Ven - 5 AP
Ven's Workshop, Nexus
Ven stared bleakly at the documents and blueprints spread out before him, plans and notes that helped him keep track of the countless projects he managed in his spare time. Some were grand in scale and would take centuries to come to fruition, others were simple problems that had managed to earn his curiosity. However, none of them seemed to be of particular importance at the moment.
He had just received Lyn's initial assessment of the "severed" Mizzen. The odds of fixing them with whatever means the Blitzers could muster, both now and years in the future... Impossible. They just didn't have the ability to alter the Spark on such a basic level.
Of course, Melanthios had suggested using divine power to repair the bonds. In theory, the idea could work; godlike power was capable of doing many "impossible" things, after all. But, at the same time, there was always the chance of such an attempt backfiring and doing even more damage... Was it worth taking such a risk?
Growling, Ven slammed a fist into his laboratory's wall, sending a series of cracks spiderwebbing through the solid rock. What was he supposed to do, eh!? Let his kin suffer until the day they died? Or risk destroying them utterly in order to maybe fix them? What was he supposed to do?! What could he do!?
He could think about his course of action later on. He needed to take all the time he possibly could, ensuring that his choice was the best possible one. Yes. That's what he would do.
For now he had a trial to-
Ven! Ven! It's the Dwarves, they-
At least, he had a trial to get to after he took care of this one last issue. Stars above, what else was there to deal with?
The Entertainment Hall, The Hallowed Court
Accompanied by a sound of thunder, Ven appeared in the Court's Entertainment Hall, in the large, circular meeting room. A series of thrones, one for each god, ran around the chamber's walls, each of them unique in design or construction. Slowly but steadily, the demigod made his way over to Nivix's seat. Instead of sitting down, however, the Mizzen simply stood in front of the ornate chair.
Now all he had to do was wait.
Roe and Petal
Roe and Petal cooed for a few minutes over the remote control aeroplane that Ven had gifted them, flying it over the attendees heads and almost crashing it into Zareth, before tiring of the toy and moving onto Melanthios' present. Roe picked the box up and weighed it carefully in his hands.
"Not sure what this is..." he commented as he began to unwrap the paper.
"Hey, I want to open it!" Petal squeaked, "you got to open the last one,"
"Fine," Roe sighed and passed her the box. She pulled off the rest of the wrapping paper and plucked the gift out of it's box triumphantly.
"A kitty!" she cried, lifting what appeared to be a small blue cat out of the cardboard box. With a closer look however it became apparent that beneath the blue fur was not flesh and blood but gears and electronics, not that Petal minded as she cradled the toy in her skinny arms.
"Huh, it's like a robot thing," Roe said and reaching over to his new wife he yanked hard on the cat's tail to test out it's reactions. The animal yelped and struggled in Petal's grip, which the young god decided was satisfactorily lifelike, so leaving her to work it out further he bounced up to Daare and tugged on his trousers eagerly.
"Can I have my present now, please!" he asked with a grin.
Dåre 25, 1
"Can I have my present now, please!"
"Yeah, of course." Dåre smirked, took a deep bow,spinning around once before doing so. He removed his hat, revealing that button again. He took the seemingly wireless remote made of wood and some red paint, before standing up straight, starting a countdown, and clicking the button.
The sound it made was that of a fanfare. He stood, waiting a short moment and checking a clock he didn't even have. It didn't take a lot of time before the fanfare was repeated from the distance.
Dåre looked towards the ceiling, and suddenly, it started raining. Only, the rain wasn't rain, but what we'd describe as rubber-ducks in all kinds of colors. Well, it was rubber ducks. There were still other gods there, so he yelled:
"Don't move! Anyone! At all!" He realized what he had said, and added:
"Apart from you Roe and Petal. One of you, grab one. Quickly!"
He waited for them to do so, and when the rubber-duck was safely in their hands, he snapped his fingers. All of the other rubber-ducks made exploded into something that looked like fireworks, with colored smoke, only for the explosion to consist of shiny paper hearts in all kinds of colors, raining down and covering everything. He pointed towards the rubber-duck.
"That, is your gift. May it bring you luck and happiness for the rest of eternity."
Cassiel, Roe and Petal
Roe and Petal jumped through the falling ducks with outstretched hands until one landed safely in Roe's hands. At that moment, the rest of the ducks dissipated in a flash of colour.
"That, is your gift. May it bring you luck and happiness for the rest of eternity."
Roe stared down at the rubber duck with a curious expression, it was a strange-looking toy but he could feel the power contained inside it.
"Thanks Daare, this will be really handy and eh... I bet it floats really well too," he trailed off, unsure of what else to say, so he bowed formally in gratitude instead and Petal curtseyed. Turning away, he then mentally ticked off the gods who had given him and his new bride a present and soon found one who as of yet was unaccounted for. He bounced up to Cassiel and tugged expectantly on the angel's robe.
"Have you got me a present?" he beamed up at the god.
Cassiel had been distracted. Ven was asking for a trial, something had happened on Salustius, which could only mean Melanthios was busy twisting the minds of mortals again. Cassiel sighed and turned to Roe, who was asking for a present.
"I do, but it isn't tangible. At least, it isn't yet. See, most human weddings have something called a Honeymoon, which is essentially when the bride and groom spend a week or two with one another, away from everyone else at some fun place. Since no other god has lived as a mortal, I figured they would forget, so I took it upon myself to plan that out for you."
It was at that moment that all the prayers mortals had sent before, during and after the battle of Quadringa arrived. Grigori, asking for help in battle, protection, healed wounds. Wha-what had happened? There were Kinderven in there too somewhere, but there were so many prayers that Cassiel was only barely able to make them out before a flood of Grigori prayers replaced them. "Roe, I need to go to Coelus, feel free to come along. I am not sure how long this will take but I think you might like it better than what Ven has planned."
"Okay, I think I remember Petal saying something about honeymoons once," Roe replied, wrinkling his brow in recollection, "I think her people used to have something like that."
He turned and called out to Petal, who was still playing with the robotic cat Melanthios had gifted the pair. "Pets, Cassiel says he's going to take us to a fun which he has planned for us!"
The young girl walked over with the cat in her arms and put her hand in Roe's. "Where's the fun place are we going?" she asked the two gods.
"Coelus," Roe replied knowingly, squeezing her hand gently.
"Oh yes, I love the angels, I can't wait to play with them again!" Petal's eyes lit up and her wings unconsciously fluttered behind her.
Cassiel shook his head and put his hand on his mask. "This isn't about the honeymoon. I had something else planned but this can't wait. I am not sure how much play time will be had until it is sorted." Cassiel identified the main source of the prayers as the city of Quadringa. He had never been to Quadringa, never had the time for it but now was as good a time as ever. If he remembered correctly, the Kinderven lived there.
The god of angels reached out his hand and said "Come along, once I figure this out we can get your honeymoon started."
Roe nodded and turned around to speak to his guests for one final time.
"Me and Petal are now going on our honeymoon and so the wedding is over, thank you for coming everyone!" he yelled to the remaining gods as they began to prepare for the impending trial. He then turned back to Cassiel and Petal and after taking each of their outstretched hands, the trio flew out of the Entertainment Hall and over the edge of the Hallowed Court, down towards the mortal realms below. Within moments the diamond planet loomed before them and suddenly Roe felt a chill go down his spine, as if something was deeply wrong about the scene in from of him. He gripped his companions' hands a little tighter.
Meanwhile back in the Entertainment Hall, a bench where seven devils sat materialised in the centre of the room. Several devils were taking notes, others consulting large tomes of law while the one in the center cracked down his hammer.
"Order, order in the court! For those of you who have forgotten, I am Calath the High Speaker, created by Pentar to dispence law and order to this plane. Today the demigod Akladai will be judged by a jury of his peers as to whether or not he is guilty of the charges leveled at him by Ven. Is there any questions before we begin?"
President Hardy read the telegram on his desk with wide eyes, not quite believing what was written. According to multiple officials stationed in the borderlands of the Republic, not only the Dwarves but also the Lainir were already packing up and preparing to depart the planet for the home of the Dues Filli. Unless the Dues Filli were far more advanced in magic than he thought, the only explanation was... divine. Hardy sighed, he was really going to have to reconsider his lack of religious convictions next time he had a moment to spare. For now though, there was no time to lose.
"Order two thirds of the fleet along the western coast of Almia to prepare for departure and landing in Eva Lothi and Ortaw immediately, and for all troops stationed in the borderlands to prepare to cross the northern border once the Dwarves have departed. Also, I need a report on the resource value of those two lands immediately."
The assistant taking notes nodded and then scurried out of the room to pass the message on. The President took out a sheet of paper and began writing a quick letter to his nation's old allies.
Dear our friends the Dues Filli,
Are your people behind the leaving of the Dwarves and Lainir for Salustutis? Also, recalling the agreement made between our two people's at the time of the Great Revolution, is there any assistance you could offer in securing a claim on the vacated lands for the Evalon Republic? In return I'm sure the relaxing of trade tariffs on certain resources we are about to obtain wouldn't go amiss.
