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The Xandalian Republic

Xandalian Gateway, Security Fleet


Aboard the bridge of the Xandalian Destroyer XSS Knerian, Commander Walton Varitian watched on as the Columbian ship entered Xandalian space. Though he was only in his mid-thirties, the caucasian man seemed to look on at the new arrival with a discerning eye. He was experienced against pirates in terms of fleet combat, having been a mech pilot at the beginning of his career at that, but had since his rise to a commanding position participated in a number of military drills and training exercises as well both at home and aboard with the Gusb Fleet in cooperative joint-training practice. In short, he was chosen for the job for what experience he had on the fly due to the need for forces to secure the Gateway. It had been an early and rather surprising call from the Executive Officer himself, but all the same he'd seen it as an honor to serve in this capacity alongside his troops. Security and welcoming...almost felt paradoxical given the situation.

Still, rapidly the comms began to light up as initial word came in. Still...he could see the sizeable ship of a heavier sort from the bridge regardless.

"Knerian, this is Squadron Leader Hardrada commander of Squadron Two. Do you read?"

Walton nodded to the comms officer, who rapidly patched him through to the hailing mech squadron leader.

"Loud and clear, Squadron Leader Hardrada. This is Commander Varitian. We can see the foreign vessel from here. Give us your status report."

"Affirmative, Commander Varitian. Vessel on initial scans and observation seems to be, in my experience, superior in firepower and armoring to our Destroyers but with only almost as much armor as our Carriers. In that regard we possess a minute advantage in regards to our Carrier's raw defensive capabilities. Further scans by my men will hopefully determine if shield generators are present onboard. No traces of Thalarite power like our ships use, but more primitive electrical power can be detected coursing through the ship itself.

How should we proceed?"

Walton let out a small sigh. Well, they had sent out a rather decisive message...but he'd no idea how it would be translated and passed along. The ancient Earth concept of the 'telephone game' came to mind. Still, he didn't want to try to spur a further "dick-measuring contest" as it were. All the same they had to not be meek in their own space, but also not aggressive. With this in mind he would promptly return a response to the Squadron Leader.

"Maintain passive observation of the foreign ship, and do not engage. If weapons begin to power up, or other major aggressive changes occur such as the deployment of smaller craft, alert us ASAP using this same secured emergency channel. Meanwhile take your men and alert Squadon One to take up honor guard formation."

"By you orders, Commander."

The CSS Tokyo would the two deployed squadrons of Xandalian mechs form a corridor for the Heavy Cruiser. Unless the concept had been lost, they would be visibly arranged like the honor guard at a ceremony might be placed. No weapons were pointed at the Heavy Cruiser, though the mechs did wield them, and if the Columbian ship was performing any scans of its own they might notice a lack of traditionally electrical or even nuclear power present on any of the Xandalian vessels. Even so, Brywell's communication through the channels would soon hit the comms of the Xandalians.

"Sir, foreign vessel is hailing us. Shall we connect the updated Translator to the comms for reception?"

"Yes. Ensure we can understand things from their end."

After the pressing of a couple of buttons, the alien message soon was received on the bridge loud and clear.

"This is Captain Brywell of the CSS Tokyo of the United Columbian Republic, we've received your probe's message and have come in peace, do not open fire. I repeat, do not open fire."
Captain Brywell

Perfect, and a rather human-like name for the ship's leader to boot. It seemed their language wasn't too far off, though the work the translators speeded over to Listening Station Alpha to upgrade the Translator tech with old Earth language information and provided Gusb language keys alongside predictive algorithms had been rather welcome. Well, welcome if not more so expensive and more than a bit stressful for those that had done the work.

"Patch me through to their comms, ensure Translation module is double-checking translations before my communication is sent. If we both this then this could get ugly."

"Yes sir!"

Walton then cleared his throat before speaking over the comms to the Columbian ship.

"Attention CSS Tokyo of the United Columbian Republic, we read you loud and clear. This is Commander Walton Varitian of the XSS Knerian. We welcome you to Xandalian space with open arms. Do not fear, for we mean you no harm. We will only fire if fired upon first.

Two squadrons of our Military-Frames have formed a safe passage for you to pass down, and if you wish to send a smaller craft to bring representation to meet our diplomats our unarmed diplomatic vessels closest to you are open for reception. However, if you possess no capabilities to come to us then we can send representation in one of our smaller craft to come meet on your vessel instead. Whichever measure is most accessible and comfortable for you. Over."

The tension was palpable on the bridge as the Commander spoke, seeking to be as clear and concise as he could without budging so much as a muscle. It was nerve-wracking, even though the crew had been prepared for this as best as the rather limited amount of time had granted them room for. Regardless, there was a silence that seemed to hang over the comms as the Xandalians awaited a response.
The Xandalian Republic

Senate Chamber, Capital City of Thalus, Xandal

Executive Officer Garand had been having what most might call a 'very long day'. He'd been woken up in the wee early hours of the morning by the most urgent of calls, one that he nor the Senate or anyone else on the planet had likely expected to happen. From there it had been full-stop action from the start, ranging from calls to staff and the rousing of proper military resources and units to the informing of the Senators who were already going to meet in a session today anyways. Upon getting the information, the Senate had declared an 'emergency session' early and called in even the Head Judge and Council of Seven. Ultimately they had naturally delayed the originally-scheduled meeting, but this matter was far more pressing than discussions about the weekly issues. No, those were already being delegated and handled at the continental and lower levels at the moment to keep things moving and ensure the daily matters continued to run smoothly.

All in all, the flexibility and efficiency of the Xandalian System was able to handle this and respond with speed without sacrificing functionality. It was something to be proud of for sure, whether in the minds of any citizen or even as high up as he himself was in the grand scheme of things.

Still...yes, back to the matter at hand.

As Garand walked into the grand, semi-circular auditorium-style Senate Hall he had minor flashbacks to when he'd been called in to be given his appointment as Executive Officer. The floor was a polished marble, great pure white columns carved in ancient Earth style but modern techniques held up the fast domed roof, and yet rows of semi-circular arranged seating in proper order and where those at the center where the podium was could be heard and seen with maximal efficiency. Whilst the 'charm' that hailed back to old Earth was noted, the technology the room was made with and that it continued in the seating and at the podium and so forth was far more advanced. Holographic displays for three-dimensional presentations, proper microphone design that allowed for simple voice projection as clear as crystal, and even personal displays at each of the seemingly innumerable senatorial seats for each Senator to use for clear communication and analysis purposes. That was just the general gist of it, however, as what hit the Executive Officer soon after was the feeling of the eyes of the Senate on him.

As large a man as he was in height, and as imposing as his highly-decorated formal military garb with badges and awards and so forth was, the six-foot-two Garand still felt a light chill down his back as he calmly stepped up to the podium. Soon after, though it felt like much longer than that, Head Judge Marianna von Marua would step up next to him. Whilst Garand himself had quite the tan complexation, complete with a soft, yet kept in a short-military-cut, black hair, Marianna was rather fair skinned and seemed quite pale. This stood in stark contrast to the intricate black Judicial robes she donned, whose collar was golden and woven with fine silver filigree that looked like a 'laurel wreath' design (a plant long lost to Xandalian knowledge sadly) was around her neck...and whose bottom skirt that nearly touched the floor was embroidered with intricate depictions of major Xandalian Historical Events. To some she might as well seem like she was sick, but that was far from the case. Indeed, Garand himself had never seen someone with such raw force of will and good health and a sense of justice as she carried.

Soon, however, the voice of the Senatorial Herald would echo across the room, kicking off the meeting in a rather familiar manner for such an unfamiliar topic.

"Welcome, all to the First Emergency Session in Year 300 of the Post-Colonization Calendar (PCC). Today the Senate has convened to discuss the serious matter of the ancient Gateway re-opening, as they were alerted to by Executive Officer Garand Marks, inviting all major officers to come. Direct Representatives of Continental authorities are also tuning into this session for informative purposes.

At the stand are the Executive Offer, who is joined by Head Judge Marianna von Marua.

Executive Officer, you may speak first."

Garand nodded his head solemnly, and soon the vast open air of the chamber was filled with a 3d holographic display showing himself. It was real-time, meaning as he moved and talked those watching would see it and how he was conducting himself, hearing every word if not breath that came out of his mouth. Quite the pressure, but it ensured clarity and quality of understanding.

"Members of the Senate, representatives listening in by a secure channel, and most honored Head Judge beside me," the man began, gesturing politely with one hand to the Senate and to Marianna (who nodded back at him) as he addressed them before continuing, "As of 0200 hours this morning, confirmation of the opening of the ancient Gateway was received by staff on Listening Station Alpha. Thirty minutes later I received the first call about this after further analysis was done to confirm the initial readings. By 0400 hours, I had sent out all necessary emergency orders for military reactivation and deployment up to 40% total capacity and for forces to secure the Gateway. Anti-piracy forces remain active, however, so as to not compromise the safety of our space.

