Lords of Creation: Chaos Within (IC Thread)

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


How Infuriating!!


"Let? Let?! You hold no power over me, little, dying ember! Ka'Vah does not obey; he chooses!"

The smoke was chaotic, undisciplined and only a vague shape of a humaniod. And yet, it billowed purposefully forward against the wind's rebuke.

"And when did i choose otherwise? You assume much, worthless little Scorch."

The ever rolling cloud twisted in the heated atmosphere, and with every turn took upon itself more and more structure. The cloud was long and agile, weaving between mountains of mist built upon the skyline. Soon sleek edges were carved along its sides and a green light glowed fiercly underneath like warm blood.

The battle between god-mountain and the god-ants loomed beneath. With a sudden gale, the clouds parted, and a serpent of filth-black smoke fell upon the combatants. It turned and twisted with the searing wind, pouring a fountain of emerald flames across the mountain's sides and back. As the flames landed, a small conflagration of sickly greens burst like fireworks. Large patches of the beast died out into sizzling embers and pillars of smoke towered into the sky. For Ka'Vah was, at his essence, the sickness of fire, its sputtering death, and its lingering corpse.

But only a fraction of a second passed before the creature's molten hide erupted once more into fire. A thin curtain of smoke followed the battle, the only evidence of progress.

Ka'Vah grew worried. It seemed that this creature was beyond his ability to wound, he could only distract. So distract he did, keeping to the edges of the battle between swift assults of gale and fire. And whenever he could, Ka'Vah positioned himself behind... this gem god. It seemed more than happy to take the blows. Where was Agni anyway?

---The Edge of Knowledge----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Azgo shuddered, and then averted his vision from the images of Azazel and Go'El. A sick churning bubbled up in his lungs. It was a deep wound to remember what he had been... and what he was.

How could a thing as small as a god look into the future? How could such sight exist?

There was a pause, the calm before a terrible storm. Something was about to happen that could very well change an age. Was it wise, to trust in prophesy? What would be sacrificed, and what if he failed? But before he could feel fear, he felt strength. An immovable strength built on the foundation of creation. The will of the First, he remembered it.

A rough voice sent the petals into a flurry, some tinged with scarring death.

"I choose Victory. What must be done, Seer Among Gods?"

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

Cantorix looked out on the sea of scales and eyes, watching him, some blaming him.

"Sisters! Brothers! The Moot is called!"

Cantorix opened his mouth, but nothing more came out. He had avoiding memory and thought as long as he cpould, and suddenly now, the sight of his kin and the vallys beyond broke open his mind. A rush of thoughts spiraled around, colliding and merging, seperating and each one fickle as smoke. So instead he said nothing for a full minute, just looking from dragon to dragon. He had no idea what to say, and neither did they.

A minute passed, marked with stares that held more questions than a lifetime could answer.

"And I come bearing terrible news. Our fathers, and their fathers... they were wrong."

The crowd remained silent. The lake was bitterly cold.

"For ages we have taught and learned of place and power. Of hunters and the hunted. It was we, the dragons, who were given the heftiest of burdens. Out from the Godcrater and between the Fingers of the Wounded One we flew. His blood, was our blood. His anger, our anger. But we did not lie down to die before him. Born from shadow, we flew into the shadow of the world where his eyes could not see nor his fist reach. Or so we thought...

For hordes upon hordes of his ailing monstrosities swarmed from the skies and poured out from the darkness of the depths. Hundreds we killed, and a few were lost. Thousands were slain, and more were claimed by wicked talons. But they did not fall. Ash rained from the skies. But Craterspawn were the coulds of the heavens stretched out to the edges of the world. And then We found this, The Mootstone, and Wyklix fell upon the stone in grief. And with his tears the Ebon raillied. We were called together, and the hunted became the hunter. So is... was our place, as given not by any god, nor mortal, but by the very cosmos. Discipline was our might. Honor, our wisdom. It was the way, for every dragon's death to be paid tenfold with the broken bodies of angels. Hordes scattered, ash blew away, and the sun fell upon the victors. And one day we would lay seige to the Godcrater, and finish what The Wounded started under his bloody hands. There were no others, no creatures. There were only shadows, and a war between them."

Cantorix's head swiviled from edge to edge, and he could feel them waiting on him. Even those who had hated him before he spoke wanted to hear, to listen. A world was dying.

"But that is false. Always has been false. There are others, dragons who know nothing of Wyklix and Azgo, the Moot and our wounds. Others, who share not our colors. From beyond the lowlands, the Ashen Plains as our fathers called them when the skies were forged of feathers. They fight, and die while we bathe in victory. And there are things, mortals made of flesh, who are neither dragon nor craterspawn. They are not shadow, but beyond it, beyond our old ways."

And from within the back ranks of the dragon, who now surged in uproar, a chant carried out.

Proof.

The Moot demands Proof.

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 Knife-Edge of Existence~

Sa rustled with laughter.

"That is not how it worksssssss." The god's petals dropped their shapes and were swept away, leaving the air barren.

"Sa can help you reclaim the past, but the future is full of uncertantiesssssss. We offer only guidance and the whispersssssss of promisessssss."

Sa's petals began to glow with a red light, and sparks, like raindrops, slipped from them, were carried along the wind, and vanished.

"You are sustained by the prayersssssss of your minionsssssss." Sa's petals grew still again, as the god turned introspective once more. "Sa has given you the meansssssss to sustain them back. Grow their power, and use it in turn to grow yoursssssss."

AP

-1 AP Nourish/Command : Sa blesses the cultists of Az'go, gifting them with the ability to wield divine magic.
-1 AP Nourish/Command : The cult of Az'go, newly empowered by their god, expands its chapters, including amongst the Nix and the Snow Elves.

3/5

~The Moot~
Lucan looked askance at the red dragon, wordlessly apologizing. But then he flapped his wings, and landed next to Cantorix. He roared, spread wide his azure wings, a thunderous encore that he slowly swept over the entire crowd.

With all eyes on him, Lucan swelled his throat and spat a gob of phantasmagoric matter from his mouth. Far overhead, it exploded in a burst of sonic energy and light, a musical echo of Lucan's own trumpetings.

Lucan roared again, and stood tall.

"I am Lucan of the Azure Brood. We dwell within the Sanctuary of the Beacon." Lucan pointed to the western sky, where the Beacon shone its muted light.

It was then that the godmountain roared, fell upon the beacon, and swept the remaining light from the sky.

---The Abyss-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Deserts held less sand, and oceans less hadfuls of water, than the Abyss swallowed souls. It was slow at first, but soon the spirits of hundreds of thousands glided through its ethereal doors.

Cast out from The Great Beyond, these exiles found a horrid home within its boundary. Their emotions and desires were amplified, or the Abyss slowly stole all essences but its own from their very souls. There memories became warped and large sections of their lives fell away. They wandered, sprinted, crawled, climbed, stumbled, but always moved through the plane until  they found a kindred vice within the very ground.

The first layer of laberinthine, glacial caverns carved with the etches of a broken goddess drew the fantatics and the fettered. Those in life whose loyalty had driven them into darkness, who followed duty above righteousness, nestled here within the howling canals of black ice. There was no light aside from a pale, dim glow that emulated from within the cavern walls. Any in many passages, it was nowhere to be found. The majority of souls are here, some home and some attempting to find the way through the frozen labyrinth.

The lush, blighted jungle beneath the caverns drew the power-hungry and those that clamored for fame. False kings, wicked advisors, slave-masters and others hunted each other and fled from the very undergrowth. Locusts hummed through the air and mauled the slow-footed. The ground soaked with bile and disease ridden waters, vines pulled at the unwary. The Hunt Eternal waited here, bursting with life and death.

In certain spots, the jungle pools were deep enough to drown souls and drag them into the layer after. The churning, acidic sea of the third layer never rested. Waves the size of inns collapsed atop entire generations, and currents swept up the countless spirits treading on the surface far away. Anger and bloodlust were in the air, in the sea' roiling grin. The violent always felt the painful wash of sulfur on them as they brutaly attacked the others surrounding them.

And Within the mask-shaped whirlpool of the sea the final souls, some say the most wicked, the last layer could be found. The wastes...

Empty...

Just ash and sandy wastes, cought up in dust-storms. Only the proud felt compelled to come here. And the slim few who did come wandered up and down the ridges of the dunes, mumbling the glories of olden, dead empires. They were lost, in footfall and mind.

And as the souls festered here, so did the sickness of Azgo. His blood pulsed in the stone, the ice, the verdant, the acid, and the ash. Tainted with the sickness of a god, the unending agony of unnatural flesh, and his Hatred. The Abyss was built of Hate.

It was storng.

Strong enough to weaken even the divine. The Deicidal Taint.

---These Names are Becoming Overly Fanciful----------------------------------------------------------

Azgo could not help but be suspicious. How could it be this... easy? Altruis was a monster, and deserved nothing less than destruction. He worked only to further his sick pleasures. And Veros... Veros had been no ally, just a lie. And the god of darkness... gone. They always required something in return, pushed ulterior motives... Could a god truely be so open with power? The thought of it was unsettling to say the least. What kind of power were the Firstborn giving to their slaves, and how often? Was he facing his brothers, or an Army?

"You offered me paths, and then say they cannot be chosen."

His tone was less accusatory and much more questioning.

"Regardless, that is the path I will choose. It is the path I will earn. But I will... consider what you have said."

Cautiously, Azgo reached inside himself, like dipping into a shallow brook for lost ore. Kings did not let gifts go unrequited.

"Perhaps... perhaps you will never use it. But perhaps you will, Sa. Take this and know that you are granted safe passage across and within the Abyss."

One of Sa's petals withered. Water seeped and bled from its pores, leaving only a dry, rustled leaf that spun weakly in the air. The veins within the leaf bent and twisted until a hazy image of a two-piece crown was embroidered onto it. After a few minutes, the petal fell away from Sa and crumbled into dust. At the same time, the process repeated itself with a new leaf.

And then Azgo drifted away. These visits to the "outside" should be kept sparse and brief, if only to avoid his siblings. It was one of the few times Azgo turned his back on a god.

---The North-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For as long as they could remember, the cults along the northern borders had struggled.It was a harsh place, and the elves were a harsh people. They converted only the criminals and the eccentric nobility, looking for an outlet from a sheltered life.

And then the brutality of Winter descended.

And the cults rejoiced. For the elves marched out of their lands in the winter, and the North was spread thin. The cults ran as fast as they could across the tundra wastes and between the frosted pines, being careful to avoid Elven battalions and caravans. A few settled in the prominent cities and kept an eye on what left and when. But a few walked even further, untill the storms at last battered them beneath the ground. It was here, in the warrens of the long forgotten Remorhaz that they brought chisel unto stone and began to carve cathedrals in the dark.

