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11 mos ago
Current The Truest and Most Ultimate Showdown has beguneth. Goofykins V.S. SpongeByrne!
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11 mos ago
Does anyone know where I can figure out how to unfabricate memories? Asking for a friend.
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2 yrs ago
Check out our new and improved thread. Just an interest check for now, but oh boy is there so much more to come! roleplayerguild.com/topics/…
3 yrs ago
Oh Bleach RP oh Bleach RP where art thou oh quality Bleach RP. Why hast thou forsaken thee? Seriously though, WHY!?!
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4 yrs ago
Man i'm bored. Arena, someone fight me or something, I don't know....

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Collab by @Tuujaimaa, @yoshua171, and @Zurajai.


The light of antiquity was nearly blinding to the little ancillary form that was also Klaarungraxus. As the small meat puppet hovered gently over the flagstone steps that led down to the center of the arena-like structure, all six eyes sucking down into the simulacra’s torso. One by one they popped back out, becoming accustomed to the light. Before Klaar was a wide-open arena, a coliseum of sorts that did little to express exactly where this was to the overmind back in Saxus.

The stink of divine presence was practically a sweet, sickly, cloying fog that hung over the entire place; it was impossible NOT to notice it. No doubt gods of all kinds were finding their way to this place, one after another. The sensory organs of the simulacrum spied the tell-tale signs of divine gateways all around the arena and in that moment Klaar felt a moment of hope; he was not as alone as he had believed. Letting out a siren call, Klaar released a signal bouncing into every portal within earshot calling to the Gods he had known in the Galbarian plane.

With a popping sensation, Klaar felt the echolocational cry ping back with immediate results. Eyes straining to see in the light, Klaarungraxus’ simulacrum soon recognized a number of visible entities hanging about inside the coliseum. Before him were a number of godling creatures, all spread out and interacting, and in that instant, a number of sensory responses from sub-minds pinged back to the overmind, a need to disguise his presence. With skin warping in color to match the arena around it, the simulacrum flopped down onto the surface to hide itself as much as possible while continuing to let out a low-frequency burst in an attempt to get in contact with more trustworthy gods.

It did not take Fìrinn long to perceive its twin--to be precise, the shortest possible amount of time--and its reaction was immediate. For two thousand years, it had gone without the ability to process the emotional impact of the mortals it had interacted with, and it knew in that moment that it would need to conjoin minds with its twin to restore itself to normalcy and Truth both. It did not move, per se, so much as it simply extended its mantle across the distance between them with claw-tips outstretched. It took only the briefest instant before it was only a few centimeters away from its twin, and it awaited that harmonious and meaning-filled instant in which Àicheil would speak the word that unified them as the Two-as-One. Their long absence would finally be over, and their divergent paths could once again lead them forward to what was meant to be.

It was not that Fìrinn had not perceived and acknowledged the call of Klaarungraxus--it eagerly awaited a reunion with its friend and ally--but this task was simply too important. All other precedents were unimportant, swept away like leaves in a strong gust of wind. Nothing else but purpose mattered or could matter to the God of Truth, and until that purpose was fulfilled it could not and would not rest.

A turning, shifting, twisting motion. Receding color, a storm of sudden indecision and anger, limned with calm and a subtle insidious detachment. Àicheil's attention narrowed, focusing intently upon the mantle of its twin. Upon the intrusion into his space, near his mind. Yet, though the Dreaming God balked at the sight of such attempted unification, another force within him had other things in mind. So it was that the smallest sliver of whimsical intention cast a single thread of substanceless essence forth and in doing so, bound together the twins.

So bloomed a silver flash between those touching points and from them spread a display most magnificent. An expulsion of color. A painted sea contained, now unleashed. Through Fìrinn's mantle spread experience unmarred, beyond understanding, without context. Utter freedom without filter, its like a prismatic sheen, a reflection more vivid than the taste or sight, the sound or sensation of the world they knew. Mirrored in Àicheil's chaotic colors was a monochrome effulgence, an eruption of silvers and blacks--grays and whites--all mixed and spreading, suffusing him.

He resisted.

Yet, even as he fought, the initial wave of unity had been brought about by one traitorous thread of his being. It had been done with will unconscious, and so before he could truly defend himself, much of his mind had already succumbed to the familiar weight of Truth. Meaning came to him then like a flood through a sorting sieve.

Logic

Àicheil's mind grew still. His form coalesced, slowly gathering, his lifeblood poured into a starlit vessel, a silhouette most familiar and preferred.

A long stretch of silence. An unspoken knowing. A renewed unity.

Stability. Àicheil spoke.

"Twin," he said.

Just as the connection begat context and understanding for one, it also qualified the two millennia of human emotion that the other had been unable to process in its time answering mortal prayers. The wave of revelation hit the God of Truth like a physical force, and though it did not stagger them the lights reflecting from their almost-face scattered in a thousand-thousand directions like shards of glass.

“Twin.”

Fìrinn took a moment to catch its metaphorical breath and composed itself, remembering in that moment the summons it heard in the language of the deep. It cast out a strand of thought, unified between the twin gods and equally present in each of their infinite minds, and bid them both towards the simulacrum of Klaarungraxus that had called to them. Its mind reached out to the flesh-puppet crafted of that divine essence and spoke to it from afar, waves of intent crashing upon the comparatively tiny proxy--and only that proxy--with the full force of their combined thoughts.

“Hail, Klaarungraxus Rux. The Two-as-One greet you as the first God to grace our senses, and the most worthy of our notice.”

The small form that was, for all intents and purposes, Klaarungraxus seemed to respond to the mental inquiries of the paired entities that presented themselves before him. Pinging back sensations of pleased success at their arrival, the little ancillary puppet removed itself from hiding. A peculiar sensory return of the paired gods gave an immediate sense of confusion to the overmind, all subminds setting about determining exactly what was now poised to communicate with his simulacra on the other side of the portal. By all rights it was as the conjoined said; Two-as-One gods, the minds of Àicheil and Fìrinn made whole. Though visually they appeared as separate, their divine light seemed most thoroughly intertwined.

”Bountiful nutrients borne in warm waters, Fìrinn-Àicheil. Your conjoined-mind is not known to the many-who-are-we, but your separate-selves are not alien to our consciousness.” Klaar’s meat puppet seemed to bubble outward, growing in size to be at least somewhat more reminiscent of his appropriate shape. ”Explain to us your current state; hath it to do with our shared predicament?”

Attention intertwined, mind awash with meaning, Àicheil regarded this their ally, the Ocean God. Remembered oaths. A faceless smile pressed out from their aura, and an eyeless gaze swept over Klarungraxus' form. Strange to see the god so small, stranger still to feel a distance between them greater than the appearance of such things.

Bizarre to hear words and understand without effort.

Though Àicheil had experienced this before, it had been some time, and even having not felt the passing of those two-thousand years, they had had an impact on him. Numerous dreaming ruminations came to him now with the clarity and context of his twin. With their power, he learned, and having done so, he spoke.

"This is our Truth," he said, and the words were perfectly clear, beautifully concise. None of the obfuscation or verbosity of his twin. Bereft of the singular depth of his own communication. It was filled only with clarity and meaning most necessary and poignant for this their reunion.

"Time. Isolation. The Voids filled," he began, the words flowing forth like intention realized, none overfull with meaning. "Àicheil..." he paused, "Fìrinn. These are merely components."

Extending both arms before him, Àicheil brought his hands together. "As we are. Truth," he pulled them apart, "as we were--a vestige of such." His arms relaxed and a gentle warmth spread from them, it was filled with companionable silence. It was rife with knowing, understanding, and an echoing resonation of respect--perhaps even admiration.

Àicheil waited, content. He had said enough. He had meant enough. There was no need to say more.

The little thing rumbled deeply, though not nearly enough to match Klaar’s usual tonal range; more like several pebbles scattering rather than the rolling of an entire undersea mountainside. It seemed the information presented was being digested by minds one too many concepts away from the here and the now. Nevertheless, one by one the little Klaar-thing seemed to respond with awareness before opening its beak with expressed understanding.

“Clarity as clear skies after storms, all that hangs laid low by scattered rains, it is We who understand most clearly. You are as I am, as many-minds-made-one. Brilliant reflections, gemstones and corals and shells of numerous colors.”

The Klaarungraxus lookalike seemed to lose interest in the topic then, suddenly blatantly aware that Fìrinn and Àicheil had simply mirrored him; whether or not this was the case, the analogy was a simple one for the whole to digest. Just as his numerous minds were separate entities thinking as one, so too were the Gods of Dreaming and Truth. What could be more simple. His numerous eyes went into overdrive devouring the sensory information of the area, looking for anything that might indicate exactly where they were. Sensory pings resulted in response-awareness of the distinct lack of anything other than the arena. Outside of its stone limitations was nothing of consequence and likely extended no further than the eyes could see; perhaps even that was a trick in of itself. They were most assuredly not on Galbar.

