1 Enter the Omniverse

Hi there!

My name is Erik Morganson. I'm twenty-eight years old and working at a blacksmithing company in California called Razor's Edge, that caters to the movie industry as well as various cosplay and collectors that want something replicated. I have been interested in numerous disciplines centered around craftsmanship since I was a child and would help my father do fabrication work in his shop. Though due to health concerns my parents weren't able to have any more children after me. They were the best though and I had plenty of friends growing up. They were proud that I had followed my dream and got a job that I loved. Misfortune came about am My mother fell sick a couple years back and soon passed. My father seemed lost after she was gone and spent a year trying to move forward but when she left so did his soul and he eventually passed on too.

Now I know what you're thinking. Why am I reading about this kid, his life, and his job?

Well, it is thanks to my job and my obsession with creating things that has lead to my current situation. Before I get ahead of myself, let me begin at the beginning.

***

California, USA

It was another Thursday at the office for Erik and he was pounding away on an iron ingot in order to make another carbon-copy knife for their upcoming booth at Reinisance-Palooza in less than a week and a half. He had already completed dozens of knives, daggers, swords, and shields this week and last. Before that he had been carving numerous different staffs and wooden weapons using various sanders and tools. Everyone was extremely excited and storing the various works inside the moving truck they owned.

"Erik!" shouted a voice from nearby. Placing the iron back in the forge to stay hot, Erik turned and looked at who had shouted. One of the temporary helpers that would sign up during the summer for experience and pay was standing there motioning for Erik to follow as another temp stepped up to resume Erik's work.

"What's up?" Erik asked as he removed his ear plugs, apron, and gloves.

"The boss needs you for something." the temp said as he waved towards the boss's office. Erik nodded in understanding and started moving towards where was indicated. Entering an office Erik found his boss, Roark, sitting at a desk with his half-moon glasses perched on his nose as he looked over a set of papers. Erik's entrance caused the man to look up and take his glasses off. He was an older man with short-cropped hair that had grayed on the sides which was not matched by the full beard on his face making him look like an aged viking. This was only accented by the white canvas shirt that covered his barrel chest and tree branch like arms with the coarse patchy hair that still covered them that hadn't been singed off.

"What can I do for you sir?" Erik asked as he walked forward.

"Ah! Erik my boy!" the man boomed as he stood up. Roark was a man that treated all of his employees like they were part of his family. He had a family as both of his kids were grown and had families of their own. Roark and his wife Mabel were like the grandparents to everyone with Roark giving out fatherly and life advice while Mabel would offer various confections from their kitchen next door to the shop. Mabel was also the one who would sew all of the various costumes as well as the other seamstress required duties. She had also been the one to show him the basics of sewing.

"Erik, there are a couple of men here that would like a word with you about a proposal. They look like the real important type so I let them use the conference room." Roark said as he tried to whisper in Erik's ear which admittedly was more akin to a normal person's voice level. Coincidentally, the conference room that Roark mentioned was nothing more than an old storage room that had two old oak tables that Roark had rescued from the landfill and refinished.

"Okay, I'll head over and talk to them right now." Erik said as he nodded his head.

"Sounds good son though be careful. Them important types tend too want to go low on custom jobs." Roark said as he replaced his glasses once more and focused back on his papers. Erik nodded before he left and walked towards the shop front. The shop and confrence room were in the front while the work shops were behind and out of the public eye. Approaching the door to the room Erik could hear some muffled talking from the other side. Opening the door there were two men seated at the table.

The first was a tall man with a leather biker jacket and black leather pants with a pair of black military boots. The silver chain that ran from his front belt loop to his back pocket clinked as he stood up. His hair was cut into a military buzz cut and was a crimson color almost like fresh blood. A pair of dark sunglasses covered his eyes despite the fact that he was indoors.

The other man was not as tall, but was wider than the first. He was similar to Roark in that he had very little hair on the top of his head, but where Roark's was cut short this man was mostly bald, save for some short hair on the sides and back. His beard was even longer than Roark's, but there was parts that showed evidence of being singed. The hair and beard were similar to his companion's in color though his hair was more of an orange-red that most would label as ginger. He wore a flannel, button-up shirt as well as tan carpenter pants that seemed to be full of various things if the klinking sound was anything to go by. He also stood up upon Erik's entrance and then stepped forward with his hand extended in greeting.

