Hendrick the Red

by joetwo

The gods are a malicious, decadent bunch. It is not out of their purview to pluck some unsuspecting mortal out of obscurity and turn them into a hero. You may think that this would be a good thing but in reality it has to be the most cruel thing the gods can do to anybody.

Take for example the case of Hendrick the Red. He was born of lowly peasant farmers and lived a simple humble life until the gods, on a whim, sent a great storm to the valley where he and his family lived. Many died in the resulting flood but Hendrick was able to lead both his family and many from his village to high ground and shelter.

The gods were very impressed.

After that; the gods took an interest in Hendrick. They made the leaders of a neighbouring empire decide to invade Hendrick’s home. Still shook from the flood, Hendrick and his family took what few possessions they had and fled to the high-keep in the mountains. Hendrick was press-ganged into service of the king’s armies and in the resulting bloody fight he displayed such martial skill and bravery that he was appointed the head of the defending forces. He was proclaimed a hero.

Hendrick’s luck went from bad to worse. The poor man couldn’t get a day’s rest without some natural disaster or barbarian horde that he was forced to deal with. He couldn’t talk to a woman without a monster stealing her away leading him to cross an ocean to get her back. He was famous, people came from around the world to meet him, bards sang songs about him. But Hendrick didn’t want that, he just wanted a rest.

Like most people, Hendrick grew old. Faster than most really; he was awfully busy and when he finally died, the gods decided that he shouldn’t just pass away and instead invited him to join them as a new god.

The god’s, well…. They soon regretted that decision.

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Written for trifecta week one hundred and five.

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