The calls of the Remorhaz echoed through the halls.

OOC
Modify Plane (2AP): The Abyss is begining to fester and rot with the sickness of Azgo. All divine beings that enter the Abyss are weakened. At its current stage, the most it does is unsettle the gods and haunt them with the shadow of frailty. But it will strengthen over time. 
Command Populace (2AP): Cultists of the Northern caverns flourish miles under the thick ice. Their temples are equally fortresses braced against the surface, and research into training Remorhaz from youth becomes the primary concern.
Create Artifact (1AP): The King's Mark. Azgo forges from the crucible of his veins the King's Mark. This emblazoned symbol renders its bearer immune to the Deicidal Taint. Creating it costs Azgo 1 AP, and it can be removed with 1 AP... and physical contact with said god. The King's Mark cannot be duplicated, however, effects similar can be achieved by spending AP higher than the cost of a King's mark. I have no idea about cost ratios yet. One half the current AP in the Deicidal Taint maybe?
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.

Pruinus reached the edge of the continent after days of endlessy walking the continent, exploring every hidden cave and forest, meeting every culture and populace. She had viewed many fantastic creatures for sure... Those tiny humans known as Halflings, the fiery insects... Chitrachs, were they? Pruinus was not so sure she felt as keen of those or the savage Orcs that stalked the savannahs. She felt another presence across the ocean, another landmass. Pruinus curiosity called her there, but she felt that her business on this land was not quite done. She had not seen her brothers in a long time. On her travels, she had failed to encounter any other of her kind. Onus, Urru, Markus... They were no signs of them either. Nor were they are evidence to the existance of the defilers, Azgo and Alturius. Pruinus realized she was somewhat out of the loop in the matter of cosmic events. She called the primal spirits to her, asking them what they knew of creation. All of it. The primal spirits bombarded her mind with such information that even with the mind of a god, she felt flabbergasted. The world had grown much since the last time she docummented her findings within the Halls Of Creation. The world was a big place, too much for one person, albeit a god, to catalogue. She whispered into the collective ear of the primal spirits, asking a favour of them once again. The primal spirits promptly agreed. Carving ice was not a difficult task for the collective spirits of nature itself. The spirits of ice and fire made their way to the halls of creation. The spirits of ice fulled the halls and solidified, the halls simply becoming a frozen mountainside once again. The spirits of cold made way for the spirits of fire, who began to rage through the mountainside, reimagining the halls of creation to their own design. Grand open halls were replaced with a series of tighter, more compact hallways. Ice sculptures reached out of the walls as through trying to escape an icy prison, such was the realism of the carvings. Pruinus was observant, but the primal spirits embodied all living and natural things. They knew every detail, intricacy and secret of the beings who had a place within this hall. The halls of creation were complete, nothing escaped the attention.of the primal spirits.

---

3 AP - Modify Realm
The primal spirits redesign the halls of creation, creating a series lf winding tunnels and hallways deep within the crown. Every creature, race, hero, god, exarch and avatar has a sculture here, amongst anything else of great importance. Addiontially, the halls update themselves automatically whenever something of importance is noticed by the primal spirits.
-The North pt 1-

The father sealed the exit to the room with several layers of fresh hide (old hides weren't safe, not for this). He took new paints and, with his finger, scratched symbols onto the taut tarp. Here and there the paint was too thick and it ran, but that was okay. The wards were stronger that way. Passion was important.

The father scrawled the sign of Pruinus in the center, largest, but other symbols spiraled out from it. The children noticed that some were missing, but that was why their father had brought them here.

When the room was secured, the Father sat down on a chair and called his children to him. They crowded on the floor and some on his lap. They clung closely together: there was no fire in this room, and the room itself was both old and cold with disuse. The children knew that the warmth of their kin was sweetest.

"Quiet now, settle down," the Father said. The words were tradition, passed down from many generations. The children here were quiet and still, though they did lean forward to grasp the words as they came from the Father's mouth.

"The time has come," the Father said, "to tell you of the kindly ones and the selfish gods. By whom do we swear?"

"Azgo," a little voice answered.

"Marcus," another spouted. A few other names were called out.

The Father nodded his approval. "And whom do we love and honor?" he asked.

"Pruinus." "Brother Branch." Other names joined the list.

Again the Father smiled at the asuteness of the children. "Wisely put, wisely put. But why, if we love Pruinus, do we never swear by her name? Why, if we swear by Azgo, do we hate him?"

To this the children had no answer, so the Father answered his own question. "For some are the kindly ones, and others are the selfish gods. The selfish gods think themselves warm, thinks themselves tall, think themselves hardy. They are not. We worship them to trick them. Their egos are satiated, their pride stroked. They never suspect that the elves do not truck with arrogant gods. They are like drunken louts, more trouble than they are worth."

"The kindly ones, they understand. They do not ask us to worship them, and we do not. But like an old friend, they are respected. Honored. An elf might swear by a trusted spear, because it has always been by his side and never let him down. An elf might swear by Pruinus, for she is ever by our side and never lets us down. She is a friend."

"But," a child interrupted, "no one ever swears by Pruinus's name."

The Father nodded, "True enough. That is because the selfish gods would throw a tantrum if they saw true devotion. We swear by Azgo, but we mean Pruinus, and an elf always knows this. To debase ourselves, to worship gods, that is not the way of the elves. It is as against our nature as it is for a fish to breath air. Pruinus, the old friend, she hears our vows, and though her name isn't the one we use, she knows us, and so she knows the words that are said are not the words our heart speaks."

The children huddled together with this information. The room seemed smaller, as though there were forces outside it, trying to get in and eat them. The Father saw this and smiled and spoke to them with reassurance. "Do not fear. You know the hidden ways, now, so you may not anger the selfish gods. This room is warded against them, the kindly ones keep them at bay. Here, when the portals are sealed, we are safe to speak the truths openly."

AP

1AP command Elves: Defining their religion more. Elves don't view gods as fundamentally superior beings, and the idea of honestly worshipping them is utterly ridiculous. Instead, the elves honor those gods that are willing to be friends (they current see Pruinus as one of these, although she's never had any interactions with them). As such, when the elves "worship" a god, that is entirely an act designed to appease that god. It's considered more of a bother to deal with a selfish god than to go through the rituals of worshipping them. The elves do use the selfish gods as vows, but this is understood to be a stand-in for the kindly ones.
As a side note, this does mean that "worship" of azgo is actually quite common among the elves, although none of them are actually devoted to him. I'll leave it up to Raven to say if that's good enough for them to be able to channel divine energy "from" him.

4AP remaining


-The North Part 2-

"The weather has spoken, Giroth Azerman. The elves march south. If you wish knowledge, walk with those who go south, talk to them. I am sure many would be interested to see this sun and solve its riddle."
~The Fight~
The hand of the beast surrounded Agni in a smothering grip, funneling the heat of the sun into the God as the hand gripped tighter and tighter.  Intense pressure and heat beat upon Agni, and the God began to feel decidedly... strange.

It was not like before.  The heat was not fraying the universe to pieces around him.  Instead, the heat, the pressure, it was all being directed *in*, at the core of what made Agni Agni.  Deep within himself, that everflowing font of magma was being drained out of that extradimensional place which it drew from at an accelerated rate, increasing the pressure on the interior of the diamond shell that was now Agni.  From the outside, falling through the perfect sphere of the crushing assault on himself, dirt and leaves and branches and rocks and even animals burned up instantaneously, charring to ash, then atomizing into flame, falling through the open and screaming mouthes of the God and becoming Magma itself.

Agni knew that his time was finished.  It was the end.  As the pressure built from the inside, it would eventually reach a point where an imperfection, however slight, would give way, fracturing the diamond structure.  Moments later, the fractures would burst apart and That-Which-Was-Agni would be lost.  He could not move, could not maneuver.  Dimly, he was aware that Ka'Vah had answered his call, and wished he could tell it to flee as far away as possible... but words, thoughts, were nearly beyond him.

And then Branch struck, and the hand of the God-Mountain slipped and relaxed just enough.  The pressure of a thousand suns, the pressure of an entire plane of magma, surged from one of Agni's many mouthes and through a small gap in the formerly uniform grip.  It was no longer Magma.  Pure Plasma, the fury of fire amplified to astronomincal levels, burst free in a beam of destruction, and lanced directly into the Godmountain, breaking through the entirety of the beast's body in the space of an instant.  The Godmountain roared in pain and fury, and shook its hand, which sent the beam lancing all across the monstrous form, carving entire sides of the creature off to tumble below.  And then the beast let go.

A massive shockwave of flame and fury burst from the many mouths of Agni as the pressure within him found instantaneous release, devastating the land and crashing into the stunned Godmountain, who stumbled, scrabbled, and fell off the cliff towards the water below as Agni lost conciousness and fell like a stone, smashing into the ground, rolling, and eventually following his foe in a plunge towards the depths.

OOC
Thought, as I know I can't actually *kill* your God-being, I figured extraordinary damage was... fair game


~The Moot~

Morenth watched for a long moment as the Sun-Mountain descended and swallowed the Beacon.  A voice inside her said she should feel paniced, should feel shocked, should feel as if the entire state of things in the universe had fallen to pieces around her.  And a part of her did feel that way.  But, seeing the destruction of the home of the Azure Dragons (which she now knew made their home there) only brought back visions of seeing her own home destroyed from afar as she and the dragons sent with her had been winging back towards the Eternal Volcano when it had erupted.  Panic and fear had been dominant then as well, but Morenth had had to force those feelings down and away inside of her and be there for those under her command.  It was with the same unnatural calm that she raised her voice and trumpeted over the confused shouts of the gathered dragons.

"I am Morenth, eldest among the Crimson Dragons, and I am no stranger to destruction.  We saw our home and most of our kin destroyed at the conclusion of the Craterspawn Wars and fled to the Eastern Mountains. Lucan of the Azure Brood, I pledge myself and my kin to you and yours' aid.  But first, I have a question: what does this mean?  How is it that the sun could fall from the sky?"

~The North~


Giroth nodded.   "Then I go south with those that march, as my mission is simple:  To discover the means to save my people."

OOC
Pen, Thought, the Irony is not lost on me that the ice-elves are traveling south to the land of the fire-dwarves only to find that the fire-dwarves now live underneath a frozen lake.



1 AP:  "Command" Land (in the form of a massive explosion):  A portion of the eastern shoreline becomes glass due to the force of the explosion that is released when Agni escapes from the clutches of the GodMountain.  

