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    1. Frettzo 9 yrs ago


Recent Statuses

4 yrs ago
Current a completely public status bar might not be the best place to talk about your mood imbalances, just saying.
5 yrs ago
Having actual free time feels so weird
7 yrs ago
How did I escape Iraq? Iran.


Most Recent Posts

Beneavolence and Malevolence


The small meerkat-kin standing on top of the equally diminutive podium in the middle of the Internodal One pursed her lips as she saw the distant shadow of a flying creature appear over the horizon. As it grew closer and closer, she sucked in a big breath and exhaled, then waved her arms, both of her hands holding a blue and white flag in them. Her tabard, painted in the same colours as the flags, flowed wildly in the gusts of wind that washed over the land, caused by the approaching dragon’s powerful wings even though it was still somewhat far away.

“E-Excuse me!” She shouted in a high-pitched, almost creaky voice. “Please land! Land!” The request was as hopeless as her career, she realised, but rules were rules…

“It’s dangerous ahead!!” She shouted again, waving the flags even quicker.

At her words, the dragon changed direction and sent a raging wave of wind right at her. The sharp torrent not only forced her eyes closed, but pushed her back and off her podium until she was on her back sliding across the rough cobblestone road, unable to see what was happening past a blob of movement and unable to sense much past her own desperate attempts to hold onto anything so she wouldn’t be blown away. It only got worse as the dragon landed with an immense quake. Only after everything settled did she manage to shakily get on her feet and get a glimpse of the travelers.

“Well, hello, dear,” Benea smiled from atop the dragon’s head, somehow sitting on a chair perfectly balanced on the scales.

“A-Ahm… Uhm…” The young girl stuttered for so long that eventually she just sighed and walked back to her podium, climbing on top with just the slightest difficulty. There, she opened a hidden compartment and knelt down to reach into it.

“S-So. I don’t have a mask big enough for the flying crocodile…How many are you? Y-You all need to wear masks. It’s plague s-season around New Dama.”

“Plague season?” Benea scoffed. “I’ll fly in alone then. I’m here for your node, dear, care to show me the way?”

The girl pointed down the lonely road, towards the horizon where one could see sickly clouds of green and black. “O-One day’s walk that way. Flying…” She furrowed her brow in thought for a second. “Maybe half? Wear s-sunscream.” The girl said and took a small glass container from her stash and offered it to Benea.

Benea gave the girl a pitied smile. “I think it’s best you keep it, dear.” With little else, the dragon wafted its mighty wings and shot Benea up into the sky with a blast of wind.


“Yo, is that what I think it is bro.” Asked a labrador-kin of his colleague, another labrador-kin who stood next to him, guarding the entrance to the (newly renovated) Temple of the Bronzed Bloom.

“Uhh… Like what, bro? A bird?” Responded the colleague after a few seconds of observing the slowly growing shadow traveling towards New Dama.

“Nah bro. It’s like…” The first guard furrowed his eyes, tail standing at attention. “... a big alligator.”

The second guard chuckled. “Good one bro. Alligators don’t fly.”

“This one does bro.”


The first guard huffed and shrugged.

Eventually, the shadow grew close enough so that details of the creature could be clearly discerned. As panicked whispers arose from the market surrounding the temple’s entrance, the guards looked at the skies once more.

It was the first guard, who was armed with a crystallista, that spoke first once more.

“See bro? Flying alligator.”

“... Nah. Must be from the plague fumes, bro. Hyaluminations or whatever the leafheads call ‘em.” The second guard shrugged.

“Bro you dumb.”

Even more time passed. It was only when people began vacating the market, and when stalls and furniture started to be knocked over by the wind shockwaves of a landing dragon, that the first guard spurred into action.

He shakily jumped behind the arch he was guarding and pointed his crystallista at the dragon, mostly blindly due to the sheer density of the gunk that had come to coat his mask’s visors thanks to the dragon’s landing, and shouted.


With that said, the first guard shot his crystallista bolt, designed to be powerful enough to blow an entire Otori squad to bits, at the dragon. Then the dragon snapped its head and ate the bolt whole.

Half a moment of silence ensued. Then the second guard spoke.

“Yo bro I think the alligator is real.”

“Hello, darlings!” Benea was standing atop her dragon’s head with a new drink in her hands; something minty green with a citrus garnish. “I’m here for that node of yours, and a chance to talk with whoever is running the show.”

“Brough… There’s a lady on top of the alligator...” The second guard said breathlessly, still not moving an inch from his post.

“... I think I’m gonna shoot again bro. She’s clearly plague-crazed. She’s drinking a whole lemo-”

“STOP! STOPP YOU DUMB DOGS!” Screamed a deep voice from inside the temple, followed by the big heavy doors being blown open by a kick. It was a large bull-man, wearing a golden collar and a majestic set of bronze plate armour. The man stomped his way over to the two stunned dog guards and slapped them over the head so hard their ornamental helmets flew off into the market, to be immediately snatched by some random outlaws that crawled out from the sewers.


The guards shrunk back and shook in their boots. “B-Boss, we thought-”


“Sun-Downer, that’s enough.” Came another voice, this one much quieter and clearly female in origin. It rang out from inside the temple. “Please show the Beneavolence Rep to the Altar.”

After taking a deeeeep breath and giving the two fools the stink eye, Sun-Downer knelt before Benea and her dragon and motioned towards the temple. “Please make your way inside, lady. No alligator, please.”

“Oh very well, sweet thing.” Benea walked, on air, all the way down to the cobbled streets and took another sip at her drink before handing it to one of the dogmen. Jermane quickly caught up and pushed himself between his Queen and the others, his own glare being even more intense than Sun-Downer’s.

Inside, the atmosphere was different. Literally. The air was cleaner than outside and smelled of lavender, it was completely free of the green-gray gunk, and the temperature was much cooler and rather refreshing. Besides that, the furniture inside the main hall of the Temple wasn’t too impressive. Cushions of many different leathers lined the hall and hanging chandeliers kept the area lit up, a soft hum emanating from them. At the far end of the hall and protected by a line of heavily-armoured plant-kin guards wielding axes and tower shields was an impressively crafted altar resembling the blooming petals of a rose, cast in bronze.

Sitting on that altar was a form that seemed almost dwarfed by the grandiosity of the hall.

“Welcome to New Dama. I’ve been awaiting your arrival.” Said the form. Her green skin, black eyes and leafy head of hair glistened with moisture as a pair of servants much taller than her sprayed water at her with their glass bottles. Truly, she resembled a rich teenager more than a seasoned ruler.

“Indeed?” Benea flashed a big grin, before flickering her eyes to every inch of the room. “Shall I be offered a seat, then?”

The ruler waved a hand over the entirety of the hall, her gold-laced dress’ sleeves pooling around her shoulders as she did so. “Take your pick. There are cushions everywhere.” She said and turned to one of the servants. “Bring them something that their people can drink.” The servant nodded and, after hooking her bottle into her belt, disappearing into a side door for but a moment before emerging again and pushing past the line of soldiers to offer Jermane and Benea a glass vase full of crystal clear water.

Benea furrowed her brow and Jermane stepped forward. He stood up straight and announced. “This is Queen Benea of three cycles, born Olipha. It is customary to stand when addressing her as she stands and sit only after she sits.”

Before she could act on the growing scowl on her face, the servant remaining at her side whispered something into the Ruler’s ear. “Oh? For real?” She asked, to which the servant nodded her head with but the slightest quiver in her leaves.

After that, the ruler carefully slid off the Altar and stood up straight, the pair of bells hanging loosely from her neck ringing as she moved.

“I am The Orbita, The Fourth Bronzed Bloom, and Representative of the United Daman Clans. It seems I mistook you for a… Whatever.” The Orbita then motioned over the entirety of the Temple Hall. “You may take your pick of our available seats.”

“Fantastic, dear!” Benea was smiling again as she fell backwards into the comforting plush of a birch woven chair that had suddenly appeared. It was speckled with emerald and had the faintest perfume of the forest hanging off it but most importantly, it was brighter and bigger than every other seat in the room. “Now to cut to the chase, sweet Orbita, everything you know is about to be wiped clean. Gone, I dare say, completely gone. Your thoughts, memories, your land, your nation, everything, poof. I’m sure you noticed the crack in the sky by now, darling, but worry not, I’m here to prevent that fate from befalling you. Isn’t that just great?” She clapped her hands together and gave a wide grin.

“Yes we’ve noticed the crack in the sky. The Daman Peoples believe it’s a bad omen from when we imprisoned Eleanna, but we know the truth from the news brought to us by tourists and wandering Paladins.” The Orbita explained before carefully climbing onto the Altar once more. “Now tell me, why would we want this world to be saved? It’s so dangerous and boring…” She trailed off, slumping against a bronze petal.

“If you think that’s boring, try not existing, darling.” Benea frowned and crossed a leg. “And despite that, there are millions of other lives that would rather not.”

“Don’t get me wrong, Benea. Not just as The Orbita but now as the Bronzed Bloom, I can’t stop someone from chasing a dream as dumb and far-fetched as saving this world is. Plus, even if the entire garrison stationed in New Dama now were to attack your dragon, I doubt we could take it down. So do as you like and leave us be. We have more pressing matters to attend to at the moment, like making sure our citizens don’t choke to death or grow extra limbs from the Alchemical Ash.”

“Jermane, dear,” Benea smiled softly at her guardian. “Could you please explain exactly who I am again?”

