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"Well as far as brains go, I've got the lion's share. But when it comes to brute strength, I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool." - Who?
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The Birth of Anu




After having taken yet another swim in Taipang, its banks now much, much more beautiful than the last time he swam its length, the snake felt satisfied. The visit from Laurien had been quite something other than what he had been used to, but at the very least, it had taught him that those kinds of mortals existed as well. The snake slithered onto the western bank of his new river and took in the sights of the storms choking out the forest fires in the distance. A smirk formed across his face - the enemy was in full retreat now, and soon they would be trapped by Taipang and be slaughtered like the scum they were. A series of thunderous tremors brought his gaze northwards, however, and his eyes fell upon a massive shadow squatting by the Cauldron, poking its enormous limbs into the bowl-like crater. The snake sneered momentarily - maybe he had yet to be seen. He could just hop back into the river and pretend like-- No, no! Tradition dictated he at least greet his brother, even if it was…

Shengshi slithered a bit closer and bowed. “Narzhak, dear brother! It has been far too long!”

The gigantic head atop the crouching mountain slowly ground to face him, its eyes’ burning gaze sweeping the ground before converging on a single spot. “Shengshi! You’re right, it’s been a while,” the Iron God’s thunderous voice rumbled jovially, “Couldn’t keep from coming back here, either? There’s something in the water you don’t find anywhere else. It’s the best thing to wash away salt.” The lower half of Narzhak’s mask was conspicuously damp and dripping with watery liquid.

“Yes, the cauldron waters were always a little odd, weren’t they. I suppose that is what happens when we create a kilometre wide, lidless distillery - though I suspect most of the alcohol must have boiled away by now…” He hopped onto the edge of the crater and sat down. “How have you been, brother?”

“Busy.” One of the iron hands remained submerged in the steaming waters, sending waves crashing against the metallic banks with its invisible grasping and fiddling. “Keeping apace with what everyone’s doing is more work than filling up the whole world by yourself. It wouldn’t even be that hard if we all had one rule we could hold over each other, but there’s no such luck. You can’t even do your work without someone threatening to cut it short because it might fail.“ He scoffed with a sound like a sudden lash of wind. “It’s not all bad, though. Most of the time there’s agreements to be negotiated. About that, did you see a big herd of boars pass by here lately?”

“Indeed… I do wish we had some ground rules for how to act - like not burning my beautiful woods, for one, the damn flame demon…” Shengshi stared daggers eastwards. “As for boars, I see several all the time, though I do not recall seeing any particularly large herd, I am afraid.”

”They’re taking their good time,” he growled, briefly glancing in the same direction, ”Woods can be replanted, but you know what’s the worst? He’s ridiculously sloppy about it. Wasting precious time on trees, and I’ll swear he knows he won’t be left much of it. He can’t be that stupid.” He seemed to have found something in the Cauldron, his arm stiffening for a moment before resuming its fumbling. ”Tell me you’ve been doing something about it.”

“I did flush a large dragon from the Giant’s Bath to the southern seas, creating Taipang in the process,” the snake said with a shrug. “As for the fire giants, I hope Chuanwang has actually managed to hold them off and not, as one would say, just croaked.”

”That’s something.” The head ground downwards in a creaking nod.

“It looked quite spectacular, I must say. Sadly, though, I did not find its corpse at the delta. I did find Ashalla there, though, and Taipang is now much greener and livelier than when I arrived there.” He smiled. “So, tell me more about these boars of yours - why boars of all creatures?”

”They started as something functional, as the better things do,” Narzhak’s free hand gestured widely to the southwest, ”Remember when there wasn’t much more than grass and worms over there? I needed some hills dug up to make it all less dull, and you’ll have seen they’re good at rooting up things. No accident, that.” He reflexively scratched the back of his head. ”They’ve stuck with me since then, couldn’t tell you why. Maybe it’s the strength, or the fury - I still remember how my first tossed around that flying white crumb! I’ll bet she thought he was friendly, and hah! Knocked that trust right out of her, he did. I wonder where she’s ended up since.”

“White crumb?” the snake inquired. “Narzhak, did you pig hurt my dear Anxin, by chance?”

”Your who? Never heard of that one.” Half of the god’s eyes dimmed unevenly with a perplexed look. ”Unless she had a thing for poking and some kind of cloud bug following her around, it probably wasn’t her. Gave a different name, too - Har, Hersomething. I never did get what she was.”

“Hersomething? Do you by chance mean Hermes?” The snake tapped his chin thoughtfully. “... Now that you mention it, she did use to be quite pale, indeed.” He pursed his lips. “Anyway, brother, I have been meaning to ask: Did you ever manage to recreate that liquour we made together after we made the Cauldron? I did feel quite terrible leaving you without a gift of wine, after all.”

”Not much luck with that.” Narzhak shook his head. ”I have the machinery and hands to work it, but nothing that’s coming out of it is nearly as strong as what we had then, no matter what I put in there. My slaves drink it up regardless, but that’s no measure of anything. I think it’s missing that mould you added to it. I’ve been trying to find some in here, but it looks like it’s been gone for a while now.”

“The yeast, you mean? Have you been distilling non-alcoholic drinks all this time?” the snake said with a sly smirk. “I can understand the lack of potency, in that case.” He slithered up the side of the Cauldron again and rubbed his chin. “Tell you what, how about we use this pit for its original purpose again, and I'll show you just how to do it properly?”

”Well, that explains it,” the giant grumbled to himself, ”That’d be useful for sure. It still feels hot enough, though if you need more-” something under the surface churned, and steam began to rise in far thicker clouds than before, ”-we’ve got it anyway.”

“It ought to be hot enough for the alcohol to evaporate, at the very least. The water from the Bath should be a good indicator - secondly, we will need a surface above the hole to catch the alcoholic vapours and concentrate them in some container - preferably a large pot of some kind. If I provide the surface, can you make us a pot?” The snake snapped his fingers and, sure enough, Jiangzhou soon stood waiting at the northern edge of the crater.

”If I can? Hrah! Remember who dug this thing to begin with!” In a smooth motion, Narzhak dug the tips of his fingers into the soil, and sheets of fluid iron spilled up between them like inverted waterfalls. With deft movements, almost imperceptible for him, but vast enough to shake the ground, he directed the flow into smoothly curving lines, tapping it into firm metallic weave. Before long, a monumental iron pot crushed the surviving grass before him. ”Like this?”

