Nemed was the original Angel of Life, but decided to sacrifice his godhood to become the father of the race of man. This race would be directly descended from the angels. His precept, that of Life, was given over to Arawn and the angels created an immortal female named Gabella to serve as his wife.
Gabella mirrored the rebellion by refusing to endure her role as a subordinate to man. She fled from Nemed and retreated to the Bair of Lacuna. A new, mortal wife was given to him and so further generations of men have the gift of immortality removed from them. But still their divine birthright makes their soul immortal even if their body fails. It is this connection to the divine, through the angel of Nemed, that allows men to channel the power of the angels and allows their souls to pass to them when they die.
Screams echoed through Galveholm. There was no way to predict their frequency, often days or weeks would pass between hearing them. But when they did occur it was impossible to deny the tortured anguish in them. Even the most hardened would whisper a quiet prayer of Agares for the victim, and many in the city were reduced to tears.
Gaulos had a way with women, he prided himself on it. There were few things he couldn't get through guile or smile. Perhaps they wouldn't agree to his most intimate desires, but they would join him alone in a dark cellar, and that was all the cooperation he required.
He found young girls the most vulnerable. In naively agreeing to his meetings, being unable to resist his forced advances once alone, and the most satisfying to his desires. Even so young they were still women and suseptible to his charms.
But he was too eager, a village ripe with beautiful young girls nearly stopped his heart when his caravan rolled into it. They chased each other outside a small temple and cared for delicate dolls. After three went missing the village was on the verge of hysteria, the caravan was torn apart and he was accused of the murders. They had no evidence, but that isn't required in such situations so Gaulos headed somewhere they wouldn't follow, into the Sheaim lands.
Now he stood in a pack of lowest dregs of humanity outside of the Sheaim gates. Immigrants had to display some skill before they were allowed into the city, and since the gatekeeper was male, Gaulos didn't have anything to show. They had already begun to pull some aside to tend to the pyre's, and no one returned from that.
On his third day at the gate a stir rose from inside the city. The guards, to that point cruel and inattentive, went suddenly alert and the gatekeeper ordered everyone away from the gate. Bestial men that had been pissing and shitting off the wall and onto the huddled immigrants below became paragons of duty.
Gaulos and the mass of lesser men waited quietly. Nothing scared the Sheaim, and many began to pull back further from the gate. Then they saw the source of the fear coming, a black carriage pulled by horses with burning hooves and wild, bestial eyes. As they got closer they could see that the horses had sharp wolf like teeth, those accustomed to tearing flesh, and they looked at the assembled men like beasts viewing their next meal.
A Mobius Witch drove the carriage. Her form twisted and bent back in on itself lending the impression of a leather skin stretched tight over a rough stone, as if she wasn't able to fully enter this world. Inside the carriage was a sight far more dreadful and unexpected to the point of disbelief. Os-Gabella, Queen of Storms, sat and showed little interest in the outside. The carriage was sturdy, yet the windows were open and there were no apparent precautions taken to protect its passenger.
The carriage stopped at the gate. Os-Gabella passed a few quiet questions to the gatekeeper, preparing to head into the city. Knowing that it may be his last chance to use his only gift Gaulos stepped up onto the road behind the carriage.
“My Queen, please allow me entrance to your magnificant city.”
She eyed him dispassionately. The gatekeeper looked horrified and shocked by Gaulos's behavior. If Os-Gabella had stretched her neck and bitten Gaulos' head clean off no one at the gate would have been surprised. He was committed though, so Gaulos continued on.
“The legend of your beauty, your infinite grace, brought me to these lands, across barren wastes and dangerous roads. Now I see that those who spoke of you were fools, for no words have escaped man's lips that could describe your glory. I shant need the sun again, for your eyes have given me the light I need for all of my days.”
Again there was nothing but stunned silence. Then finally Os-Gabella replied, “Get in.”
Stunned, no one knew what to do. Os-Gabella kicked open the carriage door and that jolted the gatekeeper into action. He held the door while Gaulos climbed in.