Listening Station Alpha has kept tabs on the Gateway and area about it for anti-piracy means, but also to keep an eye on the ancient Gateway. This 'artificial wormhole generator', as the 300 year old records recall it as, was left by our forebears who settled this world and fled a dying one to settle various different places. For all of our history here, it has remained inactive and we have not had the means to bring it back online despite attempts to study its arcane technology.

Now...this machinery has returned to an active state once more, and regardless of the 'how' or 'why' we are faced with a serious
matter. To this end I have been asked to speak first here this day, and give my initial recommendation on what should be done. To this end I suggest we maintain a secure space about the Gateway, and send out a mixed diplomatic and scouting mission to begin investigating things with a degree of caution.

I now hand the floor to Head Judge Marianna."

Garand gave a nod, before taking a step back. Marianna's gaze seemed as piercing as those light blue eyes of hers hinted at, though she quietly nodded to him as she took center stage at the podium now.

"This is indeed a most awe-inspiring moment...and also one that inspires tensions to boot," the Head Judge began, her words pronounced with a very deliberate clarity and smooth tone, gesturing out with her arms as she spoke with her blue orbs scanning the audience of Senators for reactions and so forth, "We have no idea what lies beyond the Gateway, whether it be hostile forces who do not remember their origins or perhaps those who have abandoned the ancient definition of 'humanity' in regards to their own actions. Alternately, there might be friends and allies with which we might come to an understanding and greater prosperity as we have come to achieve with our Gusb brethren at the other end of the system.

In this vein, simply tossing a scouting party and diplomatic mission through the Gateway I believe would be too dangerous to consider for a first impression. Too hasty, with high chances of causing fright to either potential friend or foe. Should we take such a rash risk that might tarnish the name of this proud nation and people? Should we really have military forces sitting about as well, bringing tension or perhaps rash actions to any who might enter through the Gateway as well?"

She seemed to glance back at Garand himself for a moment. In turn, it wasn't hard to notice that her words did seem to stir some sense of unease among some of the Senatorial faces Garand could most clearly recognize in the room. Unease at his idea that was. The Executive Officer grit his teeth in silence. Woman could have been a Senator with the way she could direct and guide and capture the attention of those about her. Even so, she had 'some' of a point at least. Yet at the same time...

"If I may interrupt for a moment?" Garand said, stepping forward once more and his holographic projection appearing next to Marianna's as his words began to be projected as well, "Head Judge, with the utmost respect I do wish to note that decisive actions must be taken in some capacity. To leave the Gateway unsecured in its current state would invite pirates to potentially make use, which would leave a far worse impression of us perhaps, and what if something hostile enters our space as well? Shall we take forever to respond, potentially allowing hostile forces to secure our own Gateway?

Would you leave our people and allies in danger over any proper sense of security?"

The military man's voice carried authority and a resounding boom to it that brought attention back to him, and after a minute several heads would nod in mild agreement within the crowd in turn. Marianna didn't even bat an eye at his interruption, however, simply smirking at him alone for a moment despite his attempt to cut back. She then went about returning her attention back to the Senators.

"Ah, Executive Officer Garand does have a perhaps a compromise might be in order? How might we secure ourselves, and yet approach things with a more even hand? To that end, I have a potential solution of my own I would wish to suggest to the Senate as a whole. A compromise, if you will."

Wait a second.

"Let us secure our Gateway, but rather than seek others we shall invite them to meet us. We should invite them forth, and have ships ready with each of the Council of Seven to receive diplomatic parties as they arrive...and the troops to fire if the worst enters in."

Oh that sneaky little manipula-...wait. No. There was only one good way to follow this up, and he had an idea!

"How so, Head Judge? I believe the magistrates would be rather busy with the day to day, unless you mean to use them instead of our nation's finest diplomats?" Garand said, after giving a click of his tongue, "As for the delivery method, I believe we have the solution already.

We program a series of modified automated scouting drones, and send one to each world with care. Each will bear the same message, projected out, as they send us cursory data in return."

Marianna chuckled.

"My, I did not mean any offense to our nation's diplomats. Simply to relieve the pressure upon their station as they perhaps get ready for whatever times are to come, and to make my own proposal as were both were requested to prior to this meeting.

Yet you are correct, Executive Officer, our finest diplomats should be prepared for this,"
the Head Judge responded, before extending her arms out in invitation as she looked back at the Senators one last time, "Then, oh members of the Senate, oh voices of the people, what say you to this plan? To secure our Gateway, sending out messenger drones and preparing a diplomatic welcome on our side for any who might deign to visit?"

~Many Hours Later~

The joint plan had been approved, at least after the Executive Officer and the Head Judge were dismissed as the Senate Floor began its own internal debate and decision-making. It had only taken two hours for them to come to a conclusion, which for the Senate was quite the fast decision indeed. Albeit this emergency situation called for such a fast there would be no week of debate over this thankfully. Still, the extended military forces had been assembled at the Gateway already. A couple of Diplomatic vessels, escorted by a destroyer, a carrier, and a humble swarms of Corvettes. The rest would have to take the time for further deployment, but at the same time the Military-Frame pilots with their 3rd Generation mechs were primed and ready in case of the worst. Two squadrons of them were already deployed into the vacuum of space itself as an 'honor guard' forming a safe channel to the diplomatic ships for any potentially-arriving diplomatic parties...or to intercept anything hostile that came through otherwise.

It was fancy as hell for all involved, but with the two ships each equipped with two diplomats up to four foreign diplomatic parties could be hosted comfortably at the same time. Already Listening Station Alpha would now have a carrier and destroyer stationed there for added response capabilities, all as space crews would be arriving to begin building onto the space station itself to accommodate more staff and versatile capabilities (such as a diplomatic wing and one for stationed troops) using premade space station modules shipped from planetside. thing was for certain. As the Gateway was operated, sending each of the now-modified scouting drones through, things would never be the same again.

And as each drone would arrive at each of the other Gateways, they would begin broadcasting a simple message in Xandalian, translated Old Earth English, and Binary respectively:

"Attention, nations and sentients on the receiving ends of these Gateways. This modified drone has been sent by the Xandalian Republic, bringing greetings to any and all remnants of humanity's ancient voyage into the stars. You are not alone.

We invite any who wish to engage in diplomatic talks to our home system, where our diplomats await you on our end of the Gateway. Coordinates have been encoded into this broadcasted message in simple binary.

Our military has secured our Gateway site as well, therefore any actions of aggression or hostility sent to us instead will be responded to with decisive force. However, diplomatic missions and friendly arrivals will be safely and warmly received

This signal will repeat for three hours, and the drone will then automatically shut down and begin self-destructive protocols away from yours Gateways and any detectable ships or life signs. Remain away from them, but it will only be a small blast that will dispose of the drone safely and efficiently."


@Tortoise No problem! And if I need to fix anything, just say the word and it will be done! :P


...The premise is making me curious about this place. Also see a few familiar faces. XD



Arira - Goddess of Cycles

Upon the balcony of her making, the goddess of beauty did lounge. Upon a large purple pillow, she lay in blissful peace. Her eyes were shut, her limbs outstretched and all was well within Wyn’s home. She had lost track of the time since when she had come to the mountain. It could have been two days or two weeks, nothing very exciting had happened of note to make her keep track. In fact, she hadn’t even left her embassy at all, thus she had never seen Astella or any others who might have come. Honestly, it would be their fault if they missed the shining jewel she had made to help uplift the squalor around it. Those humans were far too engrossed in their own work, or scared by the majesty of the building to dare approach. Not that she wanted that, anyways. These ones were dirty and unrefined. Let them waste their lives away through work.

No, the only company she had was the small cat from time to time.

It was scarred and ugly, yes, but Wyn had a suspicious feeling it belonged to, if not Astella, then another god. Her paranoia of the fact the thing could be spying on her prevented her from acting towards it. Or perhaps she just enjoyed the fact that it only slept and did not bother her. She didn’t really care at the moment to find out which mattered more to her. Now was a time for peace, for rel-

A woman’s voice boomed above her, shattering that peace and startling her. Wyn grumpled and opened her eyes. Whoever it was droned on and on about the seasons and bla bla bla. She couldn’t even make out what it was only that their divinity shined like a beacon. Sighing angrily, Wyn got to her feet, disappointed that her relaxation had been interrupted. She gripped the stone railing and watched the sky above like a hawk, still not really understanding what was going on or the intentions behind those words. The only thing she knew at that moment was that it aggravated her. Then the voice began to scream about shutting something, or just the word shut. She scoffed, wishing the voice would shut up instead.

