[PDQ] The Grand Mythos Game Thread

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Eldarwen

She felt at ease, now that her old friends had gone to rest in peace and her newborn daughters would find a similar peace among them after death. Eldarwen stepped out of the gateway to the underworld, and patted Zareth on the back. "Nicely done. I hope they'll provide you with pleasant company. They were... friends of mine when they lived, in a different universe."

The queen turned back to the gateway and looked at the kami inside. One of them was staring straight at her, it took her a few seconds to recognize and she felt a tug at her heart when she did. Ayamine, the first one she had spoken to, her first priestess and long term friend. Normally, the kami didn't live longer than other mortals, but she had given her the gift of immortality or so she thought. Though what difference did immortality make when the universe ended.

Ayamine waved at her, to make her come to her. Eldarwen didn't hesitate, she had been the only one to protest against killing her when she went mad. Maybe her death had been for the best, but there could have been other options. They had chosen the simple and fast solution.

"I missed you." The forest spirit said. "I was alive for so long... I got to watch the rise and fall of nations. I saw the advancement of the other races. I was there when the stars faded, one by one. At first they thought there would be new ones, but then the sun went out. It was a pretty explosion. I floated through the void, until even that went out and I too had to die. Your powers were quite something. A curse and a blessing, for me. I had many friends, but got to watch them die. Now I'm alive again..." She looked at her transparent hand. "Or whatever you'd call this. I think... I like being dead actually."

Eldarwen tried to smile, but realized just the pain she had put someone she loved through by giving them immortality.

"I am sorry."

"Don't be. No one else got to experience what I did. It was magnificient and terrifying." She looked off into the distance, as if remembering it. "I have so much to hate you for, yet I don't. I only wished to speak with you again, and hope that you are sane now."

Eldarwen thought she was, but how would she know? She hadn't heard voices, or had any sudden and unpredictable changes in her mood. She simply nodded.

"I'm happy then. I hope that this new existence will grant you something better than the last one. I would hate for you to get killed by your own again. I might have had an easier time convincing them, if they had known you as I did. I'm not going anywhere, so..."

"I'll come here if I ever want to talk."

Ayamine smiled and blew her a kiss, before running off to play with the others. Eldarwen returned to Roe, and went through the portal back to Eld. The encounter had given her an idea. What if she had been one of the kami? Still a godess, but maybe if she had looked like them and had the same form they would have had related to her better.

She saw a couple of Ekiruru up ahead. They were still like children, curious about everything and with little knowledge about anything. She towered above them, as tall as some of the trees. Eldarwen observed their bodies. If she wanted to fit in and lead them, then she'd need them to trust her.

She made herself a new body, one that was meant to inspire. A golden crown, long white hair and red armor. The legs were new for her, after she had gotten used to having roots and a tree trunk. It did resemble the Ekiruru though.

Eldarwen went over to the couple, who was currently examining each other's faces.

"I am your queen, chosen by the godess herself to lead!" She said, and struck a pose with both of her hands on her hips. They looked at her, before trying to talk as well.

"Why should we follow you?"

They were surprisingly intelligent, after just waking up. She had expected them to bow down and accept it.

"Because I say so?"

They looked at each other.

"You'd need to do better than that. We don't follow anyone." It seemed that they had decided to teach her that they were serious, because next thing she knew, they were attacking her. Eldarwen dodged, she didn't want to fight. What had made her daughters so prone to violence? She hadn't intended for them to be violent, not that she had defined any characteristic. They didn't stop either, even though their fists had no impact on her. One of them hit her in the face, but she couldn't feel it.

"Fine!" Eldarwen lashed out and used her magic, both of them went flying into the jungle. "If talking with them doesn't work, I'll do something else."

She flew up into the air and scanned the area. There were nothing else than trees everywhere. She would be the queen of a jungle at this point. That wouldn't do.

Eldarwen used her powers, to create the first village of the Ekiruru, one that she would continue to work on for the coming two hundred million years. It was nothing at first, just a few houses, but as other Ekiruru heard about her and the village, it grew over time. It became a city, and the city became a metropolis. The metropolis grew and grew, until it spanned an entire continent. She named it after her oldest friend. The great city of Ayamine. It would become a wonderful place to live.

She couldn't understand why her daughters liked to fight amongst each other. They'd beat each other bloody for fun, and unconcious if they felt insulted or threatened. It did give birth to the arena district though, where the fights became a popular pastime. A district for poets and music was erected as well, with a large amphitheater. Schools for studying their new world and their own biology were raised. Three guilds were formed during the two hundred million years, but they were not her doing.

The daughters of nature, the battle born and the night children. The daugthers were focused on taking care of nature and studying the druidistic arts. The battle born were warriors, those who loved the arena and guarded the metropolis. They stopped fights and kept the streets safe. The night children were darker, they slept during the day and rose hell during the night. They were the poets and the musicians.

Eldarwen didn't like their music or their plays at first. It was something she got used too over time, until she loved them, and even if she was a little ashamed to admit it, the arena grew on her as well.

The hundreds of streets were patrolled by water elementals, who made their homes in the flowing rivers she created through the metropolis. Fires were a danger, since she created everything out of trees, but with the water elementals and rivers they felt safer. Will o' the wisps flew through the darkness of the night, lighting torches and guiding the way for the night children, those Ekiruru who were born during the night or just prefered it over the day.

The buildings grew tall, but she also made tunnels beneath Ayamine. In the tunnels, gateways were put, which were used as a form of transportation. Above ground, there were flying platforms to carry Ekiruru up into the highest buildings. They made large ballistas, which could fire sharpened trees in case of an attack.

Two temple districts were raised, one for Eldarwen herself and one for the religion of the circle of life. She made an impressive castle at the centre of the metropolis, where she spent most of her time, unless she was working on another part of the city. Those who were considered high in the Ekiruru society moved there, to live in noble houses. Her neighbours were arena champions, great singers and poets.

At the beginning of the second age, the great city of Ayamine was the only known city on Eld and inhabited by millions of Ekiruru. Eldarwen felt satisfied, as there were still parts of the city where no one lived. There was plenty of room.

Vantric: Interage

They rose just as the sun set on the first day on Roe. As if mimicking his own existence, the Lainir crept forward from the shadow of the mountain under which they were created, moving carefully into the light of the moon overhead. Vantric studied them for a moment. They were strangely quiet for just entering existence, though from the group he heard pockets of commotion rising and quickly falling. Some few were advancing ahead of the group, studying the outlying lands just beyond, entering into the forest, others were ascending the mountain, trying to get a better lay of the land.

Vantric got up and began to approach the group. They were so oblivious of their own destiny, he shook his head, he would have to change that. As he approached, Vantric made himself visible to the lainir. This was the first time the lainir would meet their god, it was important to make a lasting first impression. As the lainir took note of his approach, many fell back to the group, others took a few steps forward and stopped, striking a pose with one arm crossed over their bodies and the other kept tensed at their sides. Vantric didn't need to know anything about the budding culture of his people to understand a nonverbal threat.

Of the line of lainir arrayed before him, one took a further step forward. "Halt." He said. Vantric ignored this order, and strode a few feet further before slowing down and stopping. Several more lainir rushed around and began forming a second line behind him. It wouldn't be long before they commenced the kill. Or so they thought. "Who are you?" The first lainir demanded.

Vantric turned and looked at the lainir behind him, then back to the ones before him. "I am a friend, and a valuable ally." He said in a loud, clear voice. "I am also someone with a great interest in seeing you fulfill your destiny."

"And what do you know of our destiny?" Challenged a female from the line behind him.

"More than you do. Much more than you do." This seemed to upset the lainir as many began to glare suspiciously at him. They're learning quickly, I see. Vantric thought.

"Give us a name." The First snarled.

"Vantric. Yours?"

The First remained silent.

"I see you mistrust me." Vantric said, pacing once again. "That is very wise, but very stupid in this case."

"Why?" The female, the Second, asked. Vantric turned to her, altering his form to resemble the lainir as he did so. Many of them gasped and took a few steps back, though he was pleased to see the First and Second didn't.

"You should never insult a god, mortal. Especially not your creator." Everyone in the area seemed dumbstruck. "Let me try this again. What is your name?"

"Tyna." The Second responded in a voice barely above a whisper. Vantric nodded and turned to the First.

"Malen." He said, though he seemed equally distant. Both were unable to say anything further for a moment, then Malen spoke again. "You said you were interested in our destiny. What is our destiny? My lord." He added as an afterthought.

"You will learn in time." Vantric said, "For the moment, I only came to offer my aid to you, my creations."

"What type of aid?" Tyna asked, trying not to sound too suspicious toward the being who seemed to be their god.

"I can help you secure dominion over this land. Under the ground beneath your feet, within the mountain under which you were created, I can create a means of connecting the continent through tunnels, unknown to any other, of making the mountains host great bastions and citadels. I can grant you the knowledge to navigate these dark passages and achieve your aims. I can provide a manner to subdue this continent efficiently and quickly." Both Melan and Tyna were hanging on every word as Vantric made his offer. "However, everything has a price. If you wish me for my aid, you must first accept my terms. You will accept me as your lord god and creator. You will worship me for all time. In exchange, you will have my aid in all your ventures. Do you accept?" The pair seemed somewhat suspicious as they listened to the terms. They scrutinized over all that was said. They thought of everything that Vantric had said.

"So," Tyna said, "We agree to serve you, and you agree to aid us?"

Vantric nodded, "Yes. It's as simple as that." There was another pause.

"We accept your terms. My lord." Melan said, Tyna bowed her head in agreement. Vantric motioned both toward him and shook their hands.

"The Pact is sealed then." He said. With that, Vantric vanished and reappeared atop the mountain and focused his powers over the continent. The lainir would benefit greatly from this.

Nivix

Time passed by in imperceptible blurs as Nivix toiled away. Alone, tucked away from the rest of the universe, he crafted and built and worked, focusing solely on his project and nothing else. There were no interruptions, not here in the heart of Niv itself, to distract the god, nor was there anybody to consult or check with. It was Nivix and Nivix alone who poured his heart and soul into the slowly expanding foundation. This was his, and no one else's.

Some part of him realized that he was going about this in the wrong way. It would be infinitely faster and more efficient to simply will the structure into existence, to see it in his mind and project it into reality. After all, he was a god. Such feats were well within his power.

Yet there was a certain satisfaction in refusing to do so. To gather only the finest of minerals and metals from the thousands of worlds that drifted among his stars, purifying and working them until they shone with untold strength and perfection. To layer his own magic and power into every last scrap, ensuring that they could survive the raging inferno that was Niv's core. To forge each individual nut and bolt with his own two hands, painstakingly shaving off bits of excess metal with little more than a fingernail and a keen eye.

Girders and plates and rails and wires and grills and beams and balls and hinges, he shaped them all with naught but the utmost care and divine patience. Millions upon billions of parts and pieces, each and every one of them formed in the heart of a celestial forge.

And then he began to build.

First was the shell, a massive sphere that stretched nearly 300 miles across. Flawless and perfectly rounded, there was no clear means of entry or exit; only someone who knew the structure intimately would be able to detect the slight fissures that indicated an opening. Runes and symbols from a dozen different languages, all of them created and known by only one being, were scrawled across the vast surface, a mess of gibberish and bizarre writings that could not be read by anyone other than the one who wrote them.

Next came the interior. Initially it was little more than a series of hallways and corridors that stretched and curved across the titanic globe, but as time passed it grew to be more and more complex. Countless pivots and rails worked together to form an ever-shifting labyrinth, a maze that changed its layout with seemingly no rhyme or reason. Truth be told, there was a certain pattern to the walls and floors as they rotated and folded, but short of observing their movements for a couple centuries it would be impossible for any outsider to detect. Just as planned.

It certainly didn't help that the sprawling layout spanned an incredible area, far larger than the exterior should have physically allowed. Size constraints meant little, if anything, inside the lab; anyone expecting for it to be limited by something as trivial as space was in for an unpleasant surprise.

Then came the actual labs and equipment. Countless rooms and chambers, all of them dedicated to a different study or subject, were added to the labyrinth. Their entrances and exits would shift, seemingly at random, but their creator managed to keep track of them easily enough. As time passed, they were all filled with gleaming machines and mysterious devices, shining metal and sparking wires blending to form accouterments worthy of a god. Each creation was unique in form and purpose, differentiated from its countless brethren by some feature or another. Some shone with fantastic light, others were covered by dials and buttons. Some beeped, some booped, all clicked and clacked as they worked.

Years began to fly by as Nivix toiled at his task with feverish enthusiasm, stretching his powers to their absolute limits. This would be one of his greatest works, one of his most brilliant creations! It would be fantastic and powerful and interesting and wonderful and explodey and radiant and all other kinds of adjectives! It was his, and he would make it great!