President Hardy Sharulk
Ven - 5AP
The Mizzen had remained still and stoic as devils and gods alike flashed into the Entertainment Hall. His expressionless visage carefully and coolly evaluated the audience that slowly formed before him, while his mind composed the speech he was about to deliver.
He could not expect to be treated fairly. He was only a demigod, after all; he lacked the sheer power and authority that the true gods had been given. There were limits to his power, things he couldn't possibly hope to accomplish, and therefore there was no way for him to force his audience to listen to his words. He would be begging them for their help, and to be honest, they had no reason to offer it.
...Still. He would never forgive himself if he didn't try. He owed his kin at least that much.
"Is there any questions before we begin?"
Ven raised his head as the head devil, Calath, finished his introduction. Out of respect for the rest of the court, the demigod waited a few seconds, allowing silence to rule the court for a short time. It would be unseemly of him to just launch into a speech without giving the gods a chance to say something.
When nobody said anything in the next ten seconds, however, Ven stepped forward into the center of the hall, nodding respectfully to Calath as he moved forward. It was time to begin, apparently.
"Hello everyone," he began, raising a hand in greeting to the rest of the court. "I'd like to begin by both thanking you, and apologizing to you. Thank you for coming here today, to listen to me. It helps to see so many of you here in attendance, as I believe justice can truly be achieved here. And I apologize for calling this trial so soon after Roe and Petal's wedding; I am aware of the sudden, painful shift in moods. However, I believe that this issue is urgent enough to merit immediate attention. If it is ignored for too long, then I fear its seriousness will fade away, something that I cannot allow to happen.
"While I will endeavor to make this trial as expedient as possible, I do ask that everyone here listens carefully to what I and the defendant are about to say. I want to ensure that justice, not revenge or retribution, but justice, is meted out, and I intend to remain here until the court is satisfied that their decision is truly just."
His introduction finished, Ven paused for a moment. Silently, he turned around, making eye contact with everyone else in the Hall. Daare, Cassiel, and all of the other gods... This was going to get interesting.
"Earlier today, Akladai broke 500 of my brethren. He forced his way into their Sparks, and forcefully separated from the Mizzen collective mind."
Though he struggled to keep his tone level, Ven was unable to keep a slight fluctuation, somewhere between rage and sorrow, from twisting his words. An astute observer would be able to detect the slight trembling that slowly stole over his body, from his shoulders to the tips of his feet.
"After severing their connection, he brainwashed them, forcing them... I suppose I may as well just share his own words with you."
Using his own body as a speaker, Ven projected a copy of Akladai's voice, slightly corrupted and tinny sounding, to the rest of the room. "Now lets put you to better use shall we? From now on out you serve the Dues Filli Republic."
After taking a second to let that sink in, the synthetic continued. "I for one can't imagine what Akladai hoped to accomplish by forcefully altering the thoughts of beings that were already happy to work with the Dues Filli. In any case, I saw to it that his plans did not advance any further; currently the afflicted Mizzen are being treated in Nexus, and we are anxiously looking for a way to safely and fully restore their connection to the collective. I can only hope that, with enough time and research, we will be able to restore them to their former state, but...
"Allow me to make my hopes clear," Ven said after a brief pause. "I am not looking to 'punish' Akladai. I do not think he should suffer or feel even a shred of the anguish that he caused. Suffering will only breed more suffering, in the end, and I've dealt with quite enough of that for today.
"No, what I want is to make sure that he can never attempt to do something like this again.
"I know that we all take different approaches when it comes to governing our charges. Some of us prefer to watch things from a distance, only interfering when the mortals need divine guidance. Others, myself included, take a more direct approach. However."
Unable to hold himself back, the Mizzen slammed a fist into a nearby wall, sending a series of cracks cascading through the stone. And as he continued, his words were not telepathic, but real and physical. "I would hope... No, I would pray that we can all agree that tactics like these, simply forcing mortals to follow your desires with no regards as to their own will, are beyond despicable. What Akladai did is unforgivable by any standard; can you imagine how you would feel if he did it to mortals of other races? If he had done it to the Grigori, to the Changelings, the Rowan, the Verr, the Stryfe, the Lanir, the Dwarves? Hopefully you would feel the same way I do now.
"So, in order to ensure that such evil never happens again, I ask that you all, as gods of this world, find a way to keep Akladai from ever acting in such a manner again. I move that he be stripped of his divine powers, and be forced to live out his immortal life on Salustitus."
Once more, Ven turned around, slowly facing everyone else in the room.
"What say you?"
M'endaxius - 22/30 AP, 2/2 MP
A marriage and now a trial? Things were proving to be interesting to say the least. Such a sad thing to happen after a wedding. It seemed that there to be no reception and now the once gallant Performers scurried away to the edges of the Hall. This was more than they ever dealt with. M'endar raised a hand and teleported them back to whence they came, they did not need to see this. This place of feasts and celebration was not the place for this trial either. The masked god stood up and replied to that ever so nicely placed question that hung in the air. It might be seen as buying time as or even as doing the right thing, M'endar did not care. There was a place and a time for this, yes? Then it would ensure that a trial would be held in the right place.
"I say we take this to Hell's Court. A trial takes place in a court, yes?" M'endar replied.
Aen 30/30, 2/2
The god of combat had been a bit bored of the party, as Aleis had made sure he was on his best behavior. Not even a friendly spar with Carnivox... but this was... "Interesting. A call for justice, backed with reason and sense. Still..." he paused, turning from Ven to Akladai. "In the idea of justice, I'd like to hear both sides before siding either way."
With an absent minded flourish of his hand, he fixed the cracks in the walls that Ven had made. He understand the Mizzen's anger, he'd done much worse himself, but the Mizzen didn't seem quite like him. Losing his head in the middle of a trial... that wasn't a mistake he'd usually make.
'Ven, I understand your plight. I sought justice for the actions of Melanthios' himself once upon a time, but you must be careful. Lose your head, and you lose sympathy for your case.' He spoke casually to Aleis as he sent the message, the way she'd taught him. Though the conversation was plain, her mouth twitched up with a knowing smile.
The wedding itself was short lived, being quickly broken up by Ven and his accusations. It looked like the party was over, it just went to prove that nothing good ever happened when their ind gathered in large numbers. Still it saved Zareth the embarrassment of having not brought a real gift for the bride and groom. What could he have gotten them that was apropriate for the occasion.
The Trial didn't so much start as it did break out. Ven's argument was passionate and well put and his evidence was damning indeed. Plus it wouldn't be the first time Melanthios and his 'children' let something like free will get in their way. He couldn't see how Akladai could possibly defend his actions. Then there was the point of his punishment, what if the others decided against him, there was only one way he saw that situation going.
"Monitor things for me, I want to know EVERYTHING that happens while I'm away." He ordered Flight who chirped her understanding as Zareth unruffled his suit and took his exit. "Keep an eye on people, you know who I mean." he said to Carnivox.
"Mwurh?" The wolf gargled through another mouthful of cake.
Out in one of the darker reaches of the universe Zareth walked through the void, taking the time to just revel in the silence. Eternity stretched out before him, the light of countless souls rolled on past him. This was the way things were now. With Evermoor gone the realm of the dead was far less tangible. If Zareth had to describe it he would have to compare it to a river without beginning or end. He could even dip his hand in it, letting the sensation of pure life energy tingle at the edge of his mind. Souls beyond counting flowed by, all of them playing their part in the cycle of creation. One day each of them would travel back to the living plane, fining new form, strength and experiences when they were ready. Free of gods and their endless scheming.
This new way was wonderfully freeing for Zareth, giving him plenty of free time. Though there were times when he missed Evermoor and having a place to call his own. Back then he had a sense of purpose, souls that needed him. These barely noticed he was there, they were too busy doing... whatever it was they did. He'd promised them that he woudn't interfere with any of them unless asked or needed, except for one, the soul he'd come to find.
There you are... The one soul he'd locked down and seperated from the reincarnation cycle.
"Demens!" He called out. It's time to wake up!
He hoped that something like this would never happen. Demens was insane even by the lax standards of the gods, he was one of the first wardens Zareth had recruited, well in this case imprisoned. The deranged Filli had tried to force his way into evermoor and even after death had caused havoc in the underworld. He was more of a wild animal than Carnivox but desperate times were on the horizon and they called for desperate measures.
Zareth gathered the light into his hand and moulding it back into a physical form. His free hand tracing runic signs in the void to help bind the soul in place as Demens thrahed and warped itself like a madman's fever dream. demens was waking up and looking out on the living universe with hungry eyes. It would take something more stable to stop him breaking loose and wreaking havoc on the living.
He sent out a wave of silent intention to Aen, his go to authority on runes and their effects. Underlying it was a simple message. Just trust me. Now if only Zareth cold trust this action himself.
