The existence of my kind has baffled some of the world's greatest thinkers for untold millennia. Are there such things as gods? How many are there? What are they and why do they do what they do? What do they want from mankind? Well, folks, today you're going to get all the answers. Right out of the horse's mouth, so to speak. My name is Pahle (pronounced Par-lay ) and I am one of those beings you humans refer to as gods. I am an openly gay god of African origin. Here to set the record straight once and for all.
This is the story of the gods. As told by one of their own. Who we are, what we are, why we did the things we did and how we were wiped out by a malevolent force. Driven to extinction after being betrayed by one of our own. A bastard who sold us out to the enemy and rewrote history to make himself appear better than he is. I will name the traitor, and expose him and his accomplices to the world. Time for you people to know the truth. And stop getting on your knees for an impostor.
A long time ago, there were many gods roaming all over the world. Just wandering the world of man, doing as we pleased. And it was a grand old time. It was a beautiful game and we were glad to be in it. There were so many of us. Each with his or her own particular interests, quirks and powers. Different gods have different powers. You have to understand that as a group, deities are as diverse as mammals. From harmless squirrels to fearsome tigers and lethal Orcas. The same goes with us gods. There are harmless tricksters, curious wanderers, good-natured explorers, hearty warriors, passionate lovers, cool artists, talented entertainers, gifted philosophers, enlightened pacifists and yes, some of us were bloodthirsty megalomaniacs. Yeah, we were a diverse bunch.
Do I know how many gods there are? Well, I never bothered to count but there are quite a few of us. Tens of thousands, really. We lived among humans for a long time. The peoples of different regions had different names for us. Most of us were into the whole being worshiped thing. Many of us didn't care for it. I never cared for having men and women bowing and scraping in front of me. Oh, I'm not modest or anything, I'm just not into it. I suppose that's a good thing because, in the end, it got many of my colleagues killed. You see, what many gods and goddesses never realized is that humans are dangerous. They'll worship anything as long as he, she or it satisfies some twisted need of theirs. Many of my colleagues taught the humans knowledge of magic. I thought that was a bad idea but they didn't listen to me.
When you're a god, you don't have a lot to fear. First of all, all gods are immortal. We don't age like humans do, and we don't get sick. That's the most basic part of the divine package. Eternal youth and health. After that, things begin to differ between us. Some of us can fly, while others can't. some of us have superhuman strength, can run at amazing speeds and transform themselves into strange creatures. Many of us can control the forces of nature. The most powerful of us can alter time and space at will. Yeah, there is a hierarchy even among the gods. There are the High Powers, the Middle Powers and the Low Powers. I was considered a Middle Power. I can't unmake existence or time travel but I can still kick your ass, and most of your little friends too.
I didn't have a set territory like most of my colleagues did. Rather, I was a traveler. I would visit Greece one week and hang out with the gods Zeus, Poseidon and Athena atop Mount Olympus and fight primeval monsters and demons beside Hercules, a Greek god who was very fond of humanity and often defend them from evil. I enjoy a little fighting every now and then but Hercules was really into it. Way too much for my taste. We don't hang out too often anymore. Words were said. Yeah, it's like that. After lounging on Olympus, I would then head down to Egypt and relax on its hot sands, while being entertained by Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis and their son Horus. If and when it struck my fancy, I would visit the Ashanti people of Africa and hang out with their trickster god Anansi. I had quite a few friends in the divine community.
I was always welcome in the House of Odin, King of the Norse gods. Thor, the Scandinavian god of Thunder met his wife, the tall blonde goddess Sif because of me. I was visiting Asgard at the time and I persuaded him to ask her out. Thor is a fearless guy. Big and tall, with muscles on his muscles. He's also good-looking, but not really a ladies man. Sif had the hots for him for centuries but he never knew. So, I helped the guy out. He thanked me for it by giving me a metallic helmet. It didn't fit because I don't have a big head like most Norse gods but it's the thought that counts (sigh). I made an enemy of Thor's brother, the trickster god Loki because I beat him at an arm-wrestling contest. He thought he could cheat by slicking oil all over his arms, but I summoned two hot naked nymphs from Greece, distracting him long enough for me to beat him. It wasn't Loki's fault, really. Nymphs are really something. In cause you don't know what they are, they're immortal women who live in the woods, rivers and oceans of ancient Greece. Gods along with mortal men fancy them because of their sexiness.
