Dawn of Worlds (Game Thread)

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Dawn of Worlds

A World Creation Game

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Dawn of Worlds is a simple game, used to create game worlds for adventures. Seeing as we have such a large RP community here on the Escapist, I thought it was about time we make a single world that we can all use and enjoy in any number of RP's. Think about it; an entire world crafted by Escapist RP-er's, for Escapist RP-ers. Rather then just depend on the latest popular video game world to make our stories in, we can use a world designed for the needs of the Escapist. How fun would it be to have multiple games going, all set in the same world that we all crafted together?

This game follows the rules of the game "Dawn of Worlds"; a free, open-source, 17 page world generation game. I will a make Wiki for the actual drawing, which I will post in about a week, to give us some time to determine what kind of setting we want to make - see poll - and for everyone to read up on the game rules and make gods. Dawn of Worlds is best suited to single planet, fantasy worlds so, alas, far future worlds of inter planetary travel will not be made easily. I have left the options of "Far-Future" and "Cyber-Punk" in the poll in case such a world is really wanted. In this event, we will need to modify the rules of the game to suit the need; this will take everyone's help.

In the game, each player is a god of the world being formed, changing it to suit their needs and whims. As such, I encourage all manner of plotting together toward common ends, or against each other over various control (after all, mythology is filled with such scheming and quarreling gods) However, please follow the rules, have fun, and try not to inhibit others from having fun.

Strictly speaking, this game is not a true RP - there're no "real" characters (see "Deities" section below), there's no over-arching plot, no villains, and no real GM (though I will be acting as a referee in the case of rule breaking or inter-player disputes). However, this is a game very much related to RP - it will be a world used for RP's in the future by, if no one else, me.

Players can join at anytime, though they must follow whatever rules exist at that time, and all players must submit a god (see "Deities" section) for approval before editing the world. ***Please quote me on any deity post*** - I will see the submission more quickly that way.

Obviously, if I get enough interest in this game, we can make multiple threads making multiple worlds of differing design (so for instance one could be a Flintlock-Fantasy and one could be a Far-Future)

Special Note: The main GM for this game will be drmigit2 - I just wrote up the game description.

Game Start!

First, there was nothing. An empty void of vast blackness that defied any and all creation, but then, it came. It came and it spread life everywhere it went. Mortals came about and ended, it was alone in the blackness again, staring upon the first world it created, now in ruins. It decided the universe deserved a clean slate and decimated the outer rim of the planet, making it smooth, then, it created the new gods, taking much of its own power to do so. What they did with its power, that, would become the stories of legend.

Structure, Order, Purpose

These thoughts were the first of the will that came forth from the universe. Bound together in the order and structure of rock, it embodied one of the longest cycles of the universe, dwarfed only by the life of stars.

"I am..." The will spoke with the voice of quaking stone, in it's short life, it understood and knew vast concepts that would make mortal minds break. It understood its own existence before it even knew its name. However, the will would change that, by providing one for itself. "...Therax."

The will-no, the god, laid his eyes upon the world below. Therax saw how its surface mirrored his own body, even parts that lay beneath the vast blue liquid. "We are one in the same..."

With that realization, Therax claimed all the planet as his own, and took the first chance to shape the fresh world to his own design. Knowing that much could spring from potential, the god cast his hand over the bottom of the southern continent, letting the dust that fell from his fingers collect there. The dust piled high and spread far, creating a sandy desert.

Then, the god turned his attention to the northern continent, separated by just a narrow strait from the south. Therax believed that this place should be fortified into a stronger barrier. So, he dug his fingers into the ground, and pulled the earth up when he removed them, creating mountains.

Wonder, Terror, Wild Dreaming.

These were the thoughts of the second to will change onto this tabula rasa of a world. Difarus sprang out of his Dream-Realm, turning his attention away from other worlds, other planes he had responsibilities to, and turned to this one, to help shape it into something completely unlike any other world out there. Something full of wonder and terror in equal measure... and something stranger than the sum of its parts.

Noting that another entity had already begun to give shape to this little world, Difarus decided to alter what had already been given shape. He chose the mountains in the north, those that separated the two halves of the main continent.

In all of them, the Dream-Lord wove his own series of tunnels and caves, creating a network of them that passed through every part of the mountain range. Most would appear to be a mundane system of cavers and underground rivers and lakes...

The shaper of dreams wiped sweat from his forehead. Shaping dreams was what he knew best and always accomplished with next to no effort, however... shaping a physical world was new to him, and much more taxing than weaving dream-stuff together. Still, his work was not yet finished here. He meant for these caves to be inhabited, and they would need more than caves to thrive down here.

However, Difarus knew that even this would not be enough. The future denizens of this dark and wondrous place would need a way to navigate...

His work completed for the time being, Difarus sat atop one of the mountains and decided to name them and the cave-cities he had made.

He gave the cave-cities the same name: The Moebius Wells. And the mountains he built them in: The Mountains of Madness.

Finally, he decided to alter to climate around the mountains and inside them. On the outside, the mountains would always be in the middle of a heat-wave, while inside, the majority of the caves would be freezing cold, while the actual cities inside would be comfortably cool.

Oluf flew through the open airs of this new world. It felt good, though the world felt... plain. There was no true sounds, beyond his brothers going about altering the land. Grunts of exertion, the sounds of earth moving on a massive scale... He sighed, it lacked beauty.

He stopped, and began walking around the empty vastness of the island. It was so flat, he could make out large mountains in the distance, to the north. That inspired Oluf, he looked around. Mountains were craggy, but perhaps he could...

Oluf dug his hands into the earth, slowly and methodically he brought them up. Too similar to the mountains, he was beginning to fear. So he smoothed out the top, using the side of his fist to push the top off, making a nice Plateau. He smiled, wiping some sweat off his brow, and looked at the top of the plateau. After a moment of thought, he flew to the edge of the island, to the water.

He looked over the vastness of it all, and shrugged, tossing it like a frisbee into the open sees. A large splash off in the distance, and he smiled at his new, tiny island. He looked back, the plateau was off center... he sighed, and trudged back. He went about making a ring of the things, looking overhead to make sure he was doing it correctly, and creating islands after each one was finished.

After 7, he stopped to bask in his own glory. The sun was hot... too hot. He frowned, he had forgotten what he was originally doing. He shrugged, hopping back to his feet as he strolled inside the ring. He didn't like the idea of leaving it bare... He sighed, more work, but it was important. He moved to it's center, and laid down. He'd added enough for now. Perhaps in awhile, he'd make a forest, but for now... a nap would be nice.

Shinem woke from darkness, and the first thing he did was clutch his head. He wasn't in pain - as the god of all booze couldn't feel it from his own creation - but could not for his very existence recall what happened last night. He had blurry memories and abstract images; words were spoken, certain mortals stood out, and the cacophony of music and laughter played on repeat in his ears.

After stewing in last night, he finally opened his eyes to gaze upon the land. It was empty. No life, no features, not even a trace of his great work stood here. Instinctively he reached in his robe pocket and found it empty. My booze!!

A long time had passed before he finally got back on his feet; his stomach feeling unusually sick and his vision blurry. He'd get to remaking his precious drink, but for now his mind was set on understanding last night. Part of him remembered something happening in the north. Surely somebody was there to tell him what happened. Maybe they'll know where his first alcohol is.

"Beautiful. It's so...beautiful."

A maccabre figure rose from the soil of the wasteland without a name. He stared at the brown turpid soil that spoke of no life and smiled. He...loved it. It was his home, his work, his duty and the love of his life. That is what it would be. Oh, but it needed a name, and so did he!

"I..am Kortence! And you, you shall be Maridia." Kortence's decayed face made a smile of pure bliss as he began to float up in the air, dust following in his wake. Higher and higher he went, to be able to see Maridia in all of her glory.

Down on the ground where he left, the dust Kortence kicked up began to swirl, it then froze and turned to a blanket of cold, black ice. As it stood, nothing could live on it and all who touched would slowly turn to ice as well. The ice was cornered and seemed to stop, but it would take divine action to reverse it. Kortence soon reached orbit.

