This post is part of the series Slaan Seers Stories
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For background to this story, please see previous articles in this series, especially the article immediately preceding this one chronologically, ‘Cold Blooded Seers’…
The door to Josiah Frost’s office flew open, smashed off it’s hinges, and in prowled Grimlock, with the Overseer Mk IV tucked neatly under one of his large reptilian arms.
Josiah Frost sat bolt upright in his seat, quickly brushing ash remnants from a now expended cigar from his clothing, before shouting at the Overseer Mk IV, “What is the meaning of this!? I have told you before that these saurus are not to see me in person!”
“Puny human! Puny human scared!” Cried Grimlock.
“Of course not!” Replied Frost, although the tone of his voice may have betrayed a contrary sentiment.
The large saurus raised his free hand in which was an, unmelting, cube of ice. It glowed with an unnatural blue light. A voice emanating from it commanded Grimlock to touch the ice to Josiah Frost’s face. Frost recoiled at first, attempting to get away, but then as contact was made it was soothing, so very soothing… And all went black.
Frost woke, in darkness. Utter darkness, but then there was a flash of light, beaming down, cascading into a circle on the floor.
“Come into the light.” A voice commanded, and Frost was powerless to resist.
He stood within and then further pools of light opened to his left and right. In one stood the Overseer Mk IV and in the other, Grimlock.
“These are your playthings, Josiah Frost,” The voice spoke, seemingly indicating the skink and saurus. The voice went on, “But you are his. You dream of leaping frog men, that cross the cosmos. You dream of plans to recreate a time past!” The voice took on a booming, deeply menacing tone, “But who are you; to dream of plans when he dreams of plans affecting the ebb and flow of the very tides of the seas, the rise and fall of empires? Plans affecting the universe and the shifting of worlds upon their axes? You arrogant… Pathetic… Creature!”
Frost winced, visibly, in fear.
The voice continued, “You want to dream of Slann? You want to behold the majesty of the most blessed and glorious servants of the Old Ones? You really want that? You have no idea! Behold Lord Xlotec!”
A cascade of brilliant light drove the darkness back, surging through Frost’s senses to the back of his eys and giving him the sensation of burning pain. He staggered back, recoiling, and then in response to the suffering down onto his knees. Time, which seemed like aeons, passed before he could lift his head. He noticed a figure on a dias, but his gaze was instantly drawn to it’s eyes, drawn in uncontrollably as it fixed him with it’s still, passionless, gaze.
The eye simply stared. No motion surrounded it. No sound was heard or respite given from it’s penetrating glare.
The voice continued, “Lord Xlotec….”
But the voice faltered and exclaimed in awe, as the eye tremored into one solitary blink. In that moment Frost was able to withdraw his own eyes and behold the greater scene of a large amphibion-like creature resting on a dias surrounded by a multitude of skinks, saurus and other lizardine creatures, dressed in an array of finery or military garb.
“Lord Xlotec, can speak for himself.” The large amphibion resting on the dias croaked out the words and the assemblage all fell to their knees. Lord Xlotec continued, “I like this one. That is why I wanted him brought here, not so that he may be berated or abused by my functionaries and attendants. He is misguided, for certain, he has a lot to learn, but he may have a place in my plan. In my endless dreams I have watched your work, Josiah Frost, ridiculous as it is. I have tried to help from time to time in ways you maybe don’t appreciate or understand.” The Slann, for that is what he was, motioned with his hand to Grimlock, “Also do not judge that one too harshly either, for I spawned him for you. A consolation, if you will that you were not able to realise your own silly little plan. Did you not have a toy called ‘Grimlock’ in your youth? Did it not speak the words, as this one does? ‘Me Grimlock, me king!'” The old Slann laughed out an audible croak. “I like your team. I actually enjoy watching the games of Blood Bowl in the MML, from my sleep! Who is to say that I cannot take pleasure from this ‘entertainment'” The bloated being paused and motioned to the Overseer Mk IV, “That one and the other ones you call Overseer, and the one named ‘Tehechichi’ were surprisingly resilient to the influences of my servants though. Curious! In time you will tell me why?” The lizards, all gathered gasped in wonder. “I like the Seers. I predict the playoffs for you! I will be watching and in time I will present you more gifts, perhaps?… Gifts beyond your imagining. Assuming you will agree to accept me as your patron? I know I am not the Slann you wanted, the one you imagine…. As my servant described, ‘a leaping frog man, crossing the cosmos.’ I assure you I could leap if I wanted and I ‘crossed the cosmos and do cross the cosmos in my mind.’ My reality is not your reality, Josiah Frost.”
“I accept,” declared Josiah Frost, from his position, still on his knees, before the bloated being.
With that the ancient creatures eyes turned an orange hue and he raised his hand as if in a trance, the energy of raw magic cracked and reverberated around it and the cube that Grimlock still held in his hand left his grasp and was transfixed in the air above Lord Xlotec. The ice darkened and turned to sheer blackness.
Lord Xlotec flicked one finger and the cube reverted to it’s original ice-like state before finding itself carried on pure magic into Frost’s hands.
Frost, the Overseer Mk IV and Grimlock all found themselves in Josiah’s office. Frost was not even sure that what had occurred, had actually occured, although the cube that now rested in his hand, would indicate truth.
Grimlock looked at the cube then at Frost and laughed, “Me Grimlock say, you smart now. Grimlock on Probaaation! Yes Probaation!”
“I don’t blame you Grimlock. Not at all” Smiled Frost. He rested one hand on the saurus’ shoulder. “I think I actually have grown to like you more.”
The Overseer Mk IV was frantically checking match results on one of Frost’s Cabalvision crystal balls. “Sir! It seems like we have been gone for quite a while! We are through to the playoffs! But we still have to face Git and those dead things!”
A wry smile crossed Frost’s lips. He poured himself a brandy and lit a cigar. “Back to business boys, back to business! We have possibly one of the hardest games of our lives coming up against Dead Metal. I wonder how heavy the price will be? First time have made playoffs. Quite the journey. Always doing ok, with a bowl game, to relegation back to the CL, then our perfect CL 7-0-0 season and now back in the pro’s for playoffs. I hope Dead Metal don’t hurt us too badly.”
The Overseer Mk IV, shifted uncomfortably, considering the reasons that the original Overseer, Mk II and Mk III were not stood here now.
Frost wasn’t really focussed though now. He looked deep in the cube, sipped the brandy and allowed plumes of smoke from his cigar to weave their way around the object. His hand touching the cold, icey texure. “Feels like this belongs to a man called Frost,” he mused.
Continue reading this series:
The Skink That Got Away….