Zareth: Inter - Age

His work was done and at the same time only just beginning. The crack in the the cliff wall was rippling like leaves in the wind as Melanthios' magic warped it to his purpose. To the dead and the deserving it would appear as a set of grand doors leading into this new realm for the afterlife. To the living it would simply look like another rock formation. It had had the exact effect Zareth had wanted. He knew it was important to keep the gates hidden and barred to mortals who did not belong in this new world... for their own sake.

As he opened the doors he harnessed his allies power completely, mixing it with his own and using it to shape this new realm into a shape that pleased him. As he stepped through he left the physical world behind and before him stretching onwards throughout eternity was a world of his own making. Eldarwen's forest creatures filed in, bringing music and laughter with them. With the power of nature at his finger tips Zareth reached out and gave life to a wealth of trees, born to be forever in bloom. As well as forests he covered his underworld in rolling meadows and sparkling streams that flowed over the landscape.

Melanthios' magic complemented this perfectly as it made sure that his new realm would be forever expanding in size, able to fit in all new comers. He reached upward, the sky of this world was full of mist but with a snap of his finger magic and fire lit it up, bathing the underworld in the soft light of a midsummer day.

Zareth made his way to a lonely hill and let his sight stretch out over his new creation when suddenly he felt a pat on his shoulder. It was Eldarwen. "Nicely done. I hope they'll provide you with pleasant company. They were... friends of mine when they lived, in a different universe."

The death god smiled. "I promise you they'll be right at home here."

After she had gone he ushered one of the new creatures over, asking it what it and its people were. "Kami" They called themselves. And unlike Eldarwen's previous creation they seemed to have a mix of genders. The little Kami scampered off and joined its fellows in longing by the riverside in the warm light of the afterlife. Others were climbing in the forests and a small number had found boats and were sailing along the rivers and ponds that dotted their new home.

He looked out over the ever reaching landscape. He had done all he could to create a paradise, a safe haven for those most in need of one. And with the help of his fellows he had succeeded. This land would be rich and welcoming and in time it could change to suit those that came in the future. This new world between worlds was a part of him and would change to fit his will. If forests, rivers and meadows were not to the taste of the other races being made then he could make places better suited to them. He would never need to worry about running out of space, the realm of the dead was always expanding. its hills and fields would reach into the distance forever more.

"Evermoor." Zareth whispered to himself. That was a good name for it.

Then, on that solitary hill, he willed a seat for himself. A great grey throne from which he could look out on all of his after-world. After all, he had made this world and it was up to him to make sure it was kept in balance. Which, last he remembered was the role of a king. Besides, if I am to see over all of death for eternity I may as well enjoy it.

With his greatest task done Zareth took a moment to sit back and let it all sink in. He watched as the Aask made their way in and quickly began zooming all over the place. The Kami seemed quite taken with them and quickly started frolicking around after the floating blobs. The Aask seemed all to happy to play along. The sight of the two young races mixing with each other so well brought a warmth to Zareth's heart. The gods may be sharpening their knives for conflict but this place, his Evermoor, would always be a realm of peace.

With that the death god closed his eyes and lost himself in the sound of the laughter of ghosts and spirits when somewhere on the edges of his mind a familiar voice rose up.

You understand now. Your purpose. Why it had to be you. It was the voice from his birth, the one that had haunted him with talk of his deadly nature. It seemed more peaceful now. Now he wasn't fighting it any more. Now he understood.

"Yes, I do. Thank you." The echoes in his being seemed to fade away then, their conflict resolved. Zareth was whole at last.

Ailish - Transition between ages.

Beneath the shifting form beneath her hands, she felt it finally settle. With only one whisper to the stranger's ears, she vanished as silently as she entered.

"Go to her."

She tried reaching out for the other five, but nowhere in the planes could she feel their presence. Either they had left for another realm, or that they perished. Both possibilities baffled and terrified Ailish. Purgatory was built as a place that could not only imprison and torment, but not kill. How could that be? Did the portal introduce death to this world? Are we all at risk now?

As odd the idea was, the goddess could not dismiss the thought of death from her head. She held a fear for her body perishing, but her main scare was her soul being torn away from this realm before the woes of heaven were soothed. Some worlds never had death introduced as it was considered impossible long ago; the Ideal Gods had decreed that much since long ago. But now it seemed that death had found a way. Whether this will affect the others, the strangers, the creations purgatory provided, would be seen for another time.

Ailish found herself in the Mourning Garden, staring at the swirling vortex that led to where the seven came from. She had to see the damage, and see if there was something that could be done. Perhaps find a remnant tear or the seed to one of the Aspects. The closest thing she could do is find something of Sin; the auguress did carry a boon to them, even if they may no longer the same. She recalled a dark treacle that differed from taster to taster; one said it brought you closer to your true self, another said it corrupted your soul, while another said it created fire inside of him. No matter what they said, each one agreed that the 'honey' changed those who tasted it. It's this change that we truly need.

Before the goddess passed the veil she felt a fourteenth presence in the realm. Perhaps it could help should she return.

Melanthios: Inter- Age action.

Melanthios felt the power of his allies helping him create his first son. He then saw that the lore goddess was also helping him. But, unlike his allies, she was trying to influence him in a way which he did not wish. Anger appeared inside Melanthios as he felt her trying to change his first son. First she had introduced monsters upon them, then she had tried to change his son. She had made an enemy for life. Melanthios wouldn't forgive her. She whispered something to his son and Melanthios anger reached a whole new level. If it hadn't been for his son, he would have attacked her. She vanished, leaving him with his son. He opened his eyes and looked around, surprised. "Hello my son. I am happy that you have awoken." Melanthios said as he stretched out his hand to his son who was looking around and took Melanthios hand and stood up.

Melanthios spoke "The world looks a lot different now, doesn't it? Without your mindless hunger to guide you, you are finally free." Melanthios smiled at him and then asked "What is your name?" "Akld'dali" the being answered "my name is Akld'dali." Melanthios smiled as he placed a hand on his shoulder. "That is a good name, but it was also your old name. A name from before I gave a goal for your hunger. What do you say about a new name?" Akld'dali looked up at Melanthios. "A new name?" He seemed to ponder. "Yes a new name sounds good. How about Akladai?" Melanthios nodded "That sounds like a name worthy of you. Akladai it will be from now on." Akladai looked around and asked, "I heard a voice earlier, a woman's voice. She asked me to seek her out, who is she?" Melanthios expression changed, showing anger. "She is a very dangerous and selfish woman, she is a threat to this universe. And she seeks to corrupt you into helping her find her 'heaven', which does not exist."

Akladai nodded and looked around some more. He then looked straight at Melanthios with an hungry look."I want to know. I want to know everything." Melanthios laughed. "So do I my son, but knowing everything is impossible. But I will tell your everything I know, which is more then anyone else can offer you." Akladai smiled. "Thank you.. How should I call you?" he asked, sounding uncertain. Melanthios smiled brightly as he said "My name is Melanthios, but you can call me father." Akladai's face lighted up. Melanthios smiled in response. He then focused and created a robe and handed the robe to his son "Use this to hide yourself, you don't want that women to find you again now do you?" Akladai nodded. He took the robe and wrapped it around himself.

Melanthios then said "Let's go home son." Akladai looked confused. "Home?" he said, sounding confused. Melanthios smiled again "Yes my son, your new home." He teleported him and Akladai to the library. "All of these books are filled with knowledge. Go on read them, learn from them." Akladai froze, he looked around at all the books. He then licked his lips and grabbed the nearest one. He began reading and finished the book in about a minute, then moved on to the next book. Melanthios smiled. Akladai had turned out just like he wanted him to. Melanthios could feel people making their own species. He had an idea. He would wait with creating his and look for mistakes in the other races first.

"Son I have to do something very important. In the meantime, enjoy these books and don't speak to anyone but me. Especially not the woman, do you understand?" Melanthios said looking at Akladai with a sternly. Akladai nodded "Of course father, I will remain here until you return." Melanthios smiled "That will take a long time my son, but I am sure these books will be enough to keep you busy." Melanthios teleported to his planet. He looked at it to see an empty world, there were no buildings or any other signs of live. His race couldn't live on a planet such as this. He focused his magic and began changing the world. His knowledge and magic began to form the foundation of his empire- buildings, villages, castles and then giant cities. The roads were appearing and he slowly crafted it all into perfection.

Aen - 30, 2

He had never felt so alive. For all he knew, all that time spent in the darkness, none of it felt quite like this. The feeling rushing through him was barely his own and yet it made his heart soar. He raced across the universe, passing the stars without even a glance, his mind focused only on tracing the call of battle back to its source. It took him a moment to realize he had found what he was looking for. Disappointment set in quickly. What he had felt had already ended long before, it seemed. There was no fighting to be done here. Aen sheathed his blade, and as he did, be began to truly see what was around him for the first time. His mouth stood open, dumbstruck at seeing the magnitude of Niv for the first time. There were objects circling it, and he could feel them brimming with life. And around him there were strange places that didn't seem to belong that felt like homes, a garden, a fortress, and more. His hand went to the amulet at his throat, touching it absently. As his fingers brushed the find, his nerves calmed. He should find the ones who lived here, introduce himself. After all, this was their territory. And perhaps they would allow him to stay here, make his own place. He was sick of the loneliness, the darkness from before.

But where did he start? Everyone seemed to be doing something, probably too engrossed in their own work to notice him, or even care. And he couldn't set to work until he was accepted. To do otherwise would be rude, and probably cause conflict somehow. Perhaps someone might need his help, though. The thought of fighting at someone's side filled him with the same ecstatic anticipation from before. Yes, he would offer his sword to someone's cause. It felt... Right.

"Hello?" He said, trying out his voice for the first time. The sound wasn't unpleasant, but didn't seem to travel very far across the galaxy. Frustrated, he decided he'd have to settle for traveling to the closest presence and ask them. Smiling, Aen set off, his mind at ease. He knew he would find a purpose here.

When Aen reached where had been headed, no one was there any longer. Only a portal stood out amongst the trees and plants, and beyond it he felt the presence. But there was something wrong too. Something evil. Aen grasped the hilt of his sword and pulled it out slowly. There was honor and glory to be had going on a quest like this. Aen grinned, his eyes brimming with excitement. The other being wasn't too far. He could still catch up before he lost the sense of them amongst the corruption surrounding them. Bracing himself, Aen plunged in, ready for a good fight.

Pentar Inter-Age
The great mountain complete, Pentar took a moment to contemplate his next move. Other Gods were creating their own races; he would have to do so as well if he was to compete with them. The thought pleased Pentar. These beings would be perfect, not like the mistake that was the devils. They would rise to dominate this world in the name of Justice and Order. They would not only be Pentar's hand, but his children.

But what should they look like? the God thought. Their existence would be a brutal one, constantly keeping the forces of the other Gods at bay. They would need to be able to defend themselves from all attacks, and what more defensible location was their than a mountain? Pentar looked down at the titanic mass of stone. Or perhaps within it. That was it! They would life in tunnels beneath the earth. They would have to be relativity small to fit in the tunnels, but also fierce warriors. Pentar began picturing a short, stocky humanoid figure. And above all else, they would have to be fair and loyal so that their civilization would stand the test of time. Move over, they would have to be willing, no, eager to fight for those values. They would have the mentality of Pentar himself: never retreat, never surrender. With both their body and psyche clear in his mind Pentar descended to the surface, just in front of the mountain. There he raised an army of stone figures, shaped like the people in his mind. "Awaken, my people, and realize your destiny!" Pentar shouted with a sweep of his hand, and the Dwarves were born.

Roe

Somewhere in the southern seas of Evalon, upon an island known to it's inhabitants of the time as Malog, a man named Thom stepped silently through the forest. His naked ebony skin glistened, eyes scanning for the smallest movements, hands on his bow and arrow.

"Hey, you!" a voice called.

The man spun around and pointed his arrow at the figure in the distance, almost letting it off but just stopping himself in time. It was a small boy about eight years of age, sitting on the bow of a nearby tree. The child's skin was oddly pale, at-least compared to the man's dark complexion and his straight brown hair flopped down to his ears.

"Are you... a ghost?" Thom whispered.

"Nah, I'm Roe, you know me right?" the boy replied indignantly.

"Eh, yes..." the man said, still in disbelief. He knew of god Roe from stories: the one who had brought his world and ocean into being, the one who had helped breath life into his oldest ancestor. Usually he wouldn't have believed some an extraordinary claim but there was something otherworldly about the mysterious child. He managed to stammer a reply "but... but what do you want with me?"

"I'm here to teach you something," Roe leapt down from the tree and bounced up to the man, a wide grin spreading across his face. "Ever wondered what it's like on another planet?"