Jermane stepped forward again. “Queen Benea is-”

“I heard you the first time.” The Orbita interrupted.

A great white flash devoured the temple and ate the sound. Smell dissolved and touch went forfeit. All that remained was Benea’s voice, clear of any joy or benevolence. “I am Olipha, with a touch of my finger, I can turn your alchemical ash to pigeons and twist your pressing concerns to clouds of cotton. With but a sneeze, I can turn your region into a pool of crystal water.”


The next time the Orbita woke up, she did so with the worst headache she’d had since the morning after her coming of age celebration, and when she opened her eyes and sat up, she was greeted by the familiar sight of her two aunts sitting to each side of her bed. They were asleep, slumped over the bedside tables.

The doors opened, jolting her aunts awake and in came Sun-Downer the Companion, holding a pair of silver trays with carnivorous meals on them. He did a subtle double take as he noticed Orbita’s awakening, but kept his comments until after he handed Orbita’s aunts their respective trays.

Once that small duty had been fulfilled and Orbita’s aunts started to dig into their steaks, the older bull-man nodded at the teenage Ruler.

“I’m glad to see you awake, Crysanth.”

“Thank you, Buncle.” Orbita smiled, “When did I fall asleep?”

“You, along with most of New Dama, were knocked out by Benea the Goddess. We must have offended her in some way.”

Orbita’s eyes glazed over a bit as she rested her back against her bed’s headboard. “... Huh.”

“Also, the lower district is flooded, and the mudbrick houses near the northeastern market have collapsed due to the torrential rains.”

Orbita’s right eyebrow twitched. “Torrential rains?”

“Torrential rains, yes.”

“It isn’t even the wet season yet, though?”


Orbita let herself sink into her fluffy bed, an action which Sun-Downer took as a sign to leave the room.

As soon as her bedchambers’ doors closed her aunts started to stroke Orbita’s leafy hair, prompting her to hide her face with one of the massive pillows, sniffling.



Melena waved goodbye to their latest hosts, a wide grin on her face as her long golden hair flowed in the morning breeze.

“Thanks for the food and the warmth, Jacques, Marie! Good luck with the cubs!” She shouted and laughed, then turned and walked away from the cosy little homestead. Jacques and Marie, a newlywed couple living in a lonely part of the foot of the World’s Reach, had been gracious enough to house both Melena and Eleanna for a week after having found the pair struggling to travel through the particularly rough north-dusklands terrain. In that week, Melena had gotten to know the couple well enough to consider them friends, and though it pained her to have to leave so soon without being able to pay back her debt for providing Eleanna a place to rest, she had to keep going.

It was perhaps a fortnight or two ago when they came across a travelling Artificer, one who had been running from the conflict like everyone else seemed to be doing. The old insectoid man seemed delighted to be able to provide Eleanna with all the assistance he could give, removing the tendon-severers and throat-slicer from her body, as well as providing a trio of rudimentary sight beads which he implanted into her forehead, as a workaround for her eyes which had been maimed beyond even divine healing.

Since then, with every day that passed, Eleanna’s physical condition improved a little bit. When they had first broken out of the Sun Prison, the once-superhuman goddess couldn’t even walk. Now, she could hike for hours. Divine bodies were really something else, Melena thought, but what they made up for with their bodies’ resilience and physical ability they lacked in mental fortitude.

The young Lion-kin sighed. Her golden eyes glinted in the early morning’s sunlight as she tied her hair into a loose ponytail and adjusted her pack as well as Eleanna’s, then she walked with the Goddess following a few steps behind.

“Nothing better than a long walk with freshly cleaned washed right Anna?” Melena asked with a smile.

Eleanna opened her mouth slightly, but offered no further response.

“I know, I know they’ll get dirty again, but hey! Maybe we’ll meet more nice people along the way and maybe they'll let us borrow their soap, you know? It’s a nice change of pace don’t you think? To go from crazy adventures to a simple journey to meet an old friend of yours?”

Eleanna closed her mouth and walked a little bit faster.

“Let’s just hope she’s back from the war down south. We can’t afford to wait for her in a city forever, not with the three stooges following us…”

Prison Escape


Eleanna couldn’t see.

Her gift of sight had been stolen. all she could feel were the dozens of pin prick-like sensations and the pulling along her eyelids. She could not open her eyes, for whenever she tried to do so, a fresh wave of searing white pain tore through her spine and brain.

Eleanna couldn’t speak.

Her gift of speech had been sealed. All she could feel was a strange numbness in her throat on top of her tongue doing the opposite of what she wanted it to do whenever she tried to speak.

Eleanna couldn’t move her hands or her feet.

Her gift of dexterity had been taken away. Her fingers hung dead in the air, with her wrists slit open and prevented from healing by what she could only guess was some kind of metallic fibre contraption. The same thing happened with her feet, her tendons cut off by the same kind of contraption.

Both old and new scars graced her naked form as she lay there slumped against a damp sandstone brick wall, her arms and neck cuffed tightly to the wall.

Imprisonment and torture can change a person.


It had been weeks since the heist. It took that long to convince the infant soul-arm to form a bond with her, who knew that artificial souls could be so stubborn?

Now, the young lion-kin walked through the haphazardly constructed hallways of the Sun-Talking Imprisonment Facility, A.K.A. the Sun Prison, dressed in rags and covered in bruises.

When she gave herself up to the New Daman authorities she didn’t expect to be beaten up, but such was life.

‘Lucky you even got here alive, Mel. I bet your friends killed dozens of their co-workers.’ A high-pitched voice popped up in her mind. It was Inertia, her Soul Arm.

It is what it is, Melena thought. She sighed openly and lagged a bit in her march through the prison. One of the two burly guards behind her, a shark-kin with no fins, pushed her forward with the butt of his spear. She grunted and sped up again.

“We’ve walked past the normal cells, guys.” Melena called out.

“You’re not a normal prisoner. You’re a Freak.” the other guard, a subjugated member of the Otori remnants, explained.

“Bit rude.” Melena rolled her eyes.

Of course, that was all part of her plan. Seconds turned to minutes as they kept walking, passing two checkpoints until they reached the Freak wing. The eye-watering stench immediately flooded Melena’s nostrils and she had to hold back an urge to gag. The guards weren’t so successful, though.

Eventually, they passed by a particularly dark cell with orichalk-reinforced bars. She couldn’t quite see the person that had been cuffed to the far wall, but she immediately knew who it was.

Melena only knew one person with that particular aura and that particular scent. She stopped walking, the shark-kin bumping up against her due to her sudden stop, eliciting a grunt from him and another push.

Melena turned around.

“The fuck-” The guards stepped back, levelling their weapons at her. Despite her bruised body, the strength behind her sudden posture was unmistakable. She raised her fists as a pair of elaborate, glowing gauntlets materialised on her hands.

“Well? Bring it on.”

In a rush of movement, the shark-kin charged, his spear aimed at her torso. She stepped aside and struck the shark-kin’s side as he charged past. He collapsed with a yelp behind Melena, holding his side tightly.

After the shark-kin came the Otori. He discarded his weapon from the get go, raising his fists in a mirrored stance to Melena’s.

“I won’t be that easy to take down, Freak.” He declared.

And thus the two fighters fought. It was a flurry of blows on both sides, with Melena maintaining a comfortable edge against the Otori man.

A minute after the fight had begun, both fighters with their faces and fists bloodied, Melena saw her chance.

The Otori man threw a kick aimed at her liver. Instead of dodging it, she turned her whole body to block it with her abs and grabbed his leg tightly before sweeping his supporting leg from under him.

Both she and the Otori man fell onto the dirty floor, but she had the advantage. She quickly threw herself on top of him and pushed her forearm down against his windpipe as hard as she could until he stopped moving, eyes rolled back into his skull and mouth foaming.

She took a moment to collect herself, but she eventually looted the guards’ keyrings and used one of the keys to open the door leading into the dark cell.

Once inside, she made her way to the prisoner cuffed to the wall and had to bite back a gasp as she saw Eleanna’s state.

“I was too late… I’m sorry. I’ll bust you out of here now.” Melena said after a while and ripped the tendon-severer devices out of the goddess’ wrists and ankles. Eleanna hissed soundlessly in pain, the dirty bloodied rag wrapped around her eyes in the form of a blindfold-bandage becoming wet with tears before she went limp, allowing Melena to break the rusty chains keeping her tied to the wall.

‘Deep inside, I know that’s her, but I always imagined my Mother to look… Different.’ Inertia whispered quietly.

Not giving the Soul Arm a response, Melena laid Eleanna down on the floor as she busted open a hole in the wall, leading to the outside of the facility. Immediately hearing alarms being raised inside the complex, Melena hoisted the unconscious Eleanna over her shoulders and ran out into the western wilderness. The authorities wouldn’t follow her there.

Egg Heist


Despite everyone involved in the plan being either illiterate or hostile to each other, they had actually managed to draw up a pretty good plan. They’d wait until all the Soul Arms had been forged and then steal them from right under the Daman Clans’ noses in a swift operation set to take place late at night. Even New Dama’s particularly intimidating security forces would not have been an issue at all… That is, if things went according to plan, and they never do as Melena the Bright had quickly learned.

Everything had started off great with the Security patrol being taken out by Boot and his goons. It was the moment they forced the Temple of the Bronzed Bloom’s lock that everything went to hell, because an alarm in the form of parrots lining the ceiling started to blare and scream.

