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Thread: Pantheons of the NeSiverse

  1. #1
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    Pantheons of the NeSiverse

    NSP: What is this thread?

    In short, a place for Al to write about deities to his heart's content.

    Although I say 'deities', and the title of the thread is 'pantheons', I'm referring to all manner of gods, powerful entities, and high muckity-mucks that have cropped up in the writing of the NeS (the vast majority admittedly created by me). As some may have noticed, I really like writing about epic cosmological stuff and bickering deities.

    I've tried to minimize this in the NeS thread itself. When Britt started HFO, I thought, Oh, here's a place I can let loose! And I did... but it started to detract from the tale of, you know, the heroes.

    So this is a thread for the deities to bicker over epic cosmological stuff. I don't really expect anyone else to write for it, but you're more than welcome to if you want! It makes me happy.

    To clarify, epic cosmic deities do NOT preclude zaniness and humor.

    I have no real direction with this thread, just whatever strikes me in the moment.


    But Al, I can't keep all these gods, powerful entities, and high muckity-mucks straight!

    And that is why I've prepared this handy-dandy list of 'deities' (which henceforth refers to any of those gods, powerful entities, and high muckity-mucks, whether or not they're technically actual deities), any or all of which may or may not appear in this story. If you are like most sane people, and don't like expository lists, feel free to skip to the next post, which opens with actual in-story bickering!

    ***

    The deities of the NeSiverse can be roughly divided into 4 categories:
    1. Terran Deities (i.e. from Earth)
    2. Cosmic Deities (i.e. overseeing all or part of the greater universe beyond Earth)
    3. Narrative Deities (i.e. gods overseeing story elements)
    4. Other Deities (i.e. gods that don't fit in the above three categories)

    ***

    I. TERRAN DEITIES
    Earth is the metaphysical and magical center of the cosmos, granted independence from the cosmic gods by the WriterGod-enforced contracts of the Ancient One... which have recently been rendered null and void.

    God. An office, not a unique person, overseeing Earth's heaven. Position currently held by Jim Seven.

    Devil. An office, not a unique person, overseeing Earth's hell. Position currently held by Acidspitter, aka Mister Nine.

    Master Arkng Thand. Earth's first man, an immortal. Super-strong but rarely demonstrates it. Incredibly intelligent and wise. Mysterious agenda. Deceased as of NeSquared Page 50.

    Chronos. Earth's god of time. Founder and overseer of Earth's Time Enforcement Agency, or TEA.

    Hermes Trismegistus. Super god-mage. Combines the powers of superspeed, with the powers of the Greek god of war, and incredible magical skill and strength.
    >>>Other mages from Earth's premier magical center, the Magium, may also appear.

    Morthrandur. An undead specter who does not suffer from the traditional weaknesses of undead. Mysterious motives. Can travel seemingly anywhere he wishes without impediment.

    Helebon. First being to hold the position of Earth's devil. Incredibly old, evil, and powerful. Father of Satan, the second devil.

    Olympus. Currently home to all the various 'mythological' deities of Earth, whose worship has been largely forgotten by the modern world.

    Ancient One. A powerful being who founded the chosen bloodlines of the Illuminohqi in ancient Atlantis, and whose contracts to keep the cosmic deities away from Earth were enforced by the WriterGod. Deceased.

    ***

    II. COSMIC DEITIES
    Deities whose power and domain extend across the NeSiverse entire. Ancient contracts enforced by the WriterGod barred them from Earth until recently.

    12 God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime. The most powerful beings in the NeSiverse, their powers magnified from selectively siphoning abilities of the many visitors who pass through the NeSiverse (who visit in the hope of being caught in the spotlight of the setting's story, the NeS). They disappeared a billion years ago, along with their entire city, and wait in another dimension, secretly aggrandizing in preparation for the return of their nemesis, the Highemperor.

    Ohgmorkoth. Called the Big O, as no one can spell or pronounce his name. Omnipotent, and the current ruler of the NeSiverse, in title. (The title once belonged to the 12 God-Monarchs above, before they vamoosed.) In actuality, this tentacled god is hedonistic and cares little for governance, which he delegates to his vizier, Fladnag.

    Fladnag the White. A demigod super-mage, comparable in power to Hermes Trismegistus (above), Fladnag is the de facto governor of the NeSiverse, wielding the Big O's authority as responsibly and tirelessly as he can.

    Three Fates. These immensely powerful three women govern the destinies of all in the NeSiverse, but have been barred from Earth until recently. They are still technically answerable to the Big O (which in practice means Big O's vizier Fladnag).

    Runekeeper. The immensely powerful god overseeing all magic in the NeSiverse, but who was barred from Earth until recently. Still technically answerable to the Big O (which in practice means Big O's vizier Fladnag).

    Aeon. Immensely powerful cosmic god of time in the NeSiverse. Barred from Earth until recently, he and his cosmic time agency (known as T.I.M.E.) have a great rivalry with Chronos, the time god of Earth. Still technically answerable to Big O (which in practice means Big O's vizier Fladnag).

    Memnoch. Immensely powerful cosmic devil, ruler of the NeSiversian hell. Collects tribute in souls from the various hells throughout the NeSiverse, save Earth, from which he was barred until recently. While still technically answerable to Big O (which in practice means Big O's vizier Fladnag), Memnoch considers himself no one's servant.

    Phractal. Weird crystalline creature, highly intelligent, rarely speaks. The embodiment of the fractal nature of the NeSiverse and all its dimensions, mathematic and narrative. Lives in a cool space castle, in which the narrative deities often slum it.

    ***

    III. NARRATIVE DEITIES
    Also known as the Eternal Pantheon, these deities oversee and control story elements. They hold sway wherever stories may be found, and as such hold considerable influence in many universes besides the NeSiverse.


    Eternius, the Omnarrator. Although he can do more or less whatever he likes, simply by narrating it to make it so, in practice he is a lazy bumbling figure who prefers to delegate. He is very studious in making sure his business cards all read 'Supreme Being', however.

    PublisherGod. Second in the Eternal Narrative Pantheon's pecking order, he theoretically holds ultimate veto over any story, but since he only has power where there are stories, he tends to let any lousy fanfic slide through, just to increase his area of influence. Hate Harry/Draco slashfic? Roll his celestial mansion, the way everyone else does.

    CensorGod. A self-righteous prick who takes it upon himself to decide what is and is not appropriate for a story. His greatest ability is his sonic scream, which sounds like BLEEP! and can erase from reality anything of which he does not approve

    CopyrightGod. As anyone who has read the NeS might expect, the CopyrightGod holds little power in the NeSiverse. He is constantly on the lookout for expert lawyers to sue breaches of copyright.

    EditorGod. Has the ability to edit reality to his liking, so long as said reality is within a narrative; still must answer to the previously listed narrative deities. Wields this ability with a rainbow-ink pen, to demonstrate his superiority over the red ink pens of his proxies, the Editors. As one might expect from the rainbow ink, he is also gay and a Brony to boot.

    CharacterGod. Characters are the center and lifeblood of any story, but are of course subject to all the narrative influences exerted upon them. So this deity wields considerable power yet he himself is controlled by the other narrative deities, who often delegate their own duties to him.

    HorseGod. Not actually a narrative deity, this horse-headed god of all horses in the NeSiverse was admitted to the Eternal Pantheon on the basis of his comedic and diplomatic skills. He also holds a secret allegiance to the 12 God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime, though this allegiance is likely one more of convenience and aligned purposes, rather than true fealty.

    WriterGod. This unassuming deity, a staunch advocate of free will, is the being to whom all Writers pray for inspiration and support. Although he is seemingly technically subject to all the other narrative deities (except for the HorseGod and perhaps the CharacterGod), in practice he operates freely.

    The WriterGod was also the first to hold the position of Earth's God, and some believe he is one and the same as the Nameless. Only idiots (such as Eternius the Omnarrator) do not fear and respect him.

    ***

    IV. OTHER DEITIES
    These deities defy easy categorization, but they also are in the topmost tier of power and influence, more than all the other deities of the NeSiverse.

    Highemperor. A powerful being with a murky past and grand ambitions. Although he has usually only demonstrated demigod levels of power, there is no upper limit to what he can do. His contemporaneous self rules a multi-cosmic empire from the Stronghold of Powerplayers (which is outside the NeSiverse), but as he is a time-traveler, one never knows if you're talking to him as an emperor or as a wanderer.

    High Imp. A fallen angel, who once served in a triple capacity as highest-ranking archangel to: the WriterGod, Earth's God, and the Nameless. Nemesis of Highemperor. Once commanded mind-bogglingly enormous power from the many pacts he made with various deities. Although his soul eventually shattered from the strain of so many pacts, few know of his new weakness... and even now, he is rebuilding his power.

    Serapharch. The archangel who inherited High Imp's triple capacity in service to WriterGod, Earth's God, and the Nameless. His power varies depending on which capacity he is acting in. When acting as the highest servant and voice of the Nameless, his power is irrefutable by any save the other three deities in this category.

    Nameless. So called because no word, communication, art, or any other attempt at a name can truly grasp the hyperdimensional eternity of this being. Supreme being over all universes and all stories everywhere. His face has never been confirmed to have been seen, but rumors persist of sightings, which may or may not be true. Many suspect the WriterGod to be the same being as the Nameless.

    ***

    And now, let the divine bickering begin!
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 07-25-2016 at 04:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Who Wants to Rule the Universe Anyway?

    On the edge of the NeSiverse lie the Outer Galaxies. On a desert planet called Tatooine, the Big O pursues his hedonistic pleasures in his remote palace. Meanwhile, his faithful vizier, Fladnag the White, enacts the actual governance of the cosmos.

    Fladnag the White: Next!

    President of the Outer Galaxies Swim Team: But I wasn't finished!

    Fladnag the White: I already told you no.

    President of the Outer Galaxies Swim Team: But we HAVE to have a match here! On the very capital world!

    Fladnag the White: Look, you're more than welcome to try. But good luck keeping a giant pool of water from evaporating. NEXT!

    Pig-faced Gamorrean guards usher the President of the Outer Galaxies Swim Team away, and Fladnag looks towards the door of the throne room. He himself is standing next to Big O's throne, clearly delineating his position as vizier and governor in the omnipotent deity's stead.

    When no one comes in right away, Fladnag frowns, before speaking into a microphone attached to his collar.

    Fladnag the White: Dora! What's the hold-up? If the next supplicant is delaying, boot him out of line.

    It is then that the door to the throne room opens, and a supplicant attempts to come in, before being decapitated by an extremely sharp and bloody sword.

    Decapitated Head: I say! Brutish swordplay won't make you next in line!

    Fladnag's frown deepens. Two young-looking men walk in, stepping over the decapitated head. One is a caped, short-haired, young swordsman, whose sharp blade still glistens with the neon blood of his latest victim. The other is a long-haired man in a black cloak and outfit, with red sash and shoulderpads.

    Highemperor: You do know that it's extremely poor form to keep talking after you've been decapitated?

    Yes, this is indeed a younger version of Highemp, from earlier in his personal timeline when he was a multiversal and multi-temporal wanderer. His companion, the talented and bloodthirsty warrior Soriel, boots the vociferously protesting head out of the room.

    Soriel: Hey look! More guards! Hope they're hostile.

    Gamorrean guards are approaching the duo, and Soriel eagerly raises his sentient sword - known as Fred Teh Uber Blade - to greet them. The guards pull back at a gesture from Fladnag, much to Soriel's evident disappointment.

    Fladnag: Highemperor....!

    For once, the vizier's voice is slightly fearful.

    Highemp: You know me? Well, I suppose my reputation precedes me.

    It is then that Fladnag realizes this is a younger Highemp, and not the present-day ruler of a phenomenally large and powerful empire.

    Fladnag: You might say that... what do you want?

    Highemp throws out his arms in a grandiose proclamation. Fireworks spark behind him for effect, summoned by his magical powers.

    Highemp: I'm here to conquer the NeSiverse!

    Fladnag blinks.

    Soriel: You've got to stop using those fireworks, it renders them speechless every time.

    Highemp: That is sort of the point.

    Soriel: Whatever. Can I kill those guards now?

    Highemp: Only if they attack first.

    Soriel: Spoilsport.

    Highemp: Now where is Oh... Og... Okmerkith?

    Fladnag: Ohgmorkoth.

    Highemp: Right, him. Where is he?

    Fladnag: He's in his chambers, enjoying his harem.

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: A harem? Suddenly this just got more interesting!

    Soriel: SILENCE BLADE!

    Fladnag looks quizzically at the young swordsman. No one can hear Fred's voice except the one who holds him. Highemp looks apologetic.

    Highemp: Ignore him. Now, lead me to him, that I may overthrow him!

    Fladnag: Well, if that's all you want, you don't have to do anything to him. He doesn't care about ruling the universe. Gave me that job.

    Highemp: You? And who are you?

    The time-traveling wanderer looks Fladnag up and down. He is in a gray robe, and a tall pointy gray hat. A long white beard flows down his chest.

    Highemp: A Gandalf wannabe?

    Fladnag: I am NOT! Why does everyone keep saying that? I am Fladnag the White!

    Highemp and Soriel look significantly at Fladnag's clearly gray robes.

    Fladnag: It's not MY fault it's impossible to bleach out Tatooine's sand.

    Highemp: Whatever. Looks like I've got to overthrow you then!

    Soriel: Does this mean I can kill him now?

    Fladnag snorts. Highemp he fears, but he'd like to see a mortal swordsman try.

    Fladnag: Fine. If you want the job, you can have it. Your seat, my lord.

    He gestures to the throne, much to Highemp's confusion.

    Highemp: You... give up?

    Fladnag: Well, who am I to resist an obviously superior force?

    Highemp and Soriel trade glances. Soriel just shrugs. Highemp collects himself.

    Highemp: Right! Exactly! You show great wisdom! You may remove yourself now.

    Fladnag: Of course, my lord. I'm sure you're eager to greet your supplicants.

    He bows, and hides a smile as he leaves. Perhaps he can catch a nap... though he wonders how much sleep he'll actually get. Soriel looks after him with some consternation.

    Soriel: Are you SURE I can't kill him?

    Highemp: I wouldn't kill a surrendered foe!

    Soriel: I would...

    Highemp: Kill those guards if you must. I'm glad to hear I already have supplicants, here to praise my glory and majesty!

    The Gamorrean guards bleat in terror and try to run away, but Soriel is on them, killing them in moments.

    Soriel: That was very satisfying. But too short.

    Fred Teh Uber Blade: That's what she said!

    Soriel: SILENCE BLADE!

    Highemp: Of course, you do realize that, without the guards, you have to usher in the supplicants now?

    Soriel: Damnation.

    Soriel trudges to the door of the throne room as Highemp settles himself in the throne - which is far too big for him, sized as it is for a tentacled monstrosity - as a bald man holding a huge tome comes in.

    Runekeeper: Fladnag, I-- You're not Fladnag.

    Highemp: How very astute you are! I am Highemperor, the new supreme ruler of the NeSiverse, and your lord!

    Runekeeper: Right. Where's Fladnag?

    Highemp: He's not here any more! I'm the one you're dealing with!

    The Runekeeper, god of all magic in the NeSiverse, whose book holds every rune and spell and magic-user who ever did or ever would exist in that cosmos, looks skeptically at Highemperor.

    Runekeeper: Alright then. I'm looking for Earth's resident god of magic, but there's no listing in the Divine Yellow Pages.

    Highemp: Earth's god of magic? Er, I don't seem to recall meeting one when I was there...

    Soriel: Did you try googling it?

    Runekeeper: Of course! What kind of idiot do you think I am? Er, one moment please, just received an urgent text.

    He pulls out his phone and hurriedly googles 'Earth's god of magic'.

    Highemp: But your phone didn't beep.

    Runekeeper: I have it set on vibrate! Er, so as not to disturb your chambers with, um, unnecessary sounds, my lord. Anyways, as I was saying, OF COURSE I googled it. Unfortunately, the only results I get are Hermes Trismegistus and Thoth.

    Highemp: I think I've met both of them before...

    Runekeeper: But Hermes, while adept and powerful at WIELDING magic, AND a god on that planet to boot, isn't a god OVER magic. And Thoth, while a magically authoritative and knowledgeable god, seems to just be a bookworm.

    Highemp: Well, sorry, but I don't think I can help you.

    Runekeeper: Well, can you get Fladnag? I bet he would know!

    Highemp: Ugh! Enough about Fladnag! NEXT!

    Soriel ushers the Runekeeper out, and the next supplicant comes in. For several hours, Highemp deals with frustrating supplicant after frustrating supplicant. They all have problems they want him to solve, and when he can't, they want Fladnag. As the most recent supplicant is ushered out by Soriel, Highemp slumps in his throne.

    Highemp: WRAAAA! No wonder Big O delegates to Fladnag. I think I need an empire of my own before I can conquer the NeSiverse, so I have people to delegate ruling to!

    An inspiration comes to him, manifesting as a light bulb over his head.

    Highemp: I delegate you, Soriel!

    Soriel: What?

    Highemp: Yes, you are now my chief vizier. You can see all these supplicants.

    Soriel: Fair warning, if you make me vizier, there will be a lot more decapitated heads around here.

    Highemp: WRAAAA! Fine. FLADNAG! Where the frack did he get to?

    Soriel: Well, you did tell him to take a hike...

    At that moment, Fladnag the White walks in, much refreshed after his siesta.

    Fladnag: And indeed I did! But I am here if my lord requires me.

    Highemp: Right, yes. Er, in my magnificent magnanimity, I have decided to allow your universe autonomy for the time being. You may resume your duties, and Big O can have his throne back. It doesn't fit me anyway.

    Fladnag bows.

    Fladnag: My lord is most gracious.

    Highemp scurries out of the palace as fast as his legs will carry him, with Soriel trailing behind. Fladnag resumes his position standing by the throne and raps the butt of his staff on the floor.

    Fladnag: NEXT!
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 09-13-2015 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #3
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
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    Arrow The Gods of Doors

    On Olympus, two very important gods are arguing. Yet again.

    Cardea: "You can't say that you're more important than me. Without me, there'd be no door at all!"

    Portunes: "Ah, but I am the God of Locked Doors! If I say so, you can't open. At all. Stuck. Stranded. Until I let you go, my dearest."

    Cardea: "I'm The Goddess of Door Hinges and without me you couldn't even lock a door. You couldn't open a door! Doors wouldn't exist!"

    Priapus: "Zeus sent me over to tell you guys to be qu--"

    Cardea & Portunes: "ARGH!!!"

    The two door-based gods balk in the sight of the giant phallus-god.

    Priapus: "Okay. So you'll be quiet, right? Thanks. Bye."

    The penis-god stomps off.

    ...

    Cardea: "I'm still better than you."

  4. #4

    Calling the Nameless

    All the gods of the universe, the NeSiverse, the story-verse, and beyond receive a summon. This summon is not the first for most, nor their last, and as with all summons, this one states that it is of the utmost importance. Naturally, just about nobody shows up for the meeting. For some, the summon specified a time which held no meaning for them, for others, a place which could not be described and thus not found. For many, the summons fails to escalate in their massive backlog of messages. The few who do show up for the summons are either masochists or morons when it comes to meetings which are, by their nature, always fruitless.

    The following have shown up for this particular meeting:

    Fladnag, minister for the Big O, and quite possibly the only being in all existence who truly enjoys meetings.

    Three Fates, three powerful women who control all destinies in existence. They attend this meeting out of apparent interest in the possible destinies of the others present.

    Memnoch, cosmic demonic ruler of the Hell of Hells. Out of all the attendees, he seems most interested in the possible reason for the summon.

    Jim Seven, addressed as God, the current ruler of Earth's heaven, here only to get out of another meeting.

    WriterGod, the god of writers and firm advocate of free will. Like the few other meetings he's attended, the WriterGod seems more interested in spectating than participating.

    Serapharch, highest servant of Earth's God, the WriterGod, and the Nameless. Despite working under apparently three bosses, Serapharch largely attends to the many trivial demands of Jim Seven.

    Master Arkng Thand, Earth's first man, drawn to this meeting against his better judgment on a hunch.

    Morthrandur, known also as the Sepulchral Phantom, currently known for only one thing with no doubt -- for inciting doubt. This meeting seems to be ideal for his mysterious machinations.

    CharacterGod, god over all characters. Like most gods, the CharacterGod claims power over all in this existence, and like Fladag and Serapharch, often carries out acts presumably delegated from others, such as attending this meeting on behalf of the Eternal Pantheon.

    HorseGod, god of all horses and admitted among the other Narrative Deities due to a funny face. Publically attending for the lolz, secretly attending on behalf of R.I.T.E., the 12 God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime.

    The ten sit cross-legged at a traditional Japanese-style dining table made of marble. Fladnag sits at the head. On his left sit the Three Fates, the WriterGod, Morthrandur, and Master Arkng Thand, and on his right sit Memnoch, Jim Seven, Seraparch, CharacterGod and HorseGod. The typical fruit platters, common cakes, teas and coffees splay across the table itself.

    While sipping his tea, Fladnag checks off items on his tablet.


    Fladnag: "I think enough time has been given for any stragglers. Now that this meeting has come to order, would the one who had the summon sent out please begin."

    The CharacterGod talks in the midst of eating a banana.

    CharacterGod: "You mean to say the Big O didn't summon us?"

    The cosmic devil, Memnoch, barely shows his razor teeth as his smile spreads across his face. He wags a cherry-tomato-speared fork to punctuate his words.

    Memnoch: "I suspected as much. In fact, I suspect Fladnag can't say for certain who sent the summon out."

    Fladnag places his tea down.

    Fladnag: "The summon was nameless, and the summon only said that the reason for the meeting would be revealed at this meeting."

    Each of the Three Fates scoop pieces of a single slice of cake for themselves.

    Three Fates: "And you called all the powers in existence on that? If you're going to have us answer to every John Doe who wants to play a prank, we're walking out and have a word with the Big O about your incompetance--"

    Fladnag: "When I said the summon was nameless, I didn't mean just that the summoner was not named. I mean the summoner was Nameless."

    Everybody stares with disbelief at Fladnag. HorseGod grabs an apple.

    HorseGod: "So now you're believing the word of a John Doe playing an especially stupid prank. I'll be going then, thanks for the food--"

    Memnoch: "This is the real deal, or else Serapharch would not have attended. Am I right?"

    Having refrained from food, Serapharch instead holds his own tablet. He looks up at Memnoch, betraying no expression.

    Serapharch: "I am here on behalf of the Earth God."

    Downing the remainder of his coffee, Jim Seven doesn't stop to look up from his 3DS.

    Jim Seven: "And I could use another cup, Archie. Chop-chop."

    Memnoch eyes Serapharch as he pours Jim another cup. Morthrandur twirls a doughnut in his hand.

    Morthrandur: "Then again, how would any of us know if The Nameless really summoned us or not? Or if the Nameless even exists?"

    Arkng Thand suddenly gets up from his seat, surprisingly annoyed.

    Master Arkng Thand: "I can see where this meeting is going now."

    With that, he steps out of the room.

    HorseGod: "What was that all about?"

    Memnoch: "Perhaps this meeting has touched a sore spot for the man. The WriterGod would know of such things."

    Indulging in only a bread roll, the WriterGod's face, common among deities, cannot be made out.

    WriterGod: "He doesn't take well that which is said to be unknowable."

    Memnoch: "Such as you?"

    Silence fill the room. All know about the rumors of the WriterGod as the Nameless, and while that rumor remains but one of countless others, that rumor has been the only one to merit even the slightest serious consideration.

    Memnoch: "Who are you really?"

    WriterGod: "I am who I am."

    Memnoch: "And that is?"

    WriterGod: "The Writer of Writers."

    Memnoch: "One who prefers anonymity. To remain bearded, as it were. The writer who often seems to remain silent, apparently lowly yet far, obscured of any feature such that anyone could project what their imagination would have."

    WriterGod: "All high praises for any writer, thank you."

    CharacterGod: "And like any writer, without character. Look, Memnoch, we'd all love the guy to confess, and the truth is we'll never know. I know a thing or two about characters, and the Nameless, as a character, is defined by just that. If the WriterGod, or anyone else, were to claim to be the Nameless, they'd stop being the Nameless. It's just as if any of us were to claim something as Reality. We might agree on a general consensus, and in both cases, we'll never really be sure."

    The CharacterGod interrupts himself to point his banana accusingly at Morthrandur.

    CharacterGod: "--and I just know you're loving that. By the way, who do you work for again?"

    Morthrandur: "I am an agent of Forever."

    CharacterGod: "Yeah, and that's probably another name for the Nameless, right? Either way, Master Thand likely had the right idea leaving. Real deal or not, talking about The Nameless and who it might be and what they want just stirs doubt and develops character insight the way a selfie does, and that's work I don't care to do with this company. The Nameless is just as unspeakable and useless as the Big O--"

    The CharacterGod quickly holds his hands out, barely holding onto his banana, to Fladnag.

    CharacterGod: "--No offense to His Ominousness."

    Fladnag waves in knowing dismissal. CharacterGod then turns to Memnoch.

    CharacterGod: "So with all due respect, Your Hellishness, we should leave the identity of the Nameless as just that -- X."

    Suddenly, a beautiful young woman appears from nowhere.

    Woman: "Somebody called me?"

    She winks, and is immediately shooed away by Fladnag.

    Fladnag: "O-damned powerplayers! I should have known they'd get themselves involved in talks of ultimate power! Meeting dismissed! GET OUT OF HERE! Ugh..."

  5. #5
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    Posts
    1,326

    A Matter of Tribute

    Canada, the 9th Circle of Earth's Hell. In the Great Granite Fortress, Mephistopheles - usually known as the Devil's Advocate, legal advisor to whomever happens to hold the position at any given moment - is taking numbers from a long line of people who wish to see Mister Nine, the current devil of Earth. As someone else steps up to the front of the line, he is shouldered aside by a tall thin man.

    Person at the Front of the Line: I say, you can't cut line!

    The tall thin man, who is wearing an 18th century style jacket and overcoat, mostly black but decorated with gold and red patterns, with a red-lined black cloak, doesn't even look at the person in front of whom he is cutting. Instead, he idly raises a finger, and the protesting person vanishes in a poof of flame.

    This is actually a fairly normal occurrence, hell being populated by amoral denizens of all stripes. Nonetheless, the Devil's Advocate has rules to uphold; after all, enforcing those rules helps to keep hell, well, hellish.


    Devil's Advocate: He was right, you know. You really can't--

    The Devil's Advocate cuts himself off as he looks up from his paperwork to see the tall thin man. Although humanoid in his 18th century style outfit, his flesh is deep red, and his disturbingly charming smile reveals razor sharp teeth. His eyes are further strange; he has no pupils, the irises are white, and the 'whites' of his eyes are pitch black.

    The tall thin man smiles at the Devil's Advocate's reaction, pleased to be recognized.


    Devil's Advocate: Um, my lord, I, ah, that is, unexpected--

    The tall thin man speaks a whispered word that reverberates sinisterly into the Devil's Advocate's ears.

    Tall Thin Man: Name me.

    Devil's Advocate: Memnoch...

    Memnoch, for that is who he is, smiles further. He has countless forms, some of which are better known than others, none of which may in actuality be his true shape. This is the cosmic archdevil, the supreme fiend who rules over all the hells of the NeSiverse.

    Memnoch: Aren't you going to announce me to your master?

    The Devil's Advocate is pale, but he knows when he has the legal high ground.

    Devil's Advocate: You can't violate Earth's sanctity. The Ancient One's contracts--

    Memnoch hisses, and it takes the Devil's Advocate a moment to realize that it is gleeful mocking laughter.

    Memnoch: The Ancient One is dead. His contracts that guaranteed your world's independence are null and void.

    Devil's Advocate: You're the King of Lies, I can't just take your word for it--

    Memnoch: Then take my presence for it. Where is the Ancient One to object, if he is not dead?

    The Devil's Advocate is no fool. Regardless of whether or not the Ancient One is dead, Memnoch certainly holds it in his power to disintegrate the demonic lawyer for denying him entrance.

    Devil's Advocate: Er, yes, very good, my lord.

    In the throne room of the Great Granite Fortress, Earth's current devil - known as Mister Nine, formerly a member of Earth's premiere superteam, Hero Force One, under the moniker Acidspitter - is lounging quite boredly in his throne, as the Countess of Bathory drones on about her need for a constantly replenishing supply of virgins to sacrifice in order to maintain her complexion. When the door slams open, interrupting the vampire countess' rant, Mister Nine sits up interestedly, eager for any reprieve.

    Devil's Advocate: Your hellishness, may I... may I present... Memnoch, Archdevil of Tartarus.

    Hell's Majordomo, standing by Mister Nine's throne, pales.

    Mister Nine: Oh, that's cool. Which circle does this duke come from? Nifty title.

    The Majordomo leans over to whisper fiercely in Mister Nine's ear.

    Majordomo: No, my lord, he is not from Earth's hell. He is the ruler of all hells in the universe.

    Mister Nine: Now wait a minute, I was never told about any superiors I had to report to.

    Majordomo: All hells except this one. By rights, he shouldn't be here, but he is immensely powerful. There was an ancient contract millions of years ago--

    Memnoch: The contract has expired. I have come to settle the matter of tribute.

    Mister Nine raises his eyebrow, thoroughly unimpressed. He glances at the Devil's Advocate, who is rummaging through stacks of scrolls, no doubt in search of some legal recourse.

    Mister Nine: So you come here, CLAIMING to be my boss - a boss which I've never heard of, by the way - and institute taxation?

    Memnoch is unperturbed.

    Memnoch: You have the right of it. A tithe of your souls I require, to be collected upon the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year, every century.

    Mister Nine barks a laugh.

    Mister Nine: You're a bit early, then.

    Memnoch: There is also the matter of backpay.

    Mister Nine: More souls, I presume?

    Memnoch: Quite.

    Mister Nine: Well, sure, take all the souls you like. Don't suppose you like withered vampire countesses?

    For once, Memnoch is nonplussed. He opens his mouth, then closes it.

    Memnoch: You... have no objections?

    Mister Nine: Do you hear any? We're a bit overpopulated. Hell, I released a bunch of souls a few months back just to cut back on spiritual inflation. Take all you like.

    A thought strikes him.

    Mister Nine: Actually, do you want this job? I mean, it pays well and all, but my girlfriend doesn't approve.

    Suddenly time halts. Everyone in the room freezes in place, save for Mister Nine and the Majordomo.

    Majordomo: My lord, I do NOT approve--

    Mister Nine: Say, neat trick. I didn't know you could do that.

    Majordomo: The concept of time is weird and malleable in hell. I can pause local time for a minute or two. Several high-ranking functionaries can do it, including you. Now then, about Memnoch, you can't--

    Mister Nine: Wait, I can do this?