"All... all the time!" Thom couldn't believe what he was hearing, ever since he'd been a tiny child himself he'd dreamed of flying through distant stars above his head, forever out of reach.

"I can show you how," the child god said teasingly and pulled out from behind himself a large red fruit, which he dropped into the man's hands. He recognised it immediately as an oren fruit.

"These... they're poisonous aren't they?" Thom exclaimed, "How will this help me reach space?"

"Poisonous to people maybe," Roe replied "not starwhales though."

"Huh, but how?" the man said, noticing for the first time that a pod of starwhales were grazing the tops of the trees above the pair. Did the god mean flying on one of those? He'd never heard of any man being able to get close to a live whale though, despite their gigantic size they were timid beasts who would flee at the slightest provocation.

"They love them, watch," Roe replied and swung his way nimbly up a nearby tree, offering the fruit to the nearest starwhale. The creature slowly descended towards him and he lead it down to Thom. Once starwhale was floating just above the ground, Roe gave it the fruit.

"How did you know that would work?" Thom asked in amazement.

"Well, I did create them," the small boy said, "now climb on gently, don't scare him."

Thom put a hand on the starwhale's side, it's grey and purple skin was soft and rubbery to the touch. He mounted the beast just behind the head, and Roe joined him a moment later, sitting in front of the man.

"Here's how you steer him," Roe instructed the man "you take these two small ears and you just pull them in the direction you want to go. Get it?"

Thom took hold of the creature's tiny ears and carefully tugged them upwards, to his astonishment the whale obeyed and floated slowly towards the sky. In time the island he lived on shrank into the distance, until all that he could see was a tiny green smudge upon a translucent blue pearl, floating in the void. A solitary tear ran down the man's cheek.

"Thank you," he whispered to Roe.

~

Thus after a number of adventures Thom returned to Evalon to become a legend: the first whale rider. From that day forth, men and women all over the world would use his teachings to transverse the Solar System on the backs of the starwhales. Every time a whale rider lifted off, they would always offer a small prayer of thanks to the divine child who had given humanity this gift.

The Storyteller

"Well, M'endar created the moon that orbits Evalon." The man pointed at the sky, where a half moon could be seen. "It was meant as a gift to the Aack, and to try to calm the seas." He did not mention how the god had created it by ripping out his eye, as he was telling the story to children.

"Seith made a race of angels from his observatory in the garden, which would be watched by Sephariel, who could not leave the building. Back in the galaxy on Eld, the treemother built the largest city in existence. It was as large as a continent, and she made it as the queen of her race. It was named Ayamine, and millions of Ekiruru would come to make it their home. Though the streets were patrolled by water elementals and wisps as well."

The children were listening excitedly to what he said, even if some of them might have heard stories about the gods before, no one could tell it quite like him.

"Vantric struck a deal with the Lainir, to aid them if they served him. His first action were to create dark tunnels below the continent, and citadels in the mountains. Which the Lainir could use as home and to subdue the continent. Nivix built a laboratory, the greatest one, at the heart of our sun Niv. He toiled for all those years to create it."

The storyteller paused, it was quite impressive that the gods had all worked for so long, then he continued.

"Meanwhile Ailish and the newly arrived Aen, left our universe through the portal in the mourning garden, to find the honey of sin. They did find it and returned, even if it took them a very long time. Who knows what they experienced in that time? Melanthios told his son to stay in the library and read, as he was hungry for knowledge, but with time he would become hungry for more than knowledge. He yearned to surpass his father and would do many dubious acts to get that power. The dark messiah went to create villages, magical castles and magical cities with a connecting road system on his planet."

The child in his lap left to sit next to a friend, when a younger boy wanted to sit in his lap as well. He simply smiled.

"The god of order created the dwarfs, destined to live within the great mountain and fight for order and justice. Roe showed the man named Thom, how to tame the starwhales and thus we learnt how to travel between the planets. The two hundred million years of hard labour came to an end, and with that, the second age begun."

Olek - 30, 2

Years passed, hundreds upon thousands, and humanity flowed like water, rippling and spreading across Evalon. Olek dreamed among them, allowing himself to live a million lives as he guided Man toward maturity. Yet always he felt the tug of Roe's magic, keeping him from total immersion; however he was not displeased, for Man had much need of a guide before he went to his final rest.

And as Thom sailed out to the stars, he rose from the great dream and returned to the world, more than two hundred million years later. Mellowed he was, calmed by the innocence of Roe, and he no longer manifested as armed warrior; now he came as a prophet, in a guise both simple and noble, though he still wore armour beneath his cloak.

And so Olek walked amongst man, and called them all to his banner. He spoke not of his godhood, but still the stories of the Uniter spread even beyond Evalon to reach those far away in space.

And to the gods, he called out a question for all to hear.

"Who was he, that great god of fire, who gave his life so nobly? I would know his name, that Man might honor him for ever more."

Seith 20, 2
Seith and Sephariel were still inside the observatory, going between watching the others actions and making their own creations. Seith saw Nivix go into Niv, whatever he was doing Seith would find out later. It was best to let Nivix think he was secure for now. No reason to have another enemy and Nivix seemed to be a bit of a loose cannon. Seith shrugged the thought away and saved it for later. His children were almost ready to be shown. Anyone looking in the massive observatory could see millions and millions of unmoving statue-esque creatures. They were similar to the Humunculus which had been sent by Olek, but different. They had long wings that extended and shone, destroying any darkness that could be found near the observatory. Their eyes were similar to Seith's body, constantly emitting light and changing colors. All of this came to the center of their forehead, which was a gem alternating colors with the same brilliance of Seith. They wore flowing garbs that moved with grace. Seith paced around the observatory with his daughter.

"Sephariel, you have spent a great deal of time learning to use this observatory to it's maximum purpose. Yours is coming soon, do you feel ready? What have I taught you?"

Sephariel looked up at Seith and responded "Be wary, watch constantly and communicate. The forces of darkness wish to end us, we must not let them."

Seith smiled at his daughter, she had come a long way. "Correct, working together, we can make this universe a beautiful place." The god shined a beam of light slightly away from the observatory. "They still need a home though. Help me create it will you?"

Sephariel nodded and looked at the moon that had been formed long long ago. She seemed sad, looking at the Aack, so much potential but lost to M'endar. "Father, the corruptors have been making powerful moves, I don't want this universe to end like my old one...how will we stop them?"

Seith laughed and radiated optimism. "We don't need to stop them Sephariel, not yet anyway. They haven't made a move against us and the chance for co-existence still remains. Our allies still stand strong with us if the worst case comes. Stay attentive though, let's finish this planet."

Seith gathered up his strength. He had been eying a particular star which was soon to die. It was too small to sustain itself much longer, but Seith had a new purpose for it. The god began moving the white dwarf to where his planet would soon be and with Sephariel's help, began crushing it. Plasma turned to gas, turned to liquid and finally, to a solid diamond. The planet was immense, five times the size of Evalon and was warmed by the ever burning core in the middle. Sephariel had altered the core to emit a bright and hopeful green light, telling those in darkness that they were not alone, that her siblings, the Grigori were on the side of good, they would not allow the light to falter.

Soon, spires began to form. A court was made, dwelling places, libraries and countless other building's shells were formed, the Grigori to stock them later. The planet was beautiful, open and welcoming to all. The line between gods and mortals began dissolving, if only by a hair. This done, Seith cast his energy into the Grigori, awakening them and teleporting his creations to the planet. There they spread their wings for the first time on their home, Coelus.

"Who was he, that great god of fire, who gave his life so nobly? I would know his name, that Man might honor him for ever more."

Seith had little time to admire his creations however, as Olek soon called to him. Seith had a bad feeling about Olek ever since he had arrived, after all what good could come of something spawned from there and unaltered? But then, Sephariel had good underneath, what if Olek did too, or what if he was already? Seith teleported himself to Olek's location and said "The one of which you speak of had a noble heart indeed. He had made a hall of amusement for all to enjoy and wished to spread happiness. It was a sad day for all to see him go, but you say you wish to honor him? Come with me, I will help you honor his memory."

Eldarwen 27 AP, 1 MP

The Ekiruru woman in her arms had stopped breathing. Her eyes reflected no life and were blank. Two hundred million years had passed, and she had seen many of her daughters die, but none of them like her. The other six women in the throne room had grave looks on their faces. Sadness would spread through the great city of Ayamine as soon as the news got out. Eldarwen moved her hand through the colorful leaves and flowers Eleonara had as hair. Her hourglass figure was dressed in a white exquisite dress. The queen had made it for her. If they spoke of Eldarwen as being chosen by the godess, then Eleonara was spoken of as being blessed. She was not. Eldarwen had never put a spell on her, this beauty was what nature had created itself.

She held the dead body close to her, while sitting in her large golden throne. The six women in the room were elite battle born. They were not there to guard the queen, as it was well known that the queen could not be harmed. There had been few attempts on her life, she had outlived everyone and did not age. They were there to guard the tree in front of her. The portal to Roe. She had considered putting it somewhere else, and hiding it away, but this way she could greet whatever mortal decided to step through the portal herself, with a painful death.

Eldarwen stroked Eleonara's hair again, for what must be the tenth time in one day. Her voice would never be heard again, her lips would never move again. She had gone to be with her ancestors, in Zareth's underworld. The godess did not cry, for she knew that the woman would be at peace, but what about those she had left behind?

The story of Eleonara.

It was towards the end of the creation of Ayamine, that the fair Eleonara was pulled from her tree and awakened. It was a night like any other, when the druids of nature who were tasked with the awakening of new saplings found her tree. The tree carried fruit and had grown in the middle of a clearing. Those who saw it thought of it as perfect. Its shape and its fruit gave them that impression. It happened far off to the west, in that metropolis which was as large as a continent.

The druids tasted the yellow fruit, which had a heavenly taste. They had not seen it before. It was a rare tree, it is sad then, that their next action was to pull an Ekiruru from the tree. The tree died, it wilted and the two druids were blamed for it. They were executed without a trial for killing such a rare tree. Normally trees did not die when an Ekiruru was born. It had not been completely fruitless though, as Eleonara was pulled into existence.

She was as beautiful as the tree had been rare and from a young age, she had many suitors who wished to love her eternally. Eleonara was not comfortable with so many women courting her, as she only wanted to express herself through song. It was a common trait for those born between dusk and dawn. Her voice was the only thing individuals who met her described as more beautiful than the woman herself.

Eleonara remained in the west part of Ayamine, but as everyone knew, the centre was where she was supposed to be. It was there that the truly great Ekiruru belonged, with their queen. She was humble in life, and it took years before some of her friends traveled with her to the centre of the metropolis.

The fair woman didn't have an easier time there, and was often hounded by others eyes or worse. There were those who fought in the arena, only to impress her, but she was not impressed by such qualities. The singer began performing at the amphitheater and drew an audience like few others. Some say they came to hear her sing, those who were jealous of her claimed that they came to watch her body.

Eldarwen hosted a party, when she had finished the creation of Ayamine, at the castle, but the rest of the Ekiruru celebrated by throwing festivals throughout the city. Eleonara was invited to the castle as entertainment. She felt very honoured, as it was rare to get to meet the queen in person.

She shapeshifted her body in a way to grow a white dress around her, which she spent days on and yet she came to the castle very nervous. All her preparation had just given her high hopes, and she felt like it would be the single most important day in her life.

It was, and even though she was nervous she got the attention of the queen herself. Eldarwen watched her mingle with the others, sometimes whispering in the ear of the druid sitting next to her. Eleonara was scared, eyes had been following her, her entire life, but the eyes of the queen were different. They had a blue glow and felt like a predator watching a prey. If she had known what that was, it would have been a good description.

The time came and passed for her performance, afterwards the queen approached her. She were at least a head taller than the tallest Ekiruru Eleonara had seen, and spoke with a grace that seemed to hide a threat behind every sentence. Eldarwen spoke of her troubles, as if she had known the woman her entire life. What the treemother had actually done was listen to her prayers, and heard her wish for less attention from others.

She offered her protection, if she became her lover. While the latter was implied at first, it soon became apparent to her. Eleonara did not wish to offend the queen, nor did she really mind her offer that much. They would not dare to speak about or look at her again, if she had the protection of the queen. She accepted, and her life was made easier.

The remaining years she became very popular, and was praised as the greatest singer to have existed. Eldarwen knew that there had been those who matched her voice, but they were long dead by then and no one had been as attractive or willing. Perhaps living with the Ekiruru for all those years had changed her, because she felt as if taking a lover wasn't something she would have done before. Eleonara wasn't her first either. She didn't love them, but she had not seen anyone else for so long. Though it was doubtful she'd ever love anyone.