Lleu, Zs'Wua'Itzala - 8, 8
Lleu shifted as he that word. Begins with T, ends with L, and stinks of the law. Trial. Why did a celebration like this remind him so much of that? Of that particular day? The day that had changed everything. Zs'Wua, however, crooned softy to herself. After all, she loved a good show; if she could benefit in some way, then it would be even better. The marriage appeared to be a prologue to the main event. Not every day you see a demigod brought to trial. Words whispered in the back of her mind, 'Not every day you see a god die.' She thought back to that moment, where the other gods descended up the corrupted Ailish. It like a pack of vultures. She suspected this case would be no different either. Zs'Wua turned and was surprised to see Lleu.
"Miss me?" He said.
Zs'Wua huffed, "Why would I? There's plenty going on here. I don't need you to amuse me."
"Amuse? We've just gone from one pompous ceremony to another." Lleu replied, shrugging.
"Then leave." Zs'Wua stated, "If you are so sullen about it."
He thought on it a bit, there really wasn't anything keeping him here. Besides, if he stayed here longer, he would probably end up crushing a few of the devils' heads. He had heard the stories. Ultimate power in return for your soul. But always a catch in the contract. Always. Another reason why he had always had a certain disrespect for the law; its cruelty, merciless letters that took lives just because X did Y, not to mention the restrictiveness. Maybe he would leave. The forests of Eld were apparently very relaxing and beautiful. Lleu stood up. He eyed the defendant. "Good luck getting a fair trial here, friend," He thought, "'Fair trial'; believe me, I know that falsehood too well." Without a word, he left. Left the pretence of order and fairness for the wilds of Eld.
Roe - 26, 1 and Petal - 4
The first rays of Niv cracked through the bedroom window of Roe's house as the young god slowly stirred himself awake, putting his hand to his throbbing head. Next to him Petal slept peacefully, her long black hair spread wildly across the pillow and her thumb in her mouth. Roe had trouble remembering exactly what had happened after Cassiel had dropped the pair off, he recalled greeting the newly arrived souls and then one of them had found the huge stash of wine he'd been keeping for a special occasion and after that... just a blur of sound and light.
"Good morning Lord Roe, we've made you breakfast!"
A shrill voice broke his train of thought, he cracked open his eyes to see two children standing in front of him. One was a human boy aged about seven with wavy shoulder length brown hair, the other a six year old Kinderven girl with pearly white fangs and a quiet demeanour. She passed him a tray with two plates, a fried egg and slightly burned Sharulk strip on each.
"You can just call me Roe," he replied sleepily as he took a plate and took a bite, before adding, "What's your names?"
"I'm Northern Snow, but you can just call me Snow," the young boy replied happily and gestured to his partner, "this is my new girlfriend Vanette. Do you like the breakfast?"
"Thanks, it's nice," Roe beamed, "has anything happened since last night?"
"There's a big trial with lots of gods down there in the hall," Vanette piped up for the first time, "I saw them all through a window, I don't know what they're talking about though,"
"That could be important!" the young god yelped and jumped out of bed, "Help me find my clothes, my friends might need me..." he commanded the two spirit children and began frantically searching the room for his magic items.
A few minutes later, Roe stumbled through the door of the Entertainment Hall and scrambled up onto the nearest empty seat. He spotted Woof sitting faithly at the side of the room, he must have been there since the end of the wedding! Roe waved at him and the loyal dog bounded up to him, licking him in the ear.
"Down boy!" Roe groaned, "Now, I see you to show me what's happened so far..."
The Storyteller's voice rose dramatically as he recalled the events on both the Hallowed Court and Coelus, gesturing wildly with his hands as he did, the children rapt in attention once again.
"Together, Roe and Cassiel created a new afterlife to fill the void left by the departure of Evermoor. Those who were imbued with innocence or had faith for Roe to return them to that state would ascend to live a new life in the Hallowed Court, while other souls would find themselves irresistibly attracted towards the great gas giant that Cassiel had created. Meanwhile at the same time, Petal spread an enchantmant over the area where Quadringa stood so that no resident would ever be able to forget the terrible massacre that stained it's past. The enchantment would only be able to dissipate when the Kinderven returned to claim the place of their birth.
As this happened, Melanthios inspired five thousand Dues Filli to research and gain use all of the Mizzen knowledge for the good of their race, including their battle tactics. M'endar teleported fifty performers from the Hallowed Court back to their native Evalon, while Zareth brought a long dead soul back to life to form a new demigod: Demens."
Then it's done...
The deafening silence of space was broken as beyond all the laws od science it was filled up with a wild laughter. Bit by bit the ethereal light that had once been was broken down and reformed into a solid mass, standing before Zareth. The being was clothed in pitch black robes made from the very night sky it had been reborn in, despite how much they blended in with their surroundings Demens could still be seen... twitching... twisting and howling with laughter all the while. His freshly formed lungs were still too new to handle such strain and Demens quickly wore them out, but he kept going anyway.
"OH... oh it's good to be back HAHA!" Demens held his hands up high, stretching himself out. "Back!" He threw himself around Zareth, the chains that linked through his robe clinking together. Zareth Grimaced silently. "I knew it! I knew you'd come back to me!"
"shut up!" Zareth snarled, gripping at the chains that converged around Demens' neck. "You're back because I need you, nothing else."
Demense staggared back as he was yanked about, but the smile never left his face. "You've always needed me, Zareth, it's good that you can finally admit it." He said with condescending certainty.
"You're here because I need an attack dog." Zareth whipped around, forcing Demens along after him.
"I thought you had an attack wolf! That sounds much better than a dog."
"Don't you dare consider yourself in the same league as him." That was the end of it. Zareth had learned a long time ago to keep any and all talking to a minimum around Demens, the snake would turn every piece of information given to him ,however small, into a weapon. He would not give him more ammunition.
"Oooohh." Demens cooed like a school girl, happy to have in an old sore spot.
The two of them quickly got back to the court. The moment they touched down Demens' jaw dropped and he pulled against the chain Zareth was pulling him by as he tried to take it all in, his laughter slowly starting up again. "To think I could finally see this place. How hard would you have fought this in the old days?"
Zareth rounded on him again, picking Demens up by the throat, his talons growing and his teeth slowly shifting into fangs. He hadn't shown this kind of anger in a long time. Demens, for his part only seemed more excited.
"It will not last long." Zareth growled through gritted teeth. "You will never come back here, you will never see it again. When this is done I WILL send you back to the void." Demens' flesh began to wither and burn under Zareth's grip.
"you think you've fallen." Demens choked out. "That my being here is a failure... but it's not! You're rising! This is it the beginning of your better life!" Zareth threw him to the ground as if disgusted to even have Demense this close to him.
"You will stay in position and you will act on my command and ONLY on my command. Understood?" Zareh didn't wait for a response as he skulked back into the hall, hoping he hadn't missed much. The others would have felt that he'd done something but hopefully they wouldn't know what.
"You know I'm right." Demens coughed after him as he staggared to his feet and moved to the roof of the entertainment hall. His hand reached to his neck... there was a new chain there, warpped and jagged. It didn't take Demens long to identify what it was for. "Oh silly boy." he giggled. His depraved mind thinking of ways to get free of it immediatly. But he would have to wait for that, Zareth needed his help and he wasn't in the mood to thank him for it... yet. Until then he would watch as the meeting in the hall unfolded.
"Do you think the Stryfe can trusted?" the man's voice crackled over the radio, each response delayed by a second by both the distance between the two and the encryption used to protect their conversation.
"I think so, father," Lupin replied steadily, "Whatever happens, it'll be fine if their numbers are limited like our embassy is on Eld, to a few hundred souls at most,"
"Very true. How is Eva Lothi?"
"Secure as far as I can see, the Dwarves and Lainir have completely vanished and there's no sign of the Mizzen or anyone-else coming to claim it."
"Excellent work Lupin, will talk to you later sweetheart,"
"Bye, father," she said warmly and then switched the radio off. She stepped outside of the diplomatic car for a breath of fresh air and looked up at Loth Ringard standing tall in the distance. A number of tanks and aircraft were gathered around the base of the mountain and above them dragons and velociflies soared with their riders practising various manoeuvres. From the news she heard daily from her father, Lupin knew that it was the same for every major city from the icy east of Eva Lothi to the far western shores of Ortaw. Already thousands of crates of belongings and technology left behind were being shipped back to the Republic mainland for analysis and resource extraction, while colonists were preparing with a generous government grant and cut prices on the new land to journey westwards and make a new life for themselves. It was truly the beginning of a new era for the Republic.
Roe - 26, 1
Roe sat happily on his throne and summoned out of thin air one of his favourite recent inventions of the Rowan: a box of popcorn. Nothing seem to be happening so he threw a handful of it at Calath the High Speaker.