---Abyss------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The godwisp clawed through the ethreal cracks in the wards. The walls were under constant pressure and threatened to collapse on top of him. And the wards, how agonizing to the touch... with razor, frigid edges they carved across his essence. Azgo screamed, remembering the feeling of the Reaping Sword within him.

And then... vast space. light. Power.

A rush of life flowed back into the wisp, organically wrapping the bones of the Fused God in careful, sickened tissue. He could feel the filth pumping in his chests, and the tightness of swaddled skin. A deep breath shook his mucus-lined lungs.

Azgo, the true Azgo, stood once again in the Godcrater. It was a broken land. Islands had been forceably crashed into one another to form its likeness again. Crags and canyons scarred the once smooth ground, and geysers bubbled over like cracked cauldrons. Azgo surveyed the first battlefeild of the gods for hours, thinking. Rubble was everywhere.

There was much work to be done.

OOC
Modify Plane (0AP): Azgo spends a few years building and rebuilding Guvarah An, Palace of the True King. Rather than the last incarnation, which was a large fortress in the middle of the crater, this new fortress city covers the entire island. Walls run up and across cliffs and gorges, towers as numerous as wheat dot the landscape, and fortress connect wall segments. The largest fortress of them all is the size of a capital city and houses the throne. But despite its impressiveness, it holds no AP value in terms of combat or defenses... yet.


---Edge of the Eastern Sea---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The battle had only just begun, and then it seemed to have finished. Ka'Vah had distracted this mammoth creature as best he could, though his effectiveness was in question (which he inwardly found infuriating).

The god-beast staggered, and then fell. A moment of awkward peace followed before being suddenly interupted by the crashing of that gem-god-person-thing unto the cliffside. A bounce here, a roll there, and then it teetered over the cliff. Ka'Vah panicked, losing some his form's crisp image into indistinction.

A god-mountain does not perish simply because it fell into the ocean...

His serpentine form billowed over the cilff and surrounded the falling diamond. Everywhere past the edge was shrouded in searing steam nearly ripping itself out of the water, but Ka'Vah was adept as seeing past such trivial things. Summoning up his strength, a divine gale of smoke and steam carried the diamond-god slowly upward. It was... straining to say the least. Ka'Vah nearly buckled under his girth.

With a final push, Ka'Vah threw the hefty god on the far side of a hill. A small cloud of dust and boulders were tossed into the air. The Eclipse aflame sluggishly rolled over to the unconcious body.

"Awaken!"

No response. It was hard to hear over the roar of steam behind them.

"Move yourself! This fight is far from done!"

...

"Ka'Vah commands it!"

...

Ka'Vah collapsed unto the sleeping god, smothering him with the stench of burning flesh and rotting wood, the aftertaste of ash clingling to the throat.  Thick, black smoke poured in through the many holes in the body. Dignified? No. Neccessary? Unfortunately.

But at least Agni was gone. Dead presumably. That brought him at least some joy.

OOC
Ka'Vah is using himself as a smelling salt in the hopes of waking Agni. Just thought i'd clarify that.

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.

Deep within the diamond sphere, the core of Agni caught and sparked as the smoke of Ka'Vah tickled open the portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire.  Magma flowed out, chasing the smoke before it as it flooded the interior of the God.  With a roar, Agni rose into the air, magma flowing from every eye, every mouth.  After a long moment, an interior current began to flow within the sphere, keeping most of the Magma contained within, save for a few stray globs that escaped periodically from one orifice or another.  Ka'Vah felt the God regard him.

Ka'Vah, Thank you.
Ka'Vah, Rrwew asdodddd.
Ka'Vah Dominu Geaeka.

Ka'Vah, rrrrreeeee, Eqwewaaakkkkk.
Ka'Vah Dank Shen. 

Ka'Vahpppppppppppfffffffffffeeeewwwwwwwww,
PewkewkaalaKa'Vah, DAda.
Ka'Vah, Grac Ti.

 
The God spoke, but all the mouths spoke in a different language, a cacophany of sound that crashed against the 'ears' of the exarch before him.

Agni frowned, diamond flowing like molten glass.  After a moment, he tried again.  Now, one language and set of mouthes were dominant, while the others were reduced to a buzzing whisper.

Ka, Vah.  Thank you.  I am glad to know that I could count on you in the end. 

---Eastern Coastline----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ka'Vah's form gathered itself with newfound steam and smoke untill it loomed over Agni. Not that Ka'Vah meant to be imposing (though he would relish any fear that came with it), but when that God-beast reached through the curtain of steam to attack them, he wanted to see it coming.


"This is no end, gem god. It will return..."


Ka'Vah continued to stare into the mountains of hissing, salt-scented steam. Eventually something clicked in his mind.


"Wait. How do you know my glorious name, gem god?"

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

The light flared, and then died. Shadows fell and lingered over the crowds. An uproar sounded. Cries in hundreds of voices rang out and drowned themselves in the new marshes of sound. Rustling, slogging, muddy voices stuck and churning with each other.

Some were astounded. Most kept a hollow dignity, fear raining about their insides. And a select few... were angry. Very angry.

Cantorix stood still and for the first time in a long time, thought about what it meant to be Dragonkin.

"Proof?! You want more proof than these kin gathered before you?! Then take up the mantle of your fathers and fly with us! The Crownlight has faded, and the lowlands call for aid. You are so quick to deny what you have not even seen, to label what is beyond your home impossible. Then come! Ready yourselves if the blood of dragons means anything to you! Ready yourselves if the honor of fallen kin is deserving of retribution!"

Many were hesitant. First a Moot, and now a fallen sun?! What could possibly be happening? And then one young dragon, one of the Keepers, parted through the crowd and called out a challenge. She was just beneath adulthood, and a long horizontal scarr throbbed upon her neck. Her voice was rasping.

"You expect us to believe this... this--Treachery? How foolish! First you invite them so that they may find our hiding place from the Wounded One, and now the sun falls in the East. What will happen now? A horde of craterspawn will swoop down from the darkness upon our marshalled forces? These strangers have brought nothing but violence in their presence, deciet in their words, and darkness in their wake. Perhaps they are the true sons of Azgo!"

The crowd began to whisper, dividing glances between the two primary forces at the Moot. And many looked back at Morenth, Cantorix and Lucan with renewed suspicion.

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 East~~~

Ka'Vah's flames were flames nonetheless. Fire against fire. The godbeast soaked up the heat, its form strengthening. Yet Ka'Vah was not flame alone. A sickness was in that fire, and it seeped into the god. Disease attacked the godbeasts body. Its ooze turned sluggish, and the black shell lost its gleam. But the creature was hot, drawing warmth from the source itself. The disease slowed the beast, but it could not take hold or distract it, as its own heat burned the infection away, like a fever to end all fevers.

Then the branch struck and Agni freed himself.

In thanks, the diamond-born attacked again with the pure essence of fire. At first the blast did little that could be seen. The creature's shell grew harder. But the blast continued, and it's blood grew sluggish, then hardened as well. Through and through, liquid turned solid, and that which was solid hardened impossibly. Hard enough to cut an atom, but brittle too, brittle enough that even the wind caused sheets of the shell to slough off.

The godmountain froze, turned into a statue by the heat.

And then it was tossed into the ocean, the great heat sink of the world. The paralyzing heat dissipated, solid joints were freed, and the creature could move again.

The shard of petrified flesh on the continent cooled as well, and turned to liquid.

Neither Ka'Vah nor Agni had warning. One moment the hill around them was pleasant. There was burnt grass and the traces of destruction, but through it all green life grew, and keen eyes could see the animals peeking out of their hiding spots, looking to see if the end of the world was over.

The next, the hill and all the area around it was vaporized.

There was the briefest of instances in which the smoke retained the shape of the land and grass and creatures. That instant passed unnoticed, so brief it was, and a shockwave followed that flung the two gods high into the air. The matter, that had been solid but now a gas, expanded violently.

And up through this the god-mountain came.

AP

1AP Command Land: A great round chunk of the eastern coast is vaporized. Eventually this will get filled in by the ocean waters and would make a great bay/cove thingy

