Location: The Hall of the Double Axes – Rhokii Pass
Time: AO 299
And then one day a new Kon-Herr Drokka was crowned — Hacktor Derkillez, King Under the Mountains (1).
A massive crowd of supporters filled The Hall of The Double Axes – that cavernous thrown room inside the Drokka’s mountain stronghold at Rhokii Pass. Yet despite the festivities in his honor, King Hacktor was unsatisfied – grumbling under his breath at the frivolity of it all.
I don’t need some pompous event to endorse my rule. The new Kon-Herr looked with contempt at the nigh uncountable tables overflowing with guests from all eight kingdoms. The air was stifling, the aroma of from the feast was noxious, and the stench of spilt mead was nauseating – but the nobles in attendance continued to raise their glasses in Hacktor’s honor. Ha, they’re forcing their enjoyment. They’re still in shock at Baldur’s death and don’t know what to expect from me. That’s good. Let them continue to wonder – they’ll find out soon enough that I’m a far different man than my father.
The mood at the king’s table was a mixed bag. At Hacktor’s right sat his brother Bran — perhaps next in line for the crown should anything happen to Hacktor. Fat chance of that. Hacktor eyed his younger brother who was too busy picking at his plate and pouting to notice. Bran is naught but a lackey – he’d make the perfect pawn for someone else’s power play. But I’d kill him before he ever got the chance. On Hacktor’s left was his sister Hecla – whose plans to install Hacktor on the throne had gone better than expected. Hacktor smiled at her, captivated by the confident gaze she returned to him. Ah, my dear sister, you are enjoying my coronation party more than anyone else in the room – for surely you’ve gotten all you wanted and more as a result of father’s death. I’ll make you my queen yet. And letting his gaze trail down to his sister’s bosom Hacktor’s thought’s wandered. And I’ll ravish you again tonight (2). The rest of the feasters seated at the Kon-Herr’s board ran the gamut of emotions. Monty Redstone was there – the Coinmaster General white as a ghost. Let him be afraid – let him wonder if Ortwin or Thork’s fate awaits him too. He’ll sing a different tune when war brings him riches beyond his imagination. At the opposite end of the spectrum were Mirkir and Heraclez – the Wyze One and the new king’s general both in high spirits. They’re satisfied to see the candidate they’d long groomed for the throne take his place much sooner than expected – yet if they think they can control me like before, they’re in for a rude awakening. Various other members of the royal family, six more lesser Kon-Herr’s and their queens, as well as a few other dignitaries also sat at Hacktor’s massive table. They mean nothing to me. Hacktor eyed them each in turn – most avoiding his gaze when it fell on them. They’ll follow my lead or be crushed under my boots – it matters not to me.
The fake feast continued for hours. Mirkir gave multiple blessings. The crowd – to include all the other Kon-Herr’s and military men – all took a knee to honor Hacktor as the high king of all his people. And countless false friends raised their glass in Hacktor’s honor. The new Kon-Herr Drokka allowed the charade to continue for as long as his patience would allow – for besides the surprise he was planning to unleash on all the guests present, he knew that word of his soon-to-be legendary royal decree would also get back to his rival Garrick, The Golden Hand, Marduk of the Derk. Garrick will eat his heart out in jealous fear – knowing that I will soon be coming for him.
The thought drove Hacktor over the edge – unable to wait any longer, the newly crowned Kon-Herr rose from his seat and climbed upon the gigantic oak table — to the surprise of (nearly) all in attendance – pulling up a long velvet bag with him.
Although such displays of revery were common among the Drokka, most of the guests present had never seen a high king act in such a way (3). While many in the crowd had not been sure about what to expect of Hacktor prior to coming to this feast, the sight of a confident Kon-Herr willing to display himself in such a manner immediately triggered positive vibes in the mass psyche of the people – causing them to let loose with applause for their king. Hacktor let them enjoy the scene for a moment or two — then, after a nod from Mirkir and a smile from Hecla, the king opened his bag, pulled out a bejeweled battle-axe that quickly glittered in all directions, and finally loosed his revelation, “My Brothers, I have been to The Well of Wyzdom. The Ragnarok is at hand — we shall soon wipe clean the accursed Derk from Mittengarten!”
The cheering abruptly stopped and mouths stood agape – just as Hacktor expected.
“The Ragnarok has come?” Many whispered in hushed breaths, taking their seats as their knees buckled at the thought (4).
“The time of the Last Battle?” Others wondered, fearing the myth might actually be true.
“Look at the weapon he holds!” Countless more pointed. “Surely there is magic in that blade.”
Hacktor let this rabble go on for another moment before, “SILENCE!”
Immediately quiet reigned, for all cowered before their new Kon-Herr – as well they should. For Hacktor was an impressive five feet tall (5) and bursting of confidence. Standing upon the banquet table on that night, he really was a magnificent sight: dressed in his black crystal mail, with a short royal blue cape at his back, and with an awe-inspiring weapon in his hand, believe me when I say that Hacktor Derkillez surely looked the part of mythical warrior.