And, to her great surprise, the voice went silent after letting out a final, if not annoying, scream. What a horrendous sound! But, it was over and Wyn could get back to resting in quiet contemplation. Her shoulders relaxed and she was about to look away when something caught her eye. She stared for several seconds, making out that it was a figure she saw, falling without control. Was that the Goddess who had made such a racket? Did she pass out?

Wyn frowned, perhaps it was a time of saving instead of relaxing.

She took off towards the figure in a blink. Much as she wanted the god to fall for being too loud, she knew this was a moment of opportunity. To be the dashing hero that saved the damsel in distress. To earn a little favor. It was a delicious thought, but Wyn pushed it from her mind. She needed to catch the god first.

She got herself underneath the general area the goddess was falling and then flew up to meet her. As she neared, Wyn could make out it was indeed a Goddess. One of a smaller frame, with long hair and a flowing dress that clung to her limp form. Wyn got into position, outstretching her arms and bracing herself and then she waited for the goddess to hit her.

Their bodies collided with a soft thump, and Wyn wrapped her arms around the Goddess as the force sent them tumbling. She quickly got control and not a moment too soon before a jagged peak would have met them. Ugh, to think of all that rock and dirt clinging to her… She shivered just thinking about it and then cradled her fellow divine in her arms, taking a good look at her. The pointy ears stood out to her the most, but other than that, she was about as good looking as Ze’kelia… Maybe about even. She had a certain womanly charm about her that Wyn did approve of, however. She could tell.

She let out a soft sigh. ”Hmmm, whatever shall I do with you? All tuckered out from whatever you did up there. In times such as this the best one can do is take a nap, I think.” Wyn began to float towards her embassy, even from her view it’s beauty stood out to her like a beacon. ”Would you like that, my dearest falling angel?” she spoke softly to the god, not expecting a response. It wouldn’t be long before they arrived at the embassy and oh, how she had questions.

...As the Goddess of Cycles began to awake once more, her dainty eyelids began to flutter a bit before they would open proper. For a moment she did not notice a thing, though as soon as she rubbed her eyes and began to sleepily look about the room-


-...she would rapidly notice the fact she wasn’t shattered upon a mountainside at the moment. Far from it, actually, she was lying in a grand, soft, beautiful bed that seemed to be comfier than any she’d felt before. Lovely paintings on the walls, beautiful carpet on each side of the bed, a vase of the loveliest flowers on the bedside table, and even the windows were extraordinarily beautiful indeed. She could have gone on and on about it all, but ultimately she could tell rather quickly that she was on Mount Divinus proper still. Even a quick conjuration of a magical map for just a second would corroborate that.

There came two quick knocks to her right. "I was wondering when you would wake." came a sweet, honeyed voice from the room's doorway. There, leaning up against the stone frame was a pale goddess, clad in nothing but a robe of white, which was left open down the middle, leaving little to the imagination. She had a soft smile on her lips as she played with a long strand of her hair, twirling it with a finger as she looked towards Arira. "It isn't everyday I find a fellow divine falling from the sky, in need of rescue but here we are. How are you feeling?"

The Goddess of Cycles would blush for a second, rushing in pulling up the bedsheet to semi-cover herself in embarrassment before gently lowering it once more. Her face was still a tad red, but even so she seemed to work to try to regain her composure and stature rather quickly.

“I-I-I a-am f-fine…did y-you...did you save me from my fall?”

The goddess seemed unphased and strode in, hands behind her back. ”Oh yes, that was me.” she giggled. ”And what a fall it was!” she mused coming to stop at the foot of the bed. She sat down, placing one slender leg upon the bed as she turned her head to Arira. ”I’m Wyn, by the way. What’s your name, angel?” she smiled, flashing pearly whites.

...So much for trying to regain her composure proper, if at all.

As the astonishingly beautiful Wyn spoke to her, calling her ‘angel’, and sat upon the bed with a lovely smile, Arira’s face turned beet red. Really it was darker than that, perhaps some untold ‘embarrassed deep red’ unknown to mortals and divines like? Her soft blue-ish grey eyes couldn’t peel themselves from the features of the deity before her, and a small high-pitched sound could be heard coming the goddess’ closed mouth as she slammed her face into the sheets she still held in her clenched hands.

For a good few seconds she seemed to embarrassedly squeal into the sheets before very hesitantly lowering the sheet where her eyes could see over it and look upon Wyn once more. Even so, it was like a cute puppy looking over at the Goddess of Beauty, lingering red still on the bit of her face that the other goddess could see.

“A-A-A-A...Arira, G-G-Goddess of C-Cycles. A p-p-pleasure t-to meet you, oh b-beautiful Wyn.”

As she spoke, Arira tried to lower the sheet back down to her lap more, even trying to control her breathing and focus once more at that.

At the sight of her Wyn’s smile seemed to grow. ”Ah and I didn’t even tell you my domain but you guessed it all the same. Your clever Arira but,” she clapped her hands and the robe around her changed into that of an ornate, low cut black dress. It contrasted her skin and made the paleness pop while covering most of her revealing parts. ”We can’t be having you all out of sorts, now can we?” she repositioned her leg, folding it in and laying, instead, a hand on the bed. ”So, Goddess of Cycles, what does that mean and why on this good greening earth were you falling in the first place?”

“M-My thanks…I-I am unused to s-s-such incredible beauty before me...even as a goddess,” Arira said in return, halfway not thinking about her words as she averted her eyes for only a moment as Wyn changed the clothes. She then took some more deep breaths before looking back up at Wyn’s face with a bit more composure, holding her back up straight even, and seemed to be at least better off than before despite the light pink left in her own lovely cheeks, “I had gone to help fix this world, b-but I overexerted. The seasons, the proper climates cycles, weather cycles, reproduction cycles, life cycles, and so forth needed to be set in their places....for since I came forth from the divinity that bore me, they have cried to me ceaselessly and endlessly. It has caused me great pains, wracking my form with the anguish of the world as it pleaded for relief and stability.

Thus I sought to end this pain once and for all, for both the world and mineself, I moved to the highest point of this world, and took upon the coil of my True Form. However, even for a goddess I seem to have gone a tad too far. Even so...the pain has ceased. The world must yet be repaired as others do their work, but a good deal of major things have been fixed and bound to mine existence to keep them rooted and stable henceforth.”

One of the Cycle Goddess’ hands began to lightly play with the gold-ornament-decorated part of her silky-soft tan hair, specifically the bit of hair hanging near the right side of her face. Yet her other hand that gripped the sheets gripped them even tighter than before as she talked about the pain itself. To admit she had overexerted and so forth, it was something that got under her skin a tad. Even so she owned up to it plainly nonetheless.

Wyn tilted her head with a gentle expression. She spoke next, her words but a soft whisper. ”You are very brave, Lady Arira and from what I can already tell, you have a pure heart and sound mind. Full of compassion and empathy. Though you were beset by such pain, you never faltered. You did not succumb and instead you rose to meet the challenge and fix what you could. An angel, battling her demons so that the world might live on and thrive as the cycles intended. As you intend.” Wyn looked upon her and smiled. ”I find that… Inspiring. Truly.” Wyn let out a soft sigh and scooted herself further up on the bed, changing her position to fully face Arira. She sat on her knees and folded her hands over them. "Attractive even. To put one's own wellbeing before others? It would make any fair maiden swoon.” Wyn smiled playfully.

The red in Arira’s face seemed to return to some extent as the beauty goddess layered on the compliments, and a very light ‘meep’ escaped the cycle goddess’ own lips in turn. The one hand holding the sheets pulled up just a little, reflexively wanting to hide her face again, but Arira forced it to stay down this time with what willpower she had left for that. No one had ever...she’d never seen before...waahh.

“I-I-It is n-nothing, I s-simply acted w-with the desire to h-h-help. I c-c-could not bear to see and f-fell the world in such p-pains…”

She semi-struggled to meet Wyn’s eyes regardless, her hands playing with her own hair and gripping the sheet even more than before now.

”So humble too! You truly are an angel, Lady Arira.” Wyn said, scooting herself closer. ”Oh! You mentioned something earlier that intrigued me. You said you were born from divinity? What does that mean exactly, If I might ask?”

The Goddess of Cycles looked back at Wyn, who she now noticed was even closer to her. Still, doing her best to hold what bit of her composure she had ‘locked down’ at the moment, she nodded her head at the other goddess’ question, “Y-Yes. I am the firstborn daughter of the divinity ‘Chakravarti’, divine of Families. A v-v-very excitable and overbearing sort to be born to, I-I’m afraid, but when Chakravarti was traveling they came across mortals in some ruins. Here t-the mortals mistook them for a demon, and...after hearing them swear to avenge each other in perpetuity if one of their own was slain….my parent was aroused. Horribly aroused...”

