Lords of Creation: Chaos Within (IC Thread)

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~The Moot~
The "Proof" broke through the cloud cover and plummeted to earth, mighty wing-sweeps buffeting the  dragons below as Morenth pulled a seemingly impossible loop to kill her momentum before landing next to Cantorix.  Morenth eyed the younger dragons suspiciously, then bobbed her head in greeting.

"My name is Morenth.  I too come to the Moot."

 
~The North~

He tried to hide his terror at the way in which the elven scouts had seemed to materialize out of the snowy wastes.

"I have come north seeking those who have a Sun, for their aid is greatly needed."  He said simply. 
The younger dragons, both near the visiting pair and surrounding the Mootstone, quaked. The reactions seemed random, ranging from a hyper-alertness to immobilization, battle-readiness to baffled curiosity, and a tinge of horror.

The closest one retreated a few broad paces. His head craned low to the ground and his wings shrouded the vulnerable places of his body. An instinctive rumble crept out from between his sharpened teeth.

"What... what are you?"

Cantorix stepped forward, sending a long wave rippling across the lake and to the base of the Mootstone. A quick snort drew the youngling's attention.

"There is no violence at the Moot. Draw blood, and you shame the countless generations that died for this place."

His words were harsh, but they never lost an undertone of empathy. Cantorix understood breaking under pressure. The other dragons gathered defensively about the Mootstone as they had been trained to do. An uneasiness hung in the air.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

"I am a dragon, clearly.  My scales are red and my breath is Fire, but beyond that, we are the same.  Both born from fallen suns, both forged in horrible circumstances.  Up until this morning, I had no knowledge of your kind, and from what Cantorix has told me, you had no knowledge of ours.  But we are kin."

Morenth nodded to Cantorix.

"He and I have fought together now against a common foe.  This has formed a bond that should be strengthened.  It is for this reason I come to the Moot.  The Craterspawn... the Enemy... both remain.  We must join together to become vigilant."



~Portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire~
OOC
 Sorry Xeadin... I'm going to move on.  Hope you come back soon!


Agni watched as his counterpart stared down into the fiery depths and laughed.

Think on that for a while, WaterMaiden.

And Agni sped to the north, coming over the eastern savannah, where he slowed as he noticed a new race of mortals below him.  He descended and stared at the Orcs from a safe distance.  Who had created these?


1 AP:  Create Hero:  Morenth (Might as well)

3 AP remains. 

Cantorix glanced at Morenth from the corner of his eye. A bond? He had never thought of it as a bond, news certainly,  but never a bond. Interesting. Cantorix looked over the youngling at the others. They were surely younger. Then the Duty fell to him.

The youngling stared at Morenth, but his focus faded away. Morenth was much more than a mere dragon, she was a begining, and an end. He stared through her, and past her. He felt as if he was falling away, wingless.

"So then... The Moot..."

"Must be called. Tradition dictates that the Moot be summoned as soon as it is called, but I will give you untill nightfall Keeper. You have given up enough."

The youngling continued staring at Morenth. His body was oddly relaxed, given the chill of the water. He didn't feel it at all.

"I-no. No. It will be done."

He retreated slowly. Was there an accusatory glance in his eyes? After what felt like a lifetime, the youngling turned his gaze over his shoulder towards the others. A dullness krept over them. No words were exchanged, and only the wind tore open the silence across the jagged peak. Like a shadow, the youngling slid away and silently glided into the air, higher and higher over the Mootstone.

"I am sorry, Keeper."

And then he fell.

The youngling crashed into the jagged pillar. The cacophony of shattering bones was carried away on the wind, but the scream remained. The corpse split open like a fruit, pouring warm blood across the Mootstone. After a few seconds, it rolled over the stone and tumbled into the lake.

The Moot had been called.





He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Morenth jumped into the air as the young dragon killed itself, her breath flecked with fire and fury.  She could... feel... that cry inside her, scrabbling and grasping at her soul and her mind, shouting in soundless words:  COME.

"What was that?  To call a meeting you sacrifice one of your own?  That is the PRIMAL Sin! I... I am not sure this was a good idea."
~Chitrachs~


"This appears to have been the source of our difficulties.  Have you ever seen its like?"

Even in death, the Antiphon was hard to look at. Had it really been in ther midst all along?
The Umbralist shook her head in response. "No. I have not. But if it is a sign of things to come, then I fear we may need all the allies we can have."

She extended a hand.

"Welcome, in friendship, to the Crown Valley."
Krr'Ree'E stared at the hand for a long moment, then bowed.

"Forgive me, but you do not wish to grip my 'hand.'"  She waved one of her forelimbs.  "They are quite sharp.   But we thank you for your welcome and extend our friendship to you on behalf of my mother and the rest of our people."

The Chitrach looked up at the setting sun.

"It is late.  We should return to our nests.  Until we meet again."

Krr'Ree'E made a sharp jabbing signal, and, as one, the Chitrachs burrowed into the earth and vanished. 
Cantorix sighed, but his chest still felt heavy. The wind died out.

"This is forced upon no one. It is among the greatest of duties, and the few here chose this knowing they may die for the benefit of the whole. The brave go forth happy to die for kin."

Cantorix pointed his snout at the other dragons. They hung their heads low, and none looked at Morenth. They could all feel it, even Morenth due to proximity. A pulse in the blood. An innate knowledge.

"They know his name, and it will be recorded along with the Elder Wyklix. He will be buried under the lake along with the first martyr. He will be missed."

Cantorix longed for the wind. It was comforting in its own way. It was... distracting. And now nothing distracted away from the corpse. Cantorix had never imagined himself here, a murderer. Was this a moot or a trial?

"The Mootstone, it is a brutal blessing."

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Morenth took several deep breaths as she settled back to earth.

"What you do, even by choice, is abomination to my kind.  We are so few after the Cataclysm of the Eternal Volcano.  To allow another to die... is wrong."

A shudder rolled its way down from neck to tail as Morenth considered the thought. 
-The Savannah-

Urk lifted his arms and closed his eyes. The green sun rose in the sky, and it warmed his body. He could feel the light inch along his skin, starting with his forehead, then passing over his placid face. This, the warm of the sky, was the second great blessing, and his body was eager for it. The blessing passed too quickly. His skin grew accustomed to the temperature, and the communion ended.

He opened his eyes, drew his club, and raised it to the sky. The warriors with him did likewise, and with voices as one, they screamed their gratitude to the heavens. The bellow lasted for a moment, for a miniute, for as long as the warriors could hold it. One by one, out of breath, they stopped, until only Urk remained. Every muscle in his chest was tight, trying to force the last speck of air from his lungs. Not for the first time he wondered if he could break his own ribs from doing this.

At least Urk stopped screaming, and gasped for air. This was the fifth blessing, the feel of new air, new warmth, entering the body. He filled his lungs and he could feel his skin stretch to try to make room for all he took in. A joint in his back, one that had been bothering him all morning -- he must have slept on a rock -- cracked.

The warriors exhaled, controlled, as a hunter is controlled.

The cooks called for them. The first blessing, the warmth of wood and cooked food, was ready. The meal was small and simple, made from roots and other plants, but that was alright. The warriors went hunting today. The blackfoot tribe had encroached on their land, and they would erradicate them. There would be meat tonight.

Despite the early hour, the day was already warm, and as Urk ate, he began to sweet. The food was almost too hot to swallow, and many spices had been put in, but that didn't account for the heat. Perhaps this was a sign that Agni had heard the prayers of the shamans last night, and that he was watching over them and would grant them victory.

-The North-

The arctic elves barely spoke to the azer-man as they escorted him to before the rulers. Although Queen Ilsagar, Lady of Iceheim, was the First of four, she was the first among equals. The farscouts didn't take the azer-man to her alone, but all three.

Out in the cold, in the raw wind, servants had constructed three thrones out of snow. It was a hasty job, and flakes fell off the one on the right. The backs of the thrones were to the glacier, and the Midnight Sun hung just above it. Despite the years of trying, the elves had not been able to move it further.

The farscouts brought the azer-man before the three. Ilsagar was in the middle, her body as naked as a blade. Her legs were crossed, but her arms rested on the chair, palms up. Here eyes were closed, and her chest rose slowly but steadily for many long moments before she exhaled. A dusting of snow fell from the sky, and as each prick of ice touched her skin, she smiled.

