Melanthios 24AP, 1MP
Melanthios' magic began to shape orbs, that would transform into his race when a voice broke his concentration. "Do you need any help?" Melanthios turned around to see Vantric. "There is no need, brother. The help you gave me all those years ago still works, but I thank you for the offer." Melanthios smiled as he turned back around. Akladai looked at Vantric, he stepped forward and extended his hand "Hello Vantric, my name is Akladai. Thank you for helping Melanthios create me." Melanthios was happy to see that the manners he had taught his son were being used correctly.
Melanthios finished his spell and looked at the magical orbs floating in mid air. Flesh and bones began to form around them and about 300 Dues Filli appeared. All of them looked slightly different while also very much alike. Melanthios looked at his creatures and approached them. He flew into the air, attracting the attention of the Dues Filli. "Greeting my children," he said, opening his arms. The Dues Filli looked at him with a mixture of surprise, fear and curiosity.
"My name is Melanthios, and I am the one who created you. But I was not alone, there were other gods who helped make you. But how about instead of telling you, I show you?" Melanthios pointed at the Dues Filli, and 300 purple spirits appeared besides him. They flew towards the Dues Filli. They all contained knowledge, Knowledge of the world, their gods and also more specific knowledge on a certain profession. It would be the gift of knowledge, and they would use it to walk the path he had chosen for them.
Eldarwen 23, 1
The heaven had changed her? Clearly for the worse, which made her think of the opposite of what heaven was supposed to mean. She was holding something, which she seemed to think of as important.
"You may need to help get me back on my feet for that."
Eldarwen touched the tree again, it was an older ent. "Oh, there's no need for that." She poured some of her own energy into the ent, but not forever, it wouldn't be rejuvenated. "Come on." The ent began to move, and Eldarwen changed back to the queen. The Ekiruru had met ents before, they even walked into the metropolis from time to time. After all, the whole city was still living trees. They may not even notice the figure on one of the branches high up in the ent, because of its foliage.
The queen hoped she wouldn't have to explain Ailish as well, since it would be harder. The godess didn't care what the mortals thought.
They walked the forest and passed through one of the large gates in the southern wall, and entered the streets of Ayamine. The change between forest and metropolis was hard to notice at first. The streets were the best sign that they were no longer outside of the wall, and the houses, even if they looked like short and fat trees. They had wooden walls and foliage as roof.
The queen and the ent did attract some attention by the Ekiruru and the water elementals walking the streets, but not much more than a glance and respectful bow.
"I have been so absored in its creation that I nearly forgot all of you." Both of them kind of wished she had. "What happened to you?" She turned, and headed in the direction of the school district, which was still far away from her palace. Most houses were small in this part of the metropolis, but higher buildings could be seen on the horizon and there was the tunnels below too. They crossed path with a street brawl, which stopped as the queen went through, only to continue afterwards.
"Did you risk your life for that jar?" She was curious about it, maybe the others had started creating powerful items and left her behind.
M'endaxius - 20/30 AP, 1/2 MP
The Aask ascended into the Verr, and it was a triumph. With that done, there was only one thing left to do. But there was the matter of Vantric's message to deal with. It spoke of laying plans and whatnot, but why start before all the pieces were placed on the board? M'endar sighed. But that was part and parcel of having allies, even those as untrustworthy as Vantric. Nevertheless, it was silly, meeting in the open like this. Unless... The idea came in a flash. What better way to use the gem? What better way to combine its actions? Yes... M'endar could have its cake and eat it, a perfect plan. All that mattered now was implementing it.
With a thought, M'endar now stood on the dark ground of Oculus Obscuritatis. It was strange, seeing a part of yourself like this, but no matter. It walked towards the crater that greeted Evalon every night and placed the gem inside it. M'endar could see strange happenings on the planet from here, but no matter. The few Verr on Oculus Obscuritatis just stood there with a look of both awe and fear, some Prophets even waiting with fervent anticipation for what the Deceiver was about to do. M'endar just ignored them and focused on the task ahead. Oculus Obscuritatis was meant to be a sanctuary for it and its race. Best to be hidden from others then.
It sent a message to Ventric and Melanthios. "Here is a place where we can met in secret, without the fear of unwanted watchers."
A dark light shone through the gem, creating a thick field of darkness. A shroud where prying eyes would be blinded, a cover of darkness for deceit...
Ailish? - 2, 30
She felt the tree rumble beneath her as she saw the green landscape change to something far more developed yet not. The cacophony of people echoed in her ears - or where they're supposed to be. Trees teemed with life, and she could swear she saw glowing lights somewhere in the midst. Despite the world being in Purgatory she was impressed by the progress the plant goddess imparted.
"Did you risk your life for that jar?"
She had to pause in thought, gazing instead at the Honey of Sin that was caked on her fingers. Then her gaze returned to the jar full of it. She thought about the heavens, the strangers, and Purgatory, but not once did she think about how she risked her existence beyond the veil, or Aen's. "I guess I did." The words came out slowly and with thought.
Her thoughts then turned to her motives for going there. She was frustrated that the first stranger wanted nothing to do with the others, and felt her ensorceling over the second not working as she hoped; she sought to fuse the seven back into the three she remembered, yet these hopes were crumbling as her fellow gods had other plans in mind. They did not see their original forms, did not grasp their true strengths and meanings; the others were too satisfied with how they saw the two to truly see what they were. Disease was the Fruit-bearer; Hatred and Despair used to be the consort of the Premier; Darkness, Hunger, and Madness were faces of the one who held her heart; and Horror was the key to restoring them all.
Ailish wanted them all to understand, and in this flurry sought something to do just that. But thinking about it after all that transpired, she was at a loss with what to do. Would she tempt the two into joining with the Honey? Would they have overcome the lingering change? Would they have truly enacted Ailish's intentions if they became stronger, or would their neutral faces turn into scornful glares?
A tear fell into the black Honey and was sucked into the miniature darkness. Out of the many things in the realm, those two were the only things left that were old friends. And they both seemed to have moved on without a single look back, while a selfish tinge knotted in her stomach.
"I don't know why I sought this now." She said her grip on the jar tightening as the words left her. "Five of them are still hidden, and the other two refused their old selves."
Vantric: 24, 2
Melanthios seemed to have everything in hand. The other god took a moment to briefly respond to him, insisting that everything was under control. That was good. But what took more of his attention was the other figure, Akladai. Vantric looked the creature over for a moment. In many of its aspects, it resembled its creator, however, he could feel his own power distinctly emanating from within the demigod as he took its hand. "It was no problem at all." Vantric said. He took a step back from Akladai watched the ritual as it neared completion. Arcane energies mixed and melded in the air around them, feeding the birth of a new race. Vantric smiled, more pieces had arrived on the board.
"Nice apprentice." He said, after Melanthios finished his speech. "The speech was a nice touch, though could have used a bit more force to it. Nonetheless, I'm glad I was here, this is certainly a momentous day." Vantric flicked his eyes to Akladai for a moment. He would need an apprentice of his own soon. A protege, who could carry out his work. He knew that a mortal existed within the Lainir Empire, one who could be worthy of the gift he would bestow, but that would need to wait. For the moment, he had his own plans to see to.
"Here is a place where we can meet in secret, without the fear of unwanted watchers." The familiar echo of M'endar's voice whispered into his mind. A secret meeting place? Interesting. Of course M'endar would craft a place hidden away from the rest of existence. It surprised him that the deceptive god would share such a secret with them, allies though they were. Vantric couldn't help but be somewhat suspicious of this new development, but it quickly passed. M'endar wanted Seith gone, perhaps more than any of them. He could be counted on so long as his brother remained a problem to be dealt with.
"It seems we have a meeting to attend to." Vantric commented. "Before we go, there is one thing I would like to see done." He held out his hand and a dark orb slowly coalesced in the air above it. He would need certain information to begin working on the next step in the lainir's destiny. On the surface of the orb, the world of Evalon began to form, a distant, discolored image. "Show me." He whispered, "Show me, the dwarves."
