Onus sat recovering from his battle with the dark mountain god. It had consumed nearly all of his attentions. But now that it was over, he felt something far more disconcerting. His children were being attacked, indeed life all over the planet was being attacked ferociously. He closed his eyes and sent his conciousness over the terrain, watching as the Galeb Dhur fought this new enemy. They fared well, being able to burrow under the earth to escape the attacks of the creatures and causing the stones to crush those who tried to follow. He felt a great pride in their accomplishments, but there were others who were not as strong as his own.
So, he decided to send them help. The Galeb Duhr mobilize to the various human settlements, fighting alongside the humans and dwarves there. In the mountains of the west, where there lies a city, virtually ruined by the time the Galeb Duhr arrive, they see only one option to protect what was left of Avarom was to seal it within the earth. The city rumbled for a long time, the humans within, squeeling in pure terror. Then the sinking feeling began, slowly the entire city was pulled beneath the mountain. One by one the windows went dark as the light of the sun was left behind.
AP:1 Nourish Galeb Duhr - Being made of stone and having control over it to use as weapons against the crater spawn, they are able to weather the worst of the attacks sustaining minimal losses. AP:1 Command Galeb Duhr - Travel to the assistance of the human populace, providing whatever aid they can. And of course, spread the faith while they are at it! Non AP: Sinking the city of Avarom to protect the few inhabitants that are left behind. If this will require AP on my part, I'll have to spend it against next weeks allotment.
0 AP remaining.
Hearing the impassioned cry of Agni, Onus stirs slowly from his revelry. His muscles had been pushed to their limits in battle. Weakend as he is, he cannot ignore the call and he moves to Agni's side across the field of battle. He stares at the body that lies shattered before the gathered gods, but his face is as impassive as ever. It seems my intervention was not quite as timely as I had hoped... What are we to do with this now?
Everyone gets 4 AP (Krika, you're good at 7 until you spend your AP.)
Pruinus and Azgo continue to fight, however the conflict awakens Zebus from within his sword. He lends his power to Pruinus, and for a moment, Azgo is at a distinct disadvantage until a dark counterpart to Zebus is born: Altruis, Lord of Undeath! Soon, the conflict between Azgo and Pruinus takes a backseat to the conflict between Death and Undeath. Zebus is cast from his sword and returns to the world of the living, and is eventually forced to retreat with Pruinus. Azgo and Altruis form an uneasy alliance.
Elsewhere, Gods begin to arrive at the Cave of TASOE independently of one another. Leaf and Artun are the first to arrive, and, like Agni, both are captured by the cave. High above the Crown, Urru attempts to aid the humans living within the Crown by reigniting one of the suns. This gives Agni a trickle of power, and he manages to get a signal to the Agni'Vohda regarding his location. In retaliation, TASOE strikes back, plunging all but one sun to earth, burying them:
1) in the icy north 2) in the heart of the eternal volcano 3) Inside the Godcrater 4) Deep in the ocean 5) Lost in a cave in the southern mountains 6) Igniting a firestorm in the western forests and buried beneath the earth.
Onus arrives and attempts to rescue Agni and Leaf by ripping open the earth, which only releases TASOE's new form, a massive walking behemoth the size of a mountain. It casts Onus aside, and skewers Marcus with a thousand spines thrown from its back. The battle between the gods allows the Agni'Vohda time to climb up the sides of the beast and eventually catch the ooze which serves to protect it on fire. The landscape is transformed into a nightmare of burning ooze and choking smoke, but the heat revives Agni, who escapes with Leaf and throws TASOE to the heavens as a burning mountain to replace the suns that had been thrown to earth. Agni then collects a wounded Artun, and finds Marcus near death. As the surviving Gods gather, none are aware that the Leaf which Agni saved was infact Seg, another servant of TASOE, while the real Leaf has been forced to descend to mortal form.
While the battle raged, in the Crown Sa claims magic for its own, and sets ground rules for its useage: 1) Every use of magic is powered by an amount of "Mana" directly proprotional to the strength of the task 2) Every being with a soul has a maximum amount of "Mana" from which they can cast spells. This replenishes rapidly over time, and most beings can regenerate the entirety of their mana within an hour. Angels, with two souls, can hold particularly large amounts of mana. 3) Arcane magic, such as sorcery, ust have its cost in mana 'paid' upfront. If a creature cannot generate enough mana to fully 'fund' a cast spell, the deficit must be accounted for, which usually means the destruction of the caster at a molecular level. This is often irreversable, and often leads to a violent explosion. In response, the Primal Spirits link with humans to provide their own sort of magic, where the Spirits act as a conduit, providing the mana themselves for the humans to use.
Far to the south, Thereus creates dwarves in the southern mountains.