To her left was Queen Gisa, Lady of Thawhold, Second of Four. Her throne was covered with furs, most white, but a few rare brown ones, brought from the far south where creatures didn't live in perpetual snow. Poles had been stuck in the ground around her throne, and a leather tarp between them, which protected her from the weather. Occasionally small tufts of the stuff slid off the back and onto the ground behind the throne. Gisa herself wore simple leather clothes, with white fur peeking out around the collar and sleeves. Her hand covered her eyes, protecting them from the brightness of the landscape. Every other moment she shifted, looking to see if the azer-man had arrived yet.

On Ilsagar's right was King Bernhar, Lord of Frosthaven, Third of Four. His chair lacked cushion, but his clothing was thick, and a great cape of fur and skin was draped over his shoulders. He was leaning forward in his chair, and there his body remained, though his eyes darted to every movement. They paused just long enough to assess the threat and then moved one, seeking. His left hand was pressed against the armrest of his throne. His fingers moved up and down the side, melting troughs into it.

The azer-man was brought before them, and though he was offered a snow-chair as well, they offered no warmth or other comfort. It remained to be judged is hospitality would be extended or not.

The world still felt like the edge of a dream, or a nightmare. His escape... he had been flour under a millstone, ground into dust. Had he been stripped of everything? Azgo might have been free, but The Crowned in Blood still felt shackled. Like a turtle with too heavy a shell...


He took a moment to adjust himself. The world felt unfamiliar and distant. Upon what shore did this wisp of a god come into essence? Azgo spread himself out and caressed the brail of the coastline. Grain by grain, he slowly remembered this area. He had once laid a plague upon this area, these hinterlands. Many warriors had gathered here, awash in the vigor of the Primal Spirits. They had held their own against his legions.

Azgo smiled faintly.

And what had thier defiance earned them? Blindness. Entire towns covered up in milky blindness... They had died alone, and afraid of his power. Such is the way, for the blind to lead the blind.

But there would be time for such things later on. His followers had called out to him, and a world was ripe for the rotting. Azgo molded himself into a cloud, and then raced with the stormwinds along the coast untill he came to rest above the halfing's Mangrove tree. The sky grew paler and covered itself in the puss-white sores of cloudcover. Over the next several days, the ailing tempest spread itself across the western ocean. Under his breath, gardens began to wither. The leaves dried up along the tops, and the fruit blackened here and there. A cough went out among the halflings, swelling their lungs with mucus. Handfuls of silkworms shriveled up and died.

Far out at sea, the scattered flotilla of halfling ships crawled along the sea. The boats were as haggard as the sailors, showing bare bones and timber under skins of flesh and sail. The followers, they had been too eager. They had been so occupied with sailing that they had underestimated the length of the journey itself. In the first few days, the halfling rations were greedily gorged in celebrations reminiscent of the old wild dances. Then they had split and rationed what food was left. Meals became loaves. Loaves became slices. Slices crumbled into nothing, and fell between the planks. A few more days, and they consumed the halfling limbs in a rush of new, sogging meat. Legs were prized and killed over. Eyes were a delicacy for the few who resprted to such things. Nothing was left to throw overboard.

Azgo watched over them, letting the "feasts" continue. They had been foolish, and they needed to suffer for such ignorance. They needed to feel the hunger of the dead man, the paranoia that kept them awake at night wondering whose turn it was next, and for some the agony of being broken apart like bread. What Azgo would give to go through such little pain...

And after six more days of this suffering, He reached out with swirling fingers into the water, a hive of typhoons penetrated the waters around the ship. Given what little strength he had, Azgo plunged his grip into the ocean's depths leaving blood in his wake.

And with his other hand, Azgo pulled a fang from his blackened gums. Breaking it into fragments, he cast the fragments of his hunger and his wrath into the typhoons. The storms raced ahead of the boats, always on the horizon.

And hours after the storms passed, schools of fish would float to the surface, bloated and bruised. Lesions ran down the length of the scaly sides, and the flesh was a cocktail of spewing, juicy scarletts and chewy blacks. And from the air, swarms of palm-sized locusts flew between the galleons. They allowed the cultist to grap them by the handful. Crunchy...

Azgo turned from the boats, ingoring praises from the many remaining. The cloud began to move forward, searching the land. What else had transpired in his absence?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cantorix said nothing.

How could he reply to her? She was right; The call of the Moot was an evil thing. But it was a neccessary thing, or so he had been told.

Eventually he whispered in response.

"They will come. They will not sleep nor eat unless they will die without it. The Moot will begin in three days, and more will come during its progression."

"There are caves beneath the mountain, a place to slumber. I will show you if you care to."

Cantorix did not want to sleep. Dreams had a way of making him think, and that was too much for him. For now...

OOC
 Populate Populace (1AP): Locusts are formed. A great plague upon sentient species will soon begin to take its toll.
Nourish Populace (1AP): The cultists survive their long journey be feasting upon the "gifts" of Azgo.
AP Remaining:3

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

He walked the crown. The air around him seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. Order attempted to exert its control where he passed. Walking for days, he saw much. Dragons in flight. Human villages popping up every where. Things had changed much since he was alive last. Alive last...... That thought made him chuckle. He was alive yet not. Zebus retrieved his essence and saved it from returning to chaos. Zebus must have thought that he still yet had a purpose to fill. Looking like the other humans and blending in seemed easy enough, although many bowed their heads when he passed as if in reverence.  "That's right I'm no longer a full god anymore. I can pass among the mortals more easily now..." Walking among the countryside, it wasn't very long before he came upon a very strange meeting of humans and........What he didn't know. Were they craterspawn?

Quietly he watched and waited. It would be rude to interrupt after all, but something told him this wasn't to be missed.

ooc


Oh boys! can marcus play too?

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I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

~The North~

Pen
 His name is Giroth


 Giroth eyed the ice-chair-thing with distrust and cautiously reached out to touch it with one red finger.  Pain radiated up his arm as the cold permeated his body, while the arm rest of the chair began to drip and melt.  He pulled his hand away.

"Thank you for your offer, mighty ones, but I must decline.  I fear your land and my body simply are at odds with one another.  I shall stand for now."

Giroth stood for a moment and looked at the sun that pulsed just overhead.  There was no denying it.  It was the same as the one that flooded the caverns of Sil Arkesh with monsters.

"I come for that."  He said, pointing at the sun.  "Or rather, because of that.  My people have one as well, and it is causing us unending sorrow."

Giroth quickly outlined the events that had befallen his city:  The Magma, the rebirth as Azer, the earthquake, the appearance of the sun and the monsters.  

"... and I do not know if my city still stands, mighty ones.  But still, I ask your help.  Help me to save my city."


~Savannah~

Agni watched the orcs for a time, and was impressed by their bravery and skill.  One band in particular had caught his attention, its leader a particularly fine specimen, posessing all the attributes that one would want in an Orc.

And so it was that the God chose to bless this tribe of Orcs.

It was night, and the orcs were asleep save for a few sentries, Urk among them, watching the horizon for blackfoot raiders.  Suddenly, the air grew hot and heavy, and Urk had barely time to wonder what was happening before he and all the other Orcs were sent into a dreamless slumber.

And Agni descended.

Over Urk he hovered first, and, reaching out with divine hands, he opened up the side of the Orc and broke off one of the ribs, sealing the wound with a short dribble of magma.  Agni poured his divine will into the rib.  The rib caught aflame and began to bend and grow, muscles, organs and hair coming into existence around a molten core.  Moments later, a large dog nuzzled Urk's shoulder and lay down next to his master, a tendril of flame escaping from its mouth at every breath.

Agni moved on to each orc of the tribe.  From each, he took a rib.  To each, he gave a Hearth Hound.

Finally, Agni returned to Urk himself.  He breathed on the earth, and a pool of magma formed.  The pool hissed and bubbled for a moment before draining away, revealing a large mithril warhammer emblazoned with the symbol of Agni himself.  This weapon, FireBringer, would be Urk's to wield.

And with that Agni returned to the heavens.

~Dragons~

"I do not desire sleep at the moment, Cantorix.  If anything, I desire food.  Would you fly with me to find some?"



~Chitrachs + Humans + Marcus~


Joran
Well, the Chitrachs just left, soooooo.... well, they'll show up again, why not. (you were talking about the Chitrachs and Humans, yes?)


All around Marcus the ground began to break apart as the Chitrachs re-emerged.

"Why do you watch our new friends so intently, stranger?"  One of them chittered.