All mortals must one day die, it was what made them mortals in the end. Eleonara was no different in that regard, and one day her story ended. She died of natural causes, of age, while visiting the castle.

End

Yes, what about those she had left behind? Eldarwen had worked and lived with the Ekiruru for a very long time. Almost long enough for her to forget her aweinspiring powers. She remembered that she had made the planet they were on, she remembered that the woman in her arms had been the first species she had created. She thought about solutions, and then she remembered the hunter and his father. The son which she had not seen for a while, but certainly heard silly stories about. He scared the Ekiruru, but she found it funny.

The queen rose from her throne, with the singer in her arms. "I will bring her back. As the godess is the mother of the hunter, she can give her life again." She stepped towards the tree in front of her.

"Do you want us to come with you?" One of the battle born in the room asked her.

"No, do not worry about me. Worry about what comes next." Eldarwen grinned after stepping through the portal and arriving on Roe, she continued through the canyon with the corpse in her arms. She walked into the underworld, where she planned on asking for an old friend's help.

She laid Eleonara under a tree, and spoke to gain his attention.

"I hope you've been well, Zareth. I come to ask you for a soul, but not for a mortal. No, she will be made into a creature resembling our son. Bring her back from death's grasp."

She nodded, and went back to her old form, of the tree. Her staff appeared again, and she channeled her magic into the corpse.

Zareth 30 , 2

Time passed by and its effects were felt everywhere. both in the land of the living and the dead. Mortals were born, cities built and every day progress marched on unopposed. But as is always the way, there were those who fell by the wayside. From the moment of its birth Evermoor found itself in great demand. First it was the Aask, followed by the Ekiruru and then man and every other mortal race that was born in the wake of the conflict with the seven. Time was meaningless in the afterlife and terms like day and night were useless. All that broke it up for Zareth was the news brought to him by the departed souls.

From the very beginning Zareth made sure to make the new arrivals feel welcome. It took effort but eventually he managed to learn the names of each and every one of his "subjects". He was fascinated by their stories of the world of life and how each of the young races was making its way on their worlds. The gods were keeping busy and from what the dead told him the mortals were even busier. Although he had to console himself to the fact that most of his information was second hand and usually behind the times.

Still, under his watchful eye Evermoor and its residents prospered. The ghost souls quickly adapted to their new state of being, learning how to turn back to the forms they had in life and take on more physical attributes. It was surprising how quickly people let go of their prejudices after their physical forms had withered and decayed. All the races inhabiting it mixed and met with each other as friends and equals despite the differences they kept in death.

Evermoor, the world itself was alive. A breathing extension of Zareth's own will but thanks to Eldarwen's influence it took on a nature of its own as well. The land warped and shifted to suit the wants and desires of those that lived upon it. An ocean for the Aask, a mountain hall for the dwarves. And still Evermoor grew and changed with the passing of each generation. The more zealous souls restricted themselves to what their scriptures said their souls would do upon death, but the longer they spent in Evermoor the more relaxed they became and the happier they were to mingle. Zareth never forgot the time The Aask crashed the Dwarven hall and joined in the festivities. A Drunk Aask is an interesting sight to say the least.

It was at the dawn of the second age when Zareth was taking tea by the river bank with a group of spirits he had grown particularly close to. Ayamine, first of the Kami who had regaled him with stories of the world before this one. Thom, the first man to ride a starwhale and meet a god in the same day. And Kelasha, an Ekiruru who had been a champion of the arena in life and whose fiery spirit never ceased to energise him.

"Why is there food and drink here?" She asked him, taking another sip of tea. "We don't need to eat or drink."

"People will always need it. The joys of sinking your teeth into a tender steak, or enjoying a freshly made cup of tea." He said raising his own ceramic cup and saucer. "It's the little things that make life and eternity worth living."

Somewhere on the edge of his mind Zareth felt a new planet come to life, and Evermoor reach out to embrace it.Seith.

Their conversation went on when suddenly he heard Eldarwen call out to him. It had been centuries since he had heard from her. Zareth sprang to his feet. I have to go, Eldarwen needs my help."

"Isn't she the one you were talking about earlier?" asked Thom.

"You should tell her how you feel. The two of you would make a fun couple." Smiled Ayamine.

"You still haven't set me up with your son!" Roared Kelasha. She seemed to be able to get drunk on anything. Zareth didn't hear them as he flew away. A shadow on the wind.

Melanthios 27AP, 1MP

Millions of years passed in the blink of an eye. Melanthios had spend most of this time perfecting his world, and teaching new things to his son. He has also looked his allies up from time to time and spoken with them about all kinds of things. But his work was finally done, his planet was perfect. With the last road completed, he saw that the magic inside the world was finally free. The magic was everywhere, it would fuel his children and the world alike.

He teleported into the library and walked towards his son. Akladai was almost done reading the books in the first section of the library. Melanthios was done creating the second and third section. The books were filled with all kinds of new knowledge, as well as history books on the races. Even if they weren't his, something could be learned from their lives. Melanthios had also made sure that no one could enter the library, his knowledge was not for everyone.

Akladai's hunger for power had slowly changed. He had seen his father's power, and read about it. Creating a planet out of nothing in an instant, changing Hunger's nature to create him. He was jealous of this incredible power. While he loved his father, he knew that one day he would surpass him. No matter what the price would be. Melanthios smiled as he saw Akladai close the last book from the first section. "It still isn't enough," Akladai said, looking at Melanthios.

"I know my son, that is why I have written even more books for you to read. But first I want to show you something." Akladai stood up, it wasn't very often that his father wanted to show him things. "What do you want to show me father?" he asked. Melanthios smiled "I want to show you what I have been working on for the last millions of years." Akladai's eyes opened wide, Melanthios had been very secretive about it. Melanthios focused and he teleported them both to his planet.

Akladai looked around and saw beautiful villages, giant castles, and enormous cities. "They are beautiful, but they are also all empty. Why?" Akladai asked Melanthios. Melanthios smiled as he looked at Akladai. "I will create my own race, and they will live here. But before that happens I needed someone to guide them." Melanthios began walking towards Akladai as he continued. "Someone with a power close to my own, someone I can trust with my life. Someone that is worthy of being my prophet." Melanthios stopped in front of Akladai. "And that someone is you, my son, you will lead and guide them. You are the one I chose to lead my race. I would trust nobody else with such an honor."

Melanthios placed his hand on Akladai's shoulder. Akladai stood completely motionless, he then bowed his head. "I understand Father, I will lead your race. I will lead them to victory." Melanthios smiled "But not you alone, my son, there will be a king and you will be his right hand." Akladai looked insulted "Why do you need another? Are you saying I can"t do it on my own?!" Melanthios looked at him with a sternly, "Calm down, my son, I am sure you can do it alone. But two leaders are better than one. You will have the brains and he will have the charm. And besides, judging the souls of the deceased will take up a lot of time. So if there are two leaders it will be easier." Akladai seemed to think. "I can agree to that father." Melanthios smiled "That is good to hear, my son, you will get a little brother then." Akladai smiled.

Melanthios then said. "I will give my messages through to you, and you will tell them to the people. I know you are able to do this, son." Akladai grinned. "I will lead them to glory. I will make you proud father." Melanthios removed his arm from his son's shoulder. 'I am sure you will, son, but a prophet can't dress like that." Melanthios snapped his finger's, and a black staff and black cape with a silver lining appeared. Akladai took it and he put them on. "They suit me perfectly." he said, smiling. Melanthios focused, he began chanting. The magic of the entire planet began to come to him, he would use all of it to aid him in creating his race. The help his allies had given him was still active after millions of years. He crafted all of it and began creating his own race, the Dues Filli.

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

With the moon created, there was only one thing missing. But that could wait until later. For now, M'endar decided to visit the Hallowed Court for some rest and a bit of conversation...

Melanthios looked at Akladai. He felt M'endar coming back into the realm, he suddenly got an idea. "Akladai do you want to met your uncle?" Akladai looked up surprised. "Of course Father." Melanthios smiled, he teleported them both to where M'endar was. "M'endar my brother. How have you been doing?" Melanthios asked smiling. Akladai stood a few meters behind Melanthios, he looked curious. But he also didn't want to intrude on their conversation.

A curious creature stood behind Melanthios, perhaps it was the demigod it had help create? Yes, that must be it. Well, whatever sort of demigod it was, it stood behind Melanthios like a loyal dog or even ready to backstab his father. It sighed and gave not delay in replying to Melanthios, "Not bad, considering..."

Melanthios seemed taken back by this answer. "Not bad considering what my friend? Is something wrong?" Akladai did a step forward, his curiosity seemed to get the better of him.

It gave another sigh, "Considering the newly-formed races." M'endar then gave thought to the would-be angels and the short humaniods the others had created. As if the tree people weren't enough... It continued, "Surely they plot to be rid of me and my race, and they are creating the armies with which they will attempt to kill me."

Melanthios nodded. "I can understand your concern my friend. But Vantric is also busy creating his own race, and he is our ally. And as soon as my planet is ready I will create my own race too. Do not understate the power of our alliance." Melanthios smiled. Akladai moved a few meters closer, listening in on their conversation.

Melanthios' words brought reassurance, but there was little of it. M'endar played about with the sleeves of its robe, making sure the long things weren't catching on anything. M'endar then turned back to Melanthios, "True. But White has made more moves than Black, I fear."

Melanthios smiled. "You could say that, but then again. They have shown their hands to us, we keep our cards close to our chest. We know what they have and what their plans are. They don't know who ,works with who on the dark side. And they don't know who plans to do what." Melanthios grinned. Akladai moved a bit closer, he was only 3 meters away now.

"Yesss." M'endar nodded with that thought, "It is a shame my brother is acting againist me, thought. He may force my hand." M'endar looked around again, that demigod was eavesdropping, no doubt about it. M'endar smiled, this mean that the creation was a success. It held its arms open, as if to welcome the newcomer, "But let us turn to more cheerful subjects. I see your son has a penchant for listening on the conversations of others."

Melanthios nodded. "Seith is a threat to us all. But personally I dislike Ailish the most." Akladai seemed shocked that he had been discovered. Melanthios smiled "Yes I am afraid my sons curiosity, knows no boundaries. Well don't just stare there son, introduce yourself." Melanthios said smiling. Akladai nodded, he walked forward and said. "My name is Akladai, and I am sorry for eavesdropping. It is just when I hear new information, I can't help but try to learn it." Akladai bowed his head in what seemed to be an apology.

M'endar gave a chuckle, "No need, this is what you were born to do." Then he turned to Melanthios, "How has your new apprentice been? I hope he has been a good student." Then it grasped, as if it had forgotten something. "Please excuse my manners," M'endar said to Akladai, "I am M'endaxius, you may call me M'endar, and I am sorry for not introducing myself sooner."

Akladai seemed relived. Melanthios smiled "He has been most extent, there is only 1 small problem. He also likes to read my forbidden books, books about things such as blood magic." Akladai's face lighted up, he seemed t enjoy that subject. Akladai smiled when M'endar apologized. "No need to apologize M'endar. I know all about you, Melanthios has told me many stories." Akladai seemed excited.

In a moment of mock shock M'endar exclaimed, "What have been telling him!? Good stories, I hope. And reading the forbidden books!? Tut, tut, tut." Seeing as the conversation was dragging in the depth of small talk, M'endar to share some news. No, it was more of a plan for the near future. It folded its hands again and gave a slight cough, "Anyway, I have a plan." M'endar said, "I think the Aask could do with an extra something..."

Akladai got a devious smile on his face, Melanthios smiled because of this expression. "I have only told him good stories about you my friend, how you helped me and were the first to create a race." Akladai nodded. They both seemed intrigued as he said they could something else. Melanthios asked "Like what? Some sort of magic perhaps?"

M'endar smiled in return, but it faded as it moved on to more serious subjects. Now M'endar had both Melanthios and Akladai's attention, now was the time to talk. It began, "Hmmm... Maybe some extra abilities. It's just an idea in rough at the moment. But what I wanted to ask was: would you help me with this endeavor?"

Melanthios nodded. "Extra abilities? You mean something like shape shifting? Just like you?" Akladai looked at Melanthios. Melanthios continued "And we both would help you with these 'extra abilities'. Though we would like to know what it is before we help you. But if you are unable to tell us that, we will still help you." Akladai nodded "As my father said, I will also help you. In fact I am honored that you asked my help." Both men smiled.

M'endar gave a sarcastic clap, "Well done." It then stopped with the clapping before anyone got particularly angry because of it. M'endar then thought some more. Ideas entered its mind, ripe and ready to be made real. "Shapeshifting is a must." M'endar began, "A long lifespan, chaos magic, corruption affinty and the smarts to trick others..." A short laugh cut itself off, "...I am grateful that you will help with this when most would hinder, and probably will." Suddenly M'endar remembered something and bid farewell to Akladai and his father, "I must leave, let's just say that a belated delivery needs to be collected..."

