[PDQ] The Grand Mythos Game Thread

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Vantric: 15, 1
Isond: 6

"Fascinating." Vantric replied, watching the scientist do...something...to one of the metallic creatures he recognized as the Mizzen. "It's quite interesting what you've done. However, back to my issue..." At that moment a psychic message echoed through his mind.

"I'M COMING TO CLAIM THE LANDS THAT RIGHTFULLY BELONG TO ME AND MY EMPIRE IN EVALON, ANY ONE OF YOU WHO DARES HINDER ME OR MY FLEET SHALL SUFFER BY MY BLADE." It was Olek.

A single thought ran through Vantric's mind as the loud, shouting message was processed. What? Vantric thought. In truth, he had been too busy with his own plots and moving against Seith and Pentar to bother with the warrior. He had almost forgotten that the god of men existed. That seemed to have been a mistake, he reflected. It was rather unlike him to be caught so off-guard.

Vantric gritted his teeth. "It seems our business will have to wait." He said to Nivix. "If you'll excuse me, it seems I have some work to attend to." He vanished in a flash of light, taking Isond with him. The pair reappeared back in the Grand Ascension. The elder god immediately began pacing. Isond just stood back, waiting for a moment.

"So, what's the plan?" He asked.

Vantric stopped and turned toward his apprentice. Plan? Yes, he needed a plan. He would just have to improvise. He was good at that. Play it by ear. Now, first things first...

"Yes. Plan."

Isond stared at his master for a moment. Silence filled the air after that comment. "You have nothing, do you?"

"Of course I have a plan!" Vantric snapped, "This was just...It's a bit unexpected is all."

"Then, what's the plan?"

Vantric rubbed his chin. "We need allies. Pentar has no love of me, but might be worthwhile in this endeavor. That new god, Aen. He might be useful." Who else?

"Is there anyone else we can call on?" Isond asked, "You're planning on fighting a god."

"I'm a god too."

"Even still."

"We could contact Melanthios, M'endar as well. They have an interest in helping me."

Isond nodded. "That's a bit better."

Vantric frowned. "Isond, we need to divide and conquer. You go to the Lainir Empire. Get things ready."

Isond blinked. "Ready for what?"

"The war." The ambitious god said, "Humanity is on the march. Destroy them."

"Alright." Isond shrugged, "How should I do that?"

"Just do something!" Vantric snapped.

The apprentice nodded. "Right. Go to the Lainir Empire and do something. I'll get right on that. Any other brilliant orders you'd like to give me sir?"

Vantric clenched his fist. "Listen Isond." He growled, "You're the war god. You're the tactician. You wanted something to do. A war is underway. Now, get down to the Empire and prepare things for war."

Isond was about to make another remark, but under the burning gaze of his master, he decided not to. The elder god was not in any mood for his sarcastic ramblings. He gave a curt nod. "I'll get on sir."

Vantric turned, stilling trying to come up with a working plan. Olek needed to be dealt with. Quickly. The god ran through one scenario after another. Each had one key component that was staying constant. He frowned even further. "Before you leave Isond." The apprentice turned back. "I need your help." Vantric drew the dagger on his belt. "I'll be needing a proper weapon for this work."

Isond gave a bemused look, before complying. He offered his power to Vantric before disappearing across existence. The ambitious god sighed and took his apprentice's power and fused it with his own, focusing it into the dagger.

Ailish? - 2, 19

Passion. It was an emotion that caused the soul to reach out and touch others. It was the light the blinded yet focused, and the bosom that enraptured and comforted. Colors grew bolder, people became more beautiful, and all fears were dispelled under that feeling. So very close to love, yet marred with anxiety. It made the self more conscious, more aware of not only one's feelings but how others feel. It was like gazing at a dying light; warm and inviting against a harrowing void. Every second that passed made every emotion more intense, every sorrow sweeter. It was bittersweet to gaze upon the sword.

The goddess' thoughts were quickly disarrayed as another presence invaded her mind, broadcasting his intentions from another realm. She had tried to reason with him, perhaps direct his intentions elsewhere, but the god would have none of it. Worse still what he said after her words:

"...once I've finished with Aen you will be next."

Her heart sank. Eyes were focused on the goblet, the Seven beings were all in sight. Sephariel, Carnivox, and the reformed Hunger - Akladai - could come together and grant a temporary boost, but that would only buy time for another plan. One she did not have... What about the others?

The other four were difficult to reach; one returned to the heavens, two indisposed, and the remaining one trapped in a realm she could not access. Out of them all KLAu was the closest to find. She had hoped to rescue its remains in time to give to Carnivox, but Ailish would need it for a different purpose altogether. And she did not like what the idea entailed.

Eldarwen? Can you hear me? Could you help me get to Evermoor? I still can barely move.

Eldarwen 1

She had heard the other gods try to reason with Olek, and Aen had even made him leave the humans. She thought it was useless and had been proven right. Now that Olek was gone she so wanted to invade their minds, break their wills and make them burn themselves in fiery flames. It wouldn't have made the Ekiruru very happy though, and they would be able to kill the humans just as easily as she could. She believed that.

The griffon circled above the ships. It was the first time she had flown in the shape of a creature with wings. It was actually enjoyable, and made her question why she had waited this long to try it out. The tree was her favorite form, but the queen had its advantages, just like the griffon must have its.

A voice could be heard through the clouds or maybe in her head. She recognized it as Ailish.

Eldarwen? Can you hear me? Could you help me get to Evermoor? I still can barely move.

She twitched and frowned. Was that really necessary now? Couldn't she teleport herself... She probably could, so hopefully she had another reason for asking Eldarwen. The fourhundred hadn't gotten that close to the sea yet. If she hurried she might be back in time.

The griffon disappeared in a purple flash, high above the ships and reappeared inside the dining hall in the queen's palace. She walked around the table, trying out her four legs. It certainly was different, but she couldn't claim to prefer either of the tree forms walking. Well, the tree slid along the ground more than walked.

Eldarwen turned to Ailish and opened her mouth to speak, but the first sound that came out was the call of a bird. She shook her head, and concentrated on trying to speak. "I trust that you need me for more than that, since teleportation can not be too hard. Even for you."

She knew the last sentence sounded condenscending, but she had a chance to watch humans die up close and had been forced to return to her palace because of an alliance she had made. One that she needed to honour.

Either way, she placed her talons on Ailish's shoulders and teleported them into the air above Evermoor. They went falling towards the ground, where her sharp eagle eyes could spot the ghosts. Eldarwen spread her wings before they hit the ground, and they flew.

"Do you know where this soul is then?"

Isond: 4

Isond hadn't been home in years. He was somewhat apprehensive about it, demigod or not. He might not have gone at all if it weren't a direct order from Vantric, and the elder god had made a good point. A war was under way, and he was a god of war.

Emerging in the capital, Isond immediately took the guise of a warrior. He looked little different from one of the several dozen soldiers that were milling about, save for the sword at his side, it was nothing like any of the others that the rest of the soldiers had. After moving about the capital for a time, checking in on things. Seeing how well the empire was prepared for war. As he expected, things were bogged down in political garbage. Typical.

It didn't take long to figure out the problem. The Assembly didn't want to declare war. If they agreed to declare war, the emperor would get more power to manage the war. No one wanted that. The army had been called up for defense, but had no direction or further orders. The Assembly still held out the vain hope that the humans could be reasoned with, negotiated, and otherwise dissuaded without resorting to open war.

Isond marched into the Assembly Hall, and sure enough, found the idiots responsible for running the greatest civilization in existence. They were busily debating whether to send another diplomatic envoy or to declare war and do something to save themselves. This would take hours, he knew from experience. He rolled his eyes, then cracked his knuckles. It was time to do something to save these ingrates. He identified a group of particularly stubborn assemblymen, those who ardently refused to approve the war, and began working on them. He pushed his power toward them, turning their minds to a more acceptable state.

That done, Isond made his leave. He needed to see this human fleet for himself.

Eldarwen 1

The griffon made it back to the ships before the Ekiruru arrived, but after another hour of flying above the ships and keeping a watch for her troops she heard them. Sonitus clear voice broke through the clouds first, repeating the same verse over and over in the new language, while drums could be heard as clear as thunder. The humans on the ships didn't understand what was happening, and when they did the Ekiruru was already upon them. The wyverns dove fast and kept the formation tight, with Sonitus in the front.

The synthetics dropped bottles of inferno on the ships, in pairs and at the exact same moment. They burst into flame like drywood, and it wasn't long before a number of ships were engulfed in fire which reached high towards the skies. Eldarwen heard the tortured screams of humans and with her eagle eyes saw them turn into ashes or try to escape the flames by jumping into the water, which proved uneffective.

She was astonished at how effective her Ekiruru really was. Sonitus on the other hand, closed her eyes and continued singing to block out the noise of humans getting slaughtered and burning to death. The singer threw her arms around the wyvern's neck, and held on tight, telling herself that she did it for her mother and to keep other races safe from the invading humans.

The Ekiruru began to lose warriors as well, after the initial surprise of the quick attack had subsided among the humans and they brought out archers. Eldarwen didn't care, they could retreat if they needed to. They didn't though, they kept at it, even after they ran out of inferno bottles to throw onto the ships. By then more than half of the ships were burning brightly, some of them had caught flame when they got too close to those who had been firebombed.

The synthetics began to drop onto the ships, ten invididuals at once on each ship, while their allies kept their wyverns under control above them. They killed the captains and commanding officers fast and relentlessly, keeping the human soldiers at bay while one of them took control of the helm and sailed straight into the burning heap of ships that had begun to slowly sink. Those who survived such daring attacks got back onto their wyvern and moved to do the same with a new ship. The helms was pulled off by the strong talons of a wyvern, to keep the humans from being able to change the course from their own defeat.

The battle born who didn't have a shared hivemind wasn't as effective at bringing whole ships down, but their ability to shoot poisoned thorns proved useful nonetheless. Many humans died by their poisonous blood, barely fast enough to grasp at the place they had been shot before they fell over dead. They also put their wyverns to good use, pulling humans from their ships and carrying them up into the clouds, before tearing them to pieces or playing with them by throwing them between wyverns. It became a sick sport, where two or three battle born would throw one soldier between themselves and them dropping him back onto the ship, full of scratches and bitemarks. The humans watched their friends drop down onto the deck with fear in their eyes. They had never encountered an enemy who was so effective and ruthless before. Once or twice a wyvern failed at picking up a human, and instead just ripped his head clean off his shoulders.

The battle born grew more bold, and would attack ships in small groups by boarding the deck and cutting their way through the crew until they got killed themselves. They showed no regrets or fear in the face of death, grinning, laughing and talking amongst themselves.

Eventually the Ekiruru began to dwindle in numbers as well, but it was nothing compared to the losses the humans had suffered. Sonitus called for a retreat, as she didn't want to be part of this slaughter anymore. If her mother wanted the humans to suffer and die, she could lead them herself. So far the singer hadn't killed anyone, but she couldn't help but feel that some of the blood was on her hands anyway.

Eldarwen heard her daughter call for the Ekiruru to retreat, but wasn't that mad at her. They had begun to lose too many of their own too fast towards the end, when they got arrogant. The sight of the burning ships and dead bodies of humans, was enough for her to think that she loved Sonitus for leading them to such a victory. Still, what she might need in the future was a commander, one who were versed in the art of war and laughed in the face of death. She knew no one who stood out, as quite a few Ekirurus could be described like that.