"It's...barren."

Kortence sighed. Was he the only one on Maridia? That wouldn't do, she would need more life, more to love. Kortence could only think of what she could have, but there was more to it. Life would need something, something to keep it...alive. So he thought, and pondered. Finally, it came to him.

"I must make preparations first. Oh, Maridia, it will be so wonderful! You shall host so much. I can't wait."

Kortence rallied himself and decided he would start with his own little oasis and let it spread. He would sow the first seeds of life and make it his own. Kortence made each and every single flower, blade of grass and even the cascading waterfall at the center. Every bit of it, his painstaking work of love. When finished, he smiled, and sat to admire it.

As the many gods began their work upon the new world, a rift began to appear in the world itself. At first it was small - no larger than the head of a pin - but even in those early times, it leaked a constant buzzing noise completely alien to the still lifeless world. But, as the gods worked, the hole grew larger and larger until finally it tore open. From the hole in reality, Thalusai crawled.

It stared out upon the barren world and thought it good. Returning to the hole, he pulled at the rift in existence, widening it for his brothers and sisters. At first, they were few. One came through, then another and another. Each pulled on the rift, making it larger and larger. Eventually, hundreds upon thousands of Thalusai appeared upon the face of the virgin world.

Once assembled, Thalusai began their much practiced work. Using Magic from beyond the world, they began constructing that which they would need for the feasting so many eons away. First, they raised land from the depths, far away from the unknown wild lands. Upon this land, they sowed the seeds of the first forest, where their creations could grow. The forest was thick, with massive, trees like the world had never seen before nor would see again.

From up on high, Zerus toiled. His song tolled from the clouds themselves, ringing across the sea below. His work had to be perfect - none may gaze upon it until it was complete. Not another god, nor the land itself. The chaos below needed to be tamed - and he would be the one to do it.

The winds whipped and groaned under his direction. With one final act of will, the clouds about him coalesced into a figure, with shining silver wings and gleaming white skin. Had he a face, Zerus would have smiled. It was ready.

"Awaken, my child, and know the world."

The figure's eyes opened, looking around him for the source of the voice. He could not see anything but the roiling sea below him, and hear nothing but a strange, endless music. And yet, it seemed so familiar. "Who... who are you?"

The music shifted in tone, slowing down and becoming contemplative. "I am Zerus, your creator. And you, my child, are Duras. My first mark upon this world." Unbidden, a vision unfolded in Duras's mind, revealing to him the tale of his master's genesis. "This world is wracked with chaos and madness. It needs a champion, one to bring it the order it craves. That champion will be you. Go forth, my child, and do my will."

"WOOOoooooo!!!!"

Lutra was like a blur dashing across the water, his little legs carrying him as fast as they could (which it turns out was very fast indeed). It was his first day out and about on his own. He'd been snoozing down in the blue for so long it was time to stretch his legs. And here it was! The world was coming to life with other like him running all over the place, having all kinds of fun. Was this what he'd been missing all this time, stuck down there in the deep, dark, deep?

He carried on running across the water surface. Though he'd started out taking in the sights of all the big blobs of brown and the noise the other... the others were making his thoughts had quickly been swept up in the blissful warmth of the sun on his fur and the thrill of his own speed. It was like having a race... against himself!

Which is great cus then no matter what happens I win!... But if I beat myself does that mean I lose? But if that happens and I'm racing me does that mean I lose twice or win twice or does - AGH my brain!

It was too early in existence for this kind of thing! Luckily Lutra was quickly shocked out of his first encounter with philosophy when a giant piece of rock nearly landed on him.

"What the-" He quickly dashed out of the way, unable to stop, a victim of his own momentum. But then it was followed by another and then another. They just kept coming and Lutra kept dodging picking up his pace as he went. With all this fancy manoeuvring though it wasn't long before Lutra tripped over his own paw and was sent spiralling across the water like a skipping stone.

"AAAAAhhhhhhh"

He kept going until he crashed into one of the bigger pieces of land and the ocean came with him. Together they gouged out great tracks of land from the surface and the water rushed in gleefully to fill the space, bringing with it a drink to quench the thirst of the parched land. Lutra himself eventually slowed down and came to a stop, knocking his head on one of the larger flat topped pieces of rock. He lay there for a moment, rubbing his head and bristling his whiskers.

"I'm okay!" He yelled out to the world in general.

Difarus scratched the sunken, possibly rotten, flab of skin that passed for his chin, considering. He decided that, for now, it would be best to keep intruders out of his caves. They simply weren't fit to live. On the other hand, he also wanted to explore this world a bit, see where else his influence might help. He could of course, see whatever he wanted from just about anywhere, but... Difaurs felt that if he was to wreak new changes in this world, then... he should see it all himself. Breath in the local flavor, as it were.

So, he cracked and from the sound of it, broke his fingers, and gathered up a ball of crystal and dust from the rock around him, and breathed a simple word into it: "Kitten."

He let the crystals and dust slip through his fingers, and it formed a tiny housecat. But its size was extremely deceptive in terms of what it was actually capable of. She stared at her make expectantly.

"I will not tell you what you are to be. Mother of all cats? Only cat in the whole world? That's up to you. I won't tell you what your purpose is. I will seldom ask anything from you. But when I do... I expect my will to be carried out."

The tiny tabby yawned and rubbed up against the Dream-Lord's legs. He couldn't resist any longer. He scooped the kitten up and gently scratched her chin and ears before setting her down again. Once back on the ground, she immediately fell asleep.

"For now, stay here, and guard these caves. Don't let intruders in while I'm gone. Thank you."

And with that he soared out of the shaft and onto the surface. Once up there, he flew around some more until he came across a few miles of black ice. Ice that looked to spread, as if a plague upon the earth itself, and he decided to do something about it. But he wasn't sure what exactly he could or should do about this possible threat. Instead, he cracked his fingers again, setting them back into their proper positions in the process.

Olufunmilola sat still for awhile. He ignored his brothers antics as best he could, his flailing and falling probably did wonders to ruin hours of hard work. He couldn't see it, but the longer he sat, the more curious and frustrated he became. His first piece of art of the new world, already tampered with?

"... Gah!" Oluf sat up, and stretched out his wings, taking to the air in a single fluid motion. He soared high, mumbling something about 'Stupid otters' before he looked down on his valley. He sat, hovering in the air for several moments, taking in the chaotic wound that was the river through his work. The verdant and fresh green did little to alleviate the damage.

"..... GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA~" Oluf flew off at breakneck speed, towards the horizon and away from the mess made of his land. He held that scream for an almost impressive amount of time, but stopped when he came upon something.

He gently flew down, and looked around the lush greenery. It was... beautiful. He chose to stroll around, admiring the land and fauna. Yet... it lacked something. The same as all other lands, others to enjoy it, to make beautiful noise and breath new life into the land. He wandered for a time, thinking of the aesthetic of his race. Such things were important, after all... He was torn from his thoughts by something rather disgusting, also enjoying the land.

"Hello... Brother?" Oluf called hesitantly. Kortence raised his head, maggots dripping from his eye sockets, his and Oluf's met. Kortence spoke in a ghastly, but welcoming voice,

"Hello there. Have you come to enjoy my work?"

"Er... Your work, eh? Yes, I suppose so. You have quite the eye." The voice calmed Oluf, though very little. He took a few steps toward the... thing, and held in his bile. The smell was almost worse than the sight.

"I was thinking of making a people, here. Beings with beauty that could perhaps even match this land. My name is Olufunmilola."

"And mine, Kortence." Oluf was unable to tell if Kortence was happy, or read any expression off the fellow god's face. Any muscle that would allow for face movement, had long rotted. Kortence raised himself and bowed.

"You wish to add to this beauty then? Perhaps you can tell me about this."

"Yes, sure... I was thinking of making them in my image, give them wings so they may enjoy the air, as well as legs so they may walk the earth. With arms they may play and work with ease, use tools rather than claws and such. But most importantly, a mind. A people, capable and willing to create as we do, though on a smaller scale. What do you think?" Kortence stopped moving for a moment, he seemed to be pondering what Oluf suggested. "Like us... but almost as infants. Yes, yes I could see this. Perhaps, they could even love." Kortence looked down at the grass below him, it was soft. He was eager to have something walk upon it.