These two ladies I summoned from Greece didn't take kindly to my teleporting them to the frigid halls of Asgard on a whim, so I made it up to them by giving them Thor's helmet. His last gift as a bachelor. It was all forgive and forget once they got it from hold of that piece of divine memorabilia. Thor has that effect on women, mortal, immortal and divine alike. He's like the original Fabio. I also liked hanging out in the Middle East. In Assyria and ancient Babylon, I hung out with the god Baal. He was okay, if a bit stern. I found a lifelong enemy in Morloch, a Babylonian god whose taste for blood and destruction was excessive, even by divine standards.
In the environs of what would later become Jerusalem, I met the Archangel Michael. He was one heck of a guy. Tall, good-looking and also sharp as a whip. He had become the Viceroy of Heaven and Yahweh's right-hand-man since the Archangel Lucifer and the dark angels started their little war. I would have liked to visit Heaven but Michael didn't like the idea of my being there. Apparently, his Boss had a strict immigration policy for the Heavenly Kingdom. Only faithful angels and the worthy souls of decent human beings were allowed there. Yahweh was the undisputed Master of this domain and He had warned all other deities to steer clear. So far, everyone was obeying His decree. Zeus and the Olympians along with Odin and the Norse gods, followed by the Egyptian god Ra and the Ennead seemed quite willing to kowtow to Yahweh. What can I say? The guy has a lot of power and he hates competition.
Oh, well, since the Kingdom of Heaven wouldn't take me, sometimes I went to visit the Kingdom of Hell. I must say I love what Lucifer has done with the place. The automated torture factories for wicked men and women are a nice touch. I gave him the idea, you know. We were lying in bed after what I thought was the fuck of the century when the idea came to me. Lucifer was all ears. And since he heeded my advice, he gets a lot more screaming out of those he punishes. And his demons work with a song in their heart now that they get the occasional day off to come to Earth and do a little terrorizing.
The Devil is actually a nice guy. The humans are quite wrong about him. He's totally misunderstood. He's got a business to run and does the best he can. Pure and simple. This bisexual stud has thousands of lovers among the best-looking studs and chicks in the world, but he still craves my unique brand of loving every now and then. I know how to rock a man's world, whether he's human or immortal. I've stolen many a woman's man, folks. I've only gotten rejected twice, by the gods Hercules and Thor. Those two divine studs are hopelessly straight, unfortunately. Lucky for me, Lucifer was down for some manly love every now and then. Unlike Heaven's Master, he accepted nearly everyone in his kingdom. Fallen angels, minor gods, monsters, demons and even the souls of wicked humans. Long before the governments of the world and the business places exacted policies of tolerance, Lucifer didn't discriminate based on race, gender, species, religion, sexual orientation or creed. Is he cool or what?
Yeah, so I was having a grand old time, until my friends, colleagues and enemies in God Land started disappearing. How could this be? Apparently, it was the humans fault. They were pissed off at the gods and goddesses, blaming us for all their problems like they always did. A very powerful human magician summoned one of the Primordial Ones from Chaos and unleashed it upon the world. Where did a human get that kind of magic? Blame it on a drunken god from Greece. I'll let you guess what the bastard's name is.
What is a Primordial? If you could take chaos, mixed with anger, hatred, jealousy and vindictiveness and roll them into one profoundly evil thing, you couldn't do better than a Primordial. They're all that and more. A long time ago, the Elder Gods battled the Primordial Ones, shortly after the event you humans call the Big Bang. Right after the universe was formed. The Primordial Ones existed in the shapeless nothing before the universe came into being. The Elder Gods fought them. There is some account of this in most religions. The Greeks called it the Titanomachy, the War of the Gods and Titans. The Christians and Jews described it in the Book of Genesis, when Yahweh brought order to the universe and fashioned humans in His own image. Whatever your faith, there is some account of a conflict between order and chaos at the Dawn of Creation. The ancient Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Tibetans, Christians, Jews and Native Americans all had some recollection of it.
