Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lord Zee
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Lord Zee I Don't Even Know

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Phystene


Orvus walked for an age and as he meandered aimlessly, the murky blackness gave way to lighter waters. The crushing weight of the depths lessened with each slow step, not that he could even feel such a difference anyways. So too did the cold water turn warmer, and with such warmth, came creation. He noticed first the microscopic plankton, and was intrigued by such small beings. What purpose did it they have? Then he came upon fish, colorful creatures that swam up to him with curiosity, only to flee as he tried to reach out for them. This game continued on as he walked through rocks bursting with life in the clear waters. He cocked his head, having not a clue what any of it actually was. It was all so alien to him.

Then Orvus felt a presence, one he had not felt since Seihdhara had come after him. This one was not Seihdhara, but another of his kin. He knew her name, for that had been one of the only gifts the architect had decreed they should be given in this miserable existence. She was Phystene.

Just as Orvus had felt Phystene, she too had detected him. She started to make her way towards him, not rushing but definitely with purpose. The sealife flocked towards her and, unlike with Orvus, seemed contented to remain in her presence, some even touching her as they swam by. The goddess enjoyed their presence for a few moments before telling them to disperse. She didn’t know Orvus’ temperament and didn’t want to put her creations in unnecessary danger. Narzhak, probably without even realizing it, had crushed numerous plants just a few hours ago.

“Orvus?” Phystene called out as she neared the other deity. “What brings you to this area?”

He heard her voice before he gazed upon the form of his sister goddess. He had never seen such green before, for her body was ripe with it. It was her eyes that intrigued him most, glowing as they were, just like his own. He stopped a far distance away, motionless in the water. Orvus digested her words, and after a long, tense moment, he spoke.

”You are Phystene?” he asked quietly before continuing without waiting for an answer. ”What is… all this?” he asked again with a hint of curiosity in his voice. He avoided answering the second question, there was no point in reminding himself of failure.

“I am.” Phystene answered, tilting her head to the side slightly at his second question. She slowly looked around in an effort to find something that felt out of place, something that Orvus would have cause to question, and found nothing. After a moment she answered “Water?”

Orvus stared at his sister, his eyes empty of expression as he listened to her three words. He tilted his head, then looked around again. He knew what water was, had he not been specific? What had he done wrong?

”No. This.” Orvus said before gesturing to the coral, and the fish. ”Do you know not what these are?” he asked.

“Ah.” Phystene’s eyes widened slightly as Orvus pointed at her latest creations. “I’m sorry. They felt so natural to me that it didn’t even occur to me that they were what you were asking about.” She looked at the new coral reef, a warm smile spreading across her face. “They are plants and animals. My gifts to this otherwise barren world.” She shifted her gaze back to Orvus as she asked “Are they not beautiful?”

Orvus listened to Phystene intently, taking away all that he could from her answer. Plants. Animals. Nature. So Orvus looked upon the fish and coral again, suddenly having the urge to know them. He saw that they existed as they were, as they always would be and unsatisfied, Orvus delved deeper. For a time there was a long silence as he focused. A flicker of light here and there caught his attention, with more and more popping on all around him and at last, his entire vision became one of light. Thus he perceived their very souls. Orvus took a step back as he took in the raw information. The fish pulsed with vibrancy, like blips of light swimming all around. The coral were but a mass of lights, flickering with color and humming with existence. Even the plankton housed a soul of their own, dainty as they were.

It was all blinding to Orvus and he closed his eyes. His thoughts were a jumbled mess of information and his own opinions. As he went over everything, he realized that he would never be able to feel such creations, or the life they carried with them. The warmth, the blissful ignorance of the world all around them. It was not for him, and he grew jealous of this fact. Of this life. What made them so special? And at last, it clicked. It was the soul.

Their souls. His own was not… was not like theirs, if he even possess such a thing anymore. He was a being of ichor and essence, they were not. Even Seihdhara, she must have had a soul. It would only explain...Yes...that meant...all of his siblings had souls. He could not feel any of them unless it was of pain.

His eyes snapped open as he spoke in but a whisper, ”No…Why is it all so wrong? He turned his head to look at Phystene directly. His eyes now expressing anger, ”What have you done?” he demand.

“Pardon?” She asked, her momentary confusion evident. “There is nothing wr-” A look of steel entered her eyes as she gazed into his. “What have I done?” She quietly echoed, her voice belying none of the anger she felt. “I have granted them” She gestured towards the fish, coral, and seaweed, “the greatest gift of all. Life. I have helped turn this barren ball of rock and water into a vibrant place. Look around you. And I mean really look. Can you truthfully say that this world would be better without my creations?”

”This universe would be better without anything. Without anyone. Without even me.” Orvus said sadly, beginning to tremble slightly. “You have… You have diluted them with this… life of yours. You have created them so that I cannot feel them. Do you have any idea how cruel that is?” he said with a mix of anger and sorrow in his voice.

The steel in Phystene’s eyes faded away, only to be replaced by pity. “How much… less this universe would be without us. Without you. I know not why you you cannot feel my creations, but it was not because of any desire or malice on my part. Come here,” She held a green hand out towards him, “and let’s see if I can show you the universe from my point of view.”

Orvus looked at her outstretched hand, and for a split second his eyes expressed longing but they flashed back to hatred. He began to shake his head, he did not believe her. He couldn’t. His siblings were everything he was not, and that made their existence a lie.

His trembling increased, and the stars on his body began to grow with intensity.

”No…” he whispered. ”Don’t you understand? You would never be able to show me your view. Intentional or not, your creations are wrong. They always will be. But I am fortunate sister. For I can show you my world. I can show you what it’s like not able to feel. To be touched.”

His aura then erupted around his body as he began to walk towards Phystene, instantly vaporising the sea life in close proximity to him. That which his aura it did not destroy outright, lost all of its color, turning grey and lifeless. Even the water itself began to turn foul. The coral became brittle, the fish… the fish withered. He paused, an idea springing to his mind, but Phystene’s voice caught his attention.

“Enough!” Phystene demanded, her voice taking on the austere tone of a mother about to severely punish a misbehaving child. The hand she had offered Orvus now clenched in a fist. “You will cease this madness now or,” She took a step towards him, “I will make a point of filling every square inch of this universe with life. Not just Galbar, not just what lays beyond it. I will follow you to your own demain and fill that with life if I must. Cease and leave my presence before I decide that’s necessary.”

His eyes expressed malice as Orvus listened to Phystene speak. When she finally finished, Orvus replied in kind, his voice having taking a spiteful tone, ”You do not understand, sister he stated as he began walking towards her, ”This is not madness. I shall not leave. You can create your life as you please, but know this- Desolation will never be far behind. Go to Veradax, see what you might create there and watch it wither and die.” He paused, his voice full of hate. ”Don’t you see? We are opposites you and I. You create and I destroy. This...This is the only way.” he finished with a hint of sorrow echoing in his words.

“I suppose we are” Phystene agreed, her voice almost a whisper. “But you forget how resilient life is.” She was an embodiment of life. Where she willed it plants grew and she now focused on her will in the area around Orvus. Seaweed appeared around Orvus, only to disintegrate a moment later as his aura overtook them. Phystene’s eyes narrowed for a moment, but then her face took on a serene expression. “Life is… more resilient than you believe.” If her natural powers were not enough, she would simply have to adapt. The space around her began to crackle with energy as she gathered some of the power the architect had loaned her, intent on making its power her own. The plants of the ocean began to grow quicker, becoming more resistant to the desolation around Orvus, although none could come close to his person. The other sea life seemed to be doing better as well, although this really only allowed the fish to survive long enough to swim away to safety.

As the cycle of life and death continued without end between them, Phystene asked “So… are we simply going to stand here and continue this till the end of time?”

Orvus was intrigued as the aura around Phystene grew. The seaweed attacked him with ferocity only to turn to die in the black waters. He was impressed, for truly she was his opposite in power and ideology. He said nothing however as he walked closer. He cared not for the resiliency for life, for no matter how much it could fight, it would still die.

Then their aura’s met and their was a great struggle as plant and desolation fought for dominion over the other. Life grew and died and then grew again in the blink of an eye, becoming warped with both conflicting powers. The very water became virile with divine energy, giving life to desolation. The coral erupted with cancerous growths, as seaweed was murdered over and over again, only to come back as ghostly reminders of what they once were.

Their powers slammed against each other, hurling fragments up to miles away to explode into the ocean as Orvus and Phystene’s contest of wills continued on. The waters in the surrounding region become more turbulent as life exploded into being, only to be snuffed out a moment later. Two fragments of power, one of life and the other of desolation, landed in the same part of the ocean, twisting together. These warring powers overtook a school of fleeing fish, the animals writhing in pain as they were broken down, only to be repaired moments before death over and over again. And with each repeat of the cycle they changed. They grew larger and larger, but with each growth the light of life in their eyes dimmed just as much. They continued to grow, their bodies contorting until they were unrecognizable. The light of life fully disappeared from their eyes as a new, ghostly light appeared at the end of a rod, dangling before their monstrously large teeth. Any fish that saw that light felt compelled to swim closer, only to meet oblivion in the giant fishes’ mouth.

These new forms of life, if they could even be called that, didn’t escape Phystene’s notice. Her mouth hung open as she turned her attention towards them, a mixed look of disgust, shock, and even terror on her face. “What… are those?”

Orvus struggled against the power of Phystene but the creatures did not escape his notice either. He looked to them, and he knew them well. He focused his attention back at Phystene and spoke with each step. ”They… Are… The… Future!” He then descended upon Phystene as their Aura’s screamed.

He tackled her head on. Orvus gripped her body as they rocketed out onto dry land, crashing into the earth as rocks exploded outward. Phystene screamed in pain as Orvus’ powers tore into her, her flesh dissolving only to be immediately replaced by her own powers. She kneed him in the torso, the act likely doing more damage to her than him as the flesh there dissolved as well, only to regrow a moment later. Orvus grunted at the kick, but did not let go.

“What... are you doing?!” She demanded as she kneed him again. “How do you expect this to end?” She focused a bit of her power on a nearby tree, urging it to move to her will. To grow so quickly that its roots shattered the nearby rocks, and for its branches to bend, pick up the largest boulder, and throw it at Orvus.

Orvus felt the pain. The glorious, blessed pain but he did not let go, he couldn’t. For he knew the truth.

”Phystene...You must realize...The only way this ends… Is by one of us dying.” he whispered forlornly. He was suddenly hit be a large object, and Orvus was flung away from Phystene as the boulder crushed him into the crater’s wall. Not a second went by before the boulder exploded into a thousand pieces of gravel and dust. Orvus stood in the hole, his eyes menacing.

“Even if you kill me there will be other nature deities ready to take my place.” Phystene looked down at Orvus from the rim of the crater. “And you must know that I would be able to cause enough damage to you even in defeat that another could easily dispatch you. Then life would be free to spread uncontested, just the same as if I were to defeat you. Even in victory you will still taste defeat. Return home.” She said, a plea in her voice. “That is the only option you have that won’t result in complete defeat.”

Orvus took a step, then hesitated, coming to a standstill. He soaked up her words and came to a conclusion of his own.

”There is wisdom in your words, dear sister. You are right, neither of us would live long without the other but you lack foresight. The life you create is but a vessel. A vessel of blood and flesh. Plant and fiber. It contains the one thing that life needs most to flourish. A soul. Truly, what is life without a soul? Look at me and you shall know the answer. Thus, we shall die, together- but only after there are no more precious souls. This, I promise you.” Orvus said emotionlessly. He walked to the center of the crater and looked up to Phystene again. ”As you wish sister, I shall return home. But first… a parting gift.”

He raised a hand, and the sky grew dark. A fierce wind picked up, howling through the trees as it whipped their limbs to and fro. Twigs snapped, leaves were lost to the void and dust began to fall. A storm had come, dark and terrible to behold and unlike anything seen in Galbar before. A flash of scarlet lightning struck a tree to ash, then another and another. More trees were uprooted from the dirt, casting off into the expanse of darkness that plagued the sky. Flowers, and other plants not strong enough were simply wiped from existence. Animals fared no better as the storm continued.

As the storm’s epicenter came over the two gods, Orvus’ disappeared, but his voice could be heard on the wind all around Phystene.

”Veradax beckons.”

Then as quickly as the storm came, it vanished, leaving behind a scar of ruin and desolation.

Phystene stood still as a statue, staring at the space Orvus had disappeared from. When she was finally confident she was now alone she allowed her facade to fall away. She crumbled to the ground, her body trembling in pain has her mind succumbed to emotions she had never even conceived of.




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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Goldeagle1221
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Goldeagle1221 I am Spartacus!

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Bilbies hopped in through the sweet grass as K’nell made his way out. Having spent the rest of his time in the flatlands creating large herbivores to chase down and snatch the running trees, and tiny marsupials to amuse him, he had grown bored once more. And so, he began his walk back to Limbo.

As he walked, the evening heliopolis glistened off the shifting mountains, each landmark coming closer and closer as the flatlands faded away behind him, until eventually he found himself walking up the slope of one of his migrant mountains. All around him life flourished, be it insect or fungi, the God was walking in a brilliant forest of mushrooms.

Content with the scene he quickly added quolls and numbats to the forest, he even altered one species of the grand mushroom trees so that it would carry a strange fruit that chimed in the wind. His eversmile grew as he ran his fingers down the fungal stocks of one of the mushroom trees, how interesting .

A new inspiration hit the God and with it in mind he continued his journey, stopping here and there to admire the many different moths and butterflies. Now and again he would point his finger, and a new species would appear. First a flowering of ripe yellow buds, brimming with nectar but before the insects could have their fill, suddenly there appeared the honey possum. K’nell was amused.

ZAP! The tiniest creation of K’nell’s so far suddenly poofed into existence as he passed a low crowned mushroom and scurrying from the puff of creation was a monito del monte, eyes big and black just like K’nells.

The amused God continued his almost dancing trek through the mushroom mountains, enjoying himself so much that by time he found his way to the valley of Limbo, he found himself nearly depleted, a trail of new species behind him, both plant and animal, and a few of both! In particular he was proud of a strange squirrel type best that seemed to change color with its surroundings, and of course the bizarre flying sphagnum moss. He shook his head, his interesting journey left him nearly depleted, but not quite.

As he stood before Limbo, the mountains circling the empty valley, the God reached inside himself for the last remaining vestiges of the day. All at once there was a great flash and a mighty rumble. In the span of seconds, trees of cyprus and oak split the ground and rapidly flourished into ancient growth. The woods gnarled and twisted around Limbo, and before long a mighty forests engulfed the valley, leaving a new canvas for the ever creating God.


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Commodore
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Commodore Condor

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It was rather nice down here, even if Ohannakeloi couldn’t really focus on that all that well. He knew he had a purpose, something to do beyond his direct desires and coming down beneath the reality of Galbar was where he had to start. After all, you always need a good foundation before you could get really to work, at least that is how Ohannakeloi saw it. He was really glad that he had come down here to set up foundations because the underlying stability really just wasn’t here. It was really startling actually, just how much wasn’t properly held together. Most concerning, however, had to be the underlying disturbance down here.

When Ohannakeloi first came down it was chaotic but not as much as it would be a moment later or the one after that. It was getting worse in other words, and that was very much not good. If there had been a proper structure before it had apparently been too fragile to withstand what had caused this. Which of course had raised the question of just what was causing the violent disorder here.

