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1 mo ago
Current I'm now a professional physicist. Isn't that awesome?
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8 mos ago
Exams are done! I'm free!
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1 yr ago
"Life is complex - it has real and imaginary parts."
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1 yr ago
Science doesn't rest
1 yr ago
Reason Reified, Lord Logiker, Sciencomancer Superbus

Bio

I am a Roleplayer with an interest in science fiction and fantasy, with a preference for Casual. I have been roleplaying for several years, and have even taken a stab at running a few RPs.

Outside the Guild, I am an Australian science student, gamer, musician and roleplayer (that's right, IRL too).


Most Recent Posts

@Monkeypants

Hello and welcome. We do have openings for Demigods. We also have quite a few deities interested in mortals, so you should have little trouble there. You can check out our wiki page to see what the current roster is. Try to think of a specific niche your demigod can fill and a Portfolio they can start with.

If you want to discuss further, we can send you an invite to our Discord server. The Discord server is the primary location used for discussions of rules and story ideas among the players.

Fill out a character sheet when you are ready and post it here. Also talk with other players to find a divine parent for your prospective demigod. And feel free to ask any questions.

God of Death, Prince of Astral Fires


Ashalla

Goddess of Oceans


The black night sky of Galbar was speckled with many pinpricks of incandescent light. Some of these lights were bright and some were dim. Some lights winked out while others came into being. Yet of all these stars, one was brighter than all the others and had persisted since the stars first appeared. Those with senses attuned to the metaphysical would see that below this brightest fire was the great Vortex of Souls, and falling from this fire was a great quantity of incorporeal matter best described as soul ash.

Even to those not attuned to souls, the effects of this ash-fall were clearly visible. The plankton which Ashalla had seeded in the ocean multiplied abundantly underneath the Vortex of Souls such that this part of the ocean had many mats of green algae and swarms of drifting crustaceans and jellies. It were these signs which drew Ashalla’s attention.

Ashalla swam through the life-filled water, amazed at how rapidly the plankton had bred here. As far as nutrients were concerned, this patch of ocean was no more special than any other patch. Focussed as she had been on the physical mechanisms of life, it took her some time to notice the slightly bitter ethereal taste in the water.

She turned her attention to this new taste, and it did not take her long to elucidate its nature. She was tasting the substance from which souls were made. She had tasted similar flavours from the other gods, but their souls were richly flavoured by personality and divine essence whereas this soul-substance was formless, save for a bitter aftertaste of death. She watched as the soul-substance was taken in by the reproducing plankton and realised that the soul-substance was being used in the creation of new living things without any need for deific intervention. The souls of plankton had been so tiny that she had not noticed them before, but now that she knew they were there she could sense the tiniest speck of a soul, with hardly any more form than the raw substance it had formed from, within each organism.

But where was this soul-substance coming from? Ashalla looked up, and now that she knew what to look for she could see soul-substance falling from the heavens, drifting down like ash. Ashalla towered up out of the water to feel the rain of ash, and out of the water she could detect a faint influence, like a gentle breeze or slow current. It spiralled inwards towards the centre of this algal bloom and pulled upwards towards the stars, and Ashalla could see that in the very centre of this ethereal Vortex was a star burning brighter than all the others. As Ashalla watched for longer, she could see stray, tattered souls being pulled up into the Vortex. She also sensed the flow of microscopic souls from countless plankton as they died, usually from being eaten, and drifted upwards. It was a peculiar vision.

Yet despite the blooms of life around her, she still disliked the flavour of this soul ash. It was almost bland, yet it held the faintest scents of bitterness, agony, death and loss. In small amounts it was hardly noticeable, yet here the flavours were concentrated underneath the Vortex of Souls. It displeased her, and Ashalla made it known.

”Why are you dumping all this ash in my ocean?”



As he sat suspended in the void of his own Sphere, Katharsos meditated. Save for contemplating existence and watching the scattered memories that manifested in the flames, there was very little to do in the Sky of Pyres. The other gods all seemed busy with their creations or their quarrels, of course, but perhaps his lot was not to create.

Once more, the faroff voice of a goddess stirred him. This time, it was not Seihdhara’s enthused and overly animated chattering, but rather another one’s irritated question. Ashalla, he realized. The head of fire rotated effortlessly as Katharsos positioned himself to look down the Vortex of Souls into the voice’s direction. He could sense that Ashalla was somewhere down there on the blue world below.

He was just about to offer his answer, but then he saw a few tiny lights. The souls of plankton and the other microscopic organisms of Ashalla’s make were as little more than motes of dust, but to his perceptive eye, they glowed like sparks. He was able to readily enough discern the nature of these organisms and identify them as sealife. Perhaps she would understand, then.

”Without this ash, there could be no life. Consider it my gift to you, sister. Where your ocean is, it will receive a heavy ashfall, so it will always be virile and vibrant.”

”I noticed that,” Ashalla replied, her voice carried across the aether to Katharsos’ mind, ”Yet your ash also carries the bitter taste of death.”

That was an unexpected objection. In truth he shouldn’t have been surprised to hear that others found the ash anathema to their senses, for those who were not yet dead or attuned so closely to death as he was were bound to find the smoke and aura of the Sky of Pyres to be nauseating at best. It was not hard to believe that some of that would linger upon the ash.