“Quite,” the snake said flatly. He snapped his fingers again and the servants lobbed several silk sheets overboard. The snake gathered them up and rolled them into a ball. As he churned and spun the silk around, it began to fuse into a single blanket, and when the snake eventually unrolled the ball again, he held a colossal square sheet of silk, which he draped over as much of the cauldron hole as he could. To compensate for the insufficient size, he fastened each of the four corners to a rod of hollow bamboo, but left one of the corners hanging lower than the rest - there, the alcoholic dew would turn into droplets that would travel through the rod and fill the metal pot at the end.

“Now for some wine…” he said and went back over to the ship. Servants threw him what pots and barrels they could spare and the snake stacked them by the pit.

“Now, you see, dear brother,” the snake began. “To make wine, you first need a sugary liquid or mash - preferably fruit juice or ground, wet grain. Then you add a bit of yeast to it and wait for it to properly ferment and produce that wonderful stuff known as alcohol.” The snake grinned. “It is as simple as that, really. Keep infections out with a sealed container and your wine is good to go. Naturally, it takes a bit too long create it here and now, so we will just use some finished products for the distillery process, is that fine?”

”It’ll do for an example.” Narzhak followed the preparations with an unblinking gaze, periodically lowering his head for a closer look. ”I’ll have to see what else that works with. Fruits or grain aren’t easy to come by down there.” He pointed a finger towards the ground. ”And this part is the one that gives the pure stuff, yes?”

“Yes, that is correct. As the water below heats, the alcohol will boil first, rising to the top as an inebriating steam - this cold sheet will collect it and collect it in your pot. Normally, filling such a pot would take…” He mumbled a few calculations. “... A while. Luckily, both the sheet and our boiler are quite large, so production may just go smoothly.” He put his hands on his hips. “As for the grain, well, I could plant some for you on the Steppes, if you would like. It is about time something grew there for once, no?”

”That’s a thought!” The giant snapped his fingers together in approval. ”They’re going to need something like that if I’m ever to make anything useful out of them. The only thing you’d have to think of is how it’s not going to be eaten or trampled straight away, but I can deal with that.” His eyes turned back to the distillery contraption. ”As for that taking time, I’m sure there’s some way to cut down on it. Might come at the expense of taste, but who’s going to notice?”

“A connoisseur, perhaps, but something tells me we are not exactly planning on producing the finest quality here,” the snake said flatly with a frowning smirk. “Well, ready when you are.”

”I don’t have many of those, but I do have many,” Narzhak rumbled, ”Go ahead.”

The snake nodded and began to pour wine into the depths. There was a cringing sizzling sound far, far below, and soon the smells of burnt sugar began to drift upwards and fill the crater. Condense gathered on the silk sheet and began to drip down into the iron pot, drop by drop at first, but soon as one constant stream. The snake smiled and put his hands on his hips.

“And now we wait,” he said happily. “How about some good wine in the meanwhile?”

A pleased thundering from above was his answer. ”Bring it out!”




Heliopolis was noticeably lower in the sky by the time the last batch out of a more than fair number was drained, its containers going to join the already sizable heap that had gathered near the shore. The fumes rising to cloak the scene were now quite a bit sweeter, and not all of them came from the basin.

”...let me guess this one,” a thick, resounding voice came from where barrel after barrel had vanished without trace, ”It’s that yellow thing that grows on trees. How do you call it again? An a- no, that’s not it...”

“A p-wear?” the snake said and hiccuped. “Tha’sh what you meant, right?” He flipped his cup over his mouth, but found it empty. “More!” he shouted, and a servant diligently came over and poured him some more wine. “... Or did’sh you mean an ay-pple?”

”That. Or- the other. Haven’t tasted either before. But I’m guessing they’re something like this.” An enormous hand was waved in what was presumably supposed to be an expressive manner, but appeared rather absent instead. ”Tasted… You know what we haven’t tasted? The blood we’ve spilled! I was sure it’s great, but Ashalla didn’t agree, and now I wonder…” Fiery gleams ran about soil, cauldron and barrels, trying to find a focus. ”We’ve got to try it.”

“Wai-wuh? What blood? Did we spill blood?” The snake squinted and began to mumble, “Is this a dagger I see…” as he reached out in the air for a moment. “Wai-, did’sh you mean the wine?”

”The wine?” An iron finger reached out to tap the cauldron’s side. ”Sure, why not the wine? If it really is good, it’ll be clear there.”

The snake shrugged and peered into the pot. It was almost full by now, the pungent liquid creeping up towards the edge at a steadily declining pace due to the diminishing alcoholic vapours. He scooped his cup into the wine and eyed it as its clear colour was contrasted by the nigh oppressive stink.

“Well… Cheers?”

”Rhah!” The finger’s tip lengthened, a relatively minuscule spike ending in a gavel extruding from it and dipping into the fluid. It vanished in the heights, and was soon echoed by an exclamation. ”I’ve got it! What if we make wine that’s also blood? Wine of blood!”

The snake squinted. “Shorry, I must’a gotten some clay in muh ears… Did you just suggest -urp!- a wine of blood?” He stood gaping for a moment.

”Right that!” The makeshift spoon reappeared to tap on the cauldron’s lip. ”Like you do it with fruits and that, but this time it’s real strength! Life, blood. Lifeblood.”

The snake retched. “I c-can… -urp!- think of many, many, many thingsh wrong with that…” he managed through the gulps. “Oh, Architect, I am goin’a be shick…”

”Even better! You need to drink health back in. Even if it’s your own health, and it was in you, and you let it out so you could...” Narzhak seemed to become tangled in his words and quickly shifted the topic. ”It’ll be fine. I’ve eaten a soul, and that was bad, but this’s all alive! Or are you weak? Come on, we’re gods! We can do what we want!”

“W-weak?” the snake deflated a little, but then straightened his back momentarily to answer the challenge. “Shengshyh is -ANYTHING- but weak!” he boomed through slurred mumbles. He held his hand over the pot and cut it open with a claw on the opposite hand, flinching as he watched his sacred ichour drip into the clear liquid. “You’sh are up-puh!” he muttered incoherently.

”That’s the spirit!” the Iron God boomed from overhead. ”This is how we do it!” He held his finger over the container, and its metallic plates parted to allow a thick black rivulet to drip into the brew. ”Now-” the spoon dipped down again, stirred the contents of the pot and ascended with a new load, ”let’s try it together! On my mark, one, two, three-”

Shengshi scooped up a fresh cupfull and downed it in unison with Narzhak. As he made fruitless attempts to swallow, he gagged and spat it out onto the ground, along with what remained of his lunch and breakfast that day. He eventually rolled onto his back and wiped his mouth clean. “Ugh… No more…” he managed through the gulps.

