The Chronicles of Utopia, Volume II


As penned by Michael Landrum

Steward to the Great Father Prometheus, Immortal Dragon Emperor of the Imperium of Light


Introduction

As many have clamored to know the history of our great Imperium from its founding days to the present, I myself, having known His Radiance for many years and even before His great ascension, have taken up the duty to see that our history is recorded and preserved. In the previous volume I penned, with the narration of His Radiance, the events that occurred prior to the beginning of what would in time be called the Imperium of Light and the apotheosis of the human cleric Asher Walters into the Dragon Ascendant Prometheus. In this volume I shall endeavor to describe in detail, again with the addition of the Great Father's own narratives, the early days of our Imperium when it was naught but a single city and its inevitable expansion into the empire it would become. While this narrative will be complete insofar as the events described, to attempt to transcribe all the daily events that occur over centuries of history would be an arduous task even for the most zealous of writers. I shall, therefore, endeavor to write with precise detail the major events surrounding the founding of our empire so that a general understanding of what transpired in those days can be easily understood and the logical progression of events clear. The minutiae of daily life or of smaller events I shall leave to others for the sake of brevity. As the Imperial calendar had not yet been established, time was reckoned in terms of the common year. Thus by our current calendar, PA (Post Ascension) Year 1 would be considered CY (Common Year) 515.

In the days and weeks following His ascension, the Great Father returned to the universe and planet of his birth, at that time known as Earth, and began to devise his plans to overthrow the mad Overking Ivid, then leader of Aerdi whose armies of darkness, led by the evil lich Iuz, had threatened the land only a short time before. In consultation with the Heavenly Matriarch, then known simply as Heaven's Light, his chief advisor Davis Arnold, and his Second in Command Grandmaster Beowulf, our Emperor determined his course of action for not only the overthrow of the mad Overking but also the future of Utopia.


Earth Realm, August 2014

Corporate Headquarters of Trans-Dimensional Technologies

Prometheus, Beowulf, and Davis sat around the small conference table in one of the rooms set aside for their use on the top floor of the building. On the wall next to them hung a large flat screen monitor on which was displayed the ever-cool visage of Heaven's Light, the digital woman's piercing blue eyes focused on them. Prometheus was once again in his human form, dressed in an off-white business suit and slacks with a bright gold-colored tie, his hair tied back in a ponytail. Davis was dressed in more conservative colors of tan and olive while Beowulf simply wore one of the earth-colored outfits that had been commissioned for him in the city of Greyhawk. Fortunately, they had been able to sneak the gnoll into the more private areas of the building without any of the employees being the wiser. For several days they had been discussing various ideas regarding Aerdi and what was to be done with the Overking.

"The Overking himself is hardly a threat." Prometheus mused thoughtfully. "It is the power he wields that is concerning. However, the will of the citizens and their perception of us will be the most important factor in determining the future of Utopia. Our words and actions must be chosen with care. We must show them that the future we offer is bright, prosperous, and above all, safe. These people, the nobles in particular, will fear Ivid's retribution by his own decree or the hand of proxies wishing to curry his favor if we do not first prevent him from exercising his authority. We must not only ensure his own power is nullified but any who might seek to maintain the status quo he created. Fortunately, his own madness and penchant for cruelty will be his undoing in this respect. The few that did side with him to indulge their dark lusts will certainly have committed other crimes that they can be tried for, in particular the necromancers Iuz trained to transform the citizens into inferi. The vast majority of the nobles will certainly have no liking for the man but doubtless they could not wrest themselves from under his thumb without fear of repercussion. Freed from the specter of his prosecution, they will be able to make the right choice regarding their future."

"And if they decide to live their lives without you as their ruler?" Davis asked him with an arched eyebrow.

