Grival's Reprieve

With eight eyes he saw. With four mouths he laughed and wept and shouted and pleaded. He was not alone within himself. Grival wandered the dark nebulas, the spite of Roitaven still writhing in his shared minds. They were once a part of him, yet they could never be him. No, now they were their own and the conflict over what to do next pestered him incessantly. He wandered many leagues and saw much of the chaos of the galaxy left over from the Opilan Event, the crumbling hulks of mass that were gravitating into planets, the burning embers of the stars and superheated rock, the comets and asteroids and blazing orbs cast aside and shattered by Roitaven’s hand. He looked upon it all with his minds mulling over where his place in it all should be.

In his time of wandering, he visited many places and left among them the mark of his passing, four circles at the ends of a stout cross. One for each of the minds and the cross to show their joined nature. And little known to him in his journey, each place he placed his mark would change the nature of the universe forever, manipulating and imbuing the matter of the galaxy with his particular divine power.

It was then that he came upon the center of the galaxy. To one side he saw the brightness of the Opilan Star, and to the other, he saw the spreading darkness from the Passage of the Void. He found himself perched upon a gyre of rock. At the largest formation of the debris, he watched the growing darkness as it enveloped the lights of lesser stars and approached.

His heads quieted and then spoke in turn.

Cynicism spoke first. “It seems that the end shall come soon then, to all things, and it’s good that it does.”

Then Hope. “Perhaps this growing darkness will wash all away and take this pain with it.”

Then Anger. “Aye, and wash Roitaven into the depths of the abyss.”

Then Wisdom. “We cannot know to what end this will have, but it seems that we are resolved that no end shall be worse than the despair and rejection of our creator.”

There was a long moment where Grival simply watched the darkness spread and to his eyes, it seemed to be a solid mass of smoke billowing ever forth.

Hope thought: “It looks beautiful, like a lost piece of our puzzle.”

And not knowing yet how right they were, the minds of Grival waited in their attitudes, the stars snuffed out all around them until the horde of Knoits became clear to see.

Wisdom spoke in fear. “If we can run, we could be saved and enact our revenge, if we die there can be no justice.”

“We might destroy them!”

“No, we might run and escape!”

“There is no escaping this.”

And it was true. The wall of Knoits, spurred on by their hatred and anger, was like a wall of ever-spreading darkness even among the blackness of space. It was moving fast, directing itself towards the Opilan Star like moths to a candlelight. There was a number beyond count rushing like an onyx sandstorm, glimmering in the starlight, poised to overtake the four-headed god where he still sat in debate.

And it was that the horde rushed over him, consuming his form in their endless beating of wings and chitinous bodies. Grival’s minds shrieked and steeled themselves in their body weathering the storm of abominations as they crossed over him in an endless stampede of void warriors.

The chaotic music and illusions arose and then fell as the horde passed over him. Once more he was left alone. The Opilan Star was blotted out, and even from his distance he could see the gouts of flame that soon stuck through the dark storm.

Each voice spoke aloud: “Roitaven will not be imprisoned by this attack, he will bring a wrath that will consume the universe.”

It was then that Grival left his stone and traveled to the darker regions of the galaxy. The Knoits were everywhere and each planet he passed was dominated by their kind. Breeding and taking their life force to one another, using the materials of the planets to build and replicate themselves in hideous pits of bubbling black tar. Grival was cowed, but also intrigued by their process. The chitinous beings seemed to pay Grival no mind and went about their work in haste and focus. Here and there, swarms of the beings would take flight and move toward the battle that raged at the Opilan Star as Roitivan bellowed and shook all of creation in his fury. There were still ever more Knoits, and their filth oozed over all light, save what flashes Grival could see of his creator.

Then, Grival descended to a planet where the Knoits were spawning and watched how they produced of themselves. Combinations of dark magic, illusion, and chemical reactions raged and with each new batch, a set of Knoit warriors more hideous and deformed than the last were released. Some were functional and sleek, others asymmetrical and malformed. Grival was amused and disgusted by them.

“These creatures are not of their own will, they are controlled,” said Wisdom.

“Though their method is ordered, the result is chaotic and beautiful,” said Hope. “Perhaps we could make such things happen.”

“An order to create chaos?” said Cynicism.

With that, Grival dipped his hand into the pit of tar and looked at its construction. He could feel the energies and how close they were to something, but these creatures were imperfect. No, true life, not this automata would be a creation worthy of chaos. And while he contemplated the energies of the Knoits a fiery Nova exploded far away and it’s shock rippled through creation. The Knoits who were in their work stopped and held their heads with whatever appendages could be afforded. They writhed and those who could take flight fled the growing light.

Grival stood and fled Roitaven’s wrath. As half the galaxy was consumed in fire, he stood at the edge and they laughed as one.

So it is said.

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com