Hammer of Darkness Ch. 03byBigCoreySKR©
Logain rose with the sun. He stirred awake, and smiled in contentment when he felt Aria in his arms still. He had promised he wouldn't leave her, and she hadn't left him either. He gently stroked her back, feeling her smooth and soft skin under his calloused fingertips. She shivered delicately when he got to a certain spot, and he realized she was ticklish, which caused him to grin. He would have to remember that. Running his hand a little further down her rib, Logain felt, what to him, felt like scar tissue. Violent scar tissue. Moving the furs aside, he looked down to Aria's ribs. It looked like someone had bit great mouthfuls of her flesh from her ribs. As this thought ran through Logains mind, he remembered he father telling him about the Dark Gods. Especially about Boari tearing out the Torture Queens flesh with his teeth.
He looked down as he gently traced the scars. His father had said that Aria was evil. That she only loved to receive and cause pain. Logain couldn't help but think his father was mistaken. Other than her biting him, there had been no pain during the night. In reality, the biting hadn't hurt either; it had felt quite good to Logain. What if his father, and everyone else who thought Aria was evil, was wrong? What if she was as beautiful inside as she was outside and no one knew? Even if she had been evil, Logain had seen people change. A Goddess could surely change as well. It might just take them longer. Settling himself back down, he smiled as Aria cuddled closer to him and he placed the furs back over them to keep them warm. He would see the true side of this goddess, and that was that. He didn't notice that Aria was awake, and smiling.
She heard his great heart beating inside his chest, and a great heart it truly was. She had woken up when he tickled her, and she would get him back for that smirk when he realized she was ticklish, but had been awake the whole time he had his personal quandary. She wouldn't have faulted him for leaving when he realized who she was, her legend preceded her. She had been a horrible being when she had first come into existence in this world. The name Torture Queen had not been lightly earned, nor had it been lightly given. The other Gods did not know what had changed her, and only a select few knew she had changed at all.
Unlike many of her long lived adopted family, Aria was one of the few who ventured out into the world of men. She had seen with her own eyes the slave pits, the mass sacrifice by the people far to the south. She had seen the unbelievable crushing might of her own people, the Clans of the North, in battle with foes. On the reverse of the coin, she had seen unimaginable love and compassion within the mortal world. Things that had moved her heart, a loving couple, a happy mother, a gentle warrior. She could not continue being the creature she was, torturing people who were unfortunate enough to die from old age or sleep that made it into her hall. For the people that broke troth, who murdered and cheated their brothers and sisters, she had a special place in her hall reserved for them, this was true. Her whole home was no longer that though, as it had been when she was first given her position. There was light there, and there was some love. Placing her hand between her head and Logains chest, Aria began to drift off to sleep again. What could disturb her and her new lover here, in the Hall of Wotan himself? None would be so foolish.
With a great crashing, the doors to Wotan's hall were thrown open. Into the light strode Grym, as if this Hall was his own, and he was returning to find his servants lax in their duties. Wotan sat in his great wooden chair, and placed his hands on the arms and sighed. He had a feeling his day was going to be a headache, had seen it matter of fact, in the sight where his eye had once been. Watching his cocky son walk into the Hall, he noticed two young men following him, their skin ravaged from obvious tortures with hot metal tools. Standing, the great timbers of the Hall shook with Wotan's wrath.
"GRYM! What is the meaning of this? Do you torture those that served you in life now??
Grym laughed at his father's antics. Gesturing, he used his magic to pull his newest sons forward and drop them to their knees. Tyls head, it hung down, but the veins standing out on his head and arms were evidence of his fight against the magic. Kain, ever the outspoken brother, growled at his father and spat on the floor.
"To big of a weakling to bring us in with your own strength 'Father'? Unleash me, and I will beat the bastard out of you!"
Grym sighed, the picture of the struggling parent dealing with the petulant child. Twirling his finger, he lifted Kain into the air upside down and bashed his head into the floor forcibly. Kain fell to the ground, stunned. Tyl began to speak, and Grym slammed his hand towards the ground, and Tyl was smashed into the ground as if by the hammer of a Giant.
