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Pantheon - The Third Age - Story and Writings Thread
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The Numen
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ďElizaĒ could feel the Masterís hands against the flesh of her scalp. At this point, that was the only skin remaining on her body. There were no limbs left, heíd even removed her ribcage the other week. His tastes had turned rougher at some point, and she could tell that he was dissatisfied with her somehow. She could hear him thinking about how her screams werenít as energetic as ďFleshtoyísĒ, and then another piece of her would go missing. Heíd always left her face alone, though, so that he could see her screaming even if she made no sound.

This evening, heíd discovered that slicing her exposed heart, though it no longer beat, caused more energetic thrashing and silent screaming than sheíd done in over a month. He fancied that the look on her face was more one of terror than actual pain. Though, without actual eyes, it was difficult to ascribe emotions to facial expressions.

Then, Steven felt all of the pain cease, and he was back in the realm of peace and bliss. He almost didnít remember it, but as the terror receded and his mind came back to him, the memories of his previous life came back.

There was a presence. There were words, different from those of his former Master. These were not thoughts of sounds, nor anotherís words intruding upon his being. He simply understood certain things to be true, and his mind created words to express those things. He understood that this presence was Anaya, the Grey Goddess. He understood that his time with the Master was not part of his intended Fate, and that he was being returned to what was always intended for him. He knew that Anaya was angry. Very angry. Within the context of divine bliss, he was aware that this anger had caused Anaya to be more abrupt with returning him to this place than she otherwise would be. This presented itself as a strengthening of his own being, a sort of divine force to his thoughts and feelings, as if Anaya had poured some of her own divinity into him.

He also became aware of others. Not like the presence, but like him, within the presenceís attention. They also had been with the Master, but were with him no more.

So many of them? How could they all have been allowed to be taken from their fates?

In a way that has nothing to do with bodies or hands, he reached out to them, to offer his comfort at their shared horror, and to rejoice in their freedom. He felt the strength with which he made this gesture, and felt the strength of their replies. Universally, there was pain, fear, confusion, anger, outrage, and thankfulness. They all wanted to put this behind them, and sink into the bliss that surrounded them. But Anayaís anger, and the extra divine energy that flowed through them all, helped fuel their own rage.

The spirits came together, then. In a way that has nothing to do with sound or vocal cords, all of them gave a great cry of anguish and rage. They could not give in to bliss while this outrage went unpunished. With only one thought on their collective mind, they all turned their attention back to where theyíd been moments before, though they no longer occupied those bodies which had all fallen to the ground.

The Master was staring at Elizaís still face, confused at her lack of motion, and desperate for his own release. Suddenly, Elizaís face turned to him again. Sockets without eyes stared into his face, and he saw awareness there. He saw hatred instead of fear. He saw his own death, though he didnít know it at the time.

Seeing her presence again, and mad with his own perverted lust, the Master smiled again. Not wondering what caused this change in expression, just wanting to finish what he was about, he entered her mouth one final time.

A human male will bleed to death in a very short period of time, if the right blood vessel is severed. The Masterís last moment started out as one of the best moments of his life. His release of ecstasy flowed smoothly into a numb lethargy, and he only noticed a few seconds of confusion at why his senses never returned before he was unable to even sense his own existence.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The delegates and dignitaries filled the hall. Ahmed looked across them. In this room were representatives of many major races and creeds from around the land. He knew by speaking here today that his words would reach across the world. He took his position to address the crowd.

"Peoples of Eiran. I welcome you to our halls here on neutral ground.

I have gathered you here today, to inform you all of some developments in regards to the Mighty State of Inritus.

Firstly we wish to draw your attention to a matter of grave concern. As you may be aware there is a strange phenomenon taking place here in Inritus as we speak, some kind of amber disturbance. Our scholars have been put to work to solve this problem and so far have several theories on note. We have serious reason to believe that these such disturbances will only lead to ruin upon this world, and that any who wish to impart information they have gleaned of with with us, so that we may better solve this problem would be very much welcome to do so. Anyone wishing to aid us in curing the blight to this world, we plead for you to come forth and make yourselves known.

I must warn you however, one theory that we are investigating implicates the followers of a certain religion represented here today. If this is to be true, then the creed responsible is no doubt aware of their doings. For the sake of Eiran and its peoples, if we find evidence that confirms that these peoples are truly the ones to blame, let it be known we will not be merciful in our efforts to eradicate this blight from upon this world. So, to the creed of which I shall not name, if it is you who are to blame I would suggest you do your utmost to reverse all such effects immediately. If it is not you, than you have nothing to fear.

Secondly. It has come to our attention that a new cult has sprung up within the shore of Inritus. As it is well known, the worship of another god other than the majesty of The Void is illegal upon out lands. We do, however, respect the right of peoples to choose their faith, and as such we make this offer to the followers of the Numen god.

On the changing of the seasons, we will have a flotilla of ships sent to the shore nearest to the current location of your prophet. These ships will aid in your relocation to a land of your choosing. Thus we are offering you the chance to move on and have your faith in peace somewhere safe, for Inritus cannot break its own laws regarding this matter.

Thirdly I wish to speak of the fabled Lords of Eiran. We have had one, going by the moniker of the Champion Immortal, come to us and commit murder most foul upon one of our most gifted scholars. As if this slight was not enough this so called champion then proceeded to steal from this body, taking with it research most valuable to our peoples.

And thus, I must ask of you all a favour. We offer a great reward for any who retrieves this research for us, and an even greater one for anyone who brings this so called Lord to justice. Any aid we could receive in our pursuit of this mere criminal will be appreciated and returned. Let it be known that we will be relentless in our mission to bring this foul being to justice, for the murder of any one of our peoples CAN NOT AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! Also, the research that was stolen is sacred to us, and any who are found to hold it for themselves will face similar repercussions.