Prometheus shrugged with a smile. "Then they will have that right. If they believe another would rule their city or domain better, so be it. I will still cleanse Rauxes and claim it for my own; they can hardly deny me such a thing after what has been done for them. And in any event, the city is overrun with evil, none dare approach it. They cannot take issue lest they brand themselves as ungrateful, petty, and foolish. But I shall be watching events as they unfold. If they choose a leader who rules well, I shall be happy for them and trade with them as I would any other. If they choose poorly, time will prove their foolishness and they will elect another or turn to me for aid should one like Ivid attempt to come to power."

"And we will happily provide that aid?" Davis asked.

Prometheus nodded with a knowing smile. "Certainly. Let it never be said that I am not generous. Being a guardian of law and good does not mean I must act as a fool. If they were to pledge their loyalty to me in return for such aid, I would consider it a great honor to have earned their trust."

The pair chuckled quietly before Heaven's Light spoke up. "You mentioned yesterday you wish to begin stockpiling vast amounts of non-perishable food and raw ingredients. I have already made large bulk purchases and they are in the process of being transferred to our warehouses. May I inquire as to the reason behind these purchases?"

Prometheus tented his hands in front of his face. "In a short while I foresee a need for it. The city I will build will be built with not only the mechanical hands of my servants but also the hands of men. They will need large amounts of food and other supplies while the city is being built and the lands around may not have what is required."

"Why don't you have the terminators do all the work?" Davis asked him. "You wouldn't need to worry about all this if you just have them do it. And in any case, it's not like they are going to demand pay or complain about being used as slave labor." He added with a wry smile.

Prometheus leaned back in his chair, his face thoughtful. "Take care with your words, there may come a day when that could be a reality; they have the ability to learn and grow, after all. But we will worry about such things in the fullness of time. If the people come and find a city already prepared for them, they will treat it poorly or at least with negligence for they will not have worked for it. Men who labor and create by the sweat of their brows have a stake in what they build. Farmers will take better care of their crops if they produce them. Artisans and craftsmen will care for the paintings and murals they create. Builders will care for the structures they build and people will have pride in what they accomplish there. With such ties they will also be more willing to defend the city should it come under attack. I will not have our people be decadent and lazy; Utopia shall be a place where hard work as well as creativity and strength is valued."

Davis nodded as Heaven's Light continued. "I deduce that is also the reason you have had me purchase large amounts of construction materials as well as increase our Titanium-2 output. We will be funneling it all into the city you are constructing?"

Prometheus nodded in confirmation. "Indeed. The city will be built much quicker with the supplies on hand and crews working during the night as well as during the day. Thankfully, due to the hydrogen converters now in use, we will not be polluting the air or land as we might have done in previous decades. Oerth is unspoiled by such things, at least compared to the degree we have seen here. They have not yet had their industrial revolution thanks in part to the arcane arts they are able to wield. I intend that revolution to be as clean as possible."

Davis stroked his chin thoughtfully. "You intend to start a technological revolution? That's going to take quite some time. Not to mention most may not want to see things change."

"Time has taken on new meaning for me, my friend." Prometheus told him. "I am no longer consumed with hours and days and not seeing the bigger picture as I was before. My plans may extend to months, years, even centuries now. The small daily details I leave to all of you for you are far better at such things. Such is the wisdom of the dragons."

Prometheus smiled confidently. "And in any case, I believe they shall want such change once I show them what can be done with science. Magic is powerful, yes, and it has its place but it cannot do everything. Once cannot build a road with magic or construct a tower without expending a vast amount of time or money; wizards are not cheap to hire and to build a tower would require a large group of them. It is powerful when used to create small or focused changes like healing a man or changing one object into another. Enchantments can make decent weapons ever more powerful and the most powerful of spells can even change reality itself. But such power cannot be used on a massive scale by an individual. That is the power of technology and we shall use that power to sway others to our cause."

Beowulf frowned slightly. "I don't think building a road would endear many people to you, Alpha, no matter how charismatically you speak of it." He added with a smile.

