Return of the Reaper

Thousands of years ago, the Reaper, Demon Lord and ruler of all Creation, was betrayed and his empire turned to dust. Now he has returned, and is looking for revenge on the one who betrayed him.


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2. Chapter two

 

  “What!? I won't suffer anyone talk about my mother in that way, you bastard!”.

 

  Thus began another fight inside The Rotten Pig, one of the most dangerous and unhygienic dumps in the whole city of Scheibeloch, which in turn wasn't exactly renowned for its friendly inhabitants or its safe streets.

 

  This fight in particular had as its main participant a strange traveller. He was an incredibly big and muscular man, specially for a very old man. His hair was snow white, and didn't seem to be bothered in the least by the extreme cold of the outside. In fact, he acted as if he was totally comfortable, despite of wearing only a thin brown cloak, corduroy pants, a linen shirt, a small bag to carry food and the cause of his current problems, another leather bag heavily laden with gold.

 

  As it can be imagined, seeing an old man with such a heavy purse, the clientele (murderers and thieves for the most part) decided to go for such a tempting prize, using the time-honored tradition of intimidation and veiled threats.  

 

Unfortunately, the stranger turned out to be made of sterner stuff than they thought. Furious after certain remark about his dear mummy, he uttered the warcry that opens the present chapter, hitting the unwise thug with his beer keg and unleashing the pandemonium.

 

  It is a weird phenomenon that in any tavern, at the mereest hint of violence, it's only needed that someone yells the words “Bar fight!” for the crowds to go crazy, the barkeepers to get desperate and the furniture to be destroyed in the worst manner imaginable. This particular fight wasn't the exception, and in mere seconds chairs were crushed into strangers' backs, daggers abandoned their sheaths and the strange traveller sneaked through the tavern's backdoor, cursing under his breath.

 

  I should have been more careful, the old nordheim kept repeating. He had almost finished his long journey, and it wouldn't do for some codicious humans to frustrate his mission.  

 

  He didn't know exactly what it was, but he was sure there was an object or creature of unimaginable power hidden in the deepest recesses of the Tysail tundra, waiting for someone brave or stupid enough to go searching for it. His brothers thought they were only legends, but he had seen the signs both in heaven and earth. While those idiots concentrated in their senseless war against the fae, he would find the way of ruling both races without opposition.

 

  He kept walking through the frozen ways that would lead him to the mythic place: the point where his race had been created and from which they had been banished for opposing the desires of the Demon Lords.

 

  While he travelled through the freezing tundra, he noticed with horror that his limbs started numbing down because of the wind that scoured that place like a colossus from an unknown era mourning the power it has lost.

 

  Trying his best to ignore the terrible cold that permeated his body, the poor soul kept walking. Each step was agony as he got near the place he was looking for. After an eternity of suffering, he saw a strange light in the distance that seemed to call for him from a place beyond the mortal world. As he advanced, its glare seemed to grow, as if it was showing him the way, guiding his steps through that treachorous land.

 

  After several hours of torture, he saw the source of the light. It was a strange ice sculpture, on which the light of the day was reflected and increased as if it was made of the purest crystal. It was absolutely perfect in every detail, representing a terrible demon of feline features and long hair. The wind that howled around it, as much as the snow that it carried, gave the horrible impression of a living being trapped in a piece of ice made on its image. But, was this what he had come looking for, going as far as defying the will of the Seneschal? It couldn't be. There had to be more on that statue than the immaculate confection, the perfect proportion that marked it as a creature of legend, those eyes that seemed to be fixed on him...

 

  The old nordheim suddenly gave a step back. Was it his imagination, or there was a glow in the statue's eyes that wasn't there before? It couldn't be, those weren't eyes, they were just part of a damned piece of ice! But then, why wasn't he able to stop looking at them? He tried to get his gaze away from that unholy abomination, turn around and walk the humilliating road back home, but he just couldn't move. It was as if his body had frozen completely, becoming incapable of doing the smallest movement.

 

  Suddenly, a flash of light never seen in those eternal snows, the sound of crystal shattering, and a burst of laughter carrying a cruelty as the world hadn't felt in thousands of years. Standing in front of the ice statue that perfectly represented an old nordheim dressed in humble clothing, he who had once been called Death in the Wind spoke: “So at last the day you foresaw with your last breath has come, right, Reaper? We will now see which one of us is stronger”.  

 

With one movement of his colossal arm, he shattered the statue that laid in front of him, and started the long pilgrimage in search of his brothers.

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