This story explores the creation of Misery and how she became the being she is today - it is not recommended for people who have strong spiritual beliefs or are fairly young due to it involving cosmic themes that may offend some (there is no reference to actual religious figures or organizations): it also has a fair bit of abstract thinking so it helps if your willing to suspend belief a little and imagine the universe as being more.. fluid.. than most would think.
Before The Beginning
Long before the age of man the universe was still young, the planets had just began to spawn the first primitive civilisations - they gazed upon the infinite wonder of creation with equal parts curiosity and fear, they looked to the great Powers That Be to guide them and teach them yet these mysterious beings never interfered, preferring instead to watch as the fledgling races began to grow.
For generations this cosmic balance was waged - the young species learnt to abandon the "star gods" and sought their own destinies, building cities and learning to evolve without aid, the Powers That Be watched in silence at this and knew it was good: their masterpiece was almost complete.. yet neither the gods nor the young races could be prepared for the darkness that would soon befall them both..
The disaster struck without warning or reason and shattered the balance almost at once - a troop of Eodians, normally peaceful swamp-dwellers, rose out of their village and attacked a neighboring Plinyax settlement - the raiders burned homes and scattered families, beat their enemies within an inch of their lives and stole valuable food and resources before returning to the swamps: the first act of war had been committed and the Powers That Be at once became uneasy - this was not part of their plan..
In the following days things worsened as the Plinyax grew fearful and paranoid, building ever more elaborate defences and in desperation began to return to the worship of the "star gods" to protect them, meanwhile the Eodians became ever more bold and savage - attacking their neighbors with ever increasing malice until in a moment of madness the Eodians committed the first act of mass murder, driving the Plinyax to near-extinction.
Unable to stand and watch any longer the Powers That Be descended upon the mortal plane and did what they felt had to be done to stop the chaos that was threatening their masterpiece, they combined their formidable psychic powers and forcibly ejected the negative emotions of the Eodians and every other race effected by the terrible war and tossed them into the depths of time in the hopes they would never again resurface in the minds of mortals.
The Powers That Be then exiled the Eodians to the furthest regions of space as punishment for their crimes and forbade the other species from ever mentioning their existence again - the great "star gods" then bestowed upon the young races the power of speech and language so they could communicate with words and not violence, then the old ones vanished back to the stars, content that they had averted the destruction of their masterpiece.
However even the gods made mistakes and in their haste to preserve their masterpiece the Powers That Be had forgotten that once darkness had been brought into creation it could not be so easily removed - the evil thoughts and emotions that had been sent flying across time began to merge and warp under unseen forces, linking together like a spider's web and wrapping around themselves until after an age of spiralling through time the psychic mass had taken a form and personality: Misery had finally been born and the universe would never be the same again..
The Rise Of Misery
By the time Misery had entered the universe again the young races had once again grown, managing to recover from their dark past they began to form the first true civilisations and Misery saw this progress - still largely formless and without gender Misery hurled itself towards an inhabited world and at once the skies darkened as a bolt of darkness crashed into the ground, shattering the surface and sending thick clouds of smoke into the sky as the shadowy mass warped and shifted in place until at long last Misery emerged from the ground in the form of a humanoid female dressed in primitive armor, her face concealed under a metallic mask: the figure gazed upon the land and walked towards the nearest outpost to speak with the world's inhabitants.
As she approached the outpost a troop of tall grey-skinned beings approached her, dressed in the style of medieval monks and having glowing yellow eyes - they observed the stranger with interest and bowed towards her as they stopped.
"Welcome to Hyboria, stranger - we are a simple people.. who may you be and what brings you to our lands?" they said, their voices still so full of innocence and youth.
"I am but a simple traveller seeking refuge, I ask only for shelter and food.." Misery replied, already looking over the creatures before her with unnatural calm.
"Then come, you are welcome here traveller.." the beings replied, motioning Misery towards the outpost and walking in front of her - turning their backs but keeping a reasonable distance.
Misery paused for a moment and although unseen by all due to her mask a faint smile spread over her concealed face before she followed the beings..
"We saw the smoke in the sky and became curious, it is not often we have visitors from beyond the stars.." one of the monks said as they led Misery into the outpost, motioning towards a small hut-like building.
"Our people have often dreamed of travelling across the stars, perhaps you could teach us traveller.." another of the monks asked as they sat down at a table within the building.
"The stars are tiresome, dim beacons in a sea of darkness - why would you wish to travel there? it seems you have plentiful bounties here on this world.." Misery replied as servants began to supply food and drink.
"Ah but traveller you are looking at it all wrong, the stars are gateways to new worlds - the answer to dreams our people have sought since the days of our ancestors.." a monk replied.
"There are a great many dreams to be found amidst the stars but a great many more nightmares.." Misery noted - to her mild surprise this arose a soft chuckle from a few of the monks.
"You should look upon the stars in a more positive light, traveller - as long as the Star Gods watch over us there is always hope to be had" a monk said with a smile before the conversation broke away and the group began to feast - save for one..
Misery simply looked upon the monks and swirled the mead in her cup slowly as her thoughts became occupied with something even she could not fully grasp.. Star Gods? .. she knew that name, it filled her mind with feelings of rage and perhaps even fear.. Misery narrowed her eyes slightly..
"as long as the Star Gods watch over us there is always hope to be had" - the sentence rang in Misery's ears and she clenched the cup of mead before finally taking a deep drink, that night she would feast and on the dawn of the new day she would take leave, she would find these "Star Gods".. and they would be the first to suffer..