Auctor had been watching the battle from a cloud, and written down as much as she possibly could, but with how fast the battle went it was hard for her to keep up. However, she thought that she had gotten plenty of useful information and opted to return to the palace.

The queen soared above the battlefield and just watched what remained of the fleet. It wasn't much. She let the call of the eagle out from her throat, as a sign of victory and felt genuinely happy. The humans would fear the ekiruru forever, and she didn't think that they would become much of a threat in the future.

??? - 2, 19

It felt like fire was coursing through her veins and malforming her form further. It got harder to think. All there was was anguish, a need for retribution, an a purpose. There was a god, someone who killed her twice, and with this form she will enact vengeance on all who named her mad.- NO! That's not right!

It was uncertain what this purpose was, but it was all she had left.

image

Pentar 20AP 1MP

As he concluded his teachings, a voice rang through Pentar's mind. He identified the speaker as Olek, though much darker and malevolent than he thought he would be.

"I'M COMING TO CLAIM THE LANDS THAT RIGHTFULLY BELONG TO ME AND MY EMPIRE IN EVALON, ANY ONE OF YOU WHO DARES HINDER ME OR MY FLEET SHALL SUFFER BY MY BLADE."

Pentar's eyes flashed lightning blue. How dare this stranger, this recluse, challenge the God of Order and his most noble Dwarves. Surely Olek must jest. Pentar thought, but the message carried more than just words and Pentar sensed no sarcasm or kidding. Very well. If Olek and his humans want war, then I'll given them war.

Pentar faced Calamos, the leader of the newly formed Knights of Order. "Ready your Knights for battle Calamos; your king will be calling on you shortly."

Calamos looked confused, but accepted his orders without question. "It will be done, my lord." he said with a bow.

"Very good." Pentar said. "Farewell for now. I'm sure we'll meet again." With that, he returned the statue to it's original position and whisked himself back to the mountain.

It was now late at night, and King Erik was just getting ready for bed. That is, until his patron God appeared in front of him. Startled, Erik jumped out of bed and bowed before Pentar. "Rise, Dwarf. There is no time for such formality."

"As you wish, my lord." Erik said as he got back to his feet. "Why are you here?"

Pentar wasted no time in explaining the situation to Erik, who's expression changed from shock to bewilderment and back again a thousand times. When he was done, Pentar conjured a piece of paper with a detailed drawing of a human male in common clothes on it. "The humans look like this, though you should have no trouble spotting their fleet."

"Understood, my lord." Erik said. "I'll alert the men. Thank you for this." He rushed out of the room without another word. Within the hour, the entire mountain would be on high alert. Within two, an army would be fortified on the southern beach to meet their foes. Pentar knew the Dwarves would win this war, but yet he still worried like an old father.

Aen's eyes filled with a cold rage. He clearly outmatched Olek, and yet he charged in over and over again like a rabid beast. It was time to put him down; it was the only way he would stop fighting. Yet he didn't want to destroy Olek entirely. Perhaps the god could be cured. There was always hope. And so with a heavy heart Aen raised his blade. The runes that glew faintly began to grow bright, and it was only when he'd connected with Olek did Aen remember M'endar's words. Too late, he understood, but Seith's power and his combined tore not only through Olek but the very land behind him. Olek screamed in primal agony, and Aen joined him in one of anger, sadness, and betrayal. It was only moments before Olek was silenced, forever. Aen kept on screaming, his voice filled with a raw evil he'd never felt before. He'd been betrayed, and because of this he'd betrayed Olek. He had swore to fight the god one on one, and that promise had been broken for him. He searched the area for a trace of his opponent, but it was too late. The god was destroyed. Completely.

Aen clenched his fist, his heart filled with rage and hate. He wasn't sure, but he had a guess which god had betrayed him, but he would ask M'endar to be sure. Reluctantly, he sheathed his sword. As much as he burned to get Olek and his revenge, he owed the fallen god a proper burial, even if there wasn't a body to do it with. He knew Zareth would have been watching the fight and simply motioned for the death god to join him. There was work to be done, and good must come before evil.

??? 2, 19

There the quarry was fighting at the summit; there was another god, but she'd pay no heed as her only goal was the first. She felt herself ache all over at the sight, wanting? needing? Or was that all just the fire consuming all thought?

A different feeling rose upon seeing one god - her prey - vanish into nothing; there wasn't even any vapor or dust to latch onto her. The fire that gathered onto her turned emerald and blue as thoughts of murder crept into her mind. This one was going to suffer her wrath, and not quickly; his fate was to endlessly regret all that he did to the god until he would- NO! HE'S OUR FRIEND! HE HELPED US!!

The fiery rage remained, but something had changed. I'm sorry.

She spun the god around till he faced her and captured his mouth with her own. Ember-like fingers latched tightly around his form, taking in every detail of his body... No that's not right...

Eldarwen 0

She eventually managed to pull herself away from the beauty of burning ships and charred humans. The griffon feared that Ailish may have failed with her intended plan, and even if she had some sort of trust in the godess, she decided to go back to the battle. Eldarwen's suspicions proved right, as the godess had taken another form and was now... Actually, she may be intruding on a tender moment between them, but it didn't seem like Aen was that fine with what was happening. Either that, or Ailish had taken him by surprise, yet she sensed little love coming from the godess. It was probably for the best if she interrupted the scene before the other gods noticed Ailish.

Thus she flew down and picked up the fiery godess, who struggled against her, but Eldarwen kept a firm grip on her arms with her own talons. She couldn't bring her back to the palace like she was now, as the fire would consume it. She had no place to bring her, but maybe Ailish had been right about the broken heavens. Maybe she would return to normal there. The treemother teleported them both to the mourning garden. She hesitated in front of the portal, disgusted by what her beautiful garden had become, but this was no time to be sentimental.

"I'd come with you, but my duties as queen prevents me from leaving." She wouldn't send her alone though. Eldarwen did have an interest in finding out what lay beyond the gate, and she needed someone whose word she could trust. Someone who would do anything for her.

Sonitus was sitting in the sand on the beach, with her back turned against the ocean. It was a sunny and pleasant day, which almost made her forget about what she had done. The Ekiruru who were still alive were tending to their wyverns and watching the ocean, with glee in their eyes and voices. She didn't mind, as long as she didn't need to watch the scene they had caused.

I need you to come to where I am. She heard the voice of her mother in her head. At least, she hoped she wasn't going mad. Sonitus answered that she needed a moment. If she was a commander, she couldn't just abandon her troops.

The singer stood up, got their attention by whistling and turned to adress them. "I'm afraid our ways must part here, as the godess herself has requested my presence and aid with a different task."

They all bowed their heads to her. "Truly a shame to see you go, yet an honour to serve under you, commander. May our paths cross again, one day." Some of the synthetics told her, in synch with each other.

She smiled, her heart fluttering when they called her commander. Though Sonitus knew she wasn't cut out to lead an army, she wouldn't mind doing it if this was the gratitude they showed her at the end. Eldarwen didn't give her a chance to answer though, and she was teleported to the mourning gardens.

"I need you to act as my eyes, where I can not go."

Sonitus saw her mother struggling with Ailish in her talons, and the portal in front of them. She nodded. "Your wish is my command."

Eldarwen flew above the portal and dropped Ailish into it. Sonitus took Amour in her hands and played a couple of notes, wishing that she was strong enough to make a difference on the other side with it. "Tis the life of a bard, to put adventures such as this on paper and sing about them. Too bad I'm a singer." She laughed and headed after Ailish through the portal.

The godess picked up what Ailish had left behind, strange as it may be and teleported to the coast where Sonitus had talked with her soldiers. They were still there. It was rare to see fear in the eyes of her daughters, but then she remembered that she was a griffon and not a small one either at that. The griffon was about as large as one of the dragons to mortals. They must have heard her before, but perhaps not seen her.

"I am a messenger of the one true godess." She didn't need to say more, they all dropped to their knees and bowed as deeply as they could in the sand. "I am strength, vengeance and salvation. I am the symbol of victory. You shall carry my banner towards glory and into the dark night. When all hope is lost, you shall raise it high and rush into death's embrace."

Eldarwen summoned a banner in the sand in front of them. "Pick it up and return to the portal, but do not venture through it."

One of the Ekiruru in the front did as she told them, and picked it up. She would become the first banner carrier. The griffon let out the call of the eagle, and the Ekiruru repeated it, to her own surprise. Eldarwen turned around and ran across the ground until she was far away from them, where she could teleport back home to the palace.

When she reappeared in the throne room, she found Auctor sitting on the floor with a bunch of scrolls around her. They didn't interest the queen, which had changed back from the griffon.

"I have need of you as well, Auctor." The writer slumped where sat and had a sour expression on her face, for a split second, before she realized who she was talking with. "You shouldn't go unrewarded, when your sister gets credit, that was never my intention. I need a lady, someone who is intelligent and won't bring down a war on us. Surely, diplomacy interests you?"

Auctor gazed at her mother's face, wondering what she was getting at. It was true though. Studying the other races through diplomacy and writing about it sounded stimulating. "Yes."

Eldarwen's sudden grin was disconcerting. "Good. Return to Evalon and wait for me there." She made to leave, but stopped herself in the hallway. "And should they consider us weak when we want to trade or discuss matters with them. We can always bring down the fist of nature on them, to show who is truly the strongest."

The words were filled with malicious intent, echoing through the corridors of the castle as the queen made her way outside to the courtyard, where she would speak to her people.

Auctor transported all the scrolls to her quarters, then she walked back to Evalon through the portal.

Zareth 21, 2

The deed was done and Olek was no more. He left Aen to his own moment of grief as the others looked on.

It was quite the surprise when a flaming and deranged Ailish, or something that felt like her, stormed in on the scene and grabbed at Aen. Trying to do... something to him. Zareth dived and scrabbled at her, it, with his talons while Aen struggled for freedom. Fortunately Eldarwen tipped the balance and quickly dragged the mad creature away. Seems we'll have another animal in need of putting down soon.

Zareth quickly adopted his usual form and took a place next to Aen, putting a hand on the young warrior's shoulder. "You should rest, I'll handle it from here."

He found a small bit of comfort, and a great deal of sadness in the knowledge that he had done this before. How many more of us will have to fall for such meaningless causes?

He reached out, finding Olek's scattered essence. Gathering it into his hands until he held every last bit of what the god of men might have once called a soul. It was a strange thing compared to Tsuronte's. Olek was a much more... insubstantial thing. Does a different fate await each of us when our time comes? It seemed the more Zareth learned about his calling the more questions it left him with.

With his moment of contemplation over, Zareth opened his arms and let his breath flow out onto the wind and with it went Olek. Free to find whatever peace he could.

"We may need to talk." He whispered to Aen, before fading away and reappearing in Evermoor.

The dead were all in a bother and the atmosphere felt wrong, tainted by foreign powers. Someone had been here, an intruder.

Melanthios 5AP, 1MP
Melanthios smiled as the spirits successfully entered the Dues Filli, giving them new knowledge and possibilities. He sat down, pleased with his success. Melanthios turned to his two sons who were looking at him. He lifted his glass and smiled "Cheers, my sons, to a brighter tomorrow." Akladai and Maeglin lifted their glasses too, smiling. "To a brighter tomorrow." All three drank from their glasses, Melanthios looked down into his glass. His sons started a discussion about the magical value of golems.

