The Fall of Gods and Men

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Writers Rift

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Asta

Submitted: June 22, 2016

Reads: 20888

Comments: 15

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Submitted: June 22, 2016

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This book is wholly dedicated to readers, commenters, and the participants. Thank you so much, guys, I am truly blessed to have you all.

 

 

Unknown mountain, Sweden

 

"In the name of Odin, I evict these vile forces off The Land of the Midnight Sun!"

A brief flash of blue light illuminated the forest.

"SURRENDER!"

With a swift swipe, the glowing tip of her spear penetrated through the first row of undead. The corpses dissolved into smoke, but more quickly filled their place. Endless walkers seemed to emerge from the shadows, moaning their way into the clearing. One may perceive them as brainless beasts, but Asta knew better than to mess with the extraordinary extent of their strength and intelligence.

Accursed draugar, she gritted her teeth. There's too many of them.

Asta's wide emerald eyes caught a narrow gap in the advancing circle. Muttering a quick prayer to the gods, she ran towards it. She impaled a pine and swung, using her momentum to sail through the air. Just as her boots hit the leaf-littered floor with a thud, she broke into a sprint.

Outraged bellows rang through the cloudless night. Asta knew if her steps faltered just once, she'd just be mincemeat in a tumble of rotten bodies. The ground trembled beneath her feet as she navigated through the trees, the gentle glow of the stars just enough for her enhanced sight.

Realizing the sudden obstacle in front of her, Asta dug her heels into the earth.

Too late.

She toppled forwards into the rocky slope, the world a dizzying vertigo of black, gray, and draugar wails. Ice cold water swallowed her whole and swept her away with terminal velocity. The air snatched from her lungs, she thrashed to the surface, only to be slapped back under by another wave.

With the last of her strength, Asta ran her spear through the adjacent wall of soil and hauled herself to shore. The draugar howled in the distance, their cries echoing eerily through the night. Asta lay on her back and shivered, her flaming curls damp. Her scarlet cape lay stretched on the grass, reminding her of the days she used to have limbs that enabled her to caress the sky.

She missed those days.

She missed her elder twin, Alvilda, and their days back in Asgard. She missed the thrill of soaring into battle to choose the best of the slain, and all her practice with them for the coming Ragnarök. She missed those days when she could remember how to smile.

After all, she was now nothing but damned.

Cursed, isolated to this godforsaken Earth, a shame to the Valkyries. She remembered her wrists chained to a stake, her comrades' look of absolute disgrace, and an unbearable pain on her back. She remembered her wings—her poor, beloved wings—lying in a liquid of the same crimson shade.

Asta blinked back tears. She'd had enough of cussing at the stars. Picking herself up, she trudged into the woods. Her muscles ached with every step, but her thoughts overpowered the pain. Draugar are hideous beings, but they would only cause havoc to those they vow vengeance on in their former life. Asta was never involved in their affairs, but why on Muspelheim did those draugars ambushed her in the first place?

Well, they'd mess with the wrong person.

"You're a lucky one, I see."

Asta stopped dead in her tracks. The voice belonged to a man seemingly in his early twenties. Even in almost complete darkness, Asta could make out the striking blue of his eyes, soft strawberry blond hair combed back neatly on his scalp, an angular face and a casual feel by his white shirt and a pair of jeans.

If Asta hadn't starved for three days straight and sprinted for miles, her spear tip would have been on his throat. But instead, she sagged against it like a crippled old lady and sighed.

"Who are you?" she asked wearily.

The young man smiled. Even with his calm posture, he radiated an ancient energy, something Asta couldn't quite identify.

"I guess it's rude for me to step into foreign grounds without introducing myself," he bowed. "It is my pleasure to meet you, Lady Asta of the Valkyries. I am Hermes, messenger of the Twelve Olympians."

Asta knew she should bow at the presence of a foreign god, but she was far too tired to be diplomatic. Instead she crossed her arms and glared at him. "And what the Helheim are you doing in here?"

"I know it must be hard for you to be banished by your own sister—"

Asta tensed.

"—but I have come to bear you urgent news that involves the good of all gods and mankind."

Asta stared deep into his blue orbs. "Go ahead."

Hermes took out a scroll from his back pocket and took her hand, closing her fingers around the parchment. "This is a message from Zeus to your god, Odin. This is made from the finest papyrus in all of Olympus and will stay intact even in the most savage of conditions. Please refrain from opening it."

He released her hand. The remnants of his warmth sent tingles up her arm.

"Have you heard of the strange happenings around our world right now?" Hermes said, looking up at the crescent moon.

Asta shook her head. "No."

"A strange pandemic disease has plagued the Southern waters and giants are rising from the North. I have yet to hear about the fates of the West and East, but I've heard a foreign entity has entered our planet, and is causing the restlessness of all these evil. Including why the draugar you've just encountered seemed a little...off than usual."

"A foreign entity?"

"Yes. And it plans to reduce Earth to rubble. Therefore, I am here to give out my father's word."

Asta's fingers were trembling. "Why me?" Her voice was a mere whisper.

"Why you?" Hermes mused. "Have you not noticed that all of the gods of the world has shut off any contact? Whatever this entity is, its power is truly beyond our expectations. A third of the world is in chaos, and it has only begun."

Hermes peeled his eyes off the heavens and solemnly met Asta's. "We need mediators to contact the rest of the gods. Uncorrupted mythical creatures, as what humans call you. We need your help to recruit more and complete this mission before the eclipse in the next fifteen days."

"F-fifteen days...?"

He stepped forward and gripped Asta's shoulders. "Good luck, Valkyrie. May the gods be with you. Antio sas."

He let go and dipped his head in farewell. Columns of light burst around Hermes, coiling around him like a pair of serpents. Asta raised her hand in reflex as an image of a caduceus burned into her eyeballs. The god vanished, leaving her with a scroll, a fallen spear, and an impossible task at hand.

Asta hauled herself up and staggered towards the end of the woods. A sea of yellow stars glittered below, beckoning her to join the bustling human night life.

As much as she dreaded tomorrow, Asta settled herself down on the damp grass and closed her eyes, entering the blissful realm of a dreamless sleep.

NOTE: Thank you for reaching the end of this chapter. The story has begun, but it is never too late to submit your character! :) I hope you enjoyed the ride. Thank you :)

~BB

 

 

 

 


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