and Heyla down."

"A God listens."

Haerthus' quiet voice echoed within Maron, who quickly turned around to find nobody behind him. "But this God has little patience." For a brief moment, Maron hesitated. A strange voice that spoke to him was not something his elders had taught him by the night fires. . .but they always spoke of the Gods and their mysterious ways.

And the voice did claim to be a God.

"You can-" Maron paused, before he shut his eyes. You are a God?, he thought silently. "I do not enjoy repeating myself." Haerthus' voice prickled with barely concealed anger. Maron shuddered to imagine a God in open anger, but he also paused his next thoughts.

Do you. . .punish wrongdoers?

"Haerthus does not punish. Haerthus enables the punishment of those who have wronged others."

If. . .if I tell you to punish Thaptus and Heyla-

"Then you will be the instrument of your own desired vengeance." Haerthus interjected in between Maron's thoughts. Back within his realm, the God of Hate leaned back within his chair with impatience. "Make your prayers, Maron son of Diathod. You have hate. You have anger. I will give you the peace of mind you so desire in exchange for your putrid malice."

Maron took one long look at the village behind him. Somewhere between the thatch huts and clay houses, Thaptus and Heyla were embracing each other in ecstasy and love that should have been Maron's and Heyla's.

But that woman had cast her die with Thaptus. Maron balled his fists and stood up. Haerthus, I beseech thee: grant me my vengeance and I will give you worship.

"You are weak, Maron. But your faith in me gives you strength." As the divine voice faded away in Maron's ears, his vision blurred, his breath hastened. First to go was his apprehension at striking his first deal with a God, then was the strength in his legs. Maron fell to his knees, but he could no longer feel the world around him.

In place of confusion, anxiety and fear- all that remained within Maron, son of Diathod was unbridled anger towards two individuals. He clumsily picked himself up and staggered for the village- Haerthus' will be done.

- - - - - -

Back in his realm, Haerthus gasped for air, even if he did not need to breath. His first attempt at speaking with a mortal of Galbar went well. He hoped.

Yet in the instance of mortal dependence to his divine intervention, Haerthus felt a greater intensity of- emotion- than he had if he merely absorbed the absent-minded pleas for his attention. Clearly, the fledgling god had much to learn of his divine nature and the extent of his capabilities.

He leaned back in his throne, eyeing Maron's path to self-actualization with vague interest. He would make a much more attentive observation of his first follower, but his attention was drawn to the sudden rupture that shook his sun-scorched halls.

In the instant it appeared, Haerthus was already drawn to the gaping swirling maw of blue-and-white lights.

He knew not where it came from, but all he knew was that it beckoned alluringly to the deity. Haerthus stood up from his throne, throwing Maron a quick glance to note his progress and exhaled.

It was a very long. . . .day?

Haerthus was already beginning to suspect it wouldn't get any easier from here on out, and entered through the gates of Antiquity.





As the title says. I'm a cursed player. Every now and then I get manic bursts of posting energy, and the rest of the times I just flop around like a soggy pancake you made when you were hungover in the morning but are too intoxicated to notice the difference so you just keep chewing on it despite it having the texture of wet cardboard and the taste of a poorly written literary fiction by some hack author.

The metaphor had a point.

I think.
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