Melanthios slowly swirled his drink around in his glass. Who am I? Why am I here? Who created me? the questions came back again. Melanthios looked annoyed. He had managed to suppress these kind of questions by answering others and writing books. But occasionally these questions resurfaced. They made Melanthios realize how little he knew. This both exited and annoyed him. Melanthios looked down at his hands, they were ever changing and seemed unsure of what to become. He wondered if he had had an life before this one.

Had he come from somewhere else? Who had he been? Melanthios mind began to wonder again. He looked down at Salustutis and spotted that almost everyone was asleep. But there was one Dues Filli who was still working, an wise and old Dues Filli. Melanthios looked at him, he had to admit he was surprised by this man's conviction. The man was looking for a way to become immortal, Melanthios saw that he would never reach his dream before he would die of old age. Melanthios snapped his finger and a brown cape appeared, he put it on, placing his normal cape on the table.

He teleported into the library, appearing behind the old man. The man kept turning pages, it seemed like he hadn't noticed Melanthios yet. Melanthios took a step forward, stepping into an advanced magic trap. Dark chains sprung from the walls, wrapping themselves around Melanthios and suddenly a high voltage shock hit Melanthios. The old man turned around "What are you doing here thief?" Melanthios smiled, it seemed he hadn't lost his power yet. Suddenly the chains dissolved, the man looked shocked.

"M..Melanthios?" The old man asked, it seemed he recognized the magic. Melanthios nodded "I am indeed Melanthios, I have come with an offer, Kain." The old man's eyes narrowed. "What kind of deal are we talking about?" Melanthios lifted his hand. An image of a 28 year old man appeared, he had white hair and was wearing a lot of jewelry. "How would you like to look like this again?" The man smiled greedily. "I would do everything for that!" he said passionately. Melanthios smiled, "I am glad to hear that, now take a seat before me." The old man took the seat in front of Melanthios.

Melanthios touched his forehead, giving him a deal in which he gave him immortality for his eternal loyalty. The man accepted, smiling happily that he had been given more time. Melanthios stuck his hand through the man's chest without making a wound. "Wh.. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" the man yelled in surprise. "Well I need to keep you here in this world," Melanthios pulled out his hand taking along the man's soul. "What easier way than to bind you here?" The man seemed to calm down, still looking a bit scared. Melanthios focused and began to fuse the man's soul with the jewelry, he could feel the process starting. Melanthios suddenly turned around and walked away "I held up my end of the bargain, now it is your turn, Kain. Follow the orders I left you."

Melanthios teleported to his library, he observed the fight with the humans from up there. He had little to no interest in it, as long as his allies didn't ask for his help he had nothing to do with it. Still, if his allies were in danger he had to help. Melanthios sent a message to his allies who seemed to be in Olek's war path."Do any of you need help in dealing with Olek and the humans?" Melanthios was sure neither of the demigods would mind fighting them, in fact it might be good practice.

Seith watched as Olek fell. A mad god turned on his followers, his colleagues, his friends. He frowned and turned around to leave. The humans had been slaughtered and this entire planet was just a fountain of blood. Hatred seemed to be the guiding force now and Seith had nothing left to talk about here. He went back to his watch tower and stared at the moon. Then realized Vantric was making an item of power. This was hardly appropriate as Olek had fallen and honestly, Seith was not in the mood for more things to go awry.

The glowing god of light cast himself forward and said to Vantric, "This is hardly needed now. Olek has fallen. Go back to the abyss to scheme some more."

He then broke the thorn in two.

After that, Seith turned to another important job, his staff. It seemed M'endariux was intent on never letting it form. He hated secrets but it seemed making a smaller version and upgrading it later was the way to go here. The staff lacked a gem, but he could place it later when the time presented itself.

Roe 10, 1

Roe descended into Petal's village with a leap, the scene before him instantly confirming his fears. Horribly-painted Xin warriors were tearing through the houses, setting them alight and putting anyone they found to the blade. Roe saw a family being hacked to pieces out of the corner of his eyes but he ran past them, ignoring their screams.

"Petal!" he called into the chaos, no-longer able to hear her whistle, "Where are you? I'm sorry for pushing you over earlier!"

Then he spotted her, wispy as ever and standing quietly in a nearby doorway. With a gasp of relief Roe bounded over to her and put his arms out to pull her into a tight hug.

"Oh Pets... no!" he breathed as his arms went straight through her, "No, you can't be..."

"What's happening Roe? I'm so scared..." The little girl's spirit faded before his eyes, drawn by the inevitable pull of Evermoor.

"I'll come find you and get you out, I promise!" Roe replied and he thought he saw a brief smile in reply upon the ghost's lips but then she was gone and all he could see was a tiny crumpled figure lying inside the hut, her neck twisted at a horribly unnatural angle. Roe didn't need to check who it was, he fell onto the ground besides her and pounded it with his fists, tears streaming down from his eyes.

"I... I never told you..." he sobbed and conjuring up a tiny white flower, he placed it on her chest with a shaking hand. For a few more moments he lay besides her, before he was consumed entirely by anger.

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Extract: Book of Rowan:

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...the Wan were driven back by the hordes of Xin, the village of Manor. Suddenly from behind the men a great fire rose from the ground and rushed through the village like a flood of flames, consuming and engulfing all the invaders in it's path but leaving the Wan unharmed. Once the screams and agony of our enemy died down, the flames returned to us and formed a gigantic head. All the Wan knelt before it's majesty.

"I AM THY LORD ROE!" the LORD ROE commanded, "THOU SHALT NOT REST UNTIL EVERY XIN IS CLEANSED FROM THE EARTH OF EVALON!"

Thus the men of the Wan went forth and by Niv's rise the next morning, not a single man, woman or child of the Xin tribe were still among the living. That day the Wan swore themselves eternally to the LORD ROE and from then forth were known to all as the Rowan...

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The Storyteller

The Storyteller leaned back and lit a pipe, this was never an easy part of the tale to tell to small children. He continued, choosing his words carefully.

"Thus the Second Age was drawn to a close. Aen stood victorious over the slain Olek, leaving just eleven gods active in the universe and the Lainir, Dwarf and Verr peoples safe for the time being. The few survivors of Olek's great fleet found their way back to Olegard and nearby lands where along with the other remaining humans who had not become Aen's Changelings, they were converted by Roe into his own patron race: the Rowan."

Taking a deep drag of his pipe, the Storyteller then recounted the less bloodthirsty developments.

"Along with the end of the Age came an unprecedented boom in the creation of items: Ailish created the Armor of Hatred, Eldarwen a banner of the griffon and Seith his own item that's identity would become clear in time. Vantric attempted to create the Thorn of the Black Rose but Seith's hinder caused the item to droop and flop uselessly in Vantric's hands, unable to convey even the smallest smidgen of power.

Melanthios also sucessfully changed one of his race, Kain, into the first Striga, a immortal strain of Dues Filli. This was to be the final act of the Second Age and a millennia would pass until the next would begin."

Eldarwen and Auctor: Interage

The queen stopped on the stairs to the palace, which was situated on a hill as she prefered to talk the people from there. The first words she spoke was simply a calling, to get their attention. They didn't need to be right in front of her, as her voice could carry across great distances and even those who didn't hear her, would be told by the others.

"My loyal subjects, long have you enjoyed the peace and prosperity on our world. It shall not change any time soon, the godess has promised me, but do we really want peace? You are proud fighters, who would all make excellent warriors. Why deny such a calling? You do not need to fight amongst each other, when there are other races to kill. You are all sisters. Thus, I will begin work on Minas Kei. The tower of respect, on a planet, which we can reach through the portal in the throne room. I need able bodied warriors, builders and intelligent women to create the first outpost of the one true godess. Eldarwen!"

She waited, the street and the city lay silent for a few hours after her speech. They wouldn't dare to disobey her, but packing up and moving may not be that attractive to them either. She thought about offering something as reward, when she saw the process moving through the streets. They were hard to spot in the darkness at first, but the night was turning into early morning. Soon hundreds upon hundreds, no thousands, Ekiruru could be seen in the faint light of the morning. They moved towards the castle, carrying their belongings on their backs and all dressed up in black.

She opened the gate for them, and they poured through the portal to Evalon. Eldarwen would make sure Auctor kept an eye on Eld while she left. The writer would become Lady of Minas Kei, but the work had only just begun and wasn't close to being finished.

"For those of you that chose to remain on our glorious homeworld, I have only one command. We need to get more inhabitants of Ayamine, especially now, even if we did before too. Procreate like never before!"

There must still be a couple of millions left on her planet, but the city had large parts that were empty and she'd rather not have them decline. The sun shone on her, and she let her eyes take in the great metropolis of Ayamine, one last time before she left.

Auctor saw the synthetics and battle born return to the portal, some hours after she arrived herself. She had spent her time observing the gate to Evermoor. What did her mother want them to do here? It was a spooky looking canyon, with ghosts just beyond that gate. She wasn't scared, but it felt like an odd spot. Auctor couldn't help but wonder why the tree portal had been placed here, or how the crag had been created.

She sighed, she would rather be writing or studying what she had gathered. It was then that they arrived, they came in droves and she teleported away from the bottom of the canyon. Auctor didn't want to be in the way, of whatever was going to happen.

Her mother arrived last, and told Auctor to keep an eye on Eld. There was no need to worry about them, as it would take a long time from this day to finish her city. She did as she was told, barely able to contain her excitement.

Thus, the work on the second city of the Ekiruru started. Eldarwen worked as hard as she had on Ayamine, but didn't make it even half as big. Instead, she listened to the artists and scholars this time, to get a city just as great, if not as large. The design was important. It should be easily defendable and exquisite.

She made a palace for Auctor to reside in, a central district of the city and then flooded it all when the artists told her it was a good idea to have water. Well, Ayamine didn't lack water, so why should Minas Kei? She spent hundreds of years working on it, before she decided to leave the rest to the inhabitants. Auctor was competent enough to take it from there, and she did, with the creation of the great library of Minas Kei.

Eldarwen had made sure that the gate to Evermoor had been left alone, and was fairly secluded from the city, even if it was close by. It was hidden away behind the palace. She didn't wish to impose on Zareth's territory, but at the same time she thought he wouldn't mind getting neighbours that much. The tree portal to Ayamine had been moved to the garden in Auctor's palace. With that, the godess left Evalon as she had no interest in the planet. She would return, every now and then, to check on Minas Kei.

Almost a thousand years later.

Auctor was relaxing on the platform in front of the palace, and listened to the water pour from the four mouths of the stone beasts high above her. It had been threehundred years since Eldarwen had left the city in her care, and she rarely dropped by herself.

At first, Auctor had been overwhelmed with responsibility and despaired at how much she had to do. It had taken fifty years before she accepted that she didn't want to do it all alone, and the first college of officials had been assembled. Twenty Ekiruru, who were supposed to help her run the city and make decisions.

They had convinced her too make more than one decision which she doubted her mother would be pleased with, but what was she to do? Eldarwen was never around, and she didn't want to run to her for every problem that arose.

Most of the synthetics had moved to her city, as they considered her their godess. Except for those who had remained with the alchemists, to create more weapons like the firebomb inferno. She was scared what Eldarwen would do if she found out, but they did keep the library in good shape. She just wished that they hadn't asked her to allow them to mine in the tunnels. That wouldn't go over well if Eldarwen ever found out about it. There was too much to think about, but it made her treasure the few moments of peace she could afford now that the college of officials handled trivial tasks.