”Has it caused ill effects to manifest in the living?” Katharsos asked.

Ashalla paused to inspect the waters around her more closely. Eventually she replied, ”I do not notice any ill effects, but I still find that it tastes unpleasant.”

”It is not in my nature to antagonize or create offense, but you surely understand that the ash must fall. To cease its descent and inadvertently harm all life, on little more than a whim, is beyond consideration.”

”I ask not for the ash to cease, but for it to be cleansed of its bitter impurities,” Ashalla said.

”Perhaps such a thing is possible,” Katharsos conceded. But he grew silent as he contemplated just how one would go about creating it. Even for him, there were still many mysteries surrounding the soul ash. This conversation was already demonstrating that he didn’t understand it nearly as well as he’d thought.

Ashalla did not have the patience to wait for Katharsos to finish his contemplation. ”Can you do it?”

Her question seemed to echo back, once, twice, thrice in the canyon of mental space between them. Katharsos’ silence remained, but as she continued to stare impatiently above, there was the dim light of a falling star that seemed to rapidly grow in size. This was Katharsos himself of course, rappelling down the Vortex itself to race through space and the upper Spheres at a blinding speed. Even so the journey took longer than he’d have liked, but he used the time to think.

The Sky of Pyres could carry on its work for a time even if he was not present, though it nonetheless distressed him somewhat to leave the place unattended. Still, there were too many pyres to count, and so at any point in time the majority were always unattended. Perhaps he would do something about that in the near future.

As the looming orb of Galbar grew larger in his vision, he confined himself once more to the present. To date, he had yet to ever even witness the glory of Galbar in person; it had always been through the lenses of an unfathomable distance or the garbled memories and strange perspectives of some of the confused spirits pulled into his pyres. He suddenly was met with the air of Galbar’s atmosphere, and at such high speeds it all but extinguished the fiery mass of his great head. But he persevered through the rapid entry of the planet, and upon coming to a halt just a short ways above the water surface where Ashalla rested, he regenerated his fiery flesh. His head flared and metamorphosed from some red globule into the incorrigible visage resemblant of a tiger.

His rapid descent had allowed him to shed away the worst of the foul smoke and toxic aura that clung to him, but some scent of the Sky of Pyres stubbornly remained nonetheless. In truth, he couldn’t notice it, though Ashalla did even from such a distance. Katharsos looked down into the water and regarded Ashalla for a moment, who had manifested a face at Katharsos’ arrival. He greeted her with a slight and wordless nod, then concentrated his attention upon the soul ash that surrounded them. The countless flakes of infinitesimal size aligned themselves to his will, and they quickly came together, arranged themselves into a lattice, and coalesced as a pallid mass floating in the water. That represented all of the ash in quite a sizable area around them, but already more of the stuff was falling from the Vortex above or diffusing from other waters to fill in the void that he’d left behind in sequestering this chunk.

The chunk of ash began to slowly levitate up from the water until it came to be suspended before the god of death. Katharsos eyed the crystallized substance and exposed its intangible mass to a great deal of scrutiny, visibly aggravated by something. Though they were small, yes--so small that perhaps no other god would have noticed through mere inspection, he sensed impurities in the ash. They were things that hadn’t entirely burned in his pyres, like tiny bits of charcoal. In such minute quantities he expected that they would be harmless enough, save for the minute possibility of an organism having a noteworthy such ‘charcoal’ inclusion in its soul and consequently finding itself born with a faint recollection or two from another life. Perhaps this was the source of whatever foul taste Ashalla was sensing.

The impurities tore free of the crystalline structure, leaving behind a few microscopic holes. The chunk of soul ash then crashed back into the ocean without even creating a splash. The impurities, no larger than a few granules of sand, remained in the air besides Katharsos.

”Inspect the ash once more. I suspect that you will now find it utterly tasteless.”

As the ash mixed back into the water, it entered Ashalla’s form and senses and was subject to her scrutiny. True to Katharsos’ word, the soul ash was now utterly bland, a flavourless base from which souls could be made. ”It is satisfactory,” Ashalla said in a voice like the swish of water. But her eyes looked around and saw more soul ash falling. ”We shall need to find a more sustainable way to cleanse the soul ash, though. Perhaps some form of life, like how there are lifeforms which convert carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen, or nitrogen gas into ammonia and nitrates, or dead flesh into useable nutrients.”

”Such a process requires powerful magic; what appeared effortless when done by my hand would prove quite difficult for mundane lifeforms. You must realize that this is a feat greater than any of those other mundane functions that you mention life fulfilling. Still, as you seem to possess an aptitude and an affinity for creating life, I believe we can design a suitable creature to fulfill this role. I will offer what assistance I may.”

