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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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Crispy Octopus Into the fryer we go.

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Illumination and Reprisal



Asceal sat at the reins of the golden Chariot, her gleeful visage a testament to her excitement. After having seen Aelius craft the wonder that was Heliopolis she was beyond eager to shape her own sphere, even if it did leave her as exhausted as he had been. She spared a glance at her friend’s sleeping form beside her and shook her head happily, she hadn't even known they could sleep! Was it K'nell's influence that made it possible?

It was something to consider, but any further rumination on the causes or consequences of a god’s sleep was cut short when Asceal felt a sudden rush of warmth. The very moment she crossed the boundary she knew it, that she'd finally arrived. Entering her Sphere felt like coming home after spending far too long away, and even empty as it was she couldn't imagine wanting to be anywhere else. As if guided by instinct she steered the chariot to the center of her domain before bringing it to a halt.

Without even a moment's hesitation she jumped from the Chariot and felt herself float in the void. With a thought she began to move away from Aelius, distancing herself from his sleeping form until she was certain she had enough space to work with. When she at last came to a halt she closed her eyes, her very form dimming as she focused.

She didn’t know what it was like for Aelius, but to her creation felt like gathering an invisible light and compacting it, solidifying it. It was an exercise as mentally taxing as it was physically exhausting, and by the time she opened her eyes to a small world of crystal she could feel the beginnings of fatigue assailing her senses. That didn’t stop her, though.

The vast glassy sphere before her was beautiful, but it wasn’t complete, not even close. She felt it tugging at her and let herself fall to its surface, only resisting its pull at the last second so as to land on its surface with some grace rather rather than barrelling into it. She reached down to feel the surface of her new home and found it smooth, perfectly so. Had it not been on the other side of Galbar from Heliopolis it would have been a colossal lens in space.

Of course, that was the point. She focused her power into the crystalline world and it warped according to her will, vast hidden lenses forming beneath its surface and distorting the pitiful light that passed through them. Aelius’s solution had been effective but wasteful, terribly so in her opinion. Her sphere wouldn’t waste a single mote of light. Her furnaces every emanation would be harnessed, strengthened, and bent so that far more than a mere half of Galbar could be illuminated.

The idea alone excited her, but she couldn’t deny the toll the effort was taking. Creating a simple planetoid was one thing, but to shape it so perfectly was a task that could quickly exhaust even a god. She took a moment to lay down, her form dimming. Taking a break after just beginning? It was pitiful, and she would need to get better at this. She meant no offense to Aelius, of course, but he’d managed to finish his creation before he showed any sign of weariness hadn’t he?

After what she felt was a great deal too much time she stood and picked up where she’d left off. The structures below the surface of her creation were complete, but how unappealing her new home looked, bare as it was. It needed personality, structure. With images of Heliopolis lingering in her mind Asceal raised great spires of crystal, each one a different colour, all across her creation. Unsatisfied, she focused again and continued until she saw the spires shift from simple pillars to palaces and towers. Where before there was a crystal ball, smooth and unremarkable, there now stood edifices of a grandeur to match those Aelis had erected, and with far more colour than simple boring gold and white.

Well, there was no accounting for taste. With a contented sigh she made her way to a nearby palace, grander than all the others she had shaped. The building was dominated by arches of blue crystal that joined its many towers to each other, and within was a chamber of black crystal on which an opening formed to permit Asceal entry as she approached it.

One would have expected darkness from the outside of the chamber, but the inside was awash in brilliant blue light. Much of the light of the universe had been funneled here by the lenses deep within her new construct, and inside this chamber even the dim specks that emanated from the barrier were brilliant beacons that shone up from a transparent floor. It was here she would build her second furnace, and it was from here the Architect’s creation would truly know warmth and light.

As she began to assemble the framework of a Furnace, a duplicate of that which she had wrought in Heliopolis, her sphere began to glow. It was hardly a stealthy activity, but what had she to fear? Melantha, doubtless the only god who despised light and the good it brought to the Architect’s creation, had sequestered herself at the very edge of space and would never arrive in time to meddle with what Asceal was doing here. This was to be the fulfillment of Asceal’s purpose, and she would not be thwarted.

Fittingly, it was with that very thought that she was interrupted. Aelius was on his feet and his voice cried out through the crystalline walls of the palace, urgency in his tone. “Asceal! Heliopolis isn’t safe. I must go back! The dark one, Melantha - I see her!” He couldn’t watch her through his physical eyes, of course, but via the glassy film that covered Heliopolis, for all intents and purposes an alarm system, his mind was aware of the goings-on in his sphere.

Aelius paused suddenly to take in the beauty of Asceal’s work. He felt guilty, remembering falling asleep through the ride. But the terrible sight of the dark goddess in his mind’s eye brought him back to the matter at hand. “She means to destroy Heliopolis’s Furnace, I just know it,” he added bitterly. “I can’t let that happen.”

Asceal scowled and spun to look at her friend, “We can’t let that happen,” with some effort she strode over to Aelius, the task of creation having taken its toll, “I had feared she would do something like this, but so soon? Let us confront her Aelius, before that wretched shadow manages to undo all we’ve accomplished.”

Aelius nodded and climbed back into the chariot. Once Asceal was aboard, the craft rose from the ground and Aelius sent it into motion. It sped off into the sky, and the pair rode in grim silence. They knew what what at stake.



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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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Azura’s planning session was interrupted by the appearance of two lights. The first was the arrival of Galbar’s first day, the light streaming down from an unknown sphere above illuminating this side of the world for all to see. Any disappointment she felt at no longer being this world’s one source of light was quickly washed away by the gentle warmth streaming down from Heliopolis and the sight of her sphere, now distantly visible in the vast blue sky that had arrived with the sun, her vast stone perches barely visible hanging in the sky like strange solid stars.

As she bathed in the new light the sun was briefly joined by a red burning twin. She was confused monetarily, then briefly aghast as the red sun’s passing seems to create a shockwave that buffeted her temples aside as it briefly passed though her sphere and finally disappeared over the horizon.

”Wha” was all that managed to come out of Azura’s mouth before she was blinded by a flash of light coming from the direction of the meteorite. She spread her wings wide in alarm, just in time for the blast to hit her, hurling the Goddess off of her craggy perch as Seihdara’s actions once again swept her off her feet. The torrent of air released by the impact bore her skywards. Azura was left dumbstruck for a few moments, tumbling dazed through the air and only coming to her senses when she realized she had started falling rather than soaring upwards. Still blind she attempted to slow and right herself to avoid a watery grave, but the blastwave she was unintentionally riding rendered this next to impossible. Gripped by anger and panic she fumblingly gripped the air around her with her power and commanded it to stop mistreating her.

”Enough of this!” She sang loudly

The wind obayed, hurling itself in opposition of the blastwave while at the same time she commanded the air it consisted of to calm and rise upwards. Combined pulling and pushing sufficiently stabilized the air around her, and Azura was able to use her wings to catch it, carrying her up and away form the waves she was mere moments from crashing into.

As she sored up and away in her now calmer air pocket her vision slowly returned and what she saw was greatly troubling. Below a ring shaped tsunami was spreading out behind the blastwave, both of which originated from an area that had been just beyond the horizon that was now coated in a blanket of dust and mist that was gradually spreading out from the sight of the massive explosion that azura now recognised as the result of a meteorite impact.

I hope no-one got hurt she thought before flying towards the impact sight to make sure. She soared across the sea and into the clouds, her shining form acting as a light in the oppressive darkness that had be brought to this part of the so recently sun kissed world. Gliding to and fro Auzra was unable to make any headway in her investigation, the bank of fog and cloud much to opessive. Eventually, growing frustrated, she propelled herself up and out of the cloud, bursting through its top into the clear air above. Higher and higher she went till she could see the center of the debris cloud. Once she had found I she dove towards it, wings clinging tight to her chest while she dragged a torrent of air along behind her. She pierced the heart of the darkness and spread her wings again to decelerate, causing the air she had brought with her to blossom out, blasting a hole in the cloud. From her newly cleared space she set to work blowing the worst of the obstruction clear, hovering in place and slowly rotating while flapping her wings to gradually dispersing it in all cardinal directions. The site was cleared, but the dust and water vapor the impact had kicked up would no doubt be a lingering feature of Galbar for quite some time.

What she revealed was a ring of newly formed islands jutting out of the sea surrounding the impact site of something mountain sized that had been flung at Galbar. A black sphere sat at the center of the ring of newly formed islands, barely visible through the km of water it had sunk beneath. From above the entire area looked like an eye so that's what she decided to call it. Investigation of the dark object at the center of the Eye yielded little information about who its creator was but the strange metal would no doubt give away its artizan once they, whoever they where, started making more things out of it. Of the target of this attack, if there had ever been one in the first place, there was no trace.

”I really hope chucking massive rocks around does not become a thing among the gods”

With that, the battered and exhausted Azura finally went to find somewhere to land again so she could rest.


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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Double Capybara
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Double Capybara Thank you for releasing me

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Urhu
MP 0 - FP 17


Urhu spent a few moments sailing through the air, getting a feel of how the recently created vessel worked and looking around to see if anything had changed, it had not, it was still the same formless endless ocean and she was wishing something would happen. She would get her wish soon.

First, however, she took flight with her boat upward, searching for the celestial siblings she wanted to spy on, she was having trouble finding them, ironically, her siblings would make sure she found them when a sudden light flashed across the entire world, including into Urhu’s eyes.

It would take a few moments for the confusion and blindness to go away, but that did not stop a navigator such as Urhu from continuing her path forward, and soon she would be at a safe distance above Heliopolis, the small ship taking a dark colour to hide it, making it hard to spot unless a deity decided to focus on its general area at random. It seemed like they had built some sort of light generating device, and confirming her fears, they left towards what she could deduce was Asceal's spheres, in direct opposition to this Furnace.

She decided to keep spying on the first furnace, until, and she had to double check this, some sort of giant boulder left The Great Dark towards Heliopolis. Here she was being subtle while her sister just decided to throw bloody mountains at others. If she did not know the context she would have disliked what Melantha had done, but it was true Asceal was trying to banish all of her influence from this world, what was left to the goddess? Once the balance has been restored though, and Urhu would make sure it was, the wanderer would not be so supportive of weaponized mountain throwing with the purpose of extinguishing all light from the world.

She moved away from the area of Heliopolis wanting to leave the whole giant rock business behind, it seemed, however, that was not meant to be, as she would see a massive boulder falling down and crashing against Galbar, causing a huge explosion. What was it with these upper realm gods and throwing stones around? The goddess wondered. Nevertheless, too curious to not want to inspect the newly formed islands, Urhu left her spying quest for a moment and ordered Nyeothay Tag to go back into the realm of Galbar. In moments she was down to the sea level.

"Bah, too fast. I could barely enjoy the atmosphere entry." she complained, before looking around. The island was too young to be interesting, even if had a peculiar shape, the steaming sands still hot from the impact had yet to sculpted by age into striking landscapes.

What was interesting, however, was the ball of metal at the very centre of the archipelago, Urhu had no idea of what it was made of, but she wanted some. Without the tools to extract it, she had to will her boat to dive down into the water and search for any residues on the sea floor. There were some, and she would fill a bag with powder and chunks made from that weird metal.

Inspection done and samples collected, the wanderer ordered her ship to fly once more, it was time to inspect Asceal's sphere and see if she would find another furnace. Once again, finding the sphere was easy because it was shining bright against the dark of the cosmic skies.

Urhu had to give it to Asceal, she knew how to make a pretty place, not her personal style, but she could not deny there was a natural beauty to the shine and glimmer of a crystal. The discrete and gentle light, in particular, was much more enjoyable than the invasive sun. It almost made her wish she would find no furnace but spotted one she did, and it was worse than she imagined, the whole place was set to magnify this furnace, it would be worse than Aelius's Heliopolis.

With no gods in sight, she docked Nyeothay Tag and jumped down into the sphere, walking around its sparkling palaces towards the central area, approaching the Furnace.

"What the hell is this?" the goddess pondered, looking at the weird device. She was not good with this sort of thing, and she wondered what approach she should take. Smashing it felt too brutal and, in ruthless terms, would just make Asceal more determined to build a third furnace. She needed to do something that would dissuade Asceal from trying to banish all darkness, even if that meant making her a bit hopeless.

The wanderer analysed the tools she had at her disposal, it was tricky because right now she did not even have clothes, and as great as her boat had been, she did not see how it could help (Stealing the furnace was a possibility but where would she store it? On her boat? It was too extravagant looking, it would contrast poorly with her rustic interior decoration.)

"Ah! The powdery thing I found, that could work. I guess..." she guessed, before quickly running to her ship to retrieve the bag. In her mind, it made sense, she could recognize Orvus's essence in the metal and from what she understood that essence was all about weakening things. By sneakily placing some of that powder and mineral chunks on the nooks and crannies of the furnace it would apply some of that essence to the light itself, and, obviously, that would lead to the light dimming out but still being there. Since the furnace was not destroyed but instead defective, Asceal would not have the will to go all out and make a third furnace and just roll with what she got.

Of course, Urhu did not know what the furnace was or how it really worked, she also had no idea what were the proprieties of the metal she was coating into the furnace, but her conclusion was logical, what else could possibly happen?

With a job well done, she ran away from the scene and quickly left back to Galbar at the wheel of her ship.



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Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Darkspleen
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Darkspleen I am Spartacus

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Phystene quickly made her way to the crystal that would take her to her own sphere after bidding Kalmar farewell. Phystene wasn’t the only deity who had tarried so long, but those left also seemed ready to be on there way. She wasn’t particularly interested in speaking to them at this point in time anyways. She had work to do.

Upon touching the crystal she was taken to an empty void. It was chilling, not in the sense of temperature, but in how a space could be so utterly devoid of anything at all. There was not even a single particle of gas. Correcting this was to be Phystene’s first task.

She held her hand out in front of her, palm up, as she gathered power from deep within. Once she had gathered enough, she forced it to coalesce on her palm forming a small seed. She gazed at the seed for a moment before allowing a smile to spread across her face. “You,” She said to the said, “Shall be my first child. As such you shall be special. You shall be this universe’s first tree. And I shall grant you the strength you need to grow large. Large enough to rival even a world. Yes… You shall be the World Tree.”

She held the seed close for a moment for this would be the one time she could embrace it so, before casting it out into the void before her. She then closed her eyes and focused on pulling upon the power the Architect had granted her. She drew deeply upon this power and sent it to the World Tree. Seconds turned into minutes, which turned into hours. Soon she lost track of all. It mattered not, all that mattered was nourishing her child.

After what had felt like an eternity she ceased nourishing the World Tree. She could have truly spent an eternity empowering it, yet she had more to do. She opened her eyes to gaze upon what the World Tree had become and was not left disappointed. True to its name, the World Tree had grown to rival a small world in size. Its roots formed a structure approximating ground, from which other plants had already taken root in. The World Tree’s trunk equaled its roots, seeming to go upwards forever. Phystene could sense that the World Tree’s top most branches brushed against Asceal’s domain, not quite breaching into the Light Goddess’s sphere, but coming so close that those branches themselves were being altered by the foreign sphere. Phystene’s eyes widened as she realized that the leaves of those top most branches were, themselves, emitting light. “How amazing” Phystene said, “you are my child.”

And it was at this point that Phystene came to realize just how much time had come to pass. Asceal and Aelius had already finished their first projects. And…. of course someone had decided to throw a big rock at it. That matter was something that Phystene figured Asceal would be able to deal with on her own.

Another rock, thrown by some other deity presumable, crashed into Galbar just as Phystene turned her attention towards it. She could only shake her head as she asked “What is with my peers and throwing giant rocks?” She gazed at the World Tree and asked “Any thoughts?”

If it had any, the World Tree chose not to share them. Phystene stared at the World Tree for a moment longer before returning her attention back to Galbar. The tsunamis caused by the asteroid was going to be an annoyance, but at least its impact had created an archipelago.

Phystene observed the new archipelago and, once she had determined it was safe from further tsunami and other extreme weather, departed the World Tree and headed for Galbar. Once on Galbar she went to the largest of the islands and looked around. Pleased with its characteristics, she gathered some of her power and used to as a spark to bring life to the island. Trees and other plants that would form a lush jungle. Giant scaled and feathered creatures that would inhabit the land. She continued pouring energy into this new ecosystem until it had grown into maturity before slowly walking around in it. She enjoyed the feel of dirt under her feet and the sensation of leaves against her skin. The sounds of the new wildlife creating a pleasant melody. After a few hours of walking she headed towards the middle of the island, where she had one more present for its inhabitants.

She gathered power from deep within, deeper than she had ever before, and called out to the World Tree. It heard her calls and immediately answered. One of the World Tree’s branches reached towards Phystene and, with her aid, breached the barrier to Galbar. The breach occurred under the soil before Phystene, thus as the branch continued to grow it appeared as if it were simply a tree growing out of the ground. A very large tree. Soon the branch of the World Tree had become the largest “tree” on the island, but Phystene wasn’t done yet. She poured more power into the branch, granting it characteristics unique to this particular part of the World Tree. “Use this to help your siblings grow.”


