XERX’SES THE GOLDEN
“This is Jaymus Murray, and I am joined here at the luxurious Ras Magiras Hotel in Lopania by Xerx’ses of CrIsis, or as I refer to him Xerx’ses the Golden! A custom chair and table has been constructed specifically for this interview by the fine people of the Ras!”
“Xerx’ses, how does it feel to win 2 golden leaves?”
‘’I am astounded! I thought everyone was better than me in the dueling! Malkin Falimede prepared me for the Games by giving me the knowledge of the past games. Malkin is a librarian at the awesome Library of Bletherad." Xerx’ses then went on for quite a while extolling the virtues of the Library, and of Malkin. Somewhere in the conversation he slipped in that he was a wizard, so I followed up on that.
“Why did you enter the physical events then? Most mages would never stoop to participate in the physical contests.”
“How then do you describe your superior prowess, especially by getting the Golden Sweep in the Pentathlon?”
Xerx’ses humbly replied, ‘’I am not superior- in fact I have been killed twice! The Mountains of Baalgor are a dangerous place!" He goes on to describe a fanciful war between dragon-like humanoids and Giants, which I am sure is a metaphor for the dangers of the Baalgor – don’t go there folks! Xerx’ses says that the tribe he comes from, in the Wastes, are good- and this brings me to his harshest critics.
’’The Elves of Sulestan have been very vocal in their disapproval of your being in the Games- and some feel your success shows that Minotaurs should not be allowed. Do you care to comment?"
‘’The Sulestan Elves, and Lictalon, are right- most minotaurs are evil. There are some good minotaurs, and I come from a tribe of them. I have also met one who was a Palladin of Rurga! However, most are evil. Our tribe’s mortal enemies were a cannibalistic tribe of Minotaurs that worshiped Utu."
“Back to the dueling,” I asked with a shudder- picturing this giant chowing down on my little body, “did you only train by reading?”
Xerx’ses smiled, and I tried hard not to picture those teeth mashing my bones, with little success. ’’Actually, Indaris and Overkill regularly sparred with me. They taught me a lot- and eventually I was able to sometimes break their defenses!"
“How did you become such a great Pentathlete?”
With a laugh, Xerx’ses said it was natural! Natural! I asked him about each event.
“What was Discus like?”
“Discus is our rock tag! Javelin was like spear fishing. If you wanted to live, or at least not get bit, by 8’ or larger eels and fish, you got good at the spear. Long Jump came from jumping over the gaps left by Earthshakers”, which Xerx’ses described as stadium-sized intelligent tortoises! “Wrestling comes from having brothers, of course, and the Stadion comes from running for your life.” He finished with another smile, “So I really was a natural at the Pentathlon.”
It was hard not to like him- as long as you closed your eyes, or pretended his frightful countenance was an illusion or a dream. “Any last words, or advice, for future competitors?”
“People, it they want to win, should go to the Library of Bletherad, and study the old Games. Those new Pankration techniques- they are not new, they are just someone finding forgotten knowledge!”
“I would like to end the interview with some word association. I am going to give you some names I have heard you referred to, and you respond with your first thought or word.”
Xerx’ses the Annihilator – ‘’I am not Anhur."
Xerx’ses of Ruination – “Sad”
The Eradicator- “Brutal”
The Fatal- “I died twice!”
The Illustrious- “I like that one”
The Virtuoso- “What does that mean?”
The Provocateur- “Accurate.”
“Which name do you like best, Xerx’ses.”
“The Golden.” He was charming.
“One last thing I would like to say. There are some creatures out there that were monsters that are trying to be good. I have gotten more from the smiles that I have received from fans than anything I gained on my own. Thank you.”
I must briefly add an aside. Shortly after my interview, in my room, as I was transcribing what my Ball of Record had played back for me, I was visited by Thoth himself! He grabbed my notes as I bowed to him, read through them, and said, “You will not share the items I have crossed out. You have your memories- you do not need this”, and crushed the crystalline ball. ’’Big fan- keep up the good work. Tell Helara to watch her ass!"
With that he was gone, and the work appears as approved by the God of Knowledge- I do not wish to be dust.
Published by the Lopanic Games Beacon, and sent to all Capitals and major cities in Palladium!
Picture from Magick and Mysticism