It had been “one of those days” for Col Drogo for years now. Sleep would not come to the homuncular warrior. Night after night he would wait for sleep to unhinge her jaw and swallow him whole, but there was no sign of her. It seemed that whenever he would next collapse would be purely up to the gods. He floated about the lands aimlessly, looking for a purpose, a quest, something to make life on Midgard worthwhile.
But Col Drogo was a tired soul now. All of the fighting, all of the battles had taken its toll on the warrior. He needed to know what to do next; what to see. And there was, but one way to see into the future – magic mushrooms.
One needed to know exactly what kind of mushrooms to consume and for what purpose. Some mushrooms showed visions of the future, some had the death trance effect, while some mushrooms could turn the average warrior into a Berserker. And of course, if you couldn’t find any of these magic mushrooms, store bought would be fine. But Col Drogo had walked with the gods in his youth; he knew exactly which mushrooms to pick and consume.
So, the warrior ground up the magic mushrooms and made a mushroom ale to induce visions. And what a vision it was. The warrior foresaw a great battle. He saw scores of Vikings standing witness to this battle, while he swung his scythe in a frenzy. Blood poured down his scythe like a Biblical plague. For all intents and purposes, it seemed to the warrior that this was a battle that would go down in history. It seemed like he had found his purpose.
Empowered by this vision and serenaded by imaginary angels singing AC/DC’s Back in Black, Col Drogo set out on the journey towards Iki-Bin Onsekiz, the land the vision had directed him towards, with a wolfskin on his back and the scythe of annihilation – Hellscream – on his waist. It was a fairly easy journey, made even easier by the copious amounts of mead the warrior gulped down. In no time, Col Drogo found himself in a half-drunken haze walking towards the village of Iki-Bin Onsekiz.
As he entered the village, Col Drogo found a drum of water and dunked his head in. The water was as cold as the heart of an ex; it sobered him straight down. Refreshed, the warrior made his way to the alehouse and took a seat, scanning the environment.
The warrior saw Vikings everywhere and most of them looked less like men and more like bears. However, there was a distinct sadness in their eyes. On making some enquiries, Col Drogo heard of a certain warrior who went by the name of Björn Bloodbone. Why he was named “Bloodbone” was a tale no one dared tell. This intrigued the warrior. So, Col Drogo approached the warrior Björn Bloodbone and challenged him to a Holmgang – a duel wherein the victor would be entitled to all of the possession of the vanquished, and the vanquished would be, well… dead. It seemed like a fair deal, since Col Drogo had the scythe of annihilation, whereas Björn Bloodbone had land and treasure; treasure that would make Col Drogo a king in the eyes of the land. But it was not the power he was after. Bloodlust, rather.
Björn Bloodbone, however, was least interested. “I would love to hear the sound of your Odin’s apple grinding against your spine, homunculus. But fate has greater plans for you. Do not, for one moment, think that we would let a Berserker into our village unless we had plans for him.”
It was at that moment Col Drogo decided that Björn Bloodbone would be the irritating grain of sand around which would form the pearl of his renaissance. Dissatisfied, Col Drogo ordered another round of ale, but as he glanced upwards, he noticed that the alehouse was now empty. All the Vikings had left. Just then, the earth beneath him started to quake violently. It seemed like the land was opening up to swallow the alehouse and everything in it, including the warrior. Startled, it took the warrior a minute to realize what was happening. His foot slipped, and he started to fall into the earth. At once, Col Drogo unsheathed his scythe and stuck it in the land above. He propelled himself upwards and escaped the alehouse. When the warrior escaped, he saw that the land had devoured the alehouse.
Struggling to get a grip on what was happening, the warrior approached Björn Bloodbone and asked for an explanation. The mountain was more than happy to oblige.
For years now, Iki-Bin Onsekiz was a village in turmoil. The land would often quake and open up to devour women, children, livestock and treasure. None of the sacrifices made to the gods worked to pacify the creature, until a Seer came into the village one night. Terrified upon what she envisioned, the Seer rushed to Björn Bloodbone to tell him what needed to be done. It seemed that the land was an entity of its own, and only a warrior who had walked with the gods could slay the atrocious creature that was Iki-Bin Onsekiz.
Now, the villagers had heard of the conquests of Col Drogo. They had hoped he would be the one to set them free from this creature. On hearing this, Col Drogo smiled like a Cheshire cat. His ego hung over him like a mocha coloured bat. He agreed to slay the creature at once.
It was decided that they would set a trap for Iki-Bin Onsekiz. Col Drogo was asked to sleep in a room filled with some of the village’s treasure, in the hope that the creature would appear at night and that would be the moment that Col Drogo would slay it. Nobody was quite sure how, but they had confidence in the warrior’s abilities.
