Vantric: 20, 2
Tension seemed high everywhere, unless he was mistaken, and Vantric was rarely mistaken. War had broken out in an isolated pocket of the world, Minas Kei, he was almost certain. In the north, the dwarves were dissolving into civil war as the lainir crept in, preparing their strike. There was another tug, however, in the Empire of Humanity where ambitions ran wild and dark deeds were rising. He smiled, it was time he took a look.
Vantric had had many dealings with humanity over the centuries, not as many as with the lainir, but much more than the dwarves or the grigori. They were an interesting lot, never seeming to have a clear direction everyone pulling against everyone else then coming together again. At the very least they couldn't be said to be static. The capital of the human empire was awash in ambition and dark desires, most capitals were, but the pronounced tension in the air lent something different to the city, a certain flavor, almost bitter, permeated the atmosphere.
As was his custom, Vantric sought out the leader of the city. The true measure of a place was the character of whomsoever ran it. It didn't take long to find the city's leader, unlike in the Impath where any number of shadowlords ruled over a given territory, the emperor seemed to be vested with the power of the state and the autonomy to exercise it.
Emperor Valor IV was a fairly unimpressive man, aside from the flowing regal robes. He hardly seemed particularly striking, aside from the air of paranoia. Vantric had been working in politics long enough to know fear. Fear was sensible, smart people feared many things, they feared their enemies getting the better of them, opportunities passing by unexploited, their base of power cracking under them. Paranoia was different, and only the beaten were paranoid. He shook his head in disgust. Paranoia was sickening, and it boded ill for any government when it infected its leaders. Perhaps he could do something about that...
Vantric made himself visible, adopting his human guise and approached the emperor openly in his garden. He was without his guards, which was good, it would make dealing with him that much easier. "Hail to Valor IV, Emperor." He said, giving a mocking salute.
The man stopped, uncertain, no doubt wondering what was going on, "Who are you?" He demanded, leaning back on the balls of his feet, preparing to run.
"I came to pay my respects to you, Emperor Valor." Vantric said, taking a step forward, "I mean you no harm. In fact, I came to help."
"Help how?" The human asked, with rising suspicion, but rising curiosity as well.
"Do you love your empire, emperor?" Vantric took another step forward, "Your crown?" Another step, "Your life?" Another. "What would you be willing to do to keep those things? How far are you willing to go?"
The emperor took a half step back, though tried to hide it, "I would do anything and everything, but what does this have to do with anything? Who are you?" He demanded again.
"I am the answer to all your problems." The god offered his hand, "If you really are willing to go so far as you claim, then take my hand. I will help you secure your throne."
Valor stared at the god's hand, "Why?"
Vantric smiled, "Because I have an interest in seeing how far people will go to keep power, and what they will do to get it. The cost of this deal is only what you are willing to pay, but that directly affects what you receive as well."
The emperor thought about it some more, the tentatively took the god's hand, "Deal."
"Good." The god vanished, and in his place, rising out of the ground was a great metal structure. A large basin at the center of which was a guillotine, leading to ornate metalwork covering the thing. At the front of it was an inscription: "Blood for blood, death for life. Pay the price and Purge your enemies."
Zareth 18 , 2
"Sir! I really don't think this is wise!" Cried one of the craftsmen, struggling to be heard over the roar of flames and clang of metal.
"I!" CRASH "Strongly!" CRASH "Disagree!" CLASH
Zareth was like a man possessed. He was storming through the forges of Evermoor, stoking fires and smashing tools against burning metal. Workers and blacksmiths were diving out of his way as he sped through the vast expanse, kicking up sparks wherever he went. Every forge in Evermoor was buzzing with activity as fresh heat was breathed into the dead fires. One by one they rose up from the flames, dark, tall and cold.
Yes, yes it was all falling into place. The ground work on Evalon, the research, the planning. Soon... He though to himself. And just in time, with the mortals gearing up for war and the death callers getting more active... this new creation would be in great demand.
Zareth rolled up his sleeves and started to vigorously hammer against a stone pedestal he had put aside to use as his own personal workstation. Unlike the others it burned with a cold, dark flame. Arranged on it were a collection of small metal trinkets, Zareth began to scratch thin lines into them, the patterns they formed didn't seem to follow any kind of rhyme or reason. Each one was as individual as snowflakes and they seemed to pulse with a subtle energy that began to make even Zareth's eyes ache. One the symbols and runes were done he began to hammer them with the flat of his palm and bent them into shape. Each one the final piece in its own puzzle.
A Few of them were finally ready. Their stark black plates reflecting the glow of the fires they were forged in. Zareth had them lined up like soldiers on parade, inspecting each of them for even the tiniest flaw, in the end only a dozen made the final cut. the others were sent back. With a feather light touch he placed the final shards of metal into place, their runes faced down and hidden among the stark black metal, each one slotting into place with a satisfying click.
And there they were, a perfect set of pitch black suits of armour, each one standing as a silent sentinel.
"I hope you'll make some in dwarf size soon." The late King Erik said, sidling up to him.
"Hopefully we'll have them in every shape and size... but first let's see if the first batch work." Zareth Placed his hand over one's chest and giving it that final spark.
What was he doing with his life? All these years he'd been alive, all this power and here he was... stuck in a rut... again. The hunter wandered the world of Evalon in a melancholic state of boredom. He'd killed one of every species on every planet he came across and then some. Sure the gods kept making more things but none of them put up much of a challenge, even the big fish things Zareth and Aen had made hadn't put up much of a fight. Grix had been the only one who seemed to put up any kind of challenge and he was too busy these days doing dragon stuff.
He turned the metal tube Zareth had given him a few days ago. It was full of holes and covered in weird little nubs and button this. He said he didn't have much of an ear for music and that maybe Car could make better use of it. What was that supposed to mean? Car wasn't even sure what it was let alone how he was supposed to make music out of it. It smelled strange as well, like Eldarwen used to but more than that it smelled... like power. That indescribable but unmistakable smell that all the 'gods' reeked of. Still he had to admit it made a hell of a good back scratcher.
Eventually he came to the trench in the earth that marked where he'd first come into this world, well, when he crashed into it anyway. How long had it been until he'd been here? Not long enough, Car decided. He didn't like things that reminded him of his old life, he'd practically bitten Val's hand off when she'd tried to pry about it. But it looked like it hadn't stayed empty for long, houses and buildings, stacks of stone and wood. The place reeked of civilisation. Well it was something new at least. Off in the distance were a swarm of mortal things gathering together in neat lines, their scent found him on the wind. Fear, sweat, powder, metal, excitement. This was an army, no mistaking it.