Zareth 24 , 2
The black blade reflected the night sky over the mourning garden perfectly. The blade had come out perfectly, a pity Aen had not been able to stay and see how his hard work had come out. He would have to think of a name for it Zareth thought to himself.
The mourning garden was silent. It always was. This place had been so wonderful upon its creation, but before him loomed the arched gate that had been the garden's doom. Nothing gold can stay. The death god thought bitterly to himself. Still he couldn't feel too badly about that day it had given him a child of his own to cherish. But there were others who had paid a higher price that day, something he was determined to put right.
"You don't have to do this." Carnivox had been standing by his side in tense silence.
"No, I do." Said Zareth, turning the midnight blade over in his hands. Midnight, that was a good name for a sword. " we have unfinished business on the other side of this veil. It's you who doesn't have to do this Car."
"You'll never find what you're looking for without me." He was quieter than usual. The Hunter clearly felt uneasy about this. Zareth had spent the last few days training with the greatest warriors he could find in Evermoor. He had learned what he could of both human and Ekiruru swordplay, but he couldn't worry about himself. He had never asked Carnivox to follow him into the hell gate but his son had found him in the garden and forced the information out of him. He was loathe to make Car go back to the hell he had been born in but the wolf headed demigod refused to leave him. Finally the moment arrived and it was time for him to face whatever awaited him.
"Are you ready for this?"
"As ready as I'll ever be. I've waited too long already. There's only one thing I ask of you Car." Zareth sighed, holding the hunter close to him.
"Forgive me." And in a second Carnivox had burst into a cloud of leaves, flying away on a supernatural wind, taking him all the way to Eld. Zareth was determined to never put his son through the misery he had faced in the void again.
He sent out a message across the cosmos. "Melanthios, I'm going to be away for a while. Keep an eye on Evermoor my brother. It looks after itself for the most part just make sure no one living wanders in by mistake."
Then another. "Eldarwen, I'm sorry I can't explain but Carnivox is going to be angry with me for a while. Look after our son and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. Please."
Finally he stepped through the gate, into the void and beyond the reach of all the other gods.
Somewhere on Eld a cloud of leaves swarmed around Eldarwen and took the form of an irate Carnivox, howling with fury right next to her. "Son of a-! What does he think he's doing?!"
Eldarwen 23, 1
They were almost at the school district now, where she had an idea that Ailish could help with. She hadn't asked her about it yet though, but hoped that she would not object.
"I don't know why I sought this now. Five of them are still hidden, and the other two refused their old selves."
Eldarwen kept leading the ent through the streets, Ailish had fallen silent for a while and that was the first thing she said when she spoke again.
"Which five are you talking about?" It was hard to follow with what Ailish said half of the time, but Eldarwen believed her to be harmless. Well, compared to some of them which she were suspicious of. The only thing she had done was bring seven demons to the universe. Oh, that might be it, but it had still been done openly and not behind her back. It was the knife in the dark she feared, not the fool playing with fire.
"Eldarwen, I'm sorry I can't explain but Carnivox is going to be angry with me for a while. Look after our son and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. Please."
Zareth's voice broke into her peaceful reality. "No, please don.." She hadn't finished the sentence before Carnivox appeared next to her in a cloud of leaves, howling out his anger.
He calmed down enough to speak.
"Son of a-! What does he think he's doing?!"
Maybe she should be watchful of the fool playing with fire, considering everything. The Ekiruru in the street backed off, some even scattered and ran off. They feared Carnivox, but the braver would die for their queen if they thought she was in danger. Eldarwen was about to ask what Zareth actually was doing, when another howl just like the first one could be heard. She looked at Carnivox, but even he was searching for the source. A third howl echoed through the streets, but closer this time.
"It is I, the great Sonitunes." They both turned to look at the character that appeared on one of the roofs. Her daughter held a banjo in her arms and played a few notes with her head held high.
"Rawr." Sonitus said.
It wasn't the fourth howl today, even if she would have prefered it if it had been. Eldarwen felt surrounded by these fools which she thought harmless. Carnivox was the only sane ally she had for the moment.
"Die beast, die!" Her daughter jumped from the roof of the building, with the banjo above her head and aimed for Carnivox. He moved out of her way, and she smashed the instrument in pieces against the hard grassy street. Carnivox went for Sonitus, and wrestled her to the ground. His hands had a tight grip around her throat.
"Do not kill her, or I will end you." Eldarwen stated coldly.
Carnivox knew she was serious, and that he was no match for the treemother. He loosened his grip around her throat.
"Nice to meet you, brother."
Why did she have to attack him if she knew who he was? Probably because of some false sense of chivalry, to protect her mother which didn't need protection from her own son.
"Brother...?" Carnivox had gone from angry to confused, so Sonitus had at least prevented him from doing serious damage to any buildings or Ekiruru. Eldarwen didn't think this had been her plan, rather it had been a fluke.
Roe - 30, 2
The two children sat in an oren tree, Roe stretched out along a bow and Fallen Petal sitting upright further along, staring into the distance. The comfortable silence of a lazy afternoon had long since settled over the pair.
"My daddy was talking about the Xin tribe again today," Petal suddenly said aloud, a note of worry audible in her voice, "he says they are going to fight us and there's going to be a big battle soon and there's nothing we can do about it."
Roe sighed, this was all Petal had been talking about for the last couple of weeks and he was bored of the subject. He changed into a small fox and hopped over into his friend's lap so she could stroke him, it was a sure way to calm her down. The young god thought while he comforted her and decided that a bold new course of action would be needed to take her mind off the Wan tribe's troubles. He jumped off her lap and took on his child form again.
"Say Pets..." Roe started slowly, pausing for effect, "You want to go visit... another world?"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Petal shouted, her face instantly changing as she forgot her earlier woes, "Really... for real this time?"
"Uh huh," he replied seriously, "We've explored Evalon lots of times and you haven't gotten into trouble for ages. I think you're old enough now. Where do you want to go?"
"Um...maybe to see the flower people, or the angels... oh, I'm not sure which. What do you think?"
"The angels are best for a first time," Roe hastily added before she could say anything else, he'd never had the heart to tell Petal that the "flower people" of Eld weren't quite as friendly as she imagined.
"Yay, thanks Roe!" she replied and hugged him awkwardly, her one eye shining up at him in delight. After a moment he managed to wriggle out of her embrace and offered his friend a hand. She took it and a moment later the two children vanished, leaving the clearing suddenly silent again.
Far away from Evalon, the planet of Coelus hung alone in the heavens, sparkling like an enormous gem in the emptiness of the void. It's inhabitants the Grigori were busy adjusting themselves to their new world, filling cities carved into it's diamond surface by a divine hand. They were far too busy to notice a pair of diminutive brown creatures who materialised behind a library and quickly scurried into the shadows, glancing behind them as they ran.
"Okay?" Roe asked Petal. She nodded. "Good, now you remember what I told you?" he continued, "If Seith or the angels finds us here they're going to be really mad at us so you've got to do everything I say and stay near me all the time. Got it?"
"Yes Captain!" Petal enthused, peering excitedly out at the Grigori in the distance. "Oh, they're so pretty..." she breathed, "what are we going to do to them?"
"Watch," Roe replied with a grin. With a wave of his finger he drew a line from the shade they were hiding under to the library wall opposite. Even to the children it was barely visible and for the Grigori who walked with their heads high in the air, it was nigh on impossible to see. The pair waited with bated breath until an angel walked out of the library, laden with dusty tomes. Petal cooed at the sight of the being's wings up close and crawled a little closer, but she kept close to Roe as he'd said. The Grigori's feet snagged on Roe's line and he came tumbling down with a cry. Roe snapped his fingers to make the line disappear and then he and Petal rolled around in silent laughter as the angel tried to find what had tripped him and eventually left with a huffy demeanour.
"That... that was so funny!" Petal whispered, wiping away tears of joy, "He just... he just fell and dropped everything and landed on his face! Do it again!"