1 AP:  Spawn Beast:  Hearth Hounds:  Fire-breathing dogs that are linked to a single master (in the future, this will not require the sacrifice of a rib).  The dogs imprint on their master at a young age, and will fiercely defend them.  They and their masters enjoy some very rudimentary form of telepathic bond.  When the master of a Hearth Hound dies, the Hearth Hound dies immediately.

1 AP:  Craft Artifact:  FireBringer, a mortal weapon of great power emblazoned with the symbol of Agni.  Causes things to catch on fire when hit.  Currently owned by Urk the Orc.

1 AP left.
 
Pruinus had spent a good while travelling the earth on foot, at the pace of a mere mortal. After her encounter with the Skydwellers, she wished to see up close what other creatures had adapted to their environment, defying even the limitations of their species.

Her journey brought with it chilling winds, clouds choosing to spit hail at the ground on which she walked.

One of the first changes she had noticed is the growth of the creatures known as the Nix. They began to inhabit more lands then they previously dared themselves. She spot a train of carts and wagons slowly making its way from The Crown towards a nearby human settlement. Here, the two cultures made a trade. The Nix gave away stocks of meat, pelts, fur, wool, bones, ore, herbs... Generally all manner of objects which a Nix would see everyday in The Crown and consider mundane.
The humans in return granted them weapons and armour. One might think it a foolish move to give weapons away to those who you trade with, but the Nix did even seem capable of such dishonesty as to use traded weapons against their previous owners. Even were there a risk of the Nix turning hostile, with the bitter, freezing winds of winter returning the humans simply needed protection from the cold more then from the blade.

Many more caravans emerged from The Crown carrying similar goods.

Pruinus carried on her journey, walking up and down the continent as blizzards and snowstorms covered her from mortal eyes.


---

Non-AP: As Pruinus travels the continent, winter follows her. The winter begins in the north-east of the continent, spreading up and down as Pruinus travels.

2AP: Command Populace - Nix
The Nix culture has grown and evolved. Their respect for nature and the primal spirits remains the same, but their methods and customs around this change. Previously, Nix only kill animals that they need the meat for in the immediate future. Hunters now hunt every animal for its meat, fur, bones and every other scavengeable resource, storing them in huge quantities where qualified Nix shamans would cast spells to preserve the remains until they are ready to ship them out. The Nix do not trade with currency, only for other objects of worth, although they may give away their goods to those they feel need it.

1AP - Harm locusts
Pruinus isn't making any effort to do this and isn't aware of it even happening, but I imagine a winter lasting years could cause a dent in locust population. Note that Agni'Vohda are NOT harmed by this winter as it does not target divine fires.

1 AP Left.
"I am merely curious." Marcus looks directly at the newly arrived. "I have been away for a long time and I did not recognize your kind. The fact you act with an intelligence implies that you are not the craterspawn that I have once seen long ago. How fairs the war against them? We must be winning for so many to be about."

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I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

-The North-

Queen Ilsagar, Lady of Iceheim, First of Four, rolled her head back and stared at the sky. "The Primal Spirits speak in your favor, Giroth Azerman. Winter has come, and it is time for the elves to march south again."

First of Four looked to her cohorts, Gisa first, then Bernhar, and, with hesitation, each nodded their approval. Third of Four stood and said, "I will see to the migrants. Though, Giroth Azerman, we cannot promise great things. As you can see-"

Bernhar inclined his head towards the Midnight sun, which still hung barely above the glacier it had been encased in. "- we are not masters of these things. But, Pruinus willing, the deed will be done."

-The South-

The pestilence arrived without warning. Did it come from the halfings themselves? Or did they get it from the tall-folk on the shores? There was barely time to answer the questions before coughing followed.

There was much to do, and the Wind- and wavemasters had fallen ill themselves. The oarmaster, least of the three, was alone left to organize the halflings to combat this ill news of ill air.

The first thing was to seek doctors. There were some on the mainland, and no expense was missed in enticing them hither. The halflings even established a great library, which they filled with medical texts, and a school as well, where they paid the best medical practitioners to spread their craft.

Student by student, doctor by doctor, the illness was tended to. Many died, but what was is what must be. A halfling who feared the return of Wayfriend Zebus was no halfling at all.

AP

2AP command: Halflings create a great medical school in the mangrove tree, and also benefit from it greatly themselves, eventually becoming the best trained doctors around.

2AP remaining


-The East-

Urk woke to find his world changed.

A limb, a branch from a tree, rested in the circle of stones where the morning fire would be stroked and the first blessing would be prepared. It too had slumbered in the night, when the heat became too much. It watched with interest as the orcs discovered the changes, it listened as they talked about what it meant. What was this new blessing? Did the order of blessings need to be renumbered?

And what of the blackfoots? This tribes firepits were surrounded by meat, but the other tribe remained. Perhaps with this new blessing, it was time for a new warlord to rise up.

Within days, the Firescar tribe had subjugated the blackfoots. The natural order was to slaughter the failures, to the one, but allegances were sworn, and the blackfoot warriors would fight for Firescar glory.

AP

1AP command: The Firescar tribe goes to war against the other orc tribes
1AP nourish: The Firescar tribe is rather successful, and gets a lot of other tribes to support them

0AP remaining
Cantorix stood still. He felt no hunger at all, if anything at all, and something felt wrong about leaving the Moot only moments after the Keeper's death... And yet, he wanted nothing to do with this place, with these people. Nothing at all. Somehow, they seemed repulsive.

It was decided then. He would hold a vigil tonight, taking the ceremonial place of the tenth keeper.

"I will return." he called out to the younglings. They did not hear him. They were too busy moving the corpse.

And then he took to the skies, strangely glad to be sailing again.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How long had he remained there, on that solemn beach, Speaking to himself of dreams and threats and promises?

He had enough. The wispy figure took one divine pace, and then another, and another. A great cloud hung low upon the sky and paced with eager feet into the realms of men. The Eclipse Aflame soon would hear not the echoes of former glories, but the screams of mortal coils.

"For too long have I argued with you, petty ancestor of mine! For too long have I done nothing while my memory turns to dust! The mortals will remember me and fear me! Ka'Vah returns!!"

The first village came into sight. The sky darkened. Thunder the sound of bellowing laughter rumbled into intamate distance. And a sickly green light fell upon the rooftops. Many villagers gathered outside, wondering at the nightmarish storm that had come into range without wind, and the sudden gloom.

"Flee, mortals! For Ka'Vah comes again!"

And a pillar of fire erupted within its center, blasting ash and flesh alike into the air.

The warpath begun.

OOC
That would be the hometown of one Mister Bushytail. Cliche? Yes. Among my favorite ones? Absolutely.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even near the top of the sinkhole, the glow could be faintly seen, like an ember refusing to perish. The cultist continued their descent into Avarom. 

The cultists had little problems blending in to the crowds gathering and marching across the multilevel surface outpost. Markets were everywhere, constantly migrating with the crowdes based on which elevator was the most popular that week. Guardsmen were always on patrol, harassing the loitering and the unusualy shifty. Stall checks were regular and  what few seedy merchants had established shop found themselves on the stairways up. Only Anima Guard were treated with reverence, and guards as well as citizens moved out of their way.

The cultists meandered unto the elavator shafts, watching the dozens of other stone platforms moving with clockwork precision. Some elavators were exclusively for the guards and prisoners, and the especially grand ones carried small mountains of ore out from the belly of the earth.

But the most common product was water. Water in bottles, in pails, in winding vials and delicate flasks. For this water... glowed... intensely. While torches were sometimes used by outsiders, standard vials of water were placed at building corners and lined stairways. Many people carried small amounts around their necks.

 And when the cultists, so used to wild, ranking dungeons, landed in the central plaza of the city, they were awestruck. Canals of the water ran about the city, flanking streets and gardens. Fountains and waterfalls, both natural and carved, stood proudly at the center of the tiered city. But it was not just the waterworks that were breathtaking. Statues of the First Anima Guard, Elvish frontline warriors, and of the Giants seemed organic to the cityscape. The largest statue, an onyx Remorhaz, stood in the front of the ancient Artun temple. The worshippers there were few, and mocked by the modern faithful. The scent of surface grasses and spices lingered in the humid air.

It was a place ripe for the rotting.