    Majordomo: Yes, it was in the list of powers and prerogatives of the position that the Devil's Advocate drew up for you. But Memnoch--

    Mister Nine: That list? It was a book as thick as I was tall! You can't think I actually read it.

    Majordomo: Nevermind that now, my lord! You can't give us to Memnoch!

    Mister Nine: Why not? I'm in charge here, not you.

    Majordomo: My lord, Memnoch does not seek to dominate us, as most devils do... he consumes souls

    Mister Nine: What do you mean, 'consumes'?

    Majordomo: I mean he devours their very essences, feeding on the emotions and power inherent to every soul. Much as Helebon did and Darkside does, but on a vastly greater scale. His metaphysical gullet is swollen with trillions upon trillions of souls from throughout the history of the NeSiverse.

    Mister Nine: I admit, that does sound nasty.

    Majordomo: Exactly! So you can't just offer him--

    Memnoch: It is quite rude to talk about me as though I'm not here.

    The Majordomo practically leaps his height into the air as Memnoch unfreezes from the stasis enveloping everyone else.

    Mister Nine: Now THAT is a neat trick.

    Memnoch: Cease your prattling, lackey. I have no desire for your master's position. Only that I am given the tribute that I am due.

    Mister Nine: Right. Do you have a specific figure in mind?

    Majordomo: My lord--

    Memnoch: More of a... percentage.

    Mister Nine: Excellent! Advocate! ...Advocate? ...Majordomo, if you could unfreeze everyone.

    Majordomo: Sorry.

    Devil's Advocate: Damn, being frozen in time-stasis always gives me a crick in the neck. Anyway, yes, I can file the requisite paperwork.

    Memnoch: I do not require paperwork in triplicate. Merely my count of souls.

    Devil's Advocate: Yes, but you see, we have to conduct a census to know the number that equates to your desired percentage.

    Mister Nine: Unless you want to just walk around, randomly feeding till you're sated?

    The Majordomo gulps. Memnoch is never sated. If he rises to the bait...

    Memnoch: You are a gamesman, Mister Nine. Very well. Conduct your census. File your paperwork. But I expect my tribute and backpay, even if it takes you all eternity to calculate it.

    Mister Nine: Sure thing. Glad I could help. Feel free to take the Countess of Bathory as a down payment though...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 09-13-2015 at 08:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    1,326

    Older Than the Universe

    In a universe far removed from the NeSiverse, yet inextricably entwined with its destiny...

    A hill beneath a blank gray sky. Thunder ricochets through the air, with no concurrent lightning. A massive clockface is displayed at the crest of the hell, and its ticking can be clearly heard above the thunder.


    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: You.

    Galen - a great god beyond all others in this universe, sitting upon a throne at the top of the hill beneath the clock - calls the next soul at the head of the line, a line of souls that stretches far down the hill and off into the distance. He holds a shepherd's crook in one hand, and a scythe in the other.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: There.

    He gestures to his left with his crook, and the soul goes to his ordained destiny, reincarnated.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: You.

    He peers at the next in line, and realizes that it is that time which he had scheduled billions of years ago. He speaks a name, one which he has only spoken once before, and a new entity appears before his throne.

    Supreme Being: What-- You! What do you want? I'm busy. We have word of a weapon from outside the univ--

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: There.

    Galen gestures with his scythe to his right, and the Supreme Being balks.

    Supreme Being: But--

    Galen has already ignored him, his pronouncement irrefutable. He turns back to the soul at the head of the line. He speaks a new name for this soul, and power invigorates the spirit, giving him life and divinity.

    New Supreme Being: My lord. I go to govern your universe.

    And the New Supreme Being disappears to the celestial mansions of his office, while the old one trudges to the underworld. Galen will only speak the New Supreme Being's name once more...when it is time to recall him, and select yet another Supreme Being.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: You.

    So he continues his eternal reign, determining the fate and identity of all souls within his universe. Something happens then, however, that he did NOT schedule.

    A croak of thunder louder than any other, accompanied by crackling torrents of lightning, reverberates through the air. Galen stops calling names, and surveys the phenomenon with a crease in his perfect brow.


    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: I did not schedule this.

    A majestic being, cloaked in black and red, appears before him out of the thunder and lightning.

    Highemperor: Apologies, Great Shepherd. I am from beyond your universe. And I require a plot in your universe to build something.

    Galen frowns. At last, he nods and gestures with his crook to a plot of land beyond the hill.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Do not interrupt my schedule.

    Highemperor bows, and Galen continues naming souls as is his wont. Occasionally he glances across the horizon to survey the Highemperor's construction. It is a large mystical device, an obelisk graven with glowing runes. A hedron of some sort.

    It takes Highemperor an age to construct it, in a feat of magnificent skill and magical craftsmanship. Fortunately, a montage aids his work.

    And then Highemperor proceeds to build a dozen more just like it, in a circle around the first one. More montages are required.


    Highemperor: It is finished.

    He looks across the horizon to meet Galen's far-reaching gaze, and salutes, before vanishing.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: You.

    The next soul approaches the throne, and Galen names him a metaphysical expert and gestures with his crook to the hedrons that Highemperor built.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: There.

    Metaphysical Expert: Yes, my liege.

    The newly named metaphysical expert determines that the hedrons are called Deus Ex Machines, reality-warping devices of incalculable power. He reports this to Galen, who frowns once more. However, they are not interrupting his schedule, so he leaves them alone.

    Another age passes... and suddenly Galen feels a great shuddering in his spirit, a wrongness with the universe. The line of countless souls in front of him becomes a crowd, as souls from all over the universe are ruptured from their lives and destinies unexpectedly.

    Galen frowns.


    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: This is not scheduled.

    The New Supreme Being (although technically he isn't new anymore) appears before Galen.

    New Supreme Being: My lord! The universe is being ravaged by invaders! They use giant cannons called Cosmic Destructors - tearing holes in the very fabric of reality!

    Even as the New Supreme Being tells this, more and more souls appear, as more and more of the universe is destroyed. Galen names souls to investigate and resist, but they always come back in untimely fashion.

    And finally, there is nowhere else he can send the souls except the hill and plains around him. Gigantic cannons appear, blasting the very fabric of existence into oblivion, and souls are destroyed in the cataclysmic collateral damage.


    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Stop.

    The Cosmic Destructors do not listen. Galen frowns.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: There.

    He gestures with his scythe to his right... but the Cosmic Destructors do not obey.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: I command you!

    But then Galen is alone. No more souls surround him, and his hill is the last island of reality in a destroyed universe, as the Cosmic Destructors close in. For the first time in infinity, Galen knows fear. He looks around, and his gaze alights upon the hedrons: the Deux Ex Machines.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Galen. There.

    He names himself, and gestures with his crook to the hedrons even as he follows his own command, rising from his throne and zooming through tattered oblivion to take sanctuary. Behind him the hill, the throne, and the clock are all destroyed.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Deux Ex Machines. There!

    He gestures with both scythe and crook to the Cosmic Destructors as they surround him, but the D.E.M.s do not respond.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Highemperor. Here!

    The Highemperor, who built these fantastical machines that might save this universe, does not answer. Galen huddles against the base of the central hedron, cowering, covering his head, as the Cosmic Destructors belch annihilation.

    Galen, Shepherd of Life and Death: Galen. Here. Galen. Here. Galen, here. Galen, here. Galen, here.

    All his power is focused into staying alive, and then he knows only searing pain for a single brief instant.

    The hedrons float in oblivion for a timeless eternity, unscratched by the Cosmic Destructors. The universe is no more. The Cosmic Destructors depart.

    Save for the 13 D.E.M.s, there is nothing. Not even nothingness itself. Only an oblivion beyond mortal comprehension. Nothing, except for...

    A lie.

    A single lie, with no shape or form or identity, remains in the void. And it says one thing, over and over, to itself.


    Lie: I am alive.

    Presently, a Voice speaks into the void. Depending on the source, this Voice says any manner of different things. But the Lie hears something like this:

    Voice: Let there be story.

    Light and existence blossom in the void, reality stretching like a canvas across oblivion, and the lie drifts along the new universe... the newborn NeSiverse.

    Lie: I am alive!

    It is a little bit less of a lie this time, for the Lie begins absorbing bits of reality from the new NeSiverse around it. Form and consciousness follow, and a new being, born from the ashes of an old god, rises. It looks around and takes stock.

    Lie: I am alive. I am powerful. I am here.

    It ponders for a moment. It needs a name.

    Lie: I am Memnoch.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 09-13-2015 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    1,326
    The Stronghold of Powerplayers. Bastion of the greatest and most powerful munchkins in any universe, anywhere--

    Highemperor: Whoa! Full stop.

    Beg pardon?

    Highemperor: I'm the awesomest being ever! I need more than just a two-bit Narrator for my scene! ETERNIUS! Come narrate my awesomeness!

    But--

    Oh, do move over, you great lout! Clearly the skills and power of I, the great and supreme Eternius the OMNARRATOR, are required!

    Highemp: Very good! Carry on.

    The Stronghold of Powerplayers. Bastion of the greatest and most powerful munchkins in any universe, anywhere, any time. Capital of the High Empire.

    In the tallest tower, the Ultimate Powerplayer, the ruler of the High Empire meets with an envoy in his throne room.


    Highemperor: And so, because you are from the farthest-roaming noble family in your dimension, I thought it meet that none other than you should bear my suit to the Grand Duke's daughter.

    Ex-Marquis Rosslefot: I shall be glad to do so, for you display nobility, honor, and charm! But I must advise you, do not expect your suit to be granted without struggle, if at all.

    Highemperor: What? But-- Wait a minute. Why am I meeting with the EX-Marquis of House Rosslefot?

    Ex-Marquis: My son is the current Marquis, but he is currently AWOL on a vacation to the NeSiverse.

    Highemperor: Why is your son the Marquis, though you're still alive?

    Ex-Marquis: Well, our reality-warping Engines(TM) enable us to live forever, but it's simply not considered fashionable to hold on to office after the duration of natural lifespan.

    Highemp: If you say so... I suppose it at least cuts down on dynastic backstabbing somewhat. Anyway! Why should the Grand Duke's daughter not be instantly smitten with me? I am the very soul of charm and suavete! I am the emperor of the greatest empire in all Anti-Existentessence! I am--

    Ex-Marquis: Quite, quite. But you see, in Discharding, we can do anything we can imagine, with our steampunk Engines(TM). We are all equal in that regard. It is charm and charisma that distinguish us!

    Highemp: And who is more charming than me????

    Ex-Marquis: Very few, I'm sure.

    Highemp: None, you mean!

    Ex-Marquis: Well, the Baron von Britt has few if any rivals for charm...

    Highemp: Who is he?

    Ex-Marquis: A human who was granted land and title in Discharding. He captured the hearts of every woman who saw him.

    Highemp: So do I!

    Ex-Marquis: He was a legendary adventurer, and adept at spinning tales thereof.

    Highemp: I was a legendary wanderer, and I have the soul of a Writer!

    Ex-Marquis: Also, he once sweet-talked a dragon.

    Highemp: I-- wait, what?

    Ex-Marquis: Indeed, a dragoness native to Jupiter. I was there. Well, I was watching through my telescope at any rate.

    Highemp: You dirty voyeur!

    He pauses.

    Highemp: Did you happen to record that event?

    Ex-Marquis: Oh, no shagging was involved, he had to go rescue someone or other.

    Highemp: Bloody hell... it might be simpler just to conquer these guys...

    Ex-Marquis: What was that?

    Highemp: Um, I said... I can sweet-talk a dragon too! Wait here!

    He waves his hand in the air, summoning a shimmering image of stars.

    Highemp: Show me a dragon!

    The image shimmers into that of a mighty dragon! Highemp scowls.

    Highemp: A female dragon, if you please.

    A Jupiterian dragoness displays.

    Highemp: Has to be a powerful legendary dragoness! Not just some run-of-the-mill alien Expy.

    The image becomes that of Echidna, the greatest of all dragons, who bore the eggs that started the dragon race in hundreds if not thousands of universes.

    Highemp: Say, that's not bad! Be very impressive to charm her!

    He pauses.

    Highemp: But wait! I would not even pretend to show interest in a woman who's been sullied by another male's touch!

    Wow, egotistical much?

    Highemp: Shut up, Eternius! I once imprisoned you, I can do it again!

    Ex-Marquis: Sorry, what?

    Highemp: Er, nothing, I'm not talking to myself, honestly.

    Ex-Marquis: No, it's okay! We Dischardians find a touch of madness to be very charming indeed!

    Highemp: Right...

    The image shimmers again, showing a younger Echidna, before she bore any dragon eggs. Highemp smiles.

    Highemp: Perfect.

    He stands from his throne and flaps his cloak dramatically before vanishing in a sparkle of silvery-white light. He reappears in a far away universe, near the dawn of time. Echidna stirs from her youthful slumber, a mere thousand years old, under the light of ten moons.

    Echidna: And what are you, little morsel?

    Highemp: I am the Highemperor, king of a distant land, come to woo thine heart!

    Echidna looks skeptical, but then Highemp breaks out into song. The lyrics are entirely in the Draconic language, and declare the arrow of love piercing his heart to be as sharp as her talons, the flame in his heart to be as hot as her inner fire, and other such pithy remarks.

    Echidna begins looking more and more impressed--


    -----

    Britt the Writer: That's just LAZY! I wrote, y'know, an actual conversation between Britticus and the Jupiterian dragon lady!

    Al Ciao the Writer: >.>

    -----

    --and is clearly positively smitten once the song is over, approximately 13 hours later.

    Echidna: Oh, you darling man! My heart is yours!

    Highemp: Success! Now to report my triumph to--

    Just as he turns to go, Echidna snares him in a paw, pulling him close to her dragon-y embrace. Highemp belatedly remembers that his charming song was more or less a proposition.

    Highemp: Oh, shiiiiii--

    Several hours later, Highemp emerges from Echidna's cave, his clothes torn, utterly exhausted but clearly very pleased with himself. Echidna is snoring contentedly.

    Highemp: I... am officially the sexiest being ever.

    -----

    Britt the Writer: Powerplay much?

    Al Ciao the Writer: Well, he IS the Ultimate Powerplayer. And this isn't NeS proper, so it's to be expected! No hindrances!

    Britt the Writer: And did you just pull some timey-wimey BS where Highemp turns out to be the sire of most dragon races in several universes?

    Al Ciao the Writer: >.>

    -----

    Ex-Marquis: Well, sweet-talking the mother of all dragons is definitely a one-up on Baron von Britt! I shall inform the Grand Duchess's daughter, you may be assured!

    Highemp: Excellent...

    Ex-Marquis: Wow, fantastic Emperor-Palpatine impression!

  8. #8
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
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    1,326

    Parties & Politics

    On Mount Olympus, the gods are partying. This is not unusual; gods always party, particularly the old gods of Earth, who no longer have any worshippers to attend to. The Monkey King is challenging all comers to a dance-off; Bacchus is passing out endless kegs of maenad wine; Quetzlcoatl is loudly proclaiming his feathered ensemble to be more colorful and fashionable than anyone else's getup.

    Ares: Son, you have GOT to loosen up.

    Ares, the Greek god of war, has a wench on his lap and holds another in his arm, drinking from a golden goblet with his other hand. His son, Nick the God of Jam Doughnuts, is picking at some nectar-berries off his plate.

    Nick: I miss my friends, Dad.

    Until recently, Nick was a mortal demigod, and member in good standing of Earth's premier super team, Hero Force One. Killed in the line of duty by a treacherous angel from another planet, his father Ares appealed to Zeus to grant him divinity and thereby restored life.

    Ares: Forget them! There are all sorts of hot chicks who would love to get with you. I've seen Amaterasu giving you the eye all night, and I bet the Norns--

    Nick: I dunno. Not really feeling it.

    Ares: Still bound by the memories of your mortal days. Well, only one thing to do!

    Nick brightens.

    Nick: Go visit my old friends?

    Ares: Don't be daft. No, we've got to declare a crusade on those alien angels from Ordimar who killed you, and get your revenge!!!

    Nick: But--

    It's too late. Ares is already rounding up his furies, and gods of war from other ancient pantheons are joining in, eager for any excuse to fight. The party continues in full swing despite their departure. Nick sighs and continues to brood.

    Amaterasu: Hey, baby, want some company?

    Nick: Not really, no.

    He thinks of his former teammate, Magick Snowflakes, and misses her.

    Amaterasu: Don't be like that. Just think of all that the most powerful deity can do for you...

    Horus-Re overhears the Japanese sun goddess's bold claim, and instantly objects.

    Horus-Re: Full stop, wench! You may hold authority over the sun, but I rule over both the sun AND the underworld!

    Amaterasu bristles, but before she can reply, Zeus cuts in.

    Zeus: That's small potatoes, Horus-Re. In my pantheon, the gods of the sun and the underworld are BOTH subservient to ME!

    Horus-Re glares, but more gods are drawn into the argument.

    Odin: If we're going by that logic, Zeus, then I'm superior to you, the god of sky and thunder, as the thunder god in my pantheon is ruled by ME!

    Argument breaks out in full force between several drunken deities, and Nick sighs, extricating himself from the mess and finding himself another seat.

    Runekeeper: Excuse me.

    Nick turns to see a god he doesn't recognize; not an uncommon occurrence, given how many deities there are.

    Nick: What do you want?

    Runekeeper: I am the Runekeeper, god of all magic in the NeSiverse. I would like to speak to Thoth, but I can't seem to find anyone in all this ruckus. Do you know where I can find him?

    Nick: Um... I'm not really sure, actually.

    There is a slight whoosh of displaced air, and Hermes Trismegistus - super god-mage with few equals in the arts of wizardry - appears.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Thoth rarely partakes in these bacchanalias. He is most likely reading. But what you seek from him can also likely be obtained from me.

    Runekeeper: Trismegistus. You are powerful, but I require knowledge. I seek the god over Terran magic. Despite your aptitude for it, you do not rule over all magic on this planet.

    Hermes Trismegistus chuckles.

    Hermes Trismegistus: If that is what you seek, then you shall be disappointed. There is no singular god of magic over Earth. Surely you can sense the wild nature of the quintessential weave here.

    The Runekeeper frowns.

    Runekeeper: The ley lines were ordered when last I was here.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Indeed, once upon a time they were, a lattice of thrumming power centered on Atlantis.

    The Runekeeper scowls.

    Runekeeper: That ley center should have been Mega Jonestown Prime's, not usurped by your WriterGod's chosen city.

    Hermes Trismegistus shrugs.

    Hermes Trismegistus: He's not my WriterGod. Anyway, there were a succession of Atlantean archmages, many of whom might have succeeded at taming the ley lines to their will, but none attempted such divinity so far as I know; for they all revered the WriterGod, almost monotheistically.

    Runekeeper: Your Atlantis fell. Why has no god over magic arisen since then.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Atlantis's destruction was so catastrophic, that it ruptured the ley lines. There is now no single supernexus, but a collection of lesser supernexes. Therefore magic is wild and fractured here; it answers to magecraft without difficulty, but would be practically impossible to rule over it entirely.

    Runekeeper: How... odd. Where are the current supernexes?

    Hermes Trismegistus: That would be telling, wouldn't it?

    Runekeeper: Do not play games with me, Trismegistus. My power far outstrips yours.

    Hermes Trismegistus: And you seek to add Earth's magic to your domain. Why should I assist you?

    Runekeeper: Earth's magic was mine to begin with! Along with Aeon and the Three Cosmic Fates, I forged this world and its destiny and its ley weave, centering the very universe upon it.

    Hermes has a slight smirk upon his face.

    Hermes Trismegistus: It must be frustrating, no? Like ruling an entire country EXCEPT for its capital city.

    The Runekeeper says nothing, refusing to rise to the bait.

    Hermes Trismegistus: I shall give you the information you seek...but you must let me look at your Book.

    He gestures to the large bound book that the Runekeeper carries, connected by a chain to a manacle on the god's wrist. The Runekeeper recoils at the suggestion.

    Runekeeper: Certainly not! I can find these lesser supernexes on my own quite easily.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Then why did you bother asking? Perhaps...because Earth's wild fractured quintessence frazzles your own spell-senses?

    He smirks again. The Runekeeper is expressionless, but finally says.

    Runekeeper: Very well. I shall show you ONE page.

    Hermes Trismegistus: We have a deal. The ruins of Atlantis remain a nexus, albeit not as uber and all-encompassing as it once was. Doughnutdelf, in England, another. A spot in France, upon which the Magium was built for precisely that reason. A remote outpost in Antarctica, where ancient hedrons older than the universe lay. Shangri-La, in Asia. And a house in America.

    The Runekeeper takes in this information silently, then nods. He flips open his Book to a page, Hermes watching closely, then turns the Book to show the page to the super god-mage. Hermes smiles in triumph.

    Runekeeper: I trust you are satisfied.

    Hermes Trismegistus smiles. He is slyer than the Runekeeper knows. As a god of phenomenal superspeed - this divinity which he possessed long before he ever took up the study of magecraft - his senses process faster as well... and he caught glimpses of all the pages that the Runekeeper leafed through.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Quite.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-09-2015 at 11:25 AM.

  9. #9
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Doughnutdelf's Founding

    Atlantis. Circa 10,000 B.C.

    The city, and the continent on which it stands, are breaking apart. A catastrophic plothole, of a size and power more phenomenal than any other conceived, is destroying the civilization. In the Temple of the WriterGod, at the heart of the powerful city, the Ancient One bows his head.


    Ancient One: The story... has failed.

    His wife Fay tugs his arm. In her free arm she is cradling a baby.

    Fay: Not while we still have breath. But we must escape while we still can!

    New fire seems to seize the Ancient One, and he turns to his wife.

    Ancient One: You are right, my dear. Atlantis may be dying...but the dream lives!

    He holds his wife and child close, and they disappear into the dreamstate.

    Elsewhere, in the Arcaneum that is the center of sorcerous learning and training in Atlantis, Magistarr and his nine apprentices struggle to avert the destruction.


    Magistarr: Enact the ritual of Luros, with Zordilg's third stanza!

    Magistarr, the most powerful Terran mage who will ever live - save one other who will one day arise, in the 21st century A.D. - is leading his apprentices in a circle spell, focusing their powers to save Atlantis. But the plothole is too large, even for Magistarr, and he bows his head as he realizes this.

    Apprentice Belshaggath: Master?

    The other apprentices are still striving to enact the spell. Belshaggath, the weakest among the apprentices in terms of magical potential but the most observant, is the only one to notice the change in his master's demeanor.

    Magistarr: Atlantis is lost. You must escape while you still can.

    The other apprentices gasp in shock, but recover themselves enough to begin gathering their spellbooks and artifacts. Again, only Belshaggath notices the implication.

    Apprentice Belshaggath: You're not coming.

    It is not a question. The other apprentices pause momentarily, looking at Magistarr.

    Magistarr: No, I am not. I cannot save Atlantis, but I can save the world at least. All Terran magic - and by extension, all magic in the cosmos - is centered on our city, and with its destruction, the ultranexus will rupture with enough force to break the earth in twain. I cannot stop the rupture, but I must stay and ameliorate its damage.

    Apprentice Belshaggath: I will stay with you, master!

    The other apprentices look around guiltily, but none of them have the courage to second Belshaggath's offer. Magistarr smiles kindly. Belshaggath is his favorite pupil, despite his relatively weak magical potential, though the high court mage would never let such favoritism be known.

    Magistarr: Your heart is stout, and your mind keen. You all must escape, so that the arts of sorcery will not be lost. Magic will be a new and wild thing, with fractured ley lines, and you must be the guides of all the mages on Earth in dealing with the new mystic paradigm.

    His gaze sweeps around all his apprentices.

    Magistarr: You are no longer apprentices, but full mages. It is up to you to become Masters.

    Belshaggath and the apprentices leave their beloved master sorrowfully, and escape before the catastrophe overtakes their land. Atlantis itself - along with Magistarr - crumbles into the plothole. The continent on which it stood shakes and cracks, most of it sinking into the waves, but a large portion of the landmass shifts across the ocean to the east, becoming isles that will one day be known as Great Britain.

    Belshaggath: So ends an era.

    The former apprentice has landed on the shores of Great Britain. He is alone. The other apprentices either did not survive, or are scattered to the four winds. He cannot divine which, for the leylines are too fractured to tell him, and he is too weak of a mage to force his will upon them... yet.

    New Voice: Where is the prince?

    Belshaggath turns to see a glowing pixie, as tall as his hand is long.

    Belshaggath: I suppose that depends on which prince you mean. Although I'm not sure I could answer the question regardless.

    The pixie, who is a dead-ringer for Tinkerbell, if Tinkerbell wore blue instead of green, and had a mohawk, frowns.

    Pixie: The fairy prince! Heir to Albion's throne!

    Belshaggath: Fairy prince? I had heard rumors that the Lady Fay's father was a prince from a magical realm.

    Pixie: Ah, the shame! That Prince Oberon should forsake his duties to sire a child on a mortal woman! But where is this halfbreed child now, if the prince is no longer around?

    Belshaggath: I do not know if she escaped Atlantis's destruction or not. Her siblings, however, left this world for outer space many years ago.

    Pixie: Then the royal fairy bloodline still lives! There is hope that the throne will not always be vacant.

    Belshaggath: Er, if you don't mind my asking... it's been decades since your fairy prince left, hasn't it? Why are you just now looking?

    The pixie looks reluctant to spill the beans, but caves to the young mage's curiosity.

    Pixie: Albion is a sheltered realm. It is very difficult to open passages between our magic-rich dimension and any other. Only Prince Oberon himself was mighty enough to open such a portal, through which he left, and it closed shut behind him.

    Belshaggath: And it took your people this long to open another?

    The pixie looks ashamed.

    Pixie: We still have not succeeded. But there was a rupture between our dimension and yours, just now. Some terrible mystic cataclysm must have happened to do that, but we took advantage of the opportunity.

    Belshaggath's expression becomes one of intrigue.

    Belshaggath: A rupture to a world flooded with magic? How long will it be open?

    The pixie shrugs.

    Pixie: Hours? Days? Centuries? There is no way to tell. But it seems there is little hope of it staying open until Oberon's mortal descendants return from outer space.

    Belshaggath taps his chin thoughtfully.

    Belshaggath: I know how to build constructs, capable of channeling magic... and sustaining it.

    Pixie: You mean you could keep the rupture open indefinitely?!

    Belshaggath: Yes... if you in turn help me.

    Pixie: It is my duty to help you, if you will do this.

    Belshaggath: My civilization, the great realm of Atlantis, is no more. I must ensure our sorcerous arts do not perish with it. If you would be my familiar and my aid, then on the site of this portal-sustaining construct, I will also establish a haven for wizards and scholars, sharing knowledge with your realm.

    The pixie considers.

    Pixie: Fairies are very jealous of our borders, but trading knowledge for knowledge... something can be arranged. Particular if our curiosities are sated with unfettered access to this wondrous land.

    Belshaggath surveys the rocky, half-shattered province. It will be decades if not centuries before the ruins erode into more manageable terrain. But who is he to argue with a fairy's curiosity?

    Belshaggath: It is agreed. I am called Belshaggath.

    Pixie: I am called Dinkersmell.

    There is a poof as a deity appears, wearing a business suit with a pocket protector and a stern expression.

    Belshaggath: Who are you? Another fairy?

    CopyrightGod: As if! I am the Copyright God! Your new little familiar is a blatant rip-off of an established trademark!

    Belshaggath: Um, I'm fairly certain any trademark you might be referring to doesn't exist yet.

    CopyrightGod: Bah! You can't befuddle me with such temporal logic! I can get the best lawyers to... to... AHCHOOOOO!

    Belshaggath: Allergies?

    CopyrightGod: *sniffles* Er, maybe. I've never had allergies before, deities don't generally suffer such... such... AHCHOOOOOOO!

    Belshaggath notices that Dinkersmell is grinning slyly and trailing a lot more pixie dust into the air than before.

    Belshaggath: I think there's an alchemical remedy for that. I don't know how to make it though, and well, all the pharmacies in Atlantis have closed shop permanently.

    CopyrightGod: Bah! I have no need for... for... AHHHHCHOOOOOOO!

    Belshaggath: Perhaps you should take a break. We'll still be here when you recover.

    CopyrightGod: Argh! Whatever! I'll be baaaHHHHCHOOOO!

    With that last sneeze, the CopyrightGod vanishes, and Dinkersmell breaks out into raucous laughter.

    Belshaggath: I can see you're going to be quite useful to have around. If you'll lead me to the rupture, I can begin constructing a henge around it.

    He is thoughtful for a moment, and surveys the landscape around him.

    Belshaggath: In Atlantis, we typically used the mystic material called orichalcum to build such things, but there is none here. But perhaps some stone would suffice...

    Dinkersmell: A stone henge will be fine, I'm sure. We fairies like natural materials anyway. Before that, however, we may need to build an oven. Your stomach has been growling like a troll for the past ten minutes!

    Belshaggath: Very well. First an oven to bake me a doughnut, then the Stonehenge, then the enclave!

    Thus, the founding of Doughnutdelf begins!
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-09-2015 at 09:43 AM.

  10. #10
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    The Second Cataclysm of Magic

    A foul plot by Memnoch - aided by cunning reality-warping magic-absorbing bombs developed by Discharding - has disrupted all magic on Earth, shattering the ley nexes and nearly destroying the planet itself.

    Earth is the center of the cosmic weave, the pattern after which the fractal of the NeSiverse is formed. So when magic ruptures on Earth... so too does it across the cosmos.

    Continents on far-flung planets heave and crack. Stars implode. Spacetime itself ripples. Magic-users and mystical devices everywhere lose power, or work differently, or not at all.

    In his sanctum, the Runekeeper - cosmic god overseeing magic - shrieks in pain as he feels the magic exploding. Ley lines all across universe snap in twain, and each one feels like a bone breaking in his body.


    Runekeeper: So... much... lost...

    He grits his teeth, clenching his fists together as he summons to him all the magic he possibly can, attempting to stabilize it, to grant it a center around which to stabilize it.

    It is little use, however, for the fractal nature of the NeSiverse means that the Earth's magical state determines the universe's, and the Runekeeper is not on Earth at the moment.


    Runekeeper: Damn the Ancient One for kicking me off that planet. Then I wouldn't have had to conspire with Memnoch to destroy the very nexes that should have been mine!

    Yes, the Runekeeper conspired to destroy the magical nexes of Earth, despite the pain it would cause him.

    Memnoch: A shame you weren't able to create a new nexus under your control. Of course, you still have all time to keep trying, now that Earth's nexes are gone.