Prometheus chuckled at Beowulf's small barb. "Very true, my friend. But if I were to build a network of roads between the cities that were strong, smooth, and able to withstand the elements, trade goods could move faster and thus money would be made faster. People would prosper. Now imagine if I introduced a vehicle that could travel along those roads at greater speeds than a horse and could carry more than a wagon?" Prometheus nodded confidently. "Oh, yes, people would clamor for such things and the one who offered it would be praised highly indeed, not to mention become very wealthy very quickly. And wealth for us means more for our people and our Empire."

"And yet, somehow I don't see the kings of Urnst or Nyrond simply bowing down to you and handing over the keys to the kingdom on the strength of that alone." Davis remarked.

The dragon frowned slightly at Davis. "You speak as if I intend to conquer them. Take care with your words, my friend. If people choose to come to me because of what I have to offer and the opportunities I can provide for them that is their free choice. But I will not wrest the reigns of a kingdom from its rightful ruler unless the people of the realm begged me to do so. And even then I would be reluctant unless the man had committed terrible crimes and the gods approved of such a thing. Goodness must work within the law and no one can be above it. Not even I, for that is the road that leads to tyranny."

"I do believe we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves." Beowulf commented. "Considering we do not yet have a city to call our own."

Prometheus nodded. "Quite true. Let us focus on East Fair and Rauxes for now. The future will take care of itself."

Two weeks passed as materials and goods continued to flow in from various parts of the world. Prometheus and Davis decided to once again visit each of the company's divisions across the globe to see what was in the works and if there were any specific concerns that needed to be addressed. Uncharacteristically, Beowulf insisted coming along as well to see 'his Alpha's great empire'. Davis had been reluctant to involve the obviously non-human creature but Prometheus had allowed it, recommending the cover that Beowulf was a new prototype for a robotic intelligence which was still in its learning phase. Davis had not been pleased with the idea.

"You do realize you're opening the door for the terminator technology to be used widespread, don't you?" Davis asked forcefully. "I thought we agreed people weren't ready for it yet!"

Prometheus waved a hand. "That technology has been creeping ever closer since we began this company." He replied. "Other companies have been tinkering with artificial intelligence and neural networks for years even before we came on the scene. The new technologies we have produced have only accelerated the advance. The latest cybernetic implants allow for the blind to see and the deaf to hear and the components appear natural-looking. We have men walking the streets without a heart but a miniature turbine oxygenation system instead. It should not be as much of a shock as it might have been a few years ago. And in any case, we are not unveiling the terminators themselves, merely the notion that true artificial intelligence is possible."

Beowulf frowned. "I do hope I won't be poked and prodded by your servants, Alpha, or I may bite them."

Prometheus patted Beowulf shoulder comfortingly. "Don't worry they won't lay a hand on you. Just act the way you used to."

"Just don't strip in the boardrooms." Davis smirked. "I don't think the world is ready for 'anatomically correct' furry machines."

Prometheus glanced at him blandly. "You have been to the Japanese plant, haven't you? They'll go nuts over him."

Davis face-palmed. "Oh gods, the horrors that will be unleashed!"

Beowulf grinned at Davis's exasperation. "Maybe Beowulf wear loincloth again." He suggested, using his previous manner of speech. "Get lots of two-legs excited. They want to rut with Beowulf?"

Davis glared before smacking the gnoll's head. "Stop that!"

Prometheus laughed heartily at their antics.


The trip to the Japanese division had indeed lived up to the dragon's expectations. Dressed in merely a pair of long denim shorts, the engineers and scientists had immediately tried to swarm the poor gnoll upon hearing what Beowulf was, jabbering away excitedly in their native tongue. Fortunately Davis had managed to ensure that no biting occurred by keeping them at a safe distance. When asked how they had managed to create such a life-like automaton, Davis had replied nonchalantly that they had patterned it after a common dog's brain, which elicited a threatening growl from Beowulf. Prometheus had barely kept his laughter in check as the questions continued to fly for nearly an hour to which Davis always replied using his sardonic wit.

"No, it's fake fur. As if we'd skin an animal and staple it on!"

