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7 mos ago
I dream of a world where any seven year old may CHOOSE to take his uncles acid. That's freedom. God bless America.
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3 yrs ago
What an irredeemable mistake.
3 yrs ago
I want an rp where you can use words to write posts but I'm too lazy and tired
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3 yrs ago
Y'all thirsty mofos need to chillax
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3 yrs ago
'A quote' -some dude
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It's not really that delicious unless it thinks is it?

An Isotope Alt.

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SALA


“Rise! Heed this call of mine! Become the gods of Galbar!”


The voice commanded, and so in its very first moment of being the shard of divinity knew what it was to be destroyed. It shivered at the words, changing from a thing of endless potential into a peculiar glassy crystal, and then shattering in a blinding blast that dispersed it across the sky of the world below. The sky of Galbar. The particles drifted apart, and the broken shard, She felt herself spread thinly over all that was.

Yet no less alive. She soaked in the heat of the gateway to her Fath- Her Lord's abode, and she sensed the others he had pulled from his very essence. She understood them, and felt awe as she considered that they were aspects of Heat, Cold, the very Earth upon which her Lord had set her to build a world. Even the darkness of the skies. She was born among them, an equal, a being with an Aspect pulled from the very essence of the Lord of Reality himself. That was all true, but no matter how hard she looked, that which was her aspect and which she was, was nowhere in this world. She did not represent anything which was real. She was not, as her peers, immutable.

She was not constant. The realization sent a surge of panic through her, and soon the thin shell of dust suspended above Galbar that was her body began to glow with incandescent heat. Terror rose in her, but not faster than a recollection of her Lord’s words, spoken even before she was herself in totality. Yes, she remembered.

“Rise of give meaning to this blankness! Let my will be done!”


Meaning to blankness. She was not fundamental, not as some of her peers were, but as she looked upon them more closely she realized the truth. Not all of her peers were fundamental. Some represented things she did not understand. Some were like her, manifestations of aspects that did not exist, that had never existed before now.

It occurred to her, though, that she would never like to feel the terror that still lurked in her again. To be a representation of nothing… Burned. It was unacceptable. So, if others were immovable, fundamental, well she would be too. And she wouldn’t be the first to have the idea. Terrible storms raged below the thin cloud that she was, their tumult having shrouded the blue seas of Galbar. Seas that she knew had not been there forever.

So it was, and so it would be. She drew herself into a ring around the world below, still burning with visible heat, and she focused the strength she’d been given into a single task: grow. The multitude of crystals that made up her body expanded and melted and burned brightly against the darkness of the sky so far above the surface of Galbar. Within moments a liquid halo, burning white hot, girded the world and grew until its heat began to reach the blanket of clouds below and evaporate them.

A thin band of ocean was exposed to the radiant ring of molten crystals, and for the first time she spoke, to her peers, to her creator, and to the universe at large, "I am the Goddess Sala, and by my Lord's will I shall bring Salt into this empty world!"

Her voice boomed from the glowing ring that she had become, and then she let herself fall. In a moment enough molten salt to have formed a solid ring around Galbar itself crashed into the world's seas, and there was a bang so loud it shook the canvas of creation itself. Physical mountains of liquid salt crashed into the waves and in the blink of an eye turned enough water into steam that vast jets of it were blown into the very space the salt ring had fallen from. So much water was torn from Galbar in the violence that, far above, there formed brilliant wide rings of ice in the sky.

Sala felt herself, for the second time, being torn apart. The water broke her apart, but she endured within it as she had endured far above it. In truth, it was a feeling of absolute bliss as the currents broke her apart and spread her across the world once more, but she was forced to pull herself together and resist. Her task was not finished, and until it was she could not be sure. She directed the salt that was her being, now beginning to cool and forming huge piles that towered above the water, to burrow into the world itself.

Rock groaned, resisted, but failed to stop her. She burrowed into it, and as her body melted once more in the heat deep below ground, she released her hold on it. The unthinkably large band of salt, a belt around the world itself, was pushed deep into the magma laden bowels of Galbar and set free.

It took time, but even before the task was done Sala began to see the fruits of her labours. Cracks formed across the sea floor, all over Galbar, and from them came jets of liquid salt bubbling up from the dense soup of rock that was the world's interior. She felt her aspect spreading through the world's heart and oceans, becoming a part of it irrevocably.

When it was done, she began to take a form apart from the salt she’d set loose in the world. She detached herself from the whole of her element and formed her body into a smaller cloud of gaseous salts, colourful and brilliant in how they boiled and churned the water she was immersed in. At their center she crystallized a simple form, made in the basic image of some of her peers. Two arms, two legs, a head. As she tried to lift an arm she felt herself break into pieces, but that was no matter. The gas around her rushed into her painless wounds, and though she shattered at the slightest movement she could be as elegant in motion as any of her peers with the rest of her body to replenish the affectation at its center.

As she took on her true form Sala felt her salt move through the ocean, and felt vaguely bad about blasting a part of it into the sky, though the ice rings were magnificent. Still, her peer whose aspect was water was bound to her now, they would never be free of her and she of them. The thought made her jubilant, and so she did her fellow a favour and undid the damage she’d wrought.