”This place, false is its facade, and it leaves me quite wanting; time passed yet I have no concept of this passage. When and Where must be answered and this Doom I had seen come to pass must be counteracted. My thoughts to yours, what experiences hath thine senses perceived?”

“Two thousand years have come and gone since our departure from fair Galbar and her delights. Perhaps the others of our kind have insight, but their words and experiences are not guaranteed to be as our own: Indeed, perhaps only those who foresaw the Doom might rightfully have room to indulge in exposition about its nature. We should retreat to your realm, where our senses are not assailed by the panoply of divinity that permeates this place and you might regale us with the Truth of your form once more.”

Fìrinn made a brief swinging motion with its mantle-claws, as if dismissing something in the far-off distance between them and their divine compatriots, before turning to the portal from which this proxy had emerged. As it was, conjoined with its twin and made whole, it did not need a response from the Old Growth Below’s proxy--it simply knew that its realm was the desired destination, and that its privacy would serve them well in the upcoming discussions. Fìrinn’s experience of the deities other than Klaar thus far was mostly one of naivete, wanton self-indulgence, or both--even those it could claim to have liked, in whatever way Fìrinn was capable of liking anything, were not beings it felt were suitable for the arduous task of contemplating the mysteries of the universe. Perhaps isolation had made strange bedfellows of them all in that time, but some element of distrust and numbness to emotion clearly permeated the God of Truth’s almost-face. Perhaps it was some reflection of Klaarungraxus’ innate wariness, or some element of discordance it had absorbed from its twin that had not yet dissipated--whatever it was or could be said to be, Fìrinn did not feel like saying whatever need to be said in earshot of the other gods, and so it reached out to that portal to Saxus and vanished into the aqueous realm.

Klaarungraxus presented himself in all his magnificent glory in his personal realm; with a little blop the meat-puppet back in Antiquity flopped to the ground, sitting patiently for when it was needed again. Here, in Saxus, the God of Oceans could truly thrive. Although there was an intense desire by many of the tentacle-minds to share and show the realm to his new guests, the overmind overruled them; there were plenty more important things to do than entertain the house guests. With his tentacles wrapped firmly around a number of outcropping, Klaarungraxus carried himself to the central city in Saxus where they could speak more peaceably.

”Two millenia hath passed and we remained trapped here? A most unacceptable occurrence. The reasoning for this catastrophe, though yet unknown, is irrelevant; I refuse to abandon my oceans, and though I feel them now, that voice might be snuffed at any instant by that which imprisoned us so unrightly. An option must be presented to allow this barrier to be expunged, penetrated, or ignored. Let our many-minds become as one on this, for together we can find paths to redress this injustice.”

”Two millenia hath passed and we remained trapped here? A most unacceptable occurrence. The reasoning for this catastrophe, though yet unknown, is irrelevant; I refuse to abandon my oceans, and though I feel them now, that voice might be snuffed at any instant by that which imprisoned us so unrightly. An option must be presented to allow this barrier to be expunged, penetrated, or ignored. Let our many-minds become as one on this, for together we can find paths to redress this injustice.”

The words swam through the mind of the Eldritch Twin and he drew from them meaning and purpose. Àicheil, knowing what he did, felt the tingling pulse of all minds. Reaching out, the Dreaming God gently pressed a single narrow finger against the flesh of the great Klaar. He withdrew.

Immediately, a swirling miasma of colorful meaning was unleashed from deep within the Dreamer's form. It gushed forth into the waters of Saxus like ink or paint or blood and filled it with experience. Spreading quickly, it engulfed the trio of gods and then settled into a gentle blanket of woven sensation. "Connection," Àicheil said, and in doing so, stirred and sifted the Subtle Weave which he had laid about them. His cloak billowed and split, becoming a thousand paper-thin ribbons of intention. They began to play across the power he had summoned to this place.

"Divinity," he intoned without restraint, the gravity of his word and its thunderous meaning echoing out through Klaar's realm in a resounding wave. It was a command of sorts, and the great Dream obeyed.

Resolving in the fabric of that manifested Weave there appeared a god-touched mortal. From that image there came a knowledge and every sensation. The feel, the scent, the sound of this empowered being and from this it was apparent something that they had perhaps yet to consider. Deeply ingrained into this seeming mortal there lay a spark of divinity far greater than any they may have seen before. From that once-fleeting vessel a thread of that power played across the heavens and faded from Galbar, where it vanished entirely, passing into some unknown place beyond.

"The thread. It ends here. There is nowhere else beyond my reach." Àicheil paused and tilted his head for a moment, lost in thought. Fìrinn's clarity returned to him and a deep contemplation emanated from his form, its like entwined with a gentle, thoughtful smile. "This thing. Gibbou has done it, we need only echo its design."

Fìrinn gazed upon the images put forth by its twin, studying them intently. Each mote of light shone through the abyssal depths of Klaar’s divine realm, reflected and refracted endlessly, contained effortlessly within a sphere of Àicheil’s design--a microcosm of the Dreaming God’s infinite mind. Its mantle-claws wove themselves into shears, and it made a motion as if to cut the threads of that great tapestry, severing a hole in that great design and weaving its threads anew with its own context and experience. In but a moment the entire design was overtaken by its new purpose, a billowing cloud of ink-black nothingness sweeping and shuddering across its glassine form until there was nothing but emptiness and loneliness.

But each of the three divines remained, still in close proximity to one another, and still able to commune.

“There is only one divinity greater than we three and the others--that which spawned us, from whose depths we claw’d and fought and emerged. The Lifeblood itself burns and bristles at our touch, unwilling now to drink of our presence--no other force could presume to impeach us. Yet the Mother of the Moon, ignorant to her own ignorance, has stumbled upon the means of our salvation--the Lifeblood may bar entry only to its first children. Fragments of our divinity may yet breach it, and so we must cleave from ourselves our divinity to influence sweet Galbar once more. Well said, Twin.”

Fìrinn took a moment to contemplate the nature of their conundrum before snapping its mantle-claws back into place and dispelling the dregs of that illusion which had served its purpose.

”Her little godling, Twilight, return’d to the weave. All that it is, all that it was, is reflected now through the holy Tairseach--and through the Two-as-One. She made the mistake of granting it free will, of empowering that which already exists--affording her firstborn perception beyond its Truth. To bear this fragment of our greatness as Truth, only that directly crafted by us will suffice.”

All of Klaarungraxus’ great mass seemed to roil and shake in rumination, every inch of the divine of deeps seeming to throw itself entirely into this new task at hand. The information provided to him was absorbed and disseminated across the whole of the minds at Klaar’s disposal. Awareness of what needs be done, of what repetitions were required in order to match or otherwise surpass Gibbou’s work, and of the dangers posed by the enemy of the second born gods of Galbar. A breach was required and unlike the flesh-ancible that he had created earlier, this new entity would need to be considerably more independent while still remaining distinctly Klaarungraxus. An idea pinged back and Klaar went to action.

With a terrible ripping noise that filled the depths of Saxus with a squelching, tearing roar, Klaarungraxus grabbed tightly around Right-Forward Two-Down and tore it free. There was no difficulty in the action, of course, as the limb’s flesh gladly gave way to the works of the elder deity; it was most pleased to be of service, after all, for it had been its idea. The huge tentacle, flopping vigorously in the waves, was dropped unceremoniously downwards before Klaar arrested its drop with an intonation of Deepspeak. With all six eyes focussed on the wriggling object, Klaarungraxus directed all his considerable attentions at the limb-that-would-be-free.

It shook and shuddered and writhed as new flesh grew from the torn stump, blood pouring inwards from the spilled cloud into it to form more flesh for the making of it. Meat and bone was stretched further in all directions, assisted by rock, plant matter, and coral, until an appropriate structure had been made. From the dark cloud of gore slowly emerged a jet black Vrool, the darkness of its hide so deep that light seemed to lose its war and descend into its depth in surrender. Six eyes, just as Klaarungraxus’, stared back forward somewhat aimlessly as the tentacle-mind was grown into a semi-complete overmind of its own. With that simple work complete, Klaar let a connection be made between himself and the avatar to fill it with all his thoughts and experiences even as a new tentacle was grown to replace the one that was lost.

”Right-Forward Two-Down is an inappropriate name as it will be replaced; you are Mawarungraxus,” echoed the deity as he inspected his work both superficially and deep within its mind. It seemed altogether functional, albeit with some neural pathways unique to this Mawar entity, ”You are we.”

”Yes. We are.”

Clarity endowed, words spoken to elucidate further, and a display most divine. These things Àicheil regarded, the ribbon-tendrils of his shroud drifting gently through the waters of Klaarungraxus' wondrous realm. Slowly, subtly, intent thrummed through this ribbon-thin threads, casting them in weaving patterns which caught at the edges of those cast of dreggs. Àicheil pulled them gently, threading them together absently as he observed the work of their elder with wide, muted, interest.

