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Magic: The Gathering Event was a crossover type of event in SMITE to celebrate the release of Surtr and Martichoras. It began on January 24, 2023 and ended on April 18, 2023.

MTG Skin Lineup

Description[ | ]

Welcome to the Magic The Gathering Event![ | ]

The Multiverse opens and some of the most powerful, favorite and dangerous Planeswalkers and creatures from Magic: The Gathering are ready to enter the battleground! The Event will have 10 Planeswalkers and creatures skins in total and 4 cosmetic bundles that you can roll from the Magic: The Gathering Chest! Rolling 3 items from this chest will allow you to choose the 4th item! The first 5 Planeswalker and Creature skins will release in the first Patch of Year 10 and the rest of the 5 skins will on the second patch. Buy ALL items from the Magic: The Gathering and receive a Player Title and Avatar! All Magic skins are purchasable on event release! On initial release there will be a grand discount. On initial release the skins will cost 1000 Gems Gems.

The Magic event has a "Buy All" option which provides a discount of 53% for a total of 5600 Gems Gems.

Individually made purchases will discount the "Buy All" option cost by the value of the previously purchased skin equal to 1500 Gems Gems per previously purchased skin.
(Purchasing 1 skin for 1000 Gems Gems will result in the remaining five skins costing 5000 Gems Gems instead of 5600 Gems Gems).

Videos[ | ]

Magic: The Gathering Cosmetic Items[ | ]

These are the items that are available during the event. Each skin costs 600 Gems Gems to unlock.

Chapter 1[ | ]

Jace Beleren
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Yu Huang Jace Beleren Icon God Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive skin for Yu Huang. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Chandra Nalaar
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Pele Chandra Nalaar Icon God Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive skin for Pele. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Liliana Vess
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Nu Wa Liliana Vess Icon God Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive skin for Nu Wa. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Atraxa
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Thanatos Atraxa Icon God Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive skin for Thanatos. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Karn
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Atlas Karn Icon God Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive skin for Atlas. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Mana
Icon Type Release Date Description
Recall Mana Symbol Recall Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive Recall Skin.
Discoveries
Story

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Mana
Icon Type Release Date Description
JumpStamp Mana Symbol Jump Stamp January 24, 2023 An exclusive Jump Stamp.
Discoveries
Story

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Mana
Icon Type Release Date Description
Avatar Mana Symbol Avatar January 24, 2023 An exclusive Avatar.
Discoveries
Story

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Magic Cards
Icon Type Release Date Description
LevelUp Magic Cards Level-Up Skin January 24, 2023 An exclusive Level-Up Skin.
Discoveries
Story

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Artifacts of Power
Icon Type Release Date Description
LoadingFrame Artifacts of Power Loading Frame January 24, 2023 An exclusive Loading Frame.
Discoveries
Story

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Magic: The Gathering
Icon Type Release Date Description
LoadingBG Magic The Gathering Loading-Screen January 24, 2023 An exclusive Loading Screen.
Discoveries
Story

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Chapter 2[ | ]

Nicol Bolas
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Tiamat NicolBolas Icon God Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive skin for Tiamat. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

Video

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Vivien Reid Artemis
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Artemis VivienReid Icon God Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive skin for Artemis. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

Video

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Teferi
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Chronos Teferi Icon God Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive skin for Chronos. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

Video

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Nissa Revane Eset
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Eset NissaRevane Icon God Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive skin for Eset. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

Video

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The Wandering Emperor
Icon Type Release Date Description
T Mulan TheWanderingEmperor Icon God Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive skin for Mulan. It has custom animations and ability effects, and custom voicelines.
Discoveries
Story

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Phyrexian
Icon Type Release Date Description
Pedestal Phyrexian Pedestal February 21, 2023 An exclusive Pedestal.
Discoveries
Story

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Praetor
Icon Type Release Date Description
Title Praetor Title February 21, 2023 An exclusive title.
Discoveries
Story

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Phyrexian
Icon Type Release Date Description
FountainFX Phyrexian Fountain Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive fountain.
Discoveries
Story

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Oblivion Ring
Icon Type Release Date Description
DeathStamp Oblivion Ring Death Mark February 21, 2023 An exclusive death mark.
Discoveries
Story

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Black Lotus
Icon Type Release Date Description
Ward Black Lotus Ward Skin February 21, 2023 An exclusive ward.
Discoveries
Story

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Nope
Icon Type Release Date Description
GlobalEmote Nope Global Emote February 21, 2023 An exclusive global emote.
Discoveries
Story

