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Drowned One Boogaloo Fighting

“Well, how-dee-doo!” Tuuni swore with as much poison as he was capable of. He stood on his river floaty, his sunglasses resting on his forehead. Daffotales danced by the riverbanks, repeating his ‘how-dee-doo’ with as much anger as Tuuni himself. In the distance, past the glorious falls of Shengshi-La, the repellant of everything sane and good-hearted in this world, the Drowned One, approached with menace. It was a mountain-sized beast of cadavers and blood, a thick, blubbery blob of flesh, his many minions minioning at his feet… if one could call them feet. Upon closer inspection, they were in fact not feet at all, but even more minions: like a raft of ants, they rolled their disgusting overlord forward along its slimy trail. Its spawn morphed and shifted between an endless array of unspeakable shapes, stunning onlookers with their revolting visage.
With a grand flourish, Tuuni pointed his gnarled staff in the direction of the beast from beyond. “Stop right there!”
A great flash blinked through the sky above, and the world rumbled. Forcing its way through the atmosphere, a river with a dragon’s maw cut through and slammed into the Drowned One. The monstrosity roared with anger as the waves slammed into its side, sending its spawn scrambling to catch it as it tilted away, its flesh cut and bruised by the impact. A great gurgle erupted from it, its pale discs of eyes shooting towards the interloper who had dared attack it. With another gurgle, it gave a nonsense command to its spawn, a section of the grand horde splitting off and charging towards where the river god stood upon his floaty.
”Uh-oh!” Tuuni yelped. With little else, he tossed his floaty at the minions, refusing to elaborate the sudden destructive power of it as it landed with an atmospheric clap of an explosion. Minions were sent in all directions, and not all in one piece.

As the sound of the floaty resounded through the air a streak of fire rushed towards Tunni from the direction of the great tree. It bounded from rock to rock as it followed the river upstream at a speed no mortal could follow. In a flash it came to rest on a rock in the river across from Tunni as the configuration that made up its form settled into that of Anat’aa, sitting down with her head resting on her hand, a foot lazily dangling into the river creating a cloud of steam that circled around her. She smiled in her particular fashion as she looked at Tunni, oblivious to what was behind her. “Tunni! Good to see you! Hope you've been well! Gotta ask, what the heck was with that noise just now? Did I miss one of your parties?”

She would have continued on rambling but the fire Goddess was suddenly distracted by the half blown off form of one of the spawn as it dragged what little of itself across the ground towards the river and the two gods. Her smile disappearing into a look of slight disgust, Anat’aa reached her hand out and snapped her fingers. All at once the ruined form was enveloped in a white hot flame.
“Eww.” was all Anat’aa said as she rose to stand. Turning she saw the great horde spread out across the horizon, and the vast, corpulent form of the Drowned One at its center. The look of slight disgust darkened into one of almost total revolution as once more she only uttered “Eww.”
“Ugh! And now it stinks, too!” Seemingly out of nowhere, a three metre tall minotaur had appeared on the bank next to the two gods. There really was no explanation for how he had ended up there, and none would ever come. He simply turned to the others and said plainly, “Who are you?”

“Anat’aa, at your service, oh surly sirloin.” Anat’aa responded to the suddenly appearing minotaur, looking over to him with a grin. The bull snorted.
“Are you a friend of Galaxor’s?” he asked in, indeed, a quite surly manner.
A look of genuine confusion crossed Anat’aa’s face “No? Would love to meet him! Havent yet, still so much to meet and do!” The bull furrowed his brow, which cast a long shadow over his eyes, but he seemed to not push further.

As she spoke her face lit up as if she was suddenly reminded of something “But I do know someone who would LOVE this!” Rapidly she pointed at the great, probably damp, blob in the distance. Jumping from her rock she landed on the far bank for the river. Allowing herself to act on pure impulse, Anat’aa grabbed random plants and rocks and arranged them into a random, chaotic, jumble.
“I don't know if this is enough..” She quietly thought out loud before simply lighting the whole lot on fire for good measure “Oh sparklingly sweet chaos!” She called into the air, her broad smile only growing “You must see this! It’s… gross!”

A sudden prismatic flash erupted around the three gods, where there was once just a burning assortment of plants and rock, there was now a multicolored being of flame. A smile like watercolor quickly forming on their formless head. “You Called My Dearest Flame?” The god of chaos looked over, noticing the two others. “Oh! Good Evening! If I Knew I Was Meeting Anat’aa’s New Friends I Would’ve Dressed My Best!” They snapped their fingers, the flames merely changing from a multicolored explosion into…a slightly different multicolored explosion. “There!”

The minotaur stoop dumbfounded. “How did I end up here?” he mumbled to himself, but no answer manifested as of yet. He swung his hoe onto his shoulder and pointed a log-like finger at the mess of chaos. “You there! Rainbow carrot! What is your name?!”

“Ah Yes!” The chaos bowed, its flames dancing along as they spoke. “Yumash, God Of Chaos, Dear Friend Of Anat’aa Here.” They gestured towards the flame goddess, before returning focus back to the minotaur. “And What Might Your Name Be Dear Bull?”

“Unimportant,” said the bull and pointed at Tuuni. “And you there! Corn smut! What is YOUR name?!”

Tuuni looked up from his glass, a sparkling liquid sloshing about. “Hah? Oh! The name is Tuuni.” He squinted past his abrosian drink and at the drowned one groaning in the distance. A crescent smile curled under his white whiskers. “A barrel of RALK to whoever deals with our friend here.”

“RALK?! Sounds worse than milk!” spat the bull. “You can keep your barrel, tuna! I will deal with this filth myself!” The bull stomped ahead of the other three and waded into the water. He raised a thick palm over his head and clapped it down on the surface of the water. A tiny shockwave soared outwards in a ring that seemed to go on forever. Then, little by little, croakers began to show up, swimming in tribes and clans by the score. Goblins, snouters, beastfolk, elves, fowlfolk, goatfolk, dwarves, humans–all kinds of farmers of land and water showed up on boatbugs, on rafts or otherwise in the water. The bull raised a piece of the beach into a platform and addressed the mortals: “LISTEN UP, YOU SLUGS!” The mortals quivered. They had been called over by a spell promising free food, and all they saw were two bonfires, a hairy gnome and a minotaur who reeked to high heaven. The bull raised more land and conjured forth plowshares, hoes and baskets. “IN UNDER AN HOUR, THIS LAND WILL BEGIN TO SPAWN CORNDOGS! FARM THEM WELL AND MAKE ME AN ARMY!” The mortals were scared, frightened and utterly confused. The bull conjured forth a whip and started whipping the air. “NOW! PLOW, PLOW, PLOW!” The mortals scrambled, tools flying out of their piles like hot bread. Before long, the first corndogs began to spawn and the farmers picked them out and lined them up in formation. As they came to life, the corndogs barked with bloodthirst and jumped out into the river, heading towards the minions of the Drowned One.

Yumash looked past the gods towards the giant mass, their flames curling together upon their face to contort their watercolor smile further. “My Dear Flame,” They briefly turned to Anat’aa, “Do You Mind Distracting That Beast For Me? I have An Idea.”

“I think I can manage that sweet chaos.” Was all Anat’aa responded, a hint of mischief tinting her voice, as her form dissolved into a bolt of fire that launched itself over the corndogs and into the vast sea of spawn.

As she landed a swirling rush of fire exploded out, a defining roar announcing the coming configuration. As the fire twisted and swirled around the spawn, large tendrils of flame emerged and seized a number of the misbegotten forms. They were dragged further into the inferno, towards the epicenter where Anat’aa stood. Her form was ever shifting in the heat, like a shimmering mirage, her fox form danced around her before once more becoming part of her and vice versa. Both however wore an almost devilish vulpine smile as she looked upon the seized spawn, as she reached out and touched each one, their forms quickly ignited into bright flames.

With a gleeful giggle she threw them into the air, leaving a cloud of sparks behind them. Breathing in deep Anat’aa slowly breathed into the cloud, watching as the sparks grew brighter and began to dance in the air currents made by her breath. As they floated their movements soon began to take on an organized randomness, less like burnt gasses and more like a vast cloud of tiny creatures. Waving her hands in a dance-like motion, Anat’aa shaped the cloud of living sparks and whispered their name Whisps, before sending them into the mass of outer spawn.

Individually they were no threat, but as a concentrated mass the Wisps began to overwhelm some of the spawn, igniting them as those who had been used in their creation had been, bringing more of their number with each sparking fire. As the swarm grew Anat’aa tilted her head towards the bloated form of the Drowned One and willed the growing cloud at the beast. An order the mindless things fulfilled with as much glee as their insect like minds could muster.

To reinforce the whisps, the bull’s fields began to spawn heavier infantry: Monstrous cabbages almost four metres tall crawled out of the ground, knocking down the poor farmings trying to pull them out; eggplants armed to teeth with weapons of stone and metal rose from the ground and waded into the river; pumpkin bruisers with thick rinds for armour rolled into battle; poisonous mushroom troopers followed soon with venomous claws. The bull whipped harder, many of the mortals falling keeling over out of exhaustion. Then came the mental storms from the Drowned One, and the farmers screamed in terror, many running. “HOLD YOUR GROUND, YOU SCUM!” blared the bull and sacked many corndogs on the farmers instead. Lastly came the cucumbers, who snaked their way into the water and ate up spawn like orcas.

Seeing its swarms decimated, the Drowned One stepped up its mental assault. A wave of madness erupting from its blubbery mass. The shockwave invading the mind of mortal and god alike, sending their visions spiraling and wavering, the wisps and plant beings seeing double of every one of its spawn. Using its chance, it willed forth its own horde of spawn to intercept the cloud of wisps, flying beasts with great leathery wings that with every beat sent gusts of wind out in a burst around them, scattering the wisps. But it knew it would need to step itself up as well, with another thunderous gurgle, it began to create more of its spawn. Its great blubbery flesh ripping off from itself, rapidly evolving as it did so into more spawn and beasts, which quickly joined the fight to replenish those who had already fallen.

Yumash looked on from the sidelines with Tuuni, seeing the great wave of madness it had unleashed sparking another twinkle within their watercolor flames. They turned towards the river god next to them, “Tuuni Was It? Would You Kindly Be A Dear And Give Me A Boost? Need To Reach That Big Blubbery Boy While It's Still Distracted.”

Tunni looked up from his new floatie, recently weaved from Reed grass and some fluff shaved from some pissed off chipmunks. “Here you go!” Tuuni tossed the ring at Yumash, and behind the toss was a great pillar of water. “Good luck!” Tuuni said over the road of pressure.

The god of chaos caught the floatie ring in one hand, quickly slotting it on as they let the cascade of water take them away. Launching their form into the sky, though the poor ring floatie did not survive the mixture of the sudden rush and the lapping flames of chaos. With the height, Yumash caught sight of their target, the largest of the three white discs of eyes that covered the front of the great beast.

Extending one hand, they pointed towards the eye, extending out their thumb in a mock finger gun. Firing, they transformed themselves into a torrent of technicolor chaos that shot forward towards the eye. Hitting just above its target as it erupted into a great fury of flame. The beast let out a gurgling cry as Yumash transformed back into their humanoid form, sliding down and grabbing directly onto the eye the best they could.

“Alright! Lets See How You Like It!” They yelled, their form becoming more and more unhinged as they stared into the great white eye. The pulsing madness emitting from the beast now fusing with Yumash’s own pulsing chaos, the two energies clashing for dominance over one another. But with the Drowned One now focused on the mental battle of dominance, its horde was left leaderless, and ripe for the taking.

As the battle progressed, Anat’aa danced through the carnage. She was all at once a trailing fire that bounded from wisp infested husk to wisp infested husk, and a great fox that tore at the void spawn with glee. Even through the mental assault of the Drowned One did she not falter in this task, even as the double sight caused her great jaws to miss several bites and expose her flank to several raking blows from the spawn. In truth the sudden departure of the mental anguish caused her more concern than its presence.

Departing from the vast melee that had opened up between the grown soldiers and the spawn, Anat’aa reappeared in the company of Tunni and the Bull in a flash. Fire swirling around her she looked out upon the battlefield with a sigh “This all seems to be going well.” She said to the other deities, her eyes flitting across the great front before coming to rest on the battle between the Drowned One and Yumash.

She watched the battle of primal chaos closely for only mortal moments, a look of worry crossing her face before she returned her burning gaze to the armies. She watched as the spawn suddenly began to lash out with chaotic confusion. She watched as they threw themselves at the grown soldiers, and worse yet, how some began to abandon the field. “Do you two think you can keep the pressure on these wretches? I can corral them in this place and we can ensure none survive.”

“And you see,” Tuuni said from his reclined position, an otherworldly minion staring at him in wonder, an umbrella drink in each hand. “You want to pour the sweet stuff first, the bubbly after. It mixes nicer.


Anat’aa’s question hit the pair and Tuuni hit the beast behind him. “Of course!” He waved his staff and the river nearby began to flood over, sopping the field in slowly growing water. At first inches, then feet. The bull unleashed a scolding snort and waved his hoe around menacingly in Tuuni’s direction.