"Yes, precisely so, Kortence!" Oluf exclaimed, looking at the old man as he approached, grinning wildly.

Kortence put out his bony hand, bits of melting flesh hanging from the fingers. It seemed he wanted to shake hands with Oluf. "We shall do this together then?" Oluf drew back slightly, his grin faltered for a second, but after a deep breath and accepted the old man's hand in his own, giving a vigorous shake.

"Yes, precisely so! Shall you begin, or shall I?"

"I shaped their home, it is only fitting you shape them. I will add my own touches here and there." Kortence already knew what he wanted to add. His one gift aside from a home. Oluf smiled in return, and looked around, releasing the hand. He'd need... something. Something to shape the thing.... He looked at a nearby tree. It's bark would work. He offered an apologetic glance at Kortence, as he went to work, peeling off bark. It took awhile, but it began to take the shape of a woman, who looked a bit like Oluf himself. A bit of his ego revealing itself, he noted, blushing slightly. He noticed he had enough of this tree to make two, so he made one more like himself. Why not show more ego?

"The leaves are their feathers, the bark their flesh... Now for your gift, then I will impart knowledge upon them."

Kortence saw the two unfinished works of art. They were without minds, simple. This would soon change, but Kortence wanted something to stay. He couldn't describe it, but he knew what it was. Kortence reached a bony finger and touched both of their foreheads. He would grant each of them love for one another, almost impossible to corrupt.

The magic changed something about them, altered their emotions if ever so slightly, and while it worked perfectly on the female, the male had a seed of destruction inside of him. A resistance to the magic, though it was impossible to know this when Kortence finished.

"Something tangiable now. Your name, is Kaiden." Kortence said as he turned towards the male. Then, he turned to the female. "You, will be Matilda." Both of them would know their names, and that Kortence was the one to give it, and their love, to them. Kortence turned to Oluf.

"Your turn." Oluf blinked, and looked at the two. They were staring at Kortence with looks of deep admiration... Oluf smiled and walked over to the two, placing his palms on each ones head, and pulling them together. He spoke quietly, but quickly, almost incomprehensible, but the two nodded every once in awhile. The male, Kaiden, stood up, and stretched out his wings, looking at Kortence.

"Thank you." He whispered, offering a hand to the female. She accepted, and the two wandered off into the forest. Oluf turned to his colleague and smiled.

"I'll call them 'Seraphim'... Now, shall we let them be, or shall we watch over them?" Kortence pondered for a moment and said "I think they will be fine. Give them some time to explore and learn, it all is so new..." Kortence had hardly used any of his power and was wondering what he should do with it all. He felt much stronger with the Oasis nearby and he was just curious as to what he could do with it all.

Oluf stared after him, and smiled, looking at Kaiden and Matilda. The first of their race... they fit right in. He flew back towards the plateau, he was ready to see that otter again. A better mood ensured a lack of murder attempts. He smiled, soaring freely through the air, back to his home.

Walking the world for years did little to rejuvenate Shinem's memory, or help to find his gourd of booze. It made the gap in memories more hazy, and cling to what was in front of him. His body gave out from the travels due to his girth and inwardly the god wished he could remember. It was like someone or something didn't want him to recall. Was last night really that gnarly?

Suppose with the blank slate that hit the world it must have been that bad, but it also destroyed all of alcohol. His pride and joy. Whomever did this would have hell to pay. For now he had to bring back the boozes that were lost. And hopefull find the First alcohol he made; it was the only thing he had left to remind him of the old days.

By chance he found a strange house that wasn't there the last he saw. With curiosity he walked into the structure and to his surprise found two other people. They looked so strange in his eyes; familiar yet clearly different. They had the spark of clarity, but the essence of godhood was nowhere seen. As he was looking at them to comprehend them, the two stared right back wondering what he was doing here; a curiosity tempered with caution caught the first two life forms, and Shinem was aware of it.

The god gave them a toothy smile to ease their apprehensions. They talked with one another in a language he couldn't understand, which is fine for Shinem; everyone was entitled to their own secrecy. In the unspoken discussion, and idea flashed through the booze god's mind. He pulled his scroll containing the Purity Laws to look in a certain section. From life do all things booze emerge. From Their breath, Their sweat can this sacred drink be formed. A big smile came to his face.

"You! You wonderful people, you! Both of you, you'll make the greatest gift that could be given!" He exclaimed enthusiastically and clasped their hands in both of his. The two peoples' palms felt warm and a tingling sensation travelled up their arms all the way to their throat before exploding across their bodies. The two people remained the same but they felt different; from inside they felt something enter and exit their very beings. They mean no harm. A memory insisted to calm the two down.

"A great magic belongs to you now." Shinem assured them, unsure if they understand him. "From your breath you work great magicks on the world. From your mind you can create that which can bring joy and wisdom to all who partake of it. Alcohol." He emphasized the last word slowly to make sure they memorize it.

"I leave this scroll in your hands. May this sacred drink give you a long fulfilling life." Shinem smiled before leaving them to their own devices. It left him feeling warm inside amidst his search for his keepsake.

As Kortence floated off from his Oasis, he felt something strange. His power was being sapped. In fact, a large amount of it was going directly towards a large icy plane not too far from his own Oasis. As he went to go investigate, he soon realized that the ice was a dark and cold black. The entire field was flat, but not for long. The power he had felt being drained from him was causing the black ice to rise. Towers were being made, huge spiraling towers.

But not only that, the ice was expanding itself northwards, seemingly headed somewhere. The spreading was slow, but seemingly unstoppable. What god could be behind this and how was Kortence's own power being drained by this, he wondered. It was all too confusing to him, and Kortence wondered what the purpose of it could be. Despite this, he inspected the nearest tower, a massive monolith with grooves inside it. Something could possibly reach the top if it so wished.

Kortence felt a chill in his bones. Whoever this god was, he would need to discover it and soon. Discover its intentions maybe. For no love could prosper here, no joy could survive the harsh cold and no life, should ever be forced to endure such animosity.

"These obelisks of despair, what do they mean?"

Having finished their first land and sowed the seeds for the world's growth, Thalusai spread their wings and flew out to see the rest of the empty world. They expected to find little, yet they found much. Deserts, mountains, plateaus, and even fields of black ice covered parts of the land. It was strange to see in an empty world. Yet, Thalusai thought little of it and returned to the sowing.

Seeing how large the world was, Thalusai took the children of their creation - the seeds of life - and threw them to the wind saying "Go forth and grow strong" and so they did. One by one, the trees grew mighty, though they could never match those trees of the first island.

Thalusai saw this and thought it good.

The winds shifted about the southern continent. Had something happened, another emergence of order from the primal chaos? Indeed, the winds felt the Seraphim take their first breaths, speak their first words. Joyous of this new development, a silent missive was sent - and Zerus heard. Now was the time to put his herald to the test. However, before he could forge these new morals into a glorious force for righteousness, they would need a suitable place to live and grow. The oasis the winds spoke of would only support so many, and to beat back the world's chaos many more would be needed.

With a will accompanied by a divine choir, Zerus bathed the barren fields of the southern continent in a divine glow. Life emerged from the scarred ground, the soil becoming rich and healthy. Rolling hills and fertile groves grew in Zerus's wake, the winds sweeping aside all impurities.

Once he was pleased with his work, Zerus called on his herald. "Duras - I have for you your first test. In the center of the continent lies an oasis flowing with life, and within are the first of many mortals. Show them the divinity of song - the righteousness of law. Do these things in my name, such that they know they are not alone in this world."

Duras bowed his head, his figure shining in response to his master's orders. His wings began to beat with the rhythm of his master's song, lifting him into the air. "It shall be done, my lord." Duras flew for five days straight, never resting, never faltering. When he saw the oasis on the horizon, he encircled it until he found the structure the winds spoke of. He landed outside, oddly silent.