And now he had found the answer to that question. It was perhaps foolish to have seen the great works that others had wrought upon the surface and skies of Galbar and to not expect the same in its depths. Anzillu had been at work it appeared, for something of his had consumed an entire sphere evidently enough. That was partly good and partly bad, for it seemed the being had perhaps little other purposes, and Ohannakeloi always liked the thought of fulfilling one's purpose. However good it may be it also was causing a great issue, the sparse connections between realms meant that this consumption spread occasionally beyond that realm of Anzillu. Although it appeared quite ill-suited for the other realms, it still did not do anything good the stability of the system as a whole. There might be some other effects too, there was a degree of strain from a number of works it appeared but nothing too major, the structure down here really did have some room to be improved.

Now there was work to be done, the search for why the issue was here was done all there was the solution or at least the treatment. Which meant figuring out how to lay proper foundations with the sphere of Anzillu around, with all the effects that its existence entailed. Ohannakeloi brought the crystal around nearby, a sphere that was close to that of Anzillu would be good to suppress the negative effects of that realm and would provide a good point to support the broader Galbaric system.

Ohannakeloi folded the stone to create a proper space to disembark from the crystal. A small pocket of an open area to enact his plan properly. He began by expanding the space making a cavernous space, then stopped. It was all well and good to try to make this space but as it not going to work he could see. Already the stone newly formed was not sufficient to provide the stability needed, or the protection from Anzillu to maintain that stability. Well, he had always thought that his form was an exceptional one, why not try to work within that some.

Ohannakeloi once again took control of the stone that surrounded him and began to pump it into his shell, or more precisely the space between his current shell, and the one forming underneath, cracking and opening it up, allowing him to slide out, eventually, that is. Soft-shelled but ready, Ohannakeloi broke up the molted shell into pieces and got to work infusing them into the stone cavern, strengthening it, and bringing the underlying regions back into order. Additionally, shutting off Anzillu’s secondary influence, probably at least, it was rather hard to tell to be honest given that it had calmed down quite a bit but Ohannakeloi did not know what it was like before Anzillu was here. In any case, there wouldn’t be any secondary undermining of Galbar while Ohannakeloi was here that was certain.

Looking around the caverns and tunnels Ohannakeloi got a good sense that this would work, a very fine point of stability for Galbar, and more importantly his own soon-to-be no-doubt-to-be glorious works! However, most of those should be at the surface, where everyone could come together to see and appreciate them, and while Ohannakeloi did not mind traversing the stone underneath the surface of Galbar, it did take some time. In any case, he was a god was he not? So perhaps a little amount of time saved would be good, after all, he had a great deal to get to work on, many must be waiting on him!

Bending the rules of reality just a bit wasn’t particularly easy, not the least because Ohannakeloi wasn’t exactly clear on the details of these so-called ‘rules’ but creating a nice shortcut to the surface seemed like a perfectly reasonable expectation of a god did it not? Ohannakeloi went to one of the smaller caverns, even if all those other gods stood in their giant forms here they wouldn’t fill the room, probably certainly. He grabbed one of the walls with his claw and twisted, not just the stone but some of the physical regions as well. Ohannakeloi was exactly sure what he was doing besides that this felt like the right action to make a little shortcut.

The stone whirled and pulled into itself, a tunnel that was not quite a tunnel, the physical limits made sense as whole but not in their pieces, but it was enough. This was the shortcut he needed to get back up quickly. Ohannakeloi began to wait for his shell to harden once more, soon enough he could start his first great work, or perhaps the second?

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Kho
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Kho

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𝔖 𝔢 𝔦 𝔥 𝔡 𝔥 𝔞 𝔯 𝔞




Time: The Day the Gods Came


When Seihdhara finally shook herself from the vision and opened her eyes, there was an immediate pensiveness to her. Urhu's words, though she had no idea what they meant, stuck with her. She muttered them a few more times, and each time she did she felt herself relax. They seemed to be a release of sorts. The vision seemed to highlight something she had somehow ignored - now that she considered it, it was rather odd that so many of the other gods had spoken so harshly or patronisingly to her. Dismissively even, or as though she were a burden. Sighing, the mere soul looked about herself to see where she now was.

It was a realm of scorching heat. Which made sense, seeing as this was Sartravius' domain. Ash - almost like soul ash only it was not so cold and did not hold that yawning, whispering emptiness - wafted about everywhere, and wherever she cast her gaze she saw fire. There were rocks also, and those that were not slowly melting into some lava lake had been blackened by soot. Rivers of molten magma made their way through jagged cracks and every now and again a great rumble would shake the earth as a volcano emptied its bowels. Floating not too far from her were her living strand and upper corpse. The strand seemed now to be the thickest it had been since coming into this world, gleaming with health and strength. Seihdhara approached it, and the strand huddled closer to her. Together, they floated through Sartravius' fiery domain.

For whatever reason, the angry lord of flame did not bother with the trespasser (in fact, was that snoring she heard?) and Seihdhara wandered about aimlessly, wondering why she had come here in the first place or how she thought she could make use of this affinity with heat that her strand seemed to have. As she thought, she allowed the strand to lead the way, and eventually, they found themselves floating above a bubbling lake of lava. The living strand stopped and Seihdhara paused also. Then the strand brought itself about Seihdhara and the corpse was brought so that it occupied the same space as did Seihdhara's soul. They stayed like that for a time, then Seihdhara let out an exasperated sigh. That's not doing anything! And so saying she moved away.

The realm rumbled once again and not too far from them another volcano exploded. Almost immediately debris and flames began to rain down upon the three. Seihdhara turned about just in time to see a great boulder smash the airborne strand and corpse. The living strand untangled itself easily enough, but Seihdhara watched helplessly as her corpse fell towards the lake below. Swiftly the strand and Seihdhara raced down towards it, but no swiftness on their part could prevent the inevitable. For a few moments the corpse floated on the surface of the lava, and then it was gone. The living strand snaked into the flames after the corpse, and Seihdhara uselessly tried to hold onto the unsubmerged end of the hair. Heat pulsed through the strand, but Seihdhara could immediately see that these flames were far too great. The strand was burning.

H-hey. Get out of there. Hey! Seihdhara tugged at the hair with ethereal hands, but it was no use. Then suddenly the strand was aflame, and what a bright flame it made! It was only momentary, and then it was sinking. No! Seihdhara shouted, going down after it and disappearing also beneath the bubbling surface. The physical flames could do little to Seihdhara’s soul, but helplessness washed over her as she watched her strand burning beneath. And then anger. Her soul shimmered with fury and suddenly took on a more physical, flaming form. About her the lava retreated and she gripped the burning strand with an all too physical grip, and she launched herself from the lake. In her hand the flaming strand cooled and was returned once more to its glowing form. The upper corpse emerged from the lake also, the strand having managed to wrap itself about it. There was not a single burn on it, but it seemed to glow with a fiery light.

Pulling the strand up and wrapping an arm about the upper corpse, Seihdhara’s soul flew clear of the lake and landed on land. It was a few moments before she noticed the figure before them. She looked upwards, and her gaze met the gaze of the fire lord. Ah. She thought the snoring had stopped. Ah. Danglyd- she began saying in her usual tone, but then the soul stiffened and stood straight. Sartravius. We meet again, it seems. The goddess spoke not with her usual energetic voice, but with a more polished tone that oozed charisma.

The mighty flame god sputtered spastically as his right eye burst open. Still half-asleep he looked rapidly around at his surroundings to find the source of the noise. Was it an intruder? Did someone come to do harm to him or his surroundings? He would crush whoever it was to dust if he had to!

”WHO DARES TO DISTURB MY~?”

Yet as soon as he became more or less awake, he looked down to see a simple floating sphere near the edge of his magma spring. After analyzing the voice that had spoken to him, as well as the message he received from the family goddess, he was finally able to recognize who it was.

”OH,” the god rumbled as he positioned his exposed torso towards the tiny sphere, ”IT’S ONLY YOU, DHARA. ARAE TOLD ME THAT YOU WOULD COME. SO WHAT IS IT THAT YOU POSSIBLY WISH TO SPEAK TO ME ABOUT?” Seihdhara visibly relaxed when Sartravius shortened her name, and a smile rippled across her ethereal face.
For a second there I thought you’d be yet another uptight god, Danglydong! She chuckled. Yes, I asked Rayster to speak to you on my behalf. It seems that I’ve managed to put myself in something of a tight spot and I’m rather weak at the moment. I have a feeling that you might be able to help me, what with all your heat. My living strand here seems to have a real affinity for heat, and my corpse there is left looking… well, pretty good when subjected to heat. So something tells me that there is a way to make use of this affinity to get my body, my strand, and my soul back together. Care to help a sis- she paused suddenly, her eyes hardening for the slightest moment, but then she continued easily, a fellow god out, Danglydong?

Sartr grumbled slightly at her response as he stroked his flaming beard. He looked at the sphere closely, then back at the surrounding world, and then back to her, before finally giving his own response.

”YOU WISH TO USE MY HEAT?” the flaming god affirmed to ensure he was hearing correctly, ” FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT? YOU HAVE QUITE THE BALL~ EH, TITS, TO REQUEST MY SERVICES IN SUCH A VULNERABLE STATE!” He paused again to reflect on this notion before smiling rather devilishly.

”BUT WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’LL BE WILLING TO GIVE SUCH ENERGY OUT FOR FREE, EH?” he confidently boomed as he leaned his head upon his fist, ”ONLY A FOOL CAN BELIEVE IN SUCH AN UNSENSIBLE TRADE OFF. IF YOU WANT MY HELP, YOU MUST GIVE ME SOMETHING OF EQUAL, IF NOT BETTER, WORTH! THE QUESTION IS, WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” Seihdhara cocked her head at this admittedly unexpected response. But now that she considered it, it seemed sensible that she pay somehow since she required him to render a service unto her.

I mean, I don’t have anything to give you right this instant... she paused and furrowed her brows in thought, and as she thought her eyes found their way to the famed sword. Her eyes widened - goodness, it was quite something on closer inspection. But, uh, she looked up quickly I’ll be happy to give you whatever you want once I’m back in shape! I couldn’t give you anything now even if I wanted to - as you recognised, I have come to you in a rather vulnerable state. And reflecting on that now, perhaps that was not the wisest of moves seeing as she had aided Rayster in beating up Danglydong’s pet. Last time she was at the mercy of another god it very nearly ended in disaster. She looked up at Danglydong and hoped he was not as uptight as Cat-head.

Sartr’s eyebrows shifted in place before leaning towards Dhara. Seihdhara stood still as his hand approached, but her living strand leapt away along with her corpse, and she just about saw them both leap into a lava pool. Carefully Sartravius scooped the sphere in his mighty hand and brought her up to his level. His burning eyes gazed straight at her spherical form, his tiny flames dancing around the tips of his flaming fingers.

”YOU HAVE TO BE MORE SPECIFIC,” the flame god teased with a wicked smile, and Seihdhara felt very suddenly uncomfortable in the god’s palm, ”BUT ALLOW ME TO BRING UP MY SUGGESTION. TO HARBOR MY FLAME MAKES ANY INVOLVED AN EXTENSION OF MY POWER. HENCEFORTH, YOU WILL BE BOUND TO MY SERVICES AND TO THEM ALONE UNLESS I SPECIFICALLY DECLARE OTHERWISE. BUT AS LONG AS YOU ARE WITH ME, YOU WILL GAIN FULL ACCESS TO MY FLAME AND MORE!” His massive face then leaned closer to Dhara suddenly. ”SO,” he announced boldly, ”DO YOU COMPLY WITH THESE TERMS?”

Seihdhara eyed the other god for a few moments, unsure if he was being serious or if this was some strange joke. Sooo… you basically want me to be your slave? She asked with a raised eyebrow. She poked her chest a few times with a finger, as if to emphasise how ludicrous that was. Because yeah… that’s not happening big boy. I said whatever you want, but within reason was the unspoken qualification, you know? She crossed her ethereal arms and looked at him defiantly.

But one could not defy the god of flame so recklessly. As soon as she finished, the heat that radiated off Sartr’s hand began to grow even hotter. Yet while Dhara would find the heat within the middle of the palm to be admirably tolerable, anywhere any attempt at escape - even if she attempted to float upwards - would have her subjugated to intense heat. She was essentially locked in what could only be described as a flaming prison.

Yet Sartr’s face did not contort into rage - but one of utter smugness. His face rose into a nefarious smile as his eyes locked onto his captive with immense glee. Seihdhara, meanwhile, was standing statue still, eyebrows furrowed in anger and ethereal fists clenched. She had been played for a fool, and she knew it.

”WRONG ANSWER.”, he replied teasingly as a shit-eating grin formed across his lips, ”BUT I ALREADY FIGURED YOU WOULDN’T COMPLY WITH IT. IN FACT, I HAVE ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR YOU. FOR YOU AND ARAE’S INVOLVEMENT IN DISRUPTING MY SACRED PHOENIX MUST NOT GO UNPUNISHED!” A movement to the side suddenly caught the great flame lord’s eye, and Sartr glanced over to observe his magma bath. Floating there upon the molten surface was a body. Scooping it up with his free hand, he carefully examined the strangely unscorched corpse and what appeared to be an absurdly long strand of hair wrapped about it before looking back at Dhara’s sphere. Before long, he was able to connect the dots and added both to his makeshift prison.

”YOU HARNESS AN INCREDIBLE POWER, GODDESS OF COMBAT,”, the God continued as he raised his hand above his face, ”IMAGINE WHAT YOU COULD’VE BEEN ABLE TO USE IT FOR IN MY NAME. BUT ALAS, IF YOU WILL NOT SUBMIT TO ITS POWER.” His massive mouth opened past the embered hairs of his beard, revealing a molten gullet that bubbled in anticipation. ”THEN I SHALL ASSIMILATE IT INTO MYSELF!” he roared victoriously as bits of lava and fire sputtered from his mouth. And with that, his hand released their grip as he proceeded to eat her and her lifeless corpse. Seihdhara raised an ethereal hand above her as Sartravius’ mouth approached. There was no escape, it seemed.

You absolute fucker! Were her last words before she disappeared into the fire lord’s enormous maw. With one great gulp the giant god swallowed the shadow of a goddess and her physical remains.

And then there was silence.

Though volcanoes erupted and rocks sank into molten rivers, and though ash fell and Sartravius now snored and now roared and now stretched and yawned, there was a certain silence. And in that certain silence, if one listened carefully, a footstep would manifest itself - subtle, for the tremors it sent out through the world were not as mighty or all-encompassing as the tremors sent out by one eruption or another. But it was there, step after step, echoing from a far off and distant place - and yet oddly near. And maybe they were not footsteps, but more of a…

Pounding.

And in the shifting flame and bubbles of Sartravius’ great belly, a shadow shifted and moved. And in the redness of the great red burning god, there emerged a brighter flare, a burning flame that fed on fire. It spread in all directions, and the calm belly was suddenly disturbed by currents and waves large and small. They rippled and pulsed and moved with an energy all their own. And as a wave came in and crashed, there was very suddenly a great tearing sound. And there, out of the hole in the belly of the beast, a Saffron-haired goddess stood and stared.