“You are flooding my fields, you bushy gnome!” he yapped and kicked over a tired croaker. He stuck his hand into the quickly wettening soil and pulled out thick tree trunks, one after the other, that had been buried in the silt. He stuck one of them at an odd angle, aimed in the direction of the tide of minions, and tossed some more trunks at the mortals. “LINE THEM UP, SLUGS! SEED THE FLOATATOES!” As the mortals dodged, picked up and frantically assembled the pillars of wood, the cores of the trunks hollowed out by themselves, and branches along their lengths dug into the silt like pairs of legs. The farmers hastily tended to paddies of floatatoes, which popped out of the water with divine speed thanks to the presence of the bull’s ungodly ooze. The bull picked a specimen, shoved it into one of the trunks and stepped around the back before giving it a firm kick in the buried end. “BLAST!”

With a thunderous boom, the trunk exploded at the mouth, shooting out a flaming spud at an arc. A distance away, the boom was followed by a crash, minions flying everywhere covered in steaming hot mash. The air was thick with the smell of baked peel and stink of sulfurous tree sap. “RELOAD!” commanded the bull as crying farmers continued to collect the floatatoes and shoving them into the tree trunks at the pace of his lashes. “Hammer these vermin back into the soil!”

Anat’aa watched the other two gods set to work, her eyes following the arc of a couple of the explosive spuds. With a grin and a nod she set about her own task, once more donning the guise of the fox. Jumping from her place in the river she ran on the far edge of the spawn, leaving a trail of smoldering footprints behind her. As she ran these footprints would begin to glow brighter and brighter, a deep, intense flame burning within each of them. Eventually these footprints came to encircle the spawn in a vast semi circle, leaving only the killing line at the river untouched.

With this act completed Anat’aa once more retraced her steps, only this time as she did she set more of her power to the already smoldering ground. She willed the fire brighter and hotter, and the fire obliged. Soon the very rocks around them began to glow and crack, a deep angry orange apparing with each pass of the fox. Seeing this, Anat’aa poured more of her power into it, watching in her mind's eye as the radiant fire washed through minute fractures in the stone, deeper and deeper. Soon it found roost in deep stone, a hard rocky layer where the pressure was just right.

With a cackle the fox allowed the energy that was already trickling into the fire open into a flood. The deep fire danced and glowed, and for miles around every fire, from the smallest candle to the brightest bonfire dimmed suddenly. Coming to a stop back on her rock in the river, Anat’aa kept feeding the fire. Soon the ground began to groan and crack, deep fissures opening along her path. From the depths came boiling fire, suddenly trapping the spawn between watery, explosive death, and a quickly expanding floodplain of hissing basalt.

Tuuni put his hands on his hips and whistled. “Good thing I was here.”

With its spawn now trapped in a killing field, faced with drowning, burning, or death by various sentient plants. The great beast was rapidly running out of options, its mental assault crashing against the chaos erupting from the god clinging to its eye. The two locked into a growing dominance of primeval power, the great multicolor of chaos clashing against the thick darkness of the outer beast. But with its great horde all but dead, it knew what it had to do.

Locking its eye upon the god of chaos, it began to increase its mental assault. The air around the beast beginning to warp and shift under the weight of the beast’s power. Any mortal unlucky enough to be immediately near the beast and the fight found their mind scattered and fragmented - farmers ran away screaming or simply keeled over as their brains blasted apart. Even those near the presence of the gods felt the strain and pressure from the beast’s power, their vision swimming and blurring with a growing intensity. Even the gods could feel the growing pressure, though thankfully the effects were too focused upon Yumash to affect them as deeply as the mortals.

The god of Chaos kept their focus on the battle, trying their best to shut out the wailing and gnashing that erupted all around them. Their mind and the beast’s beginning to almost fuse as both of them poured more and more power into the fight. Their vision swam, they could no longer focus on the material, instead having to focus purely on the mental fight amongst the stormy mind of the beast, which crackled with immense outer energy. But they couldn’t stop now, they had to keep pushing. Their prismatic flames grew in strength, their form now no longer humanoid, instead becoming a great mass of chaotic flame.

Within that mind, where only few could follow, the two beings clashed once more, their own projected forms taking shape. The beast’s becoming a rolling storm cloud which lashed out with thousands of tendrils of flesh and water. Meanwhile, Yumash fought back as a raging inferno of flames that stained the mindscape like oil paints upon a canvas. They clashed again and again, the tendrils would wrap around the inferno, seeking to drag it into the storm’s confines, only to be burnt by the wrath of chaos. The inferno would lash out against the clouds, driving them back and back, only for them to reform just as quickly. This was not sustainable, Yumash needed to do something, and fast, or they would surely fall in the face of its onslaught.

Within the realspace, they formed an arm once more, raising it towards the heavens. The flames of chaos beginning to flicker and erupt, acting as a lightning rod for something far greater.

Far beyond, amongst the void of the heavens beyond, the every moving vein of chaos heard the call of its progenitor. Without nary a thought it clipped through the cosmos and stars, sending itself towards the direction it was being called towards. To the mortal sight, nothing had changed when Yumash had brought up their arm. But to the gods and outers assembled, they witnessed a great vein of prismatic energy crack down like a bolt of lightning straight through the god of chaos and the great beast.

Within seconds, the area around the god and beast shifted and changed, the air between the blades of grass sparking with electricity that danced between each blade, shocking the poor mortals standing nearby. The air grew thick with static electricity, hairs standing upright, with even minor touches closing circuits and causing intense, but not deadly, shocks.

Meanwhile, within the mindscape, the situation was far different. The sudden surge of chaotic energy from the vein grew Yumash’s power within. The prismatic oil spilling itself throughout its mind, overtaking and consuming the clouds and tendrils wherever it touched. While the vein did not stay long, departing just as quickly as it appeared. It was just what Yumash needed.

The inferno surged forward, breaking through the defenses of the tendrils and striking straight at the heart of the storm. For a moment, the mindscape drew quiet, before the cloud began to emit a piercing screech, with prismatic light beginning to erupt from its core. In reality, the beast shook and spasmed as the light inside its mind grew in intensity. Before the cloud burst into a prismatic explosion. Another screech, this time from the beast itself, erupted, the mental assault rapidly pulling back as its mind was overtaken by chaos. Its eyes, once white, now transformed into an ever shifting rainbow.

Slowly, Yumash returned to their humanoid form, letting go of the eye, and letting themselves fall downward. Hitting the ground with a thud, their energy spent. What little that remained of the spawn scattered in a rout, chased away by a horde of zombie-like vegetables, many of which were partially eaten and crawling their way along the wet ground. The bull surveyed the battlefield with stern eyes, pouring particular focus into the quivering pile of goo that was once their enemy.

“The world is safe again from this wicked evil.” He cracked his whip. “Now we can go back to farming in peace.” The soft whimper of the shattered, maltreated farmers who had worked the fields of the vegetable warriors until their hands bled and their faces dripped, incited another round of lashings. “IN PEACE, I SAID!”

Tuuni gave a nod and hummed to himself. “Certainly a lively crowd.”

“That they were!” Anat’aa agrees, returning to the pair of gods once more, this time with a small spring in her step. Looking out upon the destruction wrought from the trio, she turned her attention to a single spawn that had braved the basalt flows rather than stay and fight. With a thought a hand of fire pulled it beneath the streams of magma. “Truly a job well done all.” She said with a satisfied smile, before looking upon the collapsed form of Yumash, the look of worry from earlier crossing her face again.

“Should we check on them?”

A hand shot out from the chaos god, a thumb stretched out. “Im Fine! Just Drained! Give Me A Moment.” Above them, the beast, now seemingly calmed, gurgled contently. Its shifting rainbow eyes staring off towards the distance. Suddenly, a giant portal opened up beneath it, letting the thing fall into a technicolored void as it let out a gentle exclamation of shock, its new home for now. “There We Go!”

With the Drowned One now locked away, and its spawn scattered, the horde of outer beasts were finally defeated and peace could begin to return to the Shengshi-La. Though the, various, creations of the gods now ran amok. But that was an issue for a later day. For now, life was back to normal. Or well, as normal as it could be.

Tales of the Suneater: A Gift from the Plains

The demons had left just as soon as they arrived, it would take the Suneater and his cohorts some time to learn of the grand assault by the infernal monsters upon the city of Sylann. The city had survived, which was good, their workshops were essential for the Suneater’s plans, and sure enough once the demons had retreated, trade had returned. The rivers of the Four Daughters had returned to life with the great beetle boats that darted between the docks along it, bringing goods and materials throughout. With the threat gone, the Suneater returned to the most boring of tasks, logistics.

After the feast of their victory, the Snouters of the Rock Tooth Clan had sworn fealty to the Suneater, the southern lands transformed into their dominion to expand the farms that would feed the growing empire. The farms of Snouters were only emboldened by more refugees from the west, and the works of Anu to enhance their crops. With the food situation resolving itself, he turned to other matters, hiring several goblin blacksmiths from Sylann and assigning them to work with the Strider Namtar so that they could produce the tools and weapons they needed. Meanwhile, Konne and the Strider Marduk would set out expanding the army, more refugees pouring in meant more people to defend and more towns to establish. While the 300 Gloinks would expand themselves, it would not be enough, so formal recruitment and training had to be established.

All the while, the Suneater himself set about a grand plan, by now the village he had called home had grown tenfold, its population booming from trade and refugees that hadn’t been picked up by Sylann. The growth had been haphazard and shoddy while he was attending to other matters, but now it was time to fix that. He had gathered the best builders he could find in his domain and assigned them to design him a capital fit for a King, grand walls of stone and wood, a central marketplace, a temple for the gods, a greater dockyard, and especially a palace fitting for a King.

The work would take time, but now, with some level of peace, it was time they would have.


It had been a few cycles by now, and the work was coming along nicely. The walls were the first to be built, just in case another horde suddenly appeared. And now builders and workers went about the growing town, mingling with the townsfolk as they improved the paths and reframed the buildings. Some had gripped and grumbled about the intrusion, but all of them had relented at the idea of a far more manageable home.

Tyryk himself stood nearby upon one of the many hills nearby the town. It was just big enough to give him a vantage point to overlook the construction and the town as a whole. Nearby stood his most trusted advisors, Konne and Polassar, the Strider had been instrumental in organizing the work with their skills of communication, and Konne had long proven herself a capable fighter and confidant. The three of them stood, silently taking note of what was going on.

“How much longer until the stone arrives from the mines?” He suddenly asked, not looking away from the town.

Polassar looked into the bag that was slung at their side, pulling out a parchment scroll that they opened up. “According to the report it should be here in a few days.”

“Good, and the shipments from the Rock Tooths?”

“Should be here in the morning,” They didn’t even need to check a scroll for that one. “Chief Znorick has also reported success with meeting with the new clans that have arrived. So long as they can continue their fighting games.”

The warlord nodded along. “Of course, ask one of the architects to throw up some designs for a fighting arena for the Snouters. That will be our next big project.”

“Yes Lord Suneater.”

A chuckle came from Konne. “Sounds like a perfect place for training.”

“If you wish to face that lot in hand to hand combat, be my guest.” Polassar added. “Fighting for fun? Who does that?”

“Me of course.” Konne scoffed.

The strider merely sighed while shaking their head, returning their focus to the construction ahead of them. The other two quickly joined back into the silence as well, allowing their thoughts to return to the tasks at hand. That was, until the sudden arrival of a familiar Gloink, clad in their familiar layers of pink and green bone armor.

“What news do you bring Berry?” Tyryk asked.

“New arrivals from west!” The Gloink pointed down one of the trodden roads that lead out of the town. There Tyryk could see an arriving caravan, though he could not yet see who was in it.

“Very well, Polassar, continue your work, Konne and I will go meet the newcomers. Lead the way Berry.”

The Gloink eagerly turned around, leading the warlord away from the hill, and towards the new arrivals.


The carriage rolled along the paved stone paths. The wooden wheels on the right side of the carriage rolled over a particularly large pebble, and the whole thing rocked.

“Oomph!” grunted Shah as she bounced inside of the rough carriage. Her two large feline ears folded backward as she grabbed onto the nearest heavy thing she could find for dear life.

A small, slender hand came to rest on top of Shah’s head right between the two fluffy triangles that were her ears, making her perk up right away. She chuckled and squirmed, eliciting a smooth laugh from the larger person next to her. “Mom, that feels weird.”

“Huhm…” Shah’s mom scrunched her nose up for a sec, but ultimately ignored Shah’s complaint and actually started to scratch one of her ears.

Shah’s body reacted on its own. In a split second, a paralyzing chill ran down her spine and froze her tail in place, and then she practically headbutted her mom’s side. She closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around her mom and let herself pretty much melt into the petting. “Shah hates this…” Shah whispered.

“Huhm. Really?” Her mom asked. If Shah hadn’t melted into a puddle, she might’ve noticed the smug smile on her mother’s face. “You should be more honest, Shah.”

Minutes later, the carriage came to a stop and Shah managed to regain control of her body when her mom withdrew her hands from her head and patted her back instead, which prompted her to flutter open her eyes.

“WOMAN!” The flaps of cloth covering the back of the carriage were pulled open by a large man. He, like both Shah and her mom, had feline ears on the top of his head and an abundance of hair. His black mass of hair was done into a massive braid which looked so heavy that it could probably be used to drag a river bug to land without a single strand breaking. “SO YOU STEAL KAH’S DAUGHTER’S ATTENTION WHILE KAH WORKS HIS ASS OFF TO GET US TO THE SUNHOUSE?!” The man, Shah’s father, huffed and jumped up onto the back of the carriage, nearly breaking the entire thing with his weight, and rushed over to tackle Shah and drag her into a bear hug.