”Then let us design it,” Ashalla declared. A watery arm emerged and scooped up some of the soul ash which Katharsos hadn’t purified. The end of the arm spun rapidly so that the ash precipitated to the edges of that ‘hand’. Ashalla moved the soul ash and sculpted the appendage until a large droplet thick with soul ash hung in front of her for them to inspect. Ashalla also scooped up a mass of plankton in another arm and held it aloft in another globe of water for comparison. ”This lifeform will need to filter through large quantities of seawater to process as much soul ash as possible. It will need some of your magic for it to perform this processing. It will need to contain the impurities in some form which will not leak into the ocean, a form which will probably need some physical container. This lifeform should be plentiful enough to be distributed across this area and beyond. It should be resistant to predators so that its processing is not disrupted. It does not need to be mobile like the drifters because we know where the soul ash is most concentrated. And this lifeform would need to derive some benefit from performing this filtration.”

He blinked to take all of that in. Ashalla took the silence for affirmation and continued creating a design.

Ashalla raised up a third arm between the other two and sculpted the end of the pseudopod into designs as she thought of them. ”A tube to suck in water and soul ash, and a tube to expel it. Something in the middle to process it. It will need tendrils inside to capture food and soul ash, and also gills to get oxygen from the water. A few basic internal organs. Perhaps a hard shell to protect it from the environment. Make that two shells, which it can open and close. It can accumulate the impurities from the soul ash inside itself, then it can expel the purified soul ash. The higher concentration of soul ash near it would promote the growth of plankton and other life, which it can feed on. As for the impurities, we need some way to contain them without it being able to leak into the environment, even after the creature’s death.”

”Surely there is a way that these impurities can be altered and made to take a more inert form,” Katharsos mused as his eyes narrowed to hone in on the microscopic grains before him. He was at a loss, admittedly. His divine fires would do nothing to help him here; in fact, his flames were what had created these pollutants to begin with. It would take some other power to remediate the ash’s impurities and transform them into something stable and benign. But what other power did he hold? What tools could he work with besides mere fire?

He wracked his mind and stared at the defiant grains of sand. They might not have been large, but they remained the very incarnations of his failure.

”I’ll make a start on the creature while you think,” Ashalla said. She pulled together flesh and matter into the form of the template she had designed. It took her a while to grow the mollusc, but when she looked up from her work Katharsos had hardly moved. ”Have you gotten anywhere yet?” she asked, impatience creeping in to her tone.

Flames bent such that one of his brazen eyes looked downward to meet hers. ”My progress is not easily measured,” he replied vaguely. In actuality it’d have been easy enough to quantify nothingness. The entire time, he’d wracked his mind and found little in the way of threads to follow. The Architect had imbued in him no answers to this question, and so he was left with his instincts--that were just as silent, of course--and his memories, useless and obscured and scattered as they were.

Warmth, heat, and fire. He remembered those aspects well; he had embodied them once. But this soul ash was not raw iron; exposing it to a fiery crucible could not purify it.

purify…purity

Ah, that seemed a promising line of thought. But what was purity as he’d once known it? He obviously understood the vague concept now, but once he’d had a much deeper knowledge. If only he could remember.

As Katharsos had been pondering, Ashalla had begun toying with the life growing in the waters about her, exploring new designs which could accompany the molluscs. Designs like some of the drifters, but instead static and unmoving. Perhaps creatures which would secrete underwater terrain for other life to live on. Maybe creatures imbued with colourful algae, the two species providing nutrition to each other. Perhaps a few more elaborate lifeforms, to take advantage of the richness of soul ash in this place, of similar complexity to the creatures in Phystene’s jungle.

Ashalla paused from her work for a moment to look up at Katharsos, who still had not moved. ”Have you thought of anything yet?” she inquired.

His patience was as a pool that often seemed as vast as this ocean below him, but now it had all but evaporated. The hint of a growl left him. ”Heat and fire will not work. I need some other means to alter it. Another tool to see it purified.”

I do not need tools,
he suddenly realized. The revelation manifested as if from nowhere. I am not some mere fire spirit, I am a GOD.

The tiny granules vibrated as if shook by some violent wind, and by force of will he remade the tainted impurities into something new. It was an utterly black substance that was smooth and cold, hard and lustrous, utterly inert and insoluble. Perfection.

He relaxed, having not even realized how his fiery head had just violently swollen in a bright flash of roaring flame. Then he let the tiny grains-turned-pearls fall into the water below. He breathed, then finally declared, ”It is done.”

Ashalla swept the black pearls into her form, tasting and testing them. ”Totally insoluble and unable to flavour the water. Excellent,” her voice rippled. She lifted the prototype mollusc up to Katharsos in a globule of water. ”Now teach this to do it.”

He moved so close to the oyster that the globule of water might have broiled and shrank back were his head made of more mundane fire, but as it was he didn’t radiate quite enough heat to boil it away and kill the clam.

”Teach?” he echoed back. The prospect of ‘teaching’ anything to such a basic creature seemed absurd, for it had very little in the way of mental faculties or communicative abilities. Still, it had the potential to propagate and survive. It was easy to imagine colonies of this creature forming to sift through great amounts of water and the soul ash within.

Raw iron didn’t learn, but it had a way of taking to the shape forced upon it. Likewise, this creature was simple enough to be malleable. Though Katharsos had no aptitude for the subtle changes that other gods might use to manipulate such creatures, this one could be altered rather drastically without suffering from any noticeable ill effect. Its lack of intelligence also allowed Katharsos to set aside any qualms he might have had about forcing such a change, power, and ultimately burden upon some lifeform and all of its descendents into perpetuity.