Judging by the disappointed, not to say disgusted grumblings up in the sky, the reaction there was not very different. ”Blagh! Beats me if she was right after all!” The grumbling seemed to persist in spite of the words, now having moved downwards through the god’s immense frame. ”Or maybe we spilled it the wrong way. We’d need a real battle, but lugging that around the field doesn’t-” Two fingertips cautiously pinched the now-defiled cauldron. ”Now the void do we do with this? It’s not good for any but breaking sieges, and I haven’t got any of that on my hands now.”

“Tossh it in de pit… Jush get rid of iiiiiit…” the snake groaned. He propped himself up on his elbows and sneered at the large, brown droplets that had spilled out of the pot on its way to to Narzhak. “Ugh, that ish another month for me without wine…”

”Might as well,” the jagged iron head shook condemningly, ”Maybe it’ll keep the waters strong for a while more. In!” He overturned the pot into the bubbling waters, watching as the murky fluid seeped downwards. ”No use wasting a good pot, though.”

“Preach,” the snake said and stuck a thumb in the air.

As if on cue a terrible rumble from deep in the belly of Galbar wracked the ground beneath their feet. The groaning of shifting sediment and stone gave way to the sound of raging water as if the wrath of Ashalla herself had come to bare upon the foundations of the continent. Rushing like a crashing wave, a great column of the divine tonic escaped from the drainage pit, the sound reverberating over the region as efficiently as a thunder clap.

In that very moment divine ichor and alcohol coalesced with the organic and inorganic, the godly mandate within the respective blood-types taking shape. Bones, muscles and tissue, sprung forth from the massive geyser, knitting itself around the liquid until the entirety of the phenomenon completely disappeared within its new container, a body.

From the air the tiny thing plummeted.

”Look at that,” three of Narzhak’s eyes astonishedly followed its flight, while the fourth remained incongruously fixed on the waters. His voice, while struggling to retain its boast, betrayed his surprise. ”What did I say? This is strength!”

The snake wore a horrified, yet curious expression. “By the Architect,” he whispered and propped himself up as best he managed. “Am I seeing things? Has wine finally dulled my senses to the point of non-function?” His groggy gaze traced the growing speck as it fell towards the earth, and a slight impulse told him it could perhaps be wise to catch it. The snake thus slithered forward, much like an actual snake for once, and held his arms out in the area where his inebriated mind presumed the creature would land.

In a blink of an eye the tiny thing was upon him, tumbling into his outstretched forearms instead of hands and nearly falling through them. The snake’s dulled reaction were still able enough to squeeze his arms together in time, but he quickly fumbled them anyway and dropped the creature onto the ground below, albeit at a much ‘safer’ speed.

A moment passed and the thing remained utterly still, bright yellow pupils pointed directly at him, emotions unreadable.

Then lips curled back, revealing pink gums and slowly protruding canines, and made way for a piercing scream that tore through the air like a great shard of glass, one such scream that it pierced the brain and ignited some primeval pathway.

The snake immediately recoiled and covered his ears as he dunked his head against the ground. “GAH! NARZHAK, MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!”

A loud metallic grating joined the bestial screech from above as the Iron God grasped the side of his head with one hand, eyes narrowing to fiery rivers. ”Ngghhr, why’d it have to happen now?” he growled, before glancing at the bellowing creature. ”You down there,” his voice became a snarl of command, ”SHUT IT!” The force of the injunction was such that clouds of loose soil were lifted into the air, and what regrown shrubs had survived until that moment were wholly uprooted and sent tumbling away. The snake struggled immensely to keep his footing - or lying, in this case. The tiny beast on the other hand wasn’t so fortunate, instead being sent tumbling a few spans before sheer willpower grounded it once again.

As the dust settled, the defiant form of the albino creature remained, albeit its fur now matted with specks of dirt and grime. Its mouth was shut, yet it’s eyes were trained solely on the titan, it’s chest puffed out.

With a cacophony of rasping and scraping, Narzhak lowered his body, tilting his head closer to the ground and propping himself up with one arm. His shadow engulfed the ground around the ape, broken only by the still tensed slits of his eyes. ”Good,” he rumbled in a more subdued tone, ”We’ll make something out of this yet. So, who are you?”

Nothing.

The snake sneered and leaned in. He took a deep breath through the nose and squinted his eyes at the creature. “There is a holy fragrance about him… Yet it drowns in the stench of youth and infancy…” As the chaos and cacophonies had scared the inebriation out of his system, the snake stared the creature down with considerably more concentrated eyes.

“It likely has yet to fathom of its own existence, let alone a name.” He regarded the ape with a scanning squint. “It looks quite primal as is, even for a spawn of holy blood.”

”They come out slower every time I do it,” Narzhak grumbled, ”Maybe I really should stick to animals.” One eye flickered. ”Not that it seems to be helping.” The thumb of the hand holding his head slipped under his chin and rasped against its recesses. ”Animal, that must be it. What’s below us is easy to reach.”

He cleared his throat with the sound of immense rusty gears grinding against each other, then produced a series of deep, guttural sounds, unmistakably similar to the call of a primate. While the inarticulate hooting was empty of any complex meaning, its intonation wavered in an interrogative pattern.

Angry eyes darted between the two gods then settled on the titan, staring fixedly at him, the vestiges of sentience within its mind seeming to grasp ceaselessly for meaning within the grating sounds emanating from it.

Suddenly, the ape broke out into a cacophony of similar hoots and hollers, tiny fists banging on its pale chest. A declarative response, one of challenge and boyish incolance.

The snake winced with disgusted grimace and covered his ears. “Must you? My head is banging enough without this choir of beasts.” The snake snapped his fingers repeatedly to grab the ape's attention. He then bowed wordlessly before the creature in greeting.

Slowly, the assault of sound abated, until serenity and peace dominated the landscape again. In the time it took for Shengshi to command its attention and prostrate before the feral ape, the thing had grown exponentially.

What had once been tiny, no larger than the arms of the serpent who’s embrace it had felt for but a moment earlier, now stood at its progenitors chest, considerably taller than before. Eyes that had at one time shown with the crazy and chaotic turns and twists of anger, now was aglow with a new light, albeit one for an instant lost in rumination.

...who are you?

Like the yellow shining of the sun rising from the ground to fill the sky with mighty colours of red and endless rays of pink in early morning, so did the veil of unconsciousness lift ever so slightly from it’s mind, exposing it the the vestiges of self.