“Aaah Shah, Shah! Kah’s fluffy little thingy!” He was ecstatic, Shah knew that because she could hear his heartbeat going crazy. All she could do however was try to survive her dad’s arms as he seemingly tried to squeeze the life out of her. “She’s the goddess of cuteness, ain’t she Imara? Our little Shah is the best Shah!” He gloated, rubbing his face all over the top of Shah’s head.

“Huhm… Kah,my love, Shah’s hair has to be perfect…” Imara, Shah’s mom, said in a perfectly calm tone. She was now standing next to the other two and slowly reaching for one of Shah’s ears again, only for her plan to be thwarted when Kah let go of Shah and the teenager hid behind him.

“Ahh, that was great. Kah feels like he’s come back to life! But sadly, we must carry out our duties now. Kha’s sorry, little Shah.” Kah sighed and with that, Shah knew that playtime was over. Immediately, she meekly made her way to her mom and let her start to fix her hair and smooth out the wrinkles in her ornate ceremonial dress. It was a beautiful dress, mainly red but with white and green accents and plenty of tassels. Over her dress she wore an equally ornate poncho, this one made out of the multicolored fur of a beast that her father had slain just a couple months prior.

It all suited her well and her tan skin, golden eyes and extremely thick and long hair only made her look better.

“Duties…. So…” Shah began but trailed off. She grabbed and pulled at the edges of her furry poncho.

Her mom kissed the top of her forehead. She had to stand on her tiptoes to do so. “Huhm… We will always be with you, Shah. Know this, we love you. Nothing will change this.” With a final check, her mom grabbed Shah’s shoulders and turned her around to face her dad. He was like a wall of muscle, and that massive, rough, scarred wall of muscle was sniffling and barely holding back a river of tears.

He opened his mouth to try to speak, but thought twice and simply rubbed his eyes and nose dry and nodded. Shah nodded back at him and the father went to the back of the carriage and jumped off. He held the flaps of cloth open with one hand and offered Shah the other, which she took. With his help, jumping off the carriage almost felt like she was flying.

She flinched a bit as her bare feet touched the scalding hot paved stone road and watched as her dad pulled out a small wooden box out of the carriage and handed it to her.

With that he took a deep breath and so did Shah, and they walked out from behind the carriage to meet the people they had traveled for weeks to reach.

To Shah, who had been born and raised in a secluded village, just the existence of stone roads had been amazing. But the buildings that surrounded her? The dozens of people that stood on the sidelines, watching her every move and whispering amongst themselves? It was overwhelming. Before she could tear up, her dad poked her side and smiled at her.

Out of the crowd that had assembled emerged several people. Every single one looked different to the last, and every single one was either so scarred that they dwarfed her father’s battle scars, or so powerful that their mere presence silenced the whispers of the crowd. The latter were two, a bird-kin woman and a Hyena-kin man, though his long reptile tail and scattered scales showed his mixed blood. Shah’s dad knelt down as soon as he saw the man, dressed in a long cloak of green that covered the shining armor and multicolored cloth along the rest of his body, and looking at them like they were prey to be eaten. Shah didn’t need to kneel, as her height standing tall was the same as her dad’s when he knelt down.

“Suneater!” Shah’s father began. “We of the Plainstalker clan bring you a gift. Our most precious treasures are yours to take, as long as you promise to share your prosperity with us of the Plains.”

That was her cue, Shah thought. She took a surprisingly steady step forward and stretched her arms forward, offering the small wooden box to the Suneater.

The Warlord stood where he was, his gaze changing to a more curious look. It had not been the first he had been offered tribute, but this was certainly the most extravagant. But regardless it was always nice for new subjects to come to him then the reverse.

“I welcome the Plainstalker Clan and the gifts you bring.” He extended one arm from beneath the cloak, gently taking the wooden box from Shah. “If you would permit, I would like to hear of what you have brought me so I may fully understand these gifts from the plains.”

Besides him, Konne kept a close eye on the clan, her eyes locked especially upon Shah and the box she had been carrying. Her hand placed firmly on the blade at her side, readied just in case anything were to go wrong.

Shah cast a glance in her father's direction, who once more nodded reassuringly at her. This time she took a shakier step forward and knelt down on both knees in such a way that her poncho hid her entire body except for her head. Once she felt everyone's gazes on her, she wiggled her ears and lowered her head in deference.

“The, first gift is inside of the Ala-Shah, the wooden box in your… Esteemed hands. It is a set of ornaments crafted from the spine wheels of The Great Vida Demon, who was vanquished by my father The Panther. They have mystical properties which may aid you and yours, Suneater the Great.” Shah explained, her eyes closed.

After an awkward second, Shah felt her father poke her and she let out a sound not unlike that of a kitten’s scared meow. “They, are said to give the wearer dominion over terra-beasts and demon-beasts.”

“The Panther? A fitting title for a warrior who slew such a beast.” The warlord flashed a smile at her father as he opened up the box and inspected the items inside. Pulling out one of the four thin bone bracelets within. He could feel the power emanating from within, a fine gift for someone of his status. He placed it gently back within the box, handing it over to one of the warriors behind him for safekeeping. “You say these are the first gifts? They alone would ensure your place amongst my domain, I am curious what else you have brought.” His gaze shifted between Shah and her Father, curious of what would come next.

“The second and greatest gift, Suneater.” Kah gestured at Shah.

“I, am Shahari of the Plainstalkers. I am the second gift.”

Suneater’s eyes went wide with surprise as a murmur began to grow amongst the crowd. The gathered beastfolk were taken aback by the gift being the girl who stood in front of them, though many quickly turned to speak of how enchanting she looked. Someone even stated it would be rude to deny such a gift when they had traveled so far.

Konne, for her part, merely stood by the Suneater’s side, her scowl of suspicion had turned into one of anger. The grip on her blade only intensified, her knuckles turning white with the force she was holding back. Her eyes had not turned to the Suneater, instead, she was entirely focused on the cat folk girl kneeling meekly in front of her.

A sudden cough, mixed with a growl, silenced the murmuring. The Suneater looked around to ensure his message had been made clear to the assembled gathering. His gaze briefly stopped on Konne, who he briefly placated with a hand on her shoulder, forcing her to relax and loosen her grip on her blade. Finally, he returned his gaze towards the cat folk. “To travel this far must have been an extraordinary feat, I would be doing you and your people a disservice if I were to refuse your gifts and send you home without the protection and prosperity you have sought. As such, I will be accepting your gifts, both the bracelets, and,” He nodded his head at Shah, “the beautiful maiden. In exchange, the Plainstalkers will be equal subjects under my reign, their people will be protected and their needs provided for. That is my decree.”

A soft cheer came up through the assembled crowd, more of their kin under the light of the Suneater was always cause for celebration. And many were equally eager to see what wealth and beauty the plains had to give to the rest of the domain. This time the Suneater did not attempt to quiet them down, knowing their eagerness would be unable to settle. Instead he turned to Konne once more.

“Konne, please escort our dear Shahari to where she will be staying for now. I wish to speak with her father, to prepare for the celebrations we will have later tonight. Such new additions must be welcomed of course.” He emphasized the welcomed, softly gripping the half-blood’s shoulder when he did so.

“Yes my lord.” Was her reply, soft, yet still having an edge to her voice. She stepped forward from the crowd, extending a hand out to Shah, which the younger girl took after a moment’s hesitation. “Come, I’ll bring you to the palace grounds.” She led the cat girl away from the crowd, down the town path towards the area where the palace was still being built. The scaffolding and sounds of construction still prevalent, giving a constant sound for the surrounding portions of the growing town.

As they walked, Konne remained silent, letting go of the cat-girl’s hand and just letting her follow behind freely. The half-blood didn’t bother giving her a tour either, just letting her take in the sights and sounds of a town far larger than what she was used to.

After a while of trying her best not to get lost, Shah spoke. “Konne, are you the master’s First Wife?” The catgirl asked with a wiggle of her ears and a scrunch of her nose.

Konne paused suddenly, stopping her march in the middle of the path. Almost letting Shah slam right into her back with the suddenness that she did so. Her feathers raised in a mixture of surprise and anger at the question the cat girl has poised. Slowly she turned her head towards Shah behind her. “No. I am not. I am just. Very protective of him, that is all. You would be wise not to ask that again.” She turned forward again, starting her march back towards the palace again.

“Sorry, Konne.” Shah muttered and rushed to keep up. It was difficult, considering the differences in height between the two. Konne’s fast walk was Shah’s jogging pace. They passed by a particularly tall scaffolding tower, where two men were pulling a bucket full of a strange powder up by using a rope. One of them was leaning dangerously over the railing, trying to steady the rope so the payload wouldn’t swing wildly in the breeze. “... What will happen to me?”

Konne paused for a moment, stopping and making sure the workers did not drop the construction material, before she started walking again. “That is up to Suneater to decide, for now, you’ll likely just stay in the palace. The construction shouldn’t last much longer, so the noise should die down.” She trailed off for a moment, the grip on her blade tightening for a moment. “What were you hoping will happen?”

“I, don’t know… I don’t know the Master like you do, but… Whatever happens, I have to go along with it. I would like to be strong like you, I think. I'm just fast. Shah’s only fast.” Shah sighed. “My dad… Father, he never let me hunt. It was too dangerous, he said.”

“I see.” Konne’s grip loosened, finally letting herself feel something other than anger. “Perhaps…I can convince the Suneater to let you train with us. Marduk would enjoy a new trainee, and it’d be best for you to be able to defend yourself.” Another pause, and another turn of her head towards the cat girl. “Do you know what a Strider is?”

“Huhm, can you describe one? We may have a different name for them in the Plains. Would it be fine if Shah trains with you? Won’t the Master be mad if I taint my skin with scars and bruises?” With Konne’s pause, Shah took the opportunity to finally catch up and ended up standing a mere foot away from her. To Shah this was normal, but after a bit of thought she took a step back and pretended she’d done nothing. Foreigners were weird, she thought. Wasn’t she a foreigner now, though? In her mind, she sighed.

Konne gave a chuckle. “If anything I wouldn’t be surprised if he found you more attractive with scars. Besides, like I said, it’d be best if you’re able to fight on your own.” She looked at Shah as she took a step back, seemingly not caring at the cat being close. “As for the Strider, they’re crystal beings, walk around on a lot of legs, very strange. They’ll blind you in sunlight if you’re not careful.”

“Shah- I, remember stories!” Shah perked up at the description, her tail swishing curiously behind her and ears perking up as far as they could. “My grandma told me of a time when a ‘strider’ visited the Plains and forced my great grandma to tell it all of our history. Very shiny, yes. Does the Master have striders here?”

“He does, six to be exact, they’re all…Rather interesting. I’m sure they will grill you over your culture eventually. I find it's just best to indulge them, easier to convince them to do work for you later.”

Shah stared, horrified, at Konne. “Striders grill cat-kin? Shah doesn’t wanna meet them…”

Konne sighed. “Its, it's a figure of speech Shah. They’re just going to ask you a lot of questions.”

“Oh.” Shah relaxed, scratching her escape plan before she’d even started to think about it. “Okay, Konne.”

A few awkward seconds passed, with the cat and bird staring at each other. Suddenly, Shah’s mom’s face flashed before her eyes, and she tilted her head.

“Does Konne like baths? Shah doesn’t, unless it’s a hot spring.”

Konne looked at Shah with a confused look. “I…I don’t mind a bath.”

“We bathe together then! Shah wants a friend.”

The bird was incredibly taken aback, sputtering a moment before properly replying. “I…I…I suppose if it will help, Suneater will likely prefer it if you are clean for the feast later.”

“Good! Let’s go, Shah will wash Konne and Konne will wash Shah, like we do in the Plains. We are very clean. But, uh, Shah doesn’t know how to wash feathers. Konne will train her on that too.” Shah nodded and rapidly tapped her feet on the paved road until Konne started to walk once more.

She let out a sigh. “Very well then.” She motioned for Shah to follow her once more. Leading her down the path and towards the palace, where they would get prepared for another feast. For it was another day, and another new victory for the Suneater.

Tales of the Suneater: To Slay a Demon

Tooth and claw slammed into the line of warriors, the demonic beasts clawing at the Snouters and Beastfolk that stood in their way. Tyryk brought up his ax and slammed it down onto one of the beast’s heads, splitting its skull in two, before retching it free to cleave another in twain. By his side, both his retinue and the snouter folk fought with a ferocity matching the beasts that rushed towards them. Konne’s blade sliced through the beasts like they were nothing, occasionally taking flight to cut the heads off of several at once. Meanwhile the Snouter’s leader, Chief Znorik, brought the heavy weight of his hammer around, smashing the demons into bloody pulps with each swing.

But the demons were numerous, already threatening to surround the combined force, held back only by several snouters who had gathered behind them, tossing stones and whatever they could gather to drive the invaders back. That wouldn’t last forever though, Tyryk could already tell that these things were no mindless beasts. Already they were learning, flanking and attacking only if they outnumbered an enemy, and each time a new one appeared to replace the last, their form was changing. Their blackened skin continued to give way to the bones beneath as they formed either sharpened blades to slice at the defenders, or as hardened armor to protect against blows. These things could adapt on the fly.

Konne flew back from another run, a cut of bone in her hand serving as another blade. The demons raised their hands to try to grab at her, her agility being her only saving grace from being torn from the sky and quickly overrun. Luckily, she made it, returning to Tyryk’s side.

“They’re giving no sign of stopping!” She yelled over the dirge of battle. “We need to fall back!”

“We can head to the center of the village!” Znorik responded, smashing three of the demons at once with a swing of his hammer. “But we can not give up!”