Both men seemed to ignore the clapping, they were both also nodding when M'endar was telling them his whishes for their race. "All of those goals are achievable, and don't worry about the people that will hinder you. Together with our 2 other allies we will be able to make them into the race you desire." Melanthios said. Akladai bowed his head again and said "It was a pleasure meeting you uncle M'endar. And I am grateful that you didn't become angry about the eavesdropping." Akladai smiled a bit embarrassed again. Melanthios smiled. "I will speak to you later friend, and good luck with whatever you are going to do." Both men waved after M'endar.

Another smile came across M'endar's face as it sped off into the universe. It was the dawn of another age, and it was fully rested. Time to initiate another plan...

Eldarwen 27 AP, 1 MP

Zareth's breath flowed into the beauty on the ground, and she felt a tinge of what some would describe as jealousy. It was peculiar, she had kissed those lips, but maybe she was not jealous of him getting so close to her, but of them. Yes, that could be it. Eldarwen blinked and shook her head. What the hell was she thinking now?

She watched him pick her up in his arms, and he told her that he would carry her back to Eld. He hadn't been there since their son had been created out of despair. It must be quite the change. Eldarwen lead the way and Zareth followed, they emerged from the underworld to Roe. She didn't know or really care much about what had happened here, for the years that she had spent living among her own. No, wait, the Ekiruru was nothing like her. She just looked like them.

"They will not take kindly to you, while you are worshipped as death they've never met a god before to their knowledge and a male avatar will not be easier." She cringed at the thought of introducing a male to a race of females, where the only known males were the hunter and the death god. They did not have a word for such a thing, nor did they really think of the hunter as male. While stories were common, few had seen him and he was depicted as a beast.

She changed back into her queen form. The red armor, the golden crown and the white long hair. Her height also decreased quickly, from that of a tall tree to a tall Ekiruru.

"It's probably best that you carry her, come to think of it, since they'll be less inclined to attack you with the queen's lover in your arms." Eldarwen stated it more as a fact, and without really thinking about how she had confessed something she meant to hide. The queen hadn't hid it, but the godess would.

Zareth changed his avatar as well, and then they stepped through the portal to Eld. Last time they had gone through the portal together there had been a jungle on Eld. The sight that met them now was familiar to her, she had made it her home for millenniums. The walls were tall and polished wooden. The roof was a canopy of green leaves, and while it may look fragile it was quite sturdy. The throne room contained her golden throne, and many passageways leading off to other rooms. The grassy floor had many flowers of different kind.

"Halt!" She had expected that reaction. The six battle born she had left in the room had made their move, before she could even blink.

Eldarwen turned around and saw Zareth standing behind her, forced to stop or maybe he had stopped by his own free will. Either way, four of the battle born were pointing their blade arms at his throat. They did not carry swords. They had each made one arm into a wooden blade. These were blades made out of magic, and she could see their black blood glistening on the blades in the light of the wisps in the room. They were unnaturally sharp for wooden blades. The remaining two Ekiruru held spears above their head, ready to throw them. Spears they had made from their bodies, but separated from the actual body. They would reattach them after the kill.

"Who is this? She did not follow you through the tree. We would have detected her." Eldarwen realized she would have to teach them that other races had two genders, and some would think it weird for females to love each other.

"Tell them who you are!" She shouted at Zareth, her voice ringing through the room. Hopefully he'd understand that she wasn't angry, even if it sounded like it. It was just a way of showing dominance. They did not respect those who showed weakness. They had made her come alive like none other, but they were wild and violent. The battle born had not been given weapons strong enough to harm a god, but they would certainly try anyway.

Vantric: 30, 2

Time meant little when one was immortal, however, it seemed to matter a great deal to the lainir, who scurried about, constantly in a hurry. It was curious, the actions of those with definite limits of being. That only made them even more curious objects of study to Vantric.

They began as he expected them to. After the Pact was made, his people marched into the first city to begin their dominion. The city was named, he was pleased to learn, after the god to whom they owed their allegiance: Gaerv Vantric. The People of Vantric. It was fitting, he thought. After helping the lainir, he descended to study them further. As he predicted, they soon split apart, various groups establishing themselves into the other bastions across the continent, they were, after all, competitive and ambitious.

Powerful city-states were created, supported by formative noble houses and, as time progressed, powerful business enterprises. Each state built itself up in attempt to dominate their neighbors and set up themselves as the true lords of continent. This was also expected, but the flow of power was what intrigued him, the manner in which strong states were slowly reduced to ashes and previously weak ones usurped them. The codification of achievement and alliance as the true measure of one's position in society greatly aided the flow of power, making it even easier for the strong and complacent to fall to the keen and ruthless.

As time marched on, however, Vantric saw that the lainir were mobilizing in a more concerted effort, that power was being concentrated in the hands of a few allied cities that were asserting their dominion. He smiled as he saw his people take the first step toward their true destiny, as the First Empire was born.

Soon, the time would come to approach his people once again, and have them embark on the next step in their journey. But that would wait. He turned his eyes skyward. It was time to return to the Court.

Vantric emerged before the Grand Ascension as the gates opened for the master of the fortress. It had been some time since he had last spoken with his brothers, he considered as he walked through the ornate entrance hall. They would need to speak once again and continue to coordinate their plans. He sent a message to M'endar and Melanthios, wherever they were across existence. "Brothers, we should meet soon. We must begin laying our plans. I await you from within the walls of my fortress." He turned into a small parlor, tucked away off the main hall. An armchair and roaring fire had already been prepared in anticipation of his arrival. Vantric eased himself back into the chair and waited.

Nivix - 26, 2

BOOM

The explosion filled the air with heat and pressure, a concussive blast that burned the flesh and thundered through the ears. The rush of superheated gases devastated the innards of the lab, reducing priceless hunks of machinery and painstakingly labelled specimens to so much ash and debris. Test tubes and display cases shattered as they were thrown against the walls, adding a fine spray of glass to the maelstrom of destruction. Even the door to the room, forged of stainless steel and reinforced with layers of enchantments was unable to withstand the absolute devastation, its hinges giving way as the bent and blackened chunk of metal flew down the hallway.

"Well. That could have gone better."

Coughing, Nivix pulled himself back to his feet, his burns and cuts already repairing themselves. Brushing the soot from his clothes, the god looked at the remains of his most recent foray into the unknown, his mouth set in a hard line. He had been so close this time, but still the answer managed to elude him!

"I'm never gonna find out how to make the perfect snow cone..." he muttered as he readjusted his goggles.

As he scanned the damage, however, Nivix was unable to keep a slight smile off his face. Even if it was a scene of utter and complete failure, the sight of such beautiful damage always managed to resonate with him somehow. It may not have been ideal and set his work back nearly a decade, but it possessed its own sense of wonderfully chaotic beauty.

The smile soon faded, however, as the chemister did a quick inventory. He'd already used up his entire stock of spare parts and raw materials for other repairs; he didn't have the resources to restore the lab to working condition. Sighing, Nivix rubbed the bridge of his nose with one of his gloved hands, a headache starting to pulse through his cranium. He was going to have to go on a supply run, wasn't he?


"Huh. Things look... different."

Nivix frowned as he scanned the area, his eyes narrowing in suspicion as they rolled over the various trees, bushes, and other plant life. He was sure that this place had just been rocks, dirt, and a whole lot of ore the last time he was here. He certainly didn't remember anything about a forest or that small collection of strange structures.

Ah well. A quick probe revealed that there was still a significant amount of iron a few meters below the surface. Regardless of any changes to the landscape, this was still a great place to gather resources.

Shrugging, Nivix made a few gestures with his hands. In response, the earth beneath him began to crack and shift, large chunks of rock and dirt floating into the air at the god's behest. Soon, several tons of the stuff bobbed up and down on the wind. A grin spreading across his visage, Nivix peered into the hole, his eyes locking onto the vast stores of metal down below. There was enough down there to repair the lab and then some! "Heh, bingo."

"Mister, what are you doing?"

Snapping his head up, Nivix found himself staring at... something. A small creature, just less than half his height, with a head of straw-colored hair and a pair of emerald eyes. Bipedal, humanoid shape, five fingers on each hand... Confused, Nivix took a second to look at his own body, noting the similarities between himself and the strange creature. "Er... I'm collecting some iron?" he said, his voice taking on a questioning tone as he glanced back up.

"Why?" the creature responded, tilting its (or was it his?) head to the left.

"Well, my experiment kind of blew up and-"

"Eggs spear what?"

"I don't..." An incredulous look began to creep across Nivix's face. "Hey, that's enough questions from you."

A brief pause.

"What are you anyway?"

"I'm Cael."

"What the hell is a Cael!?"

The creature jumped back, startled by Nivix's outburst. "Um... me?"

Sighing, the god closed his eyes. "This is why I don't leave the lab," he muttered to himself. Then, in a louder voice, "I mean what are you? Some weird talking ape thing? Come on, speak up."

The small thing was clearly starting to feel uneasy about initiating the conversation, but he answered nevertheless. "I'm... I'm a human. Is that what you want mean?"

"Human, human, human..." Nivix repeated the word a few times, searching for its meaning and implications. He stood still, lost in thought for a few seconds, before letting out a gasp. "Wait! If you're... Then that means... Which leads to... Stay here!" he barked at the surprised child, before disappearing in a flash of light.

Cael, showing a surprising amount of courage and a surprising lack of sense, obeyed, standing in place as he attempted to blink the spots from his eyes. Once he had finally restored his vision, however, it was stolen by yet another flash.

"They started creating their own life forms?!" Nivix began to rave, stalking back and forth as he waved his arms about. "Humans, Ekiruru, Grigori, Dwarves! They started making all these different mortals?! And they didn't tell me!? This kind of stuff is the stuff I like to know about! It's interesting, it's neat! They're new, unpredictable, exciting! Tell me how it's fair, that they do all of this without telling me!" he finished, bending down to stare into Cael's eyes. "Tell me how that's fair!"

"I... Uh..."

"Wait... That's it!" Nivix continued, cutting off the child's mumbling. "Brilliant! They want to make mortals? Well, I'll show them that I can too! Ha, let's see how they like that!"

There was another flash of light, and Cael found himself alone once again. Surrounded by several tons of dirt that refused to stop levitating and armed with one hell of a story to tell his parents.


M'endaxius - 23/30 AP, 2/2 MP

It found its prize in a small crater on one of the islands of the archipelago and stuffed the ebony gem into the robe. M'endar turned around to find the child god near. How could such a small thing create such a shockwave that threatened to wipe the Aask off the face of Evalon? Then that become clear. Like M'endar, it seemed that this child carried the essence of Chaos. A powerful thing indeed. Simply out of politeness, it said to the small stranger, "Greetings."

Roe hopped along the edge of the crater, following the other god at a distance. He was thinking vaguely of visiting Fallen Petal later but first he wanted to see what the other god was up to.

"Hey, what you doing?" he asked curiously.

It turned out to be a game of M'endar watching the child, watching it. Well, until the boy spoke. M'endar just replied, "Claiming a prize." There was no hint of what or who, though.

Roe skipped happily up the god of deception, tugging gently on his robe "What's that?" he asked, pointing to where the dark gem was being cradled.

M'endar decided that showing the child its prize. It brought out the gem that Darkness had spat out as it as its final act. As if showing a family heirloom, M'endar held it carefully and said, "This is what is left of Darkness and it will be the piece that completes my moon."

Roe looked up at the gem, impressed that it could sparkle and yet be so dark at the same time "It's pretty," he said simply, "can I have it?" he added hopefully.

M'endar laughed, "No, it is for Oculus Obscuritatis." It then turned around, taking the sight of the ocean that surrounded them, the ocean that nearly killed the Aask. M'endar quickly changed the subject, "Tell me, what do you think of the other gods?"

"Um, they're alright," Roe replied "I like Olek, he's really strong and big and he saved me a long time ago. I like Ailish too, she's... eh... nice,"

"I see," M'endar started to skim stones on the calm water. "Then why attempt to kill off my race if you bear no ill will towards me?" It asked, rather offhandedly.

"Huh, when did I do that?" Roe asked with a look of confusion upon his face

When you cried. The massive tear landed on this planet and nearly all of the Aask drowned." M'endar said coldly, as if just stating facts in a robotic manner.

"Really?" Roe said in genuine surprise, checking the other god's face for any signs of amusement. When none were forthcoming, he looked down at his bare feet in embarrassment "Oops... sorry mister..."

Roe found none. The stony facade remained on M'endar's face. It stopped skimming stones and turned back to Roe, "Hmph. The least you could do is apologise to the Aask. I think a gift would suffice." M'endar then realised that leaving this child to decide for himself what gift to give was a risky idea. It suggested, "Why not help me with giving them a few extra abilities?"

