Location: Akka Mountains
Time: Sixth Age, Winter 49 to Spring 50
“A year?” hissed Kaoz, scoffing at Ramssee’s explanation of immovable stones causing a delay at the mines – forgetting the fact that he himself had secretly visited Akka the previous year and had come to the same conclusion. “What is Kaoz to do while we wait? Kaoz is bored with Ramssee’s whores. Kaoz ain’t gonna stay a prisoner in Ramssee house any more.”
“Actually, my friend, it could be more than a year.” Ramssee couldn’t resist the urge to goad his partner’s ire just a little more, confident that if he pushed just the right buttons, he might be able to rid himself of the myz for a while, or even for good. “Alas, dear brother, it’s sad but true. You’ve seen it yourself, remember? Why, that massive pile of stone will take those puny men many moons to remove. And, much as I hate to admit, there’s not much you or I can do about it. Or, The Shaitan for that matter.” Then, fishing for information, the viperz threw out a teaser, trying to see if his partner had been contacted by that god separately, “Perhaps, Kaoz, well, perhaps you might have somewhere else to go for awhile? Some other mission to attend to?”
“What? Er…no.” The myz turned away and showed only his back to Ramssee.
Seeing that the gray giant was obviously hiding something – fearing it might even involve revenge against him – the paranoid viperz forced himself to relax even as his blood boiled with anxiousness. Walked over to the myz, and, with The Power spinning in his eyes, Ramssee turned Kaoz around and soothed, “Don’t fear to tell me your troubles. Let Ramssee work with Kaoz as always. Together we can solve what troubles you. What is it, Kaoz? TELL ME.”
Thus did the viperz learn about a series of divine visitations that the myz had experienced – however, Kaoz’s visitations were not with me, nor were they about any plot to bump off the viperz. Instead, Ramssee learned that the myz had been oft tempted by the goddess Inanna and that she was using Kaoz in a power play against The Shaitan. (1)
Once this nugget of information came out, it was as if Ramssee merely had to pull on the end of a string for the snake man to get Kaoz to tell all about his encounters with Lust. (2) Thus did Ramssee’s learn about Inanna’s attempts to partner with Kaoz ever since the Spring of 47, about her current rule in Ramos, and about her hatred for Shedu Mezai – all items that Ramssee’s filed away for later use. The viperz heard Kaoz tell about how Lust had often encouraged him to come to Ramos to see her, and he listened in seeming sympathy to hear Kaoz explain how he could not leave Fubar for fear of neglecting his duty to The Shaitan – for to do so would surely subject him to Death’s wrath (3). This and more did Ramssee’s hear from Kaoz.
Yet what the viperz did not hear any talk of was of The Grim.
Ramssee wondered why Inanna didn’t desire to possess such a magical weapon – one that could grant her superiority over all the other gods on the planet?
According to Kaoz, it was not something he ever discussed with her. Ramssee didn’t need any special <power> to know this was a lie. It made no sense that The Goddess of Lust would desire to be with Kaoz simply to satisfy her passions. The viperz knew Inanna must have an ulterior motive and he could tell Kaoz was omitting something, therefore he pressed the myz for more. As the night wore on, Ramssee employed the full range of his persuasive abilities and finally got Kaoz to reveal the whole truth.
“Ach! Ramssee is right!” The myz raged, smashing a table in anger, yet unable to resist his interrogator’s demands. “Inanna know about The Grim. Inanna promised to help Kaoz use it to kill Shedu Mezai!” (4)
“Really?” Ramssee took a step back in surprise. He was amused that The Goddess of Lust had made the same promise to Kaoz as that which the viperz had initially agreed to when they first became partners. “Pray tell, go on.”
“Ha! What does it matter if Ramssee know, little man?” the myz spat in anger. “Yes, it’s true, Kaoz will take The Grim.” And pacing like a caged beast, no longer trying to hide his disdain for Ramssee, he hissed, “Fooey! Ramssee can’t stop Kaoz. No one can. Once Kaoz kill The Shaitan, Inanna will make Kaoz Supreme Ruler of The World! And Inanna will be Kaoz’s queen!”