And finally a thanks to you all. Inritus has always asked for its own peace and we are pleased to announce that we are currently at peace with all other major factions of this earth. It would appear that finally, after many years of persecution, we have achieved the peace we have asked for all along. Our people would very much appreciate it if it remained as such. As always, Inritus shall remain passive towards those who respect its boundaries and laws and those who leave it and its allies in peace.

That is all I have time for today. Sadly I cannot remain to answer your questions, please have any concerns or questions forwarded to me via my offices. Thank you. "


Ahmed walked of stage, leaving the chattering crowd of diplomats to their devices.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*stands up and waits for the noise to diminish*

I have some information that might be relevant. Whether or not it will be helpful... If one of you would care to pass it along to Ahmed?

A couple seasons ago, Shakari received a most amazing visitor. It was Lady Siria, daughter of Lord-General Admar Tellem Mekros, the Prophet of the Second Age deity Maeror. She explained that she and her party accidentally crossed the "amber haze" which reminded her so much of the Time Reaver of the Second Age, and found themselves in a vaguely familiar forested land which, based on her description, appears to be northern Imray. They eventually made their way to Shakari, where Lady Siria was reunited with her father, who had since become the Lord of Eiran known as the Just One.

It is assumed that she came out of the the area that was once occupied by Sunrise City. That area began as an amber disturbance, much like the one afflicting your lands. After the amber disturbance subsided, the area was much changed. And, to those who can see such things, it can still be seen to have an amber border.

There have been other such amber disturbances that are now amber-bordered areas. One on Halym, where the city of Minath once stood, and one on Noptae, where Yaegons once stood. I have no idea if anyone from another time came out of either of those areas.

Best of luck to you.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

during Winter wrote:
Evyn, a houka Paragon of yours, visits your temple one night and, once there, dances naked before your altar in an effort to be noticed by you and to seduce you with the feline perfection of her forms and the grace of her movements.


Evynís passion is noticed; Madadeva sends Hunger into the temple. Even without seeing him, Evyn feels the intensity of his gaze across her undulating form. And then she feels that the two of them are not the only ones present. For Madadeva has once again merged with Hunger and she feels his Desire! Lithely, Hunger / Madadeva moves to her naked passion. And as he moves, his armor falls away, showing his own naked passion. Before he reaches her, she is shocked to see his body morph and change and a naked male houka prances up from behind her and with a growl pins her to the floor, face down, by the scruff of her neck! "PRESENT YOURSELF!" her Lord commands and she complies, rotating her rear haunches up to give him easy entrance! She feels him enter, piercing her! ECSTACY, her body trembles as he takes her roughly! And suddenly, she feels herself transform! Taken from behind, orgasm after orgasm, she feels her own body shifting with her Lord, human, dwarrow, centaur, race after race she experiences their passion as she is ravished!! And finally, back in houka form she hears a final piercing growl and she is filled with Hunger's seed infused with Madadeva's power!! "My Lord's", she gasps, fully sated almost beyond mortal endurance, "Command me!" The God and Hunger speak, "We rename you Seduction - for you are Desire's seductress.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Ulwazi and the Fat Councillors

Now that relative peace had largely been some time upon them, and the Plains of Opal flourished under the rule of Ulwazi and the watchful eye of uKulwa, it came to the Prophet-King that idleness was doing nobody, least of all himself and his councillors, any good.

ďEven I myself, he complained, am beginning to look like a woman starting her pregnancy. And as for you,Ē he gestured at his councillors, ďExcept for the generals you all look eight months with child!Ē

The King decided then and there that the court would immediately leave on a forced route march through the realm, and the council would be followed by slayers with orders to kill any who fell behind. Army exercises would follow the march.

Without delay, Ulwazi rose and led the way, his thunderstruck and slightly apprehensive councillors behind and tailed by the grinning generals following in his wake. Nkosinathi took only the time to issue orders to the heralds who would precede the King, the slayers, and the iMbube or Lion regiment, who would escort the court. Mdlaka, general of the 1st Impi, would stay behind, to attend to matters of state in the Kingís absence.

And so it was that, in single file, Ulwazi led the way at a steady loping pace of some five miles per hour. The councillors each carried the customary fighting stick, without which no self-respecting man travelled, and behind them came two of the sinister army slayers-of-stragglers, each armed with a broad-bladed ikxwa and carrying a shield. The iMbube regiment followed, while ahead of the King ran the heralds and a detachment of his bodyguard.

Hour after hour, Ulwazi maintained the now devastating pace, streams of sweat pouring from the fat councillors as they ran after him in the late summer light. That night, the moon shone full and the King continued the march relentlessly, into the colder highlands, and silently and inexorably, the slayers followed, until a short break was called at midnight. On the banks of a stream they rested, and drank sparingly of the water. A short meal of army iron rations, and then the march resumed, still with all councillors present, until dawn, when the King called a halt.

More than 60 miles had been covered, and the morning roll-call revealed only two councillors missing, although all looked exhausted. Even the King and Nkosinathi showed strain, and the King allowed how the councillors might be harder than he had supposed, and that they had all earned a long rest. Everybody threw themselves down and slept, and only much later in the day did the march resume.

For ten days the King kept up the march, averaging some 50 miles a day. He inspected every military kraal along the way, and when he finally returned to kwaBuluwayo, all the councillors and senior officers looked relatively slim, for more than 500 miles of forced marches, on a meagre diet, had worked wonders, and no further casualties had occurred since the first night.

--From the Oral History of Khumbula, the Rememberer

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the west of Enstorm, in the hills below the coastal mountains, there is a place. It is a place few know of, but several of those are gathering there now. The first is already there. He is human, by species. Many of that race would claim that he were otherwise, if they knew what he did in this place.

Another who knows of this place is moving towards it. He is tall, and perfectly white, if he were still one would think him a statue of purest marble, but at the moment he is moving. His movements are sure and graceful, though no mortal eyes can perceive him. With his magics, he has caused himself to be obscured from sight, even from scrying. And under this cover, he swiftly moves to the place in the foothills.