With a small black flames, he burned into the oyster an affinity for soul ash such that it would be almost magnetic to the stuff, drawing it in from the waters around. Then he provided it with the capacity to sift out the impurities and transmute it just as he had done. Though his technique seemed crude, it had worked. In time, these creatures would create pearls larger and more pristine than the little flakes he’d first conjured.

Then he let the mollusc fall back down to Ashalla. He had come here primarily to appease her and to witness Galbar for himself given the opportunity, but upon becoming aware of the impurities present in the ash, he’d grown rather consumed by the goal. More time had passed than he would have liked, and the Sky of Pyres had been operating unattended all the while. It felt...wrong to leave it. To condemn all the broken souls that remained (though by now there were not so many, and the tides were slowing) to being recycled in flames without any to watch them in their last moments seemed cruel to him, even if such a thought was illogical. He didn’t need to justify it with logic, though. His intuition told him that it was time to return to his Sphere, and he meant to follow it now that his purpose here was done.

Ashalla was inspecting the mollusc and already prompting it to reproduce. A watery face turned up to Katharsos’ fiery visage. ”Thank you for your help, Katharsos. This should help cleanse the water.”

He offered a small nod back. ”You are welcome. It was good to see you, and this world itself, with my own eyes. But now we must part,” he answered her as he began to ascend back to the Vortex of Souls. “One way or another, we shall meet again.”

As Katharsos left, Ashalla turned her attention to filling this part of the ocean with life. With such an abundance of soul ash to turn into living things, Ashalla could stretch her creative abilities. This ecosystem would require light, so she raised the sea floor up so that the water was about a hundred metres deep. To provide a foundation for this place she laid down coral. These static creatures left behind their shells and skeletons to build up terrain. She discovered that the deposition of soul ash was not homogeneous under the Vortex of Souls but rather was patterned in a spiral, which caused the coral to grow in a matching spiral pattern. They were also embedded with algae which allowed them to take a rich array of colours. Within each colony of coral were many of the soul ash processing molluscs, enhancing the virility of the coral and giving the molluscs plenty of food to consume.

While these static creatures were very pretty, Ashalla decided that there needed to be more motion. So Ashalla made creatures with vague similarities to the lizards on the Eye of Desolation. Scales, internal skeletons, complex organs, a modicum of intelligence. Those were the only similarities, for Ashalla also had to give them a hydrodynamic form, grant them limbs for swimming, make them breathe water instead of air and innumerable other adjustments. Her end result was a fish. Ashalla continued to make more fish, of every colour and shape she could imagine. She also made many more molluscs, some soft-bodied, some with shells, as well as more species of plankton. For a long time Ashalla’s laughter rippled about the ocean as she created one beautiful species after another in this great reef, its life enriched by Katharsos’ blessing.

@Kho That is a reasonable costing.

@Strange Rodent It's a grey area, because this is a property of a landform, and landforms are covered by FP. Since it was creating a geographical feature on Galbar, it is in the spirit of the Age of Creation.
In Sanctuary 18 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Anyone want to make a Sanctuary spinoff?


I would be interested if someone were to make one, but I have too much on my plate to do such a thing myself.
@Muttonhawk @Cyclone @BBeast
I have edited the expenditure in the last post to the following:
--MIGHT & FP EXPENDITURE:
----Creation of the River Seihdhar across Kirron's continent - a minor landscape change. (-2 Free Points)
----Causing the River Seihdhar to run with Seihdhara's ichor rather than water. (-3 Free Points)
----Giving the River Seihdhar and the Seihdh Lake the properties detailed in the wiki page. (-6 Free Points)
----Making the Source of the River Seihdhar (the lower half of Seihdhara's corpse at the bottom of the Seihdh Lake) a Gateway to the Seal. (-7 Free Points)
0 MP & 0 FP Remaining

Please advise as to whether that is suitable.


Reading the wiki article, it appears that, essentially, the effect of the River Seihdhar is to Bless individuals with blessings appropriate to Martial Combat, plus a some extra pertaining to physical health (if it were entirely under Martial Combat, you could do it for free, but the physical health stuff pushes it just out of the Portfolio discount). I very much like the effects. There is an argument to be made that it can be even cheaper. 'Causing the River Seihdhar to run with Seihdhara's ichor rather than water' could be done as part of the other items rather than as a separate item, so that would save you 3 FP. Note also that the Seihdh Lake gains properties simply by being a Gateway to the Seal. There is no benchmark for something which has the properties you propose, so the number you propose for the properties is as good as any. 6 FP feels good. One could argue that it should fall under a Monument, which puts it at 3 FP but not necessarily powerful enough, but you could hand-wave and say that the River and Lake are separate yet similar and connected Monuments.

P.S. And making things from the chopped up remains of gods is a very traditional thing in mythologies, so it's good that we've got something similar here.
@Kho The blood probably bears some of Seihdhara's characteristics, even if it isn't the primary carrier of her essence, so the river would reflect that.

