Azkal was in the
field, unobtrusively watching his favorite general at work. The general´s
army had planned an ambush for their enemy, and Azkal was looking forward to
watching the upcoming slaughter.
Zitkala´s booming entrance, however, alerted the enemy troops that something was amiss. They managed to avoid the ambush, defeat the army, and kill Azkal´s favorite general.
The war god bellowed in rage and turned to glower at his daughter. "Zitkala! Look what you have done!" Though he loved her dearly, Azkal back-handed his daughter, sending her crashing into a nearby mountain top.
Zitkala flew back, rumbling all the way. "It´s not my fault! I was trying to electrocute this shepherd boy, and it back-fired. I don´t know why!"
Azkal frowned. "No doubt this is some prank of the Shadowlord´s. Go to your Uncle Torodin and make him undo this at once."
Azkal covered his ears as his daughter zipped away.
Torodin was no happier to see Zitkala than his brother had been. The nymph he´d been seducing was a delicate sort, who required a quite and peaceful spot for romance. Zitkala´s sudden and deafening entrance spoiled the mood, and the nymph ran off in tears.
"Help me!" Zitkala demanded.
Torodin scowled at his niece. He quelled his urge to ignore her and slip off after the nymph only by reminding himself that he owed her one -- she had saved his life at some risk to her own.
"Why are you making so much noise?" he shouted over the din.
"It´s not my fault! I tried to strike a tree with lightning and it didn´t work, because of that stupid shepherd boy. And then I got all noisy."
Torodin knew instantly what had happened. The mage was a favorite worshiper of his. The Shadowlord himself had helped him discover the spell that protected his nephew, who would one day become one of Torodin´s priest.
There was a way to dispel Zitkala´s curse. But, even for a god, it would take a great deal of time and effort. And that nymph wasn´t going to wait all day...
"Go ask Jvelto," said Torodin. "He´s the only one who can help you." And the Shadowlord vanished to seek out his current mistress.
Zitkala obligingly went off in search of the sea god. She found him watching a ship full of pirates attempting to navigate through a violent storm. Thinking that Jvelto was trying to sink the ship, Zitkala decided to help. She struck the ship with her lightning, causing it to catch fire and sink to the bottom of the sea. The goddess laughed in amusement as the surviving mortals tried to stay afloat in the turbulent waters.
"Look at them," she shouted to Jvelto. "Aren´t they funny?"
"Funny!" Jvelto bellowed. The ship she´d just sunk had been home to Jvelto´s most powerful priest and some of his favorite worshipers. The sea lord tried to save them, but all the noise Zitkala was making made it impossible for him to concentrate. By the time he marshaled his powers, every man on board had drowned.
With a mighty roar, Jvelto called up a tsunami. The massive wave picked up Zitkala and hurled her onto the rocky shore.
The goddess of lightning emerged from the spray and rebounded to Jvelto. "That was fun," she said over the rumbling. "But I don´t have time to play. I need your help."
Jvelto sighed, his breath calming the raging seas (though too late for the pirates). "What is it, niece? And can´t you do something about all that racket?"
"No!" Zitkala shouted. "That´s why I´m here. Uncle Torodin said you´re the only one who can help me."
Jvelto frowned. "He did, did he?"
"I´ll be sure to remember that."
"What´s that? I can´t hear you above all this noise. You´ll have to talk louder.""I said stand still!" Jvelto shouted. "Let me look at you."
Zitkala stopped her endless fidgeting for a moment. The sea lord peered at her. calling upon his divine sight, he could perceive the curse, as if the goddess of lightning wore a filmy shroud.
"That must be the problem," concluded Jvelto. He had little patience in the best of times, and Zitkala´s rumbling was driving him crazy. The first solution that occurred to him would have to do.
"Stand still. I will cleave this terrible noise away from you."
Zitkala was alarmed when Jvelto summoned his massive trident. But she refused to let anyone see her fear, and quickly quenched it with her iron determination. She stood stone still as the sea lord hefted his trident and struck at the curse that clung to her.
The goddess screamed in pain as it split away from her, tearing away some of her skin and flesh. The curse swirled and bucked like a tornado, picking up bits of rock and sand from the beach, and moisture from the sea.
Zitkala and Jvelto stared in astonishment. The rumbling noise had ceased. But what was that terrible whirlwind they had created? As they looked closely, they could almost see something taking shape inside.
Suddenly, the whirlwind dissolved, leaving behind the figure of a man. He was enormous, bigger even than Jvelto. Muscles rippled along his naked body. Zitkala stared in appreciation -- the blue-eyed, blond before her was quite a hunk.
"HELLO," the hunk boomed. The moment he opened his mouth, the rumbling noise was back. This time it was centered on the muscular man, but it was just as loud as ever.
Jvelto grimaced. "Who are you?"
"I AM THUNDER," the man said. "I AM SKAH." He beamed at Zitkala. "I LOVE YOU," he said. Before the astonished goddess could react, he grabbed her and kissed her soundly.
Furious at being manhandled this way, Zitkala pushed Skah away. She zapped him with her lightning, intending to kill him. But Thunder was not affected.
"What the hell?"
Jvelto sighed. "You can´t kill him. Part of your blood created him. Skah is a god."
"A god! But how can that be?"
Jvelto shrugged. "It happens."
"I LOVE YOU," Skah said again. He tried to grab Zitkala, but she dodged him and sped away.
"I LOVE YOU," Thunder cried sadly as Zitkala flew out of reach. He looked forlornly at Jvelto.
"Oh, no. You´re not staying here." Jvelto picked up a handful of sea foam and created a herd of magnificent white stallions.
"PRETTY," Thunder beamed. He reached out to pet one and accidentally squashed it.
"OOPS." Skah stared at the dead horse.
Jvelto sighed. "Don´t worry. I´ll protect the rest of them." Jvelto breathed upon the stallions, giving them divine strength, endurance, speed, and the power of flight.
"All right, boy." Jvelto waved his trident, causing a rainbow to appear. It followed Zitkala´s trail. "Take the horses and follow the rainbow. You will find your beloved."
"FATHER, I LOVE YOU." Skah tried to hug Jvelto, but the sea lord punched him squarely in the jaw. Before Skah could get to his feet, Jvelto summoned his dolphin chariot and was gone.
Alone on the beach, Thunder stared at the pretty rainbow. He couldn´t remember what to do. Fortunately for him, the horses were smarter than he (though no smarter than normal horses). They lifted Thunder upon their backs and sped off, their stampede of hooves in time to his deafening rumble.
Thunder soon caught up to Lightning. Though Zitkala despised Skah, she could not make him go away, and he pursues her to this very day.