Sunday 29 May 2011

The Four Norse-Men of the Apocalypse

Our players:

Odin as the Conqueror
Thor as War
Loki as Death
Baldur as Famine

Four horsemen wait in the stables of heaven. There is much commotion and carrying on, with servants, cherubs, and all the ranks of angels rushing hither and thither. Hithtory is in the making and thith is no time to be dallying.

This is the end, after all. Soon history will be all that is left.

The horsemen are saddled and ready, but it is not quite the appointed hour and so they wait - a strange, intense calm at the centre of divine chaos.

Death is in pale robes. He is instantly recognisable, his face is a skull and bits of flesh still hang from it in places, particularly at the back where thin strands of black hair also remain. Death is glaring at Famine. To be fair, having no eyelids or facial musculature, Death glares at everyone.

“Why does Baldur get the black horse?”

The Conqueror huffs, “because, Loki, that’s how it is. That’s the way it is foretold.”

“But everybody knows Death rides the black horse.”

“No,” War corrects him, “everybody knows that Death is the Pale Rider.”

“Stay out of this, Thor. And how come he gets to be War, anyway? Why does he get the flaming red stallion and the giant Sword of Compensation while I get this pale, wasted nag. Why can’t I have Sleipnir?”

The Conqueror growls at Death, “because Sleipnir is my steed, Loki, and because no horse in the bible ever had eight legs, and because you’re a troublemaker, and because Thor is a finer warrior than you will ever be.”

War grins, “and more of a man!” He raises his flaming sword high, singeing the wings of a passing zephyr. Then he frowns, “what do you mean, ‘Sword of Compensation’?”

“Look at that thing, it’s even more phallic than your hammer, at least it’s pointing away from you this time.”

“Why, you–”

“Stop it! Both of you. Don’t make me regret bringing you along, Loki.”

“Bah. Fine. So why couldn’t I be Famine? At least Baldur has a cool horse.”

“Because you look like Death.”

War guffaws like only a huge man can, “face facts Loki, it’s in your bones, you really should learn to just grin and bare it! Ha!”

“Yes, very good, very witty. And whose fault is that? Who commanded I have acid dripped on my face for eternity?”

“I did,” the Conqueror’s voice is steely, “and with good reason.”

Famine’s voice is quiet, but strong. He does not look up as he speaks, “to me, Loki, you will always be Death.”

“Now, hey, I didn’t have anything to do with that; that was all a misunderstanding on poor Hodr’s part.”

“Oh, quit it, Loki,” Thor snaps. “We all know what happened. Anyway, Baldur just hasn’t been the same since he died. Look at him, he’s wasting away, I think he makes a good Famine.”

“Oh, yes, c’mon, everybody loves Baldur, blah. So when do I get to kill Heimdallr, anyway?”

“You don’t,” the Conqueror grows more impatient. “I explained this. Ragnarok isn’t happening, this monotheistic ‘apocalypse’ is. Just be glad I found us a place. And if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re the only four of the pantheon that anyone remembers I would never have chosen you, Loki, don’t forget that.”

The apocalypse is coming and the four horsemen will lead the charge. It will be devastation and chaos. The horsemen are doom incarnate. The horsemen are bickering amongst themselves.


  1. Pretty funny!

    Was the lithping in the first paragraph deliberate?

  2. Thank you, FAR. =) I was just in a silly mood and playing on the 'hither and thither' in the previous sentence. ;D

  3. Hilarious! I love the bickering between the horsemen.

  4. Fun. I like the way you captured the characters trying to be someone else and failing. I was going to ask about Ragnarok, but you pulled it to a nice ending answering my question before I could ask it.

  5. Thanks, Aidan. =) I think I find it hard to write something if I don't understand the whys myself, and where possible I like to try and convey that in the piece.

  6. So funny! Love all the bickering. Hithtory and thith is funny, too.

  7. Thank you, Sonia! I don't usually write humour so it's good to know it worked. =D

  8. Hi there John -- Somehow this is just how I imagine the end of the world: people fighting over the cool horse. :)

    You very much brought this to life with a well rendered set of characters, and I liked all the mythological detail. Well written and humorous, too.


  9. Thank you, Stephen, sounds like I hit all my targets there. =)

    Some of the Horsemen totally get a better deal than the others... ;)

  10. Would have been interesting to have Loki ride on his child.

    As a norseman and a writer, this was interesting indeed. Not sure I agree with the choices as a believer in these gods but as a writer it was entertaining (once I looked around to see if the gods weren't hunting me).

    By the by, just as an aside, you missed a D in Hodr's name. Made my Mjolnir itchy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you, Leif. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. =)

    Thanks for pointing out the typo. =)