Arira buried her face in the sheet at the mention, embarrassment overriding her other feelings for a moment before she would eventually lower the sheet down hesitantly once more.

“From thus I was b-born on the spot...a most embarrassing o-o-origin indeed.

Yet still, I took the humans there i-i-into my c-care and dedicated m-my birthplace as a sacred paradise. Such i-it remains as even n-now.”

The goddess squirmed where she was sitting up in the bed a little as she spoke, almost like a nervous child admitting some dark and embarrassing secret to a rather lovely new friend…

Wyn seemed engrossed in the story that she told. ”Interesting!” she exclaimed at last, smiling warmly at her. The goddess then sat cross legged before Arira, an arms length away. ”Your mother? Father? They seem… Very... Exciting! No need to be embarrassed, Lady Arira. In fact there is nothing to be alarmed about here. Relax, I insist and tell me more about your Paradise and what a God of families even does?”

The Cyclical Goddess seemed to perk back up a little, relaxing slightly more as Wyn seemed to be genuinely interested in her Paradise and Parent. Perhaps the latter was more awkward than anything to talk about, poor Ossurman, but the former was far less so. Far from it actually!

“O-Oh! Well, my parent...oh dear. From what I’ve ever known of them, they aren’t male nor female. More like ‘everything’. Literally. Which is nothing of a problem at all, but their behavior is rather dramatic and eccentric and far more problematic.

To be frank, as the God of Families they would likely preside over things such as tracing back the bloodlines of families, watching over them, strengthening the bonds of families or watching over their homes, forming them-...”

Oh her gut feeling was kicking her hard for this one, but the realization dawning on her was far from unfeasible by any measure of the imagination.

“...and on that last note I hath had a most worrying suspicion form in mine mind. With how my parent is, behaves, and so forth, they might very well be doing something as peculiar or wholly embarrassing as proposing marriage to every single divine being they meet in this world. Aaaah…”

Another small, puppy-like whimper and brief instance of hiding her face in the sheets again, though this time Wyn wasn’t the cause as much as Arira’s anxious suspicion was. Still, after lowering the sheet once more the goddess tried to breathe and calm herself a bit more. It didn’t make everything suddenly better, but it did help a little at the very least.

“But my paradise! A-Ah, y-y-yes! It is a land that flows with all the resources of the world at one’s disposal, a place of plenty wherein those that have known naught but suffering may find rest. A place consecrated by mineself, as it is where I was born, and that has become an extension of me in the process. It hath been hidden from the world to secure it most ardently and thoroughly in turn.

Originally its inhabitants were only ever the humans who once lived in that area, but as I hath gone about performing acts of creation roundabout the Paradise and upon the land...I hath added more to live there of other races I hath made by mine hands. Indeed, they are a curious variety and yet are mine beloved children nonetheless whom are all represented within mine Paradise as is most fitting.

I hath taken up teaching those who lived within mine Paradise, and have given permission and invitation to the Goddess of Dreams to do so as well after the two of us met, to guide them and teach them and examine the long-term nature of their existences as the fruit of the land there shall begin to change and shape them all over time. Naught any form of vile or evil being done, of course, but I cannot deny that as they live and grow and so forth there that they shall accrue the touch of mine Paradise within and be thus changed forevermore in time.

Of course I cannot extend such graces to all mortals, as to learn and grow and live in the imperfect world is best. To coddle them such they rely on mineself for all things, to become lax and lazy and undisciplined even, such is what I seek to avoid really. Yet those in mine paradise shall become better than that, very much so...beyond such I hath not had much of a plan for the far future to be most frank about the matter. Yet such a plan hath not been needed thus far either, not as divinity hath sought to restore this Shard of Creation, this Shard of Galbar, to a liveable and stable state.”

Beyond this, Arira seemed to become more excited and happy as she got to the topic of her Paradise. It brought out a somewhat more confident side of her, her blush fading as she began to get into the details and speak about the features and locations there and so forth. Ultimately she would settle back down again, though, taking a few deep breaths...and a light pink forming in her cheeks as she realized she got on a ramble.

Wyn had followed along, giving nods and raised eyebrows. When Arira had finished, the Goddess took on a thoughtful look and spoke, ”Such passion my lady, it does me good to see it bloom within a fellow divine and her own creations. To be inspired… To have a muse… How wonderful indeed. I would seek out this place one day, if not to see it with my own eyes but to cherish it as I cherish this moment. I imagine it is far more beautiful than this Mount, besides my own keep of course.” Her voice grew lower next. ”Yet, I cannot stop my thoughts from wandering to your parent and what you said. If they intend to marry all the gods… Who or what would that leave you with? Now, I don’t mean to presume but surely a family god would want their own daughter to marry?” Wyn began to twirl her hair again.

“Hmm...If such a trend was happening, for I know not if it or any other has been, I-I...I w-w-would need to seek m-m-m-m-m-m-arriage somewhat soon t-to avoid being alone...,” the cycles goddess said, a less pink and more deeper red flush beginning to come to her cheeks as she pondered it all, “N-N-Not all would h-have perhaps agreed...b-but my p-p-parent is rather d-determined...s-s-still, I-I would think t-that they would want m-me to m..m...m-marry, y-yes. P-P-Perhaps pester m-me over eventually t-t-to do even.”

It felt like a right assumption based on her parent’s character and behaviors. Images of three deities she’d met so far flashed through her mind as she spoke of the matter, Wyn among those, seemed to bubble up in her mind at that. It was all so sudden though! H-How would she ever find someone if her parent ever DID something like that?! She would have to send out something to investigate for herself, or perhaps pay a visit to Chakravarti and sweet little Ossurman after this.

“B-But who? W-W-Who...w-who would ever desire m-mineself as a b-b-bride? I...I am not a great g-goddess...s-simply one t-that has sought to make things better is a-all...”

Arira seemed to get a bit disheartened as the matter and its panic began to assail her mind more strongly now.

She’d only met Algrim briefly, and though their brief time together had been enjoyable she’d simply promised they’d meet again to celebrate once the pillars were made. Likewise being around I’Iro had been a great blessing to her to talk with another intellectual, and one who seemed to help believe in her at that, indeed. Both had left a good impression on her in some fashion, and she hoped to talk to each of them more yet, but ultimately to impose such a major thing on either would be ever so impolite and embarrassing and out of the blue! She did not want to act so desperate! It was an unsavory thing. Those two were friends!

But to not marry eventually would be...oh heavens, she would one day never hear the end of it would she? The idea of being married sounded ever so lovely, and felt like something she genuinely wanted, but at the same time she had no idea who in this world could ever love such a strange goddess as she. She was not much, simply one who sought good despite the presence of the chaos otherwise. She wasn’t so naive as to think evil didn’t exist or never had its time, but all the same she had just passed out from something some greater divinity could have perhaps done so easily. What was she compared to the others out there?

In the end, the goddess pulled up her own hands and let go of the sheets, placing one hand on either side of her own face and trying to calm herself down from that bit of panic.

Wyn drew in close, her sweet scent washing over Arira. The Goddess of Beauty then reached out with a slender hand and with her fingers she caressed Arira's chin then guided it up to look at her. Wyn's face was serene in the light and she looked upon her with a charming smile. "I can see my words have given you a great deal of panic. Put fear from your heart, my lady. There could be many Gods and Goddesses out there waiting, untouched by your parent's lust." she dipped her head down to be eye level with Arira and stroked her chin with her thumb. "But there's also nothing wrong with being single for a time. It gives one the option of testing the waters, per say. Gives us options… Oh my lady." she whispered longingly. "I have given you much distress today…" Wyn began to lean her head in closer as her hand moved to Arira's cheek, underneath the Cycle Goddess' own. "Let me make it up to you?" she asked with a whisper that dripped with silk, moving her lips even closer.

If there was one way to get the Cycles Goddess to cease her panic about marriage and her parent for the moment, then what Wyn was doing had just stopped that train of thought in a literal heartbeat.

It didn’t take much to gently take Arira’s chin with those slender fingers, and move her face to look into that of the Goddess of Beauty’s. As rather flustered as the action made Arira, it felt to her like much of her strength had suddenly left her as she looked into Wyn’s lovely eyes and that charming smile in turn. A deep red settled in the daughter of Chakravarti’s cheeks as Wyn’s thumb softly touched her chin, and the longing tone seemed to rouse something strong within her she had never...really ever...felt before...things just like Wyn in that other attire had made her feel. By the time Wyn placed a hand underneath Arira’s own and caressed her cheek, the poor deity was basically, if not literally, a weak and red-flushed mess of putty in Wyn’s hands.