Tyryk gave a laugh. “I don’t plan on it! You and you men fall back! We’ll cover you!” Znorik only snorted in response, yelling at his soldiers to begin to fall back. Tyryk raised his ax shouting towards his own soldiers. “Warriors! To me!”

The retinue quickly formed around him, their weapons at the ready as they faced the oncoming horde. Tyryk could swear that with each demon they felled another returned to take its place. And their adaptations were only getting worse. By now the demons had caught on to many of their earlier tricks, Konne’s last run had already been too close for comfort, and Tyryk found himself fighting with ax, claw, and teeth all at once to fend off the beasts. His retinue was fairing no better, one of his soldiers, a half-blood lion, was caked in blood both demonic and his, and their weapons were beginning to dull at the oncoming onslaught.

The Suneater allowed himself a quick look back, the Snouters were making it back, joined by the villagers who had opted to fight instead of flee. Their numbers bolstered the defenders, but even the tough pigfolk could not drive back all of the invaders. Then, he saw it, amongst them stood Polassar, while not a fighter, the Strider was doing all they could to aid the defenders. And a thought formed in the Suneater’s mind.

“Warriors!” He shouted, “Fall back to the Center! I have a plan!”

Now it was the Snouters turn to assist them, Znorick and his more formidable troops surged forward, cleaving a path for the beastfolk to fall back in. They had to be quick, slashing away at whatever surge of blackened flesh and bone that wanted to cut them off from their allies. But they drove them back, allowing them to link back up with the rest of the defenders in the village center. There they gathered into a circle, the warriors at the front driving the demons back with blade and claw, while the villagers behind them threw whatever they could to assist. They were surrounded now for sure, but at least they could fight in all directions now. And as the sun shined its light down upon the village at the perfect angle, Tyryk knew this would work.

“Polassar!” He yelled, the Strider’s eyes raising towards the warlord. “When I say so! Uncover yourself!”

“But my lord!” The Strider replied in a worried tone. “That will blind every-” They looked around at the battlefield, quickly catching on. “Understood my Lord!”

Tyryk returned his focus to just beyond the village, what demons were not already fighting were gathering together, their blackened forms shifting and morphing further. He could see the budding form of wings begin to erupt, useless at this current moment, but forming. Their blades began more intense and erupted from more points on their body. And their maws of teeth became elongated to pierce hide further. If this didn’t work, they were surely doomed.

He waited until the new wave began to rush towards them, their modified and twisted forms making a beeline for their circle, gnashing teeth ready to tear into flesh. It was now or never.

“Everyone! Shield your eyes!” He brought his own paw up to cover his, raising his ax towards the Strider behind him. “Now Polassar!”

The blinding light that erupted did not need to be seen to know that the plan had worked. All Tyryk needed was the white flash beyond his covered eyes, the intense heat coming from the center of the village, and the screams of the demons as their eyes were assaulted by the refraction of the sun’s light, the crystal being gave off. The light was gone almost instantly, but it had done what it needed to. He uncovered his eyes, witnessing the demon horde writhe in pain, they were not blind, even Polassar’s light couldn’t do that in that short of time. But it was just what they needed.

“They’ll recover quickly! Warriors! Charge!”

Znorick and the Snouters needed no further incentive, letting out a roar as they rushed into the incapacitated horde. The beastfolk followed behind, slicing the defenseless horde with blade and claw, the blackened blood of the beast’s pooling onto the village streets. Even with their eyesight damaged, the horde could see the writing on the wall, many demons had begun to retreat from the counter attack. Those that remained fumbled about to try to fight back, but their dazed vision and the pain in their heads meant they were no match for the warriors.

With the tables now turned, the demons were driven back further and further. The horde behind the front beginning to scatter at the sight of their kind slaughtered and torn into. The sight was invigorating to the Suneater, seeing the horde driven into panic and cut down before his ax, it reminded him of what he truly desired, to conquer. These beasts were nothing compared to that desire, and they would fall, as all would before the Suneater.

By now, they were driven from the village, the defenders already cheering as they took care of the last beasts. The hordes running towards the hills they had arrived from. It looked like they had won.

If only for a second.

Before they had time to even pant and breath, a thunderous sound erupted from the hills. A rocketing thud shook the earth beneath their feet as something began to move. It didn’t take long for what was causing this noise to appear over the crest of the hills nearby. It was a similar beast to the demons that had just attacked them, its blackened skin giving way to pulsating sinews and veins of muscles that pulsed with each movement. Its legs were smaller than the massive arms that it also walked upon, built almost akin to a gorilla, yet its skin was toughened and hardened like its own armor. Its maw was full of tusks and sharpened teeth that jut in all directions, and its piercing eyes locked with Tyryk’s.

This thing would destroy them.

“Konne!” He didn’t dare take his eyes off the oncoming beast as it slowly made its way to the village. “Take the warriors, get everyone out of here, they’ll be safer up north.”

Znorick gave a snort at the instructions. “We’re not going to leave our home, we’re not losing it.”

The pigling drew back as Tyryk’s maw snapped at him, the warlord’s voice rising. “GO! You will all die if you stay! Do not be stubborn now!”

“But what about you?” Konne shot back.

“I will distract it. Give you a head start.”

“That thing will rend you asunder if you fight it alone!”

He gave a chuckle. “I am the Suneater, if I can not win here, then it is better for me to die.” He finally allowed himself to look towards Konne, whose face was a mixture of confusion and anger. “Now go, that is an order.”

Konne barked an order to the assembled warriors, who began to gather the civilians as quickly as they could to prepare them to evacuate. As they began to, Znorick hesitated, casting a gaze towards the Suneater. “I can’t let you do this alone.”

Tyryk shook his head. “You need to lead your people, mine will need someone as well.”

“Nonsense, my boi and your feathered lass are capable ‘nough.” The snouter turned his head back to the beast, who drew ever closer, the smaller beasts gathering around it. “‘Sides, you’ll need someone to keep those beasties off of ya.”

“...very well.” He brought his ax up, readying it in his hand. Znorick did the same with his hammer, both of them steeling their resolve in the face of the oncoming beast.

The great beast took a few more steps, before stopping just short of the village, its gaze unblinking at the two leaders. The horde around it stopped, chittering and snapping towards them, yet not drawing any closer. The duo looked at one another, nodding in tandem before turning back. With a roar, they both charged forth. The demons responded in kind, surging forth while the greater beast remained where it was, standing firm.

Demon fell to ax and hammer, Znorick took the brunt of the onslaught, carving a path for Tyryk to charge towards the greater beast. Claws and teeth gnashed at them, both of them could barely afford any hits, each one another counting towards the inevitable in this situation. They both just hoped it would be long enough to let the others flee.

Tyryk carved another demon in front of him, tossing the corpse to the side, he was met face to face with the greater beast. It merely stood there, its form having not changed at all while he had made his way to it. No matter, it was waiting for him to strike first, anyone could see that. Might as well not let his host go waiting. He surged forward, ax and claw flashing as he struck at one of the arms. His metal ax managed to make its way though the toughened hide, but his claws were nothing compared to the armor. A noise came from the beast, something akin to a laugh, then it responded.

Its other hand shot forward at the warlord, it was quick, incredibly so. He barely had time to avoid most of the punch, the massive beast still managing to catch him with the side of its hand, sending a shout of pain through the beastfolk and sending him sprawling. He crashed onto the ground, barely managing to keep hold of his ax and regain his bearings. If that was a miss, then he really didn’t want to see what a hit was. Looking up, he once more had to rush to roll out of the way before the hand came crashing down where he once lay. Standing up, he swung at the arm, embedding its metal blade into its wrist. The beast let out a roar, shooting its other arm forward to grab at him, but instead of dodging, he instead wretched the ax free and spun around, lodging it instead into the palm of the oncoming hand.

Another roar erupted, but this time Tyryk could barely keep his grip as the hand was pulled back in pain. Forcing him to let go of his ax to avoid being picked up in a precarious situation by the beast. The beast took a look at its palm, scowling as it tried to force the ax head out of its palm, to little success with how large its hands were in comparison to the tiny ax. Without a weapon, Tyryk had little hope of harming the creature, but this was still an opportunity. He allowed himself a quick look towards Znorick, demons crowded around him, being beaten back by both hammer and fist now, as the hammer itself was dangerously close to shattering. The snouter wouldn’t last much longer, and neither would he.

With a roar, Tyryk rushed towards the beast, who was caught off guard by his sudden appearance. Jumping up, he latched onto one of its arms, using his claws for whatever leverage onto it that he could. The beast roared, and launched the arm he had latched onto downward, hoping to get him off by force, but that was exactly what he wanted. He shot himself upward from the arm, using its downward force to propel him upward in reaction, then, he dove straight towards the beasts face. He barely missed, having to grab onto one its jutting tusks, but the job could still be done. While the beast was still reeling, he pulled downward, forcing its face down in compensation, then, he let his other clawed hand loose, stratching and piercing one of the beast’s eyes, causing a torrent of blackened blood to pour from its socket. That got its anger boiling.

It launched its ax-injured hands towards the beastfolk who had long overstayed his lifespan. But Tyryk wouldn’t allow himself to be grabbed so easily. He pushed off the beast’s face, grabbing at the ax’s handle and using the gravity that sought to pull him down. Wretched it free. Black blood now poured from the palm itself as he performed a roll as he hit the ground, trying his best to avoid injuring himself further. Spinning, he readied himself for the attack that came next.

But this time it was too quick.

The arm he had used to launch himself thrust forward, too low for him to notice at first. By the time he did, it was too late. It connected with his lower half, the full force of the beast shattering several of his bones in an instant as it sent him flying back towards the village. It wasn’t enough to kill instantly, but by the gods did it hurt, he could barely feel his lungs intaking the sharp pain of air to compensate for what had been lost. He crumbled onto the floor where he landed, his left leg shattered beyond repair and his right no better off, pain shooting through his mind as it struggled to keep awake. Already his vision darkened, it was over, he would die here.

He used what was left of his strength to bring his head around, he could see Znorick yelling at him, but his voice was dimed by the pain, the Snouter kept fighting, his fists all that he had left to face the horde that had begun to overwhelm him, demons clambered upon his back and with their teeth, began to take chunks out of him. Tyryk looked back, towards the village. He could see the villagers fleeing, the faces of his warriors stood in shock, clearly they had seen the result of the hit. He could see Konne standing there, tears streaming down her face as she drew her blades, ready to rush in to save him, only to be pulled back by Polassar, the Strider pleading for her to leave.

The darkness was now everywhere, he wouldn’t last much longer, he returned his focus to the horde. To the great beast that now drew close, its eye and hand bleeding, but it wasn’t enough. It would never have been enough.

Tyryk laid there. And accepted his fate……

No.” A voice rang out. “This is not how this ends.” It boomed through the heavens and skies, causing the horde, the beast, and even the Beastfolk and Snouters to gaze upward, to see what was happening. “Rise Suneater. And finish what you started.

Suddenly, Tyryk felt his body return to him, the darkness fled from his vision and he could feel the bones of his legs snap themselves back into place. With little thought or reason, he rose from his state, his body mending itself with every second that he did so. But that was not the only thing he was focused on. Suddenly, a flash of prismatic light erupted in the ax that lay beside him. A multi coloured flame erupted from the weapon, looking like splashes of watercolor upon a painting. There, the weapon transformed, its handle and blade grew in size, the wood turning from a drab brown to a vibrant and luscious rainbow, meanwhile the ax shimmered with life, countless colours emerged and disappeared upon it, almost like it was alive. The flames began to die down, but they remained shimmering upon the ax’s blade, finally, a wrapping of prismatic cloth erupted from the ground and wrapped itself upon the ax’s handle.

The power emanating from the weapon was immense, Tyryk felt like even being near it would result in him being rendered into nothing. But this was not the time to think. He had his people to save. Swiftly he picked up the ax, a shock of pain and energy coursing up through his arm, already he could see prismatic sparks erupting from it, and the hairs upon his arms stood up straight as the energy coursed through his bones. He could wield this thing, but not for long, he knew that. But he didn’t need long.

He raised the ax’s blade towards the great beast, who now stood dumbfounded at the sight. “Let it be known.” He began, “I am the Suneater! Chosen of the gods and Conqueror of all under the skies! I will not fall in the face of invasion! In the face of enemies! In the face of the gods! You have defiled the lands and attacked my subjects! And for that, you shall be slain!”

The Suneater rushed towards the stunned beast, who now had barely any time to react. It brought its healthy hand up to block the attack coming to it. But it would do nothing. With a swing of the prismatic ax, the Suneater cleaved straight through the beast’s arm, slicing it entirely down the wrist. It roared in pain, and stumbled backwards, only to be met by another slash from the blade, which carved a chunk out of his torso. It tried to slam the beastfolk with its other arm, but that would do nothing, the Suneater merely once more planted the ax’s blade into its palm, this time sinking deeper than it had before. This time, he grabbed at the arm, climbing upon it as he freed the ax once more. Running up the arm, he brought the ax up again, letting out a roar as he cleaved the beast’s head in twain. Slicing straight down the middle and causing a burst of black blood to erupt from the beast.

It slumped forward, the life now gone from it. Its body crashing back down upon the earth, the Suneater did not stop. He launched himself from the beast as it crashed forward, cleaving several of the lesser demons that stood behind it with the prismatic flames that erupted from the ax, causing them to shatter and melt as they were covered in either deep freezing ice or wreathed in searing hot flames. He made quick work of the beasts, carving a path towards where Znorick lay, the demons attacking him had begun to flee upon the sight of the Suneater’s blade, only to be met by the sudden cracking of skulls from the renewed Snouter’s fists. Much like Tyryk, Znorick too had been healed, his wounds vanished and his strength returned to him.