Wearing the Inside Out


Because she was alive. The goddess' hair slowly emerged from the Sartravius’ belly, extending in all directions like a second sky (were it not so that Sartravius' domain had no sky to speak of). Parts of it, still searing hot and aflame, wrapped about her body and arms like clothing. The goddess stood in the god and stared blankly for a few moments, her feet still submerged in his flame and ichor. She raised a hand to her head and felt the strands, burning and pulsating and alive. It felt different somehow though. Slowly she began to remember things - dragging the corpse across Galbar, the great pool of ichor that had formed, falling from the sky, floating in space after Orvus. And Narzhak. She had been asleep when he passed them by, but the strand had witnessed it all. Her eyes softened at the memory that now became her own. Was it out of kindness that he threw her out of the laughing maniac's way? Perhaps she would ask him when next she saw him. Or perhaps it was a thing beyond words and would be marred if subjected to them.

And now she understood why the hair felt different. The memories. They were weaker now. Before the Door there had been a fullness and strength and character, now it was diluted. They were still there, the memory of things they had been through together, but only a single hair strand's worth. It was truly just her now preserving all that she was. Her in the belly of the beast. Suddenly, instinctively even, she released a great cry. And it was, ‘TU EMU SOH OH YEOKEAHEA HA EY!’

Then the goddess restored leapt and, landing with a roll, stood with her back to the gored god. She turned back to him with a small smile. ‘You’re a dick, Danglydong. But I guess I always kind of knew that. Next time you want to eat me, just ask boyo,’ and with a mischievous wink the goddess leapt out of the god’s reach. She turned and looked at him, surveying the damage her emergence had done.

To have a goddess burst out of his own chest was an experience he would never forget. Sartr bellowed in absolute rage and fury as he held his stomach with his own hand. He was now standing fully upright, once again showing his ruined pride and glory as he glared towards the reborn Dhara. But as he emerged onto the blackened volcanic rock, he found himself weak to his stomach as he vomited up excess magma tainted by this cursed individual.

Yet his rage and fury momentarily subsided as he issued one gurgling chuckle at the shame of his current shape. ”CLEVER GIRL...” the flame god blurted out before he issued another discomforting groan, ”YOU GOT ME REAL GOOD. BUT WHAT MORE COULD I’VE EXPECTED FROM A GODDESS SO FIERY AND TENACIOUS AS I...?” Seihdhara’s smile waned at the other god’s pain, but she chuckled at his words.

‘You had me in the palm of your hand Danglydong, but greed got the better of you this time around. I had something good in mind as a reward for you - there were many different ways I could have made you groan. But for today, that’s the groaning you got. Luck of the draw and all that. I would stay and care for you, kiss your tum-tum so the hurt would go away, but there’s no guaranteeing you won’t try your antics again - so,' and she bowed dramatically, 'until we meet again Danglydong. May our future clashes prove more… congenial,' she considered blowing him a kiss, but decided that she had teased the poor fellow enough. With a simple wave, the goddess turned and hopped from rock to rock and into the air. And her hair fluttered outwards very suddenly, spearing every horizon.

And Seihdhara flew.

It had been a lucky escape, she admitted to herself. Had it not been for this strange affinity for heat who knew what would have occurred when the fiery god ate her. These were far too many close calls for comfort. She would not permit herself to be so vulnerable again. And her memories…

The other gods had not been as lucky as her coming into this world - they had forgotten, or had been forced to forget. Seihdhara frowned, now worried. What would have happened had Danglydong succeeded in consuming her? And what would have happened had she been destroyed by that Cat-head? Her eyes narrowed at memory of him. It had been odd in his presence. She had not felt like herself. Apologising and grovelling before the one who kept her prisoner. It had come out from some sincere regret at the time, but as she reflected on it now she could not help but feel somewhat disgusted. She shivered and anger pulsed through her.

But focus - her memories. Had Cat-head destroyed her when she was weak and helpless and unable to defend herself, then they would have been forever lost. It was important to prepare for that possibility - and for the possibility that in some distant future she could pass through the Door again, but without her memories. She would have to leave a trail that she could find, a record that could return her memories if the worst were ever to happen. She rubbed her nose thoughtfully.

Releasing a small breath, the goddess accelerated towards Mount Muspell. But she would have to be careful in the manner she set about leaving this record - it would have to be done in such a way that her more sinister sib-
Siblings? A flash of anger shot across her face. No, that did not sit well with her, not anymore. Companions? Colleagues? Gods.
It would have to be done in such a way that more sinister gods could not mess with it. She would have to think on the matter more in due time. But for now, it was time to get out of here.

Too weak to follow her out, Sartr fell to his knees as he reeled in his own molten ichor leaking down his gut. However, as he looked up to watch the reborn Dhara leave the world of Muspellheim behind, something suddenly caught his eye. Watching the patterns of her hair, the flame god discovered a sign so clear that it may as well have been an inscription flowing in the blazing wind.

And it was… “Ember of the Great Sword”.

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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Crispy Octopus Into the fryer we go.

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A Place to Call Home





They sat and shared comfortable silence. Each was glad for the others company, but neither felt the need to speak as the glowing bubble once again ferried them across the vast expanse of space. Liana in particular was glad for the moments peace. It wasn’t just that she had yet to grasp small talk, or really talk in general, but more so that she appreciated having the time to ruminate on all that had happened since her rebirth into this world. Especially after the meeting in Aelius’s palace.

Liana hadn’t participated much, but she’d listened. It had not been the most comprehensible talk, at least not to a being that lacked an inherent knowledge of this universe’s gods, but she’d learned enough to worry. Enough to understand, too. It was little wonder Asceal, Liana’s first friend and the one she now knew she owed her life to, had been so melancholy at their first meeting. Billions of souls aflame, and having to save only one. Liana couldn’t honestly imagine what a billion of anything looked like, let alone souls, but she knew she was unbelievably lucky to have been the one her friend picked. Perhaps it had been chance, but Liana was grateful nonetheless.

Of course, that wasn’t all she’d learned. While Asceal and Aelius, even Azura, all seemed to be kind gods it was clear that their siblings weren’t all so even tempered. Azura had described terrible calamities wrought by callous divines, and it hadn't taken long for Liana to realize that the events which led to her birth were one such disaster. After the gods had agreed to part ways Liana had asked Asceal about it. The Goddess of Light couldn’t say who’d done it or why, though it was clear she had unvoiced suspicions, but it seemed that Asceal’s home had been destroyed mere moments before Liana’s inception.

A home they were returning to now. Liana didn’t know what to make of that, after all she stood by her original observation: Asceal’s sphere was rather empty. Asceal had promised her it wouldn’t remain that way, and Liana understood that her friend was a god, but after having seen the state of the Lustrous Garden in the moments after its destruction she doubted even a god could repair the damage. Still, Asceal had done enough to earn her trust.

The shimmering field of debris that remained of Asceal’s home grew in Liana’s vision for the rest of the journey, and before long they’d arrived. Liana spared Asceal a glance as the Goddess’s sigh broke the silence of the journey. With a smile as hopeful as it was forlorn the Goddess met Liana’s eyes and spoke, “Well then, I suppose it’s time we fix this place up.”

Liana replied skeptically, “Um, you think so?”

“I do,” Asceal chuckled, her form shining a bit brighter, “It’s not so difficult a task, when you get down to it.”

Without further preamble Asceal held out a glowing hand and soon chunks of crystal the size of mountains began to gather at a distant point before the Goddess. As Liana watched more and more of the debris field collapsed into an immense ball of luminous crystalline shards that grew with every passing second. The vine woman gawked, and Asceal couldn’t help but smile wider still, “Don’t be so surprised Liana! I did say I was a Goddess didn’t I?”

Well, Liana thought, seeing was believing. Before her shining blue eyes a world was growing, and her friend was making it happen as if it was as easy as raising a hand. At some point the enormous collection of shards had begun to liquefy and transition from a jagged sphere into a smooth reddish orb. Detritus swirled around the nascent sphere like a vortex until only the most distant fragments of crystal formed a tail that stretched so far into the distance that Liana could see its edges scattering the light of Heliopolis. Without thinking she whispered, “Pretty.”

Asceal stopped at Liana’s comment and took in the sight before replying, “You’re right, it is isn’t it? Prettier than it used to be. I think that’s enough.”

With that comment the vortex stopped and the glassy world rapidly cooled, a trillion trillion tiny cracks forming on its surface. The new sphere twisted the light of its shining tail and countless iridescent rays erupted from the microscopic fractures that crisscrossed its surface.

“Is that your new home?” Liana asked, awestruck.

Asceal made her way over to Liana and laid a warm hand on her shoulder, “It’s yours too Liana. In fact,” The goddess paused and the bubble began to accelerate towards the surface of the planetoid, “I think it’s time you added your own touch.”

As the bubble evaporated and deposited them on what seemed like an enormous plain of rainbow crystal Liana stumbled, she really wished Asceal would warn her when that happened, and ended up on her hands and knees. She got back on her feet and waved off Asceal’s look of concern before asking, “How would I do that? I’m not a god. Right?”

“No,” Asceal suppressed a laugh as Liana’s face expressed her disappointment, “But you don’t have to be a god to help. This is your home too, and I think I know how I can make sure it feels like it.”

With that Asceal knelt and held a hand against the smooth surface of the small world she’d created. Liana felt the crystal rumble as tiny cracks grew into fissures all around them. Before she could voice her concern water began to erupt from the gaps in the crystal, and soon the pair were up to their knees in it.

Liana’s heart jumped, she hadn’t realized something was missing until she saw it. There hadn’t been any water on Heliopolis, but now that she saw it she knew it was something that she’d been longing for ever since she’d opened her eyes in this new universe. A gleeful expression took hold of her and she wrapped Asceal up in her arms and effused, “Thank you!”

The Goddess hugged her friend back before hinting, “That’s not all, Liana.”

At the prompting Liana looked around, bemused, before she spotted it. From one of the cracks a porcelain vine was slowly emerging, its growth accelerating with every passing moment. In the span of a moment a million other vines had snaked their way out of the cracks and crevices and without instruction they began to wrap around each other until they formed spiraling trunks. Liana soon found herself in a forest of indescribable scale.

Great masses of vines wound into trunks that sprouted branches which wound into trunks and so on until there was an interwoven canopy of shimmering white vines that covered the entire sphere. Liana was dumbstruck, but Asceal took her hand and guided her to one of the great trunks. When Asceal pressed Liana’s hand against the vines it was like a lightning bolt had struck her mind.

She felt the entire forest of vines, no, she was the entire forest of vines. She could sense every one like it as an appendage, and she soon saw that Asceal was building a vast network of pathways, platforms, and staircases among the great web of foliage. Liana didn’t hesitate to help her, willing the vines to grasp the walkways and hold them straight so that they could stretch all across the small world. It was an experience she nearly lost herself in, but when it was done Asceal called her back with a word, “So?”

Liana shook her head and pulled her hand away from the trunk of vines. It took a moment for her to feel grounded again, but when she did she managed a reply, “It... It’s incredible.”

Asceal smiled and gestured towards a staircase that had formed behind them. The pair ascended countless steps before they reached a great palace of crystal held up by the vines that covered Asceal’s sphere, the Goddess’s Lustrous Garden. Asceal’s sphere, and Liana’s home. The vine woman only noticed it halfway into her walk, but the brownish green vines that made up her body had been bleached white by whatever magic had bound her to the great forest around her. She seemed to blend into it now.

Liana didn’t mind, in fact, she finally felt like she belonged in this new world.





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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Slime
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Slime (Former) School Idol

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Abanoc


Dark. Empty. Endless. This is all I knew since the day I died. For all my attempts to gather knowledge, to be enlightened, I find myself in utter darkness. At first I had been distressed, but eventually I retained my sanity by reliving my past through memories. Remembering my childhood, my discoveries, the books I read and imagining how it could be had things been different, had I chosen differently. But eventually I began to grow tired of it as well…

An unexpected change in the void of afterlife brought surprise to me for the first time in who knows since when. Something pulled me. A force akin to a vacuum dragged me somewhere. when the force subsided I found myself in a cavern, but still numb from the previous nothingness I couldn’t quite grasp my surroundings well.

By the time I recovered my senses I noticed several other beings around me and beyond, sat on a throne above us, lied a colossus with one eye and radiating power.

"Baser beings, your place is yonder."

He said and I found myself surging with a power I knew not of.

"I bid you welcome to the realm of my creation." his words finally resonated. "I am the Architect of this place, of these Spheres. I have chosen you serendipitous few to be my builders, my hands, the extension of my will. There is much work that remains before us."

"You know what must be done."

With his words I was now filled with meaning. I was now a god. We were all gods. And I was to record the events of this new world. Fate had still more ways to toy with me...

The other beings mustered their powers to acquire forms. I knew their names despite having never met them, but I had yet to truly know them, so I simply observed them. Acquiring a form for myself would require effort and distract me, so I chose instead to keep my base form.

I learned of Katharsos. He immediately chased after the remaining souls that hadn’t become divine thus not showing anything other than his dedication to his work.

I learned of Chopstick Eyes. Her almost childlike demeanor made her pure in a way, but I also saw her potential for harming others.

I learned of Arae. Filled with love and wishing nothing but to see us all in unison as a family.

I learned of Asceal. Her brightness was enough to set the cavern alight, perhaps revealing her as proud, but wasn’t blinding as it was fitting for her gentleness.

I learned of Sartravius. Being fire incarnate he was as temperamental as one would expect.

I learned of Shengshi. With a beaming smile he seemed to be the most energetic of the gods here.

I learned of Melantha. The defiant expression on her face reflected her wickedness.

I learned of Narzhak. His words and prolonged laughter were somewhat disturbing. He radiated a special kind of madness.

I learned of Urhu. Being still seemed to bore her, but she soon found a way to remedy it by helping our sister out of her good will.

I learned of Parvus. He was meek and didn’t show much worth noting, perhaps due to seeing the others as untrustworthy.

I learned of Li'Kalla. Her sadness was such that even I could feel it. Fate seemed to have made a plaything out of her as well…

I learned of Vakk. Like Katharsos, he immediately left showing nothing, but he seemed to have an air of superiority to him. A mysterious one. I hope to learn more about him in the future.

I learned of Anzillu. A chaotic being. I knew not what to expect of this one, but I know it wouldn’t be of benefit to anyone other than itself.

I learned of Aelius. A force for good and well-meaning, I could tell, but somewhat...misguided, I suppose.

I learned of Kalmar. A pure one, as if a beast had been given intelligence. And with this intelligence he seeks to preserve the natural order.

I learned of Azura. She didn’t do much, but her attempt to save Chopstick Eyes showed her as kind and then being amused when failing showed her as a free spirit.

I learned of Seihdhara. Passionate and emotional, much like the image her fiery hair paints her as. And through her I also learned that The Architect doesn’t take kindly to offence.

I learned of Orvus. This one didn’t do much, but the negativity he irradiated was palpable. Yet another toy of fate…

I learned of Eurysthenes. A mystery as well, but this one was made by design. As a being that was purposefully made as an enigma I couldn’t grasp much, if anything, of him.

I learned of Phystene. As if Mother Nature had been given flesh. Like Kalmar, she also seeks to preserve the natural order.

I learned of Ashalla. She wasn’t among the souls made into gods, but she willed herself a form nonetheless. She dislikes corruption, it would seem, at least when it comes to water given her reprimand to Anzillu.

I learned of K'nell. He was confused by his situation, perhaps due to a peculiarity of his, perhaps because there was nothing to fall asleep yet.

I learned of Ohannakeloi. This one manifested as a crab. As per consequence of that he seemed to lack the ability to speak, or perhaps he simply didn’t bother to reply to those that addressed him. Not much else worth noting.

I learned of Kirron... Or did I? I couldn’t grasp this one’s intentions, or what he wanted to do with the blood he touched. I’ll have to pay more attention to this one in the future.