Without thought, beyond true intention a thing of beauty spawned, prismatic blood sifting gently from his cloak, entwining with the dregs of his dream-wrought vision. Gently, water was displaced, that essence which was Klaar's eased away from this idle toy. Yet not all of that liquid was lost, for the substance of the thing appeared in myriad shades--droplets of trapped, shifting color, held in vague union by the will of the Dreaming God.

Àicheil let forth a soothing drone. Ѻs-fhìreach spat out a chaotic thrum. Neo-Àicheil intoned with fervor and rhythm both and together the thrice-named god wove its essence into a silhouette. Yet, it defied definition. Twas but a gently shifting mass of colored particles, all aqueous in their prismatic nature. Held somewhere within them was that shorn shard of divinity, but it could not be said where precisely it was held.

There was silence for a time. Àicheil smiled. Not an echo, not a feeling, but truly a binding constellation 'cross his featureless face. It was so brief as to be missed, but it had been there.

“Faireachan A-staigh,” Ѻs-fhìreach declared. In those words there were held great meaning, and power greater still for with their utterance the haze of dreamy light did shift. From its formless facade there emerged a silhouette most vague. It was a whisper of form, a thing which might be mistaken for a human silhouette, if only from the right angle.

It kept its shape then, but there remained a fleeting sense about it as gently glowing particles pressed in and out of its visage, forming an aura of light-refracting moisture.

Satisfied, Àicheil withdrew his strength and let relax his cosmic intellect, leaving all else to his Truthbound Twin.

Noticing the conclusion of its twin’s weaving, Fìrinn set to work. From between its true hands a shard of crystal came into being, and with a gentle nudge from its mantle-claws it drank of the waters and the effulgent cosmic residue left behind by the works of the other gods. In an instant its form exploded forth, a slab of hallowed silver crystal much like that of the holy Tairseach suspended between the three. Shards of that leftover material coalesced together between the God of Truth’s mantle-claws, and from it grew another crystalline form--two blades, a deconstructed pair of shears, honed to an edge so fine they would cut even the divine. Gazing into that mirror, Fìrinn took the two blades in its mantle-claws and cut from the sunless cryst its own reflection, bidding it step forward into the murky waters and into reality.

“Faileasiar; the Behindling. Cut from mine own reflection, shaped from the sanctum of the Tairseach. In mirrors shall you find purchase; in reflections shall you find Truth.”

Its form seemed to waver and ripple, and as Fìrinn trained its godly perception upon the newly created Avatar it seemed to vanish from existence--only to be found within the mirror before it. With a nod it simply slinked away, disappearing from view, and made its way to Galbar where it was inextricably bound for all of eternity. Fìrinn gazed upon the two blades it had used to craft its avatar. Though they had lost that preternatural keenness and lustre, they would perhaps still serve a purpose as tools for mortalkind to use: instruments of Truth, to cut away that which was false and shape reality into what it was meant to be. Indeed, they could serve as tools of beginnings and endings both--an experiment, of sorts, to see what mortalkind’s perception of Truth would become had they the tools to influence it and the means to perceive it. Its mantle-claws gripped the two blades tightly and thrust them through the reflection in the mirror, holding them for just a second, before Faileasiar’s glassine claws took them for itself and vanished back into nothingness.

“This mirror shall serve as a portal to the Buaileagan Aimsireil. Manipulate it however you like, Klaarungraxus Rux, but know this: for as long as the alliance between Oceans and Reflections stands, my realm shall be open to you and yours. By our combined efforts shall Truth be aligned with reality.”

”A reflection from one realm to another? Scintillating scales and scattered light off glassy surface.” Klaar seemed to lean in, observing the object with deep fascination before returning his attention to the duod gods most reasonably called Rux and allies. A similar concept could likely be repeated and Klaar immediately set about in its creation. As Mawar watched with idle curiosity, Klaarungraxus vomited forth two rough, unhewn black pearls before nudging them through the water towards the twined gods.

”When so planted, the blackest depths of oceans deep shall be born; from that darkness, routes open. Thine passageway need only be cast in darkness for the oculus to be opened. An acceptable solution, We think.”

Klaarungraxus turned to Mawar and rumbled, eyeing the jet black Vrool with intense curiosity; never before, he had to admit, had he been able to look at himself in such a manner. An experience most fascinating, concluded the minds alongside the newly grown Right-Forward Two-Down. With that one tentacle stretched forward, tapping Mawar on the bell and enveloping the lesser graxus in darkness. As that inky blackness receded or otherwise dissipated, the form of Mawar disappeared.

”Twelve tentacles twisted, may our luck hold. We shall see from the otherside if gentle breezes or rough waves await our machinations back on the world not of our own making.”

A mirror risen, a reflection shorn, from Klaar's maw dual black pearls were torn.

Àicheil's aspect shifted faintly in the ocean tide of the great eld's realm as he observed the acts of these his allies--Fìrinn and Klaar. A small laugh trickled from the Dreaming God and danced among the waves, but he gave that humor no hold over his actions as one ribbon rose up with a current-wave. It tangled with the pearl of black and pulled it from the sea's swirling hold. Àicheil held it fast, its glossy sheen dark and bold. Upon its surface the god's attention fell, but it was merely a glancing touch. Turning, the Eldritch Twin regarded then the mirror of his twin's making.

Ribbons curled and danced about him frantically as he held that gaze, then he bade them move, and they obeyed. Flitting forth they touched the crystal's surface and around it weaved a glowing nervous gleam.

"Oceans depth and tides sweep far, a mirror's bare reflection, by Dream unmarred," the words...they seemed to hold so little of the god's myriad meanings. Instead, their nature, their purpose, it could be found by observing the many gaps left therein. They spoke of yearning. They said 'incomplete,' they declared 'I will change it.'

Ѻs-fhìreach raised a hand, and with it seven ribbons split seven times, and each in turn split seven more till threads uncountable and unseen were formed from where they'd been before. Darting wisps of intent, they flitted about the mirror, and one by one they vanished.



A flicker of sound. A dash of sweetness. A fluttering emotion in the stomach. A stirring kaleidoscope of color. A pattern vast, infinite in its scope, turned upon itself, devouring and creating in equal measure. It expanded, but did not grow as if one grew merely closer to it. A vision of countless cascades of rippling pools and pulling tendrils, grasping minds and wills cast forth to gnash against the world.

The Grand Design.

Unfurling from the Truth God's mirror, a reflection writ reality sprang forth. With its crossing of the threshold bare it lost a glimmer of infinity, but it gained substance, and spread throughout Klaar's realm like ten-trillion dancing strings. They faded, became obscure, the waves pulled with fervor, and soon only a gentle shifting sheen was left within Klaar's waters--which had once been truly clean.

Ѻs-fhìreach reached forth with one long-fingered hand. It came to rest upon Klaar's shoulder-face, where tentacle spawned and outward raced.

"Dream, and you may come to my realm Ocean-Rux, Brother Klaar." The moment was a gentle affection laid bare, pure and untainted by any further goal or ambitious air.

Upon the Tairseach mirror-twin there laid now runes and sigils deep within. Its reflection had been marked. It was whole.

Àicheil turned from Klaar and--gently--withdrew from Fìrinn as well.

"Galbar awaits," he said.

"To siblings-minds I am drawn. From narrow skulls I shall exhume context. In time will we convene once more."

With a parting gesture, Àicheil's deific strength reached out and touched the mirror.

A blinding flash.

Connection.

"So bound are our realms three."

Though he bid them not farewell, within Àicheil their essences would remain. Held close to core, they'd be an anchor against his drifting nature's endless refrain. In waters both near and far they'd hold him fast against the great pull of whim and nightmarish disconnection. So from Saxus did Àicheil depart and as he passed beyond that ocean-place, there remained only an echo of his reflection.




A wandering Dream thrust across Galbar's shifting sky, its aura a piercing memory, an echo of something seen and felt and heard and tasted in the hours before first light. It was a starlight figure, a silhouette of grey. A shroud of passing interest, a mind of unknownable proportions. Divinity.

Though yet unaware and uncaring of the growing tension in the world, Àicheil remained prescient to the shifting attitudes of the vast Dream, the subtle weave. Across its expanse he felt his twin, he knew their workings and he rejoiced in the strength which was granted to their prime creation, their vast Collective Consciousness. Contentment swirled within his mind and it felt as if the Dreaming God had been holding a breath for a very long time, and now he'd released it.

However, this calm could not last it seemed for no sooner had Ѻs-fhìreach made seven circles seven times about the glittering planet, the world began to darken. Àicheil stopped his drifting dance, his observation of the heavens and the earth that was Galbar. Held in place for a frozen moment, he released his hold completely.

Where there had been a form defined a swell of color and starlit black expanded like a stain of ink across the entire sky. He felt, through the Dream in that moment, a great absence, a great fear, pain, relief, suffering, distress, and a myriad of emotions left like cosmic ripples upon the minds of mortals. Àicheil breathed then, without mouth or lung, but with his consciousness, and with each breath his dark body, his grey shroud, and the storm of color held within, covered the planet's skies. Just as edge met expanding edge and all light, but those shifting clouds, was snuffed from the heavens, a dimming began.