Yet another, or perhaps several more, who know of this place are observing it abstractly. They are not mortal, and can easily perceive the statue's movements towards the place. He knows he is being watched. He feels a heightened sensation of burning pain on his skin from where they watch him. He assumes the burning would lessen if he weren't being watched, but there seems to always be some amount of observation on him. At the moment, all of the others were watching him, from every angle, so all of his skin burned instead of just his face.

The statue man came to the entrance to the cave, and moved within. He crept down a long tunnel to a larger chamber at the end. In the chamber was a Necromantic circle. The statue man, none other than The Master, recognized the device. It was similar to one used by another necromancer of Enstorm, several months back, before its owner vanished from all memory.

And there within the circle, were the bodies of three humans. Two of them were corpses, the other was still alive. This third was chanting an incantation, while performing certain arcane gestures and annointing the corpses certain magical unguents. The Master recognized the incantations. He thought to himself, and to any beings who were observing the texture of his thoughts, "The spell is almost complete. We should hurry before more souls are ripped from their rest and stored in bodies."

A ghost appeared next to The Master, that of a small girl. While she was translucent, her arms and legs were nearly invisible. The memory of phantom limbs, perhaps. The Master looked at her. "We must act now. Confront him before he can complete the spell."

Eliza floated over to the living necromancer, invisible to his eyes. "No, Master. There is no need to confront him." With that, she reached her ghostly hand into his head, and plucked something out. the man collapsed to the floor where he was kneeling. "Come here, Master. We have a present for you."

The Master stood from his place of concealment, and dropped his veil. He walked over to the body of the necromancer, and noticed that it was still alive. There was even a soul within it. The heart beat, the lungs breathed, but the body was empty. "What did you do, Eliza? You didn't take his soul."

"No, Master. Souls are not Our domain. We are knowledge, and so we took all that he knows. And now we are giving this to you. Use what he knew to undo what he did." The ghost of the girl places something into The Master's head, and suddenly he knows.

"Eliza. This one, he thought like, that forgotten necromancer thought. He chose the souls of your followers because he thought their god too weak to protect them. He thought he would be safe from the consequences. He was none of Argothoth's, not really. He wished to be, perhaps. He preferred Argothoth's dogma to that of Unzen, at any rate."

Eliza stared up at the ceiling of the chamber, indicating that her attention was elsewhere than where the image of her body appeared. "Argothoth's howl is still there. Whomever this was, he was not part of something bigger. But, he dared to abuse Our followers, and for that he will pay a lesson."

She turned her gaze back to The Master. "Oh Master. It's such a pity nobody can remember you. Your fate might have served as a good object lesson for those such as this. But, that cannot be. All of your accomplishments will come to nothing; they will even fail to serve as an example of what not to do. But, this young man will serve that purpose admirably. So, let it be known to all what has happened. Take up this man's body and bring it to the people. Show them the results of disturbing the peace of The Numen. Then, take the memories you have gained and use them to find all the souls he has already stolen. Free them, Master. Free them all. Use whatever resources you need to use, but get them all."
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the council chambers, Leier paced the room. Riasaat and Raucous were on Virelle with the majority of The Lady's troops and Orders. And his betrothed, the occasional visionary, Estiš, had remained in the grand Temple of Seawind to search for the Codex of the Phoenix, after seeing the other refugees of the shattered ruins of Zevente off on their journey to meet up with those who remained loyal to The Lady on Dawnstar.

The reports he had received reassured him the exiles had arrived safely on Nythia, with the welcome of Arcadia awaiting them. The blessing of Light, Healing and Birth were upon the exiles, as they worked to eradicate as much Malice from their new home as possible. But of Estiš, there had been no further word. So he paced.

"BiÍnŰr!" The grim, pale-faced sentry called from the entrance of the chamber. Leier turned to hear what word he had to bring. "We are receiving reports of mass flooding in the lower quarter of the southeastern continent. Word has it much of Dawnstar is drowned as well. And Zevente..." the sentry stopped, paling even further.

"What of Zenvente?" Leier demanded. "Is there word of the mŰng ru‚d and her search within the ruins?"

"Zevente is gone, biÍnŰr," the sentry quietly replied. "Including the sacred space of the Grand Temple of Seawind. The waters rose even higher than the rim of the volcano in which the ancient weyr was built, and the caldera where the Grand Temple existed is awash in a giant maelstrom within the Sea of Dawn. The mŰng ru‚d was known to be within, after seeing the others depart.

"BiÍnŰr," the sentry said softly. "The mŰng ru‚d is gone."

Leier stood stock still at the message, than sat heavily on his haunches, lifting his head to the heavens of his Lady as he wailed, "Estiš!!!"
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two months.

The thought weighing in my mind, a stone turned again and again until it shines. Troubling me in ways it should not.

The vaults and towers of the Eyrie are silent. My people often are. When stirred to action we are swift and sure, but at rest our thoughts move slow, as suits our long lives.

Two months is as nothing to us.

And yet...

The war goes on below us. We hear scant word. The Lord's people fight to destroy the blight upon this continent, embodied in a god and his people. Defending, too, against invaders from the west, the Red God's soldiers, who have sided with the demon. The Great Lord's Cleansing turned to something far messier.

ul-zakaru was the bright spark needed to ignite our interest in the world beyond our perch. But he was young, and rash. The Lord's word through his lips was charged with passion and judgement, his actions the extreme of obedience. And he was triumphant even as the abominations took him and tore him limb from limb.

We are all nameless now, in honour of his awakening. He is lost now, but he is not mourned. His passion outlived its purpose.

With the death of ul-zakaru, a door closed. I could sense it in the time that followed - orders came, but they were scattered, fragmented. I could see no guiding hand directing the actions on any wide scale.

The Lord, I decided, was distracted.

Months passed. As my own distaste for the conflict below grew, so the Lord's actions appeared to draw away from them. He acted, but He did not speak. His voice was lost to us.


But no, there was that one story. A rumour.