    The Runekeeper spins around, but he is alone. Memnoch has only projected his voice into the magic deity's privacy. The Runekeeper grimaces at Memnoch's taunt, but he cannot resist the lure, and he hates himself for it. With a wish, he vanishes and reappears far across a multi-dimensional gulf to appear in Tartarus, the cosmic hell.

    Runekeeper: Damn you.

    Memnoch: Why, whatever have I done?

    The archdevil overseeing all the hells of the NeSiverse smiles ominously, unperturbed. The Runekeeper is silent, refusing to rise to the bait. Memnoch waits patiently. Finally, the Runekeeper speaks.

    Runekeeper: The nexus of magic on Earth has been all but obliterated.

    Memnoch grins.

    Memnoch: How... unfortunate!

    Runekeeper: And nobody knows where the... information regarding the nexes originated?

    Memnoch: Not even Orkag... Orkagm... Ort... That Big Idiot.

    Runekeeper: Careful how much you say aloud, Memnoch. Even in this realm of yours, there are ears for the Big O or other deities. If the Earth deities found out...

    Memnoch: Then I'd destroy them all the sooner. You may leave.

    Runekeeper: You're ordering me around now, Memnoch?

    Memnoch stares at the Runekeeper for a long while before shrugging and walking away. Only then does the Runekeeper leave. Memnoch chuckles sinisterly to himself.

    Memnoch: So many bickering deities, always determined to have the last word. So determined, they lose sight of what's really important.

    The archdevil approaches an elevator. Above the elevator door is the number 274, written in glowing red gothic script. Memnoch presses the button next to it, and the doors open with a ding.

    Memnoch: I really should have that sound replaced with something more sinister...

    Buttons cover the interior of the elevator, ranging from 1 all the way to 665. Memnoch presses 665, and the elevator whooshes down as classical elevator music begins playing.

    Memnoch: Replacing this gods-awful music with a cacophony of the damned should also be higher on my priority list.

    It takes more than one hundred years for the elevator to reach the 665th layer of Tartarus, despite it dropping at speeds nearing that of light. Fortunately, Memnoch has time to spare, and time flows differently in this hell, meaning he has lost no time in the outside NeSiverse.

    Stepping out into the 665th layer, only darkness greets the archdevil. Torchs give little illumination, for the very ground is solid darkness. This layer - and the nearly two hundred layers above it - have been excavated from the subdimensional strata of the NeSiverse, but have yet to be populated.

    Memnoch walks through the darkness for an interminable period, before coming to some spiral stairs that descend into the solid-darkness ground. Hellish light shines from below, and brightens as he descends.


    Memnoch: A;lkasjdglkkhadslf;kjadskljgagsd!

    The archdevil speaks in the Ancient Language(TM), a terrible speech whose words cause chaos and disorder for leagues around when spoken. There is no one but Memnoch around however, and the passphrase keeps the booby traps at bay. At the bottom of the steps is a great door. Memnoch passes through it, and more than two dozen doors after that, all layers of security requiring different means to open.

    Memnoch: This could be the title sequence of a Get Smart reboot that takes place in Hell. I should offer it as an idea the next time a movie producer offers me his soul for success.

    The final door opens onto the lip of a vast pit, as wide as an ocean. Noxious black smoke wafts up from the bottomless pit, and puffs of hellish flame occasionally drift up as well. Memnoch inhales with satisfaction.

    Memnoch: Ah, the scent of torment and despair... still, a little sharp even for me.

    This is the Abyss, home to Memnoch's most ancient and terrible prisoner. When Memnoch dug down through the subdimensional strata of the NeSiverse to create his domain, the 666th was the lowest he could go; there was no further 'down' to dig, insofar as directions exist in an other-dimensional meta-space.

    But the Abyss was already here, waiting for him, and when Memnoch discerned what lay within it, fear gripped him for the first and only time in his eternal life... but also excitement, for the opportunity.


    Memnoch: Time to imbue another servant...

    He inhales black smoke, and his perfect red flesh cracks as he contains it, his eyes turning jet black and leaking the occasional fume. In this manner, the archdevil leaves the Abyss and goes back up to a higher layer of Tartarus, choosing the damned soul of a Grey at random.

    King of the Greys: My lord! It is an honor to finally meet you in person! I have ever served--

    Memnoch exhales the black smoke. His eyes and skin return to their normal state, but the smoke surrounds the Grey King and transforms him. The damned soul screams... yet no one, save Memnoch, hears him.

    And when the transformation is complete, no one, save Memnoch, even remembers his ever existed.


    Twice-Forgotten Greyshade: What would you have of me, my lord?

    Memnoch smiles chillingly.

    Memnoch: With its nexes destroyed, Earth is vulnerable. Leave it whole, or not, I do not care... but annul its centrality, annul its metaphysical significance as the pattern for the fractal of the NeSiverse...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 11-10-2015 at 12:12 PM.

  11. #11
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Project Earth

    Non-Story Post: This posts ties with several other posts contained within different Stories. For new Writers, you may wish to skip reading this post as it does not pertain to the current main plot but a sub-plot and may be confusing.

    Hero Force One: Post #64
    Clear and the Hopeless: Post #45
    Never-ending Story2: Post #1917

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

    Egypt, planet Earth, is a very hot place, even now in winter. The sun beats down on the land with unrelenting oppression. Of course the night, on the other hand, is likely to be bitterly cold. By then, however, Thoth will be gone. He stands before the Great Pyramid of Giza - the oldest standing wonder of human civilization. He has often admired the ingenuity of humanity, from the times of Atlantis right through to the modern world with its skyscrapers, motorcars and spray-on cheese (truly the greatest invention of all time in his humble opinion, even if none of the other gods seemed to share it).

    He stands and gazes at the tip of the pyramid, watching seconds pass by for many hours. Until he feels a presence. He feels the presence before it even appears and he is left waiting those extra hours for the presence to manifest in time. It may have been in instant for Hermes Trismegistus, but Thoth could feel the bind of time upon the event before it occurred.


    Thoth: "Can I help you, Trismegistus?"

    Hermes: "Isis told me you'd be here."

    Thoth doesn't turn from the pyramid.

    Thoth: "Did she."

    It is a statement rather than a question.

    Hermes: "You must have felt the change? The Rift in Britannia has been reopened by Merlin. Merlin and the ******* heir to the throne."

    Thoth: "You are aware that that word is no longer considered acceptable, Trismegistus?"

    Hermes: "I am. But for a bloodline borne of incest, I think the original meaning of the word is poignant."

    Thoth:
    "We both know one act of incest isn't going to bring calamity to any of their descendants. It seems childish of you, of all beings, to be so exclusive on such a detail."

    Hermes: "It's not the descendants DNA, or the morality of it, that I have issue with. It's the blood."

    Thoth: "Blood ink. As always. Sometimes I think the creation of those bloodlines was a severe mistake on behalf of the Ancient One."

    Hermes: "Mistake or not, when the Fay family birthed their incestuous child, they created a deviance from what was established. I would never say a create born of incest is unnatural... except for that family. The thirteenth."

    Thoth: "Then it is lucky they left the Earth behind long ago. And it seems the current generation has no interest in remaining here either. She has already left the planet."

    Hermes: "Yes, yes. Now we're getting distracted. I didn't come here to discuss blood ink with you. I came to discuss Albion and the nexus."

    Thoth: "You did."

    Again, it's not a question.

    Hermes: "Albion has become a problem."

    Thoth: "Problem is quite a subjective term."

    Hermes:
    "I don't see anything subjective about it in this context. Merlin may not have felt it yet but the nexus is no longer large enough to support the world beyond. Albion is eating the remaining magic of Earth and if we don't do something, all magic will be consumed from this planet and that puts Albion back where it was - facing its own doom."

    Thoth: "It does."

    Hermes, frustrated, turns to look at the top of the pyramid where the Egyptian god of magic has been staring. He doesn't see anything... but then he feels it. A tiny, frail speck within the aether.

    Hermes: "Did you...?"

    Thoth: "I did."

    Hermes: "You continue to amaze even me."

    Thoth:
    "Don't get excited, Trismegistus. The nexus node I have recreated here is small, weak and will not save Earth or Albion. It will take decades before it can provide aether in the region. But it is a start."

    Hermes: "Can you do it again?"

    Thoth: "Perhaps. It is one thing to create a nexus node, another thing entirely to reconstruct one. That I could do."

    Hermes: "Perhaps there is... some way to speed up the process?"

    Thoth: "Perhaps."

    Hermes: "I dislike speculating on this, but those that destroyed the nexus were worshippers of Memnoch."

    Thoth: "They were."

    Hermes: "How do we respond to the threat of Memnoch? Without the contracts of the Ancient One, we are vulnerable. He has already demanded tribute from our Hell. He may well decide he wants more from us."

    Finally Thoth turns to Hermes.

    Thoth: "I feel that Memnoch is uninterested in the Earth. If he did orchestrate this plot himself, or even provoked his worshippers into causing Earth harm, then I feel he did so as part of some greater scheme that he has in play. Either that, or, he is entertaining himself at our expensive. '****s and giggles' I have heard humans say."

    Hermes: "I wouldn't put it past him..."

    Thoth: "The real question is... how did he know where all of the nodes were and... was he alone in his actions?"

    Hermes: "You think another god helped him?"

    Thoth: "Perhaps. And the worst thought is... was it one of our own?"

    They both turn, in thought, towards the pyramid. The sensation of the newly recreated nexus node is like a new-born child. They have the urge to protect it and nurture it. But the ongoing attack on the magic of Earth may well expire the baby node's life.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 12-08-2015 at 01:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    What To Do About Earth?

    Burundi. This desolate, wartorn, miserable, God-forsaken land has been transformed! Into merely a desolate, wartorn, miserable land. God - the heavenly office of Earth's monotheistic deity - has come to dwell in this country, so it technically no longer counts as God-forsaken.

    Archangel Bertwick, a rather raggedy-looking fellow with drooping wings, does his best to exhort the virtues of this place to the other angels, but they are all none too pleased that he chose this place in which to establish Heaven on Earth.

    For that is what this is now: Heaven on Earth, counterpoint to Hell on Earth, aka Canada.

    Jim Seven, formerly the Devil, is now the God of Earth. He has no problem with heaven's relocation to Burundi, because his go-kart track has been finished, and he does nothing but host and run no-holds-barred races. Newly ascended souls of virtuous dead mortals are rather disgruntled to find themselves in Burundi and conscripted into running the track, but they concede that it's much better than the torments of hell.

    Also, the Archangel Samael smuggles in a steady supply of ambrosial nectar from Olympus, which gives the virtuous souls all the pleasure of wine with none of the hangovers.


    Serapharch: And that's another win for His Holiness! Congratulations!

    As the chief lieutenant of Earth's God - a position which he has held for millions of years, ever since the first holder of the divine office was in power - Serapharch has been tasked with announcing the races, and ensuring that no one ever defeats his boss in a race. Not that he has to try very hard for the latter, since Jim is an expert go-karter.

    Archangel Bertwick: Serapharch! Phone call for you!

    The ragged-looking angel is proffering a golden cell phone. Serapharch looks down at the racetrack, where Jim is basking in the adulation and confetti, and shrugs, taking the phone.

    Serapharch: Serapharch speaking.

    Fladnag the White: Hello, Serapharch. This is Fladnag, the Big O's advisor.

    Serapharch: In which capacity are you addressing me?

    Serapharch holds three distinct offices. He is chief lieutenant to the God of Earth of course, but he is also chief lieutenant to the WriterGod (who was once the first God of Earth, but is no longer) AND chief lieutenant to the Nameless: that unknowable supreme deity over all multiverses ever.

    Fladnag the White: I am speaking to you as the WriterGod's chief lieutenant. Please inform him that I would like to schedule a meeting with him.

    Serapharch: To what is this meeting in regard?

    Fladnag the White: ...you had to think very carefully to structure that sentence so that it didn't end with a preposition, didn't you?

    Serapharch: Yes. I knew you'd appreciate it.

    Fladnag the White: I do! Thanks!

    Serapharch: So... the meeting?

    Fladnag the White: Earth's current status. Contract-less and vulnerable.

    -----

    The Marriott Luna - a lavish and luxurious hotel upon Earth's moon, in the primary human colony there - has a large and well-equipped convention center, often used by various bigwigs. Gods have met here before. And now, gods are meeting here again.

    Fladnag the White: Thank you for coming, sir.

    The WriterGod, whose face cannot be clearly seen, waves a hand casually.

    WriterGod: It is no problem, of course. I highly respect your tenure as NeSiversal ruler.

    Fladnag the White: I'm NOT--

    WriterGod: In practice you are, if not in name. Ohgmorkoth delegates his authority completely to you, does he not?

    Fladnag the White: I am but a steward.

    WriterGod: And Ohgmorkoth himself is a steward, until such time as Mega Jonestown returns.

    Fladnag the White: IF it returns-- Wait. Do you know something?

    WriterGod: I know many things. Including the reason you called me here.

    Fladnag lets himself be redirected, knowing better than to push the unassuming deity who may or may not be one and the same as the Nameless supreme deity of all things.

    Fladnag the White: Right. The Earth is no longer warded by the contracts of the first writer in this universe to serve you.

    WriterGod: Its story is self-sustaining now, without need for the Ancient One.

    Fladnag the White: Be that as it may, the Earth is now very vulnerable. Already, its magical field has been severely disrupted, which has caused catastrophic disruptions throughout the NeSiverse. This planet below us is the pattern for the rest of the universe: what happens here affects us all.

    WriterGod: What is it you want from me?

    Fladnag the White: I would like to partner with the Earth, to extend my protection to it, working with you and the Earthers to do so. I assure you that I have no designs on trying to rule it or 'claim' it for myself or the Big O.

    WriterGod: I am no longer the God of Earth. I stepped down from that position 12,000 years ago.

    Fladnag the White: But you are still invested in this world. Its story is the brainchild of your favored Writer, and its people are of your own creation.

    WriterGod: You know that I favor a hands-off approach to these kinds of things.

    Fladnag the White: And I do not ask you to change that policy. Merely to direct me to where my offered alliance will be best received.

    WriterGod: There are four highly influential world leaders to whom you will want to speak. The President of America; the Queen of Britain; the Emperor of Europe; and the Jade Emperor of China.

    Fladnag the White: Thank you, sir. I hope they will be amenable to my offer of Void Rangers loaned out as on-call protectors...

  13. #13
    The space between a mere human and the smallest of infinitely-trivial building blocks of its existence is immense. Stupidly immense. To that building block, a human would be as a god beyond its comprehension, in such that its ability to comprehend would be so small as to be non-existent to the human. The space between a mere human and the farthest reaches of the universes, the multiverse, the infinite sets of multiverses, is equally immense. Stupidly immense. To the human, the infinite sets of infinite pantheons of divine beings are largely beyond its comprehension, in such that its ability to comprehend would be non-existent to such beings. And yet, perhaps the one constant in all of existence is stupidity. The building block, sputtering in its inability to even follow the laws of logic, confounds human scientists in a whole field of quantum mechanics, and humans, arguing over the consistencies of woven lies, boggles the building block. It may, therefore, surprise humans to learn that whole fields among certain divine circles are devoted to understanding humanity, and humans would be equally dumbfounded as to the levels of stupidity gods and goddesses argue among themselves.

    It should be no surprise to anyone, who has the slightest understanding that stupidity is the one constant in all of existence, that the Big O, ruler of all, should also be the Supreme Idiot God, and that his occasional decrees about humanity (spread via his advisor, Flanag), continue to spread misinformation about humans to various divine circles, fueling countless arguments, including one between the god of the concept of "left" and the goddess of socially-awkward penguins, on whether humans have 3 legs or 33 legs.


    Left God: "I'm telling you, humans have 3 legs! It's a stable number and any more wouldn't be evolutionarily sound!"

    Socially-Awkward Penguin Goddess: "The Big O says that humans have 33 legs, and he's the ultimate authority on everything! What you're suggesting is practically treasonous!"

    Left God: "Have you ever seen the Big O? That Flanag guy is the only one who speaks for such a thing. I don't think the Big O even exists."

    Socially-Awkward Penguin Goddess: "Watch what you say! You're not even a 235^32547th-level intellect. I should know -- I'm only thirty points away from 300!"

    Left God: "It's not fair! You have at least 23 infinite sets of multiverses where socially-awkward penguins are the dominant species. I only have 17 infinite sets of multiverses where left even exists."

    Socially-Awkward Penguin Goddess: "Not my fault you decided to specialize in such a singular topic. Do humans even have a left?"

    Left God: "Of course they do! They even worship left sharks!"

    Socially-Awkward Penguin Goddess: "That's just ridiculous. I'm leaving before I'm forced to punch you."

    Left God: "Oh no, you might obliterate a few galaxies out of existence. I'm shaking in my boots."

  14. #14
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Dead Gods

    The Fates: "We have a problem! That lout, Britt the Writer, is killing Characters again! He's already been guiding these no-name background NPCs--"

    Chronos: "NPCs? This isn't a video game you know?"

    The Fates: "Shut up! We're trying to say something important! Uh... what was it again?"

    Chronos: "NPCs..."

    The Fates: "NPCs? Why would we--? OH! Right. He even wrote in a method of wiping out some of the most powerful magic users on Earth."

    Runekeeper:
    "Yes! Damn him and his... terrible, terrible writings!"

    Runekeeper breathes in deeply and looks at everyone with wide, earnest eyes.

    Aeon: "Right... why do we care about magic users on Earth?"

    The Fates: "What's... next? WHO is next?"

    Fladnag: "You think he'll devise some way of killing of deities next?"

    Memnoch snorts.

    Memnoch: "Impossible."

    Fladnag raises an eyebrow.

    Fladnag: "Is it indeed?"

    Memnoch: "We're way too uber to just be killed off like -- oomph!!!!"

    Memnoch jerks and writhes.

    Phractal: "This isn't good..."

    Memnoch falls to the ground, scattering the 'oh-so-important documents' from the discussion table he'd been doodling naked women on. He topples over and lands on the ground. Dead.

    Runekeeper: "DEAD!?"

    Fladnag: "Dead!? Fates!!! You were right!!"

    The Fates:
    "And so unceremoniously too! This is too much! What will we--"

    Oh wait...

    CensorGod: "I'm going to have to censor his corpse, hold on..."

    No no. Don't bother.

    CensorGod: "What? Why?"

    I fluffed my lines. I should have said 'unconscious'. Not dead. Sorry.


    CensorGod: "Whaaaaaaat? How could you--"

    You were all talking about being killed off so I just-- I don't know! I made a mistake, okay!?


    Chronos: "Then what's wrong with him?"

    Bad burrito.

    Memnoch: "Oh wow. I need to find a toilet. Now."

    Memnoch sits bolt upright.

    Fladnag:
    "Eternius... I will never forgive you..."

    Hey, I said sorry didn't I!?

  15. #15
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Titans, Abridged

    Throughout the history of the NeSiverse, and well into its future, sages and scholars have pondered the identity of the being who created the universe, and how said being did so. Some say it was the WriterGod; others say it was the Nameless, that supreme yet unknowable deity who rules all multiverses. Still others whisper that the WriterGod and the Nameless are one and the same.

    But now, at the beginning of the NeSiverse, the newly reborn being calling itself Memnoch knows nothing of the debates this moment will spawn. He perceives the creator as merely a voice.


    Voice: Let there be story.

    Memnoch does not know whose voice this is, nor does he particularly care. Instead, he is enraptured as existence blossoms into, well, existence. And at the Voice's call, strange and great beings come into the newly created multidimensional canvas.

    They are the titans. They build the foundations of stories, and are older than time. Here, at the beginning of the NeSiverse, they do what they have done in many universes before this one: they build and create. They plumb the foundations for all the stories that shall arise in this newly birthed universe.


    Memnoch: They make me... hungry.

    The primal and potent essence of the titans stirs Memnoch's newly born thirst for reality, but even his nascent intellect knows he cannot hope to fight these titans...not yet.

    Then, as the titans' work is complete, time begins, and the god Aeon opens its eyes for the first time. The titans begin to fade, leaving this universe to go to other newborn creations, to continue their eternal work.


    Yannah: Stay.

    Twelve gods and goddesses appear in the newly storied creation - traveled from the future! Well, the future of this newborn time, it's still the far past for the 'current' NeSiversal time period most explored in these stories.

    Mnemosyne: Who stays us?

    Thus does one titan answer for all of them, to this bold newcomer.

    Yannah: We are the twelve God-Monarchs, rulers of Mega Jonestown Prime, and we would have your power for ourselves!

    Mnemosyne: Our great work cannot be abated. Farewell.

    Before the titans can fade away however, the 12 God-Monarchs strike out, anchoring the titans in the NeSiverse. The battle that follows is ferocious and far too complex and amazing for such a lazy writer like Al Ciao the Writer to describe.

    Suffice it to say, the God-Monarchs defeat the titans, and imprison them. They build the galaxies around their foes, using multitudes of stars to create gravitational, quantum, and magical prisons, empowered by the very energy of the stars themselves.

    The mightiest of the titans is imprisoned at the very center of the universe, and requires so many stars and quasars to restrain him that few but the mightiest of deities can survive in the inferno.


    Yannah: Our work here is done. Now the titans' essence will continually feed our universe, creating stories eternally!

    Memnoch: Who are you? Your essence is... vigorous.

    The goddess-monarch Yannah regards Memnoch with a thin smile.

    Yannah: You do not know us yet. But it is your counsel that led us to this course. Till you meet us for the first time.

    And with that, the 12 God-Monarchs vanish back to their contemporaneous time.

  16. #16
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Trijara

    A temple stands atop the lowest mountain of the Tandras. The Tandras are a large cluster of mountains, huddled together and reaching up through the clouds above. At the heart of the Tandras is the lowest peak, a squat mountain far more habitable than the rest. Sheltered from the fierce winds and the freezing snow, the temple is coated in a light blanket of white as the snowstorm atop the higher mountains causes its debris to flutter down to the lower mountaintop. The mountain, and its temple, are known as Kolaji - the temple of Trijara. The temple is made from ice, its walls carved and polished with extreme devotion and respect. The entrance to the temple, compared to its great size, is quite small but the doors are always open. A small path of sticky ice descends from the small door and worms its way through a mountain pass that would-be visitors would have to traverse. Yet those travellers are rare. Very rare. Not from lack of devotion to Trijara, but out of respect they stay away.

    Inside Trijara himself walks slowly across the main hall, his long robes trail along the soft icy surface of the room. His reflection meets his eye when he glances down. The walls inside the hall are adorned with redvine. This plant is permanently coated in a layer of ice, which forms and grows along with the plant's bright red leaves. Gradually the ice will be broken, slightly, by the eventual force of the growing leaf, when it will quickly reform around the new growth. The redvine lives for centuries under this incredibly slow growth cycle. A redvine of just one metre is impressively old. Entire walls of redvine is beyond the comprehension of most sentient mortals.


    Trijara sits himself down, a disk of light appearing beneath him and rising from the floor. He sits cross-legged and waits for the disk to transcend the floor of the hall into the upper rooms, none of which have floors. Here, in a spiral of the temple, he is surrounded by data-moulds. He holds his hand out and a single mould flies from its perch to his outstretched hand. To look at the glowing eight-shape of the data-mould is doing nothing, but the information stored within it is being read by the mind of Trijara.

    Trijara himself stands out against the blue ice of the temple and fits in more with the redvine, his skin being just as red as those leaves. He burns with inner heat, staving off the frost of the deepest winter month. Yet his robes are blue, imitating the icy coat of the redvine plant. The fur of the robe is raised up against his neck and runs down the robe's front to the hem. The pattern on the robe itself is of sketchy mountains, depicting the Tandras outside. The disk continues to transcend the the cylindrical library until it reaches the transparent dome high above. From there he can view the peaks of the Tandras with his own white eyes. But he doesn't look to them. He looks beyond them.

    The sky is deep blue, dark and forever on the verge of darkness during this cold time. But his mind savours the hope of the people of his world. And that hope suddenly spikes as the first green glimmer wafts in the sky as solar winds react with the magnetosphere of the planet. The aurora then, like a spreading fire, engulfs the sky in a beautiful haze of green. The regular phenomena happens during the middle of every winter season, marking the central period through that dark time. The hopes of the people are raised as they know the warmer months of spring are drawing nearer. Trijara takes out a small, thin shaft and slips it between his red lips. He draws on it and a thin plume of pink smoke sails lazily into the air. The match is merely known as a 'stick' and, as well as expanding the mind of the smoker, it creates an inner warmth that makes it a popular tool for the month. Trijara, and many of his people, will smoke a stick in celebration of the coming of the aurora. Now he can continue his introspection in solitude, staying indoors and maintaining his warmth. But even as he resumes his focus on the data-mould he senses an incoming presence. His disk lowers itself towards the hall again, leaving the beauty of the aurora above.

    When he reaches the hall he sees a small man enter his hallowed hall. All of the gods of the planet Indra are roughly three times the height of their people though still built in similar shapes to their mortal creations. The man falls into a kowtow, knocking his forehead upon the ice. This display is an act reserved for Trijara alone, amongst the gods. While other gods may frequently be visited or requested of, Trijara is a god of solitude and it is great disrespect to come into Kolaji, especially during this divine time.

    Trijara: "Rise, priest."

    The priest, as typical for many priests of Indra, wears thick, though also ornate, armour. From his chest rise two golden wings to form the chestplate, shoulder pads and then extend upwards into two crescents to frame his head. His skin is stark white except for the bulbous jelly that protects his skull. From the bulb falls several thin tendrils that are not bound by artful decoration, unlike most others of the species. Instead he wears a headdress that consists of two large cog-like circles on either side of his bulb and rest upon a connection that slips underneath the jelly bulb and the tendrils to support both the neck and both cogs. Hovering, via a magnetic attraction, to the right cog is a miniature data-mould. It isn't as large as the one Trijara has, but because it is permanently stationed beside the priest's head it would be constantly attuned to the man's brainwaves; meaning he was forever half in his data-mould and half in the real world of Indra.

    Because of the harsh winter the priest is wearing a thick robe over his armour, heavy and black with equally black fur-lining. Yet, standing now, before Trijara the priest would be able to feel the inner warmth of the god radiating through the hall. The priest uses his staff as support when standing. He is tired from his long journey.

    Trijara: "You are a priest of Jitarayara?"

    The cog motif gives it away, knowledge you don't need to be a god to know. The priest nods energetically but frantically.

    Priest: "I am Kara Pashna, dear Trijara."

    A kara of the priesthood. Trijara hasn't seen a kara for over a decade. Karas are a very high rank amongst the priesthood. Light orbs suddenly fill the hall, falling from the library and summoned by Trijara. They're commonly found all across Indra, thin shells filled with hundreds of illuminated insects that live their incredibly short lives within their own little microcosm. A small wonder of nature, to be sure, but also a convenient method of shedding light upon a darkened space. The priest's pale, white face glows in the yellow light of the orbs.

    Trijara: "You should relate your tale, Kara Pashna. Then we shall decide if it was worth your intrusion..."

  17. #17
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Indigo Shade

    The lone figure watches silently, eyes forever cast towards the Great Pyramid of Giza. Despite the scorching heat of the day, the man wears thick-set black robes and a heavier still cloak over his shoulders with the hood drawn up. Unlike his clothes, his complexion, at least, seems to fit with the Egyptian locals.

    Of the locals and tourists, none seemed to pay him any attention save for one curious young woman who, like him, was dressed very unseasonably. All she'd wanted to know was what he was doing. He answered her plainly. He was watching. Apparently satisfied with such a vague response, the woman wearing what looked like an over-sized British red coat went on her way.

    What he hadn't told her was why he had to watch. He was nurturing, tending, weeding, watering with his extended being in the aether. The magical node for the nexus needs to be pruned and looked after so that it will grow up strong and correctly. If left to grow wild, it could cause adverse affects that nobody on planet Earth would appreciate. Despite his work, the node always felt... wrong. A small flaw in the aethereal make-up, a tiny numerical error that sent the entire code down the incorrect path. Every time he fixed the issue, the node began to slide back again. Like something was altering the node, whether purposefully or incidentally.


    While Thoth wondered if the strange soulless woman he had met had something to do with the out-of-balance node, the disturbance in the aether begins to grow ever stronger. He decides to relinquish his control of the aethereal nexus node just enough to attempt to determine what the foreign entity is...

    As he allows his grasp to loosen he feels the opposing force exponentially increase, as though sensing his diminished power and taking advantage of the lapse. He is curious about this sensation. It feels as though the aether is being taken away, evaporated - much like the anti-magic explosions caused by the Trans-Terra-Terrorists that caused this mess in the first place. Yet this power is growing, rather than maintaining at the steady rate a device would create. Then, suddenly, the pyramid begins to shudder. Unusual is the only word Thoth can come up with before the pyramid starts to crumble to rubble. Bricks are being pulled inwards to a central point inside the pyramid itself.


    Then the outer wall topples. The Egyptians and tourists start screaming, running and hiding. Except one young soulless woman who comes running up to Thoth waving her arms about animatedly. He ignores her though. He has to reaffirm his control of the aether before the entire node gets sucked into the tiny black hole sitting at the centre of the pyramid's remains.

    Gravity. The strongest force in the universe and yet also paradoxically the weakest. Either way, a black hole of this size is easily eating all matter and energy like a sink hole. Matter, light, heat, aether, all going down the same drain. But Thoth is a god and being a god has its perks.


    He suspends the aether in place, creating a cordon around the black hole that stops the rest of the flowing magical energy from passing through this magical membrane.

    Winters: "Why did you let this happen!? You're a terrible god, you know that?"

    The woman pouts up at him, hands on her hips in impotent anger. Thoth mentally shrugs in answer to her. Curiosity.

    He notices that the black hole then shrinks down to nothing and vanishes from the universe, all matter and energy gone with it. Evidently something created and controlled it and that someone then rises from the ruins of the ancient structure. A small humanoid figure flying in the air.


    Thoth feels her presence reach out towards him and detect his power and control of the aether. He then feels her sudden resurfacing rage. He is able to respond to her aggression faster than she can act. Propelled like a cannonball her body surges at him, but he shifts the aethereal membrane to stand in her path, protecting him, and the robot woman, from a sudden crash of gravitational energy. The woman's unusual, and perfectly alien, sword has embedded itself deep into the magical barrier. Such a force surprises even Thoth, prompting a solitary eyebrow raise.

    Winters, completely unperturbed by the terrifying display of power, points an accusatory finger at the stranger.


    Winters: "Oi! Stop making a mess, ye sod!"

    The woman looks from Winters to Thoth and then, gracefully, settles onto the sand. She's stands several heads taller than the average human and from the top of her forehead protrude two black horns that circle around to face forward. From the bottom of her spine comes the extension of a thin, black tail with a small fork at its tip. Her tail sways back and forth, revealing her subconscious discomfort despite her well-practised outer manner.

