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Archives: Stories

Primus Rex (#1, Baël)

The Pseudomonarchia Daemonum is the work of Johann Weyer: a Dutch doctor whose opinion on whether demons were real was as mercurial as the weather in North Carolina—which is to say, very.  The Pseudomonarchia offers information about 69 demons—but not the Biggest of Bads (Lucifer, Beelzebub, etc)—and provides instructions for summoning them—thoroughly annotated with all the condemning margin notes you need to talk you out of it.  Let’s begin with “Primus Rex”: the first king, Baël.

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Lady Ambrosia

On a certain Sunday, in the year 1250, a beautiful and accomplished lady, named Ambrosia di Castello, originally of Genoa, went, as she was accustomed, to hear mass in the church of Palma, a town in the island of Majorca.  A mounted cavalier of distinguished appearance and richly dressed, who was passing at the time in the street, noticed the lady and pulled up as one thunderstruck.

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Tantalus – Chapter 4

As Pelops grew up to manhood, all said of him that he was grave and thoughtful beyond his years, and in truth the story his mother had told him was ever in his mind, nor could he take pleasure in the pastimes of his comrades for thinking of his lost father.  No one in the city would willingly set foot now upon the mountain, for the people believed that the place where the Golden House had stood was accursed ground, and neither hunter nor shepherd ever visited those hillsides, once so often climbed by the guests of Tantalus.

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Tantalus – Chapter 3

When King Tantalus awoke, he found himself once more in his own banqueting-hall, which was now bright with the morning sunshine.  His first though was, “I have only dreamed a dream,” and he felt bitterly disappointed, for what could he now say to the ambassadors, and where was the token he had hoped to show them?  But he saw on the table beside him a golden cup and platter, which he thought the slaves must have set there while he slept, and being hungry and thirsty, he ate and drank the bread and the wine that were in them; and at the first taste, he knew that the bread was ambrosia, and the wine, nectar.

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Tantalus – Chapter 2

A year had almost passed since the wonderful night when the gods feasted in the house of Tantalus.  The story of that banquet was carried far and wide, and strangers came from many lands to see with their own eyes the King who had entertained Zeus himself, and hear from his own lips how the Immortals had looked, and what they had said to him.  Tantalus was never tired of boasting about it all, and if he was proud before, you may fancy that nw he was ten times prouder and more vainglorious.

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Tantalus – Chapter 1

Long, long ago, in an Eastern land, there lived a King who was the richest man in the world.  The rivers in his country ran over golden sands, and their banks sparkled with gems instead of pebbles.  The King’s fields were full of stones, but he did not mind that, for every stone was a lump of silver, and the hillsides were bursting with rich red copper, which was even better than gold or silver for making shields and helmets and suits of armor.

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