The very movement of the pseudopod caused a breeze and blew Leaf off his mount and out of the way. The squirrel, unfortunately, was not so lucky. The muck got it, and though it bit ferociously, the tiny creature was soon overwhelmed. But it was just a wish brought to life: the creature dissolved back into the ether from whence it came.
There was no time to mourn for the creature. He'd give it life again, but not this day. Today... he smiled. Today wasn't a day for life, it was a day for death.
Leaf hefted his spear and threw it. By his judgment, he had brought a spear to a knife fight and it was just dead weight. His aim was true and the spear pinned the pseudopod to the wall, but the ooze slide around it, unharmed. Two blades of grass grew from Leaf's arms and he jumped at the cavern.
"Find Agni," the little god shouted to Pruinus. There was no response.
He cut himself a swatch of empty space, tendrils littered the ground around him. He glanced back, but didn't see Pruinus. Had she already been defeated? Had she fled? Or was this a trick?
More attacks. There would be time for questions later. This was death's day, after all. But though the little god was like a tornado of doom, for every ounce of ichor or ooze the cave had cut off, it fell to the ground and was reabsorbed. There was no winning here. He looked towards the exit, and saw that it was gone. The mouth of the creature had closed.
There might be no victory here, but it was an immutable law of the universe: life endures. Life finds a way.
"You have to watch what you eat. If you're not careful, you'll make yourself sick."
Further down and further in, Leaf let a trail of wounds in his wake. But there was no heart, no brain, no organs, no weaknesses. Just inch after inch of muck, and all of it struggling to capature him. Leaf threw his blades at the cavern and then willed leaves to appear around him. They wove together, layered, and formed a protective shell around him and the fireflies.
The cocoon crunched as the creature outside of it tried to crush it, but Leaf's will held it at bay, for now. He looked to the fireflies and said, "Spirits, find help."
The fireflies bobbed in acknowledgement, and Leaf took them in his hand. He burst out of the shell, sending leafy shrapnel into the cavern walls. He pointed in the direction of the creature's mouth and the fireflies flew with all their might. Leaf jumped to his spear, pulled it out of the wall, and threw. It shattered through the creatures mouth just moments before the fireflies, and the spirits were able to pass through, back into the natural world, before the thing healed itself.
Tired, Leaf generated two new blades and called out to the cave. "Come and get me."
The cave obliged.
The natural spirits were freed of the god cavern, but they were unsure of what to do. Get help from where?
Everywhere, of course.
The spirits gathered and more fireflies formed. And more, until a path of light appeared throughout the mountains. More appeared, until there were enough to create a blinking green paths across the very world, all leading to the cavern.
A few, however, sought out Pruinus specifically. The real Pruinus. And they whispered in her ear what had happened.
The tiny god's blades hurt, and eventually the cave gave up trying to lasso it. It simply raised walls around the god and contracted them, until the thing was encased. It struggled still, but already the cavern was working to rip its divine spark out of its body. As it did so, everywhere in the world where there was life, it began to grow sickly and weak.
There was a shift in the other, though. The stone one was growing warm again. No... it wasn't growing warm, something was trying to revive him. He was being warmed.
The cavern diverted its attention to this oddity. It could sense the empty conduit that had fed the suns with the god's power. The cavern had turned off that flow. But now, someone had revived the artifacts, and power flowed back along the lines, back to this one. That was unacceptable.
Evil prepared to punish them.
~Over the Crown~
Light had been restored to the seven suns. Their radiance increased slowly at first, but soon they were back to their original brightness.
Then, they were brighter. Hotter. Tongues of flames began to lick across their surface, probing out, consuming anything unfortunate to be in their path. Still they grew brighter and hotter, until at last they ignited the air itself.
The explosion dislodged six of the suns and sent them careening through the world.