She wondered how her mother was able to do it alone, but maybe it was because Ayamine was a dictatorship and Minas Kei closer to a democracy. She did care about her people. Auctor would never abandon her throne as lady of Minas Kei, but the twenty Ekiruru who aided her were elected every thirty years.

Auctor smiled, despite it all, it was a nice place. She went back to writing her book.

Nivix - Interage

"Well. That was fun!" Nivix exclaimed as he turned away from the viewport. The whole battle between the humans and the Ekiruru had certainly been something, but that final confrontation between Olek and Aen... Oh, that little scrap had gotten his blood boiling!

"Raaaaaaaaaagh! I want to do something!"

No, it wasn't that he wanted to do something. It was that he had to do something! Seeing all those races and gods collide in an epic battle like that, oh it had been nothing short of fantastic! It had stirred something up in him, something that he hadn't felt in quite a while. It was time for him to make his presence known, to ensure that the other gods hadn't forgotten about their greatest and most brilliant brother!

Hmm... Hadn't he left one of his projects lying around here somewhere?

"Oi, Ven," he roared, his cry echoing around the vastness of the laboratory"you still here?"

"Yes," came the telepathic (and annoyed) reply, "I'm still here. Just like I have been. Ever since you brought me here."

"Oh. Right. How long have I had you again?"

"How the hell am I supposed to tell time in this place!? I've been wandering around this place for ages, and I've yet to see a single clock!"

"Yeah," Nivix sheepishly muttered. "I don't really like to adhere to everyone else's concept of time; I try to keep this place running on its own schedule."

"How is that an excuse for not having a clock!?"

"Because shut up, that's how."

Having managed to track down Ven's location, Nivix teleported to the Mizzen's side. "Anyway, I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of bored here," the god continued, wrapping an arm around the synthetic's chassis. "What do you say we get out of here and go see what's going on down on Evalon, eh? Pretty sure I put a few Mizzen down here."

If Ven's new "face" was capable of expressing emotion, it would have been glaring at Nivix with the fury of a thousand stars. "I have been stuck in here for who knows how long, with literally nothing to do. I don't know where things are, you neglected to tell me how to work any of the machines, and I'm afraid to leave my room in case I get lost and can't find my way back. I would have tried to kill myself, but apparently you made me immortal. I am bored. Please, let's go somewhere else."

"That's the spirit," Nivix cheerfully responded, already preparing the necessary spell to take himself and the Mizzen down to Evalon. "You might want to hang on for this next bit; I still haven't been able to iron out all the kinks with this particularly incarnation of the teleport."

"Wait, wait, WAIT, I don't think I want to-"

A flash of light filled the room, and an instant later the god and Mizzen had vanished.


Zareth -Interage

Evermoor was stirring like Zareth had never seen before. Torrents of new souls were arriving by the minute. Ekiruru, still wild and reeling from the battle on Evalon and humans beyond counting were swarming over the summer fields. All of them weeping and wailing over the violence that had brought them there.

What the hell is going on over there?

And on top of them were the usual arrivals, those that died of age or illness. Zareth stood in the middle of the maelstrom, trying to calm those around him and directing the Kami as best he could. The little tree spirits did their best to direct the new arrivals and reunite them with anyone they knew, but it was a losing battle. Even Carnivox had to be called in to try and round up the rowdier souls.

Slowly but surely the crowds were dispersed and Evermoor adapted to the sudden influx of dead.

"This isn't going to work." He said to no one in particular. The worlds were only going to get more violent, he had to find a way to deal with the days that would follow these events. Evermoor's organic nature would prove it's undoing. He had to get back to his plan to reshape his kingdom and harden it to its purpose now or more chaos would follow.

Zareth was wandering through the summer fields and forests that the majority of humans called home in Evermoor when something broke him from his thought. A small, soft whimper echoing through the trees. He peered through the branches, trying to spy the source. There was a flicker of movement but whatever it was had vanished before he could get a clear look. He wandered through the forest, following the noise. Finally he got a good bearing on where it was coming from. In the blink of an eye he was on it, standing before the wailing spirit.

A little girl. She screamed and flinched away from him. Cowering in the tangled roots of a tree. Most humans were afraid of him, those that weren't were usually off in some way.

"It's alright, it's alright." He whispered, kneeling down to her level. "What's your name?" He asked in as reassuringly as he could.

The little ghost girl looked up at him through her tears. "Petal." She said. She looked familiar, but where had he seen her before?

"Do you have any one here Petal?" It would be a sad thing whatever answer she gave but Evermoor could be a lonely place for a child. Petal just sniffed through her tears.

"I don't know... where am I?" She was doing her best to keep herself together.

She's one of the tribes people, the ones that were slaughtered. Perhaps her parents were here, somewhere. Zareth reached out and helped her up.

"Well maybe we can find someone you know here." She hesitated, her people did not have the nicest ideas about what waited for them in Evermoor, Zareth would have to show her other wise. "Don't worry, you'll be alright. I promise."

She took Zareth's hand and he walked on with her, guiding her to her people. Godly tasks could wait, right now he had more important things to do.

Pentar Interage

The Royal Army of Loth Ringard stood on the southern beaches for a full night, watching from a distance as the human fleet burned on the horizon. When the sun rose the next morning, there was no sign of the fleet left, and the soldiers where ordered home. Even though the Dwarves were not directly effected, the incident made it clear that it was time to explore the world beyond the mountain.


Roe - Interage

Few mortals upon Evalon, except perhaps a handful of the most dedicated star gazers, noticed one night when a new light joined it's brethren in the sky. Even fewer would have guessed the new body was not actually a star but a tiny second moon of Evalon: one that would be one day known as Oculus Pets. It wasn't long before Rowan whale riders came across it almost by accident; many reported feeling somehow compelled to steer their beasts in that direction. They found to their surprise the moon had an atmosphere despite being so small one could walk across in less than five minutes.

A few hundred years later, Oculus Pets was no longer empty. Rows upon rows of low wooden buildings lined the rock's surface, many of them taverns and inns for whale riders to rest or trade at. Gangs of ghoulish-looking children hung around the entrances offering to watch trader's whales for a few spare coins: Pets was known for having the highest proportion of Kinderven population anywhere in the Solar System, they made up almost a fifth of the population. The majority of the other inhabitants were Rowan in origin, although there were significant minorities of the other space-faring races. On the highest building upon the small moon flew a blue flag with a five-petaled white flower at it's centre. This was the flag of the Kingdom of Chama, the greatest of the Rowan nations.

Few of the mortals living on the surface of Oculus Pets would have guessed that there was another section of the moon. Deep beneath the surface, Roe leaned back in a comfy leather chair he created earlier and rested his feet on the table in front of him. The cavern he was sitting in was lit by many torches scattered around the walls. There were nine Kinderven sitting opposite the young god, three were Grigori, one Dwarf, one Lainir and the rest were human. Due to the similarity between the young of the Changelings and Rowan it was unclear which the Kinderven had originally been, not that it mattered anymore. One of the Grigori stood up to speak.

"Captain Roe, we have completed the mission," he said respectfully.

"Have you found where she is?" Roe asked anxiously.

"Lots of stories all talk about the same place, under the city of Minas Kei, they say it's where the ghosts live forever after they die," the Kinderven replied, spreading a bundle of crudely drawn maps across the table, "there's loads of green ladies there though, it was too risky for us to look closer. We had to fly our velociflies over lots of times to even draw these maps!"

"Thanks, eh... good work," Roe said and took a closer look at the maps that had been provided. Despite their roughness, he could see they had been draw carefully and they all pointed towards one location: a lake in the centre of the city. This was exactly what he had been looking for, there was no time to lose.

"This is it," he declared to the others, "You have helped me as much as you can, I have to do the rest of this on my own. I've left your rewards in the cupboards under the stairs in the Western Inn,"

The Kinderven scuttled out leaving Roe alone. He sat down over the maps and began to formulate his plans, his young brow furrowed in concentration.

Aen

Ailish... or whatever creature she'd been at the time... had kissed him. Could that be called a kiss? He burned all over still, from the fire or his emotion he couldn't say. And now more emotions crept in. He was so confused he wanted to scream. Why? Why now? For what reason? And now she was gone, and he didn't risk following her. He needed time, more time than he had, to figure things out. He pushed the thoughts from his mind, but with them gone other thoughts fought for his attention.

He'd now gotten what he'd wanted. Mortals to look after, a friend, a foe slain in battle. Why did it all feel so hollow then? He looked upon the mortals and laughed bitterly. Mortals saw them as such amazing creatures, but they were all fools playing a game they didn't understand, him least of all. But it was too late to back out now. He was not so cowardly as that. Aen grabbed Olek's sword where it lay. So much had been destroyed in his final attack, yet the weapon remained. He studied the blade, wondering if it carried the same hate the wielder had. It didn't feel quite like his own, and yet he still sensed it wasn't something to simply leave around. It would need a place... and he knew where to place it.

The Hallowed Court stretched before him in all it's mismatched splendor. None of it belonged near the other and yet it all flowed together so well. Proof that they could work as a group and get things done. He took in each one with a serenity, but when his eyes fell upon Seith's Hall of Mirrors he felt himself burning again. He tore his eyes away and closed them shut, forcing himself to calm. This was not the time. Instead he searched out Tsuranote's Hall, and decided upon a place near that. He wanted the joy but somehow found himself drawn to the flames as well. "A love for fire and blood," he scoffed. "Some knight I am."

Aen let his will spread out around him, shaping nothingness into what he wished. A place to train, a place to spar, a place to fight. Fertile land to hunt until the end of time. And a small place to hold a sword until the time was right. Aen smiled, a small one but a smile nonetheless, as the happiness of bringing things to existence filled him. Above all else, this is what he was meant to do.

Seith interage

Seith watched from his mirrors as the humans were slaughtered mercilessly by the Ekiruru. He could hardly believe it as thousands of souls fell into disarray and chaos. Lennonous was seething with rage and Sephariel sulked back in her chair. Seith slammed his fist on the side of one of the lenses, shattering it. Sephariel quickly repaired it and watched as her father walked away, his entire body a crimson red.

"These...humans and Ekiruru. I won't tolerate it! Of all the things they could do, this? I won't accept it! I have to simply be more aware and...yes."

Seith turned towards his creations, his lenses. They were almost perfect, but he couldn't hear nor could he see through walls. People were hiding, they were scheming and this was what caused such a war. It would cause more wars in the future as well. He had to save the mortals and the first step was simple. He needed more information, he had to take it all. Seith raised his hand up in seemingly a random direction and screamed, "I shall not be blinded again!"

Throughout the universe, Seith's lenses had been invisible in order to avoid causing people trouble. For a minute, everyone witnessed the lenses glow with his crimson fury and as quickly as it began, Seith's happening ended. The lenses turned invisible again and the skies returned to their normal colors. The effect however, was more than anyone could imagine. Seith could see anything he wanted now, through walls, rocks, magical barriers, none of them could prevent him from witnessing events on a massive scale. On top of that, he could also hear what people said. There was no longer any hiding, evil would show its face if it wanted to or not.

Ailish & Sonitus - Inter-age

She came to and immediately Ailish recognized the dark yet etherial landscape; Ailish was back in the heavens. She recalled a fever dream with one of the fellow gods, but the details felt fuzzy and what happened afterwards became doubly so.