2AP remaining


~~~The South~~~

The top of the mangrove tree cracked as the Zizu took flight again. Branches the size of raging rivers crumbled to the ocean below. Nearly half the tree was ruined.

In the air, the Zizu began to retch, and it vomited out a red orb that hung over the destruction of the tree. This orb cast a bloodly light on the ruins.

As large as the sky, the Zizu began to head north.

AP

1AP Harm: The top half of the mangrove tree gets ripped off by the Zizu. I'm fairly sure this does not bode well for the halflings.
1AP Harm/Nourish: The red orb above the mangrove tree is a dedicated AP tied to the sun artifact within the Zizu. Whoever controls all the sun orbs will gain access to these (yes, there will be others). These default is set to harm the world, but if someone not-evil got ahold of the suns, they could probably undo a lot of damage that the godbeasts are doing.

0AP remaining
-God Battle-

As the giant mountain rose up out of ocean, it paused. The splinter in its eye still irritated it. It had already cost the mountain its prey once, it wouldn't let it meddle again. All the mountain was aflame, and the creature stroked its heat until the branch in its eye had no choice but to burn.

And it did burn, releaving the monster for a moment, of its pain.

Though Agni had been thrown high into the air, even from his distance he could hear a distinct "splorch" as one of the mountain's eyes burst is a cascade of light and life. The tendrils of a giant bramble bush curled out from it and, with thorny delight, grew again into the mountain's flesh. Thorns the size of trees grew sharp and strong, impaling the creature, brining pain to its every move.

More and more brambles wrapped around the mountain, weighing it down, dragging it back to earth. Though the mountain's fires raged, the briar was sustained by divine powers and would not burn.

It was the first truth and it will be the last truth: life endures.

A few smaller tendrils of the plan wove into the air, and twisted themselves into the shape of an old man. Bramble and briar formed his bone and flesh, and from them grew leaves and flowers that in turn formed his clothes. Father Thorn, old and twisted, hurried with speed as quick as thought. He grabbed the two gods, his fire-hardened thorns piercing even diamonds and teasing out magma, and hauled them off. Far off, to the west, past the crown, into the badlands, too fast to notice the sun burried there or the god seeking it, and into the might-be forest of forgotten dreams.

With a hrumph, Father Thorn tossed the two gods onto the ground. From within the bramble, eyes as dark as blackberries locked onto Agni. Insults grew on his tongue, but Father Thorn pinched them off before they could produce fruit. Instead he said, "The land couldn't have taken much more of that debacle."

AP

4AP-Create Avatar: Father Thorn. A large humanoid. His body is made of thick, song-of-the-south-esq brambles, although leaves and flowers from these brambled serve as simple clothing, almost militaristic in form. Father Thorn gives the appearance of being an old man, and his personality is far more tyranical than other iterations of Leaf.

0AP remaining
Agni looked up blearily at the form that stood above him.

Tealord?   He managed to say after a long moment.
"Tealord?" Father Thorn asked. He raised a very branch-like eyebrow in question. The word echoed through his memories, and eventually knocked something loose. "No. He's dead."

"You nearly died twice yourself. Why'd you attack that monster alone? Where are Pruinus and the others?  And what is this one?" Father Thorn inclined his head towards Ka.
 The active faces of Agni turned to regard Thorn.   Your resemblace to the TeaLord is obvious, but if you wish to continue this charade, very well, Leaf is dead.  Now, what have you done to the beast?  Is it dead as well?

  
Reset

5 AP: Agni, Leaf, TASOE, Zebus, Azgo, Pruinus, Sa 
4 AP: Leni and the rest. 

Map:  Man, this was a hard one to try and update.  'Burning Tree' and 'Plain of Glass' aren't easy




Story:  Two weeks here...

Last Week:

Giroth the Azer arrives in the north and is brought before the rulers of the elves at their court before the Midnight Sun.  The elves agree to help the Azer, and begin preparations to head south.  To the south, the meeting between the Chitrachs and the Humans finally ends peacefully, as they come to a cautious agreement of future discussion and friendship.  As the Chitrachs leave, they come upon Marcus, and invite him to visit their nest.  He accepts.  

On the oceans to the west, the followers of Azgo sail across the seemingly endless ocean, sustained by the blessings of Azgo.  Unfortunately, they are the first to experience the power of the star Wormwood, which reanimates the dead.  In their wake, the Halflings develop a revered school of medicine.

The Black dragons call a Moot, which entails killing a young black dragon.  Morenth, the emmissary from the Red dragons nearly leaves, appalled at the needless death.  The Mootstone calls not only the black dragons, but also a nearby Azure and Orange dragon as well.

To the east, a tribe of Orcs,  blessed by Agni with power and supernaturally powerful hunting animals, begins to unite the tribes beneath them, while the Nix begin to trade on a massive scale with the other races, using their link to nature to gain large stockpiles of animal and scavengable resources.

All is not well for the Nix, however, as Ka'Vah destroys the hometown of Timmy Bushytail for... the fun of it.  Timmy takes the death of everyone he loves and everything he cares about... about as well as one might expect.

Far above the world, Azgo and Sa meet.   Sa is intrigued by the myriad broken promises that surround Azgo.  Azgo, meanwhile, wants knowledge of what has happened since he was imprisoned.

And once more, a doom stalks the land.  The Godbeasts rouse from their slumber/hiding/egg.  The Behemoth falls from the skies onto the Beacon-sun, destroying the sanctuary temple before swallowing the Beacon itself.  The Egg breaks open and a massive bird-beast, the Zizu, appears and takes wing.  And in the oceans, the Leviathan rises from the depths.

This Week:

 
The Godmonsters are clearly heading for the suns, replacing them one by one with red, pulsing orbs of Evil.  The Zizu and Leviathan encounter little resistance, the former destroying a large portion of the Mangrove Tree of the halflings, while the Leviathan floods Sil Arkosh, 'solving' the problem of the rampaging Slaadi.  The Azer are barely able to escape destruction by sealing off a portion of their city using new Pyromancy magics.  The Leviathan leaves a frozen lake when it leaves, the Azer trapped at the bottom.  Seg approaches the sun buried in the western fields.

Only at the Eternal Volcano is the Behemoth stalled by the arrival of Agni.  The God and God-monster fight, and Agni is nearly destroyed as the Behemoth rips apart reality itself around the God.  This causes Agni to merge with nearly identical versions of himself from other parallel timelines, as well as turning Agni into a diamond.  As a consequence, Agni now speaks in a cacophany of different tongues.  Eventually, Agni, aided by Ka'Vah and Branch, fight the Behemoth to a standstill, and are eventually pulled away by a new form of Leaf:  Father Thorn, leaving a heavily wounded Behemoth to manipulate the sun within the Eternal Volcano as the landscape groans in the aftermath of the battle. 

Elsewhere, the Moot begins and moments after it does, the Behemoth swallows the sun.  The Black dragons panic and splinter into factions.  Seeking to keep the meeting from devolving into complete chaos, Morenth and Cantorix make impassioned speeches and Morenth spills her blood on the Mootstone.

Sa and Azgo negotiate for Sa's support of Azgo's eventual plans to defeat the firstborn, but eventually part ways, no bargain having been struck.  However, Sa is given the rare gift of safe passage across the Abyss, which grows darker and more malevolent as it fills with evil souls.  Azgo, tired from his extended journey, returns to it to brood and recover.
Ka'Vah was taken aback. So much smoke... as far as the eye could see. It had filled the heavens and coated the clouds with a charcoal black. It was... beautiful. And unsettling. Only when Zebus had cast Azgo into the Abyss had he seen such power. To think, an entire coast up into vapor...

And if a coast could, why not the whole world? It was something to think about if nothing else.

Taking the form of a serpent again, the Eclispe Aflame glided behind the gods, putting as many bodies between himself and the god-beast as possible. He finally coiled himself, watching the eastern horizon.

Perhaps it was time that he left. Surely the gem-god and this... bramble-man could deal with the god-beast. And then Ka'Vah eyed the Gem-God closer, still waiting for a response. His vision narrowed. Each facet seemed... oddly familiar. And a similar heat radiated from his mere presence.

Ka'Vah smiled. Perhaps this gem-god had absorbed the dead god's essence!

...

Or perhaps it was...

Ka'Vah stopped smiling.



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 Glass Coast~~~

As soon as the divine influence vanished, the vines and thorns that had encumbered the Behemoth were set on fire and burnt to nothing. The creature, however, was not quick enough to catch where the gods had gone. That was fine by it. It had work to do.

The behemoth trudged back to the Eternal Volcano. There was something different in its behavior: it was as if the hand of an intelligent master guided the pet, instructed it. Taking the sun burried there had proven to be bothersome. But the sun itself wasn't truly needed. Being hidded was as good as being taken.

The deed done, the Behemoth left the volcano and headed back east. There were mortals there that needed... attention. Before it went, a red star began to shine over the home of the Angi'Vodha

