Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rise of the Undead King

For more than a thousand years he'd slumbered in his tomb, undisturbed by human kind. Tucked deep within the steamy jungle of the Secret Lands, his temple stood as the final monument of an ancient time. A time when humans served The Great Ones and mortals dared not proclaim themselves kings. Mortals, that is, except for King Mrrda.

Lying in a sarcophogaus of gold, his skeletal remains slept peacefuly, dreaming of the great land they had carved when fleshed. Unable to ascend, but unbothered by this fact. Blanketed by worldly treasures and jewels, King Mrrda had all the eternal comforts a dead man could need. Then came the distant echoe of footsteps grinding in the pyramid's wet and gravelled halls.

It is at this point that man returned to this ancient place in the form of a portly grave robber named Dave Tycoon. More commonly known as "Turd," for his greed was only a shadow of the oder of his sweat, and his morals were well-known to smell no more pleasant.

Grinning with teeth yellow, but distinctly not gold, Tycoon scrambled into the King's private chambers. Sapphires and rubies, emeralds and pears, silver and quartz, and of course gold, gold, gold reflected off his eyes. Piles like none the man had ever seen, and neither had the scrawny young man that trotted up beside him, jaw slacked as the jewels lit upon his face.

"Teeheeheehee," giggled the grave thief, rubbing his meaty hands together. Thick drool dribbled into his beard.

"We shouldn't be here," the young man whispered, continuing to stare in awe.

"Of course I should," Tycoon grunted. "This was meant for me to find. Meant to be my legacy. But you're half right."

The stout man swung his jungle-knife. The young man crumpled. The gold floor became red. Tycoon sneered and spat his cigarette upon the corpse. "You shouldn't be here."

"It's mine!" He cheered, kneeling in a pile of coins. They all wore the face of King Mrrda, but of course Tycoon didn't know it. Nor did he particularly care. They disappeared into his travel bag, along with fistfuls of rubies, lazulis, and other rare stones. Not until the bag strap burned into his shoulder and gems toppled out the sides did he cease his harvest. He waddled off, giving the remaining treasures (of which there were many. Far more than he could carry in even a hundred trips.) a longing glance over his shoulder.

The sarcophagus shuttered. The coins upon which it rested avalanched down, spilling across the chamber floor. Then it spilled after them, the entire golden bed cascading down a mountain of gold. The stone slabs rushed up to meet it, and they came together with an unearthly crunch that rang through the temple, reaching the ears of the vacated Tycoon.

From the wreckage burst the undead king. No meat on his bones, nor clothes of any sort. It was he in his most stark, risen by the curse of his treasure and gold. Rage rocked around his offwhite skull, pointing the way to what was his. With a snarl he snatched a sword from the room (one he, for a moment, recalled fondly as the jeweld sabre with which he'd slain a rival king. He took a moment to admire the beautiful sapphire in its hilt.) and stomped into the jungle.

His rage lit the way as he crashed through the foliage and followed the obvious path left by the fat fiend. Lightfooted and undistracted, it took no time for he to find the now-terrified Tycoon. The man's fat feet fumble, felling him. Mud splattered up over his expensive gear and clothes. He scrambled on his back, pleading for his life. The undead king raised up his sword.

Tycoon threw the bag. Gold coins and shimmering jewels scattered at the king's feet. He lower his sword and shoved them into the bag, which he hoisted over his bony shoulder with ease. He shot a glare at Tycoon, grunted savagely.

Then he stopped.

The humidity hugged his bones with tender warmth. Somewhere not terribly far off chattered birds and apes, sounds he did not recognize. The smell of a rare bloom, a type of pink and purple flower, rolled in his skull. There was something pleasant about the mud squashing between his toes. He took it all in, drinking up the sun's forest-shattered rays. With a deep breath he inhaled all he had forgotten about life.

Mrrda, the once mighty king, tossed the bag of gold back at the thief.

"Keep it," he snarled. Sheathing the sabre between his ribs, the king marched off. After millenia of endless slumber, he was finally awake.

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