The Devil's Soup Bowl

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@compuserve.com)
Date: Fri 31 Jan 1997 - 10:05:42 EET


Following "Hippogriff's Avenging Daughter", here's the second of the three
new stories I wrote for RQ-Con Chicago. This story, told by a Sable Rider,
was written to fit the Praxian theme of the Con, as well as supporting the
article on Moonbroth Oasis by myself and Malcolm Serabian in Tales #15.

_____________________
THE DEVIL'S SOUP BOWL

The world was upside-down and inside-out. The sky was full of darkness, the
waters spilled over the earth, and the only fire that burned was in the
underworld. The eternal Laws that had stood atop Fire Mountain, at the
centre of everything, had been shattered and scattered, flung to the far
corners of the cosmos. And the Outer Void, that should dwell beyond the
edges of the world, was at the heart of Prax.

The Old Gods were dead, and the Young Gods not yet born. Tada lay beneath
his High Tumulus, and Waha in the womb of Mother Eiritha, deep below the
Paps. The mighty Storm Buck was off fighting Chaos where it should dwell,
beyond the edges of the world for even the mighty Rage Bellower did not
yet know that Chaos had come to the centre of everything.

The heart of the world was a bubbling pit of ooze; fetid and slimy, evil
and malodorous, the Devil's Soup Bowl. It sat within the crater of dead
Fire Mountain, and sent forth its foulness to conquer and contaminate all
of the clean world of Prax.

Darkness-on-High saw the evil, and called out for help. Water-over-Earth
heeded the danger, and rushed to drown it. Earth-above-Fire raised ramparts
to contain it. And Fire-under-All sent its heat back to the dead Fire
Mountain, to battle the Chaos. Fire heated Water in the Darkness of the
Earth, and the Geyser came. The Four Elements blasted out the Chaos that
seethed in the Devil's Soup Bowl. There was a towering pillar of steam, and
a great scream, louder than a thousand stuck Impalas.

Even where he battled at the edge of the world, the mighty Rage Bellower
could hear it and we *all* know how hard it is to make him hear
*anything* when his Rage is upon him! He rushed inwards to do battle with
the Chaos that had come to the clean heart of Prax, and had been thrown out
by the Elements.

Storm Buck battled with the Devil, and crushed him beneath the Block. This
much, everyone knows. But only here, in Moonbroth, do we know that this is
where the world was changed. This place, at the heart of Prax, is where the
Universe can right itself, even if nature is turned upside-down and
inside-out by Evil.

And, ten years ago, we saw this proven once again: when the armies of the
Great Red Queen came to our clean world of Prax, armed with the Four Young
Elements, and blasted out the filthy Cattle Bastards (spit) who herded Cows
(sneer) and rode on the unclean Horse (retch). The Great Red Army cast
these unnatural scum out from Moonbroth and onto the Plaines of Prax, where
we Sons of the Sable can hunt them down and kill them at our leisure!

All Praise the Mighty Storm Buck; All Hail the Reaching Moon!

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Nick
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