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Strength Chronicles, The: Hero of Mordac
|The oracle raised her eyes to the small glowing blue orb of clouds, which was suspended in the air above her whereupon she called out, "My Lord, your people in Gloth cry out for your deliverance from their evil Queen Lynya and her oppression. Will you not send Goliath to liberate them?"
The orb began to rotate quickly and flashed brightly as it spoke to her slowly with a deep and commanding voice. "I, Mordac, have heard these pleas. Their liberation will come at a great sacrifice but the time is upon us. Summon Goliath here, for this task will fall to him and it will be his greatest challenge."
"As you command, my Lord."
Goliath upon receiving the message from the oracle quickly journeyed to her temple. It had been six years since the god Mordac, the First among the gods and Goliath's benefactor, had given him the gift of super strength to end injustice in the mortal world. He was before the gift a tall, solid framed but ordinary man. With the gift, he grew into a muscular figure; with a height of 6 foot one (186 cm), 220 lbs (102 kg) of muscle and power. His hairless chest was 51 inches (129 cm) and he had biceps of 19 inches (48 cm) and off his 30 inch (76 cm) waist were quads of 26 inches (66 cm). Mordac had chosen Goliath for his moral goodness and bravery and had made him his servant. Since the gift, Goliath had already performed many tasks for the supreme god, helping the armies of the weak overcome their oppressors and had traveled far. But he was weary from his last labour and had sought a rest. That rest was short lived.
"Come Markus, come Estus, it is not much farther," Goliath shouted to his pupil and servant. Estus watched Goliath as he climbed the steep steps up to the oracle's temple. He was always in awe of him. Of his power. Of his strength. Of his physique. Of his masculine beauty. We watched his broad lats that grew widely out of his waist and as each foot of the giant hit the stone step, his gastroc and soleus flashed at him. But Estus knew all that beauty and power came at a price imposed by the god. He also knew his admiration and love of his mentor would never be returned.
As he reached the entryway, Goliath said "Estus come with me and you Markus wait here." Markus was a short and thin man, limited in mind and will, but always eager to help his two masters. He rarely complained about the carrying burdens placed on him in their long and dangerous journeys. However, he did not share in the full knowledge of Goliath's tasks and burdens nor his secrets. He wanted to join his friends inside the temple to see what they and learn what he learned of their new quest but he knew he had to obey. Yet he peered and tried to look inside from behind a bush at the entrance of the stone temple.
Estus and Goliath entered the temple where the oracle was waiting for them. Without a greeting, she addressed them. "You face a most difficult challenge in Gloth against Queen Lynya and her henchmen," she said. "She is a sorceress and a follower of Lardac."
Estus shuttered. Lardac, the most feared and hated god, was the female twin sister of Mordac who had overcome her to become the First among the Gods. Following that struggle, she had turned to doing great evil among the mortals to gain revenge on her brother and the world he protected. It was said that she was almost as powerful as her divine twin. While Estus and Goliath had faced many of the minor gods and their servants, not one was as powerful as Lardac.
"You must go to Gloth and rally the rebels who oppose her for there is much fear in their hearts. But remember your oath, Goliath. And if you break your oath, your gift will pass."
Goliath nodded as did Estus. He remembered the two promises he had to make to Mordac to receive the gift. "Fear not," he said to reassure the oracle, "I have kept my vow and have not fulfilled my lust for any woman that I desired."
"Mordac knows of the strong lust that lies within your heart and he is pleased with you," said the Oracle. "You shall travel to Gloth for the Festival of Arkyll. During the festival, you will issue to the Queen the Gordarian Challenge. Go now to the home of Areleus outside of Gloth and prepare your plan!"
Goliath bowed his head and he and Estus left the temple and joined Markus outside for their long journey to Gloth. "What is the Gordarian Challenge?" asked Estus. "During the festival, any man can challenge the rule of the Queen. Both sides pick a warrior to represent them in the arena for a fight. Whosever's warrior wins becomes the ruler of the kingdom. The custom was used in Gloth for centuries to avoid civil wars." Goliath explained. "It will save many lives if the Queen cooperates…."
Queen Lynya and Maciste entered the Temple of Lardac to consult the High Priestess. The Queen was not a beautiful woman, shapely but plump yet with fair skin and long dark hair. Her servants worked hard to give her what beauty she had. She wore flowing robes of the finest silk and covered herself with jewelry bought from the spoils of her rule. Maciste, the Queen's personal bodyguard and commander of her security guards, accompanied her and was often acted in her stead. He was handsome with a physique that rivaled that of Goliath. She found him very attractive and often just gazed at his beauty with his curly dark hair and deep blue eyes with grapefruit-sized delts, his massive 50 inch (127 cm) chest with square pecs, and 18 inch (46 cm) biceps, down to his 29 inch (74 cm) waist, rock hard abs and huge quads, all rapped in his olive, hairless skin. He was known as the strongest man in her kingdom and he was cunning. It was said that he once pushed over a stone building to crush a rebellion in the marketplace against the Queen's rule.
"I seek the help of Lord Lardac," said the Queen as she came upon the priestess.
"Lord Lardac knows why you are here," said the priestess. "Your rule faces its greatest danger for Mordac has sent his servant Goliath to overthrow you."
The Queen knew what this danger meant and she beseeched the priestess. "I beg Lord Lardac to help me against this threat. What greater delight would Lord Lardac have than to see the servant of Mordac defeated? Will she not help me overcome him?"
"Golaith is a powerful man and has the gift of strength from Mordac. And like all of Mordac's gifts to mortals, it comes with a vow for its use."
"Tell me, what is this vow and how will this help me?" she begged.
"Not even Lord Lardac knows, for Mordac shields this knowledge from her. However, that is what Lord Lardac says you must discover. You do not have much time for even now the rebels plan against you. You will face the Gordarian Challenge during the Festival of Arkyll."
Realizing she would get no further with the priestess, the Queen returned to her chambers in the palace with Maciste. She pondered her next move. She spoke aloud, "If the knowledge is hidden from even Lardac, my sorcery will not reveal it from the Fates." Maciste replied, "But Goliath must have this knowledge and perhaps one of his servants also knows and if we can get it from them, we will victorious," said Maciste.
Goliath and his men reached the home of Arellus and knocked on the door. His servant, Morus, let them in. "Welcome Goliath," said Arellus. "I heard that you were coming to help us, thank the Gods! With you at our side, I know now the people will rally and the Queen's rule will come to an end."
"Yes, Arellus let us hope so. Now let us plan," he replied.
Arellus, Goliath and Estus made their plans to attack if the Queen did not surrender following Goliath's win in the Gordarian Challenge, while Morus served them food and drink. Later that night, Goliath said, "Ah our plans are now complete. I shall journey to the palace tomorrow to issue the challenge to the Queen."
"You must be careful Goliath. Her warrior will be Maciste who is said to be the strongest man in Gloth. It will not be an easy fight," advised Arellus.
"Don't worry. No one has ever bested my strength. Golaith flexed his huge lean bicep to show its size to Arellus while the veins around it exploded. "You forget Mordac's power is within me."
"I have no doubts my friend" as he padded Goliath on his ripped back. "Once your victory in the contest is complete, our forces will attack if the Queen does not go peacefully into exile. We will be hidden around the coliseum awaiting the result and will have a victory march to the palace upon your victory."
As the men went to sleep, Morus slipped out of the house that night and headed toward the palace. At the Palace, Maciste listened to Morus and gave him 18 pieces of silver.
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