Their small bodies glowed with the telltale light of soul users, and every squawk and screech that came from their beaks sent shockwaves throughout the Temple’s Hall.

One of the three people that formed a part of Melena’s group, a tall and lanky avian mercenary called Pico clad in fancy ambroisen laced leather armour barked out an order that Melena couldn’t quite hear and then him and his two Eunomian brothers (a black furred horned rat-man covered in various gadgets named Deckard and a tawny beige skinned human who went by Jim and was an inconspicuous as they come) darted deeper into the Temple, disappearing behind one of the doors to either side of the altar. Melena had no choice but to follow.


Outside and lined along the edge of the Temple’s ornamental slanted roof crouched a number of raggedy hooded figures. Everyone seemed to twitch every time a parrot screeched its alarm until the leader of the figures, Boot, was called by a short lynx-eared woman. She took her eye off her monocular to grimace at the Rhinokin.

“They faster than thought, bos. Too dosen comin’. Even got Otori.”

Boot nibbled at the inside of his cheek. This would be an expensive night, he realised as he turned towards the huge cloaked figure sitting on the roof behind everyone else and nodded with a grunt. “Bust out ya thing. Ya know, tha thing.”

The hulking figure nodded, reached to his side and picked up an oversized trumpet case and with a click upended it up to reveal a… well trumpet

“What you bring the wrong ca-” one of the funkies began to say, before a finger was raised, the instrument extracted and then with a click the trumpet split perfectly in the centre, revealing the insides to be covered in magmatic gems and crystal wiring as the two halves slid appart to become the rails of the condeable launcher. The demon grinned beneath the hood, flipped open a hidden compartment that held the ammo and slipped it into the base of the rails, which gripped it and hung it in the air.

The instrument primed, all that was needed was for it to have a focalice of its cacophonous performance.

“Dam!” The lynx-girl hissed and pointed at the group of soldiers jogging down the main avenue called Bloom’s Walk, weaving through the empty stalls haphazardly parked all over the place. A single Otori Berserker that towered over everyone else shouted something unintelligible while pointing up at Boot’s unmistakable silhouette. “Shood shood!” She urged the demon, before being picked up by the back of her hood and moved aside by that same Demon. She let out a little hiss as she unceremoniously landed on her butt.

“What ya waiting for, Horns?” Huffed Boot.

A grunt was Bot’s reply, before the demon casually raised the disk launcher and fed power into them, causing an energetic hum before the explosive frisbee shot along the rails and then down into the approaching troopers. Expert and unhurried professional that he was, the demon had primed the disk near perfect, the projectile detonating in a flash of chaotic red lightning only a blink after it slammed into the Otori Berserker’s skull.

In the blink of an eye, what had been Eleanna’s Gate and the beginning of Bloom’s Walk turned into a sea of red flames and crackling lightning. Screams rang out from inside the houses lining the Walk as well as from the surviving members of the rapid response team as they stared at their missing and/or charred limbs. It was chaos.

It was also the first time Boot had seen the disc launchers in action.

“Dam!” hissed the wild lynx girl.

“Holy hell… Not even a fly left…” Muttered a one-eyed frog-man.

“Smells like mum’s cooking.” Shared a free silvan with a nostalgic smile on his face.

Everyone gave the silvan man a look.

“We’re never eating at yours, mate.” Said an owl-man, feathers puffed out so much he looked more like a stuffed toy than a real person.

“Keep it ready, Horns. More comin’ fo’ sure.”

“Mmmm” the demon replied simply, already rejuicing the batteries of the launcher, a second disk held in hand ready to be loaded in for the next explosive hit. Given the veritable concert worth of spare ammo the case held, and the wicked size of the demon’s horns, there’d be plenty more before the night was done.


Melena had always been told that she was talented. She’d always been told that she’d go far, and she never questioned it. Now, as she struggled to keep up with the swiftness of the foreign Eunomian mercenaries, she realised that talent and experience couldn’t really be compared. She made a mental note to apologise to Sun-Downer if she ever saw him again as she made one last turn and crashed into Jim’s back.

As they tumbled to the floor, she saw a large muscular woman with the fins of a shark holding a warhammer squaring off against Pico. A young silvan boy was perched behind her on top of a big shelf, pointing a glinting crossbow at them.

“C-Crystallista!” Melena called out, struggling to get back on her feet with Jim trying to do the same. The nondescript man seemed to have a better time of it, stumbling and scrambling almost comically instead of hitting the deck entirely. However, rather than foolishness an expert paying close attention would have noticed how every movement flowed seamlessly into the next, and how the erratic movement threw off the aim of the crossbowman and assessed him as a master of his own body. A layman would have been able to reach the same conclusion based on the fact that Jim managed to draw a pistol from his jacket pocket and fire off a shot while this was all going down, the stone thrower hurling a maeliteian diamond as its projectile.

The gemstone slug hit the boy’s crystallista head on. A loud crack followed a flash of light as the boy was thrown from his perch and against an opposite wall. A moment of silence took over the room.

Then the gorilla Smith roared and charged, swinging her hammer wildly. Melena rolled out of the way of an overhead strike -the bricks she had just been standing on turned into dust by the force behind the warhammer- and kicked the Smith in the back of her knee, forcing her to buckle with a high-pitched yelp.

Jim, his pistol already smoothly reloaded during the moment of silence, helpfully stepped in and pressed the stone-thrower’s muzzle to the smith’s forehead and then cocked an eyebrow at Melena as if to ask her what to do with this one.

Melena furrowed her brow, then stood up straight and dusted her trousers. A quick glance at the boy slumped inbetween two barrels in the corner of the room was enough for her to acknowledge that he was still breathing, eliciting a sigh of relief from deep within herself before she turned to the apekin Smith. “C’mon Mus, this kinda crap is exactly why you never made the cut...” Melena half-smiled at the Smith. Mus’ reply was a mere scoff, her eyes locked on the barrel of Jim’s pistol. “D, got the cuffs?” Melena called out to Deckard.

“If it will get you lot to quiet down and let me finish working then yes” came a shout from the rat man kneeling by the door to the basement, who rummaged around in his jacket pockets for a moment and then tossed over a contraption that could only be loosely described as cuffs.

It was more a central gemstone out of which four tendrils of stone extending from it. These could wrap around the subject’s arms forming a much more snug and tight fit than simple iron manacles.

Jim shrugged, indifferent at this show of mercy, and then held the gun in place until the maniciles were in place before smoothly stashing his weapon again. Moments after they were done with the smith there was a quiet click and victorious squeak of “I’m in!” as Deckard finished dealing with the door of the basement, having used a bunch of levitated pebbles as a lockpick.

The door swung open and the ratman stepped back and gestured thatricaly to the now open entrance to the underground “Ladies and gentlemen first, genius scoundrels second yes?” to which Jim simply rolled his eyes and casually strolled on into the danger ahead of his longtime partner.

Melena huffed and pushed her way past Jim and into the darkness of the basement. “We have no time for casual strolling, Jimbo!” She declared as she rushed all the way down the spiral staircase and fed some of her soul into the lightning system. A series of ceiling lamps lit up in sync after a second, just bright enough to allow one to see, but not so bright that they emitted much heat.

“Hmm… Soul Arm Eggs… Maybe if I look under ‘E’... Nope… What about ‘A’ for Arms…? Sticks…!” Melena muttered to herself as she began looking through the alphabetically-sorted dozens of shelves. “Oh no, this is why I always hated picking stuff up from this place…!” She groaned as her search gradually became more and more desperate.

There was a cough from down by the oversized S section to which Jim had sauntered while she was panicking. Once he had her attention he held up a hand showed her an unwrapped cloth ball that held a ring within, and then pointed a finger up to where his ratty companion had scrambled all the way to the top of the shelves and was busy stuffing the rest of the rag wrapped rings into his jacket pockets while complaining “Bits of a god and they don’t even have their own box, let alone a vault or something?!”

Melena blew a stray strand of hair away from her face, sighed, and placed down a random weapon handle back onto the shelf she’d been busy ruining. “It pisses me off too, it’s like they don’t care about Lady Eleanna at all.” She shook her head and swiped the ring that Jim held, stuffing it into her own pocket. “Let’s g-”


The temple rumbled. Dust fell from the ceiling. A lamp broke.

After regaining her footing, Melena’s lion ears caught wind of a pair of people descending down the staircase, just in time for her to turn around and see Pico and a short, hooded lynx-woman appear.

“Milleeon sol-deers comin, Mel! Bos had ta run! We run to!” The lynx woman explained quickly and ran back up the stairs. Melena gave a quick glance to the Eunomian mercenaries, and then she followed the lynx woman.

The pair shared a glance for a half second, before the rat man cursed, grabbed the last few rings, and then leapt down from the shelf into Jim’s awaiting arms. There was no time for embracing however, and the duo swiftly hurried after the natives.

It was time to blow this joint.

And blow it up they did. As soon as they came up the stairs, they saw the massive hole in the wall, leading to the back gardens of the Temple and currently guarded by a single massive demon and a pair of panting, dagger-wielding outlaws.

A lanky chameleon man immediately shot his tongue at Deckard’s soul-arm stuffed pockets.

In the blink of an eye, a hole had been torn into Deckard’s jacket and more than a handful of the soul arms had been taken by the Chameleon man, who spit the soul arm rings back out and stuffed them into the front of his trousers.

“What the hell!” Pico yelled.

Jim, ever so stoic, pulled out his pistol and shot a diamond shard at the chameleon, who simply stepped to the side and dodged the bullet.

