For a brief moment, the young world of Oriscos, just past it's years as a worldseed, fell silent. The sentient beings could not explain this phenomena, they had learned to ignore their instincts long ago. But the world knew. Gods had arrived on Oriscos. Beings of power had stepped onto the plane before, but no god had ever set foot on this worldseed. Until now...
Ruins and bones jutted out from the sands of the Dustlands. Bodies upon bodies lay still on the sands, Okawaru stood over the mountain of corpses in trimuph. Blood dripped from his spear - a spear that had torn the robes of mages in two. Nevertheless, scavengers began to gather. One of them being a ragpicker in pale robes.
Smoke rose from the ruins of the tinkerer's workshop. Smoke that could be seen from the center of Swansdale - a small, but prosperous town in the Heartlands. A number of residents rushed to the scene - some drawn by curiosity, others drawn to protect the town in case of fire. Those with buckets of water and those without arrived and saw a solitary figure standing along the ashes.
The word-god awoke in the center of a strange stone structure in the tundra of the Northlands. It was comprised of stones and rocks of various sizes, some large enough for some to doubt whether the landmark was man-made at all. A cacophony of hooves was heard from the distance. Soon, those traveling tribesmen will arrive.
The short, mischievous figure found itself in the cold province of Frostcliff. Among it were figures that were a little taller than Syv that seemed to grumble about anything as they went about their work. Some had braided beards while others wore utilitarian dresses, all ignored Syv as they went about their business. At least, until one of them bumped into Syv.
On the island of Tirias, offerings lay at the feet of Vul. All were hailing the newly-made god as the false god they had worshiped for years and years. However, not all joined in with the hullabaloo. A robed figure watched the horizon carefully with a stern frown while clinging onto a wooden staff, as if that person was waiting for something to happen.
Those in the woods between the Gray Valley and the Sunderspire Mountains would see a strange sight approaching the city of Asterbroke. Mountainglade was a wild place to say the least, where wolves and the like prowled. But no one expected the appearance of a giant centipede, especially not the hunter there. Clearly afraid, he raised his bow at the creature.
A madman stumbled through the alleyways of Harrowgate - a city situated in the swampy ground of Mortmire - after yet encounter with the green fairy. Some have simply dismissed him as a drunkard. Others have formed a crowd about him, out of interest of the strange things he has uttered. A few barked questions at the First Dreamer, one of them even tried to throw a rotten tomato at him.
A page ran through the streets of Silverdock, a city and a hub of trade in the Fisherlands. In his hand was a bird of black and white. Though, it was not just an ordinary bird. This bird would kickstart his career as a knight, if his master kept his word. Then again, he never dared to question his master. He just kept on running through those streets towards his master's house.
Archon-Outskirts of Swansdale
Archibald gathered his senses as the flames around him were starting to be put out. Wiping the ash from his goggle, he surveyed the smoldering crater that was his workshop. "How am I alive?" The first thought in the tinkerer's head as he saw that not only was he unscathed, but not even his clothes were torn.
Then, he felt it, like a warm tingle all over his body, it radiated out of him just like the crystal...he was now infused with its power. Archibald was tempted to search for the strange crystal, but he had a feeling it no longer existed. It made no difference anyway, as Archibald could feel potential within himself, potential to be more than just a lonely tinker.
"Archibald?!" The dazed deity heard hushed whispers coming from all around, the smoke clearing to reveal that most of the town had gathered around the ruins of his workshop. "Is that you?!"
Archibald himself didn't really know how to answer, or to explain...until it dawned on him that showing was better than telling. Picturing a great wind in his mind, Archibald swiftly waved his hand over the ruins of his home. Instantly, a strong gust blew away the smoke and smothered the embers, leaving the townsfolk in awe. "I am no longer Archibald..." The immortal rose from the crater and walked into the crowd, who began to back away and bow. "...I am...Archon...and there is much work to be done."
Archon had great plans for Swansdale...and the rest of the world would have no choice but to follow.
Raetic - Northlands
The god woke up.
He decided that he needed a body. Just knowing that he was awake wasn't quite good enough for him; he wanted to see, to hear, to feel, to exist. He wanted to be a part of the world around him, instead of just hanging about in the background as some nameless force.
So he willed himself into reality. Instinctively drawing upon energies that he didn't fully understand, the deity forged a vessel for himself, choosing a form that it somehow knew was familiar and pleasing to the world. Two arms, two legs, a head. Eyes, nose, tongue, ears, fingers, toes. A body the color of tanned leather, hair the color of dried ink. A garment, solely because he liked the look of it. Why would a god need to worry about something as trite as modesty?
With a shape in mind, the deity created. His body would not be a product of the natural world, but merely a very good facsimile of it. It would not be comprised of flesh, blood, and bone, but of a nigh-indestructible substance that copied the appearance and feel of them. It would have not have a heart, stomach, lungs, or any other organ that could be damaged and fail, yet it would function as though it did. A form that could experience the world to the fullest, yet could shrug off any of the world's dangers with ease. Yes. That would do nicely.
Raetic willed it, and he existed. Because his will was an absolute force to this world; if he desired something, then it would be his. That was his truth.
But for now, he didn't desire anything. For now, he was content to simply stand there, staring out at the world around him. The chilly air brushed against his bare skin and his breath misted as it poured forth from his lips and nose, but he didn't mind the cold. The stone beneath his feet was smooth and solid, an aged thing that had weathered countless years of exposure to the elements. Dimly, Raetic wondered which was older, himself or the stone.
Bah. Details like that didn't really matter. They both existed, and that was enough for now.
Slowly turning on his heel, the god idly noted the scenery around him. Massive monoliths of stone, each of them covered with countless symbols and etching. With a mere glance, Raetic memorized each and every one of the glyphs, storing away in a place where he could never truly forget them. Their shapes, their meanings, their very essences, he put them all away inside himself. And as he did so, the same symbols began to dance across his body, swarms of living letters that sprouted from nowhere and arranged themselves in patterns that only he could possibly understand.
There. They were a part of him now.
Wanting to see more, Raetic leaped to the top of one of the structures, reaching the top of the twenty foot stone without a shred of effort. He noted the seemingly endless wilderness that seemed to surround him on all sides, the gray, empty sky overhead, and the column of men, horses, and other beasts of burden heading in his direction.
Having seen his surroundings, the god lowered himself to a sitting position. Then, he did what most people tend to do when they wake up. He went back to sleep.
Vul grinned underneath the layers of clothes hiding most of his face and body. The parts of blonde hair that stuck out looked as if it were almost burning, and his brightly lit orange eyes made it clear that he was not a normal human, but a god. Even so, he wanted to cover up his face like this, making sure he wasn't recognized. After all, they did not know who he was, or rather, had been, and he intended to keep it that way. Had it not been for the grand celebration that had been held for him -an attempt at apologizing for giving the false god a male instead of a female, probably- he would never have shown himself in front of them again. Man, was it good to be a god, too good to be true. However, it was.
The former mortal chuckled as another beautiful woman brought him something, food this time. He eyed her, taking measures and enjoying the amount of bare skin the traditional outfit of the islanders, but she quickly got scared, interacting with a god wasn't something they were used to, after all. It was a rare species of fish, delicious, but hard to cook correctly, from what he remembered. He was sitting on a hastily prepared, but also costly throne, and it with the music and decorations in the background, was enjoying himself quite a lot. For it being an apology to a divine being, the islanders sure knew how to entertain themselves.
In the corner of his eye he could spot the devastating damage he was responsible, and he just shrugged. He was a god, and they had wronged him. Because of that, they had to pay, else they wouldn't learn. They were just silly mortals, and he would soon leave them to be, and enjoy their hard, dull and worthless mortal lives on their own. He took a bite of the fish, and drank some of the drink they had prepared, fresh water with the juice of the best fruits on the island. It was luxury items, like most else he had been brought. However, the volcano god has his own whims, and although it had been a nice experience, he still hated all of them. A lot. He stood up, and the very next instance, the village head almost ran towards him, probably the god had been offended by anything. The leader had to make sure the god hadn't gotten angry again, after all.
Before the man had seemed like a very strict and strong man, but now he was puny. Puny and pathetic, just a mortal. Vul was a god, and he could have anything he wanted. Anything. Anyone. And he needed to show the islanders this, so they understood it. That meant only she would do. The village leader spoke."Great God of the Volcano, why have you arisen from your seat? Is there anything you desire?"
"There is, mortal. I desire..." his tone turned more malicious, and his eyes shone as he remembered who he had been sacrificed for, so long ago. The reason he had been chosen to be thrown in the volcano. "Your daughter." The man in front of him paled.
"M-my daughter? Great God of the Volcano, w-what do you intend to do with her?"