“Y-Y-Y-You m-m-m-may…,” she very weakly said, her breaths more labored as her face drew gently closer to Wyn’ if it was being pulled by some unseen force. The anticipation became palpable but as Wyn’s eyes fluttered shut, their lips did meet with a burning passion unleashed. It was a beautiful cycle…

Arira - Goddess of Cycles

When The World Needed Her Most...She Did Not Vanish!!!

...Did she mourn that the third race of her children had become so divided? Indeed. Such a thing weighed upon her heart, and yet at the same time her resolve was not broken nor shattered. The Erimav remained among her children, and a few had come to live within her Paradise like a similar amount of Ketto and Brynlic had before. These would, in the coming centuries, be transformed by the nature of the Ariran Paradise and the sustenance there just like the humans who were living there would be as well. More so, from the Erimav had come thoughts of just how to make things better for the region.

But before she exerted her might to a great extent on this Shard of Creation, this very Shard of Galbar, she would have to make one more civilization. One more race to create that would be numbered among her children, who would live upon the land and help make it great in their own ways in due time. She had even been going around giving the races she had already made, and the humans and other lingering survivor groups who now lived in the region, some amount of guidance and direction to set them on their own paths and away from a world of apocalypse.

And this time, she knew what she would need to do this time around for this race.

To this end the goddess flew herself over to the south of the small Freshwater Sea, all the way down to the Land Between Two Rivers...also known as the ‘Land of The Two Rivers’ or most importantly as “Aimatoposem”. In a good spot of land in this area, a flat place where there was room to grow and build and so forth, Arira would once again raise her arms as her now solemn visage looked upon the area. For a moment she mumbled a near-silent prayer under her breath, to whom or what or where none else would ever know, and then closed her eyes once more.

To them would be given civilization and order, but not as strict and peculiar as the Erimav had.

To them would be given strength and stamina, but not as much as the Ketto had.

To them would be given magic and mirth, but not as much as the Brynlic held.

To them would be given the spark of strong will and desire to learn, but not leaving the accidental empty spaces and erroneous things otherwise that had resulted eventually in the twisted Erimyr by mistake.

To them would be given great strength of spirit and hearty souls, like unto the survivors of the apocalypse...who had weathered so much but clung on through even the most godless of days to survive.

To them she would grant a form mostly like that of humans and elves and such folk, with only very slightly pointed ears to boot and fitting physiology of the canine teeth for their potential to drink blood as an alternate food source from animals or such. No power to turn things into their own kind like the Erimav did though.

To this end she would form them, without as much pomp and circumstance. They were able to feed upon the blood to survive, but also to eat all the other mortal foods that the world would have to offer. Civilized and orderly, yet mirthful and full of life.

“Rise, oh the last of the mortal races born into this world as mine children...rise, oh Dirham!”

After she cried aloud, the goddess lowered her arms one last time and opened her eyes as she began to float down to the ground. Below her, a great number of the Dirham lay upon the ground, male and female alike, with gothic attire and soft skin and lovely eyes that began to flutter open as they awoke. They lacked the inherent beauty of the Erimav, yet were a touch above regular humans and the like. Intelligent of mind, strong of spirit, able to fight the darkness within themselves and in the world about them as well as enjoy the light.

These numbered many more than the other races had in their initial creation batch, and as they rose they began to look at each other and speak with one another. Some were happy, others confused, and others seemingly grumpy at having woken upon the ground. Good. Ultimately, however, the people would begin to shuffle forward to where Arira had stopped her descent only some feet above the ground. To see the great throng of the people looking upon her, it made Arira smile as she looked into each of their eyes and upon their curious and mixed gazes.

It all felt...right. Yes. None of the others before were mistakes, as varied and individual as any other race, and they were all beloved even as these were. But this felt as if it just ‘clicked’ within her with a sense of finality and pride, as if she knew within her that this was the final major people to be born of her in this manner of creation during this time period. Like this creation was good, and none other like it was needed for this region at this time.

“Welcome to this world, oh last of mine mortal children made directly by mine hands. I am the beginning and the end. I am the seasons and the climes. I am the winter and spring, the summer and the fall.

I am Arira, Goddess of Cycles, and I have madest all of thee in the image of my mind...and of the cloth woven by thine cousins who also till this land and a place very far off from here. Therefore bend thine ears to my voice, and listen. Heed my call, and come forth to me. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed that thou seest me here.

I am thine mother and maker, wherefore I invite thee to come near to me and take comfort. Speak thine minds as well, for I wish to hear thee with my own two ears.”

“Why did you make us?”

“Where are we?”

“Could you have made us not on a patch of itchy grass?”

“Could use something to eat really.”

“Wait, why do only I have both-, oww! Somebody hit me!”

The goddess chuckled as the sounds of various voices entered her ears, questions sensible and otherwise taken into consideration. For a time she would begin to give some answers, at least, until the time for initial questions had gone on long enough. Gently she then waved her hands down, shushing them eventually once more.

“I shall answer more in time, oh Dirham, oh the lastborn of the mortal races that are mine children due to being made by mine hand.

I must first finish a great work, one which all of thee shalt be witness to along with the rest of this Shard of Creation, this world known as the Shard of Galbar.”

Then one last voice spoke up as the goddess looked over at the woman who was shouting up to her, the woman donning a long masculine Victorian coat and gloves as she gave a fanged grin.

“Well then? Get going! We’ve got to start getting things set up for when you get back then! So shoo, go do your god thing and we’ll be over here!”

A few chuckles and groans came from the throng of Dirham, but Arira’s smile did widen at the words as she let out a light peal of genuine laughter for the first time in her life thus far. Where some might have seen it as insolence, however, she could feel the gusto of the mortals’ spirits shine!

Love and laughter. Groans and complaints. Struggle ahead and yet the spirit to overcome it all in the end. It was beautiful. Simply beautiful.

This was what was so transcendent about mortals, at least in the goddess’ mind. Their lives were so very short compared to her immortal nature, and yet they sought to pursue the impossible that lay beyond the eternal horizon. They sought to conquer what challenges lay before them, and even with the good and the bad and so forth among them they never ceased to push themselves further and further.

Where divinity might stagnate or sit idly by with time, an eternity of memories possessed and so forth, to see that burning light of the flame of mortal life so brilliant in these was a sight like none other.

“Well then! My children seem to be adamant about watching their mother’s work! Then be off, begin to cut the wood and work out your homes! I will return to help afterward!”

And with that, the goddess would begin to rise again, voices beginning to bark out as the people began to try to organize themselves to start the work of making homes and so forth. Of course...they and their seed would have plenty of time for that. More than enough over the ages to come.

As for herself, however, she had one last set of things to do for this world. Indeed, these things had been long overdue, though I’Iro’s work and ironically her Paradise had made it all finally possible at this point in time.

Higher and higher she climbed, higher into the atmosphere.

Faster and faster she would move, seeking to reach the highest point in the atmosphere that was far above the perfect center of the world.

From Mount Divinus, a divine being’ senses would allow them to know she was far above there.

Far above the cloud whales and flying krill, far above the tallest mountains and greatest of lands she would fly up to, and standing at the edge of the atmosphere and void beyond she protected herself with a thin barrier of still-potent divine power.

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Control your breathing.

Yes. The Goddess of Cycles would begin to control her breathing, channeling all of her focus and divine power as it began to ripple throughout her. This would be an exertion far from the vulnerable mortal eyes that might be scarred or slain by seeing this, and to the gods a sign that she was serious in this work of hers. Arira’s flesh would begin to glow, and soon it began to shift as it changed at this spot far above and away from the eyes of all. Yet even if it was not directly seen, this would all be felt....especially by the rest of the gods.

‘My tiny brother, give me strength...yet keep safe and far from my true form! Oh mother, grant me boon and watch upon me from afar as my form shakes the very heavens themselves! Oh mortals, look upon me and know hope!!!’

Such were her thoughts, such were the desires shouted silently into the aether and void and heavens by her very immortal soul.

Still faster and faster and faster the flesh of her would shift and continue to move, all as great and blinding eyes appeared on her that would madden mortals if she were closer to the ground. So blindingly radiant was the divine light emitted from Arira, though, that all those below would see would be a radiant light high in the heavens...a strange one, yet its light was warm and eerie at the same time. Though even as her flesh moved and shifted, rings of spinning divine flesh and form and power were forming.

It was the beginning and the end. The start and the finish. A light that would gleam with raw divinity and magnificence and unimaginable incredibility, such that was untold magnitudes beyond her ‘base’ form.