The mortal things hadn't fought like this in a while... this could be interesting. But beneath their smell was something more, two others, strong ones, scents he hadn't smelled before. He scanned the canyon walls and rooftops of the stone stacks until he saw them. Both of them. A thing with wings and a thing with legs, lots of legs. It was there, under the smells of magic, poison and blood, the smell of power. Like his power.
Maybe that was what he needed! To meet more people like him. Mel's pack were fun on the rare times he let them off the leash and Grix was always up for a hunt. If that was anything to go by then these two would be fun too and they'd have a show! If nothing else they'd be someone to talk to.
He leaped across the rooftops and landed next to the other two. One was a grigori, he could tell that once he was up close. The leg thing was like nothing he'd ever seen, this would be good.
"Hey." He said. "What we watchin'?" He slumped down to the floor, trying to get comfy.
The little girl took a deep breath of the Storyteller's pipe and then bent over, coughing.
"It's very... smoky," she choked with a pained expression.
"Ha, you get used to it," the Storyteller laughed and taking back his pipe, continued with the tale.
"Whilst he was flying with Frikk far above Minas Kei, Daare created the Dream flute, a musical instrument that would allow the bearer to enter and alter the dreams of mortals if he or she desired.
Meanwhile in Chama, Vantric talked to the Emperor of Humanity and in doing so, enchanted the capital city of Manor so all it's citizens would fear the current authority and put in it's palace the Blood Fountain: a terrible device that would interrogate and then butcher the enemies of the state.
Down in Evermoor, Zareth created a new immortal strain that would be unique in that it would only affect those whose souls had already passed beyond the mortal realms, given a new chance to return to the land of the living but bound inside a dark suit of armour."
Zs'Wua'Itzala - 3/8 AP
She now knew everything there was to know about these rebels, but this ugly suit of armour was not something to wear for introductions. She passed a strange looking man. The elongated, stained arms shown that this Changling had the mark of M'endar. She snuck into an alleyway and took off the armour, finally free from its toxic grip. She passed the man again, and handed him the item. There was a certain something about his smile, it masked unending anger. As soon as the item was passed to him, she was gone. One does not meet rebels in hiding in open plazas like this after all.
Lleu - 0/8 AP
After the revolt, he had stayed for while to watch the He had been staring at that bloody fountain ever since its creation. No doubt a results of his recent actions. That was the great thing about revolution, all about pushing and shoving and he relished it. It would be fun to see how much the state would push back before it caved in and crumbled. And this little number would help him. As soon as Lleu got the armour, he put the gauntlet on. Inquiring about the strange lady who had given it to him would come later. Hatred surged through him, and he roared as the veneer of smiles broke to reveal primal anger and punched the fountain with all his might.
On the edge of the storm...
A tiny flicker of light burned defiantly against the raging northern winds that howled around it. Huddled nearby with their rags wrapped tightly around their coughing, hacking chest, a lone stryfe bitterly clenched their eyes shut against the world. his kind were born of the cold, made for it, but this was a different kind. It blasted through his skin and clawed at his bones. This was like nothing any of his kind had ever felt, it was as if the bite of the storm had a mind of its own, its icy fingers reaching out for anything that dared to come close enough. Until then it sat, and roared atop the mountains of chains like some great dreadful beast marking its territory and daring any and all to come and see what could stir the world to such fury.
That which waits. The ender of all things.
"So what am I doing following you into the belly of the beast?" Grimnir grumbled up at the midnight coloured bird that had squawked him on his every step. it didn't seem to care about the damned weather, it just looked down at him with gleaming eyes as if he was a grub on the forest floor.
"She's a smart bird, that one." Came a quirky voice. Out of the white abyss hobbled an elderly stryfe, his hair was dark and scraggly. He shuffled up to Grimnir's fire and sat down beside it. "Flies through these winds like no one's business, I swear she must see the wind like any of us would see writing on a page."
"Who are you?" Grimnir eyed him warily. What could bring someone else out this far into the wastes?
"Oh just a weary traveler foolish enough to wander these parts alone."
The newcomer threw back his hood, showing a withered face and a large bandage wrapped around his head, covering his left eye.
"Even the foolish wouldn't travel these parts, more like the suicidal."
"Oh aye, and are you that?"
"Close enough." Grimnir raised the stump where his arm had once been, revealing the mark he'd been branded with.
"You know they say the spirits are drawn to people like that. Kind who can prove themselves worth their attention and there's few who manage to do that more than folks with nothing left to lose. They say their cries call out the loudest."
"If you've come here to try and get the attention of the local spirit then I'd say you've got bad taste."
The one eyed stryfe chuckled. "Well each to his own there. Still you have to admit this place seems to attract folks that have earned the eye of the gods in one way or another." He tapped the bandaged eye and winked playfully.
"Eye of the what?"
"Nothing, slip of the tongue. So which of the mysterious bastards brought you here?"
"Damned if I know." Grimnir shrugged. "Seems wherever I turned there one was, one step behind me. Good luck with whatever path they've set you on, but I'm done trying to get their attention." And with that he gathered himself up and heaved himself to his feet.
He trudged back into the blizzard, the black bird taking off to follow him like a dark beacon in the white. The one eyed stryfe was left alone in the cold with a dying flame.
"Maybe they're trying to get yours."
Aen 16/20, 1/2
Aen took a break from training for the upcoming adventure and looked upon the world of Evalon. All was not well among the Empire his people had chosen to join with. Judging from the sudden shift in things, he could only imagine that there were gods involved. While he wasn't exactly worried about the ruling of the Empire, he was interested in keeping a strong and healthy bond between the Rowan and the Changelings, without forcing it upon the two. Didn't he already have something like that in the works? He nodded to himself as he remembered. "The more the merrier, right?" he said to himself out loud, before taking off for Evalon. He began to walk along the surface of the world, watching the Rowan and looking for inspiration. It wasn't until he strolled along the beach and something washed upon the waves that he came to know what he needed to do.
He cleaned out what remained inside of the turtle's shell rather quickly, then began tapping on it gently to check for strength. It would do, but he could make it better. He clipped off the edge of one of his nails and infused it into the shell, along with his power, and began to shape it, making sure to carve the same rune it would share with the others that had come before it. The shell had served it's owner well before, and it would do the same for it's new owners in the future. As he did, he sought out the ties he had made before, and tied the destiny of this to it's brothers.