"Hello. You must be Erik." the man in flannel stated as he shook Erik's hand powerfully, slightly jarring Erik. The other man also extended his hand which caused Erik to notice the silver rings that decorated his fingers. Upon that hand clasping his a crushing pressure descended so that Erik could almost practically hear his bones creaking in protest.

"Sorry kid. Don't know my own strength." the man in leather stated though the smirk said that he knew what he did.

"So, what can I do for you gentlemen?" Erik asked as he gestured for them to retake their seats.

"We are here as representatives for a certain group that would like to extend an offer to you." The man in flannel stated as he looked Erik in the eye.

"What kind of offer?" Erik said as he stared back.

"Well before we get to that there is something that we need to inform you about." the man in leather said with a chuckle that caused the other man to give him a look of admonishment.

"My name is Phaysus and I am the Primordial of Conflict and Death. This guy here is Edther the Primordial of Blacksmithing and Fire. We are here to recruit you for a mission that we as Guardians of the Omniverse believe needs to be undertaken." the man in leather now named Phaysus stated. Erik had known that these two were odd, but this was insane as were these two apparently.

"I'm sorry gentlemen, but I have no idea of what you are speaking about. If this is some type of new reality prank show then you need to find some new writers. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time as we are very busy so if that is all then I need to get back to work." Erik said with a little exasperation before turning to the door and grabbing the handle. Just before he turned the handle he heard Phaysus speak to the other man.

"See! I told all of you that he wouldn't believe us if we told him!" Phaysus said like he had won a bet. Erik decided to ignore their chatter and get back to work. Opening the door Erik stepped through only to step back into the conference room with the two men. This immediately confused Erik as he remembered walking out the doors so how did he end up back where he started? Turning once more Erik stepped through the doors only to stop looking at the two men once again for a third time.

"What is going on?" Erik muttered as he looked from the men to the door and back.

"Sorry about that, but this is important and we need you to listen to us before you make your decision." Edther said as he gave an apologetic look. Erik wasn't too sure whether he was going mad or he had fallen and hit his head on something inside the production area, but he figured he should see where this leads for now and maybe it would soon be over and he could wake up.

"Alright, I'm listening." Erik replied as he once again took his seat.

"Great so we need some background information and then we'll talk about the mission that we have for you. As we said we are Primordials, which are embodiments of certain aspects and positive concepts, and our pantheon is responsible for not only creating the Omniverse, but also for maintaining it's continued existence." Edther said as Phaysus nodded along.

"So essentially you guys are the gods of the multiverse?" Erik said as he tried to wrap his head around the fact that he was talking to what amounted to the ones that created reality.

"Kinda, but not really kid. You see gods and goddess' require worshipers in order to exist and even then different universe might not have certain individuals while we are responsible for all of them. On top of that the whole of existence is referred to as The Omniverse. The reason for that is that a single reality is called a universe. All of the splits and paths a single reality could possibly take is known as a multiverse. Finally, all of the multiverses combined form the Omniverse as they all originate from one singularity." Phaysus explained to which Erik nodded in understanding. Erik compared it to a tree. The trunk was the Omniverse, the branches were the multiverses, and the leaves were the universes.

"Okay so what does this have to do with me?" Erik asked.

"Relax we're getting to that. Unfortunately, when the Primordials came into being so did an opposing group. Known simply as Entities, they embody all of the negative aspects and concepts that exist. For example Me and another member of our group were formerly a part of the Entities, but switched sides for various reasons." Phaysus said which caused Erik to become nervous as these Entities were supposed to be the big baddies of all reality.

"Easy kid, we're part of the good guys now and just so you know my aspects are Death and Conflict. I would be compared to the deities of war and the grim reaper here. The other, well, I'll let her tell you should you ever meet her." Phaysus said as Erik began to settle. The guy was right. If he was still one of the bad guys he would have probably squashed him by now.

"Okay, so let me guess. The Entities are threatening everything that you guys have created so far and this mission you have for me has something to do with that." Erik said as he thought of all the novels and such he had read online.