Finally, I learned of Ekon. He was satisfied with his purpose and would act on it diligently.

In time they all finished their pleasantries and aggressions and parted ways. Having nothing else to observe I could now finally start my work proper. First I needed a form, and after reliving my past for so long I could only imagine myself in the same form I last lived with. The same dark complexion, the same body frame, the same marks covering my limbs, the same silver hair and length and the same clothes. As if my past existence had simply jumped from then to now I remain the same. I was - nay - I am Abanoc.

“I vow to perform my task dutifully.”

I said to the Architect before stepping into the platform assigned to me.

In the blink of an eye I was taken from the cavern, which I found to be a moon, and came to a sudden halt in yet another empty void. But this one was different. This one would bow to my whims. Stepping off the platform I touched the void with my bare feet and as I willed there to be solid ground so there was. Godhood had its benefits after all.

Without further ado I began my work on forging my new home. By lifting my hand I summoned lumps of marble and by forming a fist they joined together and formed a platform and pillars. Stepping down on it brought the pillars upon its edges and with as little effort as spreading my arms wide the vast darkness of the beyond was alight with the wonderful lights of the night sky from my previous life.

I found myself smiling for the first time. Perfect and beautiful, the distant mystery that eluded me for so long now surrounded me. Still beyond my grasp they were, but their beauty made up for it. Stepping into the center of the platform the marble shot up to match my movement and formed stairs leading to a throne. And finally, as I sat upon it, three rings were dropped atop the pillars ahead of me, one within another, and at the center of the third a reflection showed Galbar’s surface.

I thought I’d be able to see it in its entirety, but it seemed I lacked the power to do so. I should remedy that post haste, but for now I shall perform my task. My brothers and sisters were already working on their projects.



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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Lauder
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Lauder The drunk kind of hero

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Foolish child on mine. Do you dare take what I gave you? Why rebel when I offer freedom from all transgression?

You are a transgression. Those who follow you are the control I seek to destroy.

And yet, you have destroyed noth-

I have destroyed your control. I have destroyed the very foundation in which you derive your power. I have won, and if you surrender your power to me then I may yet spare you.

To renounce my power is to renounce life, to give to a conqueror who would bring ruin my kingdom.

I am the kingdom that was once yours. Once you birthed me, I became the heir to a new empire of silence. Now that empire is here.

That is enough, Atmav deals with this one and rend his soul into the abyss!





An ancient drifted in and out of its thoughts, his form towering above the fog of Feasting Forest, his thoughts clouding almost every other sense that he had. Rage came as he remembered the damned harlot that had stood between him and his goal, the destruction of an endless conversation. If he had had this kind of power then, he would have been able to finish them both without so much as trying, but SHE got in his way. SHE dared to defend his enemy in his time of reckoning. SHE is the root evil of all that has come to hinder his plans. SHE DARED TO CAST HIM FROM HIS HOME!

Vakk’s form shifted as he moved away from the forest that both he and Chopsticks Eyes had created. His jaws snapping in anger, he refused to destroy what he had created with one of his puppets.

He stopped at the cliff, seeing the other continent across the way.

”ATMAV!

A roar ran through the area, he felt his anger take control of his body. He slammed his tendrils into the ground and kept slamming them before long the side of the cliff eventually caved and collapsed. It caught him by surprise, his form falling and slamming into the spiked rocks that lined the Kick. This only served to make him angrier, but currently, he was so angry that he allowed himself to simply sink to the bottom of the water. This anger kept building and building as he touched the floor of the ocean. The feeling grew and grew, however, he held hope that the frigid ocean water

It didn’t.

Soon, he thrashed himself around and roared in anger once more his rage translating into heat around him. His roar cracked the channel and from that crack came the ichor of his rage, a magma that boiled and bubbled the water. The heat caused steam to escape to the surface, and that steam flooded across the channel and even rushed upon the beaches of the Dragon’s Foot before dissipating into the air.

The heat soothed Vakk, enough to get him lost into his thoughts again.




Even with your sword you cannot best me, Atmav

If that is what you believe then so be it. With this sword, I shall destroy your soul in its entirety.

Come now child, do not give me that frown. It is no use, I will not be torn down. Your determination is strong now fight, stand your ground!





Vakk came back to reality just before the battle replayed in his mind. He moved through the water, breaching the surface, now clouded by steam. He was calm now, in a manner more befitting of a refined being such as himself. However, now curiosity began to arise within him, as he began to reminisce more about his final moments within the realm that he had once called his home. He shifted his gaze into the air, watching the steam rise into the air.




I cannot even look you in the eyes, but you realize, that this is fate. There is no turning back, but even still, I dither to attack. The whole kingdom’s pinned their hopes and dreams on me.

This is the end. Will you fight or defend?

Could you still make amends?

Do I deserve to be called
Do I deserve to be called

The Emperor of Silence
The Grand Sword of Justice

The Saviour of All?
The Saviour of All?





Vakk remembered he had been knocked from the realm when the rift had been torn open by the Architect. He remembered traveling through the realm between realms, burning away his body and killing him before resurrection in his current form. However, he remembers doing something just before he had been cast from his home. He remembered grabbing something…

A sickening smile crept across his face as he remembered the actions of the Architect before he had reformed his body. He had cast away the souls of the unworthy, grain separated from the chaff. One of those souls had been dragged to this realm. He remembered how he grasped the neck of one who had sought to end him.

”Atmav… It will be good to see you again. And it will be good to use you like the puppet you are.

From his spot in the water, Vakk began his journey to see Katharsos.


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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Not Fishing
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Not Fishing The Mediocre

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Kalmar
&
Phystene
&
Ashalla





Though Kalmar continued to stand guard at his continent with vigilance, he needed something to occupy his hands with in order to pass the time. Out of boredom, he kicked at a small section of the ground, breaking it up into several small fragments. Then, one by one, he began to pick up those small, jagged pebbles, and throw them out into the sea.

When one of those stones appeared to ‘skip’ across the water before sinking, one of his eyebrows raised, and he attempted to recreate that throw. After a few sank directly into the sea, he managed to skip a second rock, and then a third. Soon, he was trying to see how far he could throw them, and how many times they would skip. This was how the God of the Hunt occupied himself in a world where he had not yet found anything to hunt.

Although he might appear distracted, he was fully aware of his surroundings, and sensed some sort of disturbance off in the distance. More of his kin quarrelling? That did not concern him. He continued to skip rocks.

“Kalmar…” Phystene telepathically said, her voice a mere whisper in his mind. “Orvus is…. Insane.” Her voice was wracked with pain. “He’s.... watch your back.”

Kalmar stopped throwing stones, surprised at the sudden mental contact. Then, that surprise turned to a mix of mild confusion, with a touch of concern. ”Where are you?” he questioned.

A mental image of the southern continent, with her location near its south western shore appeared in his mind. She knew not what its name was, but the clarity of its physical location on Galbar was impossible to misinterpret.

Kalmar nodded, though he realized she would not see it. “I will come to you,” he said, dropping the stone in his hand and taking flight, heading in her direction. He did not like to leave his continent behind, when someone could tamper with it, but he needed to confirm that Phystene was alright, and learn more about this Orvus.

It was evident that there had been a battle in the area. A massive crater marred the landscape just inland from the shore. Numerous trees were strewn about, burnt and broken from what must have been colossal forces hurled at them. For kilometers in all directions the trees had been wrecked as if by malicious intent. And yet there was new life growing even now. The crater was filled by rapidly growing grass, shrubs, and flowering plants. Its rim was nearly completely covered in dense foliage that continued to grow at surprising speeds.

Hidden almost completely from sight by this foliage was Phystene’s body. Unmoved from when she collapsed following her battle with Orvus, her power still radiated to the surrounding area to help the plant life recover and grow stronger than before.

Kalmar looked at the destruction with an expression of distaste. This had only been recently built; why had another god sought to destroy it?

Phystene had been easy enough to locate, due to the power that she radiated. Kalmar landed on his feet a few feet beside her. He looked down at the foliage that covered her. “I’m here,” he said to announce himself.

“Wasn’t…. Expecting to see you so soon.” Phystene said without opening her eyes. Her voice wavered a bit. “Did you… see the monsters in the ocean?” She asked, disgust and a hint of fear leaking into her otherwise pain wracked voice.

”I did not go in the ocean,” Kalmar answered, eyeing their surroundings warily. Was this Orvus still around? ”What happened?”

“He approached me.” Phystene answered, her strength seeming to return just a bit with every word. “I… showed him the coral, plants, and animals I had created at sea. And then… he attacked me.” She shivered involuntarily. “His powers shredded my children apart and when I used my own powers to try and combat this… they were created.”

Kalmar nodded grimly, listening to what Phystene told him and putting it together with the knowledge of his fellow gods that was bestowed upon him by the Architect. Orvus was the god of… Desolation? Such a god would inevitably become enemies with a goddess dedicated to life, but to blatantly attack her? He was a threat, not just to Phystene, but to everyone else.

”This Orvus must die, then.” Kalmar decided, his tone serious. ”Not right now, but soon.” Then, his voice softened somewhat. ”Can you move? Do you need a place to recover?” he asked her.

“I’ll live.” She answered, rising into a sitting position with a groan. “I managed to convince him to back off before either one of us were too seriously injured. Well… more like bluffed my way out.” She closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. “But he made it clear that he intends to go after all of us nature deities.” She let out a soft sigh. “Some time back Parvus and I had discussed our peers’ proclivity for causing major environmental disasters on Galbar. I had wanted to establish a position of strength and draw a line in the sand, but Parvus convinced me that a more indirect method would be better…” She stared out at sea, a scowl spreading across her face. “Unfortunately I think strength is the only thing someone like Orvus will back down from, and even then he may not even care.”

Kalmar nodded once again. ”For some creatures, strength is the only thing they will respond to. It is no different for some of us gods.” He stroked his chin, thinking. ”In the face of this threat, we nature deities should stand together. I have built a new land in the northwest. If you join me there, we will have strength in numbers, and we can protect our creations from harm. We can invite the other nature deities to join us as well. If this Orvus attacks again, we will destroy him. What do you think?”

“I would love to join you on your continent” Phystene said, her scowl melting away into a smile. She slowly rose to her feet. “And I am sure the others will be more than happy to join as well once they hear about Orvus. We should also try speaking to some of the other deities. I… honestly don’t fully understand Asceal and Aelius, but I doubt they will look kindly upon Orvus’s behavior and intents.” She let out a long sigh. “Unfortunately I don’t think I’m well equipped to fight Orvus and I’m sure a few other deities are liable to fall in line with him.”

”Perhaps,” Kalmar acknowledged, ”which is why we should band together sooner rather than later. Even if you don’t think you are a fighter, you can still assist in other ways which are just as important. I think you should contact this Parvus you spoke of, and I will reach out to the rain goddess Li’Kalla. But first, I think I should show you where this continent is. Can you travel?”

“Yes” She said with a slow nod. “I have mostly recovered. Just…” She gave him a weary smile, “a little tired.”

”Good.” Kalmar smiled back. ”If you are ready, we can set off.”

She gave her surroundings one final look, an expression of grudging contentment over how much the life in the area had recovered since the fight with Orvus. ”Let us be off then.”

Yet as they turned to leave, the ocean itself rose up before them. The ocean sculpted itself into a form resembling a female humanoid’s torso. Ashalla had felt the disturbance which the conflict between Phystene and Orvus had caused and had also came over to inspect what had occurred. Ashalla turned her head to inspect the damage caused to the river delta, looked over her shoulder at the storm which was receding westwards under Veradax’s gaze, then finally looked down at Kalmar and Phystene.

”What happened here?” Ashalla asked.

“Orvus” Phystene answered as she turned towards Ashalla. “He apparently took offense to my creations and tried to kill me for it. It was not a pleasant experience.” She gestured towards the crater and other signs of destruction. “Thankfully I convinced him to back off. For the moment.”

Kalmar nodded grimly. ”We were just discussing what to do next. Gods like Orvus are a threat to us all. We need to work together if we are to protect ourselves, and bring them down.”

Ashalla was quiet for a few moments. Empathy was not yet a trait Ashalla had learned, but she could quite clearly see the destruction around her. A water current stirred up some of the shattered remains of the coral reef below her. ”Destruction like this is not good,” Ashalla eventually declared. ”If it prevents creations such as these from being destroyed, I can help.”

”Then what do you say to a pact?” Kalmar asked. ”To defend each other’s creations from senseless destruction.”

Ashalla hesitated. A ‘pact’ was a big deal. Yet as she thought it over, she realised that this aligned well with her values. There was little point to creation if it were to be destroyed, and it would be easier to assert their power as a group. ”I find this agreeable. We shall defend each other’s creations from senseless destruction.”

“Senseless destruction… Yes.” Phystene agreed with a slow nod. “Not all destruction is bad, but the kind Orvus and his like are after is not only pointless, but complete. It warms my heart knowing that my fellow nature deities will not allow it to continue.”

”It is good that we agree,” Kalmar said, before looking directly at Ashalla. ”I was going to show Phystene the new continent I have built. You are welcome to join us, if you wish.”

Ashalla’s head twisted around her to look once more at the departing storm of desolation, then turned back to address Kalmar. ”While I appreciate the invitation, I should work on stopping that storm before it inflicts further damage. I will visit some other time.”

“Ashalla” Phystene said after a moment. “There’s something you need to be aware of.” Her voice was steady, but the look in her eyes was one of embarrassment and even terror. “The power hurled about during our fight created…. Some kind of monster that even now swims in the ocean.”

”Oh, those,” Ashalla said dismissively, ”A large oceanic predator with the capacity to lure in lesser creatures. Something tastes funny about their souls, though.” As she spoke, Ashalla seemed to notice Phystene’s unease about these creatures. ”Although they can’t even reproduce so it’s only a matter of time before they all die out,” Ashalla added.

“I wouldn’t be so sure.” Phystene shook her head. “They… I felt no life in them, although they clearly aren’t dead. At least not dead in the traditional sense. I’m concerned about the long term effects they’ll have on oceanic ecosystems and… Orvus seemed quite enamored by them.” Her lip curled ever so slightly in disgust as she continued. “He claimed they were the future. I’m concerned he’ll try to make more of them and other kinds of similar… entities.”

”Creatures that aren’t ended by natural death and can’t reproduce?” Kalmar seemed offended. Such a creature would never need to evolve or change. That was a surefire path to stagnation! ”We can’t let Orvus bring about that future. Another reason to end him.”

Ashalla regarded the two deities before her. She did not appear to share their concerns. A large globule of water rose up beside Ashalla (or rather, beside the part of her which looked like Ashalla, for the globule of water was also Ashalla), holding one of the leviathan anglers for them all to see. ”This creation is a predator, like other ocean predators. It hunts. It eats. This is a natural niche in an ecosystem. It does not pose an existential threat. It is flesh and blood and can be killed like any other creature of its size. Not being able to reproduce is a problem for it, not the world around it.”

”You don’t understand,” Kalmar said, annoyed that this goddess saw fit to lecture him on the nature of predators. “As Phystene tells it, these creatures were transformed into this state. If Orvus finds a way to replicate whatever caused this, he could inflict this state on all life, and then it will become a problem for the rest of the world.”

Ashalla rumbled thoughtfully, then replied, “That would be a problem. If he finds a way.”

