So, since the official novella is finished(for now), I decided to go for a fandom novella. The idea was in my mind some time before the first chapter of the official novella, but never had the chance to fully write it. Until now.
This novella is centered toward the history of Kan-Ra. Why did I choose Kan-Ra? Because it’s the past, so it’s easy to fill with unofficial stuff. Also, keep in mind that I have no acces to all the shadow lords characters info, so maybe some of the data could be wrong attending to the shadow lords backstories.
Also, I have to thank @BigBadAndy for his help translating my original document, since as I don’t speak English, was full of grammar mistakes. Take in consideration that I don’t have good english, so the wording may not be the best.
So, enjoy it!
The Curse: Episode I
The sun was starting to rise above the mountains in Egypt, and like every day, a young shepherd opened the gate of the barn with the objective of taking the sheep out. When one of his sheep walked away from the flock, the shepherd started to walk, without any haste, to where it was staying. Surprised, he found a dead man next to the animal.
By the state of his skin, he died some weeks ago. It was dry, desiccated, and full of sand, although that was not extraordinary. He surely was traveling from the East, trying to reach the Nile. He was dressed with worn clothes, but surprisingly, also with expensive jewels. Probably a noble who was attacked during his travels, and died before reaching the river. The shepherd thought that he would no longer need the jewels anymore, so he reached his hands around the dead man’s neck.
When the shepherd felt the knife in his chest, just above his belly, the pain was so intense that he couldn’t scream at all. He just opened his mouth in pain , and started to convulse , spiting blood as his lungs started to fill. He was still alive when the man who was apparently dead incorporated himself, and started to speak in an unknown language. A blue energy started to abandon his body, and the stranger absorbed it while his flesh started to heal. His skin was still dessicated, but the open wounds were closed, and he looked… just more recently dead. The shepherd died in terrible pain, breaking his jaw in a final and silent scream of agony.
Kan-Ra needed to slaughter the entire flock and drain all their energy before feeling strong enough s to start his journey again. The drain spell was enough to keep him alive for a while, but the amount of energy needed to make it work was too high. It was time to try something different.
Egypt was his final destination, after years wandering the desert. He had collected as much info and ancient relics as he could from the cities where he traveled, but he knew none of them would help him as much as some ancient trinkets that only the Pharaohs and their most trusted advisors knew. He had managed to keep the curse at bay until now, but it was growing stronger, and the pain was always there, constantly destroying his body and twisting his mind. Without his improvised spells, he would probably be dead by now.
As he started to walk again, he noticed a small town, and finally the Nile. The final destination of his long journey was very close, and Kan-Ra remembered with bitterness the events that brought him here…
Kan-Ra was standing in front of a window, looking at the Hanging Gardens. Cyrus the Great, his king, used to take peaceful walks around them in sunny days, covering himself from the sun under the protection of the wild plants. It was early in the morning, and he should be there by now. He walked through his room, put his clothes on, and left without even looking at the beautiful woman who was lying in his bed. Kan-Ra’s physical attractive and position as Cyrus’ vizier made him very popular among the Babylonian women, yet he didn’t really care for any of them. He used them for his pleasure, but at the end, for him, they were only a mere entertainment.
When he arrived to the Gardens, the King was sitting next to a great tree which had grown around a statue, speaking with a person unknown to Kan-Ra. He was very tall and muscular, with blonde hair, pulled into a ponytail. He carried a huge sword on his back, which seemed really heavy. Once Kan-Ra was closer, he noticed that the tree was in reality Aganos, the bronze golem. The automaton’s head consisted of 3 faces, and when Aganos was in the presence of the King, he always turned his face to have the right one(the least aggressive) most visible.
“It has been a pleasure, but I’m afraid I have to go now.” said the stranger.
“Oh, you should stay for one week more. I have been teaching some gardening to Aganos. His private garden is about to flourish! Show him!” Aganos’s body was built with bronze, but after centuries of conflict, some of his body parts were heavily damaged, and the golem substituted them with other materials. The lower part of his torso and his left foot were now made of rocks, and between the rocks, vines had started to grown. He showed the stranger his belly, and after moving some rocks, revealed a small garden of tiny orchids.
“They are very beautiful, indeed. I remember when I carved my sword into you and made that hole ! I could say I planted the first seed!” Aganos uttered an unintelligible and deep roar, and the man started to laugh. “Hahaha, aye, I remember also that you knocked me down that hill. I slept for days!”
“I have nothing but gratitude to you for bringing me Aganos so many years ago, my friend. It breaks my soul thinking about how many crimes his former owners forced him to do.” Aganos lifted his giant bronze hand, and a tiny sparrow landed in one of his fingers. The king smiled upon the scene, while shaking hands with the visitor. “I know I can’t hold you longer, but I always appreciate your visits. I still remember the first time I saw you, 20 years ago. And you haven’t aged a bit.”
“I have to take advantage of my gift. I still have a lot to see. I’m travelling to the East now, to see what wonders await me. Maybe I can meet your grandson at my return!” He shook Cyrus’ hand, punched Aganos’s fist in a friendly manner, and departed at the same time Kan-Ra arrived.
