The door closed behind Percival and he stalled as everything had suddenly come crashing down upon him. War was back and she wanted to kill him.
“Darling?” Galahad asked quietly putting his hands on his boyfriends shoulder, watching him concerned as his shoulders shook. Percival’s throat constricted as he tried to talk, looking up at Galahad, his voice coming out in high pitched straining.
“I think it’d be best we had this conversation tomorrow morning. Love can you-?” Before Galahad finished, Cornelius was hurrying into the hall to call off the group meeting until tomorrow morning.
“It’s okay Darling, you’re safe. You’re safe with me” Galahad cooed softly, pulling Percival close to his chest as he stroked his hands up and down his back in soothing motions, shushing the demigod as sobs of realisation had hit him, as well as the exhaustion after the adrenalin rush began to settle into his bones as Percival collapsed against Galahads body.
They locked up tight that night. Shut all they could, hid Percival away from the world as much as he wanted. They buried him in blankets and darkness until he felt so safe and surrounded by warmth he felt safe enough to fall asleep as rain drummed against the roof.
The following Morning was not much easier upon him, as he sat, practically swaddled like a baby in Galahads lap, arms tight around his waist, with Cornelius sat on Percival’s lap, to trap him between them in a safety net.
“So, let me get this straight. There is now a second demi-god running around, whose downright insane, trying to kill Percival for the sake of killing Percival? Great. Wonderful. Sparkling.” The sarcasm in Guinevere’s voice was tangible. Everyone had gathered – even Myrddin was sat within the main area of the store, resting upon his cane as he listened as closely as possible to Percival, his stories and the further threat that had befallen them.
“Nothing’s every simple with you people is it” Lance huffed, curling up tighter around himself grumbling as he paced the store. The stress and strain was visible upon them all. Arthur was rigid through the story, while Lance had found it difficult to keep himself on two legs as he stress paced round the store.
“at least you got some information, right? She said you were the son of someone. Aeron, right?” Arthur had offered, trying to look hopeful. Percival had not said much since he had finished, eyes tired and weary.
“No, Perun. Like Thor, but not as popular, had an axe instead of hammer.” Safir answered, flicking through books upon the matter at hand. Sadly, for well equipped they were, somethings even then were still out of their knowledge and hands.
“Slavic god, king of gods. Very similar deals, and very common themes. You know, thunder, lightning, storms, laws, war” Safir’s eyebrows raised as he read the last one “Fertility”
“So, like, actual worshipped gods are a thing now? Do I gotta start praying? Because honestly, I got a lot of things to confess and I’m not sure I want to get into that philosophical debate. Like who are my options? Do I gotta pray to Perun now that he’s Percival’s DAD? Is Percival an option, can I worship you?” Guinevere had asked with a surprisingly amount of enthusiasm, laying across the sofa she was sat upon, feet kicking idly as she looked over, watching them closely.
“Please don’t worship me.” Percival added quietly, his voice weak and tired. everything had been so draining for him.
“Honestly given the reality of gods and how they work? Percival’s probably our best option for gods to worship” Percival could only whine at Arthurs suggestion in displeasure. I’m worthy of no such thing Percival wanted to debate but couldn’t find himself too.
“How do gods work then? Where do they come from” Guinevere continued to question, looking to the dragon before she was rolling off of the Sofa, practically springing up to her feet to grab her notebook.
“All gods stem from a race known as Celestials. Angels and the likes are also Celestials, although lesser so.” Safir began to inform her as she wrote down quick notes on what he said
“Like regular fey and Greater fey, and Regular demons and Greater Demons?” she asked, eyes barely looking up as her pen began to quickly scratch against the paper
“Pretty much. Regular celestials are like angels, unicorns, while Greater celestials are Gods. Unlike Demons, it’s their race that makes them gods. take myself as an example, I am an Arch-Demon sure, but my demon species is Nickar. Percival is a Demigod because half of him is literally a species known as god” Galahad stretched behind Percival, grumbling in addition as he worked his fingers through Percival’s tangles hoping to sooth him.
“Now if I’d not know what was going down, I’d assume to say they were the opposite? Like good and evil? However, with War seeking to kill Percival they don’t sound very good.” Guinevere asked, eyes glancing up for a moment at the silence that followed
“Pretty much! While there is the whole idea of ‘demons are evil celestials are good’ we have no idea – their powers and similarities are uncanny, most theorise that they both came from an even earlier pre-race in an evolutionary manner, like celestials and demons are homo sapiens to the earlier races. Galahad’s proof of that not all demons are evil either, being a being of entire neutrality.” Safir continued to speak in a matter of faculty as he walked the library, walking through the couch out through a bookshelf, book in hand.