And as the dust settles, Azgo begins his invasion.
Map: Yellow dots are where the suns fell... for future reference in case you want one.
Agni muttered at Leaf. Not your concern. Nor is it Pruinus.
Onus arrived and spoke, and Agni looked down at the God.
Does anyone know who this is? He came to help us, Tealord, and... perhaps we can help him, somehow.
Agni reached out with his mind and, with one motion, pulled out the spines, sending them scattering across the landscape. Immediately, bright silver blood began flowing from innumerable wounds. Thinking quickly, Agni breathed out a thin stream of Magma, mixing it with the wind until it formed a stream of hot stone, which fell upon the exposed flesh of the God below, cauterizing the wounds and hiding them beneath a thin shell of stone such that it appeared that the God was lying under a blanket.
The head had survived remarkably intact, miraculously unpierced by spikes. Agni looked down at the God's face, and willed him to awaken.
One of the fallen god's eyes opened slightly, looking around but not seeming to see the gods standing over him. Eyes locking on a single spot where no one stood, he whispered. "This world was not ready for me. Order shall pass into shadow and thus is Order fullfilled. Zebus, complete thy task and we shall pass unto your realm."
With a single last sigh, the god went still, his presence absent, and his eye glazed over.
4 PP - Create Exarch and Claim Domain - Somewhere hidden in the world, a new god has been born, the god of deception. He'll make his appearance when the time comes. I don't have time to write it out this evening.
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A shadow passed over the body of the fallen god. Zebus bending down took the body in his arms, the other gods seeing only a shadow passing over. As he knees next to him, Order will be fulfilled in time.
Both pass through the shadows into the great beyond. The body of Marcus disappearing into nothing.
~The Twisting Nether~ The lord of this realm finally stood upon the land, next to him stood the soul of the fallen god. A brilliant beacon upon the shadowy land. As Zebus looked upon his realm, he saw much that needed to happen and much that had improved already. He knew he would be needed elsewhere very soon, but for now much work must be done quickly.
Pharos sat meditating within the Sealed Dome, a structure that was built for her as a surprise. A thank you present from the mortals she cared for. The walls were covered in beautiful murals painted not merely with colors but light itself, the floors etched with beautiful luminescent runes beneath a reflecting pool of water. She sat upon a great stone in the center of the pool's calming light, listening to the slightest of rippling as the waters of the pool caressed the smooth stone.
It was in this tranquility that she heard Agni's distant cry. Being born within a sun of the Firelord's creation, sometimes she felt very faint things. Things which were hard to classify, hard to even recognize as real. A pinprick, a slight shiver. This one however was unmistakeable...
Within moments of the stranger's last breath Urru arrived looking winded. "Agni, I heard you but I didn't know where you were so I flew everywhere. What is happening? What was that thing that disappeared? Hello stone one of kinship."
Pruinus did somewhat fear The Soul Eater, but upon listening to his taunt she felt her fear begin to convert itself into hatred and rage.
This god was unbelievably arrogant. Fitting her title, she saw himself as a mother to the primal spirits. It took a great deal of either bravery or stupidity to take a child from its mother and to taunt her after doing so. She felt the urge to reply back, but again she found herself unable to put the gesture into words. Her actions would be the best reply, to deny him of what he so craves. Luckily, the animals she had birthed into the world were doing well and increasing in number, meaning more lifeforms for the spirits to inhabit.
But she needed something else. More aggressive, more.... Personal. She sighed, cold, hazy fog escaping her mouth as she did.
"Dear Spirits, I need your council. How can i defend you against The Soul Eater or failing that, at least help you defend yourself?"
A deep, brooding voice replied to her.
"LEAVE THAT TO ME"
Pruinus looked up to see a humanoid figure gently floating a few metres away from the mountain path. He was around seven feet tall, clad completely in armour bitten by ice and overgrown by vines. His left hand held a shield that was almost as big as him, his right hand carrying a sword equally inapprioate for his size. His helmet completely covered his face, but the antlers of a stag protrude from the top, each two and a half feet long. Pruinus felt.... Familar with this being. Before she could ask, he answered her question.
"I am merely a configuration of spirits you haven't witnessed before. The old components have made something new."
His voice boomed across the mountainscape.
"I shall act as our protector. I will report to you only when necessary, leave the safety of the spirits to me."
And with that, The Knight turned walked away from the mountain, his form slowly fading away into snowflakes as he strode. That was a start, Pruinus thought. But the Knight cared only for defending the spirits it would appear, Pruinus wanted to go on the offensive. And now she knew how. She whispered to a collection of the primal spirits, and they set the task in motion.
Nourish populace: 1 AP The creatures living in The Crown begin to swell in number, spreading out from the crown as they do, mostly upto the northern forests.