Well, that's when every god or goddess in the universe joined the Cosmic War Effort and opposed the Forces of Darkness. We beat the Primordial Ones. Or rather, the Elder Gods, our predecessors did. Of the Elder Gods, only Yahweh is left. All the others depleted their powers in the conflict against the Primordial Ones. And they vanished into nothingness. Winked out of existence. I guess that's why he's got the power to push all others around. I don't think I would have enjoyed visiting Heaven since He runs the show. I don't ask anyone to bow to me. Whether they are human, animal, demon, monster, god, goddess, spirit, machine or whatever. I've never had an ego problem. That makes me the smallest minority in the universe. These days, everyone's got an ego problem.
Anyway, the Primordial Ones were back. And they were feeding off the life-force of the gods and goddesses they encountered. At first, we didn't want to believe it. If you were us, you would have trouble believing it too. We're a group of immortals who wield tremendous powers, both collectively and individually. The idea that some half-forgotten host of beings from outside the universe could threaten all of us was preposterous. I didn't know how to feel about the idea. So, I went to my favorite place in the world. A small, mountainous island in the Caribbean. I love the inhabitants. They're good people. Someday, the Europeans will come and destroy them. But that day was not today. I lay on the beach, relaxing and watching the waves.
Anyone looking at me would have seen my favorite appearance. A six-foot-tall, lean and muscular young man with brown skin and long black hair braided into neat cornrows. Like all my kind, I can shape-shift at will. However, that day I didn't see the need. I was sleeping, when something jolted out of my sleep. I opened my eyes, and found myself looking at my sometime lover, the Archangel Gabriel. I smiled at him, and motioned for him to join me. I knew he had come for business, not pleasure. However, it doesn't hurt to try, you know? Gabriel was something else, folks. Standing six feet three inches tall, lean and muscular, with long blond hair, pale blue eyes and light bronze skin. He wore a bright red and blue tunic and his wings were of the purest white. He looked good enough to eat.
We've had a lot of fun, Gabriel and I. He knows how to use that sexy body of his. Unfortunately, his duty to his Boss always came first. He told me that Yahweh was summoning all the gods and goddesses of various lands, dimensions and pantheons because there was a major emergency. I squinted at Gabriel, who shone slightly brighter than the sun. He got what I was driving at and dimmed his glow just a bit. I couldn't believe what he was saying. Yahweh actually wanted to talk to us impure pagan deities? Really. The dude walked around like he thought his shit didn't stank and now he wanted a meeting. Okay, what's the catch? Gabriel suddenly looked furious. He was mad at me for questioning his master. I shrugged, and told him that I'd see what I could do. Besides, I was curious. What was the big emergency?
Gabriel teleported me to the Great Summit. Oh, my. I gasped when I saw it. All of a sudden, I was standing on an invisible platform amid the clouds. Several miles above the earth. And I wasn't alone. The others were there. Who do I mean by others? Oh, man. It was a who's who of the famous and the powerful among the gods. I saw Zeus, King of the Greek gods and his wife, the goddess Hera. With them were Ares, god of War. Apollo, god of the Sun. Hermes, god of Travels. Athena, goddess of Wisdom. Poseidon, god of the Sea. Artemis, goddess of the Hunt. Hercules, god of Strength and Hephaestus, god of the Forge. Next came the Egyptian gods. Ra, the King of the Ennead gods of Egypt. Horus, the Egyptian god of Light. Hathor, the goddess of Vengeance. Osiris, the Egyptian god of the Dead and Isis, the goddess of Rebirth. The Asgardian deities were also represented in the presence of King Odin, Lord of Valhalla, Thor the Thunderer and his wife Sif, and Loki the trickster.
Also present were a multitude of gods and goddesses from every land. The Aztec gods and goddesses of the yet undiscovered Americas were also there. Atlacamani, goddess of the Storms. Chantico, goddess of Fire. Chicomexochtli, god of Artists. Ixlilton, god of Healing and Medicine. Mextli, god of War. The Ashanti people of Africa were represented by Anansi the trickster god along with his wife, the goddess Asase Yaa and their offspring, the gods Bia and Tano. Yes, this was a great gathering indeed. As the only surviving Elder God, Yahweh presided over the summit.