"Okay!" Roe replied eagerly and jumped onto M'endar to give him a hug. "Thanks for forgiving me!" he cried, his apologetic expression all but vanished

And with that, M'endar recovered from the attempted hug and ruffled the child god's hair with a smile. "Shall we do this then?" It asked, "Just reinforce my energy. I wll do the rest." Then it weaved its hands, focusing the spell on the Aask - the descendants of the five hundred faithful. It quickly sent a message to Melanthios for assistance as well. Together the three could create a truly great gift.

Roe climbed down and attempting a serious expression, he focused his power upon the other god's spell, reinforcing it and adding in his own brand of chaos.

With a large stream of energy, M'endar concentrated and of thought of shapeshifting, trickery, and corruption affinity. Both gods were status of seriousness and focus...

Zareth 30 , 2

The first time he stepped out of Evermoor in over a thousand years and Zareth found himself at sword point. This day wasn't going as well as he had hoped.

"Who is this? She did not follow you through the tree. We would have detected her."

How do I look like a woman? I've got a pair of phallic symbols on my head! He thought to himself.

"Tell them who you are!" Clearly Eldarwen didn't appreciate the scene playing out in her throne room.

Unfortunately Zareth hadn't planned on this. Who am I? What am I doing, the royalty thing like El or am I just playing myself? He flipped a coin in his head. Heads!... what does heads mean? Oh screw it!

Zareth tilted his head and looked at the blades, unimpressed. He could only assume that picking things up was a nightmare for these women. He shot them his most light hearted smile and casually made his way through their lines. The guards parted for him, slowly, either out of concern for the woman he was carrying or perhaps they were intimidated by his bizzare confidence. Either way he was determined to roll with it. He placed Eldarwen's daughter on the golden throne and adjusted her veil. After making sure she was all in order he turned to the assembled guards.

"I'm the long absent king." He said striding up to their leader. "And you should address me with more respect." To back up his point he ran a finger along her blade and licked the venom from it with a flourish."tangy!" He cried out in pleasant surprise. "I may need to get a few bottles of that!"

It took all he had not to burst out laughing at the looks on their faces.

Zareth turned to the "Queen", sending out a telepathic message to her before he started speaking again.

Hope I haven't upset things too much, if nothing else this should give them something to talk about at court.

Then he spoke, his tone hardening. "The death god has heard your plea and answered it. Make sure not to squander his gift... he will be watching."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Zareth basked in the looks and shocked whispers he attracted. The temples were impressive structures full of light and fine works of art. He even took in a show at the amphitheatre. He had heard lots of Ekiruru songs in Evermoor but the presence of a living audience added a certain something extra. The arenas were a change of pace for him and he had to admit they were enthralling in tier own way.

Eventually though he found his way into the outlying forests and the smaller settlements that had sprang up all over Eld. Zareth had made his way to the foot of a great old tree and was leaning against its trunk when a shadow flew over him.

"You can come out now! I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that if you want to sneak up on me."

And like magic a figure dropped from the canopy overhead, landing silently as a leaf on the wind. It looked like a man, except for its head. "One day I'm going to get you." Said Carnivox.

"You keep at it. And what are you wearing?" Zareth teased, patting his son on his wolf head.

"Oh come on! Don't make me go all elf, it's just us here!"

"Oh alright." Zareth said, scratching him behind the ear. "You know I can't say no to that face."

The hunter quickly wrestled free of his creator's grip. "What are you doing here?"

"It's been a while since I've walked in the mortal world, thought I could use the exercise... and the excitment. New races are being born on Evalon and making new civilisations. I thought we could see them together."

"Been there, done that. Centuries ago at that. You really do need to get out more." The wolf chuckled.

"Well where do you suggest I start?"

Aen 30,2

After his adventures with Ailish on the other side of the portal, Aen was ready to meet some of the others. And, to be quite honest, was avoiding Ailish. He was a little freaked out by what had happened to her. Now he was nervous, unsure what to expect. Were they all like Ailish? Or were some like him? Or something he couldn't yet imagine. Taking a deep breath, he set off in the direction of one of the others. It wasn't long before he came to a planet covered in green and life. Continuing on warily, Aen resisted the urge to draw his sword. Coming upon two figures, he wasn't sure which shocked him more. One stood out amongst the plants, his savagery in appearance matching the brutality he was definitely capable of. The other had a strange aura around him, as if he did not belong amongst all the life. Stranger still, the beast-man seemed to adhere to the other, even showing affection, which was returned. The relationship was alien to his understanding. He was reluctant to interrupt, but to watch them without their knowledge would be wrong. "Hello? My name is Aen. Am I ruining the moment?"

Pentar 30AP 2MP
Pentar stood atop the mountain, small compared to the much larger one nearby, in the guise of an old Dwarf, looking down on the Gante farmers working in a neighboring valley. A mortal wouldn't have been able to see so far down below and in such detail, but the eyes of a God were infinitely keen, and Pentar could make out every bead of sweat on their brows. It was high noon, and Niv shone bright and high in the blue sky.

Pentar returned his focus to the present. The clans had bickered and fought amongst each other for long enough. It was time for a king to rise and unity them. But who? It was a question that Pentar had thought long and hard about, but about a week ago he had made his decision. Most of the Dwarves were inherently honorable and just, but their pride in their own clans clouded their judgment. It was this realization that lead Pentar to search in the mines, the most isolated part of the mountain, were he had found Erik. Just as had been expected, life in the mines had cut Erik off from his clan's propaganda, but he still understood the basic politics of Loth Ringard. But what separated Erik from the rest was his combination of ambition and humbleness. He dreamt of unity and glory for the Dwarves, but was him self not vain or self-obsessed. Pentar decided that he was perfect king material, and so had given him a dream that told him to travel to the top of a nearby mountain. It was there that Pentar now waited.

He didn't need to wait long afterwards. Soon he could sense Erik approaching at a quick pace, his heart pounding. Clearly the Dwarf was eager to reach his destination. When he finally arrived, Pentar turned his avatar to face him. Erik opened his mouth to speak, but Pentar silenced him with an upraised hand. "No need to be hasty now." He cracked out in a perfect imitation of an elderly Dwarf. "You look winded. Take some time to catch your breath." Indeed, Erik's face was nearly as red as his short beard and he was breathing heavily. While the mortal refilled his lungs, Pentar took a moment to reflect on how young he was. Perhaps it would have been better to wait until he was older, but events had already been set in motion.

Once he had caught his breath, Erik instantly spoke. "Were you the one who gave me that dream?" he blurted out, then his face turned red again, this time from embarrassment.

"Yes, that was me." Pentar said with a smile. "I have summoned you here to present to you your destiny.'

Erik looked at the old Dwarf quizzically. "Who are you exactly? Some kinda wizard or somethin'?"

Pentar chuckled. Where the Dwarves had gotten the idea that magic users were amongst them he didn't know, but it was certainly amusing. "Yes, something to that effect." The old Dwarf walked to the edge of the cliff a few feet away. It featured a stunning view of the river valley below. "In fact, you may have heard of me. My name is Pentar."

"Pentar?" Erik said, taking a few paces towards the avatar. "You mean the God of Order, The Mountain Father, The Great Judge? That Pentar?" He seemed quite baffled by the prospect of standing next to a God.

"Yes, that Pentar." The God said with a smile, still looking down into the valley. "I see stories of me have spread."

"Ya, they've spread alright." Erik said. He signed with deep disappointment. "Whatever. I gotta go." He began walking back down the trail he had come up, shoulders slumped.

"You don't believe me, do you?" Pentar said, with his eyes still fixed on the view.

"Of course I don't believe you." Erik said, whirling back around to face the God. "How the hell am I suppose to think you're a God? I don't even believe in that stuff."

Pentar turned to face the young dwarf and hobbled towards him, the walking stick he held softly patting the ground. "Things are not always as they seem, Erik."

His eyes widened with surprise. "How do you know my name?"

As short as Erik was, Pentar's stooped figure still forced him to look up. "I know many things, Dwarf." He said sternly. "I also know that you dream of a united and powerful Dwarven nation. One free of the constant conflict your people experience now. Am I correct?"

Erik's jaw looked like it might hit the ground. "Y-yes." He stammered out. "How do you know these things?"

Pentar willed his form to change. His back straitened and the wrinkles and creases disappeared. The simple robes morphed into an elaborate suit of armor, and the staff became a long war hammer, just as intricate as the armor. "Like I said, I am Pentar, God of Order, and I am here to help you achieve your destiny." He had dropped the old creaky voice in favor of his normal, booming speech. "I have chosen you to unite your people and take on the roll of king."

Erik dropped to his knees, a look of astonishment on his face. "Forgive me, my lord. I never meant insult you." he said reverently. Then Pentar's words caught up to him. "Why have you chosen me, my lord? Surly there are others that are more worthy."

And so Pentar told him what made him so special and why he had chosen him. When he was done, Erik could only shake his head. "I still don't think I'm up to it." Then, remembering who he was talking to, he added "Not that I don't trust your judgment, Lord Pentar."

The God placed a hand on the young Dwarf's shoulder. "Trust me, Erik. If there is anyone who is qualified for this, it is you. And remember that I will be watching over you in your quest."

"Thank you, sir." Erik said, a bit more confidently. "What will be my first step?"

Pentar adopted a more professional tone. This was were they got down to business. "First, you must gather support for your cause amongst the people. I will leave the question of where to your judgment, but be sure not to mention me or this meeting to anyone else. I am well aware that those seen talking about the Gods are labeled as mad."

"Are they real? The other Gods, that is." Erik said with a sparkle in his eyes. "Vantric and Seith and Zareth and the others?"

"In due time, Erik." Pentar said, as if to a small child who was hungry for treats. Indeed, he would have to be made aware of the other Gods if he was to make an appropriate prophet. "For now, you have your quest. Good luck." With that, Pentar struck the ground with his hammer and vanished in a flash of lightning.

Melanthios 27AP, 1MP

Melanthios was busy with creating his race, when he received a message. "Brothers, we should meet soon. We must begin laying our plans. I await you from within the walls of my fortress." Melanthios smiled, it seemed Vantric hadn't forgotten about him. He send a message back "I will come as soon as I can, but I am creating my own race right now. So it will probably be a while before I can join you in your fortress. I am sorry for the delay, brother."

Melanthios sensed another message for him. It was from M'endar, who was about to alter his race. Melanthios focused some of his knowledge into an orb. The orb looked small, but it was filled with pure magic. He also added all the knowledge he possessed on shape shifting. The orb flew towards M'endar and, as promised, it would help him alter the Aask into the race he wanted.

Vantric: 30, 2

He stared into the fire, thinking while he waited for his allies to respond to his call. The lainir would soon need to be approached for the next step in their destiny, they would need to branch out and explore the world of Evalon, with some direction from himself. There were obstacles in this endeavor, he knew. The warrior, Olek, had crafted a race of humans on a different continent. They were not a problem, or at least they were far from the most pressing problem. No, the true problem would be Pentar and his race, the dwarves. Those creatures could not be ignored. Until then, Vantric's principle project had been building up the lainir, he had largely ignored the other goings on in the Court and in the rest of the world. He would need to change that soon.

Just as he began plotting his next move, Melanthios responded to his call. "I will come as soon as I can, but I am creating my own race right now. So it will probably be a while before I can join you in your fortress. I am sorry for the delay, brother."

Melanthios was creating his own race? Vantric perked up at that thought. He would need to go and see these new beings. Perhaps Melanthios required some help. Vantric got up and teleported away, tracing the message back to its source. He appeared in a library in a new world. Melanthios had been busy, he considered, though he had had time to work on his own projects, quite a bit of time. He walked along the quiet, book-lined halls, it wasn't long before he found Melanthios.

The other god looked no different after all the time that they had spent apart. Beside Melanthios was a curious creature, whom he was working with on some complex incantation. The pair didn't notice him as he entered. Vantric considered waiting until after Melanthios was finished with...whatever it was he was attempting to address him. Then he thought better of it. "Do you need any help?" He asked.

The Storyteller

"At the beginning of the second age, Seith and Sephariel made a planet for the Grigori, with the aid of Zareth. They called it Coelus, and it glows of a hopeful green." Some of the children looked up at the night sky, at the planet which emitted a green light.

"Eldarwen lost a lover, but Zareth brought her back to life. You've probably heard her before, as she is the demigod of sound." He chuckled to himself. "Even though Zareth was the one to give her life again, she wants to see him dead and sleep with Eldarwen."

"Isn't Eldarwen her mother?" asked one of the older children.

"Uhm, yes she is. Anyway, Sonitus is fond of all mortals."

