Sunday, July 1, 2012

GZ Legends 10: A hero sent by Death



Nyhtwulf
Apart from the events on Earth, we find ourselves taken to another place. It is in this place that another important person of our story appears.

On another plane of existence there is a legend known across many galaxies. The ancient knowledge tells of the river Styx and the ferryman known as Charon. Charon delivers souls to the underworld for their final destination and judgment. Only the most unfavorable or those on a special quest end up on a ride in Charon’s boat. Most of the special quests are souls serious about seeking redemption enough to chance the murky river and its unforgiving appetite. No other way to the Isle of Skulls, to see Death himself can be found. However, even that is not without a challenge, for Charon is a wicked creature, made of greed. The Goddess, Karma allows every soul who dares a piece of gold for the greedy Charon. Charon always stops his boat halfway across and demands payment for the journey by holding out his clawed skeletal hand. If anyone dares pay him before his service is complete, Charon will laugh and knock them into the hungry water, never to be seen again. No one should ever pay Charon until they step out of the boat on the shore of the Isle. Should anyone decide not to pay Charon and take three steps away from him, the magic of the river will swallow them on the spot.

Charon, the Ferryman
Once upon an eon, a Twylie Demon called Nyhtwulf  made that same journey. He sought redemption for failures to his own race. Despite his great black wings that could carry werewolf-like form, he could not fly across the river. The magic of the Styx would never allow it. He had to take the same challenge as all who traveled that way. The Twylie are Demons of shadow and should they pass through any living being, they can short circuit life-force itself. They can track any living being they have met across the stars by brain wave signals and even scramble the energy of the brain. In solid form they can fight with sharp fang and claw and strength of superhuman proportions. Nyhtwulf faced execution by his race for crimes considered most heinous. That was how he found himself on the dock waiting for Charon. 

He didn’t know how he came by the piece of gold, but it glistened in his hand. The boat slid up to the dock without a sound and Nyhtwulf stepped in. Charon said nothing as he pushed away with his long pole through the river, away from the safety of the shore. Fog of a green color blocked vision in all directions. Nyhtwulf glanced over the side just in time to see a terrified face appear in the waters and then drift away. The river Styx is made of the souls of the greatest failures and evils that ever were. They drift in a state of perpetual nightmare. The boat slowed and stopped, with no landing in sight. Nyhtwulf looked to Charon, who held out his skeletal hand, fingers opening. The shadowy demon narrowed his eyes at Charon and stretched out his arm, holding the gold over the side of the boat. Charon gave an agitated hiss realizing defeat. Many a smart voyager had refused payment until getting to the other side, but no one had ever done this before. If the gold were dropped into the river, Charon would fail his job and be punished. Only the collection of gold proved he performed his duty as sentenced. The river’s magic could do nothing because Nyhtwulf remained in the boat and had not taken three steps away. Charon motioned wildly for the wolfen being to bring in his hand and the gold, but to no avail. Nyhtwulf held that piece of gold out over the side the rest of the way across. Once at the destination point, Charon clicked his bony fingers together in desperation for the glistening coin. Nyhtwulf put one foot out of the boat, turned slightly and dropped the coin to the floor of the ferry. Charon raged at the disrespect and pulled his pole from the water. He swung it for the demons head, but a peal of thunder froze him. Death appeared before them and a voice boomed across the scene.

“CHARON! YOU HAVE BEEN PAID! NEVER MAY YOU STRIKE ONE WHOM YOU HAVE DELIVERED TO ME AND BEEN PAID! GO TO THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER UNTIL YOU ARE NEEDED AGAIN! YOUR SENTENCE IS DOUBLED!”

A piercing scream faded across the river as Charon and his ferry vanished from sight. Nyhtwulf dropped to his knee and bowed his head before his new master. His quest for redemption was granted, on the condition that he serve the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as their butler.

So Nyhtwulf served in the entrance and great hall as yet another challenge to those seeking their own redemption or new life. Every soul seeking audience with Death had to be escorted and announced by Nyhtwulf, or be thrown out. On occasion some being would try to fight their way past Nyhtwulf to get to the throne room of the Four. At such a point, Nyhtwulf was charged with protection of the royal halls and had full license to deal with intruders in any way he desired. A wandering soul is still life force and Nyhtwulf’s touch dispersed them screaming into nothingness.

 Working at the great doors to the castle, often had him in view of Charon, who hated him. Charon didn’t consider the demon from the Twylie dimension worthy to serve and lusted for vengeance. If only he could somehow trick the stupid wolf into the waters of the Styx and see him in anguish forever. That would be very satisfactory to Charon. It didn’t matter that Charon was never very good at his service to the masters. No one who ever crossed him had ever received such an honor as serving inside the halls. Every time Charon saw Nyhtwulf open that door, he only loathed the lupine creature that much more.

Year after year and century after century, Charon’s rage for Nyhtwulf grew, making him a more hateful creature and worse servant than ever.

Finally after eons of servitude, Death summoned Nyhtwulf to the throne chamber. When one is summoned by such a power, there can be no hesitation. Nyhtwulf instantly materialized before the four mighty thrones, already on one knee with head bowed low.

Lord Entity Death
“Rise, loyal servant and stand before us tall,” Death’s voice echoed through the grand throne room.
Such a request surprised Nyhtwulf, but he dared not falter and stood as directed.

“You have served us well for over a millennia, so well that we offer you a mission of utmost importance. As you know, we do not interfere with the workings of the universe, we are what we are and have our duties to what must be. It is your fate that you must go out and finish your quest by this design. A son of Nature has been corrupted and aimed at the planet, Earth. You must go there and correct the situation. He is Cyclone and his purpose is to set planets on their ecological path towards bearing life. On Earth he is off his destined route and will damage the balance of the universe.”

“Then I will go and set this right, Master. When shall I begin?” Nyhtwulf couldn’t believe his fortune. This was his chance to become something better than he ever was in his previous life
.
“Immediately. Complete this task and you win your life anew.”

“It shall be done, my Masters, or I shall be destroyed in the attempt!” With a final bow, Nyhtwulf raced down the hall in joy and out the front door. He looked up to the starry skies of the realm and spread his wings. He no longer had to comply with the laws of the Styx because of his servitude. With a great push of those wings, Nyhtwulf leapt into the air and flew toward the stars to break the dimensional barrier.

Charon watched Nyhtwulf fly away through one unblinking eye. He knew of the occurences on Earth. Furthermore he knew who was behind them. He knew of Nyhtwulf’s mission before the demon wolf did. He felt a twinge of pleasure in what he had done in contacting that force beyond their realm. It was treason to the Masters to be sure, but Charon considered any penalty worth the pain to hurt Nyhtwulf even a little.

As Nyhtwulf broke from the distant dimension into that of our universe, he didn’t feel the eyes of a villain upon him. He also didn’t feel a silent spell as it was cast. Nythwulf had no idea what was about to affect his mission to Earth.

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