A madwoman had walked into the temple of the Great Lord in Noruk. She had been raving, screaming to the Lord as if He would answer her. Inexplicably, the rumour claims this woman to be the murderer of the Lord's priests, and a Fallen One messenger visiting from Nehutu.

The story goes that after she had done this, she was struck down by divine power, left in a deep slumber from which none have been able to wake her. What is more, for a moment, as she fell, some claim they heard the voice of the Lord.

I cannot imagine what that might signify. Perhaps it is only a rumour after all.


And now, nothing. Silence still, but also no action. The others do not see much in it. But there has been no sign. For two months.

My god is missing. I fear He has abandoned us.
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts run dark now as the hopes of this world. Another month has passed - what matter a month, what matter three months, time is as nothing to us, yet I know we are abandoned. Our God has forsaken us.

I once considered such a thought with fear, now I look upon it with understanding. As I struggled to understand why our Lord would leave us, I came upon a single truth: There is no Peace.

Our Great and Glorious Lord sought to bring Peace to the world below, and the world fought against Him. The Gods fought against Him.

He must have looked down upon this pathetic, broken world as it fought against its own saviour, as it fought the one who would bring an end to War, Pain, and Strife, and he must have seen, then, that this world did not deserve him.

I see this too, now. There can not be Peace so long as the hand of another God touches this world, nor any mortal draw breath upon it. Their very nature denies it.

Others are beginning to realise this same truth. I seek no company now, but they sought me. They asked me why I believe our Lord is gone, and I answered them.

We have been nameless, in honour of His prophet, but I hear now there are those who would name us nasiku, that which was cast down. If that name applies to my people, then so too does it belong to this entire world, and all that lies upon it. We are all cast down by He who walks the Path, and judged us unworthy to follow.

What follows, then, when our Lord has abandoned our world, and left us to the misery of its eternal conflicts? Without our God to lead us, I can only find one solution, and this is what has brought me here, to this peak, to these dark thoughts.

I stand, for a time, in silence, in thought. I have chosen my Path. Yet I cling on. This is what made us unworthy.

Silence...

I am ready. My kind have no need to breathe, but regardless I take in deep the mountain air, and close my eyes. Instinct calls for me to extend my limbs, reach out long feathers to the sky.

I resist.

I pitch myself forward, wings folded tight against my back, and plunge toward the abyss.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sitting alone in the Halverian inn, Imanu smiled gently to himself and turned a card face up on the table. His smile faded.

All the cards in the Deck of Dreams were incredably detailed, like expertly-carved, finely-painted, reliefs. This one was so intricately crafted it seemed alive.

It showed a grey eye emerging from an inferno, roving this way and that in a mad search for...something, while a cry of anger pierced his mind.

There were no words inscribed on the wooden surface, but Imanu knew without a doubt the meaning of this new child of the Deck of Dreams.

Rage.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Defence of Pelindaba

A banner flutters briskly in the crisp autumn air as the sun rises over Pelindaba, the Place of Meeting. Crossed assegais on a leopard-skin field, it asserts the dominance of uKulwa, over the hill that bears it, and all the surrounding land.

To the west stretch the waters of Moonshine bay, barely touched by the light, and to the east, the wide Plains of Opal, the sea of grass that the Lord of Battleís faithful named home, touched with fire by the dawn.

From the north, loping easily from the military kraals of Pelindaba itself, flow the ranks of the 11th Impi, 4,000 strong, cutting a sinuous black line across the landscape, with General Kwanele and his bodyguards in the van.

As they run, orders pass back and forth, and without pause the regiments peel away as they reach the hill, to take up their positions.

In wide-spread ranks, the ten-year veterans of the Impuco Regiment, the Razors, stand solid behind their black and white ox-hide shields on the face of the hill. The head of the bull, these troops are the staunch forehead of the defence, positioned to blunt the force of the enemy charge as they seek the crest.

Above and behind on the right flank, the blooded warriors of the Ubukali, the Blade Regiment, crouch behind the dappled shields of their 5 years service in tight ranks, and on the left, the new recruits of the inKemba or Sword Regiment, their white shields catching the new days light. The horns of the bull, the flanking regiments ready to block, flank or encircle as the battle demanded.

At ease behind them, just beyond the brow of the hill, the 1,000 warriors of the Ethula Regiment, the Dedicated, lounge on their all black shields with their back to the approaching enemy. Veterans of 20 years, these are the loins of the bull, the reserves ready to boil over the crest and sweep away their foe should victory seem in their grasp. Only their officer will watch the battle, judging the moment to hurl them into the fray.

As the sun rose at the back of the hill, it shone down in the face of their foe. The Teeth, the vicious core of Madadevaís armies. Their inhuman visages betray no emotion, and the chitinous plates that cover them make the sound of distant axes as they marched.

Wicked claws tip their strong fingers, and as they form up at the base of the hill, blades flash from their forearms in the promise of slaughter to come.

Scattered among the ranks, the hulking frog-like shapes of his officers, the Corruptors, intelligent and malevolent, spreading the worship of their god like a disease, draining the will to oppose him, even turning brother against brother when men succumb to their corruption.

Hungry for sensation though, there is no subtlety here. The enemy lingers but a moment, then charges, confident of their superiority, uphill into the locked shields of the Impuco, whose deadly assegais thrust from between the shields to slow the enemy charge.

Slowed perhaps, but not halted. The bulk of the Teeth, their numbers and the obscene imprecations of the Corruptors even as they drain the will of the regiment, drive the Impuco back, step by grudging step, as the Teeth press forward over the bodies of their dead.

A hundred yards back, charging in blood and life a fearful toll, but still back, between the flanking regiments as the Teeth press forward, the Impuco give ground and the Ubukali leap to their feet to wheel a charge into the right flank of Madadevaís force. Slowed, the fearsome Teeth, their determination undiminished, turn to face the new threat, and hold it back. Churned to mud by blood and ichor, the uncertain ground sucks at their feet, but strength of arm holds the Ubukali at bay.

