He sat alone
Under the heat of a thousand suns
Under the desert
Where he had been thrown
Hunched with his arms
Hugging his warty, broken legs
He had turned to stone
Buried under dunes of sand
from the long, long ago

There had been a mighty king
Who had had a mighty ring
Given to him by the angels themselves
To make a temple to rule the world
And to rule the self

Asmodeus had come
He of the stone
Walking like a man
He couldn’t hide his limp
he could only give it to another
For a time and time
To give him the semblance
Of one who was what he liked to call
A hell of a ‘Smooth Operator’

‘Let me help you build your temple,’
He said to the King with the furrowed brow
The stones had ceased to fit together
The beams were broken
The edifice falling around him
What was mighty was now dying

‘Leave me be, I need no help unless you are a magician!’
The man with the hidden limp
Didn’t bother to answer; because he was no magician
He was a creature of fell magic himself
He did not want the shrewd King to scent his deception

With the stolen nimbleness of a hind
He leapt onto cypress pillars
‘Ah ha!’ Asmodeus exclaimed, his eyes twinkling

The King thought to himself,
‘His eyes are as bright as the sky over an oasis,
He’s a magician, there is no doubt and my problems are ended!’

Asmodeus, his black hair, shining in the sun
Produced a copper wedge
All carbuncled in green barnacles
‘Here’s the problem, a curse was laid on your temple.’

He tossed the wedge to the King who dropped it when it burned his hands
and scored a sigil into his index finger.

‘Let the building re-commence!’ Ordered the demon Asmodeus

And so it was that the demon won the confidence of the king
whose angelic ring could control the world of any spirit
and the canny king didn’t suspect a thing!

Asmodeus gave his name as a lie and became the confidant of the king
Who believed him sent from God
Rather than the devil’s plaything
Until one day the king had to go away
And his most prized possession he gave to the one he trusted most
The King of Demons: Asmodeus

When the canny king returned to his throne he found it occupied
By the demon man with hair of black and eyes of blue
His ring on his hand, His robes on his shoulders
His wives attending him like he was their beloved
And Asmodeus used his hellish powers to throw the king
a thousand leagues
laughing in glee
and eating the king’s own figs

A thousand leagues was not far enough to throw the canny king
Who walked over the blazing sand and through the wastelands
Until he returned to the lands
That had once been under his command
His eyes blazed with glints of red
From the alembic flames he had been tortured in
He walked into his throne room in begger’s rags
But no one stopped him, one look froze them in place

Asmodeus had grown fat on the king’s throne
He drooled wine and his eyes drooped with sleepy disconcern
He did not recognize the man before him as the rightful king
Until the man in rags walked to him and sliced off his finger
The only way to get it off the now bloated member
The canny king stamped Asmodeus between the eyes
With the Pentalpha sigil and his demise

Now the demon was no longer lord
He was subject and bound as the other hoards
To obey the will of the king
The true son of the true king before him

‘Go forth into the desert and dig a tomb in the sand.
Dig until you can dig no more
Then never move again.’

The demon staggered from the hall and his
Shroud of glamour fell from the eyes of all
And they shook their heads and rubbed their eyes
As they watched Asmodeus’s tail leave the hall,
his legs limping, his bulk bursting his scaly skin
He walked far into the desert
To dig his own grave
With his taloned hands
At the King’s command

And sat and listened to the winds howling above him
until his ears filled with sand
And his lungs along with them
Then he ceased to think or move
And turned to stone
Under the dunes

And that was how he was found
more than a thousand years later
By an alchemist who would quickly become greater
Thanks to the power
Of the stone demon
Who whispered wisdom in his ear
Exactly as much as he needed to hear
Until Asmodeus was free once more

Plodding and evil
The canny king was gone
His temple long since with him
But between the demons eyes
The burned sigil
And frozen stone joints
Still bite into him.

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