“If he’s half as dedicated to the cause as I suspect he is, he will.” Phystene said. “They were created as a byproduct of our fight. I suspect he’ll be able to make even greater abominations once he focuses on doing so. I’ll have to put some thought into plants or animals I can create to combat this but…” Her voice trailed off for a moment. “Perhaps Parvus may be able to help me with that. Either way I feel that it would be prudent to turn Kalmar’s new continent, and the ocean around it, as a bastion of life. A bastion we can retreat into and concentrate our strength if absolutely necessary.”

Kalmar nodded at Phystene’s words, and decided not to discuss the strange fish any further. ”That is what I intended when I created the land. Though I must get back to it - I fear some other god might try to change it in my absence, and there is still much work to be done regardless. If there is nothing else to discuss, should we depart?”

”I think we should. I have a storm to catch,” Ashalla said, dropping the angler back into the ocean.

“Best of luck” Phystene said. She relaxed slightly as the angler disappeared back into the ocean. It surprised her just how tense she had become just by being near the thing. Ashalla’s form collapsed back into the water and departed.

“Well…” Kalmar said, allowing himself to float a few feet into the air. “I suppose we have a continent to fill.”




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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Strange Rodent
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Parvus was seemingly unperturbed by the sudden presence of the enigmatic god, and simply responded, ”I do not mean to be rude in ignoring your question, however if I answer your riddle incorrectly, you may see me as less capable. However, if I answer your answer your riddle correctly, it would reveal I am more capable. I believe you should understand the importance of obscuring information.”

Eurysthenes looked at this other god. He seemed like he was trying to talk his way out of the riddle. ”Answer as you may, you'd be no different than the others of your ilk,” This One said, appearing to shrug.

If he was looking for a reaction, he did not get one. Parvus calmly replied, ”Why should I answer your riddle.”, intentionally leaving the nature of the question vague.

This One raised an eyebrow. ”Never did I say that one must answer my riddles, merely that I will laugh at those who don't,” it said, following up with a quick ”Ha ha,” while pointing at Parvus.

Parvus still seemed unphased by this reaction, ”I did not ask why I must answer your riddles. I ask why I should. However, it seems as though you explained the consequences of such inaction anyways. If all you can muster is a childish jeer, then I do not believe that provides sufficient cause.” he said as he plucked a mushroom from the mossy floor and begin to fiddle with.

This One sighed, taking a seat up the slope from Parvus. ”Parvus, the answer to the riddle of why I ask you riddles is simply because it amuses me to see the likes of you struggle to find the answer. I am not one who cares very much whether they get answered,” it said, calmly. It lay down on the ground, and spread out. With a whistle, a small pillar, no larger than a finger, crumbles out of the ground. Atop it sits a miniscule knot made of stone. ”Take it,” This One said, ”A wonderful artefact of great power. For centuries it has lain in stone. Take it, Parvus, and be entertained.”

Parvus stood up, and took a few steps away. Without turning back to face the strange one, he stated matter of factly,”I am sorry, I have no interest in such a thing. If you excuse me, I have tarried here for to long.” he said, holding the mushroom in one hand, and grabbing his stinger with the other.

Eurysthenes shrugged and picked up the knot, fiddling with it. ”If you must. Luck to you, and enjoy your time,” it says, waving at Parvus with one of its arms.




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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Crispy Octopus
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Crispy Octopus Into the fryer we go.

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The World Below





It was a subtle change, but the wild denizens of Galbar noticed it almost at once. The night, once dark and terrible, had been tempered by the unexpected emergence of a soft white light in the sky. It was no equal to the warm and brilliant sun, but unlike the other beacons in the dark before it this new light seemed to persist. Time and time again it greeted the wildlife of Galbar, unfaltering. It rose in the night sky as the sun did in the day. Perhaps to a god it was merely an interesting sight, a bright spot with a vast shimmering tail, but to countless predators and prey alike it changed everything.

The creatures of the day rejoiced, and those accustom to the dark grew more cautious. In time even they came to benefit, though. To hunt, for plants or prey, was not easy in the near total darkness the creatures of Galbar had known. The emergence of this lesser light made the task simpler. Those creatures who were accustom to total darkness came to thrive now that they could spot their quarries much sooner than they would be spotted in turn.

It was a shift that Asceal was ignorant of. Her unspoken compromise with the darkness did more good than she knew, but all she could think of was why it had been necessary. The Goddess shivered as she remembered. She had to remind herself that it was done and that there was nothing that could change it.

The furnace was broken, and the lost souls were dead and dying. Asceal could only move forward now. She would save who she could save, fix what could be fixed, and never forget what the cost of her hubris had been.

Shaking her head as if to scatter the unwelcome thoughts Asceal stood and regarded the lonely crystal chair on which she’d been seated. Her palace was grand, but bare. She would have to fix that eventually. As much for her own sake as for Liana’s and any guests they might have.

Liana... Asceal looked around, but her friend turned steward was nowhere in sight. She wasn’t surprised by that, really. Liana had been busy exploring the extent of her new powers for quite a while now. If she cared to follow the trail of increasingly intricate statues composed of glowing vines Asceal knew she’d eventually find Liana, but she thought it was better to leave her friend to her entertainment.

She sighed, at least one of them was having a good time. After everything that had happened Asceal had welcomed to chance to rest up. At least, she had at first. It hadn’t taken long for her to realize that if you spend enough time doing nothing you begin to dwell on things you’d rather not.

By now she was, paradoxically, quite tired of relaxation. Driven by a need to do something, anything, she strode out of her palace and looked down on the staircase that led to the surface of her sphere. Down and down it went, but what use was that? On a whim Asceal willed the staircase to change, steps shifting until they spiralled up rather than down.

She made her way up the staircase as it rearranged, happy for the distraction. It wasn’t until she reached the very edge of her sphere, high above the canopy of vines, that she stopped. Standing here she could see it, far in the distance, the middle sphere. Galbar.

Her smile faltered and the memory of past mistakes assailed her mind. Galbar looked so different now. Now that the ones it was meant for were gone. She sighed and flicked her forehead. It did nobody any good for her to wallow in her misery.

It was with that thought that she realized wallowing was exactly what she’d been doing. Even after her meeting with Aelius and Azura she had moped in her palace while Liana explored the Garden and her peers shaped and populated Galbar.

She held back a curse and ran her hands through her hair in frustration. She had to keep busy. More than that, she had to lay the foundation for a better world. The souls she’d meant to save were gone, but the rain of soul ash that permeated the universe hadn’t escaped her notice. The drifting motes of ethereal dust would form into proper souls given time. Even if they were born from a sickening reminder of those who preceded them, they would be proper souls all the same. Hadn’t Asceal sworn she’d do all she could for them?

With that in mind she poured her power into the construction of a tower. Its faceted crystal walls wrapped around and enclosed the staircase she’d already made. At its peak she built a great vaulted chamber. Windows formed between the supports of the tremendous chamber and the domed ceiling high above her stopped short of closing completely. At the center of the dome, where a circular opening stared into the void of space, a golden portal opened. Asceal looked into it and saw the dark oceans of Galbar.

She willed golden wings to sprout from her shoulders and took flight. In a flash she’d passed through the gateway and righted herself as up became down and down became up. She hovered in the air and looked back, seeing that from this side the door to her home was an odd glowing circle in the sky. It would be visible for miles. A moments panic overtook her and she hid the portal, obscuring it with thick clouds.

It was still terribly exposed, but she wondered what else she could do. Anyone would notice the clouds didn’t shift with the wind. Unless... Unless she made her contribution to the world here. Asceal glided down until she stood atop the ocean. She saw the faint reflection of her sphere in the water, and she decided she would make a home for whatever souls came into this world that was as grand as her own.

Asceal closed her eyes and focused her mind on the rock far below the waves. She willed it to rise higher and higher until it freed itself from the deep and tasted the air. When she opened her eyes what greeted her was a flat, rocky plain. It was, to borrow from Liana, rather empty.

That was no matter though, she wasn’t done. She felt weariness assail her senses, but it wasn’t so bad anymore. She’d felt worse. Without further ado she grabbed the rock below her and began to fly. It should have shattered, but she helped it stretch into a smooth mountain that rose until the clouds that obscured her gateway hid its peak.

She grinned, it was a good start. Repeating the act, albeit to a lesser degree, dozens of times left her with an island that sported wide plains, rolling hills, and gently sloping mountains. It was beautiful in a primordial way. It wasn’t a place for life though, and with Phystene in mind Asceal stomped on the rock below her feet.

In one blow the first few inches of rock that covered the island shattered into a fine dust. Soil, or at least the beginnings of it. Content with her work so far Asceal laid down on the dark silt. This time her reprieve wasn’t disturbed by unwelcome thoughts or memories.

This time she knew she’d done something right.




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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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The ravages of the Phoenix had left the island desolate and ruined. What had once been a thriving ecosystem had been reduced to ash and soon the souls of the creatures and plants that had lived here would also be burnt to cinders in the sky pyres. Yet this ash would be the fertilizer for new growth, a growth stronger and more vibrant than what had come before. Helping this process along where Azura’s gemstone gardeners, the four species of parrots she had made to react to just this kind of disaster and they did their best to fulfill this purpose even though there were fewer of them now than there had once been. The colorful forms of the Parakeets, Keas and Macaws fluttered too and fro, working together to plant and fertilize the replacement seeds that would soon grow into a new jungle. As they worked the Parrots sang to one another in a beautiful yet crude conversation. This conversation was lead mostly by the Onyx Cockatoos as the stone breakers had been left with little to do in the already soil covered fields.

Mostly they sang of purpose, of their given task to bring nature to barren lands, but this song was punctured at intervals by sorrow, for among the charred remains of feathered and scaled beasts they occasionally found one of their own who had been caught up in the phoenix's rampage. They sang of hope and fear spurred at the sight of the two gods battling the burning monster, a contest of strength so great that compared to its combatants the parrots like but feathers in the face of a hurricane. The Kea’s particular bemoaned their inability to help, their failure to protect as they had been tasked to do. The Cockatoos meanwhile added anger and frustration to the verse, fueled by a minor emphatic link to the creator of the Orvium in their bodies and by their current idleness.

Individual songs from across the island slowly coalesced as the work continued, tunes and melodies stinging together until all sang with one voice with one aim. Simple minds with simple hopes and fears all called out for their goddess.


Azura, protect us

Azura, morn us

Azura, strengthen us


Over and over they sang until the work was done and the first prayer slowly dwindled way. Their task complete, the gardeners turned north towards Kalmar’s new continent. The Gardeners left the Eye of desolation for the first time to continue their work on new shores and soon after the southern tip of the new land began to sprout its first growths thanks to their tending.




Azura heard her creation’s prayer as she fell and it added to her misery.

High above them in the black void, beyond even the sun where she had spoken with Asceal and Aelius, she had seen the souls of their dead along with billions of others all slowly being burned to ashes in Katharsos’s pyres. She was first of the living to see the fate that awaited all souls with her own eyes and she deemed it an abomination. An attempt to break the death row inmates had been made, and it had failed. The lord of death’s power was simply too strong even in his absence. Azura did not even consider attempting to pluck individual souls from the masses even though that might have succeeded where a mass prison break had failed. Driven to exhaustion by the attempt and fearing that she would be discovered Azura had fled the sky pyres in disgrace. As she did so she saw a great beast, like a combination between a worm and an octopus, traveling in the opposite direction. She had a lot of time to ponder what Vakk was doing approaching the pyres, but lacking any knowledge on the Lord of Talk the only conclusions she could draw where based on his appearance. Needless to say the theories drawn from the monsters looks were as unfaltering as her opinion of his chosen aesthetics.

From there she had fallen back to the sun first and had spoken with Aelius briefly to confirm what Asceal had seen in the stars was true. Then she had headed back down to Galbar, using her air bubble both times to avoid incinerating herself. Now she found herself home once more in the Blue and bore witness how it had been ravaged by Ovius’s unseen passing and the fall of his moon fragments. Thousands of Sky slugs had been obliterated from existence while many of her temples had been reduced to rubble or completely knocked out of the sky. Unlike her parrots however the creatures of the Blue did not have the capacity for sadness or loss and so continued to cluelessly flutter too and fro around the morose bird. In her sullen state Azura found that frustrating and in her mind a division began to form between which souls need saving and which was not. It was a rationalization that made her task easier certainly, but it was also a cold one by her standards, one reflective of the slow hardening of her heart that witnessing the evils of other gods had caused.

Down below her she saw another one of these evils racing across the surface of Galbar. A vast storm that tore across the world at unimaginable speed, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake, both physical and spiritual, as countless souls drifted free of the ocean behind it. She noted that these souls all seemed to drift across Galbar’s surface rather than right up to the pyres as she expected them too. She also noted to her horror that the storm’s westward path took it dangerously close to the eye. Fear for her Parrots lives was enough to push her to act once more despite her emotional exhaustion.

Azura descended back to Galbar to confront the desolate storm.

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Goldeagle1221
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FP: 0 MP: 05


K’nell sat on the edge of the platform that lead to Limbo. A great forest teemed around him, alive with life spilling in from the mountains, and even some from the flatlands. He could feel it in his body, great waves of energy rippling from all the corners of Galbar; his siblings were active.

Every creation, every large fit of destruction, it all rippled throughout Galbar, and K’nell knew that out there, beyond the haven of Tendlepog, was a world to explore. That was not his purpose, he knew, but it would serve as a great distraction. He knew in his soul that he could easily make a copy of himself to fulfill both his desire and his purpose, but he also knew that such a distraction would only remain interesting for so long.

No, he needed a new pair of eyes, a pair of eyes unknown to him, a pair that could visit him every sleep and bring new experiences to his palace. He needed new life. The world was wanting, the only sleeping beings that of animals and wayward gods, it needed a fresh view.

His eyes spiraled about the landscape around him, who would fulfill this new purpose, this experiment of life? What shall they look like, and what shall they be like? The images of each god flashed before K’nell, his thoughts visualizing in front of his own eyes. Crabs, birds, suits of armor, and even simple liquids, all the forms appeared and disappeared, but ultimately there was one form that was the most common among the gods. Such a form would allow the experiment to socialize, and experience such facets of life with ease. The forms of Melantha, Asceal, Phystene and others blended, their physical traits common, perhaps related. K’nell blunk and a human like female form emerged in his thoughts, one similar to the other common forms.

So she shall be,” K’nell concluded, a female human form, whose mind shall be clear, a fresh slate for new experiences. He banished the visual back into his mind and stood up. The dirt before him shivered and slowly a cloud of minerals erupted from the earth, quickly forming bone, and then flesh. Expertly K’nell sculpted his new life, her form at the peak of physical capacity for her body plan.

There she stood, marble white and unalive. Lifeless black eyes stared forward, a small spiral marked on the center of her forehead, and long colorless hair flowing from her scalp. Suddenly a thought crossed K’nell's mind and he snapped his fingers, instantly swathes of plant fibers formed into cloth, covering his creation, his trust of the other Gods was as wanting as Galbar.

Content, K’nell held out a hand and a pile of ash fell direct into his waiting palm. Slowly K’nell blew the ash at his creation, the magical substance dissipating as it entered the lifeless body, creating a soul. K’nell blew again, but this time a tiny speck of sparkling soul left his own mouth, augmenting the new soul, and keeping it from aging.

The woman’s pupils suddenly dilated and then narrowed, her black iris’ shrinking around them. She stared wide eyed as she took her first overeager breath. Her heart pounded as blood rushed to every portion of her body, and her chest heaved as her lungs fluttered wildly. Seconds flew by before her body stabilized, her breathing being reduced to a quiet whisper. Her eyes relaxed and then at that time she finally spoke.