“Stewpids.” He hissed and disappeared into thin air. The other outlaw looked between the space where the chameleon man had been and the eunomian merc squad a few times before shakily throwing a dusklander smoke bomb at his feet and vanishing.

“Sticks!” Melena cursed, turning to inspect Deckard quickly, with the large demon still observing. “D, you okay?! Those perverts betrayed us!”

“Perverts is the right word, who just tongues a guy like that!” Deckard bitterly complained, wiping his ruined jaked clear of residual spit, then accepted a handkerchief from Jim to do a better job of it.

The big demon cleared his throat and then jerked his head to the side to indicate they should get moving.

“Right right let’s move. I can't believe I’m thankful they didn't have a box for them now!” Deckard said as he made to move, pawing through his jacket to check what they had left while Jims stepped ahead to guard his partner better this time while the Big demon took up the rear of their formation.

As dozens of footsteps echoed through the temple and the courtyard and surrounding structures were being consumed by a blazing inferno, Melena spurred into action and led everyone (Jim, Deckard, Pico, the Demon and the Lynxgirl) down to the far end of an unassuming alley and lifted a large iron grating with a grunt, having had to burn some soul to do it.

As soon as everyone had jumped into the newly-built sewers, she followed and closed the grating behind them.

And just like that, they had escaped the manhunt. And since Melena knew the sewers like the back of her hand thanks to her experience working as a sanitation specialist years ago, she also knew exactly how to lose her ‘companions’ in the sewers as well. She, after all, had plans for the Soul Arm she had snatched from Jim.

Slavers get thrown into jail


The first thing that Eleanna saw when she returned to New Dama was a large blue, white and gold flag proudly waving in the wind from the top of the Central Temple of the Bronzed Bloom’s main bell tower.

The second thing she saw was a massive group of soldiers - both Daman and foreigner - flooding the streets and pointing their spears, swords, axes and clubs at her.

Yenna, sitting in the pilot’s seat, grimaced and put her hand on the soul-burner valve, a manoeuvre that Eleanna was quick to interrupt with a gentle grab of Yenna’s hand. The Goddess shook her head at her best friend and graced her with an uncharacteristically honest smile. Yenna stuttered.

“I-I told you they’d know. The shadows-”

“Shh. Don’t do anything crazy now, it’s my turn to walk the Path. Things have changed a lot since the last time I donned the Great Priestess’ Gown, and to be honest I did guess there’d be consequences to sponsoring a bunch of justice-obsessed shrubs. Oh… And killing a god, too.” Eleanna chuckled and shrugged. “I love you, Yenna. Don’t throw your life away for me. Use it instead to ensure your children know how to walk the Path, so that they don’t stumble and fall like I have.”

Yenna grew misty-eyed. The passenger cockpit screen hissed open and Eleanna jumped out, walking up to the two-hundred soldiers anxiously pointing their weapons at her. At that point, the half-hyenakin looked at her crossbow, stowed away folded next to her seat, and bit her cheek.


How exciting! To be welcomed in such a way after a long vacation! Eleanna was ecstatic. Every step of hers had a bit of a hop to it as she stepped out and in front of Yenna’s carriage. The men making up the ranks in front of her trembled. They knew of her, and of her time as the leader of the Companions.

“You guys know I’m not going to make this easy for you, right?” The Bronzed Goddess’ booming laughter echoed through the avenue, several stained glass windows vibrating.

Some of the soldiers up front made way for a massive beast of a man to come through. It was the bullkin, Sun-Downer of the Crescent Axe. One of her oldest Companions, and one of her best friends throughout her whole life. A pang of pain shot across her chest. Images of him, young and vigorous and thirsty for glory flashed in her mind’s eye. Nowadays, she could only see a tired old man well past his prime.

He’d struggled. He’d walked the Path. He’d done everything he set out to do, all while Eleanna remained the same.

She grit her teeth.

There was no need for words. They both knew the situation. Eleanna knew that Sun-Downer was tired of the endless bloodshed, and she knew of his undying allegiance to the United Clans. Shem ay have been on a long vacation, but that didn’t mean her shadows hadn’t been keeping her up to date on the conflict’s progress.

She knew she was the last true obstacle in the UDC’s Path.

Meanwhile, Sun-Downer knew that Eleanna would never willingly go into exile. He knew she would never drop her position as the Bronzed Bloom. And he knew better than anyone, barring perhaps Yenna, that Eleanna was probably happy to be betrayed.


The word left a sweet and sour taste in her mouth.

She took aim at the bulk of the small army with her spear, veins beginning to glow. Sun-Downer raised his hand, stopping her in her tracks.

“Just you and me, El. Let’s not shed any more blood than we have to.”

A pair of large Chariots rumbled their way onto the scene, coming to a stop far behind the army. They looked awfully reinforced.

“A duel? You know I carry a crystallista with me at all times, right?” Eleanna frowned.

“You’re free to use it, though I think we both know you won’t.”

Eleanna smirked, her frown gone and a tired look on her face being all that remained.

“Yeah.” She said simply and proceeded to undo the straps keeping her crystallista attached to her left arm, then tossed the expensive weapon away. She looked at the tip of her spear, polished and perfect, exactly how she hated them, and wielded it in both hands.

Sun-Downer did the same with his Great Crescent Axe.

Then with a scream on each side they clashed.


It was a flurry of strikes, parries and dodges. The barely-trained eyes of the average Daman soldier watching the duel could just about keep up with the movement.

At one point, Sun-Downer’s axe came down onto Eleanna’s spear and severed it in half. The Goddess responded by throwing the sharp end at Sun-Downer, the weapon finding its mark as it broke through a rib and dug into one of his lungs.

The bullkin recoiled, coughed up blood and fell to one knee. He began to glow as Eleanna approached, now unarmed. Her black claws shone in the midday sun, a couple of them dripping blood from the many fresh cuts along her arms and shoulders.

She huffed and puffed as she came to a stop before Sun-Downer and wrapped one of her clawed arms around her friend’s throat. The old man winced.

At that moment, Eleanna blinked and looked into his eyes, her own eyes widening as she saw the drops of blood dripping out from where her claws had pin pricked his skin.

“What am I…?” She muttered, failing to notice the intensity of Sun-Downer’s glow until the spear popped right out of his chest and he stood back up, slapping Eleanna’s hand off his throat easily. The air smelled like roasted beef.

Eleanna only managed to look up at Sun-Downer in time to see his hand raised up in a very characteristic way.

The Paladin Chop! Eleanna thought, then everything went black once Sun-Downer’s strike hit.

-Weeks later-

Eleanna tapped her claw against the cold stone floor she was sitting on. Her usually barely-tamed hair had grown wild and tangled, and her long blouse and cloth trousers had developed stains all over from having to sit on the usually wet, dirty floor of her dungeon cell. On the other side of her cell’s bars stood a hunched over plantkin, dressed in a cheap Eunomian scientist garb and writing something on his clipboard with a pencil.

“Preparationss are complete.” He said in a squeaky voice before pushing a pair of glasses up his nose and giving Eleanna a brief glance. “Ms. Eleanna, your community service startss now.”

A pair of the biggest, buffest Otori inmates she’d ever seen stood to either side of her cell door as a wolfkin guard opened the door and threw a muzzle and a full set of heavy metal cuffs at her. She complied and put the things on, then followed the group. She was led down a series of haphazardly built and shoddily maintained series of twists and turns, down one too many sets of stairs, and up a ladder to end up in what she could barely recognize as the prison’s feared Hospital Attic.

She sniffed at the air as she entered, scrunching up her nose at the scent of stale blood and bodily fluids. Not that one needed to have a good sense of smell to detect those things, what with the way the floors were stained and how the drain in the middle of the room was nearly clogged with a weird, pulsating mass of semi-coagulated blood.

“Sit, Ms. Eleanna.” Commanded the leafy doctor. Eleanna felt a rush of adrenaline pump into her veins and she almost scratched the life out of the doctor, but she took a deep breath and kept herself under control and sat down on the lonely metal chair off to one side of the room, surrounded by various rusted tables filled with instruments.

Immediately upon sitting down, Eleanna felt a thousand pricks across her back and legs, and felt her body lock up and stop responding.

The leafy doctor saw the look in her face and smirked ever so slightly. “Ambroissen, Ms. Eleanna. You won’t be moving until we’re finisshed here.” He said and came closer,picking up a pair of long-nosed bronze pliers off one of the rusted tables. “It’ss a simple job today. Plierss will do jusst fine.”

The Doctor knelt down and grabbed onto one of Eleanna’s toe claws with the pliers, then pulled the claw out.



“... Aaaand that’s tha last one! Phew!”

The third-generation head of the Church’s in-house smithy shouted in relief and swept her short hair back, spraying every last apprentice behind her with droplets of her sweat. Her arms, muscular and with many, many burn scars, cradled the last of her latest babies.

Commissioned by the UDC’s High Council, the last of the 20 Soul Arms was now in her arms.

Like all others, it took the shape of a nigh-indestructible translucent egg the size of a child’s palm. And like all others, it wasn’t just a seed for one of the most powerful weapons mortals had ever built – It was a living, sentient being destined to bond with someone it deems worthy, upon which moment it would reveal its true form and function as a soul-empowering weapon capable of turning a person into something more impressive..

The Soul Arms. A medium-scale, extreme-difficulty task that only the Church’s most skilled smith could’ve pulled off. It took months.