Create an Epic Mortal Item, DC 11, Cost 4
+6 Combat (It's a shield) +4 Runic (Powered by a rune) +4 Fire Within (Will allow the user to utilize their will to survive)[spoiler]
Roe - 16, 1 and Golden Orchid
The months since the rebellion of the guards had not been kind on the Fellowship. With a newly energised campaign lead by the Emperor's private security, the leaders of the movement had been rooted out of the Chama and Lupine regions and driven west into Dracia. With their hideout in the nearby city of Limaya discovered the day before, the rebels found themselves sheltering in an old coastal fort built centuries before by Rowan settlers at the Empire's dawn, now with only it's stone shell left intact. With their Dues Filli guns unpacked and ready, they waited for their opponents to arrive. There wasn't the time to run for any longer, it was now or never.
Golden Orchid jumped onto the fort's stone wall and bounded along on her paws, taking in as much information about the enemy whilst dodging the occasional arrow or shell before leaping down behind the safety of wall again. There was no doubt about it, they were outnumbered by far.
"Lord Roe... our fate is in your hands now," the cat prayed desperately. Suddenly a blinding light exploded in front of her, angelic children's voices singing from every direction. She jumped back in alarm and huddled on the stony floor, instinctively covering herself.
The Storyteller continued his tale with strong gestures, his pipe leaving a faint trail of smoke.
"As the age continued, yet more events of great significance seemed to be concentrated on Evalon. In the city of Manor, Lleu broke the focal point of Vantric's enchantment, the Blood Fountain, with a mighty punch. Meanwhile not far away from the metropolis, Aen forged an epic item: a turtle shield as a gift for the Rowan. Up in western Almia, Roe created a mysterious item in the presence of Golden Orchid, as the Fellowship leaders fought off the Empire from a small fort."
Melanthios 23 AP, 0 MP
Melanthios appeared in his sons throne room once more. It was time to celebrate his return with his children, now all he had to do was prepare. He moved his hands and magical symbols appeared in the air, they all summoned something different. And within a few seconds a large table, with food on top of it had appeared. He also summoned chairs around it, and a bit of decoration too.
He then send a message to his children "It has been too long since we all gathered. I humbly request you all to join me in the throne room, where we can catch up and enjoy each others company."He sat down at the head of the table, he was sure it wouldn't take them long to find him.
Akladai 7 AP
Akladai was reading a book as usual, this book contained all the things Melanthios had done to keep the empire the way he wanted. It was a very long list of names of people who had either been removed, or 'cleansed'. He smiled as he kept reading, his father proofed to be as blood thirsty as ever. But he was also quite smart, and had managed to hidden this from almost everyone. "I think it is time to spice things up." He said as he stood up and headed for the door, he knew just who to influence.
Meanwhile in a small hideout on Salustutis.
The meeting between the five rebel leaders wasn't going well, they kept arguing over what they wanted to achieve. Lion was tapping his fingers on the table impatiently, he didn't have time to argue with these people. And the longer he stayed here, the bigger the change was that they would be found. The empire was ever watchful something which he had learned the hard way. "Why don't all these fools just shut up? It would be easier to kill them all wouldn't you agree?" He turned around to see a strange black figure, he also noticed that the entire room was devoid of any sound.
He turned back to see his fellow rebel leaders still arguing, the strange black thing didn't seem to bother them. But he couldn't hear them speak any more, it was as if someone had cast silence on them. The black figure walked into his field of vision, and leaned against a table. "You want to lead all these fools right? Give them a new tomorrow? Without the empire's constant watch right?" He nodded "Indeed, I seek too cleanse this world of that sickness." The thing smiled. "Then you are perfect for the job."
He suddenly turned to the other four leaders, who still didn't seem to notice what was going on. He grabbed a pistol from what appeared to be a robe, and in less then a second shot them all four through the head. Lion jumped up, kicking his chair back in surprise. "WHAT DID YOU DO!? ARE YOU MAD!?" He said pointing at the figure, who looked annoyed. "You wanted to rule right? Cleanse this world? Well here is your chance, with their other four leaders murdered by the empire they will have no choice but to follow you." "But... But you killed them!"
The figure seemed even more annoyed. "Wow you really are dense.. Fine then." He suddenly teleported before Lion, and placed his hand on his head. "Let us see if we can teach you some basic leader skills shall we?" He grinned as he used a spell. Lion screamed in pain, as the figure started to brainwash him.
Zareth 16 , 1
The slave pens that dotted Chama looked like a disheveled garden. Ekiruru wandered grubby prisons as if they were all fifty years older than they were. Half of them wore shackles of some kind while others struggled to stay conscious as they fought off their hunger and exhaustion. The slavers seemed to find someone worth whipping every hour.
If he were younger Zareth might have been outraged or wept for the suffering. After all had he not helped in their creation? The Ekiruru had been the first to worship him, the first to build temples and write scriptures in his name. At one point they had called him father. How many of them looked to the sky and wailed in the thought that both their gods had abandoned them? Zareth couldn't blame them, he had never really paid them much mind after their creation, he had rarely even looked upon an Ekiruru while it was still living. Though Eldarwen's approach certainly hadn't helped, she had locked them away from the rest of creation and treated them like her personal playthings. But at least there had been order, perhaps Eldarwen and Melanthios' approach was better. The Stryfe killed each other so frequently Zareth had to wonder if their race would ever develop past their current state, that maybe he should take the reigns and guide them more openly.
No, there is still hope for them.
It may have been hard sometimes but he had to trust his creations. Some of the other gods kept their people on such tight leashes they may as well have called them slaves and be done with it. Really the only difference now was that the Ekiruru could see the chains that bound them now. Their golden age had passed, if it had ever truly existed.
But there was potential here, a spark. The plants were still warriors at heart and their spirits were not so easily crushed. All they needed was hope that things could get better, a sign that they weren't alone, a nudge towards claiming their freedom and Zareth had never considered himself above a little nudging.