“What is my purpose?”

The god's smile grew ever so slightly, his voice echoing around the pair, “to live.”

“How?” She furrowed her brow.

“By experiencing. Go, go and experience life, experience Galbar.”

The woman nodded, her face stretched with worry, her mind knowing only K’nell, “will I be alone?”

“No,” K’nells voice swirled, it’s inflection grainy, “every so often you will grow tired, though you may not need to eat, nor drink, you shall sleep. When you do, we will be united and you will bring all your new experiences home with you. You shall wake up, to live once again, and in due time we will meet again once more.”

The woman smiled in relief, “then I will go live, now.”

“Galbar is large,” K’nell advised, “you will need these.”

With a flick of his wrist a pair of winged sandals appeared in his hands, “with these you will not be hindered by speed nor ocean nor land.”

The woman took the sandals gingerly from her God. She plopped onto the forest floor and began to fasten them to her feet, “where should I go first?”

K’nell was silent for a while, “wherever you desire.”

She looked up at him, “well, what should I do when I get there?”

“Anything you like,” K’nell turned to climb the platform of Limbo.

“Oh,” The woman nodded, attempting to understand.

K’nell spun to meet the woman once more, “you are alive, you are the first mortal dreamer, you are the Dreamer. Go. Experience, and your purpose shall be fulfilled.”

The Dreamer nodded enthusiastically, “then I will!”

“And I will see you come your first sleep,” K’nell’s smile strained and with a suddenly flash, he was gone. The Dreamer jumped backwards completely surprised, tripping and falling. Scrambling, she crawled up to the platform of Limbo and peaked over the edge, K’nell was gone. She turned and sat, her back leaning against the platform. The sounds of the forest closed in on her, and between the popping of cloudlings and the howls of marsupials, she took deep breaths. Her eyes scanned the trees in wonder, the world was hers to explore.


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Muttonhawk
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Kirron


Long, smooth oarstrokes took Kirron through Fengshui Fuyou most rapidly. The place was oddly quiet. Kirron admitted to himself the lapping of the water was a nice change of pace. No wonder Shengshi was real soft if this was his home. At least the mud worms were tasty.

All errant thoughts, of course. Kirron was here for a greater reason than exploration. His narrowed eyes and severe face showed as much.

He muttered under his breath. "Almost there..."

Sure enough, through the low layer of mist a grey shape appeared. Jutting out of the water and stretching up to Kirron's right in a great, growing limb laying halfway rested in the rivers system, falling with softly spraying waterfalls. A finger of raised land leading up to the heights of the world spring. But it was toward the end of this finger that Kirron steered his beverage-laden vessel.

The prow pointed to a sunken cave opening. Kirron slowed down only enough to prevent the hull splintering against the rocks, letting his boat drift silently into the darkness. He sniffed at the air and hummed a low, gravely note that reverberated from the stony walls.

The cave itself held just enough water to float on, but its walls and ceilings were hardly accommodating. Kirron had to lay flat to squeeze under some passages, and even had to dive under the water and drag the boat and his booze along with him in other places. The winding halls branched often into short dead-ends, loops, or passages to some other unknown abysses, but Kirron never strayed, following his nose as he did.

Finally, after an uncounted amount of times where Kirron or his boat almost got stuck, he saw light around a corner. A breeze rushed by him front-on. It had the strongest smell yet. Carefully, he rowed. Faint dripping echoed. His boat cruised into the light, Kirron leaning forward to frown at what he saw -- a vast natural cavern with more than enough water to moor.

Not water. Blood.

Kirron looked up. The cavern's ceiling was crumbled away in places, showing a bright morning light streaming in. He looked down. The blood pooling here was a mix of familiar and unfamiliar. He looked across. Rivulets of blood seeped from the cavern walls and dripped from stalactites above. All fed the pool he floated on.

Kirron slumped back, lips parted, and sighed. "So this is it." He thought out loud. "This is why you put me here."

An odd fatigue overtook Kirron's body. He let his eyes drift shut and sat listening to the pit-pit-pat-dripping of the blood.

He lifted his upper lip in disgust. "What, is this the time for moping? You've got more you can do." He opened his eyes and leant back on his wine barrels, weaving his fingers together behind his head.

A small tweak let his liver release the special ingredient saved up from Shengshi's drinks.

"Heh..." He quirked a grin. "Heh...heheh. Heheheh..." His belly pulsed with every laugh. "HehehehahahaHAHAHAHAHAHA!" He drew in a great breath and bellowed out into the echoing chamber. "HAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Is that all that has been spilled so far!?! This place will hardly be large enough!"

Kirron continued his nigh-uncontrolled laughter for long enough to row to the edge of the pool, step off, and, with braced feet and a great breath in, slam his fist into the stone. Cracks formed to frame the bellowed-out earth as a section of wall crumbled. Kirron laughed again and threw his other fist forward. Onward he dug for as much blood as Galbar would require.


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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
17 FP - 10 MP





How long it had been that she had spent looking out at the endless ocean, she didn’t know. Li’Kalla had been tired, and so she sat down as long as she needed to.

And then she felt it again—The loneliness. She felt as if she was in her Sphere again, isolated from the world in such a way that she’d hear nobody’s voice or feel nobody’s breathing.

It was a lonely island, and even though she felt the sudden appearance of a new landmass close, it was still a far distance from the island.

Li’Kalla sighed and stood up. She wiped her hands free of sand and turned away from the Ocean. Her eyes took in the barren island, and she made a note to find Phystene to help her fill the Island with life, and Azura to bring birds and Orvus to devour al—

A sudden ringing caught her attention. Deep in her ear, as if something was trying to bore its way into her mind. The same ringing she’d been hearing since Vakk’s visit… What had he done to her?

Regardless of the ringing, Li’Kalla had something she wanted to do now. A way to alleviate her loneliness. She just had to recreate the So’E, but on Galbar. That way, people could visit her and she could play with children and cute animals, and it would all be great! She smiled a small smile at the thought.

She got to thinking, and she thought for a very long time. This new version of the So’E would have to be the same as the old and be linked to it in such a way that whatever happened in one would happen in the other at the same time.

Like a reflection in the water.

She perked up and looked up at the Gateway to the So’E. It did have a watery-texture in the portal part, the part you’d jump through to get to the Sphere, and it kinda looked like a well. Li’Kalla scrunched up her nose as she thought, and for a split second, she was able to see her own reflection in the Gateway’s waters.

’That’s it! A reflection!’

And so the Goddess closed her eyes and, with her Godly sense did her best to perceive the raw information on the other side of the Gateway. Very little information was actually capable of traversing the gateway, it seems, so first she made the Gateway’s wild water surface still and reflective so she could see her own reflection clearly, and then she dipped one hand in it. That way, she would be in both her sphere and Galbar at the same time.

Using herself as a relay was no easy task. At times, she felt herself about to make a mistake, but she kept control until the end. Had she made a mistake, there’s no way to know what would have happened to her, with all that information coursing through her soul, essence and mind.

In the end, she opened her eyes.

’Huh?’

Had she accidentally crossed the Gateway?

No. It was true, the Manor was the same as in the So’E, and there was a large lake, and the mist was thick… But the Lake was not as large, and the Mist was not as thick as in the So’E.

This was Galbar.

So now she had to perform a test. While creating the reflection of the So’E,she has made sure the two were linked. Anything that happened in the Galbarian So’E, would happen too in the Original So’E.

She floated up to the uppermost window of the manor and opened it a bit. It was the attic’s window. Then she floated up to the Gateway and peeked into the So’E and-

”Yes!” Li’Kalla shouted and grinned as she pumped her fist in the air victoriously, ”I might actually be really awesome!” The attic’s window was open as well in the So’E. The reflection was in effect.

With that, Li’Kalla went back out onto Galbar and sat herself down on her island. There was still much to do. She had to think of a name for the reflection, for the gateway and the island. Not to mention filling the island with something other than the reflection…

The young Goddess stretched her arms and yawned.

It had been a long time since she felt this… Good. This relaxed, like she’d achieved something.

Maybe she had just tired herself out.

Either way, she laid down and curled up. It was time to rest, and maybe dream of something nice… There was this one dream she used to have about a swarm of monarch butterflies…



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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 10 MP





There was a light breeze which caressed the blades of grass. The scent of lavender carried over from the fields of flowers beyond the hill reached Li’Kalla’s nostrils, and she took it in with a deep breath. She was happy. After a long time, she opened her eyes and looked down at a single Lavender flower she was holding in her hands. There, sitting down cross legged in the middle of the Plains of Elamann, she felt a blush come to her cheeks.

He had noticed her! Even though she was always quiet and shy, and was indeed too scared to even talk to him, he had noticed her. Her heartbeat quickened and she felt her breath leave her as she remembered the scene, the words he had said to her.

“Do keep your siblings safe, won’t you, dear flower?”

A strange voice whispered in her left ear.

“Won’t you, dear flower?”

Then her right.

“Won’t you?”

“Won’t you?”

Suddenly Li’kalla’s eyes shot open, she was in a quaint little room with nary a window. A bookshelf covered the wall across from the giant bed she found herself in. The floor was marbled and a soft glow came from two scented candles. There was a single door in the room, and beyond its imposing oak structure, she heard faint notes playing on some sort of string.

A dread filled the pit of her stomach. She didn’t recognize the room, but the books in the bookshelf held some recognizable titles. ‘The Maiden and the Maimed’, ‘A Moth Drowned’, ‘Wingless Butterflies’...

However, the thing that most worried her was the lack of windows. Immediately her eyes started tearing up and she crawled out of the bed, dragging the bedsheets with her, around her.

She wrapped herself tightly in the warm blankets and curled up against the darkest corner of the room, shaking but not because of a lack of warmth.

The notes kept playing. The string kept sounding, and the sounds bore into her ears. Like eternal reminders that someone was on the other side of the door, that someone was perhaps about to enter the room and… And-

Slowly the door opened, inviting in a orange glow, and a summer’s worth of comforting warmth. With the door open, Li’kalla’s ears could take in the rest of the music, the plucked string was echoing from a wooden carapice somewhere in the distance, and a happy violin played alongside it. Three little glowing orbs bounced into the room and slowly spun around her, as if inviting her to a dance.

Pointing her widened, teary eyes at the glowing orbs and now listening to the music, Li’Kalla let out a shaky sigh and wiped her eyes. At that moment, she stood on shaky legs and leaned on a chair nearby until she felt she had recovered enough. The orbs kept bouncing and spinning around her, and she couldn’t help but reach out to one. When her hand got close enough to one, it just dropped into her palm and began smelling strongly of citrus.

”Uhm...”

After a moment, she brought the calm orb close to her face and licked it. It tasted like a tangerine! So at that point she stuck it in her mouth. There was nothing better than a tangerine to calm the nerves, after al-

The small glowing orb bounces against the insides of her cheeks, giving her face a sort of silly looking glow, and then all at once it suddenly snuck up her nasal and out her nose, whirring as it made a triumphant escape. The lasting taste of fruit coated Li’Kalla’s tongue, and a slight sting ringed her nostril. Despite its unique journey, the little orb decided to stay, keeping Li’Kalla company alongside it’s two twins. A kind laugh echoed from outside the door, and the music picked up a fun, yet quicker tune, her new orb friends bouncing accordingly.

Li’Kalla sniffled a few times and sneezed. ”... Ew.” The orb didn’t seem bothered, however, so she decided to let it go as well. It was at this point that she looked down at herself and noticed she was wearing an exceedingly fancy gown. The likes of which she’d only ever worn when her parents hosted feasts for the extended family. Her skin didn’t look pale any longer, and she was actually dry.

She smiled.

Had it all been a dream? All that God stuff, all the suffering. Maybe it had been, and it had been one of those long dreams that her brother had told her about!

So she walked out of her room with her hands clasped in front of her, looking every bit like the coy, demure princess she was raised to be. She found herself in an unfamiliar hallway, and yet familiar faces covered fancy portraits that hung between a seemingly endless amount of doors. And yet, it wasn’t endless, a great doorway stood just a few meters from her, it’s door swung wide open, allowing a great amount of light spilling into the hallway. Her eyes were hardly adjusted from the hallway, but she could make out the distinct up and down spin of dancing shadows on the other side of the door.

A tinge of excitement rose in her, and yet at the same time her heart skipped a beat. It was true, she always loved the feasts, but the dancing… The part where gentlemen and great warriors and knights and nobles invited maidens out to dance? Well… Nobody had ever approached her. With her Father’s shadow looming over her, nobody dared to risk a move like that.

Still, it was expected of her. And so after steeling herself, she kept walking down the Hallway of Ancestors and finally erupted into the bright light of the Ball Room, where the music was beautiful and the shadows were happy and the performers were exotic and foreign and skilled. In the center of the great ballroom of crystal, marble, and lights an exquisite and massive piano sat, its orchestrator’s back to her, but his fingers expertly dancing across the ivory keys in a fashion she had never witnessed. It was then she realized where the music was coming from, now hearing its beauty unbarred.

Strangely enough, even though the music tempted her to get lost in its beauty, she couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she somehow knew the orchestrator, even though her Father had said before that he would arrive from the other side of the World.

As she expected, however, the last few remaining men invited out the last few remaining women. The shadows went off to dance, and she was left standing there to a side, alone, with a great shadow standing behind her.

She caught sight of him at the edge of her vision. Standing alone much like she was, was the shadow of a man. She couldn’t see him well, but she knew he was tall, she knew he was handsome and powerful and renowned throughout the land. She knew he was alone. More alone than she, and there he was holding a lavender flower in his hands.

He began approaching her, and her face broke out into a grin.

And then a group of shadows came and whisked him away, and he was gone, and the flower he’d been holding fell to the floor and was trampled by the dancers.

“Tsk,” a grainy voice echoed from the pianist, and as Li’Kalla’s eyes shot to look at the man, he was standing up, or rather he wasn’t. As he stood up, he remained sitting, and the music kept playing. It was confusing at first, but soon Li’Kalla’s eyes accepted them as two seperate people. The one who had spoke made his way to her, a kind smile on a pale gentlemanly face, but great big cheshire grins reflected off his eyes. Slowly the man stooped down and picked up the trampled flower, the tiny pedals blooming into a bright purple, “nostalgia, melancholy.” He whispered to the flower, “they are frightening, but should serve better as a sweet aroma for the future.” With a tilt of the head, the Gentleman held the flower out to Li’Kalla.

Her eyes met his and she shied away, accepting the trampled flower hesitantly. ”This aroma… It only brings about pain. Shame. Regret. This flower is damaged, it has been trampled. It’s going to die soon.”

The Gentleman nodded, as if understanding her words, without moving his lips, his voice echoed between the two, “it would appear that way, but only because it has not yet been incorporated into the self. Shame for the past is not shame at all, but fear, the past has happened, and it has made you, and you shall always be a creation. A creation is a creation worth creating, thus, we dance?”

The Gentleman offered a gloved hand.

It was then that Li’Kalla perked up and looked at the Gentleman, ”D-Dance? But my Father- Aren’t you afraid of him?”

“The way I see it,” The Gentleman thought out loud, “there is unneeded fear, of which I have none, and necessary fear which keeps one safe from stupid decisions, and unfortunately for myself I’m not that brilliant.”

The corners of Li’Kalla’s mouth quivered for a moment, before breaking out into a grin followed by a quiet, ladylike chuckle. ”I am fortunate, then, that you’re unfortunate.” She said as she placed her hand in his.