The Smith grinned and threw herself into her favourite wooden chair, the poor thing creaking under her weight.

“Aight boys, pack it up with tha others. The Couriers will be here tomorrow to pick ‘em up.” Two of the apprentices rushed to take the infant Soul Arm off the Smith’s hands and went to the basement, while the other apprentices started to get ready to go home for the night. “Honda! You’re keeping watch tonight. With me. Bring the kegs!”

A few of the apprentices near Honda gave him knowing smirks and bid him farewell while he was left by himself. Eventually, he groaned and made his way to the basement. It would be a looong night…

Eleanna Visits Maelite


Eleanna tapped her chin. She couldn’t quite understand how the crystal in front of her eyes had formed. Much less why it was just… Out on the surface, rather than deep down in the earth. Daman minerals and crystals were always found in the deepest caves after all. Then again, perhaps comparing this strange new land to her own was the wrong way to go. This land called Maelite, for one, had no sky. It also had no grass, no light (other than that of the road of light barely visible over a dark hill), and no heat.

The goddess absentmindedly shot her arm-ballista into the darkness, a shrill whimper echoing through the miniature valley. She put her attention on the dark crystal again and broke off a small piece of it and licked it. It tasted awful, like wet charcoal. She then sniffed it and sneezed. It was extremely powdery once broken, and all that powder had found its way into her lungs (she probably will have to wash her lungs out later, she realised as she coughed). Ultimately, she rubbed it hard and fast, and pursed her lips as the crystal failed to catch fire.

Next she grabbed a random black pebble she saw on the ground next to the crystal. She liked it and sniffed it, confirming it tasted and smelled the same, minus the powdery part. Then she rubbed it and perked up as it immediately lit on fire.

It didn’t just put itself out either. It kept burning… And burning… And burning. After a full five minutes, Eleanna blew the fire out and put the pebble in one of the many pockets sewn into her Ambroisen-enhanced furs and leathers. She also took a big chunk out of the crystal, then pulled a couple sacks out of her pockets and collected as many pebbles and crystals as she could find.

Eventually, both sacks had been filled up to the brim so she tied them off and brought them back to the Road of Light, where Yenna was waiting for her sitting on the hood of her Chariot, reading through one of the many books Eleanna had bought for her when they’d driven past Eunomia. Breyan books, apparently, salvaged from the wreckage of some random library down south. Eleanna didn’t care at the end of the day, as long as her gift made Yenna happy.

“I have zero idea how you can read Breyan, Yenna. That language is craaaazy.” Eleanna said as she popped the side cargo door open and threw the sacks of resources inside unceremoniously, the whole chariot bouncing as a response.

“It’s called studying. Also my husband grew up in Brey’s land, he even went to his classes! Can you imagine that, being able to attend a wise god’s lessons?” Yenna asked dreamily, to which Eleanna rolled her eyes.

“I’m off to hunt. You know, so we can eat. Enjoy your book!”

“Yeah make me a sandwich while you’re at it, woman.” Yenna chuckled. Eleanna couldn’t help but chuckle too as she grabbed a spear out of the cargo hold and went back out into the Maelite Wilds.


The Hunt had been super dope, Eleanna thought. Tied to her belt were numerous skulls, ranging from tiny all the way to human-sized. They all once belonged to one of the many kinds of monsters inhabiting Maelite, but now they belonged to her as trophies.

She was in the process of cutting open her last kill of the day and stripping its exoskeleton off when she heard footsteps approaching her from the darkness and looked up to see a glowing white goddess walking towards her. Eleanna furrowed her brow, threw a final bit of raw insect flesh into her mouth and stood up.

The approaching goddess had her hands clasped at her waist and her wings furled to either side of her. Her face was sullen and a strange film twitched over her form — not unlike an unclaimed node’s region. Stopping to meet Eleanna head on, the despondent deity murmured at a volume that pissed Eleanna off. “Oh, hello.”

The bronzed Goddess nodded at the despondent one. “Name’s Eleanna. You this land’s owner?”

“How silly…” Monica said under her breath. “I cannot own anything and yet we are all owned.”

Eleanna blinked, then squatted back down to continue harvesting every last piece off her kill. “Sis I live in a land full of mutated beastfolk and none of them have said nonsense like what just came outta your mouth.”

“Live… living…” Monica gasped. “I don’t know what living is, here I am alive — no I wish to be dead. Both the start and the end, to experience both at once.” A realisation dawned on the strange goddess' face, “I am not your sister, I am your enemy.”

Eleanna dropped her survival knife and stared at Monica. A moment later, as her own body and equipment started to glow, she grit her teeth and shot her arm-ballista at the Goddess. The bolt whistled through the air and severed the Goddess’ right wing. One scream rang out, born from excitement.

Eleanna’s vision swam in red as she picked up her spear and charged at the shocked goddess. Feathers filled the air. Black blood sprayed from Monica’s back. Eleanna laughed when she felt the familiar feeling of metal grinding against flesh and bone as her spear found its mark, Monica’s mouth.

Eleanna’s charge had been so powerful that both Goddesses eventually found themselves crashing through a boulder and falling onto the dark grass. Realising that her spear had broken in half, Eleanna dropped the useless stick and clawed at Monica’s torso. A full ten seconds later, Eleanna realized that she couldn’t feel any blood spraying from Monica’s corpse. In fact, she could still see Monica gurgling blood and staring at her with bloodshot eyes.

From her position on top of Monica, straddling her waist, Eleanna grinned.

“Can’t move huh? Tends t’happen when you get your spine severed. Now, I wonder how much effort went into this armour of yours… Shame you need to be wearing it for it to protect you.” Eleanna let out another laugh as she let her hands travel all over Monica’s torso, until she found a series of laces across her back. She effortlessly flipped the defeated goddess around, undid the laces and took her armoured robes off.

“You said you wanted to die, right? Well I can’t make it too easy for you, what with you being an enemy and all…” Eleanna traced a finger down Monica’s spine, relishing the feeling of her claws getting caught in bone and nerve clusters along the way. “... but I’ll give you what you want.”


Yenna yawned. Maelite was the weirdest place she’d ever visited, and that included the untamed lands. First the sky was completely black, now it was blood red… It was as if the place was in a perpetual state of apocalypse. It didn’t help that she could hear Eleanna’s laughter in the distance every time she killed some poor creature.

Thankfully it had been a while since the last, and as Eleanna emerged from the darkness outside the Road of Light, Yenna squinted. Her best friend was covered head to toe in splashes of black and grayish-green blood and had a number of insectoid skulls tied to her belt. She also carried two more sacks of stuff. One of the sacks she threw into the still-open cargo hold, while the other she threw onto the ground while she rummaged through the cockpit for what Yenna assumed to be the portable stove.

“Nice hunt?” Yenna asked, eyebrows raised in genuine curiosity. It wasn’t often that Eleanna would come back in such a good mood from her hunts.

“Yeah! Got a bunch of nice trophies this time. And good meat, too. Remind me where you put the Eunomian Sea Salt, Yen? I’ll make us a pair of nice steaks.”

Yenna flipped herself around on the hood of the Chariot to lay on her belly. “It’s under your seat. I had to hide it so you wouldn’t eat it all.”

Daman Lands


On top of the Sybaris stood Otorock, the ancestral home of the Otori Clan, the ones most well known for their short, thick coats of hair and impressive musculature and blubber. They were the kings and queens of the water in the Riverlands, having spent the last few generations hunting the mostly harmless inhabitants of the rivers and gorging themselves on their bodies and spirits.

Even now, despite being a land structure, Otorock had managed to remain one of the most affluent settlements in the entire region, only rivalled by the likes of New Nata and Yerna.

And yet, despite its perceived impenetrableness, Otorock had fallen. Its outer walls had been breached countless times, while its citizens’ homes smoked in the aftermath of a city-wide fire or laid as scattered debris. The only building that stood mostly intact was the Otori Clan’s royal family’s manor.

It was a beautiful structure – built during a time of opulence in the early days of the Riverlands, a time that was long gone by now. Its beautifully groomed gardens and maintained roofing tiles were now either overgrown or cracked, and the arc that had been placed at the very entrance of the walled manor, imported from the heart of the Dusklands and sold to the Otori Clan by the Sallians, was now decorated with the hanging heads of most of the city’s slaver leaders.

The Silvan man sitting at the manor’s porch contemplated the scene and sighed and rubbed at his temples. Salvia’s bright smile and mud-covered clothes, Caninia’s dance and song under the moonlight, and Sisenno embarrassed grin when introducing his wife-to-be to him. Image upon image of his children flooded the man’s mind, and he shed a tear.

How had it all gone so wrong? He thought. They had only ever meant to gain their own freedom, so how…

The sounds of the celebration going on inside the Manor faded away. To him, the only thing that remained were the memories he had of his family. He’d never see them again, not after what he’d done and what the Otori would do to him once they decided to take back their city.

It was all part of the plan, of course, but who knew that dying and sinning would be such a scary prospect?


Following the Bronzed Bloom’s actions in response to the requests made of her in the recent past, the Church of the Bronzed Bloom had diverted most of its funding directly and indirectly into the already vast treasuries of the Fragran Clans, resulting in the creation of a super power never before seen in the Daman Lands.

The ones who had complete control over the supply of Fibres and almost all high quality prosthetics suddenly saw themselves become the leading military might in the Lands, exerting their influence over all the territories all the way from the heart of the Junglelands.

