Oceans of Gold
There are things out there in the dust and the darkness; we know that the Worldsmith forged us with his own hands, but did he too craft the beasts that haunt the secret corners of this world?
- Calimar, Dune trader
Don’t go out after dark.
In the beginning, after the departure of the Worldsmith, the dark god Nerull perfected the way of destruction. The lands were littered with the dead – and yet, crows, maggots, beetles, worms, and the other crawling things of the earth complained to him.
“You destroy and maim too quickly!” they cried. “We cannot devour all the meat you
give us! Please, destroy the people of the earth more slowly.”
“What?” whispered Nerull, his voice an inky shadow that stifled the breath of infants. “My ways will not change for you, insignificant base things. I was once a king among men, and now I am a lord among gods.”
And so the black days encroached, when all the land was covered with death and all the air stank. And while monsters ate the flesh of corpses, and the crows plucked out eyes and the worms savored the bloodiest cuts, other things began to rise from the untouched dead. Packs of hyenas went mad from eating the tainted, rotting flesh, and began to walk on two legs. Louse-ridden goblins broke from their tribes, devouring the darkness and loving the stench of carrion. They praised each corpse as their bodies grew and twisted into terrible trolls. Scarabs of the feywild licked clean the bones, and they too were transformed into devastation, insanity, and corruption. And finally were born the demons, and their terrible howling songs twisted into words.
The beasts of perversion and insanity and wickedness spread upon the world, prowling and indulging in their hunger for murdered flesh. They came to be known under a single name – Demons, the ravening spawn, the bone gnawers, the carrion feeders, the gibbering mouths that grow fat off our flesh.
Demons are the first abomination, and their death is a blessing. Remember this when their laughter haunts your steps.