The Gamble

Date: 11/09/2012 at 03:13
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The Gamble

Barely a month had passed since the summoning of Bal'met when the
heraldic voice of Hermes, the Messenger, boomed across the heavens.

"Ah, Bal'met," he greeted the newly formed god. "You've forced Your way
into the most exclusive of clubs, the Garden of the Gods! Your gamble
with the Twin Lords makes Me proud! Quite a risky game You play with
those two... care to double down?"

Silence weighed heavily upon the heavens, and no response was heard.

Faint was the sinister chuckle of Apollyon as the Suffering God made his
presence known a moment later. "Speak your proposal, Messenger," he
spoke. "Bal'met is listening."

"You have a fine piece of property there, this world of Krenindala,"
Hermes replied. "It would make a fine site for a casino, and I'm sure I
can find some purpose for its many inhabitants. How about a wager?"

"What could You possibly offer?" came the crushing voice of Shaitan.
"Bal'met needs no Luck, with Us on His side."

Hermes' tone was confident. "I offer something that is best when freely
given: essence and shrines. And I'm all in! After all, if the bet is to
be worthwhile, the stakes must be high. How does this interest Your new
friend? My power for His planet? The outcome to rest on the luck of a
coin toss?"

The terrible visage of Bal'met flickered upon the firmament, and a
thunderous roar accompanied his assent.

Thus was the gamble made, and a shining gold sovereign gleamed in the
heavens. Surging upward to impossible heights, the coin spun with
dizzying speed as it gained altitude.

Expecting the words "heads" or "tails" to ring out, Hermes was stunned
as, instead, a spectral ebon blade appeared and sliced cleanly through
the gold coin, cleaving it in twain. Like a desert mirage, the two
halves of the sovereign evaporated into the air.

"Heads We win, and tails You lose!" proclaimed Apollyon triumphantly.
Hermes remained silent, still shocked at this inconceivable turn of

"Did You think a loaded coin would escape Our notice?" queried the God
of Oppression.

"A deal is a deal," continued Apollyon. "We shall have both ends: Your
essence is claimed for Bal'met, and You shall have Krenindala, though
bereft of your powers. Enjoy Your prize, Hermes, for it is the last
place You shall ever see."

Malevolent laughter rumbled from the west, followed by a furious cry as
a golden figure soared across the firmament, flung by the forceful hand
of Bal'met.

Streaking through the heavens, the once-illustrious form of Hermes
became smaller and smaller as He became more distant, finally vanishing,
lost to Krenindala.

Penned by My hand on the 10th of Phaestian, in the year 610 AF.