And yet power did not come without its fair share of issues. The sudden increase in power saw rival clans act in impulse, seeking to bleed the weaker Fragran Clans dry and obtain their wealth and technologies for their own use.

War and suffering wracked the Daman Lands and culminated in the creation of the United Daman Clans, a block of different clans united under the leadership of the elusive Orbita. The block seeked to enact its will of peace and freedom upon the Daman Lands, whether it be through influence or force, and immediately set out to subdue and/or eliminate dangerous clans such as the savage Otori, the cannibalistic Ursae, and the bloodthirsty Selachi, all while incorporating and protecting weaker clans such as the Rodentia and the Cervinae.

But even though the UDC preached and practiced peace and harmony amongst its members, there were still clans that were unsure of whether to join up with them or with the more predatory clans. The Vulpine and Hominid for example had members working for both sides of the conflict, opportunistically bleeding their countrymen for as many Xas as they could before throwing them under the Chariot.

It was those opportunistic, still-neutral predatory clans that were key to tipping the scale of power in the conflict towards the UDC, and this coming event would be the key to gaining their support.

In the Riverlands, the great fortress city of Otorock, the Otori Clan’s ancestral home and centre of operations, lay in ruins and occupied by a force of a few dozen slaves-turned-rebels. They were volunteers hailing from the near endless number of slaves that the UDC had freed from slave camps across the Lands, sent on a long-term undercover suicide mission with the goal of taking out the Otori Clan leadership, rescuing the daughters of a well-known Vulpine Warlord from the Otori dungeons, and causing a big enough distraction to allow time for the UDC army to flank the Otori’s reclamation forces.


Suniff rushed through the twisting and turning hallways of the Otori Clan’s Manor until he reached a large beautiful painting of a setting sun, which he moved out of the way to reveal a hidden door leading to a little-known escape route, known only by the Otori Clan’s most favoured escorts.

He turned to nod at the pair of little Vulpine girls following him. They held each other close, tails intertwined and ears flat against their otherwise human heads.

“It’s time.” He said, his voice a little rougher than he’d have liked. The girls nodded nervously and ran into the tunnel as soon as he opened the door for them. He closed it after them and smashed the lock in, then put the painting back in place before rushing back to his post. Through the twisting hallways, up the stairs, and into the Otori Head’s Chariot Garage.

The day before he had felt conflicted. To know one’s death was coming was a distressful experience, but it also felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. There was nothing more fruitful that he could be doing with his life, other than giving it away so that his own children could live in a better world, one that wouldn’t see their freedom stolen away by greedy seal-men or impulsive hominids. Whereas before he was on the verge of breaking down, he now felt like the tempered tip of a Fragran Crystallista bolt.

As soon as he entered the garage, other men started to file in one after the other. The men came from all walks of life. Some of them were Daman, others Silvan, and even still some were Benean, Xavorians, or even Sallians. Suniff took the opportunity to change his grimy and ill-fitting armour for a custom-made Chariot Jumpsuit that he’d been carrying in his pack, and then joined the rest of the men in a circle.

One of them, the only Birth-Fragran that had joined them on their mission, started to hand out glowing dogtags to each one.

“Theze are your headzztonez. Hold them with your dominant hand and bind your zzoulz into them zzo that when our bodiez are found our countrymen are able to zzend our lazt memoriez to our loved onez.” he explained and immediately showed everyone what to do with the dogtags. He put them on, grabbed them firmly and with a single flash of his soul bound his soul to the accessory.

Everyone else did the same thing, with Suniff being one of the last to do it. Binding his soul to the dogtags felt like a pinprick that just wouldn’t go away. It was strange, knowing that your memories were being recorded.

The Fragran’s leafy hair vibrated as everyone’s eyes focused on him again and he nodded. “It’s time.”

All as one, they began to chant their oath.

“I solemnly swear,”

Everyone placed their hands on their chests.

“To devote my life and abilities,”

Distant marching rumbled on.

”In support of the United Daman Clans,”

The marching stopped. Metal clinked together. Crystallistas were loaded. At this point, the men looked around nervously and parted ways, though their oath still echoed through the halls of the Manor. Suniff jumped into the cockpit of his borrowed Chariot, a beast of bronze, iron and wood. A one-eyed ex-paladin named Hyundai jumped into the back and started to load the chariot’s crystallista, and Suniff revved up the soul-engine by feeding it some of his soul. The beastly machine came to life with a roar.

”To defend everyone’s dreams,”

A stocky Silvan man named Julius with a stick for a leg pulled the chains keeping the gates of the garage closed and managed to release the lock. The gates opened slowly. An explosion rang out from some other part of the Manor, followed by the sounds of clashing metal.

”And to further the universal rights of all created life.”

The gate opened and the Chariot sped forward into the light. Everyone’s voices but his own and his ex-paladin friend faded away, and yet Suniff and Hyundai kept chanting.

”From the depths of the Sybaris,”

Suniff took a sharp turn and the Chariot came face to face with a crowd of Otori berserkers. They looked at the chariot and charged, pikes and halberds at the ready. Their roars almost drowned out their oath.

”To the heights of the Frita,”

Hyundai let loose a volley of Crystallista bolts at the crowd, the unfortunate Otori men exploding a second later in a shower of gore and fire. A half moment later, the Chariot was bombarded by dozens of arrows from behind the smoke. Several arrows lodged themselves in Suniff’s screen, mere inches away from his head and chest. The Chariot skid as Suniff lost control of the steering bar and crashed into a burned down building.

He coughed and kicked his cockpit open and jumped out. A large splinter of wood had found its way into his right arm, so he held a dagger in his left hand as he stumbled through the wreckage. He was the only one chanting their oath as he saw the hulking figure of a decorated Otori berserker find its way into the wrecked building. He tightened his grip on the dagger and grinned at the Otori.

”For as long as I shall live.”


The mission was a success. While the loss of such an amount of brave people was regrettable, their sacrifices served to bring the Daman Lands one step closer to a lasting peace and a better future. By the time the Otori Reclamation Forces had wiped out the rebels, it was too late for them to realise that they had let all their exits be blocked by the flanking UDC army. It was only a matter of waiting and pulling off victories in small skirmishes until the Otori forces surrendered. There was no food inside the Otori Fortress city after all, after the Rebels had burned down all the food stores.

Following the Otori clan’s complete collapse, the Riverlands fell into a state of temporary chaos until the UDC annexed a vast majority of the territory and brought stability to the region, and after such a show of force and cleverness, the Vulpine clans quickly decided to officially side with the UDC. Now, the only real hardliner predatory factions remaining were those located in the heart of the Daman Lands, in either the Snowlands or the Great Daman Desert.

It was only a matter of time until the Daman Lands were reborn under the kind rule of the Orbita.

Is this still an active rp?

Oh yeah for sure! We don't really use the OOC, instead opting for the Discord. Pop by if you're interested in joining and our GM will talk options with you.

PS: I dunno where the discord invite went, I'll get Gold to put a new one up in the first post when hes got some time
Festival of the Red Leaves

Intermission II - Some time ago

Eleanna tapped her index finger on the carefully sanded tree stump in front of her. She was sitting cross legged on the grassy ground, with the irritatingly long-haired and handsome Silvan Star across from her. He sat there with nigh-perfect posture, with features so regal and well-defined that even she couldn’t believe that he was all-natural, and with skin so perfectly bronzed and smooth that she couldn’t help but stare for a bit too long.

What made it all irritating was that the guy just wouldn’t acknowledge her obvious attraction. His icy white eyes regarded her with the cold of the Daman Tundra.

“Let’s skip the pleasantries, Goddess. I’m here to ask for freedom.” He nodded respectfully with his eyes closed.

“You already have that, Star! You’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want!”

“That’s untrue. I am and have always been a slave to the Lampseekers. I can never escape this fate, because slaves are not considered people in the Daman Lands. Even if I were to escape my captivity, I would just be hunted down and brought back to the Lampseekers.”

“What’s the issue with that? The added challenge only makes your Journey all the more meaningful. The Grand Struggle has blessed you.” Eleanna leaned her elbows on the tree stump.

“I disagree. What’s the objective behind struggling if you know there is no possibility of reaching your goals? And on the topic of the Grand Struggle… Don’t you think slavers have had it too easy?” The Silvan Star frowned.

Eleanna rubbed her chin and raised an eyebrow.

“You’d have me engage with the Silvan Lands in order to return slaves?”

The Silvan Star shook his head. “No, Goddess. I’m requesting you fulfil your duty as the Bronzed Bloom.”

Eleanna scoffed, “Huh?”

“I’ve studied Daman history, Goddess. You’re not the first Bronzed Bloom, you were merely pushed into the position by the First Sun. Did you know that the Bronzed Bloom is supposed to be a guide to the Daman People? One who pushes for equality of opportunity and consequence?”

Eleanna rubbed her temple.

“As things stand, there is no equality in the Daman Lands. There is no control, and therefore there is no equality. The strong trample the weak, and the weak have no way of chasing their dreams. You, as the Bronzed Bloom, are supposed to fix this mess. I’m requesting you fix it.” The Silvan Star demanded, staring so deep into Eleanna’s eyes that she had to avert her gaze.

“I can’t abolish slavery.”

“I’m aware. You do, however, have access to the Church’s vast resources. You could sponsor one of the few clans who still hold equality and xenophilia in high regard. I’m sure one of them is likely to be the driving force behind one of the biggest upheavals yet to come to New Daman society.” He explained, sliding a small piece of parchment over to Eleanna before soundlessly standing up and bowing. “Thank you for your time, Goddess. My request has been made, so I will take my leave.”