    Woman:
    "You're not who I expected."

    Thoth: "I imagined so."

    She has a stark white headdress around her forehead that seems to Thoth to resemble an unusual crown, yet it has two elongated extensions that stand taller than her head like winged horns in the reverse direction of her own horns. The material of the headdress also interests him as it appears like white metal, yet seems to perspire as though it is incredibly cold. A white, wet metal. Her figure verges on being what a human might consider the "perfect fantasy figure" though perhaps too skinny. Evidently all her power stems from the outward manipulated force and not from her physical proportions.

    She points to the weapon lodged in the invisible wall.


    Woman: "Can I have that back?"

    Thoth: "That depends on what you plan to do with it. Earth has a great many enemies right now, I don't think she could take another..."

    The woman scoffs.

    Woman: "Earth!?"

    She spits the word.

    Woman: "Of course he stranded me on this backwater planet."

    While Winters pouts and starts a tirade of Earth's accomplishments at the alien woman, Thoth just smiles to himself. Earth. Forever underestimated. He looks at the weapon. Shaped like a claymore, a long blade with a forward-facing guard, elongated hilt and a big spherical pommel. Yet the weapon is not made of any metal Thoth is familiar with. Rather it seems to be made of unpolished crystal, its blade very jagged and angry-looking. Even the hilt, guard and pommel are made of the very same material, all coloured indigo with messy light-and-dark patches throughout it. He pushes the sword from the wall, the aether wriggling it out. It falls. She doesn't seem to have extra-special reflexes to catch the blade. She doesn't need them. The sword stops in mid-air and floats towards her hand. Thoth detects the manipulation of gravity around the object.

    Possibly made of the same material as the sword, indigo crystals adorn her hair, hanging from white metal strands. One set drapes across her forehead, beneath the headdress, colouring her otherwise very tanned skin. Her hair itself is pitch black and naturally curly. She wears it tied up into a top-knot that then cascades down in a wall of curly, dark hair that only teeters when it reaches the small of her back. Thoth guess it would reach the floor if it were unbound.


    Woman: "I don't suppose Earth has a spaceport yet?"

    Winters: "You're going to just leave!? What about paying for the damage you did!"

    Winters thrusts her hand towards the collapsed pyramid of Giza, the sleeve of her red coat throwing out beyond her hand and hiding it. The woman glances back.

    Woman: "You mean my prison?"

    Winters, completely oblivious, makes a rebuttal;


    Winters: "I mean our pyramid!"

    Thoth: "Speaking on behalf of the human species now, mechanoid?"

    Winters looks embarrassed.

    Winters: "Well I-- I--"

    Woman: "Mechanoid? A robot? Perhaps Earth has overcome its limitations at last?"

    Thoth: "Perhaps not to your standards. There is no spaceport, though I imagine for one as resourceful as yourself it would be a small matter to get yourself transportation back to whatever oppressor trapped you here."

    Winters: "You want to let her go? She's a criminal! Put in jail for something evil, I bet!"

    Thoth looks at the woman expectantly. She seems to consider how much information to divulge before relenting.

    Woman: "They call me the Indigo Shade. I was imprisoned here by a tyrant of an empire spanning space-and-time. Far away from this world. I tried to overthrow him with my fellow Shades. I was defeated. And trapped here."

    Thoth: "A very merciful tyrant to let you live..."

    Indigo Shade: "I would have preferred death."

    Thoth: "Trapped in a pyramid for over a thousand years... yes, I imagine you would. It's strange that I never knew of your existence despite being a god of this land. Perhaps your burial here pre-dates even the pyramid..."

    Both Winters and Indigo Shade watch Thoth as he seems to drift off into contemplation. Indigo Shade frowns and looks to Winters.

    Indigo Shade: "He do that often?"

    Winters nods.

    Winters: "He's been standing here for days just staring at the pyramid. I thought he was a ninja-spy but he says he just likes to watch... which sounds really creepy now that I say it!"

    She turns and smacks Thoth's arm, jolting him back to the physical world.

    Winters:
    "Stop being a creeper!"

    He has no idea what she means but he's beginning to wonder where her owner is and why she's allowed to run around annoying people. Indigo Shade takes a step back.

    Indigo Shade: "Sorry I destroyed your pyramid. And tried to slay you."

    Thoth: "I'm sorry I never released you from your prison sooner."

    She lifts off of the ground, her sword floats in the air beside her. Her long, white cape flutters gently in the wind as she rises. Then, in the blink of an eye and a sonic boom that made Winters throw herself to the ground like she is in an air raid, Indigo Shade blasts off of the Earth towards space.

    Thoth looks down at the robo-woman.

    Thoth: "Your owner must be missing you."

    She looks up at him from the sand.


    Winters: "I'm missing him actually! He ran off and didn't come back. I'm just waiting... and waiting for him to return..."

    She rolls up into a heated lotus position.

    Thoth: "Well... watching humans deal with this mess should be an interesting way to pass the time..."

    She turns and, still sat down, watches the authorities of Egypt start investigating the wreckage.

  18. #18
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Jitarayara

    Kajadat is a monstrous city, epic in proportions and teeming with citizens. However this metropolis is not home to the biological natives of Indra, instead it is a city of the automata. They march through the wide streets, shuffling their marble-hewn feet step-by-step. They don't stop until they reach their objective and begin their work. They march in silence. Speech isn't necessary when your minds are constantly connected to a mechanical hub, sending messages and information in an instant to any automata within range. The further from the central hub, the more pylons were needed to extend its amplification.

    At the dead centre of the metropolis lurks a hexagonal building, squat by comparison to the other buildings, but it is far more broad than most. At its central point is a tall pike and at its tip is another automata, permanently placed skyward. It watches the roads surrounding the hexagonal complex known as The Kiri an when it sights the Indran, riding atop of a mechanical elephant, the signaller sends a shock of static down the pike.

    Inside the static ignites a flame that burns green. As it burns, a sphere placed within the fire pit begins to glow. When it glows it hums with a deep, pounding rhythm. The beat blows through The Kiri and alerts the god of technology, Jitarayara, that someone approaches. This is not an unusual occurrence. Many come to the city of Kajadat to seek his blessed works. Fewer leave with them.

    Jitarayara makes a gesture towards a panel on the wall. There is a hissing sound as vents begin to recycle the air, pumping in fresh oxygen with a slight perfumed fragrance. This should make the incoming Indran more comfortable. Jitarayara looks down from his position atop of the great marble throne. Down below is his office and his office workers. The automata are placed in rows, standing on podiums rather than legs, and they navigate through their work scenarios tirelessly. Most of the hundred rows on the right were dealing with information gathering, data compilation, fact checking, and taking incoming alerts, news or messages. The rows of tables to the left are constructing specially ordered products, objects that have been paid for in exorbitant amounts or are being given to those Jitarayara looks favourably upon.

    The doors at the end of the room swing open with loud grinding sounds as the automatic hinges pull them backwards. There, dwarfed by the immense doors, is Kara Pashna. Jitarayara beckons in his priest.

    Compared to the sentient biological beings of this world, Jitarayara is quite a different specimen. He is shaped like a block, square shoulders, squared-headed and square-footed. He has four arms extending from his torso and two more arms that protrude from his back and reach over his head, much longer than his other arms. Each hand has ten fingers that constantly wiggle, eager and hungry for a task. His lower hands now grip the edge of the marble throne as he peers down at his kara.


    Kara Pashna:
    "My Lord..."

    He bows his head in deference, his arms pinned at his sides and his back rigid.


    Jitarayara: "Speak."

    The god's voice sounds like there are three or four people talking all at once, each voice unique and seemingly of several different languages. He only speaks in statements or demands, never in requests.

    Kara Pashna:
    "Trijara has agreed to investigate the claim, My Lord. When he has completed his studies, he will report his findings to you, and other gods, personally."

    Jitarayara: "Waiting for Trijara to finish studying is like waiting for the moons to grow clay."

    Kara Pashna was about to proclaim that clay didn't grow, but then he realises that was his god's point. He has nothing else to report and knows not what he ought to say to help his lord. Fortunately the god sees fit to remark first.

    Jitarayara: "It was a Litik of Kamal that first presented the vision... Go and visit Kamal to see if there have been further developments. Remain there until you hear news."

    The god whistles, a deafening whistle with several voices chiming in, and from somewhere behind him a clay bird flops onto his shoulder. It coos at him.

    Jitarayara: "This is Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon. When you hear news, report it to him and he will report it to me."

    The clay-made pidgeon flaps its heavy wings, which are actually made of wood, to flutter over to the head of Kara Pashna. It looks down at him with its little pebble-eyes.

    Kara Pashna: "How... how will the pidgeon-creature report my message, My Lord?"

    The pidgeon opens its clay beak and from a block grate inside the mouth, Kara Pashna's own voice blares out.

    Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon: "How... how will the pidgeon-creature report my message, My Lord?"

    Kara Pashna: "Ah..."

    Jitarayara: "Go now. To Kamal's side. This vision is serious enough that no minute must be wasted."

    Kara Pashna bows his head quickly towards his god, but forgot the clay-bird. Bernard falls to the floor with a clunk and pitiful coo. Kara Pashna quckly gathered up the bird, who appears none-the-worse for his little tumble. They leave together, bound for the mechanical elephant and the god Kamal.
    Last edited by TheBritt; 04-09-2016 at 02:39 PM.

  19. #19
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Kamal: Pt 1

    The great city of Penumbra lurks within a wide valley and bathes in a long spring sun. The city is usually clouded by mist from its many waterfalls, which topple down into the valley's lakes and traverses along its long, broad river. Rainbows are a common occurrence in the mist as sunlight slips through the water droplets. The buildings are sleek and rounded, allowing water to slip from its surfaces to the river. Lights, even in the day, are used to illuminate city features in unusual colours or create erratic light-shows to attract attention to businesses. Music plays all across the walkways and streets, while the transport vehicles hover along their tracks to predestined destinations. Nobody seems to be in a hurry in this city as they go about their daily routines.

    Above the city floats the upper level of the city itself. Suspended on large discs with a dome underneath, creating the anti-gravity effect, this upper level is mostly reserved for public-functioning buildings and not residential zones. One of the grandest buildings amongst them is the Temple of Kamal, which entirely occupies its own disc where a gigantic garden sprawls around the temple itself. While most discs have turbo-lifts to carry citizens up to from the residential zones below, the Temple of Kamal is only accessible by ferry. The ferries cruise up to the temple's dock and unloads its passengers every ten minutes. The ferries sails swivel gently as the ship turns, constantly keeping track of the sun for its energy.

    However today is a special day. Today is Indra Hour.


    The last ferry drops Kara Pashna onto the dock and he makes his way, with the other multitudes of people, onto the garden. He steps into one of the ponds, appreciating the cool water over his weary feet. Being a Kara for Jitarayara has been proving more difficult than he'd ever expected it to when he first accepted the position last year. He supposes he shouldn't be at all surprised since Jitarayara is a god representing hard work, but recent events are likely the cause for all of this additional legwork. Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon hoots from his shoulder as his mechanical head swivels around to look at all of the people. Most of them are wearing thick goggles of darkened glass and looking up at the sun as it hands in the sky. It's a bright red dwarf that hangs so close to the planet that it takes up a large portion of the sky. Now, however, the world would lose its majestic sun...

    From the horizon rises the planet Brethrain, around which Indra is actually a satellite. Somewhere in pre-life history the planet Indra found itself caught in the gravity of Brethrain and orbits the gas giant instead of the red dwarf of the system. This allows the planet Indra one big advantage - it isn't tidal locked to the star and gains its own rotation thanks to its parent world. Brethrain often eclipses the sun, this isn't unusual. The gas giant is massive and very close to Indra, however today is a special day - the lights go out.

    As Brethrain makes its almighty ascent, it slowly blocks out the sun. The bright lights of the city stave off the ensuing darkness until, finally, the sun is behind the planet, casting a red corona of the sun's light, mixed with the yellow gases of the giant. Then the city's lights blink out and everyone is left to gaze up at the brilliant ring of their solar system. A red ring that symbolises life and eternity to the people of Indra and this day, this moment, is a time for all Indrans to reflect on their place in the cosmos. Unlike those around him, Kara Pashna knows of the predictions made by the Litik of Kamal. His reflections are not of smallness, of hope, of eternity, of the future, of his family or of his people - instead they are of the land he stands upon. This great world of sentient life may well be gone, him along with it. He feels an emptiness welling within him, a dark ounce of depression angrily pulsing in the pit of his soul - but he refuses to let it lose. If he did, he would be lost for eternity - or at least the remainder of the planet's days.


    He feels a hand slip into his own. The clammy skin of the stranger's white skin is soothing on his own. His mind is connected to the minds of all those using their data-moulds, experiencing their collective feelings and hopes on the phenomenon, but this physical connection is sudden and welcome. It helps him fix his being in the planet. As Brethrain finally begins to slip across the sky, the sun's red glow bathes the Indran people in its gentle warmth again. He feels a sense of satisfaction from the thrill of warmth but also a sense of nostalgia - he remembers the same sensation from every year before. But this, if there is another year for Indra Day, he would always remember most prominently.

    He tugs the goggles from his face, snapping the band easily so that they came off without a fuss. He then turns to look, with fresh eyes in the newly lit up city, upon the man holding his hand. A Litik. His eyes are white, like the eyes of many gods. There is only the faint hint of a pupil, which lurks in the wet white of his eyes, only seen because it is a slightly darker shade of white than the rest of his eye. Pashna's own eyes are pink with a blue iris and his black pupil. The difference in a Litik's eyes has always made Pashna uncomfortable - the eyes of gods.


    Kara Pashna: "I suppose you know why I'm here?"

    The man nods and gives a gentle tug at Pashna's hand to urge the Kara to follow him towards the temple. As they make their way through the crowd, lights are restored to the city and the temple is suddenly coloured with bright orange rays that bounce off of its smooth walls.

    Litik Map:
    "I'm Litik Map, by the way. It's a pleasure to meet you finally."

    Kara Pashna: "Please don't tell me how long you've watched me for. It always makes me uncomfortable."

    Litik Map grins with a small laugh, his eyes widening and brightening with glee.

    Litik Map: "I'll try, but honestly we Litik tend to like dealing out that info for that very reason."

    Kara Pashna: "I can imagine you all standing around the Litik water-cooler getting a good chuckle..."

    Litik Map: "A Kara of Jitarayara talks about water-coolers, how stereotypical of you."

    Kara Pashna: "I expect you'd know if I'm really a stereotype better than I do..."

    Map smiles, sweetly this time.


    Litik Map:
    "You are a bit. But in a nice way. Everything good about the stereotype."

    While a Kara typically wears ceremonial armour, built to look pretty rather than function, the tight body-armour of a Litik is meant for purpose. The armour that Pashna wears is based upon ancient armours of wars past, while Map's is the armour of a modern warrior that needs to be protected. Over this tight body armour he wears a very simple, open, kimono of white with a solitary streak of red at its hem.

    Litik Map:
    "Do you like our fair city, Pashna?"

    Pashna tries to cover the jolt at his name coming from a man he never told it to. It feels like a violation. He manages to shrug and give a non-committal smile.

    Kara Pashna: "It's pretty, I suppose. The water is pleasant. But shouldn't you already know my opinions on it?"

    Litik Map: "You've met several Litik's in your life, Pashna. Have any of them ever known your feelings?"

    Pashna thinks back and concedes;

    Kara Pashna: "I suppose not... strange."

    Litik Map: "We can't sense your feelings, or hidden emotions and thoughts. That's what those gaudy data-moulds are for."

    He gives Pashna a sly smirk and Pashna shakes is head in amusement at the petty slight.

    Litik Map: "We see events and people from an outside perspective. It's like I've been a ghost at your side for many years. I do enjoy your company, I hope you'll come to enjoy mine!"

    Kara Pashna: "Honestly, I think it'll be hard to enjoy much of anything considering the circumstances..."

    They fall silent in mutual apprehension as they pass through the arch leading inside the temple. There is no roof to the walls, allowing the red glow to bathe the interior. They walk over tiny shards of skyglass with their bare feet and Pashna loves the sensation of the cold gems against his bare feet. When they approach the end of the corridor, and the domain of Kamal, he regrets that he has to dust off his soles and but his boots back on.

    Before he rises to his feet, the younger man holds out both hands to help the Kara up. Pashna grins and welcomes the aid.

    Kara Pashna: "I don't suppose it was you that experienced the vision, Map?"

    Litik Map: "No, no, no, no! And I'm glad for it! I'd be super depressed if I had..."

    Kara Pashna: "I... I suppose anyone would. Who is the poor Litik that did see it?"

    Litik Map: "I expect you're going to meet him now..."

    They walk through the subsequent arch and they are standing in a room with a marble floor, bordered by a wide moat of water. They march, albeit slowly, down the bridge of marble until they reach the others standing and waiting for them. They're all Litiks. Pashna cranes his neck to look up at the god Kamal...

  20. #20
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    Ubar's Founding

    Circa 10,000 B.C.

    In a parched desert, nomadic Bedouins are drowning in the fiercest sandstorm in memory. These simple folk are not aware of Atlantis's cataclysmic fall, but they are affected just the same, for the force of that great city's destruction is affecting weather and seismic patterns all over the Earth, including the begetting of this ferocious sandstorm.

    One tribe of Bedouins in particular is struggling, unable to escape the storm or to find shelter. Their homes are torn asunder, their bodies tossed around, and it seems that hope for them is lost.


    Shinzallar: ENOUGH.

    A vortex opens in the sandstorm, funneling the flying grit away and creating an eye in the midst of the torrential sands. The awed Bedouins see a figure floating down from the sky. He has a pointed black beard, beady dark eyes, gold hoop-earrings, and a jeweled turban. His robe is a dark violet that almost appears black, covered in golden and silver mystical sigils. Rings adorn his fingers, and bracelets his arms.

    Bedouin #1: The gods themselves have saved us!

    Bedouin #2: Praise to the gods!

    The Bedouins bow down, grateful beyond measure, as Shinzallar alights upon the sand. He frowns in contemplation.

    Shinzallar: This worship could be useful. Hear me, peasants! I am Shinzallar, a supreme sorcerer of Atlantis, come to bring civilization to your primitive wastes.

    Shinzallar's words are half-truths. He was until recently the Prime NeSorcerer Magistarr's strongest apprentice, before he and his fellow 8 apprentices escaped that city's destruction. Cast to the four winds and the seven seas, they obey their master's last dictum: guide the new paradigm of magic, now that the Atlantean ultranexus is fractured into many shards.

    Bedouin #1: All hail holy Shinzallar and his most edifying words!

    Other Bedouins: All hail holy Shinzallar!

    Shinzallar's lips curve into a smile.

    Under his direction, and no small amount of magical effort - his innate potential enables him to enact many impressive feats despite the current wild state of magic - a great city is constructed. Growth flowers into an oasis as wells bubble up from far beneath the earth, called by spellwork. The Bedouins are taught the arts of 'civilization' by their ruler, who declares himself divine sultan.


    Shinzallar: I name this the second Atlantis, the Atlantis of the Sands - Ubar! Atlantis stood for ten million years - Ubar shall stand for ten million times ten million years!

    Bedouins: Long live Ubar! Long live Shinzallar!

    Shinzallar finds magically adept pupils among his people - a population which grows daily, as Bedouins flock to the protective shelter of his great city - and doles out the mystical secrets he knows. He treats them more as his personal slaves and ritual assistants rather than true pupils, yet in his way he continues the tradition of magic, for his apprentices do learn much.

    Shinzallar: You! Boy! That rune is misaligned!

    The lad, one of his apprentices, winces as Shinzallar reprimands him, and smudges out the misdrawn line for correction. They are embarking on the sultan's greatest ritual yet: the attempted creation of a new ultranexus, so that Ubar may truly become the new Atlantis.

    Boy: Apologies, great lord. It is corrected.

    Shinzallar: About time. Now then, all of you, chant the words exactly as I have taught you - mind your rhythm and cadence!

    Powerful energies coalesce and ripple around them as Shinzallar stands at the middle of it, wrestling with the wild magic of the Earth. But it's not just the new wildness of terran magic that resists him - there is some other force that denies him, and with a terrible lashback of power, an explosion booms in the heart of Shinzallar's sanctum. Several of his apprentices die instantly, but the sultan is more concerned about the burning out of several of his talismans, which he wears as jewelries.

    Shinzallar: What could have gone wrong? What force resists me?

    Boy: Great lord... several of us are dead. More are wounded.

    Shinzallar: Silence! Weighty matters occupy my mind.

    [I]The boy considers human life to be a weightier matter than any mystic ritual, but knows his master does not agree. He tends to his fellows himself, and sets on the path to becoming one of the greatest magical healers in Ubar's history.[/b]

    Shinzallar: The Towered Circle of Hedrons, that must be it. The Twelve and One Pillars of the WriterGod's temple - they still exist! Lost in a plothole, or scattered across the cosmos, I know not - but their very continued existence prevents the formation of a new ultranexus. I must create my own Towers, and a Great Centrifuge to power them - these shall be the Pillars of Iram and Ubar!

    He orders slave crews to construct great obelisks, which he has his apprentices carve and etch with sigils and runes of great power. Meanwhile, he creates a construct, a henge of great complexity, to be his Mystic Centrifuge.

    Boy: Great lord? The Pillars are complete. Etched and erected.

    Shinzallar: Excellent.

    The sorcerous sultan is unaware that the populace of Ubar has increasingly grown dissatisfied with their uncaring and aloof ruler, and in fact his healing-minded apprentice is far more popular, as he constantly spends his free time honing his abilities by tending the sick and wounded, free of charge.

    Shinzallar: Activate the Centrifuge!

    Crews of slaves pull massive levers, as the henge shudders into life, discharging glowing energies. A vortex of magic whips around the center of the henge. The centrifugal forces within it are so great, that reality itself tears within the henge's center, revealing another, adjacent reality beneath - thus creating a portal!

    Brilliant fire and light billows within the henge, and Shinzallar's eyes shine as he sees his scheme come to fruition.


    Shinzallar: Excellent! Keep those levers cocked, lads!

    Around him, the crews of slaves are struggling to keep the gigantic levers from snapping back into OFF position, the shuddering forces generated by the henge trying to settle into calmness again.

    Shinzallar: Come forth, O spirits! I lay claim to thee and thy cosmic chaos!

    Spirits do indeed come forth, humanoids. They are taller than men, at 7 feet, and have sharp talons for fingernails and toenails. Their black gristly hair is in topknots, and their skin is colored in a rainbow of various shades: red, blue, yellow, green, lavender, white, and black. They are naked but androgynous. Rich jewelry clads their forms.

    Chaotic Spirit: We have heard thy call, mortal, and are glad to enter another world, one in which our creations and patternings will be sustained, rather than ripple away instantly back into the chaotic cauldron that is our cosmos.

    Shinzallar: Ah, but you shall create and pattern according to my commands, funneling those chaotic energies towards my cause. See! You are imprisoned with my henge, and cannot exit but that I consent.

    Chaotic Spirit: We will not submit to chains forever. You may bind us, but only for three patternings each. Then we loose our chains and return to our burning home.

    Thus, djinni come to the earthly realm, each bound to a talisman, each granting its master three wishes, and three wishes only. Shinzallar spends the rest of his life summoning djinn after djinn, burning through each one's wishes to energize spells of phenomenal power, all in the effort to stabilize a new ultranexus.

    It is centuries later now, and Shinzallar is aging. He had mastered the immortality rituals before Atlantis's fall, but with the fracturing of the Atlantean ultranexus and the subsequent wildering of the ley lines, his immortality is 'merely' abnormally long life.


    Shinzallar: Curse the faithless djinni. A hundred thousand djinni, thrice a hundred thousand wishes, and still I cannot create an ultranexus. But I must! I must, I must, I must be the NeSorcerer. I am the NeSorcerer, for who else could it be? None else of Magistarr's pupils were as great or crafty as I, it must be me!

    Boy: Great lord, come away. The Pillars of Iram are a great nexus of power. Through your efforts, you have helped to stabilize magic upon the Earth, so that it reliably answers to our spells, even if not as powerfully as they did in the stories you tell us of your ancestral home.

    The 'boy' is an old man now as well, yet has maintained a youthful vigor and freshness of expression throughout his life. He is Ubar's greatest healer and most beloved figure, and long ago ascended to the position of Shinzallar's grand vizier, and has spent the last several centuries effectively ruling in his master's place, as the sorcerous sultan descended more and more into his mad obsession.

    Shinzallar: Leave me be, boy! Unless you bring me another faithless djinn, and save me the trouble of hobbling to the henge.

    The 'boy' sighs. He can put this off no longer.

    Boy: I'm sorry, great lord. But you need healing.

    Shinzallar: What? How dare you put your hands on me--

    The 'boy' channels soothing magicks over the sultan, who lapses into a slumber. Shinzallar sleeps for fourteen days and fourteen nights, and awakes a different person. No longer obsessed, he becomes kinder and less capricious.

    Shinzallar rules for 99 more years before at last succumbing to old age, and is beloved by the time of his death, and the 'boy' takes his place as the new sultan of Ubar, the Atlantis of the Sands...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 06-26-2016 at 11:25 AM.

  21. #21
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    Forgotten Gods

    Two billion years ago.

    The moon Indra orbits a gas giant, which itself orbits a young yellow sun. The same gods rule then, over a species not as evolved - the same gods, plus one other.

    The largest volcano on Indra serves as the home of Kavili, goddess of the forge. With six arms, she wields hammers and tongs, and labors day and night at her divine smithy. Smiths stand next to her, learning from her. She does not teach, yet her pupils learn from observing.

    She crafts wonder after wonder - life, emotions, stars, talismans - yet casts them all aside, each becoming their own legend, but she cares not for them.


    Kavili: The greatest work of the cosmos must be mine! Only my forge shall make it!

    But gods all over the NeSiverse are laboring to create great wonders, to create a world and a species to be chosen by the Twelve God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime. This contest was announced billions of years ago, and Kavili only has not quite two billion years left to submit an entry.

    But she must create a prize that will win over all the others. A feat that seems ever more impossible with each passing day. Particularly once major cosmic gods - like Aeon, Three Fates, Runekeeper, Memnoch, Big O, and Phractal - entered the fray.

    Finally, Kavili growls and tosses her hammers aside. The smiths around her look up in consternation and shock, for the smith-goddess of Indra has never ceased her work before.


    Kavili: No forge this planet possesses is capable of what I wish to create.

    She looks up towards the sky, and her divine vision pierces the heavens, gazing through unimaginable light-years to see the inferno at the very center of the NeSiverse.

    Kavili: There.

    She takes up her hammers and tongs again, and begins crafting her mightiest and greatest work yet. A spacecraft emerges from the framework she constructs, made of brass and bronze and gold and other exotic elements native to Indra, infused with the divine spark of a goddess. Not just any spacecraft, but one capable of surviving the deadly inferno at the center of the NeSiverse.

    Kavili: It is done.

    A million years have passed, and Kavili's spacecraft is complete. The fires of her forge cool, and she enters the spacecraft. Her blast-off from Indra turns her volcano into a smoking crater - a small ocean filling it two billion years later, its origin and the goddess who once lived there forgotten by all except the other gods of Indra - as she hurtles through space into the center of the NeSiverse itself.

    Kavili: The heat! The fire! The energy! It is GLORIOUS! But... it burns!

    Through the slowly melting shell of her spacecraft, her divine skin blisters. Even her greatest work cannot long survive this inferno. She grits her teeth and picks up her hammers and tongs.

    Kavili: Though it kills me, I WILL create a work greater than all the other gods of the NeSiverse!

    But before she can craft the masterwork that will be her pyre, a great hand reaches through the fire and grabs her spacecraft, pulling her through the inferno and into a sphere of relative calm - the eye at the center of the NeSiverse!

    A gigantic creature, incomprehensible to mortal vision, and only barely so to Kavili's divine sight, loomed over the spacecraft it had just snatched from death.


    Kronos: Ho there, little godling.

    Kavili: I'm billions of years old! Hardly a godling.

    The creature's chuckle is a massive quaking rumble.

    Kronos: I am older than time, and all the many universes before it.

    Kavili frowns in confusion.

    Kavili: Who are you? What are you?

    Kronos: I am called Kronos.

    Kavili: That Earth deity that Aeon is always kvetching about?

    Kronos:I know not of Earth, but I built Aeon's cradle. I do not rule time, but merely create it, and move onto other voids, there to build as well.

    Kavili: You're a titan??? I thought you were mythical.

    She is in awe, for the titans are the greatest creators and forgers in nearly every universe.

    Kavili: But what are you still doing here? This universe is billions of years old already!

    Kronos: By treachery, we were trapped here, and chained, our power funneled to serve the God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime.

    Kavili bristles with anger at the God-Monarchs at this revelation, and all ambition of pleasing them with a masterwork flees from her heart.

    Kavili: How do I free you?

    Kronos: You cannot, little godling. Even we titans cannot free ourselves. But you can help achieve something I value more than freedom.

    Kavili understands.

    Kavili: Create.

    Kronos nods.

    Kronos: All my creativity withers in this cage, my powers funneled away. You can help me channel my impulses into new cosms.

    And so Kavili aids the lord of all titans. Her spacecraft is strengthened and tempered further with Kronos' skill, able to contain an entire universe within it... and that's just what the titan and god fill it with.

    Kronos: Ahhh, long have my creative energies yearned to be purposed again...

    Billions of years of creative energies, bottled up inside the mightiest of titans, pour out into the spacecraft, creating a universe that is nothing more than a churning cauldron of infinite chaotic energy. It explodes outward within the infinite space contained within the spacecraft - *cough*TARDISripoff*cough* - and yet still is not diminished.

    A entire universe that is a churning cauldron of chaos - infinite energy, infinite potential. Life forms even within this blazing inferno - which is hotter by far than the inferno of stars and galaxies and quasars at the center of the NeSiverse - chaotic spirits, djinni, who are almost like pseudo-titans, in that they joy in creation, creating any event or object or idea they so desire.

    But chaos is absolute in this realm, and so the djinni's works constantly collapse as soon as they are made. Only when Shinzallar the Sultan of Ubar pioneers the art of summoning them, do the djinni get to experience the pleasure of creating something lasting.

    At this time, however, Kronos and Kavili regard their shared creation with pride.


    Kavili: Pleased am I to have aided you in this work, Kronos.

    Kronos: Pleased am I to have created once more. Now, I would bid thee... Take this construct out into the Deep Void...find it a place where it may flourish. These chaotic spirits within...maybe someday, a trillion trillion ages hence, they may grow into titans, and start the cycle of cosmic creation once again.

    Kavili: So that even if the titans are never freed, their task will not go undone.