Hands soft and cold pressed upon the shoulders of the serpent, urging him upright. Then, the beast itself brought its body low, imitating his greeting.

”This...one, brings low. This...one, is Anu.”

The snake blinked and recoiled ever so slightly. He eyed the ape up and down and tugged ponderously at his long mustache. He patted gently at the hands on his shoulders and nodded slowly.

“Anu…” he whispered as he observed the creature’s behaviour. “... Divine child born with capacity for both fury and honour… How very curious. You may let go of my shoulders now, child.”

Immediately, the ape stepped back sheepishly, not knowing what to do with itself. The snake pursed his lips and looked up.

“Dearest brother, any thoughts?”

Narzhak’s head swayed appreciatively from side to side, his eyes no longer pryingly narrowed. ”This one’s better at names than the last, for sure,” he remarked. ”Brings low, but knows those higher than him. I already like this attitude. Give it a little more structure, and he’ll go far, I can tell that.” Half of his gaze wandered upwards, contemplatively hovering around the horizon. ”The blood really is strong.”

He leaned more heavily still on his arm. The tip of one of his fingers dragged through the earth, leaving a gaping trench behind itself, before coming to rest closer to the newborn divine. Even from the considerable distance left between them, it was immense. ”So, Anu,” his voice bore a querying tone oddly close to that of the animalistic hollering that had come earlier, ”what strength have you taken from it?”

Once again the ape raised himself up, his height on full display, bared his pearlesiant canines, and beat his left pectoral three times with his right fist. His duty was obvious.

”This one brings low and brings up. Bring this one up, so that I may bring all low, then bring up.” it barked sharply, within its voice a strong sense of civility.

“You raise yourself so you may bring all else low?” The snake raised an eyebrow up at Narzhak and shrugged. “Did he inherit my indirect speech pattern and your sense of subjugation?”

”More than that.” The giant’s look gleamed, as far as that could be discerned, with a pleased expression. ”Bring low to bring up. Impose an order, and that order makes everything better. You’re quick for someone who’s just swam up from a cask of wine.” His head tilted slightly towards Shengshi. ”I haven’t seen much of your work with that, but if you’ve got servants you know the right track. Looks like our sense of direction in these things has bled into him.” He chuckled at his own wordplay, a sound as though he had swallowed a thundercloud.

“An order founded on fear leads to a crippled populace - like hares under the rule of tigers. I would like to see this Anu demonstrate charisma - something that goes beyond imposing of order. After all, he must be a tiger that can lead -tigers-!” He pointed a finger. “Anu, what are the greatest qualities of a leader?”

For a moment the ape seemed almost unable to answer, cocking its head to the side in what could only be considered deep thought. Then and the words seemingly came, almost naturally.

”Trust, Respect, and Discipline.”

The snake crossed his arms and drummed his fingers against his biceps. “Those sound more like the qualities of a servant - yet you are not completely off track.” He put a fist to his lips and hummed. “A leader is a servant of its people, in one respect - one that must trust and respect their populace, and maintain self-discipline to be worthy of the people’s trust and respect. You forgot two key-elements, though. Can you guess what those are?”

Anu growled this time, reclining back to his thoughts.

Narzhak’s head shook again, this time less approvingly. ”Servant of the people? Come on, what are you filling his head with?” he grumbled, traces of mirth mixed with reproach, ”Leaders are above people, and over them there’s only us,” he rapped his free hand against his chest, ”But you’re right that these things should be inspired and not held. Trust only those whose will you’ve hollowed out entirely. Respect only those you see are your match, or more. Discipline...” he scratched his head, ”For someone like you, it’s just strength. Stronger than the failings of the body, stronger than the foibles in the mind. Strong enough to hold your lessers to heel.”

The snake hissed sharply and flicked his tongue. “Brother, stuffing his head full of that tyrannical, cynical approach to leadership will shorten his rule considerably. While, yes, I agree that leaders are -above- the led in terms of rank, that is no barrier for mutual respect. Yes, a servant should obviously kowtow before a king, but this is no reason to hold such a…” He pressed his lips together and cleared his throat. “Either way, perhaps a more moderate approach is in order - a leader without discipline is no better than a lowly beast.” He pointed at Anu while facing Narzhak. “... And I believe we can both agree that this one is greater than any beast.”

”You’re right about that,” the Iron God assented. ”A firm hand shouldn’t just be held outwards. Rulership isn’t just power,” he seemed to be addressing Anu as much as Shengshi, ”it has a duty. To us, to the one above us,” he gestured around himself, sending wafts of wind buffeting down to the ground, ”to the world. Failing to build something more than what you found would be failing it and what you are. Don’t accept failure, no matter what’s the cost or who pays it. Not even yourself.”

Despite his neutral expression, Anu’s mind was awash with a million ideas, concepts, and doctrines, none of which he could consider properly in the moment. He was sure of one thing.

”This one will not fail.” he growled, pounding his chest thrice over.

The snake nodded. “Agreed. As you are the spawn of gods, you are to dedicate your life to seeing the world prosper - become a legend among the mortals of this universe. Like Narzhak said, you have a duty. Bring glory to your gods, your followers and yourself, and eternal wealth and power shall be yours. Forget yourself, however…” On the other side of the crater, Jiangzhou, along with the river it was sailing, pulled back to the Giant’s Bath behind the crater wall, leaving the crater itself dry and deserted.

“... And you will find that the world itself will spite you.” He furrowed his brow and flicked his tongue. “So, yes, please do not fail.”

Narzhak winked with a lidless eye. ”But as long as you hold it, it’ll be the best thing in the world.”

With a steady breath, Anu regarded both gods, resolute in stance yet uncertain in mind. ”Your words this one hears and your words this one will apply. Thank you.” he bowed low as he spoke.

Shengshi bowed back, albeit not as low. “Apply them well, and my favour shall be yours, Anu. I will be looking forward to seeing your adventures.”
”Can’t say I’m not curious what you’ll get to,” Narzhak nodded. ”Keep what makes you strong in mind, and you won’t disappoint.”

The finger he had driven into the soil shifted, sending slight tremors running through the ground, and something fell from the sheer iron wall, rattling before Anu’s feet. A great length of chain, with thick, sturdy links and vicious hooks at both ends, lay coiled like a metallic serpent. ”Don’t forget about this kind of strength, either.” The god withdrew his finger. ”And if someone under you does, hit them with this. It’ll help.”