But there were still demons, the horde was still great, sure Tyryk could slay ten at a time, but there were still hundreds now.

Then another miracle came.

In the sky, a prismatic flaming portal opened up, and from it descended a horde of creatures. Their forms were covered in bone-like armor that appeared to be fused to their very being, and in their hands they wielded weapons made of a similar material. They crashed down upon the demonic horde, immediately weighing into the beasts with their own weapons, slaying any that stood in their way. Then another portal opened, then another, the three portals dropping hundreds of the creatures onto the land. By now the demons were fleeing, thoroughly broken by the onslaught. Tyryk barely had time to look back before a flurry of feathers clouded his vision. Konne wrapped the warlord into a tight embrace as the other warriors charged forth, joining the creatures that had come to their rescue in driving the last demons back.

“Never again scare me like that.” She began, her face now a mixture of relief and…still anger.

“I make no promises.” He replied, he wished to continued, but he winced at the sudden pain that shot up through his arm. Reminding him of what he still held.

Stepping away from Konne, he tossed the ax to the floor, letting its prismatic flames lap against the grass to give himself a rest. He looked at his hand, seeing small scorch marks all along it, and he could still feel a twinge of exhaustion and aches in his arm.

“What, is that?” Konne asked, her gaze unmoving from the flames that erupted from the blade.

“A gift from the gods I believe.” Tyryk looked around, seeing that the warriors and creatures were more than capable of dealing with what remained of the fleeing horde.

Suddenly, Znorick appeared, clapping the Suneater on the back. “One fitting a King! The show you gave was ‘nough for the gods themselves! Good too, think we had both given our best there.”

Tyryk chuckled. “Indeed, let's get Polassar to find a way to carry it back safely.” He directed that last part to Konne, who nodded in response.

“Yes my lord.”

Finally, Tyryk turned to the new creatures who had arrived. The demons had fled, and now they stood about, seemingly looking for something, then, one of them locked eyes with him. They were coloured a strange green and pink, and they quickly came closer.

“Greeting! I am Strawberry-Emerald! You can call me Berry!” It gestured towards the other beings, who all waved with excitement. “We Gloink! Sent to serve Suneater!”

Another chuckle came from the Warlord. “A serving army and an artifact, truly a blessed day. Come then! I believe we all need rest after this day! A feast! To our victory!”

A cheer erupted from the Beastfolk and Snouters, while the Gloinks merely rattled their forms in what appeared to be an approximation of a cheer.

The day was won. And the Suneater grew stronger.

Getting Gloinked

Strawberry Emerald was in a dangerous situation. Something was in the spire. They weren’t sure how it had gotten in. The entrance was closed! They were sure they had closed it! But now something was inside, its form was familiar yet strange, it wasn’t the prismatic shifting that Strawberry’s was, instead it was a pulsing mass of flesh that seemed to crawl upon half-formed clawed limbs. It moved about without cohesion, slamming itself into the pieces of furniture in the entry room. Strawberry didn’t know what it was, but it definitely wasn’t a Gloink, which made it dangerous.

The thing stopped for a moment, its formless head moving about, almost as if it were searching for something. Then, it stretched out its half formed limbs, the sound of flesh ripping and bones cracking encompassing the room as the limbs grew in size. Its form extending out from its flesh, the mass hardening into a blackened exoskeleton, its head taking shape with a singular unblinking red eye at its center. Which quickly began to sweep around the room, its gaze seemingly scrutinizing every little thing.

Strawberry ducked behind one of the bookshelves, their form squeezing flat to be able to fit. Only keeping a small sliver of their body out to be able to keep an eye on what the creature was doing. They didn’t know what to do, there never had been something like this creature in the spire. The others were still upstairs, enjoying the loam meal they were having. Oh why did they have to be the one guarding the entrance today!

A crashing noise took Strawberry out of their thoughts, the horrid creature had grabbed onto one of the pieces of furniture, causing it to crash down in front of it. They needed to do something before it tore apart the spire, and fast.

Slowly, they emerged from their hiding spot, gradually taking a more solid form as they did so. The creature noticed them almost immediately, its large red eye staring at them with an intensity they had never seen before.

There was barely enough time to solidify before the thing came charging towards them. Forcing the gloink to rush out of the way to avoid the thing slamming into them. Instead letting it smash against the wall, causing it to emit a loud growl of anger. Strawberry had never really fought before, Gloinks were good at a lot of things, but fighting was beyond many of them. Sure they could transform into many things, but many of those things were just as squishy as they already were.

This meant that Strawberry had very few options, the thing was quickly regaining its senses after hitting the wall, and they would need to think of something, and fast, before it came at them again. Their gaze turned throughout the room, something could surely help them. Something, something. Their gaze fell back onto the creature, and its black exoskeleton, the layers of bony plate encompassing the creature’s form. Strawberry had an idea.

With another roar, the creature charged at them, but this time, they were prepared. Shifting their form, Strawberry gave themselves a large limb, one covered in its own layers of bony plate, transforming their near liquid goo into a solid layered mass of bone and armor that ran all the way down to their core. Bringing it around, they caught the creature right as it reached them, the club of an arm crashing straight into its jaw and head.

The creature sprawled as it smashed back into the wall, its head smashed with the force. But it wasn’t done yet. It rose once more with a gurgled roar, its flesh and bone snapping back into place, a large maw of teeth forming as it reared back to strike.

Strawberry was ready, their own form shifting, the layers of bone spreading into their newly humanoid shape, forming their own pink and green suit of armor. The creature surged forth, claw and teeth slashing against their bone, a sense of pain still rang through Strawberry’s dispersed neural system, but the beast clearly couldn’t pierce as deep as it wanted. They responded in kind, bringing another of their clubbed fists up into the beast’s chest, sending it flying off.

This was their time, they rushed forward, charging at the creature and delivering several blows in succession, ensuring the beast’s regeneration could not activate. This time, they didn’t stop until the thing was a broken mash of flesh and bone. Portions of it still caked onto their arms and fists. They gave it a moment, checking if it would regenerate again, when it didn’t, they decided it was time to get rid of it. Shifting their hands to be able to grab, they picked up the remains, taking them to the entrance door, and quickly tossing them out. This time they made absolute sure the door was locked.

They looked at themselves, the layers of armor still on them. They should tell the others. Well, after they cleaned up.

Tales of the Suneater: The Logistics of Conquest

Change had come to the village, far faster than any had expected. Not only had Tyryk declare himself the Suneater, he had quickly cemented his role as ruler of the village and its surrounding land. Using not only the loyalty of the warriors, but gaining the respect of the village itself with the defeat of the goblins. While at first even Tyryk was unsure of what to do with the prisoners now in his custody, another new change would aid in deciding what would become of them.

The Striders, the crystalline guests that Tyryk had brought with him to the village, had quickly proven themselves as great aids to the village and the Suneater. Easily taking to the Beastfolk’s language, they explained their nature as consumers and holders of knowledge, teaching the village a vast amount of practices and things they had learned. From smithing with various metals that could be found in the mountains nearby, to basic cultivation of the fruits and grains that lived upon the river bank.

With the Strider’s aid, the village would begin to prosper beyond their formerly basic life, and Tyryk would find a use for his feral prisoners. Sending them northward with Beastfolk guards, they would be tasked with mining the metals from within the caves, guided by the bioluminescent moss that would be fashioned as lights as they progressed deeper within. They additionally would be trained to become more civilized workers, to various degrees of success.

Then came the boats, and the tales from the golden flowers.

Word from beyond the lands of their village had begun to reach them, the flowers telling all sorts of tales of civilizations that had begun to form upon the banks. Each tale only inspired the Village further, driving them to build further and expand their operations. But that couldn’t be done alone, but the arrival of the boats and floating bugs would aid that even further. They carried with them a great many people, both goblin and beastfolk alike. Some came for trade and talking, others were merely exploring to satisfy a deep fire within, but most had come to find a place to live, and Tyryk, ever ambitious, welcomed them in.

And so the village would grow, shifting from a small collection of shoddy buildings to a grander town of refined craftsmanship and work. Some even split off and formed other nearby communities, growing their influence beyond their valley. But the growing population had begun to weigh heavily on their works, even with the new plants that could be grown upon the river banks. If the Suneater were truly to continue his goal of becoming a grand conqueror of the river, this would need to be fixed.


Tyryk overlooked the riverine farm that sat just along the banks of the grand river; several beastfolk carefully walked amongst the partially flooded fields of rice, sugarcane, and floatatos. A hippo fullbood stood to the right of Tyryk, marking down various notes about the crops upon a clay tablet. To his left, stood one of the Crystal striders, Anu, who eagerly watched the goings on of the farm. Their crystal form was luckily kept underneath a finely designed cloak of leather and fiber, allowing them to be out without blinding the non-strider inhabitants. While Tyryk had not anticipated bringing a strider along to this trip, Anu had insisted on joining, seemingly interested in the types of crops they were growing.

“Will this harvest be enough to cover the expansions? I was hoping to send a shipment out to the goblins in the highlands soon.” Tyryk asked, casting a glance towards the hippo.

The hippo took a moment to respond, checking the various markings they had made on the tablet, smacking their large lips together a few times as they thought. “It might be enough, but we’ll be cutting it close, even with the influx and trade we’re not doing as good as we could be my lord.”

A growl came from the warlord, this wasn’t good. His efforts to organize and develop the region had made it a growing hub amongst the Four Daughters River, but the farms needed to be bigger each time. He thought over courses of action, farms would need to be expanded, but that would require more focus on it, and less on his other projects.

Next to him, Anu made a soft noise, almost as if clearing their throat. “If I may offer a helpful idea Lord Suneater.”

He nodded, waving a hand at the strider. “Go ahead.”

“I’ve been taking note of the various crops we utalize in the farms. I believe with some testing and research I may be able to help with our food problem. It will take some time though.”

Tyryk gave another nod. “Do as much as you can, whatever enhancements we can make to our system will be beneficial.” He gestured at the Hippo. “Bring Anu to your seed stockpiles, allow them to pick out what they will require.”

“On it my lord.” The hippo gave a bow to the Suneater, motioning for Anu to follow. The two of them headed off towards the storage buildings that sat just beyond the farm’s fields. Leaving Tyryk alone for a moment with his thoughts.

While he was hopeful in the strider’s ability to make a breakthrough, there would need to be more change than just some crop improvements. He wished to avoid open conflict with other communities on the river at the moment, especially that walled city he had heard about from some of the traders, so raiding was not on the table. But this solution could not be solved on their own, but becoming dependent on the basic trade they got was equally not an option, Something needed to change, and soon.

He turned from the farmlands, making his way back towards his insectoid mount that sat lazily grazing upon the grass. Only to see another mounted figure draw closer. It became clear who it was quickly, as the large black and orange wings and head covered in a fluff of equally orange hair and feathers noted to Tyryk that it was Konne. Who had quickly become his second in command in matters of the military as his rule was cemented.

“Good day!” She shouted, waving a hand as she drew close. “I come bearing some news that I thought you would like to know.”

“I hope something good.” He responded, saddling up onto his own mount. Giving it a slight shove to get it moving back towards the main town.

“It could help us that's for sure.” Konne continued, quickly sliding up to his side and having her mount match his’ lazy pace.

“So what is it?”

“Our scouts from the south came back with their report. Apparently, with some help from the daffotales, they discovered a new settlement close to the southern embankments. According to them it was a large farming community, populated by ‘Snouters’.”


“Large pig folk, kinda like us in appearance but just pigs, though according to the daffotales they’re really good at farming.”

“Farming you say.” Tyryk thought for a moment, before nodding his head and encouraging his mount to move quicker. “In that case, we shall get supplies and some assistance at the town, then we ride south.”

Konne stammered for a second, barely catching up to Tyryk in time to continue speaking. “Right now? It's a few days worth of travel.”

“Better then we get started sooner. Besides, if these Snouters are as good at farming as the daffos say then I wish to meet them.” He continued to encourage his mount onward, wishing to make it to the town quicker.

“Fine.” Konne sighed, knowing it was better than to argue with Tyryk when his mind was set on a task. Instead she just followed along, the two of them riding across the grasslands towards the town. To prepare for meeting their new neighbors.


It did take the retinue a few days to reach the settlement that the scouts had told them about. Accompanying him and Konne was several of their warriors, alongside one of the crystal striders, Polassar, who had been the first to learn their language and had quickly become Tyryk’s confidant in matters of dealing with the various groups under his rule. So it was only fitting to bring them along when dealing with what may be yet another subject to his conquests.

They now could see the edges of the settlement, being able to make out the large shapes of its inhabitants going about their days. Most hadn’t noticed them, seemingly focused on whatever job they were focused on, whether it was carrying baskets of goods or working away at textiles. But a few had noticed, already they stood staring back at the Retinue, seemingly deciding on what to do. Finally, one of the pig-like inhabitants broke off, heading deeper into the village.

“What's the plan?” Konne asked besides Tyryk, a hand firmly planted on the hilt of her blade.

“We shall wait and see what their response is.” He replied, his face was calm but he too drew a hand towards the ax at his side. “I do not wish to antagonize these people before we’ve had a chance to speak.”

“Very well, but I’m going to keep an eye on them. Hopefully Pols can keep everyone calm enough.”