The carriage rolled through Galveholm while nobles and peasants scrambled out of the way. They looked at Os-Gabella and Gaulos with fear and wonder. This was a life Gaulos could get used to.
He took his eyes off the street and saw she was regarding him. He met her gaze, dipping his head enough to let his boyish bangs obscure the eyes women always complimented him for. He looked back up and smiled, but her expression didn't change.
Feeling a bit uncomfortable Gaulos asked, “Where are we going?”
“To meet your father.”
The tattered edges of the mobius witches robes reached through the window of the carriage and brushed up against Gaulos's neck. The touch made him shiver even in the oppressive heat of the day. Gaulos's father was a dockworker in the Lanun city of Bolans, he hadn't talked to him in years, and he couldn't imagine a less likely destination for the carriage.
The Sheaim palace was ahead and the gates were raised as the carriage approached. They stopped in a courtyard where a band of Revelers argued. Os-Gabella stepped out of the carriage without pretense. Gaulos followed, more from fear of being left alone with the odd monsters then from desire to stay with her. As they entered the palace he could hear slaves being dragged over and fed to the dark horses.
Inside a minotaur opened a great vault door. Behind the door stairs led deep beneath the palace. Gaulos briefly considered not going but a glance from the minotaur sent him scrambling down the stairs behind Os-Gabella.
The palace construction gave way to natural caverns. The stairs were replaced by a rough stone floor that had worn spots where Os-Gabella stepped without thinking. Jewels in her armor radiated a pale light and provided the only illumination in the passage. Gaulos struggled to stay within the radius of her light.
The passage ended at a small chamber with a stone arch in the center. Os-Gabella stepped up to the arch and traced runes in the air before it. Then she stepped into the arch and the chamber went dark.
Gaulos scrambled forward. He had a vague memory of those girls he seduced into joining him in dark cellars, at that point where his eyesight was better in the dark than theirs and he could sit back and watch them fumble in the darkness. He imagined that all the girls he hurt and killed were watching him, enjoying those last few moments before they killed him. The memory made him panic and he slammed against the stone arch and fell through the archway.
Sudden brightness blinded him. Torches hung on the walls and in the center of the room a man hung over a pit bound by bright silver chains. The man was gaunt and looked strained beyond exhaustion, but he was uninjured. Os-Gabella walked over to the man,withdrew a crystal from her armor and held it over the pit.
Gaulos picked himself up and walked over behind her. The chained man looked up in surprise and yelled.
“Run child, run!”
Gaulos froze, the man's words had power but when Gaulos looked back at the arch there was only darkness and the imagined ghosts of his victims beyond it. There was no other place to run. Instead Gaulos spoke to Os-Gabella.
“That's not my father.”
Os-Gabella smirked, “Of course it is, the first father. Nemed, my husband.” she said the last part with clear disdain. “We are here to find a way to kill him.”
With that black flames burst up out of the pit.
“These fires are said to be able to burn the ethereal, they are from the deepest hell. I wonder what effect it will have on immortal flesh.”
Os-Gabella raised her hand and Nemed was dropped into the pit. His screams echoed through the chamber and up into Galveholm above. Gaulos turned to run, his fear of ghosts replaced by the torment in front of him. But Os-Gabella was faster. She grabbed him by the collar and dragged him to the pit.
“I need to know the effect on mortal flesh as well.”
Gaulos reached within the folds of his shirt, for the knife he always kept there. With one smooth movement he thrust it up into Os-Gabella's throat.
Os-Gabella laughed, “If you could kill me we wouldn't need these damn tests!”
Gaulos withdrew the knife to stab again only to notice that the wound healed as soon as the knife was removed. Then Os-Gabella shoved him down into the pit with the screaming Nemed. The flames quickly rushed up his legs and onto his chest and head. His screams joined Nemed's.
Gaulos awoke in a grey wasteland. His skin was burnt and blistered, his boyish hair was burnt off. Every movement was torture. He knew he was dead. It was an uncomfortable afterlife but bearable. Until Gaulos saw the spirits of the girls he killed coming for him.