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Collection Reward[ | ]

Purchasing all other skins will unlock the following reward:

Planeswalker
Icon Type Release Date Description
JumpStamp Planeswalker Title January 24, 2023 An exclusive Title.
Discoveries
Story

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Black Lotus
Icon Type Release Date Description
Avatar Black Lotus Avatar January 24, 2023 An exclusive Avatar.
Discoveries
Story

Video

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List of quests[ | ]

For each of the 10 Planeswalkers and Creatures there will be a series of quests. You can only choose to start 1 Planeswalker Quest chain each at a time. The first 5 Planeswalker Quest chains will be released in the initial patch, the rest will be released in the second patch. Completing these Quests will grant you themed rewards based on the Planeswalker Quest chain you chose as well as other in-game boosters!

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Deal 30,000 Player Damage.
Reward
T Thanatos Atraxa Icon "Atraxa" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20 Kills and Assists.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Thanatos Atraxa Icon "Atraxa" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
T Nu Wa Liliana Vess Icon "Liliana Vess" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play a Mage in 1 Match.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Nu Wa Liliana Vess Icon "Liliana Vess" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20,000 Kills and Assists.
Reward
T Atlas Karn Icon "Karn" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Atlas Karn Icon "Karn" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Deal 30,000 Player Damage.
Reward
T Pele Chandra Nalaar Icon "Chandra Nalaar" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20 Kills and Assists.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Pele Chandra Nalaar Icon "Chandra Nalaar" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
T Yu Huang Jace Beleren Icon "Jace Beleren" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play a Hunter in 1 match.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Yu Huang Jace Beleren Icon "Jace Beleren" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
T Tiamat NicolBolas Icon "Nicol Bolas" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play a Mage in 1 Match.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Tiamat NicolBolas Icon "Nicol Bolas" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Deal 30,000 Player Damage.
Reward
T Artemis VivienReid Icon "Vivien Reid" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20 Kills and Assists.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Artemis VivienReid Icon "Vivien Reid" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
T Chronos Teferi Icon "Teferi" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play a Hunter in 1 Match.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Chronos Teferi Icon "Teferi" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20 Kills and Assists.
Reward
T Eset NissaRevane Icon "Nissa Revane" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Earn 30,000 Gold.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Eset NissaRevane Icon "Nissa Revane" Announcer Pack

Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 1 Game.
Reward
Acquisition Booster XP Team Booster - XP
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Deal 30,000 Player Damage.
Reward
T Mulan TheWanderingEmperor Icon "The Wandering Emperor" Avatar
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
Acquisition Booster Worshipers Team Booster - Worshiper
More Power!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Get 20 Kills and Assists.
Reward
NewUI Currency Favor Favor
Play Time!
Quest Icon Other Laurel
Requirement
Play 2 Games.
Reward
T Mulan TheWanderingEmperor Icon "The Wandering Emperor" Announcer Pack

Lore[ | ]

The Bright Sword[ | ]

Surtr stirred from his fugue, straightening at his eternal post. His charred fingers unconsciously tightened about the hilt of his bright blade. A pulse of what might have been anticipated flooded him. Something had changed.

He turned slowly, surveying the ruins that served as his camp. Broken towers and shattered pillars were all the remained of this place, on the frontier of Olympus, where the gentle lands of the south became thick jungle and rough ground. Beneath his feet, the ground was soft and bubbling; his presence made even the hardest stones as mud. A heat-haze drifted across his vision. He felt the bite of a goddess' sword, the sting of arrows. A hundred deaths passed before his eyes.

He lived, but he was dead. For what sort of life was this? It had been different, once. Had he been a king? A hero, at least he thought. A savior to his people - but where were they? Why was he here, rather than with them?

Surtr shook his head, banishing the thoughts before they overwhelmed him. Everything before he had come here was a dream. For as long as he could recall, he had been trapped in this ruin; like all monsters, he was bound by chains of magic and fate. Yet now, he felt them barely at all. Indeed, he felt as if he could simply...step into the jungle. He could return home, if he wished.

Something had changed.

He could not say what this change might be, only that it teased his senses. Like a scent he remembered, but only dimly. The echo of a taste, or a glimpse of something familiar, but only at a great distance. He looked up, past the smoky clouds of ash that wreathed him, to where the heavens revolved in their eternal dance.