The Giant's Bath is also the location of Hemen, the Gateway to Fengshui Fuyou, not Narzhak's place. It's a big crater lake from which Shengshi is presumably making a bunch of rivers. Shengshi will probably be interested in this new river Seihdhara has made.

The River Seihdhar will likely receive numerous tributaries, which would dilute the blood further downstream.
(it flows with divine ichor. Which can't be good... but we'll let BBeast deal with the details)


You what mate? You madman.

Although, you did put a blood river on the blood god's continent.

Did the hair seriously pull Seihd's corpse to the other side of the planet? Literally the opposite side of the planet?

As for the river, it depends on whether Seihdhara's ichor carries her essence or not. If it does carry her essence, then we've got all manner of problems, most of them revolving around how Seihdhara's corpse shouldn't be able to produce that much divine essence and that literally everything touching that river and its outlet would either die or become a demigod. If her blood is not the primary carrier of her divine essence, but rather her hair, then I have no idea what it would do. You tell me. Don't try to palm this mess off to me. Whatever effects this river has, along with all the other blood you dripped across 20,000 km of ocean, are coming out of your budget.

Anyway, a 3000 kilometer long river of godly blood is hardly a 'minor' landscape feature, even if rivers are normally only 2 FP. How much more expensive it is would depend on its powers. Also, rivers don't branch when flowing downstream. They merge instead. The river Seihdhar should instead be a single line, not a branching one, if you want it to have any verisimilitude.

P.S. Whatever you've done, I hope you've thought it through carefully.

Also, Asceal survived that explosion at point blank but Seihdhara, goddess of Combat of all things, can hardly survive atmospheric re-entry?

Anyway, I should leave you to it rather than inundating you with my panicked thoughts of 'What!? Oh goodness why?!'
@Kho, here's the latest edition of the map. We're still missing a few Gateways.

@Scarescrow

Yeah, I must have admitted. The ability is quite bad when I look back. Point taken. Thankfully, I am making another ability before the review was up and hopefully have the new ability in the next draft.

To be clear, the broad idea was good. It makes sense for the Love god to make mortals swoon over him. In fact, I expect the Love god to make mortals swoon over him. We just need to make sure that the ability is of a power level appropriate to a demigod with the Love portfolio.

Bear in mind that if you want a more powerful version of the ability (beyond what the Portfolio can grant for free), you can always spend MP on it later. In fact, if you want to go for Idolization as your second Portfolio, it might make sense to purchase the ability which makes mortals literally worship you as part of your investment towards that Portfolio.

Yeah, do you remember the Ainz's appendage that you send it to some remote islands/sandbars? Yeah, it is Adam.

I do wonder how the Architect would respond to a demigod growing in his palace-lake after he thought all the gods were gone (as this limb isn't on Galbar. It's up by the Barrier). This isn't an issue. It's just a comment.

Introduce love to all beings. This love, however, is not the sentient loves that we are used to. It is the drive or biological love, mating, survive, kind of that. The effect it has, hopefully, is some of the creation should not behave the way they are designed. Take an example of Phystene's plants. Her portfolio allows her to raise plants and let them die to her wills. Now, she could still do it, but some plants ( 1% of the crops) will refuse to die. And the more they grew and reproduced, the less control she has over those rebellious plants. But this doesn't apply to her only. Parvus' s insects are also the same. Basically, this introduces the chance of a being to withdrawn from the idea of dying for its creator.

I'm not sure how rebellion ties in with Love. Are you withdrawing love of their creators from nature? Additionally, revoking Portfolio powers is not something that can be easily done. If Phystene tells a plant to die, unless someone has dumped significantly more MP into that particular plant than Phystene is willing to spend, then that plant will die. Portfolios grant total superiority in everything under them and no demigod's meddling can prevent that.

That said, if we stop short of blocking Portfolios, making creations more rebellious seems like a neat idea. Note, however, that a demigod does not have the power to introduce a thing to all beings without going around spending Might on each group of beings individually. Grand overarching changes to reality require a Sphere.

  • After that, I create the drive for evolution. Basically, this means that the beings that got affected will desire to be better than staying the same. So, for the plants, it will kill each other on a larger scale for nutrients and sunlight. The bugs would be more prone to devour each other than act in unison. Same for bacteria.
  • After that, I create the first predator. If everyone is creating producers and no one is really planning to create the top of the food chain, I don't mind creating something that dominates the ecosystems.

This overlaps significantly with Kalmar's plans. You might be able to create evolution, although Kalmar is definitely making predators. Talk to [@NotFishing]. This doesn't stop you from making some predators, but Kalmar will almost certainly out-compete you there. Additionally, gods have already created ecosystems which implies the existence of predators, so even if you were to make a predator right now it would not be the first.

Creating evolution in all things without a Sphere sounds like an incredibly difficult task. You might need to collaborate with other gods (probably Kalmar) to help you in that task.

Creating gold and ruby veins

This sounds fine, although talk to @Commodore because Ohannakeloi also looks interested in that sort of stuff.

Save up for whatever I have for the next turn, 2 turns for portfolio acquisition and a dozen fp more to make his Heaven on Earth-esque city. Maybe I would create sentient beings, maybe more of something to work forward "idolization" portfolio.