"Just wait," Roe said back, his grin widening, "that's just the beginning. I know a much better trick we can play..."
Ailish? 2, 30
The silence had been broken as some gale of leaves blustered into the tree. Then a scuffle that thankfully left the canopy, otherwise she would've fallen. Yet in a tiny instant, she saw something familiar; the wolf had a different face it was wearing, a face she recognized.
"No" Her words left her, but not the voice. Eyes grew wide at the sight, the ferocity and degree of emotion. What have they done to you?
Eldarwen 23, 1
"Well, yes." She said to ease his confusion and the tension. "I guess that would be correct."
Carnivox kept his hands around her throat, even if they had the same creators, which might technically make them siblings or something resembling it, he didn't feel any remorse at the thought of killing her. She still looked the same as the Ekiruru, though slightly taller and able to howl like him.
"I'm not that into asphyxiation as a form of foreplay, by the way." The green woman beneath him said, without a trace of it being a joke.
Sonitus didn't know if she should attempt to kill her brother or love him. He was the creation of the god whose head she wanted to see on a pike, but so was she. For now, she would wait and see. Maybe he could be convinced to help murder their father, or maybe he'd be in the way.
Carnivox got up on his feet, more disturbed by the woman and her gropy hands than angry at her. Zareth was the one he should be angry with. He growled, and walked over to his mother.
"He forced me to intrude upon your metropolis. I know the agreement."
Eldarwen had allowed him to stay on her planet, and she even knew that he had some sort of den and hunting ground not that far from the city. Ekiruru were told about it, and the bravest entered it to test themselves. Few ever returned, those who did were rarely the same again. He was to stay out of the city if he wanted to stay on the planet.
"The queen can overlook it this once, as she knows it was Zareth's doing." She spoke loudly, so that the Ekiruru that were observing them saw her treat the hunter like he was below her in status. The godess on the other hand, glared at him and wanted to throw him out of the city. She couldn't really change avatar in front of so many mortals without revealing herself though. "Please take the other form." Eldarwen whispered through her teeth to him, and made a discreet gesture towards Ailish in the tree.
He thought he had smelt something, but not that it had been another god. Carnivox transformed his wolf head into that of an elf.
Sonitus had summoned another banjo, and laid on her back playing it, while singing about how the queen had calmed the mighty hunter. Every now and then she stopped, went back and played the same part again but with different lyrics.
Ailish? - 2, 30
The fighting had died down at last; people below her seemed to be getting back to their lives, and the two demigods were in separate corners. To her surprise the one that used to be a wolf headed to the tree. He was staring right at her and instinctively a hand dipped into the honey. Don't taste it. Don't taste it.
"I had hoped to find you first." Her rasp a whisper. "You are restored, but not yet whole." She shook her head, trying to find a different topic.
"Do you remember the other six? How you were torn from your real self before you changed?" She hoped against hope that the demigod would remember.
Roe - 28, 2
As Niv reached the highest point in the sky above one of Coelus' largest diamond temples, the sunlight broke through the jewel that held it's roof together and spread across the floor like a rainbow carpet. Around the temple were dotted statues of honoured angels and at the head was an enormous statue of Seith himself. A group of religiously-minded Grigori gathered in the centre and knelt in worship of their creator, head's bowed piously. None noticed Roe and Petal, sitting high up on a ledge carved into the gem walls and peering over the worshippers below.
"What are you going to do?" Petal asked, giving Roe a nudge.
"Shhhh!" he whispered back, "the angels will hear you. Watch this!"
Roe closed his eyes and moved his fingers as if he was holding a puppet. To Petal's astonishment, the temple's statues began to creak into life, shaking dust off their sparkling heads and flexing their limbs. Most of the Grigori either jumped up or collapsed onto the floor in shock, staring in horror at the show around them. Most eyes were fixed upon the statue of Seith, who slowly stood up and opened it's diamond mouth.
"MY NAME IS SEITH! YOU SHALL OBEY MY DIVINE WILL!"
The storyteller threw a couple more logs onto the dwindling fire, it would be a long night. He continued the tale.
"It was not far into the Second Age that the age of the giant beasts began. In two seperate events, Eldarwen created dinosaurs upon Eld and Aen made the first dragons on Evalon, both suceeding in their goal. In time both groups of creatures would be used by some mortals for transport.
It was also a time of inspiration, Ailish successfully inspired an Ent into a new way of thinking and Melanthios inspired three hundred Dues Filli with great knowledge, letting them discover many secrets about the universe.
Roe took his mortal friend Fallen Petal, younger than even some of you, to the planet Coelus and together they played tricks on the Grigoli, bringing statues to life to impersonate the god Seith. The real Seith wasn't sitting idle either, from one of his own Grigori he made a new demigod to join the fast growing ranks of those beings. Zareth and Aen were busy too, they forged a sword fit for the King of Evermoor, and which might well help defend the realm of the dead in future ages to come."
He paused, coughing as the wind direction changed and blew smoke into his face. He waited until the smoke passed before continuing.
"Not all of the god's actions were successful however. M'endar attempted to enchant Evalon, Oculus Obscuritatis and all that lay in-between from scrying, however it seems the luck of the universe was against the god that day as the range of the ebony gem's deception range in the end only covered Oculus and not the planet it orbited. Similarily, Vantric's aim to see the dwarves by scrying failed, producing only a blurred image which was little use for seeing anything more than the most basic outline of Loth Ringard.
All of these paled though in comparison to the act which would define this epoch. None of the gods had seen Maskelyne for quite a while, and eventually the terrible truth became clear. The magician god had been coming increasingly obsessed with his new bride, Madness, and the more time he spent with her, the more his grip on reality became tenuous. Finally he chose to bind himself eternally to her as one, leaving him forever more trapped and powerless in his dove flock along with her. A true tale of love eh?"
Ailish was interested in the hunter, which came as no surprise, as she had been the one to release the seven upon the universe. Eldarwen had a use of her son now, and would not let him escape or leave the city until she had gotten what she wanted out of Ailish's timely appearance on her planet. Before he could answer her, Eldarwen spoke up and a root emerged from the ground to entagle one of his feet.
"Oh, you have your eyes on my son? I believe his memory might be jogged, if you help me." Screw Zareth, if Ailish wanted their son she could have him. They were both angry with the death god and perhaps this would serve as a good enough revenge. The hunter had no reason to object much, she didn't think he would suffer from it. "There's someone I want you to meet."
Sonitus had been created out of love. It could have been either a mistake or a win. Only time would tell, but she did know of an individual who deserved to ascend after what she had done for the metropolis. She was still alive too, unless that had changed suddenly and without her knowledge.
Eldarwen dragged the hunter after her and the ent followed, as they entered the school district.
Nothing will be like before. Fortunately, I'm crazy.
She was no one special, her birth had gone unnoticed as they were so many being pulled from the trees each week. The queen built a continental sized metropolis, but she didn't have the inhabitants to fill it with. There were already millions living on the planet, but Ayamine could house more and would in due time.
Her name was given to her, Eis, and she became one with her sisters in the circle of life, but she always wanted to break free and become greater than them. Eis was not brutal and thought the fighting should be kept to the arena or their nonexistent enemies. Yet she saw infighting wherever she went, and ended up getting beaten more than once.
As she grew older, she decided to join the daughters of nature as they were the least inclined to beating the life out of each other. Eis spent a couple of boring years with them and grew to fear it was all she would do before Zareth came to claim her.
A fateful day, she found herself outnumbered by hostile Ekiruru. Eis part of the story was that she had done nothing to aggravate them all, but the truth was that her arrogance had been the cause of every one of her previous beatings. It was supposed to be the last, they had no intention of letting her live.
She knew the odds were against her, and that the chance of aid was slim, but she wouldn't go down without a fight. Unfortunately she exhausted her mana pool and crossed the line between sane and the nightmare the wildlings had to face daily. Her assaulters left her alive, thinking that her fate was worse than death.
