The Order of the Mortal Knights

A few words first

Welcome to this Fanfic. This is an exploration on the Oh My goddess Universe.

I always have been fascinated by Urd. Wild yet romantic. Usually hard headed yet resourceful. A master on S&M yet her hearth could be touched by a children love. I wondered what kind of background could such a beautiful goddess had to become like that, so this is what I have imagined. Also as a nerd I wished to explore even more the blend of magic and technology from the OMG universe.

I hope you enjoy this, as much as I enjoyed writing this. Yet i must warn you. English is not my native language, so from time to time you will find some peculiar (or outrageous) uses of the English language. Please, be tolerant and let me now, then try to enjoy the Story.

Introduction to this story:

This story takes place some time after the arc of "One Winged Angel" and before the Hagall arc. It has original characters and slowly parts away from the canon.

An scientist, specialist in ethnobotanics, has spent nearly 10 years searching the origin of some magic potions that he found in ancient manuscripts and have real healing properties.

In his search he discovers its origin is linked to Norse traditions and begins to suspect that mythology, legends and ancient Norse magic lore were created by a mysterious woman named Urth, he even locate an old drawing of the mysterious woman and she becomes his idealized love. In his search finally discovers a palimpsest, hidden for almost a millennium in a monastery, with her original writings, full of ancient legends, magic, but also incredible technology.

Our story begins when meets that woman from 1.200 years ago still alive and founds she is much more than just a woman. The plot thickens when he discovers that a goddess has been killed so he starts a search of ancient and forbidden knowledge, to protect his beloved.

This a story where magic and technology go together and the intervention of mortals can decide the fate of the gods.

Some warnings.

- Alternate Universe. There are some characters of my own and the story departs from Canon.

- I'm a nerd, this history has pretensions of being hard science fiction where advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

- The story may reach more than 25 chapters, and still is a work in progress.

- This is my first Fanfic! I hope to hear from you what you think about it.

- This story is written in Spanish and then translated. Please, let my know my mistakes.

Thanks for your attention and join me in this voyage.


"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine"
J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds and other papers (1927)

The Order of the Mortal Knights
by Elnauhual aka Javier Delgado

Fan fiction, based on the characters and universe of "Oh my goddess" by Kōsuke Fujishima.
I do not claim to own anything.

Chapter I
Palimpsest

Dr. Kenji Sugahara was overjoyed. This was obvious to anyone who saw him in the hallways. The professor was a familiar figure at the University of Chiba. He was barely 32 years old and was already a respected academic figure from the university. His methodical and obsessive personality had ensured that his colleagues appreciated his work, despite the extraordinary nature of some of his ideas. His enthusiasm was so contagious that he often managed to make them collaborate with some of his more fantastic projects.

With a sloppy suit, a tie his students swore was an archeological find, and thick, old-fashioned glasses, he seemed the prototype of the absentminded professor from an old film. Still, his eyes denoted an intensity and friendly face and ready to smile attitude, that managed to attracted young people, even when they were not always able to understand everything he said.

This was because the themes that inspired his passion seemed inexhaustible. He had started his career as a botanist, but he added knowledge in the most diverse fields: pharmacology, paleobotany, polinology, ancient Germanic languages, proto Saxon history, ethnohistory, chemistry, paleography and, recently for fun, stereochemistry.

He also was already somewhat of a minor celebrity. He had discovered substances in old preparations with remarkable curative properties. The University was more than happy with the patents, but maybe more important, at least to him, was that some of his articles originally published in peer review magazines, were reprinted in popular magazines were they had attracted the general public attention. Then an editor had requested him to write a book, which had been a success. Not bad for a specialist in the esoteric field of "Etnobothanic studies of European traditions".

The doctor used to joke about his field of study saying; -I am the best in my field.-, he would say. -However, this is true because I am the only specialist in that field.-

His students, unfortunately, did not always appreciate his humor. To say that some of his jokes were old was to underestimate the issue. Behind his back, his students claimed that anyone who could understand his jokes was ready to receive a PhD. D. in linguistics of dead Germanic languages.

However, today the doctor, usually the epitome of Japanese sobriety, seemed to be so happy that he was almost at the point to jump and dance. In addition, there were also other strange symptoms. Besides hugging his laptop like a precious treasure, he also carried a paper bag with something that had a rather suspicious resemblance to a large bottle of sake.