Yahweh stood before us. A tall, good-looking older man with long white hair, pale blue eyes and alabaster skin. He wore a bright red tunic and white cape. Standing on either side of him were his sons and first creations, the Archangels Uriel, Michael, Gabriel and finally Lucifer. I wasn't surprised to see Michael but Lucifer's presence surprised me. He had always opposed his father Yahweh since the Beginning of Time. Apparently, divine blood was thicker than water in the face of death and destruction. Yahweh explained to all of us that the Primordial Ones were loose. They had been set free from the Nothingness by the magic of Dionysus, the Greek god of Debauchery. He granted to a mere human the ability to open dimensional portals. What a moron! To punish his son for his stupidity, Zeus hurled Dionysus into the depths of Tartarus. Actually, Dionysus didn't dwell long down there. Lucifer came and claimed him for Hell. Word among the gods is that Lucifer devised a special punishment for him. Dionysus is busy being sodomized by an endless horde of well-endowed, perpetually hungry demonic rapists. Ouch!
Yahweh stressed the importance of gods and goddesses of different lands banding together to stop the Primordial Ones. He talked a good game, but something about the guy didn't seem kosher to me. The others seemed to be buying it. I wasn't so sure. Guess who teleported right beside me right then and there? It was Lucifer. These days, he wore the features of a tall, good-looking black male with sun-coloured wings. His favourite disguise. He greeted me with a kiss. I kissed him full and deep. From across the room I could feel the Archangel Gabriel's stare, but I ignored him. I had a lot of questions for Lucifer. Like, what in hell was he doing helping Yahweh?
Lucifer smiled and crossed his arms. Then he winked at me. Immediately, I knew what he was up to. Somewhere out there, the Primordial Ones were devouring gods and goddesses. They started with the Low Powers, but were moving up the chain. Lucifer had waged war against his father Yahweh and the Kingdom of Heaven for eons. And he could never win. However, if Yahweh were to be slain in battle with the Primordials, the only beings with the power to kill a god, Lucifer could rule Heaven in his place and ascend to godhood. I grinned at my devious lover. It was a brilliant plan. Treacherous. Deceitful. Wicked. I liked it. I wished him the best of luck. All around us, the Summit was drawing to a close. Most of the gods and goddesses allied themselves with Yahweh and the Kingdom of Heaven against the Forces of Chaos.
And so it began. I can't tell you how long the war was waged because it seemed to last forever. And we immortal deities don't keep track of time the way humans do. After all, we have eternity. It's just that eternity got a lot shorter. I joined the war effort. As did my fellow gods and goddesses. We took the Primordial Ones head on. To be honest, most of us didn't know what to expect. We had never faced them before. They were older and infinitely more powerful than we were. But what did we know? We were immortal and seemingly all-powerful. And most of us hadn't had a real fight on our hands in untold millennia. Just between you and me, the average human being living on the planet Earth knows more about war and survival than any god or goddess. Faced with our own mortality, something men and women did every day, most of us were shocked. Dazed. Filled with disbelief. I guess that's why we nearly went the way of the dodo.
The first time we laid eyes upon the Primordial Ones, many of us shat our pants. Or skirts, whatever. They were simply alien. Unlike anything we had ever seen. For starters, they had no heads, arms, or bodies. They had no tentacles. They were shapeless monstrosities. Invisible to mortals but visible to us. We existed in the same world as humans. A world with rules. A world with order. The Primordial Ones came from a place outside the world. A place that was pure chaos. The great nothingness. A place worse than Hell. No life existed there. Nothing at all.
We gathered on Mount Olympus, the place which had been the scene of many divine and cosmic conflicts. The Primordials came for us. The bravest of us charged ahead. Leading the charge was Hermes, along with Thor, Sif and Athena. I watched in horror as a gigantic, shapeless monstrosity enveloped them in a web of eldritch energy, and the flesh vanished from their bones. In seconds, four deities had been reduced to blackened skeletons. Then they turned to dust. Dead as a doornail. I screamed in shock. Stunned. What kind of power could do this to a god, let alone four?
The deaths of four of our own stunned the others. But it only enraged Hercules, who had been a friend of the combative Norse god Thor. Brandishing Thor's fallen Hammer, Hercules waded into the Primordial. It shrieked as the god of Strength slammed into it, then turned upon him. The Primordial readied its devastating energy web, and I knew Hercules was about to die before my very eyes. But out of nowhere came Ares, the god of War. He slammed his Spear into the Primordial, which moved away from Hercules. The two half-brothers fought side by side as it came for them. In spite of their bravery, there was nothing they could do to stop it. It was about to slaughter them. Fortunately, the Archangel Gabriel swept down from the sky and teleported both Olympians away before it could kill them.