Raise Elder Spirit - 2 AP The Horned Knight appears before Pruinus, acting as her lieutantant in the fight against the Soul Eater. Mechanically, an elder spirit is the same as an Exarch, but also like the primal spirits, the god has no Direct control over them. When an elder spirit is "raised" it is merely the first time the spirits have chosen to take that particular form, the raising god has not actually created the elder spirit. 1 AP remaining.
The fiends, sensing her anger and fear reported back to Altruis... "Mmm, delicious fear. Her hate is nothing but a weak emotion compared to that delightful creature Azgo..." he continues to murmur to himself as he walks in the forest. Then he learns of the Knight of the primal spirits vowing to fight against me. Altruis feels many of his Fiends dying... before they can deliver the souls they had collected.
Altruis entered a rage and shouts indescribable sounds into the world the forest around him the nearby human towns looking into the sky as it rained, the power of chaos seeping into the atmosphere as the rain turned to blood the humans screamed and ran trying to get out of the terror. Then Altruis raised Mormhaor towards the sky shadows and darkness forming around him and all the souls in the vicinity human, animal, even vulnerable primal spirits rushed to the sword leaving the land desolate of life and he played and morphed with their souls until he creating an elite group of creatures, made of pure darkness in the forest. The sword floats in the air as these creatures form and he pulls his nine-tailed whip from his side and it wraps around the blade and then explodes in a circle as the forest is filled with this abominations, nine whip lashes on their back marking their creator.
"Go forth for I have created you and gather more souls for mean destroy anything in your path. Be subtle if needed, be cruel and cause suffering and pain throughout the world so I may feast upon their pain. And I will make you strong by blessing you with powers of fear and chaos to wreak havoc. Another task, gain followers of humans and other mortals, tempt them with your power and corrupt what these other god's love so dearly, and see how they feel when what they love is lost and taken from them."
This a marks the beginning of the cults for Altruis spawning across the world increasing in assassinations of target leaders of barbarians and human resistances alike, weakening their struggle against Azgo and Altruis's minions. Altruis absorbing the souls of the dead wading through battlefields absorbing them, the goal of the followers to be turned into Nightwalkers themselves for power beyond that of their own. Their crest became a symbol of nine-tailed whip, showing the influence of the Nightwalkers in their workings.
The druids magic weak against this new enemy fall back, many losing their lives.. and souls to these abominations and the Knight though he slay many is hard pressed alone to defend against the soul fiends and these new creatures.
Altruis then goes to visit his "ally" Azgo in conference of their objectives. And to show his new creatures to him. Altruis licked his lips as he enters the Godcrater, so much pain in this place, so much delightful pain. Despite how much Altruis loved this place, anger still filled his eyes. He chuckled under his breath ever so lightly at the thought of eating Pruinus's soul.
Altruis saw Azgo and headed towards him eager to speak of plans to move forward and destroy that woman and her precious primal spirits.
Nightwalkers are hateful beings of pure shadow that spread death and suffering...they sometimes walk the world on unhallowed nights or linger near places where great evil was done. They have 9 whip lashes on their backs marking their allegiance to Altruis They seek to destroy all that impedes their way. Are extremely strong and immune to many magic and other effects. Souls crumble before them and are absorbed into them making them even stronger. They relish in deception and surprise attacks and assassination driving fear into their victim before taking their lives. They contain magic of their own allowing them to transform their victims into more Nightwalkers leading to more growth on their own accord, but not at a quick rate, but they aren't so few that they can be wiped out. Nightwalkers have separate wills from Altruis, but the promise of increased power and loyalty to their creator and fear of his wrath, they follow his orders(mostly the promise of power & fear of him).
Agni drooped down towards the earth. This made two Gods he had failed to rescue.
I must be bad at saving people. He thought to himself bitterly.
Urru. I do not know who this God was. He came to rescue me, and died before I could ask his name. I do not even have a face by which to ask if anyone recognizes him.
Agni lifted the headless hollow statue (for that is what the cauterizing stone had become when Marcus had disappeared). Looking about, he saw a small cave, and entering it, placed the statue deep within, binding the stone magically to the wall.
I will return, and I will somehow repay my debt. He whispered as he left, moving back towards Leaf, Onus, Urru and the captive Artun.
Urru. What occurs in the world? I have been trapped for far too long.
0 AP: Form the Shrine of the Unknown God. (I put the statue of Marcus-without-a-head into some random cave)
Urru shrugs it's little shoulders. "Agniflamelord, I am not sure. I saw the suns go out but I kept one going for the mortal things. Even when they all flew away I kept one. I even crafted a being to talk to the mortal things for me. She made them able to do stuff normal mortal things cannot. It is very interesting how they move and live in their little things."
"What has been going on elsewhere while I was distracted?"