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Aythideos by Bloodyspaghetti

After the death of his brother, Polaecanes, at his own hands, Aythideos had fled his home country in fear of the death penalty he would face should he be caught as was custom in his homeland. He traveled far and wide until he had reached the ocean, from there on he sailed as far as the eye could see until he found an island he had originally believed to be uninhabited by human life. Once he set foot on said island he later came to name Kreta, he found that there were unsophisticated and savage peoples living on it, in primitive societies. Aythideos took this chance to start a new life. Within two decades, he had instilled himself as the rightful king of the whole island. While the king Aythideos had everything he could’ve wished for, he lacked but one thing; a peace of mind. Night terrors of his decaying brother kept disturbing his sleep, ever so wrathful, ever so vengeful at the deeds of the once foolish great king. Had Polaecanes known his brother did not mean to end his life that faithful evening which was disturbed by a fit of drunken rage; perhaps his spirit would not hunt the aging king for all those years. Eventually, Aythideos decided it was time to go back to his homeland and atone for his sin. In his mind, the fact that he was king required him to apologize to his nation, his family, and to pay respects at his brother’s grave.

Aythideos had gathered his most trusted soldiers with him to his journey to his old homeland, having spent most of his time on the island, the he came to call Kreta waging war, the aging king was quite the soldier and he had developed a special bond with his fellow warriors. The king gathered a party of sixty men and boarded one of his magnificent warships. He adorned the ship with yellow flags, a clear sign of surrender and humility in his original homeland and thus the aging king, Aythideos set sail.

Halfway across the ocean, Aythideos ship came into the current of the Rusaka. A strip of sea in which resided a serpentine monster known as the Rusaka, it was larger than any serpent Aythideos’ men had ever seen before. Aythideos having passed through that current in his youth knew that in order to pass the beast’s territory he had to offer a sacrifice. Food. The amount of meat in single cattle would suffice.

Upon noticing the approaching ship, the mighty creature positioned the woman shaped decoy atop its head above the sea line and began channeling its desires into the minds of the sailors who had never experienced such a phenomenon before and the demonically deep voice inside their heads began to terrify them. One of the sailors who had noticed the woman shaped organ of the mighty beast concluded she is some sort of monster and shot an arrow into it before Aythideos could stop him. The beast roared from underneath the surface of the water, the sound alone shoot Aythideos’ ship. As the animal shook its body in agony below the surface of the ocean, the seas shook, Aythideos fearful for his mission and life threw the man in charge of the assault over board himself, to the disbelief of the visibly shaken crew. Suddenly the ocean had gone quiet.

The aging king had thought he managed to appease the beast and proceeded to continue with his journey to his homeland. The morning after the king’s ship arrived at the Rusaka’s current the clouds had gone dark and hung low. The winds rose and the ocean had gone wild. Rocking the mighty war ship as it was nothing but a toy. Soon enough, the waves had grown so large they could topple the ship upside down with ease. The envoy was not ready for such weather. It was unexpected. Nobody could’ve anticipated the freak storm. Something must’ve angered the Gods. Before long, the waves battered the ship so much it had turned over. Forcing Aythideos to watch as his men were being crushed by bits of metal and wood or fall down into the salty abyss that is the ocean beneath them. Even Aythideos himself had fallen into the cold and then unforgiving ocean but he graved onto a large chunk of the wood and tried climbing on top of it, with little success as a large wave came down crushing upon his body, it’s weight crushing his will and apparently sending him down into the ocean’s unforgiving depths.

After the initial blow, Aythideos felt nothing, but slowly, as he came to he began feeling hot. As if he was in the desert, the temperature was rising quickly, but he couldn’t move his body, nor he could even open his eyes. A putrid smell of rot and iron began filling his nostrils, Aythideos tried moving himself, but to no avail, he felt like he’s being held in place by chains. Fear began to fill his once brave heart, and then he heard it, the moans of anguished men. They croaked in his ear canals and with one final attempt, the aging king managed to free himself from the invisible force that was holding him in place. He opened his eyes only to find the most hideous thing imaginable. Aythideos found himself in a large hall, covered in crimson juice up to his knees, the walls seemed as if they were made of flesh, they were pulsating as if they were a part of a living body. The sight revolted the aging king and he felt the contents of his stomach rising, in order to avoid the exodus of his gastric contents, Aythideos looked up. The moment his eyes locked with the ceiling above, he wished he had never looked upwards. The once proud king was at that moment a terrified toddler, terrorized by the cruel bloody world around him. He fell to his hind and began crawling backwards. The sheer sight of flayed men, hanging from the flesh-like ceiling, by the remnants of their hides at the ankles, it broke the man, and disintegrated every last bit of courage he had in him. Aythideos began crawling away, fearfully, not breaking eye contact with what he perceived to be the corpses of poor souls until he touched something. The scream that followed petrified Aythideos as he slowly turned around to find out that these corpses were not corpses they were living people. The aging king stumbled, just barely, back to his feet and began running in the river of blood as fast as he could hoping to escape what he had believed to be his afterlife, hoping for a better end for himself. He didn’t make it that far before he crushed into a hulking thick hided minotaur like being with a gigantic stone club. The monstrosity turned to face him, seeing his tearful and terrified face, the beast could not but let out a tiny smile before proceeding to raise its club and smash Aythideos on top of his head.