OOC
I know we're all thinking it... Something like this:



Or:





OOC
Harm Populace (1AP): The hometown of Timmy Bushytail is under the assault of one very happy Ka'Vah.
Nourish Populace (2AP): Avarom.  The Iredescent Spring came into creation not long after the sinking of Avarom. Only a few days after the fighting, water forced its way through the fissures and the cracks in the walls to form new waterfalls and rivers into the darkness. This water glows  brightly for ten years and then fades into normal water; it is also safe to drink, if one is alright with glowing... bathroom breaks. At the very lowest layer of the city is the glowing lake known as the Iredescent Spring.
AP Remaining: 0

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Forgotten
If I come up with something for Morenth to do, I'll post it, but if not, we can just start the Moot at some point.


~Near the Human Settlement~

Krr'Ree'E tilted her head to the side and regarded the being before her.

"You understand us."  She said.  "That is surprising.  We know little of the Craterspawn, other than that they are feral beasts that roam the edges of civilization.  We have heard that once they threatened the world, but we find them little more than nuisances."

A racheting chitter of curiosity worked its way up her throat.

"Where have you gone, sir?  We are a young race, we know little of the world beyond these plains in sight of the Eternal Volcano."

~The North~

Giroth frowned and raised a hand to try and stop the sudden flurry of activity as the elven lords finished speaking.  

"Wait, noble ones.  I came to seek knowledge, not an army.  I fear that you would be as much out of place in my realm as I would be in yours.  Your aid would be greatly apprecaited, but only if you are certain."

He gestured at the Sun.  "I have heard that there are more of these in my travels.  Have any of you ever sought out another?" 

~The East~

Agni searched.  Some God must have created these beings... but who?

1 AP:  Create Hero: Krr'Ree'E.  She's growing on me, and I have 1 AP left.  Might as well.
The death screech had reverberated among the Sanctum for what seemed like hours, at an infrasonic frequency far too deep for human ears.

But the Azure Dragons in the sanctum heard it clearly enough. Eventually, it was decided that the noise must be investigated -- and so a single delegate left the Sanctum, dropped from the sky, and spread his wings wide.

His name was Lucen, and with the strength of his wings, he reached the moot in hours.

Lucen circled the bloody obelisk warily, far overhead. Here was clearly the origin of the noise, but what were those black shapes slinking around below. He trumpeted his arrival at those down far below and waited. If there were others, that meant this was their home, and a guest does not simply barge in unannounced.
It was early into nightfall. On most nights, the keeprs would take shifts sleeping and guarding the Mootstone. But tonight nine of them remained awake, more alert than they had been in years. Cantorix took the last place.

They did not speak, nor whisper, nor whimper. They thought, and even when they were not looking at Cantorix, he could feel their hefty stares. Confusion, anger, dull pain, grief, and a sense of restlessness. The Moot loomed over them all...

A powerful roar tore open the relative silence. With a jolt, the nine Keepers' muscles tensed.They were ready to die at any moment. Cantorix's tail curved defensively about two of the younglings, and he peered into the black-blue hues above. Why would a dragon call out? That was no part of the Moot, they simply came and rested. Unless... it wasn't an Ebon dragon. Had more of the white dragons followed him here?! How could he be so FOOLISH as to let them so idly trace him to the Moot?!

"Show yourself fiend! We have not feared death since the first days!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For weeks Azgo floated about on the wind, stetching himself thin enough to gaze over dozens of miles at a time. Countless people, rebuilding and worshipping... It was infuriating. Had they learned nothing?! The coldness within him was purer than the wintery gales around him and the glacial ice beneath. Where he passed, unnatural night fell and many grew dangerously sick.

And yet he learned of other things. Many names he had heard whispered in ages passed had almost been forgotten. Onus had fallen silent, and the Journey was nothing any longer. And what of Ka'Vah? Azgo pitied him. He must have died defending the Godcrater. Such is the way of the righteous, to die at wicked hands. And what of Thereus, his old... ally of sorts? Perhaps he had retreated back to his lair.

A sudden spike of hatred burst through his essence. A deep thunder peeled over the hills.

And what of Veros the Scholar?! That bootlicking, manipulative Firstborn slave of a god! No one mentioned his name, not even the foolish wise men of the mortals. Had he disappeared? Or... was there ever a Scholar at all?

So many questions, and so many doubts.

Over the course of time, The Fused God felt himself drawn towards... something. Something powerful... and divine. Not Firstborn, for Azgo knew the foul stench of the blood on their hands, but divine certainly. And then he saw... it: a maelstrom of petals. A maelstrom of petals?! What was this thing? An exarch of Leaf? Or a newcomer?

Azgo approaced cautiously. He could be killed like this, and yet he needed information, and allies. He was much less hopefull on the latter however.

"Greetings, kin. Whom do you serve?"

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

~Along the Wind~

Sa turned. The petals didn't seem to alter their gyrations, but Azgo felt, more than saw, as the divine conscious gave him its attention.

"We are Sa, and we serve only ourselvesssssss."

This presence was... unique. Sa recognized that it had never before seen its like. Promises were woven into its very being. Sa saw death, and pestilence, and the jagged voids of broken promises.

"Who are you to come before Sa's petalsssssss?"

~The Moot~

Lucen dropped, then, diving towards the moving shapes below. Glorious azure wings spread wide, and his descent was halted with a force that briefly swept back nearby trees and plants.

Gingerly, his talons alighted upon the rock, and the dragon furled his wings wide again.

"I am Lucen of the Seventh Sun, Guardian of the Beacon, and Delegate of the Azure Sanctum. We heard your call and..." Lucen's tongue faltered as he got a better look at Cantorix. "And you are... dragons?"

Lucen folded his wings, suddenly self-concious. "And yet here you stand, upon two sets of legs, with gleaming scales of jet. You are dragon, and yet not-dragon."
OOC
Why not...


Morenth let out a burst of fire, bringing illumination to the night.

"Jet and Crimson, my Azure friend.  But I assure you, we are both dragons, as was the no-legged white monstrosity that attacked us earlier.  Come, we have killed several deer.  Join us at meal  so we can show you we mean no harm."

Morenth gestured with her tail at a pile of three deer carcasses, nicely charred by Morenth herself, lying not far off.


"My pleasure..."  a voice said, winding its way into the brains of the gathered dragons.  Morenth started, looking around.

The ground beneath them shook briefly, and a orange snout, heavily armored with growths of bone, broke through the rock.  Moments later, a squat, orange lizard, clearly kin to the other dragons although lacking wings entirely and looking quite like an abnormally large alligator, slid out from the earth and made its way to the deer, happily biting into one of them as it watched the other dragons with one eye.

"So.  You claim to be dragons, do you?  Sure, fine.  Guess I'm the odd one out without wings."   The dragon said in their minds as his jaws worked furiously to devour the deer leg.
"Of course I can understand you perfectly! At one time they threatened the sanctity of the entire world. I guess much has changed since he took me from there." At 'there' Marcus looks back towards the destroyed cave that once stood there so long ago during an epic battle between good and evil.

"As to where I came from, I return from there!" and points to the emptiness that is the sky above.

"He said he caused great harm and asked me to see what the world is like now. I travel now. Maybe I can find my place again in this world full of chaos."

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I am Red/Black
I am Red/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

Krr'Ree'E danced from leg to leg in a dance of uncertainty.  This meat-thing made little sense to her.  Plus there was that issue of the fact that he could understand them without any of that 'magic' that had been used by the humans.  She turned and looked at the small village they had just left.  Perhaps they were still in range.  But soon another thought came to her.  One that was logically consistent, and VERY interesting.

"Who caused much harm?  Was it a God?  Which God?  Much Harm was done, yes.  Much harm.  The Eternal Volcano still rumbles occasionally, a memory of the great eruption that created these plains.  Who sent you, divine messenger?"
"Ah! I greatly apologize. I haven't introduced myself. I am Marcus, Bringer of Order.  I was sent by the Deathlord himself. It was also him that he claims to have caused the destruction of the plains. I seek to reclaim my lost divinity and to restore the world to order from the chaos. A tall order if you ask me, and sounds a little crazy. It really is a long story, and there is much to do and see. Would you care to hear it over tea?"