The Seraphim, meanwhile, knew something was amiss. The stillness of the water in their basin told them no noise was being produced, but they could hear a strange sound, reverberating as though it was inside their own skulls. Fear bgan to grip them - what was this strange sensation? What did this noise mean? Then, unbidden, an idea was impressed on their minds. It was gentle, encouraging. 'There is no need to fear, young Seraphim. Please, meet me outside. I have much to show you.'

Lutra decided that dry land was fun. He completely lost any track of time as he entertained himself climbing the plateaus and jumping from one peak to the other. And when he wasn't doing that he was swimming through the newborn rivers and meeting the new friends that came with them. These were fish and animals that Lutra had never seen in the deep places.

Even the water's funny. Lutra mused, stopping for a drink. While the big blue was cold and salty, these rivers were clear and fresh. The water even felt warmer as it sparkled in the sun. Maybe that was why the things that lived in the rivers were so much more easy going than the things in the deep. The thinner otters agreed that the rivers were a good addition too as they all started to make homes for themselves along the riverbanks.

The land itself had started to come to life as well with lots of bright greens and strange things growing out of the ground. It all made the other spots of land on the island look rather bland by comparison.

Lutra was pottering around on one of the plateau tops one day, looking over the valley below him and the wasteland beyond and he pondered what he could do about it. Looking out over all that dead space was beginning to get depressing. When inspiration came in the form of the larger otters that had stayed out at sea, saying that the river lands were too hot and crowded for them. They said that they wanted a place of their own like the river otters had.

"Then why don't you come live in the rivers?" Lutra asked.

"Cus we don't like them!" The sea otters yelled. They didn't like the heat. They didn't like how the water got. They didn't like all that weird green stuff! They liked the sea!

"But you want land too?" Lutra tilted his head.

"Yes!"

"But land like the sea?"

"Yes!"

How am I supposed to do that?

So Lutra set about trying to make a homeland for the bigger, furrier, sea otters. He traipsed up and down the coast for what felt like forever. Every time it seemed like he'd gotten the land just right some other otter came in complaining about it, and wouldn't you know, he'd have to start all over again. In fact he had to drag in the sea and wash away all his hard work so many times that he wore the cliffs away to nubs. Until just when he was about to give up the sea otters cried,

"Stop, stop! That's perfects!" The sea had covered the land so much that the coasts had begun to look like the ocean floor... but without all the water. Nothing was left of the cliff walls but sand and tiny rocks all scattered with sea weed and rock pools. It had taken so long that even the crabs and other shell things had set up homes for themselves.

Lutra gave a sigh of relief finally he could get back to having some fun. He looked out at the lands far away across the sea where he could feel others doing big things like this as well. Was it this hard for them too?

Therax watched from on high as the other "gods" emerged from the ether and began to warp his world. One had hollowed out his mountains with a system of caves. While not inherently against Therax's plan, the god had left an Avatar of his will to guard the entrance, barring its usage.

Another had already begun to breathe life onto the world, an act of supreme arrogance. Therax's hand was tempted, the race was new and only two members of it existed, a wave of his hand would open a crack in the ground beneath their home and swallow them whole. Ending the Seraphim before they could ever flourish.

However, Therax did not indulge the urge, to punish those born of the act did not sit well with him. The god decided to simply play the long game. To wait and see if the other deities would expend their energy creating something her could use.

Oluf stopped flying to look around. He liked flying, but time passed quickly when he did so. He looked to the sky, and let himself fall above the ocean... Black, it was night. How many had he seen by now, ignored due to his duties? He sighed, as he crossed his legs and stared into the big empty void, holding himself in the air with his wings. He quickly lost himself in thoughts and plans for this world. Would the others make their own races or use the Seraphim? He sighed, they were in his thoughts near every second.

He looked around, at the world rather than the people. From his position, he could see the otter playing with his people, making sand on the edge of the water. It seems it was no longer his home, he thought with a sigh. Though... had otters always been there? He shook his head after a minute, and kicked himself up into the sky, looking north. The mountains still loomed majestically, and would perhaps make a nice home for his people if they wanted. The southeast held a desert, his people would likely avoid that inhospitable chunk of sand. The east held the oasis, and he though to simply return, see what had happened there. He began the trek back, with a smile on his face. Perhaps other gods had gifted things unto them.

For another year Shinem walked, and still he was no closer to finding his bottle. His seeking would took him to a forest he didn't recall. After looking in every tree in the area, he fell and hit his head...

Kaiden was staring into the vast oasis that he called home. Just, staring. His family was off elsewhere, the kids playing in the trees and Matilda watching. Kortence had set them together, though he couldn't remember much about Kortence other than that, and that he gained his name from him. The kids made so much noise, but it was nessecary, he wouldn't be around forever and the Sepharim must live on.

"Must they now?"

A figure appeared in front of Kaiden. Bony and decayed. He spoke slowly with a comforting menace. If the figure was plotting against someone, Kaiden was sure it wasn't him.

"You know as well as I, that once you die, none of it matters. You want to live forever, don't you Kaiden?"

Kaiden had been discussing with the figure for years now. In private of course, nobody else could see it. The figure never gave him a name, but Kaiden felt it to be as familiar as himself. Kaiden turned to the figure and said "I love my family, I can't leave them."

The figure swung around Kaiden and placed its fingers on him. "All you would have to do is..."

"ENOUGH!"

Kaiden turned around and yelled. The creature wasn't behind him anymore and was quite gone. Kaiden shook his head and flew off into the trees. Trying to get away from everything, at least for a tiny bit.

The Oasis had been doing strange things lately. His children couldn't see it, Matilda couldn't see it, but Kaiden could. The branches were fluid, moving, trying to strangle him. Destroying his world slowly. The Oasis wasn't safe, it was evil. The figure was right, but how could he tell Matilda? Kaiden crashed into one of the trees, too consumed in thought to notice. He came crashing into the brush and everything was black.

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"Honey? Are you okay? Where are you? Kaiden?"

Kaiden was waking up. Matilda was looking for him again. So many years of it. He could never be alone, never be alone. He got up and sighed. "Matilda? I'm over here, don't worry."

Matilda quickly flew over to her husband and stared lovingly into his eyes. "Come on Kaiden! The kids are waiting. We should get going now."

Kaiden nodded and flapped away with her, off to his kids again. Then, he saw it. Kaiden was flying behind his wife and he saw it. It was a flash, a glimpse, but it was there. An aura, an evil aura. It surrounded Matilda, and all this time he hadn't seen it until now.

"See, Kaiden? She was lying to you!"

Kaiden looked to his left and the figure of death was there again. He had been right, Matilda lied to him. There wasn't any doubt about it in Kaiden's mind. She had to be stopped, he had to be free. Free at last. The creature was capable of communicating with Kaiden via his mind, so at least that option remained. Kaiden wondered to himself.

You're right. We have to kill her, it's the only way to save the kids.

"And how do you know they aren't corrupted too? They spent enough time with her to be. Maybe you should-"

That's not an option. I can undo her corruption. Matilda has to be destroyed, but not my kids.
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The day had been slow. The kids played, Kaiden smiled and took an extra active role in their activities. Some were getting older, but the younger ones had to be saved from Matilda's corruption. Without him, they would surely be lost. The transition would be rocky, but he figured he would be fine without her. Better even.

But now, it was night. Kaiden slept with Matilda next to him. The two had enjoyed a particularly strong bout of liquor this evening and Matilda was out cold. The perfect opportunity.

Kaiden had been given instructions by his friend, the appirition. Exactly how he could kill her, to remove the curse, to remove the taint. The taint was in her blood, so it had to be removed. She had to be drained. The corruption would flow out of her and her soul would be saved. He still loved her, this was the only way.

Kaiden took Matilda, put her on his back and walked to his site, where he had been preparing.

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Matilda woke up from her deep sleep with a startle. She was tied up, and leaning down. She could see the sky and little else. She couldn't move, what was going on? Where was Kaiden?

"KAIDEN! HELP!"