Getting up from the floor the goddess found herself... not exactly heavier, but like water. Cold air hung over the organic hall, and caused her skin to tense. Wait a moment.

She glanced at her hands and found the bony appendages to be no more and replaced by a familiar appearance. In spite of the discomfort and read, a content smile came upon her face.

"Whoa. Talk about your fixer-upper." Sonitus said, as she stepped through the portal with her sword over her shoulder. It certainly looked dark and destroyed, but she didn't recoil in horror. There didn't seem to be anything around other than them. "You want to repair this...?"

She turned to Ailish, but couldn't find her. Instead there was this new figure in front of her. "Whoa..." Sonitus exclaimed for the second time, then pulled back the cloth that covered her own face.

She would be jealous if anyone beat her beauty, and now that no one was around to see her; it would only be a shame if the godess couldn't see her face. Sonitus' face had always had the scars that fire created, but scars was beauty to her people and surviving fire was hard.

Sonitus ran her hand along Ailish's face. "I'm assuming this is what you look like here, instead of that disfigured body you had at the palace." She brushed her hair aside. "What did you want to do here? My mother was unclear on the details."

The touch caused her eyes to close by some unknown jolt, and a hand to lightly clasp hers; it had been a long time since she felt such sensations, and it made it hard to think. She didn't know how Sonitunes would take, but Ailish needed this... feeling. She could only nod at Sonitunes' words as a small smile crept on her lips; all other thoughts were thrown out the window.Something has changed in her... And in myself as well.

For her time stretched on before her ruby eyes finally opened, and processed the demigod's piercing gaze. Her chest began to ache, and . Ailish's hand left Sonitunes' to caress her cheek, taking in the warmth and grooves that emanated from it.

She then stopped as the last bit of her mind brought her out of rapture. Somehow Ailish remembered the demigod's words. "I... I... don't know..." No, I do know."I haven't felt such beauty... " she trailed off again as her thoughts were jumbled on top of one another.Change the subject. Please change the subject "I remembered searching for something and then..." She still couldn't piece together what the fever dream's significance was, and Sonitunes' strange yet beautiful presence left her in silence. And that hand was still on her face.

"There's an old grove near here." She found something to focus on, but she still sounded like she was in a trance. "We may be able to find something to help with ... something."

Ailish didn't make a lot of sense to her, but her reaction to her touch was the only thing that mattered, so she held onto it as the godess rambled on. She laughed softly, when she said that there was a grove nearby. How many times had she heard those words before? Sonitus had lost count, and Eleonara had been quite different from her. It felt better when she got this suggestion from a godess, than some drunk or pumped up Ekiruru battle born.

"Oh?" She let her hand trail down her face and neck, then pulled it away reluctantly. "Let's go then."

Slowly the hand that was on Sonitunes' face turned to weave her fingers into the goddess' own, giving one last caress before they went hand in hand.

The corridors were still the same; same carved stone-like walls, same black pulsating streams that flowed benath them, same labyrinthine locks, and the same wisps. They appeared again, and they moved towards the two with wild frenzy. But Ailish would have none of that; with a wave of her staff a protective circle sprung up, and he mist was kept a distance away. A part of her felt bad about bringing her here, but they were getting close. Furthermore such thoughts were unhealthy; they'd dispel the barrier.

"Had I told you about these heavens?... Or what they used to be?" She had finally asked. They were still a distance away, and she wanted to take her mind off these other emotions. And it certainly didn't hurt to speak with her again.

She went hand in hand with Ailish, through the broken heavens. Whenever something surprised or scared her, she would clutch the godess hand tightly with her own.

It was clear that something had been here before, which made her wonder what had brought about their end and this.

"No, you haven't. Any sound coming from those lips of yours, must be worth listening too." She answered, and wanted her to tell her. It would please her mother too, if she could hear the truth when she came back. Somehow Eldarwen didn't seem that important right now though.

Ailish felt her cheeks turn red, and certain... thoughts ran through her head.

"You may not believe this now, but these lands were truly alive. Touched by perfection, and captured what it meant to just... be." The memories flushed back in. "Above and below us there used to be stars that shone like gems - each one a shining brilliant soul that we could see from anywhere. There were buildings and art that were carved out of light and instilled great things into you. Every pleasure of existence that could be felt were made into perfection, and given to all who came upon here." A smile crept on her lips, fogging whatever she had said. Her gaze returned to the shining azure eyes of Sonitunes.

"Gods, demigods, the souls that made themselves worthy of the heavens. All had walked these halls because they truly lived, and felt... As you and I now."

Sonitus listened to her speak about the broken heavens, before they broke. It sounded too good to be true, as the gods that now existed couldn't get along. If the previous gods had been able to live together, then it must be hard for Ailish to accept the new order.

"I do feel, but as anyone would notice none of that is what you describe it as anymore. Except for you, which is nice, but enough flirting for now. I wish to know, what happened to make them like this?"

She leaned her head against Ailish's shoulder, and whispered;

"I hope you don't mind me asking, but were you there when all this ended?"

"I saw it happen Sonitunes." The smile dropped as the same bitter memories surfaced. The hand that grasped the demigod's tightened. "One of the gods wanted to change my body and soul into their new realm just so they could escape... The damned Fugue was willing to throw his friends away for his own sake." Her voice was low, but there was a lingering anger that snapped at the last sentence.

"He was supposed to be the one to take care of the dead, yet he somehow made all this happen!" She gestured with her free hand all around the two. "First the dead could not reincarnate, then my fellow gods began to vanish one by one. When our leader was gone, people began to panic and fight one another. That was when we saw what would taint this realm. It started in the... grove..." She inwardly grimaced at her own suggestion she made a while ago.

Sonitus threw her arms around Ailish in a hug, to comfort her and try to calm her down. "It seems we have more in common than beauty."

She meant how they both shared a hatred for the caretaker of the dead, though not the same god. Zareth was surely as much of a plight on the universe as the one Ailish spoke of, and perhaps killing him would prevent the break from happen again. Yes, perhaps she could convince her mother to see it the same way with this new information.

She smiled mischievously, when the thought occured to her and kissed Ailish out of excitement. Eldarwen had said she trusted her, and now she could bring back truth to use against the one she hated the most.

"Oh, I'll go anywhere you want me too." She said, with her lips still pressed against hers. Hoping that she would gain even more knowledge to use against Zareth. "Did the caretaker of the dead create the taint in the grove?"

She had suddenly felt subdued when Sonitunes put her lips to the goddess' own. And what she said about the two of them made something in her unlock. In time she finally responded to the demigod's question.

"He had to." She replied, her voice sounding low, and subdued. "All this..." she gestured to the heavens again. "It all started when the dead were flooding this realm."

Sonitus wanted to get back to the palace as soon as she could, when Ailish answered her. This was great news, that could be used to turn Eldarwen against Zareth. It made her remember that she had sworn to go with Ailish, and that thinking about her mother while kissing her was rude and inappropriate.

She pulled away from the godess, and blushed. Ailish had turned from angry to something else. An unexpected reaction, as no one had reacted the same when she had kissed them before. "I'm sorry.. I.. I didn't mean to offend. Let's just get to what you wanted to show me."

"No." She smiled before kissing Sonitus back, and gently tracing over one of her scars with her tongue. "You did no such thing."

More of the wisps gathered, but they would not dare pass the circle Ailish erected. The corridors continued to gnarl at every turn, but eventually the walls settled, and an acid green glow was seen at the end. Close up the two saw an orchard that had seen better days. Everything looked not rotting but aging, unnaturally old. The trees drooped and appeared delicate. A dark purple fruit hung from the trees, though looking nothing like anyone would think.

"This should be it." Ailish she said as she plucked a fruit out of one of the branches. But opening the fruit was another matter altogether; there was no grip, nor any vulnerablility to the skin.

The purple fruit in this setting, where everything appeared twisted, reminded her of the wildlings. Her sister carried markings of her time as one. She liked eating fruit. It had been their main form of food long before the dinosaurs entered the menu. She didn't want to eat one of those however, lest she turn into a wildling.

"What are those? Surely, they can't be healthy if they grow here."

"Actually, they have a lot of faith behind them." The goddess tried to assuage Sonitunes. "There used to be... more growing out in this grove. More trees, green, there was even a river here. The trees still bearing this fruit is a testimony to their will."

The fruit's leathery skin still proved difficult to open. She tried digging into the peel, with no luck. "There's a sweetness behind this skin. Each seed tasted so... pure... Mortals likened this taste to a virginity." Success finally came, and out came these red and purple globules that sparkled like gems. Ailish held a handful out to Sonitus. "Would you want some?"

She thought it odd they'd compare the taste to a virginity, as someone with experience was better. It made her wonder what her people would have compared it too. The first blood they drew? Virginity worked better in that sense.

Sonitus wanted to trust Ailish, but the thought that convinced her was that of her mother. She'd frown and put her down if she didn't do her best. Did eating a fruit really count though? Unfortunately, it probably would. She was the forest godess after all.

"Uhm, I guess there's no harm then..." She bent her head down to Ailish hand, and ate them out of her hand. They tasted a lot better than she had expected, but the fear didn't dissipate. She'd hate to return home, looking like Ailish had last time, or worse.

Since they first met, Ailish felt nervous again; she could see her fidget at what the goddess offered. Fingers reached out to caress her face again ignoring what seeds that remained, and lightly guided her face so she could see the demigod's striking eyes. "What's wrong Sonitunes?"

Out of nowhere she felt something crush her heart. The pain was quick and afflictions were immediate; Ailish fainted into Sonitunes' arms. A hand appeared on the demigod's shoulder.

Sonitus catched Ailish, and held her against her chest. This wasn't good. That was an understatement. It was disastrous. Would the creatures attack them now? The only reason they hadn't been attacked yet, was because of Ailish's shield.

"Come on, Ailish." She whispered, over and over, but it didn't help.

The singer pulled her sword and thought about going back to the portal. It couldn't be that far. She had a vague idea of how to get there. It was then that she noticed the hand on her shoulder, and screamed like only she could, sending a soundwave towards it to throw it off her.

The mists started to close around the two like the hurricane surrounding the eye. The hand fell off, and yet immediately stood up. The index finger tapped the ground three times before snapping its digits as if an epiphany came. It balled its appendages back before pointing all its fingers at the two.

Unconsciously, Ailish's arms wrapped around Sonitunes' neck, mimicking the movements the hand was making. Then it balled into a fist again, and The goddess began to choke the demigod into unconsciousness.

The hand began moving on the ground, and Ailish reached up to strangle her. "I'm not into erotic asphyxiation." She protested, as she felt the world grow dark around her. "Why does no one listen..." Sonitus passed out.

Lights faded in and out, and they found themselves in a dark lit room. Cold iron bound the two to the walls. and no freedom of movement was given There were no wisps, no overt sense of taint, but a chill descended over the two.

"About time you came back." A baritone like envenomed honey rang in the room, belonging to a gaunt figure, draped in a bloody orange. "I was wondering if I had to drag you here myself." He walked to the still-unconscious Ailish only to steal a violent kiss from the goddess. "What did you expect to happen when you steal from me?" It was all he said before turning to the demigod.

"And you." He eyed Sonitus form. "You've certainly found yourself in a mess havent you?" The tone was serious, though it was uncertain if his lips curled into a smirk.