~~~The Frozen Lake~~~

Above the ice and frost and water, as the Leviathan swam north through the air, it left behind a red star that bathed the water in crimson.

~~~The World in General~~~

Agni.

Where Artun had come from was marked by small pieces of charred flesh and blood. What passed as feet for him were burnt and worn to blood and bone.

Agni.

His hatred of the god still drove him on. He'd been seeking the betrayer for ages, and had a bit of luck when the fire god flew towards the Eternal Volcano. Artun arived just in time to see Agni transformed, but the battle moved too quickly, and soon the Behemoth and the betrayer were far to the east. Even then, Artun neared just as the Behemoth's eye exploded and the strange god dragged the diamond-Agni away. To the west. So it was west that Artun headed.

Agni.

AP

2AP: Setting two more Nourish/Harm time bombs.

3ap remaining
~The Moot~

In the darkness, the Black dragons murmured and jostled against one another.  Suddenly, a pillar of flame split the night, flowing from the mouth of Morenth and bathing the Moot in its light.  A few moments later, a grunting belch unleased a river of glowing magma from the mouth of the Orange dragon.  As the Moot watched, the magma raised itself from the earth and began to spin around the fire.  Morenth, surprised, stopped breathing out flame, and the magma wavered in the air unsteadily for a moment until a voice worked its way into her head.

Keep breathing fire.  I need it to work.   The voice of the orange dragon rang in her head.  Obiediently, she continued to breathe out fire, and the magma worked its way around, forming a glowing lattice around the flame.  Suddenly, the fire grew ten times brighter, bathing the terrain with brightness.

You can stop now.  

Morenth stopped, and the fire remained, trapped within a lantern of floating Magma which sustained and amplified it as it bounced about like a caged animal.

Morenth looked down at the squat orange figure.

I've done what I could.  You're the one with the words.  Talk to them before they kill us all!

Morenth's mouth twisted.  The dragon was right.  Things looked bad, although the lantern had brought silence to the gathered crowd.  Morenth opened her mouth and began to speak.

"Would a creature of darkness provide you light to see?  Would a creature of darkness have the light of Fire within her?  No.  I am not a creature of darkness, and I speak the truth.  Listen to the story of me and my kin, and tell me that I have not suffered as much as you against the Craterspawn.


I was born into combat.  My first memories are my very bones being stitched together and the searing pain of magma surrounding me moments before I burst into the caldera of the Eternal Volcano.  I opened my eyes and saw Craterspawn armies descending into the caldera, intent on killing its inhabitants.  I breathed, and fire engulfed them.  I beat my wings and saw as my kin pulled themselves from the liquid fire.  For a time, we were as the gods themselves, burning wave after wave of those fallen angels from the skies as we pushed up and over the edge of the caldera and into the world itself.

To behold the true might of the Craterspawn horde, surrounding us.  Fifty of our number were chosen to fight free of the armies and seek allies in the world, and I was chosen as their leader.  We fought free and flew to the Crown, where we met other races fighting the Craterspawn as well.  Nix and Humans and Elves and Galeb Duhr joined together in an alliance of desparation against the Craterspawn who slaughtered them at every turn.

But they could not help us.  They needed our help more than we needed theirs.  And so after a short time, we returned to the Eternal Volcano, or at least we tried to."


Emotion began to work its way into the voice of the dragon as she continued.

"But the war had taken a dire turn.  A beast of choking smoke and dying flame stalked the battlefield, killing our kin.  Before the assault of that Servant of Corruption, we stood a chance.  After, it was futile.  Even when a miracle occured and a God took away the Servant, we could still see the bodies of our kin falling to the earth...

And then-"
 Morenth's voice caught and she breathed heavily for a moment.  "And then the Volcano exploded.  In an instant, the war of the Volcano ended, and in an instant we fifty dragons were all that remained of our race.  Fifty, out of an estimated thousand that were born from the caldera."

Morenth's voice grew hard.

"Can you not say that my kind has paid the price against the Craterspawn?  Can you not say that we have earned your respect and trust, the respect and trust of the whole world?  Can you seriously say, to my face, that I am a servant of the Corruptor after he took nearly everything from me?"

She looked directly at the challenging black dragon.

"Perhaps you can.  But you are wrong.  I shall prove it to you.  I have told you the story of my kind.  To those of us who number so few, to shed our blood is the most powerful of pacts.  And so, in the presence of all of you as witnesses, I hereby swear---"   Morenth grunted as she cut into her arm with a claw and the red blood began to flow out of the gash.  "--- That I speak only the Truth.  I am no servant of Azgo, and I stand with you to bring the light of the suns back to the heavens."

Morenth reared back and swung her arm, spraying blood over the gathered dragons and splattering the Mootstone itself as she did so. 



-Meeting in the Forgotten Forest-

The thorns over the god's eye twitched. He had hoped, foolishly, that the gods might have matured over the years. That is what he got for being optimistic. "And your resemblance to a dragon's backside is uncanny, Agni: shall I take that as evidence that you're an a-"

Father Thorn cut himself short. He took a deep breath and then exhaled, hoping to force out his frustration as he did so. "I did nothing to the beast except to be born. I can't imagine that birth is anathema to it. But again, where are Pruinus and the others? Why did you fight that monster alone?"

The bramble-man glanced to the smoke-serpent. "Well... effectively alone."
Ka'Vah twitched. Storm-winds raged within him, reducing his form into a clotted mass of wirling smoke. Small wisps leaked out and swirled into the lofted canopy.

He turned inward.

"HOW DARE YOU! You knew! You knew that the gem-god was Agni and you said nothing! For too long you have been a parasite, feeding and chaining my power to whatever ends you wish. I AM MORE THAN YOU! I was destined to be greater than you, and I will find a way to cut you out worthless little Scorch. I will..."

Ka'Vah's head slowly turned, centimeter by centimeter, towards Father Thorn.

"We did not fight. We fled. We had the advantage, the Glory, and we fled. How... brave."

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 Abyss-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Long, unhallowed footfalls reverberated between the stonework, bouncing miles ahead. The carved bricks shook, not from force but from reverence as god-forged steel passed. A long crooked finger dragged against the walls and the battlements. Yellow dust danced in the air and at last sank in lifelessness. And in the distance, over the hundreds of walls, a collum of steam rose even higher than the towers.

He had built every inch, carved every pillar, layed every foundation in the unyeilding stone of his brutal cradle. And not once long stroke of the hammer or the blade had been with divine will. It had been by hand... for he wanted it secure.

He closed his eyes as his hand slowly moved over the hard, uneven rocky surface.

It takes its..due time you see to do something proper. Especially when you are alone.

A great smith had told him that once. At the time, he found this idea foolish. But now... perhaps it was wise to be much less rash in his wrath. Where was Thereus now? Perhaps that was something to investigate, for the young god showed promise despite his refusal of war.

He continued to walk, remembering. The steam grew closer, and then even closer pace by uneven pace. Azgo had never walked with graceful step. Three legs... always fighting for place. The shadow of a gate passed over his shoulders.

Azgo emerged into one of the larger courtyards. At its center broken crag suppressed the many fingers of steam clawing out from between the cracks and openings. A shrill hiss... the smell of blood and filth and flesh...

Azgo leaned down and curled his fingers under the boulders. At his reproach, the stone crumbled and a searing cloud of steam suddenly exploded out from its prison and into the sky. And the hissing faded...

Clawing. The scrape of anceint talons on slick, acid coated stone.

Out from the curtain of chemical vapor a twisted hand grabbed hold of the pitt's rim. The fingers were strained and broken, swelled with unnatural liquid. And there was no skin. Melted off...

A long screech peeled across the miasmic air like a wound being torn open again, the scab run over with blood.

Azgo let the creature crawl up untill its head loomed forth from the depths. The skull was scorched black with noxious, toxic wear. The hand of a god gently bent down and rested on the searing skull. The organs were roasting on the inside. Azgo stared it in the shadows of the skull where eyes once were.

Push.

And the creature fell, hitting the sides of the pitt over a dozen times before crashing into the boiling tar. It struggled, and clawed at the air, and slowly sank. Azgo whispered the command word, and the Apostate's Bane in a flurry of metal meshed once more into the ring. It had been ages since the wind had flown across that sickened, pale skin. It had been ages since that flesh had not felt a carapace of cutting steel. And it had been an age since Azgo had felt his heartbeat push with warped fevor on his chest. His hands moved across his chest, feeling the movement of intertwined organs, untill they came to rest at his ribs.

The Wounded One breathed deeply...

And then tore at his body. Layers of skin and bloated muscle. Pockets of pus and bile pooped and overflowwed across the exposed bone of his merged skeleton. His hands pried open the hole and bend the ribs beneath. One hand crawled even deeper, and wrapped around his gnarled, warped heart. Valves and veins connected and diverged, and wrapped it in a pulsing coat of flesh. For a mere moment, Azgo held and felt one of his hearts. The beat. The same beat at the edge of his fingers. And then the fingers tore open the heart, shredding the feverish tissue.

Azgo screamed as blackened, clooted blood poured out from his chest and down his arms into the pit.

The tar darkened with utter black. Its stagnant liquid churned with new, zealous death and pulsed like a heart.

The agony... was intense. It too pulsed in his chest and in his mind, throughout his whole being. And then he thought of Duty. Retribution.

 HATE.

The pain did not fade, but suddenly it became trivial, a splinter, as thoughts of Zebus and Leaf and Prunius and Agni marched in. The pain of his whole experience flared into being, and he HATED them. His fingers tore open the heart even more. One day, he would tear them limb from limb and essence from essence untill nothing was left. And his scream became a Roar. And that roar lapsed into determined silence.

His hands, coated in the toxins of Azgo's blood, pried the bone back into place, and the flesh was sewn together.

"Rise, for you are frail no longer."

And a new beast flew up and out of the pitt. And a new screech broke the silence.

OOC
"Nourish" Population (3AP): The craterspawn take to the barren grounds of the Godcrater once more. Having been fed the heartblood of Azgo, these new monstrosities are far stronger than their elder peers. They are mechanically size Large, and seem much more muscular. The bony helmet/skull is thicker, and rugged bony plates cover parts of the chest, back, and lower arms.
Ap Remaining:2


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 Moot-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

...

...

...

Silence.

No voices. No wind. Not even a heartbeat.

Just Silence.

...

The blood dripped slowly down the snouts of the closer dragons and into open mouths, where it sizzled with diluted acid. But not a single dragon was watching Morenth. All eyes were fixed on the Mootstone. The thick blood, glittering with the flicker of nightime fire, seeped into the pillar. Even as it flowed over the drying scabs of the youngling, the blood transmuted through the skin of the stone. The pillar rumbled. The icewater of the lake, forever tear-taste bitter, felt a particular heat move between the dragon claws. Not the heat of boiling, slick and heavy, but fire's wicked kiss.

And then... nothing. The water's caress vanished into bitter cruelty and the stone that had shaken was still.

The assembled kin were stiller than the Mootstone, stunned. A few forgot to breathe, and endured the spasms of the chest untill at last a pained gasp broke the surface. They seemed caught in a dream on the verge of waking up to a great realization but inable to force the final stirrings of the night.

And Cantorix. Cantorix was also suprised and yet very assured. Somehow, in that moment, he knew that he would never again release his burdens. His pain was to be carried. His grief felt. And thoughts thought. It was dishonorable...no, wrong to forsake his mind in the hopes of empty comfort. A bond...

The time for speeches was over. Morenth had spoken, and the Mootstone had spoken, and both had layed the foundation for a... bond.

"Why do you hesitate, kinsmen? The Mootstone has accepted these former-foreigners. Do you stand with them?"

And every eye in the audience looked away from the Mootstone. Cantorix seemed older than he had a few seconds ago. Worn.

And then... one by one, different dragons from random spots in the crowd came to life, and spoke with an ancient pride.

"I stand with them."

"Kin are not to be abandoned."

"You are not alone, bloodkin!"

"As you have lost brothers, so we will die for ours!"

One voice shook with rage. The youngling raored and frothed with anger.

"Blasphemy!! Defiler of the Dead and Living!"

A few choice members from the crowd gathered to her, drawing attention and forming an unofficial seperation from the crowd that engulfed it. They cried out, but were left mostly unheard beneath the uproar of pledges and oaths. This splinter group of dragons suddenly became aggresive, beating and clawing their way toward the Mootstone.

OOC
Modify Artifact (0AP): The Mootstone has been attuned to crimson dragons, and the death of either a black dragon or a red dragon will summon both groups to the Mootstone.
AP Remaining: 2

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.

~Agni, Thorn and Ka'Vah~

The voice whispered its way through Ka'Vah's mind.

Of course I knew.  Who else would he have been?  The Source of All Fire called, and at our core, we heard and answered.  

A small bit of steel worked its way into the voice.

You wish me, what passes as your concience, gone.  You will get your wish, and soon.  I feel my essence grow weaker.  But beware.  I have been doing some exploring in this shared body of ours.  It is you that is the parasite, not I.  You are the sickening of fire, the poisoning of smoke, but without something... without me for you to feed upon, you are nothing, Ka'Vah.  A fire without fuel.  When I die, you go too, Ka'Vah.


Agni's voice cut into the internal dialogue.

 Ka'Vah.  We did not have the advantage.  If not for he-who-swears-he-is-not-the-Tealord, I would have perished, as would you.  At best we fought the beast to a tie.  I fear this is too much for any one of us, as the Bramblemaster noted.

As for your question.                Agni faced Thorn.               There was no time.  I have lost track of my kin in the many years since we cleansed the surface of the earth, but I agree, we must find them if we are to stand a chance against this monster and finish this.

Agni's many faces frowned.

Something is happening to the loci from which I unleashed the devastation that cleansed the world of Craterspawn.  They are being... manipulated.  I am losing my connection to them.

Ka'Vah.                 Agni's active faces turned to look at the Eclipse Aflame.     I send you to find our allies.  Find The ColdMo-  No, she probably would not wish to see you.  Find the DeathLord.  I am sure you are up to this task.  Tell him to meet me here.  Or, if you cannot find him...  Go back to where we met.  See if you can find some way back into the realm of your former master.  CONVINCE him that at this moment we must work together.  Go.   Now.


Now for the ColdMother.  Agni had no servants left, other than Thorn, and he didn't think the Leaf-eque being would take kindly to being given orders.  A more... creative solution was necessary.

Agni rose from the earth and above the line of the trees, and he began to spin.  Each mouth filled with Magma, and as the mouths came to point towards the heavens, Agni spat out a lump of lava to the heavens.  He spun so quickly that his features blurred, and for nearly ten minutes he sent Fire into the heavens.  Finally, at long last, he slowed and stopped.  Above Thorn and Agni, receding into the sky was a picture made of thousands upon thousands of points of light:  A portrait of a snowy peak, a mask of fire, a leaf and a pentagram and skull.  If Pruinus (or Zebus)  was looking up, she should see them and be able to find them quickly.


Agni returned to the surface of the world and to Thorn.    

I have done what I could to get her attention, BrambleMaster.  Now, there are two loci of power left to me that remain undefiled.  One is in the far north, but the other is very close.  Please, follow me and we can talk after we have secured it.


With that, Agni sped from the forest and to the east, heading for the Crown.  Soon, he came upon the mostly-buried sun... and a familiar figure standing before it.

You...  He growled as he descended next to Seg.  

What are you doing here?    

OOC
 I'll get to the Moot tomorrow


2 AP:  Craft Artifact (for lack of a better description):  The Stars.  In this setting, the Stars are actual balls of never-cooling magma that are slowly floating away from the planet and into the void.  At the moment, they look like pictures of the holy symbols of Agni, Leaf, Pruinus and Zebus, but over time those pictures will fade as the stars drift further apart from one another.  Eventually, many, many years from now, the stars will become too small to observe as they travel away from the planet, and the night sky will grow completely dark again (save for the moon.  We *do* have a moon, people!

3 AP remains.
 
