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drcdrx > The blood of the gods > 1 Ather the fish god
June 3, 1940

Lost in the heart of an Italian forest, there is a lake with clearer watersthan those of the most beautiful lagoons. In the centre of this lake forgotten by the majority, the tiny island that the few visitors join on fishing boats, seems almost unreal so much its vegetation of another age is green.

An ageless legend surrounds this unique place. It is said that even before the monotheistic gods appeared, the ancestral believers communicated here. Large procession of men and women would travel miles to pray to the huge fish that lurk at the bottom of the lake. For centuries, human beings begged him to grant them their dearest wishes.

This place, strange in many ways, over which time and man have never had any control, has remained the same as it was thousands of years ago. Some of those who still travel today to beg for a wish tell that when they finished their request, they saw something huge moving to the bottom of the lake.

Faced with clear waters, a little girl of about ten years old closes her eyes as hard as she can. She has heard about the fish god who grants wishes, but she doesn't really know the procedure to follow for hat he accepts her request.

In order to satisfy him, she manages to gather a few pieces of hard bread, which she throws into the water as an offering to the scaly god. Getting all this bread in these troubled times of war was not easy. However, in order for her wish to come true, she stubbornly managed to collect a quantity that she considered acceptable to a fish god.

Her small bag of fabrics is quickly empty and the little girl opens her eyes. She watches for a moment the peaceful waters that reflect her face and although she is a little afraid of a god with fins, she doesn't hesitate for a second.

"God fish, my daddy was taken somewhere by the Germans. Please take him home."

Deep in the waters, lives what men would call a monster. The gigantic fish with eyes similar to those of snakes and scales covered with sharper spikes than swords, sleeps peacefully.

While he enjoys a rest that he considers well deserved, a small voice come from above makes him open his eyes. Its long forked tail moves slightly and a small yawn that pushes back the few rocks that surround him, escapes from his oversized mouth.

[Ather, for committing this crime, we sentence you to satisfy the twenty million wishes that men will ask you to grant.]

This sentence comes back to him in his mind the moment he sees his scales shine like never before.

Finally, he was released from his water prison in which he was plunged for having approached the one that was not intended for him.

Like humans, the gods are extremely jealous and centuries ago, when the god Ather seduced the beautiful Aphrodite, he was deprived of all his powers before being exiled here.

In the early years, he didn't care too much about it. The faithful came in droves to pray to him, so he thought he would live two or three

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