The first screamed north, where its fires were quenched and ages of ice covered it, burying its light. The second to the southeast, and there it fell into the heart of the Eternal volcano. The third to the southwest, where it fell among the choking vapors and slight-blinding mists of the Godcrater. It burned the chemicals there, causing great clouds of smoke to cover it, and its light was also lost to the world. The fourth to the northwest, and it flew beneath the waves, to the very depths where miles of water hide its light. The fifth to the south, to one of the endless caves, and there it was lost near the roots of the earth, its light forgotten. And the sixth, the sixth, a great fireball, flew west. It landed on the barren wastes. The earth writhed in pain as the fires of the sun seared it, and eventually the very land turned, burying it. In the process, all life in the west became a lifeless, fire-cursed wasteland.
The seventh sun, the Beacon, remained where it was, but with its siblings lost, its own light was reduced to that of a star.
Modify Artifact: 1AP (from Agni) TASOE shatters the suns, hiding six of them, and tying the Beacon's own illumination to the others. As they're recovered and put back in the sky, the Beacon will shine brighter. Now if only we had some mortal heroes to hunt them down...
Denourish Land: 1AP (from Leaf: I had gotten Pen's permission). The western lands are turned into a scorched wasteland. I would call it a desert, but deserts are comparatively nice places.
Non-AP: Life is temporarily decreased in the world, causing a pandemic of sickness and lethargy, which could potentially be followed by death, although I really hope the gods are saved before it comes to that.
As the sword sank in the boiling river, a pulse was felt throughout the river. Zebus still trying to cage the power he accidently let loose there was a feeling of malice growing inside the sword , a sense of madness and complete desire for chaos and pain. The tendrils of shadow began to whirl around the sword causing a typhoon in the water. Zebus then felt a strange presence growing stronger and stronger within the sword as the shadows spun around and around causing this shadow typhoon to rise. It rose till it was high in the air the boiling river water Pruinus and Azgo swept aside, gazing at this new phenomenon.
The sword rose to the center of the typhoon floating in the air, then suddenly Zebus was blasted into his original form the sword following him, the black blade implanting into the ground. The out of control shadows strangling him, then he lost sight as blackness and darkness consumed him(temporarily). The shadows swirling faster and faster then separating in the middle seeing an identical sword, however the blade was white in color instead of black. Out of the sword, a form was beginning to appear, as if it was climbing out of some deep depth. But before they could see what was coming the typhoon exploded in shadow falling over them and covering them all in darkness, trapping them temporarily in their own minds, producing their worst fears, and all around them echoing, a maniacal laughter could be heard growing louder and louder.....
As this happened an echo happened across the world of something unnatural... something evil had just been spawned....
The white blade, opposite that of Zebus's Reaping Blade. Those hit by this blade not only are made to bleed but lose their sanity, leaving a mark on their soul until it eventually rips it from them, the sword absorbing it. The malice in the sword is so strong it entering a region simply causes anomaly's that mortals can't understand playing with their sanity until they too go mad. Only Altruis and the one who wields this blade(if Altruis wields it only him) are immune to its effects. Depending on the amount of souls "reaped" by this sword increases its power as well as Altruis gaining power himself empowers the sword.
Claim Domain (3 AP): Chaos The way Altruis came into this world was born from a chaotic battle of hatred, madness, and chaos between the three gods, causing not only undeath and fear to come into being but chaos as well.
For a terrible age he had wondered that. He was once Azazel. He was once Go'El. They were kings, claiming their father's throne and his edict. But who was he now? He had been stunned by the question, for it was one he had never dared ask himself. He feared the answer he had always known. He was an abomination, a sickness upon creation.
Then he heard the smallest whisper whose voice was of smoke. His hate spoke to him from the twisting flesh of his agonized hearts. "Neither. You are both and yet neither. You... are..."
He leaned down and put his hand into the surging wirlpool and spoke, letting the current carry his empowered words. "I am Azgo the Blood Crowned, a fused god. I am what you have made me." He felt no doubt.
Suddenly he felt an essence in the pool, a essence unlike Pruinus or the sword. Something wholly different was emerging. The waters churned and heaved and uplifted into a massive swirling vortex that was burst apart in malignant shadow.
Everything was dark.