"I'm afraid, there is no helping you, demon." Kaiden said from behind her. He was sad, she had woken up, it was too early for that. He wanted to get this done quickly, but now, well, it was what it had to be.

"Kaiden, what are you talking about? Stop playing around and let me go, please."

Kaiden could see Matilda's skin turning a sickly blackish purple. She was trying to tempt him. That was her trick! He couldn't fall for it, not now. He had come to far and what would she do with the children?

"Quiet, demon. I am saving you."

Kaiden reached over on a nearby rock and grabbed a knife. In one quick action, he silenced Matilda. Crimson flowing from her neck and pooling in the grass below. One of the children had come and was staring wide eyed at Kaiden.

"What...what did you do to mommy?"

"She was a demon! You saw her-"

Matilda was normal, the blood was still flowing but she was normal. What had he done? No, this wasn't right, it was a trick! It had to be! But from who? What? Was this...it didn't make sense. The child began to scream and others began moving about. Kaiden couldn't think of any other options, so he flew, he flew away from the oasis.
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Kaiden had flown so far in a few days, that he was soon able to see the ocean. The world was so empty now, Kortence and Oluf hadn't prepared it for them yet. Kaiden then spotted what could only be described, as a miracle of nature. Ice was everywhere.

It was a dark purple black, like before. Like Matilda. This place, it had to have the answers he was looking for. In the distance, Kaiden could see a dark mass of towers. They loomed over and called for him. He obliged.

Flying over was fast, the area was slightly bigger than the oasis, but only slightly and Kaiden had explored most of that place. One of the obelisks had a particularly interesting design. A series of runes were inside it, he couldn't tell what they were for. Kaiden landed inside the obelisk and walked inside, his feet touching the ice.

At first, the ice was cold, colder than the coldest chill Kaiden had felt in his life. But the cold, began to fade. In fact, it felt warm, the ice felt homeley, it was welcoming him. Kaiden looked down and his feet were turning black, his veins turning an icy blue. He tried to raise his feet, but something made him not. It wasn't forcing him not to, more seducing him, making him want to accept this.

The runes in the obelisk began to glow and a figure emerged out of the ice. A lady made entirely of ice strutted to Kaiden, and embraced him. It was an embrace that made him feel pure joy. He couldn't care less for his kids now, for Matilda, for any of them. He was in the moment now, and he knew what he wanted. He joined with her.

When Kaiden awoke the next day, a lot had changed. His hair was now a jet black, for starters. His skin had fully embraced the ice, turning a bluish whitish tone, with his veins black as night. Kaiden's eyes were a pure white. His wings hung low and felt useless, turning a sickly black. He felt as if he were one with the ice. The ice had become him, and he had become the ice. Near him, were babies. They had already been born by the ice. They would start a new race, the Frostborn. Kaiden left the obelisk leaving only a single message, all hail Mateso, lord of the ice. A fitting name for the one who brought him here, he thought, and with that, Kaiden would let his children fend for themselves.

Thalusai flew out from their forest in all directions, as they were want to do in those early days of the world. They scoured the world in search of that which they could raise and bring into themselves. They passed mountains and plateaus, deserts and frozen wastelands. It was on one of these flights That Thalusai first saw one of them; the native gods of the young world, though they knew not this at the time.

He was hideous. He had but four limbs by which to shape the world. His shell was soft and squishy and a color that hardly camouflaged him in the wilderness; particularly the useless purple strands of fiber coming out of his head and the similarly colored wings. The color made Thalusai wonder if he was a venomous being, but his lack of fangs suggested otherwise. He looked alien and disgusting. Worse, he looked weak. And the weak have no place in this world; their world.

So, as the being walked, as though unafraid of the danger that surrounded it, the group of Thalusai set an ambush. When the being passes, Thalusai jumped from the hiding places and latched onto the god. The clawed and chewed and stung the being with all they had. Two brave members of the group bit into the wings of the god and sucked free from him some of his divine lifeblood. And with his blood came some of his power; a fine prize indeed. At that moment, Thalusai realized the being they were upon was hardly as weak as it appeared, but cared little. For the small group was but a tiny, expendable part of it's greater whole. Those Thalusai would die, but their sacrifice granted more power to the might Thalusai. They would be sung of during the feast.

Using the power gained from the strange divine one, they crafted the first of their many voices. The Endless Swarm was born that day; made in the image of their creators. And Thalusai rejoiced at the creation, for it was strong, determined, and bent upon survival. Calling out to their newest creation Thalusai said "Go forth; eat, grow, and multiply. Survive!".

And so, The Endless Swarm did as it was commanded. It flew into the jungles and the deserts and the mountains and the seas and the icy wastes. Where it went, it ate. Where it ate, it grew. and where it grew, it multiplied; seeding the world with all the insects and arachnids of the world. When the Swarm had finished it's mission, it went into hibernation; sleeping below the ground of the world in the dark places; awaiting the next command of Thalusai.

And Thalusai was pleased.

Zerus looked upon his works, the fields he had forged by wind and song, and was pleased. The effort had expended a great deal of his energy, however - he would need time to rest and recuperate. Retreating back into the clouds, he bided his time, watching over the world for any new developments...

The next few years would be a very busy time for Lutra. Not that he knew it as the sea spirit held up his no ancient tradition of moulding and shaping the land by accident. And to be fair, nature itself also deserved a bit of the credit. The grassy riverlands were overflowing with flowers and plant life, maybe because of the funny buzzing things that Lutra had noticed whizzing about the place. The various animal's coats were constantly picking up fallen seeds and spreading them across the island. Lutra in particular was guilty of this what with his habit of running laps of the island in an attempt to capture the moon or something equally shiny.

Over time this lead to huge plants growing out of the ground, all of them clustering together. They weren't like any water plants Lutra knew, but everyone seemed to like them. They gave the land animals shade from the sun and the ones by the river banks became burrows for the river animals. Lutra himself claiming the biggest one he could find. The pure land animals were very happy with them too and the bigger plants became homes of small scurrying things, large flying things and made food for the bigger ones.

This was all north of the rocky riverlands though. Down south the palnts just weren't taking but the life giving aura of the rivers and, no doubt, thanks to the god that had made the place is home the southern plains were growing lush and bright. The barren flatlands were replaced over time by gathering soil and rocky outcrops covered in brush and moss. The sea winds were blowing strong on this little island and they were bringing the suns warmth with them in force. Or perhaps the sun just took a greater interest in this place than the rest of the world. Lutra could never work out what the sun was thinking.

For decades, Therax observed the events that transpired on the world below. However, his attention was mostly drawn to the most unusual quirk on his world: the Seraphim. They were alive and could think for themselves, but they were limited by finite understanding. From this limitation, they were prone to ends Therax did not predict, especially the patriarch's madness that drove him to corruption.

Therax began to believe that he could learn from beings of a lesser existence. That they could bring new perspectives to his attention, one that might make the world a better place, especially if he had to share it. However, to create life like the Seraphim would make it vulnerable to the ills of the world, like the clouds of ghastly insects Thalusai loosed upon the world. Now making Therax regret he did not make volcanoes bloom in that beast's woods.

So, Therax decided to make his own mortals with something more solid, and have them not rely on food that could be easily devoured. Reaching up to his crown, Therax broke off a piece of his crown and threw it down to the world below, aiming for his own mountains. As it neared, the crystal began to break apart, and the residual energies of the god bound some of the pieces together as they drifted down to the ground. "You are Therax'kin, my children." The god spoke for the first time in many years, deciding it was worth speaking to give his creations a name.

Then, surprising even to Therax, a voice responded. "We are Therax'kin, your children. We are..." The voice paused, but Therax could hear a murmur of many voices, like they were debating something.

"You are alive." Therax answered the question he knew the newly born creatures of stone were pondering.

"We are...alive." The voice resumed, now seeming more sure in its understanding.

Therax nodded, pleased with his work. However, when the god drifted down to get a closer view of his creations, he saw that they were binding together, forming crystal structures. On the rocky landscape of the mountainside, they stood out like a sore thumb. While made of strong minerals, the Therax'kin would not thrive here. Therax knew that his children needed tighter spaces to expand, but the only place that would work was beneath him, guarded by an avatar of another god.