    And so the forgotten god of Indra leaves the lord of the forgotten titans, flying into the black unknown of the Deep Void...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 03-24-2016 at 04:25 PM.

  22. #22
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    Archfiends

    Memnoch floats in the void over a planet far removed from the Milky Way galaxy. A small smile strains his lips as he watches the tumult below. The populace has been steadily led deeper and deeper into corruption. Soon, he will enact his global sanction, and Tartarus will swell with a billion more damned souls.

    High Imp: Admiring your handiwork?

    Memnoch's small smile does not falter, and his demeanor gives no hint of his shock that he has been sneaked up on.

    Memnoch: A masterful corruption, on a planetary scale, is worth my admiration, irregardless of whose handiwork it may or may not be.

    It is understood by the two that Memnoch would never admit to his role in swelling his own domains. It is also understood by them that High Imp knows full well of Memnoch's culpability, and likewise does not care.

    High Imp: Would such a corruptive master defy the WriterGod?

    Memnoch looks sharply at High Imp.

    Memnoch: Few there are who defy him.

    High Imp: Fladnag the White assigned twelve Void Rangers to Earth. Except he didn't. He assigned ten.

    Memnoch: What is your game, beast?

    High Imp: If I told you that, the game would be much less interesting.

    Memnoch barks a laugh.

    Memnoch: Then what other moves do you have before you cede your turn?

    High Imp: The natives of dead Mirare would benefit greatly, if humanity was forgotten.

    Memnoch refrains from giving High Imp another sharp look. Both of them know very well that Memnoch was a patron of the Miraran Greys, who were passed over in favor of humanity.

    Memnoch: Mirare is dead, and its natives of no consequence.

    High Imp: As you say. If humans were of no consequence, might the WriterGod take offense?

    Memnoch's visage is expressionless. High Imp's meaning is very clear. The archdevil of Tartarus dispatched his Greyshade to Earth, in order to annul - or Twice-Forget - humanity's destiny and centrality. With humanity's fate forgotten, time could be reshaped, and the Greys retroactively ascended to cosmic prominence.

    But no one could detect the Greyshade, who was Twice-Forgotten himself. When the Greyshade had annulled two of Fladnag's Void Rangers, no one should have ever remembered them. Yet High Imp had, or someone else had, and High Imp had discovered it from them.


    Memnoch: The WriterGod does not concern me.

    Already, his telepathy reaches silently across the stars, recalling the Greyshade to Tartarus. Though Memnoch would never admit it, he fears the WriterGod. Even more than he fears the Beast in the Abyss of Tartarus's 666th layer.

    Memnoch: Nor should he concern you. You no longer serve him.

    High Imp: In this, as in all things, I serve only myself. Just as I serve myself in offering you a vast repository of fresh souls.

    Memnoch is unable to keep from licking his lips hungrily at the prospect.

    Memnoch: What sort of repository could you offer enough to sate me?

    High Imp: None, for there is no sating of your appetite. But there are universes of easement to your hunger that await you, if only you are prepared.

    Memnoch regards High Imp warily. There are few beings in the NeSiverse whom the archdevil of Tartarus is wary of... but High Imp is one of them.

    Memnoch: A bold claim.

    High Imp: Have I ever made a false claim, no matter how bold?

    Memnoch: As the Father of Lies, I confess a certain disappointment that you never have.

    High Imp: Mega Jonestown Prime returns. They lay an intercosmic highway to other universes. And on their heels barks an empire more massive than a trillion NeSiverses.

    Memnoch whips his head around to stare at High Imp in complete and utter shock. He opens his mouth, then closes it. It is pointless to ask how High Imp knows secrets of this magnitude.

    Memnoch: And what do you desire in exchange? You already lay claim to much of my power from our previous pact.

    High Imp smiles, baring sharp teeth.

    High Imp: I would know what lies in the pit that is the 666th layer of Tartarus.

    If blood flowed through Memnoch's veins, it would have drained from his face.

    Memnoch: There is nothing there.

    High Imp: This much I know. But if that nothing were something...what would it be?

    Memnoch cannot remember the last time he was truly unsettled. No one but he has ever known of the Beast in the Abyss. But then he remembers that High Imp was once the almighty right hand of the very Nameless, supreme archdeity over all stories and multiverses...

    And so he tells High Imp of the Beast in the Pit...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 03-24-2016 at 04:11 PM.

  23. #23
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    1,326

    Princess, Goddess, Powerplayer

    Once upon a long-ago, in a time and place distantly removed from the NeSiverse, twin girls were born to a beloved king and queen over a vast realm. These princesses were blessed by fairies and dragons and gods and fauns and phoenices and unicorns and wizards. They were blessed with beauty, intelligence, charm, magic, and so on and so forth.

    But then came one old crone who bestowed a gift that was not a blessing, but a prophecy.


    Old Crone: Great and magnificent these little stars shall be. But two suns cannot share the same sky.

    The court mad scientist raises his finger.

    Court Mad Scientist: Actually, that's not true. The kingdom even includes a binary system within its borders.

    Old Crone: Silence! These two suns are too bold and bright to share the same sky. Inevitably one must triumph over the other, though they orbit each other peacefully for a time. But one sun will gradually become eclipsed in the other's shadow...

    Court Mad Scientist: That makes no sense. A sun is its own source of light, it can't be shadowed!
    The old crone shoots the mad scientist a withering look, and hobbles out. Her prophecy, so debunked by the court mad scientist, is discounted.

    The twin princesses are named Imeryn and Ameryl. Eighteen years pass, and they become the greatest beauties ever, the smartest sages ever, the most popular hostesses ever, the greatest sorceresses ever-- Do I really have to keep going on with this list?


    Imeryn: Yes!

    Ameryl: Hush, sister. No, you don't, Narrator.

    Imeryn: Dammit, I spent hours writing that list!

    I believe it. This scroll falls to my feet and loops around my body along the floor. Hey, are dainty princesses supposed to be foulmouthed?

    Imeryn: Um, curses! That's what I mean. I mean, that's what I said. Totally what I said.

    Ameryl: No, I'm pretty sure you said--

    Imeryn: I'M GOING TO PRETEND THAT NEVER HAPPENED!

    Time rolls back slightly. Oh hey, looks like you're right. You did say curses.

    Imeryn: Told you.

    Ameryl: Leave the poor Narrator alone, sis. He's just trying to do his job.

    Imeryn: Trying and failing...

    I heard that! Anyway, now that the twin princesses have come of age, men - and women - have come from all over the universe to offer suit to these great beauties.

    Ameryl: Well, that's awfully nice of them, but I only wear gowns. No suits.

    Imeryn: And no one could possibly be worthy of me!

    I hate to say it, but you are royals. You have to at least entertain these suits.

    Ameryl: I suppose I could donate them to Goodwill.

    Imeryn: I suppose it will be fun to shoot them all down!

    Also, there is no Goodwill in your universe. Anyway, the princesses politely refuse all the suits-- well, Ameryl politely refuses them, Imeryn is quite disdainful and blunt. Finally, a fair peasant girl shuffles shyly up to stand before the two-throned dais.

    Fair Peasant Girl: I have nothing to offer you, but then there is no gift or dowry that could possibly be worthy of you. But still, I confess that I love you.

    Britt the Writer: This better not venture into lesbian NeSmut, Al!

    Al Ciao the Writer: I'm not making any promises!

    Ameryl: Awwww, that is so cute. And you are very beautiful and kind.

    Imeryn: A PEASANT??? Bahahahahaha-- hey wait, that's actually pretty romantic. The princess and the pauper! And you are much better looking than any of the other suitors. Also, having no status, you won't be any danger of trying to upstage me!

    Imeryn and Ameryl: I accept your suit!

    The twin sisters look at each other in surprise, then protest to each other simultaneously.

    Imeryn and Ameryl: No, I do! Not you! Me! She's mine!

    Thus begins a rift that day between the two princesses, as they both seek to claim the fair peasant girl for her own. Ameryl offers to share, but Imeryn vehemently demands the fair peasant girl all for herself.

    In the end, the two sisters engage in a wizards' duel. Imeryn wins, and banishes her sister, before marrying the fair peasant girl and being crowned queen. As the years pass, she only grows in power and beauty - and ambition.

    She conquers ever more territory, and sends expeditions into far-flung dimensions in search of more planes and universes to conquer. That's when she discovers the Stronghold of Powerplayers.


    Imeryn: Perfect! These are the only compatriots who could ever keep up with me! I shall rule over them as Supreme Powerplayer!

    She goes to the Stronghold of Powerplayers in a chariot pulled by a team of combination phoenix-unicorn-dragon-demon-angel-fairies - a species she created herself, PUDDAFs for short - and is welcomed as a fellow Powerplayer, strong enough to ascend to the exalted ranks of the High Pantheon of the Throne, bringing this ruling coterie's numbers to 7.

    Imeryn: It is fitting that I am among the greatest, most majestic, most uber-beyond-divine munchkins in all the realities and unrealisties of Anti-Existentessence.

    Knightlord Thorn: Indeed! It is well that you join our purpose.

    Imeryn: But I am the strongest powerplayer of you all. I should not merely be on this council, but enthroned!

    She points to the shadowy unoccupied throne in the Pantheon's sanctum.

    Knightlord Thorn: That seat is reserved for our Supreme Emperor God, who we have prophesied to come to us and lead us to omnicosmic glory.

    Imeryn: Clearly, that is me!

    Knightlord Thorn: I'm afraid not. We await the coming of one called Highemperor.

    Imeryn does not stand for that, and war breaks out between the Pantheon of the High Throne and Queen Imeryn. Despite her power, and her small army of PUDDAFs along with her vast realm's resources, she is unable to defeat the entire Stronghold of Powerplayers.

    In a last resort, she unleashes a terrible spell that saps the life of every one of her subjects to deal the Stronghold's legions a terrible blow, as she escapes to another universe, her loyal PUDDAFs in tow.

    This universe is the NeSiverse.

    Still in its infancy, this cosmos presents a vast new canvas for Imeryn to paint her schemes upon, and she is a founder of Mega Jonestown Prime, becoming the most powerful of its 12 God-Monarchs... She is savvy enough not to press her claim to supremacy over the other God-Monarchs, knowing she needs their help to overcome the Stronghold of Powerplayers someday... and their prophesied Supreme Emperor God...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 08-14-2018 at 11:30 PM.

  24. #24
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Kamal: Pt 2

    Kamal is one of the tallest of all gods on Indra. Her gigantic figure looms over Kara Pashna and the Litniks and her burning white eyes stare down at them - unblinking, forever open. Her body is made of grey stone, washed here and there with marble joints or adornments, and she is very square-shaped. She has two heads, one eternally facing forward and one back into the past at what has been. Her front facing head wears a crown of three peacock feathers while the head facing backwards wears a crown of petite clovers. Her back is replaced with a second set of stone breasts and a stomach, giving the illusion of two people stood back-to-back; yet they share the same two legs that are forever able to march forward but never turn to walk backwards.

    She wears a green and white robe that hangs loosely upon her grey frame. She stands strong and stubborn in the face of the impending doom one of her own has predicted. When she speaks her lips open but do not move to create her words.


    Kamal: "Kara Pashna. Your presence is welcome."

    Pashna lowers his head. Bowing and scraping on the ground would be a sign of disrespect to Kamal - she values symbols of strength and not weakness. Given Kamal's love for Indra, Pashna supposes that it's only natural that one of her own Litiks discovered its fate. Whenever in her temple, Pashna feels as though Indra is the most unique and wonderful world in the entire cosmos. He knows it can't possibly be. He knows there must be dozens of worlds out there with sentience-imbued people. But right here in this temple; Indra is everything.

    Kara Pashna: "Thank you, dear Kamal. I am honoured to be in your company once again. Indra Day had been a magnificent celebration of patriotism."

    Kamal: "Indeed. And may there be many more to come."

    She obviously defied the prediction and that gives Pashna his own sense of hope and pride in the power of his people and its gods.

    Kara Pashna:
    "My Lord Jitarayara asked me to join you here and wait for further developments."

    Kamal: "Remain standing, oh Kara? That is not the way to solve this. Only a forward march can lead us to our answers. But you may report the results of our experiment to Jitarayara."

    Kara Pashna: "Experiment?"

    Kamal: "These Litiks have gathered so that they may all channel their focus as one and attempt to view the same prophetic vision as Litik Rjingi."

    Of the Litiks, one steps forward. He's wearing the same modern body armour as the others but he wears a green and white robe over it, much like his master's. All of the Litiks of Kamal are wearing the same dress, but not all of the Litiks are of the same order.

    Litik Rjingi: "You may observe our efforts, Kara Pashna. But try not to... intervene. No matter what you see."

    Pashna grows worried and glances towards Litik Map. The young man just grins confidently in return. Pashna couldn't say why but he liked Map already and the thought of him getting involved in this stunt is troubling.

    Kamal: "These Litiks are some of the strongest in all of Indra. Do not fear for them. Those that fall will be honoured and revered for all time."

    Litik Map: "Assuming the world doesn't get blown up!"

    Kamal: "Litik Map. The world will not get blown up if you succeed in finding an answer."

    Litik Map makes an embarrassed bow of his head, though Pashna doesn't think it's an overly sincere apology as the young man chuckles when he makes the gesture. Kamal, along with most gods of Indra, isn't big into punishment for trivial offences and she ignores the Litik's poor manners.


    Litik Rjingi: "Kara Pashna, you may wish to follow us into the next room. You'll find others have arrived to watch the event too. You should join them."

    Map jumps at the chance to grasp Pashna's hand again and he half-drags the Kara through an arch into the next room. The room is wide and overlooks an arena below. The arena is small and Pashna thinks it's for theatre shows rather than displays of combat. Today, however, it would be combat. There are no seats. The people that have gathered are few in number and are leaning on the banister to look down into the arena. There are already a few Litiks down there. Map leaves Pashna on the balcony and goes to descend into the sandy pit.

    When all of the Litiks have gathered, everyone falls silent. Pashna glances at the others gathered. Several of them are Karas like him. None are from Jitarayara though. Bernard coos and flutters down to sit on the balcony and watch the proceedings down below. Pashna wonders if he's able to record visuals as well as sounds.


    Above the arena emerges Kamal, who rises up and looms over it. While she may be much taller than the arena floor, her stone breasts are level with those in the balcony. Pashna catches one of the younger folks staring and rolls his eyes. Stone, he wants to remind the boy. And yet even Pashna longs to reach out and touch them. Not because they're sexually attractive but because the rough, stone of such a god would be incredible to feel.

    The Litiks are standing, their heads bowed to the sand. Pashna sees that Map is on the edge of the group, though it's not easy to make out so far away. Somewhere around the middle he thinks he can make out Litik Rjingi.

    An aura begins to materialise above the group in the arena, a swirling purple-red mist. Some of the Litiks reach a connection to enlightenment and their heads crane back and their white eyes glow with a white energy-mist rising from them. Then come the heinous monsters of the Other Plane. The creatures are red and blue, jagged shapes in Indranoid shapes. Their heads are elongated and their jaws are wide with blood-stained fangs. Their eyes are hollow and black. They rush at the Litiks who are connected to the Other Plane's vision bestowing powers. Those Litiks that had not yet reached enlightenment break away and defend their brethren using long staves that they conjure up. The staff is an age-old weapon of Litiks and while their dress and techniques have advanced over the centuries, their weapon focus remains.

    He sees that Map may be amongst the defenders. The young man whirls his staff into the face of one of the demonic creatures and its neck snaps. However that doesn't kill the beast. It merely continues to attack with his head lolling to the side like a dead weight. The monster swipes Map, knocking the Litik flying across the sand. Pashna grips the balcony in panic. Several of the other Litiks have been felled, either dead or injured. He sees one demon chewing on the skull of one of the younger Litiks that had been defending an enlightened one. The demon chews slowly, slurping up the bulbous part of the head but his eyes are fixed on his next target - the enlightened Litik. Pashna wants to throw something at the creature. Stop it, distract it, anything. He feels a deep wave of resolve, no doubt being instilled by Kamal who watches the event below her. The creature finally discards his meal and leaps. The enlightened Litik becomes prey to the beast too. Pashna cries out and finds he's not the only one. Others are shouting in anger and horror at the creatures as they continue their rampage.

    Pashna spies Map on the offensive again. Map's staff first snaps the neck of a demon, then, still spinning, cracks the monster's left shoulder. He spins and, before the demon can change to attack with its right, he had broken the arm at the elbow. The monster is significantly depowered without its primary modes of attack and he relentlessly clubs the beast to a pulp. Pasha feels a wash of bloodlust and cries out in Map's favour.

    Then, all of a sudden, everything stops.


    The mist vanishes, the demons vanish and the connection to the Other Plane is broken. The enlightened Litiks are waking up from their vision. A collective vision, hopefully. The death count is higher than Pashna had been expecting and he instantly begins to pray for their remembrance.

    Kamal: "With Jitarayara's aid, a monument shall be built to honour these brave Litiks of Indra..."

    Her voice sounds like a whisper as it echoes over the silent people.

    Nayaraks enter the arena. They're the lowest of the religious ranks and yet also the busiest. They do most of the work. Healing people, helping people, teaching people, organising people. Here they help those alive to recover their senses with drinks and blankets, while other Nayaraks begin to arrange the bodies of the fallen. Pashna sees that one of them bursts into tears as he begins to arrange a body. He's consoled by one of the Litiks. Pashna feels like he needs to be consoled too.


    ---

    Some time later they are seated in a small, ovular room, with chairs arranged around the room. Pashna is seated with Litik Rjingi, who waits for the meeting to begin before he stands up. The room's walls are made of sutade, a liquid substance that is actually solid in its membrane. So a wall of sutade, once erected, acts like a wall and yet within the membrane the liquid bubbles happily with a dark blue colour. There's, again, no ceiling and, instead, there is only the immense stone face of Kamal. Her square nose is low enough that Pashna might have given Rjingi a boost up to touch it.


    Litik Rjingi: "From our Litiks, ten of us were able to gather in a single vision. One more experienced a similar vision, while the rest found themselves in visions of other events."

    Pashna wonders if those Litiks who didn't find themselves in the collective vision would be disappointed or relieved. Those like Map, who didn't even reach enlightenment before the demons arrived, are likely lamenting their inability to defend all of the enlightened ones. The worst fate of all, drowning in guilt.

    Litik Rjingi: "From the vision we have been able to gather more clear information on what is likely to come. Aliens."

    There's a murmuring amongst those not privy to the vision.


    Litik Rjingi:
    "They will come in a rain of fire."

    Kara Pashna:
    "You mean weapons?"

    Litik Rjingi:
    "And attack. So perhaps yes. A single space-ship will arrive. Immense in size. They don't seek conquest. They seek the world's demise."

    Kara Pashna:
    "This sounds like something from a horror story."

    Litik Rjingi: "I know..."

    There's a long silence. Everyone has questions but nobody wants to ask them.

    Kamal: "And so, preparation is needed."

    Kara Pashna: "I will inform My Lord Jitarayara of the news..."

    He stands and leaves. He trembles with fear as he records his report of the events and the news. Aliens. Unimaginable.

  25. #25
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: The Meeting

    Space Camelot: The Meeting
    Characters: King Arthur, Morganna le Fay, Guinevere, Merlin the Younger, Sir Bedivere, Sir Kay, Sir Lancelot, Prince Llacheu

    Tintagel Castle lies in Dummonia in Cornwall, south-west of England. It was the castle of his mother, Igraine, and the place of his birth. On the beach outside because his mother didn't want her husband know she was giving birth to another man's child. Oops!

    Well, despite his infamous birth, Arthur is the son of Uther Pendragon and, thus, rightful ruler of all Britannia - won through might and heroism. All of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland has been under Arthur's care for many years and they have become stable, rich lands of care-free people. Arthur, however, has become unsettled with such quietude.

    He considered expanding his domain. Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Gaul, even Rome itself would be prize targets. But then, something else happened. The old wizard Merlin and Arthur, many years prior, had discovered a very unusual passage that led to the deep bowels of the Earth and down there they found an instrument. An instrument of Arthur's new ambition.


    Arthur: "I gathered you all here to discuss something very important to me."

    Sir Kay: "Shouldn't we do this in Camelot, Sire? In a proper round table meeting?"

    Sir Bedivere: "You just don't like calling your brother, Sire..."

    Sir Kay: "Half-brother."

    Arthur: "Alright, you can call me Arthur at this meeting! God damn it!"

    The knights all facepalm at Arthur's blatant blasphemy.


    The three knights present are Sir Kay, the half-brother of the king (born by Igraine to her first husband and not to Uther, the father of Arthur), Sir Bedivere, an intelligent man and Arthur's longest friend, and finally Sir Lancelot du Lac, Arthur's closest friend and confidant. But they aren't the only ones present. With them are two women.

    Morgan: "Just tell us what you want, brother."

    Merlin: "Please don't tell me you brought us here to discuss your cheese farm again..."

    Morganna le Fay, also half-sister of Arthur (this time through his father), is a woman with a short-temper and a lot of magic to obliterate those she finds annoying. Merlin, on the other hand, is a woman who considers herself good and virtuous though. Unlike the knights in the room, the two women are of pagan origins and worship the land as opposed to the sky. They are also both former students of Merlin the Wizard that once aided Arthur gain his kingdom - now, however, he in entombed within Doughnutdelf beneath the hallowed grounds of Stonehenge and the two women are left without their mentor.

    Arthur: "Not my cheese farm. This isn't quite as important as my cheese farm. This is about our destiny and future expansion of my kingdom!"

    Everyone is silent for a moment.

    Sir Kay: "The cheese farm is more important...?"

    Arthur: "Everybody loves my cheeses."

    Sir Kay: "Not sure how that makes it more important..."

    Arthur wafts his hand dismissively, eager to get back to his illustrious scheme.

    Morgan:
    "If this is about your kingdom, I don't see why I have to be here. It's not like I'd help you do anything..."

    Merlin: "You certainly helped him do something before..."

    Arthur groans while Morgan glares at her rival apprentice.

    Morgan: "And!? Do you have a point to make!?"

    Merlin: "Not really. Just pointing out the hypocrisy."

    Sir Kay: "Just great. Five minutes and we're in the awkward territory of incest."

    Arthur: "Do we have to--"

    Morgan: "Nothing awkward about it! We were very young and curious! It happens!"

    Sir Kay: "Right. Let me make note of just how awkward this meeting is going to get..."

    Merlin: "It happens... again... and again... and again..."

    Arthur:
    "Aaaaaall in the past. I'm married and respectable now!"

    Morgan: "Are you saying I'm not respectable even to sleep with?"

    Arthur: "That's not what I'm saying, my love--"

    Sir Kay: "Ohhhh bad choice of pet name..."

    Arthur groans again.

    Arthur:
    "Please, can we talk about my awesome idea now!?"

    Morgan: "I repeat, why do I have to be here?"

    Arthur: "Because I need you."

    Sir Kay:
    "There's yet another major awkward moment! I'm going to start a graph for this."

    Sir Kay whips out a piece of graph paper and starts marking on awkward notches.

    Arthur: "I didn't mean like that!"

    Morgan: "Shame..."

    Arthur: "Morgan!"

    Sir Kay: "Wow. Just wow."

    Merlin: "There's no depths to which you won't sink, Morganna."

    Morgan: "At least I don't cling to the skirt-tails of our mentor, Lady Merlin."

    Merlin: "It's an honour to carry the name of my mentor! He's a supreme man of greatness!"

    Morgan rolls her eyes.

    Arthur: "Shut. Up! Everyone! For just, like, five God damn minutes!"

    The knights all facepalm.

    Arthur: "Right! So! Me and Merlin found something underground!"

    Merlin: "We did?"

    Arthur: "No, not you. The other Merlin."

    Morgan: "The Merlin of import."

    Merlin: "Hey! You--! I'm more important than you, Morganna! You're nothing but a-- a--"

    Morgan gives one of her rare smirks, which appears very sly.


    Morgan: "A what, Lady Merlin?"

    Merlin: "A-A-A brother-shagger!!"

    Merlin instantly clamps her hands to her own mouth, shocked and appalled at her own words. Morgan just laughs while Arthur, once again, groans with frustration.


    Morgan: "You say it like I should be ashamed of myself. I'm not. My brother's hot--"

    Sir Kay:
    "That one's going off the scale!"

    Morgan:
    "And I'm not a prudish, frigid little bimbo like you."

    Unable to come up with such a horrible insult to counter that Merlin stammers and looks like she's going to start bawling.

    Arthur:
    "She doesn't mean it, Merlin."

    Morgan: "I bloody do."

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Perhaps, and I'm almost loathe to say this, we should let Arthur tell us his plan?"

    Arthur: "YES! We found something! We found... a ship!"

    Sir Bedivere: "Ship... underground? Sire, you do know ships sail on water and not through soil?"

    Arthur: "Yes, yes. This is the ship. I call it-- Camelot!"

    Arthur pulls out a model of a ship.

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Camelot?"

    Sir Lancelot: "Camelot!"

    Merlin: "Camelot!?"

    Arthur: "Camelot!"

    They look at the little wooden piece.


    Morgan:
    "It's only a model."

    Arthur:
    "Yes it's a model of the real thing."

    Sir Bedivere: "May I, Sire?"

    Arthur, grinning with pride, hands it over to the knight of science. Sir Bedivere holds the model up to his face and inspects the unusual object. It's somewhat crescent-shaped, like a fat worm curled around, and has gigantic funnels poking out of one side. He scratches his head, ruffling his dark hair.

    Sir Bedivere: "Are you certain this is a ship, Sire?"

    Morgan: "Knowing my brother, it could be new design of table."

    Arthur: "How was I supposed to know that a frisbee wasn't a table!? Besides, it worked out in the end, didn't it? Now my round table is famous!"

    Morgan: "The frisbee table..."

    Merlin: "How can you say you think your brother is... hot--"

    Merlin blushes just saying the word.


    Merlin: "--And yet you insult him and call him stupid!"

    Morgan looks at Arthur then at Merlin.

    Morgan: "Because he is hot and he is stupid. One doesn't preclude the other. I have to resist the urge the spank dat ass on a daily basis."

    Arthur frowns while Sir Kay starts scribbling on his graph.

    Arthur: "Why would you want to spank an ass?"

    Sir Bedievere: "Sire, I believe she's referring to your derrière."

    Arthur: "Morgan!"

    Morgan just shrugs.

    Sir Bedivere: "Your ship, Sire? Can you tell us more about it?"

    Sir Kay: "Yes. Please do. I'm running out of graph paper."

    Arthur: "This doesn't sail on water. It sails through the sky!"

    Everyone is silent for a long moment before Sir Lancelot sighs with concern;

    Sir Lancelot: "I did hit him quite hard during our last jousting session..."

    Sir Bedievere: "Ah. I should check for cranial damage."

    Morgan: "You said Merlin was with you, Arthur? Did he tell you it was a sky ship?"

    Arthur grins manically.


    Arthur: "He sure did!"

    Everyone is now silent again, but this time in shock and awe at the possibility of sailing through the skies.

    Arthur:
    "Hey! You don't believe me but you'll believe Merlin!?"

    Everyone but Morgan looks sheepish.


    Morgan: "I told you a moment ago, you're an idiot."

    Arthur snatches his model from Bedievere and wags it at everyone.

    Arthur: "Idiot, am I!? I'm the one who's going to be cruising to the stars and conquering alien babes!"

    Sir Lancelot piques up at this.

    Sir Lancelot: "That does sound exciting. A truly worthy quest for a knight of my calibre!"

    He cuts a dashing figure as he poses and stares off into the middle-distance. Nobody pays him any attention, however.

    Merlin: "How does it work, do you think? Those funnels at the back, are they the flying mechanism?"

    Sir Bedivere: "Presumably. But Sire, how large is this vessel? How many people can it contain?"

    Arthur looks mischievously around the room.

    Arthur: "It's about the size of England."

    Sir Bedivere winces with incomprehension.

    Sir Bedivere: "You mean it was under England, right?"

    Arthur: "It was under England... and it's the size of England. A gigantic ship that I could fit the entire population into!"

    They all stare at the model for a long while in contemplation of this monstrosity. Arthur holds it up to everyone as though it were the holy grail itself. Arthur's brown eyes seem to shine as he stares at his precious prize. His muddy blonde hair is loosely pushed back and with his free hand he strokes the fibres of his short beard. If there was one thing Arthur had learnt about getting to forty as a man, it was to grow a manly beard to hide those wrinkles.

    Morgan:
    "And... what did you want me to do, exactly?"

    Sir Kay: "Maybe I don't want to hear Arthur answer that."

    Arthur look incredulously at his half-brother.

    Arthur: "I'm a married man now!"

    Sir Kay shrugs.

    Sir Kay: "Once a deviant..."

    Morgan glowers at Sir Kay.

    Morgan: "And having sex with me is a deviance!?"

    Sir Kay is one of the only knights of the round table that isn't afraid of Morganna le Fay, which either attests to his bravery or to his lack of wisdom.

    Sir Kay: "When it's your own brother doing the shagging, yes. Yes it is."

    Morgan looks like she might blast Kay into a thousand pieces but, suddenly, the glower evaporates and she just shrugs.

    Morgan: "I can accept that. Deviance is just another word for extremely kinky."

    She smirks.

    Sir Lancelot stares at her longingly.


    Sir Lancelot: "You are probably the greatest woman in all the land, Lady Morganna."

    Morgan:
    "Of course I am. Shame my brother doesn't feel the same way."

    Arthur: "Camelot, people. Remember? The sky ship?"

    He turns to Morgan.


    Arthur:
    "I need you to raise my spaceship."

    Sir Kay: "I'm just going to throw the whole ink well over the graph for that one."

    Morgan:
    "I can raise it instantly, brother."

    Sir Kay: "And now I'm going to find a vat of ink and dump it in."

    Merlin: "Morganna! Please! Show some dignity!!"

    Merlin's face is burning luminous red with horror. Because she shaves her hair very close to her head, she looks like a ripe tomato.

    Morgan: "You mean I should be a frigid idiot virgin like you, Lady Merlin? No thanks."

    Arthur: "Enough of the sex!"

    Morgan folds her arms.

    Morgan: "Speak for yourself."

    Arthur: "My ship!"

    She looks down.


    Arthur: "This one!"

    Morgan: "What? What do you want me to do with that one? I can think of a hundred ways of raising the other one, but that thing I'm at a loss."

    Sir Kay:
    "I should have used the entire table as my graph."

    Arthur: "Merlin told me how you can help, Morgan!"

    Merlin: "Not me. He means the other Merlin."

    Morgan eyes Merlin.


    Morgan: "Yeah. Because it's going to be something intelligent."

    Merlin's lower lips pushes up and begins to wibble.

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Merlin, don't get upset now. She's trying to upset you. Don't give her what she wants."