Eis became one of the wildlings, the city changed from a bright and fairly happy place to the black city where everything was turned upside down. The beatings she took for doing something wrong were now pleasurable. The world the wildlings faced daily was unknown to the others. They had no idea what it was like, just that they were insane.
She wanted to feel the rush of magic through her again, but every attempt at using her powers were excruciatingly painful. She longed for the rush she had felt when she crossed the line, yet the pain was always there. With the years she began appreciating the pain she found in channeling magic, as it was the only thing that remained the same to her.
Eis used it over and over, torturing herself and finding some sick pleasure in doing so. Eventually she managed to cross the line again, from wildling to something else. The black city and planet was gone when she woke, but she could still see black figures from time to time. Just out of her line of sight, taunting her.
The purple of her body subsided for a pure white, even if some markings remained on her. She were nowhere near Ayamine, which made the black city she had seen even more confusing. The trek back to her home took a couple of weeks, and when she arrived no one knew who she was or why she looked so different. They couldn't change the colour of their skin like she had.
Eis was taken to the school and studied, after proving that she was indeed an Ekiruru. The knowledge she had about the wildlings proved valuable, and she got to stay to provide information about her experiences. It was how they learned what the wildlings really were. She never got over the black city, and the figures followed her everywhere, just out of her line of sight. Eis had vivid flashbacks to what she assumed was the black city, though she had no memories of what she saw.
Her flashbacks and her memories made her take up writing, involuntarily, as she lost conciousness for long periods of time and when she woke up she had written down strange happenings.
Eldarwen, the hunter and Ailish were waiting outside the white one's residence. Sonitus could be heard nearby, playing her banjo and talking with an audience of students. The door opened, and Eis saw her queen standing outside with an ent and the hunter. He didn't scare her, he was but a puppy compared to what she had to face in her own writing.
"Ah, this is the white one. One of the few deserving of ascendance in this age." The queen said.
Yes, they had taken to calling her that, though it was odd, as she was black through and through. It was the colour of her skin that made her white.
"Why, she may command me: I serve her, she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal capacity. There is no obstruction in this." Eis bowed her head, but kept her hand on the door so she could close it fast should they turn into something else.
Eldarwen smiled, it was more respect than Sonitus showed. Though Eleonara had always been very respectful and desirable in life, her ascending had been tainted by her new lust.
"Aid me Ailish, and Carnivox will talk with you."
He wasn't sure if he should hate his father or his mother more. Why did she have to tie him to the ground? This was mostly Zareth's fault, as he wouldn't have entered the city and been forced to act as payment for what his mother wanted to achieve otherwise.
Eldarwen used her powers discreetly this time, and no one payed attention to them anyway. Sonitus had the eyes of those in the street.
Melanthios 24AP, 1MP
Melanthios saw his spirits going inside the Dues Filli. He smiled, pleased with what he had done. He then heard a message from M'endar "Here is a place where we can met in secret, without the fear of unwanted watchers." Melanthios smiled, if M'endar said that, it meant that he had made sure no one could see them there. Akladai was looking at Vantric who said "It was no problem at all." Vantric then turned to Melanthios "Nice apprentice. The speech was a nice touch, though could have used a bit more force to it. Nonetheless, I'm glad I was here, this is certainly a momentous day." Melanthios nodded. "Our races differ Vantric, my race is loyal to their god without displays of power. All they want is knowledge, and they know I can give them more knowledge than they can learn in a lifetime. But I thank you for being here, and this was certainly a momentous day." Akladai joined his father, he looked at the Dues Filli.
Vantric then said "It seems we have a meeting to attend to. Before we go, there is one thing I would like to see done." Vantric held out his hands and a dark orb appeared. He then whispered "Show me. Show me, the dwarves." Melanthios looked into the orb, he could only make out a blurry picture though. Melanthios turned around to the Dues Filli, they were all looking around grinning, "You now posses a lot of knowledge, but this is not even 0.1% of the knowledge I can offer you. If you desire more knowledge then follow my son, Akladai the prophet!" And with that said Melanthios turned around and walked away.
He hugged Akladai and whispered. "Good luck my son, I will be watching your progress." Akladai smiled as he whispered "And, as said before, I will make you proud, father." Both men released the hug. Akladai walked forward and lifted his staff, "Everyone follow me, our god has already given us a place to live." Akladai walked towards the nearest village, it would be a humble beginning. But soon they would populate the entire world.
Melanthios smiled as he looked at Vantric, when suddenly he heard another voice. "Melanthios, I'm going to be away for a while. Keep an eye on Evermoor my brother. It looks after itself for the most part just make sure no one living wanders in by mistake." Melanthios smiled once more, he sent a message back to his brother. "Of course, brother. I will keep a watchful eye on your home, and I am honored that you ask me to guard it." Melanthios had also felt the creation of a very interesting race earlier. He focused and send a small part of his consciousness away. He wanted to speak to the person who made the mechanical race.
Melanthios looked around once more. "I think it is about time to go Vantric, let's meet up with M'endar." Melanthios teleported himself to M'ednar. He looked at M'endar and asked "How are things going with you M'endar?"
M'endaxius - 20/30 AP, 1/2 MP
Melanthios appeared, followed by a simple piece of small talk. Well, there was one, where was the other? Didn't seem like the man on the make to be late for meetings, but circumstances may have kept him from arriving. And from that, there was a little opportunity. A little opportunity to talk to Melanthios alone. After all, the enchantment took care of all those eyes that would to encroach and its territory, not to mention that the dark light emitted from the ebony gem was a thing of great beauty to say the least that only added to the beauty of Oculus Obscuritatis. The range of it left a lot to be desired, but its moon was safe from the srcying of others. And that was all it needed.
"Fine, fine," M'endar said with a smile. "Tell me: what you make of the current situation as it is."
Best to continue the small talk until the other arrived. There was a slight furrow in its brow as it frowned for a slight second. M'endar had eternity, but there was all this waiting. Waiting for the pieces to fall into place. Such could even test a god's patience. It paced around the room for a while, watching the influx of starwhale and Verr go back and forth, to the moon and back. It was a strange custom, but there was much about the race that M'endar didn't understand. This rigid caste system of theirs... Who on Evalon came up with that? Surely things would have to change. Even though every Verr had its place in society, they were a people divided by arbitrary lines. But not now. Just more waiting for now...
Vantric: 24, 2
Useless. Useless. Something was interfering with his powers. The orb couldn't show him anything better than a vague, blurry image of a mountain. Vantric clenched his jaw. That was...unfortunate. He let the orb dissolve away. It was irrelevant. The plan remained unchanged, he would only have to go about retrieving information in more conventional ways. He knew just enough to advance his plans.
He mentally began making a list of things to do. So many things, so little time. He needed to get to the Empire soon. The lainir would need to receive new orders, and his own plans for an apprentice would need to be realized. The other gods would need to be watched and eventualities would need to be planned for. One step at a time though, he paused and restrained himself. Everything would be taken in due course.
Melanthios embraced his protégé before staring off for a moment. Likely someone else was speaking with him. Vantric cocked his head a bit. Who? Why? All in due time, He cautioned himself. Whoever Melanthios was speaking with mattered little, provided it didn't hinder the overall plan. Still, it couldn't hurt to keep an eye on him, just in case.
"I think it is about time to go Vantric, let's meet up with M'endar." Melanthios said, as he made to depart.
"Agreed." Vantric replied, disappearing into the darkness just after Melanthios teleported away.
He reappeared in a new location, wherever it was M'endar had contacted them from. Vantric looked about until he found the hooded god. He nodded respectfully, "M'endar, it's been some time. Interesting place you have here."
M'endaxius - 20/30 AP, 1/2 MP
Before it could finish pacing a full circle and before it could get an answer, Vantric appeared out of the darkness next to the Deceiver. M'endar let a small chuckle, that god always had the worst timing. At least now all were here and none were watching. Not to mention it would be interesting to see the other god's opinion on both the Verr and Oculus Obscuritatis.