"Get on with it!" Roe yelled at the devil. All he got in response was an icy stare. Roe sighed and began searching through his pockets to see if he had anything interesting on him, his hands resting on Skye, the Flag of Liberty, his rubberduck from Daare, even the whistle he'd made for Petal. He'd have to give that back to her when she got here. To his surprise his fingers settled on a mysterious fifth object, one which felt like nothing he knew he owned. He brought the shining item out into the open to take a closer look.
Akladai remained calm through Ven's speech, if he interrupted Ven he would only get in even more trouble. Suddenly a mental message appeared inside his head "Good luck getting a fair trial here, friend,'Fair trial'; believe me, I know that falsehood too well." He turned his head to see Lleu leave. It seemed he had more allies, other then his own family. "Greetings everyone, I am here today to defend myself against the accusations of Ven as you all just heard. He says that I forcibly changed 500 Mizzen, and what he says is true. I however did not break them, I simply separated them from the shared conscious and gave them new orders."
Akadalai stood up and then looked around at all the gods, as he continued by saying. "What Ven said however is not completely true, he said that the Mizzen were happy to work with the Dues Filli.. which is a lie. What they did do is remain on a planet, while they were told ages ago that they had to leave. And they kept burning and destroying all kinds of things there which did not belong to them, 'gather data' as they call it.." Akladai then turned back to Ven.
"What he also forgot to mention was that I offered to fix them. I can make them reconnect to the shared conscious, and clear this part of their memories effectively removing any damage I ever did. Also he says that he doesn't want me to be 'punished', that he only seeks justice. I think justice is about making up for your mistakes, and second chances. Which is why I ask to be punished, but a different kind of punishment then he asked for. As I do admit that what I did was wrong, and do feel that I must be punished."
He turned back to all the gods as he said, "I wish to get a chance to right my wrongs, fix the mizzen I damaged and get a change to make it up to them and the Mizzen society as a whole. I cannot do this when my powers are taken from me however. That is why I ask to be sentenced to repent for my crime, by repairing the damaged Mizzen and repenting in any other reasonable way Ven can think of." He was silent for a few moments before finishing his defense by saying. "This is the first trial which is held between the gods. I just hope that this trail will be about justice and repenting... rather then simple revenge and old grudges along with back room politics."
As Cassiel came bursting in to the court room, he saw Ven's testemony from Woof and then saw Akladai's. He had a bit to add. Cassiel spoke out loud to the other gods and said "I have a bit more evidence to add to this proceeding. Simple facts and statements, really."
Cassiel teleported to where Ven and Akladai were and said "The Mizzen aren't the only race affected recently. In fact, both the Lainir and Dwarves have been sent through similar brain altering transformations put in place clearly by Melanthios's demigods."
Cassiel held up a small orb and made it large enough for everyone to see. It began showing videos of several leaders and citizens of both the Lainir and Dwarves speaking of how the Deus Filli had converted them.
"As you can see, this is clearly divine action in place. Countless millions have been essentially enslaved against their will by Melanthios's demigods and this can not be allowed to stand. These two different offences will need to be further investigated later, but for now, I think it's fairly clear that Akladai was simply following what he saw to be the normal. That taking away free will is fine. As gods we have an obligation to the mortals. We are in a position of power over them and we can not allow ourselves to abuse it. This case will greatly influence how we as gods value free will and will further impact society in the future. Make the right decision here. If he is found guilty, I make no promises as to the punishemnt as that is still yet to be decided. I think it is clear he is guilty of a high crime however. Thank you for your time."
Cassiel then teleported back to Roe and said quietly, "Grave times."
"As Roe's memories from the night before came flooding back to him, he remembered that he had created the Crown of Chaos to show his dominion over the Garden in which the spirits of children played and all those who followed him. Meanwhile Zareth bound his servant Demens to himself with an enchanted chain so he would know all of the actions committed by the untrustworthy demon,"
"Wait, what if you died when you were a kid but your Mama and Papa didn't go to the Garden because they didn't believe in Lord Roe?" a young girl asked anxiously, "Would you never see them again?"
The Storyteller smiled gently at her.
"You needn't worry about that young lady, Roe is a very understanding god and I'm sure he'd let your spirit leave for Cassiel's planet if you would prefer to be with your parents,"
Lleu - 3/8 AP
He trudged through the wilds of Eld, taking in the savage sights sourly. It seemed that not even the Ekiruru were free. They were still bound to their fallen goddess, not so much in body as in mind. It had only taken a second or so for the Ekiruru to notice his presence, some attacked. Then Lleu shown them the might of a demigod. They had shirked from him ever since. Now he was alone yet again, surrounded by the forest and the chorus of hymns calling on Eldarwen to return. The hymns were driving him insane and he stomped to the what seemed like the main city, finally settling on entering the throne room.
"Who... are you?" The Ekiruru sat on the throne asked; hostility hidden behind the words.
Lleu smirked at the pathetic hint of a threat, "Lleu, I've come to ask some questions."
"Such as?" She replied, raising her hand. She noticed that the intruder was splattered with poison and still standing. The green liquid dripped off the black spikes. Somehow that armour seemed to glow with power. She dropped her hand and formed a fist. This one seemed strong. Almost as strong as Auctor and the others. Calling the guards would just led to unnecessary deaths.
Lleu moved closer to the Ekiruru and hissed, "Why do you continue to search for a dead goddess!? Why do you still bear the chains she slapped on you ever since your creation?! Tell me. Tell me!"
"We are... compelled to." She whispered, then raising her voice she stated, "The Queen of Nature is not dead. She has only gone on to explore the wilds beyond this one..."
"Bullshit." Lleu muttered under his breath.
Regardless of that comment, she continued, "...We too have been preparing for our own great journey as well. To follow in Her footsteps. To go on to the lands beyond. Now, is that all?"
Lleu stood there in silence.
However, that was just the calm before the storm. He shouted a wordless scream. The Ekiruru stared at him at if he were mad. Lleu was not mad, just in a state of fury. The chains were too tight for one of his power. He was bound himself to break those chains. Was she speaking of the land beyond the dark portal? The one on Evalon that caused the death of many an adventurer? They were insane. Utterly insane. And yet he could not fully stop it. Well, it seemed to be ingrained into their very minds. Let them die then. They were doomed anyway. Lleu punched the floor, emitting waves. The Ekiruru continued to stare at the madman...
Roe - 20, 1
"Has the jury reached their verdicts?" Calath inquired to the gathered gods, nods all around were the response. "Excellent, from left to right how do you find the defendant?"
"Guilty," Cassiel shrugged nonchalantly.
"Guilty," Aen agreed with a nod.
"Guilty," Zareth said slowly, keeping a close eye on Demens, who was growling softly.
"Not guilty!" Roe half-yelled, "this is stupid," he added, he couldn't believe that the gods were trying to force laws that they had never even been agreed upon on one of their own. This was worse than even written laws, this was a mob punishing a being for their own whims.
"Not guilty," Melanthios added with a swish of his cloak.
M'endar paused as it considered the so-called 'facts' presented to the court. Words... They were just words. Words could be twisted in many ways and Alkadai's words hinted at such a thing. Regardless it was not enough to persecute. "This one is not guilty..." M'endar concluded with a form of the arms.
All eyes turned on Daare, who simply looked down and repeated one word, "Guilty," A sigh of both relief and exasperation went through the court.
"Akladai, with the power invested in me by the divine rulers of this universe, I find you guilty of the crimes alleged by Ven." Calath intoned ceremonially, "Now, what sentence do the gods believe is just for this demigod's crimes?"
Petal - 4
"De duh duh," Petal murmured to herself as she awoke the house in the Hallowed Court, noticing to her disappointment that Roe was nowhere to be seen.
"Good morning Madam," an unfamiliar voice came from behind her. She spun around to see a neatly-dressed young boy holding a tray of food.
"Who are you?" she asked suspiciously, squinting at the friendly face.
"I'm Snow, I used to be a missionary before everyone was killed in Quadringa. It's really good to finally meet you Lady Petal,"
"Okay, thanks," Petal shrugged and tucked hungrily into the breakfast. She noticed a picture on the wall of her and Roe posing at their wedding.
"I don't even remember that photo being taken," she said aloud, before turning back to Snow, "What happened in Quadringa? Why were all the angels be so mean?"
"I was there when it all started," Snow replied darkly, "Their leader Zabekiel is pure evil, he asked for a meeting to talk with the Kinderven and missonaries, so we went along. He then told us we would have to follow his rules and when we said no, he tried to kill us all so he could blame the Kinderven for starting the war! The other angels did bad things too but he's the worst of them all, justice needs to be brought to him more than anyone."
"That's terrible," Petal replied, "I'll tell Roe all about him when he gets back. Wait, where is Roe?"