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I am Red/Black
I am Red/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

~~~The World at Large~~~

Nothing gave way to life, and, as had been commanded since the early days, life gave way to death. The soul of the living parted from its body and made its way to a different world, a different form of life, while the body greyed, faded, and decomposed. There had been some natural variations on this, and a few unnatural ones, but for long ages, this was the course, the way the world worked.

Then there came that unholy star, unique in a sky filled by suns, a strange moon, and nothing else. From where it came, few could tell, but soon after its appearance, it earned the name Wormwood.

This star twinkled, blinking like an any, and from it fell unwholesome light. This light brought no warmth, it did not illuminate the shadows, but impaired the sight so that everything seemed the blacker for its presence.

The soul leaves the body in an instance, but mortal eyes cannot catch this. They are too slow. If they could, then their owners might have called the unholy star worse things. The light itself moved. Too quickly for eyes to see, but it moved. It groped and fondled and sought. And when a soul peaked out of a corpse, ready to leave for the afterlife, the light struck. It was over in an instant, the soul was shattered, and a shard, the barest sliver, remained in the body.

More alone than it ever had been before, the shard waited, confused, but a hunger to be complete, to be whole again, drove it to action. It tried to escape the body again, but it was too small now, the body too firm a house. With no other options open to it, the little soul forced the body to life again. Shambling, it tried to follow the rest of the soul into the afterlife. This boded poorly for the still living. The soul-shard hungered for the companionship of other souls, but was too small to conect as it had in life. It tried to eat the bodies of the still-whole souls, only for the souls to escape, leaving it as alone as ever.

From Frostheim in the north, to the skylanders above, and even the uppermost reaches of Avarom, where starlight could creep down, the unlucky dead rose, sought, and killed.

The matter was particularly bad for the light-forsaken cultists on their ships, traveling to a new continent. They had thought they were so clever, first discarding, then eating, the bodies of the dead. But the bodies did not remain dead. Many came back to life in the water and, seeking the closest companionship followed as best they could. Corpsegas had set in, allowing many to float, and though their struggling was not quick, it was constant. The boats were subject to the fickle nature of wind and wave, but the undead were relentless.

After much time, when the cultists were asleep after gorging on the "feast" their god had provided, the corpses reached the boat and climbed aboard. They extended their arms for a hug, and kissed their new friends with their teeth, and tried to bring those fleeing souls ever closer. Several died.

AP

2AP Harm: the sudden appearance of the undead prove to be irksome. No one escapes having some dead rise up, although given the state of the cultists (open air boat, no where to bury their dead), I'd think that this sudden apperance would be particularly troublesome.

2AP remaining


~~~The Crown~~~

A cry echoed across all the world. Whever light from the godsun fell, so too did the sound reverberate in the very ground, causing dust and pebbles to dance. Mortals looked up, and saw the sun change shape as the ancient beast awoke and stretched. Every inch of it was still covered in fire. Great legs trembled, longing for solid purchase, and the sun began to descend.

It's cry had been so loud that the force of the sound had pushed most the skymotes out of the way. Of the few too close to the epicenter, the godbeast's claws swiped them out of the way. There'd be time for proper destruction later.

Only the Sanctuary provided an oddity.

The godbeast's claws moved it, as surely as a child can move a leaf floating on water, but there was something inside that did not move. The Beacon was an artifact riveted to the center of the crown. When Sanctuary moved, the Beacon did not, and one was ripped from the other.

The surprised godbeast fell onto the sun and swallowed it, yet not even the weight on a mountain could move the Beacon. Thus the coming of the end of the world might have been prevented, with the behemoth forever trapped in the sky, being held aloft by the sun in its stomach. But there was a force behind the monster, one that had been waiting long, and it would not allow its to be defeated so easily. The force that kept the sun in the sky was too much of a distraction to eliminate, so for now the force within the beast supressed it. As soon as the Beacon was released, it would return to as it was, but for now it fell out of the sky with the flaming god-mountain.

The behemoth smashed into the egg that had occupied the center of the Crown for ages. The god-mountain rolled over, shook its head, and began to head south.

The crack in the egg grew, and great sheets of granite-like shell slid off, crashing to the ground below, and wedging into the soil like a thrown knife into mud. Underneath the outershell a mucus sac pulsed as the thing inside struggled to get free. Something sharp pressed against it, and what looked to be a beak of a bird poked out. However, that beak split into three tentacles, which bent back on themselves and tore at the sac, revealing the the creature's head. It was a mass of scales and feathers and slime, with each acting at the other.

From within, claws reached up aground the things neck and clawed at the sack, ripping it further, and letting the rest of the creature out. Four wings, like a bird bit with scales in places of feathers, stretched out, covering half the sky. The creature itself stood higher than the mountains, and its wings were nearly as long as they valley. The zizu took flight, and followed after the behemoth.

The western ocean rose up, tossed and turned, roiled and boiled. An entire sea rose up and flooded over the land, and something dark swam within. The leviathan headed south as well.

AP

1 AP: Command Land - the skymotes are just pushed out of the way of the falling god mountain. Pushing against a moveable island that houses an immoveable artificat, however, results in the Beacon being ripped out of the sanctuary. Or is it that the sancrutary was ripped off the beacon?
1AP modify Artifact - The behemoth eats the Beacon and supressed the part of it that maintains its position in the cosmos. This is just a temporary effect: as soon as the behemoth is defeated, I'd expect that Beacon to reassert itself and go back to where it was eaten from.
0AP: The leviathan takes a bit of the ocean with it. While this sea occasionally floods over the ground, for the most part it hovers just above. Why? Because I don't want to drown the entire continent. So it's a flying sea, supported by fluff! When the leviathan is defeated, the waters will collapse onto the ground below, but should retreat quickly.

0AP remaining.
Azgo's cloud took the misty form of twins, leaning heavily upon the other. They were tired, and weakened.

"I..."

Azgo paused. It was not wise to speak his name. Who might be listening? And if Zebus learned that his prsion was not nearly as secure as he intended... No. No, Azgo needed to rebuild. Recruit. Rally. He needed an army, and information. Let them think himself entrapped.

And yet, Azgo did not wish to lie to this god. It would endanger himself should he be caught. The last thing he intended was to deliver another servant to the tyrant god. Unless it was already a servant and this was a trap! No, that was paranoid. He had only just escaped, and the Firstborn woere not ones to play games. They would sooner destroy him. Still, Sa might be lying to him.

"... am the Wounded One. I come seeking knowledge. Long have i slept, and in my absence the world has changed. And even when i was awake, the Firs-"

He stopped himself. Even in his wispy form his voice sounded strained with sickened flesh.

"The elder gods moved beyond my sight. Do you know of the, Zebus and Leaf and Agni and Prunius? They betrayed me once, even when they had everything to gain. They bade me sleep, for they feared my power. My Vengence."

"What do you know of Onus? Of Thereus? Ka'Vah? Veros? A god of darkness? The Primal Spirits? Do they still walk this world? And the elder gods... where is the Tyrant Leaf? Where has he built his wretched palace? And new things , alive and dead, wander over these plains. What are they?"

It was a barrage of questions, but Azgo could not help himself. His fury was rising, not at Sa, but at reality. How could things be so different from the Plan? So... imperfect?

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Reset

We did better this week.  Everyone who posted more than once is back to 5 AP.