"I intend to take her back with me." The things he wanted were simple instincts and desires. "Not to the volcano, of course. But she will live very close to it, and I will be the only one she interacts with. Understood?" He made it very clear that he would not take a no for an answer. The village head nodded, slowly. "Yes, I understand." Then, he called her name, and she appeared alongside him. The father explained to his daughter that she was to be given to the god, regret, fear and sadness clear in both of them. Vul felt glee as they suffered through their goodbyes, and as he could take revenge on some of the people he had grown to dislike the most.
He made her collect all the offerings, and then made her walk alongside him, she carrying the rather heavy items. At first, they walked in silence, but he spoke, at last.
"Are you enjoying yourself?" Surprised by the question, the young woman wasn't sure what to answer. "Answer," he commanded.
"Yes, Great God of the Volcano, this is a great honor." Her clear insincerity annoyed him, it felt as if she was being disrespectful.
"I apologize, Great God of the Volcano." Yet again, she sounded as if she wasn't the mortal, and he wasn't the god.
"You stupid woman! I know you're not enjoying yourself. And I don't want you to either."
"I understand, Great Go---"
"BE QUIET!" he exclaimed, as fire appeared on his hands. She looked baffled, as if she had just realized something.
"I-it's you, isn't it?" she asked. "Kei---"
"Is dead," he replied flatly. "Don't remind me of how much you islanders offended me with that, else you will suffer." She nodded carefully, frightened, but she kept examining him. Finally, she spoke, but her voice lacked the familiarity she had tried to speak with before. "Great God of the Volcano, what do you intend to do with me?"
"You're a female mortal, I'm a male god. I'm sure you can work it out on your own." She couldn't help but shiver, looking small.
"I-I understand, Great God of the Volcano." He sighed.
"I'm not going to force you." The young woman looked visibly relieved, even though the sun had started to leave, the sky filled with colors. "You're not?" she asked, forgetting herself for a slight moment. "Great God of the Volcano."
"Of course not." He let it sink in, let her start to believe it. "However, this is how it's going to work. I will keep you alive for a couple of years. If you do anything to upset me, I might just bring you to the volcano myself, and watch as you suffer and melt from the intense heat." She gasped, and he continued. "Or, I could easily destroy a couple of more houses. Of course, if you please me, and give into my desires, I might be in a good mood when I'm deciding what to do about you." He grabbed her chin and looked into her eyes, she looked extremely horrified as he did. Vul slowly grinned. "Do you understand?" She nodded, and went completely quiet. They walked in silence, until they reached the place where he intended to keep her, a source of fresh water very close to the volcano.
"The Lady speaks!" raves the First Dreamer, gesturing with his half-empty bottle at the crowd. "She whispers in my mind, such sweet, sweet words, and when I sleep she comes before me in her glory!" He turns to the other half of the circle, and the pale-green fluid turned with him, glimmering in the lamplight. "I woke in the hurricane, you see, the hurricane of dreams, and I saw it was dreaming too, so I woke it, I woke her, and now she resides inside of me!"
A bruised red globe rises in an arc above the heads of the crowd and strikes the madman on the cheek, spattering his tangled beard with red. The madman whirls around and shrieks, high and shrill. "You think me mad! You think me a drunkard! But I am wiser than you, all of you, for I have spoken with a... a..." The fire in the madman's eyes dulls a bit, but he soon regains his footing. "There is no word for what she is! She is transcendent! And through her, I am transcendent, drunkard or not." He takes another swig from the bottle and shakes as the absinthe hits him. "So... So there."
A portion of the crowd begins to drift away, as his spiel grows more and more out of control. The First Dreamer pays them no mind, instead opting to turn again, to address the other side of the crowd. "You will know her too! She lives in the vortex, in the great twisting dream, and she will visit you as you sleep, whether you know it or not! And while you sleep," and here his voice grows low, so that the crowd has to lean in to hear him, "she will whisper." His voice rises to a pitch. "Yes, she will whisper, and if you choose to listen, she will tell you such wonderful things! Such beautiful, wonderful things!"
More of the crowd leaves.
"All you must do is know of her, my friends! Just ready your mind as you sleep, and she will come to you! When she speaks, you will know such bliss, my friends, such happiness as you have never known!" The bottle flew from his hands as he gesticulated, and fell to pieces at his feet. The First Dreamer paid it no mind. "Open your minds to her! Open your minds to the whisperer! Open your minds... to ODANDA!"
And now only a few stragglers remained, no more than twenty, half made up of curious citizens and half made up of fellow drunkards. A sorry lot for the most beautiful woman alive, thought the madman, but as he stood there, arms raised, green liquor pooling at his feet, Odanda spoke. "These are the ones," she said, "These will be the first of my followers." In his mind, Odanda took twenty of her arms and reached out, into the minds of the watchers. And then, as she grasped at their thoughts, she began to whisper.
Quas, the outskirts of Asterbroke
Quas looked down curiously at the frightened hunter, a mixture of joy and hope rising in him as he examined the individual. A tool user, a clear indication of intelligence, an omnivore judging by both the position of its eyes and the variety of types of its teeth. The intelligence part especially interested him, the creature was certainly not equal to him in power but it might prove at least able to provide him stimulating company. Of course there was the matter of how terrified the man was, shaking even as he aimed the bow at Quas.
With a sound like someone exhaling deeply Quas's form diminished to about the height of the man, who lowered his bow staring in shock and wonder at the being before him. Quas spoke, his words seeming to come from his whole body rather than his mouth, "Don't be afraid, I will not harm you," he said filling his words with a calming effect, the language of the mortal springing into his mind with ease. It occurred to him that this mortal was clearly a social creature, and that he would both know of others like him and be able to lead him to them, but also that they might react similarly to this mortal.
The problem seemed easily solved though, one of his antenna extended to the man and touched his forehead gently, and he spoke again. "You will be my messenger, my prophet," he said "I wish only for you to take me to your people, and to explain to them that I am not to be feared. I only wish for your friendship and there is much I can do to aid you."
Even as he attempted to inspire the mortal he wondered if perhaps there were others like him that the mortal might know of. He hoped so at least, and if not then he was certain that his power could aid these mortals if they could overcome their fear of him. The act of delivering inspiration was new to him, but all of life was his domain and the mortal was certainly alive, and while he was careful not to remake the man's mind but rather to guide it he was sure that his inspiration would last through the man's life, were it to take hold.
Mhioden - Silverdock
The page held the magpie tightly as he ran his master's sword dragging and scraping along the floor, the page had probably been sent to have it resharpened, but with the way it was bumping against the road it would soon be a shapeless piece of junk. That wouldn't do at all Mhioden thought, was her capture so important that he would risk his master's wrath and the continuation of his training? The boy should've stayed on the farm, at least there his skill in capturing birds might be put to use. Here it might owe him a favour or two, perhaps three, but from there it would be back grueling training and serving to his master's every beck and whim until he finally became a knight, a good eight or so more years Mhioden guessed.
Nevertheless, Mhioden felt like today had been a day of change in this land. A spark of power had been bestowed to her to carry out the whims of the gods from her land, not unlike the page. However, today was different, today that spark had flared into something greater, she could feel power similar to that of her homeland radiating from this one, but it was weak. Maybe other entities had found such power? Was today the day that gods arrived in Oriscos?
Perhaps Mhioden could twist this boy to her whims, set her free for the right price or cause.
"Boy," A whispering hum of a voice appeared out of nowhere, only the boy could hear it, somehow he knew it was from the bird in his hands, "Set me free and I can reward you with something your master cannot, I can reward with more than gold or silver, I can give you the secrets of power."
Frostcliff - Mining Village
Dwarves; why did it have to be dwarves? Syv scanned the bustling crowd with a groan of discontent. Out of all its watchings within the Chaos it had always despised the dwarves. Their stoic minds and staunchness in tasks was all too stifling for the whimsical and often disharmonious behaviour of the pint sized god. It couldn't have imagined a worse fate than to come into being within a dwarven mining camp smack dab in the middle of Frostcliff. Kicking the dirt with a furious vengeance in frustration, Syv stomped its way into the bustling crowd to try and cobble together some sort of meager entertainment for it to enjoy.
There was at least one saving grace for the tiny god to take comfort in. The mining camp seemed to be in the midst of preparing for a festival. Syv's chest swelled with excitement as its eyes darted back and forth, trying to take in the splendorous activity of preparing for celebration. Bright ribbons of shining metallics and bright teal littered the normally drab camp, being hung with care by women on stepping ladders. Trinkets and baubles of all shapes and sizes were suspended from great cliffs jutting out above them, seemingly floating in the air as they spun or chimed or shifted in various other ways to dance in the wind. Whole wreaths of shimmerleaf crinkled as they were laid upon each door in the community, reflecting the sunlight like parchment thin sheets of metal. Everything was eye-catching and Syv couldn't help but skip about as it observed all of the preparations. Maybe these dwarves weren't so boring after all?