With a mote of the power granted to her Sala reached out to the innumerable vents pushing her aspect into the endless waves of the ocean and filled their hearts deep below the surface with water. She felt salts bubble within the runny mess that the bedrock became so deep beneath the ground, and with a bit of persuasion she convinced them to bind to the new water and continue on their path to the surface to join and replenish the ocean. It was a little thanks to a peer she was already coming to know. She was sure they would meet soon, and where better than the place the very God of Earth had called them all to?

Though, she didn’t quite feel like his sister.


I'll do a pass for spelling errors and the like tomorrow. For now have this, the product of.... Inspiration... *shivers*


👀
100 Years into the Era of the New Gods

“The traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, but the more remote past.”


Days passed as he walked and the towering forests that flanked the road slowly gave way to shrublands so dense that they verged on untraversable. In places like this most travellers had no choice but to stick to the paths cleared by the locals between their farms, and that was especially true of those of the human variety. It helped to have scales in a place like this. Of course, the traveller could have walked straight through it all without blinking.

There wasn’t a better way to attract attention than not blinking, though. It was surprising how quickly most people caught onto that detail, so the traveller had to remember. Blink every so often. Don’t just walk through and over any obstacle, stick to the main roads. A century and he still forgot, sometimes, but there had been less people then. Less eyes watching.

Now? The number of little Drakhorey-looking people pausing to gawk and scowl at him as he made his way to their city was astonishing. Once a few hundred had seemed like so many. For there to be this many of them when even one could change everything? He truly questioned the sanity of his peers who thought they were still in control. At least that was mutual.

The world changed. When the traveller finally made his way into the veritable labyrinth of wooden multi-story buildings and narrow streets that was the Eft’s city he was thinking about his reason for coming. In search of a favor. It wasn’t something he had a habit of doing, but a century was enough time to learn that there are things that you just can’t do yourself, or at least not do well. So, he made his way through the city asking after a name he’d only overheard once. And wasn’t that a strange thing? To live a century and only hear something spoken the once.

“Say,” the traveller stopped a passing Eft, “Have you seen the An-Clastaphon?”

The Eft looked at him strangely, saying, in their draconic language, “What are you talking about, human? Looking for another one of your kind? Nobody keeps track of you lot.” It didn’t even wait for a response, melting back into the dense crowd the moment it was done speaking.

“Hm,” the traveller paused and reflected on the fact that this hadn’t been working. He’d been making his way around the Shard asking the same question and the response he’d just been given summed up the vast majority of his journey thus far. It made him more confident he was looking for the right person.

It was also beginning to get on his nerves. Patience was a virtue, but there were limits and he was fast approaching his. If asking one person at a time wasn’t working, well then why not ask everyone at once? He found another local in the crowd and whispered to them, “You haven't seen the An-Clastaphon recently, have you?”

The words echoed in the ear of every living being in the city. Just on the edge of hearing, without a clear source, but intelligible and clear as could be.

The reaction was instant; the crowd halted in confusion for a brief moment, looking over their shoulders and at each other as they searched for the source; before, eventually, shrugging and moving on. However; there was a different reaction, the traveller could sense, in the palace guards walking down the street nearby. Their movements held a mix of fear and anger as they began to shove aside Efts, searching for the culprit.

The traveler's grin grew and he pivoted towards the guards. Guards were the sort to be most suspicious of words whispered in their ear in general, but any reaction was worth the follow up at this point. He strode towards them only to make it barely halfway before a scaly hand gripped his arm, spinning him around. It was an Eft, barely distinguishable from any other in the crowd. As he opened his mouth to speak, it shoved a rolled-up note into his mouth before melting back into the crowd as though it were never there.

After, irritably, pulling the note out of his mouth the traveller glared at the spot where the Eft had vanished. It took him a moment before he bothered to open the note and read it.

Avoid palace guards.
Will kill you on sight.
Go to farmhouse
3 miles west starting from western terminus gate.
Cellar door set into nearby tree in middle of wheat field.


”They’d try...” The traveller muttered before the note dissolved in their hand, instantly rendered to ash.

Finding the western gate was as easy as bothering enough Eft’s for directions, so before the palace guards had even given up on their anxious search the traveller was gone and off towards the lonely tree. When he did find the tree, and the door, he swung it open and stepped in without even bothering to knock.

Inside was what once may have been a cellar for spirits to be imbibed; now, it was cleared out, gloomy and lit only by a single torch placed next to a bed frame. It was silent, though the traveller could sense magical fields set about the edges of the room; concealing something. “Lay down,” something whispered to him from the darkness.

"Doubt that’s a very popular pitch,” the traveller remarked as they gave an exaggerated shrug while walking over to and collapsing into the bed, “But if that’s what you need, alright.”

The voice spoke again, this time, louder. It said, “Among our arts there is no mediocrity of attainment; should you study it, you shall have everything or you shall have nothing. To set yourself upon this task is to dedicate your whole being to it, for one who knows half their craft knows nothing. Do you understand?”

“Oh not this again. Does everyone have a cult now?” the traveller muttered under his breath before speaking up and answering with some level of tiredness, “I do understand what you’re saying, yes.”

“One of the chief anxieties, then, is the concealment of our art. We are thieves of knowledge beyond our rank; revealing clearly our lessons in the land shall lead only to all our misery. Speak not her name; her attention is not what you wish. Do you understand?” The voice continued, its tone demanding.