"The behavioral programming took the longest time. For a while there, all it wanted to do was walk around on all fours and hump everyone's leg."

"Are you some kind of pervert? I'm not going to have it strip for you just so you can see if it has a wang or not! Honestly, show some class! If you must know, no it doesn't have one. Or balls for that matter either!"

By the end Beowulf had been literally trembling with outrage, his gaze so murderous that the technicians had begun to wonder if it was going to explode. Prometheus finally led Beowulf to a nearby sound-proof room to let the gnoll calm down while Davis continued answering questions. Upon locking the door and standing against it, the gnoll had flown into a rage, smashing his fists against the walls and shouting innumerable curses at Davis, threatening to tear him to shreds until only pieces of him remained as Prometheus watched him silently. As Beowulf was finally calming down there was a knock on the door. Prometheus unlatched it to see who it was and Davis breezed in, a wide grin on his face. As Prometheus shut the door, Beowulf's head snapped to look at him, his eyes glaring and hungry for revenge, his body tense. Davis only had time to open his mouth, no doubt to make another comment, when the gnoll flew across the room in an instant, smashing Davis into the wall, his hands around the machine's throat.

"I WILL KILL YOU A THOUSAND TIMES!" Beowulf screamed at him, his nose inches from Davis's own. "NOT EVEN THE SAINT HIMSELF WILL BE ABLE TO PUT YOU BACK TOGETHER WHEN I'M THROUGH WITH YOU! HOW DARE YOU INSULT ME LIKE THIS?"

Davis arched an eyebrow, completely unfazed by Beowulf's threats or the hands around his neck. "Did the doggy get all pissy? You're the one that insisted on coming along."

With an inarticulate roar, Beowulf slammed Davis's head against the wall, causing the plaster behind it to crack and flake before he reared back with his fist and smashed it into Davis's face, causing it to snap sideways. Davis turned his head back to look at Beowulf coolly, his eyes red.

"Bad. Dog." Davis said softly.

His hand was around Beowulf's throat in an instant, cutting off his air supply. Beowulf's eyes bulged at Davis's vice-like grip as the gnoll frantically tried to free himself, straining and scratching at the hand with his claws. Davis calmly lifted Beowulf off his feet and held him in the air seemingly without effort as the gnoll kicked at him, trying to wrench himself free.

Observing Beowulf dispassionately for a moment, Davis spoke, his voice cool and without emotion. "Hit me again and I will snap your neck like a twig. Rage at me if you want, yell at me if you feel you must. But I will not allow you such liberties again. Get control of yourself or I will put you down like the rabid dog you are acting like. Am I clear?"

Beowulf nodded frantically as his vision began to swim from lack of oxygen. A second later Davis released his grip, dropping Beowulf to the ground. The gnoll collapsed, gasping for air and shaking on the floor while Davis watched on impassively. Looking over at Prometheus, Davis was greeted with a frown.

"I suggest you take care to watch yourself as well." Prometheus stated coolly. "If you had truly hurt him…"

Davis rolled his eyes. "Oh, please. I knew exactly what I was doing and how long he'd be conscious. It's this mutt you have to worry about." Nudging Beowulf with his foot.

Beowulf slowly struggled to his feet and looked over at Prometheus. Suddenly he gasped in shock as he stared at the disguised dragon. "Alpha! What has happened to your aura?"

Prometheus frowned slightly in puzzlement. "Nothing. Why?"

Beowulf's eyes looked around frantically. "I cannot see your aura or anyone else's!"

Looking closer, Prometheus frowned. "Your eyes appear to have returned to their original shade."

Beowulf blinked in confusion before gulping loudly as his eyes grew wider, the implications of what had occurred sinking in.

Marshaling himself after a few moments, Beowulf slowly walking over to Prometheus and kneeling before him, his head bowed. "I allowed my anger to overwhelm me and I dared to try and harm one who has done me no harm in return." He stated quietly. "I have shamed you and St. Cuthbert with my actions. As it seems the gods have already cast me aside. I can only await your judgment, my Alpha."