    Morgan: "Sir Bedivere, man of reason and boredom."

    Sir Bedivere just smiles and shakes his head, far too collected to rise to her bullying.

    Arthur: "My ship!"

    Arthur glares around the room and everyone for silence.

    Arthur: "Merlin said the ship can use a sudden, immense charge of magic to turn on!"

    Morgan smirks but before she could spout an innuendo Arthur interjects;

    Arthur: "This spaceship, Morgan. This one here."

    Merlin: "If it's just a jolt of magic, I could do that for you, your Majesty!"

    Morgan:
    "Yeah, if he wants it to limp through the sky to an early demise."

    Merlin pouts, her fists clenched.


    Merlin: "I'm more powerful than you, you-- you--!"

    Morgan: "What? What am I Merlin?"

    Merlin's eyes rove downwards, searching for inspiration.

    Morgan: "What? Were you going to say brother-shagger again?

    Merlin sullenly nods her uselessness at the insult-game. Morgan laughs with her deep, patronising voice. She's not a tall woman, in fact she's shorter than Merlin, and yet she's always carried a huge presence in any room with her commanding air, superior-than-thou demeanour and powerful, sensual voice that brims with confidence and control.

    Arthur: "Sorry Merlin. It's not actually magic from with either of you that's needed. It'll need... the power of Avalon."

    Morgan snaps her attention to Arthur with sudden seriousness.

    Morgan:
    "You don't mean..."

    Arthur nods.

    Morgan:
    "No! No way."

    Arthur desperately waggles his model at her.

    Arthur: "But spaceship!!"

    Morgan:
    "But my magical *****ing island!"

    Arthur pauses.

    Arthur:
    "But SPACESHIP!"

    Merlin: "I think, Sire, you are asking a lot of your sister..."

    Morgan points an aggressive finger at Merlin.

    Morgan:
    "I don't need your help in this!"

    Merlin: "But I--"

    Morgan points her finger at Arthur, as she draws up to him.

    Morgan: "No. I say no again. And no, no, NO!"

    Arthur:
    "B-b-but..."

    Morgan: "Unless you sleep with me again."

    Arthur stares.

    Sir Kay: "Dude. You're actually considering it..."

    Arthur snaps out of his stare and frowns at his half-brother.

    Arthur: "I am not! No, Morgan. No I can't. I love my wife. You need to move on and find a new, nice, husband. Like Lancelot! He likes you!"

    Sir Lancelot looks aghast.

    Sir Lancelot: "Lancelot du Lac... married!? Perish the thought, Arthur!"

    Morgan folds her arms.

    Morgan: "Whore yourself out to me or you don't get your stupid, little ship."

    Sir Bedivere: "You recall it's the size of England, correct?"

    Guinevere: "It's never going to happen, sister-in-law."

    They all turn to see Queen Guinevere enter the room. She's tall and graceful with long, red hair that's been plaited into a thick side-plait that falls over her shoulder to rest against her bosom. She wears a delicate, though simple, dress of sky blue and a long, white cloak with thick fur to stave off the cold of the stone castle.


    Sir Kay: "I think we've reached the pinnacle of awkward right about now."

    Guinevere:
    "Nothing to feel awkward about, brother-in-law. Morganna cannot help how she feels. She's blameless for an affair long ago conceived. But surely you're above blackmail, my love?"

    At Guinevere's address, Sir Lancelot's wide eyes rove from the beautiful Guinevere to the sensual Morgan and back again with glee.

    Morgan:
    "I am not above it, no. Not if it gets me what I want."

    Merlin: "It's fine. I can try to generate this magic for you, Sire. It may take a while, but I can stockpile enough to power this ship. I'm certain of it. I can seek more training and advice from my mentor--"

    Morgan: "You couldn't power a wet fart!"

    Merlin looks incredulous.


    Merlin: "You're so vile, Morganna! And I shall power this! Because you, clearly, cannot!"

    Morgan: "I have more magic in a single eyelash than you could achieve in your entire lifetime!"

    Merlin: "And yet, you cannot do this but I can. So who has more power again?"

    Morgan folds her arms again.

    Morgan:
    "You can't goad me into this. Nice try."

    Merlin: "Don't flatter yourself, Morganna. I am simply better and more talented than you. If there's a way, you know I shall find it."

    Morgan now, for the first time, looks jealous with her rival. She breathes in angrily several times before throwing her arms down.

    Morgan: "Fine! But if you're going to destroy my home for this proxy space-boat, then I'm going with you! I'll need a new home."

    Guinevere: "Perfect!"

    Morgan: "Don't try to stop me-- wait, what?"

    Guinevere: "I was worried that your son would cause no end of trouble if left here unchecked. So when Arthur mentioned this mad plan, I saw a perfect solution to any impending inheritance row - give Mordred his own kingdom on some other--"

    She wafts her hand.

    Guinevere: "Place."

    Morgan looks dumbstruck.

    Morgan: "You... you..."

    Guinevere smiles sweetly.

    Guinevere: "I'm a what, dear Morganna?"

    Morgan: "Conniving, deceitful wretch! If I wasn't so impressed I'd set you on fire. I can't believe this was your plan all along! I-I-I am so frustrated I'm going to go and torture some kittens!"

    She marches towards the door but Merlin shrieks after her.

    Merlin: "DON'T! DON'T YOU DARE! VILE VILLAIN! I'LL-I'LL STOP YOU!!! THOSE INNOCENT KITTENS SHALL NOT BE HARMED!!!!!"

    Arthur: "She isn't being serious, Merlin."

    Morgan just tuts as she storms out of the room in search of kittens.

    Guinevere: "Congratulations, my husband. You get your adventure. I admit, I'm looking forward to seeing the stars."

    Merlin: "You're going too, my lady?"

    Guinevere:
    "Of course!"

    Merlin: "But what about your son?"

    Guinevere sighs.

    Guinevere: "I did want to bring him too but... Arthur says it would be better if he inherited the throne of England now. Help him to grow as a man."

    Arthur:
    "It's already done. He'll be crowned the moment we're off. He's already been given free reign of Camelot in the north. I think it's about time he was given some responsibility."

    ------

    In Camelot, Llacheu, the eldest son of Arthur and Guinevere, is prancing about castle Camelot drunkenly with his pants on his head.

    Llacheu: "Freeeeeedooooooooooooom!!!!!!!"

    In the morning he finds himself handcuffed to his bed with a traffic cone. He looks at the cone and blinks.


    Llachau: "Wow... must have been an amazing night!"

  26. #26
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326
    Morganna took a deep, shuddering breath, as she finished walking around Avalon, for the last time. Her island. Her home.

    She raised her hands, calling on the spirits of the earth, bending them to her will. The island of apples quaked and trembled, shattering to debris, to rock, to dirt, to dust, and then to nothingness, until only its primal magic remained. Morganna gathered the magic into a tiny pebble, which glowed, and held it tightly in her hand, before returning to Tintagel with a tiny heart.


    Morganna: It is done.

    Arthur and the others look up at her.

    Merlin the Younger: What's done?

    Morganna: I have... destroyed Avalon.

    Sir Bedivere: Oh, didn't you get the memo? Merlin already found us a way to power the spaceship. No need to destroy your island.

    Morganna: ...........

    Arthur: Oh, by the way, I've decided to shag you again!

    Morganna: :O

    Arthur: Just kidding!

    Morganna: WRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Suddenly, Morganna snaps out of her dream, waking up in a cold sweat.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 04-01-2016 at 09:49 AM.

  27. #27
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    Lonely Dragon

    In the infancy of the NeSiverse, when the burgeoning intellect that was Memnoch watched the chaotic cauldron of creation give birth to wonders, at the hands of the titans (before they were imprisoned by the God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime)... one such wonder broke free of an egg that was condensed dimensional flux. It spread its wings and roared, flushed with the triumph that was life.

    Typhon: I am! I live! I fly!

    Exulting in the newness of existence - both his own and that of the NeSiverse - Typhon flies freely through space. In this early time-before-time, space is far less a void, but filled with chaotic shifting energies and plasmas and magicks. Feeding on the chaos, Typhon grows bloated in size, swollen with power, able to breathe out quintessential flame as easily as air.

    He scarcely notices when the titans are imprisoned by the God-Monarchs, who have traveled from an early age of the NeSiverse to this creative age for that sole purpose. But then he realizes something, shortly after time begins.


    Typhon: I... am alone.

    He looks all around. He is not alone. He is surrounded by the NeSiverse and its many and varied forms of life and wonder. But he is the only one of his kind.

    Typhon: I am... lonely.

    He soars to the prisons of the titans, till he finds the burning heart of the cosmos, where Kronos is chained.

    Typhon: Creator! You have gifted all forms of life with their partners, that they may enjoy infinity together and procreate. Why then is there no dragon to be my partner and mate?

    Typhon cannot penetrate the inferno that surrounds Kronos, but he sees the sihouette of the titan's mountainous head through the flaming plasma.

    Kronos: Ah, tis you, the prince of all lifeforms. We titans rejoiced in making you. And we rejoiced in making your mate. But before we could breathe life into the plasmastral matrix that was to be your mate, the God-Monarchs strove against us and imprisoned us, and all our works-in-progress were shattered.

    Typhon: Can you not finish her now, or make another?

    Kronos: Nay, little prince, for it would require all of us at full strength. But we are far apart, our energies sapped for the purposes of Mega Jonestown Prime.

    The ridiculousness of calling the massive primal dragon 'little' is overshadowed by Typhon's despair. Besides, compared to Kronos, a planet is little, much less a mountain-sized dragon.

    Typhon: Can you offer no aid nor counsel?

    Kronos: In another universe, a thousand steps ago on our cosmic journey, we created another primal dragon, this one a she-drake. Her name: Echidna. We made no mate for her either. Perhaps she is still there, waiting to be found, waiting to mother a hundred races of dragons.

    His fiery heart surging with hope, Typhon embarks on a great odyssey. He soars for millennia at fantastic speeds through the NeSiverse, from its flaming heart - where Kronos is imprisoned - to the Outer Galaxies, spinning about the very ring of space and time.

    As he pierces the edge of the NeSiverse itself, he is enshrouded with metadimensional flux, appearing as a deadly comet in the skies of Tatooine - then uninhabited - the heat of it scouring away all flora and water from its surface.

    Then the primal dragon is through the barrier, and in the Deep Void between universes. For aeons, he travels through the blackness, exploring the islands that are other universes in the vast uncaring ocean of the Deep Void.

    He is accosted by Netherwyrms, and drives them off, even killing one, though deep scars pockmark his glorious red, gold, and black scales. As he travels through other universes, he feasts on their quintessential energies, becoming ever more enormous and powerful, till he appears in his Deep Void sojourns as a shining beacon, drawing in hungry Netherwyrms.

    By this point, he is so bloated with power, that he smashes the Netherwyrms with contemptuous ease... but still he has yet to find Echidna, the primal she-dragon.

    A few dozen universes later, he begins to find other dragons, whole species of them. But they are not primal dragons, but lesser descendants. They claim ancestry from Echidna and her mate, and Typhon's heart soars! Given the differences in temporal flow between universes, these must be his own descendants, from a point in his personal future when he finds Echidna in the distant past of her home cosmos!

    And so he continues on, until he explores his 144th universe. Under the light of ten moons, he finds his heart's desire.


    Typhon: Echidna! Echidna! It is I, Typhon, the primal he-dragon! I have journeyed far and wide to find you, my one eternal mate.

    Echidna raises her great head, of a size equal to Typhon's, her eyes glittering curiously.

    Echidna: A primal he-drake? I did not know the titans had made such a one. Your scales are grand indeed...but I have known the love of one even greater than our kind.

    With mounting horror and rage, Typhon sees the clutch of eggs - thousand upon thousands of eggs - that Echidna is laying upon.

    Typhon: WHO?! Who is this shameful creature who has seduced you, and made bastards of all dragons?

    Echidna's answer is spoken fondly as she recalls.

    Echidna: He is called... Highemperor.

    Highemperor.

    That word crystallizes into the core of Typhon's hate, and with a pained roar of betrayal, he zooms away, breaching the barrer between universes once more, and flying back through the Deep Void.


    Typhon: I have heard tell of this... Highemperor. I have come across provinces of his pancosmic imperial domain in my search, but never did I suspect that he had jilted me of my rightful destiny! As he has taken my fate from me, so will I destroy his grandeur!

    In universe after universe, Typhon ravages galaxies, even swallowing stars in his fury. He does not differentiate between High Imperial holdings and their neighbors in the blind heat of his anger... until the High Empire responds.

    A massive fleet of warships from the 87th Omnicosmic Legion hunts Typhon down. Though the primal dragon is bloated with deific levels of power, and destroys significant chunks of the Highemperor's fleet, even he cannot stand against their incredible magitech, and the might of his champion Paladins.

    Nursing his wounds, he limps back to the NeSiverse, his home, little knowing that his greatest enemy will one day be born here too. By now, a great space city is being constructed, christened Mega Jonestown Prime. He recalls it as the source of the God Monarchs who imprisoned the titans who could have created his mate, and prepares to vent his frustrated wrath upon it, but his assault is met by a humanoid female, appearing as a mere pinprick next to his massive bulk.


    Imeryn: I will not tolerate defacement of my glorious megalopolis before it is even built! I have gathered great deities here to assist me, and even ONE of us could repulse you.

    Typhon: I sense the power within you, little goddess, but surely you too must sense that within me.

    Imeryn, Powerplaying Queen of a distant dead realm, considers.

    Imeryn: There is truth in what you say. I could defeat you, but perhaps not all of my fellow divine monarchs could. I could use one of your strength to make my city great.

    Typhon regards her warily. His instinct is to refuse, and to end his miserable existence in a kamikaze assault upon this under-construction space city - yet he senses something within Imeryn. A hot seething core of hate and rage and frustration, not unlike that within his own soul.

    Typhon: Your thirst for revenge is as strong as mine, little goddess. If you will help me to obtain my own revenge, so I too will help you obtain yours.

    Imeryn's gorgeous eyes glitter.

    Imeryn: My sworn nemesis is called Highemperor.

    Shock floods Typhon, yet also glee, that he has found a fellow in his rage. He joins the pantheon of Mega Jonestown Prime - his blind thirst of revenge outweighing consideration of the fact that he himself journey back through time to imprison the titans with the other God-Monarchs - and makes himself a home here.

    Though revenge is constantly on his mind, the matters of construction and governance slowly instill awareness within him that there is more to life. Though his ultimate purpose remains to destroy Highemperor, he is able to fall in love with many women, both mortal and immortal, of many non-draconic races.

    His half-dragon offspring propagate rapidly in this early age of the NeSiverse, until they become a species all their own, his distant descendants able to breed true with each other. Their divine forefather blesses them and names them 'True Children of the Dragon', or Derkesthai...

  28. #28
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Pesu - Part I

    Rain slams down against the gelatinous bulb of Kara Pasha's head, soothing his skin after the longest walk from Penumbra. However this isn't the soft, gentle drizzle he'd been expecting. This is a torrential downpour from the sky, so thick he can barely see the land before him. The path underfoot, however, is clear enough. Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon gives a mournful hoot from his shoulder, complaining about the weather.

    Kara Pashna: "Almost there..."

    While the rain comforts his skin, it doesn't comfort his armour and that, in turn, causes far more discomfort to his body than the rain is able to soothe. He trudges ever onwards. Bernard had returned with a message urging Pashna to remain with Kamal and do as she commands. Kamal, however, believes that none should remain idle and sent him on his way, on his way to Apojiva Valleys. He had been disappointed to leave Litik Map behind but knew he had a higher calling than his own emotional ties.

    As he continues he feels that the rain is lessening. The eternal downpour should give way to the eternal drizzle of the valleys once within their tall walls. He is headed toward Attallaj Valley, the valley where the god Pesu resides.

    But, as the sound of the rain dims, much more terrifying sounds can be heard. Screams, howls, yells. Then the sounds of charging feet. Pashna risks leaving the path and runs for the closest hillside. As he tries to scramble up it, hoping to stay out of the local dissent, he sees the charging cavalry coming down the road from Attallaj Valley. The steeds are spectral unicorns. Transparent to the eyes and usually intangible to the touch, these horse-like creatures have long flowing manes of red which starkly contrast against their aethereal blue bodies. A single, grotesquely twisted horn extends from their foreheads. Upon their backs are technological seats that attach to the spectral forms through a spectral attractor - a faint green hue of light that zaps between the ghostly visage and the seating device. The seat is trapped in place unless switched off.


    The riders are soldiers of Attallaj, their modern armour is coloured silver and the rain doesn't seem to hinder them half as much as it hinders Pashna. Upon their backs he spies crossbows and at their sides hang long swords for mounted ride-by strikes. The recent troubles of the Apojiva Valleys is evident before his own eyes. War is rare on Indra and yet, even here, it can rear its ugly head. Pashna doesn't conceal himself, he's confident enough in his position as Kara that he'd be accepted by the soldiers, and yet he'd rather not associate with a group that could get him into bother. Enough bother to keep him from his task. None of the soldiers take the time to ride over to him as they pass by and Pashna cautiously returns to the road.

    Trouble averted, he continues on for Attallaj Valley. He expects that the Duke of Attallaj knows of Pashna's approach already as scouts would have seen him coming many miles ago. The closer to the valley he gets the more trees he starts to see and the better the cover from the rain it gets. He think he can even see some of the tallest buildings from this distance.

    He doesn't reach the city.


    ---

    Kara Pashna wakes up slowly. Then he jolts to wakefulness as he finds himself in alien surroundings. The room is lush, decorated with silk throws on every surface. Red silk drapes border the balcony doors, from which a gentle breeze blows in and brings the soft scent of morning rain. He finds that his armour has been removed and put on a stand beside the balcony, but his clothes still rest on his body. They're quite dry now and he suspects they've been forcefully dried by his captor. At least they didn't want him to catch a cold.

    He pads across the room, his white feet appreciating the soft silk throws that have been scattered all over the floor. He steps onto the balcony, which is sheltered from the rain by a thick canopy above his head, and gazes down into the narrow street below. The roads are cobblestone and, despite the rain, busy with people. He knows he's still in the Apojiva Valleys but he is certain the town before him isn't in Attallaj Valley.

    Woman:
    "Welcome to Ovai Minor, Kara."

    Pashna spins at the sudden voice. The woman stands beside the door holding heated towels. She approaches him and holds them out for him to take.

    Woman: "I hope you're not too disorientated."

    Pashna: "I'm Kara Pashna. You know it's bad form to kidnap servants of gods..."

    The woman holds up her hand in request for silence on the topic and he detects mention of gods offended her. She dabs his face with the warm towel and finds that it's scented with churchwood, a spicy but also flowery smell of the church trees from the Jaravinjia Isles.


    Woman: "I'm Swati Ackbar and you, Kara, walked right into my... trap."

    Pashna: "Apparently I need to be more careful..."

    Swati:
    "Don't worry though, Kara, I don't intend to hurt you. I actually need your help."

    Pashna: "In my experience asking for help, instead of kidnapping someone, is the better method."

    Swati: "You were in enemy territory. I couldn't have a chat right in front of the gates of Attallaj Valley... and before you say you'd have come is summoned, you would have gone to Attallaj Valley before coming here and then you'd be bound to them. This was the only way to get you here quietly and with minimal fuss."

    Pashna couldn't argue against the logic, however he cannot accept the action regardless of the circumstance. Yet he holds his tongue as he senses she is an impatient woman who wishes to get to business.

    Pashna: "What is it you want?"

    Swati: "I need you to bless my child."

    Pashna frowns.

    Pashna: "You don't need a Kara for that, Ackbar."

    Swati: "I do. Even a Kara may not be enough... but it's the only option I have right now. Please come and see her."

    He shrugs.

    Pashna: "I have no choice. Your name is familiar to me though. I think you are related to the Count of Ovai Minor, right?"

    Swati:
    "He's my husband."

    Pashna nods. Some parts of the world practice monogamous marriage, a practice Pashna has long found unusual when he first met such people. In either case the entire government of the Apojiva Valleys is a strange one and an example of how power corrupts even the most noble of hearts.

    Pashna:
    "I don't want to be drawn into your war of secession..."

    Swati:
    "You won't. No one ever need know you were even here. Follow me, please."

    She saunters from the room in a manor that Pashna thinks is too casual for the circumstances. However he supposes she is in the position of power and is comfortable with that position. He follows her from the room, glancing at his armour as he goes. It might be ceremonial but it offers more protection than his clothing. He hesitates. Then follows, leaving his possessions behind.

    He's wearing loose garments of black, all usually hidden beneath the armour. Swati Ackbar, however, is wearing loose, silk robes with elegant patterns embroidered into them. He sees that the embroidered pattern depicts charging spectral unicorns and great ferns. Her robe is tied with one big sash of red, while the robe is black. The black and red is a sign of royalty in the Apojiva Valleys, though he didn't know spouses could claim the colours through marriage. He notices that her features make her somewhat attractive but her bulb is especially plump and lovely to look at. He imagines it would be pleasing to the touch.

    The passage is narrow, a common feature of Apojiva architecture Pashna comes to believe, and hanging on the walls are more silken drapes. This time they have crests and banner signs that he doesn't understand. The walk is short, evidently he was placed for quick access to his supposed destination. The end door leads him to his quarry and he's ushered into the room by his 'host'.


    The room is luscious and filled with ornaments for a child. He admires it all with a sudden sense of nostalgia as he thinks back to his own childhood. He was, of course, born very far away from the Apojiva Valleys and yet it seems a child's room is always a child's room regardless of culture. Hanging from a frame around the four-poster bed are light orbs, now dimmed by the presence of sunlight but still lit up by the ever-continuous microcosm of life going on inside each orb.

    He sees a boy lying in the bed. He is very, very sickly. His bulb is shrivelled and lacks the water it should have. His skin is grey and sallow. Pock marks adorn his face and Pashna can't help but recoil from the sight of the disease.


    Pashna: "The doctors?"

    Swati:
    "It's a punishment, Kara. The disease came on suddenly. A result of our war for freedom. Pesu... Pesu has done this."

    Pashna: "And you would have me sully myself by undoing the work of a god?"

    Swati: "Only you can. Does my son deserve this fate? This is an act of maliciousness."

    Pashna: "Perhaps mercy may be found..."

    He does fear retribution or rebuke from Pesu, but he finds his heart cannot abide the suffering of an innocent child who is being punished for the crimes of his elders. Pashna nears the boy and he looks up at him with desperate appeal. Pashna guesses the boy has already been told that he's here to fix him.

    Pashna: "What's his name?"

    Swati: "Teala."

    Pashna smiles reassuringly as he sits himself on the bed.

    Pashna: "Hello Teala. I'm here to help you."

    He places his hand upon Teala's head. The feeling of such dry skin is unnatural to Pashna and he almost swipes his hand back in revulsion. He resists for the boy's sake. He's suffered enough without seeing his saviour disgusted with him. Pashna exerts himself and feels a light tremor in his chest. The healing energy of a kara is much sought after across all of Indra and Pashna is willing to use it. His data-mould searches through diseases that match the boy's symptoms while the other half of his mind focuses on exerting his energy. He feels his own soul leap through his hand and, with the grace of Jitarayara, perhaps he can stem the illness. Only Pesu can stop his efforts and Pesu will know...

    The disease appears in his mind and he finds the primary areas of the body that are severely affected. The very cells of his body are first. The biggest task and the most crucial. Everything needs to store water but an Indran more than most. He seeks the cells with his mind and, after checking with the data-mould, he targets the osmolytes with rejuvenation. He glances at Swati.

    Pashna:
    "Water."

    She leaves the room and he continues. The pock marks are akin to any tumour and must be annihilated. The mutated cells restored, the boy's own white blood cells are sent to deal with the tumours until they begin to fade away. Swati returns with water and begins to pour little by little into the mouth of Teala.


    Pashna: "Pour some onto his skin."

    She does so and already he senses wellness returning to the child. His eyes look more expressively and excitedly as he feels it too. He redirects more water into Teala's plasma, insisting that the water cross the entire body quickly even if in small doses. Once there's enough in every organ to ensure they're stable and away from imminent failure, regular drinks of water would ensure the boy's long-term recovery.

    ---

    Swati Ackbar points down the long path. They're standing at the gate to her valley and looking down a road that will take him back to Attallaj Valley. Swati takes his hand and kisses it.

    Swati: "Thank you. I understand the hassle this may cause you. I hope you are spared repercussions."

    Pashna's lips chew for a second.

    Pashna: "So do I. But I hope Teala gets better more."

    Swati: "Pesu didn't interfere, did he? Is that a good sign?"

    Pashna: "Perhaps. Or it's a sign that he intends to punish me in his stead..."

    Swati: "Teala will forever remember what you did for him. I know he will be the most devout ruler the Apojiva Valleys have ever had. I hope we can win our secession so that he can live a peaceful life."

    Pashna: "I don't understand the governance of your lands but I think Teala would make a fine ruler if he remembers his devotion to the gods."

    Pashna looks up at the dark clouds above from which the rain falls. Most of it is caught by the mountain peaks on either side of the valley, casting him in the, now familiar, drizzle. He carries a light orb attached to a pole, rested upon his shoulder. Normally he refuses to travel by night but this night he thinks he ought not delay considering his prolonged absence. He starts to walk but stops and looks back.

    Pashna: "Try not to go round kidnapping people in future, eh?"

    She smiles.

    Swati: "I make no promises!"

  29. #29
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Pesu - Pt II

    Some say that Pesu is the most terrible of all the gods of Indra. His power, his wrath and his guise. Some say he only partially exists on Indra as he exists across the cosmos itself. A god unlike any other god. Yet for all his vastness, he does have a presence on Indra and one that does not reach the large scale of the other gods and their bodies.

    As Kara Pashna enters the Ziggurat of Pesu, a grand construct at the far edge of the Attallaj Valley. He had been escorted through the city by a pair of soldiers upon their spectral unicorns, though Pashna suspects he was actually under arrest. When he got to the Ziggurat the soldiers let him enter alone. He first walked up the steps to the top of the wall and then down to the inner grounds. The central building is where he now enters with a feeling of dread. He feels himself quivering, his bulb jiggling especially.

    The insides of the Ziggurat are quite unlike the city beyond, though the temple was constructed long before the Indran city. The ancient walls are caked in thousands of years of dust. Pashna keeps his fast pace, however, not wanting to keep Pesu waiting any longer. From the ceiling hand bugbuds, an insect that looks a lot like a hanging vine. Long and thin, it hangs from the ceiling and at its tip is a constantly swaying bud, evidently meant to mimic the swaying of a plant in the wind. Here, however, there is no wind. Pashna wonders how there can be so many bugbuds when there seems to be so few other insects for them to eat.

    When he gets to the end of the end of the passage he finds himself in the main hall of worship. Usually Pashna would expect this room to be filled with people but today it is eerily empty save for a lone, cloaked figure. Hooded and hunched, the figure stands still. Any uneducated Indran may be forgiven for thinking this an old man. But Pashna is a kara and he knows that this unlikely figure is the god Pesu himself.


    Pashna falls to his knees. Both of them and commits a kowtow, lightly knocking his head upon the bronze floor. When he rises his head again Pesu is straight in front of him and looking down. Pashna recoils but quickly recovers from the shock of Pesu's appearance. A skeleton. Animated yet very much dead. His hollow skull eyes glare down at the kara.


    Pesu: "You seek to defy my will, Kara of Jitarayara..."

    Pashna instantly kowtows again.

    Pashna: "Never, Lord Pesu. I apologise for my actions. I am weak-hearted. I couldn't watch such a child suffer..."

    Pesu:
    "Typical of your kind. Kara of Jitarayara. Unthinking. You see and you do. As you removed my verdict from the rebel leaders you must be prepared to accept punishment in their stead?"

    Pashna frowns as he tries to think of a way of avoiding this punishment. He didn't realise he has no choice.

    Pain. Insurmountable pain. It grips his body and he contorts and writhes. He struggles to breathe. He can't even cry out as his neck is swollen. He silently pleads with Pesu, staring up at the god. But Pesu just stares back and watches the wandering kara slowly, painfully, die. Pashna's last moments are traumatic but he manages to focus upon Jitarayara. His god must feel his agony. Pashna does't ask for help from Jitaraya. He asks for forgiveness.


    With his god in his mind. Our Kara Pashna succumbs to death, his eyes closed in the great sleep beyond sleep...

    ----------

    A day passes.

    The Ziggurat is again filled with people. Worshippers, tourists or sight-seers. Pesu stands atop of a podium and single Indrans approach him. He, unlike other gods, is the same size as these beings and yet his visage is constantly flickering, glitching, as he phases in and out of existence upon this planet. An Indran asks for his blessing. The man is sick and dying. Pesu looks into the man's soul and deems him worthy of continued life - the blessing removes the man's ailment. The next Indran is a young girl, barely four years old. He looks into her soul. He sees her future, he sees her children, he sees her ancestors. And deems her unworthy. The parents leave, weeping.

    Then an unexpected figure ascends the podium. An Indran wearing a thick, black cloak and a red robe of grand refinement. He bows deeply, then stands with a tall, straight back. The man would often meet with Pesu out-of-hours, yet today he comes for Pesu's aid and not just a discussion of faith or the future of his city. The Duke of Attallaj, Nari, speaks with rehearsed grace.


    Nari: "Lord Pesu. I come with an earnest request. This device is called Bernard the Clay-Pidgeon-"

    He holds out a small bird machine that Pesu recognises as the work of Jitarayara. Instantly he understands the request before it is spoken.

    Nari: "The Kara named Pashna was on a divine quest when he entered our city. This device was the kara's visa and communication device to discourse with his god, Jitarayara. You know I would not make such a great request of you if it were not for the urgency of stability and religion. Jitarayara has requested that I urge you to resurrect the kara..."

    Pesu: "I am now to do the bidding of another god, Duke?"

    Nari gets on his knees in apology.


    Nari:
    "Never, my Lord. But this Kara's quest was urgent--"

    Pesu: "The quest did not grant the Kara permission to interfere in my punishment. So my answer is no."

    Nari: "B-"

    Pesu: "You question me, Duke?"

    Nari shakes his head before he rises and leaves. Pesu watches him go before he turns to the next worshipper...


    ----------

    Later that night Pesu is alone in his Ziggurat. He stands in silence and unmoving.

    Until space-time folds and bends within the Ziggurat and half of the temple disappears - replaced with an entirely different temple. Jitarayara's office and throne have appeared, his immense bulk seated in the marble throne.

    Pesu: "Truly... this Kara is worth so much?"

    Jitarayara: "You should know, Pesu. You must have looked into his future..."

    Pesu: "I saw it fleetingly. It was filled with fire."

    The square-shaped god grimaces at that.