It didn't take long before adventure had bumped into it, so to speak. One of the normally diligent dwarves walked headlong into Syv, delivering enough crates to block his vision to some unknown destination. The poor bearded thing was even more surprised when the Eternal Smile simply wisped through him like a ghost! The dwarf fell flat on his face, the containers spilling out all their delicate decorations onto the street, yet he didn't seem to be terribly preoccupied by that little setback. What held his attention was the three foot cloaked figure standing above him, an inhumanly large toothy grin of a thousand small needle teeth smiling back at him. The poor miner was paralyzed with fear, trying to scream in pure instinctual terror to get assistance from the neutral crowd but finding no noise being produced. Instead he simply trembled, wondering how long it would be until his life was ended.
"Sup beardy?" Syv squeeled in delight as the gears in its head turned furiously to construct some scheme.
The dwarf could only stammer in return, unsure of how to take the unfolding events. His skin was as pale as the snow, his fingers rubbing against his palms to rid them of the clammy sweat. Pinching himself to make sure he was still awake, the dwarf resigned to this encounter not simply being a dream - or a terrible nightmare. Syv, on the other hand, didn't seem terribly disconcerted with the anxiety of the dwarf. It simply wanted answers and that dwarf was going to give them to it.
"By Theo's anvil, what are you?" the dwarf managed to whisper, now in sheer awe of the power displayed by Syv.
"Not important beard brain," the god piped back. "I need to know whatcha doin'? Where ya goin'? Why's there a party?"
The dwarf grumbled back into his stoic nature, befuddled by the behaviour of the stranger. True, he may not have been a dwarf, but everyone in Frostcliff knew about the Ingot Fair. Sending a ham hock hand gently through his impressively sized beard, the dwarf studied the odd creature before explaining the events around them.
"Why, boy, this is the Ingot Fair! The tradition goes back as far as time itself. We pray to the god of the core, Theophylaktos, for safe travels within his domains. The artisans craft many intricate pieces to garner favour from The Sleeper, hanging them about on display to hopefully amuse him on the sole day that he wakes within the year."
Syv had listened intently to the starchy mannered dwarf and had been rewarded with a nugget of truly interesting information. So there were others like him within this world already? The idea of causing discord within a pantheon of gods equal to itself was too tantalizing an offer to refuse. The sheer amount of amusement he could derive from twisting great feats of creation would be astronomical. He needed to find these gods. But there were other matters to attend to first.
"You're gonna listen, and listen good, cause I've got a job for ya," Syv stated matter-of-factly to the mortal before him.
Its plan was then unfolded before the dwarf, explaining in intricate detail what the bearded mortal would have to accomplish. With each word the dwarf would become more entranced, Syv flexing the power it had been given to form a geis. With any luck the creature would be smart enough to do its bidding and not wander off and get itself killed.
Okawaru - Dustlands
The wind picked up and blew across the sands. After shielding his eyes from the onslaught of sand, the ragpicker looked again, back at where he thought he saw a tall figure with a spear. Now there was nothing. The ragpicker looked again. Still, nothing. He shrugged and got on with his grim work. He told himself that it just was a silly mirage and began to hum.
Archon - Outskirts of Swansdale
A particularly zealous citizen began to follow the reborn tinkerer as he walked on. He shouted questions across to Archon, about the source of his power, and what he was going to do with it. Meanwhile, the other townsfolk simply settled back into their everyday lives. Wood had to be chopped and chickens had to be feed, after all.
Raetic - Northlands
The swarm of man and beast soon arrived on the scene and spotted a strange figure sleeping on one of the tallest stones of the megalithic structure. A burly man dismounted and picked up a rock, intent on throwing it at the sleeping man. The only thing that stopped him was an elderly woman who blew a horn of some sort before he could throw the rock. The sound was deafening.
Vul - Tirias
The robed man shook his head in disgust at the behaviour of the Great God of the Volcano. Though, he was disgusted at some of his fellow islanders as well. This was hardly the time for celebrations. In despair he ran after Vul and managed to catch up with him. The deity seemed obvious to his efforts, so he tapped Vul with his staff and said, "Great Volcano God, an old enemy will come soon..."
Odanda - Harrowgate
The twenty stood still in shock as Odando whispered to them. Few could resist her call and they were astounded with the imagery that filled their minds. After this lull, they soon joined in with the madman's revelry. "She speaks!" Some shouted as they converted to Odanda's cause. Others even tried to lap up what remained of the green liquid in an attempt to follow the First Dreamer's example.
Quas - Outskirts of Asterbroke
The hunter released his grip on the bow, its fall went unnoticed. He had got it wrong, he had got everything wrong. This was a creature of benevolence, not a wild beast. That moment, he swore never to take a life again. The hunter did not want to continue to insult this being of life. He turned to the creature and pointed out the path to Asterbroke and began walking.
Mhioden - Silverdock
The sound of the sword scrapping on the floor stopped as the page stopped in his tracks. Secrets of power? But he was no idiot. He walked across and leaned on a wall, bird still in hand. He whispered to his feathered friend, "Alright birdie, you 'ave a deal. But as soon as I release you, you'll just scarper, yeah? As soon as you give me one of 'em secrets of power, I'll release you, yeah?"
Syv - Frostcliff
"Aye, that's a fine plan." The dwarf said in reply to Syv's words, his voice then died down to a whisper, "I'll do it." All around the two, the festival continued unabated. However, a solitary trading boat started to sail in the direction of the Fisherlands. For the most part, it was ignored, even though it was taboo to work on a festival day.
Jax - Riverlands
Something purred on a trade barge filled with merchandise. While outside, oblivious to his passenger, a merchant shouted about the various things he had for sale and the various deals. His voice joined the various others that hawked their wares on the biggest of the Three Sisters that ran through the Riverlands. Those three rivers fuelled both trade and agriculture, not to mention commerce...
Archon - Swansdale
The new god frowned as he strode through the town, seeing that the crowd following him had shrunk to one probing individual. "Oh, and what work would you have us do? Oh, will you give us the same power that you have?"
"Rickon!" Archon suddenly turned and had the adolescent run into him, knocking the mortal back. Rickon had been one of Archon's "admirers" in his past life. He constantly dropped by the workshop to see what the former tinkerer was doing, studying his craft. However, his inquisitive nature sometimes got on the nerves of the townsfolk, even Archon, in his past life, was not immune to being annoyed by it. Although, seeing as he was the only one who seemed to stay by Archon's side, the boy could be useful.
With the last outburst able to keep Rickon quiet, the pair walked to the entrance of the Swansdale plaza, currently empty as the townsfolk went about their daily business. "First thing is first, I will need a new workshop. Perhaps this will impress these people to stop and take notice." Archon took a deep breath as he summoned the power within, picturing a tall tower in his mind, one that could bring these jaded mortals to stare in awe. Then, the god waved his hand, forcing the image in his head out into the world.
Raetic - Northlands
The sounds of clopping hooves and talking men and boots crunching through snow and creaking wagon wheels mixed into a horrendous cacophony of discordant sound, one just barely loud enough to wake the dreaming dead from their rest eternal.
So in other words, it fell just short of being able to awaken a snoozing god.
Oh sure, Raetic heard the caravan approach his makeshift bed. His face scrunched up in irritation and his hands instinctively covered up his ears, but by some miracle or another he managed to remain in the world of the unconscious. He was having a very good dream at the moment, and would wake up when he was quite done enjoying it, thank you very much.
Yes, that was it, he mused happily to himself, the ghost of a grin flitting about his features for a few seconds. He'd just stay here for a bit longer and would get to work once he-
Sputtering (mostly) incoherent threats and curses, the god shot bolt upright, the unholy sound of that horn echoing in his ears. As an irritated hiss escaped his lips, Raetic twisted his head back and forth, his eyes scanning the landscape around him for the source of his torment. After a few seconds, he finally locked eyes with the old woman on the ground, far, far below.
"Oi!" the deity roared, setting his visage into an annoyed scowl. "The hell was that for!?"
Growling, Raetic rose to his feet and launched himself off the top of the monolithic pillar, hurling himself into thin air and... landing there. A good twenty feet above the rocky ground below him. "I was trying to sleep, you know! Rest a little bit, get my bearings and my sanity set straight, prepare myself for the coming day! When suddenly, a thagann tú chomh maith agus tús a dhéanamh go torann Uafásach!"
Ranting and raving in half a dozen different languages, the god walked downwards, as though descending a staircase that only he could see or feel. His arms flailed about, gesticulating wildly, conveying symbols of irate anger that transcend language barriers. "C'est incroyablement ennuyeux, savez-vous cela?"