"Stand strong." Therax left his children with parting advice as he began his search for Difarus, wanting to strike a deal.

Alarmed by the sudden spread of the black ice, Difarus immediately dropped to the ground before them and began weaving the air around him in a wide radius around the corruption into a dense, billowing fog. Once the basic obscuring layer of fog was in, the Dream-Lord set in another layer that would burn any black ice or anything corrupted by it. Finally, he set in a number of strong prevailing winds going in all directions, so as to make it nearly impossible for anyone to fly over or sail past the fog. In fact, it was likely that any that tried to enter or escape the confines of the obsidian ice patch.

Difarus was about to leave when he finally noticed a figure standing on a balcony on one of the great black spires; the figure radiated a power at least as great as his own, but it was... different... part of it seemed wild and... untamed somehow. Once he reached the spire, Difarus walked up along its outer walls and made his way to the balcony.

At the balcony, he confronted the figure, "Are you the maker behind this corruption?"

For a long time the Rummaker slept, until a low hum woke him up. He was greeted by a being unlike any he had seen; one of rock and crystal. The spook made him reach for his flask of alcohol to keep his spirits up. Oh wait... He still hadn't found it and spending a time asleep did little to help. Reality struck him when he remembered that someone was near him.

"Hello good sir! I didn't see you before." He greeted. "I'm Shinem. Rummaker and forger of bonds. What's yours?"

"I am Therax'kin." The being answered simply. "Many of my kin saw you and thought you dead."

Shinem laughed, "Dead? Oh far from it! I just got hit with something while I was recovering from something."

"Are you not well?"

"Well... Kind of. I've lost my flask full of the first alcohol I brewed and for the life of me, I can't seem to remember where I put it. Only a headache from trying to remember."

"Do you know what it looks like?"

"Yea. It's a simple leather skin. And in it contains the best thing ever made."

"I see..." With that Therax'kin left, leaving Shinem confused if he was going to help or not.

Feeling a twinge of frustration Shinem went off in his search on his own. Somewhere it felt strange seeing the once empty world start to take on life; maybe things were slowly coming back like everyone was in the same state as He once did. It felt like it was about time to build some residences for himself. With the earth below and the wood from all around, he crafted two Pubs on the opposite sides of the world; places to rest when his quest for the First Alcohol was still ongoing.

It was in both Pubs that he filled the place with every booze he knew along with new brews he hadn't envisioned before. Sometimes the new life forms would enter, and by nature the Rummaker proffered his wares to them for friendship. They would tell them their names and where they came from - most of them were from the same family and household. It kept the days interesting, but he'd hoped that someone would come close to finding his First Alcohol. He'd ask patrons and in return they would ask for what it did. And Shinem - being the exaggerator of his craft - spoke of it as if could bring great things to the drinker. What started as a vague notion became speculation by the patrons of great power; eternal life, youth, strength, wisdom, a passage to heaven, anything and everything could be attained by this First Alcohol. And people would search for it, just as the Rummaker would.

Part of him wondered if he should've kept the Alcohol secret...

Kortence was still investigating the runes hidden on the temple walls. He hadn't yet gone inside or checked the top, but he could feel magic resonating through the obelisk. Then, another god appeared near him and this time, he was being accused. Turning to face he who had called him out, Kortence saw that the being looked similar to himself. Kortence's bones made a large cracking noise as he faced Difarus.

"I am not, my name is Kortence and I am studying these obelisks. Clearly, you are not either. Did you make the fog nearby?"

"I did," the other god responded through an apparently rotting visage, "To contain the threat this place represents. Not nearly enough intelligent life for this place to be interesting enough for my tastes. Can't have the world ending before they turn up."
The other god paused and folded his arms while standing on the ceiling.
"I am Difarus, Lord of the Twin Realms of Dream and Nightmare. Who are you?"
"As I said earlier, my name is Kortence. I...do not have a domain I don't think. I try to make the world as happy as I can make it though. Perhaps that could be my domain..."

Kortence had a feeling the obelisk was hiding something, he wanted to discover it. Difarus could be a witness to this, he supposed. There was little harm in it. Kortence pointed a bony finger to the runes enscribed on the wall and said "These runes resonate magic. I can feel it, so familiar...There may be more here than you think. Come, I think I might have something to show you."

With that, Kortence began floating upwards towards the top of the impossibly tall tower, ignoring mountains of ice with one goal in mind. He knew something was there, someone from the past. Or maybe they simply had been, he couldnt' tell.

Without another word, Difarus waited for Kortence to finish his ascension to the top of the tower, then he opened a portal that took him there directly. He stepped out onto the non-existent ceiling of the top of the tower, his arms still folded.

"What am I meant to see here?" Difarus waved an arm towards a wheel-like structure in the center of the tower's apex.

Kortence was surprised. He had expected whatever had caused it to still be there. That could only mean one thing. "It's...alive." Kortence laughed a happy laugh. "We have more life, I was right."

"Kortence pointed towards the structure in the center. "That...is where it all took place and the result..." Kortence pointed at the ground and moved his finger to a winding staircase "Is where they left. They must have walked all the way down and headed toward food."

The only food Kortence could think existed was the fish in the ocean to the south. Yes, that would explain everything. They would be there, more life, more to love, more to experience.

"Don't you see Difarus? This place isn't the beginning of the end. It's...another oasis. Come, if I am right, there will be life to the south."

Difarus followed the suddenly eager Kortence where he would lead him. As soon as they arrived, Difarus was assaulted by a new burgeoning series of dreams. Dreams of conquest and war. Dreams of replacing all life with more like it. And then... finally, to dream of nothing else.

Difarus recoiled in horror, nearly dropping out of the sky and plummeting into the freezing depths below.

As Kortence flew southward, he didn't notice Difarus and quickly came upon them, a new race. Born of frost around them, they were beautiful. Skin pale as snow, but veins black as night on some, blue as the ocean on others, still others mimicked the purplish blackness of the ice around them. Their hair was all dark and they had long feathered capes that draped down and hung. They were gathering food as expected.

The Frostborn, as Kortence subtly named them, were already adept with their powers, finding fish and freezing the waters around it, then quickly crafting an ice spear and impaling the animal, dragging it to shore to be consumed by the group. There was little conversation going on, but the work was fast and steady.

Although Kortence had no muscles with which to smile, if he did, Difarus would notice him beaming. The god however, did utter a single word. "Beautiful."

"Terrible," Difarus disagreed, and brought his hand to Kortence's brow, "Let me show you their dreams."

Kortence turned to Difarus, he disagreed with the god, but would humor him for now. "Please, do."

Difarus showed Kortence what he saw for the Frostborns' future. War and bloodshed that would only end with either their destruction or the rest of the world. They had the power in them to consume all other sentient life in this world and twist it into something resembling them.

"They are a plague," Difarus narrated as the vision shifted to show the Frostbor attacking the other two intelligent species currently living on this world, "They will consume and infect everything else they touch."

"I will grant, however," he continued, bringing his hand away and thus taking the visions away from Kortence, "That what I have shown you is only their potential. But I have seen many with that kind... and it has always been fulfilled. Save once. And that was where they were smothered in the crib."

"My Lost Mists will contain them... but I suspect that will only be for a time," he went on, folding his arms, "In the meantime, the rest of the world will need to shore up their defenses and find a way to bring these terrors to an end before they destroy everything else around them."

Kortence shook the visions from his head. They were terrible. Horrific, impossible. Nothing was capable of what Difarus had shown him, that would require a lack of love, a lack of compassion and that was just not something Kortence could see. Kortence looked down at the Frostborn. They didn't have to die, and he wouldn't see the future end that way.

"The future isn't solid, and neither is theirs. They have yet to even explore the world and you wish to end it for them. End their experience, hopes and aspirations. You would do to them what you fear they would do but without solid proof they would truly be the menace you describe. We are responsible for these mortals just the same as the Sepharim. Their future and fate rely on us, our choice. I love all mortals and these are no different. I won't let any harm come to them."