Something was different. It was not as he recalled - not quite. The stars above seemed brighter that when he'd last looked. How long ago now? A century? Two? It was hard to recall how long he'd stood watch in this place. He looked up again, to make certain there was no mistake. He had always loved the stars. Pinpricks of flame straining against the chill of the void, much like himself. Unconsciously he reached up, as if to kindle them to greater brightness. But they were too far away, and it was not yet time.

But wasn't it? He paused, gripped by a sudden bewilderment. Had it not happened already? Had Jormungandr not rises from the depths? Had the world not burned? it had, he was sure, but if so, why did he still stand sentry here? He groaned and gripped his head with his free hand. It ached, as if he'd been struck by Mjolnir. He felt full of strength; as if he'd woken from a deep sleep. But that was impossible, for he didn't sleep. He was the eternal watchman, there to guard against -

"Take him."

The words caused him to look up, just in time to see a sword slashing down towards his head. He twitched aside, barely avoiding it. His attacker - a man - a god? - in golden armor, cursed and sprang back as Surtr lashed out at him.

"You missed, Gilgamesh," someone called out.

"He isn't usually that quick," Gilgamesh protested. Gilgamesh. The name as familiar. He was not alone, Surtr saw. Other gods accompanied him. He knew them all, though he could not recall ever having faced them before: Bellona, Anubis, Ishtar and Tsukuyomi. With Gilgamesh, they made five.

"Is this the great fire-giant then?" Ishtar asked, notching an arrow. "From your stories, I expected him to be bigger. I only agreed to join you because you promised me a challenge, Bellona!"

"He's big enough to be dangerous," Bellona said, sternly. She was the leader, then. Surtr wanted to laugh. To spit a challenge in their faces. But he didn't. Couldn't. What was the point? It was no longer defiance than drove him, but resignation. The fire burned because it must. He would fight, because he had no choice. It was his duty.

His life was death. Eon after eon, he stood - fought - died. A plaything of his enemies, of those who had once feared him.

"Take no chances," Anubis growled. "He could destroy our world, if he is allowed."

"The world doesn't concern me - but glory does," Tsukuyomi spat, circling around with predatory intent. The others followed suit, fanning out to encircle Surtr. Surtr glared at them, snarling in challenge. He knew what this was, and the familiarity brought with it a rush of anger. The cycle was always the same. Five gods sent to test him. To beat him, to hold back the cleansing fire, even as it threatened to rise up and race across the world. He'd been on the cusp of awakening, and they'd come to send him back into his eternal reverie. Back into the oblivion that marked the cursed cycle of his existence.

He knew that he'd never been victorious against them. That his fire remained unkindled, despite millennia of striving. Again and again, they defeated him. Sometimes they represented one pantheon, sometimes many. The Norse knew him, and had once feared him, but so too had the other gods; his was a fire from the glory of his kingdom. They had separated from his people. How much more was he doomed to suffer?

It all came roaring back to him as he blocked a slash of Gilgamesh's sword, forcing him to leap back. Memories of past battles, past defeats, rose up, threatening to overwhelm him. How many cycles had passed since he'd come here?

He'd marched north, his people following in his wake. They were the world's reckoning, come to burn it clean so that something new might rise from the ashes. But he'd been prevented from doing so - something, someone, had driver his people back; and trapped him here. Odin, perhaps. Maybe all of them. One god would not have been enough.

But now? Now he could barely match five.

He reeled as blow after blow connected. Arrows, blades, magics - carving pieces from him as if he were nothing more than a sacrificial bull. A monument to the power of the pantheons. Was this what mighty Surtr had been reduced to?

He sank down to one knee. He was nothing. They were going to defeat him. They always defeated him. The fire was always snuffed out before it became too dangerous. That was the cycle the gods had yoked him to. But as he shook his head to clear it, the world seemed to slow about him. He saw them closing in for the kill, hoping to humble him as others had before them. The heat of his anger redoubled, turned white-hot.

No more.

"Keep him hemmed in," Bellona called out. "Make it hard for him to use that sword. Ishtar, keep him covered. Gilgamesh, wait for an opening. Anubis..."

"Don't think to command me, Roman," Anubis said, as green light crackled about his hands. "I've fought this battle before. We all have. Surtr awakes, and we put him back to sleep for another turn of the wheel. That is the way of it."

Anubis growled and lightning sparked from his eyes. "I will -" he began, but Surtr interrupted him.

"No more," he hissed.