Indeed, she would in the end become Cycles Incarnate for what she would be doing next.

And thus after, the sound of uncountable voices speaking in perfect unison would begin to ring throughout the air of the world...even as it touched upon all the land of creation. It came with the loudness of a burst of thunder, the swiftness of lightning, the glory of the sun, and the mightiness of Domain made manifest.

“Let the chaos be bidden: Come, Come, Come!

Come into my being and be consumed in thine End, yet be the fuel of the Beginning that shall come to the world anew. Burn, Burn, Burn!

Swell, oh Dominion of Cycles, and encompass all in thine eternal embrace! May the eyes watch over them and see it all through, yea let the rings bind them that the balance shall be constrained. Swell, Swell, Swell!

Rise, oh Jewel of Silence and freeze of Winter, be taken as part of mine being forever more. Make thine cold be the season’s sweet solace, may thine sobering touch cling to all as much as the icy winds cling to all the lands in thine domain, and may thou embrace the still silence at the end and beginning of all years to come!

Rise, oh sweltering Summer heat, burn forth from me forever and radiate like the heat of the sun and the burning fires of youth and growth and raw passions made manifest. Do this upon all creation to stir it forth to action, that none may sit idle as thine waves wash over them like waves upon the ocean shores!

Rise, oh cool winds of Fall, let thine decline and autumn colors show forth the softer brilliance of nature and beauty that comes in even with death! Become the comfort to all that rest and life so too, yea become the gentle chillwind that soothes the soul and ushers forth the coming cold to be!

Rise, oh lovely warmth of Spring, let thine sweetest caress and gentle rains bring forth new life and sounds of joy where once was death and silence! Manifest thyself as the rebirth of all creation, that cometh during its time to bring back vibrance and loveliness anew!

Oh climes and times of year, cling thee to all places of existence as thou fittest and form-est upon all creation and life therein! Let all life know the seasons and understand without words! Let all climes have their times and seasons thus, all being anchored upon mineself and mineself alone always, and manifest forth properly upon this Shard of Galbar, this Shard of Creation, and all land seeded and made before and now and forevermore!

Let mine existence be the essence of all this, and make mine existence the eternal foundation for all these! So it is decreed, so it is made immutable by being tied to my being forever! Let the gates of destruction and instability of these things be shut!




So the voices would speaketh, at the end an almighty scream…

...Thus it was done.

The Seasons would be born into creation by the might of the Domain of Cycles now incarnated. Yea natural and normal clouds to bring forth rains and snows and storms and so forth would return and encompass the Shard of Creation alongside the cloud whales and such creatures, that the seasons might occur with the right weathers. Each biome of the world, those created before now and ever so after even, would now possess their fitting weather and climates and seasons and forever.

All of it was bound to the existence of the Goddess Arira, never to be rent in twain again unless she ceased to exist. It was her, her will, her extension, her life, her very being now. The Cycles of the Seasons, the Cycles of Life growing and dying and reproducing and resting, and the fitting Climate Cycles of all the lands and terrain and so forth, all were ushered in. All were a part of Arira now. They were her, and yet not her. They had beginnings, and they had ends. They had starts, and they had stopping points.

Yet not all was well in this aftermath.

For even as all the other gods and lands would find themselves stable and organized in ways prior untouched or unfinished or absent, the Goddess of Cycles would rapidly shift back to her Base Form.

Rapidly, Arira’s body would limply begin to fall from the heavens.

Oh save her, gods of the world, that she be not broken upon Mount Divinus itself!

Arira - Goddess of Cycles

The Southern Pole...and its Consequences

It had only been a short time since she received the letter from I’Iro, and not long since she had taught the Ketto and Brynlic races some things to get them started as civilizations.

Perhaps she’d eventually set up schools or such one day, but today wasn’t that time for them yet. Truth be told, she’d even gone round about the area and helped begin to organize some of the lingering humans and other races that had been survivors on the land when she terraformed it. There would be a long time before things got back to normal, or at least what normal this region now had as it moved forward, but all the same it was something on the mortals’ part to work on.

She didn’t want to be over-involved, but more or less would give teachings and help them organize at least. Monster/Demon hunters that would be necessary from now on, villages and towns and such forming, and the introduction of a fitting technological level would be trickled in over the centuries to keep the layout and progress of civilization organic for the races of the region. Etc.

But all the same she’d decided to head down to the place I’Iro had talked about, passing over the newer temperate-to-taiga land to the direct south of her region and taking check of it along the way. To this area I’Iro had ultimately created by consequence she gave the name “The Winter Lands”...hmm, no. How about “The Pale Lands'' instead? That sounded about right. Chilly enough, but not bad. There was also the new ‘Ghost Sea’, another something of note, which she further approved of the name of herself. Still, finding a segment of some odd vine-root-like tendril stuff along the way...she curiously picked a section of it to take with her. Maybe she could make use of it? Or she was just getting too curious.

Eventually she would, however, arrive at the small temple that the Dream Goddess had made, which-...hmm. The style was rather peculiar indeed, like it had all been carved out of a single large piece of stone. At least it looked so in appearance. But that wasn’t going to be a terrible matter either. With her divine power, Arira began to carve her symbols and so forth into the temple, tweaking it into a blend of styles between her fortress-temple and how I’Iro had made it. A fitting blend, though her holy symbols and other things would fill it and decorate it all wholly and entirely now. Of course she tosses in some depictions so I’Iro was given due credit as well. She wasn’t going to leave out the intelligent yet cute dream goddess who had

To cap it off, the goddess exerted herself to consecrate the area. Her very power was imbibed into every bit of the temple and icy grounds it was upon, even the Jewel of Silence and its containment measures within, transforming the area into an extension of herself. Perhaps it was a tad rude to the goddess who had made this place first, but doing this would allow Arira herself to keep better track and care of the place as a result. Especially when protecting it. Still, as she finished that work the goddess would throw on some grandiose and very heavy stone front doors to the temple, as well as tossed in a further-protecting and cold-balancing small divine-power forcefield around the alien-metal orb that contained the crystal, and let out a large sigh of relief.

Walking outside, she would take the strange oily-filled tendril piece she took with her power as she examined it more curiously...before tossing the segment onto the ground outside the small temple-shrine. It would glow for a second with her power, before its exterior gained a strange metal sheen and it began to dig into the ice and grow. It would bend and twine, forming a winding, twisted, intricate wall of metallic vines around the outside of the temple-shrine with a woven grand entranceway leading into the temple-shrine. Likewise they would form a large field of such around this grand wall. These strange vines had a very tough exterior, as tough as the toughest metals, covered in finely razor-sharp thorns as well...yet internally filled with a new, circulating, and strange dark blue oily substance within. They would even dig deep beneath the ice to root this ‘South Pole’ into the ocean floor and keep it very firmly attached to this Shard of Creation...this chunk of Galbar as it were. Likewise it all imposed a great defensive spread before anything that sought to get to the temple-shrine at all.

This creation she would call “I’Irian Vines” in honor of herself and I’Iro, vines whose oily inner substance was circulated as a means of keeping the ‘plant’ alive as it derived what little to no nutrition it needed from the cold ocean water far underneath the dense ice of the South Pole. Its internal ‘juice’ was very flammable naturally, but the vines could very quickly use autotomy to ‘separate’ and remove such segments rapidly to avoid body-wide burning or a chain-reaction or so forth if it was set on fire internally somehow. Externally it wouldn’t exactly burn at all for the most part, but under an intense enough heat (rather intense enough for sure that is) the metal-like exterior could be melted down to make things. Durable, yet practical. She’d take a sample to test later back at the Ariran Paradise to boot. all still felt somewhat incomplete. Like even with the I’Irian Vine field and specially-woven dense wall of them around the temple-shrine, something needed to care for the place really. It would be frozen cold up here, and despite the vines protecting from the elements well enough things weren’t perfect. Even if she could keep an eye on here, it was not like she wanted to leave the spot empty either...ah!

Something simple would have to do the trick. A race that needed minimal requirements, but had something to sustain them located in the temple to keep them loyal there.

There was one biological mechanic she was tempted to make use of for it, since it would at least function for those needs she had of a race in this location, so perhaps it would work? Blood-sucking that was. It was macabre, but also a part of the cycle of life for some things regardless. It wouldn’t require too much work to make by using humans as a base for this race, but unlike when she made the Ketto she wanted to make sure to focus this time. They would need to be a distinctly more orderly bunch here, disciplined really, to not go too far with things. Yes! That would work nicely...well, after she did one more small task.