"Excuse, we seem to have our missing guest." M'endar said, turning away from Melathios to Vantirc, replying to the ambitious god's comment. "Interesting... That's one way to describe it."
M'endar conjured up some tables and chairs for its guests. Hospitality went hand in hand with these things and seeing as the meeting might to be a long thing, best to have something for the others to sit on. It did in a rather lazy fashion, with a simple swish and flop of the arm. M'endar's mood was lighten by the prospect of action.
It sat on the chair and returned the nod to the others, "Gentlemen, welcome. Now what shall we speak of?"
Zareth 24 , 2
Broken was the right word for it. Though Zareth couldn't believe that this place could ever have been described as heaven. Maybe for M'endar but they had very unique taste. The very air seemed to seep with darkness and decay. This wasn't a world any more, it was a rotting corpse. Permeating with horror and dread.
Why would Ailish make a place like this? What madness could have overtaken her?
Zareth wandered through the darkness, alone and in silence. The entire place was like a twisted version of the hallowed court that the other gods called home. The laws of science, magic and nature had been thrown out the window and replaced by twisted counterparts. Every now and then Zareth caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Strange creatures, like the ones that had first come out of the portal. They scrambled over the walls and chittered manically but for the most part they steered clear of him.
There were other things there as well. Little wisps that floated on the breeze, like the form the ghosts of Evermoor took before they remembered how to take the shapes they had in life. But like everything else here these were different. All the life had gone out of them, they didn't try to take a form or seek out living things. They just clustered together, forming lights to guide him through the darkness. One or two of them would float over to him and bump against his hand like a dog nuzzling at its owner for comfort.
They sense what I am. "I'm sorry. I promise I'll see what I can do but for now there is something else I have to do." He tried to comfort them in a little way, every time Zareth reached out to them all he heard were their tiny souls weeping and quivering in fear. Why would you do this Ailish?
This world seemed to go on forever. It resembled Evermoor in a few ways when Zareth stopped to examine it. The seemingly eternal landscape, the various aspects of creation blended together. Was Ailish another death god? There was so much he didn't know and more he probably didn't want to know.
He wandered the broken heavens for what felt like an age, his word at his side. The longer he was there the more it felt like the corruption of that world was seeping into his very being, filling him with sorry and hatred. He had to hurry.
In the blink of an eye Zareth took the form of a black winged bird and flew to the highest point he could find. He looked out over the dark wasteland. It was dotted by scenes of destruction and the light of wandering wisps. But there was one that stood out. It was a dark red flame, isolated and billowing with smoke.
He soared above it before landing near the dark pyre and taking his usual form again. He felt a little safer with midnight by his side, though he was glad to have not needed it yet. There was a lone figure at the centre of the flame. It spasmed and heaved with great, dry sobs. Its entire body creaked with each little movement. Its skin was a suit of cracked and rusty metal. Parts of it seemed to be melting under the intense heat burning at its core. Other parts were rusting away as they were drenched in boiling hot tears. It was a sorry sight. Left to live out eternity in silence and loneliness. Everything around it was scorched by the blistering heat it gave off. This was what Zareth had been looking for.
"Tsuranote..." Zareth called out tentatively.
The weeping figure turned to look at him. Whatever piece of the fire god that had once been there had been burned away. What was left was an ogre of rotten metal and burning sorrow, everything Tsuranote was not. Was that what this place did to people? This was hell!
"I'm here to take you home." The death god called out in as soothing a voice as he could muster.
If Tsuranote understood him he couldn't tell. The fire lord rounded on him and charged, lashing out with claws of burning iron. Zareth was fast enough to duck and weave around most of the onslaught and what he didn't he parried with midnight. Sparks flew out and the Broken Heavens echoed with their battle. The fire god gave out a roar that Zareth was sure they would hear back in the Hallowed Court. They fought without pause or respite, the fire god lashed out like a wounded animal; while Zareth let himself flow on the breeze slashing and stabbing with his sword whenever an opening presented itself.
There was no helping it. Tsuranote was beyond saving, there was only one peace Zareth could give him now. Their dance of destruction continued for a time until Zareth saw his chance. The mad god had left himself open and in a flash Zareth plunged Midnight deep into his opponent's chest. The beast froze in shock and pain. The broken Heavens seemed to fall silent.
"I'm sorry." Zareth said, before he twisted the blade. Tsuranote screamed and with a blinding flare of fire and light he was gone. His body broken and scattered. At the centre of the crater he left was a bright golden coloured wisp. Is this what is left of us when we die? Do gods even have souls?
Tired and beaten from the fight, Zareth picked himself up and tucked the god spark into his tunic. Slowly but surely he made his way back to the veil. Crossing back through was a strange thing. It was like being born all over again, suddenly he was a part of the world again.
He stepped through the doors of the Hall of Joy. The place seemed so cold and grey. The fire at its centre had never been lit. It was meant for the gods to enjoy together, a place where they could place all rivalries aside and come together as friends and equals... this was the first time Zareth had ever set foot in it. With Tsuranote gone it seemed all hope of a united pantheon had left with him.
Like a funeral mourner Zareth made his way to the fire pit, cradling the spark in his hands. Gently letting it drift away, the spark found its home at the centre of the hall and the communal fire was lit. A great blaze that filled the hall with light and warmth, it radiated over Zareth leaving him with a sense of homeliness and contentment. He took a seat at a table, letting out a massive sigh and sinking into his bench. He wanted so much to sit and enjoy the hall, but death's work was never done and no doubt Eldarwen would want him to take Carnivox off her hands.
Ailish? - 2, 28
She felt a raw faith seep into her, like a slow dripping. At last she had the raw material, but now came the hard part: focusing that faith into something to heal her with. The process would take an obscenely long time and she didn't have the same proficiency as the others.
Yet she still kept her gaze on the other for a reaction. He was one of the seven, and great things were in store for him. Yet whatever his thoughts were, he did not want her to know. Did he think she was crazy perhaps?
"Oh, you have your eyes on my son? I believe his memory might be jogged, if you help me."
Her focus had shifted away as Eldwaren appeared before the two. There felt a sense of disregard to the strange friend, then again some of the words confused her. Son? She must have restored him but what does he mean to her?
"What do you have in mind?"
"There's someone I want you to meet." The green goddess left and to her surprise, she felt the tree shift under her and the horizon move above her. Stranger still it followed Eldwaren to where she left. In the corner of her eyes she saw an old house, and both her and her companion had entered. A sigh left her as the thought of walking in this form came to her. Then something weird happened.
The bough she was seated under dipped, and her form began to tumble down. The wind bit at her as she fell, and she had expected a jarring stop to this experience. Somewhere in her mind she hoped that the tree could catch her; death could come from this, but pain certainly will. Staring at the ground, she felt something grab at her automaton leg and pull at her, her entire face felt wrung out from the whiplash, her head a few inches from the grass. A dollop of the black honey dripped from her jar. Then that something let go, and she felt a different stop.
She crawled to where the two people were, unable to hear their conversation.
"Aid me Ailish, and Carnivox will talk with you."
Carnivox... The name cemented in her head as she finally made it to the destination.
She saw a white woman, and the power that Eldwaren was imparting on her. Was she trying to resurrect her? Endow her with something? Who was it to the green goddess? She had no idea, but she agreed to help her do whatever she did. Her hand left the jar of honey, and moved to its face, the dark treacle touching whatever that came in contact.
She noticed Ailish aiding her, and Eis collapsed. Eleonara had already been unconcious when she had ascended to a demigod, so maybe it was the normal reaction. The hunter hadn't passed out, but he was not a mortal Ekiruru to begin with. When she turned to look at Ailish, she saw her on the ground. The woman had really been weakened. She was lucky Eldarwen still had a use for her and that she hadn't showed up on someone else's planet.
"Carnivox, pick her up." The hunter hesitated at first, he wasn't inclined to doing good deeds, but it couldn't hurt either. He bent down and picked up Ailish in his arm. Her questions still gnawed at him.