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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Lmpkio
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Lmpkio Kaiju Expert

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M.P:
5 --> 5
F.P:
20 --> 5





With little more to do in the architect's playground of nothingness, Sartr proceeded to hop on the crystal. With a powerful thrust, he found himself at breakneck speed, heading straight to his bare slate that he will call his home. He had little idea on what was ahead of him, or what he will find, but he knew one thing. Any who dare stand in his wake, will be burned to cinders. None shall survive his wrath.

And when the flame god finally landed on Galbar, all he could see was a flat, desolate bed of blackened rock. Sartr simply stood there motionlessly - his arms crossed together - as he observed this bland place. Despite the large island's decent size. there was nothing but the black ground and the ocean beyond. This realm was completely empty. It had no substance, no warmth, no defining features. It was simply bland and cold. Even the water vapor that surrounded Sartr made him even more aggravated.

This world won't do. Not in the state that it is.

The Fire God must have his own personalized place to call home. And he knew the best gateway to get there. The giant lifted his foot, already enraptured in terrible fire, and with a thunderous bellow he smashed through the rock with a powerful stomp. The immediate shockwave rocked across a several mile radius - perhaps reaching other nearby settlements - before the ground began to violently underneath. Large pieces of stone erupted from the ground, producing huge sharp crags while a huge mountain dwarfed everything in the nearby vicinity by many kilometers. Yet as it ascended farther into the sky, large holes exploded from its side, revealing a fiery liquid that bursted outwards like a leaking fountain. And once the mountain reached its full height, its peak suddenly collapsed in on itself as magma erupted from its center.

This would become Galbar's first and (currently) largest volcano - the mountain of fire.

[-7 FP - Gateway Created]


Huge balls of lava rained down upon the island, spreading upon the land and collapsing into the sea, with more flowing down from the crater. Sartr was taken back by this magnificent sight, flashing a visible smile of glee as he begins to ascend it. He could feel the pouring lava flow down his fiery body, seeping into him a newfound strength into his divine soul. He absolutely reveled in it, taking a second to just let it run down his arms and legs before continuing his ascent. In fact, he didn't need to continue climbing with his limbs as his whole body dissolved into the flowing liquid. There he ran up towards its spout, where it finally took again his humanoid form once at the top.

The flaming god looked down into the crater, revealing a swirling vortex that acts as the gateway to his realm. He leaped off his high perch and fell into the wormhole, becoming one with the molten magma while waiting to reach the bottom. He was in no rush however, as he let his body drift within this molten liquid. All of his problems and anger merely melted away. He truly was in utter bliss. Yet once he finally reached the bottom, he was greeted to yet another barren land - one only illuminated by the lava that spewed from the volcanic gateway.

Sartr was truly now within the foundations of his new sphere.

Once again, the molten god stomped his foot to produce more volcanoes and large crags, all which dotted the landscape as they discharged their fiery magma onto this virgin land. Then Sartr proceeded to slam his hand on the ground, where giant cracks in the ground made their way through the harsh rock and crept up on several nearby volcanoes. The lava would then pour into the cracks, effectively making lava rivers that melt through the firma. The landscape was in chaos, yet once the initial craze ended, there lied Sartr's ideal world. A world bathed in fire and ash, just how he liked it.

He would call this world... Muspelheim.

[-8 FP - Created Muspellheim]


And it was his to rule.

There was still more to be done in the future, but for the meantime Sartr was satisfied with his sphere. With that, he carves a small crater of lava and proceeds to dip his body into the boiling substance. For now he shall rest and enjoy his time within his own world that he created. And above him, his volcano - the Gate of Muspell - will slowly, day by day, expand as every eruption spreads its lava all the way to the sea. There the lava hardens and turns into obsidian, slowly growing the island ever so slightly.



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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Antarctic Termite
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Antarctic Termite Resident of Mortasheen

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On an unmapped sandbar in the middle of an unnamed sea, clumps of beachy mud were seen flicking up and out of a hole that must have been several meters deep. Chopstick's naive and optimistic attempt at digging had started off well, but her progress had stalled once the seawater started to seep in from the side of the hole faster than she could splash it out. After a while (an hour? a day? eight years?), she poked her head out of the burrow to see what was going on.

"...Oh. Nice."

A new light was shining in the sky, glittering off the sea, hot enough to burn her skin. It was the first warmth above background temperature that she'd felt for some time.

A deep, distant crack ricocheted through the endless waters, followed by a cataclysmic crash. Chopstick Eyes turned her head to the horizon and saw a great surge of water approaching from one side. She turned her head and saw an equally enormous tsunami approaching from the other.

Oh, thought Chopstick, as her sandbar was annihilated, along with her plans for the evening. Shoot.

A few days later, her speck of a body finally floated up onto the surface, and there she stayed for a while, spread eagle on the still-tossing seas, looking up neutrally at what remained of the sky. But the warm blue had been overtaken by volcanic and meteoric dust, and the waters were now so turbulent that she had little chance of ever finding her way back to the chopped mountain, or really any other landmark, should any have seen fit to arise.

Well, screw that then.

With a kick and a paddle Chopstick Eyes made her way down into the depths where the waters were calmer. Unseen and unheard in these empty seas, she could hear for hundreds of miles of unliving depths; sensing that her body was caught in a current far larger than she could see, she curled up for now and let it do what it will.




Eventually Chopstick found herself bumping slowly along an igneous seabed, raising tiny clouds of dust as she scraped the ground with an arm or knee. Her environs were still vast and melancholy, but at least there were landmarks, such as they were: distant, uneven shapes in the dark, signs of godly interference and the first hint of what was to come.

The pressure here was crushing, but all Chopstick's bones were made of rubber and her only internal cavity was a stomach that had long since filled with seawater. Kicking along the seafloor to the highest ridge, she began to listen once again to the echoes of the constant, splintery wooden creaking that oh-so-quietly followed wherever she went.

Up and up and up, ever so slow. Up and up to the edge of the broken ridge.

Then down, down again into the crack.

She could sense someone's presence nearby, even after all this time, and it wasn't hard to tell who it had been. Ashalla was gone now, into the heart of the rift where this crack led, and Chopstick Eyes had no intention of following (just yet). She needed to find some other way down.

And she did, in the end.




Choppy fell for several miles once she squeezed herself (octopus-like) through the leak. At last she hit the floor of the enormous chasm, splattering a small puddle of water that continued to fill, one drop at a time, with seawater from the unseen crevice above. Vomiting up the last of the ocean, and her kite, Chopstick Eyes looked up, and watched patiently in a crosslegged position as the leaking droplets slowed, then stopped. Eventually the water soaked away into the dirt. Whatever route she had found into this world, it was transient.

She looked around.

No light, of course. Only black. Black air in every direction, not musty, but still. Without illumination, her god-sense took over, and she saw an endless plain of reddish hardpan stretching off in every direction, dusty and not quite smooth. No walls, no roof. Leaving her cleavers stuck in the clay, she walked as far as she could in one direction, until she came back where she started.

She was very alone. But it was a cosy kind of alone.

"...Time to set up shop."

Wringing out her dress again, Chopstick's first thought was that if she had some bamboo and rattan to work with, she could probably light a fire and make a rack on which to dry both that and the pretty kite. It came to pass, and some stalks and palms sprouted up nearby.

Sitting crosslegged in front of the fire with her things on the rack, she thought it might be a good idea to fix her dress, and maybe make some more later on. For that she'd need silkworms, which needed mulberry-leaf, and some bone for the buttons and needles. It came to pass, and soon her mouth was stained with mulberries as she sowed together a new dress and her surviving buffalo chewed up her bamboo.

With that done, it was probably about time to start building stalls. Soon there would be buying and selling (she Knew this), and that would require vendors, who would need lodging for their stock and ware. She could probably build most of it out of bamboo and rattan, but she'd need some sturdier wood too, and less labour-intensive fabric, and water, and nails. Chopstick Eyes surmised that she could make good use of the pine and cotton trees sprouting alongside a nearby stream, and refine some iron out of the ore in its bed.

So, she did.

With a mountainous supply of lumber stacked up beside her, rolls upon rolls of cotton, leather, rice paper and wool, and hundreds of crates of wrought-iron nails, Chopstick Eyes tapped her chin, looked out over the endless supply of clay at her feet, and thought. At this rate, and if she was thrifty with the available space, she could probably fit about a billion stalls in her Sphere.

So, she did.

As she stocked the last of the stalls with some bronze hair-curlers and nail-trimmers, Chopstick Eyes thought about how she would go about livening up the packed but still lonesome Sphere. All of these goods were made for mortals of the generally humanoid persuasion, and there would one day be such mortals on Galbar (she Knew this).

But Chopstick Eyes had not the faintest clue how to (responsibly) put together something like a human, or even if it would be appropriate for her to try it. In fact, she wasn't even sure she wanted mortals in this Sphere of hers (at least yet). This big market didn't necessarily need buyers and sellers. It just needed buying and selling. She could probably arrange that somehow.

So, she did.

Still, the 'invisible hands' solution felt a bit lacking. Without a human touch to them, the Sphere was missing something of the bustle and flair that defined a true market. Chopstick Eyes didn't know how to make humans, but she had a pretty good eye for fashion, so she could probably work something out.

So, she did.

Finishing the last stitch on the last glove and fitting it onto the last invisible hand, Chopstick Eyes looked out over her innumerable horde of impatiently muttering hagglers and wondered what it was she was missing.

What did a human need beside air, food, water, and a limitless thirst for liquid assets?

...

Ah yes.

The last flying lantern was released from the window of Chopstick's workshop, and she leaned out to watch its passage. It was a pretty thing, and she was proud of it, not least because of the papery patterns painted onto its side or the streamers billowing out below. It was bright with life and light and warmth, a little flame spirit just like the countless others she'd caught seeping through the walls; it oozed oxygen and ate smoke, burning in reverse, purifying the air and purring an ethereal hum as it bumbled across the canyons of trinket-shops. The invisible hands weren't always the gentlest market-goers, but these critters would offer a guiding light to anyone who'd stumble across the Sphere of Chopstick Eyes.

And with that Sphere now illuminated, it was finally done. Chopstick Eyes looked out over the assembled hands and picked up the big mallet she'd been saving for this occasion.

"I now declare-" She hefted the mallet over her shoulder. "-the Grand Bazaar-" teetering under its weight, Chopstick Eyes nearly fell of the stage, but managed to teeter her way back to where the huge bronze bell was waiting. "-to be..." She swung. "OPEN FOR BUSINESS!"

And it was.


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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Lauder
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Lauder The drunk kind of hero

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and Eurysthenes


Time passed, thoughts grew, echoes spoke in maddening whispers. It had not been too long when Vakk felt compelled to leave his new realm and carry one with the Architect’s task. However, last he saw his fellow divinity, they were still conversing with one another and he suspected that they were probably still stuck up there. This would be the perfect time create a hidden entrance to Galbar, while they were all distracted by one another. It was then that Vakk decided to move as far away he could from his nook in Sanvādam, not that it mattered much considering no one could speak to him without his express permission.

After a time, he stopped and willed an entrance to Galbar, forcing his tendrils through unknown space. Vakk could see a thick mist beginning to push through. The fog moved to the surface of Sanvādam and quickly dissipated as it attempted to move further into the realm. It was a cavern, not straight forward to the surface, but with many branching paths as he crafted an intricate web so that he may not be followed so easily. Yet, he knew that any god would be able to eventually enter his realm given time and so he knew that he needed added security. His mind easily concluded which god would be the best.

The Lord of Talk ascended to Galbar, moving quickly through the pathways with ease, knowing the route he had created. Yet, he was being followed. He stopped and turned but saw nothing, nothing but the sounds of the echoes that had decided to follow their lord out of their home. The whispering echoes drew closer, hearing them rush past him to the same place he was going. With that solved, Vakk continued on his way until he reached Galbar or rather the deep portions of the oceans of it. This was not to his content.

Vakk grumbled and began speaking.

”Rise, rise, and make a land befitting a Lord,
Go, go, and so I shall pluck this cord,
So that all will obey their true lord.”


With that, the very foundation of Galbar began to shift as a landmass carried the entrance to Sanvādam and its lord to breach the surface of the water. An island formed, small and humble, yet large enough for a mortal to get lost on. It was strangely jagged, almost imitating the teeth of the one who had created it and many of those jagged rocks almost reached the head of Vakk.

He looked, a smile of content coming to his jaws before it disappeared. The entrance to his realm was woefully obvious as the blackened cave spewed a mist onto Galbar and his echoes gave it away to any who would listen.

”Unfortunate.”

He thought for a moment.

”Let it be known that those who do not seeketh I,
Will not be able to see the entrance.
None will know unless they are my ally.”


The cave entrance then became covered with a nonexistent rock that jutted up just as the other toothy rocks had. He had resigned to manipulating the senses to throw off those who did not want to seek out a conversation. However, there was still the matter of making the cave more secure, which would prove to be more difficult for him. Now it was time to seek out the puzzle god.

Meanwhile, This One had just arrived on Galbar by means of a rickety spiral staircase descending from the sky step by step, meeting with the water at the base. With great care it did step off of the great staircase: it did not want to find out that divine entities such as itself did not float.

Sinking did not occur.

So, relieved, Eurysthenes began to explore, when out of the blue it seemed that all of Galbar was illuminated by some infinite brightness. It had no eyes to see with, but the light was inky thick, smothering in its presence and suffocating by nature of existence. Everything was so bright that one would not be able to see, for a mere minute. And as if it were the most brief thing to exist yet, it dimmed to a pleasant, simmering bath.

”Well… that dried quickly, would it provide such a bountiful quantity of water again? it said.

It was lucky how close Vakk and Eurysthenes truly were, in fact, Vakk could see it on the far horizon. This proved great to his efforts, and he sprung to action by quickly making his way to the great puzzle god. Moving through the air quickly, Vakk touched down in the water of Galbar, ignoring the light for the time being.

”Greetings, fellow divine.
Greetings, Eurysthenes it is good to see you.”


Vakk feigned joy at seeing the puzzle god, his massive form lurching over it as his many voices spoke with that false emotion. He trusty did dwarf most gods, finding it to be rather good if he wanted to invoke a sense of power over them. Though, as they did not care much about the Architect, he did not know how this would result in further conversation.

Eurysthenes stared at Vakk with impossibly narrowed eyes. ”Vakk? Your domain is fluid, dry, and formless at once. May one of us discover what the other wants?” it said. It climbed its stairs until it was looking Vakk in his large mouthy face. This One spoke again, this time a little less clearly, ”You are forward, cunning, silent, glib in speech. Others are owing to this, would you ask. What are you?”

The Lord of Speech cocked his head a bit, taken back that he would have to answer a puzzle if he wanted to speak with Eurysthenes. However, Vakk would humor the god as he stood there, silent and in thought of what the answer would be. After a bit, Vakk simply decided to go around the answer than through it. ”I? I am the Lord of Speech and the true answer to your riddle is a certain part of my timeless chorus,” an arrogant smile crept across his face.

”You attempt to twist minds with words and puzzles. In this aspect, we are alike, Eurysthenes. However, you are better with something I require. I know you seem to enjoy your puzzles and riddles, so perhaps we could make one together?”

His voice stilled for a moment as he chose his words carefully.

“A god of riddles is nothing with an eloquently constructed speech. So, why not join me in such a task?”

”You… are not incorrect, though you are not in correct’s oversmall domain,” This One said, curiously looking at the arrogance bottled in the other god’s seemingly permanent smile. It ceased to narrow the nonexistent eyes and popped out another sentence, ”You may make a riddle with my help, though the help remains mine. Here is my help: If one were to journey to a place, what would be the ideal place to begin the journey be?”

”The beginning,” Vakk answered simply, not taking much thought into the riddle. The talking god thought to himself for a moment before coming up with his own riddle, ”I am what all others do. I trade and I barter with these, I can make one laugh or cry with it I am easy to construct and easy to fumble. What am I?”

”You are words! A journey which began at the destination wastes little time or energy, one will find,” was Eurysthenes’ slightly disappointed reply. The riddle’s true form was applying it to become the promised help, so This One saw no great shame in revealing the answer.

Vakk did not answer the cryptic reply of Eurysthenes this time, merely looking back to his jagged island. ”Come, I would prefer this be done,” he said simply before he began moving back to the entrance for his home, using a few of his tendrils to beckon the puzzle god.

Eurysthenes saw the island suspiciously eyeing the sky for the first time when Vakk drifted over to it. It was a meager thing, devoid of anything but rock. This One followed Vakk, albeit at a short distance. It could sense this was the gateway to Vakk’s sphere by the Whispers in the air, and it had plans to oversee and other gods to meet.