The strider looked up from their thoughts, one of their larger claws rubbing some dirt off one of their eyes. “I shall endeavor to do my best to serve the Suneater.” They spoke with a cheery beam.

Tyryk chuckled at the Strider’s eagerness to meet a new group. He hoped that the rumors of these ‘snouters’ abilities at farming were not exaggerated. If they could at least be convinced to trade it would go a long way to helping his food supply issue. Conquest would come later, first came logistics.

A commotion from the village roused him from his thoughts, now it seemed the rest of the settlement had become aware of their presence. Many of the snouters had begun to gather to stare, all of them still seemingly waiting on something to happen. A sudden loud booming roar forced them to scatter back to their jobs, many picking up the baskets and items they had set to the side to stare. Emerging from the crow was a smaller group of snouters, at their head was a beast of a pig, his large frame matching and even exceeding Tyryk’s, his face was scarred, with one of his tusks broken off. He wore a simple outfit though, one more befitting a simple farmer than the warrior he appeared to look like.

This was likely the settlement's leader, good, Tyryk was hoping he would be able to meet with someone of authority. He raised his hand to give a greeting wave towards the leader who now stared at his retinue, taking his hand off his ax to dissuade any suspicion they might have. But the leader did not respond in kind, instead he stood there, eyes focused on scanning over the entire retinue, clearly contemplating the new visitors.

“Perhaps we should give a greeting.” Polassar inquired, putting their cloak up further to avoid a stray beam of light blinding the snouters.

Tyryk nodded, it would do no harm to give a simple greeting. He straightened up on the saddle, taking care not to move forward. “Good day!” He shouted towards the pig folk. “We mean no harm! We come from the north and wish to speak!”

A few of the snouters near their leader murmured something to them, but were quickly silenced by a raised hand. Taking a few steps forward, their leader straightened his back, showing off his sheer size. Before bellowing a response. “You and one other can come closer! I shall do so with one of my own!”

So they were willing to talk, good. Tyryk nodded at the strider as he dismounted, motioning for them to follow him. He gave a look towards Konne as well, it didn’t need to be said but he was sure she would keep an eye out in case they tried anything. Him and Polassar drew closer, with the Snouter leader and one of his followers doing the same. It didn’t take long for the two pairs to draw close enough that they wouldn’t need to shout to be heard. Though they both took care to maintain a fair distance from each other.

“Greetings.” Tyryk began. “I am Tyryk, the Suneater, lord of the villages to the north. And this is my aid, Polassar the Strider.” They gave a little bow when introduced, their prismatic crystals shining a soft rainbow beneath their cloak.

The snouter gave a soft snort at the introduction. “Suneater eh? So you’re the bloke those flowers have been talking about.” He motioned a hand towards himself and the snouter beside him. “I am Znorik the Bold, leader of the Rock Tooths, this is my son, Ortha.” The smaller pigman did look much like Znorik now that Tyryk looked between the two, just far younger and far less scared. “What exactly brings someone like you to our land?”

He gave a chuckle, the snouter’s face was stone, he would have to play this safe. “I came in hopes of meeting with your settlement. You see, my people,” He gestured towards his retinue, “have an issue. While we have learned much, our agriculture has faltered. We heard tales of your people’s abilities, and I wished to see if we could not mutually aid each other.”

A soft snort came from Znorik, who casted a side eye at his son, before returning his focus to Tyryk. “S’pose it’s to be expected, you’ll find no better farmers than my lot.” He looked past Tyryk, towards his retinue, one of his hands reaching up to stroke a tuft of fur at the bottom of his chin. “Not sure what your lot could give us though. How do I know we’re getting a fair shake?”

Tyryk gestured to Polassar. “My aid is quite knowledgeable on those matters, and can certainly find something of us we can provide. We have stores of knowledge and skills in our lands that could prove helpful to your people.”

The strider nodded along, adding onto the end of his statement. “Indeed, me and my kind are incredibly knowledgeable in many matters, we would be more than happy to extend our aid to your settlement.”

Znorik continued to stroke his chin beard, giving it a few moments of thought before speaking. “I s’pose it wouldn’t hurt to at least ‘ear ya out.” His mouth opened to continue, but before he could, a commotion began to emerge from the village.

The gathered group turned towards the new noise, emerging from the village, almost frantic looking, was another snouter. They waved their hands, calling out towards Znorik. “Chieftain! Chieftain! Come Quick! Beasts! Monsters! They’re Coming!”

The chieftain turned towards his son, grabbing his shoulder and pointing an authoritative finger at him. “Sound the bell, we need everyone to get prepared.” He turned away, rushing back towards the village with his son at his side. Another command came from him towards the warriors that had come with him, who quickly began to ready themselves and head westward.

Tyryk turned towards Polassar. “Help the villagers prepare themselves, assist in whatever way you can.” The strider nodded, making sure their cloak was in place as they skittered towards the village. He then turned towards his own retinue, it wasn’t big, only 15 warriors including himself and Konne, but it would do. He waved a hand at them, urging them onward. “Konne! To me!”

It didn’t take any convincing on her part, with a jolt she urged both her and Tyryk’s mounts forward, followed by the other warriors. They stopped for only a second to allow him to mount his bug, before they once more urged them onward. Their mounts allowed them to quickly traverse the village pathways, moving past the snouters who had begun to fortify their houses and gather up whatever could be used as weapons. It didn’t take them long to meet up with Znorik, who had gathered his own warriors in the village center, he looked up from his questioning of the villager that had raised the alarm, a quizzical eyebrow raising at the Beastfolk’s arrival.

“And what do you lot think you’re doing?”

“Coming to your aid.” Tyryk replied, dismounted and taking a few steps towards the chieftain. “We’re warriors, and we’re not going to stand idly by as your village comes under attack.”

While he clearly would’ve liked to refuse the help, the chieftain seemed to be swayed otherwise. “Very well, they’re coming from the west, we need to head over now.”

He nodded, motioning for his retinue to dismount and follow. The combined warriors, now augmented by a gathering array of snouters prepared to fight, made their way towards the western edge of the village. By the time they reached the edge, they could already see what was coming. They were monsters, there was no other way to define them, their skin was a putrid grey and stretched taut over their frames, bone-like claws and ridges erupted from still bleeding wounds, and hideous maws of teeth could be seen as they drew ever closer. Tyryk had no clue what these monsters were, but he knew that they were dangerous, everything about them told him that.

He unshackled the ax at his hip, testing its weight in his hand. It was a new invention, gathered from tales and trade with the great walled city. It was made of something the striders had called metal, copper, he believed. No matter, if it would slice through whatever these creatures were, it would do him good. To his side, Konne had drawn her own copper blade, her wings readied to launch her upward as soon as the beasts arrived. Meanwhile to his right, Znorik had been handed a large hammer by one of the warriors, his focus entirely on the coming horde.

The demons had seen them by now, many of them dropping to all fours to charge faster towards the village. Beastfolk and Snouter prepared for the crash, their weapons at the ready to slay whatever these beasts were. Tyryk uttered a prayer to the Flame and Chaos under his breath, they would need it. The demons were here.

Tales of the Suneater: The First Sparks

There is a village, a small one, only a haphazard collection of stone and straw built upon the banks of the great dividing river, near an immense waterfall that flowed from within the mountains. The people living within were a varied lot, Beastfolk of many shapes and forms who had come and settled within the river valley. Their life was basic, gathering only what they needed from the lands that surrounded them. To many within, their fires were fueled by the lives they lived, and those who weren’t were few.

But within this village, a child was born.

With the fur and head of a hyena, and the teeth and tail of a komodo, the child quickly proved themselves to possess a greater fire than many had expected. He trashed about even when he had barely opened his eyes yet, the sun had not even begun to set and already he had begun to move about with an intense speed. The parents were ecstatic, their child had such life and will, there was no doubt in either of their minds that they would grow up to achieve great things. And so he would be named Tyryk.

It would be only 5 months into his first year that he learnt how to walk, his half scaled and half furred legs taking him anywhere he desired. It wouldn’t take any longer for him to learn how to speak, mimicking the words and phrases spoken around him by those in the village. By the time he began to engage with the other children of the village, it was clear to anyone who saw him that he was cut from a different cloth.

As the years began to pass, Tyryk began to grow a following amongst the village children. Whether it was through some sort of charisma or just the sheer strength that he showed, the other children would follow. Marching behind Tyryk as he walked through the village, acting like his own personal retinue. Whenever they played together, he would always decide the games and the winner, when eating the children would look to him on how to do it, and even when doing their chores they would gather round and show off to Tyryk to gain his praise.

It was clear there was a path for this child, he was to be a ruler, one that would be sung by the very gods themselves in their heavenly realms.

Or at least, that's the story that would be told.


Tyryk stood near the edge of the village, upon a hill that overlooked that great river that helped give them life. It had been some time since his early years, now he stood as an adult, a warrior who had protected his people against the occasional threat. But yet, the fire within him was never satisfied, he knew that his calling was something far greater. He just needed to find it.

He heard footsteps drawing close, turning he saw his old friend, Konne. A half-blood by birth, she had been at Tyryk’s side since their births, being the only person he could openly speak to. She drew closer to his resting spot, her large orange and black spotted wings drawing closer to her body to avoid wacking into him. She was silent for a moment, looking out towards the river with him, though he quickly grew tired of the silence.

“Has something happened?” He asked, not even looking towards her.

“Not even a hello?” She unfurled one of her wings, lightly hitting him on the side. “But yes, the scouts have returned. They’ve found the lair of the goblins that have been giving us trouble.”

A low growl came from Tyryk. The ferals had been raiding their village for some time now, about time they found the lair. “Good, anything else?”

“Yes actually, some of the scouts also noted they saw a group of strange beings near the river.” She pointed towards the north beyond their village, towards the highlands. “They were strange apparently, almost crystal like, they headed off into the cave to the north.”

“Crystal, interesting. Did they note if they were hostile or not?”

“Didn’t get close enough to say. But they didn’t appear to be carrying weapons.”

“Hm, very well. You take the other warriors and go to the lair, clear out the goblins but don’t underestimate them.”

“And where are you going to go?”

Tyryk turned away, beginning to walk back down towards the village, Konne following close behind. “I shall go investigate our newcomers, Flame willing they are not dangerous.”

“Really? By yourself?” Konne quickly moved in front of him, a glaring look on her face. “What if they are dangerous?”

“Then I shall retreat and get you.” He gently pushed her aside, moving towards the stables. “Do not worry kestrel, I shall return by sundown, if not, you are in charge.

Konne wanted to argue, but she knew that he was far too stubborn to back down by now. So she relented, just silently nodding her head. “Fine, but you better return.” She unfurled her wings, lightly pushing herself off the ground and heading towards the other warriors of the village, leaving Tyryk alone.

He entered the stables, drawing near his preferred mount, a fairly large bipedal creature covered in a layer of exoskeleton, with a set of mandibles that moved about lazily as it looked up at his arrival. Konne was right, it was dangerous to go alone, but he had to admit his curiosity was too great, he just had to see what these newcomers were like. But the goblin issue was still important, it was far better if the bulk of their warriors were focused on that.

Regardless, he would need to set off to reach there in time. Saddling up his mount, he leaped upward, straddling it and testing the reins to make sure they were secure. With a soft crack of the reins and a yelp, it trotted forward, and with a quick turn, they headed north. To see just what was going on.


It wasn’t too far to the highlands, the trip itself was made more manageable by the mount, but Tyryk still wanted to reach it and return home quickly, in case the warriors would need help with the goblins. He doubted it, but it still wouldn’t hurt.

Scanning the hills, he quickly found the cave entrance he was looking for, it wasn’t too hidden away, but it took a fair bit of knowing the land to see. Whoever these crystal visitors were at least very perceptive. Drawing closer, Tyryk began to go over a plan in his mind, sneaking around would likely only bring unease to the newcomers, especially if they had previously dealt with the local goblins. So instead, he decided to keep more open, even if it meant risking himself to a surprise attack.

He dismounted from his mount, leaving it near the cave in case he needed to make a quick getaway. From here he could see the markings of something heading deeper into the cave, this was definitely the place. He patted his side, ensuring his bone knife was still at this side, and headed inside.

The cave was dark, luckily his vision aided him in being able to make his way through the caverns. Soon enough though even his vision would not be needed, as a growing array of glowing moss appeared upon the cave walls and ceiling. Tyryk had never been this far into the cave, the elders had always told the children to avoid it, so seeing now what was inside, it was certainly a sight.

Finally, he heard voices, he didn’t immediately recognize it, but he knew he was near. Creeping closer, he found himself at the entrance to a large cavern. Within there was an absolute plethora of the glowing moss, illuminating the area like it was daylight.

But that was less of Tyryk’s focus, instead what drew his attention was the six figures within. They were large and strange creatures, made entirely out of crystal that refracted the glow of the cavern, their features and forms were unlike anything he had seen before. With long forms standing upon countless legs, their orb-like eyes intent on studying the walls. They chattered amongst each other, and as he stepped into the cave Tyryk heard one say, “Gawos sho peaw-lyevenoskonko issest sho vawss en sawvo vwiz?”

They were strange beings, that was for sure, but no matter, they did not seem dangerous. Taking a step forward, Tyryk raised his hands, trying his best to make himself look as unthreatening as possible, a task made difficult by his own form. “Greetings newcomers!” He spoke, letting the cavern walls echo his voice towards the crystalline beings.