Finally touching solid ground, the deity strode over towards the old lady who still had the horn clutched in her hands. Reaching down, Raetic ripped the instrument from her hands, applying enough pressure to cause the old bone to creak ominously. "I'm going to hold onto this for now," he growled, summoning a strap of leather that connected to the horn and then tossing it over his shoulder. "You can have it back when I decide you've learned your lesson."
Humphing, the god spun around on his heel and began ascending his invisible, ethereal set of stairs. "Honestly, the nerve of some people," he muttered to himself as he fiddled about with the horn, scoring symbols onto its aged surface with one of his fingers. "What are they thinking, eh?"
Odanda loosened her grip on her new followers' minds, and the First Dreamer dared to smile a little. Perhaps the lady would be pleased with him for once. Maybe even offer some praise!
As the Whisperer withdrew her arms, the First Dreamer felt all of her hatred withdraw with her. "Look at these people," she whispered. "They're almost as stupid as you. Why is it that all of you are so, so stupid?"
The First Dreamer winced and recoiled as the Lady wrote her anger across his mind. "Every second, every moment since I've had the great misfortune to be thought into being by you, I've felt the whims of the gathered masses, their thoughts and desires, hopes and dreams. And you know what I've learned, oh exalted dreamer? That the mortal populace of this world is oh so very stupid." In his mind, she sighed. It felt like boiling water being poured across his brain. "Tell the drunkards to head back to their holes and spread my word to the other village idiots. Their minds are almost on-par with yours, so they ought to be easier to take when they sleep. As for the rest, tell them to sleep. The instructions I mean to give them are more complicated, and you'd mess it up. And kick the one near your foot. He scares me a little."
And lo, did the First Dreamer carry out the orders of the Transcendent Dream, commanding the drunkards and fools to "bugger off back to the bars and get the other regulars liquored up, maybe they'll, ah, hear Her whispers when they pass out, oh, and get me a drink" the functional citizens to "head back home, have a little lie down, let the Lady figure it out," and giving the man near his foot licking the cobblestones a little nudge, though not to hard. And lo, did the drunkards adjourn in the local tavern and lo, did the normal ones head back to their stone homes and immediately nap in a strange fervor, and lo, did the First Dreamer sleep peacefully for the first time in a week. For the Lady was not with him that night. Instead, she was with the others, whispering to them in their stone homes.
When you wake, tomorrow morning, you will gather together, out in the marshes, with timber and stone and mortar, and you will begin to build me a home. You may enlist the drunkards for labor. It need not be glorious or divine. Simply large enough to capture the imagination. You will do this in a way that does not draw untoward suspicion, but does not repel attention. When you have completed a livable portion of my den, you will begin to forage for mushrooms. Specifically, the Dreamroot, the Bluecap, anything which alters and weakens the mind. I mean to poison the city, children. You must understand this." In their sleep, the white-collar citizens nodded and smiled. Poison the city. What a marvelous plan.
Vul let the old man leave without doing anything else to him. He had already crushed his beliefs, and ridiculed him, more than that would be wasting his time on a mortal. However, as he started walking, he noticed that the woman wasn't moving, her brown eyes set on the ocean. "Get moving," he told her. He didn't sound very calm, but he had stopped yelling. For now. "We're soon there."
"What if he's telling the truth, great god of the volcano?" she asked. "Or Kei, or whoever you are now." Her voice trembled, but she was brave enough to turn around and look him in the eyes. Honestly, she looked as if she was about to cry. "Would you really risk that, great god of the volcano?"
"Shut up," he said, again, getting closer to her, hoping to intimidate her into submission again. She seemed to ignore it.
"I will speak. I-if you don't listen to me, I'll go drown myself in the water." He raised an eyebrow, although she couldn't see that.
"I don't give a fuck, it'll be entertaining." Truthfully, he had no intention of letting her do that. However, she didn't seem to be intimidated by the mere presence of a god anymore, and he had things in store for her. She would give in, eventually. The woman looked as if she was about to give up, but she then started removing the upper layers of her clothes, slowly. "If you do it, I-I'll sleep with you right away." Now, this was a bit more interesting.
"As soon as we know the island is safe," she said. "I'll do whatever you want, great god of the volcano. A-anything." He took a moment, just glancing at her. Vul had never seen her up close before he was a god, and afterwards he had sort of just requested her and dragged her with him. He had to admit she was nicer than he had expected, though. She had long blonde hair, a nice, tanned body, and a beautiful face. The woman was around the same age as he had been before he was a god, barely an adult. Her clothes was uninteresting to him, he just wanted them off.
"How would I even do it?" To be honest, he still wasn't sure what the stupid mortals believed would happen. Waves, the old man had said, right? How would he stop a wave? She pointed at the ocean.
"A wall, great god of the volcano." A wall. He looked over the ocean, it might work. A wall of cold lava. But how was he supposed to make a wall large enough? It took a lot of effort to just get the lava in the right shape, not to mention make it harden fast enough. He groaned.
"Fine! But don't think you can boss me around!" The woman nodded, carefully, but a bit less frightened now that she knew he could be persuaded like this.
"Of course not, great god of the volcano." She almost sounded pleased... she was pleased, wasn't she? Damn woman! Regardless, he decided to do as she said, but only because it would make her submit to him. She already should had, he was a damn god, but he swallowed some of his anger, using it to give himself more power. With that, Vul attempted to create a wall large enough to shield the whole island from the ridiculous waves that he in no way believed would even happen.
Quas - Outskirts of Asterbroke/Asterbroke
Quas was surprised by how sudden and complete the change was in the man, who dropped his tool and immediately began to lead the way. Quas retrieved the bow from the ground before following, and pressed it back into the man's hands.
"I appreciate your show of dedication, but it is not necessary," Quas said, being careful not to offend the man "I would not wish for you to be unable to provide for yourself and for others," he waited for the man to accept the bow before continuing to walk, it was clear he would have much to teach the people of this city.
As they walked he considered how he might present himself to the others, he could not simply show them the truth as he had done with his new follower as they might be too many and stubborn enough to resist his efforts. No doubt they grew crops to help feed themselves, though while he would love to simply bless their fields the results of that would not be immediately apparent, he needed something to win them over to make them see that he desired only friendship. He could likely change how he looked, he had considered that before, but doing so would hide what he was and where he had come from, and he did not wish to lie to those he would befriend. No it had to be an impressive display but not one exceeding his limits, nor one inclined to go horribly awry should he fail.
They soon reached the gates of the city, and his follower went before him warning them against attacking the god, trying to explain to them that Quas was a peaceful creature. Quas remained still while the man spoke, bowing his head humbly while the crowd gathered on the walls as his prophet spoke for him. As he waited he glanced around at the city, it was a delightful place filled with people though it seemed dependent on a river and on a mine of some sorts.
He considered the mine and an idea struck him, he rose up from how he had been standing moving slowly out of the hope that they would not see him as attacking. His follower fell silent as he did so and Quas spoke to the people on the wall.
"Greetings people of Asterbroke, please do not be afraid," he said, his voice somewhat timid and pleading though he tried not to show too much weakness "I have come wishing friendship and bringing aid, and I will make for you a gift, a creature to help in your mining efforts, one that can sniff out coal and squeeze through tight spaces saving your children the danger of having to do so."
With that Quas began to concentrate, and began to shape the dirt at his feet into the first of a new species. His mind flowed over the history of the thing, how it could have arisen naturally, dog-like with a keen sense of smell and paws for burrowing. To reach its intended purpose it would have been domesticated by the men and rewarded for finding what they wanted, turning its instincts to a new purpose, seeking coal and avoiding dangers rather than digging up food. The creature took shape in his mind long and thing even a bit snake-like, with taught muscles able to contort through the tightest of spaces, a large almost comically floppy nose, and large almost shovel-like paws. It lacked a tail as such might get caught on something, and its fur was short and swept back to prevent it from collecting too much coal dust while managing to help maintain the beast's body heat, its eyes were virtually nonexistent it would be mostly reliant on its memory and its other senses to navigate, but finally came its instincts as though it had been bred and trained for generations it would be obedient and eager to please, have drives to seek out coal and to provide warning in case of dangers. He could only hope his creation did not go awry, or displease the men in some way, and that with this they could recognize him as the benevolent god he hoped to be.
Mhioden - Silverdock
"Alright birdie, you 'ave a deal. But as soon as I release you, you'll just scarper, yeah? As soon as you give me one of 'em secrets of power, I'll release you, yeah?" The boy whispered back to the bird.
