Let us now turn our wheel to a time when all were known as gods, before the burden of man was thrown upon this land. Ping, a lesser god, living a lesser life in the lesser town of Amosen, went about his day doing what many lesser gods would do, nothing.
It should have been obvious when the loons arrived, and their ominous wail rang out across the land. The gods of Amosen paid little mind to the calls of the birds, and continued innocently through their days, unaware that dusk had finally arrived. A single orb opened in the center of town, and through it stepped the First God of War. Soon the orbs would cover all the land, and legions of war-hungry gods would rattle out their own battle cry and the loons would be heard no more.
But, let us not get ahead of ourselves. As the First God of War’s boot hit the ground, a smile, wide and full of teeth, stretched across his face. The First God laughed.
“You there, what is your name?” A question full of mirth echoed loud across Amosen.
“My name is Ping.”
“Ping.” The First God rolled the name around in his mouth, “yes, well, Ping, today is your lucky day. This shithole you call a town is going to become a town of legend. Songs will be sung, banners will be made, and stories will be retold for all of time. You are so very lucky!”
Ping did not feel lucky… the entire town of Amosen didn’t feel lucky. In fact, the complete opposite of luck was the shared feeling that day. But, as with all things, the strong come, and the strong control, and the strong change everything.
All of the gods have power, from lowliest to the mightiest, and those powers which laid dormant in Amosen for so very long would once again awaken.
“Ping, please, come here,” the First God ordered. “I’m told you’re very clever at the molding of metals.”
“Aye, tis true, but no more than all us fellows of the forge. Our weapons seem to meet the approval of all their wielders,” Ping said as he took off his worn gloves and met the eyes of the First.
“Oh, so modest, little Ping. But no, I hear you are different. You might just be capable of this task.” The First pulled out a strange metal from his satchel, and handed it over to Ping. “I need you, Ping, to make me a crown.”
“What is this? This is not, it can’t be… Where did you find this?” Ping’s voice quivered out the questions.
“Ah Ping, so many questions. The Day of Fire is coming soon, and I will be there to greet it, with your magnificent creation upon my head.”
As Ping stared down at the strange metal, he could feel the pull…the drawing in of himself. The metal was hungry for him.
Ping burst into the forge, short of breath as he croaked out in a voice the others had not heard before, “Women and men of the forge, come forward. I need all of our strength. Today we strike the void, and bend all of time to our will.”
In the heat and glow of the forge the mallets slammed while the gods sang. For 3 days they labored, until it was time for Ping to whisper his magic words and bind his will forever to the crown. The stone was set.
Ping carried the crown as the fellows of the forge followed, and as he lifted the crown toward the First God, he hesitated.
“Ping, look at you, and look at this magnificent creation.” The First reached out and firmly pulled the crown from Ping’s grasp. All the gods watched as the crown was lifted. “It is perfect.” The First stared down at Ping
“I must hold it again, please,” Ping said softly as tears fell down his face.
“My poor child. Your task is now complete, and your story is now over” With unnatural speed the First God of War removed Ping’s head from his body. Tossing it aside he walked out of the town to meet the Day of Fire.
In the days that followed many gods would fall and the land would burn. Those that would live to tell the tales would sing and talk of a god on fire and a crown so bright it burned.}
I hereby waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with respect to this work to the extent possible under the law.