Two shot up with surprise, while the others glanced over more as if interrupted. One of the striders shouted, their voice also echoing over the walls, “Shit vwis tawaw lawyeg!” Another strider reached out to lightly hit them over the head. They silenced, and another Strider responded to the beastman, their tone one of questioning, “Vwhaw ilo zawye? Vwo'mo nomol soon sawvothend leko zawye.”

Tyryk sighed, he should’ve figured the actual communication would be difficult. “I,” he pointed at himself,“can not,” he shook his head, “understand you.” he made a mouthing motion with one hand, pointing at the striders with another. The striders stared at him for a moment, then once more began to chatter amongst themselves, ”Vwhit es ho sizend?”. Another responded, ”Entlawgyekend hevsolh, vizpo. Et's nawt sho sivo lindyeido, pyet sho pawgz lindyeido vitkhos.”. One of them mimicked Tyryk, and then, with an almost singsong quality, repeated, down to the hand motions with one of their striking arms, ”I can not understand you.”

They then repeated it once more, and the others crowded around the mimicking strider. As they whispered amongst each other, Tyryk could hear one of them speak, ”Et's sevelil, et chawyelgn't po tawaw hilg taw loiln. Vwo chawyelg demo et yo tlz.”

Then, they broke up their huddle, and the one that originally mimicked the beastman approached slowly, repeating once more, ”I can not understand you.”

Tyryk stood there for a moment, almost baffled at what he had just witnessed. “So you can mimic, interesting.” While he still couldn’t understand these creatures fully, it seemed like they were intelligent enough to deal with. He stepped forward slightly towards the mimicking creature, pointing to himself. “I am Tyryk.” He gestured towards the creature. “You are?”

The strider, the one that mimicked Tyryk, pointed at him with a manipulator arm and responded, “Tyryk.” Its voice was harmonic and lilting, each syllable coming from a different section of their body. It repeated, “Tyryk,” and then, another strider said, to its comrade rather than the beastman, “Ho iskog hawl zawyel nivo!”

The mimicking strider glanced back, and then gestured to itself, “Vz nivo es Polassar. Zawye ilo Tyryk, e iv bloisog taw voit zawye.” It pointed at the striders, in order, “Shoel nivos ilo, Tammuz, Marduk, Anu, Namtar, ing Nabu.”

The beastman nodded, now they were getting somewhere. “You are Polassar.” He gestured to the mimicking strider, confirming the name. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Polassar.” He looked around the cavern, turning towards the entrance then back to the striders. “Do you, need a place to stay? My village is down the hills.” He pointed first towards the striders, tried to mimic the shape of a house, then pointed towards the entrance. Hoping his intentions would be conveyed.

The striders backed into a huddle and spoke to each other once more in their foreign tongue. Together, they glittered brighter and brighter, reflecting each other’s light around the cavern until it was like daylight. Through the glare, the beastman could see them mimicking him once more, surely working out what he had said. Finally, after some deliberation, they emerged once more from the huddle and Polassar vigorously nodded its head, saying, “Zawye voin vwholo zawye lemo, ledht? Vwo vwell daw vwholo zawye lemo.”

Tyryk had to shield his eyes for a moment from the light of the striders. But upon seeing Polassar nodding, he returned the nod. “I will take that as a yes, very well, follow me then.” He gestured as he turned towards the entrance, checking to make sure the striders were following as he exited. They indeed followed, and what seemed bright in the cave was nothing compared to once they hit sunlight. As all six filed out, it was as though a new sun had been born. Even looking away, Tyryk could feel the heat of the reflected light on his back, and the brightness at the edges of his vision. The nearby trees were glowing, purely from the amount of light there was to bounce. Nearby grass smoked, wilting under the intense heat.

He didn’t turn, instead preferring to protect his eyes, though he should’ve figured this would happen. Hopefully they could find some hides when they reached the village to cover them up. Reaching his mount, he could see it immediately turn away with a noise of discontent. He gave it a pat as he mounted it. “Ya i hear ya, they’re quite bright.”

Luckily, he didn’t need to check that the striders were still following as they marched down the hills, the bright sun-like light at the edge of his vision being the only thing he needed. Together the seven of them traversed down the highlands, towards the village that sat near the banks of the river. It was clear to Tyryk that the village had seen them long before they arrived, as a collection of villagers stood near the edge of the buildings, covering their eyes as the striders drew close to avoid the light reflection.

“You appear to have brought us the sun Tyryk!” One of the elders, a full blood iguana, shouted.

“Indeed I have!” He shouted back. “Would you be so kind as to bring our visitors some hides, I fear their crystals are quite detrimental to our vision!”

The elder motioned for some of the children to grab some hides from a nearby building. Grabbing enough for the six striders as they finally reached the village’s edge, with some difficulty they began to drap the hides over the crystal bodies of their new guests. While it did not fully damp out the light that reflected from them, it turned down the heat and actually allowed the villagers to look at them without risking their eyes being reduced to ash.

“So who are these strange beings you have brought Tyryk?” The elder asked, his gaze entirely focused on the striders.

“These are some newcomers, that is Polassar.” He gestured towards the mimicking strider, then followed in line with the names. “Then Tammuz, Marduk, Anu, Namtar, and Nabu. I was hoping you could tend to them while I head after Konne and the warriors. Though they don’t speak our language.”

The elder gave a sigh. “Very well, I will do my best to engage in diplomacy.” He slowly walked towards the striders, giving them a wave. “Greetings! If you will follow me!” He gestured at the Striders, slowly walking down the main village path.

The striders whispered amongst themselves for a moment before Polassar gestured them onwards; they followed the elder, clad in their hides. Some of them had to waddle awkwardly, though none seemed intent on removing the pelts. Several times, the one named Marduk had to herd the rest of the striders back to the path, as they attempted to stray off to examine this or that. They seemed utterly fascinated by the village, and often spoke quickly to each other as they pointed things out with their manipulator arms.

The elder took a pause whenever Marduk had to herd the striders, giving a soft chuckle as they all headed towards the center of the village. Tyryk could already hear the Elder doing his best to communicate with the striders, he was glad that he didn’t have to deal with that situation, the Elder was far more suited for that.

Still upon his mount, he turned and pointed towards one of the remaining villagers who hadn’t gone after the striders. “Where did the warriors head off to? I shall be joining them shortly.”

The villager looked up with a slight shock. “Oh um, they headed west, towards the forests.”

“Got it.” He tugged on the reins, directing his mount westward.


With only a quick stop to gather his gear, Tyryk rushed towards the west, following along with the tracks that the warriors had left. It didn’t take him long to finally reach where they had left their own mounts, the bipedal bug creatures standing about uncaring. Quickly dropping his mount off, he dismounted and began to look around, hoping he could gain a sense of where they had gone off to. Luckily, the distant noises of fighting filtered through the leaves of the trees. Allowing him to rush towards where it was coming from.

Amongst the trees was an encampment, it was basic and barely standing upon itself, but it was a clear marking. Within there was intense fighting, with the feral goblins facing off against the beastfolk warriors, it was a losing fight for the goblins, but Tyryk never underestimated the ferals.

Charging in, quickly climbing over the basic camp wall, he entered the melee. Catching one of the feral off guard, he cleaved into it with his ax, tearing the creature in two as he drove forward. Spotting Konne deep within the melee, slicing several goblins with her bone blades, he rushed towards her. Reaching out a claw hand to slice the face of a goblin that jumped out at him, catching them and sending them spiraling down.

With another ax blow, he reached Konne, who sliced another goblin as it tried to stab Tyryk’s legs. “Glad to see you’ve decided to join us!” She shouted at him.

“Our newcomers were friendly!” He shouted back, cleaving a goblin in twain and tossing the body towards several of its former compatriots. “I figured I’d lend a hand!”

“We welcome it!” Konne quickly returned to the fighting, driving back several more ferals.

Tyryk figured the catching up could come later, he raised his ax, letting out a loud roar towards the warriors. “Come on then! To Victory!” A roar from the warriors joined him, the beastfolk feeling invigorating seeing their leader join them. They surged forward, their weapons crashing down upon the ferals, who lacking their traps and tricks, were nothing compared to the superior beastfolk. They fled deeper into the encampment, but there was nowhere else to go. They turned, forming a circle with their remaining forces, with the beastfolk surrounding them quickly.

Konne stood at Tyryk’s side, the two of them looking at the ferals, who looked between the various warriors, they knew there was no escape. “Shall we cut them down?” She asked.

There was a pause, he didn’t respond, instead he was thinking. Something felt strange within him, something deep. Somehow he knew that if he ordered the ferals slain it would vanish, and as he looked around, it only seemed to grow. In truth, the encampment was well stocked, he could see various weapons and goods around the area, and if rebuilt, the walls could serve as a formidable forward base. Then, there were the ferals, seeing them now, they were far less formidable than he had thought. They cowered in fear of the larger and stronger beastfolk. Perhaps, there was another option.

“No, find anything you can use to bind them, we will return to the village with them.”

Konne turned towards him, a look of shock on her face. “What do you mean? They’re ferals, shouldn’t we end their wretched life?”

“No,” He turned towards her, a new fire within his eyes, “I have found my calling Konne.” He gestured towards the goblins and the encampment. “This shall be our first conquest.”

“Conquest? You, that is your fire?” Konne looked towards the goblins, who merely stood paralyzed by fear.

“Yes, Conquest, this will be the first, the ferals, lacking as they are, will serve us well. From there, we shall spread beyond this land, and become something far greater.” He raised his ax towards the heavens, towards the sun above. “And I! Will conquer all under the sun! Let it be known!” He now shouted towards the heavens themselves, towards the Sun that bathed the lands. “That I shall be the greatest! I shall be! The Suneater!”

And as the warriors cheered, and the goblins were bound. A promise had been made, a warlord was born.

The Suneater.


Slimes and Spires

Yumash found themselves roaming once more after their interaction with the goddess of fire. The sands of the desert having given way to the marshes and banks of a great river. Yumash didn’t entirely recall seeing this before, but they didn’t mind. The world was always changing as it should be, but there still needed to be more.

Just then, they felt a shift. They knew what had happened, their great vein had shifted and passed over the area, as it was want to do. The lands around them shifted and changed, the grass became a vibrant blue, and the river itself seemed to transform into a jelly-like substance. The change was not long, only lasting a few minutes before returning to its original state. But it delighted Yumash all the same.

But it wasn’t enough Chaos.

Sure, the vein was great, but really, how much Chaos could just one thing really cause? No, they needed more. Perhaps it was time for them to make some more permanent marks?

They turned away from the river, walking just a bit away to give them enough space to build whatever they were going to build. It needed to be able to move that was for sure, and it couldn’t be too big of a design so that it could fit anywhere it needed to go. Ah! They knew what needed to be made.

Raising their hands, Yumash summoned forth the energy of chaos. Unleashing bursts of their ever shifting and multicolored form that lashed out all around the area. Soon, four grand towers began to emerge, clipping through the floor of the world and rising upwards towards the sky. They quickly reached their full height, grand prismatic spires that spiraled upwards towards the sky, their bricks ever shifting their colours. But they weren’t done just yet, they took four of the coloured orbs from within their form, flicking them towards each of the towers. Allowing them to clip into the towers and fuse with their essence, providing more power.

But they knew this wouldn’t be enough, they couldn’t just leave these towers to their devices. They needed something to aid in the chaos. Their mind raced through ideas, wondering just what to create, then they remembered the strange jelly the river had become.

Returning to the river, they grabbed a bit of the water, bringing it back towards the towers. They began to transform it into a strange, jelly-slime like substance, which they then grew in size, allowing them more to create with. The slime created, they began to shape sections of it into strange amorphous forms, they had no coherency, only vaguely looking like a humanoid figure. Then, once they were done and had more than enough of them readied, they took out more orbs, breaking them into smaller parts and placing the pieces into each creature, giving them life.

The slimes reacted immediately, the colours of their forms shifting and changing into various different shades and hues almost immediately. With a new semblance of thought, they began to look around, their focus eventually landing upon the godly form of Yumash, which they quickly drew towards, all eager to serve such a glorious Chaotic being.

“Hello Little Creatures!” The god spoke, gently squatting down to get closer to their new creations. “You Shall Be My Servitors! Gloriously Serving Chaos!” At that, the slimes let out various noises of joy, outstretching their tendrils in reverence.

“Good To See You All Excited! Now Then, What to Call You…How About Gloinks?” Another cry of joy confirmed their name, Gloinks. “Perfect! Now My Little Gloinks, Let's Get To Work!”

Yumash led the slimy creatures towards the towers, and began to get to work. Teaching the Gloinks on how to tend to and help protect the four towers. Showing them how to ensure that the stones did not crumble with basic tools and work, how to tend to the chaotic and prismatic flames that kept the towers functioning. And how to ensure that any who dared enter within with malicious intent would become lost and confused in the ever shifting and changing interiors.

Content with the teachings, and knowing the Gloinks would get the hang of it soon enough, they divided the large group into four small sections, ensuring there were 50 Gloinks to each of the towers. Ensuring they had a good starting population to expand if need be. Finishing up, they headed to the top of one of the towers, deciding to take a rest after all the work they had just done. Laying back on a chair of their own creation, they waved their hands one last time, forming a prismatic and ever shifting juicebox in their hands. Taking a sip, before the fours towers shifted and teleported across the world. Ready to spread Chaos where it was needed.