“But how did it even come to be that we believed that?” Lance asked, watching the ghost as a distraction to stop his pacing as he moved towards the sofa, trying to take a seat next to Arthur
“Religious Zealotry” Percival deadpanned, he buried himself deeper into the blanks trying to hide his face. Cornelius only frown above him before leaning far back, so his head was resting upon Percival’s shoulders where he could kiss his cheek gently
“Okay, fair, but can’t just write that down in my notebook. Like, Divine intervention, they’re not warlocks but they get magic FROM gods. How’s that work?” Guinevere continued, flicking the page as she went back to scribbling down notes as fast as she could.
“That is…a highly complicated matter Miss Guinevere” Myrddin finally spoke up, old voice a familiar relaxing tone as he spoke to calm the frazzled nerves. “However, Demons and Celestials are no that to far apart in likeness. They both gain power the same way – through popularity. The more popular a demon is, the more popular a god is, the more powerful they are. Even down to the way of approaching it – it’s all mostly deceit. Demons trick mortals into pacts, into servitude by giving them offers – you know, one soul for three wishes! God’s deceive people by saying ‘if you don’t do as I say, you’ll suffer in the hells when you die’. Which isn’t true for the most part, you must have completed a gravely evil or good task to be favoured enough to be made a demon. However, worshipping either in the right way can lead to benefits, which is a large part of clerics and paladins abilities.”
It was a longer day then they had all anticipated, going into many topics over the day as they worked to find ways of securing the store and Percival against War. There was not much that could be done to stop gods, there was not much information on them to begin with, as they all searched the store.
“Wait so - What does happen when we die? Do we not become angels or demons?” Guinevere asked, pulling the conversation back to earlier topics, as she had only just realised what that had meant upon death.
“No, they’re all born not made for the most part. There IS a way to become a demon or angel, however you have to do exceptional things for good or for evil or have a god or demon favour you.” Safir continued to answer Guinevere’s questions
“So, like, Hilter’s probably a demon now?” Guinevere asked, waiting from a response from Galahad as she turned towards him.
“Fuck no. His souls suffering somewhere amongst the sea of souls where the rest of his kind will go, stay, and where they all belong” Galahad grumbled, grip tightening around Percival’s waist a moment. “we want nothing to do with his kind. Honestly? Supernatural creatures don’t like humans. We’d rather not have anything to do with most of what you do.”
“You make it sound like being racist is a human thing” Lance had added in. the noises that crossed the group would have been comical if not for the reality of the situation.
“Wait really? Is being racist a human thing?” Lance looked up at this, looking to Arthur who pursed his lips before answering the question
“Kinda? We’re not perfect, don’t get us wrong – a lot of creatures are inherently fucked up. But now that I think about it? out of all the problems the supernatural have, hating each other over something like race isn’t at the top of the list. You’d assume it would be like…demons and gods! They don’t hate each other because they’re a different race - they hate each other because they’re rivals for power, nothing more. They’re closer to two rich white politicians fighting for who’d be leader than one choosing to enslave the other. If they both didn’t run of mortal worship I can guarantee you they’d be best friends.” Arthur answered, scratching his cheek to avoid the glare that Lance was giving him, Thankful as Cornelius spoke up into the mix pulling Lance’s attention away.
“I’m not gonna lie either, Sexism is also very much a human thing” Cornelius spoke softly, not really having much to contribute, mostly just wanting to help Percival feel better.
“Young Cornelius has a point. In most human books – a drow society is written to be a hellhole in which men are nothing more than slaves and sacrifices, where women rule and thrive. While yes, there may have been something in there that links to that – a male sacrifice, possibly. But it was more likely that human men could not comprehend that a woman could be in charge” Myrddin added, supporting Cornelius argument as Guinevere was back to frantically taking notes.
“Homophobia…transphobia. It’s all so very...human? Like, you’ve said my mother was ‘transphobic’ because I – according to human biology and basic teaching I have ‘female’ sexual organs, can carry children – though not yet - and she only ever referred to me as She no matter how much I wanted to be a he, however the likelihood of it being for a transphobic reason is very low? no matter what I asked of her she didn’t listen but that was just my mother – she didn’t do anything I asked of her because I was a lesser being to her, not because she didn’t want me to be a boy. Chromosomes and the reality of how fey work is a lot more complicated than what is between the legs” Cornelius spoke up, finishing his drink off with a huff as Guinevere took it all in, tapping her pen against her lip.
