The screams were everything.
She watched, her short bone horns on either side of her short stubby head glinting wickedly in the hellfires that burned around her. Her lethal muzzle was lined with fangs the size of butcher knives. She roared, the sound like a bear with gravel and grave dirt lodged down its throat. Her stocky body was about half the size of a large human and she sat on the ground as it burned beneath her. Her dead eyes drunk in everything around her, blazing red orbs with no pupil or iris. They stared unfeeling except for the rush of cruel joy as the creatures that had dared oppose The Traveler withered and writhed, clawing for an escape that would never come.
This was Zuul, the Keymaster of Gozer. Gozer the Traveler. Gozer the Gozerian.
Gozer had many names and many forms. Looking to her left, Zuul saw another beast like herself with the same dark green mottled hairless skin, the same stubby muscular head and jaws. The only difference was this creature’s horns were longer, more tapered. This was the Gatekeeper, her companion, Vince Clortho. Together, they held the most prized position among their kind, to be the heralds and guardians, the very portal itself, through which their Master entered worlds.
Their master The Traveler moved from dimension to dimension, from world to world conquering, ruling with an iron fist, feeding on the suffering and pain of its inhabitants until they were merely husks and then, when the world had served its purpose, The Traveler would move on. The pitiful beings of this world, the Meketrex supplicants, had served their purpose.
Now, at the end, The Traveler had summoned the hero of the people, their last hope. This hero, this fool, was tasked to choose the form Gozer Himself would take upon at last fully entering the doorway and in so doing, choose the form of his people’s destructor. Zuul felt no pity as she watched the form her master had taken, that of a giant Sloar move across the landscape, burning anything He touched, consuming those who had not had the sense to die immediately. They would roast in Gozer’s belly for a thousand years and their soul? Zuul growled with pleasure thinking of what would become of that.
Even spirits can feel pain, she mused.
Thousands of other sloars suddenly erupted out of the ground, fire and embers exploding, the purple sky burning in flame and white hot molten rock rained down. Smoke hung heavy, thick with blood and ecto-plasm.
Vince suddenly was in her mind, his telepathic call strong and clear.
“When this world is ashes, what world will be next? The Vuldronaii, Shubs and now the traitorous Zulls burn for eternity.”
“I do not know. We go where we are summoned. We flow timeless. I do not question. I serve.” She replied in her mind and that was the end of the conversation.
“These new creatures I saw in the flow, these hairless apes on a blue world…I feel much hate flowing from them. It will be easy to take their world.”
The screams of the damned and dying were nothing compared to the symphony of shrieks that poured forth from the souls that now burned in the inferno of the sloars around her.
Whatever world came next she could wait. Wait forever if she had to.
Zuul sniffed once, savoring the stench of burnt flesh and let out a low rumbling snarl, hungrily watching her master’s titanic form alongside the other sloars as they scorched and seared their way across this doomed world. My kind do not feel emotions the same as others she thought but what she saw before her stirred something. What it was she couldn’t quite comprehend.
Vince was back in her head again.
“It is love that you see and feel.”
As the flames and smoke danced in her eyes, Zuul agreed.
He was right. This was love.
A deep booming voice roared out, the words making any mortal ear bleed and their finality sealed the fate of this world.
“THE TRAVELER HAS COME.”