Following the howling winds of a massive sandstorm, Anat’aa bounded on the great empty plains alone. Far behind her the rumble of the glass spiral had faded into silence, day had become night and night had become day again. Or had it gone the other way, or several times? She couldn’t remember or even rightly tell, the only thing that had held her attention recently was the storm. Its constant motion, the currents and eddies of sand capturing her fiery eyes. Constantly darting in and out of the storm, the sparking fox laughed as she let her joy spill out into the storm with great jets of flame. Unfortunately this did not mean she was paying attention to where the storm was taking her. Or, more specifically, into whom.

It was a surprise for the God of Chaos that anyone else was around in the chaotic storm of sand. They had been wandering for quite some time now, easily getting lost amongst the scattered lands, their attention being drawn in every single direction that it could be pulled. That was until a sparking fox slammed into their side, sending them sprawling into the dust and sand. They laid there for a moment, taking in the sky that was still covered over them. Before they finally took note of the fox that was still reeling from the crash into their chaotic form.

“Hello There! Quite The Way To Introduce Yourself!” Yumash didn’t try to move up, instead still laying there.

Physical force was a new experience for Anat’aa, at least in the way that its resistance did not end with the breaking of the world’s skin. She pondered this as she fell end over end, coming to rest on the ground next to the mosaic form of the Chaos god with no small thud. With a rush the form of the fox dissolved, becoming a mass of fire that shot upwards into the standing humanoid form of the Fire Goddess. Turning, her burning hair swirling around her, Anat’aa bent down to look upon Yumash with her characteristic smile.

“A wonderful hello to you as well!” Her voice singing out like a bonfire “I am sorry for that! Got carried away in all this new wind and sand. Do you need any help up? My name is Anat’aa by the way, as I suppose I owe you a better introduction!”

With the last statement her smile broadened as she continued to look at the laying form of the Chaos God.

“Oh It's No Worry!” A sudden swarm of chaos erupted from the god, before it rapidly collected once more, becoming Yumash but just, standing now. “I Was Also Quite Caught Up In That Storm! I’m Yumash By The Way! God of Chaos!” The chaotic being held out their hand towards Anat’aa, a mimic of a smile forming on their watercolor-like head.

Straightening herself, Anat’aa reached her own hand out to accept Yumash’s offered one. Shaking it vigorously, her ember eyes watch the watercolor expressions of the Chaos God before as she continued speaking “A distinct pleasure to meet you Yumash God of Chaos! You have my name, but I am the Goddess of Fire.”

Releasing their hand, Anat’aa stepped around the form of Yumash, half looking at them and half returning her awareness to the surrounding world. “Now what brings you out into this wide open nothing? Into this wonderful teeming space of possibilities my wonderful Chaos?” Her question seems directed both at Yumash and the storm, perhaps neither, perhaps just Yumash.

Yumash gave a hearty laugh, letting their chaotic form shift and change, seemingly eager to show off in front of the fire goddess. “Well I Suppose There’s A Great Many Things. I’m Always Looking For The Next Bout Of Chaos I Can Cause!” They let their gaze shift around as well, towards the storm that continued to roar around them. “OH! Also Pie. I Keep Looking For Pie!”

They gave a chuckle at the storm, trying to grab some of the dust and sand that rocketed around. “And What Brings You Here Oh Shining Flame?” While asking the goddess of flame the question, they were clearly focused on trying to catch the rocks that just shot through their formless form.

For the first time in her existence, a sigh escapes from Anat’aa. Watching the rocks fall through Yumash, she quietly thought to herself. As the sand returned to the ground she collected some of it in her own hand and watched as it shifted in her hand. “That is a good question, a very good question. Maybe change something, i'm good at that!” as if to emphasize her point the dust in her hand begins to glow as it is heated by her very being “But there is so little to change here, so little to burn!”

Throwing the handful of glowing sand to emphasize her point, she watched as it glittered against the storm. Grinning again at this sight she lets her head loll back towards Yumash, admiring their ever shifting form with intense curiosity. “But I suppose that is the beauty of this place, to change the unchanged and to find that pie you mentioned! Honestly, I would love some pie…” Her voice trailed off as her attention once more drifted away, this time to thoughts of baked treats.

“Indeed!” Yumash gave another chuckle at the goddess’ musings. “Changing The Unchanged, Forging A World With Such A Blank Canvas!” They gestured to their surroundings, yelling ever so slightly louder as they proclaimed their words. “Writing The Path That Does Not Exist!” Yumash began to laugh, a cackle that echoed throughout the storm. They laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Their body flaring up with chaotic energy as it continued.

Suddenly, they stopped. Their body returning to a more manageable state, their gaze once more darting about. “I Could Go For Some Pie.” They let out a sigh. “If Only There Were Some Mortals Around. They Make The Best Pies.”

“Mortals…” Anat’aa repeated to herself, “Now that is a thought sweet Yumash. That is a thought. We would need something to start though.” Looking back around at the raging storm, her hand shot out into the howling sand and wind. As she pulled it back she was holding one of the glowing sand grains she had cast off. Its glow brightened as she held it once more.

Turning her gaze back to Yumash, she smiled with almost unrestrained glee “What form would they take though?”

“Hmmm, That Is A Good Question.” They spun around, trying to find any sort of inspiration within the endless storm. But there was nary but rock and sand. “Perhaps…They Have No Singular Form? Oh!” Yumash’s font of chaos for a head erupted suddenly, an idea forming in their mind. “What If They Don’t Have A Singular Form! We Give Them A Variety Of Forms! Oh! And! We Make Them All Animal Like! So No Two Will Be Alike!” The chaos god looked towards Anat’aa, trying to see her opinion on the idea.

Thinking of what Yumash had just proposed, Anat’aa broke into a peel of laughter as she rolled the glowing grain of sand in har hand. “I think that is a wonderful idea! Make them unique, even amongst themselves!”

Grabbing more sand from the storm, Anat’aa added it to her hand “Oh they will be wonderful! We can give them such a fire within them, as unique as them! Like any fire it will spread and grow, but theirs we give them resides in their soul. Each a unique flame that needs its own fuel to grow!”

Letting the sand grow to near melting point, Anat’aa began to whisper something else into it, more than simple heat, the touch of the divine energy that constituted her very being. Now waiting her turn for Yumash’s response, she smiled at the ever changing god as she toyed with the particulates.

“Perfection!” The god of chaos let out a joyful cackle as they clapped their hands together. The chaotic energy surging forward briefly in joy and excitement. “A Vibrant Soul And A Vibrant Form! A Truly Perfect Combination!” They leaned in towards Anat’aa, taking care to not disrupt the particulates in her hand. “I Believe We Have A Fine Idea On Our Hands Here! Shall We Begin?”

With a wry smile Anat’aa held out her hand that contained the shining and glowing particles that once were once sand caught in the storm. Touched by her divine essence they were oh so close to a new modality. They swirled on her palm and flitted about her fingers, as if looking for another “Only if you know how to dance oh good Yumash.”

Yumash placed a hand on their chest, feigning a scoff of insult. “My Dear Flame Of Course I Know How To Dance.” They took her hand, letting theirs cover the swirling particles resting within. Letting the divinity of chaos begin to wash over them. “I’d Think Of No Better Way To Bring These Beings To Life.”

Fully taking her hand, Yumash spun Anat’aa closer towards them, making sure to never let go of the particles. Now fully facing each other, they took her other hand, placing it on their waist before placing their hand on her shoulder. With a slow start, they began to lead Anat’aa in a mimicry of a waltz. One that didn’t bother to keep a pace or conform to its steps. Instead, much like the two who danced it, it was a chaotic and vibrant dance. Letting them both pour their own energies into it.

As they began to speed up, both of them becoming more comfortable in the divine dance, the storm around them too began to change. At first the sand around them began to heat up much like the particles in their hands. The fiery glow of the storm continued to grow in strength, before suddenly, it changed. Instead of sand, now the storm was a whirlwind of leaves that too quickly began to catch fire and burn with intensity. Once more it would change, beginning a chaotic cycle, where the storm would begin to heat up, before changing what it was.

By now the two gods had become a whirlwind, much like the storm itself. Their divine energy had continued to flow into the particles, changing and shifting them into the perfect beginnings of their creations. But the dance was not quite finished, chaos and fire continued to sway and weave together, both of them swapping the lead to each other with each step. The storm roared around them, now being made of strawberries that burned with an intense flame. With another grandiose laugh, Yumash moved Anat’aa into a dip, keeping her stable with one hand while they both let go of the particles with the other.

The glowing beads of divine energy shot forth from their hands. Quickly being taken up by the chaotic maelstrom, their forms rapidly taking shape as the beginnings of a mortal species. As they did, the storm took them from beyond its confines, sending them out throughout the wider world with a divine boost of energy. As they left the storm towards the lands they would settle within, the storm began to settle, the intense heat began to die off and slowly it returned to its original form of sand and rock.

Yumash brought Anat’aa back from the dip, another watercolor smile forming upon the font of chaos that was their head. “Now That Was A Dance! What A Wonderful Bout Of Creation! You’re Quite The Dance Partner, Very Vibrant As Well.”

“Oh give yourself some credit! You're not so bad a dance partner yourself.” Anat’aa laughed, her eyes looking past the surging chaos god’s head at the final winds of the storm. As part of her mind followed the last of the heat dissipate away, she returned her gaze back to Yumash. Returning their watercolor smile with one of her own which remained for a long moment. However Anat’aa soon showed she was not yet done.

Bringing her hand up, she looked down on one last remaining bead of divine energy that she had trapped before its departure. In a whisper she spoke to it “Oh little one, fear not your sibling the flame. See that it will not harm you as others are harmed. This is my gift to you and all those you will become. For like the fire that dances in your souls, you are yet mine.”

With that Anat’aa released the final spark with a rush of flame behind it, letting the divine fire split it into small fragments. Throwing each of its pieces along the wind with its kin, the fragments wove along the other beads of energy, bringing the gift of Anat’aa to the others. A simple gift of protection.

Looking back at Yumash, Anat’aa couldn't stop herself from grinning as she pulled herself into a bow. “Now I feel, dear Chaos, it is my turn to thank you for. How did you put it? Such a wonderful bout of creation.”

They returned the bow with a jovial laugh. “It Was My Pleasure To Assist Such A Sparkling Flame Such As Yourself. I Have No Doubt Our Dear Creations Here Will Be Quite The Wonder.” They returned up from their bow, looking off into the distance of the storm with a content sigh. Before returning their gaze towards Anat’aa. “Alas It Appears Our Storm Is Coming To An End. About Time For Me To Keep Moving, Chaos Never Stops After All.”

Anat’aa offers a short laugh “Indeed, I would not expect it to. Fire must move on as well after a time. Especially now that pie may yet grace the surface of Galbar somewhere.” She ended her statement with a broad grin as her form distorts the contorts back into that of the fox. Giving Yumash a vulpine smile “Until next time good Yumash, God of Chaos.”

“Until Next Time Dear Anat’aa, Goddess of Flame.” Yumash gave the goddess a final wave. Before the chaotic energy that composed them began to vibrate and jitter once more. Soon sending the god shooting off into the distance in a burst of energy. Off to cause more chaos wherever it was needed. Leaving Anat’aa to her own adventures, to spread her flames as well.

Chaos. Energy. Countless colours jittering and writhing amongst themselves. Dots of prismatic wrath clipped through one another as they bolted back and forth throughout the maddening plane. The turmoil rolled over itself again and again without any seeming end.

Suddenly, a call sounded through the chaos, reverberating through the thick soup of colour. Its noise sending the dots into a frenzy as they vibrated with a growing intensity. They darted around, beginning to smash into one another, consuming their forms in furious explosions. From them shot prismatic shards that collided with each other, causing more and more explosions. The energy began to collect, driving together by the explosions, twisting itself into something that could be more akin to a shape.

One final explosion erupted amongst the primordial colours, sending a cascade of shifting change throughout the energy. In its wake the energy had ever so slightly calmed, it still jittered and clipped amongst itself, but now it was in a more identifiable shape, with limbs and shapes more like a standing creature. With its shape now formed, the Chaos had begun to think as well. It still felt that call that had caused it to emerge, it knew what it needed to do.

It raised one of its hands, pressing it up against the void that sat all around it. It knew it just needed to jitter at just that right point and-

Success! Its hand popped through the void, now just to get the rest of itself through. Its jittering let it continue to clip beyond the void, slowly pushing the rest of its arm past, giving it an in to pop past the barrier and enter into where it was being summoned. And it was, yet another void, wonderful.

It looked around in all directions, trying to find the source of what had called it. Soon enough it did, a scroll that sat silently within the endless void, the scent of other divine beings clearly upon it. With a hop, skip, and jump the Chaos drew closer to the scroll. What did such a tiny piece of paper want with it? It had summoned it forth but, why?

As it stood there contemplating, the Chaos’ attention was drawn elsewhere, towards a shining web that cascaded throughout the endless void. It was certainly a far more beautiful sight than the void. It couldn’t help but stare at the web, trying to find where its veins began and where they stopped.

So lost in thought was it, that it barely noticed its energy begin to drip from its form. Suddenly, it felt a section detach, dropping down upon the scroll that sat right next to it. Staining its pages with a glob of prismatic ink that quickly seeped in. Chaos did not know how to react, and so it merely stepped a few steps away from the scroll. Looking up, it noticed a change amongst the great web, one vein now stood out amongst the rest. Its strain was now an endless shifting array of colours, constantly clipping around the endless void in sudden changes of its path. Frankly it thought it looked much nicer like that.

It looked around once more, well, it had figured out what had called it. So it figured it was done here. It walked away, traveling deeper into the void, it was really hoping there was pie around here. It could really go for some pie.

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