This. This is the kind of plan I want to hear about. The rest sound mostly like set-up and things to bide your time until you're able to make mortals, as Adam will truly shine once he has mortals to put under his sway. It is unclear when FP will be able to be used for creating a city (definitely not the Age of Creation or the Age of Monsters), so you may either be saving, waiting or creating it in increments. You will likely want to enlist the help of some other gods to make your city better than what Adam can build by his own power.

This plan is currently too far in the future for anyone to be able to predict the specifics of how it will be enacted. We don't even know all the sentient beings being made or all the continents being raised. However, can you elaborate a little bit on your current vision for your city and cult? (Although you don't need to divulge everything. Save some for the IC. I only ask for enough to spark my interest.)

By this point, sure. My eyes can't catch any problems but I guess that is because of my background. So sure.

I proofread your Portfolio. Your portfolio contained the highest density of such mistakes, with the rest of the CS being less bad. Most of the corrections are sufficiently nuanced that I've noticed that grammar-checking software misses them.


Ashalla

Goddess of Oceans


The Abyss was mostly quiet and calm. There was the low hum of flowing water, cracking stone and bubbling magma echoing from all corners of the Sphere which gave enough background noise to keep the Abyss from total silence. The currents of the Abyss gently rocked Ashalla back and forth. Water was heated by the magma below, then rose to the top of the Abyss where it cooled against the stone above and sank to repeat the cycle. Ashalla found it soothing.

As she drifted through the Abyss, something peculiar happened. Magma rose and fell regularly in the Abyss, but in one particular spot a column of magma was rising with more determination of any of its peers. The column reached the ceiling of the Abyss and burrowed through it. Setting it apart further, the column's girth grew as a vast quantity of magma was pulled up through the rising stream of molten rock. Around this great stream rose other smaller columns, which also made it through the ceiling. Ashalla circled around this peculiar new formation, watching the dancing magma and pondering why it had appeared or where it led.

Her thoughts were interrupted when a terrific shockwave pulsed through the Abyss, rippling through Ashalla with a dull whomp and causing many of the lesser magma columns to collapse. Attuned to the Sphere and water as she was, Ashalla could identify that this had arisen from some kind of powerful impact somewhere on Galbar above her.

She had wandered a long way from the Abyssal Rift. She could try navigating the magma tubes in front of her in the hope that they would lead to Galbar's surface, but she was not yet willing to brave such a dangerous passage. Instead she opted to swim back to the Abyssal Rift, but not wishing to miss the events on the surface Ashalla pushed herself to swim faster. She shifted her means of propagation from pulling a large mass of water through a flowing current to a propagating pressure wave in the water, pulsing forwards at the speed of sound.

Even at this great speed it took Ashalla almost an hour to make it to the Abyssal Rift. She turned upwards and in seconds she shot through the rift, struck the surface of the ocean and propelled herself upwards as tall and narrow columns of water which spiralled around each other for support. Ashalla made it up a kilometer before running out of momentum. The tops of the columns shaped themselves into watery eyes and looked out over the world for over a hundred kilometres in every direction. Yet she was still too distant to see direct evidence of the impact, although she could see the front of the tsunami which had radiated from the epicenter.

But another more stunning sight imposed itself upon her senses. In the sky was a point-source of intense light which illuminated Galbar. The ocean and the sky were both painted in brilliant shades of blue. Ashalla's towering watchtower form collapsed after a couple of seconds of gawking. Just under the waves the way light refracted and danced made her giggle in artistic glee.

As the shockwaves of the distant collision rolled past her, she was reminded of her original intent. She swam towards the source of the great disturbance. Before she saw the impact site, she saw the great cloud mixed with dust which had risen from the impact and was spreading out over the sky. Yet from the centre of that expanding cloud was a blue light and unnatural air currents causing the clouds to coalesce and the dust to precipitate out. It was Azura the windy one at work, cleaning her own domain. Ashalla left Azura to her work as she swam up to the colossal crater.

Ashalla's dizzying pace was slowed somewhat as she crossed through the rocky crags and shallows of the rim of the Eye of Desolation. The obstructions caused scattering and reflection of her wave-like advance, forcing her to slow down to keep her essence coherent. But soon she was past the rim and into deep water once more and could return to full speed.

The ocean in the center of the Eye was very deep indeed. While some depth made sense for a feature made by a great impact, if Ashalla had known about asteroid impact dynamics she would know that even this was surprisingly deep for such a crater. The waters were still hot from the cataclysm, the rim of the crater inhibiting the water from mixing with the cooler water outside. The floor of the crater was unlike the seafloor elsewhere. Here the floor had been molten by the impact then solidified soon afterwards, creating smooth and twisted patterns. Dust made the waters turbid, although the dust would settle eventually. Yet in this dust was also a taste of some strange and foreign mineral.

Then, finally, Ashalla came upon the pupil of the Eye and the cause of this crater. It was a mountainous lump of strange black metal submerged in the ocean, its form rippled and warped. The great lump was half-buried by the new sea floor. Ashalla tasted it and found that this new substance was related to the strange mineral she tasted in the water around her. But they were not the same thing, for the mineral was inert while she sensed that this metal, as hardy as it was, harboured a terrible amount of destructive energy. Destructive energy which tasted of the essence of Orvus.