It started slowly at first, the slaves of one of the major trading cities of Chama were haunted by strange dreams. Each found themselves in a deep. dark jungle like their ancestral home world of Eld. They were faced by another Ekiruru, her hair a bouquet of bloody, wild roses and from her head sprouted a pair of viscous horns. The bark of her skin was like the sky at dusk and in her hand she held a pitch black sword. Each night she came to them, each night she silently challenged them, pursuing them through the trees with grim resolve and pushing them to their limit. In the end they each fell to her and she drove her blade into their hearts. Her steel grey eyes bore into them as the warmth left their bodies. They all screamed in the early days but as the dreams became more frequent they became calmer, accepting their fates. Come the morning they each awoke, their hearts fluttering in their chests and their spirits quietly ablaze. The final - and only - words the strange figure ever said ringing in their ears.
Eventually rumors of it spread. Each of them were surprised to find out that they were not the only one having these strange dreams. They were even more surprised when reports came in of a rogue Ekiruru standing in the town square, carrying a weapon (it being a illegal for any slave to own weaponry). Eye witnesses said carried a black sword and had blood red rose petal hair, many suspected she was a hybrid of the Ekiruru and Grey Tide (judging by her horns). The reports said that she stood in the center of the square, surrounded by law enforcement as they ordered her to lower her weapon. It was said that she planted her sword in the ground and calmly uttered: "Freedom. Your father is with you." Then, in a gust of wind, she was gone, leaving behind nothing but a scattering of wanted posters of The Fellowship.
The nobility and free folk were stunned, none of them knew what this strange event might have meant. Was a sign from the gods? Was the work of a sorcerer? Was it a publicity stunt by the local theatre? To the Ekiruru slaves however there was no doubt as to what this meant.
Lleu - 0/8 AP
The fountain shattered into a burst of fragments. Immediately, the atmosphere lighted, but it was just one blow against authority. There was still life in the beast, yet. Nevertheless, as he went for another punch, the power that was in it suddenly dispersed seemingly for no reason. The punch hit the floor, but to Lleu's disappointment, there was no crater. Maybe there were limits to his power after all. Now was the time to pursue that mysterious M'endar and the dark lady who had given him the armour. There was so much he didn't know: the reason why the Deceiver had given him demigodhood; the reason why the dark lady had helped him; the reason behind all of this. Now that he stopped and thought about it, was he just a pawn on the board that had been promoted to a knight? He sighed and stretched, it was up the people now.
M'endaxius - 20/30 AP, 0/2 MP
The hooded figure descended into Evalon, on the little islands on the edge of Ortaw. At least it got to touch the mind of the newcomer, and that was a very interesting mind indeed. Filled with self-deception and naiveté. But there were other things to see to. M'endar thought back to the Seith War, and how the pacifist god was so intent on launching all of his arsenal on the Whispering Wyrm. It would never be caught out like that again. The god walked into a giant cave, where equally giant spider resided. It smiled. A rush of the memories of the previous Ages came forth, from the first meeting of the gods to the death of the two goddesses. All of the mind games, all of the power plays... 'What a tangled web we weave...' M'endar reflected. The Deceiver walked over and petted the spiders, a black substance leaked from the hand and soaked through the spiders' hairy skin. They knew what to do. They began spinning.
Isond groaned as he got up, a half-empty bottle still in his hand. Getting drunk on Vantric's stash of celestial alcohol and traipsing about Evalon might not have been the best idea, he considered as he got up. Wherever he had passed out evidently had a granite floor, he cracked his neck. Next time he was passing out somewhere near a bed. Where the hell was he, anyway? He looked about the room, stumbling a bit as the last of the alcohol worked its way out of his system, and saw Vantric, glaring down at him.
He was already preparing a long tirade before he took a closer look at Vantric. It was a statue, and a relatively unflattering one at that. The god of ambition looked distinctly human, and was portrayed as taller than he actually was with thinning hair, a long nose and glasses, giving the impression that he was a disapproving schoolmaster rather than a deity with designs on the universe. Slowly Isond looked about the rest of the room and saw more statues, each depicting the other gods, about their base were the lesser gods that each claimed.
Moving forward, Isond leaned against his own statue for support, trying to figure out what exactly had happened. Obviously he was in a church somewhere, that much was apparent. He was almost certainly somewhere in the Human Empire given all the humanized versions of the gods. Now, the only question was what he was doing here. He looked up toward Vantric's statue once more, there was something about it...Oh. His eyes rested on the right arm of the statue, where it was snapped just past the elbow. That seemed familiar. Looking around, Isond saw the arm resting next to a pile of rubble that the inscription said was supposed to be Grix. That was also pretty familiar.
He grabbed his head, Vantric was going to give him hell for that later, regardless of how petty it was. Sometimes he was half convinced that his master just looked for reasons to insult him. Well, he wasn't cleaning it up, it wouldn't do any good anyway, Vantric almost certainly knew that he had ravaged the temple somehow. He seemed to know everything, at least when it came to Isond's life.
A headache struck right then, deep and pounding. Evidently, people were invoking his name, many many people. He groaned. Too many prayers were being made, this was not doing much for his splitting headache. "Something wrong Isond?" The war god froze. Great. Just...Perfect. He thought bitterly, turning around to find Vantric standing there.
"Nothing, just...resting." He tried to keep the exhaustion out of his voice.
Vantric rolled his eyes, "You've started drinking now? Of all times? Honestly, the things I have to put up with regarding you."
"That's-I thought I had-How long have I been out?" He moved away from the statue onto his own two unsteady feet.
"I don't care. You're a god, Isond, act like one. Not like some drunken lout off the streets of Minas Kei!"
"I take it-ah!" Another splitting headache. Too much noise! "Things are in motion?"
Vantric nodded, "Yes, or they will be soon. Get to the battlefield and get to work."
Isond took a deep breath and picked himself up. Of course, there was just so much else to do. "Oh, and one more thing Isond." The war god turned back to Vantric, "When the war is over with you will come back here and clean things up."
The dream flute rested readily in his hands, ready for it's purpose. What Dåre had in mind for it was something of an ambitious action, to make a relation between the minds of men and his newly created planet. In order to do this, he would have to make every mortal hear it, and so he did, travelling around the universe, looking for every mortal possible, making sure they heard the melody.
With that, he knit a bond, making it so that the dreams of mortals would happen somewhere on his planet, ensuring peaceful dreams. Even if they were connected, only very few mortals, those who strongly wished to leave their lives behind actually could travel to the planet through this way, and they would always be connected to their homes through their dreams.
For the other mortals, Ilea would be a place of lonesome exploration, both on the outside and inside of the planet. This mad and beautiful world would serve perfectly as a place of dreams, only true to those who dearly wished it to be.
