U’Selekma awakens from afternoon meditation in the Temple. Barudalan, his senior Ramen bodyguard approaches, “Holiness, what is the matter? Your brow Holiness.” The Ramen pulls a linen cloth from a pouch and swipes the sweat off the Pontiff of Light’s brow.
Thinking he had misunderstood the Ramen asked once again, “Holiness?”
“Death is coming.”
Barudalan was concerned as this was about as ominous as visions came, “What do you remember Holiness?”
‘’Death is unhappy the Gods of the Church of Light and Dark have not settled their differences and sees war on the horizon. He, Utu, has decided to walk among the mortals and is claiming the island fortress city of Troker as its dominion on this world!’’
“What will that mean?” and for once Barudalan was worried having served Isis for just over 103 years.
The Pontiff explained his thoughts and then the vision as he scrawled it upon parchment to an attentive Barudalan. The bishops were about to get no sleep for a long time.
A very long time.
Two souls sat with their backs against the palace of Troker watching the city descend into chaos. Fires, riots, murder, rape, theft, vandalism, anarchy.
“What we do in life, our souls echo to eternity. Nothing is pointless, Kai.”
“Do you think ”your adversary" will be able to stop you," queried the late King Kai bound in his new blackened soul-forged plate armor?
“Had your blow not landed, Kai I would have survived the dagger,” the ghostly form of Zeelik smirked.
“Hrrmph, true but I wonder, if you would have survived ”the coward’s" poison upon it,"
“We will never know but tonight begins the purge of this realm.”
“You look ready Zeelik, your soul-hammer should perform well tonight.” King Kai commented with a glance at the obsidian hammer with engraved runes that smoke spilled forth from. Zeelik looked down upon one of the weapons from the Age of Chaos. The other weapon, and axe forged from a demon-lord’s body had been presented to Ca’zan. In the audience chamber of the Palace of Troker, Utu – Lord of the Dead, said that only a wraith, ghost, wandering spirit could wield the weapons.
The Lord of the Dead offered each of them a chance to help remind the Gods of Light and Dark their war would upset the balance of death in the world. The offer was a hundred years of service as a soul collector for Utu. In return for their service each Minotaur would be given a weapon that later became the stock and trade of the demonic Soulhunters! Ca’zan agreed at that moment and Zeelik waited knowing there is always a catch. All you had to do was forsake your god and claim Utu as your lord and master for that century of service. Now the chance to aid their “former” allies came in the form of a game. The Ogre tyrant of Troker, King Kai, was made Utu’s chosen avatar upon Palladium and imbued with a godling’s power! He was given the sword of death which looked like a femur bone. When King Kai gripped it a ghostly blade drew forth and black smoke followed each swing he made. Utu’s avatar would be the judge and final challenge in the contest.
Ca’zan’s ghostly face had lost much of its luminous glow when Zeelik agreed and swore to forsake Isis for one century on two amendments to the terms. When asked, he requested that first, bodies be removed by Utu and returned for burials to any families, friends, organizations they held faith with. Secondly, all the souls trapped here since the ban went into effect be given the choice as though they had died in the religious district. Utu pondered for a second and agreed to the terms. Zeelik’s ghostly horns turn black as death when he picked up the hammer and his new surname of Soulhammer. Ca’zan had already agreed while he had the axe forged of a fallen demon lord’s body he realized the bargaining power he lost to the younger Paladin of Death.
Zeelik turn to Ca’zan, “Your only hope for redemption of your soul is to loose to me.”
Ca’zan’s spit turned into ectoplasmic vapor, “Anubis will feast upon your soul!”
Zeelik shook his head and walked out mumbling something about ‘only if his champion is smarter than your last quip’ and sat against the palace wall.
The Pontiff knew that if CrIsis did not solve this soon more gods or their minions would begin taking a direct hand in the affairs of mortals. Even in their benevolent actions the loss of life from fanatics, misguided faith, and mis-interpreted desires carried out by fallible beings would mean death to thousands. The Knights of Dawn among others will need to be consulted for a champion to be ready, Sir Quixis Ote may see his finest hour yet.