A Trap and a Warning
White, red, black, and green. These were the colors of a battle that would have inspired men to sing songs for millennia; if only there were others than the demons and the human they were fighting to witness it.
Time and again giant ice demons would throw themselves at the man, and time and again the man would call forth an emerald flame to devour the demons, even as his blood stained the snow beneath his feet red. It wasn’t that the man didn’t know he was going to die; it was simply that he refused to do so before he had killed all of the demons before him.
The twelve largest giants came in the last wave, each pounding step cracking the frozen earth beneath their feet as if it was the cheapest glass. The battle cries they shouted dimmed the sun, stealing the pittance of warmth it had still been giving until that moment.
The man simply smiled, his white teeth a sharp contrast to his pitch black skin. He never hesitated to lift the green orb he had been holding throughout the battle, even though his skin blistered and sizzled from the heat of the emerald flames his will called from it.
Two of the giants instantly fell from his attack, their torsos gaping holes instead of solid ice and demonic flesh. That single jet if fire didn’t stop there though. Guided by the will of its creator it twisted and turned through the air, a jade snake striking at the demons from every conceivable angle, killing three more and injuring another six.
It was the seventh giant, the one untouched by the attacks, that brought a club down towards the human that had slaughtered so many of its kind. The power behind the club was immense. The club had never failed to bring victory to the giant, crippling his enemies, if not killing them outright.
Today was not like those previous battles however. Today the great stone club only caused the barest of cracks to appear on the dome the wielder of the emerald light created to protect himself.
Immediately the dome began to glow, brighter and brighter still until the light seemed to be the purest white instead of any shade of green. Then with a single pulse the energy the man had been pouring into his shield was released, blasting through snow, ice, and more importantly the bodies of the few ice demons that still lived.
When the fire and dust cleared, all that was left was intact was the wielder of the orb broken and bloody, awaiting death by either the wounds he had gained during the battle or the unbelievable cold he now felt without the orb shielding him. He knew if he could just reach the orb he would live, but he had dropped it when his will had faltered after the last attack and it rolled out of his reach.
The sound of footsteps on the ground told the orb wielder that he wasn’t as alone as he first though. And for a few intense moments, he knew fear at the thought of one of the ice demons gaining the power of the orb.
This is why it came as such a surprise when he felt the orb roll against the side of his head. The physical contact was all the man needed to make the orb spread its protective field around him and to begin the long process of healing his wounds.
Soon enough a man came into view. He was tall and pale, like many in these cold lands were, but he had also seemed to have suffered a serious wound recently that caused him to lose an eye.
“I am Odin of the Aesir,” said the one eyed man as he sat down next to the man he had just saved, and ignored the two black crows that landed on his shoulders. “While it is true that death comes to all, it seemed wrong to let a warrior such as yourself die when your salvation was so close.”
“I am unnamed, and I thank you for your help,” said the black man, even as he felt one if his ribs snap into place and begin knitting together so he could breathe easier.
“Would you mind listening to a story while you heal, unnamed of the southern lands?” asked Odin.
“It would help pass the time.”
Odin merely nodded in thanks and said, “Long ago there were beings of incredible power, who we named gods, came down from the stars to do battle and save humanity from the demons that had enslaved us from the moment we were created. The battle between these forces split the lands, causing what was once one to become many. At the end we believed that the demons were destroyed or imprisoned and the gods victorious, but this was not so.
“You see, the demons had left a taint, and in time that taint grew, giving rise to demons that were almost as powerful as those the gods had fought so many years ago. For a long time humanity believed that the old gods would return to save us again, but that never happened. Now the demons have managed to once again almost totally enslave humanity, so the time has come for new gods to rescue humanity, only this time they will come from this world.
“They won’t be as powerful as the old gods, but they will be many of them this time, spread throughout the world. At first they will fight by themselves, then they will find others of similar strengths and some will even produce powerful offspring so they will fight as a family.
“This will go on until the leader of one group of gods realizes that there are other gods in other lands. When this happens he will call the leaders of the various gods together, so that all the gods in all the lands could work together and destroy the demons once and for all.
“After much discussion the gods will realize that while they can destroy all the demons, they can’t do so without destroying all the humans as well. The demons had simply become too entrenched to fully defeat, but they could be thinned.
“With the help of every god a trap was formed. It would lure the more powerful demons to an area where one of the tribes of gods would make their home outside of space and time. When enough demons have entered this trap, the tether that connects the trap to this world will be severed, trapping both god and demon together until all are dead.
“They will call this trap, Asgard.”
“Why are you telling this?” asked the unnamed defender.
“Because I am a selfish man who wants the future to know of his people and what was sacrificed in the past so that tomorrow may be born. Because I know that there are eyes watching this moment, listening to these words long after Asgard is nothing but dust and ash. And finally I’m telling you this because if I do you one more service I can extract an Oath of Silence from you, so you can never tell a demon or human what I have told you.”
The unnamed understood the reasoning behind such an oath. Odin only spoke of events that have yet to happen, if the purpose of Asgard were known now it would do nothing but let the demons avoid it.
“Do me one last service then, so that I may make the Oath.”
“Five days to the north and east from here you will find a mountain with smoke coming out of it. Under that mountain live the dwarfs, and if you take your orb to them they will refashion it so that it no longer harms you when you use its power. Not only that, but they will cast a spell on it so that the others that follow your path will instinctively do likewise.”
“Then for this boon, I the Unnamed, once a slave but freed by my will, do hereby declare an Oath that I will never speak of what you have told me this day.”
Both men felt the magic as the Oath was sealed. From this day forward the user of the emerald orb could not speak a word of the conversation, no matter what conditions he would face. In essence he had just given up some of his freedom so that one day the more powerful demons in the world would be stopped, a high price for a former slave to pay.
“Thank you,” said Odin as he rose to his feet. “For your sacrifice I will give you, and those that will hear these words in the future a bit of advice, never look deeply into your own future, or that of your loved ones. It is truly a terrible thing to look at your newborn child and see how he will die.”
With those words Odin walked away, and was soon swallowed up by the snow that seemed to constantly fall in these lands. The unnamed one knew that he would heed Odin’s words, and hopped those that followed him would as well.