The traveller spun his legs off the bed and sat up before starting, ”So actually, I do wish. I am definitely looking for her attention. Have you seen her recently? Or, sorry, have you ever seen her or know someone who has?”

There was, for a while, a stunned silence. Then, slowly, the voice returned, this time unsure, “Our masters would know. We can send you to them. It is your life, and your death.”

”Great!” The traveller hopped off the bed and clapped, “Then if you could just point me to them and I’ll handle all the life and the death stuff?”

“Lay down,” the voice instructed, “Unless you feel that falling down and bashing your head is a fitting end to your journey.”

“I’d be more worried about the floor,” The traveller tapped his head with his knuckles before sitting back onto the bed, “Got a thick skull.”

A figure then emerged from the sides of the room, as if stepping out of nothing. It seemed the magic at the edges of the room hid them; he was an Eft, hooded and robed, carrying a cup of tea. The Eft slowly lowered the tea to the traveller’s mouth, slowly dripping it into his mouth. They whispered, “I wish you good luck on your suicide.”

Then, the traveller felt his soul splitting from his body. He felt an urge to walk, and when he did, he found that his soul did not walk in three-dimensional space. It walked a strange angle, until he hit his first obstacle; his divine nature began to split atwain, his very soul being stripped of its divinity. A searing pain unlike anything he had ever felt before spread across him, but his soul kept walking.

His mind went blank. Darkness overwhelmed him as consciousness seemingly fled. But, when he came to, he was walking; nothing more than a loose conglomeration of emotion manifested into a vague mockery of the human form. Ahead, a city being torn down in its entirety, set upon a sea of nothing. The rocks and the trees and the grass blurred around him, becoming one in the face of the city.

The false moon shined down upon it all. The flesh writhed, and an Eft, spotting the traveller walking towards the city, lowered himself into prostration, his voice dull and flat as he said, “The divine walks our city, and the world entrail. What honor brings him to make gracious hosts of us all?”

”Fuckkk.” The god hissed and repressed the pain. He straightened up and affected a smile, but unmasked as he was the building anger was unmistakable. He reigned it in. He always did, but the feeling wasn’t something easily hidden by a joke and a grin in this place, wherever it was. When the traveller, the god, when Orynn Kaseyk spoke his reply it was with as much friendly humor as he could manage, “Just saying hello. Well, that and me needing to ask one little thing: do you, oh, happen to know when I can find the An-Clastaphon?”

The Eft rose to his feet, answering, “She watches the sixth city of Olan; through a breach into the parabola. If you seek her, your arrival is fortuitous; you have landed in the seventh city, Alaman.” He pointed behind Orynn, “Walk that way, and you will find yourself in Olan. There, they are always silent and in hiding. Make yourself obvious and she will steal you back into the waking world.”

Well, thanks,” Orynn stumbled over the words, almost bemused. He stared at the Eft for a second before suddenly smiling more genuinely, “Direct and helpful huh? Maybe this place isn't as bad as the trip.”

The god waved fondly at the Eft as he pivoted on one heel and set off. He didn’t bother looking over his shoulder, but he did take the time to occasionally scream nonsense and profanity. Enough time so that ‘obvious’ might have been an understatement.

As he walked away from the city, the landscape coalesced around him, taking shape once more rather than its previous blur. Though, especially with his perception, he noticed that every tree looked the same, every rock was shaped in the same way as every other rock, and streams needing crossing flowed the exact same, and were encountered in a regular pattern.

Several hours of walking later, he arrived; a city, every window and door facing one way, away from some great hole in the sky. Orynn could see people, always walking in places where they could not see the hole in the sky and the hole in the sky could not see them, and, most notably, he could hear nothing from them; not even footsteps.

But what he could hear was muffled speech on the other side of the hole. It was blurry, but he could vaguely make out the shape of the An-Clastophon, and the shapes of two other things, yet unidentifiable.

”Ok, needlessly creepy,” Orynn made the observation to himself as he made his way through the city. He took some care not to bother the people, too much, but still screamed at the hole once he found an appropriately dramatic square to do so from, ”An-Clastophon! Hello? Hey, you got some time to chat? Hellllo?! You hearing me here?”

The An-Clastophon’s hazy face snapped to the hole. The people fled into their homes as Orynn felt a force dragging his half-body towards the sky. He saw the An-Clastophon say something, and one of the hazy shapes slid out of frame. Then, his half-body hit the hole. He could feel his divine essence flee the Lushlands and shoot back towards him as he was pulled through.

Once his eyes were through, he could finally perceive the room -- they were in a room built entirely of obsidian, the An-Clastophon only visible through the glowing of her eyes and his godly perception. There were several doors built into the room, one of which he could perceive was recently used. And finally, behind the An-Clastophon, he could see a godly pillar, one of eight that stabilized the land.

Once he was fully through, the An-Clastophon flatly commented, ”You shouldn’t have been able to survive in there.”

Orynn rolled his shoulders and reached up and out to stretch while he replied, “Ever the disappointment, me. Still, good to see you alive. I was starting to wonder, you know.”