And indeed, the reason for his behavior was stored in his laptop. All night he had been receiving a huge archive of more than 5 GB, which consisted of multi-spectral scans of an old medieval prayer book, courtesy of one of his colleagues, Professor Jan Krogh Danielsen from the University of Oslo.

Usually, an old medieval prayer book would not thrill anyone, but Dr. Sugahara was sure it was much more than that a simple prayer book.

It had all started a few months ago. He had sprouted another one of his crazy ideas. Sometimes, some manuscripts were only known because they were commented, or criticized in other books.

He had spent a lot of time looking for fragments of a special manuscript. The original was lost, but he had found many commentaries with fragments of the original text. It was very time-consuming. So he wondered if he could use a variant of face-recognition software to find fragments of the known texts in the photographs of ancient manuscripts and be able to find more fragments. If enough fragments could be located, a lot of the original manuscript could be reconstructed.

With his enthusiasm, he had infected some geeks at Caltech, and soon they had a prototype of the program. Then, he had another crazy idea. Instead of searching through the scanned books of libraries, he used the software to look for images in the web. After hundreds of errors and false positives, the software had reported something intriguing. On a university website, the software had managed find a page of a prayer-book from the Middle Ages, with a barely visible text containing a few sentences he knew were from the original manuscript.

The text had been scraped as if someone had tried to hide it, yet some fragments of it were still visible. The text fragment was...

Urd Hétu eina,
Verdandi adra,
- Skáru to Skidi -
Skuld ina þriðju...

It was surprising. I would have never occurred to him to try to search for those commentaries on a medieval prayer book, but the automatic search software did not really care about the content.

It had been a remarkable achievement, so he was sure his geek friends soon would have many requests from other specialists. Meanwhile, the doctor was pondering if the book they had found was, in fact, a palimpsest. That was the only explanation of why a medieval prayer book had references to Norse goddesses.

That meant that some pious medieval monks probably had found some old parchments in unknown language and had decided to give them better use. It was a common practice. The parchment was expensive. They scraped it to clear the writing, so it could be cut and re-used to make a prayer book, which was considered much more useful, at least for their standards.

Doctor Sugahara recalled the Archimedes Palimpsest, and he thought that this book might be almost as important. The Archimedes Palimpsest had contained no less than four ancient manuscripts.

The doctor had a shiver at the thought of what would have been lost through the process, completely deleted pages, and destroyed parts, to turn them into a book, but at the same time, the process had allowed a monastery to preserve a pagan manuscript.

Immediately he contacted a colleague at the University of Oslo, since it was at the university's website where he had located the book. A few pages had been photographed, just because it was part of a lot that the university was considering to acquire. Then he heard nothing from his colleague for a week. Later, he received a long distance call from Germany. His colleague, Professor Danielsen, had abandoned everything to locate the book, which was still in an old monastery in Germany. After all, the possibility of finding the only known text written in Old Norse was a dream for any specialist in the area. He would have done the same.

And now, months after that, everything was here, on his laptop. Professor Danielsen and his team had scanned the parchment with the most advanced imaging technology in order to recover the erased text, and then, in gratitude for having the full credit of the discovery, he had sent him the entire data set, along with a cryptic e-mail:

-Please, check File Ms. Add. 1879 use deep infrared filter, mixed with raking light.
-Drink a bottle of sake in my name.
-Remember your promise...

-Professor Jan Krogh Danielsen
-University of Oslo.

Sugahara smiled. He understood well the concern of his colleague, in the competitive academic world where the phrase "publish or perish" was the order of the day, to have the priority of a discovery was vital. Professor Danielsen well deserved the honor of discovery. In addition, for Dr. Sugahara, what mattered was the content, which finally could prove a bold hypothesis. Possibly, he could set the birth of an entire mythology at the footsteps of a single individual. And being able to prove this was his biggest dream. A dream he had been following for almost a decade, always one little step a time. However, this, it was a big step. In the meantime, he could wait until the publication Professor Danielsen's article.