"I should have let them die Wottie; they are so damn hard to deal with! I swear. Now, what did you make me come all the way here for? I have business to take care of elsewhere. Come come, chop chop." Grym smirked at his father and the assembled Gods who were rapidly coming towards the noise from the Great Hall. Balki snarled and drew his great sword from the sheath across his back, and stalked towards Grym.
"I will make you eat the words you speak to Father, you black eyed piece of offal!" Roaring, Balki began to swing his sword at his brother when Wotan intervened.
"Balki, control yourself. There are not enough weapons in the world to teach your brother manners." Twitching his finger, Wotan used his magic to pull Grym into the air and pull his arms and legs as far as they could bend without breaking. As Wotan began to work a little fire through his sons' blood, Grym began gritting his teeth to hold in screams. Wotan did not take pleasure nor pride in discipline his son, but it must be done to keep his Godly children in line. As he slowly punished his son, Wotan began to speak.
"It disturbs me Grym. You throw power around like you will never be harmed, but I am your father, and I am stronger than you ever have been, and ever will be. Your tongue needs to learn to control itself, and your hands and power their mad grabbing and use. Do you understand? All I ask is a nod from you my son."
Staring at his father, Grym slowly nodded his head, and gasped and fell to the floor as his father unleashed the hold upon him. Looking at his other grandchildren, Wotan felt their pain in his great heart. "Haslin, Alisha, please help your nephews up, and take them to have their wounds treated." The green robed Goddess and the scholarly God rushed forward and helped their nephews up, and escorted them from the Hall to be treated. Wotan spread his arms, and his servants began to bring food to the banquet tables. As was custom with any great meeting of the Gods, a feast preceded the talks. The Gods and Goddesses sat down to eat, and Wotan tried to bring peace back to his Hall.
As Haslin and Alisha carried the brothers upstairs, Tyl asked the question of where they were going. Jolly red cheeked Alisha answered him readily enough.
"You have been tortured lad. Who better to supervise the healing of tortures wrote than the woman of tortures herself, the Torture Queen?"
Haslin and Alisha knew Aria's secret, and the looks of horror on the brother's faces would have been quite comical if not so horrified.
Aria and Logain were awoken by a polite knocking and a timid voice asking for Aria's assistance. Logain stretched his back a bit, as he heard Aria mumble into his chest about "intruders", "bashing", and "big, heavy pans". Chuckling, he lifted her up with himself as he sat upright in the bed. Kissing her neck, he murmured, "Wake up," in her ears. Swatting his chest gently, she groggily answered that she was awake, and extricated herself from the sleeping furs and stumbled to the door. Logain grinned; watching her walk away naked was truly a sight. She ruined it by grabbing a robe on her way to the door, but the sensual sway of her hips was still pleasurable enough. She cracked the door and poked her head out, and held a whispered conversation Logain couldn't hear. She then opened the door wide and a blond haired green garbed woman and a white robed scribe looking man brought to bodies in, badly abused but still alive. When the bodies were laid on the floor face up, Logains heart sped off at a thousand miles an hour. Forgetting his nudity, he jumped from the bed and ran forward, cradling his brother's head in his arm. He began crying, and Tyl and Kain began sobbing as well. The three Divine Beings stared at the scene for a moment. Finally, Haslin spoke in his timid voice, more suited for a library than any room with noise.
"Can someone tell me what is going on? The God of Knowledge doesn't really like being in the dark."
Laughing, Logain stood supporting his brothers. Looking to the others, he said,
"These are my brothers Tyl and Kain, taken from me by Grym. I know not how they came here, but it is indeed a joyous occasion."