"Bingo! So, originally we were gonna find someone to traverse the Omniverse looking to gather some of mine and Edther's favorite creations. Unfortunately our fellow Primordials found out and wanted in. So now we need you to still traverse the Omniverse, but now there are so many more things on the lists for each multiverse that you will need to gather." Phaysus stated as Edther nodded his head in agreement.

"Okay, so what do I get out of this? I'm assuming that there is something that I will get in return." Erik asked as he looked from one to the other with some excitement.

"Well, we'll be taking you to a sequestered world on which you will be able to open up your own adventurer's shop that will also double as your Home Base for your mission. Also for every list completed you will receive a set of custom blueprints as well as your own copies of anything that was on the list. Plus, anything you get that isn't on the list is yours to keep and the multiverses that you complete will still be accessable in the case that we might give you a new list as that multiverse moves on and evolves." Edther said as he listed off the God-tier rewards that he will get.

"Okay sounds good, but what's the downside to this?" Erik asked as he leaned back in his chair with a serious look.

"What do you mean?" Edther asked as Erik caught him looking out of the corner of his eye at Phaysus.

"The rewards are absolute God-Tier so there has to be an equally bad side to this whole thing. I was told that if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is." Erik said as he remembered a favorite saying that his late father was fond of.

"Alright I guess we were hoping that you would over look that little detail, but we'll give it to ya straight. Once you enter a multiverse you are on your own. Which means that if you get into trouble or are in danger it is up to you to get out of it, we won't intervene. Also there is a chance that since you are technically preserving parts of the Omniverse that the Entities might also recruit some individuals to either eliminate or intervene in your mission." Phaysus said causing Erik to swallow the knot in his throat.

This was really a big decision for Erik. On the one hand he could obtain what was essentially his dream! On the other hand he would have to contend with any number of villians, psychopaths, and evil gods on top of the fact that these guy's enemies might start gunning for him. This wasn't gonna be easy.

"Is it alright if I have some time to think this over?" Erik asked as he hoped this wasn't one of those decisions that had to be made immediately.

"That's fine but we can only give you till tomorrow here. Once you give your answer we will need to head out ASAP." Phaysus said as he looked at Erik with a smile.

"Thank you. I'll give you my answer tomorrow then." Erik said as all three stood up and shook hands before departing. Erik had a lot to think about. Should he accept or not accept. There were great reasons for both. On one hand he could literally make weapons that would rival all the ones he had seen in movies and games while having those same weapons and more. On the other hand he would be fighting who knows what in order to complete those lists that he was told about on top of being hunted by ancient beings that were the very incarnations of all that was bad and nasty.

Erik was still pondering when he happened to walk by Roark's office once more. The big man's voice cutting into Erik's thoughts and pulling him out of his head. Erik could see his boss waving him in with his hand.

"So, how'd the meeting go?" Roark asked as soon as Erik was near enough.

"It was interesting to say the least." Erik replied as he thought about the chances that he was still either asleep or in a coma.

"Ya look like ya got a lot on your mind." Roark said as he could see Erik's turmoil on his face.

"Let me ask you something sir. If you had a chance to achieve your greatest dream, but in order to do so you would have to put in work that could potentially get you hurt, killed, or most likely both. What would you do?" Erik said as he looked at Roark.

"Son my father used to tell me that on the road to your dreams that there will be highs and lows, but so long as you stick to it and try your hardest then you will accomplish anything you set your mind to." Roark said as Erik nodded his head in understanding.

"Thank you sir." Erik said as he turned and headed towards the door.

"Oh and one more thing. You are always welcome here. No matter what happens or what you need, we will always welcome you here." Roark said with a warm smile.

"I understand, thank you." Erik said as he gave his warmest smile and left.

***

The next day found the three individuals back in the same room, in the same seats.

"So, have you made your decision?" Phaysus asked as Edther leaned forward.

"Yes, I have decided to accept your offer. It would mean achieving my dream as well as meeting numerous characters that are fictional here. Despite the danger I will continue forward." Erik said as he looked first one then the other in the eye.

"Good answer kid. In that case, let's get going." Phaysus said as both men stood up.

"Let me pack and we can leave immediately." Erik said but was stopped by Edther.

"Don't worry we'll take care of it. Let's go." Edther said and with a snap of his fingers all three men were gone.

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