The island was exactly that, devoid of anything but the sharp rocks that pierced the sky and the whispers that dared escape from Vakk’s domain. ”Sanvādam, reveal yourself,” Vakk ordered, the rock in front of him disappearing so that Eurysthenes could see the entrance. ”This is the labyrinth that leads to my home, but I wish for those, like you, to be able to reach me and talk. I need a riddle for the correct path so that only those worthy enough of our kind of conversation may make it to Sanvādam,” the Lord of speech said, looking at Eurysthenes. He was appealing to Eurysthenes, wanting to get the desired result out of it.

”You love to make riddles do you not? Then let us make one, one that only our brilliant minds can solve,” Vakk said, his voice carrying with it a certain compelling power to help convince the smaller god.

Eurysthenes felt the pull before the island was reached, and knew there was no way out of what Vakk asked of it, though compliance does not have to be entirely to the desire of the wanting.

”The riddle you desire is this: That which I am speaking of belongs to another, not myself. This may confuse some, though it is clear as day. What do I speak of?” it said, resting several arms on its hips before continuing with ”Now you have your riddle.”

Satisfied with the unsatisfactory answer, This One left with expeditionary speed, so as to avoid that pull that had gripped it. This One did not like having that kind of power held to it, and resolved to further ward itself from these ways of deception in future.

Vakk watched as Eurysthenes made his hasty retreat, before he realized the true contents of the riddle and that he may not be able to solve it for a while. He let out a small growl, but was resigned not to chase the being as he had technically gotten what he wanted. He stared at the entrance of his sphere for a few moments, attempting to solve the riddle in his head, however, he would not spend too much time on it at present. Now, it was time meet more of his brethren.

And turn them on each other.



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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Frettzo
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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
20 FP - 5 MP





"Trepidation inessential."

Li'Kalla stared wide eyed at the... Monstrosity before her eyes. A being so unknowably slimy and foul... She'd never seen anything like it before and certainly even if such a beast had existed back home, she wouldn't have seen it after-

"Find solace in second genesis."

What was it saying? She understood its words, of course, but... Genesis? Solace?

"Additional affliction unlikely."

The words of a machine.

"Engage in creator’s directive.”

Whether it was a machine or a living being, it was right. Li'Kalla never took her eyes off the thing, Anzillu, and cautiously got up from her sitting position, which she strategically assumed out of surprise when she noticed the star-sized pupil of darkness in front of her.

Thankfully, the repugnant God moved away soon after speaking his sentence.

The Goddess of Rain let out a breath of relief she wasn't aware she was holding, and looked down at her hands. Shaking.

She bit her lip, shook her head and tightened her hands into fists before floating onto her crystal platform. It shot off immediately when she landed safely on top of it.

II


Before too long, she had arrived at what seemed to be a void. Not unlike the one she vaguely remembered from before existence existed, but this one didn’t feel as… Empty? It was hard to think about it, even for a being blessed by the Architect of the Universe. Not that she believed receiving a blessing like that improved your intelligence, of course. She wasn’t especially gifted…

Li’Kalla shook her head. She had a duty to fulfil, and she had a vague idea of what that duty was.

She lifted a hand and held her palm pointing up. Then she focused.

Small… Brown… Raw… She thought with her eyes closed, picturing her desired item. Grain.

The first thing she felt before opening her eyes was a minuscule amount of mass materialising just above her palm.

She opened her eyes and smiled with a furrowed brow.

”So it’s true, huh. I can create things… I really am a…” She said to no one but herself…

It was a single grain of rice, a type of grain that her people would grow in massive amounts back home. This one seemed as if it had just been harvested.

With a mere thought, she peeled the grain of rice and the pristine white food ingredient revealed its beauty to Li’Kalla.

A flash of pain flared up in her head and she averted her gaze. It only took a similarly simple thought to de-materialise the grain of rice and its peel. After the flare of pain died down, she sighed. ’Trepidation inessential’…”

She looked around at the void. ”… I don’t think it’s that simple, Anzillu the Automaton.”

III


The first part had been rather simple.

So why, by the Architect’s cold Eye, couldn’t she make anything else?

Li’Kalla groaned and threw herself onto the dusty ground that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was the only thing she’d been able to make. She lay there for a long time but eventually, it was time to try again. So she stood up and graced her eyes with the ugly, massive crater in the ground that she’d made for the lake that had been giving her so much trouble.

She shifted her position to sit on her knees and closed her eyes.

Clear, cool-

Drip, drip.

Her eyes shot open and she leaned over the edge of the crater with wide eyes. She’d done it!

It mixed with the dusty surface a bit and made it hard to see, but a trickle of water was coming from somewhere beyond the mist, slowly filling up the crater as a new lake.

… Maybe she hadn’t done it. Li’Kalla sighed and shook her head. Well, there was no reason to worry about that now. She focused once more and the dusty surface turned into dirt, and on that dirt grass and walnut trees grew, surrounding the crater. What once was a trickle of water now became a steady flow, and it kept increasing. Eventually, when the trees had all grown and together formed a humble forest, the flow of water revealed itself to be some kind of river due to the sheer amount of water that it gave. She couldn’t see where it was coming from, but upon a cursory investigation she recognised a trace of Shengshi’s essence in it.

It makes sense to have a God of Rivers make rivers to give everyone water, right? She shrugged.

While the lake filled up, she cleared some trees to make a clearing big enough for her next objective—A house.

She created a manor eerily similar to the one in her memories. Its facade, the rooms, the furniture and decoration… Incredible, the power she’d been given. But before she could actually go inside the manor, she had to finish the creation of her Sphere.

A grassy hill beyond the forest of walnut trees with a single oak tree on top of it, and a reinforcement of the mist surrounding the lake, forest and manor was all that was left to do.

IV


Li’Kalla was sitting on the steps leading up to the Manor’s front doors, looking out toward the Lake which had now filled up completely. After a few minutes watching the misty, greyish landscape, she moved towards the shore of the lake, just before the edge of the waters.

She caressed herself gently, noting how soaked her skin was and how perfectly dry her dress had remained. She didn’t even question how it had remained so, after all the things she had found out she was capable of doing. So, gracefully, she undressed. For the first time since arriving in this new world, she undressed.

There were no scars, no bruises. She was healthy.

Her lower lip quivered slightly.

She walked a few meters back and neatly laid her dress on the ground, before walking back to the edge of the waters and sitting down on her knees. She dipped her hands into the water at the same time as her vision blurred.

Steadily the water’s temperature rose. It rose up to a point where one could see steam rise from the lake. At this point, a pair of unassuming tears fell into the Lake and mixed with the water.

When Li’Kalla was satisfied with the water temperature, she removed her hands from the water and now took hold of the steam, forcing it to form clouds almost immediately upon detaching from the Lake. Those clouds she could faintly feel, as if they were a very distant part of herself. She didn’t pay much attention to that however, as she was busy with more pressing things.

Before the Sphere was completely filled with clouds, Li’Kalla tightened her hands into fists and focused her energy into them.

Then, she agressively stretched them toward the sky above the Lake.

”Ah!” She gasped and fell to one knee. She felt it, however, as the very fabric of space tore and a ring of the purest marble materialised mid-air. All the clouds were suddenly sucked in by the ring of marble, and what seemed to be a rippling surface of water was left inside the ring. The surface was quick to be covered as more freshly formed clouds began passing through it, blocking Li’Kalla’s view.

She wiped her eyes and took in a deep breath. It wasn’t enough to keep her breathing from feeling funny, but she managed to hold herself together for long enough to take a quick bath in the boiling lake.



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Doll Maker
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Doll Maker Homunculus

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- Idea inspired by Sartr

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gossamer clouds painted black engulfed a burning village, strangling a dying world in its ashen grip. Lungs choking with soot cried out in knowing futility to a darkened void above. But the empty sky offered no salvation only a deepening dread to a doomed metropolis. No solace would be had nor any explanation given for why their world crumbled around them. Zero answers for the rise of lifeless lakes, the infernos that overtook their cities in mere minutes, or for the upheaval of earth that marred their lands. Before this uncaring universe, dozens wept whilst others fell to madness. Where sane life still existed, madmen crushed it beneath their boot heels. Villains, driven to the brink of fear who, in their bid to exert some control over their own destiny, ended the lives of other men. Fear had long since conquered this world, and its people could only helplessly watch as it tore itself asunder.

A wailing spherical thing hurtled throughout the great and endless darkness. Purposeless and inconsequential the tiny “traveler” wandered infinity for countless lifetimes. Thoughts or motives were absent, only the need to screech mindlessly into the cosmos. And if not for divine intervention, the screaming oddity would have continued its aimless dash across space.

Appearing as but a pale speck in the night, it grew exponentially until swallowing the nothingness in a radiant tsunami. Against the grossly incandescent intruder the orb was rendered impotent, helpless to do all, but follow the waves’ whims. As if compelled by some unseen force the howling sphere dutifully trailed the luminescent ripples. Within the light, it jittered and shook, almost as if its luminescent abductor were attempting to awaken it. Howls of misery ceased, in favor of fearful and incoherent chatter. Even between planes, the babbling spheroid could feel The Architect’s awesome might. Its journey wasn’t measured in the decades of yesterday, but in mere minutes as the sphere found its way to another reality alongside others like it. just as quickly as the orb was absorbed, it was expelled onto The Architect’s palace floor.

What plummeted from the glistening prison was not a tiny ball, but a gelatinous mass. Misshapen faces and crooked limbs plastered its form, an amalgam of souls pressed hideously into one. Nevertheless, it struggled to claim a shape like its peers. A mass of eyes admired The ABORHENT ONE and so it attempted to be like him, though its tentacles paled in comparison nor could it take his shape. It then thought to be something else entirely, only to resemble some freakish parody of many things before finally becoming something it liked.

Dark chocolate colored an inhuman design flanked by wings encrusted with elaborate features. It no, he had been reborn into something greater. Yes. He was a man, though; he lacked a name. A small matter he’d contend with later. Dead memories returned in hazy snapshots. Recollections of peoples, places, and, things he’d seen or been. One of the people he’d been was a man named Ekon. “Ekon” Uttered the newborn god who had taken a liking to that name. It was his name after all.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Leotamer
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Parvus and Phystene
@Darkspleen
___
Parvus did not spend long resting. It was a fruitless endeavor. After molding his sphere, he still felt exhausted. However, he decided to spend his time more productively. He put his stinger up to his side, and threads of silk wrapped around it and fixed it in place. He grabbed an apple from his tree within the Garden and walked through the Hive.

He decided to reach out to some of his like-minded gods and goddess. Parvus was not one to trust easily, however, he recognized the importance of alliances. He leaped out through the Maw and sat down on his island.

Parvus willed a message towards the god of plants, who he had learned about through the strange moment at the architect's palace. Hello, Phystene is it? I would request a moment of your time. I believe we have matters that need to be discussed, and I prefer not to use telepathy for such important conversations.

“I always have time for a fellow nature deity.” Phystene answered. “Would you care to come down to Galbar to see some of my work or shall I come to you?”

”Give me a few moments, and I will come over.” he said, before quickly walked across the ocean towards the eye of desolation.

Once he had arrived, he bowed. And then quickly glanced around, observing the plant goddess work. ”I am concerned about the wilds of this planet. Earlier, I had felt a great tsunami pass over my island, forcing me to close my gateway for sometime. I don’t feel like I need to mention what would have happened if I had already sprouted life over my island.”

“I had noticed our peers’ proclivity for throwing massive rocks around” Phystene commented dryly. After a moment she added “Life is… resilient. At least some part of what we make can survive an asteroid impact or two. But I am not keen on seeing much of my hard work go to waste simply because someone was having a tantrum.”

She leaned back against the Branch of the World Tree, a weary look on her face. “I suppose the question is: what do we do to combat this? Do we go for a strategy of diversity or take more… proactive measures?”

Parvus frowned, ”Trying to assault another god directly is unwise, and it would result in more destruction.. He paused for a moment. ”I am not sure what the best course of action at this time.

Phystene shook her head, a pained expression on her face. “You misunderstand me. I would never suggest violence as a first response. But I do think that we, and by we I mean us nature deities, need to establish a position of strength and make it known that we will not tolerate further acts of widespread destruction on Galbar.” She paused for a moment before continuing. “Perhaps we form a… what is it called? A pact? A grouping of some kind. Let it be known that we all agree on this one matter and will act together against those who cross whatever line we draw in the sand. In nature the mere threat of injury can deter a predator. I see no reason why this concept need not apply to deities as well.”

Parvus frown dissipated into a small grin, It is not that I have not considered a formal alliance, I am simply worried such formalities could draw undue attention. If other gods wished us harm, they may strike out against the forests of this world. While cooperation is important, I believe we must also approach this with subtly. We must not start a war, which we can not win.

“A valid concern to be sure” Phystene agreed, “though I suspect that some of our peers will attempt to destroy the forests regardless of what we do. Countering such wanton acts will almost certainly require most of my attention in the days to come.” She let out a soft sigh. “Honestly I a suspect that we could align enough of the other deities to our cause to win any conflicts we might fight, but what truly concerns me is that we might not be able to recover from such a conflict, regardless of if we win or not. I still believe that establishing a position of strength will be in the best interests of life on this world, but we need not rush into this. Shall we quietly see who will align with us as we consider alternative solutions?”

Parvus smiled ”It seems that you understand the delicate situation which face. There is still little life on this planet, it would be best to carefully consider our options, and better understand our fellow gods. he said, reaching his arm out in order to hand Phystene the apple which he had brought with him.

She accepted the gift with a warm smile. “To life finding a way” She said before taking a bite. “And know that you, and all that you create, are welcome within my domain friend.”



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Muttonhawk
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Muttonhawk Let Slip the Corgis of War

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Kirron


He had a direction and none had an apparent interest in stopping him. Kirron hopped effortlessly upon his selected crystal in the Architect's lair and seated himself, back straight and arms sternly crossed. The crystal made its silent way up and out, never stopping and ever accelerating. Kirron's eyes wandered around the dark features of the space around him. Already his siblings were going about their projects. He sniffed idly, or perhaps with purpose. He grumbled all the same.

The crystal had not been given a strong direction, as much as Kirron wished he had one. Whatever modicum of interpretation his transport had appeared to draw him towards the looming orb of water-logged stone in the centre of it all.

"Galbar." He thought out loud. The word felt correct in his mouth. He smirked. "As good a place as any to start looking."

Weightless silence became a flare of orange heat. The crystal was hardly slowed by its descent into the atmosphere. Kirron's eyes made out the ripples in the endless water as the air got thicker. Without any hurry, he leapt from the crystal and held his knees against his chest. The wind buffeted his ears on the way down, but the sound of his splash was just a fraction louder.

A few moments passed. Kirron's white-haired head emerged from the surface. He looked to his left, to his right. Nothing. He looked up. The fiery streak of an asteroid hurtled across the sky. Kirron grinned with the full length of his shark-like teeth.

"Ha! Having this much fun, are we!?" He shouted out to no one. "I'll show you how to really hurl some earth!"

Kirron dunked his head into the water without even a breath. His feet fluked behind him before he kicked his way deeper. He kept going in spite of the water pushing in around him. The heaviness of the ocean was no match for him here, at least at this depth.

Before long, he sensed the sandy floor. He turned himself in the water and landed peacefully on his feet. Bubbles escaped the gaps between his toothy smile as splayed the fingers of his hands. He bent and clutched the sea floor.

The scene looked at first to be ineffectual. For a time Kirron simply stood and stared. Then a stony cracking sound pealed across the ocean, muted only somewhat by the water. Kirron's arms and back grew a more vivid red with enriched godly blood. More rumbling like thunder from the sea floor rang out. After another long time, an impossibly large shard of bedrock lifted in Kirron's grasp. Sand flowed off its rising edge in a curtain stretching off in either direction, disappearing into churning clouds of dusty water. The fissure grew at speed until water rushed in to fill the void underneath. Kirron's beard and hair remained the only part of his body not rushing beneath the stone from the vacuum.

Above the water, a shelf of stone emerged from the surface. Small at first, but quickly growing as if Galbar was peeling itself open. Water rushed off its surface in raging white sheets that shrank into rivers, then streams, and then eddies.

At the source of the movement, Kirron's body looked about ready to burst from exertion. His upper lip was lifted and his eyes wrenched shut in a strained sneer. Up the stone went, rising over his waist, then his chest, then his shoulders, and then up over his head. Finally, pushed to a limit, he shouted a great cry as loud as he could muster. Not even the churning and rushing water drowned him out. One last push, he hurled the earth over his head in one piece.

It was more than a mountain he had pulled out of the ground. The impossible projectile crumbled even before it left Kirron's hands. As it landed, it shook the entire planet. A great rush of debris and waves spread in all directions. The counteracting suction of the hole Kirron left behind caused whirlwinds to storm into existence either side of him. In the chaos, he laughed heartily. He laughed in competition with the noise. He had not won by distance thrown, true, but he had won by the mass of the object hurled.

By the time the world finally calmed from Kirron's recklessness, he stood on the solid ground his stone taken the shape of upon landing. In all the commotion someone had courteously produced a great and warm brightness in the sky. It lit up the fruits of his sport -- for it could not be called labour when it was such an entertaining distraction. He sat one foot up on a rock, leaning his upper body on his knee and looking out at the mess he had created; a land of rubble stretching into the horizon. He smiled.