Finally, he arrived at the library. He had his own cubicle at the university, but he felt more comfortable between the books, which he perceived as old friends. Thus, right in the middle of the European mythology section and, with the complicity of those in charge of the library, he had created a sort of cubicle surrounded by shelves. However, all the books were facing out so that no one had to enter to bother looking for a book. Being an academic celebrity had certain advantages, and it was a testament to his tenacity and power of persuasion.

Sometimes students could see some books disappear back, as if snatched away by a goblin. The only thing he disapproved of in this place was a modern 72-inch LED TV on the wall, where it displayed the news of the university. His attempts to persuade the graphic design department to change the modern graphic design to look like medieval stained glass so far had not been successful. But, he was sure it would be a matter of time.

Nervously, he put the paper bag with the bottle on the table. It was real sake. The best sake he had been able to get that day. Then he turned on his laptop. Fortunately, he was already familiar with the visualization software, so soon he located the files and fixed the parameters suggested. His laptop had to strive with high-resolution images, but finally an image appeared which had been hidden behind the scribbles of an old Latin prayer to St. Augustine. The doctor's heart jumped, and he could not refrain to make an exclamation of delight that was heard throughout the library.

Right there was this face, a face that had haunted him for years. He had seen it before in copies of other manuscripts. Imperfect copies, but the whole time he had still treasured this image in his memory, and finally here was the original.

Nervously, he scrolled down the image, and found some text, weak but readable:

"Segðu mér, Fáfnir,
alls þik fróðan kveðaok
vel margt vita,hverjar ro þær nornir,
er nauðgönglar ro ok ...

Ah! that text!. He knew it from other copies. This version was slightly different, so he began to translate with care:

Tell me then, Fafnir for
wise thou art famed,
and much thou knowest now: Who are the Norns
who are helpful in need …

Then, to confirm his finding, he searched for more and found some strange symbols. They were runes! They were not only the oldest runes ever known, but they were traced with an exquisite precision, almost as if a modern computer drew them.

Yes, now he was sure! Finally, he had found it! Instead of a few fragments, this was the original manuscript of the Darraðarljóð! In addition, if his bold hypothesis was true, it was in her own handwriting.

Almost a decade of research had finally borne fruit. Yes, that night to celebrate, he would get drunk as a Cossack as promised to professor Danielsen. No! better! He would get as drunk as a Viking!

He was overflowing with emotion. He could not stay sit and began to walk from one side to another of his "cubicle."

He needed to calm down. He decided to concentrate on his work. That always relaxed him. Therefore, he began to make plans. The first step was to compare the fragmented manuscript with copies that were made of it. Surely, it would have errors when compared with the original. That was a good idea, to relax. He had already written a book on the subject: "The Power of Oak, Ash, and Thorn: Viking and Norse Magic", where he summarized some of the manuscript fragments he believed were the book. Now that he had the text in its entirety, he finally could check and add the missing material.

The book had been an unexpected success, in part due what to what he considered a silly title and idea from the editor. The mere mention of magic attracted many young fans of the new age, Wicca, and neopaganism. Nevertheless, the real reason was because his passion on the subject made the book fascinating. Therefore, not only the book had been read and quoted to exhaustion, but also all copies had been sold

A side effect of this was that he now had fans. From time to time, he received e-mails asking him for more formulas, magic potions, tales, etc. Just a few days ago, he had received an e-mail form a girl who used the name, Urd. She asked him for a copy of the book.

- Urth!

The doctor pronounced that name with a surprising tenderness. He had been slightly irritated to find someone who dared to use that name, a name that was so dear to him. At first, he thought it was a joke, but finally after a couple of e-mails, he became convinced that the young woman was serious. At least, he thought, she was young. Her e-mail exuded a certain urgency and impatience typical of the young.

He informed the woman, to her disappointment, that there were no more copies. In addition, there would not be reprints, because he expected to have a revised and expanded version of the book. However, when she told him that she lived near the city of Nekomi, he had informed her that the University of Chiba was just a few hours from there. In addition, that in the library or, to be more precise, in the shelf next to the doctor, was a copy.

While he was a bit curious to meet someone who used that name, when she told him she did want to meet him he became a bit uneasy. Today she was supposed to be there. What she would like, a woman that wanted to learn the secrets of old magic?

Today was a very important day for him. The doctor only once had one great love in his life, and the chance to meet a stranger disturbed him. Therefore, he decided to put that thought aside and get to work.