All while this happened, Frikk came, watching Dåre closely, chirping along to the melody every now and then. The bird was still too young to realize what it could do, but Dåre would teach it, later. When this was done. For now, he was completely caught up in the matter of making the universe a better place.
If everything went right, the mortals would have something to keep their minds of war and death. If not, it might do something a lot worse to them.
Extract from the Book of Rowan: Latter Day Revelations
Thus the Lord Roe appeared before Golden Orchid on the walls of the fort as a blinding light and gave to her the greatest of gifts: the Flag of Liberty.
"This is my flag," the Lord Roe said, "Thou shall bear it until liberty is restored to these lands. When unfurled in battle it shall bring victory for righteousness but take care for it can only be unfurled three times at most. Go forth and save my people."
The Lord Roe then vanished and Orchid returned to the battle with the banner flying high. The Fellowship was greatly outnumbered but even so, the men of the Empire fell before them and were scattered across the land. This was the beginning of a new epoch and with the Ekiruru uprising to the east in Hainor, for the first time in centuries a tract of freed land spread all the way from the coast of Dracia into the west of Chama. It was the beginning of the end for the accursed regime.
Roe - 13, 0 and Petal
Once he had done his deed Roe hopped away from the fort and found his way to a quiet patch of forest. He sat down under a tree and was about to rest when suddenly he heard a whistle blow far in the distance.
"Petal!" he gasped and threw himself into the air towards the Hallowed Court. A second later he landed with a crash in front of his house. His young friend was cradling her large white dog in her arms and sobbing uncontrollably. When she saw Roe she leapt up and ran to him.
"He's hurt Roe, Woof is hurt!"
"What happened?" Roe asked in alarm.
"I wanted to make him live forever..." Petal replied tearfully, "so I got a Kinderven to bite him. Now he won't move though."
"You idiot Petal!" Roe exclaimed, "I've told you it only works on kids, Woof is an old dog. He'll die now."
"Noooo!" the little demigod wailed, "He can't die, he's my favourite pet ever! Can't you save him Roe?"
"There's only one way," the young god sighed, "It won't be easy though," He walked forward and placed his right hand on his chest, over his beating heart. With his left hand he stroked the giant dog gently. "Old boy, I say to you, arise!" he muttered under his breath.
The Storyteller's voice picked up and he began to speak in excited tones, wildly gesturing with his hands.
"Much was happening in the affairs of mortals. Akladai inspired the Dues Filli known as Lion to lead a rebellion on Salustutis. Across the void on Evalon, Zareth inspired the Ekiruru of a city in Chama to rebel against their masters and join up with the Fellowship. The land of the Empire was hereby split between two competing factions: order against chaos, evil against good. Meanwhile on the other side of the planet, M'endar forged a magical item of great power from the web of mere spiders.
Up high in the Hallowed Court, Roe raised the canine Woof to be a new demigod alongside himself and Petal. As he did this Daare inspired every mortal in the known universe to dream of the planet Ilea, for good or ill."
Nivix - 25, 2
*Insert words here later*
Roe and Petal
Woof's body glowed blindingly under Roe's touch and then the light slowly faded away, his fur retaining only a slight gleam. He leapt up and barked happily.
"Yay!" Petal cried and ran over to hug both the boy and dog in turn, kissing them on the cheek and nose respectively. "He looks even healthier than before. He won't die now right?"
"That's right," Roe smiled, "he'll live forever and ever and ever with us,"
"Thanks Roe, I always said we should have a proper pet" the young demigod enthused and then she scrambled onto Woof's back. "Come on, let's see if he can fly like we can,"
The Storyteller continued his tale stoically, even as the children began to get a little restless as the evening wore on.
"In the latter half of the Fourth Age it seemed many of the gods were too involved in mortal affairs to act, but there were a few exceptions. For example using molten metal so that it could be reshaped, Nivix created Nyx's Hammer, a magical hammer for blacksmithing and other uses. At the same time, Zareth and Aen..."
"Hey, give that back!"
"It's not yours, it's mine!"
The Storyteller peered over his pipe to see two young boys squabbling over a trinket. They rolled about on the ground, landing less than a meter from the raging fire.
"Stop!" the Storyteller shouted. The pair halted and looked up shamefully at the old man. "Last one of you back to your seat will be thrown in the fire!" A second later both were seated back in their original spots. The Storyteller scooped the medallion off the floor and held it up to the fire for closer inspection. "How curious," he muttered.
Roe - 7, 0 and Petal - 3
In the thousand years since the death of their Queen-Goddess, life had gone from bad to worse for the Ekiruru of Eld. Unlike their sisters in Minas Kei who still had a strong hand to guide them, those on Eld quickly found that without a divine leader to hold their society together by force, it was quickly ripped apart by infighting and treachery. Many technologies and magical spells were lost as petty warlords burned and slaughtered over minor grievances, a few of the most successful even conquered fiefs as large an average kingdom on Evalon but none survived their founder's demise. Still a modicum of the Ekiruru's original culture survived, they would customarily play hunting and violent sports in the arenas that were dotted across the planet. It was in one of these arenas one morning that none realised they were being watched by a presence much greater than they.
Roe and Petal sat quietly on a wall of the arena whilst Woof dozed lazily nearby. The two children watched the Ekiruru involved in some sort of sport where they kicked around a large fruit towards a pair of nets at either end of the stadium. Roe had deliberately picked this game since it was the least violent sport that the green warriors played but even so it seemed a fight would break out every five minutes over an incident as minor as bumping into each other. At the present moment two bulky players were circling each other with their fists raised, the crowd jeering them on.
"They're always so mean to each other, I always thought the flower people would be kind," Petal said sadly.
"That's how they've always been," Roe shrugged. "It's how Eldarwen made them,"
"Can't you change them so they're nicer?" Petal asked.
"I could..." Roe replied slowly, "I don't like making people do things though, it's boring if they don't make their own choices,"
"Look at how unhappy they are though," Petal pointed out over the arena, where the two players were now laying into each other with the rage of angry dragon. Roe had to agree, it was chaos but it wasn't fun chaos, it was terrible bloodthirsty chaos with not even a second to rest. "A hero would do something," his friend added.
"You're right" the young god said with a determined look, "I'll need your help though. Here, take this," He handed Petal Skye handle first and together they pointed the pistol upwards towards the clouds, taking each other's free hands.
"3, 2, 1..." Roe counted aloud and then he squeezed the trigger.