    Jitarayara: "That fire may yet be avoidable. But he must complete his quest."

    Pesu: "For the fate of Indra, you mean?"

    Jitarayara:
    "I do."

    Pesu:
    "I care not for this world."

    Jitarayara:
    "YetIdo."

    Pesu: "... I care not for you either."

    Jitarayara, for the first time in a hundred years, rises from his chair. His size seems to expand ever more as he takes two steps towards the domain of Pesu.

    Pesu: "You seek to intimidate me, Jitarayara?"

    Jitarayara:
    "Every god on Indra will come here to force your hand, Pesu."

    Pesu: "You think every god cares so much for your little Kara?"

    Jitarayara:
    "They care for the fate of this world. As gods our roles of interference are limited. You know we need to use our vassals. Kara Pashna is necessary--"

    Pesu: "You have other vassals, Jitarayara."

    Jitarayara finally cannot hold back his anger and bellows;

    Jitarayara:
    "His death was unjust! You had no right to vanquish my vassal!"

    Pesu, however, can be just as aggressive as Jitarayara.

    Pesu:
    "I had every right! He interfered in my punishment!"

    Jitarayara:
    "You made no efforts to hinder him!"

    Pesu:
    "You said yourself... we are limited in interference. Your Kara designed his own fate."

    Jitarayara: "No. You designed that fate!"

    Pesu:
    "It is done. I will not relent."

    Jitarayara stands there for a long while. An hour at least. Then space-time unfolds and Pesu watches The Kiri, Jitarayara's temple, wind back through the wall of his own Ziggurat. Pesu stands and resumes his solitude...

  30. #30
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Ovai

    The Indran wipes the rain from his brow. The Apojiva Valleys are under a constant drizzle of rain at the best of times and today the rain is particularly heavy, even with the valley walls for protection. He'd left Attallaj Valley yesterday and is now staying in Ovai Major - one of the dissenting towns in the valley region. He shakes himself, trying to get some of the rain off of his armour.

    Litik Map:
    "I should have worn a cloak..."

    Litik Rjingi: "I did warn you before you left."

    Litik Map pulls a tongue at the other litik.

    They'd travelled, at the behest of Kamal, to ask for the restoration of Kara Pashna. Pesu, however, continues to refuse. Litik Map can't bring his heart to soar with Pashna's death weighing on his mind. Map finds a towel in the bathroom and dries his armour off, careful not to dry too much of his skin.


    Litik Map: "What do we do now, Rjingi? Pesu refuses to bring back Kara Pashna..."

    Litik Rjingi: "Nothing we can do. That quest is over. Time to move onto the next."

    Map pouts.

    Litik Map: "But--"

    Litik Rjingi: "I know you liked him, Map. But it's over. He shouldn't have gotten involved in the region's politics."

    Litik Map: "He didn't! Just just saved a little boy. He's a good man..."

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Was."

    Map crosses his arms high on his chest.

    Litik Map: "Why do you have to be so mean!?"

    Litik Rjingi: "I'm not. There's nothing I, or we, can do now. Pesu has made his decision and doesn't care for our hurt feelings. We have to resume his quest for knowledge."

    Rjingi looks from his data-mould to the younger litik in front of him. Map frowns at him as sternly as he can.

    Litik Rjingi: "I suggest you go and enjoy the month while it lasts. We can go to the pagoda together if you'd like?"

    Map shakes his head. He'd wanted to go to the pagoda with Pashna. A month of carnal pleasures to be had, all in one pagoda - and the man he wanted to share it with is dead. Map doesn't think he could possibly enjoy any sex with this looming over his head.

    Their domicile is a tall hotel, their chambers being the entire top-floor. Map steps onto the balcony and looks at the rain-soaked street outside. The smell of damp is on the air, sweet to Map's nose. He looks into the distance and spies the Big Ovai Pagoda. It stands on the cusp between Ovai Minor and Ovai Major. At once time in history the two towns were much further apart but now they're almost butt-up to each other and the tower is pressed between them. Much how Map had been expecting to be between two men this month.


    He sees grand skeets floating around the temple. Big spherical creatures of rose pink at their edges and dark red lower down. These spherical creatures float about, their tendrils hanging limply below them. They're attracted to the pagoda for the commotions going on within. They glow softly and at night they're considered a very romantic by many that visit. There's only a few days of the month left and Map has only just gotten to Ovai Major. He considers going again. He should. The month of pleasure will be over and this may be the last time he gets to experience it if the end of the world does come...

    Litik Map: "I'm going."

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Great."

    He gets up from his armchair. Map looks at him in surprise.

    Litik Map: "I didn't think you'd want to go."

    Litik Rjingi: "This is the last time I'll get to go..."

    Litik Map nods.


    Litik Map: "I was thinking that too..."

    Rjingi grasps Map's shoulder and looks into his eyes.


    Litik Rjingi:
    "Let's not waste this night dwelling on our miseries. This is our last night for pleasure."

    They exit the building after changing out of their armour. They slip into more comfortable casual wear. Map is wearing a pair of genie-pants coloured bright orange, a long-sleeved t-shirt of black and a thin kaftan scarf of pink and white. Rjingi wears a short tunic, unveiling his long, white legs. Map thinks it's something that most would frown at on any other month - this tonight Rjingi will be popular. They hurry out of the hotel and hop into a carriage, which is pulled by an imp. The imps are Indranoid creatures - two arms, two legs and upright. But they're much smaller, stupid and smelly. They're purple and have eyes almost as big as their heads. The imp lifts the bar and pushes. Despite its size the creature is immensely strong. It bears them to the Big Ovai Pagoda.

    Its walls are white and soft and it stretches up into the darkening sky. The grand skeets are floating above him and he can't help but smile at their pretty visage. The two men join the queue to get in which, fortunately, doesn't take long. As soon as they're inside the music is pounding in Map's ears and the moans, groans, wails and cries of passion bombard him. Everywhere there's sex. Twos. Threes. Fours. More. The floor is very wet with rain from outside and whatever other fluids might be down there. He tosses off his sandals and steps on the warm liquids with his dainty feet. He follows Rjingi through the narrows corridor. There's no personal space here. Their bodies rub up against other men and women as they try to pass through. Groping hands are everywhere.

    They head up a staircase to the next floor. There's a big open wall but a tall railing to stop people for slipping off. One of the grand skeets is peeking in at them and Map wiggles his hand at it. The creature makes a gleeful boop noise and Map continues on. Rjingi is quickly accosted by a tall woman who slips her hand straight up his tunic. Map rolls his eyes, annoyed that he's about to be left alone so soon. Rjingi, however, takes the woman's hand and pulls her with him, letting Map continue following him up the stairs. They'd already vowed to get to the tip. A popular past-time for many visiting the temple is to get to the tip and ejaculate over the edge. Map is surprised he hadn't seen an immense puddle of goo outside now that he thinks about it.

    The woman, as she's being led by Rjingi grins at Map and kisses him. Her lips are soft and wet and Map indulges in the sensation. Women aren't his thing but on this night such boundaries can be broken.

    More stairs and more stairs. They're forever climbing past the people until they get to the tip, at least. Open to the rain falling on them, Map spreads wide his arms to embrace the cool effect it has on his supple skin. Rjingi is instantly engaged in opening his tunic for his friend and Map takes the opportunity to watch.


    It doesn't get far...

    Rjingi suddenly gasps for breath and clutches his chest. The woman panics and tries to hold him steady. Others on the tip also panic and try to help. Only Map knows what's happening.


    Litik Map:
    "You all need to leave now!"

    Woman:
    "Why!? What's happening!?"

    Litik Map: "He's a litik. He's going to have a vision."

    They understood what that meant and they back off. Rjingi's neck snap back as the force vision gathers in his mind. Map stands back and opens his palm. His staff conjures out of the air and he spins it in readiness. The people, seeing he means business, start to flee. They don't get far as a demon bursts from the cloud that's gathered above Rjingi. The demon instantly seizes the first figure, a young man, but before it can chew the man's head off Map snaps his staff into its ribs. The monster releases the boy, though the Indran is left with long gashes down his bare back.

    Map spins his staff round to crack the demon again, this time in its head. It's not done, however, and lunges at Map. They slide along the watery roof and Map loses his grip on the wooden weapon. The demon glares down at Map in triumph and actually has the audacity to laugh, in it deep and hollow voice. Its blade-like claws slam into Map's shoulder. It would have been his chest had he not managed to squirm at the last second. He holds his hand out and a small knife materialises in his palm. He slams it into the creature's neck. Black ooze spurts from its injury and the young litik rolls away from it as it falls. It yanks the blade from its body and the wound heals instantly - as though it was never there. The staff swings through the air, back to Map's hand and he steadies himself. The demon leaps up, unnaturally high, and bears down on Map. The litik doesn't strike, instead he moves to the side and allows the demon to pass him by. The demon stumbles forward for a brief moment - just long enough for Map to strike him against the back and force the creature to fall into the railings. He hits the monster again. And again. Until the railing breaks and the creature topples off of the tip of the pagoda. Map peers over the edge and sees the demon fade into the aether before it ever hits the ground - well out of range of the dimensional warp caused by Rjingi. Map looks at his friend just as he snaps out of his vision.

    Map hurries over, discarding his staff back into the aether from whence it came.


    Litik Map: "What did you see, Rjingi? I hope it wasn't tomorrow's dinner again..."

    Rjingi holds onto Map's hands with breathlessness. He frowns.


    Litik Rjingi:
    "I saw... a creature of red skin. She'll be the doom of our planet. But... I feel like... it's not her intent... It's so strange. She doesn't come to destroy us, that's not what she wants."

    Litik Map kneels down with Rjingi.

    Litik Map:
    "Do you think she could be reasoned with then? She could be made to leave and maybe we can... avoid this problem altogether?"

    Rjingi looks at him.

    Rjingi:
    "I believe so. I really do. She isn't a cruel and evil alien. She's... good. If she can avoid destroying us, I know she would. Whoever she is."

    Map smiles more happily than ever. He may have lot Kara Pashna but at least he's gained a future. He sees people coming back upstairs and he calls to them.

    Litik Map:
    "Don't worry! I dealt with the demon. We're all safe!"

    Instant cheers and, for Map, instant sex appeal as men come to make love to the hero of the hour. Ovai silently cheers as the Indrans rejoice within him and he knows that Indra can be saved.

  31. #31
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow The Gaian Universe

    Long ago in a universe far, far away...

    By long ago I mean yesterday. And by far away I mean the universe next door. Still. That's pretty far. And time gets wappy when crossing universes so it could have been long ago, I'm no astrophysicist so I'm not going to work it out.

    Either way, this is the Gaian Universe. Or you might say it's the Gaiverse...

    Did I seriously just say that out loud? The GAY VERSE? Considering that last post about Indrans shagging and dancing in a god's co-- Let's stick with Gaian Universe, shall we?

    The Gaian Universe is not constructed like others universes. It's physics definitely do not comply to the same rules that the NeSiverse does. It certainly has galaxies and planets but the universe is not an ever-expanding sphere of galaxies. It has two diametric poles - the Realms of Life and Death. All planets in every galaxy orbit their suns so that half of their respective years will be spent looking at the Realm of Life, while the second half of the year will be spent looking at the Realm of Death.

    To any beings on those worlds they'd see the great green expanse of Life as the backdrop to a beautiful night sky. Or they'd see the wondrous red expanse of Death. Of course no mere mortal has ever been to either of these Realms. That's reserved for the Gaian Universe's own deities and the two ultimate beings of the cosmos - Life & Death themselves. Mother and Father to all.

    And yet not literally.

    They may have laid the foundations but they certainly didn't go procreating with each other. Except once. And that once...

    Aire looks at the white spiralling staircase that stretches from one side of the universe to the other. A bridge between the two great Realms. She steps up slowly. One-by-one. Twenty-five steps and she has crossed the universe in record time. Of course the staircase may well expand the universe but its folding that space-time to condense it all into a mere twenty-five steps. Lucky because Aire doesn't want to be late for tea and spending aeons crossing the universe would certainly make her tardy.


    As she steps down off of the staircase (despite having stepped up them... wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, stairy-wairy) and onto the vast plane of Death. Where she stands it's a single sheet of shiny red with nothing else to be seen. As he walks the world becomes increasingly visible, as though it's only just remembering people are meant to see it. Buildings fade into existence here and there and yet there seems to be no order to anything. Just stuff happening. Until she reaches her father's house. A tall, old mansion with black bricks for walls and a decrepit old gate. She once though the old, worn out look was for effect but later realised her father is just too forgetful to get anything fixed.

    She walks up to the door and taps the knocker. The door bursts into light and the entrance to the house is a blaze of white. She steps inside and is engulfed in the whiteness. Until she passes through and she's into the house proper. She's never understood why doors had to do that. Why explode into aethereal light? Couldn't they just swing open or something? That'd be a more more logical method. Or maybe they could slip upwards? Well. Who is she to question the laws of physics?

    The house is clean, at least. Not that her father cleans it, the servants will be doing that. She passes through the narrow corridor and into the rear kitchen. Everything in the house has a filter of grey over it, quite a contrast to the vibrant red outside. She peeks through the window and sees her father outside. He's feeding ducks in the pond of is garden. She knocks on the rear door. It explodes into light and she passes through, hearing the faint tingling of its former existence. Once outside she glances and at the door rematerialises.

    Doors are just plain weird.

    The garden is red. The pond is red. The trees are red. The flowers are red. The ducks are... well white actually, but still. They'd be red if they would put more effort into it.

    She walks over the grass.


    Aire: "Father?"

    He looks up. His face is very pale, except his cheeks are forever flushed with a gentle rose red as though he's been out too long in the cold. Unsurprising since the Realm of Death certainly is pretty nippy despite being such a warm colour.

    Death: "Aire! Come to see me at last! I've been withering away without you!"

    Aire: "I was here yesterday, father."

    Death: "Yesterday was an eternity ago!"

    Actually it probably was knowing how time tends to not happen in these weird metaphysical locations.

    Aire: "Mother says hello."

    Death grumbles.


    Death: "I bet she does."

    He throws more bread for the ducks, a bit more aggressively this time.

    Aire: "Father. The ducks can't eat the bread. They're dead."

    Death:
    "I can watch them try."

    The ghost ducks snap and roll over the corporeal bread. Despite being ghosts they look as real and as physical as anything would on any planet. Death looks at her, a little hurt by her words.

    Death: "I can always train them in the ways of a poltergeist! Then they can touch things."

    Aire: "They'd be able to throw bread around. They still can't eat it."

    Death: "You aaaaaaaaalways complain at me. Always trying to make me stick to the rules. Watch."

    A duck eats the bread. Aire blinks.

    Aire: "Father... you shouldn't allow it to do that..."

    Death grins a big grin.

    Death: "And why not!"

    Aire: "Where does it go...?"

    Death: "Where does what go?"

    Aire: "The bread."

    Death:
    "In it's mouth! Come on, Aire. You know basic biology. You even have a mouth yourself! And you can eat too! So the butler tells me anyway..."

    Aire:
    "I mean, where does it go next?"

    Death points at the duck's mouth and traces his finger to its belly...

    Death: "Oh..."

    Aire: "No biological functions, father. That bread it just sitting inside it. Keep letting it eat stuff and the bread will keep gathering inside until it's just a flapping.. bag of bread."

    Death: "Actually maybe I should do that. Then send them to your mother. See what she does."

    Aire: "She's just call you a lovable idiot."

    Death: "At least she'd appreciate the effort then! So! How was she?"

    Aire: "She's fine. I met her pool-boy."

    Death: "Pool-boy? What's that?"

    Aire: "A boy who cleans her pool."

    Death looks sullen and growls;

    Death: "I bet he does."

    Aire: "Well. You know mother."

    Death: "She's constantly making these pointless minor deities just so she can get her rocks off. Pool-boy. Honestly. Does the universe need a god of pools?"

    Aire: "I think he's the god of cleaning pools. Hence pool-boy."

    Death:
    "Oh great! Because I bet there's already a god of pools too!"

    Aire: "I have to admit, the god of big, black drainpipes seemed pretty unnecessary..."

    Death smiles warmly and wraps his arm around his daughter's shoulder. She glances at his gloved hand and thinks of her own but she's prevented from entering that little self-reflection by Death's words;


    Death: "My sweet child. You're so much more like me than your mother. And that makes me really happy. At least when she sees you, she sees me. Ha! In your eye, Wife!"

    He nudges her to see if he got his little joke. To emphasise he points to his eye and waggles his eyebrows. His irises are grey, adding to the wintery feel of the man. His cloak is thick, set and stark white. His hood always up, hiding his head very short grey hair. Only his gloves are black. She thinks of her own gloves again.

    Death: "So! How many people did you kill, my love?"

    He looks excitedly at her.

    She pulls a soda can from the folds of her own cloak, hers being jet black and ragged.


    Aire: "Three-hundred and nine."

    Death taps his chin.

    Death: "Weren't there supposed to be three-hundred and eighteen?"

    Aire:
    "Yes. But... those last ones were caught in a rain of plasma fire and... and... well... there was a lot of goo."

    Death looks disgusted.

    Death:
    "I know how you feel. Eew. You mother loves that stuff. Goo and fluids and... just... biology. It's all gooey and sticky. I can't blame you. But... you know..."

    Aire: "I know. They'll spring up. Time has been warped - they never became goo. But maybe that's a good thing? They get to live. Maybe we should stop taking souls, father..."

    Death releases her and she regrets her words.

    Death: "Now you sound like your mother. All life this and life that. She loves herself so much she only ever talks about herself."

    Aire:
    "Father..."

    Death: "Do you know what would happen if we didn't collect souls, Aire?"

    Aire: "The planets would stop spinning and the Realm of Death would never be seen by the people of the planets - meaning the last months of the universe before it... blows up or something. Never understood how it's supposed to end."

    Death shrugs.

    Death:
    "Well that's the nursery story, sure. I mean. Nothing would actually happen. Universe would keep on going like always."

    Aire: "Then why?"

    Death: "Overpopulation. You've seen your mother. Life breeds. And breeds. And breeds..."

    Each time he says the word he gets angrier.

    Aire: "I guess. Nothing dies. Life overruns the universe. It'd end up like that duck would!"

    Death blinks.

    Death: "Duck?"

    Aire: "The duck you fed bread to."

    Death: "What's a duck?"

    She points back at them.

    Death:
    "ARGH! Where did they come from!?"

    Aire sighs.

    Aire: "Honestly, father, you're only supposed to be affected by old age if you're mortal."

    Death: "Old? I'm not old! I'm only... as old as the universe... anyway! Where are the souls?"

    She holds up the can and he looks at it. He looks unimpressed.

    Death: "Where is the designated vase?"

    Aire:
    "... I forgot it..."

    Fortunately he has forgotten that she was just hypocritically chastising his forgetfulness.

    Death: "And so..."

    He looks at the can.

    Aire:
    "It's all I had with me."

    Death:
    "Aire. We don't contain souls in Coca-Cola cans. It's disrespectful."

    Aire: "Actually it's Dr Pepper..."

    Death: "..."

    Aire shuffles her feet.

    Death:
    "At least it wasn't Fanta. I hate Fanta."

    Aire: "Father. You can't drink."

    Death: "I know. But Fanta's so... orange. It's unnatural."

    Aire: "You Realm is bright red."

    Death: "Red isn't orange, my dear. Most important lesson of all. Red is not orange..."

  32. #32

    The Smallest of Slights

    In any given universe, there exists an unfathomable amount of its building blocks. The scale of insignificance any one quantum has to a Joe Shmoe of Earth equals to that of Joe's insignificance in scale to the vastness of the universe and the powers which engulf it. If you think existence won't notice Joe Shmoe gone, imagine trying to notice such a particle gone. In comparison, Joe Shmoe consumes the purpose of a trillion trillion of its kind.

    Joe Shmoe:: "Thanks?"

    And yet, just as one person can shake the foundation of so many lives, so too can even one planck-long particle sunder the foundation of existence. In many universes, such a singular sub-atomic slice doesn't even exist; one sub-atomic slice is the same as any of the virtually infinite number of others, unable to do anything beyond its most base 'down' or 'spin' or such, if even that. However, in select universes, there exist a quantum particle unique to all others in its universe, a destined particle that can behave however it wishes, godly even to things far larger than itself -- a Quantum God.

    For a powerplayer who has most everything at their disposal, having a Quantum God at their command is paramount. In the High Empire's infancy, its powerplaying ruler, Highemperor, seeks out such Quantum Gods to steal and subjugate. Within an otherwise small and dull universe, Highemperor finds his first Quantum God, nearly missing it in his meticulous-yet-monstrously large combing of existence.

    This particular Quantum God, relatively new to its divinity, knows only the "worship" of one other particle. We'll call the particle "Up" because that's all the particle knew how to do. And though Up could only "up" in its praise of the Quantum God, it "up"s with such intent that it pleases the Quantum God. So when Highemperor shrinks his presence down to a mere relatively-Galactus-sized being to them, the Quantum God and his sole worshipper take no heed.


    Highemperor: "Join me, Quantum God, and you'll know a purpose greater than you could ever know in this universe alone!"

    The Quantum God hardly gives notice to Highemperor's words. This might be because, even as an all-powerful particle, Highemperor's use of things like language and appeals to desire spread far beyond even its comprehension. Still, the Quantum God gets the gist, and it wants this Highemperor to leave it with its worshiper.

    Highemperor: "Right, I think I need to consider delegating more. I'll be back!"

    And so, true to his word, Highemperor returns after some eons. This time, he was accompanied by a special particle of his own. While no means a Quantum God, this particle can better herald Highemperor's intent, and Highemperor calls it his Silver Subber, because it substitutes for him at a sub-atomic level, and because he fancies it to somehow be silver at a level where neither light nor chemical molecules hold no meaning. Such are the perks of a powerplayer.

    The Silver Subber wields both persuasiveness and physical power that which can sway the Quantum God. The Quantum God listens as much as such can, its sole worshipper continuing to "up" in pitiful, childlike competition for attention. Despite the Silver Subber's skill, it ultimately proves fruitless. In fact, the Quantum God 'charms' the Silver Subber to stay by its side. Highemperor fumes in anger.


    Highemperor: "I won't have some insignificant speck foil me! Literally, it's a speck. The other powerplayers will never let it go if they found out I was beaten by a speck."

    With a swish of his hand, Highemperor summons the other nearby sub-atomic particles to swarm upon the Quantum God. Despite their numbers, the particles fail in spectacularly stupid fashion, the torrential 'downs' cast aside by the Quantum God. So early in his powerplaying career, Highemperor needs to rely on his persistence and selfish will to press the fight on.

    Highemperor: "I can do this all day. All of the eons of this universe even. You will be mine."

    Again, true to his word, Highemperor continues to assail the Quantum God with every building block the universe has to offer, until the universe itself is empty. Only Highemperor, the traitorous Silver Subber, a very worn Quantum God, and its lone worshipper, Up, remain. Despite its battered condition, the Quantum God stands defiant. Highemperor sweats visibly, unsure how to overcome such a power without diplomacy or conquest. In an act generally reserved for sore losers, Highemperor reaches out his hand once more.

    Highemperor: "I didn't want to have to do this, but you leave me no choice. I'll cast your single worshipper against you. You can destroy it like the countless others, and I'll leave you to rot alone in this now dead universe with the traitor, or you can spare it, and serve me."

    The Quantum God blinks in confusion. The Silver Subber translates into a primitive level it can understand. It turns its attention to Up, considering its options, realizing that it cares for Up and its devotion...

    Highemperor gleefully smiles, casting his power upon the Silver Subber. While the Quantum God has its attention on Up, Highemperor puppets the Silver Subber to kamikaze itself into the Quantum God. The strike lands true, and the Quantum God falls unceremoniously, because it's still a speck and is incapable of doing much with ceremony. Up watches with itty-bitty horror as Highemperor shackles and sweeps the Quantum God into his grasp, the vision burning into Up's very core. With no further consideration for the now solitary thing in the universe's existence, Highemperor leaves to seek more Quantum Gods to bring into his fold.

    Up feels anger, confusion, depression, loneliness... well, what you and I would call those things anyway. What Up feels aren't feelings, but much much more base. Such things are its existence now, the image of Highemperor branded into its being. It is no longer Up, but nor is it transformed into Down, Top, Bottom, Charmed, or Strange, nor even its anti-quark partners. Up does what it does best -- it 'up's.

    And 'up's.

    And 'up's.

    And...ascends.

    The universe sits empty.


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

    Many universes rise and fall. The High Empire now controls a pantheon of Quantum Gods which number more than the stars in the heavens, and the particle once known as Up ripples its presence throughout the multiverses, slowly conglomerating into a trans-dimensional known as the Ascension. It is neither god nor goddess, as it wants nor needs worship. It does, however, desire the fall of Highemperor and the freedom of the Quantum Gods, and so joins as one of the Twelve God-Monarchs of Mega Jonestown Prime.

    And during the war the God-Monarchs wages against Highemperor, the Ascension shudders as they witness the Quantum Gods coalesce into a space weapon the likes of which would never be seen in existence again. In this moment, the weapon resembles a bident with a rail gun for its head. Commanding the particles to surround him as he wields the weapon, they continue forming an ever-growing space vessel, a vessel acting more an extension of his form than a ship for travel. The form of the vessel which houses the weapon, neither of which are never the same twice used, nevertheless always bears the insignia "The Quantum Pantheon" across some portion of its outer shell.

    Piercing the heavens, The Quantum Pantheon rails and smites upon The Ascension, forever scarring its impermeable form...
    Last edited by Gebohq; 04-18-2016 at 10:45 AM.

  33. #33
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: Take-off

    Space Camelot: Take-off
    Characters: King Arthur | Guinevere | Morganna le Fay | Sir Lancelot | Merlin the Young | Sir Kay | Sir Bedivere | Shalott | Vivane | Merlin the Old | Afanc

    Merlin the Younger slaps her arms as she strives to warm them up. She's standing atop of Mount Snowdon and peering off into the west. She holds up her hand and snaps her fingers. The dark clouds that had been looming overhead very quickly scarper. Sir Kay looks from Merlin to the sky with astonishment.

    Sir Key:
    "I swear those clouds just whimpered like a pack of dogs..."

    Merlin: "Then they should behave themselves."

    Sir Kay: "... riiiiiiiight. Well. At least we can see Ireland with all those clouds out of the way. Actually I think I can see Scotland from up here too."

    Merlin: "That's why we're up here, Sir Kay."

    Sir Kay: "I know, I know. I'm just... stating the obvious."

    Sir Bedivere: "Not the most useful trait, Sir Kay..."

    Sir Kay pouts, hands on his armoured hips.

    Sir Kay: "I make up for it by smashing skulls. Care for a demonstration, Beddy?"

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Don't call me that..."

    Sir Kay:
    "Beddy."

    Shalott: "Do humans always bicker this much?"

    The humans around her have the decency to be embarrassed. She is a tall Aes Sidhe witch with long dark hair that shines beautifully in the sun of the, now clear, sky.

    Shalott:
    "L'oreal. Because I'm worth it."

    Sir Kay:
    "None of that magic talk round here, witch-lady."

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Actually that sounded suspiciously French to me..."

    Merlin: "It sounded suspiciously anachronistic to me."

    Shalott:
    "I invented it. A magical brew for keeping the hair lusciously soft."

    She paws her hair like a cat scratching her ear. She has black skin like the peoples of Africa, something most of the humans in England had never seen, and irises so dark that they appear almost black. She often wears a cocky smile when addressing the humans, which Bedivere openly remarked to be Aes Sidhe arrogance.

    Merlin glances back from their perch, down towards the lake.

    Merlin: "Someone keep an eye on that lake, would you?"

    They all, save Merlin who keeps looking westward, look down the mountainside at the lake.

    Sir Bedivere:
    "You mean Lake Glaslyn? My dear Merlin, The Lady of the Lake shall not be rising from there today. She's busy at Stonehenge."

    Shalott: "Which is why I'm stuck babysitting you."

    Sir Bedivere: "Actually you're here because Queen Guinevere and The Lady of the Lake decided it would be wise to keep you and Sir Lancelot separated."

    Shalott looks affronted but didn't get a chance to protest her innocence before Merlin cut in.

    Merlin: "Not that lake. The other lake. Llyn Llydaw."

    They look at her with shock. Sir Kay works his mouth uncomfortably as he attempts to repeat the words.


    Sir Bedivere: "Your Welsh is impeccable, Merlin. I'm very impressed."

    Shalott:
    "Where was the praise for my French?"

    Merlin: "I am Welsh, Sir Bedivere."

    Sir Bedivere: "Consider me shocked. I always thought you were from the Old North..."

    Merlin: "The older Merlin is from Hen Ogledd, Sir Bedivere--"

    The stare at her and Sir Kay wiggles his tongue in disgust and fascination at the crazy Welsh language.

    Merlin:
    "Old North, as you put it. He taught me English."

    Shalott: "English? And you complained at me for anachronism. English doesn't exist yet. You'd have probably learnt Cumbric in the Old N--"

    Sir Kay:
    "I think I saw something in that lake you meant, Merlin."

    They all fall silent and stare at Llyn Llydaw - save Merlin, again.

    Sir Bedivere: "What exactly did you see, Sir Kay?"

    Sir Kay looks at Sir Bedivere with wide eyes.

    Sir Kay:
    "It... wiggled."

    The two men shudder with inward horror.

    Shalott: "So much for the brave knights of King Arthur..."

    Sir Kay:
    "But--! It's wiggly! And slimy! And gross!"

    Sir Bedivere: "Sir Lancelot usually deals with that kind of thing."

    Shalott smiles wistfully.


    Shalott: "Such a knight!"

    Sir Kay: "That's why you're not allowed at Stonehenge."

    ---

    At Stonehenge, already ancient by this time, King Arthur holds out his hand to help Morganna le Fay to climb up onto the central plinth. Under that platform would be Doughnutdelf and The Rift to Albion. Out here, however, there's just us chickens.

    King Arthur: "I am not a chicken."

    Morgan: "What?"

    King Arthur: "Nothing."

    Morgan looks over towards Guinevere, trying to see a streak of jealousy in her as she watches Arthur help her up. Guinevere, however, remains as stoic and composed as always, much to Morgan's disappointment.

    Vivane: "I'm glad you showed up this time, Morganna..."

    Morgan:
    "Hey. I told you. I had a bad dream. I thought Arthur was going to screw me..."

    Everyone is silent.


    Morgan:
    "I meant fool me into destroying Albion..."

    Everyone sighs with relief.

    Morgan:
    "Then he pretended to let me actually screw him but he lied about that too. Dream Arthur is a nasty *******."

    Vivane: "Now that we're all sufficiently uncomfortable, shall we begin Morganna?"

    Morgan nods and looks down at the stone. She smacks it with her boot.