Kortence looked down. "Whoever created them, is not here and may never come back. The Sepharim have a guardian, I can be the Frostborn's. Will you trust me, Difarus?"

Difarus considered the argument for a moment. He'd heard it before, but for once, it sounded genuine.

"Very well," he said, "Teach them not to convert others without consent... once they learn of that ability. There is no reason to tell them about that ability before they are... ready for it. And for my part... will see to it that the other races are ready to stand against them if it comes to that. Offer one hand, but arm the other, I say."

To that effect, Difarus extended his hand to Kortence.

"Is that agreeable to you?"

Kortence was wary of arming mortals, he didn't know what they would do with weaponry. But compramises had to be made and this was one he could work with for now. Kortence extended his own hand and shook Difarus's.

"Let us pave the way for peace, Difarus. When that is complete, we need not worry about doom."

"I too wish peace is possible. But you who claim to care for mortal happiness... bear in mind that the happiness of the many outweighs that of the few."

"Love, is common. Everyone on this world has it, and it shapes the way we move. To be without love is impossible, so I do not see the need for war, for destruction and death among sentient races. Through love, we can define this world and make it the best we can. All of creation shares this love, and that is why I do not worry for the future."

"We who are immortal know that love is but a flicker. There one moment and gone the next. Nothing lasting can be built on it. As for how much love and compassion these creatures are capable of... why not test it? Find out just how much they have. Please. Prove me wrong."

And with that, Difarus walked into a cloud and disappeared. Kortence turned to his new patron race and sighed. He might as well give Difarus the test he wanted. He would injure one and see if the others would help their brother. That would prove it. Kortence already knew how this would pan out, but he had to see it for himself. Prove it to himself, so to one of the fishermen, he made his fish grow, and grow, and grow so large it grabbed onto the fisher's arm and began thrashing about.

The fisher was surprised, and entirely caught off guard, the fish succeeded in its venture and now, it was up to the Frostborn to prove themselves. Kortence watched as the Frostborn all began to swim to their brother in arms. They were helping him get the fish off. Kortence breathed a sigh of relief and turned around, the Frostborn would be fine. He lifted off the ground and began to head back to his first Oasis.

As Kortence left, the Frostborn finally freed their fellow fisher from the mouth of the fish, they then impaled the monster through multiple spikes of ice and swam back with it, minus the injured Frostborn. He struggled alone in the waters for a while, before eventually sinking below the waves. No trace of him to ever be discovered. The Frostborn, unabated, began feasting on their catch.

As Kortence reached the Oasis, he realized how small it was now. He decided that should be fixed. Though, recreating the beauty of the Oasis on such a large scale would be problematic. He decided instead he would make something similar, more hills and trees. The mortals could live in this place, and those who understand and believe would eventually maybe find the Oasis and live in true harmony. That was Kortence's wish, and so it was true, everywhere around the Oasis for miles, hills and trees sprouted and with them, grass and other fauna. The trees had needles for leaves and would last seemingly forever. Green forever, and undying, just as the gods, that was Kortence's wish. Perhaps they would one day conquer the nearby desert? Kortence could only wonder.

Upon the completion of The Endless Swarm, Thalusai threw more seed to the wind, expanding the jungle further into the strange world. Admiring what they had done, Thalusai rested and gathered their power. Strong though Thalusai were; the changes to the world required observing.

To Thalusai's surprise however, something they had never seen had come to the world. They were creatures; intelligent like the gods who made them, yet mortal. They fought and weathered the worst of The Endless Swarm, despite their feeble bodies and minds. They flew, but not like the glorious ilk of Thalusai. They flew on wings of feathers as though some perversion of the true flight of Thalusai.

Yet, above all, they were strong. This, Thalusai respected. Seeing how some who were weak had even begged for strength - and in some cases were granted it by the strange black ice of the south - a plan began to form in the Thalusai hive. Perhaps these creatures would rise to true strength in time and given the right... conditions.

So for nearly a century, Thalusai watched and waited as machinations were set in motion.

Lutra gave a contented sigh, snorting bubble out though his nose as he did. He'd forgotten how calm the deep dark deep could be. There was no real sound down here and the few things that lived this far down kept to themselves, except the angler fish that is. Even the light didn't dare come down here. He could really get away from it all down here and just zone out.

He drifted along with the currents for a while, his eyes closed and oblivious to the world. The otters had told Lutra about how there was pressure down here with so much water piled up on top of you but he never seemed to notice it. He just kept drifting deeper and deeper. Until UMPH. It wasn't a loud or hard collision but Lutra definitely hit something. Not a rock though... it was all squishy. The little otter perked up and started poking at he wall of squish in front of him. It was all rough and prickly but still gave way a little bit to him. Then it lit up.

Lutra jerked back in surprise, a cloud of bubbles and a muffled eep escaping his mouth. It wasn't a wall, it was an eye... a giant EYE!! The water around him began to stir and shake, a rumbling made it's way through the deep. Something was stirring and it was as if all the water was hurrying to get out of its way.

It shifted and rose, not quickly but it didn't need to be quick, it was so big even its smallest movements were gigantic. Lutra scrambled to get away but a shadow fell over him, darkening the dark if that was even possible. Lutra slowed down for just a second as he looked behind him to try and see what was happening but it was on him, trying to snap him up and swallow him whole. He flailed in confusion and slammed right into it's face as the two of them rose higher and higher. Quick enough they came crashing through the surf and up into the open air, the beast seemed to just keep coming and coming. Lutra, for his part, was squeaking for dear life as he clung onto what he thought was a nose. The monster let out a roar that would deafen the ears of any mortal.

Apparently it didn't like being woken up. It did seem to calm down though and it lowered its head, its eyes crossing as it tried to get a look at the little thing that refused to be eaten.

"what are you, little thing?" It rumbled in the thundering growls that only those born to the salt could truly understand.

"Uuuuh... Lutra? Who are you?" The otter replied baffled that something like this could talk. Looking down at it... well it looked like one of the snakes from the green place only with fins... and bigger, much bigger.

The snake thing snarled. "I need no name! I am beyond names! You have woken me and now I hunger. I shall feast until I am full again."

"Whaaaahhhh?" Lutra looked back, baffled. "How much does something like you eat?" It did look like a growing boy.

"Everything!" It roared, the force of its breath nearly sending Lutra flying. "I devoured this world once until the pickings were slim and now it swells again. And. I. Will. Eat."

"You can't eat everything, that's mean!" Lutra yelled. Then he was busy yelping as the hungry snake's jaws opened wide and it tried to shake him off into its mouth.

Lutra clawed and snarled like the animal he thought he was and the sea around him did the same. His tiny claws scratched at the rock hard scales, the only reason he drew blood was thanks to his divine power. But that wasn't his real weapon. Whether he realised it or not the sea was raging around them. The waves clashed and foamed, rising up like giant walls, looming so tall as to block the light out from the two combatants. the sea serpent noticed too late as the ring of water came crashing down and dragged them back into the depths. There the two of them fought in a battle that the fish would sing about for ten thousand generations. Until eventually they came to rest on the ocean floor. Lutra, tired and raging. The snake, lain flat and exhausted.

"So what was that about eating everyone?" He barked, marching up to its face.

"I surrender." It sighed. "You are the alpha. I will answer to you."

"That's more like it!" Lutra said, patting it better before going on his way. If anyone had been watching on the surface world they might have seen a small river otter march onto the shores of the western island with a glowing air of victory about him as he shook himself off and set about his day.

Therax had searched for what felt like a long time, scouring the world for Difarus. He had come close to finding him once, but lost track after the god entered his confusing mists. It was probably only byfortune's chance that he happened upon the Dream God, still in the mists. "Difarus..." The god spoke in a long groan, wary of his search. "...I wish to speak to you about the 'Mobius Wells' that you have put under my mountains."

Difarus turned to face the god bearing down on him.

"The Moebius Wells?" he said, scratching his fetid chin, "What possible interest could they be to you?"