Arira would create a pale white bird, a Dovling she would call it, on the spur of the moment. Into it she sent a message for I’Iro about what she had done, and would be doing, before it flew off like a streak of light from her hands in haste. Once it simply touched the other goddess, Arira’s message would transfer into I’Iro’s mind from the bird itself safely and fully. It was also perhaps an experimental means of communication,, it would work.

The goddess would then re-enter the temple, standing in the now larger entrance room just beyond the doors, and extending her hands with her palms out and having closed her eyes once more.

The base form of the beings to be made would be taken from humans, but given the climate and very minimal sunlight here they wouldn’t need that much resistance to it. Incredibly pale and ash-pale skin would be perfect in this case for them, without much thought having to be given save for them getting sunburns more easily than any others.

Make just the upper canine teeth more pronounced, enough to break the skin of prey on the ice or otherwise to drink their blood. Would be mostly meant as a supplementary measure, but would work still as a backup for them to use for eating. Plenty of life would grow and rise up upon the ice, she’d take care of that on her way out. Hardy enough to live there, populous enough on the barren icy sheet to rely on the ocean for food, etc.

Then make them very orderly, enough to keep the temple in good shape and not be inclined to abandon it or frankly ‘take over’ among other grueling possibilities. Well, free will wasn’t going to be taken from them though. Hmm. Still, it all worked out as she hoped for the most part. Had to leave that wiggle room.

Could devour and subsist entirely on blood, that she already knew she was going to put in. Regular food they’d not really be able to digest at all, though, since they didn’t need it. Also made designing them more simple by adding enhanced senses into the mix.

Superior night vision, heightened reflexes and durability and strength lesser than Ketto but more than other mortal races, and an instinct for organizing around hierarchies all were good things to toss in perhaps. Yes.

Also clothes this time. That was rather important. Maybe that would be something they could make use of animals for as well, though at the same time she would give them the tools to weave and make finer clothes for themselves over time.

They had a division of the sexes as well, this time at least, and could reproduce normally or by...hmm. Well if anyone wandered in foolish enough to try to raid the temple, they’d be able to be bitten by these creatures and turned into one of them by force. That would ensure trespassers would not step foot inside! Hopefully. It was also another layer of defense for the temple-shrine really. Biting foes and using claws instead of normal fingernails would also be a deadly touch.

Not that this didn’t mean they couldn’t still be rather beautiful in their own right perhaps. Like a lovely face in the moonlight, though even if the sun was far from desirable and they hated it at least they wouldn’t instantly catch on fire underneath it. The death or destruction of their heart? Decapitation? Excessive Starvation? All would be enough to really kill them despite their inherently very hardy bodies and so forth. A part of them none of their kind would be able to ‘shake’ off.

As the goddess opened her eyes this time, finishing up the process and lowering her arms, she caused a fountain to sprout up in the middle of the large entrance-way as well. Designs of balance, of the vines and so forth, and of the crystal at that, would cover it, and immediately the fountain began to spit out its infinite fountain of non-freezing and nutritious blood. Macabre, really, but fitting for the landscape all the same.

Before her, the human-like beings in rather neat and high-class gothic attire began to stir, their gold and silver and precious-metal-colored eyes reflecting the dimmer magical lights that lit up the temple within. Their skin was so pale they almost looked like corpses in that vague sense, but as most awoke they walked or pulled or crawled over to the fountain to drink heartily of its contents. One male, in particular, would stand, dusting himself off and walking over to her before giving a very deep and fanciful bow as his handsome visage smiled at her.

Well, at least this time things felt more ‘on-point’ than last time!

“Milady! It is but a humble abode thou hast given us, yet even so I am most pleased to meet you and witness your divine beauty that has blessed our presence most graciously!

Still, I believe we must ask thee for something, I pray. A name, and why we are here, would be most welcome to know indeed.”

Arira gave a small smile in return, noting this one’s strength in not immediately giving into the slaking of his natural thirst, even as those drinking from the fountain would drink up and begin to stand about her.

“The pleasure is mine, my children. Where there is light, darkness also. Where there is a beginning, there is an end. I am Arira, the Goddess of Cycles, and thine kind hath been made to bear up this place and protect it from thieves and ill forces and so forth. For this is mine consecrated ground as well, a place wherein the might of cold is eternally enshrined in my name and due to the help of a friend.

Thine thirst is for what thou drinkest, blood, that which flows through all living things and only else from this eternal fountain beside thee. The light of the sun is loathe to thee, and yet in the dark thou hast no equal among the civilized races of the world. Magic can be used by thee, as well as martial tools and fang and claws where fingernails would hath been on others.

Thou are order, civilized, and yet bring this to the barren wasteland roundabout. I shall assist in making a great cavern below this temple, hidden beneath the ice, where thine kind can liveth and rest under mine blessing.

Thine race shall be the Erimav. Proud and unaging after maturity, yet not indestructible nor immutable. A loveliness and strength beyond many, but not all, mortal races, yet a nature that shall teach thee to know discipline and struggle and sacrifice and come to understand this world.”

Yet...hmm. She could see it in their eyes. She could tell their nature in ways that hadn’t been decided outright by her, but came as a result of them themselves. Intriguing. Very intriguing.

The goddess then seemed to have a sudden twinkle in her eye of...something else. Something gratingly different than she had ever been like before. It was alien, and sent a shudder through the most weak-willed of the folk before her, but a message to the unflinching strong nonetheless. Still, the smile of the one who first spoke to her did not break before her gaze...though he seemed to get the point.

“But bewarest thou, thine power and might is not the be of all and end of all. Thou shalt stop aging after some time of maturity, that thou might gainest wisdom, but know that thine lives hang as frail in the balance as that of any other mortal race.

For themselves thou shalt be able to choose, as like any other, to follow thine purpose or not. Still, those who live here shall abide by mine rules, lest if they seek to turn on this place in evil or ill deeds then they shall be smitten into naught but dust in an instant.

Ist’ this understood by thee, oh my Children of the Night?

And what about thee...oh Drakenvald, First among the Erimav?”

The lead one took another deep bow as he was spoken to directly, being given a name at that, and most of the others did so after him.

“My Lady! Oh what joy your words bring to my ears! It is a joyous thing to exist in this world, with the first name of my kind no less having been given me, knowing that our purpose is most clear and our nature allows us to choose thereof! I am sure we shall follow our duty most clearly...but if not the price is most easy to understand of course.”

...She hoped so.

Many, Many, Many Years And Generations Later...

[History of the Ararian Church or "Cyclican Church", Book 4, Chapter 4]

“…[and] the goddess would assist her newest children at this time in crafting that great underground habitation, but more and more she worried over the nature of these folk with exposure. Most seemed well, orderly enough even, and yet in the years after she left things would change most frighteningly. Whilst the most noble and just of the Erimav would remain at the temple and adhere to their duties and strength, including those few brought to her Paradise for study and to live in its bounty, in time there were those whose drive for order and strength did not hold true to some kind of balance.

Indeed some fled the rumored and legendary temple-shrine, and managed to reach the mainland of the Shard of Creation. These in time would come to be derided and feared and killed by the mortal races, becoming warped into monsters who dwelled in caves and castles and dark places as they sought dominion over the land and used magic to their own ends. It brought sorrow to the goddess, and yet they would not escape entirely free from the evil they would make wrought in centuries and more so to come.

‘Erimyr’, this derivative group of them would come to be called derisively by their original kin and mortals on the mainland alike, a corruption of the Erimav as this group warped themselves and became corrupted by their own hands and behaviors and the magic they came to use over time. The Erimyr had much the same raw strength, but now bore corrupted magics and weakness alongside. The Erimav’s original loathing of the sun would become lethal to these Erimyr, burning them like a curse and weakening them greatly in contact with it...even able to kill them and cause them to crumble to naught but lifeless dust with enough exposure. Fire too would become a weakness of them, even as they gained the power to shapeshift unlike the original Erimav.

Even so the Erimav would remain a purer race, an enmity between them and their ‘Erimyr’ cousins would become an eternal rivalry and hatred of each other down to their cores. Some Erimyr would perhaps find their way into the care or influence of other divinities, but no divine hand of others would be able to shake them of their weaknesses...such was the price they paid forevermore, the so-called ‘Curse of Arira’ upon their very flesh and souls by nature of them existing at all.

Indeed...they who had chosen such vile things would find only torment before them, even after death.”

Arira - Goddess of Cycles

The Creation of the...Ketto? Oh Dear.

It had been some time since she’d used her power to ‘birth’ the Brynlic into the world, transforming the group of once-wandering Coilbrywen into a group she was proud to number among her children. They had been settled (with only a minute bit of help from her) within the northeast of the region, settled amidst the hills and small forests and to the southwest of that lake by which they’d been reborn. Plenty of room to grow, plenty of room to spread, and so forth. Yet all the same...they were but one race that would need to be placed onto the land to make use of it, to till it, and to work it well. She loved her new children dearly, all of them, and she’d even brought a few to her Paradise to grow and prosper there with the slowly-changing humans. They all would begin to change and be shaped by the magic of her Paradise and the fruits and materials it bore, as the place truly had all that was needed and then some, but all the same there was much to do if she was to make the most of this region and bring greater life to it.