And so, they carried out the plan, and sure as death, Iki-Bin Onsekiz came that night. Only this time, there were no villagers; no alehouses; just the warrior and chests full of treasure. This time, however, the warrior was prepared. He had one hand on Hellscream the whole time. As Iki-Bin Onsekiz quaked and rumbled to devour the warrior, he struck the scythe in the earth and the land let out a fiery glow. A spike grew out of the land quickly, reaching for the warrior’s chest, but the warrior evaded it just in time. Iki-Bin Onsekiz was playing dirty, and the warrior was pissed.
But the battle was on. The battle lasted a whole of 12 days, the first of which was the longest day in the history of days. Iki-Bin Onsekiz would open its mouth and creatures would come flying out to battle Col Drogo.
On the first day, it threw up a minotaur, which Col Drogo duly slayed and kept its head on a spike as a warning. But Iki-Bin Onsekiz was not one to back down.
The second day was so short, it was almost non-existent.
On the third day, Col Drogo had to slay a giant wolf, with the eyes of the devil, which, again, he duly butchered and kept the skin as a souvenir.
On the fourth day, the warrior fought against a cannibalistic Viking that was intent on devouring the homuncular warrior. Again, Col Drogo prevailed.
On the fifth day, Iki-Bin Onsekiz threw up a fire giant that made Björn Bloodbone look like a mouse. The giant started breathing down literal hellfire on Col Drogo and even burned the skin off his scythe wielding arm. Col Drogo was brought to his knees, but the warrior was smart. Feigning defeat, he lured the giant into a lake, rendering the monster powerless and defeated. The battle was so long, it swallowed up the entirety of the sixth day.
On the seventh day, Col Drogo was faced with a flying swarm of tiny little bloodsucking trolls. What in the crystal meth is this shit, Col Drogo thought to himself. They bit him everywhere and attacked only in the dead of the night when it was difficult to see the swarms. But Col Drogo had another weapon. He consumed the mushrooms that turned him into a Berserker. A demoniacal frenzy suddenly took him, and one by one, the trolls were slain and fell like scales from a snake.
On the eight day, Col Drogo had to face a Kraken while bathing in the lake. The creature caught him unawares, but Hellscream was forged for this exact purpose. On being attacked, Hellscream grew white hot and flew into the hands of the warrior. In one sizzling motion, the warrior defeated the Kraken. By now, the villagers were rejoicing. Iki-Bin Onsekiz had thrown up the most fearsome creatures anyone on Midgard had seen and Col Drogo had slain them all. But it was still not over.
On the ninth day, Iki-Bin Onsekiz threw up nothing but flames of anger while the warrior rested easy on the skin of the giant wolf he had slain earlier.
On the tenth day, Iki-Bin Onsekiz was tired. It had hoped to catch the warrior unawares and devour him, but the warrior rested near the lake and jumped in, at the faintest of earthquakes.
Iki-Bin Onsekiz was now incensed. It decided that it would have no more of this. So, on the eleventh day, amid violent earthquakes, Iki-Bin Onsekiz physically arrived on Midgard. This was it. Iki-Bin Onsekiz looked like the product of a Cyclops and a Chupacabra having angry unprotected sex. It stood as tall as a mountain, and with every step it took, the earth trembled.
Iki-Bin Onsekiz shouted that it was the warrior that had slain its children and now, it would annihilate the warrior. The warrior, who now felt the slightest tinge of fear, pulled a Shaggy and proclaimed, “It wasn’t me”.
But Iki-Bin Onsekiz was having none of it. It beat its chest and, on all fours rushed towards the warrior. The creature was so huge, that Col Drogo could not dodge it even if he tried. Col Drogo knew he needed something more to defeat this creature. So, he consumed more of the mushrooms, which now made him snake-fuckingly crazy. The warrior slashed away at Iki-Bin Onsekiz, but to no avail. The creature let out a chuckle that sounded more like thunder. But the Vikings kept chanting Col Drogo’s name. He was delirious now. He could smell victory.
Col Drogo jumped on the creature’s neck and stuck Hellscream into it, but it wouldn’t penetrate. Iki-Bin Onsekiz now thundered and threw itself to the ground with such a force that Col Drogo was thrown away from the creature. The fall hurt less than the defeat, which was like a knee to the emotional nutsack for the warrior. Iki-Bin Onsekiz’s arm now turned into a spike. As Col Drogo laid on the ground with Hellscream thrown a mile away from him, Iki-Bin Onsekiz pierced the warrior with the spike. It ripped a hole in the warrior through which you could see tiny angels weeping.
As Col Drogo lay there, bleeding, all he could utter were three words – “That shit hurted”.
Iki-Bin Onsekiz was the judge, the jury, and now the executioner. Col Drogo was slain. Destiny is all.
Iki-Bin Onsekiz – Turkish for “Two Thousand Eighteen”.