The gods looked at Surtr in some surprise. He forced himself to his feet. "No more," he repeated. As if that were a signal, they sprang into action. Bellona was the first to come for him; it was to be expected. She leapt, aiming for his head. Her strike was precise. Under different circumstances, it would have connected and the cycle would have begun again.

But here and now, Surtr caught Bellona's weapon in the palm of his hand. A clench of his fist, and it was shattered. Bellona landed at his feet in a crouch, her expression one of bewilderment. The others joined in the attack. But his anger was burning brightly now, as he shrugged off their attacks. He felt more alive than he had in centuries.

Magics clawed at Surtr, dragged him to the ground. Anubis growled something about judgement. As if they were fit to judge him - was he not a harbinger of the end? His had been the blade that was meant to kindle the last conflagration. The bright sword... the great fire. He could feel its heat, just at the edge of his perceptions. He stretched out his hand, reaching for it, even as Anubis launched a salvo of deathly magics.

And something changed.

He changed.

He felt something of his old strength flood into him, and shrugged aside the magics that bound him. He was not as he had been, but he was more than what the gods had condemned him to be. Enough, perhaps, to remind them of why they had once feared him. As the haze of his transformation faded, he charged towards his tormentors.

Bellona leapt aside as Surtr bore down on Anubis. He caught the jackal-headed god by the throat and dragged him into the air with ease. He hurled Anubis aside as if he were nothing, and spun to block Bellona's blow. The others converged on him, hoping to catch him unaware. Earlier, they would have succeeded. But now, he simply laughed - and let loose the fire building inside him.

It roared out and sent his attackers flying, like leaves in a hot wind. In the silence that followed, he looked down at the gods fallen at his feet, and felt an inexplicable rush of joy. "I won," he rumbled, in disbelief. Laughing, he threw back his head. "I won!"

His cry of triumph was interrupted by a rumble from the stars overhead. He looked up in confusion. What had seemed so beautiful only moments ago now seemed hostile - cold. As if they were glaring down at him. "I won," he snarled, his eyes on the stars. "I will burn the world; that is how it must be. You cannot stop me now. The cycle is ended. At last, after all your trick, it is done!"

The stars were not listening. He heard a thunder of hooves, and the clash of cymbals. The ground shook, and the fires of Muspell dimmed. More gods were coming. Not simply champions now, but the leaders of the great pantheons - all racing towards him as one; towards the lands of his people. Odin and Zeus in the vanguard; Yu Huang and Kukulkan, from the east and west; great Rama, wise Ra and blazing Amaterasu; and from above, from amid the treacherous stars - Olorun, ruler of the heavens.

They were coming to stamp him out before he could fulfil his sacred duty. He hesitated; uncertain for the first time in centuries. The old rules were broken. He had won; he had every right to call the Sons of Muspell to war again, to meet the invaders in battle and pick up where he'd left off. A part of him wanted nothing more than to see such an inferno blossom.

But he - they - would lose. He knew it as surely as he knew that his victory was unexpected. That the gods were racing to stop him before he'd even begun told him that much. Where were his ancient allies - where was Jormungandr? Fenrir? Without their strength, he was outmatched. The gods would simply overwhelm him as they had before and his people would suffer for his triumph. He could not bear that.

Surtr raised his sword, "My life is death," he rumbled. "But this is not where I fall."

It was not a challenger. Simply a promise.

But for now, there was only option available to him.

Surtr fled.

King of the Manticores[ | ]

The wind shifted. The hunter paused, alert. Wary.

Above, the sky rolled, as if on the verge of a storm. Below, the jungle stank of fire. But there was no fire to be seen. Only the marks of something large passing through the hunter's territory, in a great hurry. The hunter crept through the trees, following the scent. Whatever it was, it was bound to be more interesting than his usual run of prey.

But Martichoras was not particularly hungry: thus, he intended to satiate his curiosity first. Afterwards, he might well choose to eat whatever - whoever - it was. But not until he'd had his fun. Yet even as he pursued the intruder, he realized that something was wrong.

No, he corrected himself, not wrong exactly. Say rather, different. As if the world had tilted on its axis, if only for a brief moment. Something had changed, but what that something was, he couldn't say. Nor, in truth, did he care. Martichoras was not, at heart, a philosopher, or even particularly observant - save when it came to filling his belly.

The world had changed many times since he'd come to the jungle. And he was sure it would change many more times hence. He'd learned as a cub that the only constant was change. One could either accept it, or be driven mad. Besides, however the sky quaked, the jungle remained as it always had. His kingdom was inviolate, and his subjects - his prey - remained tasty and not too challenging. There were worse things.