“Is that so?” The viperz pondered calmly. The wheels of his mind turned , calculating how best he could use this new development. Thinking quickly, he came up with a plan – one that could rid himself of all encumbrances that stood in the way of his own ascension to power. “Well, my friend, what’s stopping you from going to see your queen now?”
“What?” The myz was confused – unable to understand why Ramssee was not upset to hear of his betrayal and unsure what the viperz was getting at now.
“Well, since we now know it’s going to take a good two years to open up the passageway to The Deepest Depths wherein awaits your Grim, why don’t you go to Ramos in the meantime to be with Inanna? Surely she would appreciate your presence there, neh?”
“Ramssee can’t get rid of Kaoz that easily!” The myz waved his fist at the snake man. “Ramssee say it will take two years, but maybe not. Even if Kaoz could travel to Pennal, then Stax, then Mersia, then Loco Land, and reach Ramos, by time Kaoz returned the mine could be open – and Ramssee would have Grim for Ramssee!”
“But, do you not remember? Kaoz, I do not desire The Grim.” Ramssee’s persuasion was reaching its climax. “My friend, despite your attempts to work things according to your own plans, I do not hold it against you. In fact, I admire your ability to keep a secret. But, lest you have forgotten, I do speak the truth when I say that, just like I told you when we first made our agreement, I don’t want The Grim; that magical blade is for you, Kaoz. Do with it what you please. Use it to kill Shedu Mezai, take it to Inanna, do whatever you like. So long as you leave me to rule over Orkney in peace – for that is all that I desire.”
Remembering that this was indeed their initial agreement – something which the myz had forgotten as a result of his many covert dealings with Inanna – Kaoz let his mental guard down.
Seeing the opening, Ramssee jumped in with another suggestion, “Let me explain more. I would never suggest that you risk the peril of traveling over land through the areas ruled over by the elvz, drukka, and vile men – that is folly indeed. And I agree, it would take a year or more entire to travel there and back – leaving you little time to consort with your queen. But, have you not considered the possibility of going by sea?”
“Now Ramssee is Fool!” scoffed the gray giant, now certain that the viperz was trying to get him to put himself in peril in order to get rid of him. “Ramssee plan is folly. Kaoz can’t sail alone. What human will go on boat with Kaoz?”
“I may have someone in mind.” Ramssee chuckled, now sealing his plans. “I agree, Kaoz, you should not travel alone. So, why don’t you take Diked with you? Surely the King of Orkney can charter any boat he likes from Primcitta. And who would question it if our Lord brought along a burly guard to protect him – say, a giant man from the North who wears a helmet over his head and great bearskins over his body as a sign of his virility?”
“Go on,” Kaoz said cautiously. “But, why does Ramssee want to help Kaoz? What does Ramssee care if Kaoz wait here or Kaoz go to Ramos? If Ramssee wanted Kaoz to have Grim, then Ramssee would want Kaoz to stay.”
“That’s true, my friend. If I only wanted you to gain The Grim, then yes, I wouldn’t care either way, but remember, I have desires of my own, partner. I help you AND you help me. That has been the plan all along and I expect something from you in return for my efforts. Therefore, know this, Kaoz, I do not care what you do between now and the time we eventually unearth The Grim, but, if you can help me to get rid of Diked for awhile – so that I can once more show the people of Orkney that I can be their most beloved ruler of all – then you will be paying me back for my efforts. This will help me to eventually get the fiefdoms of these northern lands to accept me as more than just their Steward, but rather, it will give me the opportunities I need to convince them to make me their next King, nay, strike that – their First Emperor!”
“ENOUGH!” Kaoz raised his voice to yell over the triumphs of Ramssee. “Kaoz care not what Ramssee do in Orkney.” Then, eyes narrowed, the myz added, “Kaoz think Ramssee plan good. If Ramssee get Diked to take Kaoz to Ramos, Kaoz will take Diken to meet Inanna – Inanna will destroy Diked. Then Kaoz will too!”
My devious little minions laughed long at the vision Kaoz had just proposed – once more solidifying a pact to (seemingly) help one another.
Although King Diked initially refused to leave Fubar and go away with the myz, eventually Ramssee and Kaoz convinced the King that it would be in his best interest to do so. It wasn’t hard.