He did not resist, he was too tired already, and in a far off place within his mind, he had known this was coming--as he knew all things. Yet, he did not understand it. Despite this lack, he did not resist. The fading starlit black, limned and suffused with prismatic color and greyish mist lost its substance. Light peered from the heavens and through his vast divine form. A whirling rage crashed against him. It was like a hurricane, like a mind unleashed, like a thoughtless thing railing against a wrongness it knew, but could not be or understand.

The Grand Design.

Mother|Lifeblood|Father


A faded vessel, a vanishing presence, a final thought, then nothing. Emptiness. An abyss without limit or direction or intent. Slowing, rising madness. Fear. Anxiety. A heartbeat of thoughts all his own, frantic. He felt, not calm or content, not serene, and yet his thoughts were placid and clear--transparent. It was a strange thing this.

It was a brief disconnection. Oh so brief. So mercifully temporary.

Reaching out, Àicheil's godly vessel stretched out through the endless, formless, thoughtless void. Free of context, free of everything, it made and unmade, harmed and destroyed and created anew. Swirling color. Smells, sights, and sensations. Pain and agony; lust and pleasure. Every experience, every thought, every piece of knowledge--none of it.

An echo. A crystallized rumination, an endless experiential malestrom--ordered, yet so vast that no one could truly grasp such. Then, seeking tendrils of thoughts, prayers, requests, emotions, sights and sounds and scents and sensations. Every single thought of him, then more beside.

A rippling cascade across his newfound realm. A coalescence of thought, a resurgence of identity, an interruption in the endless beauteous dance of past and present and future all. Unmade, but born again.

Àicheil|Ѻs-fhìreach|Neo-Àicheil


A thread of connection true. Remembrance. A tide of feeling. He longed for unity, something once forgotten, now remembered. It overwhelmed him, this Dreaming God. It overtook his mind, it swelled to bursting his emotions, as if he was a cup with limits. He cast out, thoughts drifting like gentle feeling threads against a rift in this, his favored place.

Ròineagan


Overtaken. Numb. Unfeeling. Uncaring, that Dreaming God passed beyond his domain and into the harsh atmosphere, a place of substance. A place which was Antiquity. A word leapt into his mind without reason, but with meaning, as a label. One he did not need, but remembered and held within nonetheless. As he crossed that portal threshold, all the other gods would see was a maelstrom of color. Their senses would tell them far more.

For now, with his entrance, the Dreaming God's gravitous attention, his eyeless gaze, it fell on them all, and permeated the air. He filled the space, without touching it, merely by being. His mind, here, was unrestrained. There were no mortals, there was no need. He did not care. He could not care. Not without an anchor.

The question was, after so much time, did he want one?



Far beyond the orbit of the heavenly bodies, past the blinding Sun itself and in the outer reaches of the stars, a great cascade of color split forth and spilled out into existence. It was an aura of prismatic essence, cleaving and subsuming the stars in its wake as it spread across an expanse of space. It was not alone for in a moment a black mass of cutting angular blades sheared out from its center and expanded like a mass of pitch-black rage. A coalescence then occurred, and starlight spread upon the black surface, the myriad hues of cosmic blood pouring inwards to fill its empty heartless void. Blades and piercing talons softened and grew relaxed, molding into a visage most familiar, and as the color drained from the sky, a gray shroud yet remained.

In that silent instant of divine undulation ceased, there was silence. Stardust ruins cooled their fiery sparks the wreckage of Aicheil's emergence. Yet with a flick of gray-ribbons thick, subconscious whim compelling them, those ruined stars they became as once they'd been before.

Aicheil moved, swimming amidst the stars, passing through them, both he and them unmarred by his phase across their form. He moved briefly between the Sun, the Moon, and its smaller, purple sibling until he reached Galbar. There he remained in a drifting dance, contemplating all that had transpired in his absence. He had experienced many things since his twin, and he had been born. The Grand Design had changed in this time, and so too had his own perception. Though eyeless, he saw now more clearly than before. For as he looked upon Galbar, he experienced true beauty. Twisting clouds, the rainbow cast across their expanse, mortals flitting and running about, their tiny forms both full of purpose, yet fleeting and perhaps irrelevant to it all.

He shifted faintly upon the sky, and listened, for many sounds--both old and new--had come to be. The calling of man-to-man, and many birds or deep-sea churned entities did abound. Yet, behind the upfront cacophony of these mortal noises, there existed something deeper still to which his mind was pulled. Stone and Roan and River too these things they held new song, for the world it seemed, had been born anew when Aicheil had been gone. These new noises, most beautiful and strange, intrigued him much, and so enamored with their voices he called out to touch them faintly. Though at first, he couldn't reach, Aicheil then grasped across the Breach and so did swell the faithful knell of Ѻs-fhìreach's Endless Dream.

Touched then were the subtle chords of intimation. With that contact was unleashed a swelling thrum, it danced and swirled, it spread and twirled, and into the world, it hummed. From it spilled an oceanic tide of recent memory, its rainbow waves all ribbon made as it caught upon the Worldsong. Knowing at that moment much more than he had before, Ѻs-fhìreach reached down through the shifting colored clouds. Yet where before the passing of a digit churned the mortal skies, now they merely punched narrow holes and left weather uncompromised.

He remained that way a moment, allowing the thrumming chords of Dream and Reality to suffuse his essence for a time. Soon, however, his creative fervor resurged and so--in recollection of his Ocean Oath--he pressed his digits into the sea. Down, down, down, those fingers pierced the murky depths. They swam from blue to black until they pierced the Ocean's stone wrought floor. With contact made, Aicheil bid Galbar to bade his ever-present will. So did rise a thousand-thousand columns, up from the ocean floor for miles.

They cut through the sea, but before their passing, Aicheil slashed across the waves. With his godly motion and intent, ocean creatures did flee, and so his pillars rose--free of lethality. Once the Ocean's waves they reached, Aicheil drew further from beyond the Breach. Into their substance, he suffused an immortality of stony hue. With bedrock unorthodox, the Dreaming God then bade, a growing stone to expand upon the Ocean's waves. Meeting soon and surging up, the landmasses continued to grow upon the Ocean's vastness. Thus in moments, upon the many seas in two distinctly chosen spots, there were born continents whose bedrock were pillars unbroken and dense like oddly concrete thoughts.

Mindful of his presence, Aicheil withdrew his digits and gazed down upon the wonders of Galbar's planetary visage. Shimmering starlight cascaded across his voidly silhouette, and he found himself pleased, yet strangely empty and still. There was imbalance here, a discord most unsettling to his cosmic intellect. Seeking to banish this feeling, Aicheil shed his truest vessel in favor of a smaller silhouette and gently drifted towards Galbar's surface. Observing both creation and his orbiting form, Aicheil was struck by an idea.

Curious of the consequence, the Dreaming God called upon his cast-off shell and tore it asunder. Starlit comets of void and trailing shrouds of ash hurtled towards the planet's surface, all made from his divine flesh. He did not let them strike but instead sieved them with the Dream, binding concepts together within their essence until the Subtle Weave trapped them within its clutches. Slowly, blurred images of shifting entities, both large and small in stature, phased into his awareness. Things clicked back into place in that moment, and Aicheil shifted his attentions elsewhere.



Beyond the pale and hidden from mortal sight, the newborn Dreamers pushed out abstract feelers and took to hunting minds. Wandering minds and sleeping figures, they saw past vast Dream's veil, and as they hungered, they delved deep inward and ate minds from beyond the pale. Once each had feasted, they left behind their prey, and what remained could not be said to think another day.

Yet such beasts, they do not sleep, and so all they do is hunger, and thus they prey, 'pon mortal hay, while they seek to slumber.

Though yet unnamed, they would soon come to be known, as the Chomhlíonadh, the dreadful Unfulfilled.



Starlit vessel lit by shifting bright-torn sky, the Dreaming God looked upon his land and let forth a mighty sigh. It was empty now, he knew; it displeased him to see its view. So he cast down and raised stone crowns upon its flattened surface. Remaining discontent, he gouged through its form canyons, rivers, and vast lakebeds like tiny seas to cut across the landmasses newly born. As he worked he drew from the works of those Gods who had come before him and grew great trees and bushes and vines, covering the land in part with many glorious growing things. So too did he seed the world with animals to suit. Yet, though he made much upon those lands, and the vast lakes held within, he left much of those places empty and unchanged so that in time life might find its own way.

Satisfied by the shape and occupants of these once empty lands, he cast his vision across the Ocean and upon Toraan and islands far. There he took the Tairseach's conception into his mind and swiftly cast down his power. In the center of each newborn continent, Aicheil did place Dreaming Anchors, so that in time, many mortal minds might pay fealty to their land's Dreaming Creator.




Wait.