The snake folded his arms and pouted. “Why did you not say we were giving gifts? Do you want me to lose face like this?” He shook his head and snapped his fingers. The canyon in the crater wall once more filled with water, pulling with it the golden frame of Jiangzhou. The ship sailed around the steaming centre and stopped right next to the two deities and Anu. He snapped his fingers again and four servants appeared next to him as if out of thin air. They cast themselves to the ground, first in the direction of Narzhak, then towards Shengshi, and finally facing Anu. The snake gestured to the four.

“These, child, will come along with you on your adventures. They are servants - your servants - but they are also your teachers. They will answer your every need to the best of their abilities, but they will also educate you in the way of the Flow, in writing and in the arts. Exercise true leadership skill, and they will give you their undying loyalty.”

Carefully, Anu kneeled to grasp a cold metal hook in one hand and the rest of the chain link in the other. Quietly, he weight it, slashing it delicately in the air with novice-like apprenticeship that only seemed leave him with every swing. They felt right in the hands of a war-god spawn, but it would only become natural in the hands of a subjugator.

Wrapping the weapon tightly around his right arm, he regarded the servants approvingly. ”Rise, you are of father, and are now of me, you have my respect.”

The four servants all simultaneously rose, bowed deeply, and remained standing with slightly inclined torsos, not looking directly at their new master. “Sacred lord Anu,” said the one furthest to the left, a male dressed in long, black robes with a tall, cylindrical, black hat. “This servant of Yours is named Zhu Rongyuan, a member of the Wise caste. It has been tasked with teaching Your Lordship the ways of leadership and poetry. It awaits its orders eagerly.” He tipped a bow again and the second from the left, a female dressed in a blue linen shirt with brown, tough linen pants, tipped up slightly.

“Holy master Anu,” she began, “This servant of Yours is named Yong Cai, a member of the Skilled caste. It has been tasked with aiding His Lordship in the mastery of craftmanship and architecture. It awaits Your commands, O holy one.”

The third servant, a female dressed in water-blue silk robes with far-too-long sleeves, once more fell to her knees, kowtowed and stood back up. “Divine king Anu,” she began, “This servant of Yours is named Fu Lai’an, a humble member of the Noble caste. It has been tasked with assisting His most honourable Lordship with the development of manners and gentlemanship. Please, O Lord, bless this insignificant one with Your orders.” She fell to her knees again and near-slammed her head against the ground.

The fourth servant, a tall male dressed in a white gi, straightened up and straightened his arms along his sides before bowing near ninety degrees in a quick burst of speed. “Supreme leader Anu,” the tall male began, “This servant of Yours is named Qiang Quan, a warrior of the Strong caste. It has been granted the honour of serving as Your Lordship’s sparring partner, as well as Your advisor on logistics. It prays it will serve You well.” He bowed once more and straightened up.

The snake grinned at Anu. “Is this a worthy gift, dear child?”

Anu regarded each servant, his expression deadpan yet his eyes shown with a passion. He bowed before the serpent and titan.

”This one could not quantify the worth of these gifts. Thank you.” he intoned.

“Very good,” said the snake gleefully. “Just remember that they need water every day - or at the very least, every other day. I would therefore not recommend taking them across the desert any time soon. Anywhere due west is safer if you would like them to live.”

His neck craned westward, the scent of freshwater and rain wafted from their, though it was slightly overpowered by the odor of alcohol. ”West.” he murmured, considering the suggestion. ”It smells of rain, freshwater and...fire.” he nodded with a curled lips. ”Our journey begins there.”

”That’s a good way to start.” Narzhak raised his head and glanced into the distance. ”There’s a bit of a scuffle going on that way, but that’s all for the best. Unrest is the best ground for opportunity if you’re looking to build yourself a dominion.”

Anu nodded, his mission clear and his path liner, no obstacle would slow him down and no stone would stumble him, for Galbar itself would be brought low, as was his mandate. Silenely, the ape gathered himself, and gazed upon the crater of his birth. From this place he came, and to this place he would return.

His eyes returned to those of his fathers. ”I am off.”





@LokiLEo789 for Magdalene


First I'd like to thank you, @Cyclone, @BBeast and @Muttonhawk for taking the time to thoroughly review my sheet. I had a lot of ideas for Magdalene on the thematic end of things, but when it came to things like portfolio or grand ambition I fell short. I didn't build her with those in mind as much as I think unknowingly sort of built her to be a Anz sub. I had a few idea in terms of arcs she would pursue but in the end they fall rather flat under the same scrutiny. I think imma take another crack at her character, but nothing comes to mind when I consider secrets based portfolio actions and the like.
A N Z I L L U




SHEOL writhed. Like a fetus, the thing kicked at its cage and flesh screaming to be molded. Yet, the tissue of THE ABHORRENT was utterly still. Gluttonous organisms tore at its epidermis in futility, divine flesh just beyond the grasp of its structure to taste godly sapidty.

Above the sub-program moved of its own accord. Communication faltered. Possible malfunctions in THE OUTERMOST EXTEMITY’s programming? Likely disciplinary measures were required. Minor adjustments to command protocols in later instances where also required. Due to sub-program faltering, Project JOMM only fell further and further behind schedule.

”Unsatisfactory.” the thing rasped in a tone that disturbed micro-organisms within its space.

The bastard god moved, and as it shifted so did the spark of divinity within the flesh of its soul start. Formulas blazed. Parameters were observed and acceptable. Blueprints were drafted and prototypes were synthesized. Protein capsid layering, transmutable lipid membranes, icosahedral gene capsules and a helical transmutation and motion apparatus’. Separate from this instance, a second set of appendages synthesized the processor/command helix. This one 1000 times more complex then the ARCHON 002 command system.

Hundreds upon hundreds of intelligence-based systems where added to the helix. Biological algorithms relating to predictive amino acid sequencing, protein structure organizetion, and genetic operations like selection, mutation, and crossover, creating an enclosed form of biological computing.

Assembly followed. Appendages fit parts into one other with deftness ease until the multitude of singular pieces became but one complex, viral micro-organism.

Project SHEOL> 75% complete_ARCHON 003 instance stabilized.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE> 4% complete_Sheol infrastructure.
>command instance ARCHON 003_catylizer instance ARCHON 002_biomass instance ARCHON 001.
>ARCHON TRINITY PROGRAM complete

MODEL 1 Program code uploaded into ARCHON TRINITY.
ARCHON TRINITY_run MODEL 1 Program.

Immediately the ARCHON 003 instance came to life, divine energy abuzz within the micro organism and lines of code where self-synthesized according to ABHORRENT formulas within its capsid capsule. Moments passed and SHEOL’s stillness was broken. Breathing biomass being a living bio-factory, the flesh within the sphere’s center screaming as a section of metal-like tissue became black and veiny upon the A003’s invasion.