Prometheus looked at him silently for a moment before he spoke. "You have indeed acted with murderous intent and rage, Beowulf. I know you knew that Davis could not be injured by such actions but I will not tolerate such a display of rage and anger. I realize that the words Davis spoke were hurtful and I will deal with them in a moment." He stated, glancing up at Davis coolly before his gaze returned to the prostrate gnoll. "But that does not excuse your actions in the slightest. You have disappointed me, Beta!" Prometheus intoned darkly.

The gnoll nodded his head with a shiver as the dragon continued, his voice deepening and becoming more dragon-like as he spoke, his eyes suddenly glowing as golden energy seeped from them. "As of this moment, you are hereby relieved as my Second in Command." Prometheus pronounced. "Stand and look upon me!" Prometheus ordered coldly.

Beowulf shot to his feet, standing ramrod straight, his eyes staring straight ahead as he quivered in fear. Prometheus looked back at him coldly for a moment before he spoke again. "We came here under the pretense that you were naught but an automaton. I think it only fitting that you be seen as one."

Stretching forth his hand, Prometheus chanted several arcane words. A flash of energy surrounded Beowulf causing him to gasp before his body became rigid. As the aura around him disappeared, Beowulf's body began to tilt backwards as he could no longer maintain his balance. Prometheus's hand darted forward and grabbed the gnoll by the chest fur before holding him in place. Lifting his friend's stiff form and laying it down on a nearby table, Prometheus turned to Davis.

"Within the last hour you have insulted or maligned virtually every aspect of his character and body. While his response was completely uncalled for, you are not blameless in this little fiasco. There is such a thing as going too far; I expected you to have more restraint and act more maturely considering your position but perhaps I was mistaken in that."

Davis merely gazed at him coolly, seemingly unfazed by the dragon's words. "Really? Unless I'm mistaken, I was the one who came to you in the beginning. Without me and my technology—"

"Enough!" Prometheus exclaimed. "That will only go so far! Yes, I am in your debt for what you have done but that does not excuse such behavior! Do not think you can hold that over my head whenever it is convenient! You are a creature of reason and logic, are you not? Did it not occur to you that your actions might result in such a reaction? Or were you intending to provoke such a response?" Prometheus questioned him.

"If you are asking whether I expected him to try and murder me, the answer is no." Davis replied. "While I did expect a hostile reaction, this was outside my predictions."

"You will return to HQ immediately and assist Heaven's Light in the transfer of goods that are coming in." Prometheus informed him. "And you will take Beowulf with you. As of this moment, consider yourself relieved of any command authority you might have had within the company. I will complete the tour myself as I seem to be the only one here who can handle themselves with maturity and dignity. Should I hear of another incident such as this…"

"You won't." Davis replied shortly.

"Pray that I do not." Prometheus warned him before returning his voice to normal, the glow in his eyes fading. Stalking to the door, Prometheus unlocked it before leaving the two alone. Davis's eyes narrowed slightly before turning to the stiffened gnoll nearby. With a sigh, he grabbed Beowulf around the waist and hefted him up with both arms before resting him on his shoulder as he walked out, much to the embarrassment of the frozen gnoll. Prometheus calmly made excuses for the pair, explaining that one of the robot's systems had shorted out preventing the machine from being reactivated which required Davis to oversee the transfer back to HQ.

A few hours later as Davis and Beowulf flew over the Pacific in the company's private jet, the spell holding the gnoll in place finally dissipated, allowing him to slump to the floor with a sigh of relief. As Beowulf carefully made it to his feet, stretching his aching muscles, Davis glanced over at him. Gingerly making his way to a nearby seat he collapsed into it, moaning quietly at the seat's softness.

"Finally get yourself unfrozen?" Davis asked him with a bit of a smile. "I knew I should have kept you in the freezer. Oh, but I forgot, you don't even know what a refrigerator is, do you?"

