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CreaturemasterProds's avatar


That one, single word. If. It was a word that implied that were conditions that had to be met or whether something was one thing or another. But mostly, that one word implied something temporary. Ifs didn't imply permanence or certainty. Ifs implied the exact opposite - the unknown.

That was the word uttered by two devlish imps as they watched their boss, Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, get pulled down by every human soul that had been birthed and cut down since the dawn of humanity. At the time, they feared for themselves, hoping against all odds that the temperamental god would never get out. They had forgotten however, the question their former superior had asked them eighteen years before his banishment. More importantly however, they had forgotten the answer.

It would be years before the Lord of the Underworld finally managed to escape the swirling pit of human anguish, clambering and clawing, fighting tooth and nail against the wailing souls that clung to him like parasites, but escape he did. Having spent those years with the dead and the damned screaming for all eternity in his ears had not only fueled his burning hatred for the man who had thrown him into the pit in the first place, but all of those who were allowed to live out their lives happy and carefree. Fate was a force whose game he had been forced to play and all those years in the pit had made him question why he, a god, was forced to play that game when it felt like there was no way to win. A sick form of sympathy for those who had been dealt a similar hand in life and death had formed and it was within that pit of suffering that he found them - those like him, mortals and demigods who had been given a losing hand by destiny.

It was time to reshuffle the deck.

The one good thing about being the Lord of the Underworld was that he had the last say in who got to stay and who got to go. Thus, it was with no small amount of satisfaction that he had allowed three particularly promising souls to leave his domain with his blessing.

The first one to feel his wrath was the very man that had thrown him into the pit in the first place. Time had not been healthy to the hero and age had done a number to his impressive physique; but even that did little to quell his godly strength. What followed was just the beginning of many battles, the first of many heroes and heroines to meet their end at his hands. It was a tremendous fight, a battle that shook the very foundations of his realm, but it was a fight that ended in his favor nonetheless. The sound of the hero's cries of anguish and his wife's screams of terror as the two devilish imps punished them for all eternity was like sweet music to his years. But he had more to do.

The battles that followed were brutal, but nonetheless swift. It seemed that in his time at the bottom of that endless pit of human torment, his fellow gods and goddesses had fallen out of favor with the mortal realm. They were lucky if even a small kingdom still believed in them anymore, for so many of the foolish mortals and begun to regard them as little more than stories and myths. But everyone still believed in death, still believed in him, whether they openly worshipped him or not. It was a surprise that he found pleasantly worked in his favor. Without their prayers and offerings, his brothers and sisters were all but powerless to stop him as he began his grand plan to plunge the world into chaos.

The first was a desert kingdom, a place that still held one of the three, promising souls he had met from reaching his true potential. At first, he hadn't quite understood how, but it soon became quite apparent when he first encountered the magical, blue djinn that accompanied the kingdom's sultan and sultana. It was the only fight where he truly feared that he might be sent back to the pit of the damned; in the end however, the battle was won. The sultan had been slain, the sultana had been imprisoned in a lamp that he all too gleefully cast out into the endless wastes of the surrounding desert, and the djinn had been forced to flee with nothing more than a flying carpet.

The next concerned a matter with his nephew. The seaside kingdom whose shores they had descended into the watery realms of the ocean was the first of many to feel their wrath once they remerged from the abyssal depths. The seas turned red with the blood that had been spilled on that day, churning and frothing with the deaths of the residents above and below the waves; it was not all a success however. The queen of the kingdom had managed to escape with the aid of the blue djinn and flying carpet, but it was not without its price. With the trident that had allowed her to truly become a part of man's world now in the hands of those souls he had taken into his care, the spell had not only begun to break, but to corrupt as more and more of the trident's power became tainted with malice.

The third was a pristine kingdom that had once suffered at the hands of dark, black magics and it was at the hands of those same vile magics that it met its end. The air was filled with the putrid odor of seared flesh and the skies were stained a fiery scarlet as the kingdom burned beneath a dragon's wrath. The clouds of ash and smoke blotted out the comforting rays of the sun, enveloping the kingdom in weeks of darkness and despair as the survivors were hunted down and brutally slaughtered with malignant delight. The djinn, the carpet, and the former princess of the sea had only just barely escaped with the kingdom's queen, the last survivor of her people; her cries of mourning echoed over the remains of her home.

The cathedral of Notre Dame burned next, swallowed in a tidal wave of red, hot hatred. The Great Wall came after, its soldiers and rulers powerless before their might and the people it had so steadfastly protected were left to the heartless barbarians that hungrily prowled its border like wolves. The Incans were brought to their knees and the dwarves were crushed by the very mountains they had so greedily mined into rubble. The jungles were reduced to blackened wastelands of death and doom and even the unyielding, frozen vaults of the north eventually cracked beneath their power.

The djinn and the handful of survivors he managed to whisk away had become little more than bothersome flies by now, always appearing to scavenge what little was left from the carcasses of the kingdoms or villages they so eagerly devoured and always just barely escaping their clutches. At the time they were inconsequential, helpless to stop them in their campaign of chaos.

But then came the day they grew tired of running, the day they grew weary of watching their loved ones perish and their happily ever afters so ruthlessly torn away from them. The day began like any other, with the siege of a pair of kingdoms in France, each ruled by queens who had met their beloveds through the game that fate so unfairly played. It was the day the djinn and his flying carpet appeared on the horizon not to flee with the scant few that managed to just barely avoid the full strength of their power, but to punish them for the sins they had wrought and they evils they had unleashed upon the world. With little more than sticks and stones, crudely crafted blades and half-concocted spells they approached him, hoping that their suffering had appeased destiny's appetite for destruction to give them a winning hand.