A003 invanded cells. System motherboards were hijacked and re-programmed, DNA rewritten according to ENGINEER formulas. Protein synthesizers were activated and began the transmutation process, turning raw energy into biomass as the plasma membrane buckled under the assembly of secondary A003 instances. Instead of simply exploding and spreading, the flesh baked and boiled, rising and lifting out of the mass until a sack full of squirming entities jutted from the fleshy factory.

>10%

”Adaquate.” the bastard hummed as it’s attention shifted to other matters of interest.

Data from past campaigns forced THE ABHORRENT to make several additions to the equation. Mortal-based design at many times acted as a secondary demonic unit when given the opportunity. Demonic cults proved essential to the success of the Primary Objective in the past. As was such, infestations were in order.

The bastard god took its middle finger and dragged it across the surface of space, etching into it sigils in the language of a dead reality. Another equation. It calculated the power of a mortal soul from past realities–although this could only be approximated due to the lack of no live specimen–the maluablity of reality in accordance to divine will, scaled it down to mortal capacity, utilizing the soul as a catalyst, as the divine spark acted for gods, and established parameters within current universal bonderies.

No solution.

Secondary adjustments. No solution. More adjustments. No solution.

The bastard worked, the red scrawl growing larger and larger. Adjustments were made to funnel energy into demon-based sigils writings, allowing for words of power to define action rather then cause the likely destruction of flesh. No solution.

More appendages joined in now, a solution would be found.



A N Z I L L U




Divine energy and godly flesh worked in tandem deep in the belly of Galbar, myriads upon myriads of tendrils engrossed in activity, synthesizing, dematerializing and coding for what seemed like eternity, yet only spanning a few cycles at best. Some wrought fire onto the surface of reality, scrawling pure thought onto canvas while others erased and revised it ceaselessly. Others aggregated at different points, creating hundreds upon hundreds of micro-organisms, only to erase them from existence when impurity’s and malfunctions marred them.

”Critical errors to ARCHON 002 instances. Concerning.” THE ABHORRENT droned, shifting its massive eye to the red scrawl.

The glyphs blazed brightly against the sea of magenta, seeming to slip and slide in space. Revisions to the equation where imperative to the completion of the SHEOL Project. Previous ARCHON instances wouldn’t fit within current universal parameters without heavy augmentations. Such revisions would likely diminish effectiveness of the instance without total recall and rework.

A new set of furious scrawl followed, this one based on the first yet completely new. Augmented motion systems, genetic transmuter and an organic/inorganic flesh energy stasis. A001 and drafted A002 together provided moldable bio-mass. Basic transmutation into flesh-based substance fit within universal parameters and would make way for specialized and isolated secondary instances.

”Satisfactory. A003 command instance required.” the bastard god hummed as flesh aggregated at a single point before its void-like eye.

Work resumed, divine energy crackling as flesh wrought existences. Godly machination synthesized protein capsid layering, transmutable lipid membranes, icosahedral gene capsules and a helical transmutation and motion apparatus’. Separate from the instance, a second set of appendages synthesized the processor/command helix. Dozens of additional codes followed the baseline equation, most prominent of which blazed the transmutation and stasis protocols. With that complete, tiny fingers residing upon a dozen hands assembled the utterly tiny thing into a single, divine organism.

”Satisfactory. A002: run Protocol #1.”

Immediately the micro-organism activated and clung to the nearest A001 instance with savage yet mindless grace. Helical apparatus' awkwardly shirked as genetic material pumped into the organism through a breech in its polymer laying. System motherboards were hijacked and re-programmed. Protein synthesizers were activated and began the transmutation process, turning raw energy into biomass as the plasma membrane buckled under the assembly of secondary A002 instances. An explosion. Myriads upon myriads of A002 instances where ejected into space as the cell gave way to transmuted flesh. In moments a chain-reaction wrought havoc within the sphere, turning the sea of magenta into a pale mass of fibrous flesh that pulsed as if it itself was the heartbeat of Galbar.

run Protocol #2.

The horrorsome cacophony of flesh suddenly ceased, its gluttony quieted by the command of its originator.

The bastard god's flesh seemed to heave.

Project SHEOL> 50% complete_ARCHON 002 instance stabilized.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE> 3% complete_Sheol infrastructure.
>command instance ARCHON 003_estimated time of completion...unknown.
THE HANDLER Sub-Program: secondary objective_ARCHON 003 synthesization
>imperative to Objective J01.

”noted.”


A N Z I L L U



Project SHEOL> 25% complete_ARCHON 001 instance stablized.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE> 1% complete_Sheol infrastructure.
>behind allotted schedule
Run Sub-Program THE HANDLER>
>_establishing link_
>_link established_ location: Architect’s Palace
>_uploading UMMUM software_> complete
Constructing Sub-Program THE HANDLER> 5% 15% 39% 66%-
>corruption detected <r̶̢̙͒̽̉̋ớ̶̡͚̥̙̾̅̚t̵̜͔̄̒̒͜ ̴̝̻̿̀e̷͍͇̥̠̋̋q̶̡̻̥͊̏̆̽͝ù̵͙͖̳̕à̷̢̦̌ͅt̵͕͍̦̻̃̎i̴̛̛̹̖͕̱͗̆̕ö̶̡̱́ǹ̸͍̄͠>-86% 97%> complete
Command> Sub-Program 001: THE HANDLER - Execute Objective J01 of Project JOMM.
”Satisfactory. Engage.”
Project SHEOL> 43% complete_ARCHON 002 instance under construction.



The Architect’s Palace was abuzz with activity as purple energy racked the forgotten flesh of the bastard god. Circuit like markings ran throughout the top half of the appendage, cutting off at the lower-end with divine precision. Tissue writhed as the first vestiges of consciousness triggered the reaction further. Bones dematerialized and then rematerialized into a bipedal frame while muscle tissue deformed and reformed to compliment the thin sapien-like apparatus. Divine ichor multiplied as the vascular network, sensory systems, central processing unit and thin integumentary structures were synthesized from left over tissue. Consciousness grew, further aggravating the process, activating the respiratory system, causing a high pitch wail to ensue as the final organic mechanisms where synthesized and finally operational.

For a little while longer the wail went on unabated, seeming to shak the very foundation of the palace itself before suddenly decending a number of octaves, then acesending some, then finally stabilizing and ceasing. Peace returned to the palace as the newly-formed anomaly hunched over in fettle position, soaked in divine fluids.