~~~The Badlands~~~

Seg hesitated. Wind screamed across the badlands, and dust, nearly invisible from the lack of light, tumbled along with it. A fragment of a sun glinted through the dirt and rock, twinkling like the unholy star, calling to the god.

An odd cloud swirled within the orb, and it gave Seg pause. He approached, and it whirled faster. Did it beckon or warn? The master's command or not, Seg had no desire to be attacked by a puny artifact. Yet when it did nothing, he came closer. The thing seemed safe enough.

His order was to simply take the artifact. But that swirl gave him pause. He held back his leather apron with his left hand and bent forward, leaning in towards the thing, entranced by the way that the light and other-light danced within. With his right hand he reached out and brushed some of the grey earth and rocks away, to get a better view.

That swirl wasn't part of the sun. A different power, with a different purpose, that much was clear. But what was it for.

An unpleasant but familiar voices startled Seg. He stood up and whipped around, and began to speak as he did so.

"Ah, Master Agni, I-" Seg saw the diamond creature before him. "Ah... it is Master Angi, yes? You have changed much since we last met. But, your orders to me still ring in my ears. As you have commanded, so shall I be gone from your presence."

Seg turned to leave, but paused, "Or, after all these years, do you wish to invite me into your presence again?"

Seg gave a pained smile to the thorny one. "I must apologize to you, I would stay and talk, but Master Agni's orders and all..."

~~~The Eastern Coast~~~

No one watched as the Behemoth moved west. Well... that depends on how "no one" is defined. The monster left behind a black slug, longer than a man is tall. This thing watched as the Behemoth moved away. Although it was just one slug, it wasn't a single thing. A thousand thousand voices echoed in its mind, all demanding the same thing. Evil.

The air around the Behemoth groaned: mountains aren't meant to move. It displaced vast quantities of gas, which only crashed back together behind it like thunder.

The slug, satisfied that the pet would attend to destruction, moved up the eastern coast. A mirage in the distance had caught its attention.

Further up the coast, the ancient spirits found a lie. From the outside, it looked perfectly normal. Just a desolate bit of coast. But the spirits passed its boundaries, and found inside ash. Even the air was dead, it decayed as is hung there.

The slug moved onto the ash and grew. Tendrils of slime stretched out from its body and hardened to bones. Two legs, four arms, ribs and spine and head. On this framework the slug hung itself, drooping but satisfied. A great evil had been done here. It was beautiful.

The spirits stumbled forward, kicking up long-dead ash into the still air. Dust-devils formed and danced across the expanse, mocking the life that had once lived here. Towards the center of the region, there was another deception, and the spirits moved towards his.

Irked by the illusion, the spirits waved an arm and dispelled them. A god was revealed before them. Old, elfish in appearance, and asleep.

No. Not a god. Another deception. But this one was stronger. There was a god here, but it was asleep within its own deception.

The ancient spirits picked off a glob of gloop from its own body. The mass formed into a tiny slug, and the spirits dropped it onto the deception's face. The slug crawled around the deception's face for a moment before finding its nose and sliding into it.

Within, the slug found the tiny god, barely alive. Barely more than a loose concept that was unlikely to even have a sense of self. The deception was far more interesting. Memories of what it had been, what it had done. And memories of what the god within had tried to hide.

This might be useful. The slug expanded, covering the sleeping god, and pretended to be it. It ordered the deception to awake, and, the deception thinking it was the god, responded.

Meanwhile, the ancient spirits headed elsewhere.

AP

1AP Mind Control Shadow's god (in Tsu'Misel's form, for now). I got Shadow's permission ahead of time.

4AP remaining
-The Forgotten Forest-

Ah, impatience. Father Thorn hadn't missed it.

The diamond body of Agni hurdled through the canopy overhead. The trees were more of an illusion than anything else, so they didn't catch fire, but it was a close matter. Perhaps if the god had lingered among the foliage longer.

With a sigh, Thorn looked around. The forest hadn't changed much since Life had last been there. There were even still piles of seeds, plans for all life that ever was or would be. Many piles were missing, summoned into the world by his predecessor or others. But many piles remained. One day, Thorn hoped, the forest would be empty.

There was work to do, though. Thorn held out his hand and willed the universe to form the books of natural laws. The tome condensed in one hand, the quill in the other. Thorn opened the book to a fresh page: it was always a fresh page, when he intended to write new laws. Pen was put to paper and the world changed.

Across the continent and further temperatures roles and the humidity increased. Clouds formed over the oceans, and raced across the land to wetten the world. Plants stirred from their slumber. Green shoots grew out of trees, seeds long forgotten in the ground sprouted. The animals, too, took notice. Many mated, others gave birth to their young.

Spring had come, the season of life. Surely, Pruinus would notice. But to be on the safe side, Thorn sent the newly-invigorated primal spirits to seek her out.

With that done, Father Thorn followed Agni.

AP

4Ap Command Universe: Father Thorn creates Spring. Basically, this is exactly like how Pruinus created Winter, just a different season. Like Winter, Spring usually lasts a turn, and Father Thorn can summon the season at will.

1AP remaining


-The Badlands-

Father Thorn appeared next to Agni. In this barren place, Thorn's body turned yellow and thin, like tumbleweed ready to roll across a desert.

"FireBringer, call me Father Thorn, but if you must use a title, then Master Bramble or Supreme LifeLord will do," he said to Agni.

Thorn turned to Seg and examined him. "And despite Agni's commands, will you stay if I order it?"
---The Forgotten Forest------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ka'Vah looked furiosly at Agni. Was this a god or a child?! Did he have any concept of glory?

"No! I slowed him, you wounded him, and this fearful one blinded him! He was vulnerable, crippled! And we-No, Wait! Listen to me, Ka'Vah..."

And then Agni was gone.

"...commands it."

Could things get any worse? Agni... ordering him around. And that mortal... that mortal! Aggghhhh!!

"You! Thorn-thing! Where is Zebus? Where can.... Thorn-Thing!"

Ka'Vah's serpentine twisted around, peering around the tree trunks and the shrubs.

"Where are you?! Bramble-man! Do not dare walk away from me!!"

Ka'Vah shook with rage. Despite all of his power, all of his effort, they simply... walked away from him?! His form broke apart into a swirling tempest, fighting the illusions and himself. Spurts of sickly fire flew at random from his body, choked, and then were snuffed out. Suddenly the smoke launched into the air with ferocity and consumed the skyline, raging in the heavens.

Ka'Vah felt the overwhelming urge to kill something... and he had an idea as how to summon Zebus.

---The Abyss-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He had grown accustomed to it over the endless cycle of years, the constant rush and crash of water overhead. It was soothing in its own way. And if Azgo eventually tired of its bombastic babbling or the new shreiking, the very depths of his palace blocked the sounds of the outside world. It could be quiet, very quiet. Never calm, but quiet.

For the past few hours he had wandered from one creation vat to the next, opening that which had been sealed and pouring fresh blood into the depths. New flocks were emerging. Straight from birth, their talons sunk into the unwary and the useless. The command of Azgo echoed still in their minds.

...

How many years had passed since he had seen Sa? 10? Just a day? Time felt strange to him, always distant. He had built the entirty of Guvarah An... but it now felt like a mere blink, like all memories do. But all of this loosely flowing time Azgo had wondered what he needed next. His army was returning, loyal as they were visceral, but he needed advantages in other feilds. Allies...

His hands ran over the rough stone of the throne's armrest.

He had once said to himself that his visits to the outside would be kept sparse, and only used in neccessity. As far as he could gather, only Sa knew of his "escape" from the Abyss. And if Sa knew little of the others, then the Tyrant Leaf was less organized than Azgo had originally pictured. This was the best time and a slowly closing window.

For there was another. Another entity free of the tyrant's corrupting touch. Perhaps it was time Azgo sought him out, before the Firstborn did. Yes... perhaps it was. Azgo rose from his throne, and began walking with unyeilding purpose, like he always did.

For Azgo was always working. He did little celebrating and even less relaxing. Even in rest he was planning, unlike his jubilant siblings outside this warded cage. Azgo smiled a thin, chapped, toothy grin.

And Let them be Jubilant! Let them tend their gardens, nourishing the fruits of their picking. Let them cultivate and nourish. Let them build an organic monument to the rewards of betrayal! For on a day of Azgo's choosing, the sky would darken and the winds would lash against the branches. Fruit will fall from the vine, sour... and rotten.

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 Moot~

His home was gone. Swallowed.

Lucan felt nothing but a cold hollowness to himself, and this worried him.