There was laughter. Azgo looked around him, but it seemed to come from nowhere. Whose laughter was it? It was joined in a familiar laugh, mocking, scornful and cold as the glaicer's heart. Then another, deep and filled with the rustling of ancient ash. Yet another echoed, small but infinetly proud. It was the howl of wicked wind in the tree canopy, roaring in bitter laughter. And a voice he had only heard echoes of in the depths of dreams and timidly murmered by the wisps bubbled over the others: a relaxed and carefree laugh, devoid of guilt and in its own way lifeless.
Colors of the planet danced across even his blind eyes. The Everlasting Volcanoe. The Crown. Long unbroken mountain chains. Shades of life and death and movement. The calls of worship and praise, hailing the names of the Siblings Four. All of creation spun and moved about Azgo. No single image or sound was left intact by the next. A cacophony of celebration.
He felt himself falling, falling into dust. His powers waned. His pain dulled. His sense of self only lingered by in a purposeless stagger. He was lost, and his betrayers in everlasting victory. Terror enwrapped his mind, and dragged The Blood Crowned into nothingness, promising him that there was nothing left at all. There was no hope.
Stirring. Something stirred, refusing to die. It wormed and writhed across the vast emptiness. Then it spoke, softly at first. It could barely be made out. "I... am..." "I... am..." It grew louder and possessed a clarity of unparalelled meaning. The laughter became unsure. "I am..." "I am..." The cacophony was drowned entirely. The fading vibrant colors were plunged into blood. "HATE"
Azgo bellowed in agony and anger, and above all else, surity.
"My HATE is stronger than my pain. It is stronger than my fear. I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!!" Azgo channeled the familiar agony of the Godcrater and like a sharpened blade, Azgo's power began to tear apart the shadows. His sickness surged forth into the darkness, corrupting shadow into fumes which were carried away into the raging tempest.
He gathered his battered power, and searched for the essence that had almost consumed him.
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
He had only a moment. A moment where warmth and fire and life returned to him and he could for the briefest of time reach out beyond his prison. Agni prepared to shout, when his captor acted, and one by one the suns were snuffed out, thrown into the ice, plunged into the ocean, suffocated beneath the earth. Agni's soul cried out in sadness as his best chance of escape dwindled and he felt his mind begin to grow sluggish once more.
But wait. One was still warm. Its effects were counteracted by the one frozen in ice, so it did not mean he could escape, but it was still an active link.
Agni cast his mind through the conduit and, had he been able to, grinned.
~The Eternal Volcano~
Servantsof the Eternal Flames. Your God requires your assistance.A booming voice reverberated in the minds of several Agni'Vohda who had seen a bright orb sink into the volcano not far from here and had come to investigate. The did not find the Orb, but they did find the voice of their God.
Within hours, the fire elementals had mobilized and were traveling southwest, a fiery river moving towards the Cave that Agni had imprinted on the minds of his servants.
Again the world shifted, and the light dimmined, and Marcus lifted his head from thought. "Great things are afoot, and this dimming of the light cannot be good. Life weakens, the skies frow cold."
Looking down, he grunted slightly. A trail of green lights leading to the south. Curious, and suspecting they may answer some of his questions, Marcus set out on the trail, following them to their source.
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As the blade clashed against gauntlets, it chipped. The tiniest of hairline fractures occured. One minute they were all in battle, the next the sword was lying on the ground. Far and away from anyone.
The sword shifted and in the ensuing chaos of Altrius birth, it shattered. Zebus, lying on the ground the shadows covering him. Groaning, Zebus slowly picks himself up. Not how I wanted to return to this world, but it seems balance was restored and is now shifting in a bad way.
The sword disappeared, dissolving into shadows and reappearing in his hands once again. Completely ignoring Azgo, and Altrius, he walks over to where Pruinus was quickly sinking into the acid flow. Grabbing onto what was left of her, Zebus drags her out and back onto shore. Your time to die is not now. We have much to do sister.
As Pruinus slowly starts to gather herself, Zebus turns to the others. Grabbing his sword, it splits into two, one pure shadow, the other frozen death. You two have a choice, leave or I Will take you. Your time to die is yours to chose, but chose wisely.