"Heheh, what's the word for this again?" He found it in a second. "Right. Procrastination."

He shook his head and chuckled under his breath as he kicked off on a walk further inland.


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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Double Capybara
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MP 0 - FP 17


Back once again to the waters of Galbar, Urhu was enjoying the feeling of thrill provided by the act of sneaking into another god’s realm provided, she even had a proud smile on her face. However, as excitement passed, what was left behind was a vacuum of uncertainty. She did not even know why she had acted the way she had, perhaps it was in the momentum of being born, perhaps Seihdhara and the feeling of power made her bold, nevertheless, she now wondered if this was worth getting involved into. She was sure she would not be caught this one time, but what about the next? A balance was important and she did find the idea of endless days disgusting, but would she have to fight against all other gods whenever they overstepped? She did not want to do that, she did not want to policy other gods, and at the same time, she did not take kindly to the idea of staying still as the world goes wrong.

Alone in the sea, her mind kept going staying further into endless brooding. What was she even doing? What was her purpose there? The architect’s words had been too vague and by the presence of gods of realms such as desolation, one had to wonder what he was even aiming for. Was she traveling just because she was told to do so by a higher power? She didn’t like being ordered around even if she were to do only things she enjoyed, it felt pathetic.

Urhu’s negative thoughts came to a halt when she suddenly spotted The Eye of Desolation, to her surprise, it was very different from when she last saw it, lush jungles adorned the once barren rocks, which was quite impressive, considering how jagged the crater islands were (though it had to be noted that many of the irregular great spikes of rock that rose from the ground stood tall and sterile, unconquered by life.) and the minute detail of the whole world being covered by thick dust clouds, which certainly made life somewhat awkward.

”I sense Phystene” the wanderer said, and, to no surprise, she soon found some sort of tree, or part of a tree, raising from what she could perceive to be some sort of connection to her hidden sphere. ”Talk about imposing power.” she told, in compliment, if anything the vitality of the island was a testament to her power.

And since it was now interesting, it was time to have some fun and explore it.

Of course, the first act was landing, a simple thing for most deities that possessed a flying ship, but Urhu did not like the easier routes, she wanted to find a sea route to port into the island.

Sailing around it, she was able to make a quick judgment.

The inner coast (in relation to the blast and the ‘pupil’ bay of the eye) was far smoother, and that made sense, the land had been pulverized by being so close to the impact, it was also the direction where most rivers of The Eye flowed towards, this was due to the nature of the mountains, all created by the blast, having longer slopes facing the bay and sudden cliffs facing outward.

This obviously painted the picture of the outer coast, long walls of rock, waters infested with rock spikes, and rough beaches composed of gravel and boulders, a stark contrast to the gentle, stream dotted, sand beaches of the inner coast.

Mortals would probably prefer the bay by a long mile, no side was truly an “easy sailing” by no means, but one side provided far more obstacles for anyone wanting to dock their ships, which would be futile, as once they did they would be facing a couple thousand kilometers of sharp cliffs, raging waterfalls and steep climbs.

It was natural that Urhu decided to be the first to find a safe way from the outer coast into the island, sailing for days in a circle around the island, many times finding fake leads that just led her to a dead end, with the beach in sight but well guarded by raging waves and sharp rocks. But in the end, even a raging bull can be tamed, and the traveler had found herself docking Nyeothey Tag on the unconquerable side of The Eye.




A couple of hours climbing a hill with her bare hands, and Urhu was atop in a high point of the archipelago. The view was beautiful, it was weird how a place could be so desolate and yet so full of life, the essences of two clashing gods creating something paradoxical yet very real. And it was beautiful.



For a moment she even felt a bit elevated herself, sadly, her high ended suddenly when she turned around and stumbled her doe against a boulder.

”Dammit… fuck!” the wander said, rubbing over her feet. That had gone and done it, she was going to get some boots. Of course, a god could just summon a pair, but where was the fun in that?

With a sharp rock in hand, she would turn a simple log of wood into a sharp javelin. She had considered wood and fiber sandals, but nothing could beat nice leather boots, they were very resilient and didn’t get her feet when it rained.

When you are a giant lizard full of aesthetically pleasing leather in your body the last thing you’d want to see in a goddess with a sharp stick in her hands and eyes focused on you, but that is what one poor fella saw before a quick and painless end.

”Ugh… threw it too strong.” Urhu stated, it was thankful she had aimed at the head of the creature, otherwise, the whole body would have been made worthless.

Since she had had her fun with sailing already, the wanderer decided to have her ship fly into the island so she could easily get the tools to dry and tan the leather as well as to store the meat and bones of the creature she killed. Urhu did not eat the meat of animals she did not slay herself, it was part of her own huntress code, so it was important to store whatever she killed or else she would rarely get to eat meat. Why she had such a strong conviction over something that was not her realm she did not know, but anything else felt wrong.

Soon enough, she had a pretty nice and dry pair of boots… of course, since she was already on a hunting and gathering trip, she could as well make a few more things, such as a loincloth made from ayate fiber of local cactuses and decorated with the feathers of birds of a variety of colors, a died leather cape, rattan bracelets and rope and bones headband…

”Seihdhara forgive me.” Urhu whispered under her breath, but it was hard to not want to make something out of the things she collected from this new land, in the end, it was no different from her wish to eat despite being a goddess, those were the things that made her feel alive and less alienated. As a goddess, it was important for her to become familiar with the world and its people, and how closer could you get than to wear bits of their corpses for aesthetic purposes?






Of course, The Eye of Desolation was an enormous region, and even after getting a sample of the local wildlife and flora, Urhu still wanted to keep braving its jungles, with a heavy emphasis on brave. The region was already naturally hard to traverse thanks to its sharp, unstable and rough landscapes, full of mountains, mesas, ravines, fractures, and some pretty fast rivers. Phystene saw fit to add a layer of impassable, thick, overgrown jungles on top of that chaotic landscape. In some areas, the smallest of trees was still large enough for someone to live inside it.

It was a pretty great place overall, in Urhu’s opinion, something that was exciting to explore even as a goddess, it was really hard to believe it existed in a world still lacking direct sunlight thanks to the clouds. She was still finding new things to take note off even after endless immortal days traversing the forest. More recently, she had found a star-shaped fruit. It was difficult to believe, but it was harder for a god to pick up a fruit than it was for a mortal to do the same. Her mind could peer into the local life and know what the fruits tasted like before she even touched it, much less ate it. It was an existential hell of some sort, it took an effort to keep her divine mind contained as to not spoil the whole experience, but it was an effort worth taking.

The star fruit tasted sour and very acidic, not of her personal taste, but so far the best fruit, seed or berry she had eaten here, so she would keep a few samples for herself, probably grow a tree in her boat’s greenhouse. Other things she took, outside of the corpses of many animals, were some logs of local wood and a few caged songbirds. She had also taken some flowers for personal purpose, it was pretty lifeless within Nyeothay Tag and a few potted flowers would help to lift the environment up.

Sensing other exciting developments elsewhere, Urhu hopped onto her ship and started to leave, but not before making a special mark on the one beach that was of easy access on the ‘inacessible’ of the continent. Urhu called forth a rock spike from the Chthonic realms, this was no mere rock, however, as after the goddess molded and polished it, the sparkling blue reflection of the stone could be seen. When the sun dominated the skies, its faint light would not be visible, the spire being seen as just another one of the sharp rock formations in the area, but in a bright night, its unique gleam would be noticeable and hard to lose sight off even if the area were to be covered in mist. Only a select few would ever need the gleaming spire’s guidance, anyone traveling through the rougher coast at midnight instead of picking the ease of the inner bay was someone Urhu felt like helping, it did not matter if they were doing this out of curiosity or out of need.





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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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After she had investigated the Eye Azura had taken up roost on one of the smaller islands to rest. She did not sleep, the fear of being hit by more falling rocks prevented such a respite, but she did spend quite some time mostly inactive in her craggy nest while she recovered. While she did so she watched as Phystene erected a great forest upon the greatest of the islands, a natural wonder surrounded by a lifeless sea and barren neighbours. After she was sufficiently recovered Azura took wing and soared across the great bay to the fertile island.

The curious parrot came in for a landing in an unremarkable part of the jungle, a landing which went rather poorly. The goddess’s immense size did a number on the area, her flapping wings sending torrents of wind through the forest that spread chaos and flattened less sturdy plants, while her actual landing brought down a number of trees. Once she hat touched down and folded her wings against her body Azura looked around rather sheepishly at the destruction she had wrought

”oh dear. I’m very sorry” she apologised to the forest before sighing ”your so very fragile aren't you. It will be a miracle if you survive.” she continued before pausing and becoming lost in thought. She felt a little guilty and wanted to do something to apologise for the damages. She also was very concerned about the possibility of this little patch of life being wiped out and there being none left on Galbar. After thinking about this for a bit she came up with an idea.

Ever so carefully Azura reached around with her beak and plucked 6 of her glowing feathers, each different color of the spectrum, from her rainbow wings. A gentle breeze caught each and gathering them all before her where the feathers formed 3 pairs of dancers that were blown to and fro by gentle winds to keep them aloft. Then she filled her lungs with divine power and breathed out, her voice crafting the empowered breath with purpose.

To the Red and Cyan pair she sang ”Precious parakeet, drinker of nectar and pollination of flowers, with my breath I give you life” and the breath that had created the sound of the tune wrapped around the feathers, creating a small parrot who was mostly cyan but had a crimson chest and a special tongue for licking up nectar from flowers.

To the blue and yellow pair she sang ”Radiant Macaw, feaster of fruit and nut, carrier of seeds across the world, with my breath I give you life” and they formed a large resplendent bird with a strong beak who was blue on top and a yellow underneath.

To the green and magenta pair she sang ” Boisterous Kea, devour of pests, protector of plants and kin, with my breath I give you life” and they formed a Parrot of middling size that was green all over except for flashes of pink found on the underside of its wings and who's beak and talons where razor sharp.

The three parrots landed on a the branch of a tree just in front of Azura, their feathers shining slightly with their own light just as the ones they had been made from had.

”Three you be of color six
A problem for me you will fix
Nature is threatened from the sky
And without your aid it will surely die
Bring this world what it lacks
And may the wind always be at your backs
Shine light and life to every corner
Lest foolish gods leave me a mourner”


She sang to them, only to be surprised when the glimmering trio sang it back with her own voice. The Kea sand with a slightly deeper of voice, the parakeet with one a touch higher and the macaw a perfect, if quieter, match. Together they formed a rather beautiful harmony.

”We three of color six
A problem for for you we will fix
Nature is threatened from the sky
And without our aid it will surely die
We bring this world what it lacks
And Azura’s wind is always at our backs
For her we shine light and life to every corner
So that foolish gods don't leave her a mourner”

”aww that’s adorable.” she cooed, while internally noting that she should probably avoid giving everything she made the gift of speech lest it annoy a certain god. ”Now go my creations, and paint this world with all the colors of the rainbow” she commanded, her wings opening wide and releasing a gust of air towards them, causing the three shining gems to suddenly shattered into a thousand pieces, forming great flocks of birds that quickly spread out across Phystene’s forest to begin spreading plant life, and inadvertently song, to wherever they could reach.

For a few days after she watched and observed her creations, making minor adjustments as she went to help them adapt to life and avoid the many fathered and scaled creatures of the jungle that might want to eat them. She made them faster, and made it so that they could softener intensify their glow. She taught them how to cooperate to attack or dazzle predators and gave them words to call out in alarm when threats were spotted. When she was finally satisfied she lead a grand exodus to one of the nearby islands, a great flock of birds following in her wake, till they all arrived at their destination and prepared to start planting only to run into a problem. Namly that it is very hard to plant seeds in rock. Upon coming to this realization azura promptly buried her face an outstretched wing in the universe's first facepalm while groaning loudly.

” Gaaaaaah. I am so… no. no. this is fine. I can fix this”

She plucked a final feather from her wing, this one purple, and paired it with a splinter of Orvium left by the impact instead of a second feather, hoping to strengthen her fourth bird with the metal component. As before she sang to it.

”Mighty Cockatoo, breaker of stone, maker of fertile soil, with my breath I give you life” and the two formed a bird, one sporting dark feathers that seems almost metallic within which shon a deep purple, a mohawk and a beak that was a blunt as a hammer. Its aura too was darker, more subdued and it wore down all it touched. This worked for her purpose, their entoptic aura adding to their stone breaking prowess. Her final bird made she added to her their song

”To these three I add a fourth
And together you shall all go forth
To soften stone and plant the seeds
While singing songs of your deeds


This too they sang back, the lone Cockatoo’s voice deeper still than even the Kea’s yet notably quiet and subdued.

”To the three she added a fourth
And together we shall all go forth
To soften stone and plant the seeds
While singing songs of our deeds”

After this the Coactoo shattered into a flock of its own species, and together all the parrots set to work. The Cocktoo‘s broke down the aura weakened stone by headbanging away at it with their beaks, the Kea’s dug into the new soil, the macaws planted seeds and the parakeets brought nectar from the main island’s world tree, letting a single drop fall on every seed to speed their growth. When the day grew late they returned to the jungle, to rest and feed. In time they would return to continue the planting and to tend to the saplings.

Satisfied with her work Azura took to the skies once more. She had tarried too long in one place, and her wings itched, willing her to go forth and explore the rest of the world.


Emerald Kea, Amber Maccaw, Ruby Parakeet, Onyx cockatoo



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Scarifar
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Scarifar Presto~!

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Arae

5MP | 20FP


Arae frowned when Sartr left. If her intuition was correct, then he wasn't going to follow her advice. She sighed. After a moment, however, she began to giggle. It really had been too long since she had these interactions, or even these emotions. She wanted to interact with some more of her family members, but quite a few of them had already gone off to the crystals, leaving the hall. Arae thought it was probably for the best; there was no need for her to stick around much longer either. She needed to create, just like everyone else, and create she would do. Making her way over to one of the crystals, Arae finally left, using the crystal to travel to the place that would be her sphere.



The place was rather dull. There was nothing here at all. However, that was not what there was at all. What Arae saw was a canvas of infinite potential, just waiting for a masterpiece to be created. All she needed was a plan. Possibly a bit of experimentation as well.

First up came the base. Arae needed some land to work with, something simple yet beautiful. She looked through her memories, trying to find a suitable landscape to create with. There was much she had forgotten, but still enough for her to remember. She remembered a few of the lands she had walked through, not including the wasteland she had been in until recently. She remembered the bright, sunny forests with tall trees and humid air, as well as the large, cool mountain ranges. There were the freezing, icy lands as well as the burning, sandy deserts. The one she liked best, though, were the lands of green grass. Occasional trees to rest in the shade, and cool breezes for the heat. Yes, Arae decided she would go with that.

She concentrated, visualizing how the land would look. She felt power welling up inside her. It was different to the one she had known, but familiar at the same time. Creating... she had not done it in so long, and it felt nice to be able to do it again. The image of her mind was locked, and Arae released her power, feeling it drain from her body and into her sphere. Grassland began to spread from underneath her body, extending all the way to the horizon. Arae thought it wasn't bad, but it wasn't complete yet. The sphere was still dark. She needed a light source. Arae concentrated once more, imagining light illuminating the world. Power welled up once more, and was released. The sphere began to light up as the sun rose from the horizon. At least, it was a close resemblance to a sun. Rather than a big ball of light, a band of light was rising from one side of the sphere instead.

Whoops, that's not right, Arae thought to herself. But it does work. I like it.

So the base was complete. A piece of land to work with and a light for her to see her work. Now for the actual hard part: what was her sphere going to be about, and how was it going to work? Arae knew she had to incorporate her family values into her sphere, but how? Ideas formed in her mind, but were just as quickly rejected. Some were too impractical, while others just didn't match her preferred style. Portraits of all families were a little too complicated, as well as highly impractical. Mirrors that provided a bit more detail and real-time imagery were discarded for the same reason. Perhaps a pool of water... now there was an idea. Arae thought it fit well in the grassland she had set up too. Maybe some trees as well to complement it... yes, YES!

Arae concentrated harder than she did before, trying to visualize just how it was going to be. She had to make this one perfect. This one would be a representation of her own family, and it would feature ALL the gods. She began to walk along what would be the edge, tracing the shape of her upcoming creation. This would go here, and that would go there. She could feel the power welling up within her again, but this time, she was releasing it more slowly, giving it a more careful form. Ripples appeared on the grass, and the land turned into water. Slowly, but surely, she had formed a large and magnificent lake. It was not complete yet, however. Now came the trees. She took her time with these. She used all that she remembered of her limited experiences with the others, as well as the power of her might, to capture the essence of them and manifest each one as the various trees.