The sanctum had been the only home of the Azure brood. All his kin had spent their entire lives there.

And now it was gone. Swallowed.

He was alone among strangers. They were dragons, true, but they were not his kin.

His pride was gone. Swallowed.


Lucan shook thoughts from his mind and stepped to the Mootstone. He spoke slowly, with perfect, chilling, enunciation.

"With The Beacon swallowed, I am now the last of my kind. It is not much, but I offer myself to this pact."

Lucan bit into his foreleg, daintily dripping cupriferous blood along the stone's side.

"Brethren. Kinsmen. It seems my people are young, for we have grown and lived in a world bereft of these "Craterspawn". But I doubt not the cause, nor would I, nor any Azure dragon, dare to stand against brother or sister."

Lucan spread wide his wings and roared, a sound of rage and sorrow.

"And yet it would seem our ignorance bespoke our downfall. Who else but these 'craterspawn' could be behind the theft of a sun and the death of my people?"

Lucan hopped to Cantorix and bowed his wings. "I know not how to fight these craterspawn, but I have tooth, and breath, and place myself at your service.  I promise that the dying glory of my kind serve the greater whole, lest our legends all be swallowed by craterspawn beasts".

~The Quickening~

As the spirits left the deception wearing the face of the god, they found a single flower had bloomed amidst the barren desert. It blew into petals as they approached and then was gone.

~The Northern Winds~
Sa hummed to itself as it traveled north.

Interesting developments indeed. As Sa drifted along on the icy northern winds, it sent out tendrils of power. One found the frozen sun below it, and quickly surrounded it, smothering it gently with power and will.

With the sun as both anchor and compass, the second tendril sped far to the south and east. It passed through the flesh of the God Mountain, finding the Beacon within its gullet. This tendril needed no subtlety. As soon as the conduit was established, a jolt of power spanned the distance, and was gone.

~The Godbeast's Gullet~

The Beacon shone bright, and the Azure dragons within arose from their catatonia. The Godbeast stumbled in its westward trundle , as the beast's stomach began to quake. Every few moments, a rhythmic shock shook the beast. It began as a dull pain (though if the beast knew enough to care was a different story), and it would only get worse.

~The Elves' Glacier~

The frozen sun ignited, bathing the surrounding area in pale moon-green light. It was a soft and gentle thing, much kinder than the harsh reflections the sun had previously radiated.

The elves took this as a good omen, but it was not upon them that the sun had the profoundest effect. The white dragons, long little more than rage-driven and primal creatures, seemed to calm in the presence of the light. Their scales shone, ice limned their scales, and their eyes gleamed with a predator's cunning.

AP

 - 2 AP Create Artifact: The Northern Light -- Sa alters the power of the icy sun. It gives off a soothing green-white light that most sentient beings find soothing and pleasant, despite the sun's utter lack of warmth. White Dragons are actually empowered by this light, and while it does not increase their intelligence or manner, being exposed to enough of it augments their internal organs with a more refined cold, such that they can travel southwards without losing their mind to the thought of Agni "infesting" the warmer climes.
 - 1 AP Nourish: Azure Dragons / Alter Artifact -- Azure dragons are likewise empowered when they are close to the Beacon. It gives them energy in a way somewhat akin to photosynthesis, and increases the power of their spitting breath weapon
 - 1 AP Command: Azure Dragons -- Azure Dragons, with the aid of the newly augmented Beacon begin to attack the walls and lining of the God Mountain's gullet.
~The Badlands~

No.  This time you will stay, Deciever, for at the moment answers are more important than my hatred of your very presence.

I ask you again, with this other as my witness:  What are you doing here, so close to one of my nodes of power when all the other nodes have been tampered with.  You know something, and I will know what that is.

Agni's many eyes flared brightly as he moved threateningly towards Seg.


NOW.


~The Moot~

 As the black dragons fought among themselves, Morenth watched as first Lucan and then the Orange dragon, who had yet to give them a name, bled upon the Mootstone.  Each time, the stone rumbled as it soaked in the blood, then grew quiet.

Morenth turned to Lucan, shouting to be heard over the sounds of clashing scale, claw and tooth.

"I too so promise  Lucan.  It is clear to me as well that nothing but the Lord of Corruption, Azgo himself, must be behind this.  It is our duty to stand against his minions.  Cantorix, do you stand with us?"

As they waited for Cantorix to answer, the voice of the orange dragon slid into their minds.

"I guess I'll committ myself and my kin to this fight as well, although we're going to have to come up with something to do about my lack of wings.  Makes us less useful, I fear.  Name's Paren, by the way."


~Chitrach Hive~

 
"Welcome to the mighty Krr, friend Marcus"   Krr'Ree'E chittered at the God-man as she led him down the entrance tunnel, carved and widened into the solid rock of the magma field west of the Eternal Volcano.  Once they were deep enough, Marcus could see huge slabs of stone suspended overhead, held in place by tiny bits of rock that had yet to be carved away.  Krr'Ree'E noted the direction of his attention and said:

"We are not stupid.  We understand the dangers of living so close to a volcano of this magnitude.  We understand that at least once in the history of the world, this entire area was covered in a flow of lava, so we have taken precautions.  If such an eruption were to happen again, either the shaking of the earth itself or dedicated guards of our people would destroy the bits of rock holding up those slabs.  They would fall and seal off our nation from the approaching magma.  Eventually, we would emerge, once the danger had passed.  Ah, here we are."

The Chitrachs and Marcus entered the large cavern that was the core of Krr.  Flanking each side of the entrance, tall statues of warrior Chitrachs gazed out into the buzy cavern.  In every direction, tunnels snaked off into the darkness as Chitrachs moved about their daily business.  A broad path, orantely carved to mimic the look of a rushing river, led from the entrance that Marcus and the Chitrachs stood to a large building at the far end.  Krr'Ree'E led Marcus along this path and soon they entered the palace.

Inside, Marcus saw the largest Chitrach he had ever seen, easily five times taller than Krr'Ree'E herself.  A chittering sound filled the air as the Queen said:

"Daughter, you return at last.  Your suitors were growing restless.  I see you have brought back someone for me to meet.  Is this one of those meat-bag things that I sent you to meet with?"

Krr'Ree'E waggled back and forth in the manner that meant 'no.'  

"This is not one of those, who call themselves humans, Mother.  I will speak to you of them more at a later point.  This is, instead, an emmisary of one of the Gods."

The Queen blinked a slow blink of surprise before turning her attention to Marcus.

"An emmisary of the Gods themselves?  This is quite the surprise.  Welcome to Krr.  I am Krr'Ree'A, queen of this nation.  What business do you have here?" 
---Beneath the Southern Mountains-------------------------------------------------------------------------

He remembered the way.

He was more concerned with what he should say than remembering directions. How should he approach him? Thereus was decidely neutral in the "surface" gods' affairs. A decidely foolish mindset for a god, but then again, this was a fool's errand! The odds of success were punishingly slim, but Azgo could not afford to pursue it.

Should he be polite? Dignified? Threatening? Deceptive? Friendly? At that thought he paused. Friendly? Azgo did not have friends... maybe one day. His vaporous body inched through the cracks in the stone, akin to slipping between the wards. He was close.

No. Lay the truth bare. He deserves at least that much...

Azgo gathered himself together, and entered. His voice echoed about the cavern's carved walls, weak and lacking his inherint athority. Like a dream speaking of reality.

"Thereus! From Whom all smiths were scioned! A day long ago I warned you of war and death, that your tools would be ... no longer useful..."

Graveyard. That's what this place had become, a burial ground of unseen glories and powers. The forges were bare, and the corpses of god-forged blades were rotting on the slabs. The ash in the fireplaces had become dust dancing in the ever-dark. Tables had been overturned. The unfinished bodies of dwarven experiments had fallen through the storage vaults, staring at nothing.

"Thereus!"

The dust scattered in response to an old master's name, fearful of the old ways and old days when dust had no place in this hall.

The godwisp wandered forward following the steps he had taken next to the grand anvil. The shower of sparks had faded, the glow of white metal had darkened, and the hammerfall was gone. An old mark, a stylized mountain, remained hammered unto the anvil. Azgo traced it with his "finger".

He was silent.

Slim indeed.

The Godwisp wrapped its essence about the forge, and the workplace was consumed in sulferous stench. A sallow light flared, and then vanished with the forge.

Azgo walked silently out of the forge. He doubted that any being would ever step there again.

And then he found himself at the base of the mountains, much darker than it had been before.

OOC
Modify Plane (2AP): The Deicidal Taint grows stronger. While Exarchs are heavily affected, the gods are only slightly hindered.
The forge of Thereus is taken back to the Abyss by Azgo for later use.
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.