The deafening bang was heard across the entire planet, Ekiruru pulled themselves out of their rotting tree houses and from under the shade of their arenas to see what was happening. They stared up at the sky and gasped as countless white flowers floated down from the heavens and landed upon them like a layer of floral snow. A new feeling of sisterhood spread among the Ekiruru who witnessed the miraculous event: somehow they know this would be the dawn of a new age.
Golden Orchid padded along a shadowy alley of Manor, checking her back as she did. While she doubted the city guards would be looking out for a scrawny yellow cat, especially after the riots in recent days, one could never be too careful.
"Marina, what would you think if you could see me now?" she thought sadly. Her feline body had aged much faster than a human one would have and so despite just a few years having passed since Roe had saved her life, the weight of old age was already bearing down on her. Her fur had lost it's golden shine, her body now gaunt and every step brought creaking pain to her limbs. She couldn't stop yet though, not while they still lived.
Orchid turned another corner and then ducked behind a barrel as a tradesman walked by. Once he passed she slunk out and continued down the street. She was surprised by how deserted the market was, the entire city seemed to be permeated in an apprehensive fear much greater than any time she had visited before. She supposed the people would have heard news of the rebellion up north by now and knew that they wouldn't be left untouched by the war for long.
"Well, they're right about that," she muttered to herself as she knocked on an inn door with her paw.
The Storyteller inspected the medallion, carved on it was a two small figures and a floral symbol. He raised an eyebrow and then stowed the trinket away his pocket, before continuing with the tale.
"Combining their power together, Roe and Petal altered the Ekiruru so their indifference for each other and hatred of other races was transformed into pure love and for the first time, young Ekiruru would emerge from trees as infants rather than adults."
"Babies are yucky and annoying, why would anyone want them?" A girl asked the old man.
"Ah, well," the Storyteller replied with a smile, "All people need a time to learn about the world before they enter it properly. Before Roe intervened, the Ekiruru were born into fully formed into a harsh world and with no-one to teach them compassion or affection, most of them never learned these values. Be thankful for the love of your parents, even if they do make you go to bed early," he added the last part with a wink.
Grim stood starring at the massive double doors, underneath the metal his stump was itching like mad, he cursed that he couldn't reach it.
"Are you ready, Sir?" Brogan asked.
Brogan was Grim's right hand and his head bodyguard. He was a stryfe of few words, communicating in monosyllabic grunts for the most part. He was also a giant, even by stryfe standards. Muscled like a bison and standing tall over even the tallest stryfe, doorways were usually an issue for him. He and Grim had been friends in childhood, the two of them being a pair of outcasts as far as the other stryfelings were concerned. When Grim had been banished Brogan had done his best to help look out for Grim's Ma and when the prodigal stryfe had returned to his home hold with his magical bow and pet dragon Brogan had been among the first to join up, putting his smith hammers to deadly effect.
"Do I have to do this?" Grim whined.
"You remember what the others said, if you want to get them all on board then you have to act the part. This is just another show of power... accept you get a party at the end." Brogan said in his gruff monotone sounding as if he was repeating something he had struggled to memorize instead of something he actually knew or believed.
Grimnir sighed in defeat and straightened up his cape. A pair of his holdsmen opened the doors and with a straight back and puffed out chest Grimnir strode into the hall. The collection of kalds and warriors had assembled on either side of him. Some looked on with cold stares, others (the ones who had helped him in his conquests) were beaming with pride knowing that their long task was complete and looking forward to the rewards they expected from it. Grimnir for his part just walked towards the fancy chair that had been made for him (from the weapons of those he had defeated of course) and begged the spirits not to make him trip along the way.
He reached the throne, turned to face the assembly and raised his bow (it had now earned the nickname Archon's Reach) triumphantly bringing a roar from the crowd. He stood before them and went right into his speech. It was all about unity, strength and the dawning of a new age for the stryfe people. He went on about how they would grow strong, expand and discover but truthfully, if you asked him, Grimnir wouldn't have been able to tell you anything about it. The stryfe had never been one for public speaking and it had taken him days of practise to get it right. For the most part he passed through the speech in a daze, starring into the middle distance. The others seemed to like it though and he got plenty of cheers and "here, here's!". All in all it went well, to finish it he punched the air with his metal hand and the cry went out.
"ARCHON! ARCHON! ARCHON!"
* * * * *
A few hours later and Grimnir was quietly mingling his way through the festivities when he received a staggeringly hard slap on the back from Brogan.
"That wasn't so bad now was it!" He chuckled, the drinks effects showing a little. "Spirits must still have your b- ruuaa - ack!" he burped the last part.
"Gods." Grimnir mumbled. "They call themselves gods."
Later that night he stood out on one of the balconies of the keep, looking out over Gravengrad. The hold was still young but it was already bursting with life, lights were flickering all across the tiered and the sound of celebrations drifted up to him on the wind. What was Grimnir supposed to do now? The gods had told him what he had to do, they had given him the tools to do it, or he had found them himself. But now it was done, his great task was complete. They never told him what to do after he was finished.
"Keep the plates spinning I guess." Grim grumbled to the night air.
"Are you so done with adventuring already?" Came a voice next to him.
Grimnir nearly leaped out of his skin. "Gyaaahhhh!" It was the one eyed stryfe, the one he now knew as Ormengand. He was smiling amicably and brandishing his own flagon as if he'd been enjoying the party all along.
"Never again! You. Do not. Do that. Ever again!" Of all the gods Grim had called to and given offering by way of invitation and asking for a blessing, this one had to be the only one to show up. The god just chuckled.
"You're so uptight, Grimnir. You need to learn to relax."
"What do you want? I've done everything you asked, what more could you want from me?"
Ormengand sipped his drink silently before turning his one eye directly at Grim. "You aren't done yet."
"Your people need their leader, even more turbulence will follow in the wake of your new peace and this land will not hold them all for long."
Grimnir sighed and rubbed his temples. "So what? You want me to cross the raging sea?"
"No. You aren't ready for that, none of you are. Sorry Grim but the stryfe will take a long time to grow enough to be able to face the people beyond the sea on even footing."
"You mean the red skinned things... the fire people?"
"So you've heard the stories." Ormengand took a moment to gather his thoughts, this would be tricky to explain in a way Grimnir could understand. "Your people are still so young, barely children compared to the older races and that's my fault, for what it's worth I'm sorry. But there is more than the snows of Volk... your world is not yours to tame yet but there are others beyond the stars. Their people have had much longer to develop and change and they have known the gods much longer as well."