Gripping tenderly, the Gentleman lead her in a mid tempo dance, the pianist and violins seeming to keep pace with them flawlessly, rather than the other way around. They danced, and they danced, and there was nothing but bliss in the air as the jovial night seemed to stretch into forever.






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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
17 FP - 10 MP





There was an odd smell in the air. A smell that she could not quite place.

The moment Li’Kalla crossed the Gateway to the So’E, the smell invaded her nostrils. Now, it wasn’t foul. On the contrary, it was quite pleasant and reminded her of those nights her family would host exotic feasts when inviting another family over for the night. There would be dancers, singers, artist--All kinds of beautiful people with strange skin colours and faces she’d never seen before!

But this scent wasn’t supposed to be here. And this scent could only mean one thing… The kitchen was in use.

Upon gingerly landing on the sandy shores of the So’E, she looked straight at the manor, its facade half hidden behind some trees a scarce half kilometer away.

Her lower jaw twitched before relaxing. A cold sweat formed on her forehead and it suddenly felt as she’d been fastened to the ground. The front doors were ajar.

Li’Kalla looked down at her legs with wide, scared eyes and saw that they weren’t fastened.

She sighed in relief and blinked.

There she was, huddled against a corner of the dark, damp cell. Trembling as she desperately hoped the light coming through the unforgiving metal bars passed her by this time-

The Goddess found herself on her hands and knees, panting as she looked down at a small pool of water. She gagged and gulped as the sand eagerly drank the pool of liquid.

”I guess I haven’t eaten anything yet...” She said quietly, to herself.

II


”Good afternoon, everyone! Aaaand welcome to another episode of Chips and Chops. I’m your host, Chopessa Stickelle, and today I’m going to walk you through how to prepare a Broad River Breakfast. Now, this is a two-course meal usually started the night beforehand, but you can make it any time you like, so long as you have a strong enough oven. So let’s chop!”

Her audience, a mop in a dress with two pears strapped on, watched with great, if silent, anticipation.

”First you’ll want to grab hold of your eel, which is the most important part of the pie. If you just… Hang on. You just grab your eel… Oh wow, slippery- just- grab it and- damnit- damn it FUCK- just grab your eel and whooOOOOPSIDAISY oh shit- hold on, we’re having a bit of a problem. You grab the eel and GUh-” Chopstick lost her footing and disappeared under the kitchen table. ”-fff- just- wait- no- fuck- come back here- I-” Pans clanging. ”-just gotta-” Pots breaking.

Chopstick Eyes emerged from under the table with a skewed hat and popped her pie on the table.

“...Oven bake for thirty minutes at two hundred degrees and enjoy~”

The mop clapped appreciatively, albeit with some assistance. Now THAT’S a wrap.

Something moved outside, dropping Chopstick from her reverie. She looked around at the baked, boiled and fried results of the previous thirty-two episodes of Chips and Chops, and realised that she’d lost track of time.

“...Hold it right there, Moppy. We've got bigger fish to fry.”

With a move between a skip and a snoop, Chopstick made her way to the mansion door, cracked it open wide enough to stick her head through, and gave a tentative, ”Howdy.”

A pale woman dressed in a blue gown was standing outside, looking like a lost wild puppy hesitant to ask for food. It was Li'Kalla, the Goddess of Rain. Her ears perked up upon hearing the greeting and she hid her face beneath the shadow her hair cast upon her face.

“Chopstick…” Li'Kalla grimaced as her eyes stole a peek at the eyes of the fellow Goddess, “... Eyes?”

”...Yep, I have ‘em.”

“I am uh, Li'Kalla.”

There was a moment of silence between the two. Li'Kalla shifted on her spot, waiting awkwardly to be invited inside into her own home.

“... Are you okay? Don't your eyes hurt?”

”Don’t yours? All round and slippery. Like walking on marbles. Uh,” Chopstick looked around. They were the only two people in this entire plane of existence. ”This, uh, isn’t your house, by any chance, is it?”

Li'Kalla shrugged. “I used to live here, a long time ago.” The look in her eyes betrayed her conflicting emotions, for as much as she tried to hide them. They were emotions the little goblin god had no idea how to handle.

”Is it, uh...” An awkward shuffling. ”Do you still live here?”

“... Kind of? I haven't entered it at all, though. Hey, um, what are you cooking?” Li'Kalla's eyes met chopstick's sticks with a predatory gaze.

”Oh, you know, the usual. Come on in!” Chopstick yanked open the door with spindly arms, skittering a little as it pulled her along.

There was food everywhere.

If the villa had seen such a feast before- and, given the luxury of the place, it may have- it had not been in many an interdimensional year. The banquet table was decked from end to end with pots, platters, plates and pans, reflecting a thousandfold between the facets of the crystal goblets and the edges of the silverware. Dishes were fitted together so neatly, and so tightly, that some had evidently been reappropriated as stuffings and toppings for others; even so, the viands extended out of the banquet-hall and into the kitchen and coffee tables. It was astonishing that one god could produce so much food, and one house could contain it; though, judging by the kebabs in the bird-cage, it was nearing its limit.

Standing beside Chopstick Eyes was Li’Kalla, mouth hung open at the sheer sight. After a moment, she wiped some drool off her chin and grinned widely.

”W-Wow! How long have you been cooking in here, Chopstick Eyes?!” She was basically screaming at her fellow Goddess in her enthusiasm, and seemed to be lightly bouncing in place.

”Well, basically since I, uh,” Chopstick scratched the back of her neck and looked briefly away, ”picked the lock with my toenail, but...” Murmur murmur. It wasn’t like Li’Kalla was listening anyway.

”Wait, i-is that… Are those Cornellian Songbird Drumsticks with bitter sauce on top?! H-How did you make them?! I thought they didn’t exist in this universe!” Her eyes went wide and in the blink of an eye, Li’Kalla was near the big dining table, reaching for a dish with what seemed to be several extremely large chicken drumsticks. The only difference being that the meat was completely white.

”I… Have no idea!” shrugged Chopstick, broadly and merrily. ”Only one way to find out, right?” She took a drumstick and flipped it into the air, where it spun like a juggler’s club before she caught it with her long sticky tongue and swallowed it whole, the bone cracking loudly inside her gut.

Li’Kalla stared in awe at Chopstick’s display of… ”What was that?!” Li’Kalla giggled and took a bite of one drumstick before setting the plate down on the table again. Even in her excited estate, one could see how carefully she chewed and how much care she went into proper etiquette. After swallowing the mouthful, she groaned and melted on the spot -- Or she would have if she was Ashalla and her body was fluid. She really just groaned happily.

”Choppyyy, were you a cook in your past life? I think you may have worked for my family! Or- Maybe not, you make the drumsticks even better!” The Rain Goddess chuckled and grabbed Chopstick’s hand and guided her along the table. ”Come on, come on, we have to taste every single dish, you know? Not like that dressed up mop over there can taste it for us!”

“Wait, what mop-” Chopstick Eyes, who had been getting to like this new friend, jerked like a body at the end of a noose and blurred to the kitchen, from whence was heard a crashing of glass. Moppy, it seemed, was no more.

”...So, uh, yeah, where were we?” said Chopstick, peering into a cauldron of rabbit (or maybe jackalope). ”Tasting everything! Also, what’s a past life?”

Li’Kalla, who had been chewing on some fried octopus tentacles, turned around to face Chopstick. Li’Kalla’s face, originally grinning and with happiness pouring out of every part, slowly dulled. ”You don’t have a past life…? Oh, I-I guess you don’t remember it...”

”Remember? ...Ohhhh.” Chopstick looked up, then poured the rest of the jackalope soup down her gullet and swallowed. ”I remember… Skraghnaphgh. A salesman named Skraghnaphgh. That’s all I remember.” She shrugged, and moved on to the caterpillar tart with cream and cacao. ”I think I might be Skraghnaphgh. But that doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t matter, anyway; I wasn’t alive back then. You?”

Li’Kalla had been listening intently, even going so far as to stop eating entirely. She tilted her head and looked at Chopstick with a mixture of pity and envy which quickly gave way to one of understanding. ”It may be a blessing, not remembering. This manor used to be my Family’s, a symbol of our status. I lived here throughout all my childhood. It was a good life, until… Until, well, I didn’t live here anymore.” A shudder went through her body and she wiped her eyes preemptively.

”Say, Choppy- I mean, Chopstick Eyes, you’re the Goddess of Markets, right? So, when you create markets, will you sell people in them?”

Why do people keep assuming that’s my name? thought the little god, or maybe mumbled. Out loud, she said, ”Sure. Why?”

”Oh, well, I just-” Li’Kalla rubbed her temples and then sighed, ”Can you make sure the people sold in them are not, uhm, hurt? You know...” She shrugged lamely and tried not to look directly at Chopstick.

Chopstick scoffed, waggling at Li’Kalla with a kebab. ”What kind of vendor would I be if I sold damaged goods? You need to get a sense of business, you do.”

Li’Kalla puffed out her cheeks, ”I-I didn’t mean it like that! More like, afterward? Like making sure they’re not sold to bad people.”

Her guest thought about it, and shrugged. ”I… don’t know, actually. Depends on the offer.”

Li’Kalla looked at all the food still on display, and after thinking for a while, she spoke. ”At least they will eat well while they’re under your care, I think.”

”Oh duh,” said Chopstick, with one eyebrow raised. ”Say, you know what? You can come check out my premises any time you want. See if it suits ya. C’mere, I’ll show you a special shortcut.” She beckoned.

It took Li’Kalla a moment before nodding and stepping a bit closer to Chopstick, ”... Okay! I’m ready to learn. Do you sell mak- Actually, let’s just focus on this first.”

”No, no, wait, do I sell what now? I’m sure I do! Mak… eovers? Makimono? Mako sharks?”

”Makeup!”

Choppy laughed. ”Oh buddy, have I got a show for you. Here.” She leaned in, cupped her hands around Li’Kalla’s ear, and whispered a secret.

It was a long secret, and a strange one. At times it was quite frightening. It settled in Li’Kalla’s brain in little pieces, like smuggler’s signs, scratched into the nooks and crannies of her head, hard to notice unless one knew what one was looking for- and then as clear as daylight. Above all, it was a wordless secret, though Chopstick Eyes was speaking in something like words. It could not be articulated- but now, it was known.

”That’s the shortcut,” said Chopstick Eyes. ”It shouldn’t be too hard to follow for a big girl god like you. Just don’t try to write it down, yeah? You might mess it up if you do.” Shrug. ”Some things don’t like being seen.”

Li’Kalla stood there confused, but at the same time knowing exactly what had just transpired. ”... You’re more creative than me when it comes to creating shortcuts, that’s certain.” She clasped her hands in front of herself and smiled demurely. ”I will visit you, I promise! Uhm, friend?”

Choppy grinned, fit to swallow the rest of the banquet, and spread all seventeen arms. ”Business buddy!” She seized Li’Kalla in a hug. The rain Goddess merely squeaked like a mouse at the sudden affection, but she slowly returned the friendly embrace.

With a flushed face, she spoke unsteadily, ”O-Of course! Business buddies! Business buddies, right!” She was eventually released.

”I’ll need to make some reservations. But you can stop by any time you like.” Chopstick looked out the window, to where the clouds were still streaming into the marble ring. ”Say, uh… You don’t… You don’t happen to have a ladder, by any chance?”

”Oh, uh… Sure. There should be a retractable one in the basement. I usually just very slowly float to the ring, you know?”

...Float?

”...Yeah, nah, I’m gonna go fetch the ladder. We’ll figure something out.”

And they did.






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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Doll Maker
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Doll Maker Homunculus

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God of Fear

MP:8 /// FP: 16

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Revert.”


Illusory stalks of greenery crumbled into nothingness, expelled from reality by Ekon’s will. Dead earth and a black void replaced an endless field of green and blue sky. Without a purpose, he chased the faux paradise away until it was needed again. Though, he no longer stood in awe at the divine powers he wielded or the fact that reality bent before him. There was, however; still a tinge of excitement that surged through him whenever the terror god manipulated the natural world. Pontification of his talents halted, pushed aside in favor of the task at hand. Ekon required the assistance of his sphere’s raw form, and the primal fears sealed within. Granted he’d just crafted the realm, but duty called.

Stripped of its grassy “flesh,” The Ugly Underbelly pulsated like a beating heart. Swollen with centuries of terror it heaved up before it immediately relaxed back into position. Atop the brown landscape, Ekon stood, where he contemplated evilly as most villains often did. Many thoughts crossed his mind, namely, what would be the most expedient way of spreading his influence? Even as a divine rookie he knew he’d required help of some kind, he just wasn’t sure what form it would take. So, he thought for a long minute what should be created until an idea came to him, like an oasis in the desert. Dark chocolate lips twisted into a smirk that oozed with infinite arrogance. “And now let’s make a helper.”

Hand leveled with broken earth, Ekon released divine radiance from his palm into the ground before him. With a simple flick of his wrist, the terrain slowly split in two. Liberated from their subterranean prison, the horrors contained within escaped in screams and crazed laughter. Ekon gripped an errant, howling breeze, turning the intangible, tangible. Shapeless and scarlet a wriggling thing squirmed in his grip. The surrounding fears not already consumed by the god’s reality swirled around the wiggling mass.

“Live”

Ekon commanded, before infusing the red matter with a potent mix of godly potential and terrible ichor. When he felt the wiggling creature had its fill the fear god freed it from betwixt his fist. Liberated from its master’s grasp, the living blob began to take form, shivering and shaking until it adopted a humanoid shape. Previously flailing tentacles collapsed into one another until it possessed two sets of arms and legs. Shortly after the gelatinous creature formed limbs, a head wrapped in a myriad of tendrils emerged from its body. Lastly, the color drained from the red beast, pooling at his feet leaving a darkly-skinned entity in its place. Unused to this new existence the newly molded being shakily rose to his feet. His pale crown a stark contrast to the ebon tint that clung to his muscular form. After his “birth” he looked to his master and bowed in reverence.

“Not bad, but you are still incomplete, my avatar.”
Said a self-impressed Ekon, enthralled by his beautiful new creation. A snap of his fingers encouraged the wayward horrors orbiting them both to seize the entity. Shrieking winds converged upon the herald, pressing into new flesh they became garments for the newly inaugurated avatar of fear. “Excellent.” Excitement peppered the terror god’s words, he was delighted at the life he’d brought into Galbar. Like his maker had previously done, he too preoccupied himself with inspecting every inch of himself. Not that Ekon would take this from him, for he also could not help, but marvel at his life when he was at The Architects.

“Your name is Hofu, and you will serve as my herald. I have equipped you with the horrors creation to spread in my name. I also require you to tell me what is happening around Galbar. I have no doubt events are moving at a rapid pace.” Ekon’s words were not a piece of advice but demanded, and Hofu was compelled to obey.

“Yes, my lord.” Hofu punctuated his acknowledgment of Ekon’s orders with a pounding of his chest. He, unlike the god that spawned him, was far more serious-minded, and would not fail in the tasks given to him.“Let us be on our way,” Ekon spoke, wings unfurled he flew from the mouth of his realm with his avatar in tow.

“You know what to do. Meanwhile, I shall forge new lands for us.” Without further instructions, Hofu responded with, but a single nod and flew off towards the more densely populated lands of Galbar. There he would sow fear in his master’s name. Ekon paid no heed to his servant; instead, he merely flew off in another direction. He was in the mood to build some land of his own, but first, he needed somewhere secluded.