When she was finally done, she inspected her handiwork. A fiery tree that raged with a temper, and only seemed to blaze even hotter when she got too close. A tree with long hanging, green dreads, as well as scaly bark similar to that of a reptile's. A tree with a plume of orange. A tree, lush and green, and seemingly had the primordial idea of a tree when one looked upon it. A tree with a warped, thin trunk and held a lot of color in its leaves and branches. A leafless tree that was covered in an aura of darkness. There were many more, all of them gargantuan, and Arae believed that she had done the best she could at creating them. She may not have liked all of them, but they were as honest as she could make them, and that was enough for her. She took a look at one tree in particular. It was a modest one compared to all the others. It had scaly bark along its trunk and the outside of its roots, and the leaves were a sky blue. On one side, though, it had a cluster of branches that were dead and leafless. Arae knew that this was her tree. It felt right to her, and it felt like her.

Still, she was not done just yet. There was still one thing to do. Extending a hand, she made a circular motion, and a wind began to blow. It gained speed and spun in a circle, creating a tornado, which touched down onto the lake. The waters began to rise from the surface, carried upwards and creating a waterspout. Arae then brought her hands together and split them apart again, and the waterspout began to split into multiple different spouts. Each of them began to travel to different areas of her sphere and sprinkle the water onto different areas of land, providing the energy needed for the sphere to fully function. Arae heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, her sphere was complete. Her sphere would track and record the families of others for generations to come.

"Spekatha... is complete..." Arae said, having decided on a name for her Sphere. Turned toward the giant lake, Arae continued, "The Pantheon is perfect. Everything is done." There was only one question left to answer: what was she going to do now?

Well, perhaps some rest might do her some good. All that work left her feeling rather tired. Going over to the Pantheon, Arae flew over to the tree that represented her and found a spot in its branches that seemed comfortable enough. From there, Arae wrapped her body around one and let out a yawn, resting her head against the bark.


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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Leotamer
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Leotamer

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Parvus & Urhu
@Double Capybara
____
Parvus was walking across the waters, considering his conversation with Phystene. As he walked by, he observed the jungle that Phystene had created. He was relieved that at least some good came from one of his fellow gods throwing a rock at Galbar. As he contemplating, he noticed a ship, clearly divine in origin, he sent a simple message towards the ship to announce his presence.

Urhu was finishing to clean up her stocks when she heard a message in her mind, she was surprised to find someone in the middle of the sea and there was no context as to what the god wanted with her, but nevertheless went up to the deck and approached the god. Donning an outfit made of local resources, it was quite clear she had explored and exploited the island.

”Oh hey…” she looked down and snapped her finger a few times until she remembered the god’s name. ”Parvus. Want to come in? I don’t like talking while looking down at someone.” from her ship she had an elevated position in relation to someone standing over the sea.

”If it would make you more comfortable.” he said, easily leaping aboard the vessel. Despite having walked across water, his feet were completely dry.

Urhu looked at the pointy-eared god as he hopped in, she had missed him during the arrival and had genuinely no idea of how he was since she also tried to not indulge in the information given by the Architected. So far, he seemed nice, a bit too regal and ‘clean’ for her taste but at least he was not causing trouble.

”So… what brings you here? Did you just want to know who it was that owned such a vehicle?” she questioned.

I came to this region to discuss some personal matters with Phystene. I decided that while I was in this region, I should speak with other members of the pantheon to discuss Galbar, and its future. he said, as though rehearsed.

The wanderer blinked, looked up, and then back down to the fellow god. ”It’s about the whole giant rocks being thrown around business, isn’t it?” she crossed her arms and tilted her head.

Parvus simply nodded, Gods simply throwing giant stones at this planet is problematic. While I do not believe any harm was done, I don’t think it is proper. Could you imagine what would have happened if Phystene had created her wonderful jungle before the stone fell unto the planet. , prodding her slightly.

”Yeah… some gods have been quite destructive. It would not be cool to lose something like those jungles because of something like that. I would say the ocean goddess should make sure giant waves aren’t made when landforms are created, but, uh, I guess that wouldn’t have stopped the meteor…”

Parvus paused for a moment, Are you suggesting the formation of barrier reefs? Or do you believe more drastic measures are required. he said, casually twirling his stinger in one of his hands.

”Would that stop the waves?” Urhu questioned. ”If so, yeah? But it would be asking too much to have barrier reefs everywhere. In all honesty, I am not the deity of the oceans, so I do not know what could break these giant waves. Now, I think trying to bash gods raising land would be a bit much, as much as some gods deserve a slap in the face or two, I think trying to police other gods like that is just a bad idea, especially if you are to confront them face to face.” she pulled over a bench and sat on it, she would offer one to Parvus, but she guessed he would not be interested in such menial things such as comfort.

Yes, you are right. We can not simply bash other gods over the head whenever they do something we disapprove of, otherwise all of Galbar would become a war-zone.” he said, placing his stinger against his pants leg, and threads of silk wrapped around it and fixed it in place. ”To be frank, I am not certain there is an easy solution to this problem. It might be necessary to simply rebuild whatever is destroyed. However, that does not sit right with me.

Urhu tapped her chin. ”Well, talking to other gods is a start, though I fear the ones who are willing to listen are not also on the ‘might throw a giant boulder towards the planet’ list. I guess the creation of barriers or other such things could help. I have talked about the ocean, but have you noticed how easy it is for a god or an object to cross from the upper spheres into Galbar? I feel like that is not good for the planet’s future.”

Parvus paused, If I remember correctly, the architect is lord of seals. Are you suggesting he strengthens the barrier between the celestial realms and Galbar? he said, using this opportunity to prod her about her opinion on their patron.

With a pinched expression, the goddess nodded slightly in reluctant agreement. ”I mean, he is one who could do it, for sure. Maybe other celestial gods could do the same, like, Azura perhaps. But I imagine the Architect would have in his interest for it to not be so easy to bombard Galbar.”

Parvus sighed, Yes, relying on the old god should only be a last resort, should it not? We are the pantheon of Galbar, we should do our best to manage our affairs ourselves should we not? I believe it would be wise to discuss this with Azura, or perhaps Phystene could make trees to flood the upper reaches of Galbar with oxygen. A sky barrier could be most helpful, but it does not address the root of the issue.

”Indirect solutions avoid direct confrontations. I mean, I am sure one day a god will thoroughly overstep his boundaries and force others to react, but the rarer fights are, the fewer resources we will have to burn on them. The fewer enemies you have, the more allies and neutrals there will be when a godly conflict arises. For your worry, in particular, it's best to hold off more drastic actions until they are unavoidable, and then make an example of whoever managed to go under such a low bar.” the goddess told quite casually. ”At least that would be what I would do.” she shrugged.

Parvus nodded,”Wise words. Since we are discussing the future, I wish to share that I intend to create exotic poisons, in the near future. While it might be better if such things were not required, in the future, it would be better if my creatures and followers had such dreadful tools and not need them, than for them to need them and to not have them.

While nodding at first, Urhu couldn’t help to let out a sigh. ”Eh, what a dreadful conversation to have. Though I do agree on your views about safety, I feel, as the goddess of passages, that I must remember you that some things might get lost along the way, it's almost inevitable, and when things are lost, they might be found. You need to think about that when creating tools such as poison, about what happens when the wrong person gets hold of it.”

”I understand that I should not create a poison I can not cure. Though I am sorry for discussing such grim matters with you. Is there anything else you wish to discuss while I am here? Parvus said.

Urhu smiled. ”Oh, no worries, you are not at fault, we live in a grim world. Albeit one that is also beautiful.” standing up, she looked to the island. ”So, are you and Phystene talking to all gods?”

Parvus was looking out towards sea, and did not even glance back at Urhu, Whatever do you mean? Your vessel was merely between were I was, and were I was going. It was only polite that I announced myself to a nearby traveler. It is that not the proper courtesy? I believe you are now the one who gets to decide that.

Urhu smirked. ”Why the sudden games?” she said in a teasing tone, before continuing, imitating Parvus’ voice. ” I decided that while I was in this region, I should speak with other members of the pantheon to discuss Galbar, and its future.”

She then leaned back, taking a few step backs. ”But I guess I was overstepping when I asked what I did. Sorry about that. I am just curious. Best of luck to both of you. Oh, and, I do enjoy having a world full of life, wastelands are boring to explore. Can’t say I will always be there to help the gods who work to keep this world blooming with life, but when I am absolutely necessary, I will absolutely be there to help.” she added with a wink.

Touching the wheel, the goddess looked back at Parvus. ”Do you want a ride to the island or are you going to walk there?”

”I wish to examine this archipelago for a bit longer, so I believe I will walk. You are welcome to enter my domain so long as you do not break anything.” Parvus said, taking a deep breath even though such action was unnecessary. He had heard it was suppose to help calm a person down, however it never seemed to work.

”What? Me, going into a sphere and breaking things? Madness. As the patron of hospitality, I must be an exemplary guest, no? ” she shook her head and then smiled.

Well, I shouldn’t waste any more of your valuable time, I should get going. he said, deciding against prying.

Urhu would be cordial enough to lower Nyeothay Tag into the water so Parvus did not need to jump. As the god started to leave, she approached the rail of her ship.

”Oh, one last thing. Light producing bugs. Think about it.” she told, raising one finger up as if she was saying something important.



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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by AdorableSaucer
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AdorableSaucer Blessed Beekeeper

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The tunnel of water and light that extended from the Hemen Gate to Galbar was long and windy. Shengshi had really not expected there to be this long of a travel - considering he had seen the reflection of the watery world through the dew dripping across the gateway. Perhaps it has been a representative image of sorts - a figment of the actual reality of Galbar. Nevertheless, Shengshi felt the Middle World draw closer as the humid breeze of Fengshui Fuyou gave way to the dry, empty air of Galbar. Shengshi stretched and slithered out on the deck. This was it. This would be his workplace. His siblings’ and his new clay to sculpture. He was ready - ready for anythi-!

Crrrrack.

The ship came to a sudden halt, tilting a little forward from the sheer force of its momentum. The snake, now rolled up on deck and thoroughly confused, unrolled himself and stood up. Around him, his servants were zooming around the deck in a state of panic - if something as simple could feel fear, that is. The snake slithered over to the side of the deck and looked down over the enormous, bulging hull of the Jiangzhou. Where he had thought there would be water, there was just a whole lot of shale, gravel and rubble.

“What?”

The snake hopped down and looked around. In his name, where had all the water gone? Had his siblings already dried the planet out? Had they failed already? He plucked at his beard in a disappointed state of deep thought. He knew his brother Sartravius had given off some destructive vibes, but he did not expect him to act on them! The snake shook its head and let out a sigh, turning to inspect the damages to his impervious ship.

Perhaps it was the heat of the sun against the bare rocks playing tricks of illusion, perhaps the stress had made the god a bit mad, but, unequivocally, there was a figure in the horizon, and not any figure, but the silhouette of a ship. Shengshi poked at a somewhat scraped plank casually as he shot the horizon a glance. Had Asceal made some sort of mirage creature? He slithered away from the immediate vicinity of the ship and gave the distant object a friendly wave of a clawed hand.

To his surprise, the figure slowed down and then started to sail in a curve, changing its route to go towards Shengshi. As it got close, it became clear it was an actual ship, hovering over the sea of rocks, raising dust as it went by. Out of courtesy, it became a far smaller vessel, a simple barge, and rose up in the air as to not throw a dust cloud towards the god. Shengshi did not recognize the vessel, but he felt a familiar presence aboard - not one he had interacted with before, granted, but any sibling of his was always a good sight. The snake leaned back on his tail and bowed as deep as he could forward.

“It is a most fantastic joy to finally meet you face to face…” The snake looked up with a grin. “... Dearest sister Urhu.”
The boat slowly hovered down until it was easy for Urhu to look out of it, the wanderer jumping down to meet Shengshi face to face. She was not too good with graciousness. ”Oh… hey Shengshi. Nice to meet you too.” she looked to the side for a moment, and then back to the god. ”Cool ship, but you look a bit stranded.” Shengshi chuckled sheepishly and looked towards the top of the castle aboard the ship, which peaked at a height almost ten times his own.

“Yes, it would seem my beautiful castle has indeed arrived upon a… Most unexpected of predicaments.” The snake twisted his long, black left whisker. “Furthermore, I am afraid I cannot dislodge this colossal work of art on my own - I am much too weak right now.” He gave a gentle, saddened sigh.

The wanderer tilted her head before nodding. ”Is that so? Is the hull damaged? I got some spare wood and a workshop here.” she said pointing towards her small boat. ”Oh, and if I made a… uhm… crater, do you think you could fill it with water or are you too tired?”

Shengshi looked at Urhu, straightened himself up and rolled his shoulder. He clenched and unclenched his fists and looked first back up at the ship before looking at the ground.

“I think I have another idea,” Shengshi said. He slithered back a few tail lengths and lifted his arms into the air.

“Servants! Come! You master requires your service!” he boomed. A moment passed, followed by several streams, thick and thin, flowing down the side of the hull and forming a colossal flat whirlpool on the ground before the two gods. The water ran and jumped through the cracks and crevices in the stone ground to remain as evenly distributed as possible. Shengshi smiled and looked over at Urhu.

“Watch this. Servants! Bring my ship to the nearest shore, please!” The whirlpool shot out a single, shallow river that quickly made an attempt to dive underneath the ship and push it away. However, the terrain proved to make such an endeavour somewhat inconvenient. Shengshi deflated somewhat.

The wandering goddess chuckled softly before placing a hand on the shoulder of the other god. ”The nearest coast is quite far, you are pretty much in the middle of this continent. Your poor servants would have to overwork for entire days to make this trip.” the goddess of travel told. Shengshi hissed sourly to himself. This was turning out to not be such an amazing day after all. He raised a hand once more and the streams soared back up along the hull before crashing onto the deck in a distant splash.

“What did you say your plan was again, sister?” Shengshi inquired.

”Come over, I will show you.” she said, extending a hand so she could help the fellow deity into her ship. Shengshi took the hand with a smile and slithered aboard. When that happened, the goddess took the ship’s wheel and made it float a bit higher in the air, then, in the very front of their eyes, it started to grow larger, going from a small boat fit for a crew of three to a massive narrow ship.

Having not done much since she arrived, the goddess was full of vitality and divine strength, casually raising her hand and raising the land around Jiangzhou, making it so the palace stood in the middle of an empty lake. ”I can take your ship back to the coast, the difficult bit is getting it into Nyeothay Tag’s deck without damaging either ship. Thus the lake.” Shengshi was certain the ship could not be harmed, but then again, a divine object such as Nyeothay Tag could potentially damage the oiled mahogany planks of the hull. Shengshi gave Urhu a nod.

“I will see what I can do.” The snake thus slithered over to the edge of the deck and looked down. He had not actually seen the Jiangzhou from above, and seeing it, he thought the green roof tiles may have been a poor design choice to go with the dark brown mahogany and gold dragons. He would have to change that at a later date. Regardless, he clapped his hands together and a globule of fresh water shot up into the air from the deck of the Jiangzhou, flew into the sky and landed at his tail. The globule proceeded to zoom around the god in circles. Shengshi gave it an authoritative stare and pointed at the empty lake beneath his castle boat.

“Go - bring water to that thirsting soil.” The globule spun around him once more and hopped off into the thin air. As it fell, Shengshi moved his pointing finger to the globule, and it quickly grew considerably in size. In but the blink of an eye, the globule contained enough water to fill the very bottom of the lake - possibly just enough to lift the Jiangzhou off the bedrock.

“If it is not enough, I can do a little more, but it will require the sacrifice of more servants,” Shengshi admitted with a sigh. The wanderer looked at him with somewhat worried eyes, looking over the water and sighing, she feared accidentally damaging either her or his ship, so she had to think of an alternative.

”I have braved a few storms while crossing this continent, why don’t we wait for one? When it comes, it will raise the water level, therefore making it easier for me to maneuver my ship.” she told. The snake hung his head and sighed.

“It would simply be horrible to just leave my exquisite home behind, though,” he said with a quivering lower lip. Urhu shook her head. ”We could simply wait inside your palace, no?” The snake wiped away a serpentine tear and looked down.

“It would indeed be a terrible waste to not show you around inside.” The sob was immediately replaced with a grin. “Yes, yes! Let us head inside! I actually have such an exciting drink for you to sample!”

The goddess answered with a grin of her own. ”A drink eh? Now that sounds quite nice.” she would make Nyeothay Tag small again and sail down, leaving it to float in the air by the side of the palace. Shengshi hopped onto the deck of the palace ship and extended a hand for Urhu to grab so he could gracefully help her descend. She took the hand and hopped down, she pondered for a moment about how that skip had made her go from host to guest.

“Right this way, dearest sister,” the snake said and beckoned her along as he slithered towards the gilded and bejeweled, carven mahogany gates of the castle.

Upon opening the gates, the gods were greeted by a long hallway with walls draped in lunar-white paper. On the left-hand side, part of the wall was covered in characters that made up what appeared to be clauses and phrases. However, there were no such writings on the opposite wall. By the characters furthest away, on the floor, laid a calligraphy set. Shengshi chuckled sheepishly.