And yet in spite of Hacktor’s commanding presence, it was his battle-axe that captured the attention of all. Hacktor held the blade aloft — an iron-hafted broad axe that was a beauty to behold; its shaft was decorated in golden plate, upon which were embossed Drokka runes of power in tribute to their legendary heroes Ajax and Volzung. The blade itself was made of carbonized diamonds and its keen edge had been specially tempered never to dull. And opposite the axe head, the reverse side was flared into two cruelly curved, four-inch barbs. One look at this weapon would be enough to let anyone know that its bearer meant business. Yet if the blade’s appearance alone wasn’t enough to scare off his enemies, then Hacktor had something else to turn the tide of war in his favor – for the axe had been infused with the divine gifts of Limitless Endurance and Unmatched Power. As a result, Hacktor Derkillez was now armed with the most powerful weapon the world had ever seen! (6)
“Oohs” and “Aahs” came from countless warriors in the crowd, while Hacktor explained, “This battle-axe will be the key to our victory over The Derk – for each of you shall be armed with one just like it, and once equipped, there will be no way The Derk can stand up to you on the battlefield!”
The crowds cheered at this news and someone called out, “My Lord, what do you name this awesome blade?”
Hacktor smiled wide, “It shall be called The Ghast!” Then pointing to the brave warrior who spoke up, “Are YOU ready to become a Ghastwielder, too?” And he reached into the velvet bag beside him and drew out another ghast – this second blade was identical to the first in appearance, although it lacked the crucial magical elements that Hacktor’s possessed (7).
The warrior rose from his seat and Hacktor tossed him the second blade – he caught it by the shaft as the room exploded in celebration.
“Brothers, this is a time of change.” Hacktor shouted over the cheering. “Don’t you see, with an army of ghastwielders, we no longer have to remain cooped up in these mountains at the mercy of The Derk. Instead we can venture to The World Above and take control of Blackwood Forest ourselves! What say you to that?”
Although most of those present hadn’t fought in any battle in their lifetimes, War was a concept long engrained in the blood of the Drokka – especially when it came to destroying their rivals. As a result, Hacktor’s words soon caused cheers from the crowd that filled the room (8). Cries of “Death to The Derk!” and “We want Blackwood!” were chanted loud and long.
“We are about to make history, Brothers,” Hacktor called out above the din, “For this will become the time which the scribes share enter into our Kroniklz as The War of The Ghast!!”
And grabbing his Ghast with two hands, Hacktor took a mighty swipe at the air –- his axe producing a brilliant flash as it sliced like lightning through the aethyr, the blade literally screaming in shrieks as it clove the haze. Yet suddenly the king stopped, and pointing a finger to the crowd he roared, “Ah but there’s one more thing, perhaps the most important of all,” and Hacktor licked his lips at the thought, “I promise you that the Ragnarok will not end until Lord Garrick himself has been delivered to us! And when we come upon The Marduk, we shall stamp ours boot with vengeance into his throat!”
And at that last, Hacktor raised his own black booted foot high in the air, and then kicked viciously down with a blow so powerful that the table was shattered beneath him! Those as the high table had their chairs cast back in all directions. As the dust settled, it was Hacktor who stood alone in the center of that splintered pile — yet, while the broken wood might have obscured him from view, the glittering Ghast was still visible high in the air above his head – a shining beacon for all to see!
And from within the tangled maelstrom, he roared the warrior mantra, “Challenge not the Drokka, for Rhokii is our god!!”
At that, all the room erupted in frenzy, as Hacktor’s people pounded upon their own breasts in pride, echoing, “Challenge not the Drokka, for Rhokii is our god!!”
At last Hacktor smiled, It’s good to the king. Wait till they see what I do next…
- You’re wondering how we got to this point? What happened to Baldur? How did Hacktor become king so quickly? Don’t worry, my little lambs, I’ll feed your minds soon enough. For now, just try to enjoy the party like Hacktor’s guests – like the good little sheep you are.
- Were Hacktor and Hecla having sex? In a word: yes. Note the date my friends (AO 299) – its some four years after Hacktor first returned to court (and Hecla tried to seduce him). A lot can happen in that time – especially between two sexually-charged, power-hungry young adults secretly conspiring to take over the world. Their union was inevitable — it was their destiny to be together, and once I reunited them, I removed all obstacles between them (after all I needed them to work together to further my own designs). Hacktor stopped fighting his attraction to Hecla, realized he both needed and wanted her, and gave in to the fates – consciously walking f forward into the future. It was the very step I needed him to take to proceed.
- During his long rule Baldur had always been more reserved in public.
- What a comical disgrace the Drokka nation had become. Baldur’s long tenure of peace had allowed their armed forces to grow soft and weak, but for a group of people who foolishly believed (like most religions theirs was filled with its share of such ‘we’re the best’ nonsense) that they had ‘invented’ war, it was amusing to see their ‘warriors’ now scared at the prospect of it. I’m sure Rhokii would have been disgusted to witness these scared fools – had he cared enough to show his face again.
- A full hand taller than the average Drokka.
- And I wonder where he got it from? Any guesses?
- A fact that Hacktor did NOT publicize.
- They were hollow cheers for these paper warriors had no idea what ‘war’ really is. They were cheering for perceived glory – and didn’t yet have any idea of the sacrifices and atrocities required to obtain it. But they would learn soon enough.