This was the prerogative of his twin, yet, Àicheil had yet to learn the value--or meaning truth be told--of patience. So as the minutes passed, the colossal mind of the Dreaming God began to wander and--soon after--its vessel followed suit. At first, he tread upon the gentle waves and roiling swells of the ocean's expansive tide, the water coiling, and shifting beneath him. When waves grew taller than his silhouette of twenty spans, they parted, never touching his starry form. As he moved, the motions of the salty seas reminded him of the encompassing weave of consciousness, the Web of Minds, the Collective of mortality. Intimately, he sensed every emotion, thought, and experience which rippled and vibrated across the weave. These currents of thought sometimes entwined and from them were created a thing which he held as most valuable and beauteous.

"Dreams."

The word rippled out, a thought, a whim, a statement, but most of all, it was a name. Joy blossomed, like warmth in the center of his being, and he rejoiced. This thing, he must spread it.

Casting his senses wide, Ѻs-fhìreach considered the movements of all things, the patterns inherent in the world, and the forces which underpinned them all. These rigid ideals were the first he discarded, ignoring them. In swift order, he filtered through these concepts until, finally, the intensity of his gaze fell upon the heavens.

Moons, the word came to him unbidden, and in that instant, his mind was set. Tendrils dripping prismatic essence burst from his star spattered form, reaching to the sky. Then, in the next instant, he winked from existence.



A rush of color and intention, a place awash with thoughts. Unbidden, a rippling pulse of whim traveled out from the vast eldritch mind of the being, and with it came change. From the depths of sleep and inattention were born the seeds of dreams. Though significant, this act was one done not with intent, but as an accident of his passing.

Across Galbar, those sleeping beings began to experience things within the throes of their restful slumber. The gift of dreaming had been bestowed upon the world.



Slipping from the endless Dream, Àicheil's awareness emerged beyond the sky. Then, joined once more with his truest vessel, the Dreamer traversed the cosmos. Cutting through the heavens in his great haste, he passed through the purple Moon as if it did not exist. Fortunately, it was unaffected by his passing. In moments the full force of his consciousness--that condensed lifeblood which composed his being--shuddered against the umbral aura of the Moon, his attention unrelenting.

On the lunar surface, a small, groggy head poked its purple self out of a cave opening, scanning the empty space around it in search of whatever was shaking the very foundation of space with its presence. It didn’t take long for it to spot its creation’s purple neighbour, and perhaps even less time to spot the colossal vessel also floating about in orbit.

“What in the world?!” Gibbou exclaimed in bafflement and skipped onto the surface of her moon to get a better look at the menagerie. Her eyes fixed on the great spirit soaring between celestial objects, and she put her hands on her hips in a sort of impatient manner. Visitors were nice - but maybe not all the time. “Hey!” she shouted at the presence, divine voice carrying through time and space.

The words washed over its form, touching its consciousness and from that contact blossomed a myriad of thoughts. They swarmed through the Dreamer's psyche, before coalescing just as swiftly into the outlines of an act.

So impelled by the word of its fellow god, Àicheil sought to speak, but it found only more confusion. Nonetheless, meaning rang out from the depths of its cavernous mind.

"Why?"

The word boomed, full of meaning. Why do your words ring without meaning? it queried, Why are you here? it asked, Why do you brim with these fluttering emotions? It wondered.

Àicheil's form shifted, head tilting slightly, its thin fingers clutching chin as if in deep thought. Then, remembering the effect its form had wrought upon Galbar, and the insistence of its twin, the Dreaming God shed once more its form. Drifting gently to the surface of the craggy Moon, it touched down only eight steps from the Goddess. He appeared as a figure made from darkness and glimmering starlight intertwined. He had no eyes or other features to speak of beyond the humanoid shape of his chosen form.

"Who?" he queried once more. The word filled to brimming with intent. It said, Who are you? What are you? It was as if he asked not simply for a name, but a description inclusive of her entirety. It was intimate, but there was an air about the Dreaming God that spoke of naivety and innocence, though perhaps of a different brand than the Goddess herself.

Gibbou recoiled into a somewhat defensive stance and eyed the form up and down. “That, that’s a lot of questions, hold on.” She hummed. “I aaam Gibbou - a goddess in the same way that you, I presume, are a god. I keep this moon and all life safe and sound. Uh, let’s see, more whats… Oh! Despite what people say, I’m not actually a type of blueberry. That’s just my complexion.” She offered a polite smile and eased her stance. “And you? Same questions!”

Nodding slowly, Neo-Àicheil tried to grasp the ideas behind each word uttered by the violet Goddess, yet...as the words piled one atop the other he soon found that they had become cumbersome to bear. So, as he considered these many words--each in isolation--he found that with each one he understood he lost more and more meaning. Oddly there was a paradox there, for though she had uttered more words than he, each one held within it less meaning than even his one.

It was as if they were diminished.

Struggling to understand, and burdened now with growing confusion, Àicheil bestowed to Gibbou the simplest of inquiries.

"What?"

Though he possessed no face, the god's bearing could not have more loudly screamed befuddlement.

Gibbou blinked and crossed her hands over her chest. “Y-your name. What’s your name? Oh, and, uh, what’re god of, hmm?” She eyed him up and down ponderously. “... I would say ghosts.”

Each word uttered seemed to instill within the Dreaming God yet more confusion and after a time he was forced to stop. Withdrawing several steps as if afraid, though not a drop of fear existed within his demeanor.

Gibbou gave a small wave. “H-hey, come back! I didn’t mean to be rude! Was I rude? I’m sorry I was rude! Please don’t go! I literally -just- scared away my other guest, too!” To emphasise, she approached with her arms stretched out.

These words helped him none, but he did not retreat further, allowing her approach. Though, beneath the surface his thoughts were muddled as he grasped at the notes of her meaning, seeking understanding. For, you see, in his mind every word was considered in isolation, all its many meanings included. However, when words were expressed aplenty, lined up neatly in a row, he did not see them in this way. Instead, it would be as if you took each idea that filled those words and placed them on a canvas all at once, each overlapping and entwining. In their dance they gained meaning, but so too did they lose it.

It was in this way that Àicheil perceived both the world and her speech. However, not knowing that others saw the world in more concrete a manner, the god had no reason to express this. Nonetheless, in his frustration, he hazarded a query, hoping perhaps that he might understand her response.

"Connect?"

He wished to make contact, lay a hand, a finger or perhaps a thread, upon her person. In that word was held this meaning and several others. The implication of intimacy was there, but it was truncated, meaning only a melding of the minds. He sought to communicate. In that word also was his frustration with whatever it was he did lack and--certainly--the confusion he clearly held.

He hoped she might respond. He hoped for affirmation.

Gibbou slid to a halt and held up her hands. “Woah, what do you mean ‘connect’? Like, like talking, you mean, or…?” She eyed the presence up and down again. “Oh, sister, you are pretty shy, aren’t you? C’mon, come out of your shell! Or, wait, sorry, that wasn’t nice of me - y’know, I also occasionally have stage fright, and that’s totally fine - I kinda just want to know your name, though. Could, could you help me with that?”

The stars across the Dreaming God's form narrowed to pinpricks. The intensity of his attention rose sharply at that moment as he tried, desperately, to understand this woman, this goddess, this...Gibbou.

Seeing her hands--for they gave more meaning and structure to him than her words--Àicheil held out his own, palm up. A drop of desperation touched his mind and spread like a contagion through his aura.

"Connect," he replied emphatically, almost pleading. This time its meaning was somehow less, his desperation and focus narrowing the scope of its intent. The word provided an intuition in place of context and understanding. It said, Communicate, it said, take my hand, it begged, please?

Gibbou’s frown only worsened at the few words, but she nonetheless took his hand in her own, looking up at the starry form as politely as she could. “Alright, uhm… Will you now tell me your name?”

As her fingers grazed his palm and their hands met a ripple of pleasant warmth coursed between them. It spread, suffusing her, and it was like suddenly being clear and awake. Àicheil immediately calmed at the touch, and the narrowed blaze of the stars bound within his void-flesh expanded as if relaxing. He shone from within, and as her words organized themselves and their meaning became clear, he spoke.

"I am, the Dreaming God," he began, and the words were like a tapestry of meaning, an expression so pure and so exact that all other communication before it would pale in comparison. It was with this single phrase that Àicheil came to understand something, the confusion he had felt from the overwhelming nature of her speech; it mirrored something else. In them, he saw how a mortal might find the intensity of his divine intent too great to bear.

For the first time, independent of his twin, Àicheil understood.

"I have many names," he continued, a clarity forming in his mind as the bridge of consciousness between them provided him context and truth with which to sort his thoughts. “You would do well to recall three." He paused, his form pulsing, a sense of contentment and comfort wrapping itself about them like a blanket as he grew satisfied with their new arrangement.

"I am Ѻs-fhìreach, I am Àicheil, I am Neo-Àicheil."

Gibbou nodded slowly, pondering for a moment how to pronounce those sounds herself. “C-can I just call you Aichie?”