The ent would have to stay here, or return to the forest. Either way Eldarwen shouldn't have much problem finding him should Ailish want him. She had used her powers on him after all. An interesting act, one that showed the treemother that she should treat Ailish with respect. Perhaps even as an ally, albeit another fool like Zareth and Sonitus.
Sonitus, we're leaving, watch your new sister. She sent a telepathic message to the demigod who was dancing in the street with the mortals. It was a display which annoyed her. Sonitus turned to her and winked. Her eyes showed a surprising amount of intelligence. It almost made her believe that all she had done since she howled in the streets was on purpose. Nah...
Eldarwen put her hand on the hunter's shoulder, and teleported all three of them to the palace. After making sure that the jar Ailish cherised was brought with them. A couple of hours later, she had ordered a dinner to be served in the dining hall and that everyone were to stay out of the hall after serving it.
There was only three individuals sitting at the long table.
"I do not know if food will restore any of your powers, Ailish. It rarely does for me, yet after thousands of years I grew to appreciate both food and sleep."
The hunter didn't seem that interested in the food. Well, it was a lot of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, but no meat. It could be changed with the recent addition of dinosaurs.
"I propose a toast to the white one, and thank you for your help. May you regain your strength, and in the meantime feel free to rest here." The queen and the hunter each raised a glass of wine, then drank.
There was a moment of silence, before the hunter turned to Ailish. "I believe you wanted to talk to me..." He didn't think he'd offend his mother, as this had been part of the deal.
Aen 23, 1
Aen watched his new creations take form. Watched them stretch their wings for the first time. Watched them flex and feel out their new bodies. They had no questions; though intelligent they were still beasts. They simply took to the skies when they were ready and hunted to feed their bellies for the first time.
And hunt they did. Air or land or sea, it mattered little, so long as there was prey to be had. Aen grinned. Formidable opponents, powerful friends, and to a certain beast-man, he was sure, the greatest mortal prey. Yes, he had done quite alright for his first try. It was exciting. There weren't that many, yet, so Aen could watch all of them rather well. And he would have to. This was not one of those things to be taken lightly. It was so strange, that they were all of one species. Some of them had deep and outstanding colors, crimsons and emeralds and golds, things that made them stand out as they hunted, yet they ate all the same. Others were not quite as vibrant or rich, with scales the color of rust or mud. And so many more colors still, blues and grays, the darkest blacks and the purest whites, even mixes of colors to stand out or stay hidden. And their temperaments, from proud and fierce to meek and cunning, their personalities were as differing as their colors. Soon he had taken favorites. There was one of deep crimson, large and fierce and full of power. Another, a dull brown but smart and proud of his scales nonetheless. A startling pair of black and white already taken with each other as mates, hunting together and play fighting. But one above all the rest intrigued him. The gray wasn't quite as large as the others, but he was swifter and more agile, especially in the skies. Once he stretched his wings he was all but invincible, and playful besides. He would zip around nipping at the tails of the others, or flit around them, a distraction their swats couldn't quite reach. Which appeared to be a good thing, for once he was angered he lashed out himself, a ball of speed and fury without the cleverness and elegance he had when calm. This was the one, Aen decided.
Aen took on an avatar, the first time he had ever done so. It felt strange, to be constrained into a physical form. Sure, he usually had a form he took on but he never felt contained like this. It was like an itch he quite couldn't scratch, but hoping it would fade with time and familiarity, Aen shrugged it off and continued on. He found the creature in its lair, sleeping. That was good. He waited at the edge of the cave patiently until the beast awoke, and even then did not continue inward. Still, he made it clear he was aware of the dragon, and not unsuspecting to prey. It sniffed at him and came closer, intrigued. Nothing had entered it's lair before, dragon or otherwise. Slowly, Aen did the same. It did not recoil at first, as expected. It seemed to grow even braver, even! Aen smiled. This was good. He would need that bravery in the coming days. Finally he was close enough to touch the beast, and he held out a hand. The dragon sniffed the hand, and lowered its head. Aen touched one of his creations for the first time. It was strange, to know he had created this and yet he had no control over it that it did not give itself. Not yet. But the price... it would be worth it. He stepped back and conjured up a knife. It knew no fear of steel, as none of his brothers did, but watched it all the same. Then he began carving a symbol into his hand, the same as one of the two upon the dragons back. It was the rune for the bond. Then, without waiting, he carved another inside of the first; the same one imprinted upon his breast, over his heart. It was frightening to have it bared to the world, even in his blood, but it must be done. He held up the symbol to the beast, the blood beginning to run. It must have understood, instinctively, for it lowered itself and allowed him onto its back. He climbed on, slowly, careful with his left hand so as not to smear the blood. There were the runes, hidden from all eyes but a rider upon its back. A true name, unspeakable but once seen unforgettable. But it was not ready yet. He cut into the dragon as carefully as he could, the rune of bonding coming to him easily, but tracing slowly the one meant only for the creature it was imprinted upon. It never even cringed. Aen pressed his runes into the creature's own, mixing blood and spirit. As he did, he thought to send out a message to Zareth, and perhaps Carnivox. Binding the soul, even though done with runes, might be better done by one who has mastery of it. And if anyone could make this dragon a better hunter, it would be Carnivox. He sent a message to Zareth, a short understanding of what he wanted, and the desire to pass that message on to his son. For only a moment he considered asking Ailish, but his shame drove him away from that. After this, he swore to himself, he would see her. After this he would apologize and make things right.
They departed quickly and she was left alone, so much for hospitality. If Zareth had gone into the broken heaven alone he only had himself to blame. Either he came back or died a weakling. She remained seated, when someone knocked at the door. She thought she had told them to leave her alone? It better be important, but her guests had left anyway.
Two Ekiruru opened the large door and dragged something after them into the dining hall. "We apologize for disturbing you, queen, but we found this." They dropped it to the hard ground with a clang. Eldarwen got up and walked over to it, to check what it was. Whatever it had been it was certainly dead now. Though death might be the wrong word for a machine...
"Where did you find this?" She asked.
"In the forest, queen. There's a lot more. We don't know how they got there though."
While it may be a machine, it had no reason to be on her planet. Actually, that made it a problem. Technology had no place on her planet, it could only do harm. One of the other gods must have put it there. It was insulting and harmful to nature.
"Have you caught any wyverns yet?" They looked puzzled at her question, but it could be helped. She would simply have to bring them wyverns for this task. "Meet me in the courtyard in two hours and you better bring more battle born with you."
Two hours later a few hundred battle born had gathered in the courtyard and the surrounding street. They had always been ready for this day, it just hadn't come until now. She was standing on the stairs leading to her palace, overlooking the courtyard.
"You've trained for a day which you didn't think would ever come. You've done well in the eyes of the godess, and she has rewarded you." Eldarwen summoned or called out to the surrounding forest. She wanted them to come and they did, from the trees they rose into the sky and descended upon the courtyard, almost blackening the sun out with their shadows. The Ekiruru were excited about their new gift, and it didn't take long before some of them had climbed onto the wyverns.
"Seek out the machine people and remember that this is not a war. This is nature bringing her fist down on technology. Do not return unless you are certain they're all dead and gone from the surface of our planet."
She felt a sudden urge to climb onto a wyvern as well and join them in battle. The day when she fought alongside them may very well come, but it was not this day. Eldarwen turned around and went back inside her palace, as the Ekiruru flew into battle.
For many years Olek roamed as the Preacher, until one day he came once more to the great cities in the center of Olegard. His arrival there did not go unnoticed, and upon entering the gates of one such town he caused great fear in the heart of it's lord, who sent guards to watch him.
They found the Preacher in the market, but to their surprise he was silent. There were no great rallying cries and calls to arms, no attempt to claim authority above the lord; no, the Preacher simply sat in silence, his eyes closed as his hands pressed firmly together, as a silent crowd looked on.
