He was changed. Huge tentacles came out of his back, waving in the air. His eyes were distant, blank, like a dead man, but he breathed.
On narrow paths and long roads their journey went. People stared as they walked by, astonished, surprised. Terrified.
An omen. New times had come.
In the darkness at night Mandlos and Pendlor heard their god murmur, whisper and speak in strange tongues. He never addressed them, never gave them the honour of their attention. He just was there, existing somewhere else.
One day he finally spoke.
I need a sacrifice.
The two men, his two most loyal servants looked at each other.
-We’re not worthy! Mandlos threw himself to the ground before him.
-What ever you desire, we will get it for you, oh Lord of Dark and Light, our saviour, our destruction.
I want blood, the creature said. Its eyes were flashing, its tentacles waving. What had once been a man was now a monster, a creature of darkness. But he was still their king.
-You will have what you desire, Mandlos said. -Your realm is yet to come.
That night they found a village. They waited outside, waited for the sun to go down. In the darkness Pendlor went on to fulfil the holy demand.
Mandlos waited with his king, his saviour, his idol of the great beyond. It was staring into the air, like if Mandlos was not there.
It straightened up. Mandlos could swear he could see it grow. The man form it used to have became a bit less human. Its skin bulged by the shoulder. Another tentacle was born by the neck.
A scream came from the village. Pendlor appeared by Mandlos’ side. He had blood on his shirt.
-I’ve done what you desired.
The monster sunk back in its seat.
The next day they kept walking. They held their god on straight arms even though the burden was heavy and their limbs hurt. The pain was their cleansing, their road to salvation. Their suffering fed their king.
They walked by some men sitting around a fire. The men got up, looking at them with big eyes.
-What do you have there? One of them said. Bandits. Armed to the teeth.
-This is your king and ruler! Mandlos’ voice was serious, dark. -Bow down, or you will be judged!
The men laughed.
-That octopus is your king?
-Looks like dinner to me…
Pendlor’s eyes narrowed. -You dare to mock your god?
The men laughed even harder.
The tentacles waved.
Pendlor grabbed his knife, threw himself towards the men. They swung their swords. Pendlor was slayed like a goat.
They stopped, stared at the monster the two men had been carrying. It was growing. Changing.
Mandlos stood up.
-The time has come, he said with grave thunder in his voice. -The night of doom has arrived, the day when the ruler will rise again, will destroy the world, renew reality. Be proud! Be honoured! Because you will be the men who made it possible…
The closest bandit stabbed him in the chest. Blood flowed from his mouth. He fell to his knees.
-Yes my lord. Thank you… Thank you so…
They cut his head off.
The monster grew. New tentacles came out of its back. Giant eyes bulges from what had once been a man’s chest, his head was no longer there.
It kept growing.
-I think we better get out of here…
A tentacle grabbed him by the throat. Spines speared into his flesh, sucked the life out of him. His friend attacked, sunk his sword into the growing pulp. Flesh came running up the shaft, up his arm, his face.
The other ran down the hill. He fell. Another meal. The king grew. He reached a farm. He reached town.
For each scream, each cut, each kill, the newborn god continued its purpose.
To expand or die.