"The Lord is at the Entertainment Hall, they're holding a trial for one of Melanthio's demigods,"
"It sounds boring, poor Roe,"
Melanthios froze up as he heard the other gods vote. He turned around to see Zareth and Daare. Daare was looking at the ground he seemed to at least want to avoid his gaze. This was his chance, he was sure he would listen to reason. And Daare was a peaceful sort of god, he was sure he could convince him to give his son a second chance.Hello Daare.. Its me Melanthios.." He hoped that Daare would reply from the bottom of his heart.
Daare heard the message, and looked around as if he had forgotten how the whole thing worked. To be fair, in the midst of the trial, and with the role he had played, the mad god's mind was as far from how telepathic messages worked as possible. Sorry, I'm sorry. He almost cried, just mentally. I just... he trailed off, although Daare himself looked as if he wanted to run away all of a sudden.
Melanthios saw his fear, he never meant for any of this to happen. "Its okay Daare calm down, I am not angry nor disappointed. You shared your opinion, and I am not angry because you did such a thing. Really its okay.." He send something like a mental hug to Daare, hoping that it would calm him down.
Melanthios tried to calm him down, but Daare was about to break down, both mentally and not. It's not, you're angry, I broke our friendship. The mad god stopped a moment. Tried to think it through. Just... I don't know. Don't know. At all.
"Calm down Daare, please. I know this must be tough for you, but I am not angry. Any god is entitled to their own opinion, and it would take much more then this to break our friendship. Just take a deep breath, and try to calm down okay?" Melanthios looked at Daare, and felt very sorry for him.
"Y-yeah." He calmed down, finally. "Why did this happen, Melanthios? Why did something like this happen, right after the wedding? Why did I have to vote? I----I didn't know what to vote... just... I don't think spending an entirety exploring the world would be a bad thing for anyone."
"I don't know why such a thing happened.. And well it might not sound bad, but for him it is, I know my son, without his powers I am.... I am afraid that he will take his own life.." Melanthios mental voice became very unstable after that. It took him a few seconds before he was able to speak again. "Listen Daare, I know my son screwed up I really do.. But can't he get a second change? Doesn't he deserve at least that, to get the chance to fix his mistakes? I will keep him in check from now on, make sure he doesn't do these kinds of things again.. Still I am begging you, please give my son a another chance.. I don't want to lose him.." Melanthios was fighting against tears, which began gathering in the corners of his eye.
Daare listened to Melanthios speak, and guilt consumed him even more."I---I---" This was not a situation the god of madness wanted to go through with. Suddenly, he stood up, speaking to everyone, basically yelling out. "I surrender! My right to vote! I mean... I never was here! Take my vote back! Remove it, I can't do this! I'm not fit to make a decision!" Daare gave it some thought. "I pledge insanity!" He made a gesture with his hands, and disappeared, having teleported away, not even bringing Frikk with him. He had teleported somewhere close to the portal so he could watch it. Daare was standing in the middle of the air, and he didn't know why. His carpet got under him, and he got even closer. "Melanthios, I don't know what that would change... just... I couldn't deal with it. I'm just a mad fool, I can't do stuff like that." With that, he broke the mental contact between the two, anything Melanthios tried to say would just be met with statics.
Melanthios watched as Daare fled. It was not a big surprise that he would... still.. if Daare wouldn't help him.. This would be sure to end badly for Akladai.
Roe - 20, 1
"I surrender! My right to vote! I mean... I never was here! Take my vote back! Remove it, I can't do this! I'm not fit to make a decision! I pledge insanity!"
Everyone in the room stared at Daare during his sudden outburst. Once the mad god vanished, Calath coughed and smacked down his hammer twice to regain the room's attention.
"Have the gods decided on a sentence?" The devil enquired to the gathered gods. Roe stepped forward holding a rolled up piece of paper and began to read.
"We the gods have decided by a three to two vote, with two abs... ab-sten-shions... that Akladai should be sentenced to repair the five hundred Mizzen that he damaged and to help in any other reasonable way possible to repent for his crimes."
The fire crackled and the faint howl of an animal could be heard in the distance as the Storyteller continued his tale dramatically, the shadows created by his waving arms almost seeming to come to life as he spoke.
"Whilst high up in the Hallowed Court gods debated laws and justice, Lleu tore through the wilds of Eld, inciting a five thousand strong rebellion against those such as Princess Eleora who prayed for the return of their divine Queen."
Ven - 5 AP
"We the gods have decided by a three to two vote, with two abs... ab-sten-shions... that Akladai should be sentenced to repair the five hundred Mizzen that he damaged and to help in any other reasonable way possible to repent for his crimes."
Ven stood there, motionless, as the sentence was read out. So. That was it. The madman who had forced his way into the hearts and souls of his brethren was not only escaping punishment, but was being told to go back and further toy with those mortals he had so callously harmed.
Justice as the gods saw fit, it seemed, was not the lofty ideal the Mizzen had once believed it was.
"I see," the synthetic began, bowing his head in Roe's direction as the child finished reading off the verdict. "Thank you for your time then, all of you. Truly, I appreciate you all humoring my attempt to seek justice for my kin. It was kind of you to do so."
Turning around, Ven began to slowly pace towards the other side of the chamber, pointedly looking at the wall and avoiding the eyes of any of the gods. "Now it seems I owe you all another apology. I promised to abide by your definition of 'justice', and please understand that when I said it I had every intent of doing so. But if you truly believe that justice involves taking a criminal, already found guilty by the court, and giving him access to the minds of those he willfully and cruelly abused... Then I am afraid I cannot keep my promise.
"Far be it from me to go against your decisions. But if you think for even an instant that I will stand by and watch as Alakadi 'helps' me and my brethren... Then you're even madder than Nivix himself.
"Again, thank you for your time. Rest assured, I will not be wasting it again."
With a snap of his fingers, the demigod vanished from the Entertainment Hall. And in the realm of steel and fire he threw himself into, there was not a single soul to hear his cries of rage and sorrow. Rage against the gods, the ones he had once considered fair and just. Sorrow for his kin, the ones who he could not procure justice for. Hate and anger, fear and grief...
But when he finally reappeared in the universe proper, Ven was finished screaming. There was one last thing he could do, one last way he could ensure the Mizzen were protected.
The Stryfe in that snow-swept village had likely never seen a Mizzen before in their lives. Apparently the ones 'allowed' to live on Salustutis had never been able to come this far north. But Ven ignored all their surprised gasps and threatening roars. He didn't have time to deal with them right now.
Instead, he walked forwards, teleporting out of the way of the various attacks and projectiles hurled his way. His crimson eyes were locked on a medium-sized building on the outskirts of the village, one that belched fire, heat, and smoke from its various chimneys and openings. A smithy belonging to a certain legendary blacksmith.
Ven didn't bother to knock. Simply shoving the door open was much easier. Plus, it allowed him to see the look of slight surprise that briefly scrawled across the face of the building's sole occupant.
"Hello, Nivix. I need a favor."
Petal and Demens
Demens let out an annoyed sigh. Everything seemed to finish very anticlimactically. He had listened in intently, waiting for things to get well and truly interesting and then... they all cried and ran off in a huff. What was wrong with these people? This wasn't how gods were supposed to act! If ever there was a reason to crush someone's skull and throw the chunks to the wind wasn't it the stealing of your greatest pride?
"They've all fallen so far." He spat. "Pathetic."
While they were still stood around talking like bureaucrats Demens stalked off into the surrounding gardens. they were at least competent builders. And he had worked hard to get here. Even this crushing disappointment couldn't totally dampen Demens' mood at seeing the wonder of the Hallowed Court. Then he found something the stories had never mentioned. Children. Everywhere.
"Well this is interesting." Demens muttered to himself as he wandered through their ranks. Most were playing some gam or another and didn't seem bothered by him or didn't notice.
As Demens explored the garden, Petal sat quietly on one of the wooden benches by Roe's house, threading daisies together to form a delicate cloth of flowers. By her feet lay a golden cat, purring contentedly.
"You're going to like this cloak, Orchid," Petal told the cat happily.
"I hope so," the feline spirit replied and rolled on her back so Petal could stroke her bare feet against Orchid's furry stomach.
"Well aren't you the most beautiful thing I've ever seen?" Demens smiled sweetly.
He had seen the girl from across the garden. She was different to the others. Not just in her behaviour but her very presence. It was as if she radiated an aura of power... perhaps he could be of use.
Petal looked up in surprise at the demigod who spoke to her, promptly glancing downwards shyly in response to his compliment.
"Please, Madam!" Demens gave a deep bow and threw back his hood, revealing his face to the pale light of the court.
He looked young again, just as he had in ages past. His hair cut short, revealing the signature pointed ears of the Deus Filli. He held out his hand to Petal, gently raising her hand up in his long, slender fingers. he kissed the air just above her hand, as was the custom back in his time.
"Call me Demens. And who do I have the honour of Addressing?"
"I'm Petal," the young girl replied quietly with a half-smile as Demen's took her hand, avoiding the Filli's gaze, "Are you a demigod?" she added, "You look too old to be one of the children of the Garden..."