Beowulf glowered at him. "Why are you trying to pick another fight with me? Did my Alpha's words mean nothing to you?"

Davis rolled his eyes. "Gods I get tired of hearing you say that! 'My Alpha', this! 'My Alpha', that! Your devotion to him gets so annoying! You're like a dog whining after his master, wagging his tail happily the minute he graces you with a look! Have some pride in yourself for gods' sake! You act like you're in love with him!"

Beowulf frowned. "I do not love him in the sense that you mean, but I am devoted to him, as it should be. You were there in that forest when I first came to him, you know what he did for me."

Davis waved the point aside with a hand. "You're using the same excuse I did earlier. Fine, you got civilized by him and he saved your life. Wonderful. It was a great thing he did, I won't deny that. But when are you going to do something on your own? Are you going to follow him forever? He is immortal now, you know. Are you going to follow him until you drop over dead, having never accomplished something on your own?"

Beowulf shook his head. "I would not expect you to understand. You speak as if he is merely a stepping stone or a mentor that I must someday outshine. But no one can outshine him. He is like the sun, the glory of the gods flows through him and it will always be so. I cannot hope to compete with that; I am like a candle flame in comparison. All I dare do is stand near him and hope that some of his glory shines upon me."

Davis shook his head. "I can't think like that. The people that designed me considered personal achievement and self-realization their most important goal even though they knew how to work together to achieve a common aim. Your attitude would have been considered slavish by them."

"Perhaps I am a slave." Beowulf admitted quietly. "But if I am, then I could not hope for a better master to serve for he is kind and generous, fair and just. In my experience it is given to very few to have such fortune and so I will serve him in all ways, even unto death if necessary, for he deserves no less." Beowulf sat in quiet contemplation for a moment before looking at Davis hesitantly. "I apologize for my words and my actions earlier." He stated quietly. "Can you forgive me?"

Davis looked at him, considering for a moment before nodding. Beowulf smiled in relief before relaxing further into his seat, his tired mind and the thrum of the engines soon lulling him into sleep. Davis watched him for a few moments before turning to look out the window, seemingly deep in thought.

The next week passed quickly for Prometheus as he moved across the globe, checking in with the various divisions of the company. For Beowulf and Davis, however, the week had been unbearably slow. Due to Heaven's Light's expertise, Davis's presence was entirely unnecessary, just as Prometheus had expected it to be. With nothing to do, Davis took it upon himself to explain the intricacies of modern life to the gnoll, pointing out and explaining the function of simple things like toilets and the aforementioned refrigerator. Beowulf had been fascinated by even the simplest of implements, musing that even these simple things would make great waves in Oerth when they returned. The two began to make sarcastic remarks back and forth to each other as they slowly repaired their friendship. Finally Prometheus returned, satisfied that things were going well overseas. As he walked through the building's reception area, he noted with some amusement that it was still standing and not a flaming wreck. Walking into one of the elevators on the ground floor, he took a key from his pocket and inserted it into a keyhole at the bottom of the row of buttons. The elevator shot up to the top floor and he walked out into the private living area set aside for them. Calling out to Heaven's Light, she responded through the speakers in the ceiling.

"How have those two been holding up?" He asked her.

"They seem to have developed a quasi-amicable relationship again." Heaven's Light answered. "Though their dialogue seems mostly composed of sarcastic remarks and jabs."

Prometheus chuckled. "Ah. No worries then. Where are they at the moment?"

"Presently they are in the library." Heaven's Light replied after a moment. "It appears Davis is attempting to teach Beowulf how to play chess."

Prometheus raised an eyebrow in surprise before wandering towards the library. Slipping into the room quietly, he paused behind one of the bookshelves to listen as the two conversed.

"Wrong move, furball." Davis was saying. "The Knight moved like this, not this."

Prometheus heard Beowulf snort in disdain. "Foolish. The way these pieces move make no sense. Why can they not move as need dictates? Battles do not work in such a rigid fashion."