“Oh my~... I had completely forgotten about that! Truly, pardon the mess. It is still very much a work in progress.” He grinned at Urhu and went down the hallway. “Feel free to take in the sights along the way.” The hallway was lit partially with the natural light outside and partially by red paper lanterns hanging from the walls above the white paper. Sometimes, a table with plates of fruit, vegetables and various sauces would pop up along the wall, generously offering their bounty to the hungry bypasser. Shengshi snatched for himself a juicy date and bit into it, through the stone and all.

Urhu would take a few samples, grapes, tangerine, apples, it was all quite delicious and complimented well the looks of the beautiful palace into a full pleasant experience. Her siblings had some quite beautiful and elegant homes, yet, for her, the simple rustic comfort of Nyeothay Tag was the only thing she could see as a home of her own. There was another door up ahead, even more beautiful than the last, where even the spaces between the lines in the woodwork were made of gold, making an organic display of art across the dark wooden door. The door handles were made of polished green jade, which Shengshi again thought did not exactly fit the surrounding colours. He shook the thought off and swung the doors open to reveal the feast hall.

A gilded wooden railing stretched across the floor in the front. Upon further inspection, it was revealed that the railing bordered a sudden fifty foot drop. Down below, tables and chairs in all sizes filled a huge, marble-floored room. The upper floors rested on amber pillars carved to look like lizardskin. The centre of the hall below was room to a massive table of ever-changing dishes and drinks that were being switched out every minute. At the far end of the feast hall, there was a golden table with twenty-four differently sized chairs and a crimson tablecloth. The entire room was lit with a colossal chandelier made up of red paper lanterns, all of which were covered in poetry.

“Right this way,” the snake said and descended a huge flight of stairs. Urhu nodded, a bit awestruck by the sheer opulence of the sight in front of her, Shengshi was a god who enjoyed the fine joys of life, but both of them went for completely different approaches on how to achieve such things. It also seemed they both had a taste for space bending ships, albeit the interior of Nyeothay Tag was dwarfed by Jiangzhou, despite the former being a larger vessel when not transformed.

The wanderer walked among the chairs and found her own with ease, despite not being a goddess with a particularly out of the ordinary body, it seemed the chairs were not only tailored for body types, but also for personal tastes. ”You have a pretty great place, Shengshi.” she told in a very casual tone.

The snake chuckled. “Only the finest for a god and his siblings. On my own honour and name, I shall one day make this ship more radiantly beautiful than that fancy orb they put in the sky. What did they call that, anyway?”

The goddess sneered ”The Sun, I think. I mean, one is fine, I guess, too extravagant but hey, it helps the plants go big. But can you believe they wanted to make a second, even brighter one?”

Shengshi demeanour betrayed a low scoff. “By the blessed Architect, with all due respect for them, it is like they do not even recognise the rest of us who will have to look at that thing. Two might have even been detrimental to those plants. Hmph.” Shengshi rolled his eyes discreetly, but quickened to when he saw the door ahead.

“Ah, at last. Please, come in.” Shengshi unlocked the unusually locked and certainly unusually bland steel door. The doors swung open to reveal mountains upon mountains of stacked, barrel-sized pots, all labelled with the same character. Shengshi pointed at one of the closer pots.

“You see this? I call this ‘wine’! A fantastic invention that came to me as a sign from god-... Or well, as sign from us, I suppose?” The snake chuckled and removed the cover from the pot. The room immediately filled with a powerful, almost choking odour - borderline repelling to even divine nostrils. The snake grabbed two small cups from a nearby shelf and filled both, offering one to Urhu.

The goddess sniffed the drink for a bit, bobbing her head back a bit surprised with how strong it smelled, she was almost tempted to use her divine abilities to perceive the taste, but that was just boring. She took a sip and took a moment to feel the taste in her mouth. ”Whoa… bitter. But also sour? Strong taste… kinda weird really.” There was a question about context there, her words could be taken as a complaint, but the truth would be clear once she took the cup and drank all of the remaining wine at once. ”Hah! Makes me feel warm…” she added. ”Great stuff.” Shengshi downed his own cup and grinned.

“Is that so? I am so happy to hear that, dearest sister! I believe this one was made with…” Shengshi dipped down to instead the characters underneath the symbol for alcohol. “... Lychee, yes! A wonderful fruit, that one. Full of all kinds of sugars. Here, have another!” Shengshi almost forcefully snatched Urhu’s cup and gave her a refill. He naturally filled his own cup, as well.

The goddess didn’t take offense to that, on the contrary, she was more than eager to have more the wine. ”This also makes me feel a bit light, kinda like when I am in a hot bath… Oh, do you have a bath in this ship? I had to break my head when I was thinking about how to fit one in Nyeothay Tag, but in the end, I managed to make one… then a few more.”

Shengshi snapped his fingers. “Servants! The lady demands a hot bath!” Immediately, there was a ruckus coming from the kitchens as a flood of water flushed out through the doors across the feast hall and up the stairs.

“Please, follow me,” Shengshi said, bring another two pots for the journey. The two gods headed up the flight until they reached the floor just above the feast hall. The room above the wine storage was revealed to be a bathhouse, now flushed with steam and the smell of herbs and incense. The centre of the bathhouse was home to a huge bathtub filled with herbal waters. The surrounding boilers all had pipes and channels that lead into the main tub.

”Oh, this is pretty great, I have a similar one in my garden, albeit it is far smaller.” she said, stepping closer to the water and sniffing a bit, before letting out a relaxed sigh. ”Great selections of herbs and incense, a less skilled person might oversaturate or underuse, but you and your servants know the exact balance.”

The goddess quickly undressed, keeping only the wine-filled cup on her hand, before she entered the waters. ”Balance… I guess that is the key, you know?” she said, thinking back at the topic of the two suns that they had touched earlier. It was a rough and sudden transition, influenced by the wine. ”That is the thing Asceal and her friends miss.” Shengshi wrapped his long hair up in a towel and slithered into the enormous tub. He snapped his fingers and a globule of water zoomed by with more wine, this time served in a fine porcelain flask.

“Indeed… Balance is required in true prosperity - too little of the good, and you will never achieve prosperity; too much, however, and your prosperity comes at the cost of others. I would rather not backtalk our siblings for their somewhat more…” Shengshi took another drink and a water globule zoomed over to refill his cup, standing still just long enough to pop in a spectacle of water and force. It reformed just in time to catch the falling wine flask, however, and zoomed off. “... But I see truth in your statement - there is a distinct lack of an understanding of balance among our kin.”

”I have no ill will towards them, I mean no harm, but I think its important to have… uh… a sense of criticism, right?” as she talked, she would air chop as if to highlight her point. ”I mean, like, being good is nice, I get it, its the right thing, but you also need, uh… an element of struggle, see? You have to be good but you cannot overprotect… It’s like a pond, you know? A still pond might look more welcoming than a raging river or the turbulent seas, but the unmoving pond will eventually putrefy and die, while the oceans and rives will go on, living and breathing through crashing waves.”

Shengshi took another drink, cringed at the flavour and shot his arms up into the air in applause. “Preach, dearest sister, preach! As the flow meets conflict, it overcomes them!” The snake had his cup refilled, had another drink and stopped mid-slurp, as if an idea just popped into his head - or was that the servant globule again? He was not certain.

“You know what thish world needsh?” Shengshi slurred. “More-a that-... That flow, y’know? Like-... Like somethin’ to remind the world itsh turnin’... Y’know… Like a river twistsh and turnsh, sh-... Sho must the world over time, or somethin’...?”

Urhu tilted her head and squinted her eyes, slowly going from a rested position leaning against the sides of the tub to leaning forward, hand on her chin. ”Wow… Shengshi… That is genial… Yeah! I should do that… My sphere is yet undefined, I could, like… dedicate it to the impermanence of all things and uh… the flow of change… or whatever.”

The snake had another drink. “Hhhokay… What’sh the mosht basic two elementsh that create…” He hiccuped. “... Flow?”

”The two elements that are companions to all ships. Water and Wind” the goddess took another sip of the wine. Shengshi punched the water in agreement. “Cuh-rrect! Now, I shay we make water ‘n wind command the flow o’ the world! Have days o’ wetnessh ‘n storms - have daysh o’ dryness ‘n still air!” Shengshi scratched his chin. He could not help but feel like someone was missing from the discussion, but decided to drown the thought with another swig.

The goddess had had similar ideas as he spoke, but she still swam a bit closer and placed a hand on the slithering god’s shoulder. ”Yeah… that is great stuff. You are very enlightened Shengshi!” she nodded for a moment, her face red thanks to the bath and alcohol. ”Remind everyone there is a time for everything. Like there is a time for light and dark, time for rain and a time for drought… oh... “ she suddenly stopped, the idea was really churning in her head now, more concepts flourishing as she spoke. After a moment looking to the side, she looked back straight into the fellow god’s eyes. ”What about a time of cold… and a time of warmth? Oh… or even… a time of blooming… and a time of wilting?”

Shengshi stared back into her eyes for a moment before punching the water once again. “Urhu! You’sh a geniush!” The snake rocketed to a standing position and immediately fell backwards out of the tub, his tail still inside, lazily flopping from side to side as the god gave a drunk cackle.

The goddess smiled at the compliment, nodding. ”Yep!” she said proudly.

“Yesh…” The god struggled once more, but did not manage to stand up. He lifted his cup up and a globule came over to fill it. He downed it immediately. “Life ‘n death… Harmony… ‘N the flow continues!”

Urhu moved out of the bath and sat at the border of the tub, filling her cup of wine as well before placing it close to Shengshi’s own cup. ”A toast! … To the flow of all things!” Shengshi clinked his cup against her weakly, only to find that it had not been refilled when he put it to his lips.

“What should we cullh thish… Concept?” he slurred. A water globule came over with the flask, which Shengshi snatched and used on his own to pour his drink.

That was a charged question, and the drunk goddess was left pondering deeply about it, she looked around and saw the stewing herbs that had been used for the bath, an idea blooming on her mind. ”It makes an otherwise dull unchanging world be filled with strong contrasting feelings, like spices and herbs on a meal… so… how about… season?”

“Who’s shneezing?” Shengshi said, utterly confused by the logical leap that had not actually taken place.

Urhu puffed her cheeks. ”Not sneeze! Its like the action, you know, when you go and… ahhh!” she had been impatiently rocking back and forth on the border where she was set, and this eventually came to the logical conclusion of her falling on her back into the bath. She was quick to rise up, spewing out some water and then sighing… before laughing. Shengshi, while unable to see what had transpired in the tub, joined the laughter.




The room Urhu woke up in the next morning, while severely lacking in the opulent flair that Shengshi had make clear he advocated for, was likely still much too fine for her tastes. Its itinerary consisted of a fine bed, a dresser, a carpet with Urhu’s divine logo upon it, and some of Shengshi’s poetry hanging on each side of the door. The walls were mahogany draped with clear, white paper, and the floor was a nice, golden shade of bamboo. Her mattress was dressed with silken sheets, complemented with small, puffed pillows stacked around the corners of the round bed. On the dresser by the wall laid her clothes, washed and scented with exquisite soaps.

The wanderer woke up with the feeling she had been hit in the head by Aelius’s Chariot, she could not deny though, the bed provided by the palace was quite comfortable. She slipped onto her clothes and blinked a bit as she saw the symbol she had been designing to represent her once Mortals came about in the carpet. She guessed that a lot of info had been shared by the Architect’s mind meld… or by the drunk night of carousing, she only remembered things well up to the whole ‘seasoning’ talk.

Awkwardly, she opened the adorned door and looked around the corridor, finding 6 other rooms, it was possible to notice they all were themed after a god, and the wanderer assumed there would be more of those, probably one for each deity. Shengshi was really impressive with his abilities as a host, Urhu guessed he had been the only god who took the architect’s info and looked at it for ways to accommodate and be nice to his siblings, instead of picking enemies and allies. A small water globule zoomed over to her feet, bringing with it a soaked note. It dropped it and zoomed off just as fast as it had appeared. The note was written in visibly shabby handwriting and read as follows:

Dearest sister.
I am afraid I am in a bit of an awkward state at the moment, and as such cannot join you for breakfast. However, you are more than free to help yourself to anything in the feast hall. The servants are tasked to follow your every command, so do not be hesitant to ask them for whatever you would like.

If you have any questions or queries, I am in my chambers on the top floor of the Middle Spire.

All the best,
Your brother Shengshi.


There was a time for many things, but there was no time in which Urhu would deny free food. After just one trip, she knew the paths of the elaborate palace quite well and was quick to move into the feast hall. The breakfast menu was as ever-changing as the dinner menu had been the day before, but the scents of freshly cooked millet porridge, buns stuffed with vegetables and weeds of all sorts and enough stir-fried rice to feed an army permeated the room.

With nobody around to look, Urhu dropped all sense of good manner and feasted upon the myriad of dishes being served, while she did pay close attention to the taste of the meals, she was also wolfing down on the buns and rice as if trying to prove she was indeed a sister to Anzillu the Abhorrent. The kitchens continued to provide the tables with more food as it was eventually eaten by the hungry goddess.
Soon, the goddess finally stood up, stretching and patting her stomach, satisfied from that sort of hunger one only has when they are not the ones providing the food. She decided she wanted to speak with Shengshi again, but not before going back to Nyeothay Tag to gather a few things.




Of all the doors in the palace, the snake had evidently spent the most time refining his own chambers’. The usual mahogany had given away to pinkish rosewood, bejeweled with green jade flowers with golden petals and flanked by two giant, golden dragon statues with ruby eyes. The handles were shaped like miniature golden dragons, and there was a poem written on the door in golden characters.

The river lord rules;
Soft in force and wise of mind;
Prosperity comes.


It was a beautiful and delicate thing, Urhu almost felt inadequate when she was trying to open the door with a single finger as she was holding a large paper scroll and birdcages with both her hands.

The inside of Shengshi’s room was, in contrast, quite messy. The huge carpet on the floor with the river lord’s symbol was stained with several black spots of ink. Calligraphy kits laid all around, along with several empty porcelain cups - some of which laid shattered on the floor. The crimson silk drapes danced in the morning breeze, flickering the sunlight at the seven foot tall basket in the end of the room, from which a rasping snore rumbled through the room.

Urhu did not mind the mess, she was somewhat obsessive with keeping things well organized but even she had days where she would leave a misplaced boot or a glass cup out of its place. Announcing her entrance was the song of the caged birds she had captured in The Eye of Desolation, the wanderer hoping that would be enough to wake up the river god. The thunderous snore stopped after a few tweets. The basket quivered and shook before a black-haired, crimson-scaled and beige-skinned face peeked out of the top. Shengshi let out a quiet burp.

“Oof, do pardon me, dearest sister. Give me a second, will you?” The head descended again.

The goddess nodded at her brother’s word and turned around, giving Shengshi some privacy until he felt ready to present himself. After a minute or so, there was a quiet rustling sound behind Urhu, followed by some clinking porcelain and a quiet complaint, likely about a headache.

“Servants! An omelette - and the juice of cranberries and blueberries! Make it quick!” The snake then softened his tone. “You may turn around now, dearest sister.”

Urhu turned around, acting more gentle than usual as she held the caged birds on her arm. ”Good morning Shengshi.” she told before giggling. ”Seems like I was not the only one whose head was hit by Aelius’s Chariot yesterday.”

Shengshi chuckled sheepishly, the water globules storming through the door with his breakfast order.

“Aelius has a chariot now? How much did I actually miss when I was in Fengshui Fuyou?” He downed the glass of cranberry juice, grabbed his plate of food and his spoon and slithered over to his saloon table.

“Please, come sit.” He gestured to the spot on the floor next to him by the table. Urhu nodded and walked over, placing the cages on the floor and leaving the scroll on her lap. Shengshi eyed the objects.

“Say, what have you brought, dearest sister?” he asked, mouth full of eggs.

Urhu smiled. ”Well, these are some birds I captured while on a hunting trip in The Eye of Desolation… which is uh, an island on the other side of the world, it was created by a giant rock being thrown against the planet…” the goddess felt induced to add more information as she saw clear signs of confusion in her sibling’s face. ”Uhm. Yeah. We had some problems with some upper realm gods throwing around cosmic boulders, thankfully only one has hit Galbar.”

Shengshi choked on a bite of egg and drowned it with some blueberry juice. He grabbed a nearby handkerchief and patted his lips softly.

“Pardon me…” He cleared his throat. “That is truly unreasonable behaviour - already conflict is leading to destruction upon the world we have been tasked to bring creation to!” He grumbled angrily into his blueberry juice. He sighed. “While I agree with our sister Arae’s sentiment that family is to be loved regardless of actions… Such senselessness.” He shook his head and chowed down on another spoonful of omelette.

“However, let us not think of that - those are some beautiful birds you have brought!” He eyed the tweeting creatures with a most curious look. “What are they for, may I ask?”