"Petal? THE Petal?" Demens gasp. "Well this... this is amazing! This is truly an honour. Outstanding!" Demense fell to one knee. "Madam! May I say I am humbled to finally meet the great lady herself. Why Evermoor was abuzz the day you rose to divinity. Your story was an inspiration to all of us!"
"Hahaha," Petal giggled at Demen's dramatics, "It was very nice of Roe to come back for me. Was everyone talking about it when I left?"
"Oh the afterworld never stopped talking about it my lady. Why for thousands of years I dreamed of following your suit and coming to this wonderful place. Of course I had more reason to stay." He looked up and stared deep into Petal's eyes. "And of course we are not all so beautiful as to win the heart of a god."
Petal smiled shyly again in response to Demen's compliment and unconsciously reached up to brush her hair over her disfigured eye, "You're quite handsome too Mister Demens," she said, "How did you get here from Evermoor? Did a god help you too?"
"Oh but who else." Demens whispered, halting Petal's hand and brushing her hair back behind her ear. "Zareth himself brought me back. He spent so much time with me in Evermoor, I was happy to stay. But now it's gone and we couldn't talk any more. Zareth missed me so much he plucked me from the beyond and gave me shape again. Why it happened only a few hours ago."
"I remember Zareth, he was a nice god," Petal said simply, placing the daisy cloth aside. Orchid curled up at her side and continued to stare at Demens suspiciously. "Why have you come to the garden?" the young girl asked curiously, "You're the only grown up around here for miles."
"I am?" Demens looked around himself, seemingly shocked. "Silly me. Forgive me Lady Petal. I've been dead for so long and this is my first time in the Hallowed court. I thought I'd explore the place while Zareth was busy. I thought it could be an adventure and this place is so beautiful and so bright and the new afterlife was so dull and I didn't want to bother Zreth with my silly problems anyway-" Demens seemed to pick up more and more speed as he rambled on but then cut himself short, as if he had just realised what he'd just said.
"But listen to this old Filli. I'm sure you have better things to do than listen to me go on and on and on." He smiled sheepishly.
"It's okay!" Petal replied hurriedly, hoping she hadn't accidentally offended the Filli, "You seem nice, you can stay here if you want, there's lots of games we can play and everyone is really friendly here."
"Oh you are sweet to think of me my lady. But I don't think I would be much fun to play with." Demens clutched at the twisted, black chain wrapped around his neck and sighed heavily. He seemed to deflate.
"What's that around your neck?" Petal asked in concern, "It looks like it's hurting you."
"Oh it's fine madam, hosetly it's fine. It's just... well." Demens looked at the ground, shuffling his feet like some kicked puppy. "Zareth and I... we were such good friends. best friends. But on one of our adventures - we had lots of adventures - I made a mistake. A big mistake." His voice sounded like it had been soaked in shame. "And Zareth and I got into a big fight, we argued all the time anyway, we're like an old married couple sometimes. But this was different. Now he thinks he can't trust me! So he locked up my powers with this." He tugged t the chain. "But he's wrong! I swear he's wrong! If only I could show him. I just need the chance to prove that I can be a hero. I know I can make it up to him!"
Demens slowly ran out of steam after working himself up into a naieve sounding frenzy he sank back into melancholy. "Have you ever wanted to fix something so badly, Lady Petal?"
Petal nodded in reply. "When I was sent to Evermoor after I died I was really lonely, there were lots of other children there but none as fun or kind as Roe. My Mama and Papa never really cared for me so I didn't want to be with them either. I was in Evermoor for over a thousand years and every day I wished that I could fix myself and come back to life so I could play with Roe again. I'd rather be made to not exist than go back there again..." she trailed off, staring silently into the distance.
"you must be glad it's gone. I know I am." Demens nodded. "I wonder if the gods truly understand what it is like to be like us? I would love nothing more than to be able to fix things between Zareth and I." Demens perked up and snapped his fingers, as if he had just thought of a wonderful idea.
"My lady. What if you were to break my chain?" Demens asked eagerly, placing a hand on Petal's shoulder. "If I could get my powers back, I could show Zareth that I can still help him. Will you help me Lady Petal? It could be an adventure!"
"Zareth won't be angry at me will he?" Petal asked in a concerned voice, "He's my friend, I don't want to make him mad."
"Nonsense dear lady. Why he'll be so happy and so suprised when he finds out. You'll see, Zareth will kick himself for being so silly as to put this chain on me in the first place." Then Demens leant in close as if they were sharing a great secret. "And if he is then I shall tell him I did it." Demens winked.
"Okay," Petal laughed, "You seem like a nice man, I'll try to break it off."
She reached up to Demen's chain and with her finger's glowing began to cut through the chain like a knife through hot butter.
"Um, Petal?" Orchid meowed, "I'm not sure about this..."
"Shhhh kitty," the little demigod goaded, "I'm trying to concentrate... ah!" She took her hands away from Demen's neck and grasped in them was the chain, snapped in two.
"How do you fee nowl?" she asked the Filli happily.
Demens stood up to his full height, stretching his limbs out and cricking his neck. "Wonderful madam, wonderful. Thank you, I am eternally grateful." Demens grinned, his eyes glinting.
"Can you stay and play for a while?" Petal asked, "I bet Roe would love to meet you."
"Oh if only I could my lady. But the gods wont be long and I must be going if I'm to surprise Zareth. But please, take this." He closed Petal's hands around the broken chain. "As something to remember me by. If you ever need me, please, let me know."
And with that, Demens put his hood back up and headed off, his smile covered by shadows. "Farewell, Lady Petal!" He called back.
"Bye Demens, come back soon!" Petal waved as the Filli walked off, disappointed that he couldn't stay any longer. She turned back to the cat who was waiting patiently on the bench besides her "Now Orchid, where were we? Oh yeah, your cloak..."
Research was a strange thing. All of the research Cassiel had done so far had been mostly on the Portal. Small accounts made by mortals of various types. They led to very little. This research however, was personal. To answer a question Cassiel had for so long now. Who was he really? It didn't take long to figure it out.
Lennonous was a leader type Girigori by nature back when Seith assigned everyone basic roles based on personality. He was the oldest of three siblings, the only three Girigori who's personalities clashed with their assigned jobs. Lennonous was the only one recorded as he went berserk one day when a human arrived on Coelus. The other two had their histories wiped, someone in authority wanted them gone at some point.
Recorded information was gone after that, Cassiel had thought it to be done. His brothers were likely killed, long forgotten relics of his lost life. This was in age four.
Cassiel stood alone in darkness. The trial was over, Akladai got a slap on the wrist and Ven...Cassiel hoped Nivix wouldn't be involved in this, but he didn't have time to deal with the madman. He had kept a special someone waiting long enough.
"I'm sorry, Roe."
Cassiel whispered to himself. He had a feeling something was going on in Coelus when...he reached out. A special kind of bond Cassiel discovered ages ago. He hadn't moved in on Coelus until then because if Roe had discovered the Kinderven situation without him and Petal around...Still, what would Seith say? Cassiel had told a lie for the first time in his immortal life. An actual lie.
It was time to fix things. All this time spent, so much time. Seith had planned this all along, given Zabekiel his ambitions, Lennonous his powers, and...just as that Enlightened bastard knew. Had he even gone so far as to predict his own death? Cassiel swore to himself, why didn't Seith give him better deduction skills? Cassiel kept trying to move out of Seith's plans, to make his own destiny but every step he took fell further into his own father's game. Everything had been predestined for him. Cassiel needed answers. He opened up a portal into the blackness that surrounded him, to meet an old friend.
Inside the portal was whiteness, comfortable, but maddening and dull whiteness. "I am sorry about your accomidations and the time it took, but I couldn't let the others think I had something else in mind. It's...better if this was kept secret."
From the whiteness emerged a smaller figure. A kinderven with jet black hair and golden wings. His eyes were yellow and he spoke without emotion. "Lennonous, through all this time, I knew you would come back. Oh, sorry, I mean Cassiel. That's the name you go by now, right? Your attitude and movements made it obvious. I was able to tell the day after the Ekiruru incedent. Your memories were wiped after Seith was killed by Melanthios and M'endar. That all was made obvious. I was tempted to seek you, but I knew you would find me on your own in time."
"You always were the smart one Ezekiel."
"You the bold, and Zabekiel the ambitious. I almost thought he was going to kill me like his adoptive sister. He still hasn't figured out who you are, thinks you are his personal angel, a god under him."
Cassiel sighed. "Yes, I know now. I was too distracted earlier, but now it all makes sense. For what it's worth, what was it like when we were all together?"
Ezekiel laughed. "Zabekiel had always been jealous that you were destined to lead, you always hated it and so did he. I was pretty young then, one of the only children Seith made. I mostly ignored the two of you, wishing you had the other's job. Seith wanted you two to gain a passion for what you were truly made to do. Now look at the both of you, a god and the leader of Coelus, I'd say he did a pretty good job of that. Don't you think?"
