Loat crested the hill on his horse and gazed out over the smokey plain. His first impression was that Castle Issil, tallest landmark of the valley, seemed to have disappeared. Before he could ponder this he saw that Eyarn, the artificial reservoir that Issil and its village used for irrigation, seemed to have flooded. But that could not be. Nearly a third of the valley floor was flooded, and even if it had been raining torrentially for a week (which it hadn't), the flooding wouldn't have been a quarter as severe. And if so much of the valley was submerged, where was the smoke coming from?
The wind shifted and he caught his first whif of the stench. His horse snorted and complained and he retched. It was every kind of rot he'd ever smelled, moldering well water, dead livestock left to fester in the sun, the charnel houses in villages afflicted by the plague, but compounded, aggressive, almost arrogant in its awfulness. His every instinct cried to flee, that this smell was doom itself, and he had to struggle to control his horse from acting on similar impulses. The shifted wind caused a smokey cloud to billow and cover the sun. The light of its disk turned a livid pink, and with its glare blocked he saw that what he thought was a flood could not be water. It was dark turquoise and appeared viscous, with lazy bubbles slowly bulging and popping on its puckering surface.
The wind shifted again, praise the ancestors, giving him sweet air to breathe once more. He collected his faculties and spotted the rocky bluff that Castle Issil had stood upon. He thought that he could perhaps see some of its foundations still. What force had destroyed it, the most impregnable keep in the province?
The answer came more abruptly than he could have imagined. The lake of ooze roiled and a vast shape, a tapering tube, scaled and rugose, swung through the air, sailing slowly but unstoppably under its massive inertia. Its midsection collided with the rocky crag and toppled the solid earth with hardly a loss of momentum. Ooze trailed and squelched out of pores along its length. Thinner subsidiary tails branched off the central vermiform member.
The tail sung to the close of its arc in a tidal wave of slime, and the other side of the great thing, infinitely more horrible, reared into the sky in a chorus of shrieks and bellows. The anterior end was a column of gross flesh, encrusted with coral-like spines and dotted with glowing green points (eyes?), with six stumpy legs hanging beneath it. Its head was a blossom of horror, with numerous stout, claw-lined tendrils coiling and lashing in the air. Some of them ended in stunted toothy skulls, and their cries, echoing with some delay over the ruined plain, chilled Loat to his soul. At the heart of this roiling chaos was the central head, appearing to be nothing but a rugged dome until its lips pulled back, each set toothier than the last, and its great rotten throat belched smoke into the heavens and roared like thunder.
Loat was an old man, a veteran, and even as he was thrown from the back of his screaming horse he wondered, his mind suddenly dispassionate in denial of the horrors he was witnessing, if his heart had stopped. He landed badly, his bad knee complaining and his armor, fitted to his younger self, jabbing him uncomfortably. He watched his horse gallop away as he realized, as calmly as he could, what he had seen. The failed crops had been a portent. The plague had been an omen. The king, Loat's king, wretched and raving in his deathbed, had been a herald.
This was Tyapheon, befouler of all that was good and healthy, God of Corruption. Rearing a thousand feet high already, He would only grow larger and more terrible as his foul secretions washed over the land, as His long and ragged gullet chewed through estates and villages and croplands like a worm in an apple, as people choked on His vapors or drowned in His muck or were crushed under His ever expanding bulk.
Unless he was stopped.
Loat drew the Scepter of the Gods, gifted to him by the king in his last moment of sanity, and marched into the valley, praying to his ancestors that he would be able to use it.
The Corruption God, a monster I did for Thomas Song and his gaming company, Table Forged LLC!
The game these were made for has changed direction, and I don't know if they'll still be used, but it was fun as heck working with Thomas on This.
The story I posted is not cannon at all. I just made it up for fun.