Emboldened by advantage, the inKemba strike the turned Teeth in the rear, but the untried warriors fall like grain against the implacable Teeth, and the Corruptors poison their untested hearts until a full quarter of the young men turn on their allies, and fight for Madadeva instead.

And still the Teeth hold. NoÖthey do more. Still they advance foot by bloody foot, until the crest of the hill is almost in their grasp. Slaughtered recruits lie in their wake, while shield brothers are forced to strike down their own as the enemy presses its advance, and the quavering sound of a lone kudu horn echoes above the fray.

And over the hill pour the ranks of the Dedicated, the Ethula Regiment, their black shields a wave of darkness breaking over the Teeth. A thousand battle-hardened veterans decorated with the scars of countless conflicts, screaming their war cry

Rested and well disciplined, even the strength of the Teeth cannot stand against them, while the tested loyalty of their stalwart souls shrugs off the lure of the Corruptors as they shatter the ranks of the foe.

Rallying now in their wake, the Impuco and Ubukali regroup to rout the enemy, while the broken inKemba withdraw from the field. Madadevaís force is crushed, and the Red Godís banner flies proudly from the hilltop as the sun sets.

--From the Oral History of Khumbula, the Rememberer

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...My...daughter..."

"Who are you?"

"...My...daughter..."

"I'm not your daughter."

"...My...daught..."

"I'm not your daughter! Leave me alone!"

She fled blindly, no idea where she was going, yet no matter how fast she ran, the shambling, groaning thing managed to keep up, its visage always just hidden from view in the swirling shadows that surrounded it.

"...My...daughter..."

"GO AWAY!" She dashed through a door way, darted down a corridor.

"...My...daughter..."

"Help me! Someone?! Anyone! Help!" She leaped over an upturned table, throwing a chair behind her to slow pursuit.

"Talion! Talion, can you hear me?"

"...My...daughter..."

"It's not me! Help!"She came to the end of the corridor and stopped, not knowing which of the three doors to take.

Talion please, you have to..."

"...My...daughter..."

Running to the right, she knew straight away her mistake. Rubble blocked the way completely.

"...My...daughter..."

"Talion! Wake up!"

"What? Wake...?"

"...My...daughter..."

She could see it now. It was most definitely not her father. It was dead.

Wake up now!"

"...My...daughter..."

It's cold, lifeless hand touched her shoulder. She screamed in pain and fear.

"...My..."

"TALION"

The First Scribe bolted upright in her bed. Her sheets were soaked with sweat, as if they'd been thrown in the river.

"Thank Anaya you're awake! What was happening? Was it a dream of things to come?"

Talion shuddered and gestured for her friend to be silent.

"I certainly hope not."
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord! the agony...

*

I cannot hold my thoughts together. The pain. I-

*

I failed. My body is shattered. The fall was not enough. I am trapped.

Small comfort that I landed facing upward. The sky changes colour from night to day, and the time passes easier.

*

Perhaps my kin will find me. One might stumble upon my broken form, and carry me back to our people. Or perhaps he will grant me mercy.

I do not think I want to be found. This will be my punishment: to lie in solitude until this world fades into the abyss. Eiran in microcosm, no comfort afforded until the day of ultimate Peace. I was foolish to think I could escape this fate.

*

Did I sleep?

I have never slept - I do not know what sleep is like. A mortal suffering. But I cannot remember when day became night, so I think I must have slept.

The pain still clouds my thoughts. Retreading old paths, confused questioning arises: How can it end like this? What Peace is this, abandoned, helpless, suffering?

What God of Peace would leave a world to this?

NO GOD WORTHY OF THE NAME

No voice, only words. What is--

YOUR SALVATION

The pain is gone. God! Such blessed relief! The great Lord has not abandoned us! He has not! He has come to save this world--

I COME TO END IT

Thoughts flood my mind, concepts so great I can only contain fragments - I am but an immortal - but I understand.

Yes. Yes, this is how things must be.

I push myself up from the rocks, and as I do so I feel bones grind, twist, and slide into their proper places. Reforged, I stand.

"I am your servant, Great Lord. All shall be as you will.

"This world shall end. But it shall end clean."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hall stood vast and unchanging, as it had been for centuries already. Deep in the heart of the city, unbeknownst to any of the mortals who lived above it, the vast domed chamber was filled with a low humming and a faint crackling. Thick pillars decorated with symbols now forgotten - a silver mace clenched in a fist and dripping blood, a quill of fire, a book encrusted with precious stones, a vampiric face engraved in a circle, a radiant heart, a cracked egg revealing a sinuous shape, a sphere of woven threads, a wicked dagger - supported the darkened dome, and in the whole chamber, there stood only a round table, decorated with the same symbols and many more even more obscure. Nine stood around the table, and the city above them was unaware of their presence. They had come through the usual ways and paths, some bringing good news, some bringing bad ones.

"So it is true," the Grim Lord said somberly. "He has turned."

"Aye," replied the Scrivener, sadly, "'twas not his fault, yet turn he did. I have sensed this, and ye know what this means."

The fleshless skull of the Night Wyrm rose on its sinuous neck. "The lines have been drawn," his hollow voice boomed, "even now the gods take sides. Some have... surprised me."

"Indeed," the Grim Lord agreed, "it remains to be seen whether their pledges of loyalty to one another, and their stated intentions will survive what is coming."

"Nevertheless, we have lost three of our number," the Hand of the Weave interjected quietly, "our power dwindles with each of us leaving, and yet I feel we shall be very much needed in the onslaught unleashed by the gods."

"Yes," the Lily in Winter agreed, "I remember very well what cataclysms accompany the wars of the gods. To most of them, mortals will be merely pawns, if and no one sheds tears when their pawns are taken from the board." She sighed. "Unless of course it means growing weaker oneself."