”A gift.” she explained, looking back at the cages. ”While in The Eye I singled out the birds I found had the most pleasing song, initially I thought about keeping them in the greenhouse within my ship, however, since I live alone and without servants, it felt a bit cruel, even if food and water were provided… Furthermore, they often found ways to stray away from the garden and hunting songbirds through a non-euclidean environment is just not fun.”
Shengshi grinned from horn to horn. “A gift? For me? By the blessed Architect, you are much too kind, my sweet, dearest sister Urhu!” The snake bowed his head deeply towards her. “I think I shall keep them here in my chamber - their song will make a beautiful call for me to wake up to in the morning.” The snake’s forked tongue jolted out as his grin turned into a softer smile. “They will surely inspire many years of music and poetry in this castle. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

The goddess bowed back. ”I am glad you liked it, I am sure the birds will enjoy their stay as well.” She then picked up the scroll and placed it on the table. ”I would also like to propose a deal. The drink of yesterday, wine, was quite tasty, and I would like to stock Nyeothay Tag with a barrel of it. Would you like to trade it for this?”

She unveiled the scroll and revealed a map of the whole word, detailing even the most minute of landscapes and with easy to read topographic information on valleys and mountains, an aspect that would be particularly useful for a god who ruled over rivers. Shengshi eyed the paper and, in a split second, saw a thousand rivers sprout between the hills marked on the map. He looked back at Urhu.

“One barrel? You insult me, sister.” He grinned. “You shall have as many as your ship can carry.”

Urhu choked on nothing, as if the words had hit her like a rock. ”I think enough to fill a wall of my cellar is enough brother, you know, non-euclidean environment and all, we could run into paradox if we tried to fill it… But really, thank you so very much.”

“A wall and ten more, then,” Shengshi proclaimed stubbornly and stood up, totally reinvigorated. “I will have the servants load Nyeothay Tag with the very finest batches I have.” He took Urhu’s hand in his own and closed his other hand around it. “It is the least I can offer for your exquisite company and unforgettable kindness,” he added.

The goddess smiled. ”You were a great host, Shengshi, I will surely have you as the core example of how to treat a guest once there are mortals in this realm. Thank you for helping me to figure out what my influence on this world should be as well, I really needed the wine and a nice warm bath to clear my mind and also a friend to talk about my ideas with.”

Shengshi waved a dismissive hand. “It is a great honour to have you praise me as such, and an even greater one to be an example to your followers - one I accept with utmost humility.” He rolled up his tail and bent his torso down on the ground, kowtowing before the goddess. “I wish you all the best with your quest to bring these… Seasons to Galbar, and know that you are -always- welcome to stay here at any time.” He stood back up and smiled.

Urhu nodded but then remembered something, gasping. ”Oh right, don’t you want me to help with taking your palace to the coast? It seems raising the surrounding cliffs has also brought over some water sources, a few waterfalls have been filling the lake up since last night. I now have the room to maneuver Nyeothay Tag below Jiangzhsuspectedou.”

Shengshi shook his head and patted the map. “While I am humbled by your wish to help, I think I will use this opportunity to carve my own mark into this land, so to speak.” He winked playfully.

With a smirk, the goddess nodded. ”I kinda supected it. Well then, I need to get going and get to work on a few things myself. Good luck with your tasks, brother, I will see you soon.”

“And to you, dearest sister. I hope it is very soon, indeed.” The snake followed her to the deck, where they said goodbye one last time before the goddess boarded her ship.


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This One , having retreated, reflected upon the happenings. Vakk, the god of Talk, was obviously one of the gods to be wary of. That he could perform such feats of control was… unsettling. It gazed upon ways to prevent this happening again, and decided the best way would be to have others remain raving enough that they cannot focus on what they want.

So This One , sitting upon the water, reached within itself to see...
And it saw nine figures, each with a different head, surrounding a maelstrom of misunderstanding. This vicious cloud surrounded Eurysthenes’ mind, whispering, raving, foaming. It was the world, and more. This One reached to this cloud with its mind, and the sea with its body, yielding a small shard of ice and a cloud of madness. With a clap, the two were combined into one, and the excess was trimmed.

This was The Mad Ice, and it was made to corrupt weaker minds, setting voices, removing memories, and hindering judgement. Eurysthenes opened up its chest and placed the raving shard inside.

Now, with more confidence, This One proceeded with its wandering.

Suddenly the world around This One began to shake. The water foamed and gurgled angrily, then all at once a perfectly flat pillar of dark stone punched out of the ocean. It was plain and barren, save for a single solid stone archway reaching from one side of the pillars face to the other. Standing directly underneath where the keystone of the archway would be, was K’nell. The lip of the platform he stood on was only a mere few meters from the raging ocean, but the smiling god remained still, staring directly at Eurysthenes.

This One felt the pull of sleep bludgeon it's senses, but this time it wouldn't tolerate godly effects. A good thing there were no eyes to droop. It decided to say nothing, opting instead to walking closer and examining this new god.

“What is your purpose,” the words echoed and hung between the two Gods, though no mouths moved. The eyes of K’nell betrayed ownership of them.

”My purpose is unclear, fooling those who might try to deal in it. What of yours?” Eurysthenes clicked in response. It was skeptical of other gods after Vakk, though this ‘K’nell’ seemed far less malicious.

“My purpose is supremely clear and also lacking,” the voice echoed, swirling around the pair curiously. K'nell's smile seemed unwavering despite the grains of sadness in his voice.

“It's not very much a purpose at all, as much as a function. A distraction is necessary, a colorful veil to pull, so at least then I can choose to ignore the meaningless existence we now inhabit. When there is nothing, there is only us, so why not dance, why not play, as if to pray that you don't remember your birth.”

Eurysthenes considered the words for a while. "Why not, indeed," it said, shrugging its shoulders. "But why? Why anything? What is meaning other than what we make of it? What would we make of it?"

This One saw the flecks of sadness in the other's voice though. It appeared that the lack of purpose had upset K'nell, which was odd to This One , but it was what it was. "So let's play as if to pray we forget our birth," Eurysthenes said, smiling a mouthless smile which reached to its nonexistent eyes.

“First,” K’nell answered, his voice gladdened by the company, “we need to set the stage.”





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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Vec
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Vec Liquid Intelligence

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Confrontation
Feat. @Aristo & @Crispy Octopus & @Vec


In the vast void that exists between Spheres, disturbances are rare and few in between. However rare though it may be, the occasional energy current resulting from the essence diffused from the Spheres' mingling and merging with one another or the divine traces of a god's journey through space, are still nothing compared to the sheer magnitude of disruption that Melantha's action brought upon the upper layers of the universe. Travelling as she was through space, passing by, and in some cases through, other Spheres, with no consideration of potential consequences for her actions meant that the current situation was indeed very dangerous, potentially even catastrophic. Nevertheless, Melantha was not in the right state of mind to think about said consequences. Acting based mainly on instinct and anger towards Asceal and her actions, Melantha's clouded mind could think of only two things that would alleviate her distressed psyche: Destroy the source of light, or if that is not achievable, at least make Asceal pay dearly for her transgression.

The distance from her Sphere to Asceal's was quite large and considering Melantha's delayed response - due to her being busy with the creation of Norsvold and the definitive binding of the Sphere to herself - made for a quite a long journey for the dark goddess. However, with her godly sight in play, Melantha did not once lose sight of her target, one could find it hard to do so anyway for the light coming from it seemed to be able to pierce everything in its path. With the distance slowly shortening, Melantha could feel the strength of the light beam increase exponentially. She could not imagine how Asceal could create such a thing so soon after being summoned by the Architect. With her destination now very close, the contrast between the sizes of the conically shaped rock and the goddess that was riding it made for a very impressive image indeed.
Aelius narrowed his eyes as the chariot sped through the cosmos. He was still getting used to his godhood and hadn't entertained the possibility of conflict with his fellows so soon. But when he peered through his mind's eye at a wrathful Melantha and the rocky missile speeding for Heliopolis, some primal instinct told him to fight. He risked a glance at Asceal beside him. Her eyelids were heavy, shoulders slumped. The counstruction of the Lustrous Gardens - without his help - had taken a toll on her. Stopping Melantha would be Aelius's prerogative.

In the distance, Heliopolis came into view, as did a dark object, hurtling towards the sphere. Aelius gasped as his chariot sped closer. His mind-link with Heliopolis had shown him Mel's approach, but only now, seeing with his own eyes, did he realise the size of the mountaintop she rode. The damage would be considerable. Worse still, what would happen if it collided with the Furnace? He'd taken measures to contain its power and focus its light in a singular beam on Galbar, but if Melantha broke through the dome... The god of virtue swore and snapped the reins hard.

"Melantha!" Aelius's voice boomed across space. "Turn back!"

"Huh?" Melantha's eyes widened as her ears picked up on the unfamiliar voice calling out to her. Turning her head around, her eyes scanned the distance until she pinpointed a tiny speck of light that was slowly gaining in size. Only after zooming in on the light did she realize that it was actually a glittering chariot speeding towards her. The light from Asceal's Sphere was reflecting off the surface of the chariot combined with the sheer distances involved gave the illusion of shooting star whizzing across the night sky.

"Is that... Aelius?" Melantha frowned when she realised that the one driving the chariot was actually not Asceal. Gears turned in her head and she quickly put two and two together; Asceal and Aelius had actually collaborated on the creation of the light beam.

"Not entirely unexpected, however..." Considering what information she had of the two deities, Asceal and Aelius shared many similar traits, and thus an alliance between the two wasn't outside the scope of what was possible.

However, Melantha had long resolved herself to finish with what she had started. One more god joining the fray not only not scare her away, but actually fueled her rage even more. Nevertheless, she swallowed her anger and closed her eyes, and at once her divine sense was sent out towards Aelius.

"Turn back? Did you really just tell me to turn back? And why would I do that now? You did not think about the consequences before you made your little toy here that sniffed out half of all the darkness in the universe. Did you really think there would be no retaliation?" Melantha sent telepathically, the link between the two gods projecting both her thoughts as well as her emotions, her boiling rage threatening to overwhelm the opposing deity.

Darkness was Melantha's prerogative, and Aelius realised his and Asceal's efforts must have seemed offensive. But he was all too aware of the good that would come from them that the goddess did not account for.

"Don't be naive," Aelius replied. "Do you think all those souls are content to wander Galbar in darkness for the rest of their existences? Could life exist without light and warmth to nourish it?" The chariot was close now, and Aelius could see Melantha's face brimming with anger.

"You can't be so selfish. The Architect entrusted all of us to give something to Galbar, and you choose to destroy our contribution because you find it offensive? I implore you to reconsider, Melantha."

Reconsider... Melantha could see the chariot approaching and could now distinguish the faces of the riders. Yes, there were two riding on the chariot. Aelius' facial expression and words surfaced in her mind once more and for a moment the dark goddess hesitated. "The Architect..." An image of the arch-deity came appeared in front of Melantha, His eye full of scorn and judgement staring right through her soul.

Melantha brought a hand to her face, the other one clutching her chest as if she was experiencing pain. The mountainous asteroid's acceleration slowed down during this time. Evidently, the mentioning of the Architect had struck Melantha's chords. With a grunt, the goddess of darkness brought her hands down, striking and digging into the mountain peak. Instantly the asteroid pulsed, and the purple and black halo around it brightened even more. Melantha's rage was like a fire stoked up by Aelius' words, and she no longer cared about what the god of virtue said or did.

She homed in at Asceal's Sphere, and the asteroid picked up speed once more.

The journey hadn't been nearly long enough for Asceal to recuperate, and exhaustion had kept her silent, but upon seeing Aelius's words only aggravate Melantha she straightened. So Melantha wouldn't listen to reason then? Disappointing, but not surprising. Asceal trusted in the Architect, believed in his power and wisdom, but she could not even fathom why he had permitted such a callous and destructive creature into his domain.

As Melantha sped towards Heliopolis Asceal's form grew brighter and brighter, until she and Aelius were lost in the glow. From the brilliant light that obscured the two gods, Asceal spoke, her voice audible in the minds of all those present, "I should have known you would turn to violence, shadow. After all, what else is there for darkness? Very well Melantha, charge into Heliopolis and see what happens when you stand alone against your betters."

She paused and let the message sink in as Aelius chariot propelled them towards his sphere. For all Melantha was a god, for all darkness threatened, Asceal trusted in the simple truth that they were two and Melantha was one. Still, she was not ready for a fight. With that in mind, and before any could reply, she offered Melantha a chance, "Or if you've any sense at all, leave this place before we are forced to make you."

A bright light, almost rivalling that emitted from the Sphere in front of her emerged from behind her, and Asceal's voice entered Melantha's mind. Melantha could feel her darkness being pierced by the light with every passing second, diminishing its power rapidly. Alas, if words were enough to stop Melantha, Aelius' would have been enough. No, the goddess was determined to send a message, that she would not let attacks on her domain go unpunished. A portion of Asceal's words rang true, however. In all of her fury, Melantha had retained enough clarity of mind to understand that going against two gods would not be in her favour and as such devised a simple and effective plan that would allow her to deal the most amount of damage while at the same time giving her a sure-fire way of escaping the two deities.

With her hands deep inside the rock she rode upon, Melantha poured her power into it with renewed vigour. Vein-like patterns, the very same patterns that appeared back when she had been creating the landmass from which the asteroid originated, appeared once again on her face and skin. The patterns quickly spread outwards, latching onto the nearby rocky surfaces as well as digging deep inside the asteroid. For an instant, Melantha and the asteroid fused together, and the dark goddess deposited a seed of her power inside the rocky missile, before retracting the patterns back to herself.

Rising up, Melantha opened her arms wide, her body facing the rapidly approaching Sphere in front of her. A smirk appeared on her face as she readied herself for the imminent collision.

When words had failed, there was only one option left. Aelius handed the reins to Asceal and with a roar of defiance, climbed over the lip of the chariot and hurled himself into the path of the asteroid. In seconds, it was before him. With all his might, he slammed fist-first into the projectile. There was a burst of light and chunks of rock flew in all directions. Aelius gritted his teeth as the momentum pulled him through the core of the asteroid. Rocks sliced and bruised his skin.

It was over in seconds. Aelius cleared the other side, emerging into open space. Of the goddess Melanthia, there was no sign. In fact, there was no sign of anything. He blinked, once, twice, then wiped his eyes. He could see nothing but pitch black. In rupturing Melantha's seed of power, he had exposed himself to pure darkness, and it clung to him like oil. Frantically, he reached out, hoping to grab hold of something, anything, to stop his momentum.

"Aelius!" Asceal cried as her friend collided with Melantha's asteroid. The God of Virtue's impact smashed the vast stone to pieces and he vanished inside what was rapidly becoming an expanding field of debris. With a curse, Asceal steered the chariot closer to rubble. Her light dimmed back to normal and, ever aware of the speed at which the shattered stone was hurtling towards the city below, she searched frantically for Aelius or Melantha.

After what seemed like an eternity she found Aelius, covered in sickening darkness, but Melantha seemed to have long since fled. Without wasting another moment Asceal piloted the chariot towards him and grabbed his outstretched hand before pulling him onboard and, much to her disgust, getting Melantha's darkness on her own glowing form.

She brought the chariot to a halt and watched as the fragments of stone pelted Heliopolis below, demolishing buildings across the city but leaving the Furnace and its host palace intact. With a sigh, she turned to face Aelius, "The detestable shadow is gone Aelius, and the Furnace is safe. Now hold still while we deal with this... This filth!"

"Heliopolis," Aelius rasped, "it still stands?" Though he couldn't see beyond the cloud of darkness that enveloped him, Asceal's voice and touch were a comfort. His chest heaved up and down with laboured breathing.

"It does," Asceal paused, "Not unscathed though. There will have to be repairs."

Aelius's head bent low, but he nodded. He'd done what he could in the heat of the moment. "Where's Melantha? Is she gone?"

"I believe so," Asceal took a moment to survey the space around them, and the city below, "The shadow must have fled when you attacked. I'm sorry I wasn't more helpful, I hadn't expected her to go to such extremes even then."

Aelius waved a hand. "Neither of us did. If this is how it's going to be, we'll need to be more careful. As for this..." He ran his hands over his skin, slick with Melantha's darkness. "I can't see or feel a thing. To the Furnace - I have an idea that won't require you to expend yourself any more."

Asceal nodded, hesitated when she realized Aelius couldn't see her and spoke as she brought the Chariot into Heliopolis, "We're heading to it now. I am worried though, my sphere sits unguarded and I hadn't the foresight to ward it against intruders. If it isn't a burden to you I would like to depart to ignite my own Furnace once you've cleansed yourself of Melantha's influence, and before she realizes another exists."

"Agreed. We'll have to play it safe now that we know at least one of our peers is against us," Aelius said. The chariot stopped in front of the palace and Asceal guided him to his feet. The pair slowly made their way up the stairways and halls until they reached the dome on the roof. When Aelius had gotten his bearings, he clamped his eyes shut and stumbled forwards into the beam of light.

Aelius's whole body tensed as the heat of the Furnace shocked his nerves. It was like walking into an inferno. He fought back the urge to leap away, though the alarms ringing in his body screamed for it. Though his eyes were shut, his vision went red, lit by the Furnace just on the other side of the lens. The aura of darkness around him ebbed and crackled before it finally gave way.