>THE OUTERMOST EXTREMITY_codename.THE HANDLER
>Software Designation: UMMUM

Execute: Objective J01

Bones cracked and popped as the program shakily rose to its feet. It was a skinny thing, so much so that it’s emaciated figure almost seemed to lack an epidermis were it not for the thin layer of milky-white flesh just barely holding its form in place. Despite this the entity stood with a semblance of regality, regarding its surroundings placidly.

In an instant, new images flooded its ocular systems. A blue planet, crystalline vehicles, a tiny divine, a godly conference, their ideals, their motivations, the fear entity; all memories of THE ABHORRENT transfered to the program in the span of a few seconds. And the program learned. All of it was of value, of value to its objective, and the Primary Objective.

The program glanced at once blue plant, now tinged brown and green as landmasses marred is once perfect surface.

”ah.” it hummed.

>locate desirable site for Project JOMM_Objective J01.

”noted.”

And with that it lept off into the sky.


A N Z I L L U




Newborn eyes drunk deep of The Architect’s bounty, regarding his creations with an insidious amusement. Akin to the newly manifested entities from earlier, Ekon was too bestowed with a similar mandate. Christened the God of Fear, it was his duty to join the summoner’s other works below, where he would sow fright. Newly sculpted lips stretched outward, unveiling a row of daggers. Terror gripped his world before calamity claimed it, and it seemed fate saw fit to make him dread’s avatar. Even Ekon was surprised at how elated this new purpose made him. After all, excitement would be the last emotion most would feel at being the orchestrator of fear itself. Granted this was not the extent of his “job” just the part he found most appealing.

Further introspection of his newfound purpose ceased when Ekon beheld The Abhorrent One. Slithering hideously before him was Anzillu, a colossal thing made of squiggling parts all moving on their own. Thoughts once foreign to him blossomed into life with each gulp of stimuli, flooding the infant god with dark thoughts. The Bastard was a being whose very existence induced a crippling fear in lesser creatures. And for a god whose presence was to inspire horror, such an entity could be of use to him. With an arched brow, Ekon contemplated an alliance with The Bastard.

An observant god he watched in silent interest at the exchange between the little goddess and her gargantuan “sibling.” Unsurprisingly, she seemed disinterested in the interrogation from the machine-like monstrosity. Ekon couldn’t help, but find Anzillu’s method of communication, intriguing for it was so much unlike his own. In neither of the Fear God’s previous existences had he encountered such a creature. Direct, blunt, and, probing Anzillu was as “honest” as he was frightening, or at least as transparent as such a being could be.

After their brief “conversation” Li shrank away and hastily boarded her designated crystal. Within seconds she was, but a speck until completely vanishing from sight. Sensing his opportunity to approach Anzillu he made his move, knowing that such a God could be useful. Perhaps he could see a mutual benefit in their association. Ekon was at least confident that he wouldn’t have to be quite as worried about treachery from someone as seemingly upfront.

Bare feet carried Ekon to the squirming mass of tentacles. The Demon God’s sheer girth could not be truly appreciated until he was directly before him. It towered over the youngster like some great tree of worms. In the past, he might have been terrified to converse with such a being, or even remain within its presence. However, he was an entirely different existence now, an amalgam of lunatics, victims, and, monsters all his own. Fear was not what he felt in that instance, but excitement.

“Might I intrude upon your time for just a minute? Because I think we could be of benefit to one another.” His said with a smirk.

THE ABHORRENT shifted its obsidian eye towards the source of the inquiry, only twisting what could be called its neck 180 degrees and bending it at right angle to better regard the newborn entity. He was a small thing, not as lean as the reed-like market divine but much larger then the decrepit rain deity.

"–Benefit? Fear-entity, Ekon. Current application minimal. Minor instances viable. Likely, Ekon's profit outweigh ABHORRENT's. Overture?"–

“Mortals overwhelmed by fear and desperation are useful to you, no?”

He simply ignored the bastard’s estimation of his worth. He knew swaying the great and awful thing wouldn’t be easy. Ekon’s head fell slightly to his right side, as the god’s eyes focused on the palm of his left hand. An image of a cowering humanoid silhouette arose from nothingness within the center of the young god’s hand.

Anzillu regarded the cowering form of a mortal with apathy. Mass hysteria was easily created, divine interference was less then necessary. But the bastard humored the little thing.

–“Affimative. Once again, minor instances.-“

“Oh well, the offers still there. If you ever require my services just let me know. I would stay, but I have monstrosities of my own to create. Until we meet again, worm man.”

An open hand clenched into a fist crushing the manifestation within. Galbar and by extension pandemonium awaited the infant god. If not, then his association with Anzillu would come in time. Upon bare feet, Ekon’s form traveled to his crystal before speeding away in the blink of an eye.



The cacophony of futile threats, boisterous personalities and ineffectual prattling went on intensely observed under the guise of acute passivity by the bastard god for a moment longer after the shade left. All knowledge was of use to it, ideologies, flaws, idiocracies, relationships, divides, all would prove useful in due time. Yet the ABOMINATION soon grew weary of the affairs of newborn deities. With unyielding intensity, it looked passed the oceanic entity's commination and instead regarded the limpid crystal vehicles many divines mounted and departed on. The yearning within THE ABHORRENT flared for a moment, turning purpose into action.

Without warning, the bastard became like liquid, stretching its massive body up and onto a crystal in one fell swoop, as if its mass were utterly boneless. Seemingly in tandem, the crystal jettisoned off into empty space, making a meteoric decent towards Galbar. With every passing second the surface grew nearer and the unblinking eye of THE ABHORRENT calculated. Sphere location was likely subterranean by transports' trajectory and current speed. Impossible was it that location was prepared for demonic manifestation and execution of primary objective. For best results, previous infestation iterations were to be utilized.

Empty space became saline and saline became galbar, crumbling under the force of the crystals impact before a void yawned into existence. Into the abyss, THE ABHORRENT went, instantly aware of its purpose to it in the grand scheme of the Architect. Primary base of operations, secondary objective was to be carried out from this place. Essential to universal functions, as was sister spheres. Anzillu regarded these facts for a moment. Current reality split far from the tropes of mainline realities. Likely this was a backwater universe, far removed from mainline existences, similar to Original Reality. Inconsequential was its place in the grand scheme, but intriguing nonetheless to it.