Vantric: 24, 2
The First Cathedral was one of the grandest buildings in the Lainir Empire. It was constructed of dark marble, and situated on the highest level of Gaerev Vantric. In spite of this, it stretched deep into the mountain and housed many facilities for the training of its young initiates. The priests of the Lainir Church were among the greatest mages in the Empire, which made them among the elite of the elite when it came to magic. Aside from being a house of worship to the gods, it also functioned as the premier arcane academy on Evalon.
At the top of the Cathedral was the Emperor's Room. The room was used by the church for the coronation of every emperor and the death of every emperor. Aside from that, the room remained closed save when the emperor felt the need to pray to the gods. It was a large room, immaculately decorated in various religious icons. The front of the room was dominated by three stain-glass windows depicting Vantric, M'endar, and Melanthios respectively. Along the other walls were images of the other gods. At the back of the room was a great shrine, cast in gold, of the dagger and eye, set in obsidian, the icon of the Church and of the Empire. It was a grand room, but solemn. There were no seats, no furniture; aside from the shrine the room was empty. It was a room never made for the living, a fact that was not lost on the room's singular occupant.
High Emperor Hirot Kon, by the grace of the gods ruler of the Lainir Empire, knelt at the base of the shrine. He was not a pious man, nor even a particularly religious man, he was half-convinced the gods were nothing but myths, and fully convinced that they wouldn't care about mortal sufferings even if they did. Nonetheless, he felt a certain peace when he prayed, a peace even the deathly-still Emperor's Room couldn't shake from him. Times were becoming quite trying of late, he reflected. Metal creatures had risen up at the fringes of the Empire and seemed to be progressing quite steadily across the continent. Compounding fears of this new species were reports of great armored monsters appearing in the skies. The reports were spotty at best, but they were coming in an increasingly greater volume from far-off corners of the Empire. The Assembly was divided and gridlocked, uncertain which threat to deal with first, something that, despite his best attempts to bring them into line, he seemed unable to overcome. He pressed his face into his hands. The people needed an emperor to give them direction, but what to do when the emperor himself needs direction?
"My, my, you've certainly come up in the world, haven't you Hirot?" Came a voice, as if from nowhere. The emperor was at once on his feet, flicking out his claws and preparing to call on his magical powers. Briefly, he wondered how an intruder got past his guards and into this room. Quickly scanning, Hirot was surprised to see that the room was as empty as it had ever been. He took a half step back and kept his guard up.
"Twenty years ago you were nothing more than a page to House Drimor. Now, you stand at the helm of the greatest empire in the world. Quite an accomplishment." The voice continued. "Of course, there were certain troubles that you had to deal with, didn't you? It's too bad the Drimor didn't make it to see your rise. Everyone knew how much you owed to Lord Nolim. Though I doubt he'd have been half so generous if he knew who you were really working for."
"Whatever you've heard, it's lies, all of it!" Hirot shouted, still searching for the voice that seemed to be getting closer. "Begone! Or I'll call the guards!"
"No you won't, Hirot." The voice said, "We both know you won't. You've always been one to get your hands dirty when need be. Besides, I'm not here to harm you." One of the walls rippled for a moment, and out of the shadows came a lainir figure in a black cloak. "I'm here because you asked for me."
Hirot turned and faced this new figure. "No, I didn't. Now leave, before I call the guards."
The figure tisked and walked closer, "You should show more respect Hirot. You wouldn't want to anger your god now, would you?"
The emperor paused for a moment, dumbfounded. After processing what the other lainir said, he responded, "You're Vantric?" The god nodded. "You're not a god. You're just some...some street magician with a few tricks." He said forcefully.
Vantric rolled his eyes. "You mortals, always insisting on displays to prove our superiority. Can't you just accept certain things on faith?" Hirot glared at the god. Vantric sighed. "If you insist." He dissolved into a mist and touched the emperor's mind, bringing up various memories. Every meeting, ever murder, every alliance that advanced him on his rise to power for twenty years ran through his mind. Hirot clutched his head under the barrage of memories. A moment later, the god's physical embodiment reformed.
"I trust you believe me now?" Vantric asked. Hirot only nodded. "Good." He motioned for the emperor to come closer to him. "There is a continent to the northwest of here. It is the home to a race of creatures known as the dwarves." Vantric reached out and touched the emperor's mind again, showing him the two continents. "The dwarves are proud, prickly and hotheaded. They also know nothing of the Great Game. You will send out an expedition to the dwarven lands. I would like the lainir to teach the dwarves how to play the Great Game."
Hirot regained some measure of composure. "I will do so at once, my lord. However, there are other troubles afflicting the Empire, it may be difficult."
"Troubles that take priority over an order from your god?" Vantric asked.
"Unfortunately, yes. There are reports. Flying creatures are appearing in the skies. The people call them dragons. And metal men are scouring the Empire in search of...something. I try to get the Assembly to work but at this time it is difficult. My lord."
Vantric frowned at the situation. "If the metal men pose a problem, destroy them. Eliminating one problem should get things moving more quickly."
Hirot nodded. "It will be done."
Vantric smiled. "See to it at once. Now, I have other business to attend to." He made to leave, "Oh and one more thing Hirot." The emperor turned back to the god. "I won't accept any unnecessary delays on this."
Hirot stood quietly as the god vanished into the shadows. After a moment he ran out of the room. He had work to do.
Roe - 25, 2
"MY NAME IS SEITH! YOU SHALL OBEY MY DIVINE WILL!"
The Grigori in the temple threw themselves upon the ground and grovelled in front of the great statue pathetically. After a time, the bravest of the group spoke hesitantly.
"Oh... oh great one, why have you picked us?"
"I AM HERE TO TELL YOU NEW RULES YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW, OTHERWISE I'LL BLOW YOU UP!
ONE: YOU MUST ALL SAY 'I'M A STUPID ANGEL' EVERY DAY WHEN YOU WAKE UP
TWO: YOU HAVE TO WEAR A GREEN HAT ALL THE TIME
THREE: ALL OF YOUR BOY BABIES MUST BE CALLED FAT HEAD AND ALL OF YOUR GIRL BABIES MUST BE CALLED FATINA..."
The Grigori nodded fearfully, not wanting to anger the supposed god. Meanwhile up on the ledge, in a pause between their fits of giggles, Roe whispered to Fallen Petal.
"You want to control what he says? Tell me what to say."
She crawled over to him and whispered in his ear what she wanted the god to say through the statue.
"FOUR: YOU MUST SEND ALL YOUR GOOD STUFF TO EVALON
FIVE: ROE IS A S... HEY I'M NOT SAYING THAT!"
The Grigori continued to watch on in perplexed horror, this Seith seemed odd, different from the one their stories described. The statue appeared to be struggling with itself for a moment and then reasserted control.
"NOW GO OUT AND TELL ALL OTHER ANGELS TO DO THE SAME OR I'LL SQUASH YOU FLAT"
They fled once these words had been spoken, glad to obey the statue's command if it meant getting out of the temple. One remained however who was more fearful than the rest, she stayed frozen kneeling on the ground, head bowed.
She remained where she was. The statue picked her up angrily and began to squeeze her body in his hands, the angel crying out in pain. High up on the ledge, Roe grinned manically and slowly moved his fingers closed together.
"Hey!" Petal cried, her smile vanished, "Stop it, that's mean!"
"Huh?" Roe replied, looking questioningly at his friend.
"I don't want you to hurt any angels, I like them,"
"Fine," Roe said sulkily and the statue dropped the Grigori, she scrambled out of the temple like a mouse bolting out of a trap.
Outside the angels who had witnessed the miraculous event fled across Coelus, spreading tales of the living statues everywhere like wildfire. Some believed them, many didn't, but what could be certain was that those Grigori would never be quite the same again... and that Roe and Petal's adventure was far from over yet.
Zareth 24 , 2
Carnivox was true to his word and whisked the fallen goddess through the forests of Eld, darting over the rooftops of the planet capital. He found one of the ghost doors to Evermoor before they had even reached the city limits. Vanishing into the underworld, unseen by mortal eyes. Once in the kingdom of the dead he raced on full pelt towards the gate to the Mourning Garden, there was only one. The dead were far less bothered by his presence, they had become used to seeing him around and knew that there was nothing he could do to hurt them, although a few still stopped and starred or shouted as he passed. If Ailish had anything to say on this place he did not hear her. When he was set to a task The Hunter became single minded in his pursuit.