Searing pain came across the aging king as he began waking up; he moved his limps around to make sure he was still alive. Much to his surprise, he was. He looked around and found himself afloat the piece of wood he had grabbed onto when his ship had sank. Aythideos shot a look to his left to find the body of his general. A large stake stuck at its side. Unmoving. The aging king had been overcome with unimaginable sorrow over the loss of a trusted adviser, ally and friend. Aythideos set up and began weeping. He wept for hours until hunger had begun to set it. Quickly enough the sorrowful sovereign could not form any single thought that was related to his hunger. Having no other choice he had begun wondering should he consume the corpse of his dead comrade.  At first, he rejected the notion but as the hours kept passing and his hunger had gotten worse, the king eventually had given into his primal urges. He crawled up to his comrade’s unmoving body and cut of his leg. Turned around and began chewing on it, chewing as hard as he could to make it digestible, and even though the taste was awful, the king kept on chewing and swallowing bits and pieces of the leg.

Sometime later, as Aythideos was chewing on the leg of his general, he heard faint whizzing and grunting from behind him. Memories of what he had seen just hours prior and insatiable rage had slowly started creeping up his body. He grabbed his sword and turned around only to see his fallen comrade open his eyes. Unsure what is reality and what is mirage Aythideos threw himself at the dying man and began stabbing him repeatedly while muffling his agonized screams with his hand.

Soon enough, the silence was restored and the king got off the now surely dead body of his former comrade. He set besides him and had begun praying to his god of death and destruction, the bacchanal Szmerzszs. Begging his deity to take him to the afterlife and end his suffering, realizing his prayers are going unanswered Aythideos began crying once more, flattening his face against his makeshift raft, begging for the end of his life.

It did not come. He was still alive, sometime later tiredness caught up to the aging king and he had given up on trying to get on the graces of the dark divinity. He fell to his back and closed his eyes. Feeling peace for but a moment, hoping for release from this hell he was in.

Smoke soon had begun filling his nostrils, and he started coughing violently. After a few moments of coughing Aythideos opened his eyes to find himself in a large hall, made out of black stones, every few feet stood a black marble pillar. Higher than the skies themselves. Aythideos had began adoring the architecture of his possible hell, but his comfort would soon all but disappear as he began hearing the tortured cries of men.

They were weeping, crying, begging, begging for release, begging for an end. Aythideos looked around and his eyes met the most disturbing sight yet, he saw men impaled upon the shafts of monsters the likes of which he had seen before. These men were impaled through their anal cavity, forced to go up and down the shafts as they cover them in blood and bits of flesh.

The mortified king tried running away once more from the hellish scenery but found himself unable to move. His head and gaze were locked, not by his own volition, at the smoke in front of him, forming a certain shape. It was twisting and turning around until it came to form a large black canine. A monstrous canine with black fur that could not be told apart from the smoke around it. There was no differentiating between the beasts outline and the smoke that came to form it. The canines brown eyes pierced through the soul of Aythideos as it slowly paced towards him.

In a moment, another shape was formed from the smoke, Aythideos’ younger self. Fear began once more filling up the tormented king’s heart to the point of overflowing its banks. The beast placed a paw on Aythideos younger self and pressed it to the floor beneath them. The kings back began burning and he screamed out like a dying animal. The beasts head slowly changed its shape into that of Polaecanes as it mounted Aythideos younger self and began raping it. By that point, the king was broken; he was lying on the floor, screaming in agony, tears running down his face, his voice going hoarse from the strain. The kings body was showered with penetrating pain, every last cell, every last ounce of his being ached as his eyes were locked with the eyes of his younger self while the monstrous Polaecanes headed beast was violating him.

For the first time in his life, he had truly understood the pain of dying, the pain of his brother. Polaecanes had exacted his revenge upon Aythideos. He broke his older brother.

Destroyed by the torment he had to go through, Aythideos felt one last surge of pain run though his body, the most unbearable one yet, as the canine monstrosity bit onto the upper body of his younger self.

Aythideos opened his wide. His world was shaking, he heard the battering of waves against one another, and the salty smell of the ocean began filling his nostrils. Unsure of whether he is being tricked or not, unsure if he is still among the living or not. He simply began laughing at the dark skies above him. He laughed like no man had ever laughed beforehand. Aythideos did not care if he was going to die or if he was already dead. He had resigned himself to the fates.

Aythideos set up his aching body and grabbed the remnants of the leg he had started eating earlier. He bit a chunk of flesh from the leg, chewed it down and swallowed, and then he raised his hands up high and called out to the gods themselves as a large shadow began creeping behind him.

“ I was once a man blessed by the gods, a chosen one!
Unifier of men!
The living, breathing embodiment of the divine!
Hands of god upon the earth!
Now I must be insane, unsure of what is true and what is fiction, but the best of us must be…
Within me lies a magnificent soul of a king among kings bestowed upon me by the mightiest of the sky fathers, or just another meal for another beast…”

Part One | Part Two | Part Three