Ashalla shuddered briefly. Could her brother already be attempting to poison her oceans? She analysed the metal and its salts more carefully, seeing how their taste evolved, yet their taste did not change, even with her trying to gently pry apart the substances. The salts and minerals made of the reacted metal were inert, of no more consequence than the sodium chloride and other more natural salts found throughout Galbar. The metal itself, despite its latent potential, refused to corrode, and its incredible hardness protected it from erosion. The metal was less likely to pollute the water than Galbar's native bedrock. Having finally assured herself that this new substance posed no risk to the oceans, she swam away from the Eye.

Her next destination was whatever had been drawing all the magma up from the Abyss. It was not far from the Eye, at least not on a global scale, so soon Ashalla came in sight of a new island, its sea-bed also made from freshly solidified lava. Ashalla rose up and stood at the shore of that island, inspecting it, and she saw a peculiar sight. It was a conical mountain of stone, spewing forth molten rock which poured down into the sea below, solidifying into new land. Ashalla tasted one of the lava flows where it met the ocean with hissing steam, and this taste verified that it was the same molten rock which had been drawn up out of the Abyss. The taste also revealed the essence of the fiery one, Sartravius. Had Sartravius known from where he drew the magma from when he created this volcano? It mattered little to Ashalla.

Although, watching the island grow ever so slowly, a pang of worry struck Ashalla. Could this growing island one day overtake the whole ocean? But then she realised the nonsense of such a concern. The lava merely displaced the water, it did not destroy it. Even if the fiery one was able to muster enough strength to have this volcano cover the entire planet, the ocean would remain and the volcano's base would remain submerged. Not that she considered such an outcome likely.

Ashalla departed from Muspell and meandered around the ocean for a while longer, aimless for a time, watching the sun circle around Galbar and drifting with the currents, until she eventually came back to the Eye of Desolation. There she discovered that things had changed. Things coloured green and brown with a multitude of limbs of varying sizes now coated the larger island, and among the greenery moved entities which in the broadest sense possible could be said to superficially resemble Ashalla's siblings, in that they had legs, heads and other similar biological features. Ashalla moved under a cliff face and felt a leaf which had fallen into the waves, tasting its essence. This was a creation of Phystene, the green one.

Ashalla rose up so that she was peering over the top of the cliff into the jungle beyond. She marvelled at the beauty of each species there and wondered at the mechanisms of the ecosystem. She stretched out a seawater pseudopod and engulfed a branch of a nearby tree. She could taste the oxygen diffusing out of its leaves and carbon dioxide being drained away. Ashalla then saw a lizard and scooped that up with another pseudopod. It struggled against Ashalla's grip and she let the creature go, but it had been in her grip long enough for her to taste its carbon dioxide rich and oxygen poor breath.

Ashalla paused to ponder this for a moment. Oxygen was a reactive gas, and was useful for extracting energy from other substances. Carbon dioxide was the product of oxygen reacting with carbon, and all these living things were made mostly of hydrogen and carbon. Watching the animals for a little longer, Ashalla noted that they consumed the plants and smaller animals. So it would appear that this was the way in which the animals obtained their energy, like how the ocean currents obtained their energy from the Abyss. Without divine essence creating energy from nothing for them, they would have to obtain their energy from an external source. As Ashalla considered this it was a manner which made sense. The mighty took energy from the weak, and those with plenty had their energy taken from those with few.

But what of the plants? They did not consume other creatures, yet somehow they obtained adequate energy to reverse the binding of oxygen and carbon to create free oxygen gas. Ashalla uprooted a small shrub to inspect where its roots went, and while the soil contained many useful nutrients it contained very little usable energy. Ashalla tried to search for some other source of energy. She quickly ruled out heat and divine power, and was left puzzling over the source.

As Ashalla stood there inspecting the jungle, she slowly came to realise that her back was getting warmer. She twisted her head to look behind her, and saw the afternoon sun shining at her. Then realisation struck her. Right there was a source of limitless power (at least, limitless as far as these mortal creatures were concerned), one readily accessible for all creatures on the surface of Galbar. It was simple for her to test that the rate of respiration of the plants slowed down when a shadow was cast over them.

Now that she knew what it was, it was obvious. She could taste the chlorophyll in the leaves, which converted light into chemical energy, which the plants used to bind carbon dioxide, water and soil nutrients into more plant. Animals then came along and consumed the plants, or parts of the plants, converting plant into flesh and energy, consuming oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide and water in the process. Larger animals did the same to the smaller animals. And thus the food chain unfolded before her. And not only the food chain, but the oxygen cycle.

Yet this tiny jungle island seemed deficient in that regard. The atmosphere of Galbar as a whole was quite low on oxygen. In fact, these plants seemed to be the only source of oxygen on all of Galbar. By Ashalla's reckoning, there shouldn't have been any oxygen on this planet at all, as oxygen is not stable. Perhaps the Blue leaked some oxygen into the Middle Sphere from when Azura created it not long ago, but it seemed unwise to rely on that source to persist forever. Furthermore, it seemed likely that the pantheon would desire to create a great multitude of animals, as animals mimicked their godly forms, yet Galbar in its current state could not support a great number of animals.