"There is a solution to the problem we face," the Champion Immortal announced. "Though we have lost some of our number, there are those who - like one uf us - were never granted the powers of a chosen one, yet were nonetheless bestowed great power by either the fickle fates, or the hand of their gods. Many died in the cataclysms of the Second Age, and others were lost during the Interdiction; some yet survive." He paused. "Though those who were dear to me perished in the millennia since."

The Lily in Winter placed her hand on the Champion's shoulder. "I am sorry, Jameak", she said, "We all know how much you loved her. Well all wish she had survived, yet you remember as well as we all do that the time before and after the Interdiction was a time of chaos. Her death saved others, and her sacrifice is remembered."

"It is remembered by us," the Champion Immortal said, sadly, "but I look outside and I see what the gods of today have wrought. The old legends from our Age are no longer heeded; the deaths of those such as Lirania is all but forgotten. And what did she die for? All that we strove to save and help is now crumbling because the gods have returned, and like the spoiled children they are, they have seen it fit to bring another apocalypse on Eiran." He looked at the Lily, eyes glistening with tears. "Tell me again that Lirania's death was not in vain, for I look upon the world today and I cannot help but think that my daughter died for nothing."

To this, the Lily had no answer. Jameak sighed. "What is coming, we cannot foresee and we cannot stop. Despite our best efforts, the gods will undo all that we attempt to do, no matter the sacrifice, no matter the price we pay. Lirania's death was for nothing, and all she did has been undone. Lirania died at the hands of a Herald to save this world, and bid me live for her, for our people - and now the Heralds return, and her death is made in vain too. Adomorn is gone, and what defenses do we have agaisnt the coming darkness? A handful of gods willing to help Eiran do not make up for a majority of gods who are too taken up by their petty squabbles to see what is happening." He shook his head. Of the old gods, who is left who remembers the World Breaker? O-gon-cho, still trapped by her terror? Simjen, unwilling to commit to the battle he already fought once? Moxinomal, who actually called the World Breaker? No," he said, "there is no hope for this world anymore."

"What is happening to you?" The Lady of the Weave asked. "Your strength has been unwavering all these centuries, and you have led us without doubts or fears; why are you so willing to accept defeat now, when our world needs us more than ever?"

Jameak looked at the Lady. "I see around me the same dooms we faced in the last Age, am I am reminded of those we have lost. I am reminded of our failures. My failure." He looked down, sighed, then shook his head. "I have had enough, and have I not sacrificed enough for Eiran? I will not continue to do so when those who should shepherd the world do all in their power to destroy it. I am not a Lord of Eiran - I am merely Jameak, and I am weary." And without listening to protestations, he walked away from the table, head bowed.

Silence hung around the table and the eight remaining participants. It was the Night Wyrm who broke it, fleshless skull rising on his sinuous neck. "This is all for nothing, then. Jameak is not the only one who has seen the gathering storm. Somewhere out there, one of the Oldest Powers is rising again. Argothoth is returning, and his darkness will envelop the world once more. Then we shall merely sit and watch while he and the World Breaker struggle for the honor of being the destroyer of Eiran." His sepulchral voice bore a tone of finality. "Against the likes of my old master and the World Breaker, we can do little. We are fractured, and we have lost our leader. I see no hope for any of us in the coming night."

"What is this you speak of?" The Grim Lord said, amazed. "Are you admitting defeat, too, Rothgarh? We need the power of all of us if we are to have any hope to help the people of Eiran!"

"No," the Night Wyrm disagreed, "I have remained with you all for so long because I believed I was the last one, and because I believed that together, we could help this world. But Jameak is right, the world is now beyond help. And if it is, then I wish to rejoin my kin before the end. They have risen now, returned to the world - whether they heard Argothoth's call or not is immaterial - and they call to me. Had we had any hope of staving off the inevitable... ah, but we do not." The massive skeletal body of the Night Wyrm retreated in the darkness, leaving behind its voice alone. "Do not seek me again."

"Ah," the Scrivener commented, "so the darkness prevails."

"There are some we might call upon," the Lily in Winter said sadly. "I have long since known that a ward of my erstwhile master was awakened seasons ago, and has since cast her lot with him who now claims my old master's dominion."

"No," the Scrivener replied, "She will be of little help. With the others gone, what can the seven of us accomplish?"

"What are you saying, Nalam?"

"I say this: our power is not sufficient to save Eiran. We do not suffice to destroy the World Breaker, prevent Argothoth's return, or nullify any of the disasters which are shattering our world. Better than that each of us goes his or her own way, to do what we can for the descendants of those who empowered us."

"But the Lords..." the Lily in Winter began. Nalam shook his head. "'twas a good concept, yet all things must come to an end. Jameak was our leader; without him, nothing can be done. Rothgarh will not help, and the Book calls for me."

"You cannot believe it is right to give up all we have accomplished!" The Grim Lord exclaimed.

"We give up nothing. But there are duties which we have neglected for far too long. I have remained with you for as long as I could, but now that it is clear there is neither the will nor the power to save Eiran among us, I must return to the Book, for the final pages need to be filled, as my Lady once did. Goodbye, old friends... may you find what you seek in the last moments of the world."

The remaining Lords stood as if petrified, watching all they had worked for disappear slowly into the night. They looked at each other, each of them wondering who would say the fateful words next. In the end, the Grim Lord spoke, his eyes fixed on the spot where Jameak had stood.

"There is nothing more to be said," he said somberly. "What else can we add to what Jameak, Rothgarh and Nalam have already mentioned?" He sighed. "In truth I am reminded of my own losses, and I share Jameak's plight." He looked at his remaining companions. "In truth, perhaps we have outlived our usefulness. This, the first great test of our commitment, has showed that we are flawed. That we are not what Eiran needs. The deaths of the Second Age weigh too heavily on our hearts. Jameak's Lirania has been gone for millennia, and yet he still mourns her. I mourn my own daughter. Rothgarh's dark heart revels at the thought of not being alone anymore. Nalam seeks solace in the work his erstwhile goddess performed, hoping to lose himself in it. And the rising of the World Breaker, the return of these powers of the Second Age... we cannot meet them. We carry with us too much death."