And just like that, the Silvan Star disappeared into the large tent that had been allocated to the Lampseekers, two of the infamous moth-women emerging from inside to stand tall to either side of the entrance flap with spears in their many hands.

Eleanna wiped a bead of sweat from her brow and felt a shaky grin sneak its way onto her face. The more she thought about it, the more that Eleanna realised that the Silvan Star was right – The slaver factions had had it too easy lately. It was time for a change, in order to uphold the integrity of the Grand Struggle.

Node 9, and its faux sea of petrified immobile waves, had become the last bastion of chaos in the north. It housed raw chaos that made even the bestial men of Daman yearn for stability. The domination of all other lands and the constant prodding of other gods, be it Dzallitsunya's battles where the guardian was kept alive for her personal amusement or the ongoing Festival of the Red Leaves, already a natural bringer of ruckus on tamed lands, was now further stirring the unconquered wilds, the very energy emanating from the machines only further wakening the latent chaos.

The once lone boar-tusked dragon now mobilized strength in numbers, piranha-mouthed flying serpents swarmed around the rims while spawnlings of the dragon scouted further away, hiding among the half-melted rocks, waiting to pounce and chase at anything they saw moving, be it a chariot or god. At this core of chaos, even the light seemed to have lost its sense, it was dark yet shadows were being cast in bright noisy colors, too distorted to be a silhouette, more solid to be a blur, like smeared oil paint. A dark fog and strong winds circled around the node itself, the dragon lying in wait, its dark pearl eyes closed as it felt two intruders approaching, one new and the other an old enemy.

Chaos tore and gave way to streaks of order. Eleanna’s five claws, each shining as bright as a moon, led the way. The tears in the chaos were temporary, but they were large enough to coalesce into a great, protective dome behind her, which the following two dozen chariots struggled to stay inside of.

A rumble echoed from the back of the group as one of the Chariots’ Soul-burners went up in flames. Eleanna laughed, throwing her head back to look at the way the Chariot skid and veered off course, out of the dome and ultimately was devoured by the shadows of chaos.

“The contrast, Yenna! Grass and dirt paths here, crazy oil painting land crawling with beasts outside! Don’t you just love it? Reminds you of our adventures don’t it?” Eleanna shouted in the general direction of the Chariot’s cockpit, which was directly behind her given she was sitting up front with her hand in the air.

“I don’t remember having to pilot a hunk of wood that literally burns my soul, Anna!” Came Yenna’s sassy response, to which Eleanna waved a dismissive hand.

“Details, details! Truth is we both love this! A long struggle, a true test of endurance, testing the pilots’ ability to stay behind us while wrestling for first place, and to keep powering their Chariots for over a day… I just love how stressed everyone is!” The bronzed goddess gushed.

“I don’t remember signing up for this. I’ll be taking every last Xa you own for my medical bills if my nose burns off, I don’t think you know how expensive prosthetics have gotten as of late!”

Eleanna rolled her eyes. A beast of chaos lunged into the protective dome, only to be blasted away by at least 7 different manned ballistas on the back of the Chariots.

“Keep going this way, the Node’s just up ahead! We can give everyone a small break after we’ve stabilized Nine!” Eleanna shouted, pointing towards the massive cloud of swirling black fog in the distance.

Eight dark steel blades formed in-between the goddess fingers, they were launched down with unmatched precision, clearing out a school of flying serpents as they fell to the ground. Shocked, the dragon spawnling they were helping looked upward, seeing what looked like a falling star diving straight at him.

“It seems like this is our final battle Node 9, I cannot risk having you seized by the mad god.” she declared as she dove blade first against the forehead of the beast, even the godly crafted edge of the Eclipse could not so easily break the bronze scales of the dragon, but it did not matter, where the piercing blade had failed, the crushing momentum of the goddess attack would succeed, smashing the insides without ever breaking the skin.

Dzallitsunya stood over the fallen beast with a smirk, from atop it she had a good view of her surroundings, and was quite surprised to notice something she had not seen in her previous scouting of the area.

To the east, a pack of beasts approached in a shining trail of light and smoke. They announced this with loud metallic roars unlike anything the goddess had ever faced. She was left mesmerized until she heard a howl from the other side, a familiar one.

“What is it?” she asked the chaos wolf she had tamed, the only acquaintance she trusted to have in these lands, the canine tried to growl and point at a swelling blob onto the ground, but it was too late for the distracted goddess to react. A chaos beast, one that looked like a copy of the one that once guarded Node 2, pounced and both goddess and beast fell down a slope while trading blows.

By the end of the struggle, Dzallitsunya had the beast on its back, sword piercing its exposed underside where there were less crystals protecting the skin. The beast was dead, but the goddess noticed movement in the crystals, the light they reflected started to intensify and looking to the side she saw why.

She had fallen straight into the route of those roaring ‘things’, what looked like a dome of light quickly advancing towards her and in the blink of an eye, she was hit by a rush of warm air as she crossed the threshold of the dome (or perhaps the dome had crossed her?). Grass sprouted below her boots, and most important of all, a beast of wood, metal and light roared and rumbled as it shot past her, a familiar bronzed deity sitting on its muzzle. The bronzed goddess grinned, winked and made a strange hand gesture at Dzallitsunya before waving at every other roaring beast behind her. Their singular glassy eyes twinkled with the reflection of her clawed hand.

“ROADKILL TIME, BOYS N GIRLS! HUNDRED XAS TO THE FIRST ONE TO RUN HER OVER!” She shouted at the top of her lungs, and immediately most of the following beasts locked onto Dzallitsunya.

“The teeth stealer!?” the dusk goddess gasped seeing the bronze deity but in moments her focus had to be entirely upon the other beasts as the first approached her. She jumped to the left and immediately had to use the Shadow Petal to force her back to the right as a second car came right after. After she tried to run, the incoming chariots were quick to adapt to that, starting to aim where she would be. A few more dodges and her, now tired from overusing her relic, could not dodge the seventh car to aim at her.

But she was not run over either, with a short skip upward, her sharp metal heel met the chassis of the chariot, skiing against the wood as sparks flew.

The chariot’s cockpit hissed open and from the foggy interior peeked out an angry, short, rotund, hyperventilating man with his face split into half seal and half human. His disgustingly mutated features contorted as he snarled and screamed. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING LADY! GET OFF MY BELOVED WATERLANCE AND GO BACK TO THE STREETS!“ He gasped and threw everything he could find at her. A handheld broom, a bottle of Jermarvelous, a half-eaten space-goatdog burrito, and a moldy cushion were only the first of a veritable endless stream of random inane objects to bombard the Goddess of the Moon.

“Burn in the sun you bastard!” the goddess barked back, her sheer divine rage cursing the man to never find a proper parking spot for his ‘beloved’, though, it also blinded her, or rather, looking back to scream made it so she was hit face first by the bottle of Jermarvelous. The number 1 choice in man’s cologne, with the spark of thunder and freshness to entrance even the most demanding vulpine ladies of the Daman, while a lovely affordable choice of quality perfume, was not meant to be spilled upon one’s eyes, and Dzallitsunya found herself crouching on the ground, rubbing her eyes as she tried to regain her vision.

She could barely see when another car approached, this time she couldn’t jump either, so the only solution was to go directly against it, sliding beneath the chariot. Standing up after the fifth close call, still half blinded with her eyes burning from the perfume, sweating and with bits of her outfit torn and blood dripping from her forehead, she observed the last car to arrive.

Too low to slide under, too blocky to jump over, too late to jump to the side. The half-human half-clover pilot smirked. “Ahhh! Today. Today izzz me lucky day! Getzz ready to be a zmear in my vizzor, little bug” Dzallitsunya sighed, took a stance, and without words readied her sword. The plant-woman’s eyes widened. “Oh weeedzzz” and now she was the one who couldn’t dodge and a slash of the Eclipse, the last carriage was cut in the middle, both missing Tsunya before dramatically exploding on both sides of the fading light road.

Safe from being run over, Dzallitsunya took a deep breath and then let out an equally long sigh. She stared at the path in front of her, Eleanna’s light fading accompanied by an echoing crackling laugh. Dzalli closed her eyes, knelt and placed both hands against the floor, starting to lean forward as her cape, the Shadow Petal, started to wave as if hit by a strong wind, wind-cutting noises echoing around her.

When the goddess’ eye opened, she launched forward with a bang, stepping against the wind itself, breaking past it and running towards the race. In complete silence, with only eyes towards Eleanna’s chariot, she rushed past the cars, outrunning them on foot and outsmarting their delayed reaction times. It didn’t take long for Eleanna to recoil as she noticed the fellow Goddess running next to Yenna’s Chariot, with Dzallitsunya looking at the now-sheepish bronzed Goddess with a ‘hint’ of annoyance.

“H-How are you this fast?! Do you just practice running day in day out?! What the crap! Yenna, go faster!”

“Can’t, I don’t wanna get my brain juiced by the burner!” Came a muffled response from inside the chariot’s glassy dome.

“Damn!” Eleanna cursed, then turned towards Dzallitsunya, “Listen woman, that was fun wasn’t it? A good bit of exercise is good for the soul, just ask the pilots!”

