Excerpt from Dark Star Rising: Meanwhile, Thornton Oswald III completed his summoning ritual with the King of Netherbeasts. Grimmammon took the form of a great cat of immense size.
“Grimmammon, I invoke your service as in the pacts defined by my ancestors.”
“Bah, mortal, why should I bother with your family’s ancient pacts? You have been notoriously lax in your relationship to us. Where are the rituals of blood and souls as in the past?”
“Spare me your pathetic bargaining, hell-beast. Without me and mine, you and yours would have passed into your final existence decades ago. Our world stopped worshipping your kind hundreds of years ago. Look around you. Ask where Lord Arioch and his brethren have gone. Provide your services and enjoy the benefits of our continued relationship.”
“Show me why you summoned me.”
“Look, oh Great One. Tell me what you see.”
Grimmammon looked over the edge of the roof, and his demonic mien grew more stoic. “Our pact ends at the edge of this world, sorcerer. That is an eldritch being from beyond our world.”
“And evidently frightening enough to remove most of your bluster. Tell me more, Great One. Who or what is that creature?”
“A Chaos god from before the time of Arioch, from before time as you measure it.”
“You lie. There were no gods before that time.”
“Silence, pup. There are secrets even the gods keep. These creatures were imprisoned here in an age before yours. You are not the first masters of the Earth. Did you think you were? Ha.”
“By the First People. They could not destroy them, but they could lock them beneath the Earth, or the Sea, or in Fire. It is said even the very Air imprisons one. I will have no truck with that one, no matter what the price you offer. Its powers likely dwarf mine, the same way mine dwarf yours.”
Oswald thought about what Grimmammon told him, and realized they were out of their depth. Even if Shango and Kali were here, this was a threat greater than they could manage on their own. Since neither of them were here, it was likely they were working on this menace in their own way. “So we will do what we can until they arrive.”
“I know you can see the boy in that conflagration. Bring him here; deposit the flames on the creature. Then you can take your leave. We would not want you to be injured before I can make use of you again. You are weakening with age; perhaps I shall call your rival Shunmaburan instead.”
“As you request, so shall it be. But if you seek to wound my pride, you will find no demon has pride when its survival is at stake. But by all means, if you wish to call Shunmaburan today, and he were not to survive, I would be in your debt. Farewell.”
The old demon stood at the edge of the roof and the flames rose from the crater in the street. The flames swirled as if they were a fire vortex and flew from the crater to surround the otherworldly invader with the terrible fires. The Kid disappeared from the crater and appeared on the roof next to Oswald. Oswald saw the daemon link the fire to the creature, and realized the fire would only last a few minutes before exhausting its fuel. Once surrounded, the creature stopped moving forward, and this bought them some time.
Grimmammon turned away from the roof’s edge. He looked at the boy and said, “Tough, that little one is. A parting gift.” And with that he nodded and stepped back into the gateway in the floor of the roof.
Oswald was not happy with Grimmammon’s parting words. No good comes from gifts from demons. Looking down at The Kid, he saw the boy’s amazing recuperative powers rebuilding him, and in less than two minutes, he sat up, looking angry.
“Wait. We need to talk. There are things you need to know.”
First Appearance: The Occultist, originally a villain, works with the Paragons because the government in their world, attempted to kill all metahumans, to be rid of the threat of super-powered beings. Reformed, he turns his sorcerous might to the protection of humanity from demonic predators.
About the Art: Created by Gerald Ramos Fernadez, known as *rhardo by his fans on deviantART, his strong colors, expressive faces and fantastic panoply of superheroic art made his magician Dr. Presto, the perfect choice for my magical protagonist, The Occultist. An accomplished artist in the Philippines, he creates superheroes on contract, of which I will be taking advantage of, when this contest is over.