"So... is this the end?" Iris asked, incredulously. The Lord-General nodded slowly. "Perhaps it is only right that it ends like this. We were necessary as long as no gods existed, but now what can we do to stop the gods? The AllFather has given them responsibility for this world, and it is theirs to keep or betray. We as Lords cannot do more than what we have done. It is time, I think, to take separate paths. Let each of us do what our hearts tell us to. Let us remember the old dead, the sacrifices which have been for nothing, and choose - each of us - where we stand. Whether we fight, or flee, or wait for the end.

The Lords of Eiran are no more."


Last edited by Xar on Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:26 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She came to a sudden halt and doubled over, panting in exhaustion. Sinking to her knees as she struggled to catch her breath, she raised her head to see that the trees ended scarcely a hundred yards ahead. They were replaced by a series of foothills hat started out gentle but quickly grey into the range of sky-piercing mountains that crossed Shaldir.

Her breath still ragged, she stood wearily and slowly made her way out from under the canopy and into the dull afternoon light. She slowly ascended the first of the foothills and turned back towards the south, were Vor-ta-vor looked like a great green sea breaking against a dull tan beach.

She wasn't going to get much closer than this.

For a moment, she wondered why she had come here. This was where it all started after all. Where he had finally been scretly buried, safe and secure after years of having official public grave sites desecrated by hooligans and heretics. Where she had grown up, a happy little girl who spent her days running through flower-laden meadows, exploring forests awash with dappled sunlight, swimming in sparkling mountain streams. Always aware of her mother's presence - her watchful eye and the wram embrace of her spirit.

It had all changed that day of course, and not just because of Trolin and Rilu. All across the land they had risen, cold and lifeless and terrifying. All because of him, and his lie about protecting the world. Or maybe it hadn't been a lie. Maybe he'd meant it, before the power had filled him, consumed him. Not that it mattered now of course - he'd had his choice and he'd chosen madness. After so much time, his reasons were irrellevant.

She'd hated him, passionately, almost her entire life, and she would have been content to continue to hate him until the very end. Some things can never be forgiven, and it was something she had always been able to control. Until now.

Now, he was returning, and she was losing her hold on the fury, losing control of the hate. She realised that it was far worse than she had ever imagined.

She was failing and failing fast, and she needed help. That she knew, without a doubt. But who was there to help her? Her mother was lost to the Weave, so intertwined with it now that she no longer existed separately in any meaningful way. Trolin's spirit would be gone too - he had spent longer in the Weave than his goddess had - and Rilu's spirit had been consumed by Maeror before she'd even been born.

There was Iris, who had raised her after her mother gave herself for the good of Eiran. It was a tempting option, but she knew it wasn't a viable one. Iris had other duties now, duties far more important than saving one broken little goddess All of Eiran was at stake, and that was far more important. That left only one alternative.

As the clouds darkened and the rain began to fall, Anaya lifted her head and cried out into the ether. "Father! It's me, Zeldalia. I don't don't know where you are, or even who you are, but I need help and you owe me!"

"FATHER!"
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunger has assembled his Teeth north of Desire and west at the site of the next battle between uKulwa's followers and his combatants. He has had a season to think about his learning from the last battle and is sure that his warriors will prevail this time. The last contest taught him the value of ferocity. But it also taught him that guile and strategy play and equal and perhaps greater role in success. The rocky environment, almost maze-like as you approach the center of Nocturna's mountain range provides an ideal setting. The flag is placed high where any can see, and 40 companies of Teeth are ready. It is night, the moon is full, the contest will begin the next day at dawn and the Teeth are eager for battle!

Under the light of the moon, the Teeth 'grow' weaponized armor around themselves. Hunger's voice carries over the clear, crisp night air, "Our Lord watches!! And he expects us to win, and win convincingly!! However, you are to win through prowess at battle! you are NOT to use desires power to incapacitate your opponent! Teeth should only need their bite to win!!" A cheer rises from the assembled combatants. Hunger speaks again, "Our Lord watches from afar ... win or lose He will NOT interfere. Win or lose see that you entertain Him!" Chuckles ripple through his warriors. Win or lose, they are eager for the sensations and experience of battle!

The day dawns clear, with a light breeze coming in from the north. It is pleasant and temperate. A fine day to die! A regiment of 1,000 warriors standing behind black shields has positioned themselves to challenge Madadeva's warriors, they slowly advance in an ominous wall on the waiting Teeth. Younger warriors with white shields dart in and out of the rocky paths trying to lure Teeth to break formation. But Desire's warriors are well aware of temptation and how to resist it! They hold against the line, and as the young white-shields break rank to harry the Teeth, Hunger's Tongues, mutated warriors that resemble large armored frogs, dart out their long sticky tongues capturing uKulwa's attacking warriors and devouring them! Their shrieks as they are consumed send a shiver of fear even through the hardened veteran black-shields. But still they press forward; expectant of success. However, the Teeth have learned from their last defeat. It is obvious that uKulwa has not arrayed his full force against them. They send scouts to find the remainder. They report back that a large contingent readies the attack their flank and commanding Corruptors give orders for a portion of their forces to lay in wait - hidden - in ambush! As the battle engages, bloodlust enrages the Teeth. The black shield wall is impressive, but uKulwa's warriors are only human. As the Teeth are enraged, long curved serrated blades erupt from the battle armor hides of their forearms and they throw themselves with abandon at their attackers. The flank attackers find themselves ambushed; eviscerated by the Teeth and many consumed by the Tongues.

