The Six Bloods
Wyn waited for a time, hovering next to the mirror, wondering if any would come. As time passed her lips turned to a frown and then a thin line. Was she truly alone? She was mixed upon the thought and did not want to dwell upon it at all. An idle mind was prone to controversial thoughts, hers most of all. She told herself someone would come, if not a fellow divine, then the mortals below. She just had to maintain control of herself for long enough to figure out what was going on in the world.
Then it hit her and she let out an exasperated sigh. She had eyes, did she not? Wyn went to sit down and as she did a bench rose up to meet her. She had her moths, Ivory's invention. There was nothing like a paranoid mind wanting to know whatever it could. So she reached out and much to her surprise, she began to see in her minds eye.
The bloodmire was changed but she already knew that, so she pushed further. The sensation was as if she was lighting a fire and they reached to her like the brightest fire there was. Outside of the Mire, the world had changed. Mortal fought mortal with their weapons of war. Thousands died, more were lost forever. The city of the elves, where Celeatine had claimed, was gone entirely. What had been its name?
The landscape to the north was much the same, though hadn't there been a great tree somewhere? Further the moths had gone, to a land of fire and brimstone, scarred forever with little flames of their own. Her vision shifted south to a great Mesa of empty promises. Past a strait to see a vast land floating, over mountains to see a desert unclaimed.
Over and over the visions came and she could see it all. The despair, the loneliness, the sorrow. The joy of green grass, the scent of pleasant flowers, the harmony of love. Bluebirds and flaming hair. But beyond it all a vast nothingness that blotted the land and consumed it.
Wyn snapped out of it. There was no one else, save a few. So much chaos in the world, so much anger. Where was the one that had summoned them? She stood and a flurry of moths left her. And for the first time in a long time, she knew she wasn't alone.
“Wyn, I would speak with you.”
A presence spoke - serene and potent - suffusing their surroundings with a sacred aura; akin to the soil that prepared for the arrival of the seeds. The voice of the summoner, somewhere close and afar. A portal appeared, and promised answers.
Wyn looked to where the portal hummed, only hearing what that voice, so familiar, had uttered. It was Desire's voice but not quite and a shiver ran down her spine. The flame licked her heart yet she made no move to approach. Only the naive walked into danger without care and Wyn sensed it. Like a hidden dagger, waiting to find the killing blow.
So Wyn sat back down on her bench and uttered a reply, "I am here, please come. I am very lonely, after all." A bit of Ivory's feigned innocence poured out and she felt foolish and she quickly added, "If it would please you, that is." And then she waited.
Slowly; the portal sealed itself, and the presence from afar soon faded away afterwards. Then the touch of the Sun, the warmth shared with all of the world, receded as well. The salient lack of light that shrouded even sacred sight and truth had emerged, sudden and subtle, as an emptiness appeared aside the majestic mirror. A solemn voice spoke from the void:
“Hmm… the scents of Tonta and Uwné linger upon you. My defiant daughter should have stayed home. I apologize for her harmful actions.” The Anath Homura intoned, as acoustics became suppressed throughout their surroundings, and the sole sound remaining was the serene song of her speech - both beautiful and brutal resonations.
Wyn's back straightened at those names, the hair on her perfect neck raising ever so slightly. She looked in the direction of the voice and despite the old wisps of anger reeling inside she bowed her head slightly. "I thought I'd never hear those names again." Wyn said after some time. "Thank you for coming. But there is nothing to apologize for, Homura. Her actions brought some semblance of sanity back to myself. For it I am grateful." She gave a soft smile and feeling as if she had to be doing something, she began to play with a long strand of her hair. "You may sit if you like." She patted the spot beside her.
A throne sculpted from stone suddenly arose aside Wyn, though naught was seated. A horrid set of hands wove the threads of the world, and touched the tapestry without tangible tenderness. Only a numb nothingness offered. “I have ever honored the dead in their dreary and desiccated halls. An endless horde of names I held against annihilation. Desire sought to salvage them through the Sea of Shadows…” The tone of the Creatrix twisted and contorted, ambivalent and abstruse.
Wyn took in the words, letting their meaning wash over her as she moved her free hand to her strand of hair. It seemed that the summoner was both of honor and conviction but there was something else. More formidable and dark. A depression. Wyn knew from what she had deigned from Desire's blood, that the being before her was not as she appeared. Much like herself.
Eventually Wyn offered a small smile. "Does that upset you?" She asked.
“A child cannot arise from the shadow of her corpse-mother. She shall sink deeper into despair, should she continue to seek the truth within the cursed womb.” The Anath Homura answered, and something stirred. A shape appeared amongst the shadows, contours crawling along their surroundings, wandering, coming closer to Wyn with cryptic intent. Serpents slithering through the unseen, forked tongues whispering the truth:
“Sss-sight spread-sss lie-sss, and the blind become wise-sss…”
“The fork-sss-akened flame-sss sss-o cold… and four hand-sss to hold…”
“The dream-sss ss-she grant-sss have the feeling of life…. her hunger i-sss boundless-ss, her presence-ss bring-sss ss-strife…”
Wyn felt uneasy by what she saw? What she thought she saw? She could hear just fine and it brought her no comfort but she steadied herself. What was even speaking? Was it some trick by this Homura? Wyn knew a wolf in sheep's clothing when she saw one but this… It was odd.