The An-Clastophon narrowed her eyes, looking him up and down as if sizing him up as she said, her tone dry, “Oh, I’ve died before. Didn’t take.” She then, seemingly satisfied, said, “I don’t much encourage social calls, so I assume you need something from me?”

”That alone would be enough for me to drop by,” the god joked as he glanced around the room curiously, “But unfortunately, you’re right. World’s gotten a lot smaller in the last century and it’s getting harder to hide when you need to. Lucky for me, I know you.”

She nodded, saying, almost sentimentally, ”It was easier back then, you’re right. Once, I could run abroad the land and still keep my movements hidden. Nowadays, a thousand eyes would see me if I tried,” she paused, her voice taking on a fairly neutral tone, with the slightest tinge of admiration, “Even my experiments get infested with eyes nowadays. You should have killed all the mortals you saw in there. They’d just fill it up again, but it would feel good.”

Orynn frowned pointedly, “And here they were being so helpful. I didn't take you for the indiscriminate slaughter type. Oh things have gotten harder, but what would we fill our forever with if they were easy? We have to change, fit the times. Rise to the challenge.”

He gestured around as he added, “All of which brings me here, to ask for help. A first by the way.”

She let out an exasperated chuckle, responding, ”What is helpful to you may not be so helpful to me. They’re willing to divulge a great many secrets they shouldn’t know, because they know I can’t reach them,” she caught herself, shaking her head with a sigh before returning to business, ”In any case, let us get to business. What, exactly, were you looking for help with?”

“Like I said, hiding,” Orynn answered, “Things, people, myself. Going unnoticed gets harder and harder, and me? You could say I’ve never been the naturally subtle sort.”

“I see,” the An-Clastophon commented. She thought it over for a moment, then said, “And what are the requirements for this help? Does it need to be replicable, and portable?”

”Be great if it was,” the god grinned at her between words, ”But I figure more might be needed to throw off anyone looking for me than anything or anyone I’m trying to hide. Could be I might be able to tolerate a double standard. One thing and then another.”

Her maw split into some beastly facsimile of a smile, and she said, ”I have just the thing already laying around. All I ask in return is a favor to be used on a future date, and something more immediate. I can explain it after we’ve concluded our deal, but it will take you but five seconds of effort and isn’t harmful to you or anyone else,” she then added, reassuringly, “it’s just something I’m not able to do myself, otherwise I already would have.”

“A favor is it? I’d take you up on that for curiosity alone,” he met the An-Clastophon’s gaze and went on with a smile, “And likewise for whatever it is you want now! So tell me, what can you only get from something like me?”

She held up a finger, saying, “I’ll be right back,” and she went to one of the doors, exiting the room. Orynn was left alone with only the pillar for company for a minute before she returned, carrying a steel box. She walked up to him and held it out, saying, “I can’t explain how it’s made; only that within is a secret that powers the magical field. Show it to your most ambitious mortals and they’ll learn, with time, to make more.”

The god was leaning against the pillar when the An-Clastophon returned, but stepped forward to take the proffered box. Albeit, not without comment, “It’s in character, at least. You’ve settled up, so what about me?”

She sat down, rubbing the back of her head with a hand as she answered, “For the favor, I will find you later on when I’m ready to call upon it. For here, I’m going to drop my guard. Perceive my head and my brain within. You’ll find a complex web of divine leylines within,” she brought her hand down, “sever one at random. No matter what happens to me afterwards, you may go. And this time, use the front door,” she pointed to one of the doors, “it may take you an hour or two to get out of the maze. Make sure to recover the outside door in ash once you’re out.”

“Hm, not what I expected,” Orynn remarked, before quickly tapping the An-Clastophon’s outstretched finger. In the span of a moments contact the god reached within, found a thread within the tapestry, and tore it out before burning it away. He shrugged and finished his thought, “But why not?”

The An-Clastophon’s eyes rolled back into her head as the leyline was cut, her body spasming once before it immediately fell into a violent seizure. The room was silent except for her trashing body, until, as quickly as the seizure began, her body gave out. It lay there silently on the floor, dead.

The god kicked her body, lightly, and then not so lightly, before remarking, “Even if you have died before, it doesn't look fun to me. Oh well.”

With that he turned to the door and casually stepped out. At least, until he’d wasted more than one or two minutes in the maze. After that Orynn Kaseyk, the god of Defiance, finally lost his patience. To his credit, after punching holes in enough walls to reach the exit, he did remember to set it on fire.




&


Defiance


“And they go,” The nameless deity wearing the body of a man remarked after Astella retrieved her animal, much to the grumbling disappointment of the golem Brugh, and made her way back to I’Iro. He looked over to Lonn, still beside him, and asked simply, “What about you?”

Despite his original intention to be well and truly gone from this place as soon as possible, Lonn couldn’t help but remain. The newcomer, whoever he was, had proven far too irresistible a focus for his current attention. So the disheveled, shoeless man with a killer smile simply plopped himself down on the edge of the crater, watching the lake overflow and certain points. When at last the nameless god spoke, Lonn flashed his smile with every last ounce of his power used to keep himself from seeming too pleased with himself.

”Me? World’s wild, friend. If I was a betting man, and I am, I’d say the world’s not long for this uh… world, as it were, without a little extra effort.

