As the final blow threw my body across the room I could feel the thud and then nothing. Bennu stood over my body ready to receive me. Her fire was that of a thousand suns but her demeanor warm and inviting.
“Hello Overkill,” she smirked, “I didn’t intend you to get killed so early but you are like fire, unpredictable. Let’s face it Dwarf, you don’t know when to be impulsive and brash and when to hold back and wait. Your friends joke that you are a coward to your face but you are secretly revered by them and I know that it makes you explosive but you need to be cool under fire.”
At this point she smiled broadly, but then it faded.
“But I digress. Overkill your friends are asking for your return via a scroll and I am the god of rebirth among this pantheon and as a friend of Thoth whom you worship I will return you to your body with a new task…. for me.”
“Overkill, son of Onslaught, the Red, I commission you to return the sons and daughters of the Red Beard back to Bizantium to help her king. We, the gods, put Minischmee in the seat of Bafag for a reason and a purpose and I will put them in your path for the sake of Utani, the dwarven barbarian that worshiped me solely and beckoned for your return as captain. In return, I will watch your woman and child and will assist you in getting back to Bizantium when your quest for Isis and the Gods of Light is finished then it is I who will personally send guards to escort you home. Do you agree to the terms?”
“There are over 50 men and women that have served under me on that ship and I do not know where they are.”
“I didn’t ask you if you knew where they were, I asked, do you agree to the terms?”
“What of death? I have been haunted by it now three times. Will I finish what I started?”
“I will help you all I can but I cannot stop the fuse of life nor lengthen it. I can only relight it if it is not finished burning. I don’t like to bargain unless I prophet from it.”
“Don’t you mean profit?”
“You heard my words dwarf; deal or no deal.” Her words were slow and well chosen.
“What do I gain from this experience?”
“Something that you’d much enjoy.”
“You’ll see, dwarf, you’ll see. I have watched CrIsis from afar and I know what you like and you will like this.”
The dwarf stood silent for a moment.
The breath of life filled my lungs like fire. It hurt so bad to move and breath. It was like my skin was on fire. The fog of being healed and the voices over my head glad to see me alive, it wasn’t until several minutes later when we were out of the tower that I began to realize what I had just made a deal for. I wondered what Bennu was talking about. Something I like? What is something I like and why did my skin burn?
I sat down outside when we got the chance prior to leaving the Stone Tower and opened my shirt to see what was hurting and then I saw it, the gift of Bennu; a tattoo of the phoenix and the holy symbols of every God of Light that I have been privilege to see and hear under my right collar bone covering my chest in a perfect circle around the bird. I smiled as we walked away. Two gifts from the gods; how cool is that?
I was renewed with a new sense of vigor and purpose. The gods will be done. I only hope that I don’t get myself killed.
Written by Overkill on the 19th of Majestic the 1st year of King Minischmee.
Picture from Alan Davis.