“If you look at…most, if not all stories of the supernatural, everything’s fine until humans get involved. Dragons? Numbers are dwindling because of human involvement. Magic? Reclining because human population skyrocketed. Gods? Abandoned us, and I’m not saying its humans’ fault but I’m pretty sure its humans fault” Arthur added on the end
“then how do you explain the alignment system, categorizing things as evil or good instantly based on their race?” Lance asked again, the groups faces pretty much answered his question “Humans made that too huh? Damn.”
“But even then, we don’t…blame humans? We don’t care what you people did to us in the past. You had no control of how they acted, like we have no control over how our ancestors acted. All we can do is forgive and try to improve.” Arthur answered, rubbing his hand through his hair with a huff as he tossed another volume that had turned out to be entirely useless behind him
“Honestly we kinda have a lot to thank humans for. I think if we go far back enough we were all enemies fucking each other over – rumours gotta start somewhere right? But then like, I think humans appeared and we collectively stopped fighting to watch you and just collectively go what the fuck.” Galahad added, snorting a little with laughter as he hauled another box of books over to the middle of the room where Percival had not moved an inch from, where he settled back between his boyfriends to continue making his way through other volumes
They continued to talk until the sun had began dropping from the sky. Food had been ordered and was strewn about many dragged together coffee tables where people could grab what they wanted when they wanted.
“So, like, not to bring this back” Guinevere started, ignoring the loud groaning from the rest of the group as she continued to question “What does happen when a human dies?”
“Humans do not become angels or demons when they die. Under exceptional circumstances, such as mine, we become ghosts. It’s done by being so angry and unfulfilled in life that your soul is literally to stubborn to go with a reaper. When humans die, they pass on to shadow fell plane and taken there by reapers who are the real beings who have ultimate control over life and death. All mythology is driven from truth of the supernatural in the world – what we refer to as the shadowfell or ‘the sea of souls’ is basically the river Styx in Greek mythology, Niflheim or Hel in Norse mythology, and purgatory in Christian mythology” Safir answered promptly, letting out a growl in frustration as he removed his glasses, rubbing his hands over his eyes. The entire library was a mess – shelves had been stripped as they tried to make their way through as many books as possible, the completed volumes stacked around the store in haphazard piles.
“Alright but then, what gods are real? Where do gods live? Because they sure as fuck ain’t down here or helping” Lance asked, stuffing another slice of pizza in his mouth as he went, ignoring Safir’s grimace as grease dripped down his chin.
“It’s believed that all gods, when they abandoned the prime plane, went and sealed themselves behind the divine gates – only other celestials could ever pass through them. Where the divine gates are, nobody is sure. And they haven’t full abandoned us – I’m proof of that, they just no longer play with fate like they used to. However, make babies and abandon them? They still love doing that.” Percival answered quietly, dejected as made his way through his own food at a much slower pace.
“They’re said to live amongst the fields of Elysium, sharing the territory, however it is nothing like said in Greek Mythology – It is also Asgard, Mt Olympus, Heaven – any and all celestial homes are mashed up together on this plane. And as to which ones are real? War said Perun was Percival’s dad, but there’s also a likely chance that Perun and Thor were the same people due to large similarities and territories where his worship showed up” Safir started, only to be interrupted by Guinevere
“Like the MCU right? You said thor uses a hammer while Perun uses an axe. Like in Avengers. Sister blew up the hammer so a big dwarf made him an axe so he could defeat Thanos. Same Person, different weapons, both fitting Mythology” She grinned, proud of herself despite the fact Safir opened his mouth to debate, before closing it a moment, and reopening the next as he tried to find the words to start at where she was wrong. Myrddin took over answering the question while Safir tried to comprehend if she was serious or not.
“Thor and Perun may not even be real names of Percival’s father. For all we know their names of worship were not their real names and Percival’s father may still be upon the plane going by a simple name such as John. Gods have been messing with the prime material plane forever. You mortals keep hundreds of books upon the subjects and call the religious texts and events – Ragnarök, The flooding of the Worlds, the march of the titans. They were - are very much events that happened. There is a possibility that some of them were even the same event just told by different people, at different locations. However, we will never know. Gods of history tell the story different as hundreds of eyes will see the events and see them different ways, only a god of fate would know the true path, and those are all long gone.” Myrddin finished, breathing a sigh of relief, huffing out a small chuckle as Safir laid out on his back, letting out a hearty groan.