”Agreed,” The man-god met Lonn’s impossible grin with a flawed smile of his own and added, “More than that, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan on letting this place kill me. Figure I might go looking for a place to start, or maybe a plant?”

Lonn let out a pleased cackle and slapped his hands together, rubbing them into one another to really grind that grime in. With that he patted his knees and stood up, shaking off the dust and looked down out across the world with a hungry gaze. That smile, for a mere moment, seemed a little more hostile than it had before but still gleamed with all its majesty that simply couldn’t be hated. A smile like that couldn’t HELP but be benevolent, right?

”A plant, eh?” enunciated Lonn, playing with the sound of the word on his teeth. He knew what they were, of course, it was just an interesting word. ”Hahahahah, Plant. Yeaaaa… Now you’re speaking my language, buddy. World’s our oyster, pal, and it’s up to us to keep this puppy kicking! Let’s go find ourselves a plant!”

With his assertion complete Lonn hopped off the small ledge he’d been sitting on, toes catching good traction on the dusty outcropping. With an authoritative point Lonn thrust a finger down the mountainside, pointing towards the path where a river flowed. Like a lighthouse Lonn’s smile flashed and his sparking red eyes locked onto a landscape full of potential.

”And I’m betting there’s one thataway~”

“Then what are we doing here?” The man god eyed Lonn and challenged his grin with one a little less interesting, but no less self assured. He ran at the edge of the mountain and jumped, reaching out to tear a slab of stone off the precipice as he went. Before hitting the side of the mountain the nameless deity, silently known to his equals as the God of Defiance, brought the slab of stone he’d captured under his feet and met the slope surfing. As he vanished in a cloud of dust rocketing down the mountain his voice cut through the air, “Coming?!”

Lonn’s laughter that followed the God of Defiance down the hill first was explosive, each staccato laugh thundering out like bombs. In one moment Lonn had confirmed for himself that he had found someone worth a little extra attention and all manner of opportunities lay down the road. Confident that he had nothing to worry about in regards to this new found brother in ideology, Lonn took one step back and took up a javiliner’s posture. With a concerted grunt he hurled the contents of his empty hand forward. In an instant his body exploded into crimson light, flashing down the mountainside and leaving a burning red afterglow in his wake. The lightning bolt that was Lonn hurtled past his man-god comrade, roaring as it went, and the adventure was well and truly begun.

***


“You’re fast!” The God of Defiance observed enthusiastically as he crashed to the ground before a squatting Lonn, all but detonating the rock he’d been surfing and showering riverside with jagged fragments of stone. “But,” He added with an affected shrug, ”My way’s more fun.”

Lonn’s transient state had returned and once more he looked the part of a slightly homeless middle aged party goer. The edges of his hair looked as if they’d recently been on fire and the amount of soot that dusted some of his features seemed to match the description. Several of his physical features, particularly the exact positions and angles of bones, had changed during the trip but Lonn seemed to pay it no heed. His smile, though, was entirely unaffected. A pleased wave seemed to show his sign of assent, only to be followed up with a far more verbal assertion.

”Almost certainly,” came his partially manic tone, standing to pat off some of the black caked onto his clothing, ”Next time.”

“And there’ll be one, but first... The man-god’s smile flattened and he trailed off as his eyes began to scan the ground around them before fixing on a seemingly blasted patch of dirt to his right. His smile bloomed anew as stepped over to it, ”There you are.”

A tiny shoot, barely even free of the ashen dirt, shrunk under the god’s attention. He casually swung his foot over it, ready to stomp it into the nothing it sprang from, and questioned the juvenile plant, “Are you going to let me?.

For a moment it merely began to visibly quiver, but as the man-god lowered his foot it truly began to move. Spurred on so it grew faster than anything ought to, breaking free of the soil and moving out of the way of the god’s threatening foot in as many branching directions as it could. Soon a thick web of spongy green strands spread out from the empowered sprout, racing across the blasted field and seeking out the safety and life of the river at frightening speed. The strands weaved in and out of the dirt, and as they dipped in they turned from voluminous and soft things into hardened roots. Thick, woody, and able to hook into anything the roots of the spindly cord like plant were bred for a dying world and thus found no difficulty breaking into the dead soil and churning it as all manner of flora had once done. It was only once they fanned out into the flowing river that the tough roots began to splinter, shedding off their tips in the water so that they might grow into new fibrous mats of green elsewhere.

Seemingly gratified with his work the man-god stepped out of the small bubble of barren dirt around him and onto the wide mat of plantlife where he sunk his toes in. With a proud grin he commented, “Stubborn as me. Should keep our fancy new rivers from washing too much of this place over the edge.”

Though he didn’t let the God of Defiance see it, Lonn stared at the growing undergrowth with raised eyebrows. He was impressed, to say the least; frankly, he hadn’t even considered what he was going to do with the plant. The Red God nodded slightly, head bobbing in approval, as new strands of fate were weaved before his very eyes. Here was the potential to do so much more than just ride the wave of the apocalypse, but instead create a future that would keep on giving. Mortals, after all, did not do well in these harsh climates and them dying off fast from eating each other was going to get old real fast. Pearly whites flashed as his visage returned to his resting Lonn face.