Kan-Ra always wanted to take a closer look at Aganos. He could be the last of his kind, and with some experiments, he could recreate the technology and magic which created the golem and his brothers. But instead of allowing Kan Ra to dissect the automaton, the king set him free. Kan-Ra couldn’t believe how naive that decision was. A full army was needed just to subdue him, and he had never been defeated while servingas other kings’ and warlords’ prime warrior. “And now, one of the most powerful beings on the planet was cultivating flowers, learning about nature, primarily used for rebuilding tasks, like a pet for the King. Pathetic”, thought the Vizier, “It’s a waste, this fool it’s taking care of a weapon like a son!”
“Good morning, Father” The king wasn’t Kan-Ra father, but among his people he was known as ‘The Father’, ‘the Liberator’, and ‘the Great’. His calm demeanor, peaceful politics, and kindness granted him the love of his people, even the conquered ones. He was in his mid-forties, but he looked older than that, with his black beard being mostly grey by now.
“Ah, Kan-Ra, good to see you, I need your help”, replied the King. “Let’s go inside.“
They walked into a room inside the structure of the Gardens. Inside, two men were discussing something over a table full of maps. One of them was a short but bulky man of generous beard, dressed in armor ornamented with Sun inscriptions, with two hammers hanging from his belt. The other one was taller, and a purple hooded robe covered almost his entire body, leaving only part of his arms visible, and these were covered with strange tattoos. His face was also covered by tattoos, and his beard was dyed a dark blue color.
“The incompetence of your guards amazes me, Dakuri. How can common bandits be able to avoid your soldiers so easily? It’s the second time this week, they are getting confident of their skills, and the time between attacks is getting smaller”, said the tall man with acrimony.
“Watch your mouth, sorcerer. My soldiers are suited for war, not looking for common thieves among the people”, replied Sol Dakuri, one of the King’s army generals.
” These are peaceful times, General. If your soldiers can’t protect the city from itself, maybe you are not what we need.” Sargon, the supreme sorcerer, never liked Sol, Kan-Ra, or any of the King’s other advisers, and never passed up a chance to humiliate them when Cyrus was present.
“Enough, gentleman. We are here to end this crisis, not to kill each other,” stated the King, who always tried to maintain peace between his trusted men. “Sol, give Kan-Ra the most recent reports.”
“Of course, Father. The bandits struck again. They have been more active lately, and after stealing some citizen’s properties, now they are focusing on the Royal treasure. They seem to follow chaotic movement patterns, as we are unable to anticipate them. They already took enough gold to cover the golem with it”, replied Dakuri.
“I see. Maybe you should call up more men, Great one. The city is not prepared for this with its current garrison.” Kan-Ra turned to Sargon, as he knew the tall man would oppose that idea.
“That’s not a good choice. It would be very unpopular; we are not at war . Recruiting by force is not the way to rule, vizier.” Sargon, as always, was the most vocal opposition to any forceful solution. But as Kan-Ra guessed, he never provided any alternative.
“Enough already. I have an idea. Aganos will handle this.” The three looked at the golem with surprise as soon as Cyrus said it. “Go on my friend, look for these bandits and bring them to me.” Aganos followed Cyrus’s orders not by force, but by free will. The golem was very grateful to the King, and looked to him like a parental figure.
“With all my respects, Great one, Aganos is not precisely… inconspicuous. I don’t know how he will…” Kan-Ra couldn’t ends his phrasing when the King stopped him with a hand gesture.
“He will deal with it, you don’t have to worry. Now I want to see my wife.”, said the King while he started to walk away. Sargon reached him and started to talk, leaving Kan-Ra and Sol Dakuri behind.
“That pile of junk is going to ruin everything”, said Dakuri once they were alone.
“Patience, my friend, patience. There is no way for him to relate the bandits with us. I have another idea to solve our problem.”
“I only have a few loyal men, vizier. I can’t hold them more without raising suspicion.”
“Not need for that. Let Aganos take Spinal. I have no doubts he will. I need something from Yohanan. He must organize a feast to honor the gods. Cyrus and his wife will assist, for sure. Tell him to distract Cyrus, you will do the same with Sargon. Just insult him, he will be happy enough to return you the favor for hours.”
“And what are you going to do meanwhile?”
“Me? I will take care of his beautiful wife.” Kan-Ra couldn’t hide a hideous smile…
After placing the last pebble, the improvised tomb was almost done. Only then, Aganos took a little flower from his body and placed it over the rocks. He took a look at the sheep. Some crowns were staying over their bones. Considering how decomposed the human body was, he had been dead for around three or four months. He was definitively killed by some dark sorcery. Kan-Ra’s sorcery…
The last time Aganos saw Kan-Ra was 30 years ago, leaving Babylonia. The Curse caused him great pain, and he could barely walk. Aganos started to hunt him 10 years ago, and finally he was very close to him. Maybe Cyrus the Great was long dead by now, but he would have his last will fulfilled. Aganos was determined to kill Kan-Ra, at any cost.
It was late in the night, so he could travel faster. He saw a slope, jumped into it, and after morphing himself into a giant spherical rock, started to roll quickly.
He will never rest until the sorcerer is stopped. Never.