"And I might say the same to you boy," The bird snapped back "How do I know you wouldn't take my secrets and take flight back to you lord with me still trapped in your grasp?" Mhioden continued in a huff, the boy had the audacity to question a god! How dare he! However, this would not get her anywhere, she may be a new-god, but she was still a small bird trapped in the hands of a boy. She wriggled upwards and tapped the boy on his head with her beak, a vision appearing in his mind. "This is where you'll find your secrets, but you will still need my power to uncover them. I will wait for you there."
Frostcliff - Small Mining Village
The Eternal Smile was ecstatic with how smooth his plan was proceeding. These mortals required little else but a few honeyed words from the silver tongue of a deity to be absolutely convinced of their power. This dwarf was just concrete proof of that fact. If that was the case, it could definately benefit from having a few dozen hands at its beckond call. Maybe this town would prove to be more entertaining than he originally had thought.
It was then, out of the corner of its eye, that Syv spotted the trading barge. It almost sent the petit god flying into a whirlwind of rage. The nerve of those dwarves. Who could work during a party like this!? Their ways were strange and needed some spice before the god passed through the town. Clearly it would need to investiagte this further and ensure its prank would be focused around the boat. That would teach them the meaning of fun for sure!
"There's stuff that needs to be done," Syv told his new follower before reaching into its cloak and producing a few crates of strange tubes. "Place these around town where we discussed. I'll come get you when the party is really going to kick off!"
The dwarf nodded in understanding, grabbing the new payload before shuffling off to complete his given task. The god sighed in exasperation. Even under his command the bearded mortals were still as starchy as ever. Hopefully he could get that fixed by the end of today. The thought brought another toothy grin to its face, snickering all the while at the delicious thought of pranking the entire camp. It was just about to head off when he spotted a single pebble upon the ground. It stopped dead in its tracks, inspecting it closely as if it were an intricate work. Finally, the midget god nodded sagely and rolled the stone about two inches to the left before looking satisfied, snapping its fingers and melding into the ground as it turned into a shadow.
It streaked through the streets and alleyways with great speed, shifting across walls, down the pier and up the side of the boat until it finally reformed into its most comfortable form upon the deck of the ship. What the god witnessed was almost too perfect for its imagination to comprehend. What it had originally thought as a ship of work-a-holic tradesmen turned out to be a pack of mischievous children running amuck. It looked as though they had comendeered the ship to take it for a bit of a joy ride and Syv could not approve more. In fact, these seemed like the sort of out of the box thinkers he could use to complete his master plan.
"Hey, you lot!" he yelled at the children scurrying around the deck, "I got somethin' I wanna tell ya!"
Slowly but surely the little ones began to gather around the god with vague but guarded interest. What was this pint sized cloaked figure yammering on about anyway? Once he had gathered the majority of the pirates, Syv put on the best charm he could muster and began to address the children.
"I've got plans. Big plans. I could use some punks to help me pull it off, too. That's where you guys'll come in."
"And who are you to be ordering us around?" one of the children questioned. "Doesn't look like you're anything special."
"Oh yeah?" Syv retored, reaching into his cloak.
With a grand geasture the god flung his hand forwards, palm open. From his grasp came a shower of multi-coloured sparks that surrounded the children. The display was horrifyingly beautiful, searing hot crystals of rainbow creating a display of pure awe and fear, depending how entranced you were. Surely such an unexpected showing of power and beauty would convince the children to side with the prankster god. Right?
Jax - Riverlands
His throat burned from all of the shouting, and to douse out that fire, he went inside his boat to fetch some water. Inside, he not only found that, but a corpse of a stray cat. Flies buzzed around it, eager to lay their eggs in such a nutritious feast. For the sake of his merchandise, he tossed it overboard and carried on with his life.
Archon - Swansdale
Rickon and the rest of the town gasped as a tall tower was brought into existence by divine will. This act had clearly impressed the townsfolk after the cheap trick of conjuring a bit of wind. Archon's new workshop stood in the centre of the plaza for all to see, and for all to admire. Once again, a crowd gathered around the deity, but this time, they had realised Archon's claims of godhood were real.
Raetic - Northlands
The enchantment was bound to the horn by the runes the word god had inscribed onto the horn, which was made of... horn. The gathered tribesmen and women could only watch as this strange man with strange words and strange clothes and strange markings fiddled around with one of their instruments. One of the tribesmen had the cheek to start a drum roll.
Odanda - Harrowgate
One by one, stones were laid. It would take some time for the project to be completed. Some opted for the easier of the two jobs and were out on the marshes, foraging for mind-altering mushrooms and the like. A herd of drunkards spread the world the Lady throughout the city, but were mostly met with shut doors. Who would listen to drunkards anyway?
Vul - Tirias
The sea hissed as lava escaped from cracks deep in the ocean floor, and the islanders were surprised to see a wall rising from the sea itself. This introduction to the world made it shake somewhat, the rumbles even reached Mortmire. Somewhere, a drunkard cursed as a tavern shook and a pile of stones were knocked down.
Quas - Asterbroke
The dirt transformed in a monstrosity, a pitiful thing that could only be described as a lump of flesh with a mouth. The crowd moved to allow a coal-covered man to hit with a pickaxe. Nobody wanted to suffer such a monstrosity to life. With a sure hit, the newly-created life met its end. Quas, on the other hand, was met with questioning stares.
Mhioden - Silverdock
The page cursed himself for letting his quarry go, for loosening his grip. for letting her escape. Nevertheless, not all was lost. And so the boy pulled his master's sword from his back and waved it. As expected, the crowd gave the boy a wide berth. Now, nothing was in the way between him and that bird. He ran to the place he saw in the vision.
Syv - Frostcliff
One of the dwarven children nudged the other, the one who seemed to be the leader of the group with a fancy hat. Big plans? Now this was interesting. More so was the display - did this cloaked midget have more of that stuff? The children couldn't help but accept the prankster god's offer. Especially if it meant more displays like that.
Yua - The Blue Expanse
A little girl was busy lounging around on the remains of a wrecked sailing boat. Well, whatever was still afloat anyway. She was met with stares from strange people with fins and gills, and the sight of her dead parents. In a fit, she completely obliterated their corpses with her newfound power. The tantrum stopped as she had realised what she had done.
Archon - Swansdale
Archon smiled as he saw the people of Swandale had come back, now more eager to please the newly-born god. However, while his new workshop was magnificent, Archon knew that further progress depended on more than what the people of the budding town could provide.
So, raising his voice for the gathered crowd to hear, the god spoke. "I see a bright and glorious future ahead of us! Where powers beyond your current understanding blend with the knowledge of today, to forge great creations, such as this!" Archon gestured to the tower behind him, suppressing a wide smile as the crowd strained their necks to look up to the top.
Giving the crowd a moment to ponder on his words, Archon spied familiar faces in the audience, those that had helped him when he was mortal, those that believed in his work and creations. They would be his messengers, spreading the god's promise of a better tomorrow. "But, to accomplish this dream, we must all work hard, and bring more into the fold! Those among you who knew of me in my past life, as the tinkerer who lived in the strange hut on the horizon, you have a story to tell! Go, mount your fastest steeds and spread the tale of the tinkerer-turned-god across the Heartlands, and beyond!"
Vul grinned as the walls started rising, concentrating on getting them right, and eventually managing to finish them. Whatever wave that could come would stand no chance against it. Of course, he was a god, even if he had been somewhat unsure of whether or not he would manage to make it, his powers spoke for themselves. He turned to the hostage he had taken with a smug look on what was revealed on his face.
"There's a wall for you," he told her. "Now, you'll do whatever I want to." She obviously knew what he wanted, however, she shook her head. Whatever wariness she had possessed before was gone, despite that there was still fear in her eyes, and her attitude was different now.
"No, not yet, great god of the volcano."
"What?!" Vul raised his voice against, anger washing over him like that wave that she and that stupid old man thought would arrive. "I did as you said! Fulfill your end of the deal!" What was she trying to do, try to deny herself out of it?! She shook her head.
"Not before we know that the walls will stop the waves."
"That was not what you said! You told me to build a wall! There's a wall! Now do whatever I tell you to before I strangle your puny little mortal life out of you!"
"Great god of the volcano," she said, and slowly grabbed his hands, putting them up against her neck. If he wanted to, he could squeeze a little, and she would stop being such a damn hassle. Not to mention, putting them in a position like this, what was she trying to do? Make sure he killed her? Her skin was cold, a lot colder than his, and she seemed to be barely keeping herself from shaking. So, even with this much fright, she had the nerves to speak as she did? What an annoying woman to pick up.
"I'll let you kiss me if you're patient."
"Why should I believe you?!" he asked, and got closer. She didn't even flinch the slightest. "Do you really think you can make a fool of me?! I'm a god, dammit!" Instead of replying, she kissed him. It lasted for a short while, enough to make his anger cool and for it to be rather pleasant. When they finished the kiss, she looked him over.
"Now, will you calm down?"