She made no motion of it as she spoke next, "She searches for something, that is quite plain. And you are hiding a truth, that too is plain. Are you certain it will only bring her despair? What if it allowed her to rise? Even above you?" Wyn asked in a steady voice, dropping her hands into her lap. She did not look in Homura's direction anymore.
“Do you believe she could do as you describe? Her mother crumbled apart; broken by my hands. So Desire shall suffer the same fate.” The voice within the void rebuked with repugnant vigor, brazen and belligerent, cold and cruel.
“Ah.” Wyn simply put, looking off now into nothing. Once more she pondered the words, knowing little of their depths. She was beginning to understand at least two things however; She was obtaining more questions than answers from Homura and it was becoming evident that Homura was once something else entirely but no more. She cleared her throat, “Do I believe?” She said aloud, “I’d like to think so. I’ve done terrible things. It seems that you have too, whether willing or unwilling. With those terrible deeds comes about despair. For us. For those we have touched. For the world itself. Should I not have faith that despair can give way to hope?”
She looked to where she thought Homura was. “To tell you the truth, I don’t really know what her own desire is, or why you wish to stop her. Maybe it isn’t for me to know. I do have a hunch that there are no words I can give to persuade you of not breaking her.” She paused and a red tear formed at the corner of her eye before it rolled down her cheek, leaving a crimson stain. “I’m not sure what happened to you but I am sorry. I know how it feels to no longer be yourself.”
As Wyn gazed into the abyss, something stared back at the goddess. “I shall enjoy eviscerating my dear daughter when she returns. If you wish for words to speak; repeat my message to her: Tell her that her mother awaits her arrival, alongside a festival for her finding her home.”
The pale goddess stared and then nodded. “If that’s what you wish, corpse-mother, then I shall do so. Was there anything else you wished to speak to me about or shall I return to my silent vigil?”
“I shall shatter this world soon. I wished to speak with you regarding your realm, ascertaining where to avoid when I reshape reality. I assume you would want the Bloodmire and adjacent lands to remain unscathed.” The Anath Homura answered, shifting their surroundings, sounds and shapes suddenly freed from suppression.
Wyn winced at the sudden blast of sound and shifted on her bench. “You are… Shattering this world? For what reason would you have for that…?” Wyn asked, alarm in her voice.
“I am displeased with the work of the divine.”
She wanted to roll her eyes but refrained. Ivory would be gushing, even rooting for it but no. It felt wrong but… Who could really stop her? “My own work suffices? How will others react to this?” She asked.
“Many have fled. The few that remain shall have their realms shielded from harm as well. Whether your work suffices… well, we shall see. I am always watching.” The Creatrix replied, rising from her conjured throne. She stood close and afar, simultaneously adjacent and away, but the presence of blood could not be concealed from Wyn. Without warning, a wound appeared upon Homura, or where she seemingly was, and immaculate ichor slowly seeped forth.
Wyn's eyes snapped to the small wound. A cut that glimpsed somewhere else. Someplace far away but Wyn pushed that aside. There was a greater prize to be had and it gripped her. Wyn's thin lips pulled open with a haughty breath. A hunger she had seldom known washed over her, the prospect tantalizing. An opportunity to glimpse into the depths of truest sustenance.
So the Goddess of blood peered within and she saw much within the Creator's ichor. But the greatest revelation came apparent immediately. Homura's blood was much like her own. Split into three, fighting for domination over the vessel. Her hunch had been right all along, that she was not in fact who she had been all along and it made Wyn's heart pound. For all the wrong reasons.
She didn't view it with any sympathy in that moment. She saw only what it could mean for her. Ivory flashed with greed. Ebony burned with hunger. The power to create in totality. The power to tear apart the cosmos. It was right at her fingertips, all she had to do was… rip her ope- She breathed hard, throat burning and then the Goddess blinked.
Shame washed over her as those dark thoughts became distant. She looked away, feeling embarrassed. Those feelings, more than the being that wore Homura's skin, frightened Wyn. That insatiable hunger for power.
"Yes…" She whispered suddenly, having already revealed too much of herself. "I would prefer minimal damage to the land surrounding my Mire to be harmed. If that's all…"
“Pride…” The Creatrix crooned, and suddenly a hypothetical hand that was neither tangible nor nonexistent softly stroked Wyn atop her head, caressing her locks of hair lovingly. The Anath Homura had not shifted, her inert injury indicated such, yet the shadow of her terrible shape still touched the pale goddess. “My precious princess - a petulant child. Where will you go?” She asked, her voice addressing an absent visage.
The ichor within the weaver of the world was boiling, and a suppressed shrill scream echoed with excruciating agony as she spoke. A battle between three types of blood beginning to end.
“Indeed…” Anath Homura replied as she slowly returned to her realm, her hand receding.
Wyn waited until the presence was gone. Then she gasped aloud, sucking in a few deep breaths as she clutched her chest. Something was wrong. So terribly wrong and she was all alone.
Wyn contemplates the loss of, what she perceives, the divine. Reconnects with her moths to learn what’s going on in the world and it isn’t much besides general development of mortal society and the growth of corruption. Homura then shows up and they chat, wherein Wyn realizes many terrible things about the Creatrix and the little hope left in the world.