Cassiel sat down and looked into the nothingness he had created. "All this time, we haven't talked as a family since the second age."
"It's alright. I have a plan that can work. I can even save Zabekiel while I'm at it."
"For his sake, I hope you are right."
Ezekiel stood up, he was only three feet tall but his hollow yellow eyes conveyed his decision. He was ready. He had been ready for quite some time. "Do it."
Roe and Petal
Roe ran happily through the garden of the Hallowed Court, glad to finally get away from the trial. He was disappointed that Akladai had been found guilty but at-least the demigod wouldn't be punished too hard. He spotted Petal sitting quietly at a bench by their house and hopped up to her.
"I met a nice man called Demens and helped him a bit,"
"Huh," Roe replied disinterestedly, "the trial was really boring, except..."
"Wait!" Petal interrupted suddenly, "This morning one of the kids told me something important..." She recounted to Roe everything that Snow had told her, the young god becoming increasingly angry as she did so.
"We have to tell Cassiel about this, come on!" He took his young wife by her hand and they sprinted together through the garden back towards the court house. The pair came across a huge figure sitting cross-legged by the portal, muttering to himself.
"Pentar?" Roe breathed, realising it had been more than an age since he had last seen the god of justice. The giant man's hair was falling out and he had a crazed look in his eyes. "No wonder he didn't turn up at the trial," Roe said aloud, before turning to Petal. "Stay back where it's safe," he warned her and then slowly approached the sitting god. "Pentar, are you okay?"
"They're coming, they're all coming for us..." the deranged god murmured before turning to Roe with a manic gaze, "he's coming now!"
A multitude of tiny black creatures suddenly exploded from the portal, their numerous legs covering Pentar in an instant as they crawled over him and began consuming his flesh, the giant god hardly even seeming to resist.
"Holy shit!" Roe exclaimed and instinctively reached for Skye, grabbing the pistol out of his pocket and firing a few shots into the maelstrom of tiny void monsters. When he realised the bullets didn't appear to be having much of an effect, he morphed the weapon into a curved sword and leapt into the fray, diving and weaving between the vicious creatures. A few fell onto his blade but soon they resisted him as a mass and the young god was forced back away from the portal, only able to fend for himself whilst Pentar dissolved before his eyes.
"Help!" Roe called out in his mind to every other god in the universe, "there's things coming out of the portal again and they're attacking everything!"
Within moments, Aen, Cassiel, Daare, Melanthios and Zareth had all appeared behind the young god, with expressions ranging from curiosity to horror.
The Storyteller's voice began low and foreboding as he told the next part of his long tale.
"Having been blinded by Demen's charm, young Petal broke the chain binding the demigod to Zareth, allowing him to run free. Meanwhile on Coelus, Cassiel raised up a being to become a new demigod to protect the Grigori if he should be away, for he as many others could sense something dark was stirring in the portal, it's beady eyes set on our own universe!"
Roe, Cassiel and Petal
With the other gods at his back, Roe ran forwards and leapt back into the fray, waving his short sword frantically at the monsters around him. The spider-like void creatures were hard to hit but as soon as they were struck they dissolved into clouds of ash. The air was soon cleared and a minute later Roe, Daare and Zareth stood exhausted but relieved. Cassiel, Aen and Melanthios remained in the background, and M'endar appeared behind them, apparently having just arrived at the scene. The young god wiped his brow in relief and then tip-toed up to Pentar to check the god's condition. All that was left of the great warrior was bones, picked entirely clean, not even a shining domain like Ailish had left. Roe turned in despair to the other gods standing silently around the departed deity.
"What do we do now?" he asked.
Cassiel looked down at the pile of destroyed creatures. He was glad nobody aside from Pentar was hurt. He always felt something was off about the god, but this...this wasn't a fate anyone deserved.
"Too many of us have fallen to what resides in this portal. I know what's inside and I think I know what it wants to do to us. This was only the beginning. From now on, if anyone goes anywhere alone, this could be the end result. I am going into this portal to destroy whoever ordered this. Who's with me?"
"I am!" Roe shouted in what he hoped was a brave voice and swung his sword around eagerly. He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see an unhappy Petal behind him.
"Why do you have to go so soon?" the little demigod asked sulkily, "We only got married yesterday!"
"Those bad monsters from the portal... they'll kill everything if we don't stop them before it's too late." Roe replied earnestly "I've got to be a hero, like I swore to you back in Evermoor all those years ago remember? Look after the humans and the Kinderven and the Ekiruru for me.. and Woof."
"I will Roe. Promise you'll come back soon though,"
"I promise. Oh wait, I almost forgot, your whistle,"
Roe passed the wooden whistle over to Petal and then holding her tightly, kissed her passionately on the lips. After a few seconds they broke apart, the young god winked and then turned and without looking behind him, ran and jumped headfirst into the portal. It shimmered momentarily and then the child god disappeared into the darkness, gone beyond the boundaries of our universe to settle once and for all the puzzle of the Broken Heavens.
Dåre, 25, 2
"Too many of us have fallen to what resides in this portal. I know what's inside and I think I know what it wants to do to us. This was only the beginning. From now on, if anyone goes anywhere alone, this could be the end result. I am going into this portal to destroy whoever ordered this. Who's with me?"
Dåre looked at the portal. He longed to go inside, to explore it. Perhaps for other reasons. "I'm in." He said. "Well, not actually in, I'm in soon. Currently I'm almost in, very close to go enter." Dåre looked away from the portal, finally, to see who else was with them.
Dåre noticed Frikk, the bird seemed intent on protecting him, and entering along-side him. "Frikk, I need you to stay and watch, okay? Ilea is your responsibility. Also, I will need the dream-flute. I have a feeling I will have more of a use for it than you." In a moment of seeming almost sane, Dåre stood with the flute in his hand, feeling melancholy, as if he knew something worrisome would happen.
"Bye, Frikk, I'll see you soon, I hope." However, this mood changed quickly, and the very next moment he picked up Frikk, and hugged the bird demigod as it resisted, never having liked being picked up. "I'll see you soon my friend! Don't eat any bad strawberries!" He let go of Frikk, finally.
"Now, fly wonderfully! Strangely? Wait, can you even fly?" He checked Frikk's wings. "I don't think you can..." Frikk made a sound that could translate to: "I love you Dåre," but probably was closer to: "Yeah, yeah, I get it, bye," and teleported away.
When he was gone, Dåre looked back at the portal. The others wanted to end what was inside, he simply wanted to see it. It felt like a place where he would be home. Then again, so did Ilea. So did the cage back then. Even if he would not treat the dangerous, perhaps wonderful world behind the portal like a home, at least he would like to see it, once. Trice? Probably would be just once.
Dåre jumped onto the carpet, and held the flute in his hands, before he entered the portal, curiosity and longing side by side.
"Agreed. Whatever's lurking byond that portal is getting bolder. If we don't stop it it'll only be a matter of time before it spreads to the mortal realm." Zareth nodded grimly, tightening his grip around Midnight's hilt.
Memories of what had happened to Tsuronte flashed through his mind. Compared to that what had happened to Pentar could be considered a kindness. And I'd hoped I'd never have to set foot in that place again. A place where everything's dead but nothing's allowed to die. Damnit Ailish.
"Car!" Zareth called back behind him. "Keep an eye on Demens While I'm away." he couldn't afford to let Demens run unchecked, but there was no way Carnivox could go back to the void and bringing Demens with him would only lead to trouble. This would have to serve as a temporary solution. He hoped.
"I won't be long." Zareth called back to the wolf as he stepped through the withered gate.
One stupid thing after another with this lot! Stupid sods couldn't even kill someone properly. They should have broken that portal years ago like he told them to. And what was up with that trial? If someone goes against the pack you don't stand around gossiping like old Rowan ladies! You beat them down till they don't get up again. It's simple!
"They should all just listen to me. They make everything way more complicated than it has to be."
Carnivox stalked through the garden sniffing att he air. He'd smelt Demens the moment that mad Filli had shown up at the entertainment hall. The old warden had even creeped Car out back in Evermoor. It had always made him want to avoid using the Filli gate. Not that he did it much anyway, that lot re so boring.
The scent was getting stronger, it had elad him in circles for a while until finally coming on to a clearing full of... children?
"Roe." He said flatly. This whole thing reeked of Roe. And tucked away inside it was Demens' smell. Car ignored the funny looks he got from the assembled children as he honed in on his quarry, finding a basic little shack.
"Hey!" he called out. "Hey, who's there?" He ducked down, looking through one of the tiny windows. "has anyone seen a crazy Filli around the place?"
The scent almost stopped dead around a little bench near the playhouse. It was faint but there. It took him a while but Car was able to follow it down some of the more clearly set paths. It kept leading him back to that Petal girl though, that couldn't be right.
"Aw crap, where the hell has he gone?"