Therax pointed to the missing jewel in his crown, then gestured out to where he knew the mountains were. "I have seeded this world, but the surface is not a place where my children can flourish. Your caves are, but you have guarded the entrance."

"Hmm..." Difarus considered the possibilities on this point, having a whole species living in his caves hadn't really occurred to him. Well, not in the long term anyway. "If I do this, it will require some... modifications to my existing... design. As well as getting my guard-cat to leave your people alone."

For the most part. Difarus suppressed a smirk.

"If we do this... I will require your assistance against another force in this world that threatens all of us. The Frostborn." Difarus pointed towards the Lost Mists, behind which the black ice patch and its... creatures laid in wait, "If left unchecked, they will most likely consume all other life on this world. I will not allow that to happen. So, if I help you now, you must pledge to aid me in my attempts to contain them... and if necessary, to destroy them. As well as help me find the fool god that fashioned them... and deal with them, whoever they may be."

Difarus extended a hand to Therax.

Therax nodded as the dream god spoke. He had seen the Frostborn for himself while searching for Difarus. Their twisted form and ways did displease him, greatly. "What dwells on the ice is a threat, I agree to your terms."

Therax reached out and met Difarus' hand, the pact against the Frostborn had been struck.

Therax pulled his hand back when it was released. "Your hospitality is...appreciated, but I will see to my children's defense." His mind returning to that of his spawn, Therax knew he had been gone a long time from their mortal perspective. So, he turned to leave, giving parting advice to his new partner. "Speak to the earth when you require my aid, Difarus, I shall hear you."

And, with that, Therax left Difarus in his mist.

Satisfied, the Dream-Lord snatched a nearby raven from the air and gave it a message for his avatar: Allow Therax and his Kin to pass. Guard the Therax'Kin if need be, unless I require something else from you.

He gave the raven directions, and released it. The black vulture flew straight for the Moebius Wells.

Something was.... wrong. Oluf noticed this as he came upon the continent, now flowing with forests. He'd heard it happening, but was busy doing something else to truly care much. Now it only served to annoy him. He was already in a terrible mood, those fucking BUGS managed to hurt him a little bit. He'd have to remember to return the favor.... somehow. Fire was always a fun way to go about things.

He decided to walk a bit, stretch his legs as he strolled through the forest. He flapped his wings out as he strolled through, it seemed there were hideous chittering things everywhere. Oluf found them beyond annoying, though their noise could be found acceptable.

His stroll was interrupted by the sound of flapping wings, and a spear at his back. It looked a bit like Kaiden, though his wings and hair were brilliant emerald green, and his eyes flaming yellow. They seemed confused...

"Who are you?" the god asked, seemingly uncaring of the sharp metal pointed between his wings. The Green one raised an eyebrow, then smirked as he straightened out.

"Could ask the same of you, ya know. I thought I knew every Seraphim by name, and no one I know is purple! I'm the Seraphim's greatest warrior, Paladin Franz! Pleased to meet you." He flipped his spear, driving it into the ground as he bowed. Oluf noticed he was wearing robes, light brown in color to give him camouflage. He seemed to have another weapon on his back, an overly large sword, and a flute hanging from his steel belt.

"Greatest warrior? And what's a paladin...? I'm Olufunmilola, the creator of the Seraphim!" He ended with a flourish, perhaps trying to cover his ignorance. Franz looked him up and down, noticing that he had no head wounds. Or clothes. His eyes snapped back up to Oluf's face.

"Riiiiight. Sure you are. I'll just take you back to the village now, Olufunmilola. You can sleep off whatever the hell's wrong with ya." His smirk rreturned, bigger now as he stretched out his wings. Oluf did the same, and they took to the air...

They came upon the village quickly, Oluf had to slow down a bit for his friend but remained silent. There were several houses, built into the trees and suspended with several vines and branches. They didn't seem to have walkways, though there was a sort of safety net below the ring of houses. Underneath, were the merchants and farmers. Beneath the net the sounds of warriors training could be heard, alongside the music that rang out through every building. A large statue stood in the middle of the Military ring, but the god didn't look at it.

"This place is AMAZING!" Oluf yelled, flying above and taking it all in. Several mothers covered the eyes of their children. Franz sighed, flying up and tossing his robe at the God, revealing leather chest armor, as well as bracers and boots.

"Wear that until we get something for ya. C'mon." He flew down to the merchant ring, Oluf in tow. A few Therax'kin could be seen, but not many. Oluf examined one closely, making it confused. "C'mon, weirdo!" Franz said, grabbing Oluf by the neck. He practically dragged the deity to the hospital, where he got a room booked for him. He'd go along with it for now. He'd try to find Matilda or Kaiden later. They could clear his name.

This fog...it burned. It hurt, badly and that god, that Difarus, it was an enemy. The ice knew it was an enemy, but not one it could destroy. Was it doomed already? Was it to be destroyed by something that could not even understand its glory? Surely the fog would spread soon and then, death.

The ice decided it needed to move fast. But now was not the time, it needed mortals, like the Frostborn to help it. It would have to bide its time for now and seem friendly. Then, an idea struck.

Deep within the icy interior of the obelisks, laid the body of the first Frostborn, Kaiden. It had preserved his body to serve as a focal point for later, but now, he had a use. The ice began surrounding the decayed body of Kaiden, lifting him from his mortal coils and setting his spirit free. He would be the ice's agent, and he would spread its influence discretely.
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Kaiden awoke, for the third time he felt as if he had just been born. First, a Sepharim, then Frostborn, and now? "What is this? Where am I? What...what am I?"

Kaiden looked down and found himself spectral, a ghost. He was missing an eye, but could see through it, he was flying again, but his wings had worms in them. He was horrifying, rotting, but had no scent. He wished to scream, but knew what it would mean if he did.

Then, he felt the familiar, welcoming cold. It said without speaking, and was clear to him. Clear as the waters before the fogs, he had enemies who might know of him. He was aware of tests that were to come, tests the Frostborn must pass and that if they did not, terrible consequences would come. So Kaiden realized what his first action must be, he drew from the power of the ice, which in turn drew from Kortence's boundless power and he formed a ruse.

In a way, Kaiden did purify the Frostborn to a degree, turning their selfish nature into something positive. He made them see the value in keeping others alive, that when one benefits, all can reap benefits in the future. He did not intend to undo this later, but it would serve the ice later that all who would become Frostkin be more pure and kind than of other civilizations, and with that, Kaiden left to pursue his own interests. He passed from the fog into worlds he hadn't seen for hundreds of years. He chuckled a bit. "All hail Mateso, lord of this world."

Thalusai spread their jungle across a continent, laying the foundation for the strength of their world to come. Soon, their children would number the stars. And their children would survive.

With their jungle finally complete, Thalusai turned their attention to another matter: that of the strength of the strange flying things. As they watched the world, they could see that these flying things were not alone. Frozen beings lived to the south and in them grew the truest strength of all. They of the "Frostborn" were true exemplars of Thalusai. They would be offered a chance to survive, as would the strong of the weird flying things and the new crystal beasts. All who wished could join them in the coming feasting.

But before they could raise the strong to perfection, the strong would need to be found. Calling upon their children of The Endless Swarm, Thalusai told them to find the strong and offer them a place among the gods.

Lutra was busying himself exploring the island, he was quickly coming to think of it as HIS island. None of the others had come to visit him and they always seemed to have wandered off to somewhere else by the time he managed to sniff them down. There were only a few of them who could do what they did and the only one that Lutra had ever spoken to was the thing that looked like a half eaten salmon... what was his name again? Oh well.

We decided to just relax and float along the river stream. The day was warm and the birds and crickets were chirping away. Everything was so relaxing that Lutra could just feel himself slipping away into a nice nap, in fact he napped so heavily that he didn't notice how he was carving out a new estuary from the river network going down south from the riverlands. This wasn't a problem though until it came into the path of one of the largest bluffs in the bobbing southlands... the top path... and it kept going.

Lutra only realised until he was falling head first into the ground. The wild current swept him along as the disgruntles otter rubbed his head.

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