"In a special way." The older child grinned. The storyteller knew he was right, and Sonitus was one of those he'd rather not talk to children about, but he couldn't leave it out either.

"Moving on, Melanthios went to Salustutis with his son Akladai and created the Deus filli. Akladai was to become one of the leaders of the Deus filli, but not alone. Nivix met a human named Cael, and learnt about the other gods' races. He went on to create The Mizzen, an inorganic race which can be found on most planets in the solar system. M'endar and Roe also worked on a race, but the Aask had already been around for very long by then. They channeled their power together, to make The Verr."

He yawned, it was a long story to tell.

"Pentar appeared before the dwarf Erik, and told him that he would unite the dwarfs and become king. Erik was inspired enough by meeting a god that he believed him and began gathering support for him as king."

Eldarwen 23 AP, 1 MP

Eldarwen was sitting in her throne with the sleeping Sonitus next to her, the throne was big enough for both of them and she had fallen asleep in it from time to time. As a godess she didn't need sleep, but it would have been suspicious if the queen never slept. She leaned against the side of the throne, with her hand over her face. The battle born hadn't taken kindly to what had transpired some hours ago, and she had been forced to explain it to them. That the Ekiruru who had carried Eleonara was not their king, even if she liked Zareth, she had no intention of sharing her dictatorship with anyone. She told them that he was like her, but only in the way that he too had been chosen by a god as their representative.

The woman whose blood he had tasted had obviously been offended at first, as it had not killed him and showed her as weak, but Eldarwen's explanation stopped the rest from glaring at her. They had likely been thinking that she needed to be replaced, and Eldarwen would never have seen her again had she left the room. Now they were looking at her with respect instead and she seemed to keep her head a little higher, as Zareth was the only other god they worshipped and to be touched by his representative was an honour.

It wasn't the reason she was annoyed with him. No, had that been everything it would have been good, but he had roamed the city and caused quite a commotion apparently. She should have forced him to take a form similar to the rest of them. How was she supposed to explain a male Ekiruru? Would they want more males now? She certainly hoped not. Her memories had been brought back, and she had plans. There was no time to waste on creating inferior males. The trees were their males. Well, the damage couldn't be undone and she had spoken to her people about the representative of Zareth.

"Mother.." She heard a whisper coming from Eleonara, and turned to her. She was moving in the glow of the two wisps closest to the throne.

The first thing Sonitus heard when she woke up was Eldarwen, in the shape of the queen. Oh, how she had fooled her, but now she knew who the queen really was. Every Ekiruru's mother creator. Had she really been so beautiful that her body pleased a god? Apparently, but she wasn't the only one interested in her mother. The death god couldn't be heard anywhere close, but she knew what he wanted. No one other than her should be allowed that pleasure, and she would kill him. He may not have done anything yet, but she would show the brutality her race was known for if she ever got the chance. It would be an act to take pleasure in.

Six strong battle born could be heard in the room as well. Something was covering her eyes and she couldn't see, but she heard them so much clearer than before. Every breath they took and limb they moved, but she knew that her powers was not better hearing. It was the sounds she noticed, so that she could replicate them later.

She sat up and moved closer to Eldarwen, her queen. At the same time, she made a noise appear in the ears of the six battle born, so that they couldn't hear what she said to Eldarwen. They all put their hands against their ears to stop the ringing, but it wouldn't help.

"What a great gift mother, and all for me. You must really have loved me." She ran her hand through Eldarwen's white hair, but the godess didn't respond as she had used too. "We've never done it on the throne, mother."

Eldarwen got up on her feet. She hadn't been expecting this transformation, even if she still thought of herself as queen and had accepted the lovers part of their culture, this was much harder to accept. Did she really have to call her mother? She must have been made aware of who the queen really was. What else did she know?

"I am Sonitus, my heart is pure. You do not want to be my victim." Sonitus sang the words where she sat alone on the throne, the battle born were still trying to get rid of the noise in their ears as best they could. "They wouldn't even notice us if I raised the volume. Then again." She put a finger against her lips. "They could join us, mother."

"Another time..." Eldarwen had heard enough, and teleported away from the castle. She would need to have a serious talk with this Sonitus that Eleonara had turned into, but it would have to wait.

Sonitus made the noise in their ears disappear, maybe she had been too straightforward this time. She didn't want to drive the godess away from her. The battle born turned to welcome her back and then talked among themselves about what the strange noise had been, and where it had come from. Sonitus began singing for them, and hoped that they would forget all about the horrible noise she had used on them.

Eldarwen appeared just outside the southern wall of Ayamine. The planet had been silent for too long. It had been neglected, there were no animals as far as she knew. It was empty, other than the metropolis and a few smaller villages. Her daughters ate fruit and plants, but perhaps they would enjoy meat too? It wouldn't come as a surprise, not after the arena and their brutality.

She would make something fitting of them, something that all mortals would fear, but the Ekiruru would see as a challenge to overcome. Eldarwen changed her form, and began sculpting the trees around her into huge beasts. Ferocious beasts that would eat both plants and meat. They would vary in size, even if the majority of them would be enormous.

When she had enough sculptures, she made them come alive with her magic and her knowledge about magical artifice. She had made sure to create at least one species, which she'd call wyvern, that the Ekiruru could fly.

Roe - 30, 2

Once Roe had helped M'endar create a gift for the Aask he bid the god farewell and danced off, skipping over the seas and islands of immense distance in a few seconds. He could have just teleported himself straight to where he needed to be but this was was more fun. He looked up at the sky and cursed loudly, the sun was already in it's midday position. He doubled his pace, he knew Fallen Petal would be waiting for him.

Finally he found himself at his destination, the Chama peninsula, the south-eastern most tip of the largest continent of Evalon. Humanity had originally been born on the smaller continent of Olegard which lay further to the west but over the millennia many migrants had slowly made their way across the archipelago that lay between the two continents and made a home in the lush new world they found on the other side. Just below the equator, Chama was a patchwork of open grassy fields and thick rainforests, both teeming with all sorts of small creatures who thrived alongside not just humanity but also the Aask and many other kinds of mortals too. The land was fruitful and could provide enough so that it was rare for anyone to go hungry. It was not uncommon for mystics amongst the many races which lived there to refer to the country as the Eld of Evalon.

The humans who lived in Chama were friendly and simple, they wore little and lived off what they could catch or farm off the land. As a people they were tall and slender, with golden brown skin, black hair and almond-shaped eyes. Their small wooden huts were dotted around the land in circular villages, each village then having a number of other allied villages which formed a tribe. Most of the time the tribes were at peace with each other, although war was not unheard of.

Roe came to a halt at a clearing and with a sigh of relief spotted Fallen Petal sitting crossed legged on the ground, drawing shapes in the dirt with a stick. She was six years old, thin as a wisp with long dark hair that reached almost down to her waist. For most however these would not have been her distinguishing features. A closer look revealed a terrible disfigurement: an unfortunate accident involving a pot of boiling water as an infant had left a deep rift of scarring along the left side of Petal's face, taking with it one of her eyes. Roe hadn't known her personally at that time but he knew what happened next; even after she recovered she remained distant from others and often disappeared into the bush for first hours and then later days at a time, nobody knew where and they had the sense not to ask either. The village gossips already had her marked down to the next wise woman of the tribe, "plays with the spirits, that strange child does," they said privately amongst themselves and lamented that they had one less future bride to barter with.

"If only they knew," Roe thought to himself with a smile and he turned himself into a spider so he could surprise his friend. He crawled up to her, she didn't notice him until he brushed his spindly legs against her bare back. She yelped and jumped up, then looked down indignantly at the spider.

"Hey!" she cried, "Don't do that! And I know it's you Roe, it's always so obvious,"

"It's not that obvious," Roe retorted as he changed back into his human form, "It fooled you the first time I did it,"

"No it didn't," Petal sniffed, "I was just surprised, that's all..."

As always though, their arguing quickly changed into friendly banter and soon the two children were on good terms again. They would often spend hours in each other's company and it seemed like today would be no different.

Her face was plastered in joy as she saw another figure. He was pleasing to look at, and he carried none of the taint on him. "You! You haven't changed!" She said as she hugged the figure. "The heavens may be saved yet."

As she reached for him, his hand flew to his blade's hilt, but he sensed no malice from her, and even smiled as she hugged him. He had never felt the touch of another creature. It was... Pleasant. Good, in a way that was different from his battle-lust. He couldn't manage to return the hug, especially as a realization dawned on him. "The taint? Is that the corruption I feel in this place?" He pulled away slightly and looked around, anywhere but at her. "I, uhhh, followed you through the portal. I'm not from here."

The joy dropped on her face, buy only slightly. "Still... It's good that another came as well... Huh?" She noticed that the god's gaze was averted. Was he afraid? Nervous?

She reached a hand to under his cheek to gently return his gaze. "I'm Ailish. And this..." She gestured all around her with her other hand. Her face softened to a wistful frown. "This used to be the heavens. Our true home... But something had happened. The people changed by something unthinkable..." She remembered her speakings with the others and how they shoved these truths aside, and did not want another to dismiss her as delusional.

"I am... Aen." Two fingers of his right hand traced a symbol over his breastplate, quickly, but not without meaning, before pressing the palm of his hand to it, feeling the strength of what lay beneath. His strength. He had carelessly shown it to her, but perhaps too quickly for her to memorize. Perhaps she would even think it unimportant to forget. Or maybe she could even be trusted with it. He did feel embarrassed for looking away from here. He moved his hand to touch the amulet, once again letting the truth of chivalry flow through him. He must take care not to hurt her again.

Aen frowned as he looked past her to see what she referred to. He could see no heaven under all the corruption, but what did he know. Her voice carried a certain authority to it when she spoke of the past. Told in her way, even tall tales would ring with truth. Still, he trusted her. She was kind. He could feel that in even the smallest of things she did.

"I do not know anything of what speak of. Will you tell me more?" Aen did not have to muster up any false sincerity to please her. He looked to her eagerly, hoping to hear more.

A grateful grin crept on her lips. Finally, there was someone who would listen. With only a nod, she collected her thoughts.

"First the Gray Room could not reincarnate the souls of the dead. We had hoped that Thesis could find the solution, but they found nothing. In time the dead collected in legion with nowhere to go. At first none of us saw the problem. Then..." Her body repulsed in the memory. "Then the Fugue confronted me... He spoke of trying to control the dead, and wanted to make me into a new Heaven to do that. His new Heaven. And he threatened to kill my love if I didn't." Her eyes closed as a tranquil fury entered her body.

"I was furious! I told him that he would never lay a hand on him... And then he vanished. The next I remember was gods screaming that the Premier - the one who held the Ideal Gods' favor and power. was gone, and that I was responsible. It was then I saw Fugue within the crowd, smiling his spiteful smirk." A sigh came from Ailish as the fury left her.

"The Premier was the only one who could've saved the heavens, but things changed for the worse by his disappearance. Everyone fought for control with the dead souls as their power... That was when everyone and everything changed." An amethyst tear fell from her face. And another, and another. It had been a long time since she said this to anyone, and the memories hurt. But she could not just forget them.

"A war for power." He spat the words with disgust, 'war' dripping with venom as it left his mouth. He signed something quickly and it hung in the air for a moment, sizzling before fading away.

As he saw her begin to cry, he hesitated for only a moment before wrapping an arm around her. Aen said nothing.

She could feel something around her, and a sense of release came over her. Opening her eyes she saw Aen. She smiled and returned he gesture. "I have not told anyone of this. Thank you for listening."

Aen smiled softly and released her. "Thank you for telling me."

Aen looked around once again, this time almost able to see the world around him as it might have been. Even tainted as it was, there was a certain beauty to the world. "So, Ailish... Why are we here? I mean, what did you come here for? To be honest, I followed you in the hopes that there might be a quest or a battle to ne fought. Not that I mind, exactly, I would just like to know what we are in for."

"I understand." She nodded before closing her eyes trying to remember the layout.

"Within the realm lies a dark treacle that gave the taster knowledge of himself. I seek to find some, though the route may be dangerous."

"Exciting!" Aen's eyes shown with dreams of adventure. "Dangerous... Ha!" Aen drew his sword slowly, then studied it as he held it in the air. The blade did not gleam as it did in the light of Niv, but the runes stood out more than ever, holding the dark at bay. He laid it across his knee as he knelt, then lifted it horizontally up to her. "I offer you my sword and heart in this endeavor, in the hopes of seeing your quest come to a happy end."

"Thank you." She couldn't think of anything more to say to express her gratitude.

"The route should be this way."