"Like Roe?" Grimnir asked. Ormengand raised an eyebrow quizzically. "I met the fox, Kaviken, when I was still a stryfeling. He told me that people called him Roe. I thought it was strange, since I'd never heard anyone call him that and I kept an eye out for it since. Even you lot, even the dragon seemed to call you other things... and the whole... gods word."
"Yes you'll find them, people who call us by different names and see us in different forms. Even those that roe and the others created. You might even find a sense of brotherhood in them... or maybe you'll all kill each other. The path is yours to forge."
Grimnir's metal hand reached for the simple stone pendant he'd made for himself, having scratched a picture of the five pointed charm that the mysterious spirit had given his mother. Would they know them as well? "New worlds, new races... and how am I supposed to get up beyond the stars? It half killed me climbing your damn mountain."
The god pressed his hand into Grimnir's, giving him a handful of berries. "They're called oran berries, well winter oran berries in this case."
"So I eat these and I fly there?" It didn't sound so mad to Grim, not after everything that had happened. After all here he was with a pair of pet dragons, a magic bow and a working metal hand.
"Have you ever wandered what those things eat?" Ormengand grinned, pointing out over the city. In the distance they could see a starwhale diving through the clouds and letting out its strange song. Grimnir smiled to himself in satisfaction. He could easily guess what to do from here.
M'endaxius - 14/30 AP, 0/2 MP
The god inspected its work. The sun shone through the woven fibres, and through it, M'endar could see the fires of war. It hissed, hadn't it offered mortals an eternity of bliss? Hadn't it acted in their interest? But still they fought. Just a symptom of the disease... Unhappiness plagued Evalon and the rest of the mortal universe. It grasped the spider silk cloak and felt the power inherent in the threads - entrapment. For the cloak was in fact a net that M'endar would cast on its enemies. Nevertheless, as the deity was spending time with spiders, all was unraveling. Bodies, from end to end, covered parts of Evalon. Yes, M'endar had given power to one filled with anger and hate, but he was just a pawn, a distraction and would come to see the cold truth in time. Truth... What was truth in an universe that could be bent to the will of powerful beings such as it? Just something as malleable as gold. So much for such a noble metal. And so, M'endar reached into the fabric of reality and bent the truth, filling it with illusion.
Words came out like a subtle sigh, "Peace..."
The Storyteller spoke slowly and tiredly as he continued the tale.
"Thus as revolution brewed in the city of Manor, the Fourth Age drew to a close. Even in these last days, the gods were still busy. Zareth created the Woolly Starwhale, a new sub-species native to Volk which would be known for their strength, fur and huge tusks. Meanwhile, Melanthios raised up a mortal by the name of Heron to be a new son and demigod. On Evalon M'endar created the Elysian Field, a magical field which made mortals see the sites of the recent battles as an endless field of wildflowers and general happiness.
So, with that the Fourth Age ended and aside from the revolution that would follow just after it's end, the universe became peaceful again... for a short time,"
As Cassiel let the other gods do their own business, he was working on preparing for what would inevitably be a large battle. The voice in his head was only getting louder and more grave. Cassiel could feel forces moving about in the realm, thankfully nowhere near the portal. It was strange but he seemed to have a slight connection to...whatever it was now.
Either way, he wasn't letting it get its way, not now, not ever. Cassiel took out Stardust and smiled at it. The flamberge represented what was possible when gods worked as one. He needed to make it better. Cassiel's own power was reaching that of his father's and he could feel something welling up inside him. That no longer would he be in Seith's shadow, that soon he would surpass his late father. Shine brighter than the first light in the skies.
He took his flamberge and considered how he would accomplish this, but then his mind went to the Girigori. It had been a long time since he had visited them and if gods could make items, what's stopping mortals from upgrading them?
Cassiel rushed down to Coelus, which looked entirely different from what it once was, trees and wildlife now grew plentiful across a very beautiful enviroment. What once was a glass wasteland populated solely by angels and robots was now a lush vacation from reality. Even stranger, it seemed as if the Girigori were perfectly fine with the new additions.
"All of this while the gods were away...they never stop amazing me."
Cassiel raised his voice and shouted to the planet. "I am more than impressed with you all, now it is time to make something of yourselves and do what was once thought to be a god's work. Yes, I am Cassiel, son of Seith and guardian of Coelus. I have seen a great threat from a distance beyond mortal comprehension and need aid crafting a weapon to defeat it."
At first...it seemed as if he was going unanswered but all at once millions of Girigori came flooding towards his position and within a short time most of the planet had migrated to Cassiel's position. In no time at all, they planned the upgrades, how they could be done and how it would be implemented. The Girigori all seemed so organized now and familiar as well. Though on the surface they looked the same, something about them had changed and Cassiel distinctly remembered gold on the planet but now he was the only one with a golden color.
It was then that the Girigori announced their leader would be coming soon. He was tied up in other events, mostly grand plans that were designed to please Cassiel in some manner or another. Soon, a single Girigori walked up, crowned in clothing anything but modest. Aside from the ridiculous facial mask radiating in lights and diamonds, the costume was bright, flashy and entirely unlike what Girigori had been wearing not too long ago. In fact, Cassiel noticed all the Girigori looked less reserved and more freely moving than before. Everything started to connect once the leader removed the large mask covering his face.
"Zabekiel?" Cassiel questioned. The Girigori from when he founded the Vigil was back on Coelus and running it now? How long had he been gone? So much had changed, but now wasn't the time.
"Zabekiel, I need you to help me create this sword. Get everyone to pitch in, cast as powerful a spell as you can on this sword." Cassiel hefted Stardust in the air and Zabekiel yelled at the top of his lungs "Fire!"
Soon, an immense and blinding beam of light struck Stardust and it fell down to the ground with a clank. It had absorbed their power and contained the essence of Coelus itself. Cassiel smirked and picked it up, waving to the Girigori and teleporting away. It would soon be time to move against this dark god.
The Storyteller took a deep breath of his pipe and trudged on with his tale, despite the sleepiness of the children around him.
"The time between the ages was a time of rest, where none of the gods did anything really, with one exception. Cassiel reforged his Stardust and in doing so greatly increased it's power Thus five hundred years after the end of the previous age began Fifth Age. It was to be a time when machinery would come into it's own, resulting in both unparalleled living standards for mortals but also terrible weaponry capable of great destruction. Some even said it could be the last age, were they right? Well..."