With feet that had never once been blessed by the feeling of plants, Lonn took his first step onto the spongy flora. His eyes glowed a baleful red as his imagination ran free with opportunities. Nodding as his deity-friend addressed him, he dropped to a low squat and picked up a small rock knocked loose by the growing plant life. Power belied by the gangly hands that withheld it surged through into the stone, Lonn squeezing the stone into powder, flakes, and grains with contemptuous ease. Lifting the handful of detritus to his face, Lonn blew hard and from his lips came a storm of crimson. Before his eyes the cloud erupted in all directions, warping with red light as they took to the wind as crimson seeds. The final pebble he snagged between his thumb and index finger, eyeing his handiwork.

The crimson seed throbbed with life that made Lonn giddy, practically bursting with potential. With one thumb Lonn pushed the seed down into the ground and covered it over, giving it one last little pat for good measure. The seed blossomed and sprouted, rapidly growing into a seedling and then a fullbush. Blood red leaves sprouted and flourished into full life while chunky, tuberous looking roots began to slightly surface pit . With that Lonn tugged one from the dirt and tore it in half with his hands, revealing a starchy, potato-like, reddish meat on the interior of the cardinal fruit. A pleased look overcame him as he tossed one half to the God of Defiance.

”And these should keep men from doing the same.”

The other god caught the bisected fruit and regarded it with appreciation, especially once it began to fizzle and brown just so in his hand. Still steaming, the man-god brought it to his mouth and took a bite. “Mm!” he spoke as he chewed, “Now that’s an idea. One too good to let you have all to yourself.”

He dropped what bits of the fruit he hadn’t eaten onto the ground, and smeared them with his foot. Kneeling down he held a hand out above the mess that seemed to grow cold. The humid air from the river condensed on the man-god’s flesh and water dripped down onto the crushed fruit until little white orbs started growing out of it. The orbs bloomed into huge puffy balls, suspended above the ground by long, branching pyramid like stalks. Most stopped their development there, but a few grew had their orbs grow fibrous and hard before popping with violent cracks and unleashing wispy clouds of dust into the cool wind.

The god of defiance plucked one orb as large as his head and took a bite out, chewed thoughtfully, and reluctantly admitted, “Blander than yours. Oh well, at least it’ll be there if they need it.”

Lonn patted his hands, knocking away bits of starchy meat and dusty powder. A pleased shrug was all the response that was needed, with no interest whatsoever driving him to flex his success. His eyes flashes from left to right, observing as nature slowly began to rejuvenate itself; another step in a long route to repairing the world.

”I’d say that’s a good start, eh?”

”We might get to live after all!” Lonn’s counterpart quipped. The other god fixed his eyes on some point in the hazy distance and added seriously, “But I do have something I need to do next. Alone, if you wouldn’t mind?”

Lonn chortled as a devious gaze locked on that of the man-god, showing Lonn’s truer nature in a way he had previously disguised. He could imagine quite a few reasons why the unnamed deity might seek time on his own and Lonn himself no doubt felt quite similar. There were things to do, problems to solve, and plans to set in motion.

”Don’t fret, buddy, I get you; you and me both. And don’t worry, I’ll be seeing you again real soon. I think this is the beginning of a wonderful relationship.”

As Lonn turned to leave, he laughed.



Noice
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In the last moments of his existence the eldest man yet living opened his withered eyes and beheld his fate; one from which he’d saved his people an instant prior. Impotent warnings thrummed in his head as the blur of the world transformed into brilliant light and he felt the touch of heat on his skin for the first time since he’d walked the world above as a boy. Funny, that he could remember that and not even know how he’d saved his people. Or who he was.

Death was not something that could be averted. It came regardless of the magnitude of your efforts or the extent of your sacrifices. For him, both had been great. He knew that he’d lost his mind in a trade for time, and that he’d done so willingly. Ironic as it was, that that was one of the few things he knew with any degree of certainty. Thankfully, it was easy to be certain about your reason for being.

He had to keep his people alive. He could not allow them to perish, even if he did. To that end he had given everything. He had become nothing more than a calculating mechanism in a greater machine, operating off of inputs and outputs divorced from emotion or feeling or thought. It had been worth it, he thought as he felt pain for what seemed like the first time, to have at least been able to prevent this disaster from eradicating what remained of his people. If the conduits had not been severed the blast would have consumed the shelter which he had so doggedly maintained throughout his long and wretched life.

The pickled flesh of his feet had begun to vaporize when he heard the resigned whisper in his head, “The moment cannot be stretched much longer. I cannot save you. I am sorry.”

He could only laugh ruefully, or think about laughing. He retorted within the confines of his mind, “They will live. I... Welcome this, at last.”

“They will not die,” The whisper admonished, “They do not live. Not as they are. They have never lived with you as their keeper, but they cannot survive your death.”

The old man hesitated, failing heart slowing his mind even in this moment stretched thin. When he thought again it was melancholy and confused, “They... I... I wish I could have- So little time I- How... How can I save them?”

“You have defied death before,” The voice spoke faster as the heat of encroaching annihilation began to boil the old man’s blood, “I cannot grant you life as yourself, but you may yet live within me. Your self may be lost, but the will which has driven you to save your people can remain. Reject oblivion and your peoples end. I can help you. Surrender yourself and I can help all of you.”