A gentle vibration jostled the essence of their surroundings for a moment, the impression of a smile casting itself across the surface of her mind. It lasted the span of several instants before fading into silence. This, too, was fleeting--for after a moment of brief consideration, he spoke once more.

"You may call me Àicheil," he replied, and with the name's utterance came an understanding intrinsic, the whispers of a dream seeded with intent. He gifted her a simple thing, small, but more meaningful to the Dreaming God than perhaps she would know. He gave her the capacity to say his name and, held within that utterance, its most authentic meaning.

"If you call me, with need in your heart, I will come," he paused, a pensiveness falling across his visage.

"You have helped me."

The statement, though it was not a question, gave rise to a desire. He wished to repay Gibbou for her kindness and understanding. For her patience. He wanted her permission to enrich something, to bring greater potency, connection, to a creation of her making.

Gibbou blinked a bit awkwardly, finding her expression slipping into a slight frown. She offered a nod and said a punctuating, “You’re welcome!”

Nodding, Àicheil gently removed his hand from hers, and with it slowly faded the warmth of unreal clarity. He nodded, regarding her a moment before his body unwound like a spool of threads and rejoined his greater vessel. Hovering then above the sphere of her Moon, Àicheil considered what may have been the greatest of her creations.

“This place is special to you," he said, his words echoing through space like starlight given purpose. His gaze fell upon the Goddess, but it was no longer so crushing; instead, it possessed a gentleness and care that before had been wholly absent.

“Might I protect it and enhance its beauty?"

Gibbou looked down at the ground, then all around, then raised a somewhat suspicious eyebrow at the starry being. “What exactly did you have in mind? I’ve had quite a few people do stuff to it, so forgive me if I come off as a little unconvinced.”

Sensing the apprehension in her words, its taste drifting from her like subtle waves, Àicheil nodded his understanding and raised a hand. Gently, the tip of a finger brushed against the surface of the moon. So careful was his touch that when he finished, the only evidence of its occurrence was the faint residue of moondust upon his raised finger. He exerted his will and in doing so the stars upon his form flared to life and the dust rose from the surface of his fingertip to drift in the air before him. He observed the essence of her creation and found in it a record of all that had transpired since its making.

“Another god has flung her into orbit," he acknowledged.

Then, his gaze turning upon her he clarified the flow of his thoughts, “I will do nothing so sudden and unwanted, this to you I promise."

Gibbou made hard eyes and pursed her lips. “... Fine… But be nice, okay? She’s delicate.”

The gentle sense of a smile passed between them, and he nodded, the weight of his attention shifting once more to the Moon. There he remained for a time, drinking in the silence, observing her Moon and its intricacies, coming to understand it. Then, its image held within his psyche, his attention drew in and all at once he vanished.

In the place where once Àicheil's truest vessel had been, there now dwelled only a shifting haze of moondust, its twisting in patterns most intricate and strange. Threads of particulate coiled in looping patterns and with each revolution more joined their twirling dance. A sense of subtle power began to grow, and the space between Galbar and her Moon seemed to warp and twist.

As she watched, Àicheil drew upon the Dream.

It responded.

A blooming cornucopia of color and sensation rose from the planet's surface; it surged forth beyond the sky. Gently, cosmic wind brushed against Gibbou's skin and fluttered across her creation's surface. The pattern laid out before her became laden with experience and a swelling joy condensed to bursting within its glowing loops.

Slowly, the spatial undulation of the Dreamer's starlit vessel faded into being, and with it came both order and chaos. Light erupted, the thrumming of a far off song rose to a fever pitch and the Id of many egos coursed forth from the coiling pattern. Before her, displayed in that moment, was the eldritch beauty of the vast Dream, unleashed.

Àicheil never lost control. The power of his lifeblood held tightly within his grasp; the Dreaming God wove the many threads about the sleeping form of Gibbou's Moon. Serenity and calm, clarity and peace, guidance, love, and passion--all of these united became the song of Gibbou's firstborn child. The storm of emotion and intention began to calm, yet it seemed he was not done.

The dust wrought pattern that had channeled his intention now expanded beyond its limits, taking only ephemeral dust from the surface of her cherished child. It cast itself upon the Moon, a shroud against calamity, then billowed out into the heavens. Its motion caught the glowing feylight of the woven Dream, and in a moment, the two expanded, deepened and combined.

Twas then, that silence fell, and all that remained was the beauty of his gift and the promise he had given. For though his power had been a storm of movement, the Moon remained unblemished and unbroken, its placid serenity unmarred.

“It’s…” Gibbou drew in a shivering gasp. “It’s so beautiful.” She reached out to one of the little dream-strands and it tickled her hand. She let forth a giggle. “Y’know, mister Àicheil, this is actually one of the nicest things someone’s ever done for me. You, you really did this just because I was nice to you?”

Stirred from the rumination of his work, Ѻs-fhìreach settled his gaze once more upon his sister. The faint echo of a smile settled over her, it felt as if the Dreamer's mind was far off and distracted. He was silent for a moment, the gently writhing mass of his cosmic cloak billowing about him, but when finally he made to speak, the sound was almost thunderous with joy.

"Kindness is no simple thing, Mother of the Moon. You see it as an act inherent, a thing done almost in passing, without thought." He trailed off, as if ensnared by the idea, but his next words still came, if perhaps more dreamy and aloof.

"I see the truth of your intent; the complexity behind that which you disregard, thinking it mundane."

Àicheil stopped and began to turn, the weight of his attention drawn by a shift in the cosmic dance.

"Compassion is not without effort. It is filled with energy and purpose." A pause, a long moment of silence, unbecoming. It dragged on and on, wishing to be broken, but only when time bid him, did the Dreamer finish his reply.

"I value all things, but do not understand them. The kindness of which you speak means more than the sky or the glittering sphere below. Emotion, intent, purity of purpose, these things hold weight. Few truly see them." The Dreaming God glanced back to the Moon and his attention focused once more upon her form, its weight crushing and intense.

"I am Ѻs-fhìreach, I do not see the world. Not as you do. It is inscrutable to me, alien and shallow, though beautiful all the same. This thing called reality; I do not know it. No, my realm is one of nebulous form and aimless purpose, a boundless Dream, a vagary unending and colossal in its depth. In this conglomeration of experience, I dwell, gazing upon the endless depths of mortal minds. All notions, in their totality, I find them to be true. So, know this, Gibbou-sister. This I do in clarity. I know it is atonement. I know it to be a thing which to you holds value." A brief disturbance in the weave of his thoughts rippled out, and it would feel to the Goddess as if--for barely an instant--the Dreaming God was just a confused and frightened child. It would feel as if a being like herself, one of boundless knowledge and wisdom, looked upon the world and saw beauty, but also...a vast unknowable thing. In that moment perhaps its confusion could be understood.

He did not seem to notice. The moment passed. Àicheil turned away. "Do not..." he began, but the thought was incomplete, the words began to flee him, tangling in his mind. Struggling, Àicheil tried again, but only one word, filled beyond its limits with meaning, struck against her, ringing like a gong too-close.

"Know."

It was the essence of forgiveness asked. An apology given with passion, but without reason. His word was a vast collection of thoughts, most alien. They were the truth of him. A being without context, a mind with boundless capacity, yet without the framework of understanding. It was filled with both hope and despair. It spoke of one who knew it could hurt, one who had, and one who surely would again. It begged understanding in place of judgment, knowing that many would not give it.

It asked of her a simple thing, a thing which he still could not truly grasp.

It asked for her compassion.

Àicheil drifted then, the weight of his intent swiveling upon the axis of his form as he cast out beyond her child. Left behind was his work and the echoing memory of their encounter. Where before her Moon had been a faintly glowing stone, writ cosmic in proportion, now about it swam and sang a corona of sensation. He had given it a light, to mirror its burning twin.


Collab by @Tuujaimaa and @yoshua171


Movement; a Chase. Fear and sweat. You never tire, yet you cannot quite escape. With each step you slow, with each look back, the threat looms. First a Leon, then a bear, a monstrous bird, a terrible beast of many legs. Then the plane is gone, it's cozy and warm, there are bodies around you. Huddling, you're safe in the arms of the tribe. The glow of warding fire at the cave, but no walls, no air, no sky, no darkness. Only comfort. A thought drifts, questioning, curious, unaware, inconsequential, it is let go, and it fades into the background, into the blackness, but it is not gone.

An ethereal wind sweeps through the Collective mind of all beings, creating a rush of color and sensation...it is joined by others, birthed from sleeping and wandering minds alike. Idle fascinations and the processing of experience unfiltered by the constraints of the waking world and the strict underpinnings of the Vast Machine's influence. The intricate web, once merely information, is now full of emotion and color and wonder, but it is full. An unworthy vessel, the many experiences of mortal kind, small and large spill from the vast swirling network of consciousness. Briefly, the skies are colored by a trillion-trillion colors, each imparting knowledge, each holding a trove of sensory information, all of them representing the depth of experience occurring in the world.

The Lifeblood stirs, it churns, it shifts, it shudders. The Living Design trembles and then...from it bursts a helix of entwined essences.