“And why was that? Why’d they go?” Lance asked, going back to laying on the sofa as he continued to shove Pizza into his mouth.
“Would you believe me if I said gods were as picky over spoilers as you are?” Lance laughed as Arthur answered his question, a faint smile ghosting upon the dragons face as Lance laughed loudly, heartily.
“So…. world devastating events occurred?” Guinevere asked, watching as Cornelius nodded eagerly at her.
“A lot of human mythology are actual events – Ragnarök, the flooding of the world, even not so big world-endingly-bad legends like the knights of the round table and robin hood - though I’m fairly sure Robin hood was more of a fey being a little shit than a man trying to do good – Supernatural creatives have been trying to wipe out humans for longer than time can recall, you just keep coming back like Cockroaches who aren’t getting the message” Galahad added, grinning to himself
“So…were we magically created? Or evolution? Were our evolutionary attempts protype magics?” Guinevere asked, putting down her food a moment to quickly scratch down some more notes. It was miracle anyone could understand her works as she wrote so quickly the chicken scratch marked her page.
“Evolution. Human history is a lot longer than you people realise - considering again, supernatural beings getting involved and wiping the minds of all, rewriting history. Thousands upon thousands of years and age have been wiped from the minds of most. Supernatural beings are a lot harder to make forget. Gods of fate are again, probably to blame; however, we can’t pin everything on them. Demons, Fey – even Aberrations and monstrosities are just as bigger shits as they are when it comes to causing horribly events to humans for things they’ve done” Arthur shrugged answering “it’s all gone now though, like they were”
“Not everything” Annie’s voice had cut through them all, starling everyone into a jump as they’d looked over. She was stood not 15 feet from them all, her own book clutched in her hands.
“Jesus fuck, where’d you come from? How’d you get in!” Lance grumbled glaring over the back of the sofa as she approached. He curling back up on the sofa where he’d begun to settle, eyes tracking the Skinwalker.
“Not everything the fate gods wrote were lost, there are little bits. Like Galahads in a book written centuries before his birth” She avoided his question as she walked over towards Percival
“I mean – so are his brothers. Figured this might help sort your guys little problem out. See you turned your little shop upside down looking for something like it” Annie grinned smugly, looking at everyone as she tossed the book at Galahad, the old tome holding up the weight as it hit his chest with a huff. “Why the doom and gloom in here?”
“Something tells me you aren’t aware.” Safir answered, leaning over to look at Percival who only shrunk further in the blankets. Immediately Annie scowled, eyes casting dark towards Galahad
“What happened now” she practically growled, but Percival was quickly up and to his defence.
“S’fine Annie. Not his fault. I’ll tell you in a second, but I can handle it.” Percival sighed. Annie’s expression looked him over, softening for a moment before accepting his words. Her eyes glanced towards Galahad who only swallowed. Still on thin ice then.
“Yeah! Right now, I wanna know about the book Galahads in!” Cornelius practically popped up into Galahads immediate vision as he eagerly took the book, flicking through to the bookmarked page.
“This is the Ars Goetia, an anonymous book written on demonology in the 17th century. Tracks all the members of the Ars Goetia – Kings, Princes, Lords, Dukes, Marquises, Counts, Knights and Presidents. While not everything in there is accurate, a lot of it speaks true which leads to believing a god of fate was involved within the write, though they clearly passed on midbook” Annie answered as Cornelius quickly scanned the page, reading the passage out loud to the rest of the group, who listened eagerly to the passage
“Seire, otherwise known as one of the brothers of flesh, is a Prince of Hell with 26 legions of demons under his command. He can go to any place on earth in a matter of seconds to accomplish the will of the conjurer, bringing abundance and is not a demon of evil but good nature, being mostly indifferent to evilness. He is depicted as a man riding a winged horse and is said to be beautiful.” Lance and Arthur laughed at Cornelius statements at this as Safir rolled his eyes
“You know there are some days where I think I understand the rules of magic, and then this occurs, and my entire world is flipped” Guinevere sighs, signing off her notes before shoving her book back into its safe spot with her pen
“There are no rules to magic Guinevere, it’s like math. You take a bunch of ingredient or set yourself a goal of what you’d like to find the answer for. You add stuff, minus stuff and sometimes divide or multiply stuff, then boom, at the end you have a spell that does something” Percival grinned at her as the rest of the group began pulling themselves to their feet, stretching in a chorus of cracks and creaks from a long day of endless studying and reading. Realising that Annie was here, meant the late night had hit them and pulled the dark over their eyes.