“The first time I met you, you showed up with a dead squirrel then desecrated the body of our creator. The second time we met, you tried to run me over with your… things… that go fast and roar loud. Pardon me if I do not have a good impression.” she side-glanced at the node then back at the bronzed goddess. “What are you even doing? What is all this? Why does it smell like burned wood and burned… fish brain?”

“Name’s Eleanna! That smell is the smell of nearly two dozen soul-burner engines in high-drain mode with most limiters turned off! You’re literally smelling the souls of the most ambitious, most daring sportsbeasts in the entire Daman Lands! Exciting, isn’t it? I bet you’d love to meet the Beauty Pair. Oh, and this is a yearly thing. The Red Leaf Race, I mean. I’m just tagging along to make sure they don’t all suffer horrible deaths going through the most dangerous areas. Someone’s got to reach the end after all, or I would be out of a job!”

“The scent of your people’s ambitions has the smell of the boots of a courier after a day of work.”

“What, like Silvan cheese?”

“Of course you people like milk. I bet you like eggs too. Eugh.”

“WAIT!” Eleanna perked up with a half-gasp half-chuckle. “So it’s true you lot up north don’t eat egg mayo sandwiches?”

“We are to your west, not north!” Tsunya barked, her wolf also barked, but the goddess waved her hand, this was IMPORTANT. “And no, I do not eat eggs, or mayors, or sand, or witches. Two of those are people so it's kinda messed up to eat them. But we all know what they say about the beastfolk.”

Eleanna rolled her eyes “Yeah yeah, we eat people and children, whatever! Everyone’s got their demons, Pale. Keep up all that barking and I might just consider you one of the wolfkin. I know a bunch of them would be happy to ‘hear’ you out.”

There was now a soft orange glow bathing the two goddesses along with the chariots. “Demons!? So Xavior and the council are already over there? Damn. Those people act fast, and sure aren’t picky with the clientele.” barked Dzalli. “And you dummy, it's not me who is barking, it's my pet chaos wolf, whom I trained to…”

Dzalli’s gave a quick peek towards the node and the dragon, it was fully awake now, fire building up in its gullet, an army of ‘oil paint’ lesser clones of chaos beasts of the nearby nodes rising from the twisted ground. She looked back at Eleanna, a bit paler “You know what? I was being rude. You were here first, so go ahead, I will wait a bit.”

Eleanna grinned and pumped her fist up into the air, “Finally, someone treats me well! You stand back and watch. You too, Yenna!”

“Wait, Ann-”

It was too late for Yenna to voice her concerns however, as Eleanna wasted no time in blasting herself forward towards the approaching dragon and its army. Her trajectory mid air saw her go past dozens of flying spawnlings and right up against the dragon’s face. A low roar built up in its throat, living flame spilling from its jagged teeth.

In a split second, Eleanna took aim at one of the Dragon’s glowing ice blue eyes and shot her arm-ballista at it.

The crystal-laced bolt broke through the massive beast’s armored cornea and exploded, sending the dragon reeling off to the side and making it lose control of its own gullet, spilling fire all over his spawnlings and minions.

“YES! See that, Pale? Cool, ri-”

Before she could finish her sentence, one of the Dragon’s massive talons smacked her right out of the air and sent her barreling straight into a distant mountain, the echoes of her impact reaching Dzallitsunya several seconds later.

“That was rough… I hope she is alright.” the goddess whispered to herself as she saw raised dust in the distance. The wolf made a questioning growl at the goddess. “Hey. Calm down. She is annoying but I don’t want her to perish… Wow. What the hell is that in your mouth? Silly wolf, you can’t just use plant people as a stick.” rolling its eyes the wolf nudged the goddess so she looked back at the massive chaos beast.

“Right. Seems like most of its army is gone. The belly is pierced so no more fire bombs. Wolf, try to keep the beast people safe, I will finish this.” she readied the Shadow Petal and the Eclipse and leaped forward, once again advancing upon the dragon.

It clawed at her, but the goddess managed to parry and dodge, especially now that the pain made the beast slower, yet it had also become more vicious, Tsunya had to not only dodge the claws, but waves of flying rocks and debris thrown by the beasts’ talons and tail.

The malformed blurry beast clones start to appear again, Dzalli found herself trading blows with that same multi-headed serpent of Node 8 she once defeated, of a lesser quality however, she soon found herself slaying it once more, only to barely escape a crashing strike of the dragon.

“Using your spawnlings to distract, huh?” The goddess acknowledge, a rush of worry flowed through her as she was reminded the beastfolk was nearby, she looked at them to see if her wolf had done a good job and… he was calmly laying on the ground with some wolfkin and that still shocked clover plant-girl, most other beastmen were merely watching her, eating sandwiches and snacks, unbothered. A single frog dude, with a makeshift crescent moon painted on his chariot (it was previously a calla lily and previously still some other symbol) was using his mounted ballista to pester the dragon.

With a deep breath, Dzalli took the chance to take a position again, she wouldn’t be able to go past the wind again, no time or energy for it, but she still launched herself with a boom, gliding across the dirt and sliding past the open wound in its belly, she used the stomach wall and ribs of the dragon itself as footing, aiming up, rerouting her momentum, and pouncing blade first at direction of the heart of the beast.

The chaos expanses finally stood still, winds calming, beasts dispersing, and Dzallitsunya emerging victorious, and covered in more blood and filth than she had ever seen in her life. She had a ‘hint’ of annoyance in her face.

With calm steps she moved towards the now freed node, only to see a pitiful shape very slowly crawling towards the node. The shape heaved with every movement and vomited more blood than anyone should have inside their bodies.

“C-Can’t beat me…in a race… to the node…” Eleanna rasped out, a whistle in her voice and pain evident on her face through her grimace, even with half her teeth missing.

Seeing the missing teeth, Dzalli couldn’t help but notice the irony. Perhaps it was also the sign she should forgive her sister, she had no fault for being the way she was. It was probably the effects of too much sunlight… But first she rushed right past her and hit the node with her blood stained hands almost ten times.

A flash enveloped the world as the node was reshaped. A cold desert of gray sand dunes emerged across most of the node, broken by fields of white flowers and ponds and streams of freezing liquid nitrogen. The sky was starry, the sun in a permanent eclipse.

Dzallitsunya was once again clean and fresh, sighing as she approached Eleanna, right by the node. She picked her up, despite being smaller, and walked away as the freezing liquid flooded much of the area immediately near the node. She took her back to the racers and placed her against a rock in a white lily field. “Hey… Today was horrible, wasn’t it?” she whispered.

Eleanna coughed up a molar and smiled weakly. “Y’You’re kidding… Right? It was… The most… Fun I’ve had… In years…”

Tsunya tilted her head and then shrugged. “Hmm… I guess making that dragon explode was very cool of you.” she smiled, sitting as well, picking up a jar of flavored acacia gum candy, some lemon, some strawberry.

As Tsunya focused on the candy, she saw Eleanna wiping at her face out of the corner of her eye.

“C-Can you… Teach me how… To fight? Like the wind.”

Tsunya was taken aback. “O…oh? Fight. Well. I train a lot, that is true… I have a, hmm… You could say it's a magical training arena. It lets me set up fights against armies, chaos beasts, even other gods, they feel real despite being a dream. Do you want some candy?”

Eleanna reached inside her mouth and pulled a few broken teeth out, then tested the mobility of her jaw and nodded. “I heal somewhat… Faster now than before… Yeah, pass one.” Eleanna said, grabbing one of the candy and sticking it in her mouth without a second thought.

Tsunya looked down at the jar, seeing Eleanna hadn’t really washed her blood soaked hands before digging in. “You know, have the whole jar, as a gift.” she smiled. “And yeah. I forgot to say my name. It's Dzallitsunya. If you visit me, I can show you my dream arena, perhaps we can even spar.”

“Ah, thanks The Sally!” Eleanna said as she sat up a bit straighter, poking her ribs with a mere flinch before grabbing the whole jar of candies. “They’re sweet, what do you call them? And yeah, I’d love to spar with you! All the other gods I’ve met have been against fighting you know. Lamp guy was too straight laced for it and Benea was surrounded by her boyfriends.” Eleanna sighed. “Hey, you know, I think I’ve heard about you before. Some fishkin visited the New Daman Temple once talking about a new group of Followers of The Sally popping up near Lake Saragosa.”

“I guess you could call it, Jujube.” Dzalli nodded. She had no idea what any of those words meant, or where anything was, but it didn’t sound like bad news. “Oh, is that so? I hadn’t heard about that. Could you tell me more later?”

“Sure. Thanks for the Jujube, Sally.” Eleanna smiled, but stiffened as soon as she heard a set of heavy, tired footsteps approaching. She turned, hesitant, to see a sweaty, jumpsuit-clad Yenna with a full on nosebleed and bloodshot eyes approaching her.

“Having fun with your new girlfriend, Anna? How did you even survive this time?”

“I only broke half my ribs and teeth. It wasn’t too bad.”

“Ah. I see. As you can see, I’m at my limit. You’re piloting that damn death trap the rest of the way.” Yenna said and stormed off into one of the makeshift tents that had just been put up.

Tsunya smiled awkwardly as the two had their little moment, sideglancing at the other beastfolk. “Well, I should go check on my wolf, before it chews up that poor clover lady.” said the goddess who made the plant girl lose all but four of her leaves. “See you two later, good luck on the festival.”

Eleanna grinned and waved at Dzalli as she walked off. “Thanks Sally, I’ll visit your temple in Three in a few days, after the race is over. I’ll bring you some of the best Daman snacks, so wait for me!”

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