Gemma's right hand was Archibald Salubritas, & her left hand was Mortimer Cainia, who was called Mortimer Metis. They were her swift & strong myrmidons, dexter & sinister. They were alike as brothers, but not in form; Archibald was bright like the flame, all of copper & gold, while Mortimer was a dark river with deep currents, cobalt & iron. Like a coin, they were, front & back. Theirs was the power & the vengence. Their swords were brighter than all the stars or else darker than all the blackest goats. Towers crumbled at their coming, chasms yawned forth their treasures, & they made rich the tabernacles of Lux.
The Apocalypse Beast came forth, clothed like a boar, bristling with the bronze spears of Eld, scars shaped like the faces of the worlds it has slain. It had no fur, but rather bolts of lightning, & amidst its four tusks dangled a black tongue & a firey crown. In its hand it held a terrible axe, the rumor of whose coming was enough the slaughter all. Split hooves in the earth left bile filled pits & upon it rode Mortimer Metis & Archibald Salubritas. They smote it mightily & choked at the Beast's ichor which flowed forth. Mortimer made as if to swoon & Archibald bore him up. A cloven, steel shod foot set upon Archibald's heart, but Mortimer beat it back. Again & again; thrice times thrice it came at them but at last they were the victor, though none would say by what stroke it was slain.
At times they were apart. Mortimer set upon a sea of black wine, his only company his sword, & was gone for many years. Or Archibald, by gentle speech, was taken & grown within a tree trunk, only to spring forth when a woodcutter freed him. Or Mortimer, grim, went into the Coven of the Heartless & dwelt there for many years until he drew back his knife with a flash & cut a hangman's noose. Or Archibald, full of meriment, drank deep of the beer of a sleeping monster & made it his friend, but slept one hundred years beside. There was a book, & Mortimer Metis plumbed its ciphers. There was a crown of thorns & Archibald mastered it.
When once Mortimer was alone, he fell in love with a girl named Daphne who wore blue, & she him. She was sad at times, but then, at times so was he, & so they were together. She knew him not. He was Mortimer only, Metis no more, for a time. When she dissapeared, he was filled with cold malice, but he poured it out. Mortimer Metis was filled with a pit, & he filled that pit with blood & holy violence. For a time then he stuggled with Lazlo Blackheart, all the world's enemy, & under the tutalage of the warlock Woland, he brought him low. & Woland spoke to him.
Archibald Salubritas returned then, too, when the need was dire. Dark had come & evil stars hung in the sky. With him came his betrothed, their engagement annointed by Gemma, & her name was Daphne. Mortimer Cainia was wroth. Archibald & Mortimer met, & they clasped arms as brothers, & Mortimer Cainia looked on Daphne & he seemed to see her not. His cup was empty when she came to him that night, & he sent her away. Again she came, leaving Archibald's house, & again Mortimer sent her away, though his heart now was filled with something else besides blackness. When she came again he could bear no more & he took her away. Down a path of bones he led her & she clung close to him. & when he reached the end of the Road, he saw a Dark Prince, & they spoke.
Archibald came for them & Mortimer slew him with a spear of ash, for he had learned a secret technique. He slew him & though he strove to do it out of sight of the walls of the cave where he had hidden Daphne, she saw. He covered his face then, for he had killed his friend, & though she called for him to stop, Mortimer did not heed Daphne but he rode his mount, hard. Unto the gates of the cathedral where Gemma waited, & he struck them with the end of his spear & they broke. Up the stairs he hulked, & with the spear of ash he dealt a mortal blow to Gemma Auctoritas, the dolorous blow, & she was ended. & Mortimer Cainia was done & said he was pleased.