Onus was surprised to see Leaf appear at the mouth of the cavern. And to have brought one of the new Others with him? He watched as the two went in, sensing their presence to follow their actions. Odd... he thought as Artun's presence nearly disappeared as soon as he entered, almost becoming united with the stronger essence of the cave. He waited, and before long, he saw a blast of green come from the mouth of the cave, and he realized, It sealed behind the others when they entered. As it resealed, he began to feel Leaf's essence fading. He watched the power of Life wane, felt the calling of his people. This will not do. With one great hand, he reached down and rent open the mountain-side exposing the cavern to the open air and reaching inside, he plucked Leaf from the grasping black ooze, pulling with all his considerable strength as the ooze stretched. The mere touch of it was eating into his skin. Drawing the magma blade given him by Agni, he plunged it into the ooze filled crevice and drug it down the length, finally causing the ooze to release the smallest of the gods, but also triggering something else as the warmth of the blade struck against a large stone, mask-shaped rock.
Released from its earthen chrysalis, the dark god rose up. The rest of the mountain trembled and great slates of stone slide off, revealing a frostbite-black shell underneath. Six segmented legs, each the length of a valley, stepped out of the crater left behind and heaved the mountain-god up into the sky. Boulders and stone fell countless leagues to the forgotten earth below.
From underneath the dome of its shell, long feelers writhed in the air. They had a grasp on the little god's prison, slithering and pulling. Dozen pearl-like eyes twitched back and forth, reflecting what little light there was left in the world and casting evil rainbows about. A giant, three-part claw, fueled by the power stolen from two gods, swung through the air and crashed into Onus, ripping him off Leaf's prison and sending him tumbling. With a slickling slurp, the mountain-god pulled Leaf back in.
In the cold air, the peak of the living mountain gathered snow and frost. The burning sword of Agni sizzled in the godflesh, but it sunk in and was spat back out. Within its body, the mountain-god pulled the two gods prisons further in, under the protection of its great shell.
The pillars of creation trembled as Evil approached Onus' prone form. Its tendrils quivered in anticipation, ooze salivating along them and dripping to the shattered earth below. Its mouth opened, revealing an endless pit of razor-rock teeth.
The form finally crawls out from the sword and stands on the ground, wielding the blade in his hand. His entire body was that of shadow and when directly looked at those could see their fears approaching....
Altruis sniffed the air and then smiled and began to laugh in that same eerie echoing voice.... then begins to talk to himself unaware of those around him.
"So much pain! So much suffering.... its delcious..." He licks his lips slightly, "but wait whats this other smell...." The snow still falling due to the primal spirits of Pruinus, he reaches out and peers into the snow then with Mormhaor jabs out and there is a loud screech, more like ice scraping across the ground breaking and a form appears. Mormhaor pulses and all around it primal spirits appear in their bodiless, soul form. Altruis then begins to suck in and all the souls go into the sword then into his body ripping them of their lifeforce and then they "die" leaving remnants all around them. The souls bind to Altruis's and they become part of him an aura of cold appears around him and then he waves his sword and corrupted dark parts of souls fly out touching the remnants of the once primal spirits of winter.
As the darkness touched them they came out from death into this morphed spirits covered in shadow who gave only a look of hunger and seemed to relish in the pain surrounding them in the Godcrater.
After, he turns to Zebus, "Father? Or should I call you brother?" He waves his identical, but opposite sword in front of Zebus. "You created me in such a... wonderful place don't you feel the torture here, the suffering?" One of the new creatures comes over and lays next to Altruis and he thrusts his sword down into its neck, it cries out in pain but doesn't die, the others relish in its pain.... "Absolutely wonderful.... don't you agree?" Altruis gives a stare at Zebus directly into his eyes and in there Zebus can see the insanity, but also intelligence....
Populate (2 AP): "Soul Fiends" Beings created by corrupted elementals they have a remanance of what they once were before hand, but now only seek to gather souls to sate their own hunger and that of their god, Altruis. They can morph into shadow and disappear, be invisible, take the shape of animals as well, but still covered in blackness. These particular ones have frosted eye sockets which glow blue inside.
Remaining AP: 0
And to make sure everyone is on the same page, I spoke with James before doing this to the spirits and they aren't near as strong since half the AP cost.