5 AP:  Azgo, Agni, Leaf, Zebus, Sa
4 AP:  Everyone else.  Of those still active, that would be:  Pruinus, TASOE, Lena.

Map

Story 
~~~The South~~~

The poor, poor Eternal Volcano.

Shortly after the fall of the god-sun, the earth began to tremble and a glow appeared in the distance. Some of the Agni'Vodah went to the rim, to see what was causing it, and they saw a mountain aflame crawling towards them atop a dozen earthen legs. Everywhere it went, it left fires in its path, scorching a trail from the Crown to the Volano. Even rocks were purged and punished. Only an obsidian desert remained behind it.

The great behemoth didn't pause as it neared the volcano, but the mortals shied back. They were used to heat, but this was something different. Fire that threatened to rip reality apart. It was stand or flee, and many fled the approaching mountain.

It climed the side of the volcano, ruining its slopes, spilling magma northward. A claw reached into the volcano's heart, searching for the sun that was there.

The other two creatures paused for a moment and watched, but they hurried on further, as if brought to heel by an unseen master.

AP

1Ap Command Land: The behemoth leaves a trail of obsidian as it travels. The further the behemoth goes, the longer the trail. At present it reaches from the crown to the volcano. We'll see if it goes anywhere else. The trail itself is about a moutain's width wide, smooth except for the jagged cratters where the behemoth's legs pierced the ground, and a hundred of so feet thick.

3 (or 4?) AP remaining
~The Human Settlement~

"An interesting story.  Perhaps we should hear more over this tea you suggest.  Perhaps we can return to my home.  I am sure my mother..."   Krr'Ree'E trailed off as she watched the sun descend from the heavens and begin to walk.  Dumbfounded, she could do little more than stare as it passed by to her north.

~The North~

As Giroth waited for an answer, he felt the temperature drop even more, and turned to watch the sun descend to earth in the far distance.

~The Eternal Mountain~

The creature had barely had time to grope about a few times when, blazing like a comet, Agni was there, slamming into the God-mountain and sending it tumbling back down the slopes of the Eternal Volcano on its many legs.  The God had not noticed the descend of the monster for some time, devoted as he was to his search for the creator of the Orcs.  It was the Orcs themselves, pointing and shouting at the sky, that had alerted him.  

Did I not kill you before?       Agni shouted, not caring if the beast could comprehend him.

Agni prepared to attack the God-mountain that was slowly getting back to its feet.  As he did so, he sent out a call.

Ka'Vah.  The Time is now.  I have need of you. 
Looking up at the falling sky, Marcus offers the only suggestion he can think of at the moment. "I think it would be wise of us to retreat to your home and warn the others. If one of you would be so kind to warn the local village to avoid panic, it would be much appreciated. I will put myself at your service for the time being until He can tell me what is going on."

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IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/6.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/24.jpg)

I am Red/Black
I am Red/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

Nothing.

Almost nothing.

There were echoes, born in wounds rather than fear. Lazy ash floated on the wind.

But aside from that, there was nothing left. No bodies. No lumber.

Just ash. And sickly smoke.

...

...

Ka'Vah turned from the battlefield, and vanished into the wind.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

~~~The Eternal Mountain~~~

Angi's bodyslam had left a crater in the side of the god-mountain. Parts of its still-flaming shell sluffed off and fell the perils distance to the ground, shattering there, and turning the stone to magma. The wound was not long, however. Ooze, like oil, seemed out of the creatures shell, filling in the crater, and catching fire as it did. The fire hardened the oily substance, and within minutes it was hard to see where the wound had been, except, perhaps, for the patch of fire that seemed to burn brighter.

On the ground below, the broken shards of the godshell still gave bold testament to the fact that the monsters had been injured. But the fires of those pieces flickered and died out, and as the shards cooled, they lost their rigidity and returned to noxious ooze. That ooze in turn began to move, like a worm that thought it was a snake, and inched their way together, then towards the behemoth. The slime slinked onto the creature's leg and was absorbed, replenishing the substance that was lost.

The behemoth turned its head towards Agni and opened its mouth. Fire of the god-sun, boiling in the sky for ages, always growing hotter, erupted and encased the god. Agni's own face threatened to melt, the very fabric of existence around him and in him threatened to be burned away.

~~~The Azer Home: Sil Arkosh~~~

An ocean hovered throug the air, but as it neared its destination, tendrils of liquid reached down, searched the ground, and finally found the cavern entrances it sought.

Water flooded down into the Azer home, filling the streets and threatening to drown the inhabitants. The earth trembled as the leviathan forced it's gigantic body through the too-small tunnels, widening them. It sought the ancient sun hidden here.

~~~The Halfling Home: The Mangrove Tree~~~

Though the sky was darkened when the sun fell, it was not like this. A massive bird approached the mangrove tree, it's wings blotting out most the sky and remaining light. It nestled in the highest parts of the mangrove tree, it's claws digging into the heartwood of the tree and causing the entire planty-island to shudder and groan. It waited and sniffed at the air, searching for something.
Over the years, Timmy's accomplishments grew. His hunting skills skyrocketed as he mastered many kinds of weaponry. He had even conquered his weak stomach... Mostly. The odd accidental grisly kill still made his stomach turn, but his progress was undeniable.

He imitated the moves of the Nix and began to learn to skin his kills. His sisters all learned to sew and fashioned the wools into clothes and garments of outstanding quality. Their labour finally paid off when a count of one of the local human settlements decided to pay a large amount for their collection. With that, they could afford the material's to insulate the majority of Whitetop Glen's homes, offering further protection from cold. Timmy had proved himself, in the eyes of himself and his peers. When this winter ended, he decided he was going to finally venture to the crown, his homeland.

All those memories and dreams began to shatter when Timmy saw the explosion. He was out hunting, but the sounds and bright, fiery light was clear from here. Rushing through the trees, his heart sank when he saw the houses of his friends ablaze. What could have caused this? Right now, the answer to that question frightened him much less then the prospect of losing his sisters. His crisp white fur blending in with the melting snow, Timmy moved through flaming wreckage in a sort of tiptoed run; Not fast enough to cause noise to alert nearby arsonists to his presence, not stealthy enough to completely pass by escaping a more




Vigorous investigastion. He could not commit himself fully to speed or stealth at this point. As he hopped over a charred joist, he saw the flaming pile of wood and ash that was once his house. He had no doubt in his mind, if his sisters were in the house when the explosion happened... His stomach churned as punishment for attempting to finish that thought. He fell to his knees and promptly threw up, a loud reeching noise betraying his location to anyone nearby. He crawled to his feet and silently traversed his way through the village for signs of life. They were none. It had only taken Timmy a few minutes to reach the town when he saw the explosion, they couldn't have gotten far, he would have seen them. No, if his friends and family were not on the outskirts of town, they were trapped within it forever.

The world had ended and all that remained was Timmy and the bright orange flames that surrounded him, licking at the cold night air. It was tempting to allow the flames to claim him. But something inside him would not let him take the easy way out. His sisters wouldn't have wanted that. Timmy dragged his body away from the village almost unwillingly, his heart never wanting to leave his home. Only know did he truly recognize this as his home, not the crown. This was the place where a family of humans, grieving the loss of their child, had taken in, to them, an alien lifeform. He was raised and treated as one of their own. The villagers all accepted him. A Known only death and destruction at the hands of other creatures, accepted him into their community. The Crown would never offer him the same kindness. Where would he go?

With no plan in sight, he crawled into a log and began to cuddle himself, weeping. His stomach groaned at him in hunger, but Timmy's appetite was the last thing on his mind. Perhaps we might die of starvation, or be attacked by wolves as he slept. If that happened, he wouldn't have given in. The circumstances of his death would be out of his control, nobody could blame him for that. Only as the sun began to rise the next morning did Timmy manage to sleep. For a few hours, he was allowed to dream and leave cruel reality behind, an escape he desperately needed.
race that had

OOC
Well, everyone else seems to be doing it, so fine. I give up. I'll add location titles...


---Eternal Volcano Outskirts-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He had traveled as fast as the wind would carry him. The sight of that broken volcano was very comforting. It felt... powerful to be back, here, now. Ka'Vah's form wavered like a mirage, his features so perfectly indistinct that he seemed to be closer to an illusion than a god (for such Ka'Vah considers himself to be). A foul taint entered the air, the smell of burning flesh. Ka'Vah looked on.

In the distance, A towering behemoth of a god unleahed an inferno upon the little fire god. Even from here, Ka'Vah could feel a wave of heat. Could something truely summon up such power? Ka'Vah hesitated. He had promised...

The green light that sluggishy crawled out from nowhere in particular suddenly intensified.

What was he thinking?! To honor a promise simply because he had made it? Foolishness!!

If Agni could triumph over the beast, then Ka'Vah should certainly step in and earn some goodwill. And If Agni could only fell the...mammoth god-creature with his help, then Ka'Vah could assist him and then promptly destoy him. But what if this was as hopeless as it looked? What if Agni, even with the Eclipse Aflame, could not overcome his adversary? Then Ka'Vah would certainly be in the gravest of dangers.

He watched the battle continue to unfold, thinking.

"How strong is your god now, little Scorch? He did not save you before... and he cannot save them now."

Ka'Vah's form unchained itself, and dissipated in all directions.

---Nowhere--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Azgo's form rippled with a shade of anger. Petals at the very edges of Sa's presence shriveled up with age and blight, and then fell to the ground.

"Why are you content to let me languish in silence? Is there any knowledge, anything at all, that you can give me? Or is is Injustice something to be ignored?!"

He felt so weak... broken staw clinging to the ground in a windstorm. Hollow, everything was hollow. Except for his HATE, which kept this wisp of a god alive.