The doctor got down to work. He needed to review several books with the known fragments of the book and some other references. He started taking some books off the shelves. He could not see the titles, but he did not need to see them. He knew them all like old friends.

Ah, first, he needed his book "The Power of Oak, Ash, and Thorn." So, he went and took it.

Suddenly, he heard a cry of protest.

"What the f..? Who's there?" - Demanded an angry female voice. The doctor stopped in surprise and then carefully peered through the hole where the book had been, before making an exclamation of surprise. He saw a pair of female eyes flashing with anger that grabbed his attention. But, it was not the anger that had got his attention. The real reason was that they were the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen, and even the anger only seemed to make them more attractive.

The doctor was not very graceful in his dealings with women, but he was so startled that he could not refrain to voice a fragment of one of his favorite poems.

- "Closer of lovely eyes to lovely dreams; Queen of the wide air; thou most lovely queen of all the brightness that mine. Beautiful witch eyes, deep wells where my soul would like to immerse forever."

And really, no woman or even goddess can keep being angry to someone who offers a compliment that is said so spontaneously and so honestly.

-"Who is there?" - Asked the voice, still annoyed, but now without anger.

The doctor had been seduced by those eyes, so he began to remove some books to get a better look while he answered.

-"I am Dr. Sugahara Kenji , professor of the university of Chiba, and author of this book."

Noticing that the doctor was moving the books, she hid behind others, and the doctor proceeded to move, and thus began a game that the girl accompanied by a beautiful and coquettish laugh. The doctor moved more books for a better view, and she moved again. Suddenly, he had an idea and moved to the lowest shelf. He removed several books at the same time. Then he had a vision of two beautiful legs, barely covered by a dress fitting at the top.

The girl laughed at the teacher's movement and mocked him: -Ah, echhi Sensei! - And finally, she knelled to see the doctor face to face.

The doctor saw a beautiful copper-skinned face with strange markings on it. He recognized that face! He yelled

- Urð hétu eina … Darraðarljóð!

He froze for a moment with surprise and then suddenly tried to get up. But, he had his head stuck between the shelf so he struck with the upper shelve, then fell backwards and tried to stop his fall. Unfortunately, he also grabbed the shelves, and the whole bookshelf fell on top of him.

For a moment, the girl was confused and a little frightened. She was used to making an impression on men, but no one had yelled like that before. And there was also was the impact of those words. It had been a long time since she heard that language and that title. "Urth is one named, enchantress."

After the initial shock, she quickly went to assist the Doctor. She did some strange gestures with her hands, whispered a few words and the shelf was lifted a little, enough to get the man out from under the shelf.

With the aplomb of someone who knows how to deal with wounds, she examined him. He was unconscious, and had blood on his face. He seemed to have a severe concussion that required urgent assistance. She heard screams around her. The commotion had caused a stir throughout the silent library. She had no time for explanations. She needed to get out there and help the wounded man.

Then she saw the doctor's laptop, which displayed a picture. It was her image!

The surprise made her lose her cool for a few seconds. Hearing voices, she turned to see where the voices came from. She saw the hi-tech display of LED TV. Then she had an idea and made a gesture with her hands. The contents of the table began to levitate and went through the display where they disappeared. Then she made other gestures, and she and the doctor rose in the air, disappearing down into the display.

Soon afterward, many people arrived, but they only found the collapsed bookshelves.

(End chapter I - rev4)


Notes:

- I did not intend to have this section, but finally my inner Nerd won...

- Palimpsest: since the time I learned about certain texts had been hidden under other texts, they haunted my imagination. Later, my discovery of the Archimedes palimpsest showed me how many treasures may be hidden in some old libraries. If you go to the site of Archimedes palimpsest www_archimedespalimpsest_org you will discover some of the Techniques that the Professor Danielsen could have use to recover "Urth´s palimpsest".

- The book "The Power of Oak, Ash, and Thorn: Viking Magic"... was not written by Dr. Sugahara. I just stole the title...

- My apologies to the University of Chiba for any "literary" damages I have done to their library...

- My best wishes and gratitude to DynamicDuo 911, Charbonne and Hawkinsmith for help me to clean this chapter. If you find new errors, they are still mine.