Eventually he brought her to the veil. His heart raced at the prospect of finding his father again... yet at the same time it filled with dread at the thought of going back to the dark world. It was when they stood on the precipice of that world that Carnivox smelt something in the air. The smell of death... REAL death.... Zareth! He followed the scent, leading him right to the doors of the hall of Joy. He kicked the doors open and was met by the warmth of the blazing flame at its core. Sitting by its side, cloaked in a tunic of scorched grey, his horns raised proudly, sat Zareth.
The death god raised his head at the sight of the noise. "Carnivox?" He cried. "You've no idea how good it is to see you!"
Zareth rose to meet his bewildered son and in that same moment Carnivox dropped Ailish sanctimoniously to the ground, charged at the death god and proceeded to punch him savagely.
"Ow! alright, alright I get that you're angry with me!" Zareth protested.
"Don't you ever do that to me again! You hear? Don't you ever scare me like that again!" The wolf's voice was loud and high with emotion. An outsider looking in the scene might have said that they saw tears brimming in his eyes.... Carnivox would have killed such an outsider for saying something like that though so it is good that there was not.
After a while the two eventually settled down as Carivox ran out of breath, though he still gave the odd hit to Zareth's torso. "I promise you Car it will never happen again." Zareth smiled, he was just so happy to see his son again. To think he had once lived in that place. "Now tell me everything, how long have I been away? Time was... strange there."
Carnivox shrugged. "Maybe a day, or close to one anyway. Eldarwen tied me up and dragged me around her town while you were away." He said matter of factly.
"Well she wouldn't be the first person to try that, just the first to succeed." Zareth laughed.
"But I was being good! I wasn't trying to eat anyone or anything like I usually do!"
"What?" That changed everything. Zareth and Carnivox had an interesting parent/child relationship by mortal standards. Car was enough of an animal that he couldn't help half the things he did. Death and destruction were just parts of his nature, parts Zareth had given him. He couldn't blame his son for doing what he was made for. But this was different, Zareth may occasionally need to do some damage control with Car but Eldarwen always encouraged that behaviour in their hunter.
"She said that one over there could have me if she helped her out." Car said pointing to the Prone, Ailish.
Now things were just getting weird. Zareth Picked up the fallen goddess and placed her on one of the chairs "Sorry about that." He apologised bashfully. He would have tried to say more but a sudden wave hit him and Zareth felt Aen's presence, he was asking for help. By the way Carnivox suddenly shivered, he had felt it too.
"Aen needs us." Zareth said. He poured a piece of his will into Carnivox's bow. There were no words to Aen's call, only pure intension. It seemed the young knight god wanted a companion of his own. "We'll pick this up later." He promised his son.
Carnivox nodded and ran from the hall and into the nexus of portals his father called home, eventually coming out at Evalon. He tracked Aen to his location, surrounded by flying scaled beasts, larger than the ones on Eld. They would make great Prey. "You just made this place very interesting!" He beamed at Aen. This one might be his new favourite.
Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Joy, Zareth sat in silence for a time, starring into the roaring flame. Finally he turned to Ailish. "Is there anything you would like to say about what I found beyond your portal?"
"The cogs in the engines of the universe continued to turn as they always did. Yet more demigods were to come into the world; with the help of Ailish, Eldarwen created Auctor, a word-loving demigod. Similarly Aen made Grix, Lord of the Skies, with the assistance of Zareth. This dragon demigod would serve his creator faithfully for many eons.
Meanwhile, Roe and Petal's adventure continued upon the planet Coelus and after impersonating Seith, a small group of Grigori spread across the planet in a panic spreading "his message". While many dismissed the news as a hoax or exaggeration, a number of others were deeply affected by the event, especially those who were present themselves or had a close family member there. Several hundred Grigori would retain a new streak of chaos for the rest of their lives and many others would question Seith's authority.
Upon Evalon, a disguised Olek attempted to create a golden chain which controlled fire but the luck of the universe was against him and it burst into flame in his hands, providing quite the spectacle for onlookers."
The storyteller saw that a child was sleeping and paused for a moment, then decided it would be best to continue without waking her.
"Even where the gods did not directly act however, this era was not slow by any means. Vantric influenced those in charge of the Lainir's empire and together him, Melanthios and M'endar plotted the downfall of their enemies and their races. Nivix's synthetic beings spread out across the universe and ended up in conflict with several other races. The portal continued to fascinate the gods and was visited by a number, the question of it's eventual fate still hanging unspoken in the air. "
Ailish - 2, 28
Lights and colors blurred as Carnivox traversed the planes to the Mourning garden. Staring at the gateway, she suddenly feel her body jerk away, and the gardens becoming further away.
"Why are we leaving? Isn't he through the gate?" Her question would be answered as she saw the god in question obviously out of the heavens. Awe spread to her face, unbelieving how her fellow god did not find himself lost to the realm. Words and emotions were spoken between him and Carnivox, and though she could feel them, their last words raised a question.
"Carnivox' sister fought him." Her voice rasped out, trying to find sense in her own confusion. She wasn't sure if they heard, but in time she saw the god approach her.
"Is there anything you would like to say about what I found beyond your portal?"
What is this feeling? Distrust? Uncertainty? Bittersweet hope? And where is this silence in her throat coming from. Words and sentences would appear in her head, then get quickly erased.
"Much to say, but I can barely find the words." She responded. "I'm sorry that you suffered in the heavens... and I wished you came to me so I could guide you... I had hoped that we all would go together to restore our true home, and bring back everyone who changed..." Her gaze shifted downward, and an amethyst tear fell.
As flesh touched flesh, the blood boiled and cauterized the wounds, leaving scars even more clearly than even the ones made by marking Zareth's blade. He wasn't sure he could heal this, but he sure didn't want to. It was a part of him now. Just as the dragon was. Their souls were linked, he could feel it. He probed into the dragon's mind through their physical connection. It was easier than he'd thought it'd be. The dragon probed back. He could feel its feral instincts touch against his own, rubbing off on one another. Soon it would be able to feel on a deeper level, to think and rationalize. It would gain sentience. But not yet. For now, it was enough.
Aen considered the creature's mind for a moment. He couldn't keep calling his new ally and friend an it, nor could he continue calling it "beast" or "creature." It... he would need a name. The dragon's mind seemed to enjoy the prospect, and though he had a name amongst dragons, and a true name known only between the two of them, he would need another for those he was now peers of. Thinking together, they came up with something simple. Grix. He could sense the dragon's happiness at the name, a new feeling which Grix studied curiously. He was growing faster than Aen would have imagined.
Aen pulled his hand away, slowly, and slid off of his back. The emptiness hit him first, followed by a loneliness he hadn't felt before, even in the darkness before all of this. He did not want to be separated from Grix for very long, and from the way the dragon nuzzled against him, he could tell even without the connection that he felt the same way. He patted Grix one more time, the connection barely a whisper of what it was earlier from this contact, and told him he'd be back for him. He had something else to do. Willing a glove onto his left hand to protect the rune burned into the palm, he left the cave.
"Carnivox!" Aen yelled down to the demi-god. He could tell what the beast-man was thinking. "You better not hunt them to extinction, you hear me?! And the one I've touched... until he reaches full maturity from our bond, you best leave him alone too. Then you two can fight and I'm sure he'll be glad of it, but not until then." Grinning, and with a gesture of goodbye, Aen set off. Picking out Zareth was easy, especially in the warm setting he seemed to be holed up in. He had to thank him for his help. And someone else... who just happened to be there as well. That was... convenient. And also unfortunate. No matter. He would have to swallow his pride and accept it. It wasn't long before he was at the Hall's entrance. Taking a deep breath, he opened the doors and stepped inside.