Its been months since I joined the Brotherhood of Storms. I emulated those bat-shit fuckers for weeks now, and for what? Gathering evidence? Proving any wrongdoing? Or perhaps the boys in blue up in HQ just hated me that much.
No matter. Their hate and skepticism doesn’t matter now. I’ve seen it. I feel its pull on my mind, when I blink I see flashes of light and hear a low grumbling of thunder…
This assignment seemed simple to HQ. Join the Brotherhood, wear a wire, prove these psychos were responsible for the break ins, and radio it in. But really, join a cult? Old me was more terrified of taking a filth-coated knife to the gut over any all-seeing “Herald of the Storm” but boy was I proven wrong.
The Brotherhood was rumored to be more than just an excuse for dying old men and sickly lads to get together and discuss weather. Sources say that they were looking to harness the power of the heavens itself, and if the local legend was true, they somehow released some great thundering being, the embodiment of lightning itself. Regardless, HQ got a tip that this Brotherhood was the ones responsible for stealing valuables and artifacts from the University museum. HQ figured only I could bring these sickly men living their retirements on the beach to justice. My assignment: find the items, find out who is the leader.
I still remember trying to get in. All the weather crap I had to memorize. The people I had to schmooze. But once I was allowed into their little weather club, the strangest feeling came over me. It was like I was on edge, like that moment just before you know you’ll get shocked. The brothers all whispered how my initiation ceremony would be the first proper one for as long as they could remember, all thanks to their newest acquisition. I sure as hell didn’t want to be initiated, but I had orders to find the missing relics and by golly I was going to find them.
The air seemed static as I entered their meeting area that night, a rooftop of an old beach home, dilapidated with salt air and time. As night fell the wind whipped about, threatening to blow this building down. Yet as if by magic, it held. The brothers joined hands and pushed me to the center, chanting in a language that sounded rough and rage-filled. I walked towards the center of this circle to a make-shift platform with a rusted chest, no larger than a jewelry box. The hinges protested as I delicately lifted the lid. Nestled inside the darkness was a small golden figure – a bronze dragon figurine, exquisitely polished and detailed – exactly like the one missing from the museum. I reached to lift the figure and as soon as I touched it I felt a spark – and my new brothers must have felt it too as one by one they jerked as if they were electrocuted, falling to the ground. “Brontes… Zeus… Perun…” Just a few of many names that my cultist brothers cried out in worship.
The clouds parted as if torn asunder from a great blade of wind. The cultists all around me threw up their hands and fell to their knees in worship, screaming yet more names into the storm.
I cast an uneasy gaze up towards the sky. Through the sudden bursts of lightning I swore I saw a great face twisted with rage, but when my eyes adjusted after the flash naught but a storm cloud remained where the visage of a man once was.
I stared incredulously at the angry skies until I heard a sick thud behind me. I whipped around just fast enough to see a shadowy figure dart as fast as the wind just out of sight. A cultist groaned as he clutched at the sudden spear jutting out of his chest. All around me the cultists – my brothers – began falling. Some with great spears through them, others cleaved in two as if the wind was a sword, yet more singed and burning to ash before me.
Mission be damned, I took out my gun. I scanned the perimeter, and paled when I saw him. My gun clattered to the ground as a sudden knowledge came to me. I passed out at the mere sight of his great image. It was indescribable – the fear, the golden scales, the lightning in his eyes…
The official police reports say the dozen members of the Brotherhood of Storms passed away from the building coming down on them. “Must have been the lightning from the storm that did it. The building was half demolished already.”
But I know the truth. I – the skeptic, who faced the storm and lived, knew what happened that night. It was him. He killed my brothers. It wasn’t Brontes or Ukko or even Set. None of those are his name, not his true name.
His name was Max
TLDR: Max the storm god, frustrated his own followers can’t get his name right, punished the pious and rewarded the skeptic just to prove a point.