At the height of the Teeth's confidence, their victory is threatened. The last fourth of uKulwa's strength has maneuvered behind the prize. They advance to claim the flag while Madadeva's troops are engaged, confident of another success. However, uKulwa's warriors are betrayed ... by their own desire! They were proud of their cleverness, and their imminent win - a pride magnified 1,000 times by the 1,000 elite warriors. Like a beacon, their prideful desire calls to a Corruptor on rear-guard and reveals the gathering of wills behind the rocky hilltop where the flag stands. Quickly, 500 Teeth are deployed to repulse the rear guard. Outnumbered, the first 5 Teeth to reach the approach to the flag exert their power of desire over the front line of attackers, slowing them - turning their desires. "NO!!! Our Lord forbids!", the Corruptor yells. The disobedient Teeth are torn, limb from limb by those that follow. The savagery of the Teeth, even for their own, startle uKulwa's warriors causing them to pause. And then slavering vicious attacks by the Teeth and consuming Tongues, as well as the constricted path to the flag, slow and ultimately stop the read-guard advance. As time passes, more reinforcements are deployed against uKulwa's flag attempt. Madadeva's warriors have won this engagement!!

Both sides disengage, acknowledging the Madadeva the victor, uKulwa has lost almost twice as many warriors as he has. As they rest from their efforts both armies sense in their thoughts the delighted resonant voice of the Lord of Desire, "Well fought all - my complements!!"
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Talion at his side, and the Children of Fate arrayed behind him, Imanu stood before all the gathered worshippers of the Grey Goddess. Sadness touched his heart as he looked to his left, to the spot where Nadiar should have stood, and he knew that the sorrow he felt was not merely his own - Anaya herself wept at the loss of the Mage who had died so bravely to defend her.

"Brothers and sisters, as you know, the Fate of our world hangs in the balance - perched on an edge as narrow as the blade of a knife. The World-Breaker, and the denizens of the Void, and even time itself conspire to bring ruin to Eiran. The situation has become so dire that no deity, not even Anaya herself, can guarantee the safety of their followers."

As the full meaning of his words brought forth involuntary gasps from the assembled crowd, Imanu continued. "We have all walked the Grey Path, and I for one will continue to do so, for it has never lead me wrong. Therefore today I turn away from the light that blinds and the darkness that enshrouds, and I go to the Arc."

"Choose again the narrow way and follow after me, for it is the will of the Grey Goddess that we survive whatever doom may befall Eiran, and the Arc offers the greatest hope of such survival."

Turning from the congregation and scooping the smallest of the Children of Fate into his arms, Imanu strode towards the Western Gate. As Talion and the other Children and their parents followed, he did not need to turn back to see if the people joined them, for he knew they would. They would walk into the Void itself for their Goddess, and the impending doom of their world was plain for all to see.

A slender figurecloaked in grey fell in beside him, carrying a tiny bundle that he new to be her newborn daughter. "You have done well, Imanu. Would that I had a gift to give you."

Imanu smiled softly. "You have always put us first, Anaya, and that is the only gift we could ever ask for."
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CHOSEN! SWORDS OF PEACE! THE HERALD SPEAKS!

BY THE WILL OF THE GREAT GOD, HEAR ME!

Rustle of feathers, clatter of armor and swords, thousands of Fallen Ones gathered on this foreign shore, eyes upward to their Prophet.

The Lord has entered into our realm!

I have witnessed His power! I have felt His anger! Eiran itself has trembled under the tread of His feet upon the earth!

Our Lord has come among us, brethren, and HE HAS BEEN BETRAYED!

Gasps of shock, a roar tumbling through the crowd. Many among us confused, unbelieving.

This world's false gods have imprisoned Him! God sought to prevent the abomination they had wrought, and they have turned against Him. They have revealed themselves at last as ENEMIES OF PEACE!

Fear and shock to anger. Clash of swords against shields. Grey eyes looking down upon them turn to steel.

As we stand here, the false gods commit slaughter in your homes. War, disease, perverted death and undeath, all are brought down upon God's people.

The Lord is made blind, helpless, while these abominations destroy your families. Such is their cowardice, to attack while the Lord cannot oppose them.

Do you fear for your lovers, your children? Do not. Their ends are swift, and oblivion awaits them. In death, they suffer no more.

Do you feel anger? Do not! God feels all your anger a thousand times over. God holds within himself your wrath. He will feel for you what you must not.

DO YOU DESIRE RETRIBUTION?

A roar; voices raised thousandfold drowning out all other sound. Tears drying on cheeks, burning fury tempering into something cold and hard.

OUR LORD IS IN THIS REALM, AND HE IS CHAINED! HIS PEOPLE DIE! HIS PEACE IS SHATTERED!

ARE WE NOT HIS HAND? ARE WE NOT HIS CHOSEN CRUSADE?

WE ARE HIS SALVATION!

WE WILL BREAK OPEN THEIR PRISONS. WE WILL SHATTER THEIR CHAINS.

THE GREAT GOD WILL WALK FREE, AND HE WILL BRING PEACE!

HE WILL GRANT US OBLIVION!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cold wind blows through the empty world of Eiran. No action occurs either mortal or deific. The Omega sighs. He feels no satisfaction; he simply understands that all things end. Some in glorious conclusions. Some surrendering unexpectedly to entropy.
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Jove
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and though Astavyastataa doesn't know it, the breeze comes from Old Jove, who blows the wind towards him once more. On the breeze she tells him, our time will come again, my old friend, but for now, we must be patient. These gods are done with Eiran and we must await the new ones that will surely rise - in this world or the next.

Jove takes a deep breath and the gentle wind blows Simjen's mighty ship, crowded with his followers, to speed them to their new destination. Jove waves to Simjen as she blesses his followers with good fortune.

She then blows a cool gust towards Arcadia, the young goddess of Love, one of the many children of the Great Lover, Bhakti. Arcadia sees Joves and understands that her time has ended. Come, my daughter. Sadly, she nods and relinquishes herself into the wind that blows around her.

Jove commands the clouds to roll by, carrying the essence of Arcadia's Love, and sends them travelling over the Eiran landscape - a calm but vigorous breeze, putting to sleep the memories of Arcadia's followers, wiping clean their recollection of gods and heroes.

Finished with her work, Jove returns to her throne and awaits the return of the Allfatherer.
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