The Fall Of The Gods
As the sun rose in the blood red sky Misery stood in silence, staring out into the horizon - her hosts were still asleep after a long night of festivies and she had time to ponder things more: she began to remember the past.. the endless spiralling of space and time as she was sent tumbling across the boundaries of infinity by unseen hands, she remembered the feeling of being ripped out of the infant minds of the young races - alone and confused.. she had been banished before she had even been born - condemned by beings that had decreed her a monster, now at long last she had the strength to confront her ancient adversaries, at last vengeance was within her grasp..
"..something troubles you stranger?" a small voice spoke out, Misery glanced over to see a young girl dressed in medieval clothing - like the other inhabitants of this world she seemed so innocent and youthful.
"do you believe in destiny, little one?" Misery replied, glancing back towards the sunrise.
"I believe we choose our own destiny, stranger - if we did not then what would be the point of living?" the girl replied, tilting her head slightly.
"..then you are wise beyond your age - tell the others I had to take leave" Misery noted.
"You mean you won't stay? we had hoped.." the girl began.
"That I would stay? that I would guide you to the stars?" Misery interrupted - turning to face the girl.
"..Why, yes.. we had waited so long.. we.." the girl said.
"..are alone.." Misery stated without emotion.
"Pardon?" the girl asked, confusion in her eyes.
"You are alone.. you sought false-hope.. your gods have abandoned you and only the dust shall mourn you.." Misery said with stunning calm before she vanished as if an illusion, an icy chill filling the area.
"..n-no.. why?.. father!" the girl exclaimed, tears filling her eyes as she ran to her family - despite the rising sun the skies seemed darker somehow and the chill remained..
Meanwhile Misery took to the stars once more, her form once again dispersing into a ball of darkness as she sped across the depths of space like a spectre - homing in on her target, even as she flew through space the Powers That Be did awaken from their slumber and looked once more upon creation:
"What is this?" one of the beings spoke, gazing upon the ball of darkness that was hurling towards their realm - its power made even the mighty "Star Gods" take note.
"It is darkness.. the great shadow.. but we stopped this long ago - how could it of evaded us?" another of the "Star Gods" noted.
"It matters not, we have been played for fools brothers - the great evil that threatened our masterpiece was not to be banished so easily.. it seems we must finish this now.." a third "Star God" stated.
The beings nodded silently amongst themselves before they looked out once more at creation - the ball of darkness was almost upon them and they knew the moment had come..
"Aeons ago we made the mistake of letting this corruption live, we thought we could contain it - control it.. today we have been proven wrong.. today we must destroy this force once and for all.. know this brothers, should we fail the masterpiece will never be completed.. we must act now!" a "Star God" exclaimed as he stood ready, the others following close behind like a centurion of soldiers preparing themselves for an onslaught..
After what seemed like an eternity the ball of darkness hurled itself at the "Star Gods" - shattering their defences and sending the once mighty beings stumbling backwards as the mass of darkness warped and shifted, taking the form of a robed woman dressed in crimson red - her eyes glowing yellow as she hovered in place
"..brothers" Misery said simply - at once the "Star Gods" charged at her and began to fight only to find their attacks deflected as she matched their combined ferocity.
"Stay fast! we shall prevail!" one of the "Star Gods" yelled as he struck at Misery only to find himself knocked aside by a large wave of darkness, as he fell however his fellow "Star Gods" took his place.
"do you remember me? I have come to repay you for all those centuries of torment - I have come to watch you kneel at my feet.." Misery stated, her voice full of malice yet strikingly calm as she continued to battle the Powers That Be with surprising ease - her form sparking with unimaginable power as the fabric of space and time warped into innumerable shapes and patterns as the battle of the gods began to take its toll on the surrounding universe itself.
"this ends now!" another "Star God" exclaimed and struck out at Misery, causing her to stumble - at once the other "Star Gods" struck out - Misery let out a low growl as she began to faulter further and struggled to keep herself from falling over, lightyears away at the edge of existence the Eodians watched from their prison as the skies above them shone with a million shades of light like a thousand Southern Lights going off at the same time - both beautiful and terrifying in their intensity.
Misery narrowed her eyes as she finally fell to her knees, the "Star Gods" crowding around her as they stood - exhausted but triumphant, one of them pointed to Misery and spoke with a voice akin to living lightning.
"what say you now, monster?" the god asked, looking to Misery with a mixture of fear and contempt.
"..I say.. farewell.. brothers.." Misery replied before shuddering as her form expanded and exploded with such force the shockwaves could be felt across entire galaxies, the "Space Gods" flew backwards and let out a collective yell of surprise as Misery apparently destroyed herself in one final act of defiance towards the gods - as Misery faded the universe went into an odd state of calm and the Powers That Be struggled to their feet.
The "Star Gods" looked around and at once fell to their knees as they saw the terrible truth - across the universe a dark sea of ash floated aimlessly, falling on innumerable worlds and burying themselves into the minds of mortal life: Misery had sacrificed her physical form to gain something far greater.. she was now no longer a god.. she was something more.. a part of the universe itself..
The Powers That Be could do little as they watched this, the masterpiece had been ruined - their work destroyed.. the great "Star Gods" looked upon their failed creation one last time before with great regret and sadness the exhausted and wounded gods left the plane of mortals for good, the age of the gods had came to an end..
Meanwhile in a realm distant from that of man of god a mysterious being watched over events and raised a fist, unclenching it to reveal a cloaked woman dressed in crimson red - she appeared lifeless as the figure held her towards itself and spoke:
"Do not be afraid little one, you have done well.. I welcome you to our ranks: Queen of Misery.."
CONTINUED IN PART 2