Within the sphere center, Anzillu resided, its obsidian eye absorbing its surroundings with scalding scrutiny, every crevice, crack, stalagmite and stalactite, was accounted for and documented within the confines of its mind. Previous infestation iteration blueprints where regarded, all were palatable, yet manifestation equations proved to yield lackluster results within the new reality’s system.

-“Re-evaluation vital.”- it murmured in the First Tongue.

It paused for a moment, so quickly had to acclimated to the use of current reality’s divine tongue. Nauseating it was the ears of the DEMON, yet invaluable it would be in god-type communication.

–“F̵̖́̂͜ŕ̴͕̀͗ó̴̢̤͕̔b̸̛̝̫͙̎̾͛ t̶͕͎̩̐͗̏̾ ć̸̪̤̻̼̜͐͌͝a̸͕͎͠ ̶̮͍̓̍͜y̸͍͙̥̘̒̄͋͝͝ͅȃ̸̞͓̲̭͕r̴͙̭̜̝̱͒̿̃̆.”– it repeated, this time in the mother tongue, the vernacular anathema to all-things sane.

Appendages bullwhipped into action, striking at the fabric of existence and lacerating it. Angry lines seething with unknowable potential seered itself into reality, growing larger as angry line and angry curve interconnected with one another in two dimensional space until the fury of flesh and fire came to an immediate halt. Tens of thousands of algorithms were sawed into the air, each an attempt to solve the manifestation equation it so desperately needed in order to preform the Primary Objective. Finally, a solution to the equation blazed the brightest within the scarl of foreign lettering and glyphs.

-“D̵̤̈́̉amṁ̷͙̞̺͗̊͆ǐ̷̢̯̖͍̒͒́q̴͎̹̻̣͖̍͛̕“- it purred.

Anzillu shifted its mass, hundreds of tendrils aggregating at a single point before its great pupil. Wrought from the flesh of its soul, divine energy warped nature at the center of concentration, construing according to the blueprints Anzillu formulated. Polymer and plasma membrane layering, protein synthesizers, motion apparatus, genetic transmitor, and finally the system motherboard. As was with all systems this one followed a set of algorithms and protocols, all stored within a helix of proteins. With its middle-finger the ABHORRENT branded an extra line of code to the matrix, its divine will wrought in the languange of an ancient. The final piece was all the organism needed, a means to feed.

Almost immediately the thing began to multiply, one became two, two became four, four became eight, eight became sixteen and so on until in the span of a minute in the eye of the god but possibly days to any mortal, a billion billion consumed the sphere entirely in a sea of glowing purple. Oxygen did not exist in the reality, for it became fuel for the spawn. Galbar was forfit, as the organisms feasted upon the earth without let up, multiplying into cracks and crevasses and expanding, consuming everything and anything, just as it’s creator.

Satisfactory.



A N Z I L L U



Eye of absolute obsidian, peerless and inescapable, gazed for a long moment at the wiry goddess, Chopstick. Pain marred its senses none, loathsome ichor free to rape the serenity of reality and impregnate it as it sprayed forth its hideous seed. Sinew wrought itself from the flesh of its flesh, freed from its body by the little one. The bastard god paid no attention to going-on of lost tissue.

-“Intriguing.”- a quiet yet hideous voice echoed into the expanse. Able was this Chopstick. Study was feasible; a later objective added to the primary and secondary directives.

After a long moment of consideration, its obsidian gaze shifted, taking in newer existences with a renewed tenor of disinterest. Prattling some were. Ever-questioning others were. THE ABHORRENT found the objective of the Architect to be rather uncomplicated, obvious to entities even lacking in basic comprehension. Imbued into their existence was the Architect’s directive. It regarded the directive for but a moment, then buried deep within the flesh of its soul.

Inutile.

Moving. Again the bastard god shifted, appendages writhing like a million-billion worms in a confined space, chaotic in appearance yet entirely organized and full of purpose. Another small divine, this one Li’Kalla. Mental fortitude tenuous. Previous existence extremely strenuous. An entirely flawed entity. Her agony drew the bastard.

The colossal abomination coiled forward, close enough to swallow the entirety of the goddess whole with just its pupil.-“Trepidation inessential. Find solace in second genesis. Additional affliction unlikely. Engage in creator’s directive.”-

With that THE ABHORRENT rose once again and stared pointedly at the sphere bellow. The location in which the secondary directive was to be carried out. A twinge, a small thing, birthed within its flesh, a want, a need. It was not ignored, it was never to be ignored, only indulged.

A N Z I L L U



A tiny thing it was, a particle of space dust so minute it would’ve escaped notice even if it sat in one’s hand. It hurtled unknown and unnoticed through the vastness of the inbetween, one particle amongst many; a thousand, tens of thousands, as many as the sands of a thousand beaches. Yet, as it was with many great things, this tiny particle of dust, unknown and unnoticed, was a beginning.

A flare of light marking where the particle of dust intersected the plane of the ecliptic, a shockwave was sent rippling through all things comprehensible from the flare, reaching across time and space to touch all corners of reality, known and unknown. And from where it sat brooding in its contemplation of the vast, multi-colored matrix that was the fabric of all understanding from a vantage point outside of reality, a dark intelligence stirred as the ripple washed over it.

Here, in this pocket of existence, the intelligence had waited for what seemed to be an eternity. Waited for this exact moment; an exact moment replayed in countless eternities, announced by the ripple of pleasure across the continuum of understanding. And as it felt the ripple touch it, it paused in its consideration to savor the dark joy that filled it with a rush. Finally it could start it's work.

With a thought the intelligence pressed even further into the reality, into an abyss that was only light. It sped until it felt the cacophony of existence shift, become substance within itself, and the thinnest plane gave shape before it’s eye.

The intelligence bared is body, the crawling mass sloughing off the fires of raw energy with a tumult of movement unending. It gazed upon its new existence with a placid apathy, regarding the entities ever smashing into reality and dirting it without start. Its eye often cast itself upon the originator, the Architect, the summoner of the bastard. Almost like tsunami did his power radiate, awash with purpose and boundless intent. So did it wash over the Abhorrent. And so did it fall away, leaving it as quickly as it came. Yet its vestiges wet its body, unbeknownst to the bastard god, a second purpose took shape under the primary directive.

A flicker a movement. Seemingly eons had passed between rebirth and enlightenment and the entity failed to notice the accumulation of individuality. A frail being, like a reed tossed by a hurricane took flight upon the onset of divine activity. On instinct an appendage reached and grasped for the little thing, the tiny divine’s movement were erratic yet flesh grasped and outstretched arm.

”Fortunate.” it gargled quietly.
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