"Don't tell me what to do," he growled. "So what, you kissed me? Do you want a prize, because I will g---"
She slapped him, out of the blue, hard. Well, it didn't hurt him much, but the sound of the open palm against his skin made it clear that she hadn't been holding back.
"Hey! What the hell?!" he yelled. She seemed to regret doing it the instance she had, apparently she had a temper too. However, she made herself face him.
"Stop being an immature brat," she said. "Great go--- no, Kei. What are you trying to do? Intimidate me? Rape me?!" What was she going on about now, that moron? He was a god, something like morals was way beyond him, and it was for the mortals. Besides, he wasn't going to force her, she was going to want to. "I'll do whatever I have to if I can save this island, but don't you dare act like you're above me, because you're clearly not!"
"I am! I'm a god!"
"And what a great god you are," she said, as she calmed down. "You can take whatever offers the people that worship you give you, but you don't want to protect them? And no, I'm not going to do anything you want me to."
"There's a wall, isn't there?" he said it with a thick layer of venom covering each word. She was insulting him, thinking that she could talk to him like that. However, something stopped him from just ending her life, most likely his lust. He let her talk, although, even with allowing her to speak, that still didn't mean he wouldn't punish her when this whole deal was over.
"Yes, there is, but don't fault me for not being sure if it will suffice yet," she said. "Now, wait, please?" He glared at her.
"Fine." She was really a piece of work, it seemed. "But I'm not letting you off easily for this."
Quas - Asterbroke
Quas looked down at his failure, he had obviously pushed himself too hard, exceeded his limits in his effort to gain the friendship of the mortals and it had cost him. He nodded approvingly at the man who had destroyed the monstrosity his failure had wrought, it was not meant to be and likely would only have suffered had it been allowed to come into being. Still this left him with few options, he could attempt to bless their fields but the results of such might not be immediately apparent and after what they had seen they might not be willing to allow that.
His gaze wandered over the crowd as he pondered how to gain their trust, their friendship, then his first follower approached him and spoke.
"Please make them see you as I have, I don't think they will welcome you otherwise," he said looking at his god encouragingly. The man had friends in the crowd, and it was at least in part due to his influence that they had not attempted to drive Quas away, though after a display like that they might be questioning the man's sanity in following the god.
Quas nodded, yes he could try to inspire the mortals though it would be difficult, the crowd was vast after all. Still all he wished was to show them that his intentions were pure, if that made them trust him then he might be able to do so much for them, and he might gain them as friends. He concentrated and began his attempt his antennae waving high in the air, but the rest of him bowing humbly before them in apology for his failure.
Odanda watched the construction through the First Dreamer's eyes with a mixture of grim satisfaction and petulant rage. "It isn't fast enough," she whispered to the First Dreamer. "It will be two, perhaps even three weeks before it is finished. Do you consider that an acceptable figure, my Prophet? Do you?"
"At... At least the f-foraging is going well," the First Dreamer said timidly.
"Oh yes, plenty of Burda Mold, plenty of Bluecap, but no place to prepare them, or to serve them, or even for me to issue commands when my followers are not dreaming. I need more workers. Maybe if you weren't such a wreck, I would have them already."
"My lady... There's something we, uh, I mean you, could do. The, the Lord in his keep. He is a fellow connoisseur of, ah, the liquid sort of spirits. I often see him in breweries in the early hours of the morning, trying not to be recognized. Fat lot of good it does him, though. Because, ah, he's really fat. I was making... Nevermind. The Lord often meets with petitioners, and offering him a drink might persuade him to allow a private meeting, and well, a drunk man is easier to influence than a sober one. If it pleases my lady, we could be in a meeting before nightfall."
The Whisperer was silent for a moment. Dreamer," she said, "That is not a terrible idea."
3 hours, a dozen glasses of brandy and a bottle of Absinthe later, the First Dreamer and Lord Swalsby were both roaring drunk. Odanda watched in distaste, but she had to admit it had served its purpose well. The Lord fell asleep while he was still at the table, and she could feel that his mind was soft as clay. So, with some reluctance, Odanda reached into his dreams and began to whisper.
Raetic - Northlands
As the unending drumbeat filled the air, one of the god's divine eyebrows began to twitch in almost perfect harmony. Irritation that bordered on fury poured through his body, and Raetic's grip on the newly mystic horn tightened until the instrument almost cracked in two.
"Would you lot," he hissed, spinning on his heel so that he faced the crowd below him, "shut up already!?"
Grunting in annoyance, the deity cocked his arm back, took aim, and hurled the horn downward. He was careful to only use a fraction of his true strength, of course; he didn't want to dismember anybody just yet.
The horn lanced through the air with uncanny speed and accuracy. In no more than half a second, the projectile cleared the distance between Raetic and his target, and with an audible thud it struck the "witty" drummer right between the eyes. Not hard enough to kill him, of course, but hard enough to knock him off his feet and leave a nasty bump behind. Odds were the poor guy would have a killer headache for the next few days.
Though the drummer and old woman were now both silenced, Raetic still glowered down at the group of mortals. Not only had they awoken him, they had kept him active enough to entirely banish sleep from his head. Simply falling back into blissful oblivion was impossible now, unless he was willing to toss and turn for who knew how many hours.
Needless to say, he wasn't.
"Alright, alright," the god said dismissively, not bothering to keep the irritation out of his voice. "I'm awake now. So what's all this then?" Idly, he gestured towards the entirety of the crowd, not bothering to single any one part of it out. "Some kind of pilgrimage or festival or something?"
Yua - The Blue Expanse
There was the sea, in which bits of wood and chunks of her parent's corpses were bobbing to and fro. There was the sky, grey clouds parting - the signal of the storm's end. And there were strange people with scales and gills and webbed fingers, staring at her with hungry, lidless eyes. The little girl scrambled to the end of the flotsam that kept her from the jaws of the sea. However, as savage as the merpeople may be, this time they weren't here to salvage wrecks and consume those found alongside them, no. They were there to talk, to talk to a scared little girl that had no idea about what she had become.
"You have been chosen," Those words she somehow inferred from hisses, clicks and moans of one of them.
Yua looked around, spying a merperson that was busy feasting on the remains of her parents. That could be her in a few seconds. She had to play it safe. "For what?" She asked.
"To be what that will give us victory over the land-dwellers." Was the reply.
"But I'm one of 'em!" She responded with a huff and a fold of the arms.
"Not anymore," Yua swore that heard a chuckle in that collection of hisses and clicks. The voice continued but with a more sinister tone, "I bet you can create... say create another storm like the previous one..."
"Can't," Yua said and shook her head with disbelief.
Another hiss, "Can."
"Nu-uh," Yua was close to resuming that tantrum. She wanted all of these strange people with their gills, their webbed hands, their scales, their lidless eyes, their stupid language that didn't have any real words; just hisses, clicks and moans, to go away. To go away and leave her and the body of her daddy and mommy alone. She didn't care that the meat attracted merfolk, seagulls and worse. She would protect Mommy and Daddy. Sure, they were just sleeping now right? They would wake up soon and Daddy would find that he was missing a hand and that Mommy was missing a leg...
Yua squeezed her eyes and thought of a storm that would drive these meanies away.
Frostcliff - Mining Town
It was pleased.
Syv looked over the children with his monstrously wide toothy grin of needles and giggled. He would send his agents forth to do his bidding and none would be able to halt his most heinous of deeds. And this, the stolen boat, would be the staging ground for his grand entrance. These newest followers of the Eternal Smile would bring about the grandest of displays this world had ever seen.
"Goood~" Syv cackled in sheer delight, "we have to work quick. Night's soon and I want to light the sky on fire!"
The gathered crowd looked at the God in awe as he hammed up the statement by dramatically pulling its cloak close to itself. It then quickly threw the cloak aside to reveal a box of tubes, some with coned tops much like those it had given the first dwarf. The children scrambled to gain a view and the pint-sized deity gave out instructions on where to place the dangerous toys. Within moments it had a working force of child pranksters turned sailors turned pranksters once more. Its plans would come to fruition -- there would be no doubt of that. How accurately they would be made manifest now lay in the hands of those it had conscripted. Shrugging to itself after a moment of careful introspection it relaxed by lounging across the sides of the boat, fully stretching out and propping its head up upon its hand while watching the children scurry to and fro.
"Hey, you!" Syv barked out, "careful with those. S'not like I can just make them appear outta thin air or somethin'."
The god giggled at that remark.
Mhioden - Silverdock
With a flutter of her wings Mhioden was away, formulating what do next. A follower with a seat of power would do well for her, more then just a councilman, she would need a king. It was lamentable that the last king of the Riverlands had died centuries ago and in the grave left behind a republic had sprung to power. Heirs were unknown, either they weren't any to find or they kept themselves in hiding lest the new government squash them and their claim to the throne. Besides, she had no secrets that the boy could use; they would drive him mad like those before. They were not of this world, she would have to find one that was of this world or create one.