To that end she had come to the area just south of the Ariran Paradise, placed directly between the great and unconquerable mountains hiding the paradise to the north and the mini-freshwater sea to the south. A place where forests and rugged mountain slopes and freshwater sea were the main borders, with room to grow westward most easily achieved. A good spot to allow her newest batch of ‘children’ to live and grow well, at least for some time without conflict with their siblings over living space she hoped.

Still, what was she to make of this second batch? What was she to make them like? This was the area her intuition had led her to when seeking a good spot, and even in her latest lectures back at the Paradise she’d brought up a map she’d made of the region’s landscape and allowed her students to ponder the matter alongside her somewhat. It was a good thought experiment, but the answers they’d given were so rather...varied. “They would need to be strong!”, “They would need to be giants!”, “They would need to be durable!”, “Why can’t they all just be cute?”, and more had been among their answers...

However, this did lead to an interesting mental image indeed-...wait! That was it! She had been pondering more and more so that the race needed to be strong, likely larger than the Brynlic, to have a balance. Why not use some of those traits to create a race that embodied several of those things best? Large, strong, durable folk who could labor in the land and fight back lingering demons better! It wasn’t as if the apocalyptic demons in the land weren’t weakened, at least those that had been in the region for the terraforming, but other things from outside were still an issue indeed. Even once the world was fixed, monsters and beasts and demons would likely remain a lingering problem anyways in some form or manner.

In fact, why not use one of the demons she’d seen thus far as a base? It would make the race look menacing, and even more fearsome to their enemies!

From where she sat upon a great boulder, a fist on her chin as she thought, the goddess smiled at her conclusion and stood up upon the great stone. Yes, it would do nicely! Surely they would be ‘some’ trouble in a sense, just as any mortal race with free will was apt to be, but not be so savage and barbaric as to try to destroy everything or so forth. Yes, she didn’t want to make mindless meat hunks. Practical enough they would be indeed!

Arira lifted her arms up, opening her hands and pointing her palms down as she extended them out to point them at the open space before her. It was dotted with rock jutting out in parts of this rare hilly space, but it would do for inspiration. So too she closed her eyes as she began to channel divine power, imagining the appearance of that humanoid demon she’d seen prior. Just to base the appearance on some, that is.

A pair of horns coming from the head-...hmm, in this case the forehead was going to be simpler than ram-like horns stretching forward from the sides of the head.

No wings, but the deep red skin was something that would strike an imposing appearance in part for sure! Make the horns the same color too, would be simpler that way.

Hair colors would vary, but perhaps better to keep them simple. White, black, grays, silver, gold...well, even ruby, sapphire, and emerald colored hair would be acceptable among their genes. It wasn’ too gaudy, just different!

There was also making them intelligent and civilized, yes. None of this wanton barbaric-ness that would tear her poor children apart over time!

Slightly pronounced lower AND upper canine teeth, nothing that would stick out of the mouth...but something that when they smiled or grinned would be visible and somewhat charming really. Perfect, when paired with tall, naturally muscular bodies with incredible strength and high metabolisms. Workers of the land would need that strength for the many tasks they had, but also the energy to sustain it. That and for battling demons and so forth, to strike fear into it! That would be good, yes.

Then what else? Well, she’d have to think back on the body of the demon. It had been rather ‘shapely’, ‘curvy’ even. Big chested, and a cute butt too...mmm...wasn’t it all-female as well? Or was it built to do both? Well-

Wait. Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait-!!!

Arira’s eyes swiftly popped open as she finished the creation process.

...Uh Oh.

Uh Oh!

Uh Oh!

She’d let her mind wander as she wove the magic for a second there, a bit too long during the creation process, and swiftly she had opened her eyes in panic as she pulled her arms back down to her sides. Yet in the end, it was ultimately too late for her to...change what she’d just made. The process was done by the time she’d realized her mind was drifting off the correct train of thought just long enough to ‘botch’ things.

Before her a race of 7.4-8’2” tall, red-skinned, very muscled, forehead-horn-having, durable...and visibly all-female race was lying on the ground asleep. Well, they were all female looking at base, but she could tell from a very quick ‘scan’ of them with her divine power that when mating they were very capably hermaphroditic and could...oh my. Well, half-breeds were also possible as well as that it seemed.

What in the heavens had she done??? By Chakravarti’s fifth arm and her brother’s adorable baby face, what had she done to these poor creatures!? Sure reproduction wasn’t a problem, that much she was glad she hadn’t utterly botched, and they were all fully functional as living things and a sentient race..but she hadn’t even made it to dividing the sexes, giving them initial clothes, and finishing up with other touches like she’d wanted to! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! This was an embarrassment of the highest regard!

Even so, as the goddess visibly lightly panicked internally to herself as she stood on the stone, the beings in the area began to awaken. One by one the amazonian race stirred and began to stand up. They began to very curiously look at each other up and down, look up at the sky, and even around themselves at the terrain and ground. Some would thump each other on the back with a hearty laugh, a couple began to arm wrestle even, and so forth. Ultimately, however, their eyes and attention would turn up to look at the panicking, short (compared to them) goddess who was standing atop a great stone. In this vein, after a few more minutes one of them walked over to the stone to get her attention, lightly tapping it to snap her out of her current state.

“Are you the one that...ah...just kinda made us here? Or who are you? Not sure a place like this is a good place to panic, you know.”

Arira blinked slowly as she looked down at the one of her creations who had just ‘snapped her out of it’ and talked to her. Letting out another long, drawn sigh, she neatened herself up and gave a gentle nod to the individual before her.

“Y-Yes, my child, I did create you all...though I fear I may have let my mind wander as I did so. It is most embarrassing indeed.”

The individual raised an eyebrow, before she gave a simple shrug.

“I mean hey, we didn’t get to choose, so we don’t mind one bit! Honestly don’t mind how I am, unless anyone else has a problem here.”

In response, many of the others simply stared for a second before shrugging or simply brushing it off. Still, the one individual seemed to come right back at Arira with more.

“Well, not unless you think we’re a mistake or something. Not like I know! So just suck it up and deal with what you’ve done!”

The goddess paused for a moment at the rude, but perhaps much needed, exclamation to her face. Indeed, it made her chuckle for a second after the words sank in.

“No, none of thee are mistakes in my eyes nor in my mind. Thou art my children still, and as such I care for all of thee no matter what unintentionally happened during your creation,” she said putting a hand to her chest as she looked out at all the others as well, catching her breath a little still, “In truth I was’t rather panicked, and feared that there woulds’t be issues or true problems with thee or thine seed from mine mind wandering during creation. I dids’t not desire to do any ill to thee...but hath been worried in truth.”

The individual before her gave a wide, fanged grin and slapped the great stone the goddess stood on with gusto and a hearty laugh. Similarly the others behind her began to chuckle and laugh as well. Yet the blow to the stone nearly knocked the comparatively smaller goddess over for a second, which the one individual seemed to lightly panic at, as did the rest for a second, though once Arira got her balance back all seemed well once more.

“Well, ‘Mom’, you worry too much! We’re all fine I think! You did a damn good job crafting us as we are, so don’t sweat it! But ah…,” the individual trailed off as she looked back at the others before looking back at the goddess once more, “What are we? Might be a good place to start there.”

...Ok, so the race she had just created was rather ‘blunt’ in this sense. All the same, however, it was a very practical question that this one was getting at. Rather, she was very inquisitive in a practical sense for someone who had been created moments ago. Arira had wanted to make them like that, but to think it would come back to bit her somewhat! It was amusing in this case, rather than offensive, as she had panicked briefly there and needed the ‘snap’ back to reality.

But this race did need a name! A good one, really, that would encapsulate them best. The Brynlic had been easy enough to come to mind for her, but then again they had come into this world and been reborn rather than be ‘made from scratch’ as these were. It was all a tad strange in that regard.


“How about...the Ketto? Thou are the second race I hath made, and though second among my children thou are beloved still. Would this suffice?”

There was a general murmuring as the giant amazonians turned to each other and began to discuss it. Some seemed to not like it very much, though others seemed to either shrug it off or look more positive about it at least. It was a few minutes before they seemed to come to some general consensus, with the one standing closest to Arira herself putting her hands on her hips and letting out a sigh. She then turned her head to look at the goddess, a proud grin on her face.

“Works for us then!”

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