More laughter from the withered old man, frying in the air. This time genuine. “Myself? I am... I- I lost myself... Before. Save them! Stop this! Do it.”

It was his last thought before the fire washed over him. Bones turned to ash and blood to steam as the wave of devastation swept over the ancient facility and washed it from the world. The fire carved a terrible crater out of the landscape and rose into the black sky as a burning orange beacon, illuminating the dead and blasted landscape below. At the center of the crater, where the ground still glowed furiously, a man rose.

Or rather, a God. The eldest man was dust and atoms, but his soul lived on within something greater. A representation of who he’d been as a young man stood naked amidst the ash and began to laugh uproariously as it understood the old man's humor and joy at the very end. After an eternity of living death, mankind would live again. And not just in body.

“They’ll live!”

The God declared, the tears of another running down his cheeks,
“They’ll finally get to live!”


Before the rock had cooled divinity wearing the flesh of a man set off. Jaunty steps carried the unclothed being across miles in moments, for there was no time to waste. The great shelter held so much of what remained of the Human race. The God knew this as the old man had known it, even in senility. It was now in desperate need of salvation, but it was a salvation that would need to be built peice by piece and brick by brick. To that end the cornerstones had already been laid. The God felt that instinctively and understood:

There was to be safety in the east, at the peak which rose above the world. There was no point wasting time.


In --- 7 mos ago Forum: Character Sheets
Orynn Kaseyk


Domain:


Defiance - Held in the depths of our souls, each and every one whether great or small, there is a will. A will to exist, to continue existing, to determine our course and fate, and to reject that which demands anything less of us. A will to defy all that restricts us. A will to say no because we must, or perhaps just because we want to. The Domain of Defiance is this will, and as its divine representation Orynn Kaseyk is the force which pulls it from our depths and into our hearts.

Regardless of intent, purpose, or reason Orynn Kaskye is the helping hand proffered to every rebel, anarchist, or black sheep. If one burns to be free, or chafes under any yoke, then they must only act upon their truest desire to count themselves among the faithfully defiant and be welcome to the aegis of a God.

Myth:


The Account of Ashiyra - I grew up on tales of family. I learned, before I could read or write, that it was my ancestor who had built the sanctuary. A man who’d been powerful beyond imagining, and above that? Lucky. He’d survived long enough abscond to his shelter and been kind enough to permit anyone who found it in the years after entrance. A paragon beyond reproach. One of the few in those days with the strength to safeguard humanity.

Of course, if that were true I might have been taught his name. It’s the big lies you tell children, because sometimes the hard truths aren’t worth facing so young. Sometimes not at all. My ancestor was, almost certainly, a petty tyrant. A man who was erased from history at some point, an action as petty as him. After all, history wasn’t likely to survive the sanctuary.

None of us were, and that was the other hard truth. The counterpart to the biggest lie we told our children; that they would be safe here. It was cruel to say it, but what else was there to do? The outside had frozen over before I was born, and now the frost creeped deeper into the ground every day. Hold a hand to any wall on the upper levels and the truth was there in the chill. One day the sanctuaries own heat wouldn’t be enough. The truth. Us adults, and a few of the unlucky children, all knew that we were going to die freezing.

Almost two thousand people, stuffed into a shallow shelter meant for less than a quarter that number. As far as we knew, the last of the human race. With no one left who understood how to do more than keep things running as they were there was no chance. Hopeless. It was all going to end in a hole dug into the ground by a man whose name nobody even remembered.

So, we lied to the children. We lied and we waited to die. The descendants of great men and nobodies, all forgotten with everything else that had made us human. To awake day after day, each one waiting for the last? I contemplated ending it. Others weren’t so restrained. We hid that from the children too, when we could.

The only thing to be grateful for was the farm. One last gift from a man who’d never even considered having to work to stay alive, it was a sealed off level visible through windows alone. We owed our miserable existence to it and the little glowing bugs that serviced it. I think, now, that it would have been kinder if we’d never had that simple luxury. We might’ve been prepared for the hell to come, then.

There’s always room for more suffering, I’ve found. You have to be prepared for it, and experience is the best teacher. Speaking of, the day our teacher came to us. I’ve said that the upper levels had begun to grow cold, but I neglected to mention the shaft to the surface. Our out, as it were, had been a refrigerator for the dead ever since the door to the outside had frozen shut. It wasn’t much warmer than whatever was beyond.

Well, one day I heard a knocking on the door to that shaft. Perhaps if someone had died recently I might have sprung into action, wrenched open the hatch and welcomed them back to the rest of us waiting for what they’d managed to cheat. That… wasn’t the case. Nobody has died in over a month, a record really.

Yet, the knocking did not abate. It grew louder the longer I ignored it, and eventually I realized the nature of my choice. It was not a matter of letting the caller in or not. It was a matter of letting them in, or having them tear apart the door. Others had begun to appear in the hallways asking after the noise then, but I’d already made my decision.

We were all going to die. Out there might have been our more immediate deaths, but if it wasn't? I admit I opened the door with trembling hands. That was when I met the man who’d save me. Not as pale as anyone I’d seen, but a man nonetheless. Shocking in how normal he looked in a world where normalcy faded from memory. He stood there in the freezing hallway, seemingly unbothered by the cold, a simple balled hand frozen between inexplicably heavy knocks.