This place was... ridiculous.
Demens sat perched on the ridge of one of the countless diamond spires that dotted Coelus. The ecosystem made no sense, and on top of that it was dull! Never changing. And the angels! They were just like the Filli, set and rooted in their ways. All of them so happy to be a tiny cog in a meaningless machine. Going about their dreary lives with dreary routine.
There was no conflict. No ambition. Nothing interesting at all. This was how it always went. He had wandered their gaudy streets, taking in the sights and propaganda. Sniggering at the idiotic images of this being they called Zabekiel. So this was the leader.
"Their one true leader." Demense blathered in a mocking tone.
Eventually he came across a city unlike the others. The architecture was different, the light duller. All of them went about their lives in a state of melancholy. The whole place reeked of another god's being.
"A good start but too simple in design." Demens mused.
It was certainly a pleasent way for one of the gods to show their dominance in an apropriate way. But it's lasting effect was self defeating.
"But perhaps I can help with that." Demens flexed his fingers and ethereal chains began to creep out from his robes like snakes. More and more of them poured out, splitting apart form each other, rising and falling hungrily as each one saught out a target of its own. Each of them opening up their links and biting into the first Grigori they found. Unseen and unfelt by their mortal senses.
Demens spasmed briefly, clenching his eyes shut and writhing with his new found power. His whole being coming over with a sense of euphoria. This was like nothing he had ever felt when he was alive. the power he had held as a mortal sorcerer paled in comparison.
"Time to get some practice." Demens whispered to himself with demonic glee.
"The copy of the treaty of East Ortaw from the Grigori Empire has arrived, sir,"
Hardy glanced up at the messenger and grabbed the scroll of paper off him, unrolling it to read the text with a hungry eagerness. Spread out before him was not only everything he and Sophia had agreed without exception in both Rowan runes and the Grigori script but also Zabekiel's signature at the bottom to complete it.
"Excellent news," he sighed with a satisfied smile, re-election was in the bag, "get the recording studio ready, I have an announcement to make."
That night there were countless parties across Evalon as the religious Rowan and Kinderven joined together for a planet-spanning celebration, with so many fireworks let off that the colours could be seen by the inhabitants of Oculus Pets. The next morning a fleet was launched from Almia to Ortaw, not of soldiers but of bureaucrats, to register each of the Republic's newest citizens and to teach them on how to be a part of human majority society. The same day ten Grigori prisoners blinked happily as they were released from the military camp they had been imprisoned in for many months and in Manor lawmakers sat down and began to the preparations for the rebuilding of Quadringa and the re-establishment of the Children's Republic, this time under the guiding hand of Evalon. By the willingness of each side and the grace of the Lord Roe peace had finally been secured and very few were sorry that the spectre of war had turned out to be nothing more than that: a ghost which vanished when day came.
"Once he had been released by Petal, Demens found his way to Coelus and on the site where Quadringa once stood created the 'chain sickness', a terrible ailment which made the afflicted attack non-sufferers on sight."
Panic. Murder. Another violent plague has spread across Coelus, while it was easy to restrain and stop the spreading, the damage was clear. Almost a thousand were infected once all was said and done and there didn't seem to be any cure. The best magics the Girigori had were made to cure insanity and disesase, but this was no ordinary plague.
"It has to be divine." Ezekiel said calmly in his monotone voice, hunched over a radio speaking to the one person he let get close. "In fact, I'd say I already have a few suspects in mind..."
"Divine plagues on Coelus again!?" The voice was deep and alarmed, the last time this had happened was when Roe forced the Kinderven upon the Girigori. This plague seemed much worse. Ezekiel was looming over files he had "borrowed" from authorities at the scene. "It seems it spreads via blood contact, causes intense pain and irritation. Whoever has this disease viciously attacks anyone without it and attempts to spread it further."
As a Kinderven, Ezekiel wasn't unfamiliar with this type of spreading. Even then, the Kinderven virus wasn't nearly as mallicious as this clear attempt to destabalize the Girigori. "Whoever did this, will need to be brought to justice. A swift execution will put this matter to rest, I can then work on finding a cure."
Ezekiel frowned. He would probably have to fight whoever did this. It was unlikely to be any of Melanthios's demigods, such a plague wasn't widespread enough to be of any use to them, and they are typically much more methodical. No, this was the act of a childish revenge seeking lunatic serial killer with too much power in his hands. Ezekiel pushed a button on his radio and said "I am going to take a closer look."
Ezekiel found his new powers to be quite convenient when it comes to basic research. Until now, movement was difficult, he had to hide and use disguises to appear as a simple child. Now he just had to teleport and he was there. Ezekiel grabbed a Girigori who was afflicted and teleported the two of them back to his base. He then created a small camera and started filming his process for record keeping.
Ezekiel's temporary home after his Quadringa base was unfortunately destroyed by his brother's war was pretty bare bones. A radio and not much else in the abandoned apartment complex about twenty miles from the city. Dense forests covered the area and blocked off most eyes. Even if this Girigori escaped, he wouldn't be able to harm anyone.
Ezekiel drolled "This recording is both a record and proof of what an unspecified demigod has decided to do to the Girigori populace. I am going to investigate the exact cause and determine what has afflicted this particular angel. Outward appearance is troubling, the individual has enlarged veins and is in a very obvious amount of pain. He will attack anyone in his path...except for those who are also afflicted with the disease."
The Girigori attempted to attack Ezekiel but the demigod of reason overloaded the angel's thoughts and quickly knocked him out. Sprawled over the floor, he would be easy to examine. Ezekiel made a scalpel appear out of the air and looked at the angel's forearm. His veins were clearly popping out and were segmented, almost like a chain. Ezekiel sighed and made a slight incision into the Girigori's arm, Ezekiel snapped his fingers and put the angel in a temporary state of death in order to stop the flow of blood without destroying the angel's arm. With the blood flow stopped, Ezekiel was able to clearly see what was happening.
"Magic chains. Burrowed into the bloodstream and causing intense pain to the victim."
Ezekiel quickly undid his work and sent the Girigori back into his old jail cell. He considered undoing the spell, but he wasn't powerful enough yet. He made the camera finish recording and placed the tape elsewhere to be watched later. He was hoping he wouldn't have to, but Ezekiel sent a message to Cassiel. "Brother, I need you to put me at the level of other demigods. Something has come to my attention, I know you are busy so I won't waste either of our times explaining. Just do it."
Cassiel sighed. He was just finishing a speech and now this. He wasn't quite leaving yet so he quietly made a movement towards Ezekiel's location. An item of decent power made to enhance his brother's powers to that of the rest. "Fine, I don't know what this is for, but be careful." Cassiel pointed Stardust in the direction he was sending it and used the flames to help form the diamond into something more useful. A small ring that only Ezekiel would know the true purpose of. One that would give him an enhanced control over his chosen domain of reason.
Roe - 20, 1
Roe stumbled through the portal and landed on his backside on a gloomy stretch of grey sand, a similarly colourless ocean lapping at his bare feet. He jumped up and spun around with his short sword at the ready but there was no-one in sight, nor the portal itself. The young god looked up at the sky and spotted two familiar moons in the horizon, one large and one small.
"Is this... Evalon?" Roe muttered to himself.
"As Cassiel created a ring of power to double the power of his demigod Ezekiel, the humans and Grigori were finally able to bury the hatchet and prevent their worlds falling into a terrible war. Thus ended the Fifth Age and it would be another five hundred years until the final age of our tale began: the Sixth Age."
The children nodded and glanced at each other knowingly.
"Yes," the Storyteller said solemnly, "This was to be an age where it seemed as though the gods themselves had withdrawn from the world, at-least for the beginning. Great technological leaps were to be had by many races with giant men made from metal, ships that could sail through the depths of space, machines that could think for themselves and many other wonders. In this age mortals would come to consider themselves divine... and how wrong they were they would find out soon enough. First though there is one loose end to tie up from the Fifth Age, for as the age ended the Ekiruru of the planet Eld were embroiled in rebellion between the Eldarwen-supporting establishment and divinely inspired insurgents. Who won in the end? Well..."
M'endaxius - 30/30 AP, 2/2 MP
The Deceiver could only sigh as the crowd of deities watched as Pentar was consumed. Yet another god it wanted to have words with. So many of them had died over the ages. The portal had brought only trouble from the beginning, why would they want to step into such a thing? Then again, it was familiarity, not foreignness that disturbed the deity. Those void beings in the past... Ailish... Has the Deceiver been deceiving itself? Was it simply, to the core, a void being? Was it the same for the others? It wordlessly approached the portal and looked into it, seeing a twisted reflection of the world. But the question was: which was the reflection of which? For once, M'endar decided to seek the truth. It had to know whether its whole existence was a lie or not. What sort of game did the first spark start when it decided to divide itself? With solid steps, M'endar crossed from the world it had a hand in creating to the world of the portal. Everything appeared to be... curious to say the least.