When he had first begun his plans, he had been at the forefront, aiding the souls in regaining their former power and building their strength until they almost matched his own. By that point, he had sunk into the background, content to do little more than point those three souls in a random direction and watch the carnage they wrought unfold. At that point, he had been little more than fate's playmate, carefully moving his pieces across the chessboard in the hope of drawing destiny's attention away from his true plans. This however, was when he played his true hand.

When the survivors crested over the hill, ready to him in battle, he met their army with one of his own. The very ground split and yawned beneath his command, transforming the landscape into a labyrinth of doorways and entrances the reached all the way down to his kingdom. And it was from here that his army approached, their wails and screams echoing across the sky as they clambered up out of the earthly womb. A wicked grin spread across his face when he saw the looks of horror the survivors made at the sight of their loved ones, reduced to skeletons and rotting remains wielding swords and shields against them. For miles the army marched in all directions, never quit reaching its end. The dead poured out of the ground, burst from the earth as if it could no longer contain their sheer numbers.

The survivors could only watch as the dead then turned their backs on them and began to march toward the two kingdoms they had amassed before. Some of the survivors went mad at the sight of the cruel visage of their loved ones and hurled down the hill after them, throwing themselves into the endless swarms of the undead to never be seen again. Others became inconsolable, dropping to their knees and unwilling - or unable - to respond to their fellows pleas for response. The scant few whose minds remained intact could only join the djinn and his carpet as they watched the two kingdoms drown beneath the sea of undead, the screams as their residents met the same as countless before them ingrained into their minds for as long as they might live.

That might have been the end of it had he not forgotten one. Hubris, it seemed, was something not even death could keep contained forever. When he had first given the three souls another a place within his plans, they had been just as crafty, cunning, and careful as he had, fearful that if became too greedy that they would find themselves back in the pit they all so greatly dreaded. But with each victory they made, with each kingdom crushed beneath their might, with each hero or heroine who met their end at their hands, their confidence grew to match their power. It fed off their hatred and cruelty like a parasite, leeching the very evil from their veins until it finally emerged. At first, it was little more than biting comments and empty threats. But then they would get careless. Attacks that sundered the very mountains started to fall a little too close for comfort. Threats were no longer so empty and the wounds they suffered were no longer from those whom flutily resisted their opposition. It finally came to a breaking point as the two kingdoms were torn down to their foundations by the undead and the djinn and his companions helpless to watch. A single was a made a little too loudly, and the next thing he knew was that they were at each other's throats, tearing the very earth asunder as easily as they ripped into one another's flesh. He had backed out after that, waiting until the dust settled before he made his next move, and watched as the djinn, the carpet, the princess claimed by the sea, and the queen who no longer slept made their solemn retreat; he supposed they were heading south, towards the uncharted wilds of the Pride Lands, in search of refuge and respite. That wasn't what worried him though.

It seemed that no matter how carefully he had played his hands, fate had had an ace up its sleeve. The survivors were an inconsequential matter he had still seen to the trouble of building a strategy against on the off chance they had tried to reshuffle the cards as he had. He had played his hand and he had won against destiny as fair and square as it played its hand against him. But he hadn't succeeded in beating them; they were still in the game, still a part of he cards in destiny's hand.


That one, single word. If. It was a word that implied that were conditions that had to be met or whether something was one thing or another. But mostly, that one word implied something temporary. Ifs didn't imply permanence or certainty. Ifs implied the exact opposite - the unknown.

And those scant few that had managed to always just elude his grasp were the biggest unknown he had seen in a long time.

Devil-Mech-Irons's avatar

I find it funny how the Genie looks a little bit like the Will Smith Genie from the reboot, even though this piece was made WAY before that movie ever happened.

OSRfanatic's avatar
Whats the story behind this pic? apart from the obvious. Like how did this happen??
bverdier's avatar
Nice work man 
Mermanwatch's avatar
What is the story in this picture?
Am I the only one that thinks Jafar is gonna torn Maleficents wing apart ;-;
PossessedIron's avatar
Does this remind anyone else of the plot for For Honor? But if it was Disney?
Xquid's avatar
Soooo... if Genie has his legs and Jafar has his shackle-bracelets, Al did get his final wish in, but I guess Ursula got hold of Jafar's lamp. Obviously Eric screwed up, which makes Ariel a mute for life.
ishi-chan129's avatar
I really like how you drew Ariel in here. Looks like she's trapped between her human and mermaid form
The-Calling021's avatar
Great work! Looks amazing. Do wonder why poor Maleficent is taking on both Ursula and Jafar. It gives the impression that Maleficent is sacrificing herself so the others can get away and that's why Rose is looking back.  An epic piece. Love it.
MattRhodesArt's avatar
Cool interpretation!
asari13's avatar
dark form disney villain cool
escaping hero 
Maria-Korneliou's avatar
A dark and impactful concept, executed incredibly well
coyotepack's avatar
This makes my inner child sad.
DemonLovell's avatar
You kidding me? This makes my inner child scream "Give me a book series or at least a movie!"
coyotepack's avatar
It's sad because the scene screams 'we have failed'. 
Like the heroes had to abandon friends and family just to escape and may never be able to return.
DemonLovell's avatar
Well, yes. But that's partially why I want to know the story behind it.
SammyD-Productions's avatar
Woah!! It's a crossover of epic proportions, I love it!!
BeatchBall's avatar
John-the-Enforcer's avatar
Wait...why are Jafar and Ursula double-teaming against Maleficent? 0.o'
The-Calling021's avatar
My thought exactly! Almost makes it seem like she's protecting the heroes by giving them time to get away.
John-the-Enforcer's avatar
Makes ya think, doesn't it?
DecoyDouble's avatar
So dark and so amazing!
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