What Galbar needed was more plants. Yet these plants of Phystene's design would be inadequate, for the world was mostly ocean. So what Galbar needed was some kind of plant which lived in water and would live in all the oceans of the world.

Ashalla felt another quake rumble through the planet and ripple through the ocean. Another great disturbance from the other side of the world, and likely another landmass made. Ashalla figured that, with the world still being a blank canvas, the gods would be creating more continents. In this Age of Galbar's life investing in a fragile ecosystem like the jungle before her would be unwise. Whatever she created would need to be resilient, able to survive shifting continents and powerful waves, if not individually then at least corporately. Something which grew on the sea floor would not do for this purpose, for then it could be buried. She would need simple lifeforms which would float in the ocean such that they were impervious to the changing world around them.

Yet plant-like photosynthetic organisms would not be enough. She'd need a whole ecosystem of drifters. Some to consume the plant-like ones to prevent them from growing too plentiful and depleting the seas of their resources, and some to consume the remains when the drifters inevitably wore out and died. She'd need other drifters which could convert nitrogen gas into more usable forms of nitrogen. Other elements would also need to be harvested.

With designs formulating in her mind, Ashalla dived back into the ocean and swam off to enact them. She pulled together the elements around her to form the basic cells which would make up this life, using designs based upon those she had seen Phystene use. It was a fiddly task, but one that paid off as she finished her first life-form. It drifted in the sea, photosynthesising light into energy, stripping carbon from carbon dioxide to build itself and releasing the excess oxygen. Once it had grown large enough, it divided into two smaller copies of itself. It was a microscopic little thing, but it was only the beginning.

The act of creation became easier with each subsequent being Ashalla made. Once she became confident with one design, she switched to a new design. Soon her designs become more elaborate, involving multicellular organisms. After a while she was able to produce beings like tiny versions of the animals Phystene had made, albeit designed for life drifting in the ocean. It was not long before she became so proficient in the task that she was able to create measurable quantities of these tiny drifters as she moved, ecosystems blossoming in her wake. Algae, polyps and tiny crustaceans were among her creations and she swam through the ocean, spreading these tiny yet plentiful creatures wherever she went.

And Ashalla went everywhere, for her siblings had created several new features in her time down in the Abyss. She discovered Parvus' Maw and Chopstick Eye's Mount Chop. She circumnavigated Kirron's continent and delved into the depths of the hole it had left behind, where she found a few faint fissures leaking mineral-rich volcanic gases up from the Abyss. Her little drifters, or plankton as they might be called in another tongue, would like those nutrients. Ashalla even considered the possibility of creating an ecosystem which drew its energy from volcanic vents rather than the sun, but she deferred that task until later.

Ashalla wandered the globe and found other features which her siblings had built. She started to detect the influence of other Spheres emerge. Clouds which rained fresh water came from So'E. The night sky had been darkened by the Great Dark, yet the distant incandescent flames of the Sky of Pyres punctuated the black backdrop. And drifting in the night sky, in direct opposition to Heliopolis, was Asceal's Lustrous Comet, which cast a very faint glow in the night sky. It seemed uncharacteristic that Asceal's Sphere would be so dim, so Ashalla assumed that it must be incomplete.

Ashalla did not expect what came next.

Suddenly the night sky was lit up as bright, no, brighter than day, light of ferocious intensity blazing out from the crystal moon. The light burned itself into the sky, turning it blue, and Ashalla could feel the heat radiating from the sunburst. Yet after a few seconds the light faded enough for Ashalla to see that what had once been a spherical moon was now a rapidly expanding cloud of luminescent debris. The many of the glimmering fragments stretched across the night sky, filling the night with stars, but some fell from the heavens and descended through the atmosphere, trailing incandescent air behind them as they fell to Galbar below.

Ashalla was not entirely sure whether that was planned, to fill the night sky with glittering dust, or whether something had gone horribly wrong and the backlash had resulted in a cataclysmic explosion. Ashalla assumed the latter, as Asceal's moon had been utterly destroyed in the blast and she considered it unlikely that Asceal would take the care to build a moon only to blast it to pieces.

Yet while the explosion was well beyond Ashalla's reach, the fragments which had fallen to Galbar below were not. Ashalla stretched out her essence, found where the nearest fragment had touched down and contracted around it. It was a tiny crystal fragment the size of a pebble that had a persistent glow. Ashalla inspect it, finding it rich in Asceal's essence, and surmised that this glow would be permanent. As the glow emanated from the crystal through its cracks and facets, the light refracted to create a scintillating rainbow.

Ashalla considered the fragment quite pretty and decided she would keep it. She went to the Abyssal Rift, which was a slow journey because she could not propagate as a sound wave while carrying a solid object, although Ashalla continued to sow plankton as she travelled. Ashalla left the fragment near the Abyss end of the rift, where she could easily find it again. Then Ashalla headed back to the surface and continued to wander Galbar and create plankton.

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