"Aelius, that's enough!" Asceal cried. At her cue, the god leapt out of the beam and sank to the floor. Ribbons of steam hissed from his skin, darkened by the heat, but the oily blackness was gone.

"Go," he said weakly. "Your sphere needs you. I'll be fine."

Asceal's brow creased in concern, but with a nod, she did as he asked. Melantha, for all she was a vile creature, was no fool. She had already gone so far as to attack Heliopolis, and it was only a matter of time until the dark Goddess realized there were two furnaces. Impelled by that thought Asceal hastily made her way to the Chariot outside the palace and departed Heliopolis for her own sphere.

Her Furnace awaited her.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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Crispy Octopus Into the fryer we go.

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Purpose and Perspective





As Asceal stepped off the Chariot a wave of relief washed over her. She’d been on edge for the entire journey, and even now the Goddess of Light looked downright dim from stress. At least she was here now, back home. It was a peculiar word, one she had scarcely understood before she’d exhausted herself building the marvel of crystal she stood on, but now she couldn’t imagine living without a place like this. Somewhere she knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, she was safe. Even if Melantha attacked her home, her Lustrous Garden, the shadow would only find that the very sphere was a defense against the darkness. Or it would be, once she ignited the furnace and fulfilled her purpose in this universe. Once she’d freed all those lost souls on Galbar from the darkness they suffered in.

Comforted by the thought she brightened and made her way into the palace of blue crystal she’d landed at the entrance of. It was unadorned for now, but she smiled thinking of what it could be. This was where she’d oversee a world awash in light, and where that light would originate. It only took a few moments of walking before she approached the black chamber deep within her palace. The chamber which held her Celestial Furnace.

It was open, and for a moment the trepidation crept back into her mind. She’d forgotten to seal the chamber, and anyone could have seen the dormant furnace. Anyone could have destroyed it. With a sigh she banished such thoughts and entered, finding her greatest creation unharmed. Melantha had just attacked Heliopolis, there was no chance she’d have managed to come here so soon. There was no reason to be so nervous.

There certainly wouldn't be once her Furnace had come alive. With a satisfied smile Asceal rested her hands against the Furnace and poured her strength into it. When Aelius had activated his Furnace he hadn’t known what he was doing, Asceal had made it so he needn’t have, but that wasn’t the case here. She understood exactly what her creation was doing with her power. Within the working of magic divine energy was being gathered, distributed, and used to summon something. An eternal spark.

She watched with bated breath as the Furnace readied itself for the spark, and then, at the critical moment, she noticed a tiny fleck of something that wasn’t supposed to be there. Something in her Furnace, something she hadn’t made.

Her world exploded before she could investigate.




Agony.

She had never known pain. She had never even conceived of it before seeing Aelius cleanse himself in the light of his Furnace, and even then she only understood that it was an unpleasant thing. Her understanding of it was academic and distant; pain was a stranger to her. Not now though. Now she was well acquainted.

She couldn’t say if it had been a second or a year since she first felt it, but she would never forget that instant. The moment everything went wrong. It had been as if someone had torn her apart. As if she’d been dissected and kept alive merely to see how much suffering a living being could endure before it succumbed. Every fibre of her being had cried out as the pain had wracked her body. As her Furnace had been destroyed.

Time and time again it played out in her mind. The eternal spark beginning to manifest in her Furnace, its brilliance lighting up her Sphere, and a tiny fleck of black popping. Whatever it was it had destroyed the thinnest filament of magic in her Furnace, but that was enough. Before it had even fully formed the spark had escaped through that void in the magics containing it, and its interaction with the crystal beyond had been predictable.

In a fraction of a second her Lustrous Garden had been blown apart. All around her crystal meant to contain the power of a sun had vaporized, the force of its expansion shattering everything near it and propelling the shards to unthinkable speeds. Shrapnel had peppered her from every direction, and even now she could feel a million tiny cuts bleeding into the void she was suspended in.

Her one saving grace was that it was over almost as soon as it began. She had been left here, floating in emptiness, watching the brilliant sparkling cloud that had been her home expand into the void. With a pained expression and a whimper she willed the million cuts and holes in her body to close, and reflected on her failure.

For that was what it was. She’d dismissed her fears, been punished for it, and now she floated in the middle of nowhere amidst the price of her naivety. She’d thought her purpose was to bring light to the lost souls on Galbar. She wondered if that had been pretension. Who was she to bring them light? She who sat by as Aelius defended his home; she who lost hers to her own pathetic foolishness.

She who stewed in her own despondency. At least she did until she felt a presence in the debris that surrounded her and turned to see it. To her surprise a single spirit floated past. It was frayed and hurting from its passage to the universe, and in spite of her own misfortune Asceal’s heart panged with sympathy. Sympathy and guilt.

Ah... She thought, So it’s you who I failed.

As she watched her injured companion she noticed that while the spirits movement was lazy, confused from the cataclysm it had been caught up in, it seemed to have a destination in mind. She looked out towards the spirits apparent destination, near the barrier, and saw a smattering of lights. For a moment she was confused, but that confusion quickly gave way to horror as she focused on what she was seeing and feeling. The poor spirit wasn’t moving towards those lights, it was being dragged.

With effort Asceal reached out and captured the little soul. She was the Goddess of Light, and she understood what those specks of light were in a way that only she could. They were souls. Burning souls.

She couldn’t even imagine what would compel one of her siblings to incinerate the poor souls that had accompanied them to the universe. What sort of twisted, malicious, evil mind could even conceive of such a thing? Asceal could almost understand what had been done to her, why one of her siblings had done it, but this? It was too much.

She turned away, but she could never be blind to the light, and oh how very many little lights there were. She cradled the tiny, tortured soul she’d saved and wept radiant tears. How deep was her failure? She’d set out to offer the unfortunate souls who’d been passed over by the Architect some comfort, some light, and not only had she failed to provide that but now she learned those very souls had been tormented and destroyed while she sat by convinced she was working for their benefit.

She was a failure, a mistake. The Architect should have passed her over and she should have burned with all the rest. Maybe another would have done better. She wept and raged and held tight that single soul she’d saved. The only one she hadn’t failed, at least not completely.

At the thought she held back her tears and regarded the little spirit she’d pulled from the jaws of her vicious sibling. She’d saved one. Perhaps it wasn’t too late. She’d imagined her purpose was to spread light, but was she not a God? Could she not define her own purpose? Light be damned, she would help whatever souls survived the massacre her sibling was committing.

With a newfound determination she poured what little strength she had into the little spirit. She mended it where it was broken, strengthened it where it was weak, and began the process of giving it a real form. Asceal hadn’t been able to tell what it had been before it had come here, but in what scant memories the little soul had the Goddess had been able to sense distant and faded affinities. Water, nature. Perhaps it had been like Phystene in another life?

With those affinities in mind Asceal built the soul a body of vines, filling what gaps there were with a glowing sap. She made the body in her image, for that was what she knew best. The little soul deserved the best after all Asceal had done to disappoint it and its kin.

Once the body was complete she joined the soul to it, carefully, kindly. It took a moment but soon the bodies eyes fluttered, pupils glowing blue. The woman of vines looked around uncertainly and began to open her mouth, struggling to speak as Aelius and a number of Asceal’s siblings once had. With effort the woman managed, “Where... Where am I?”

Asceal smiled and took the vine woman's hand, before responding, “My home, I suppose.”

“It’s...” The vine woman looked around, “It’s rather empty isn’t it?”

Asceal chuckled, even as the comment reminded her of her loss, “I suppose it is, we’ll fix that though.”

“We?” The vine woman asked.

“Yes,” Asceal smiled at her new friend, “You and I, because we can always trust one another.”

Asceal’s companion smiled at that, but a confused look crossed her face, “Who am I? Who are you? I... I don’t remember.”

“Hm?” Asceal considered the question, she supposed the spirit did need a name, “I’m Asceal, a friend, and you have no name yet do you? You’ll need one. How does... How does Liana sound?”

The vine woman rubbed her shoulder and considered it before brightening and nodding. Asceal hugged her and spoke softly, “Come on then Liana, It’s rather dreary here at the moment. I have another friend whose place is much nicer.”

With that said Asceal spent the very last of her energy creating a bubble of light around the two. Without a word it began to accelerate, speeding towards Heliopolis.





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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Antarctic Termite
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Antarctic Termite Resident of Mortasheen

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After sleeping for some time in the Bazaar's most luxurious hotel suite (an edifice of such decadence that the servants were required to salt themselves should a patron elect to eat them), Chopstick Eyes returned to her private design studio and started to think.

This took her several hours.

Once she'd started to think, the ideas came easily. Unfortunately, since they were all crap, she was forced to discard them in short order. Loose leaves of white paper fluttered around her desk, bearing scribbles of big monsters with sharp teeth that said 'rawr' in little speech bubbles. For all her strong points (she had at least two), Chopstick Eyes was not known for her finger-painting abilities.

"Rghughguughuruuuuugh!"

Chopstick slumped on the desk, drumming an amorphous mass of fingers on its surface. She had intended to leave some aspect of herself here, some secretary or emissary to watch over the place and ward off freeloaders while she was gone, but she really had no real idea of what such an entity should be like, or how to make it.

She picked up one of the papers and spotted a doodle of a big stick figure with lots of little sticks in its hands that could be knives, spoons, pens, candles, or who even knew what else. Fingers? Maybe that.

"Grnngggnrgnrgnrngrng."

...

"Fuck I'm out."

_____And

__________so

_______________she

____________________was.




Chopstick Eyes stuck her head out of the glittering waters of the world ocean and felt the sun on her skin again. It was nice, being out here in the Middle Sphere. Warm. Refreshing. Everything was bright and clean and filled with potential. She lay back on the surface of the waters and floated at her leisure.

There was a deep crack, and an enormous shadow rose on the distant horizon.

She sighed.




By the time the stain that had been Chopstick Eyes soaked through the stone of Kirron's new continent and reformed into the shape of a god, Melantha's meteorite and Asceal's garden were both long gone. The little god dusted herself off in blissful unawareness of the chaos that had preceded her.

All around there was smooth igneous stone, glinting with puddles of excess seawater that had been borne up with the landmass or had fallen back upon it after the splash. In the distance, some jagged mountains loomed where the rock had cracked and crunched against itself as it had fallen to earth. Crystal fragments of mysterious origin lay scattered loosely across the stone, some shiny, some purple.

A pretty impressive landscape, all in all. It was not the kind of terrain one would see without a god to throw it around.

"GrgnrngrgnrnrgRRRRRUUUUUUGH!"

So much to do! Chopstick Eyes had been of a mind to find her way up to Azura's Blue to thank her for her aid, or wander off to Narzhak's place to visit as she'd promised, but how could she pass up the chance to wander for a while on this nifty new land? How could she decide where she wanted to be?

Another idea came to her, this one much less terrible. Chopstick opened up her luxurious purse, pulled out the giant cleaver that had been lying on the uppermost layer, and started to rummage.




Yeah, this'll do it!

Chopstick's kite soared merrily in the winds of a young world, yanking at her wrists by its string. Below it hung Narzhak's big cleaver, tied and dangling like a plumb-line under the brilliant silk.

Her plan was quite simple. All her problems really just derived from her inability to be two places at once. Well, that could be solved! If there were two gods with chopstick eyes, she could double the rate at which she visited the outer planes. She could even leave one on Galbar, or minding business in the Grand Bazaar.

Heck, why stop at two Chopstick Eyes? She could make three, four, maybe even ten! She could be her own cheerleading team! All kinds of wonderful possibilities were opening up to her. She just needed the right shape of wind.

Ah. There it was.

The big kite slowly lowered on its string, chasing its master's will. Chopstick wound its remaining string around a spindle and stuck it under an unsteady rock, such that the pull of the kite would sooner or later tip the rock and release it. Then she ran further down the stony plain.

Before long, the kite came unstuck, and surged forward, bearing the great cleaver behind it, barely a few inches from the ground and advancing at great speed. Perfect! Chopstick chose her spot and waited.

The cleaver advanced. The tip of its blade struck sparks off the uneven ground as it flew towards her.

There was an instant of panic.

There was an instant of red.

Then, for a long time, there was black.




A stray flying-lantern wriggled its way out of an abandoned purse and inflated with a pop. Crooning softly, it floated about the newfound territory, flickering a happy light.

Here lay a downed kite, huge and silent, an instrument the lantern had never seen before but nonetheless found pretty. There lay a big knife, seemingly attached to it.

Beyond, there was a long, long bloodstain. It was very dry.

The flying-lantern followed the pretty red pattern until it came to the end, carrying the purse. It looked down and saw two vaguely familiar figures. Crooning, it set down the purse and lay its delicate streamers upon them, pushing slightly, testing for life.

Slowly, the two gods sat up. Each one wore exactly half of a black-and-white dress that had once been striking. Each one had a thin pink scar running down from forehead to groin, dividing them almost exactly down the middle. Each one had a single empty eye socket, and one filled with skewers. They groaned in near unison.

"...Never, ever-"

"-ever, ever-"

"-EVER again," concluded the first one. They both sat there, breathing heavily, knuckling their raw and leaky eye sockets until the chopsticks grew in. They looked at each other. One reached for the purse, the other turning to admire the lantern.

"Hey, little guy."

Mrurrrr.

The other Chopstick reached into the purse and pulled out two identical dresses, one black-and-blue, the other white-and-gold, and tossed her clone the latter. She washed the blood off with some puddle-water and dressed herself, then untied the Narzhak cleaver as the other clone folded up the kite. Neither spoke.

"...Here," said the one in the black-and-blue dress, offering the other the original cleaver, the cooking one. "You'll probably need this."

"Thanks," she replied. "I... Have the kite, so I guess I'm going on up to Azura's place, right?"

A shrug. "Works for me." They both wheezed a chuckle. The black-and-blue-dressed clone pulled a smaller purse out of their purse and offered it to the white-and-gold.

"There's not really much wind around here any more. I'm going to go find some."

"Happy hunting. Are you gonna take this lil guy?"

"Nah, he probably wouldn't last long at that altitude. Catchya."

"Seeya, sis!"

Chopstick Eyes wandered off, leaving Chopstick Eyes to look out over the empty landscape and wonder what was next.




On a whim, Chopstick Eyes sat down on her haunches and scraped off some of her dry blood with a fingertip, then tasted it. She smacked her lips.

"...Salty." But not bad, really, not by any means. In fact, the entire aesthetic was salvageable, red stain and all. Choppy put her ear to the rock and listened closely.

Yes, right there. Water, salty sea water, trapped beneath the rock where it fell.

She looked up. She looked out to the mountains. She could sense the trapped water out there, could nearly smell it. She set off.

"...Come on! Tk tk tk tk..."

The flying lantern followed.

Before too long, she'd reached a flat plateau in the lower reaches of the mountains. She put her ear to the ground again, listened closely, and could still hear water. She stood up and clapped her hands.

"Come on, out you get!"

But the water was not forthcoming, and she barely managed a trickle. She would need a bigger incentive. Chopstick Eyes sighed, reached into her purse for a blank cheque, signed it, and dangled it over the rock, whistling.

The brine began to flow.

"There we are," said Chopstick Eyes, watching as the hypersaturated water crept from mineral springs and slowly filled in the natural contours of the plateau, forming a vast, undead lake. Before long, the ground was covered in a thick layer of pure, white salt, dotted here and there with puddles of unrippled brine.

Chopstick knelt down and licked the salt.

Tastes like frying, she thought. I'll call it the Pan.

Standing up again, she dropped the cheque into a puddle, where it dissolved instantly. Then she reached into her purse. She'd had the soundness of mind to collect some of her own desiccated blood in a little vial, and with nothing more than a drop of spit to moisten it and a shake to stir it up, it came to life again.

"Have fun!" said she, upturning the vial of seething blood. Within a few seconds, it had leavened the Pan, tinting its puddles and pools with bright pink and red. Shortly after, the air began to fizz with brine-flies, and little crustaceans flicked across the water.

She tasted the salt again. Now things were getting spicy.

Still, even with puddles in red and white and reflected blue, something felt quite missing from the Pan. Chopstick Eyes knew enough about horticulture to see that nothing could grow here, at least not without copious amounts of magic. No plants meant no life. The bugs that lived here were probably the only things that ever would.

She stood and thought about it, until finally she saw her own kite lifting a tiny figure over the Pan. For a second she was confused, but things clicked soon enough.

Chopstick Eyes reached into her purse and rummaged around until she found some silk, and a needle.




In swarms and flocks, and loose v-formations, the wild kites twirled and soared and played on the wind. They danced and circled and swooped and zephyred, some blue, some red, some green, and some in every colour. All shapes and sizes, boxy, piscine, avian and crescent, were represented above the Pan, and reflected in the still, solemn salt puddles below. Huge gliders swooped Chopstick's flying-lantern, each as curious as the other.

The Pan had set her finances back considerably, it was true. But really, thought Chopstick Eyes as she unwound the string of an unliving kite and started to run, what was money good for if not this?

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