Even so, he wanted to know the nature of whatever had entered his territory, and what trouble it might have brought with it. Overhead, thunder rumbled. Martichoras paused, one eye on the clouds. Though not divine, he'd had dealings with divinity, albeit in the distant past. Bad dealings, mostly. Regardless, he knew the sound of gods on the hunt they were looking for something - or someone. He snorted. Let them look. It made no difference to him. So long as they stayed out of the jungle.

The wind turned again, and the smell of fire grew stronger. He growled softly and pressed on with the hunt, creeping through the jungle on silent paws. Somewhere up ahead, something heavy sent a tree crashing to the ground. The path widened, became a trail - of devastation. Fallen trees, scorched rocks. Someone or something was cutting themselves a path through his jungle. And without his permission!

Incensed by the insult, Martichoras increased his speed. Whoever it was, they'd regret it. He'd make sure of it. This place was his, and had been for centuries. For three turns of the great wheel, if not more. It was hard to recall exactly: he'd never been very good with time or it's reckoning. He leapt over fallen trees, has anger growing with every passing moment. It became so fierce, in fact, that it nearly cost him his life.

His quarry must have heard him coming, however impossible that seemed. A fiery blade swept out, nearly taking off Martichoras' head. He twisted aside, leathery wings flapping to carry him up and away. He growled laughter, pleased despite the close call. It was always more fun when the prey fought back.

"Close, but not close enough," he taunted. He circled overhead as his opponent moved into the open. A giant, one with hair of flame. Why did that seem familiar? No matter. One meal was good as another. He folded his wings and dove towards the intruder.

Martichoras crashed into the giant as the latter turned, and they fell to the ground in a tangle. It was like wrestling with a wildfire. Martichoras was thankful his hide was so tough, otherwise he might have been reduced to cinders. As it was, it was uncomfortable being so close. He was starting to have doubts as to whether he could even digest such a creature.

They grappled for a moment before the giant managed to fling Martichoras away. The great manticore landed lightly on his paws, and whirled, sending a flurry of spines arcing towards his opponent. The giant met the volley with a slice of his blade, burning the spines to ash before they reached him.

They faced one another for a moment, neither making a move. Martichoras found something about the giant familiar. He'd never fought the creature before, though he'd eaten his share of giants over the centuries. The giant, for his part, returned Martichoras' appraisal. "You are not one of the gods," the giant said, finally.

Martichoras almost choked on his laughter. "Of course not. I am Martichoras the first! King of all manticores!" He reared up so as to better display his impressive figure. The giant did not look impressed, but then, it was hard to tell with giants.

"I was not aware manticores had a king," the giant said, after a moment.

Martichoras snorted. "They didn't. That's why I declared myself one and killed any who argued the point. And this is my kingdom you've invaded, giant. Care to explain yourself, before I devour you?"

"I think you would find me a poor meal," the giant said, lifting his sword in warning. "Unless you like your meat tough and burnt."

Martichoras circled the giant, studying him. He radiated power, which was reason enough to be wary. But Martichoras had killed - and eaten - powerful things before. "Tell me your name, then," he said. "It is only polite, since I have told you mine."

"Surtr. Of Muspelheim."

Martichoras stopped his circling. "Surtr," he growled, the name tasting funny to him. Yet the sting of familiarity was there. Suddenly, he recalled where he'd heard it before and he sank to his haunches a guttural laugh. "Ah. You're the one they got to replace me."

The giant looked at him. "What?"

"Or maybe not. Maybe we just shared the same fate, for a time. It's hard to remember." Martichoras knocked on his head with a heavy paw. "Being killed over and over again has that effect, I found."

"Killed -?" Surtr hesitated, but Martichoras could see that the giant understood what he meant. The gods had their little games, and those games were cruel. "You mean, you were their prisoner as well?" Surtr continued.

Martichoras chortled and lashed his tail. "Oh yes. In an earlier turn of the wheel." He stretched. "They took a dim view of me eating their worshippers. The ones called Olympians caught me and bound me with their magics. Made me the prey for their hunts." He could but dimly recall that time, but what he remembered he didn't like. He wasn't prey, and it hadn't been fair of them to pretend he was. What had he done that was so wrong, after all? He shook his head, "I escaped though, when everything was cracking apart. It all got put back together, but by then I was safe in my jungle, and the gods... forgot about me." He bared his teeth in a wide smile. "I don't think they're going to forget about you, though."