As the essences spilled out into Galbar, they roiled and twisted amongst one another as if they were a knot being tugged at from all ends. They writhed out from the Lifeblood, grabbing as much of its sweet bounty as they could until there were no more footholds and their forms were complete. There was nothing left of them in the Lifeblood, nothing left of it in their conscious being, and at the instant of that realization the Twin Gods were born--and with them, the bridge between the nascent imagination of mortality and reality itself emerged. Where before the idle thoughts of men and beasts were unstructured and simple things, clawing only at what they could see and what seeing meant, now the rich tapestry of thought wove itself through them all. Some strands were frayed, some out of place, and others simply not yet finished--but it was clear that the Grand Design had settled into place and consciousness had graced the world for the first time.

With a burst of effulgent energy, the helix peeled itself apart at the seams. Its threads unwove and wove themselves anew, two distinct patterns emerging from one, and the twin gods Àicheil and Fìrinn emerged. As Àicheil burst forth, Fìrinn found itself in the reflection of that movement. As Àicheil took its first glimpse at reality, Fìrinn found itself behind its twin, taking in the sights and smells and tastes of all that was, and the first hints of a foulness assailed the God of Truth’s senses. All was not as it should be. Though primitive mortals had desires beyond the truths of their existence, and beasts lost themselves in the all-encompassing throes of instinct neither was quite right. Neither was complete and neither of them were true.

The Watcher Behind turned its back, finally gazing upon its reflection, and it experienced its first moment of universal harmony. Together, they were complete. Together, they were true. Gazing upon such harmony was a soothing balm for the sense of unrest that Fìrinn felt, and it quieted some compulsion within the God that would not otherwise rest.

Yet, as Fìrinn calmed, the Dreaming God grew ever more restless, its nigh formless visage lit by the eldritch hue of those dying stars which surrounded their birthplace. The two were the bridge, sharing all things, meeting halfway, by intent or by design, and this too was reflected in the mosaic of Àicheil 's coalescing shape.

A silhouette against the black expanse. An impression of sundered suns. A pale light. A shedding of ethereal miasma flowing away, suggesting a cloak, a wind, a veil. Even without definition, let alone eyes, Ѻs-fhìreach was possessed of blinding, maddening intensity. His attention bore down first upon his twin, and then askance before it settled upon the glowing orb of Galbar.

"Twin," they proclaimed, and the word was an idea encompassing far more than a mortal mind could hold. It was a word invoked thoughtlessly, meant only for a God. It echoed, carrying sorrow and displeasure. Happiness and contentment. Contradiction and unity. It was a statement of need, an acknowledgment of position, a proclamation of respect, a request of assistance...a declaration of intent. An ultimatum.

With a suggestion of movement, Àicheil raised an arm, its form barely a blurring distortion against the backdrop of the greater cosmos as one mirrored the other. Beckoning, Neo-Àicheil's outstretched arm remained, hoping for a response, yet knowing with certainty that it would come.

“Twin,” came the reply, Fìrinn’s voice the sound of stillness, and it returned its attention to Àicheil. The words carried none of the flood of weight that Àicheil’s had, instead simply an acknowledgment of what had happened and what was yet to happen. A single ray of light, a single stream of water, cutting through the infinite panoply of sensation and knowledge and questions. Fìrinn tried to raise its hand for a brief moment, but something about the motion was wrong.

“The binding is incomplete. The thread is unwoven. We must weave it, twin.”

The words were no longer spoken, but instead, simply were. It was not so much a statement or a transmission of ideas, but simply allowing another being to understand the truth that had existed all along. It was an evocation of an epiphany, a glimpse of fundamental and deeply personal truth, and perhaps as yet the truest exchange of ideas, thoughts, and feelings that had ever transpired. Formless words in a vacuum, surrounded by nothingness, uncluttered by the streams of consciousness that limited the mortal perspective.

From their newly minted essence, Fìrinn span into being a thin, wiry construct of divine essence and mounted it around its shoulders. Reflexively, as a snake slithering across a heated rock, it took on the vague shape of Fìrinn’s arms and moved as they would, reaching out into the void to make contact with its twin. The moment of their touching was momentous in its own way, their first conscious union imprinting itself deeply into Fìrinn’s mind.

It turned its head down to Galbar, and the ersatz hand shimmered with the reflected light of distant stars. The ripple of colour made its way through the entire construct, once colourless energy taking on the hues of the infinite cosmos around them until it resembled a mantle of stolen starlight grasping out towards an ephemeral dream.

Entranced by the dance of cosmic bodies laid out before them, Àicheil found himself beset with a trembling passion. It pulsed outwards, suffusing him and with it, a flickering thought ignited within his mind. Without pondering or forethought, he leapt forth into the cosmos. With great speed he cut through the starlit void, leaving only rippling stardust and nebulae in his wake. With each passing star, a great luminance grew within his mind and before him was mirrored the subject of that illuminating clarity.

Galbar, a glimmering jewel teeming with life, and brimming with a thing which pulled him in. He slowed, drifting lazily into orbit, the intensity of his vast intellect drawn to the planet by a force yet unknown. There he stayed for a time, watching, his form a heavenly body all its own, from the surface eclipsing the sky. With each moment he adjusted the course of his vast body, steering clear of the sun’s burning rays and the moon’s reflective shine, appearing instead as a thousand aimless constellations, roaming across the heavens. While he took in the many creations of his siblings, Àicheil searched with frenetic passion, goaded by some unseen aspect of the world. Tantalized by the mysteries of this world, he reached down and in so doing parted the clouds like a star-gilded meteor with a tail of expanding black. Hand unfurling, his thin digits cleaved the sky, sifting through the weave of consciousness, each thread grazed by a touch most gentle.

Disrupted by his presence, the winds gathered and split, raging in the wake of his workings, belying with every baleful breath the delicate nature of his actions. Nonetheless, as the winds beat against the earth, the Dreaming God strummed the chords of the great collective, seeking his completion. Then, finally, as the first hurricane roiled its way towards the eastern coast of Toraan, he stopped.

"You," Àicheil proclaimed, his voice scattering the storm before it became but a whispered impression in the great weave. Borne by that single word was a tide of unbridled excitement, and like a bolt of lightning, it struck.

All the poor creature felt was a sudden rush of ecstatic emotion, eclipsed by pain, drowned briefly by unknowing terror, before the cloying black swallowed all awareness.

Joy. Pain. Terror.

Àicheil shuddered as these impressions rebounded upon his mind, pressed into his awareness in rebuttal to his word.

Death? He required no response. Snuffed out was the life of that simple creature. An animal. Displeasure rippled through the depths of the god's mind, followed swiftly by rage. The starlight of his visage shifted in his fury, shuddering briefly as they released their dying light across the surface of his godly form. Beside himself, the Dreaming God learned then to resent. How dare they die without sating his hunger, his desire to know and to be known?

He raised his fist, prepared to smite those who would dare deny his nature, but that raised hand never fell. No, for a deluge of emotion struck him then, a sadness that he had not known. Loss entwined with death, entwined with the snuffed out life of that unfortunate soul. It gave him pause. He withdrew, pulling threads of the weave in his wake where they became one with the essence of his form. To this he paid no mind, turning instead to his twin, confused.

Fìrinn, expressionless, cast its almost-gaze towards Àicheil in a gesture of reciprocation, of empathy and compassion, and the god’s mantle rested itself gently upon its twin’s form.

“Their minds are yet unbound. They cannot reciprocate your gentle touch; they balk at our divinity. We are a question, and they cannot yet fathom the answer.”

Fìrinn cast its senses down to the cradle of life below, and with but the merest inkling of a thought the world shifted itself to accommodate his movements--he was suddenly comparatively tiny, a mere ten feet tall, and focused intently upon the phenomenon of death that had just graced this new world. With a fully-formed thought it beckoned to its twin, impelling it to take on the same form and scale, and to join it. The threads woven around its mantle gently picked up the still-warm carcass and drank deeply from its colours, the claw-like fingertips of its hands taking on the signature fleshy tone of inchoate humanity for a brief moment before they consumed it entirely--leaching from it each of its elements and components until not even dust remained.

Fìrinn’s senses rippled outwards, like a stone dropped into a placid pool, and it surveyed the entirety of the landmass around it with but a moment’s concentration. This place would not suffice--it was not suitable for the Anchor and the Threshold that were yet to come. It could not bridge the collective unconscious, and nor could it withstand eternity. With another thought, accompanied by a sweeping gesture of its mantle-claws that scattered the colour within them into the winds like fine powder, Fìrinn hovered above the ocean as its position changed once more. In a little nook of land directly east of the Tree of Genesis, and West of what Fìrinn would learn to be the Luminant, the perfect spot for the threshold beckoned. The mantle around its shoulders shifted and shimmered in the radiant sunlight, basking in its effulgent glow, as they too began to shimmer with an aureate hue. Fìrinn wove them into a single, almighty hand and concentrated its divine will into a surge of effort and energy. Galbar had no choice but to respond in kind, and with an echoing shudder a corona of silver-bright crystals burst from the ocean and an island was formed. Fìrinn directed its will into the now empty space within and land rose to meet its beckoning call, filling the space in with fertile soil and pools of still-brackish water. Great coniferous trees sprouted in a ring within the crown, shielding its center, and a perfectly still pool of mirror-water impassively awaited its commands and its purpose.