"They Betrayed me! I was their King and their brother! I LOVED them, as I loved the First! But what did they give me in exchange for my LOVE, my sacrifice?! They stripped me down and cast me out! They merged me into an abomination and now they are the monsterous ones, ruining all that they touch!! This form is not of my choosing, nor is my SUFFERING! But I! WILL!! NOT! DIE! Not untill everything is in its place and those that took even my very flesh from me are utterly destroyed! The First demands it! I demand it!"

His words held nothing more than an echo of power, a memory. But they were filled with blackened, twisted hate. The ground beneath Azgo dried up into dust.

"Will you help me? Can you help me?"

---Western Ocean-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The creature attacked at night. Under moonlight and the swarming shadows of locust swarms, an emaciated corpse clawed its way across the hull and onto the flat deck.

Hundreds of locusts wings glittered in the light, and the inedible balls of rotted, cyst-filled fish flesh littered the corners. Blood and filth stained the old, proud wood that now was worn with months of constant use. Many cultists slept out in the open. Rings of salt lined the pits of their shirts, and rings of scarlett stained the collars. The sound of snoring was constantly drowned out by the droning of insects.

The creature staggered desperately over to the nearest cultist, who had always slept near the railings so that he could see dawn before anyone else, and sank crooked teeth into the open throat. There was a thrashing, a choking, and then stolen silence. Others stirred in their sleep. Dreams of bursting fish and crunching insect chitin grew like a fungus in their minds.

Over the next hour, the ship erupted into chaos. Sillouttes sprinted about chaoticly. Adrenaline pumped and minds reeled. What was going on?! Thinking a traitor was in their midst, the whole crew erupted into wild violence. Screams echoed out on the water.

...

Dawn came slowly, and one ship hardly moved at all. There was no movement on the deck, no ringing breakfast bells. Just stolen silence.

Two ships eventually caught up to the boat, and boarded the slaughtered vessel. There were many corpses, and one feasted upon all the others. It was so concerned with gorging that it did not hear the whistle of a glaceril dagger through the air. The body shook, and then slumped over.

The cultists were concerned to find a halfling, a live halfling no less! The body was thin, the skin strained. This... thing had been at sea for weeks in the water. The cultists left nothing to chance, and left only a burning wreck in the wake of their prows. The captains watched it sink into the waters, and heard the distant hissing of steam. A new nightmare entertained their minds.

And then winter winds battered the ships. They were almost there... and yet the worst was still to come.

---The Moot--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Three uneasy days, disguised as years to those who waited, passed by. Hundreds of Ebon Dragons had arrived, some youthful and some venerable but each and every one filled with the shock of a Moot in their lifetime. And many were sorrowful, remembering the Keepers' sacrifice. And some of the same age wondered whether they would have died in his place.

The foreign dragons were greeted with a potent blend of wonder and paranoia. A few dragons died attempting to kill these "new, twisted spawn of Azgo" by the countless others. There was no violence at the Moot, and those that struck the first blow were unceremoniously buried under the mountain and forgotten. Regardless, no one treated these dragons with friendliness, not even Cantorix. Every greeting was in its own way cold, and distant. Cantorix stood as the primary bulwark and bridge between the flocks of black dragons and the newcomers, and yet he too felt cold. He treated them with respect and empathy, especially Morenth, and his threats kept many fight from even beginning, but murder was still fresh in his mind. He was still falling and wingless in his dreams.

At last, the fourth dawn climbed over the granite slopes and bathed the Mootstone in the blood tints of early sunlight. And pace for pace, Cantorix climbed up and onto the Mootstone. The dragon of yore had given a tremendous bellow, a rallying roar that brought thousands to their knees and even more into war. Cantorix inhaled, and let loose a call just as forcefull. But it was no roar, no hint of justice. It was the call of a wounded animal, and at a base level was harmonious to the youngling's scream.

The Moot began.






He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

~On the breath of the wind~

Sa paused for a long time, saying nothing as the godwisp lashed out, raving and ranting until it had passed through denial and anger.

"Sa doesssssss not know those othersssssss." It finally said, in its breathless way. Which was true, in its own way. Sa certainly knew of the other gods, but had not bothered to ever speak with them directly, though it had tasted the fire god, once, ages hence.

A flurry of motion sent Sa's petals dancing amidst the essence of Az'go.

"Promisesssssss of what might have been dance amongst your essencesssssss." The god swirled a moment in thought, and then the petals abrupty coalesced into two figures.

"Before the advent of all, the promise of what wasssssss." To Sa, the figures meant nothing, forged from Az'go's own memories. But to the godwisp, they appeared all too clearly to be perfect, flawless sculptures of Azael and Go'el. Whole, unblemished, and absolutely loathesome.

"A promise of what might have been, when the world first drew breathsssssss." The figures swirled together, an inward spiral that drew Az'go back to his own genesis. But there was no pain, no screaming, no agony. The two petal-gods collided, fused, and were whole. A singular entity, with flowing, perfect form, confidant in both word and deed.

The images faded, and Sa spoke again. "And promisesssssss of what yet might be, whispersssssss, future portentsssssss." The god of prophecies split its petals in two, forming two opposing images. The first held Az'go triumphant, still in his twisted form... and yet, somehow different. The world lay scorched and burned, devoid of all but dust as the god laughed on. The second had Az'go in chains of vines, frozen in a block of ice, limbs entombed in molton stone, and smothered with a cloak that stank of souls.

"You seek paths, and Sa offersssssss three. If you turn away our aid, you will walk the fourth by yourselvesssssss."
~The Volcano~

Agni was fire incarnate.  At his core, he was the raging inferno that lay at the heart of each Sun, that roiled at the bottom of each Volcano, that laughed and danced in each conflagration.  And if there was one thing that could be said of him, it was that he greatly enjoyed high temperatures.

So as the God-Mountain poured the pent up radiance of the Sun upon him, Agni felt waves of pleasure coursing through his being, felt his power growing, buoyed by the heat that surrounded him.

But while Agni was Fire, his body was not.  Under the intense pressure and heat, his mask began to change, granite superstructure cracking and fusing as fast as the Magma within Agni could replace it.  Agni laughed as he considered his new diamond form, which no longer concealed the magma which was continually generated by his divine spark.  He was stronger now in Body as well as Spirit.  The Beast had done him a favor.

And yet, the temperature continued to rise.  Agni watched as all around him, reality began to melt away, regions of the Real around him distorting and bending in every dimension.  Here, the fire burned purple.  There, Green.  There, it flowed like molasses.  Here, everything seemed faster.  Here, the fire seemed to be flowing past him.  There, it seemed to be flowing away.  Agni saw his own mask distorting and felt the very fabric of his soul stretching towards a breaking point.  

Agni screamed, and others screamed with him.  He felt himself spinning in the flames, and percieved that others, separated by the merest scraps of reality, were spinning as well, buffeted by blasts of fire from a thousand other God-Mountains.  The heat intensified and reality... merged.

Fusion.

In some place beyond reality, a massive explosion rolled through the Nothing, and with that release, the Prime healed itself, snapping back together and throwing Agni from the rift as a shockwave knocked the God-Mountain over once more.  Dust and smoke rose from a long trench in the earth.

Agni groaned, and a dozen voices groaned with him, echoing in his mind.    Groggily, he rose from the earth, and it took him a few moments to realize that everything had changed.

Agni was no longer a mask.  He was many.  His mind... it was still his mind, he was fairly certain, began to process the chaotic memories of moments ago.  Reality had frayed thin, he had met... other versions of himself, all being destroyed by the same God-Monster, but... not the same God-Monster.  Fleeting glimpses into the other worlds revealed that in many, Agni fought the God-Mountain.  But in others, he fought a living ocean, and in still others, it was Azgo who loomed over him, surrounded by hordes of Craterspawn.  But all had unleashed the power of a captured sun on Agni, and all had torn reality, if only for a split second.  

Agni took stock of his new form.  A large diamond sphere, easily thirty feet in diameter.  All across its surface, faces, images, imprints of the Agnis-that-were were layed out chaotically, although none overlapped with others.  From each mouth, magma poured.  From each set of eyes, fire glowed.  And deep within, the essence of AgniHe that Is Fire roiled brightly.  With a roar that burst from each of his twenty-ish mouths, the God slammed his very being into the God-Mountain repeatedly, breaking apart the shell with repeated blasts that drove the monster back across the magma plains and towards the Eastern Ocean...


OOC
 I've got a LOT more to write on other topics.  I'll do that later tonight.  Also, expect the middle part of this to be changed... want to come back to it later and modify.  Regardless, Agni is now a diamond sphere with many masks embedded in its shell.  Still lovable, though.  Gives me a chance to finally move into another domain that I've been wanting for a LONG time, so thanks, Thought!