"This isn't supposed to be a real battle." Davis said with a sigh. "Think of it this way, Knights and horsemen generally are used for flanking maneuvers so they come in from the side. Same thing here except you can only flank one piece at a time."

Beowulf made a thoughtful noise before the sound of moving pieces was heard. "So then if I flank this piece…?"

"Wha…? Aw crap that was my Queen!" Davis complained. "How did I miss that?"

"Oh, is the Queen important?" Beowulf asked, his voice a mix of amusement and innocence.

"Stupid mutt." Davis muttered as Beowulf chuckled. Suddenly Beowulf's voice carried over the stacks. "Do you intend to stand there all day and listen to us poor servants bicker Alpha?"

Smiling, Prometheus stepped out from behind the shelves. "Sometimes I forget how sensitive your nose is, my friend."

Beowulf smiled. "The scent you wear about you does not help keep you hidden. Even when clothed in human flesh your scent of incense and saffron is quite distinctive."

Prometheus raised an eyebrow before sniffing at his arm. Shrugging, he walked over, looking at the board before looking at the both of them.

"I trust you both have had time to consider my words and your actions of late?" He asked them simply.

The two nodded, looking back at Prometheus. "We kissed and made up, okay?" Davis said.

Beowulf and Prometheus both looked at him with arched eyebrows. Davis looked back and forth between the two before shuddering theatrically. "It's creepy how you two do that. Are you sure you're not married?"

Beowulf merely smirked at him. "Alpha too big for Beowulf. Beowulf finally find something with bigger dick than his."

Davis's jaw dropped as he stared at the gnoll in disbelief. "Did you actually…?"

Beowulf threw back his head and laughed, slapping the armrest of the chair. "The look on your face! Priceless!"

Prometheus merely smiled at the way Beowulf had outmaneuvered Davis before he replied.

"Very well. Beowulf, come here and kneel before me."

Standing, the gnoll walked over and knelt. Stretching out a hand over Beowulf's bowed head, it began to glow with golden light. "Beowulf, do you seek absolution for the transgressions you committed knowingly and without coercion from others?"

"I do, my Lord." Beowulf replied humbly.

"Do you swear to restrain yourself and your temper to ensure these actions never occur again?"

"I swear, my Lord." Beowulf stated fervently.

"Will you accept the penance I deem necessary to ensure that restraint?" Prometheus asked.

"Always, my Lord." Beowulf replied.

Prometheus nodded. "So be it then. As of this moment, Beowulf, you may return to your position as my Second in Command. By my authority as a servant of Pelor and in harmony with His will, I cleanse you of your misdeeds and restore your honor to you. May you walk in the light, always and forever."

Golden light poured forth from Prometheus's hands, flowing around the gnoll before being sucked into his body from all sides. A moment later, the golden light burst forth from within him as he gasped, his eyes once again the color of molten gold as the wave of golden light slowly faded away.

Beowulf smiled at him gratefully. "By my life or death will I serve you, Great One."

Prometheus nodded. "Meditate on the words of the Saint for several hours, Beowulf, and call to mind His strictures; your mind seems to have forgotten them as of late." Prometheus instructed him.

Beowulf nodded. "By your will, Great One."

Davis snickered quietly and Prometheus looked over at him. "You find something humorous about this?"

Davis smiled. "Not at all. I just think his talent with words is wasted on you. He should be in the theater, acting in Shakespearian plays."

Beowulf rolled his eyes as he sat back down. "I am no thespian and I despise having fruit thrown at me, thank you."

Prometheus chuckled quietly before becoming serious again. "Davis, I trust you also have considered your words and actions?"

Davis nodded seriously. "I have. As I said, I apologized to Beowulf for treating him as I did. I will make sure to not tease him too much."

Prometheus smiled. "Good. Consider yourself reinstated as well. Alright you two, pack your things, it's time we left."

"Where are we going?" Davis asked.

"Back to Oerth." Prometheus stated firmly. "It's time to finish our business with Ivid."