She soared through the air in search of dissenters. There were always people who clung to the old ways, change did not come easy to humans, a flaw she would use to her advantage. In her wake a whisper on the winds was left to those who would heed it:
"A boy king has come to you. He needs help, guidance. Teach him and the old ways will be the future you long for."
Archon - Swandale
They wasted no time replying with a "yes" or a "no", of course they would help an old friend! Archon's messengers simply ran towards the horses and mounted them with varying amounts of finesse. Some had never ridden a horse before, after all. Nevertheless, they left their hometown leaving a cloud of dust, leaving behind an angry groom. His best horses had been taken, what was he to do?
Vul - Tirias
As if to interrupt their petty argument, a large swell began approaching the small island. Islanders rushed to their homes in a blind panic, just in case the wall failed. It was ironic really, with the wall, the fish in the small pool in between the wall and the island desperately needed a bit more water. Suddenly, the waves crashed against the wall, some of it spilled over, filling the small pool...
Quas - Asterbroke
The crowd seemed to accepted his apology, even the man with the pickaxe dropped all thoughts of killing the creature from which that thing had spawned. Children that had hidden behind their mother's legs rushed to greet the giant centipede, some even made playful attempts to reach his antennae and pull. This was interrupted as a wounded man rushed out of the mine. Yet another mining disaster.
Odanda - Harrowgate
Lord Swalsby twisted and turned in his sleep. His dreams were haunted by a strange presence, not to mention the strange sights and images - a bottle of vermouth opened its cap and the various botanicals that flavoured the fortified wine spewed out, thought in the mix were some Burda Roots along with some mushrooms. Poison!? The bottle advanced towards his lips, but he refused to drink.
Raetic - Northlands
After such a display of might, none of the tribespeople tried anything clever. Even the bull-headed man who tried to throw one of his spears at the deity knew that was a bad idea. None stepped up to answer the strange man's question, except for a little boy. He said with a smile, "Don't ya know? Today the Sun rises to mark the first day of Summer!"
Yua - The Blue Expanse
Dark clouds soon covered the sky and with them came thunder and lightning. The merfolk shrank away from the wreck, seeking shelter from the storm in the depths of the sea. Yua was left alone on a floating piece of wood, alone again. The sea churned, the wreck was flung by the great waves, along with its only passenger - Yua.
Syv - Frostcliff
The other dwarves in the docks looked on as the children carried out the god's will. The other dwarves stroked their beards, or their long plaited locks and began to chatter about the lonely boat. From the distance, it looked like a bunch of ants were scurrying about on it. Soon, the rumours reached the owner of the boat, who then began an effort to recover the valuable iron stored in it.
Mhioden - Sliverdock
The whispers fell on dead ears to the bird-god's dismay. The page continued running towards the meeting place, empowered by the desire for the secrets Mhioden had promised him. However, he was interrupted by a stray hand which reached out to grab him, and succeeded. The page soon realised he had blindly wandered in the rough slums of Sliverdock as evil eyes greeted his face.
Archon - Swansdale
Archon smiled as he watched his messengers speed off into the horizon in every direction, spreading the good word and promises of a better future. For the moment, he decided to ignore the discontent he could practically feel coming off the owners of the horses. He would pay them back for their sacrifices, but there was more important business to take care of first. "Denizens of Swansdale, return to your good works and deeds! I must go now and chart our course into that better tomorrow!" With a wave and a beckon for Rickon to follow, the god entered his workshop, leaving the townspeople to their own devices.
Upon seeing the inside, Archon couldn't help but smile a wide grin. It was exactly as he pictured it in his mind, gadgets and contraptions galore, level upon level of them, leaving an opening that let the ceiling of the first floor be the roof itself. "How are you gonna make all those Heartland folk believe you? No one's going to kneel and pray to some god a random guy on a horse told them about." The admiration of the gleaming workshop was suddenly cut short by Rickon speaking.
Archon sighed, turning back to them boy and speaking in the tone of a weary instructor. "They don't have to believe just yet, all the messengers have to do is spread awareness, so that the people know who gave them this..." Archon waved his hand through the air, causing the workshop to respond by stretching long mechanical arms to the floor. With a curt nod, Archon silently commanded the arms to begin building something. They pulled odd-looking devices and pieces of bronze from all over the workshop, constructing what looked like a man on the floor. "Ah yes, something people can identify without confusing for a normal person."
Archon brought his hand close to his chest and began to concentrate, causing the space between his hand and his chest to glow. "I shall make these...automatons...and make them spread across the Heartlands, just like the messengers. They will have the singular desire to help humans in whatever they need, while at the same time telling them of their creator." Archon used his free hand to gesture to himself. "Those who have heard the messengers and been helped by these automatons will then know of my power...and then they will believe. Eventually, they will come, and Swansdale will blossom into a beacon of progress for all the world to admire...and emulate.
The glow began to brighten as Archon spoke, and eventually the god pulled his hand away to reveal a small crystal, not that much different from the one that turned Archon into the god he was today, save for its size. "The prototypes are always the hardest to make...I might keep this one as an assistant if this works."
"If it works?" Rickon sounded a bit incredulous, he saw Archon build the massive tower his stood in with a wave of his hand, could he not make this "automaton"?
"I'm giving what is currently an inanimate object life and an objective purpose, somewhat unknown territory for me right now. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained." With that, Archon placed the crystal into the automaton's framework, hoping that it's limp frame would soon come to life.
Inside the First Dreamer's head, Odanda screamed. "You idiot! I have gotten NOTHING DONE in the past week and it's YOUR FAULT!"
"My lady, I, I understand that you are a-angry b-but..."
"It's not just that, oh holiest dreamer. While you've been sending me down useless passageways, I've been sensing... Presences, in the collective unconscious. Presences other than my own, or at least the worship of them. Do you understand me? There are others. And they are winning. I need to act faster, before they dominate the collective unconscious."
"I... I don't..."
You don't need to. I'm putting the plan in action. Send out the invitations to the bakers of the city, and I will whisper to them in their sleep, suggesting that they attend. If we have the bakers, we have the city, and we must have the city. I must have the city. In two weeks time, we are having a poisoned feast."
Raetic - Northlands
"Don't ya know? Today the Sun rises to mark the first day of Summer!"
"Summer, eh?" Clicking his tongue, Raetic tilted his gaze upwards, staring up at the celestial body in question. It did seem to be a pleasantly warm day, all things considered; he really probably should've seen this coming.
"So this is a party then." With a slight hop, the god tossed himself off his perch and down to the ground below. Landing with a small grin etched across his visage, Raetic allowed a bit of power to flow through his veins and etched a couple of symbols into the air. They were common enough runes, one that nearly everyone present could read and understand. You'd have a hard time finding a tribesman who didn't recognize "Drink" and "Ale", after all.
The runes shimmered for a second, before they warped and shifted. Half a moment later, two massive barrels stood before the deity, their alcoholic contents sloshing about noisily.
"Well, drink up then," he exclaimed happily, summoning a sizable tankard and plunging it into the brown liquid. There wasn't much sense in hosting a party without some refreshments, now was there?
Vul couldn't help but stare open-mouthed as the wave approached. He hadn't expected it to come, yet there was a huge wave, some water spilling over the top of the wall. So, the mortals had been right? Or, more important; he had been wrong?! What the hell?! That was so unfair! He glared over at the one who had slapped him not long ago, telling him to be patient. How had she known? Had she just decided to trust that old man or something? She seemed a bit startled as well, but looked more worried than anything else, probably doubting his skills. Of course she did, she was a disrespectful woman who didn't know her place. She was a mortal, in front of a god, yet she tried to tell him what to do. Foolish.
Vul kept watching the wall, a part of him was making sure nothing would go wrong, another part of him was admiring his own work of art. He was the only one who could do something like this on the island, perhaps in the entire world. That was awesome. The god couldn't help but grin as the wall prevailed while the waves didn't.
"How is this?" he asked the woman, still grinning. He sounded arrogant and prideful, but he had every right to do so. After all, he had just stopped a bunch of giant waves. "Is this enough?"
"Yes," she smiled, slightly. She was tearing up, and looked quite relieved. "This is fine."
"And now?" He was expecting something great now, although he didn't really care for something she had said before, about him forcing her. She had been the one to offer to do whatever he wanted to. He leaned towards her. "You kept insisting that you wouldn't do anything I wanted, but I still believe a prize is in order. She stopped smiling.