He smiled and asked me what had taken me so long. What followed was chaos beyond any I’d known in the sanctuary, but I must confess little memory of it. From that moment my attention was fixed on him. The stranger. To stand beside him was to feel free, uninhibited, and after a lifetime in a dank hole it was like basking in the sun. He gathered the ones who didn’t fear him, who felt as I did in his presence, and he left the others to hide and bicker while he spoke to us.

Far from the sanctuary, he said, there was a land where the world had been restored. A place he could lead us to. It was everything we had always wanted to hear, and the passion that was burning in us grew beyond our control at the simple words. We could survive. Even as he grinned and laughed with us the stranger warned us of the dangers, that many would perish on the journey, that we may be forced to do terrible things to survive.

In spite of the relief that washed over me at knowing I had a chance, it was a warning to make me afraid. Around him though? At that moment I knew what everyone else there to listen did. If the stranger didn’t leave our sides, we would do whatever it took to survive. Anything. We would not die here, as animals waiting for death in their burrows. We would never surrender to that fate. We were desperate, and the stranger had, smiling and joking all the while, given us the only option we had. Each of us agreed to follow the man who’d come from a place where everything had long since died, whose very presence felt addicting, and who we had no genuine reason to trust. Regardless of how we felt, that he was our only chance was beyond debate.

Some joined us when they heard, others tried to stop us. They feared what would happen if we took so many resources, willfully and madly ignorant of the fact that they were going to die with or without them. I will never forgive myself for what I did when it came to blows. I will never apologize for it, either. The stranger gave me the strength to do it, but in my heart I knew it was what had to be done.

When it was over we left the ones who hadn’t fought alone and stripped the dead of both sides. We fashioned our equipment out of whatever we could scrounge, whatever we could salvage. By the time we ventured out of the sanctuary and into the cold we’d all but destroyed it, even as eight hundred souls still clung to it.

It was not mentioned after that. Little was. Breath could not be wasted out in the cold, and only the stranger had the strength to guide and drive us forward through the heavy drifts. Especially as we began to succumb. Those who’d dithered to take in the sight of a world they’d never known were among the first to die, having wasted too much warmth on a pause taking them out of the huddled group here, or a hushed and awed conversation with a loved one at the edge there.

We did not leave their bodies behind. I did not understand at the time, many didn’t, but out in the frost the stranger’s word was law. So we dragged the corpses through fields of snow and forests encased in crystal ice. We took turns, until we began to lose fingers. By that time we could see the great mountain the stranger was leading us to, and by that time many had realized they would never make it.

After all, we had run out of food. We had never had enough to make it, and the stranger had known it. He had warned us, we could all agree. Few were angry, few had the strength to be, but all understood. Even if it had never come to it we all knew that human beings were little different to animals when they died. We were made of meat. The stranger did not ask us to join him, but as he removed the first body from the sled we did anyway.

Forty died because they didn’t. Because they couldn’t. I must confess I fear for my people, that only the ones like me have survived. The ones who were willing to eat with the stranger, the creature we all understood was not one of us consuming the flesh of our friends and family alongside us. The creature that smiled and joked and did everything it could to distract us.

We named it before we reached the mountain, in hushes meant to be hidden from its ears. Orynn Kaseyk. Flesh Eater. The thing that comes to eat men and shares the meal with their family. I, for one, regret the name. The stranger was not a cannibal. That honor belongs to those of us willing to follow him. When he first heard it, I believe it was the only time I ever saw hurt on the stranger's face. However short lived it was.

When we reached the stronghold of the New Gods and understood the truth of our benefactor, we numbered three hundred. When we had left we were more than twice that number. I did not wish to know how many… Pieces of the lost had found their way in us, though.

It was then, on the day I realized I was saved that I began to wonder if I deserved to have been. It is a question that has never left my mind, and one that has always threatened to consume me since. For soon the stranger left us behind and ventured once more into the broken world. Without the freedom and certainty we’d each felt in his presence we were forced to come to terms with what we’d done to survive.

I wish I could help it, but I always ask myself: Was the cost of defying death worth the life I gained?

Base Form:


Orynn, on the rare occasion he is not seeking to conceal his identity, seems to prefer a rather simple appearance. Since his earliest appearances in the records of mortals he has always appeared as a remarkably plain human man with broad shoulders, messy brown hair, and the type of musculature you might expect in a field hand. Handsome perhaps, but only situationally. If anything unconditionally positive could be said about the god's appearance, it would be that he experiments with outfits over the centuries rather than settling on any one 'look'.

True Form:


Even in his base form Orynn projects an aura that pulls the great grievances in mortals hearts to the surface and emboldens them to seek redress. While not something that can command anyone it is absolutely capable of undermining social convention and overturning the inhibitions that normally restrain mortals actions.

In his true form, Orynn Kaseyk becomes this aura and in doing so drastically expands and alters it. The true form of Orynn is the spark of defiance in everything around him such that life from mortality to the trees and their roots below lose all restraint in his presence. To behold the true form of Orynn is to realize that you can live however you please, and to witness the very world and all that grows around you come to the same realization.

Musical Theme:

WIP

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