Taking his sword by the hilt once again, he followed after eyes peeled for any danger. From time to time his eyes flicked to the runes of his sword. He hadn't noticed at first, but not all of them were alight, and he couldn't understand them. 'Serve' had been there from the beginning, but 'Empower' had lit up as well. He still did not grasp why the first mark had appeared, or what it meant for him. Now this new one's purpose was also a puzzle to him. Why did he need it? How would it help him? And what had he done to activate it. He envied Ailish's memory and conviction.

*.*.*

For all his awareness, Aen never saw them coming. His only warning came when he noticed that the wisps had scattered. By then, it was too late. The creatures sprang up around them as if they came from the very corruption tainting the realm. Aen's blade lashed out, dropping one after the other. He hadn't thought to ask Ailish if she could fight, and she didn't seem to be felling any creatures herself, but whatever magic she was was using seemed to be helping, so he wasn't complaining. He simply adjusted his battle style so he could cover her more easily. Aen's blade struck them down over and over, none of them proving themselves as much of a threat alone, but they kept coming and coming, and in endless supply. Each one defeated was replaced by two more, and the two deities began to tire from the constant battle. And just when Aen was sure they were doomed, it was over. The last of the bodies melted away, and no more sprung forth. Aen was breathing heavily, and he was about ready to drop his sword, yet he continued to hold onto it as if his life depended on it. For all he knew it did. When Ailish touched him on the shoulder, he almost whirled the blade around on her. "Come on," she said wearily. They both trudged down the same way as before, hoping that they wouldn't be attacked again. Aen wasn't sure they would survive another assault.

There used to be an organic elegance to the realm; the realms carried the warmth and the pulsations of a beating heart. But now everywhere became inert, the walls and floors flowed with sickly black fluid, and cold air grasped at every breath. It was not unreasonable to say that death warmed over the heavens but everywhere around the halls were the maddened souls of the dead manifesting themselves as white wisps, moving like there was still something to cling onto. Like there was some remaining bit of hope in this broken plane.

The halls seemed to twist and turn in unnatural ways as the two pressed forward; the doors they opened closed other paths off, and all the obvious

"This is it! This is where the honey is."

She recognized this as the mead hall for the divines and those true enough to travel there upon death. It was a place of merriment; drink, luminescence, and music were crafted from the raw faith of the mortal soul, and readily enjoyed by their residents. It was also the domain of King Alf of Hell, who brought the uncertain souls to the hall to extract the truth of their life; the unworthy were kicked back to the other three while those who Alf found worthy became his performers, or worse ingredients for his brews. As the heavens broke, so did the hall. The hundred and one drinks turned caustic and hollow, the musical instruments had died, and the bright cheery aura became a memory. And this sad place was the where the honey came from.

A large burning pyre could be seen in the center of the hall. That certainly was not here before, though she hoped that none of the old divines did not awaken; she counted her blessings that none of her old friends did not stir with their travel. To her surprise the embers rose from the ground and darted high above. And Ailish's face paled. Two gargantuan green beacons shone like suns in the darkness. At first they appeared to be the only source of light.

Then they blinked...

The two lights then moved back to show what was attached to them. The green eyes were dwarfed by the rest of its body. The head was crowned in ebony horns, with skin grafted in rusted iron, and rivers of lava travelling like veins across its face and body. Six colossal arms like serpent-tails coiled around its towering physique. As horrifying as the visage was, Ailish recognized the being as Alf, one of the four Kings of Hell, and tapmaster of the mead hall. Its giant mouth opened to speak, revealing dozens of needle-like teeth lined together.
"You brought a questing soul to these halls..." A gravelly baritone rang through the mead hall. "But this does not pay your dues... I wonder how you both will taste."

With those words a massive hand as big as the room grasped for the two.

Aen grabbed Ailish and pulled her out of the way of the dark king's hand. He didn't know how useful her magic would be against this monster, and she seemed a little too shook up as it was. However, she's all he had in this, and she hadn't failed him before. He decided to trust her. "Ailish, you seem to know this guy. A weakness, a battle plan, anything you can think of would be appreciated." Without waiting, he dashed into battle. Even though it had felt like an eternity since his last battle, he barely felt rested. The realm seemed to have that kind of effect. It was noticeable. His attacks barely seemed to matter, when they connected, and his reflexes were slow. He was barely able to avoid those huge hands, and the blows he did take took their toll. Aen cursed. His blade might as well have been dull for all the good it was doing him. Ailish was trying her best too, but it wasn't enough. None of it was enough. But it had to be. They hadn't come this far just to fail now. "Ailish! I'm putting myself into your hands here? How can I kill this bastard?!"

Ailish shook her head, her eyes betraying how exhausted and beaten she was. "I'm not sure you can. He's tainted, covered in the stuff except for his... eyes." Her eyes suddenly brightened with the realization of a plan. "His eyes, Aen! Strike at his eyes! It's the only place he's not protected!"

Aen nodded grimly. Getting that close to him would be dangerous on its own, but if Ailish was wrong about Alf's weakness, then chances are he wouldn't survive. It didn't matter. He'd sworn himself to her cause, and if she thought this was the way to victory then he would follow her orders until they'd won. Or he died. Aen grinned widely. This is what he'd signed up for after all. He charged Alf, determined to get to the end of the battle, one way or the other. As he ran, slashed, and evaded his way to his target, he could feel himself growing... stronger. His sword was charging him with power, filling him with it. Rather than feeling weaker than he ever had, he felt better than ever. Brimming with energy. Dodging became easier, his attacks seemed to stick, and the gap between him and Alf grew smaller and smaller. Before he knew it he was upon him, and his sword was sliding like warm butter through one of Alf's eyes. The tainted king screamed with rage, pain, and terror. It was silenced as Aen's sword slipped through his other, a blow filled with all of the energy raging through his weapon.

It was over. The sword depleted and his own body drained once more, Aen limped back to Ailish, but his eyes were alight. He had fought. He had won. He lived to fight another day. This is what he was born for, and now it was what he lived for.

As the excitement died down, there came the time to search. It wasn't long before the black Honey was found. Alf stirred slightly, but he was blind and beaten. Still, Aen tensed. Perhaps he had some final all-out attack to take the two deities down with him. But no, Alf simply opened his mouth to speak.

"This is all your fault!!" In his last words, Alf cursed the two of them, though Ailish was sure he directed it to her.

*.*.*

image

Passing the veil she felt a force assault her with the pain of a thousand needles; her face and body felt like they were melting and reforming. There was no need or desire to change, yet that was happening in the eternity it took to return to the Mourning garden. The feeling of gloom still hung in the air, yet it felt like sweet sorrow to her dulled senses. Instinctively, a bony finger dipped into the pot of Honey, wrestling with her own memories of the strength, pleasure, and pain it brought. As strange as she felt, Ailish was still in there; she still wanted the heavens restored, and her kin to return home. But how will they see me.

Zareth 30 , 2

Ailish? - 2, 30

For as nice the red and white robes felt against her malformed body, travel was immensely difficult in this new form; there was no sense of coordination or finesse with any step. The Garden's uneven footing was not helping movement either. Yet each stumble and trip was still progress to her destination:

Eld. She had wanted to keep from the lands of mortals out of respect for her fellow gods, but only within that realm could she find a way to recover from her change - no, rather relearn her body. The goddess remembered the powers faith carried, how it was crystallized into bricks and mortar, fermented into the nectar of gods, and more importantly distilled into healing waters. The process to create such a tincture could take a great amount of time, and she could not move until then. Better pick a place with a nice view.

She settled lying on the branch of a large tree with a view of the green horizon; despite its obvious age and stagnancy it was remarkably stable and all around her the greenery felt like a cloister, showing her the outside's splendor yet keeping her safe within. Yet there was this sense of burden she felt here, like something didn't want her here; under her palms she felt something stir. A thought occurred: What if the tree was sentient?

Tell me about yourself...

Her eyes turned gold as years of the tree played out. There was a task; to guard its kinfolk the green - no his; the tree was specific with that. He served his purpose faithfully, but as time marched on he felt the trees either dying or becoming more like himself. Fear and uncertainty crept in on whether or not he was killing his own kin, and in response pulled back all its roots to avoid hurting them; he was supposed to guard nature with his brothers not usurp its splendor. Yet in doing so he became silent to the others; she could feel the loneliness in his heart as its memories were plagued with empty longing. Then some spindly creature was straining his old branches. Oh, wait...

Do you not think you had wanted companionship before your task. A dull pain flashed in the goddess in one second; something told her that he scoffed at that suggestion.

Why is that hard to believe? You have these feelings now, do you not think you have a right to them? Do you not think they were always there and you just forgot? Her heart grew gold as the words left her mind; the feeling of nothingness and rigidity were reinforced in these memories. You still believe you were created...

But why do you think that? Look further beyond your memories. Follow where your heart takes you inside. Grasp the life you used to live.


Please disregard.

Eldarwen - 23, 1

She was finished with the sculptures, and they had an eerie atmosphere about them, where they stood and tried to break free to become part of this planet. Violent and ferocious, she almost feared for the lives of her daughters, but then she remembered the great gift Zareth had given them. They didn't need to fear these creatures, they would fear her daughters. It was a nice thought, as she moved her hand along the jaw of one of the largest. It had such large and sharp teeths.

Eldarwen saw another god descend on her planet, and she asked herself why. Did they not understand that this was her domain? She decided to find the new arrival and changed into the tree, so that she blended into the forest. It took a few minutes for her to get there, but when she did she found an ent conversing with someone... She felt like she should know who it was, but all those years alone made it harder and she didn't recognize the body either. The aura reminded her of love, that feeling which she could not understand.

"Ailish?" She spoke and walked towards the ent she was sitting in. Eldarwen touched the ent, not sure what the godess was trying to do, but helped her anyway. Sure, the last time she had helped her had ended with the mourning garden and the seven, but she had gotten a son out of it and an ally which she cherished.

"What are you doing here?" Well, it was better that she was here than in the metropolis. Wait, why did she care about what they thought? She was their godess, able to end them all if she so chose to. She was not their queen. It could even be a mistake to let them influence her too much, as Sonitus was a proof of. Mother.

Ailish certainly looked different, even if she still had the same aura, maybe it was a little different as well.

"Do you want to see my metropolis?" She realized it would be bragging, but she'd rather walk the streets than go back to Sonitus at the castle. The demigod both frightened and enamoured parts of her. There was something wrong with a lover calling their loved one mother, but at the same time the queen had all those memories with her. She needed to think of a way to handle her. Even if she was just like the hunter, her son, her background made them very unlike each other.

Aen 26,2

After helping craft a sword for his new friend and promising a chance to test the new blade against his own, Aen bid Zareth farewell. There was a lot for him to think about, and he felt being alone was what he needed right now. There were so many thoughts going through his head. He had experienced so much in his short time amongst others. His journey with Ailish, those creatures and Alf... and afterwards. Zareth, his son, his realm, and the planet of his friend. Everything was much vaster than the darkness he was born in. It was exciting. It was terrifying. And there was an ache deep inside of him as well. For a time it was filled, with the making and the branding of the sword. But now it throbbed inside of him again, annoyingly ever-present, and yet he was no closer to knowing how to be rid of it. His mind kept returning to Carnivox. To fight such a fierce opponent, or better, beside one, would be a joy. And perhaps mortals should know this joy too. And maybe... well, that was for later. After the first step was done. And now he knew what to do.

There was a planet nearby. It would surely prove suitable for what he had in mind. He pictured it in his mind. Predatory. Fierce. Noble. A hunter of earth and sky. A king of beasts, and to men... a curse and blessing. Dragons. He gifted upon them his combat prowess, though much more feral than his own. And each dragon would be born with a rune on the back of it's neck, it's true name, protected and hidden by scales. In this way they would be like him, and would come to serve a purpose. But that too would come later.

Ailish? - 2, 30

She was unsure if the tree had listened or not; it grew uncomfortably quiet after her words.

"Ailish?"

A tentative hand reached into the jar of Honey in reaction. It was meant to open the gods' minds, but the jar had become the focus for normalcy for her. Her gaze left the tree, only to find the plant goddess. She hoped that her arrival went silent, but there was no such luck. For now it seemed that Eldwaren was mimicking its action, yet her expression was neutral. Was the tree being silent to her as well?

She could speak, but she was not sure if she was the same. She had no answer.

"What are you doing here?"

"Finding a place to recover. I can barely move..." She responded; her voice a hissing rasp instead of the soothing lilt she had. She had clumsily lifted her arm out of the jar to show, struggling to make sure it didn't fall out of her grip; the black treacle stuck tightly to her fingers "The heavens have changed me..." She said acknowledging, Eldwaren's appraising gaze.

"Do you want to see my metropolis?"

Why would she ask that? She tilted her head slightly at that question. Her feet touched the branch's surface, but her own body could get back up. "You may need to help get me back on my feet for that."

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