She smirked when she saw him kiss the unconcious Ailish. He had no right to do that. While she had stolen many a kiss herself, it was not something you did when the other was unaware.

"Depends." She winked at him. "Maybe I'll like it here?"

Sonitus began to sing, a song that would put sirens to shame, to convince him to come closer. The words were the song of Amour, and the sword responded by moving away from her and behind him. Slowly, slowly, while she tried to keep his attention by squirming sensually against the wall and singing.

"Amour Amour, Alle wollen nur dich zähmen." The sword rose from the ground behind the jailer, and floated on the soundwaves its power was tied to. She only needed to sing the last words, and it should react accordingly. Hopefully it'd work too. "Amour Amour am Ende, gefangen zwischen deinen Zähnen!"

Amour arched backwards, before coming down with force on the back of his head.

The sword did its job, and the figure collapsed on the floor. Blood seeping from his gaping wound. The skin grew darker, and the cloak grew brighter.

I bet that felt good didn't it? Why not introduce that blade to your friend?

The body made no movement, but his voice still rang.

"Why yes, it did feel good." The sword fell as she stopped singing, but she started again before it hit the ground. Amour destroyed her shackles, and she touched her sore wrists. Before she had carried the sword like any mortal would, but she was no mortal and singing to make Amour do her bidding made sense. She felt its power reverberate through the air, and it would be just as effective as if she carried it in one hand. As long as she could send her voice to the sword, it would come to her.

Sonitus stepped over the fallen, and freed Ailish. There was more than one way to use a sword, and his suggestion to introduce it to Ailish gave her several lewd ideas.

She shook the godess, and wanted her to wake up. Again, she felt like she was doing it the wrong way. Why would shaking her even work? Sonitus put her mouth against Ailish ear, and sang to try and wake her.

What's that tingling sensation around your neck? That... Tightening. Stiffening. Choking. Feeling.

One hand moved to tightly grasp Sonitus' neck. It was Ailish's. Her eyes were still closed, but there were thoughts running through her head. "Where... What happened?"

Sonitus felt as if she was going to choke and pass out again, but it didn't happen. She would have prefered it if it had. Ailish hand around her neck made her want to scream, and the recent thoughts of them together disappeared too fast.

They'd probably come back, as soon as the strangling stopped. Sonitus pulled Ailish hand away from her neck. "You fainted and we ended up here."

The uncomfortable feeling remained, though not as palpable.

"What?" The goddess' eyes open and immediately she saw her clutched hand and released it. She blinked in disbelief trying to process what happened, before her expression turned to concern. "Are you alright?"

The hand from before flew to Ailish's neck and choked her again. "It's you!" Was all she said in all her fury before passing out. Standing up, the hand balled its fist again.

Beautiful isn't she. If only she practiced what she preached.

She groaned, when Ailish passed out again. Sonitus picked her up and kept the hand at bay, creating a shield with her song. "She is. What do you mean by that though? I never thought of her as a preacher."

She contemplated if she should try making it back to the portal with an unconcious Ailish. The strangling sensation hadn't left, but she blocked it out as good as she could. She didn't even know where to go, but decided to leave the room with Ailish in her arms. Amour followed eagerly behind.

She spoke of love, yet all she focuses on is pain. She pays no heed to the feelings of others, and yet she has the nerve to deny that. To deny me.

The hand followed behind; the fingers moving erratically to keep up. A finger would snap and point, and wisps gathered, flooding with cold and screams. By chance, she caught onto the demigod's leg, and slowly started climbing up.

Sonitus raised the volume of her song, and Amour beat the hand of her leg. She didn't know the way, and it scared her, but she couldn't give up either.

"You sound awfully egocentric. What about her feelings? Who are you anyway? Why would she want anything to do with you?"

She kept the creatures at bay, for now, but the price of her power was that it was likely to draw the attention of everything with the ability to hear in their vicinity.

"Love is unselfish and surely there are others for you. For everyone."

Sonitus may fool around with many, but she knew that her heart belonged to only one and that she didn't care what happened to her, as long as she was safe. Considering everything, she was probably better off than her right now anyway.

"I think she means well, and that's what matters. I know those who loves pain. They're my people, after all."

Perhaps this will remind you.

Ailish's unconcsious form began to convulse; her eyes were still shut, but the rest was still active. Then the goddess began to cough, at first lightly, then violently, until a black syrup came pouring out of her mouth.

"Since you craved it so much woman, here! Have all the honey till you grow sick from its revelations!" The voice now was close, and the figure was trailing behind them. The bloody orange cloak a beacon in the dark.

Sonitus couldn't ignore Ailish coughing, and she didn't know the way out either. It would be bad if she died on her. She put her down on the ground, and bent down to suck the honey out. Sonitus tried not to swallow, but with that much it was hard to spit everything out of her mouth.

The song continued and Amour had her back. It wasn't the first time she'd made noise without her mouth. She ran her hands across the godess in front of her, more as an instict than anything else.

"I'll kill you, and then I'll get us out of here." She whispered, as she spat out another mouthful.

The figure came closer, and there came the sight of daggers floating beside him; dozens of them.But that was nothing compared to the broken, still-bleeding mass where the head was supposed to be.

"Do you really think you could kill me!?"

Twenty flew to bind the sword, while ten more darted at the demigod, while he walked with two daggers in each hand. He kept throwing his knives at the demigod, yet he somehow produced more to attack. Each strike making contact with her skin before one dagger was plunged into her shoulder.

"Don't know until I try, eh?" Sonitus said, and pulled the dagger from her shoulder. Her clothes was torn, but the faint shield of noise had protected her from taking any serious damage. Except for the last knife, she had barely gotten scratched.

She stood up and stumbled, uncertain on her feet. Gathering herself, the area went silent before she let out an earthshattering roar in his direction and sent soundwave after soundwave straight at him, sending wisps, objects and knives hurtling away from the both of them.

Amour got back up from the ground, and hacked at the man with each passing soundwave, trying to beat him into a bloody pulp.

Each gash turned the orange cloak red, yet he walked to Sonitus, eyes burning pink. Hands wrapped around her neck, nails dug into the demigod's flesh. A low cackle echoed from his mouth before out of the blue, the hand flew to his groin; Ailish had finally woken up - still feeling ill - and sought to help Sonitus with using that foe as a projectile.

The figure keeled over in pain, taking his hands off the demigod and focusing on his own afflictions. A pained, "Damn you!" came out of his lips.

She clawed at his hand when it wrapped around her neck, and she felt ill again. Sonitus believed that she was going to lose, when he laughed but then he keeled over in pain. Ailish had woken up, and the singer took Amour in her hands before bringing it down on her foe over and over.

"I fucking hate asphyxiation." She repeated the words, as she tried to make sure that if he came back this time. It would be as a weak puddle.

The figure fell to her strikes, rendering him motionless once more, not to mention unrecognizable.

Ailish felt relieved that the figure stopped, but it ended when the goddess resumed puking up the black honey. She keeled over and clutched at her stomach, waiting for the wave to end. She feel dizzy, dioriented, and despised the taste; drips of the treacle stuck to the corner of her mouth. She saw Sonitunes looking worse for ware, and moved to comfort her from behind; her arms wrapped around her waist as her head rested on her neck.

Sonitus kept hacking at the ground, until she was breathing heavily and sweating. That's when she noticed Ailish's arms around her waist and how she put her head on her shoulder.

The singer dropped Amour and it fell to the ground, but now she knew how to use it effectively. It wasn't by wielding it like any other sword, it responded her to her voice and its own song.

She ran her fingers through the godess' hair. "Do I get a reward for saving the princess?" Sonitus joked, and smiled tiredly.

Her tongue flicked at Sonitus' neck before dotting it with kisses. She nuzzled into her cheek inching ever closer to her lips.

"Do you?" She said innocently, before teasing the very corner of her mouth with her tongue dripping with honey.

Sonitus turned around, with a seductive grin spreading across her face. "I guess, I'll just have to take what I want and hope she does not mind."

She went for the hem of the dress around Ailish's neck, and slowly removed it.

******

Once more the portal ripped at Ailish's body, and found herself in the old clumsy form. "Why must this happen?" Her voice raped in frustration. For the highs and lows in the heavens, she was starting to feel good about herself again... Only one thing left to do...

Sonitus was glad to be back home, but sad to see Ailish return to her old form. She still liked her, even more now after what had happened, but this form was bordering on repulsive to her.

"I'll miss the form you take in the broken heavens." She said, and pulled her hood down over her head. She was not allowed to show her face openly. It was a strange rule, but her mother wasn't forgiving.

She wondered if her own form had changed, but without a mirror she couldn't know. Now she wanted to keep the cloth over her face, lest she found something new.

"Do you want help getting back to the palace?"

She moved her fingers around befored closing them into a fist. Unlike before, the goddess felt her movement to be more fluid, more focused, and not marred by odd quirks with the body.

"I should be fine Sonitunes." She assured her, a hand lightly caressing the side of her face. "I do have one thing left to do before I can head back. but I'll see you soon."

"I'll see you later then." Sonitus hesitated about leaving, then walked through the mourning garden and stopped. She realized that she did not know how to get back, both Eldarwen and Auctor could teleport, but she had never done it herself. They had thrown her from one place to another, never bothering to tell her how to do it.

"Auctor? Mother? I'm back. Could someone teleport me?"

She felt the pull on her and turned around to blow a kiss to Ailish, then she reappeared on a platform in a lake. It wasn't a place she'd expected to end up.

"It's good to have you back, sister." Auctor said, where she sat in front of her on the deck, with her feet in the lake and writing in a book.

***

She was fortunate that the figure did not confiscate the fruit from her. They were special, especially since they could counter the heaven's influence. With the skin punctured, the seeds were pouring out. She scattered the seeds out amongst the garden, hoping that a few would grow.

Now there was the trip back to Eld; she remembered the route there, or at least to the old tree. She was a mile above the planet when she felt something push against her. Oh, right... the shield... Where was the entrance again?

The storyteller

He let out a puff of smoke.

"Between the second and third age, the gods continued as before. Eldarwen created Minas Kei, in the ghostfather's canyon. She flooded it with water, as the harsh desert climate outside the city walls would have made it hard for the mortals to survive otherwise. Auctor built the great library of Minas Kei, where her synthetics moved in. Nivix granted immortality to the five guild heads of the Mizzen, so that they could not die of old age. Zareth enchanted Evermoor to warn him of intruders and stop the living from entering, unless they could beat his new wardens. Pentar created a hundred swords, to be used by the knights of order and passed down from generation to generation."

He leaned back against a tree, and blew out a smoke ring. The children watched it fly.

"Roe created a new smaller moon in memory of his dead friend Petal. Aen made his own place in the hallowed court, as he did not already have one. There he could train, spar and hunt when he felt like it. Seith enchanted his mirror even further."

The storyteller smiled, glad that there was nothing that violent to tell about the period between the ages.

"Ailish and Sonitus returned from the broken heavens, carrying a fruit, which the godess planted in the mourning garden to counter its influence. The trees are said to bear fruit, but rot quickly if they are plucked. M'endar created a floating continent on Melanthios planet, while Melanthios himself activated the magic inside his planet so it could turn into one giant golem if it came under attack. One can't help but wonder what would happen to the mortals and creatures, should that ever come to pass."

He nodded, that was it. The third age was about to begin.

"A thousand years later, the third age begun."

Sonitus 8

"Where is mother?" She asked, as she wanted to meet her and tell her about the previous death god's actions, which had caused the end of their universe.