"I understand." It was with a serious tone she spoke, she seemed to consider just what to do. Vul was getting impatient, and he grabbed her arm, putting it on his shoulder. "Do you want some help deciding?" he asked, getting even closer. "I can think of a few things." Their eyes met, and she nodded, slowly, hesitantly. Of course, she already knew what he would suggest, he noticed that, she had started shaking. And it made him feel more heated. Why? He wasn't doing anything wrong or bad, and he had done his part of deal. Why did she make him the bad guy? Why this sudden change of tone? For fucks sake, she had even hit him before! If Vul had considered it more closely, he would have realized that it was because her pride made her honor her words, even if that was far from what she wanted. Currently, he was clueless.
She was looking away, and he forced her to face him, orange meeting brown, arrogant meeting hesitant and frightened. Why did she act like this? He wouldn't take it! Vul embraced her, and whispered into her ear.
"Stop it," he said, and kissed her cheek, "Don't act like this." It was not happening at all like he had imagined. She nodded.
"I'll try not to. But... please don't do anything more," she muttered. "This is enough, right? Taking possession of me and kissing me, that's enough, right?" He let go of her, angry.
"I'm not taking possession of you!" he growled. She kept twisting everything he did. Well, screw her! "Stop saying that!" He kicked a rock, it landing in the lake with a huge splash. He wasn't in the mood for anything apart from being alone anymore, and he had some thinking to do. Vul looked around, before pointing towards a small cave very close to the small lake. He didn't look towards the woman, but his voice made it clear that he was still angry. "You will stay there. There's some trees with fruits down nearby." He then started walking away. "I'll be back later, woman." It was annoying to refer to her as "woman" in his mind, all the time. "Or whatever your name is."
"Miriah," she replied. Upon him letting go of her, she had calmed down, gotten less frightened again. She seemed mature for someone of her age, probably because of her upbringing. "And yes, I'll stay here." He hadn't expected her to reply, and stopped, slightly.
"I'm not Kei," he started. She hadn't mentioned that name now, but he still wanted to make it clear. "You can call me Vul."
It didn't take long for Vul to reach the top of the volcano, and he let himself sink into the lava. Despite it being too dense for a mortal to sink into it, he found that he had no problem with that. He rested, the warm lava energizing him and making him feel comfortable. However, his mind kept going back to what that woma--- Miriah had said.
Quas - Asterbroke
Quas lowered his antenna for the children to swing on, feelings of joy swelling within him at the people's acceptance of him. Alongside him his first follower sighed in relief and began grinning broadly at their actions. Of course it was not long before the moment was interrupted by disaster, a wounded man rushed out of the mine apparently there had been a disaster and miners were likely trapped within the mine.
Quas was uncertain how to respond, he wished to rush to their aid and do his best to save them, but at the same time he did not want the people to become complacent and reliant on him to solve their problems. Still he knew he could not sit back and do nothing, he turned to the injured man and plucked a few strands of grass from the ground weaving and crushing them with his teeth and legs. As he did so the grass grew larger and formed itself into bandages and a salve to quicken the healing process and prevent infection. Briefly he considered applying his power to simply heal the man outright but such a thing could go wrong, and he needed to address the situation before providing individual attentions.
His creation finished he passed the simple curatives to his first follower instructing him to tend to the man's injuries, then he turned to the remainder of the crowd who seemed hopeful that he would save the men. First though he needed to know what he had to do for them, and what exactly they were faced with.
"Take me to the mines, and tell me what has happened," he said to the man with a pickaxe, who was clearly a miner of some sort himself "I will attempt to help them if I can."
Yua - The Blue Expanse
She cried as she was flung by the sea, and as she landed, those cries were muffled by water. By leaving her mouth open, Yua let gallons of sea water into her mouth. She desperately kicked and clawed in an attempt to get back to the surface. Yua didn't want to die like her parents did, that was her main fear. Soon, fatigue overcame her and the struggle stopped. She blacked out, leaving the sea currents to carry her corpse. A final string of bubbles marked the point where she ran out of air, now she would join her parents in a watery grave. Now her short life was over.
At least, that was what would have happened if she was mortal...
She awoke and immediately spat out a bit of seaweed. Somehow, Yua had become trapped in a particularly large tendril of the stuff. The struggle began anew, she kicked and clawed and even tried to bite her way out. But it was useless. She just become further entangled in the slimy green mess. Then she remembered how she disintegrated her parents' bloated corpses. Yua attempted to do the same to the seaweed, with some success. Afterwards, she swim up to the surface and wondered what to do next. Suddenly, a slimy hand grabbed her leg and pulled her down into the depths...
Frostcliff - Mining Town
Palm trees, sandy beaches, exotic fruits; Syv was in paradise. It stretched lazily while swinging back and forth in some sort of suspended bed made of woven palm leaves. The contraption known as a "hammock" was surprisingly relaxing, the gentle sway the breeze created lulling the god's more agitated mannerisms. It could stay here forever, just sipping sweet juices out of fruit husks and feeling the warm rays of the sun bead down on it. Then there came the darkness as the entire scene faded into nothingness.
"Damnit!" Syv cursed with a start as it opened its eyes. The harsh reality of Frostcliff came into view, depressing the little god far beyond anything it could imagine mortals felt. That place was so much more appealing than this crater in the side of a mountain. The focus required to keep itself there, however, was proving to be far beyond its power at this current point in time. That didn't mean Syv was pleased with its results. The god was fuming, almost throwing a tantrum in front of its scuttling followers. It was then that the pint sized deity got an idea.
This festival was all about some lame god who chose to stick his backside deep in the core of the planet. Maybe there were more? A toothy smirk played across Syv's face before focusing on its efforts. It assumed they would be causing similar effects across the world so maybe it could feel those effects somehow. With great strain the Mischief Maker began to extend its will across the aether, seeking out others like it. Who knows, maybe one of them would actually be fun?
Mhioden - Sliverdock
Had the absence of a true ruler been so long that those who should have remembered had forgotten the once great kings and queens that in times gone by ruled this small but important city? Mhioden snapped her beak in frustration as whispers that should have tempted her cause fell on deaf or unlistening ears. The boy would be lost if she had no power to give him and so would her sway over him. The magpie would be left to flutter against the wind, going not forth, nor back, but nowhere fast. She would attempt the feat again. Concentrating she put what little power she had as a god into the undertaking in hopes it might return twofold.
Archon - Swansdale
The once inanimate bronze replica of man suddenly moved. With sharp mechanical jerks, the being extended a hand to its creator. Nevertheless, it was just a stretch of sorts. The being had to get used to its rigid bronze body and the fact that it was now alive, rather than just bits and pieces of junk given a human form.
Odanda - Harrowgate
Some of the bakers simply dismissed the strange voice as a product of their dreams, others decided to attend the so-called feast anyway just in case the invitation was in fact real. Throughout the city, sleepwalking bakers could be seen in the streets at night. However, some fell to muggers seeing an opportunity to steal what little they had on them.
Raetic - Northlands
Raetic had given a gift of ale on a festival day - an important gesture. And soon enough, the tribesmen descended on the two barrels, but the old lady raised her hand and it stopped as she read the stone calender. She nodded, and with confirmation that it was indeed the right time, all of the tribe celebrated the start of Summer all through the evening, until sunset.
Vul - Tirias
Away from the volcano, people rejoiced for a brief time, taking joy in their survival. However, the problems the wall brought with it soon became apparent as some of the fishermen went off to collect their nets. It was impossible to reach them, as the wall blocked passage to and from the sea. One lone fisherman even kicked the wall in frustration.
Quas - Asterbroke
"The result of combining bag o' foulness and fire, looks like." The man with the pickaxe replied, but the wounded man interrupted him. Even as he was being attended to, he struggled and shouted, "Yeah, there was something down there alright. Not like these 'ere bandages an' salves are goin' be any good to the fellas trapped there. They're the ones you should be helpin'!"
Yua - The Blue Expanse
Instead of escaping the merfolk, Yua had simply brought herself closer to them. She struggled, but it was useless. After all, the sea was the merfolk's domain. That plan of conjuring up a storm to scare them off was about as effective as a simple splash of water. Storms? They were used to storms. And so Yua was dragged down to one of their underwater settlements.
Syv - Frostcliff
The result was somewhat underwhelming, and boring. Syv's efforts were just met with nothing but the laughter of seagulls and the sound of general hubbub that came from the more populated area of the dock. The dwarven merchant that had set out earlier returned with his previous iron ingots as the daylight faded. The night had begun.
Mhioden - Silverdock
Many rebellious souls were blessed with the secret of the boy-king and soon secret groups began to form. The young page was suddenly grabbed by the scruff by one of the blessed and was dragged into a secluded alley. The man threw the boy into corner then spat and turned to the boy, "Name's Ikey. I feel that we're gonna 'ave a very interestin' partnership, you and I..."