~~~The Badlands~~~

"Of course, Master Agni, you are always so kind. Your command is my dearest wish. These suns -- power nodes, you  called them? -- were entirely ignored for ages, but recently the Beacon vanished. At the same time, several large creatures began running amok. As it is unlikely to be coincidence, it is my duty to help the world as I can. A simple god of healing has no hope of making a difference in a fight against the beasts, but perhaps a lowly one as myself might be able to ensure that no further suns are lost. The world is already dark enough as it is. If I had but known these were yours, I would not have dared to presume. But, alas, as I said, they'd been ignored for as long as I have been alive. I had no way of knowing."

~~~The Eastern Coast~~~

Tsu'misel shambled out of the field of ash, tripping on a dead stalk of a flower. Odd that one would be here, given that he had turned everything else to ash. Even his body felt dry and desiccated.

The godlings paused for a moment and let his flesh melt into a pool of water. THAT was much better. Water, a moving body of water, felt so natural to him. But, unfortunately, it was rather ungainly. Hard to travel from point A to B, it is, unless point A is the source of the river, and point B is somewhere downstream. Much much harder when point B was... somewhere to the west. Which meant, uphill.

A river would never do, no matter how it ran, so Tsu'misel willed himself to evaporate, and took to the sky.

As a cloud emissary, he woozled around the sky. Perhaps gods can get drunk, perhaps not, but his path made it look like it was quite possible. Unfortunately, the godling's head felt cloudy, though he couldn't put his finger on why, and not just because he didn't have fingers at present.

A basic impulse drove him westward, over the crown, until he was hovering over a barren stretch of nothing. The sense of unease grew into dizziness, and Tsu'Misel found himself vomiting water onto the land below, evaporating the cloud he was in.

The rain fell into the base of a large blasted crater, but it didn't land as water. Each drop was like a glop of stone, building on what had come before, pouring down mote by mote, until a giant tower dominated the landscape, and for a moment, that tower WAS Tsu'Misel.

The nausea returned, and the god felt the need to throwup again. Something moved within him, like week old sushi. The tower warbled and gurgled, and a bright orb was passed up through it, from its base, to its top most point. As it came, its heat drove Tsu'Misel out of the tower, back into a humanoid form.

Tsu'misel took a step backwards, to appreciate this accidental work. And he backed right up into something as hard as a diamond.

AP

1AP - Command Land: Create a giant tower in the middle of the Badlands
3AP - Alter Artifact: Tsu'Misel modifies the sun in the badlands. The Forgotten Sun wreaths the continent in a perpetual storm, making it impassible to mundane means (such as ships), and offering resistance to divine powers attempting to cross its boundaries (mainly artifacts). The short of it being, if there was an artifact that allowed scrying, the scrying would get scrambled if it tried to look on the other side of the storm. Or if there were teleportation artifacts, those likely couldn't teleport across the stormwall.
The stormwall itself appears to be quite fearsome. However, those brave enough to venture into it find that it is just an illusion. The real stormwall is hidden inside, and it is much much worse. The illusion is the deception, in this case.

0AP remaining

True to his nature, not all was as it seemed within the cloak of another gods form. The infiltration, subtly as it may have been, disturbed the rest of one better left undisturbed.


Still, he was content to remain silent and motionless, decieving this outside power about his awakening while waiting to see what it might be up to. Besides, while he waited, he could get a better understanding ouf how this little creature works.


Tenderly and ever so gently probing, he slipped along, never more than the slightest tickle of a thought in the mind of the controller. A web with four strands. Small, but with great potential to grow. Unless, of course, it were broken. From the center, he silently slipped along to see who else suffered under this creatures control.


At the end of the first, he found a creature who mirrored one of his own deceptions. Concluding the second line, he found a creature od undeath and fear, who's mind reeked of danger, and so he withdrew.


And finally, ending the third thread he sensed a being of earth and strength. One he could bend to task quite easily were he awakened. Reaching out, he slipped into this gods mind, and grew depressed. No wonder such a being of strength had been controlled. The mind slept deeply, and he was certain he would not be able to bring it awake once more.


Slipping back through the threads, he returned to the fourth thread, slinking back into the mind of his own deception, amused by the controllers limited ability to control it with him gone.


Realizing the danger that this outside force has just brought it to, he moved to action. With a thought, he unleashed a jolt of mental energy into the controlling thread, signalling as if he had suddenly awakened.


The energy rushed into the gentle network like a forest fire, certain to cause the offending little slug some pain. Certainly, he could restablish his other links if he wished, but for now, he'd have one hell of a headache and no access to the minds of his minions.


With a jolt, the deception stablizized as its creator restablished his control over it. He stepped back several steps and offered a short bow. "Greetings."


Behind his back, a few droplets of stray watter fell into the dirt, quickly vanishing.


-----


Many miles away from Tsu'misel, a glob of shadows beneath a rocky overhand seemed to shift in the wind. He could control his little deception from here, and not be in any danger should the assembled gods happen to turn violent. After the situation with Azgo, one could not be too cautious, and he had little idea what may have passed as he had slept.


His failed experiment and the meddling of outside forces had shown him that he needed that sleep, to contemplate and study and grow into just what he was capable of. And he had learned much.


Inky tendrils of darkness shot off from the overhand, forming into a vaguely upright form before him. "You understand?"


"I do."


"Good. You are one of the first of my deceptions. Go forth and see what yoou might encounter."


With out another word, Myrkur off into the south, barely more than a flitting shadow among many.



Actions
0 AP - Temporarily disrupt Thoughts mind control network until her revisits them to re-establish it. And free Deception from it entirely.
3 AP - Create Exarch - Myrkur.
1 AP - Create Artifact - Cloak of Shadows

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71235715 wrote:
~Badlands~

Agni
growled at Seg.

Give it up already.  We established a long time ago that you were no God of Healing, Seg.  Clinging to that falsehood is a very foolish idea at this time.  This Object... this Sun, barely provides light as it is.  Are you now also going to claim that the TeaLord has died when he stands before you now, still alive?  What other lies will you spread?

You appeared just after my last battle with the Behemoth, and you reappear next to one of my posessions now.  I find it difficult to accept the coincidence of these events.  Explain it to me.

 
The myraid faces of Agni floated closer, and Seg could feel its hair starting to singe.

Did you know that I can detect lies now?  One of the benefits of this form.  Choose your words carefully.

But before Seg could answer, globs of stone began to rain from the heavens, and in moments, a tower appeared, and moments after that, with a great rumbling, the Sun appeared at the top of the tower, its light bathing the area.  And a figure appeared, bumping into Agni.

 

What?  What did you do?  Who are you?   Agni asked the newcomer.     Why have I never seen you before?


 
~South of the Chitrach Hive~

 
A patch of earth, thirty feet across, began to glow red-hot.  The heat intensified, forcing nearby animals to shelter.  Red hot, blue-hot, white-hot.  And the stone began to melt.  As Chitrach sentries at the entrance to Krr watched nervously, the sky turned a vibrant red for a moment, then returned to the black of night.  Where the stone circle had been was now a smooth bore deep into the earth.  And at the bottom, the Elemental Source of Fire roiled and burned.

~South of the Tower in the Badlands~

Another patch of earth, unseen by all mortals and ignored by the Gods, glowed white hot and melted into a new tunnel into the earth.


~The Northwestern Forests~

A conflagration spread from the site of another hold into the earth, the trees turned to ash at the site itself, drifting slowly down the bore to join with the Source below.

3 AP:  Create Portals/Command Land:   Create three new portals to the Core of the planet/Plane of Fire.  These are smooth holes going straight down into the earth with perfectly smooth sides. 
Reset

I sense big things coming.  Lets make sure we have the AP for it.

6 AP:  Azgo, Agni, Leaf, TASOE, Zebus, Sa
5 AP:  Marcus  (Welcome back, Shadow)


Map:


Story: 
"Evil is legion," the ancient saying goes. There is meaning hidden there that is easily overlooked by those who procrastinate.

Whenever you think you've found evil, whenever you think you have it pinned down, whenever you come close and examine it, the less you actually see. For every single spirit of evil, there are countless others. For every one in front of you, there are ten behind.

The god examined the single spirit of evil that had infested the deception, but that spirit was one just of many. If the god had sought to know no more, if it hadn't willingly ventured out into the network of ancient spirits, the others would have likely been unaware as well. Yet as the god passed, it was impossible to not be seen or noticed by at least a few of the many. From the center, the god went to darkness, fear, and stone. The many hadn't thought on these creatures for some time. The experience brought back a sense of nostalgia to them, and for that they were as thankful to the god as evil could be. Which is to say, not insanely homicidal. Still, the past was the past, and the many made no move as the god severed its link with the toys.

Evil is like a weed: cut of the top, but leave the root, and it will grow again.

The slug that had infested Tsu'Misel was removed from control, and so it nestled down and waited. Perhaps it would wait forever. But the seed of evil was there.

~~~Badlands~~~

"Of course, Master Agni," Seg said. "Surely, it must be as you say and that I am no god of healing. I do wish I had been informed of this. Perhaps you would be so kind to share with one as low as I the evidence you have that brought you to this conclusion? I am sure that a different Seg was the one to teach medicine to mortals. I am sure that it is to a different Seg that doctors pray."

"As for lies, again, it must be as you say. Who am I that I would object to what someone such as you has said? Though I have done nothing but speak to your honestly in this form, though I have done nothing but seek to promote your welfare, surely, if you say it is so, every word I say must be a lie."

"What can I say, then, that will not raise your anger? How may I answer your questions? What explanation can I give? If I speak truth, I am called a liar. If I lie, will I be believed? What is left to me? You are so wise, so all knowing, dare I even insult you by saying that which you must surely already know?"

Seg turned and bowed to Father Thorn. "And to you, Master Bramble, I apologize that we might not have been able to meet in better light. By the decree of Master Agni, it would seem I am a liar and a god of ill-repute. Perhaps it is best if you do not associate with one as I. If Master Agni is to be believed, and I am sure he is, no good can come of it."

The elvish fellow stumbled into Agni, then backed up and bowed. Seg prostrated him before that god as well. "And a greeting to you, great one. I am Seg, the low god, a servant."

~~~Slightly West of the Badlands~~~

Agni.

Every step was a lifetime of pain.

Agni.

Every moment was death.

Agni.

Every instance brought him closer to the betrayer. One of them would die, and Artun barely cared who.

Agni.

~~~The North~~~

The sudden change to the Midnight Sun dazed the Zizu, forcing it to flee backwards. The sun rose above the glacier and its light was painful.

Flying away was too slow. The Zizu drew darkness around itself, and vanished.

~~~The Great Beyond~~~

Darkness drained away and the Zizu found itself in a new world. One untouched by disaster.

~~~Dragon Moot~~~

The skies over the gathering of dragons darkened, and an ocean passed overhead. Dragon eyes, keen eyes, eyes used to darkness, were able to pierce it and see the dark shape swimming within.
-Badlands-

Father Thorn's spines bristled in irritation. Every needle vibrated, sending a dry rattling into the air. His arm twitched as he wanted to backhand Agni, but, though he regretted it even as he did it, Thorn held himself back from violence. "Father Thorn, Master Bramble, or Supreme LifeLord. Those are your three options, FireBringer, no others."

The primal spirits returned, and informed Father Thorn of what they had found. He said to the others, "Pruinus is missing. Explain, FireFinder, how it is that you've allowed your sister to go missing. And Leaf had held you in such high esteem."

Eyes as dark as blackberries fixed upon Seg. "You saw Lord Leaf die?"

Thorn spared a glance to the newcomer god. "I am Father Thorn, the stormbringer. Who are you to come in cloud and rain?"

-The Dragon Moot-

It smiled at the dragons. His kind had faded from the sight of mortal ages ago, but they were still around. Watching. Protecting as they could. The fall of the godcrater had scattered his people, and neither It nor Other-It knew where the rest of their kind had gone. Perhaps they had faded even from their own sight.

Then the sky overhead darkened, and It reached up to ensure that its mask was well secured. It felt smooth and cool to the touch. It was ready for whatever would come.
~Badlands~

Are we forgetting, Seg?  You came before me claiming to be the TeaLord himself, stumbling and bumbling over things known to both him and I.

Are we forgetting as well when you approached the ColdMother?  Where you admitted that you were not the TeaLord, but that the TeaLord had died?  The... Father Thorn... is evidence otherwise.

Are we forgetting how you then tried to turn her against me, only to see your pathetic need to be liked cause all of us to cast you out?

Your protestations are as the collapsing of dried branches on a flame.  Flashy, Loud, but of no lasting substance.

 
I ask again.  Why are you here, and what do you know of the beasts that roam the land.  You too, stranger.   
He offered the slightest of nods of his head. "Tsu'misel, lord of wind and water, at your service, so to speak. And who might this be that I have stumbled upon?"

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71235715 wrote:
A number of Agni's faces frowned.


Curious.  I met a Goddess of Wind and Water not too long ago, but her name was not Tsu'misel.  Do you have a sister, Stormmaker? 
He grinned to himself far away as he tugged at Tsu'misel's strings.

-----

"A sister? No I cannot say I do. But then, need there be only a single master of such a powerful and abundant resource. Water is everwhere, from the oceans below to the air above. I need not be the only lord of water, just as this goddess you met need not be the only mistress of it."

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71235715 wrote:
The frowns deepened.
 
This is not the way that the rest of the Gods are divided, but... This is a possibility that I must consider, given recent events.

A few faces grinned.

I am the FlameLord, Agni.  Here we have Father Thorn and Seg, the Liar. 
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