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Bargda - The Curse of Eritteus

by Giulio Caroletti

While Minoides was leaving Nimmur's coasts, his lieutenant Eritteus, annoyed by Minoides' request of help to Poseidon, had a long and harsh argument with his leader. Eritteus argued that it was folly to ask the Immortals for help: they had proved to be evil and malicious, and never helped them, although the Wingless Enduks never did anything wrong for deserving their situation. Moreover, they didn't have any seamanship skills, nor did they know when they would find (if ever) a new land beyond the sea. So Eritteus, mad of rage at the current situation, took with him a large following of minotaurs and left northwards.

Eritteus took his followers with him beyond Nimmur, to the Yazak Steppes. Here they found only violent humanoids, that attacked them and harassed them all the way north, where he decided to lead them as the Wingless were not in stand to fight with the humanoids for a piece of their land.

Heading northwards, Eritteus arrived in the northern regions of what is now Zuyevo. Tormented by its long cold winter, many Wingless died, as there were no magic users nor priests between them. An opposition faction created itself among the Wingless, led by Arianna, a female Wingless who proposed to return to the worship of their old Immortals, especially Ixion, that represented the Sun and could maybe help them in the harsh climate, or, if they repented, to allow them to return back home. But Eritteus had begun to lose his sanity. Burning with rage, he had spent months and months always re-thinking to what had happened, failing to understand why he had deserved all that misery, and with him all his people; and the suffering of his people was becoming more and more his own suffering.

The opposition grew among the Wingless. Eritteus wanted to continue the trip north. Arianna claimed that this was madness, as they would just freeze themselves on the mountains of the Endworld Spine, whose snow-filled tops were seen in the clear winter sky. Eritteus, however, had become crazy. He killed outright Arianna during a council, and then he challenged every other Wingless to question his rule. Nobody dared to raise a finger, and they travelled on. Many more died, until the situation was nearly unbearable. Arianna's companion, Laconius, once more raised his voice and pointed his finger toward Eritteus, accusing him of being a madman who were bringing his followers to total destruction. Eritteus killed him. He spoke against the Immortals and all priests. Once again, the Wingless went with him.

In summer, a terrible plague stroke hard on the few surviving Wingless. To the exhausted survivors, to the few silent and deprived children, Eritteus once again made a passionate and impious speech in which he accused the Immortals of all the evil they had suffered, in which he even doubted the Immortal's existence. While no Wingless dared to speak or oppose him, he laughed at the Immortals and, offending them in various manners, he asked them to prove in some way their existence to the Wingless.

The air became hot. A fiery ray descended from the sun and burned Eritteus. Eritteus was burning and screaming in agony, but his body wasn't consumed. Still, he continued to insult the Immortals. The other Wingless, astonished, didn't say a word. Then they begun to mutate. To change. They became crippled and distorted images of their older selves. The horns were torn, their feet and claws bent, their bodies filled with pimples, their eyes reddened, their furs were hit by alopecia. As they had bent their wills to a crazy Wingless, and hadn't helped innocent testimonies of the will of Ixion, they would become bent in their bodies, and would be denied help by all other living creatures, that would avoid them forever then.

As for Eritteus, he still lives, consumed by an eternal fire that will never cease. He roams the Endless Spine mountains, doomed to forever seek a way to quench the fire of his living torch. He has seldom been encountered, but there are reports of a fiery minotaur in the legends and folk tales of all the populations of the Endless Spine.