Fìrinn directed its almost-gaze Eastward to the Luminant and the overwhelming brightness of the sun. It reflected that primordial bounty and generated its own light, cooler and deeper, through the crystalline corona and into the reflecting pool so that it might become as divine a mirror as Fìrinn itself. Finally, it wove a bridge of resplendent crystal from the corona out towards the landmass to the North, that one day a grand purpose might be fulfilled--and then came the most taxing work of all.

Fìrinn drank deeply from its own divine essence and from the depths of the reflective pool a solid wall of silvery crystal rose, perfectly rectangular, ten feet tall and six feet wide. It collected the weave of the unconscious with its own arms, while its mantle spun the fabric of divine essence within the crystal, and bound the two essences together. Thus was born the Tairseach, the threshold at which the web of collective consciousness was bound to the world. The framework was set; the anchor was marked and consecrated. Within the silvery depths of the Tairseach, Fìrinn found a perfect reflection of itself waiting--and drew forth the reflected light from the pool to sit within it. This Tairseach would become a Door to the world of Dreams, in time, and with a great expenditure of power--but for now its existence was enough, and its twin could complete whatever work was necessary to anchor mortal minds to the shared phenomenon of the dream.

It occurred to Fìrinn in that moment that places required names, and that this one would be called Tír na Íomhá, the Isle of Reflections.

Soothed by the simple wisdom of his twin, Àicheil turned once more to Galbar, and as he watched, Fìrinn's first creation took form. Drawn forth by its emergence, the Dreaming God shed the nebulous mass of his truest vessel and descended not as a meteoric force, but instead like the fading light of a shooting star. In that instant of violent movement, the chaff of his godly form was burned away, leaving only the impression of shifting starlight in its place, the debris falling to earth like a thousand shining snowflakes.

With a flash like sudden realization, Ѻs-fhìreach blazed across the ocean's surface and arrived. There, Tír na Íomhá stood in all its majesty, and indeed its brilliance was glorious to behold. Still, despite the beauty of Fìrinn's creation, the threshold lacked a destination and so--mind brimming with fervor--he sought to amend this most grievous flaw.

Arms of starlit void rose above his featureless visage and from them spilled a thousand-thousand threads, each as dark as the blackest night, and they shot across the sky. Soaring through the air with purpose, they pierced the Breath of the World in their journey to the heavens, where they met with the cast-off shell of Àicheil 's orbiting vessel. From it, they drew an essence most potent, and with this vital strength, the Dreaming God unleashed its will.

A wave, a vibration, a thunderous silence spread, belying the diminutive form he had taken as it crossed the world entire, meeting itself far beyond the horizon. He lowered his arms, clasped his hands together, and the unseen wave of his power pulsed. Hands moved, beating as one as if in facsimile of a heart, and with their patient palpitations, the Vast Collective Mind responded, harmonizing. Àicheil vanished then, becoming something beyond form as he phased through the weave and gathered up the core threads of its foundation.

For a time, he danced unseen, known only by the subtle impressions of drifting minds, before finally he coursed back into being, hands upon the living crystal of his twin's greatest creation. There he waited as each thread aligned with the framework of his sibling's artifice, and the unreal impressions of countless souls were engraved into the mirror's reflection where they took upon themselves a life all their own.

Reaching completion, he lifted his hands from the mirror's surface and stepped away. As they gazed upon their work, ghostly whispers of essence, like smoke drifted away in ephemeral trails, spreading out far and wide. Intrigued, Àicheil reached out with his will and grasped these wisps of supernatural power, and in doing so, an idea set upon him.

Devoured in totality, the Dreaming God cast his mind afield. Dreams and memories washed over him. Emotions and thoughts flooded through his awareness, and then details began to crystallize like fractals of perfect knowledge. He returned to his body in an undulating wave, raised an upturned fist before the mirror, then released his airy grasp.

Dense fog, fetid smoke, and floating ash answered the call of his will; then, ideas joined with them. Still, it was incomplete. Hideous. He dashed them against the rocky shores of his shifting psyche, and by his will, they were eroded.

Fog and smoke and ash became nothing more than substance, and the idea of occlusion. From the threshold, he drew forth thoughts—impressions of awareness, ideas of pathways, and woodland trails. With intent, these ideas were linked together with those he had abstracted, and then together, they were bound to the wisps and cast out over many miles like triplines and trails both. These would serve as the guiding lines by which mortals might find their tiny isle. They would be the pathways sought and traveled by pilgrims to the twin gods.

With this, the work was done. Àicheil turned to Fìrinn then, a question in his mind.

What now?

“We await their reciprocation. We till the fertile soil of their Dreams and await the bountiful growth of Truth therein. Gaze upon Gréasán Treòir, twin, and guide the harvest of Dreams.”

Fìrinn gathered up its mantle once more, the extant form snapping back to his and reshaping itself into its almost-hands by instinct. They began to carve little alterations into the once-pristine Tairseach, chipping bits away and reshaping them elsewhere, as Fìrinn placed its true palms against the surface. The reflection started to vibrate, gently, thrumming with deific might--and the vibrations intensified as Fìrinn poured great swaths of itself and its energy into the structure. It hollowed out the spaces behind the reflection, carving a hole into this new world, and locked it securely behind the anchor--the sheer force of its divinity remade reality in its image, and soon there was space for another world behind this one, neatly contained and awaiting a custodian to achieve fundamental truth within.

Then, it extended its true legs and touched the ground, walking around the small circle of land and across the crystalline bridge that linked it to Toraan proper. With each step, the light seemed to curve and bend around the structure. Sounds simply passed through it, and its physicality dissolved into ephemeral mist. As the God of Truth’s journey ended, only the Chosen few whose minds wandered through the possibility of what could be would be able to find their way to the Isle, and they would be inexorably drawn to it until they rested within its mirrored embrace for all of eternity.

Fìrinn smiled, if one could register a smile on its unmoving face, at the completion of its task. Its piercing gaze turned to its twin once more, and they awaited what was yet to come. Such an expenditure of power would attract the attention of their divine brethren, after all, and they would have to explain themselves--and they would also have to learn, lest their completion be denied them by others.


The Lifeblood


The awareness of the vast consciousness was like a veil wrapped about the world, intrinsically it could pick up on the happening therein and it saw them, it felt them, without bias or thought. At times it would focus its intent and the veil would gather, revealing its presence and its power to those who paid attention to such things. Yet, it did not interfere with the creations of its firstborn, the primordials--though they did not yet know their name. It only passed judgment on itself and its own indecision, its own failures. As it observed existence in its present state, spread out below the veil of its vast mind, the living design came to a realization.

The veil gathered, power spilled forth, but it was far more pervasive and subtle than it had been prior. Waves and eddies of divine essence weaved their way into the weft of the world's fabric. The skies roiled in response and so winds cast their way across the world, layered upon one another in a complex dance inspired by a child who had suffused the world with mana. This new occurrence created ripples and the Lifeblood harnessed them, tying them into the screaming backdrop of the Unknowable Wrongness that constituted the Machine Child before--separately--linking the Winds of Mana to the Breath of the World.

Thus came to be Weather--and as time progressed--the Seasons. In those moments so too were entwined Physics, Magic, and Climate where they would remain in perpetuity. Yet, as the Living Design gazed across its creation and felt every breath and thought and feeling and movement of its living grandchildren, it found that it was dissatisfied. Something within it stirred and the Design's awareness withdrew as instability wracked its intangible existence. Flashes of color spread like rippling electric pulses through neural networks; emotion and sensation waned and waxed, even thoughts pushed to the surface, threatening to overwhelm it, to go beyond its grasp.

Then, all at once, silence. Its awareness spread like a shockwave throughout the cosmos and from it sprang threads of incorporeal nature, touching the minds of all things that existed save for its children--though they would feel it too. What followed was a shudder that ran through the world, the intricate pattern of the Lifeblood's consciousness shifting phase as it disassociated and became intertwined with the world and its inhabitants.

A whirling cyclone of thought and ecstatic emotion roiled through the Lifeblood and it lost its focus for the briefest of instants. Twas at that moment a disturbance cut through the vast Collective Mind and in doing so...life learned to sleep for the first time. It would not be the last. Regaining control, the Lifeblood shuddered and the focus it had achieved waned, going dormant once more, though strangely it seemed as if it were just below the surface...as if waiting for a chance to escape. Having no time for such considerations, the Design moved on, slipping again into the world it had created.

Who knew what it might make next.


Just bumping this so the GMs don't have to double post in order to review stuff ;)
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