2 AP:  Claim Domain:  Language.
1 AP:  Command Land:  The chaotic magma trail now extends from the Eternal Volcano to somewhere near the coast to the east.

2 AP remains. 
~The Eternal Volcano~

A small voice raged in the back of Ka'Vah's mind.  

You Promised!  I heard it!  I let you do all those horrible things to that village because I knew that if you had to, you would help.  This is my HOME, you monster.  The last time we were here, You... I... was the danger.  Now, I can help.  We can help.  We WILL Help.   Or Else.

And somehow, the Ecipse Aflame began to reform near the site of the battle.

~The Moot~

Morenth watched as dragon after dragon arrived.  So Many!  She thought to herself, comparing the numbers here to the 75 or so of her own kind.  And so hostile!  she was grateful to Cantorix and several of his kin for protecting her and the other dragons from the more... hotheaded... members of his clan.  That more dragons had died today was appalling, but it was better them than her.  As they waited for the Moot to begin, she looked at the azure dragon next to her.

"I have not seen your kind before, although I have been to the Crown on many occasion.  What is it that you do up in the... Sanctuary, was it?" She asked, continuing a conversation that they had struck up earlier.

And then, the Moot Began. 

~Sil Arkosh~

Water flooded the streets, pouring down the roads towards the lake of magma, knocking down Slaadi and crushing them against the walls of the homes that had been overrun.  A line of fire and steel and blood rang out from the newest portion of the city, the Forge District, located in the far back of the cavern deep underneath a natural overhang.  Here, over a canal of magma, Azer, Dragon and Slaadi fought on narrow bridges that were the only connections between this portion of the city and the rest of Sil Arkosh.  The battle had been hard fought, but the Slaadi had been relentless... an entire army of Craterspawn reborn and attacking a city whose population had, in fact, shrunk since the last time.  The Azer had retreated, and had finally managed to establish a line of defense here, using similar tactics to those they had used to defend the tunnels far above all those years ago.  After all, on the bridges only a few Slaadi could approach at a time.

The dragons had been crucial.  After a few moments of abject terror as the squat creatures had waddled out of the magma, the Azer had been overjoyed as the gruff, taciturn race had turned to fight with them.  Now, the dragons spat balls of magma at approaching Slaadi patrols, acting much like living artillery.

And so it was, at least initially, that the Azer did not notice the arrival of the Leviathan, exept perhaps to note that the number of Slaadi attackers seemed to be diminishing.  That all changed when the actual body of the Leviathan sliding through the blasted-open caverns until it lay on the ledge above, dangling its arms down and trying to find the Sun.  Water poured down in a massive flood, sweeping in all directions.

"It has to be NOW!"  Galfe, brother of Giroth shouted, waving furiously at a group of nine Azer, five male, four female, who stood looking at the approaching wall of water.   "DO IT!"

The Azer linked hands with one another and their flaming hair seemed to flicker as if a mighty wind was blowing on them.  Their skin grew pale and cold and several cried out in pain as they called out to the Magma.

As one of the Azer collapsed, the Magma responded, surging upwards all along the canal moments before the water hit.  A wave of scalding steam blew past all the gathered Azer and Dragons as the two elements met, and for a moment, everything was white.

As the steam cleared and the last of the Slaadi died, Galfe peered through the clouds and spotted a great stone wall, completely encircling the Forge District.  They had once again somehow survived the flooding of their city.

A cry of sorrow from behind him caused him to turn.  Five of the nine pyromages had died, the magic pulling all the fire from their beings, leaving them looking much like the dwarves they had once been, if hairless.  The remaining four lay panting on the earth, color slowly returning to their skin.  

1 AP:  Guide Populace:  The Azer learn pyromancy.  Like other magics, this magic drains the necessary energy (in this case, heat energy) from the person who wields it.  It *is* possible, if very difficult, to use other sources of fire as a source of the magic.  They use this to save a portion of Sil Arkosh from the Leviathan (and the Slaadi).

1 AP remains

 
~~~The Eternal Volcano/Eastern Shore~~~

A door, once opened, may be entered from both directions.

Long ago, when the world was still young and growing fast, the fire god had been captured and sealed away in suffocating ooze and encroaching darkness. He might have passed from the realms, save but for the thinnest thread. Something he had created, the suns, still burned, and they were still connected to him. Agni had drawn on the power of the suns, and from them reignited his fires.

He opened the door, and through it fire flowed. Now, that flow was reversed.

Agni slammed his body again into the god-mountain. Each blow cracked the shell, sending pieces to the ground that cooled and slunk back to the body. Yet, with each blow, the creature sucked more heat from Agni. With each blow, the creature was hotter. With each blow, the shell was harder. Fewer pieces fell to the ground, and soon it was as if diamond was hitting diamond. But still the creature took in the flow of power from the sun.

Agni was hot, the creature hotter, and the point of contact hottest. The edges of Agni's new form, exposed to the air, sizzled and flashed to fire. The god experienced firsthand what he already knew: even diamonds are flammable.

The faces of Agni that had made contact, the parts of the god not exposed to the air, blurbled and bubbled. Agni knew that everything was flammable, but he might not have known that diamonds are meltable.

The diamond-born readied another body slam, but the god-mountain, as quick as a spark, quicker by far than a mountain had the right to be, darted out of the way and landed a blow on Agni's back faces as he passed. Fire met earth, and the earth steamed. A claw grabbed the god and pulled it out of the liquid crater. And the claw began to crush Agni. Pressure creates heat, but the god-mountain used Agni's own heat, drawn through the sun, to create pressure. The pressure of the heart of a sun, the heart of a star, the core of the world. The pressure of the universe collapsing in, pulling matter into itself. The diamond-born's frame tried to crack, but pressure had given way to gravity, and no shards could flake free.

So much pressure, so much gravity. Dust and rocks and animals and trees from below began to fall upwards, towards Angi, coating the diamond-born in a layer of matter that condensed around him, increasing the mass, increasing the pull. Within him, Agni could feel something new threatening to come into existence. Or to leave it. The rules of the universe quivered under the pressure, bent, and threatened to break, drawing everything into an endlessly hungry nothing, a blackened void of a hole.

~~~Sil Arkosh~~~

A torrent of water ran over the new stone dome that, but luck, protected the Forge District. The water wore it smooth, then wore it thin, before its force abated. The Leviathan had found what it was looking for. It gobbled up the sun, then, no longer needing to be here, rose up. Straight up, through the earth and stone.

The monster crashed back into the open air, leaving a lake behind where there had been mountains before. Frost formed around the edges of body of water, and as droplet's from the monster's body fell into it, they turned to icebergs and glaciers.

And at the bottom of this frozen lake was the Azer city.

AP

1Ap Command Land: Form an eternally cold lake over Sil Arkosh

2 or 3 AP remaining


~~~The West~~~

In the darkness, illuminated only by the faint glow of the northern sun, the moon, and the star above, Seg crossed the wasteland. He had hidden the heart, as the master directed, but a servant's work was never done. Not for the first time, Seg grumbled against his lot in life. He didn't enjoy working for the master, he didn't want to, but what choice had he been given? The other gods had rejected him. His choice was simple: serve the master, or die. Seg disliked dying far more than he disliked serving the master.

His new task was a simple one. Obtain the sun hidden in the badlands. Seg wasn't sure what the master intended to do with all the suns, but questioning orders could be dangerous. Seg disliked being in dangerous situations almost as much as he disliked dying.

The sun was before him, mostly burried, but a sliver peaking out into the open air.
-The Orcish Realms-

Brother Branch wandered among the Orcs, appreciating the changes that Agni had wrought in them, when the fading light caught his attention. The ancient godsun descended to earth.

The little god was stunned and confused over event, but the Angi-comet brought him out of his daze. A part of him, the part that remembered being Lord Leaf, urged him forward. Brother Branch followed.

The blows between Agni and the monster were exchanged too quickly for Brother Branch the servant to do anything. He could only watch, and wait for the moment that his help might be of use.

Then it came. The monster had the new-Agni in its grip, and Brother Branch threw himself at the beast. He shed much of his form until he was just a sliver, but a long one, and one that impaled the creature in one of its many eyes. It screamed and Brother Branch could feel it's muscles relax enough that, hopefully, Agni might be able to escape.
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