Auctor was silent, but looked up from her book and stared across the lake. On the other side, was several houses and mortals walking the street. She could feel pain coming from Auctor.

"I asked you a question."

The writer nodded in response, and wiped her eyes with her hand. "I'm certain Eldarwen is fine, though I'd advise against disturbing her now. She is not in the best of moods." Sonitus hoped nothing had happened to the godess, but why was Auctor crying? "She left a gift for you inside the palace. Well, it wasn't hers to begin with, but Ailish was gone for a thousand years. So were you."

Sonitus didn't think they'd been gone that long, though time mattered little to her when she had felt the skin of a godess against her own. Had they really done it that long? She blushed, and hurried inside the palace. Where was she anyway? It looked nothing like home.

"Welcome to Minas Kei, sister. The city of the blood sacrifice." Auctor said, just before Sonitus entered the gate. What did she mean by that?

Sonitus was directed by the servants to a room, which they had locked, but opened when she explained what Auctor had told her. They didn't enter the room with her, and the inside was filled with empty tables of different sizes. The table in the middle did have an item on it. She could feel the power, the hatred emanating from it. A plaque placed on the table had a short text about the item, where it was written that it was the armor of hatred. A brief history and description was written as well. Though what came as a surprise was that it said that it belonged to Sonitus.

"Why would they write that...?"

Ailish had created it, but the plaque clearly stated that the owner was Sonitus, as it had been decreed by the godess. Ah, of course, her mother wanted her to have it. She was not going to object, though Ailish might. She could give it back if the godess ever did.

Sonitus put it on, which took a while, as she had never wore armor before and was unused to it. It did look stylish, but its power felt like a curse. Amour had taken time to figure out, maybe it was just the same with the armor. She was glad to own something to remind her of her time with Ailish.

She cast another glance around the mostly empty room, and noticed that a book was placed on a table in the corner. The plaque belonging to the book only had a name written on it. The book of Alectra. She had so many questions since she had returned, and finding a book in a room for treasure was another one.

Sonitus opened it and began to read. It appeared to be a diary, with the first entry dating ten years ago.

Eldarwen 26, 2

They had been working diligently, despite everything that had happened. She was impressed, because clearly they were determined to go through with the experiment. They were in a large chamber, and the queen was surrounded by fifty synthetics. They avoided her, likely out of caution as they appeared as fearless as the other Ekiruru.

She would uphold her promise, if they finished today. Ten years felt like nothing to her, but she didn't know how long it was for mortals. Alectra was wearing her blue robe and shouting orders to the others, while making last minute checks. She was the only one in the room who was not a synthetic and they still treated her like their leader.

Someone pushed a button on the control panel, and the room lit up. They had not evolved much outside of this room, but when hundreds of synthetics put their hearts and minds into making something it was bound to evolve much faster. At the end of the room she saw the twenty-five prototypes lined up. Disgusting machines, which were all tall and intimidating. They had paid the price for making them, blood, sweat and countless hours. The time had come to see the result.

Alectra stepped up to the machine in the middle. She ran her hand along it, before turning around to adress the gathered. "Sisters, the day is upon us. We've all worked hard for this, but let's not forget those who made it possible and our forgiving queen." She gestured towards Eldarwen, and most turned around to bow, but she saw that the twentyfive in front of the machines did not. It came as no surprise. "I am not a talker, and I know you all want to get started. I only wish that we do not come to forget our friends in Evermoor."

With that, Alectra stepped away from the machines and the twentyfive synthetics each climbed into one. Eldarwen noticed how Alectra got down on her knees, as if to pray and soon the others followed one by one. Someone pulled a lever, and the machines were closed, a faint buzzing could be heard.

Alectra didn't pray for the godess aid, as she didn't believe she'd get it. She prayed that no one or nothing would interfere, as so much could go wrong if they did.

Eldarwen summoned her powers, and did as the agreement requested her to.

M'endaxius - Interage

Melanthios's Inter Age Action
Melanthios watched how Olek fell in battle. He was happy to see that the mad god was dead, it meant they had one less rival. And with that taken care off, Melanthios turned back to his own the planet. He gave Maeglin orders on what to do with the country. After that he returned to his library together with Akladai, he would spend the rest of the 1000 years studying and watching his race closely. Akladai would spent it studying, and Maeglin would spend it ruling the country, and also studying with his father and brother.


Melanthios had been watching his children grow. They had been advancing rapidly, and he was very pleased with their accomplishments. His own sons were showing their own talent as well. Maeglin was still sitting on the throne, commanding the new empire. And Akladai was learning new things everyday, he had almost read every book in the Library of the Gods. Melanthios had been busy with writing up the blue prints for Project Goliath.

After Melanthios had concluded his talk with Nivix he left. Melanthios teleported to his planet, he began pulling all the magic on the planet to him. The immense amount of magical energy was all he needed. Melanthios began his spell, as the earth started to shake. And as soon as the earth had began shaking, jut as soon was it over.

Melanthios was still standing on his planet, he felt tired. He had used his own power to alter the planet, he let go off the magical power of the planet returning it to where it belonged. Melanthios turned around and teleported again reappearing inside his library. It was time to craft the core of the being.

Ailish - 2,30

It was nice speaking with you again.

The moment she returned to Eld, the goddess returned to the old tree that sheltered her. The two had chatted for quite some time; Ailish let Him commune all He wanted to her, discussing the minutiae of the world, how some of the people there had settled on his boughs, and a subtle change that braced the world. She asked the tree what he meant, but even He could not quite express it. 'Kinfolk were scattering into the winds,' but what did he mean by this?

She asked if the tree was still happy, and he reassured her that never had he felt so fulfilled after they last spoke. Curiosity piquing her, she bade the tree farewell and left to find these 'scattering winds.'

Her travels took her beyond the city of Ayamine, into the forests and plains seemingly untouched by Eldarwen, her children, or her people. Past the small villages she came upon a vast cascade; water trickled down rock and wood, carving a path to the ground where it flowed beyond Ailish's gaze. Something about the sound of the rushing falls made the goddess feel calm, and feeling fatigued chose to rest here and collect herself.

Examining herself, she realized that the jar of the black Honey was exhausted, and that which covered her clothes had hardened into stiff ebony splotches. First thing she did was soak her robes into the water; it was honey that caked the fabric, and she felt certain that it wouldn't contaminate the water too badly. She also saw that her misshapen form has smudges of the treacle stuck to her. The next thing she did was bathe in the falls until all the honey was washed off. Much time had passed scraping and scrubbing her body to remove every black spot on either her or her clothes, before she got out. Then she slept with her robes out to dry, and her stony metallic skin exposed to the elements.

The morning came with a blinding pain in her chest. Ailish opened her eyes and saw purplish folk gathered around her, but more noticeably she saw a dagger in her, blood sprayed from the wound.

She screamed.

Many more of the purple people emerged from the green and gathered around her with their own knives in hand; each trying to slash or pry their way past the goddess' chitinous form. Seeing their faces, she saw in their eyes hot directionless fear and rage; all of it directed to her. Mouths creased into scowls with dabs of black covering their lips; splotches of red coating parts of their body due to Ailish's blood. More knifes pressed into the cracks between the plates, and more into her eyes. "Why are you doing this!?" An anguished cry went out, but there came no answer. Even as the world turned black.

******

There came much rejoicing as the unnatural fiend was killed; each pondered what part of the body it could keep for luck, or burn to ward evil spirits, or devour to inherit what power it had. They certainly were not coming back to the falls, not with the black goo mingling its way into their river water. The fiend must have plagued their source, and now it was time to find better grounds. Each wildling took what they could before leaving. But they would not get far as one by one they fainted and fell into a slumber. The black and red fluid must have been hexed or something.

******

Ailish came to, and noticed the plethora of wounds gaping across her body. In a haze of panic she closed them all, and did not want to linger here long; if someone wanted to stab you the moment you arrive somewhere, that place must have little to reveal. She re-adorned her form with the red and white robes; they were clammy, but she felt better that she was wearing something. Her progress was however stopped when one purple plant blocked her path.

"How!?" She yelled at the goddess. "Why kill them!? Why come!?"

Stony eyes turned red. "I sought knowledge, and it seemed for naught." She hissed out before shoving past the person.

"They did not need to die!!" The purple one screamed at her. Ailish made one last glare at the plant, tranquil fury filled her.

"They're lucky if they don't die." Those were her last words before resuming her return to the city.

******

'I'm not leaving this city again.' Ailish found things much calmer in this city Eldarwen crafted. The tree's words still confounded her, but she was in no mood to venture outward for answers; not by herself. Perhaps if she could ask Sonitunes or convince some of the people to accompany her. It would make such travels easier in the future with an escort.

No! I've taken enough advantage of this world. No more!

She had all but dropped the 'scattering winds' when she felt something strange from the palace. It can't be where it's coming from can it?

There was one place to go, and she would find this source.

Zareth 30 , 2

Time passed, slowly but surely, as time usually does. Evermoor grew with its ever expanding population. The changelings were an interesting addition to the original inhabitants and the strain that Zareth had helped create had decided to go down the route to reincarnation, making some of his most avid followers nothing but passing guests in the afterlife.

The warden project had proven a success as well. It was nothing that the other gods might notice but additions could help in big ways. During the slaughters of the previous age Zareth found that Evermoor was getting a greater influx of new souls than it could handle, or rather, more than the souls could handle. So many freshly fallen crammed together, most of them with creatures ans races they had never seen before. It could get very frightening if you weren't expecting it. Once the crisis had been handled Zareth set about threading the various portals together, linking them so that there was an element of order given to his kingdom and from the balconies and towers of The Charnel Palace he could see all of Evermoor.

Thanks to those changes there were now a set number of entrances into Evermoor, one for every species of the living. The doors leading to his kingdom were still many, scattered throughout creation. But where that soul arrived in Evermoor after stepping through said gate.

The Wardens themselves were a group of souls that had shown themselves to be dedicated to Zareth's cause in life. They were those that had tended to the dead or those that had seen too much of it in their life time. One from each race. That isn't to say that they were a group of dead undertakers. Zareth had chosen his guardians carefully, they had each walked very different paths in life and were suited to comforting those that had died and sending any living mortal that had stumbled onto Evermoor (or gone looking for it) on their way with a cautionary tale to tell. They served as a good force of public relations representatives, as well as serving as Zareth's eyes and ears in Evermoor thanks to each one sharing a small psychic link they shared with their god.

Times were good in Evermoor. With a new system in place Zareth could look back to the world of the living and the other gods, safe in the knowledge that his home was well guarded.

*****

He was wandering through the fields of Evermoor when Zareth found something out of place. One of the gates to the outside world, but it wasn't linked to the nexus that guided the lost souls. The first gate. I haven't used this one in an age. Zareth thought to himself. Did anyone ever find themselves in the crater he made when he and Car crashed to Evalon's surface?

He placed a hand on the door and gently pushed it open. Letting the world of life and breath slowly was over him as his eyes were filled with a different kind of light as he left the twilight world of the dead and dying behind him.

Evalon smelled fresher than before. And the canyon seemed... different. Before him stood a grand, colorful city. Adorned with bright and intricate spires, with a waterfall bringing sound and vitality to a piece of the land that had once been somber and barren. Zareth would shortly come to admire the beauty of this new place but upon first seeing it his first thought was simply: When did that get there?