Roe and Petal
Roe sat lazily at a desk in his small house in the Hallowed Court, sorting a bundle of papers spread across it. Petal skipped through the front door holding a bunch of leaflets under her arm.
"Hey Pets, I've finally got all the stories about how the Republic was made together, want to listen?" Roe called over to her.
"Okay," she replied eagerly and pressed a invitation into his hands, "First look at this though, I got a nice Rowan lady to write these properly for us."
Roe glanced down at the leaflet with an approving nod.
"It's good... but you're really sure you want this?"
"Yeah, definitely!" Petal beamed so brightly that Roe couldn't help but smile back, despite his own misgivings.
"Okay," he sighed and handed back the invitation he was holding, "You can send them,"
The young girl clicked her fingers and in an instant the leaflets vanished, tunneling their way through the fabric of the universe to wherever their recipients would be.
You have been formally invited to the wedding of Roe and Petal, to be held on the seventh day of Melanthiosi in the two thousand, five hundred and sixth year of the Flower at the Entertainment Hall of the Hallowed Court. The morning ceremony will be followed by a reception and party in the afternoon with food and drink provided for. Dress can be either formal or fancy.
Petal and Roe
Dåre 30, 2
Dåre had fallen asleep again, however, rather than dreaming his own dreams, he had traveled through the minds of every mortal who had heard his flute. Seemingly a side-effect of changing the a law of the universe; the nature of dreams. And now, centuries later, he felt so happy! There was less fighting than before, a lot less. And many mortals had embraced the warm light that was madness, the exciting and dear reality that was the depths of the usually ignored parts of the mind. On Ilea, individuals giving up their former life, and being granted a new one started living, some choosing to avoid the company of other people, others starting the journey anew together. So gleeful, so wonderful! He laughed for days from the corner of the universe he had ended up in, the carpet seemed to have taken him there when he had been busy exploring and picking apart minds. Frikk was nowhere to be seen, but Dåre could sense that the demigod had taken to guiding the sentient mortals on Ilea. All was well. All was fantastic! Marvelous!
"I deserve a treat!"
He conjured up a meal's worth of strawberries, and filled his stomach, before grinning widely, and looking around at where he was. There were a few planets around, and a lot of stars, but it was peaceful, if somewhat boring. Still, not a bad place to go for a bit of a nap, almost a bit too conveniently placed for a mere carpet to find. "Perhaps... It was not the carpet?! Perhaps it was----" He left the thought hanging in the air, figuring he could do that sort of thinking later. For now, he just wanted to be happy, and cheerful. Besides, he had to check up on Frikk, did he not? Besides, the demigod had taken the flute, so even if he didn't have to, making sure the bird wasn't going around doing mischief with it was probably a good idea.
Okay. Who was he kidding? He just wanted to see his friend!
Frikk had gone back to Ilea after Dåre had fallen asleep, call it a sense of responsibility, or just natural instinct on returning home. Whichever you choose, the bird had taken a pride in finding the newly arrived mortals. He would lead them, show them where they could get food, and what to touch and not to touch. One could say they were like children in his eyes, in need of being shown what to touch and what not to touch. As a result, he was cherished and loved. At first, it had only been one or two, but as the wars continued, and the world had changed, more and more mortals had arrived. At this point, the isles of Ilea and the wonderland within had around 1000 sentient mortals, from every corner of the world. When their life ended, Frikk would mourn them, and when a new life was born, which happened sometimes there as well, the bird would care for the children, play with them, and teach them the ways of Ilea. It was a blissful lifestyle, fighting was frowned upon, and if someone tried to gang up on someone weaker, the bird would protect the victim. The only thing the little demigod did miss was the foolish god of madness. He could sense him, out there, but he could do nothing but wait.
In less than a second, he saw the demigod, and in more than a second but less than ten seconds, he had him in a hug. There were feathers everywhere, tickling his nose so he had to sneeze. He laughed, and he could swear Frikk did the bird equalent of it. "You've grown!" Wait, could a demigod grow? Whatever. "How has things been?!" He hugged even tighter, so much that Frikk started kicking and making a fuss. "Oh. Yeah. Thanks--- no, wait... Sorry?" Dåre let go. "How have you been doing? Seems you've done a great job taking care of the mortals." The ones there were staring at him, children nearby had stopped playing. Then it dimmed for him. Not a single mortal knew who he was. Right!
"Not here, not there, not anywhere! So fun!" He laughed, and was only stared at more. This was getting awkward, the mortals were clearly vary of him. Most of them had probably never seen another god than Frikk, and Frikk was... A bird.
"Say. Frikk. Take the flute, wait till they sleep, and then try to teach them who I am, okay? It gets lonely not getting recognized sometimes." The bird stared at the flute, and then at him. What was the problem? All that was needed was to--
"Oh. Beak. Riiight. Lemme see... Yeah. Look closely." Dåre changed his form into that of a bird the same kind of Frikk, in the color of rich brown, before changing back into the form he normally took. Frikk seemed to have learned from this, because he did the same, changing his form into that of a young, white-haired child. It didn't seem completely finished, but it was good enough for him to be able to play the flute. Besides, it was an interesting look. Good enough for him! "So, you go take care of that."
Frikk responded with a nod, it seemed he could still not talk.
Suddenly some sort of sheet of paper appeared. Actually, two of them, Frikk had received one as well. Curious. Reading it, it said:
You have been formally invited to the wedding of Roe and Petal, to be held on the seventh day of Melanthiosi in the two thousand, five hundred and sixth year of the Flower at the Entertainment Hall of the Hallowed Court. The morning ceremony will be followed by a reception and party in the afternoon with food and drink provided for. Dress can be either formal or fancy.
Petal and Roe
It was sudden, but he got an invite for some kind of a party. A marriage, wasn't it? Between Roe, and his love, Petal, who he was looking forward to meeting. Marriages was fun! Probably. He had never been to one, but still. Fantastic. And it was fairly close, not a lot of days till it was. At least, according to his internal calendar.
"I will go prepare a gift!" he announced, loudly, more to himself than anyone else. Frikk looked at him, surprised perhaps, before nodding, and taking the flute to teach the mortals. Dåre then wandered off, into a small cave. Oh, he knew what he would give them. He knew it exactly. Problem was, it was a surprise. And, apparantly, other gods could sense, if faintly, items being made. "I'll try making a weaker one, then. It's the thought that counts, and all that. Besides, how one gives it, is half the gift." Dåre then started making a magnificent gift, with magic. It was going to be great!