Tuesday, May 31, 2022

MSF Guest Post: Agrimas, the Misbegotten

You read that title right! This post was written by my good friend S.J. (posted here with his blessing) after he binge-read all the other MSF material.


Agrimas, the Misbegotten

Dis has rejected the merciful teachings of Mother and Father, but this does not mean that their names have been forgotten in the pits of Hell.

In the Stacks, a variation of Baba's name is invoked as an expletive by the Forge Baron's taxmen when referring to the Stacks' unfortunate tenants. The smiths, miners, foundry workers and bellowmen who slave under the Forge Baron's iron whips are named Babenurashim, or "Father's impotent spillage". Though meant as a scathing insult, some of the less broken among the tenants wear this name with pride, and there are rumors of secret shrines to Baba hidden among the soot-stained basements of the Stacks.

In the Market of Bulls, Mammon's slave hawkers sometimes display lurid, grotesque mockeries of Ama Adimatha's icons in the stalls which specialize in the selling of pregnant women and children. These icons are often hung on the necks of those about to be sacrificed beneath the empty gaze of Moloch's idol - the hawkers believe that by doing this they are creating a link between the doomed offerings and Ama herself, and that she feels the burning and bubbling of their flesh as if it was her own. They are not entirely mistaken, though not for the reasons they believe.

In Hell's grand colosseum, come the black holiday of Descent, the murmur company of the Ashen Goat performs the Stillborn's Farce in front of a great crowd of leering, jeering demons. The play is a mockery of the tragic birth of Mother and Father's firstborn, and involves a decapitated female hippopotamus, a man wearing a two-sided suit of nails, and several naval cannons. Curiously, it is one of the company's more tasteful plays.

In short, though the Lords of Hell pretend to have a callous disinterest in the greater gods of man, they cannot truly hide their dark obsession with them, nor their seething jealousy. The shadow of these repressed emotions is cast over Dis as a whole, and is mirrored in the aimless anger the mortals of Dis often feel towards the gods of man, who they believe have abandoned them.

It is from this miasma of hatred, jealousy and desire that Agrimas was born. Two-headed Agrimas, fine of features, empty of heart. Starving Agrimas, who devours love and defecates scorn. Agrimas of a thousand skins, eternal pretender. Raging Agrimas, child of hatred, from which only hatred comes.

Agrimas is considered to be a strange aberration even by the Lords of Hell, for they embody the shameful truth of Hell's obsession, and the fragility of its hold on the minds of its mortal denizens. They are unique among their peers in that they care little for the power struggles of Hell, or indeed for Hell and its goals in general. Indeed, there is only one thing that interests Agrimas, which consumes their very being at every waking moment. Agrimas desires what they perceive as their family.

Agrimas believes that they are the seventh child of Mother and Father. They also believe that they are the true incarnation of Mother and Father, and that the gods of man, one and all, are pretenders. They see no discrepancy between these two views. Agrimas desires nothing more than to be accepted and worshiped as part of the divine family, but fundamentally lacks the ability to understand that which makes the gods worthy of worship. What they lack in positive qualities they make up in guile and an unquenchable thirst for making others suffer as they do.

Agrimas is not content to remain within Dis, instead traveling the world under various guises, seeking to subvert and subsume the gods of man. They are talented shapeshifters, though their basic inability to understand complex emotions sometimes make their disguises incomplete - Agrimas may wear a grin in a situation where a frown is appropriate, or weep in an attempt to garner sympathy where none shall be forthcoming regardless.

Of Agrimas' many tools of deception, a perennial favorite is the false vision - appearing in a true believer's dream wearing the skin of their god and acting as they believe said god would. Since Agrimas is entirely incapable of the kindliness of the actual divine family, their visions will always lead the believer astray, often catastrophically so.

Agrimas revels in acting against a god's domain while wearing their skin. Under Ama's guise they are the killer of new mothers, the strangler of infants in their sleep. As Baba they are rash action and poor judgment. As Nike they are humiliating defeat, as Calliope boorish ignorance. They are at their very worst when they are Quisest, for then they are the hatred of strangers and dehumanization. They are xenophobia personified. Only under this guise is Agrimas a true servant of the Red Law, though they do not know it nor care.

The name of Agrimas is little known outside of Dis’ inner circles, and few in the wider world would name them among the Lords of Hell. This too is to Agrimas’ benefit - the saboteur is always most dangerous when none know they are coming.

The only god Agrimas cannot impersonate, and the one they truly fear, is DOG. DOG is sharp of nose and ever vigilant, and will always bark at the Pretender's stench. DOG is true friendship, the surest aegis against their machinations. DOG is love and loyalty, which Agrimas will never have. Agrimas hates all canines, and will go out of their way to harm them if at all possible.

Pity not Agrimas, pathetic though they are, for they will show no pity to you. They are a poison which corrupts the hearts of the faithful and the vulnerable, the serpent in the tall grass, and though they are blind to the fact, they are among Hell's most effective and insidious agents.


1 comment:

  1. I have not written a lot about Hell on the inside, but this is very much in line with my thoughts on it.