Had he really been away that long? Had he become a celestial hermit? They couldn't blame him, he was dealing with five times the population the other gods were! Ironically, life had made the death god a workaholic. Is that ironic?... it's an internal thought what does it matter?... I'll ask Nivix later. Either way this was unacceptable, missing something so massive happening outside his front door. he would have to do something about that, but for now he'd enjoy a holiday and explore this new city.

Seith, the Clankers and Girigori

While Seith improved his mirrors, his own race that had only now been sprouting began to move. They were small, metallic, yellow in color and survived off a perpetually moving clockwork mechanism. They were flat on the ground, but could become vertical if needed, had a single eyehole at the front and two earholes in the back. Their mouths as would be called, were more a bunch of rotating saws and their arms were connected to an unending array of tools. The Clankers, as they would be soon named quickly became one of the largest races on Coelus, rivaling the Girigori, but in a peaceful manner. The two worked hand in hand building fantastic structures that were unrivaled by any populace. Spiraling towers, gigantic arches, towering homes and colossal megaplexes that reached to the stars became reality with the Clankers.

Yet, it wasn't enough. They had to expand, it was their purpose. They built towers with the hope of reaching the stars, but quickly fell into disarray when the buildings reached their limits. But then, a discovery was made. Other planets existed nearby, reachable by whales, but they lacked the tools nessecary to command such beasts. The Clankers thought and puzzled for years until they came up with a solution. Bridges from one planet to another, they would simply connect the planets! Then, they could build wherever and whenever they wanted. Soon, thousands of Clankers left their projects to begin this grand masterpiece. It started slow, but they quickly began to figure out what materials to use and it was simple from there. The first bridge went to Evalon finishing near Eldarwen's portal in the ditch. Without rest, two new bridges were built to Salustius.

The Clankers at Salustius were met not with open arms, but with hostility. The natives that called themselves Deus Filli distrusted them and claimed to have something better. The golems were very ineficient and worked slowly, but it seemed something else was at work. A fear of outsiders was quickly determined and after enough silent prodding, five hundred were let in, though secretly they began multiplying to begin larger projects.

After that, the Clankers then began building three bridges to Eld. This project was doomed to fail however, as near the end they reached an impasse, a shield blocking all entrances. The Clankers to this day still hammer uselessly at the shield hoping to someday reach a new destination. Who knows what materials they could find there, and with so little development, Eld could become their own project in itself.

Outside of the bridges, the Clankers also encountered the Mizzen and began working with them. The effects of this are still unknown but whatever comes from it, will probably be big. The Girigori especially prize the Clankers and have treated them with the utmost respect, unlike another race that sprung up without welcome. The Kinderven.

The Kinderven had brutalized the town of Marilia and soon began to spread like wildfire. Their inability to cope with society soon spread fear and though they were contained, it took over a thousand years for the Girigori Senate to decide on an action. By then, some of the Kinderven had taken the bridges to Evalon and began spreading their filth further. The decision was simple, Isolate all the Kinderven on a single city which would be called Quadraginta. There they could live and not disturb anyone. Should they leave, detainment awaited them and the truly violent ones were quickly put down like animals. Even then, the Mizzen and Girigori scientists were very curious about the effects of the disease, one even made an altered version to cast on himself.

Seith through all of this, watched. With unending curiosity, his rage quickly left him and a new world engaged him. A world of preparation for the inevitable. If M'endar's allies would not stop his impending attack, then Seith would have to redouble his efforts in order to save himself. His first order of business, finishing his staff. Deep in the cores of Coelus, a grander gem had been forged through unending pressure. A purple diamond encahnted with the power of a god. Seith took this gem and placed it on his staff. It would grant the wielder the power of change. Currently, the only one wielding it would be Seith himself, but once the threat of M'endar was dealt with, it would go straight to one of the planets.

M'endaxius - 24/30 AP, 2/2 MP

Zs'Wua'Itzala didn't want to leave this world, nor her post. She had chosen to watch the other races, their developments, and memorise their movements - the path of the Phantom. And she loved it. For year, she watched the Dwarves, secretly laughing at their stubbornness, and the Humans. There she watch those strange races while in the shape of them. Pity she never got to become of the famously xenophobic Lainir. The irony would be delicious. It was quite eerie seeing M'endar's mark on some of the Changlings - had the Verr's patron god turned its favour to something else? But she had to only turn to the sky to get her answer, Oculus Obscuritatis, one of many of M'endar's gifts that proven its devotion.

The Verr, of course, devoted to M'endar in turn and Zs'Wua'Itzala was no different. One final prayer. She had been the best of the best. The only Phantom to linger in a settlement of another race for years, perfectly blending in, copying the mannerisms and never getting caught. She had to leave all that behind down, to go to another realm. At least she would be reward for her duty, or so she hoped. It wouldn't be long now. Soon her comrades would find her and sent her out to the sea. Then the sea would have its way with her. No trace would remain. That's what scared Zs'Wua'Itzala, even if she knew her soul would have peace. Suddenly, something blocked out the sight of the sky. Were those... robes?

***

M'endar glanced at the dying Verr. From her prayers and those of others, Zs'Wua'Itzala was good at reconnaissance, gathering valuable information and sending them via Shadowshriek to the Collective. M'endar didn't have long, this one was near to expiring. Rather than mince words with the dying Verr, M'endar stayed silent. Their eyes met, Zs'Wua'Itzala was probably wondering what the god would do to her. It gave smile in response as if to silently say, "Trust me." Either way, the poor thing wouldn't have a choice in the matter. M'endar was her god, not that M'endar expected piety or fealty. This was just an experiment after all. So were the Verr themselves. Energy gathered in its hand as it called out to allies for assistance.

'An apprentice will be born soon, but the birth will be difficult. Assistance would be more than welcome.'

Then it struck Zs'Wua'Itzala, she found herself alive. No, more than alive. In a state of flux, yes, that was the simplest way to describe it. Between life and death. Between divinity and mundanity. Shadows gathered and merged with her, shades of M'endar's energy, no less. At one point it could be said that the gathering of shadow blotted out Niv. Divine essence engulfed her being. M'endar just stood there, orchestrating the whole process. Other Verr gathered to watch from afar. They were surprised at their god's appearance as M'endar had a reputation of apathy throughout the Collective. Was this to spell an age of god and mortal working together to achieve what neither could do alone?

Roe - 28, 2

Roe lay quietly in the cage, absent-mindedly licking his paws. Even in his fox form, it wasn't difficult in the slightest to escape from such a roughly carved wooden trap but he'd let himself be caught deliberately. It was always good fun to surprise a mortal when they came to inspect their catch and if they had the guts to stay even after being confronted by a talking animal, he'd sometimes give them a wish or two as a reward. Only if they seemed nice though of course.

He cracked an eye open at the sound of footsteps, someone was coming. It was a very young girl, probably not much older than five, skipping along as little girl's often did. She halted in front of the cage and bent down over it. Roe had to stop himself flinching when he saw her face, one side from her cheekbone to her forehead was terribly disfigured by a scar, so much that one eye was closed entirely. He watched with interest as she reached down and undid the cage door, letting it swing open.

"Shhhhh Mr Fox, run away now before my Papa gets here, otherwise he'll kill you and eat you for dinner!" she whispered to him earnestly. Roe crept out of the trap cautiously, no-one had ever done this before and he was unsure how to respond. Now he was out he could see her face better and the contrast was even clearer, her remaining eye radiated warmth from it's dark brown depths and she smiled kindly at him. It was a strange effect, almost as if some twisted craftsman had welded the face of a Grigori and a devil to each other, but oddly comforting. He stared silently back at her with his wide fox eyes, gently asking a question to her subconscious mind.

"If you must know, my name's Fallen Petal, I live here," she told him, "now you've really got to go Mr Fox, you don't want to be eaten do you?"

~

Roe woke with a start and almost rolled off the hay he had been sleeping on. He tried to close his eyes again to see if he could dream his treasured memory for just a little longer but the house around him refused to vanish. Realising it was futile, he leapt up and then reached for the tool rack to pick up the nearest sword, weighing it in his hands. Today he was finally ready.

The little wooden hut lay on the edge of Eldarwen's garden, with small flowers dotted around and encircled by a row of trees to give it's residents privacy. The young god stepped outside, admiring his handiwork. It hadn't been hard magically to build but it had taken a while to perfect something that was just as she would want. He smiled, he couldn't have improved it with the help of all the other gods combined. With one final look, he neatly leapt off the Hallowed Court and tumbled headfirst towards Evalon, straight for the city of Minas Kei.

Half-an-hour later, Roe swam down into the depths of the lake that filled Evermoor canyon, the cool water lapping pleasantly against his bare skin. He had passed through the city invisibly, not even bothering to trip any of the mortals there up as he often did, finding his way past the high wooden buildings to the obscure lake in which lay the gate to his destination. For any mortal the long dive would have been almost certainly fatal but Roe of course didn't need to breathe. Finally a gigantic set of tarnished golden gates loomed out of the darkness, strangely they seemed to be open as if someone had recently passed through them. He dived through without any further hesitation.

Suddenly he found himself in rolling fields, the empty grasses stretching far into the distance. Far away he saw a great white palace, standing high amongst everything else. It was not these though that made the young god draw out his sword and hold it nervously in front of him, turning slowly in every direction. It was the beings that only now he began to see, shadowy wisps of grey nothingness who hung across the fields like an ethereal mist, barely separate from one another. Faces materialised from thin air and then disappeared just as quickly as the ghosts gathered around him, their whispers filling his ears with countless questions, praises and threats.

"Petal? Petal!" he shouted into the distance, this wasn't going to be as easy as he'd thought.

Melanthios 24AP, 2MP
Melanthios had successfully finished project Goliath. He had to do one more very important thing, he grabbed a white book from one of the forbidden shelves. He opened it and began to reading. The book seemed to have been written by a madman. But he finally found the fragment of the book that he needed. It detailed a horrible sacrifice, he would need to sacrifice 100 million people for it.

Melanthios read the ritual again, but kept coming to the same conclusion. The only way to generate that much power was sacrificing that many people. Melanthios closed the book and put it back on the shelf, feeling disgusted. But he needed that artifact, without it Goliath would be worthless. Melanthios sat down on his favorite chair sighing loudly. Suddenly he had an brilliant idea, he could make it with the help of another god. It would be weaker, but he didn't have to sacrifice anyone for it.

Suddenly Melanthios head M'endar in his head. 'An apprentice will be born soon, but the birth will be difficult. Assistance would be more than welcome.' Melanthios smiled. He had always known that his brother would make an apprentice just like him. Melanthios focused and made another small orb, he had made this one a few time before. Its power could be shaped into anything, and the knowledge would aid both his brother and his first apprentice. The orb teleported before M'endar and fused with his magic to create his first apprentice.

Melanthios then began editing the ritual. It took him a while, but eventually it all seemed to fit. But the kind of magic he needed was very rare, The only one who possessed it was Zareth. Melanthios also had some questions for Zareth, but they would have to wait, this needed to happen first. Melanthios send a message to Zareth. "Brother I humbly request your aid. Could you perhaps send a little bit of your power my way, to aid with making an item of power?" Melanthios hoped his brother would respond, and that he would also be willing to answer his questions. Suddenly a bird made of shadows entered the library, it fused with his power and the orb began to be filled with power. Melanthios smiled, it seemed his brother had heard him.


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