“that’s…both the best and worst analogy I’ve ever heard, however if it is a math it doesn’t explain how you can do it.” He spit his tongue back out at Guinevere, causing her to laugh. Cornelius face had been pulled into a pout for a moment as he’d been doing his own mental maths.
“Fine drag me like that will you?” Percival joked, either putting on a front to sooth Annie, or generally feeling better after the day it was hard to tell
“I mean she’s not wrong entirely” Safir defended Guinevere, making her grin widely “I mean you aren’t exactly sparkling at magic beyond the odd spell”
“wait. Galahad. The horse. Your motorbike has wings painted on it. Galahad did you turn your horse into a motor bike?” Cornelius looked at his tallest boyfriend, his answer cutting the group into silence for the moment as they all considered his words. Galahads lips were pulled straight as he remained silent, a mixture of an offended and horrified gasp emitting itself from Cornelius
“It was a horse what else was I supposed to do with it?!”
Percival lead Annie away to a corner to talk while Cornelius continued to berate Galahad over his horse-bike, in which Guinevere had gladly joined in on the yelling demanding to know more about what exactly his bike was and did – a dragging that Annie was sad to have had to miss. Annie looked at Percival expectantly
“Now, before I say anything, because I of all people know you will, don’t beat yourself up over this.” Percival started slowly, watching Annie closely “War, she…lived. She came back”
“The…Little girl who I helped escape with you?” Annie’s voice was soft, with a soft warble to it. Percival nodded in response
“She’s alive, looking…well actually, and came to kill me. Nearly succeeded” He looked down at the last part. Annie’s face only flashed disheartened for a moment, before she was back to her steeled gaze
“I managed to get one strike off on her, she took it badly though like she was weak to it, but there’s no doubt she’ll counter that next time. She promised me she’d kill me.” Percival ran his hand through his hair, watching his sister. He let his sleeve fall so she could see the new scars upon his arms, a warning as to how much of his power he had to have used.
“Do you know why she’s after you?” Annie asked, voice quiet
“Only vaguely and theoretically? I think she’s trying to join her god-parent. I mean, a daughter of a war god killing another powerful god’s son would probably be enough to impress them to let her up to them?” Percival offered quietly. Annie nodded solemnly, before sighing
“At least you’re okay. I’m not sure how we can ward a god off, not gonna lie, but we’ll figure something out as we always do” she smiled reassuringly at her brother, who only placed a hand on her shoulder, patting it reassuringly. They shared a moment of silence, a silent agreement to discuss this more in depth later, but for now Percival had things to attend to.
“Now, I’m gonna go before my tiny boyfriend kills my mountain sized boyfriend” Annie gagged a little, grumbling, causing her brother to laugh
“You and the pair of them can get fucked with all this mushy stuff. Like oh yes look at us, we’re all happy and not dead inside. Get fucked.” Annie couldn’t keep the smirk off her face as Percival laughed
“Oh, come on, just go ask someone out.”
Percival followed Annie back to the group, looking in as they were still speaking
“so, wait, back to these missing years due to world destroying events – when was the most recent one?” Guinevere continued to question, looking at everyone. Safir thought for a moment, before responding
“2012? Yeah 2012. The Mayans predicted that one” Both lance and Guinevere stalled at this, looking to Safir
“Oh yeah – 2012 was Nasty” Galahad joined in, grinning to himself as he tried to avoid the look of scrutiny that Cornelius was giving him with a scowl and puffed up cheeks, wings flickered out to make himself look bigger and more threatening – and failing miserably.
“but….We were around in 2012. Surely, we’d remember it? Right?” Guinevere looked to Cornelius, who only joined in upon realising what was going off.
“you mean to tell me you don’t remember 2012? You lucky thing. I mean seriously, that was dark” Cornelius re-took Percival’s hand, waving goodbye as he began leading both his boyfriends upstairs hurriedly. Safir very quickly faded from existent, while Arthur slipped his way quickly into the back following Myrddin – Lance and Guinevere tried to chase them down, ignoring the fact Annie was still stood there and was likely serious enough to tell them – but elected to ignore her knowing she could vanish from them at the drop of a hat.
“wait a minute twinkle toes - WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!” lance shouted after, as they continued hurrying up the stairs in a flurry of giggles.