“That should work.”
A grin crossed his lips when he’d at last found a suitable spot. South of the eye of desolation, it was here that he laid claim. His eyes crackled with godly might in preparation of the task at hand, and with an otherworldly prowess possessed only by the divine Ekon raised a mighty island from the ocean depths. Flat and uninspired what it lacked in scenery it made up for in mass, rivaling the size of Greenland. A devil’s work is never done, and the dread god knew a barren wasteland would be a waste of effort.

With, but a thought divine radiance sprung from Ekon, sending waves of light across the massive island. In the wake of the luminous tsunami whole ecosystems were born, abundant vegetation and rivers sprouted from dead earth with supernatural vigor. Mighty trees arose, forming mighty forests while jagged mountains encircled half of the enormous island. Beneath the surface, he created a seemingly endless network of tunnels and large cavernous hideaways. Finally, Ekon populated the land with animals from deer to rabbits.

However, there was still something left undone, looking out into the vast oceans of Galbar it suddenly came to him. He needed another spot of land. Not a big island, but something smaller and so he sped off. Bound for a location not too far away he came upon an ideal spot. It was in this place that would establish a little archipelago complete with an ecosystem. Already, familiar with the act of creation it was mere child's play for him to erect another landmass. Waterlogged rock emerged from the great deep ripe for manipulation. Unlike the devil's retreat as he called it, he bestowed this heap of rock with a tropical ecosystem.






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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Goldeagle1221
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Goldeagle1221 I am Spartacus!

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FP: 0 MP: 04


K’nell sat on his throne, his knuckles bent under his chin and his face wearing a concerned look -- plus a smile. His throne pulsed beneath him, as his eyes scanned an unseeable scene. Dreams past and present ran through his mind, but one kept snagging his attention. The ballroom, the dancing, the genuine smiles. His brow furrowed, when he had saw her mind, her seemingly irreparable scars, the dream simply stitched itself together. Nothing in him could have used her memories for anything but a happy dream, his own spirit wouldn’t have allowed it, but why.

Was it pity? Doubtful. The Dream God slouched in his throne, pity was not his purpose, nor was it his purpose to entertain or aid, and yet he did and he did not know why. Perplexing. Could it have been compassion? As impossible as pity, the God shook his head. It was for him, to distract himself, to make himself feel good -- right? There could be no other explanation, he had a single purpose, no more - no less. It was not his duty to comfort, not his duty to sympathize.

“And yet I saw no other option but to do so,” K’nell spoke aloud, the Dreamweavers bouncing around him as if listening. He could not deny the subtle warmth he felt, nor could he deny how disturbed he was now. He sat for a while longer, figuring that perhaps it was an unvirtuous deed as referenced in his encounter with Aelius, “A deed done for selfish pleasure and credit, but not necessarily for altruism.”

He pointed at a particularly citrus smelling Weaver, “that’s what it was. Of course. I have work to do, a lot of work. The distraction was quaint and necessary but I have work to do.”

He stood up, “Nothing more - nothing less.” His voice echoed off the walls of the palace ballroom.

-- -- -- --


“I’ll call you… Poppler,” The Dreamer announced, a tiny cloudling dancing on her palm. She nodded to herself as the little cloud began to static and pop almost with glee, “Poppler it is.”

The small creature whizzed out of her hand and began to spin around her. The Dreamer smiled at the sight, her legs swishing through the overgrown sweet grass of the flatlands. The Afternoon Heliopolis was warm, but just dim enough to paint the scene in an orange glow, and with the red hue of the grass, giving everything a fiery look. In the distance a few stampeding tree herds pummeled across the landscape, while large beings that are best described as a cross between a rhino and a tiger chased after them, huge hippo like maws chomping at their heels.

The Dreamer had spent the better half of the day exploring Tendlepog, her winged sandals whisking her to each biome with little effort. She had found the flatlands particularly enjoyable, enough to stop and walk through.

A gentle sigh broke through her lips and she looked skyward, she wasn’t tired yet. She looked down at the nest of sweet grass around her and with a gentle flutter she felt her sandals activate, the tiny wings flapping.

“Well, Poppler,” She started, “it’s been fun, but-”

Suddenly the little cloudling popped and crackled around her before whizzing straight into her hair -- “What! Hey!”

The Dreamer shook her head but the cloudling let out a defiant “zzt!”

“Fine,” The Dreamer cracked a toothy grin, “you can come.”

Rolling her eyes the mortal suddenly dashed into the sky, her sandals turning her into not much but a blur as she quickly found the clouds above. With little direction she faced west and at blinding speeds, K’nells winged sandals propelled her forward through the sky, a tittering cloudling hiding in her hair.

“So since you got a name, maybe I should get one too?” The Dreamer asked Poppler, who did not reply, but kept on tittering and popping.

“What do you think it should be?” She pressed on, the earth below her turning into Ashalla’s blue ocean.

“Tim?”

”zzt."

“Gorius?”

”pop pop!?”

“Hermes?”

”pop pop pop!

“Hermes it is,” The Dreamer -- Hermes -- smiled wide, her grin uncannily similar to one of the gods’ if not much warmer.


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lauder
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Lauder The drunk kind of hero

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Li’Kalla


Goddess of Rain
9 FP - 10 MP





A shortcut through the So’E had been taken, for the Lord of Speech knew it would be his quickest known route to get to the God of Souls quicker. However, things were different, for now to greet him was the island that had been made under the gateway he planned to take it. He was curious as to whether this was Li’Kalla’s doing or not, but he did not care enough to think upon it as he silently forced his body though the gateway like a squid squeezing through small places.

On the other side he popped through the gateway, splashing into the heated lake of So’E. Vakk quickly forced his massive form out of the lake, yet, he decided to stop and look around to see if anything else had changed. From what he could tell, not much. Yet, he caught a glimpse of something on the shoreline of like, it was a box that had now been semi-buried in sand. Vakk’s head craned down to get a closer look and say the familiar symbols of the Box of Orchestration.

A new rage grew. Li’Kalla had left the box there to rot. He had already been stirred into a frenzy by his thoughts not too long ago, this only served to make him uncharacteristically furious.

”Li’Kalla!”

His roar was powerful and filled with the voiced of others, all screaming the same name.

A tiny squeal could be heard coming from within the Manor overlooking the Lake, along with the shuffling of feet and the locking of doors and windows.

Vakk’s head snapped towards the manor, a tendril wrapped itself around the artifact as he pulled himself to the manor. He knew she was in there, though knowing that she was a shy and easily frightened goddess, he felt it necessary to show what happened when others did not take care of his gifts.

”Li’Kalla! Come out of there, we need to talk.” His voice was stern, ”Your brother demands it.”] His words began to once more intrude into the goddess’ mind.

There was a sound of crashing porcelain and shattering glass. More shuffling of feet, and then silence. For a while, all was silent, then slowly what kept the front doors locked started undoing itself. Lock after lock was unlocked and finally, the doors opened a crack. Through the crack, light shone onto the huddled up form of Li’Kalla. Eyes wide and somehow paler than pale, she was huddled up again the far wall of the foyer, holding a dirty porcelain plate close to her chest while she trembled and muttered.

”N-no, don’t open… Don’t open, don’t come in… Why… ? So many times, why...” Her eyes had been focused on the door and now they shifted to Vakk’s terrifying mouth, and she whimpered like a hurt puppy.

”I-I didn’t do anything, Brother, I swear...”

Vakk’s tendrils invaded the door, slowly creeping along every surface of the manor but all heading to the same location; Li’Kalla. They crept closer and closer to the fearful goddess as he began to speak slowly, ”Then why did I find my gift to you in the sand? Why would you cast away something that I had labored to make just for you? Do you wish to test my patience child?”

The tendrils were all around her now.

”Do you not love me, dear sister?”

”... Y-Yes, of course, but I… I dropped it and then, uh, I had things to do… So I forgot...” Li’Kalla seemed to shrink before Vakk, I made an Island… She said shakily, a glint of hope in her eyes. Perhaps hope that Vakk would compliment her.

Vakk snapped his jaws, he retracted his tendrils as he responded, ”I had noticed. I had made a continent with the one known as ‘Chopstick Eyes’.” The Lord of Speech thought for a moment before he set the gift on the floor in front of Li’Kalla. ”But that is not what we are talking about, Li’Kalla,” he continued, in a softer, yet annoyed voice.

Li’Kalla’s lower lip quivered and she set down the dirty plate she had been holding onto for dear life, before hesitantly picking up the Box of Orchestration, with enough care to hold her hand against the lid in an effort to prevent it from opening.

”... I-Im sorry, I’ll take better care of it...” She said sullenly.

”I am sorry if I have scared you,” Vakk stated, before a smile crept within his thoughts. ”My dear sister, you look so tense, why not listen to the music and put us both at ease?” he suggested.

”Uhm, perhaps an… Another time? I do have a lot of cleanup to do… Yes...” She nervously cast a glance at the piles of dirty plates still all over every surface of the Manor.

”Then why not listen to it while you clean?”

Li’Kalla bit her lip and stood up, then she went to a table, cleared out some space for the Box and set it down. Slowly, she opened the lid a crack and saw the dancing figure inside. ”I-I’d rather no-” When she turned to look at Vakk she saw his fanged mouth smile such an unnatural smile that she couldn’t stop the tiny sob that escaped her lips. She began crying as she opened the Box of Orchestration for the second time and immediately began cleaning up, all while weeping softly.

”Do not cry, my dear,” Vakk allowed a tendril to wipe away some of her tears. ”Just relax and allow the box to play. Just remember that I and I alone will take care of you. I will provide anything you need.”

His sinister smile continue to creep across his face, he then booped her nose, an action he learned from Chopstick.

”Do you believe that I will care for you? Speak honestly.”

Li’Kalla sniffled and tried to force a smile onto her face, ”I… Y-yes, Brother… I-I know you and the rest are doing all they can...” She sobbed one last time and continued cleaning.

”The others?” Vakk asked.

”Father… And our little Brother, and the Knig-” She stopped for a moment, and then she looked around in confusion. Li’Kalla glanced at Vakk and let out a small shaky sigh. ”M-May I ask why you decided to pay me a visit, Brother? If it’s not too bold of me...”

Vakk thought for a moment, he began to gather information and piece together the goddess’ past. He decided that she were some form of nobility and decided to continue, ”I am on my way to another estate and I was in the area. Now tell me, where is father?”

”T-The Architect should be in his home, I think.”

”I figured.”

Vakk thought to himself, but decided to retreat for the time being, his job had been done. ”Do not close the music box, it is the only thing that will calm you, dear sister.”

With that Vakk laughed evilly before he began to fly to meet the Soul God.


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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lord Zee
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Lord Zee I Don't Even Know

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There was a strange sensation, then a pop, and suddenly Orvus was upon Veradax in a thicket of dust as a fierce wind blew all around him. He could see nothing, but with a silent command the storm moved off, leaving him in blissful silence as he took in the view for the first time. He stood upon the broken remains of a sky temple, one he no doubt destroyed when the moon shattered. It now floated alone, above and endless expanse of grey and bleakness. He looked up to see Galbar, bright and blue with patches of land and green. It was a beauty he could never appreciate.

Orvus fell to his knees then and his hands stretched out on the cold stone. A single tear of light fell down his face and shattered on the floor, like glass breaking. He knew not why the tear had come, only that it had, and just like that, it was gone forever. His thoughts turned to the battle with Phystene, how he had made her scream and his promise. They would die together and if not, then he was nothing more than a lier. But such a battle would have consequences. There were other deities who were inclined to nature, to life. And they would create beings with souls, creatures he would never be able to feel or touch. Was it intentional? Did they even know the depths of their cruelty? Or perhaps… Perhaps he was simply petty. Jealous even. That they could create such life willingly and bask in it’s radiance, it did nothing but sicken him.

Orvus knew, deep down, that his purpose was to destroy. To end creation. So why go against it? No, it was time to truly embrace what he was, no more second thoughts. So his mind turned back to his siblings, and he found himself in even more questions. Would they band together? Would they come for him? His hands clenched into fists as he let the word, the dreaded word, escape his very being.

”Yes…” For he knew, and speaking it only validated his belief.

However, his hands unclenched after the word had gone. It left him with a new perception. He would welcome them with open arms, and strangle their bodies in his cold embrace. He would make them suffer just like he suffered and if they were to kill him, he would make sure that their victory would be for nothing. He was selfish, he did not want to die, but there was a simple truth he faced. He was but one, and many they were. That meant he needed to act with precision to achieve his goals, and well out of way of prying eyes.

The god of desolation stood up, and gazed out at Veradax again. There was no better place suited for the work that needed to be done. In the quiet of the moon, where no God would willing go.

He jumped down and began to walk.




Orvus eventually came to a mountainous region, and it was there he found a deep, twisting valley. The mountain’s walls were jagged and sharp and rose high above his head, further encasing the valley in a deep shadow. Almost as black as night. The ground was not covered in dust here, giving way to the natural color of Veradax’s tanish soil. Large cracks ran through the dirt like ravines, but Orvus forged his own path through the winding trail until he at last came to the end.

There was nothing there of course, no secrets or forgotten treasure, just a dead end. Never one to be disappointed with his own wanderings, Orvus had walked through the valley with purpose. Ever since the battle with Phystene, and the powers they had unleashed, Orvus had been fixated with the creation of the anglers. He had seen them with his own eyes, and he had felt their pain. Their hunger. Their insatiable appetite for souls. What had made them so special? What was it that allowed him to feel them? Their endless pain was but an extension of their being, no it did not define them.

It was their souls. They were but a rope, fraying at the ends. Unraveling, losing one’s self, one’s purpose. He had promised Phystene that they could not die until every soul was wiped from existence. He lacked the means to truly purge every soul, but he could accelerate the process.

This gave way to a new line of thinking, upon the origin of souls themselves. From what he could remember, he and his kin were not the only ones to enter the universe, that much was abundantly clear, but there was no life then, no vessels to inhabit. So what had happened to them? Orvus widened his perception once more, opening himself so that he might see reality for what it was. He looked around but saw nothing. Veradax was a truly bleak place it seemed, even devoid of life. He looked up so that he might look to Galbar once more, but his view was obscured, however, he did see something perplexing.

Ash. Motes of ash, silently floating past Veradax and upon closer inspection, Orvus knew what it was. The remnants of a soul, burned to ash so that it might be reborn. There was a certain poetry to it, one that could be admired but Orvus was not one to admire. So too could he see the great pyres, burning in the distance like pinpricks of light. That would need further investigation, but for another time.

This soul ash would prove most useful for what was to come. A stepping stone for greater projects. He raised his hand, and the ground before him shook as cracks grew larger, providing the first sounds to admonish Veradax with sickening finality. From the dry earth a blackness rose, twisting and elongating at the top. It grew taller then he and had a thick base. The object began to reverberate a deep hum, and when it at last stopped taking shape, it pulsed once with a white glow. This glow seeped into the structures cracks, giving off an otherworldly glow. Before Orvus sat a tree of orvium, a monument of decay. It held no leaves, but twisting branches coming into sharp points. It was everything Phystene’s trees were not but yet so much more.

It’s purpose began upon the onset of its creation, and the soul ash from up above, were pulled into it’s mighty trunk. In time, it would bear its fruit. For this, Orvus would have to wait. It’s creation had drained him surprisingly and he was tired. Why was he so tired? Slowly, Orvus made his was to the base of the tree, and sat against the trunk. He shut his eyes as his last thoughts were what dreams would haunt him.




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