"I will see that they do not," Surtr said.

Martichoras clawed idly at the earth. "How did you manage it, then?"

Surtr was silent for a moment. "Something has changed. Can you feel it? It is as if the old chains have lost their strength."

Martichoras blinked. "Oh. One of those, was it?"

Surtr looked at him. "One of what?"

Martichoras inspected his claws. "A new cycle has begun. The gods must have ended the world again." He sighed. "They never learn."

"Ended the -?" Surtr began. "When did this happen?"

Martichoras shrugged. "It always happens." He drew a circle in the dirt. "It's a cycle. The gods grow arrogant, something happens, war breaks out and things fall apart. Sometimes it takes centuries, sometimes not. You get used to it."

Surtr stared at him. "That is not how it is supposed to happen."

Martichoras shrugged again. "I don't care. Whatever the cycle, the jungle remains the same and I remain its king. That's all that matters to me."

"But they made you a prisoner," Surtr protested.

Martichoras snorted. "I am not a prisoner now. Now I am a king. What does it matter what I once was, when I am now something better?"

"If you were their prisoner, you know what I suffered."

"Your suffering is not my concern." Martichoras hesitated, still curious. "What do you intend to do next?" Part of him hoped he wouldn't have to kill Surtr. He felt some small kinship with the giant. Perhaps Surtr would prove wiser that the rest of his kind, and simply depart in peace.

Flames flared along the length of Surtr's sword. "I will punish them for their temerity."

"Good luck with that," Martichoras yawned. He turned away. The conversation was starting to bore him. And since a giant made of flame didn't sound particularly appetizing, and it was almost time for his midday nap, he might as well take his leave. "I give you safe passage, Surtr. Leave my jungle and we'll have no trouble."

"Wait," Surtr called.

Martichoras paused. He glanced back at the giant. "What now?"

"Help me."

Martichoras frowned. "What?"

"Help me. Don't you want to make them pay for what they did?"

Martichoras laughed and dat. "Revenge doesn't fill my belly. Revenge doesn't keep my territory safe."

"But it can. It might." Surtr looked up. "They will follow me here. They might even find me." He looked at Martichoras. "They might find you too. And what then? What do you think will happen, oh king of the manticores?"

Martichoras growled softly. He knew. They would break him and cage him, the way they had in the past. Just because he'd eaten a few mortals. As if that were a crime. Who hadn't eaten a mortal or two? "All the more reason for you to leave, giant. Get out of my jungle, and quickly, if you please."

Surtr shook his head. "No."

Martichoras snarled. "I'll make you leave."

"And that will only hasten our doom." Surtr paused. "I can beat them, but not alone. Once, I had an army. I must have one again. Will you join me?"

Martichoras stared at him for a moment, and then laughed uproariously. "What a ridiculous notion! Did you not hear me call myself a king? Kings do not serve."

"And I am a king as well," Surtr said, heavily. He hesitated. "But I understand. Once, in a time I can barely recall, I had allies. Warriors who fought beside me against the gods. I do not know where those allies are now, or even if they still exist." He extended his hand. "I need new allies. Strong ones."

Martichoras hesitated. The idea was tempting. Despite what he'd said, the thought of sharpening his claws on the gods was a pleasant one. Sometimes, in the dark of night, he found himself dreaming of revenge against those who'd humbles him so long ago. Gods like Zeus and Apollo, who'd made sport out of him.

Perhaps Surtr was right. Perhaps it was time that the gods learned the error of their ways. "I am very strong," he said, finally. "But even if I were to get all the manticores in the jungles to aid you, it would still not be enough. The gods are many, and we are few."

Surtr frowned. "There must be others like us, who bear the gods some enmity."

Martichoras, who only rarely considered other beings as anything save prey, grunted. There were others, of course. Beings who were perhaps as mighty and resplendent as himself, though he'd never admit such out loud. "I might know of some, yes. Here in the jungle and elsewhere. Through I have never spoken to them." Eaten plenty of them, yes, but never spoken to them. "And there are the other monsters, of course."

Surtr paused. "Monsters?"

Martichoras snorted. "Weaklings, but numerous. Harpies, chimaeras, satyrs... if you want an army, you could do worse that start there." He flexed his wings. "I'm sure I could round them up for you, if you like. I am a king, after all"

Surtr smiled.

"Yes. Bring me this army. Bring any who will come. It is time the gods learn the error of their ways, and it is the monsters who will teach them."

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