Logain grinned, and then noticed Alisha's stare. Looking down, he went to put his hands in front of his manhood, and forgot his brothers were in his arms, and cracked their skulls together, quite on accident. Dropping Tyl and Kain, causing them to curse him, his family and his questionable choice in sexual partners mostly calling them goats, he ran to where his pants say and hurriedly put them on. His entire face and most available skin that was not covered was bright red from embarrassment. The blush was well worth it though when he seen Arias' smile and heard her laughter. She walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed his neck gently. The look of shock and wonder on Haslin and Alisha's faces at that gesture was enough to make her laugh again, a merry laugh, with no twinge of sorrow to it, which in turn made Logain smile even bigger.
"Yes, if everyone is finished laughing at my brothers under-sized pecker, can we get some help? I think I have a concussion thanks to the lummox and I was bleeding to begin with."
"Kain, shut up, they are having a tender moment."
"TENDER?!?!?!? Let me get up Tyl, and I'll show the lummox tender."
Logain smiled at listening to his brothers bickering, and his laughter boomed out into the room. Aria reluctantly let go of him, and walking forward with her adopted siblings, spoke to the brothers.
"Well, we should get you healed then I believe. But only if you promise to not hurt my lummox too badly." As she said this, she looked over her shoulder and winked at Logain, and his heart swelled. Listening to Tyl and Kain's grumps and complaints only made him happier, it felt like he had a family and truly belonged somewhere for once. Grabbing his shirt, he watched as the two Goddesses healed his brothers, and he finally asked the question troubling him.
"Brothers how did you come to be here? Wotan said he couldn't give you back to me."
Spitting on the ground as Aria pulled the stitches through a particularly nasty cut, Kain spoke.
"Grym brought us, bound and fettered by magic. All you see was done to us by his own hands, with glee in his eyes and a smile on his face."
Looking at his brothers, Logain felt rage building inside of him. A small voice in the back of his mind couldn't help but ask if Aria had taught Grym torture techniques, but Logain ignored it as he threw open the door and ran down the stairs to the Great Hall. Looking up from the parchment Haslin was transcribing Aria's healing techniques on, he asked quizzically, "Where is he going in? There's a meeting going on down there."
Tyl and Kain sighed and tried to push themselves to their feet. With the support of Aria and Alisha, they began to follow Logain. Tyl is the one who answered the question posed to them.
"Oh that? That's Logains I'm running to breakfast at high noon in the middle of a massive battle buck naked and there is nothing you can do about it phase. He is so going to piss off the new Grandad."
Kain nodded his head, agreeing with half a mind as he observed Alisha's beauty and she observed his physique as well. Even though they were twins, she could see the differences between Tyl and Kain, and she had half a mind to claim Kain herself. At least for one bout of fun that is, and she thought that once he was healed, from the look in his eyes, he was more than up for it. Tyl had no desire for either of the women he was accompanied by; his heart had been stolen in the hall by a woman, nay a warrior like himself, with a mechanical leg of such wondrous design. Her burning eyes seemed to have forever imprinted themselves into his mind's eye, and he would never forget them. He hoped he would see her, to ask her name at least, before Grym dragged them back to the torture chambers of his hall.
As Logain ran into the doors that opened into the hall, they violently opened from his forced shoulder into them. As Wotan yelled at him to calm himself, Logain charged over the table and into Grym, tackling him into the ground and swinging his fists and howling as they uselessly bounded off of Gryms' magic shields. As Balki and Kor pulled Logain away, Wotan stood and slammed his spear butt into the ground, releasing a wave of power that quieted all and made all movement stop. Smiling, he spoke.
"Glad you could join us for the food Grandson. And ahh, here comes my other children with my other two Grandsons. Here, sit at these three seats by me young sons of the Gods, so we may talk." As the men were seated, Aria placed her hand on Logains shoulder and held him seated by her presence alone. This was not missed by any one in attendance. Alisha stayed by Kain's side, joking and flirting and refilling his plate and cup for him. Tyl ate and drank as the others talked, absentmindedly answering as he stared at the wild and free, and the fierce woman who had captivated his sight. She was to him a supreme beauty, and he would try to make her see him, hopefully.