First off, Kaoz had threatened to rip Diked’s heart out if he did not do as he was told. And if that wasn’t encouragement enough, Ramssee also did his part to convince Diked of the benefits of journeying to Ramos – although the viperz used a more subtle approach – telling the naïve lord that embarking on such a major international adventure would give Diked the chance to show off his newly acquired wealth – thereby establishing Orkney’s rightful place as a new world power.
As The Royal Advisor explained to the king, “You can choose to merely remain hidden away in this forgotten corner of TerrVerde, working out minor, meaningless trade agreements with small towns like Monthaven – such as your father Karl did – or you, King Diked, can finally live up to expectations and begin to form major exporting alliances with mighty kingdoms like Ramos, thus making your name known and respected by all. Do you really want to have your name written in the stars? If so, this is the way to do it.”
Thus was Diked Dinus was persuaded to go on the voyage with Kaoz and after making the necessary preparations, the man and the myz left Fubar in the second month of the Spring of 50.
Before departing, King Diked did make one final decree – in an effort to ensure continuity of rule – and doing as he was secretly instructed by his Advisor! — Diked Dinus did officially appoint Ramssee to remain as The Royal Steward, granting him all rights and privileges of his Kingship until such time as he returned from his journey to Ramos – from which he promised to bring back an international trade agreement that could catapult Orkney to everlasting fame. (5)
With the Diked and Kaoz gone, Ramssee languished in the king’s bed chambers – the viperz new favorite abode in the royal palace that was now his home. At present he was alone in the room, and as the luxurious sheets covered his naked body, the snake man enjoyed counted his blessings.
“Ramssee, you are a sly dog.” The viperz nibbled on a handful of cherries, the red juice of the fruit dripping from his lips. Spitting out the seeds, he added with glee, “This new plan will not only relieve me of Kaoz and Diked, but with Inanna and Shedu Mezai duking it out, everybody will soon forget about us here in Northern Orkney – leaving me to rule my people unfettered! And Rich! Oh yes, don’t forget that – I’ll be very rich indeed!
<Tap, Tap> came a knock on the door.
“Enter, please.” Ramssee called out from the bed.
The doorway opened slowly, eventually revealing the figure of a young woman, her face hidden in the darkness of the doorway but her body illuminated by the lights of the hallway behind her – the torch-glow showing the healthy curves of a well-developed maiden.
“My lord?” said the prostitute cautiously. “You called for me?”
“Yes, dear.” The de facto king soothed, “Come in. Have no fear. Tonight I will make your dreams come true – just as I do for everyone.”
- Would I have liked to know this information? Was it easily accessible to me if I simply paid more attention to my minions? Did I make my life harder by not checking in on my workers? Yes, yes, and yes! Like I said, I was busy working on other things and I figured that Akka was far enough removed from Gwar or Inanna that they wouldn’t know or even care about my sending a couple lackeys there. As far as I knew, neither of them knew anything about the Grim being at Akka so I had no idea that Inanna had put two and two together on that matter. Also, as I told you before, the span of a year or three is but a breath to a god like me, so while I hadn’t forgotten about Ramssee and Kaoz at Akka (and was VERY much interested in the success of their mission), I just hadn’t bothered to check in on them much because they hadn’t been gone very long in my opinion. In hindsight, this was rather unfortunate for me and it was my fault that Inanna gained the upper hand on me here. (See, I can give credit where credit is due).
- Of course it also helped that Ramssee had <The Power of Persuasion> to aid his inquiry, for many of Kaoz’s secrets were locked deep inside the myz’s psyche.
- That much is true, but what he didn’t know is that I’d always plan to murder Kaoz regardless of his success in the mission. “Always tie up loose ends” – that’s my motto!
- Another thing I would have liked to have known.
- This proclamation was necessary for multiple reasons. First off, recall that upon Diked’s twentieth birthday he was to finally take-up the full powers of The Throne of Orkney — and thereby remove them from The Royal Steward who currently ruled in his place. However Diked would now be away from the kingdom when his momentous birthday occurred. In order to protect his throne, Diked needed to keep the steward of his choosing in place on said throne, thereby removing any challenge to the throne from one of the other landholders of Orkney. All of which protected Diked’s interests while he was away. And…all of which assured Ramssee would remain in power – hopefully permanently!