    Morgan: "You still down there, Old Man?"

    From below the stone comes the shout of an old man.

    Merlin the Old: "Don't take that tone with me, young lady! I'm still your mentor--"

    Morgan: "As long as you're stuck down there, you're not!"

    She cracks her knuckles.


    Morgan:
    "Let's get this show on the road."

    Sir Lancelot:
    "What show? What road?"

    Morgan:
    "Quiet, cretin."

    King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere and Vivane are gathered around Stonehenge to watch Morganna le Fay get to work. She had postponed this after her dream but now, seeing her dream was just the Dreamstate playing silly buggers with her mind, she had quashed her beloved home of Avalon and now uses that energy to pump into the ground.

    This spell is like none ever attempted before. The channelling of such a huge amount of magic across a massive area, all with Morganna le Fay acting as the conduit. She didn't admit to anyone but she is terrified of what might happen to her. Especially she didn't tell her half-brother.


    From The Rift beneath her flows a sudden great wave of magical energy, a dimension composed entirely of magic with plenty to spare. Vivane warps the flow of magic, careful not to overwhelm the frail human body of Morganna. She has to direct the flow just right, just enough so that it will course through the woman's limbs without exploding. Morganna is the engine while Vivane is the driver.

    Morganna feels her eyes burn as magical energy tries to seep from them. She holds back her cry of anguish and closes them tightly. Her hands tremble as magic gushes from her palms and spreads across the field surrounding the henge. It coats the landscape like a morning mist. It seeps, as fast as light, through the ground and down, down, down deep into the mountain below the sea that creates Britain. There... she feels it.

    Exotic, alien, ancient - three words that barely begin to describe the unusual object that she can sense buried deep, deep down. How it got there she can only begin to fathom. But no she has it.

    According to Merlin the Older the great galleon can further its own removal if she powers up its own energy core. She pushes with her will and she easily locates the energy engine as it hungrily, greedily, laps up the magical current she's throwing across the machine. She directs energy to power it up. Suddenly the thing feels alive and, as Merlin promised, the vessel works with her to free itself of the land. It grumbles and grinds out of ancient rock. Slams into more rock, breaks other rock, and is buried several times by collapsing rock.

    Morganna doesn't notice that the entire country is wobbling as she's completely focused on her task.


    Sir Lancelot: "I hope this endeavour doesn't destroy your old kingdom in the attempt to make a new one, Sire!"

    King Arthur:
    "If it does, I totally blame Morgan!"

    One of the huge slabs of Stonehenge topples from its perch, slamming into the ground. Sir Lancelot jumps back to avoid being squished.

    ---

    Back on the Welsh mountain of Snowdon, the other party is trying to maintain its footing on the rocking peak.


    Shalott: "What have we let you crazy humans do this time!?"

    Sir Kay: "I really regret eating an entire KFC bucket to myself today..."

    Merlin: "No anachronisms!"

    Sir Kay: "Whatever one of those is. It's Ye Olde Kent Fried Chicken! You need to get out more, Merlin!"

    Sir Bedivere: "That's assuming we survive this calamity!"

    Sir Kay: "I think all this shaking is making our lake monster friend more angry."

    Shalott: "Or more hungry."

    Merlin: "It's called the Afanc. And yes. It'll eat us."

    Shalott: "Oh! I know the creature! It's a playful little blighter! I'm sure it just wants to try and make friends with humans it sees! Probably doesn't know its own strength."

    Merlin: "We'll remember that when it's tearing our flesh from our bones!"

    Sir Kay:
    "Ladies first if that happens!"

    Shalott: "How bold you are, Sir Kay!"

    Sir Kay:
    "Hey. I'm the master of sarcasm around here, witch-lady!"

    Merlin:
    "There! I... uh... is... Ireland flying?"

    They all turn away from Llyn Llydaw and look towards Ireland, or Eire as the Irish prefer. It's now floating up in the air. Beneath the landmass is the object Merlin thinks is their actual prize.

    Merlin:
    "Shalott... I suggest you send a message to Vivane and tell Morganna she needs to nudge the thing over to the west a wee bit..."

    ----

    Vivane:
    "Morganna... you need to move the space galleon to the west more."

    Morgan tries not to grumble. It's hard enough trying to lift the damned thing without moving it around some more. She'd already moved it westward once. How much more west could it need to go?

    The land has ceased vibrating so much but she feels that the land still aches. She imagines there's a dirty great big hole in the land beneath the waves that's causing Britain's tummy ache.

    She thrusts westward and, suddenly, the strain on her feels so much lighter! Weird that.


    ----

    Ireland plunges back onto the surface of the ocean and starts to sink, little-by-little.

    Merlin: "Cripes... no one will notice!! Right?"

    Sir Bedivere:
    "I expect the Irish shall... at least for the next... ten minutes."

    Shalott: "I suppose it's up to the Aes Sidhe to make up for your mistakes. As usual."

    She holds out her hands and aether begins to swirl around her. While Merlin suggests to the magic what it ought to be doing, giving her a clean and straight-forward brand of magic, the magic of Shalott is anything but clean. It's aggressive and commanded by her dominance over the wild aether. Ireland begins to rise again from the ocean, the water bubbling around it.


    Sir Bedivere: "What's happening down there?"

    Shalott:
    "Aes Sidhe of Ireland are in the water, repairing the rock while I hold it up. Well. Me and a lot of other Aes Sidhe witches or warlocks or whoever has decided to help. I'm sure there's more than a few lazy braggarts just watching us struggle."

    But they've stopped listening to Shalott. Instead they're gazing up at the massive vessel hovering above Ireland. It's high enough that they can see end to end and it is not only gigantic but an incredible and unusual shape. It's also very dirty.


    Sir Bedivere:
    "I'm sure there's some very confused barnacles up there..."

    ----

    Morgan: "I think it can support itself now..."

    King Arthur: "Are you sure? I don't want you to drop it back in the ocean again!"

    Morgan:
    "It's fine. I've already let go and it's staying up there okay."

    Vivane: "Shalott reports that Ireland was damaged but it seems to have survived the ordeal. A bit smaller than it used to be, but still in one piece. Ish."

    King Arthur:
    "Good to know..."

    He leans towards Guinevere.

    King Arthur:
    "What's Ireland?"

    Guinevere: "Part of your kingdom, Arthur."

    Vivane: "Apparently... Sir Kay is being molested by a lake monster now. Sir Bedivere is trying to distract the creature by building a... giant, wooden rabbit... And Merlin has run off and left them to die."

    King Arthur nods sagely.


    King Arthur: "Usual antics, Lady of the Lake. Nothing to worry about. So! My space ship! Time to whizz off into space and find new worlds to populate! I was thinking of taking all of Scotland with us!"

    Guinevere:
    "You mean the entire populace of Scotland, Arthur?"

    Arthur nods eagerly.

    Guinevere: "I don't think you can force the entire population of a country to leave..."

    Arthur shrugs.

    King Arthur:
    "Alright fine. I'll let people sign up. I just hope we have enough people to start a colony!"

    Sir Lancelot stares off into the distance where they can see the huge hulk against the sky.

    Sir Lancelot: "The more immediate question is... how do we get up there?"

    They look up at it too.


    King Arthur: "Uh... wasn't Bedivere making a giant rabbit?"

  34. #34
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Space Camelot: Redshift

    Space Camelot: Redshift
    Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Sir Kay | Sir Bedivere | Sir Lancelot | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Tom a'Lincoln | Shalott | Vivane | Prince Llacheu

    Castle Camelot stands on the border of Wales and England towards the north. It is a majestic castle, quite unlike the other castles of Europe early 6th Century. It has a great keep that stands tall and strong with a single gigantic tower that rises far above even the castle's enormous and thick walls of white stone. The walls are cornered with circular dens that are considered sacred plots for four magical weeping willows. Surrounding the castle is a moat of deep water that is home to a lot of plant life and fish. The drawbridge is usually down with no foreseeable enemies this deep into Arthur's realm.

    The keep has gigantic stained glass windows with depictions of Saints from all over Europe. Mounted on the walls are traction trebuchets, massive ballista but, possibly the most surprising, is the liquid dome that seems to rest atop of the walls. Evidently Castle Camelot enjoys the liberty of magical protection.


    Standing atop of the tall tower of the keep are lords, ladies and some Aes Sidhe from Albion. They are all looking up at the colossal space galleon that hovers above the king's realm. That king soon to be Prince Llacheu, who stands with some trepidation with the rest. He's eager to become king but afraid of the responsibility and saddened that he may never see his beloved mother and father again. He blows his nose into a handkerchief. Shalott pats him on the back.

    Shalott: "There, there. Mummy will be okay."

    Prince Llacheu nods pathetically, more concerned for his own well-being without her.


    Vivane:
    "It appears they have finished boarding..."

    She can see those boarding the ship through her mind's eye, allowing her sight all across the world at any given moment.

    Shalott: "I wish I could do that..."

    Vivane: "You'd waste the power on watching Sir Lancelot."

    Shalott grins mischievously.


    Shalott:
    "Only when he's getting out of that armour."

    Vivane shakes her head slowly.

    Vivane: "You'd turn into a cat in no time, Shalott."

    Prince Llacheu looks at the two magical Aes Sidhe as though they'd just declared they didn't like tea. The shock and horror of the very idea.


    Shalott:
    "I'm a witch, dear prince. If an Aes Sidhe witch uses her power too much, too quickly, she'll be confined to cat form forever... cat form being our original form, you see."

    The prince tilts his head, brain trying to figure that one out.

    Prince Llacheu:
    "So... you're actually a cat! A cat in human form!"

    Shalott:
    "You say it like it's a bad thing!"

    Vivane:
    "It is leaving..."

    Their attention is drawn to the huge ship as its engines flare up brightly. It slowly cruises away from the land of Britain and ascends towards the sky.

    Prince Llacheu:
    "Won't they crash into Heaven?"

    Vivane:
    "There is no Heaven up there, young prince. Only--"

    ---

    Guinevere:
    "Stars!"

    Most of the human populace have gathered in the conservatory - a gigantic room that, through a large shield, gives an incredible and expansive view of the universe beyond the ship. As Camelot breaks through Earth's atmosphere the blue of the sky is replaced by the glistening stars of space. The Medieval space-farers marvel at this miracle of the universe. Many praise God, many weep at the splendour while others embrace their family and friends with exultation. The room is filled with Britons from every country; England, Wales, Scotland and even some Irish that were not too pissed off that their country was almost drowned. Arthur was fairly disgruntled that he didn't have as many people as he'd have liked but both Merlin and Sir Bedivere calculated that there'd be enough to sustain a new colony. Assuming they find a new Earth.

    Sir Kay: "Definitely worth climbing that stupid rabbit for."

    Sir Bedivere: "That rabbit was not stupid. It saved your life and got us up here, didn't it?"

    Morgan: "I thought it was supposed to be a giant kangaroo."

    Sir Bedivere:
    "Kangaroo!? A giant, wooden kangaroo. That'd just be ridiculous."

    Guinevere: "I thought it was a panda so..."

    Sir Kay:
    "I don't even know what either a kangaroo or a panda is."

    Guinevere points excitedly, discarding her usual cool composure. Outside the moon swings into view, much bigger, brighter and more wonderful than ever before. Everyone will remember this moment not just because of the beauty of it but because they all saw Queen Guinevere squeal like a little girl.

    King Arthur:
    "I should go to the Command Deck and see if Tom a'Lincoln has figured out how to make the ship go super-fast."

    Sir Bedivere:
    "What makes you believe it can go, uh, 'super-fast', Sire?"

    King Arthur:
    "Merlin said it can."

    Morgan:
    "You know she's an imbecile, brother."

    King Arthur:
    "I meant the other Merlin. Seriously. Why do they have to have the same God damn name?"

    The knights all facepalm at Arthur's never ceasing blasphemy.


    King Arthur leaves the conservatory and walks down the corridors of the ship. Despite the grime and slime that coats the outside of the ship, the interior was well insulated from the sea it had been surrounded by while buried. The magic of Avalon seemed to have powered up the energy core easily enough. Merlin, the younger, said that it should keep going forever so long as she, or any other magic-wielder, topped it up.

    The ship seemed structurally sound, though not in the best condition. Unsurprising since it had been sat in a planet-spanning pond for thousands, if not millions or billions, of years. Everything in the curious ship is made of peculiar materials that clang or clink when tapped and it seems to run on magical mirrors showing informations or pictures of things that Arthur couldn't even begin to work out. Merlin had had the most success with her magical and studious brain.

    He passes by several rooms of what is being called the living quarters. People have been putting their names on doors to indicate which was theirs - a necessity since they all look the same, quite unlike the self-made homes back in England. He notices Sir Kay's room, on which he not only wrote his name but also draw a match-stick figure of himself with his red hair scribbled ontop of the orb head. Next door is Sir Bedivere's room, which Arthur spots Kay has also drawn a match-stick figure, this one with cross-eyes and a tongue lolling from the mouth. Arthur grins wickedly and takes out a piece of graphite. After a moment he's drawn a very small penis between the match-stick man's legs. Cackling to himself he scurries down the corridor until he turns left toward the Command Deck. The door slips open.


    The single room is almost as big as the entire keep of Castle Camelot. It's filled with machines that Arthur called mystical-goggle-window-boxes, while Merlin insisted on the term 'computer'. One huge magical frame adorns an entire wall and shows the view outside. Smaller views appear on the window in smaller boxes that one of the space-sailors moves around the window by waving his hand at it. Arthur is impressed.

    Tom a'Lincoln is an expert seaman and a clever tactician. He was the natural choice to ask to captain this bizarre vessel. While Merlin had to work out most of the actual mechanics and functions of the ship, only Tom could really work out why the ship needs such functions. The basics of movement came first and Tom was often complaining that he now had to think of up and down as well as left and right, forward and back.


    When Arthur enters the room Tom waves him over. The man has shaved black hair that is little more than stubble over his head. His skin is well tanned from many years at sea and his frame is stocky and strong. He first met Arthur when he asked if he was actually the illegitimate son of his mother, daughter to the Mayor of London, and Arthur himself. Though Arthur conceded that there may have once been a drunken dalliance at one of his father's house parties (or castle parties as the case may be) Tom is almost as old as Arthur himself. So the answer was a flat no. Yet the absurd meeting held enough traction that Arthur liked the sailor and the man was talented enough to rise through the ranks of Arthur's navy and become the 'Red Rose Knight' for the Round Table. Tom was one of the few sailors permitted to enter Avalon, his own wife being a faerie of Albion that lived on Avalon with Morganna.

    Captain Tom: "Sire. We've worked it out."

    Merlin's own shaved head popped up from behind a console.

    Merlin: "Maybe."

    It disappears behind it again.

    Tom points to the screen of the computer and it shows a kind of map with several coloured balls on it. Arthur frowns.


    King Arthur: "What're they supposed to be, Tom?"

    Captain Tom: "Worlds."

    He looks at Arthur's face, searching for a shocked reaction. Arthr, however, just nods and says;

    King Arthur: "Cool..."

    A little dejected, Tom continues his explanation.


    Captain Tom:
    "These are worlds linked together. That big yellow ball--"

    He swipes his fingers across the screen and it zooms out to show how much larger the big yellow ball is to the rest of the balls.

    Captain Tom:
    "--is the sun."

    King Arthur smiles and nods with more enthusiasm this time. Tom zooms in again.

    Captain Tom: "So these are all worlds connected to our world... we all share the same sun. So we could visit them. I don't know which we should go to see, though. Don't know if they're dangerous or not."

    King Arthur: "Just start with the first one and see what happens!"

    He taps the first planet.

    Merlin: "NOOO!"

    She leaps up but she realises she's far too late.

    The ship gives an almighty jerk. Then rests silent.

    Merlin breathes a sigh of relief.


    Merlin: "I really thought something ba--ACK!!!"

    Everyone in the room is suddenly flung against the walls, pinned there by some unseen force. Arthur struggles and wriggles. He hears everyone shouting out, either from fear or anger or shock. As he watches the massive window screen shows the world getting faster and faster and then, in an instant, there's a great jerk and the view is nothing but white and blue and then, quickly, red. The redshift lasts for a moment and then the ship lands back into normal space and the wall-captives and thrown to the floor. Arthur lands, face-first, against the floor where he just lies there, unmoving and uncaring. He hears others belch or even wretch but he just feels numb and senseless.


    Arthur:
    "... help..."

    He manages to mutter in his stupor.

    It's Tom, the Red Rose Knight, that comes to his rescue and hoists him up to his feet.


    Captain Tom: "Lucky I spent so many years at sea so my stomach is like iron."

    He watches as Arthur then flops straight back to the floor again where the king remains after whimpering;

    King Arthur: "Owie..."

    Merlin staggers over and looks at her console. After pressing some things on her screen, the big window at the front of the Command Deck changes to show outside the huge sun up close. Arthur, having managed to crane his neck up, winces.

    King Arthur:
    "It... burns..."

    But he's too weak to move and just lets his head knock back against the hard, cold floor.

    Captain Tom:
    "I though the king pressed the planet, not the sun..."

    Merlin points. A dark orb slides across the sun. It's very small but it's definitely the planet.

    Merlin:
    "Welcome to Mercury, everyone."

    King Arthur:
    "I'm welcomed... only... by the floor..."

  35. #35
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Maharashtak

    While Kajadat may hold the title of being the most sprawling metropolis on the planet Indra, it is filled with automata numbering in their thousands. On the other hand the immense city of Indrakata is populated by eight million Indrans. When its vast superiority over all other cities of the world was well-known the city executives changed its name to reflect its status as the centre of Indran civilisation, slotting 'Indra' into the title.

    It was fitting, then, that Maharashtak would leave the Jaravinjia Isles and migrate to Indrakata. God of all Indran people, warden of newborn children and a symbol of Indran progress, love and respect for their deeds as a people - seating herself at the centre of Indran culture with the greatest numbers of her people was a clear move.

    Now she floats down through the air. She hopped from the the top of her cathedral, which towers over most buildings in the city, and now glides gently down towards the massive courtyard where she can see the bright colours of the Indrans' clothes, masks and flags. The Indran Cathedral has long been considered the unofficial seat for all of the religious ranks of the Indran Pantheon, despite those ranks being ordained only by their own chosen gods in their specific dwellings. But as the cathedral served to celebrate the deeds of the Indran people, and the people of Indrakata considered the gods their servants and not the other way around, it is natural for the people to feel like this the centre of all divinity on the planet. As the large figure of Maharashtak draws closer to the courtyard, the people begin to scream with cheer. She smiles serenely, gracing the people with her good nature.


    She reaches the floor but she never touches it, forever floating at least inches from it. The people have gathered in set formations, practised all year round, and fall to a hush. They then begin to parade, performing a synchronised dance in their lines. Singing is heard from some of them, all singing the same song of pride and success of the Indran people. Outsiders might mistake these sentiments as the same of the patriotism that Kamal inspires, yet they'd be wrong. Maharashtak doesn't inspire patriotism in the planet, she inspires love of the people themselves. She commits her own dance, though her is improvised and mellow. She sways gently, listening to the heartbeats of her beloved children.

    The people are marching and dancing while in groups. At the head of each group is a flag-bearer that shows a complex sigil of pictures and designs that all elude to the past exploits of their respective families. These flags are often incredibly long and they blow out above the heads of the entire dancing troop. On their faces the Indrans are wearing masks, usually much bigger than their heads. These masks always bear huge grins, originally inspired by Maharashtak's usual loving smile but they came to be hyper-exaggarated into toothy grins that conquer most of the actual mask itself. Each mask, however, is meant to represent some ancestor of the family that the specific Indran wants to commemorate for his or her deeds whether they were big or small. Indrans normally choose a different ancestor each year, meaning the Indrans that attend the festival regularly are normally very interested in their family histories as they would scour the family albums for clues for long-forgotten ancestors.

    When the dancing and celebrating is done most of the Indrans move on to celebrate the after-party elsewhere. Many, however, seek to gain a quick kiss of Maharashtak's hand, which she allows. Usually these Indrans are parents, hoping a kiss of her divine hand will bless their children. She must lean over to make her hand easier for the Indrans to kiss. If a child approaches she crouches low and she kisses their heads. As she's doing this she notices one of the worshippers is a litik.

    Maharashtak: "Welcome litik of mine."

    Litik Map: "My Lord Maharashtak. I'm happy to be back! And on today of all days!"

    Maharashtak:
    "But where is your mask, Litik Map?"

    She isn't angry and actually smiles sympathetically, stating without words that she is sorry he missed out on the chance to honour someone.


    Litik Map: "I only arrived today. The truth is, my Lord, I'm on a quest!"

    Maharashtak: "Is that so?"

    She narrows her big, white eyes playfully. When she speaks, she speaks quite patronisingly - an motherly tone that doesn't see Map is an adult.

    Maharashtak:
    "I recall sending you on a quest already, Litik Map."

    Litik Map: "I know, I know. But... my friend died. So I've taken up hi mantle. But no fear, my Lord, for I have Litik Rjingi with me!"

    He reaches into the crowd and drags Litik Rjingi out. Rjingi looks baffled and uncomfortable with being manhandled.

    Maharashtak: "I see. I did hear of your new vision, Rjingi. It gladdens me. But Litik Map, what is this new quest you have undertaken?"

    Litik Map: "To visit each of the gods in turn and seek their wisdom and knowledge on the matter. Perhaps we might be able to settle the differences between the gods enough to work together on the destiny of our people!"

    Maharashtak: "I believe in you, Litik Map. I trust your talents will lead you to success."

    She leans over and kisses his head as she might one of the children.

    Maharashtak:
    "But I hope you'll be staying in Indrakata at least for the night? The Cathedral is open to you both."

    She sweeps her dark blue arm towards the cathedral doors. Around her neck is a necklace of heads, each looking the same as Maharashtak's own face, and they all become excited and giddy at the prospect of entertaining the litiks. They make little peeping noises and bounce up and down with happy faces.

    Litik Map bows exaggeratedly, one arm expelled up and away while the other holds his stomach.


    Litik Map: "If you demand it, my Lord."

    She watches at the two men walk into the cathedral and she returns her attention to the populace. While her skin is dark blue, her bulb is unusually pink. The pink represents the act of pregnancy, pink being the cultural colour of all babies. When a father approaches Maharashtak with his baby she leans down and lifts the baby from his arms. The tiny infant looks up into her large, elegant face and becomes mesmerised. Blessed by Maharashtak like this, the little child will be content and healthy for many of his early years.

    ----

    Inside the cathedral Litiks Map and Rjingi are in a lounge room. It's wide and tall with many, many windows that allow the light to stream in. During the festival the room is changed into a room for arts and crafts with long tables on which lie materials and tools for making masks and flags. Litik Rjingi is seated upon a chair, relaxing and watching the sunlight. Litik Map is busy with a pair of scissors as he hungrily cuts up paper to stick to his mask. When he is finished he puts it on and pounces at Litik Rjingi.

    Litik Rjingi:
    "What is that supposed to be?"

    Map is dejected, not that the mask's massive, happy smile would tell anyone.

    Litik Map:
    "It's a mask of my ancestor. I'm being Phita Doon. He was a book thief."

    Rjingi frowns.


    Litik Rjingi:
    "Isn't the festival supposed to be celebrating your ancestor's merits?"

    Litik Map: "He was the best book thief!"

    Litik Rjingi: "... If he was anything like you, I don't doubt he was."

    Litik Map: "Thanks!"

    Litik Rjingi: "Yes... take that as a compliment if you'd like..."

    Litik Map:
    "I'm pretty hungry. Lets go check out the shrines."

    They leave the lounge and walk down a corridor. It's very tall, with an arching ceiling high above them, and made entirely of stone. While the cathedral isn't as old as the Ziggurat of Pesu, it comes fairly close. Originally the cathedral was meant to be the palace of the president but was then left abandoned for decades when the presidential apartments were built elsewhere in the city. Eventually Maharashtak took possession of the cathedral when she moved to the city.

    Litik Map:
    "You know, I was actually born in this cathedral?"

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Really? Why weren't you born in a hospital?"

    Litik Map:
    "My mother was having problems during childbirth. I know it wouldn't happen anywhere else, but in Indrakata you come here if you can't deliver properly - better than the hospital."

    Rjingi nods.


    Litik Rjingi:
    "Because Maharashtak will aid the birth? I understand."

    Litik Map:
    "That's it. Afterwards my mother decided to devote herself to Maharashtak in appreciation and became a Nayarak here."

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Was she ever promoted higher?"

    Litik Map:
    "Yep! But she didn't like it. She preferred being more... hands-on with helping people, you know? To be honest if I hadn't trained as a litik, I think I'd want to be a nayarak. What about you? If you didn't have the gift of sight, what would you be?"

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Kara. Obviously."

    Map laughs a little.

    Litik Map: "That would suit you, I think. Here. The shrine room."

    They enter a semi-circular room with a semi-circular pillar before them. The tall, fat pillar is home to several, small alcoves were small shrines are laid out for minor deities. These deities are usually more unusual than the greater gods of Indra and they do just small, minor functions that no greater god encapsulates. Most Indrans of the orders don't take these gods seriously but appreciate them in their own way with small offerings such as bread, art or they may kneel and regale the minor deities with stories.

    The two litiks pass a shrine for the god of locked doors where they see a Kara place a set of keys into the shrine's bowl. Each shrine is bordered by a bubbling wall of sutade, meaning people could see through into the next shrine. They pass the next shrine, which is to the god of cold places. Nobody is there, which doesn't surprise Map because no Indran likes cold places and they never visit Trijara in The Tandras because he wishes to be left alone. As though to reflect both the domain of the god and the loneliness, the area around the shrine feels particularly cool.


    -----

    God of Cold Places: "I never get any love... why am I always on planets where nobody likes the cold?"

    -----

    They finally come to an unusual shrine as it's a little larger than the others. This is because this particular deity constantly sends gifts to the Indrans, even if nobody is there. No one is sure why he does this but he does. The God of Jam Doughnuts is one of the more popular minor deities because everyone loves a good, jammy doughnut. The god appeared almost as soon as the baked good was invented and, unfortunately, put the inventor out of business by bombarding people with random jam doughnuts. They'd appear in people's beds, toilets, hats. Litik Map found one wedged into the lock on his door, which probably annoyed the god of locked doors. Eventually they had to build him a shrine and his baked gifts were finally concentrated in a single location.

    Map grabs one and chews into it with glee. Rjingi picks one up and sniffs it before chomping down. They see a few doughnuts have accidentally wound up floating within the walls of sutade around the shrine and they watch them bobbing merrily about.


    Maharashtak: "How is your rest?"

    They turn to see the god standing in the doorway. She is wearing her usual garb, which is a robe with elements of armour that is somewhat reminiscent of the ornate, ceremonial armour of the karas. Her tendrils are wrapped up around her bulb with ribbons of sky blue to match the colour of the robe. On her feet, however, she wears sandals that are laced up her legs.

    Map waggles his jam doughnut.


    Litik Map:
    "Blueberry!"

    Maharashtak:
    "I suppose blueberry is as fitting a way to describe your rest as any..."

    Litik Rjingi swallows his doughnut as quickly as he can before speaking.

    Litik Rjingi:
    "My Dear Maharashtak, is there anything you could do to help us on our quest? Any information you may be able to share?"

    Maharashtak: "I doubt anything I have to say would be especially useful to you, Litik Rjingi. However I should tell you that the gods of Indra have long been aware of the sentient life that exists beyond the boundary of our own world."

    Map chokes on his doughnut and Rjingi has to slap his back before the litik can speak in shock.

    Litik Map: "B-But why didn't you tell us this?"

    Maharashtak:
    "It is not in our nature to trespass into the affairs of your people. You were given free will, what would be the purpose of that if we led you by the hand?"

    The two litiks fall into contemplative silence.


    Maharashtak:
    "It was my ruling on the matter when the gods chose a stance of non-interference. I, as do we all, believe in the spirit of Indrans. You can strive for greatness without our intervention. We are merely here to aid you in your progress, not lead you towards it."

    Litik Rjingi:
    "Is there anything you can tell us of the people out there? I know you cannot lead us in this, but some advice might help save us all from destruction..."

    Maharashtak:
    "There are endless beings out there. Creatures just like you. Some are immensely terrible and powerful. Other beings seek nothing but peace and harmony. Eventually your progress will take you out there to meet them. Perhaps even this event will speed that eventuality. The alien being that comes... I do not know them. I have no vision of the future nor do I see this person. She is clouded from the sight of any of us. Only you, litiks, have ever seen this... harbinger."

    Litik Rjingi: "Endless beings... that's... unbelievable."

    She smiles with her usual patronising smile as she looks sweetly down at the young Indrans.

    Maharashtak:
    "Is it? Perhaps you have indulged in Kamal's presence for too long, Litik Rjingi. Indra is not the centre of the universe, no matter how wonderful a world it is. But I do have some guidance for you..."

    They look up with hope.


    Maharashtak:
    "Amongst the pantheon there is one of us who is absent..."

    Litik Rjingi: "Kavili. She... ascended to the sun."

    Maharashtak: "Not to the sun. As she left us we able to feel her as she crossed the galaxy. She was bound for the centre of the universe on her great quest. She was beseeched by alien gods--"

    Litik Rjingi: "Alien gods!?"

    Maharashtak:
    "--and so she left us. Perhaps there still remains some clue or tale from the lands she left behind..."

    Litik Map:
    "Did... did Kavili ever reach the centre of the universe, My Lord?"

    Maharashtak leans down conspiratorially.


    Maharashtak: "That she did!"

    She smiles at him and his face lights up with wonder.

    Litik Map: "Then... why didn't she return?"

    Then the god grows sorrowful and rights herself.

    Maharashtak: "We lost her. Once she reached her destination she was gone from our sight and we have never been able to re-establish a connection."

    Litik Map: "You mean she..."

    Maharashtak:
    "I feel she is on a greater quest than even we, gods of Indra, could comprehend. Go to her lands, Litik Map, Litik Rjingi. See if there is anything there that could illuminate your quest. She was a crafter of a great many things, just like Jitarayara. Perhaps they still remain..."
    Last edited by TheBritt; 04-27-2016 at 02:33 PM.

  36. #36
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    The Treachery of Stonehenge

    A.D. 501. The isles of Britain are finally at peace, the last battles of unification finally won, thanks to the king Arthur's illustrious rule - and no small amount of aid from powerful magic. The center of these magicks is at Stonehenge, or more correctly, beneath it. There, in a magnificent cavern, is the city of Doughnutdelf, home of the druids and school for hundreds of apprentice mages.

    High on the cavern wall is a balcony, in front of the yawning entrance of a separate, far smaller cave. There is no way up here by conventional means; one must fly or teleport, both feats which require substantial magic. This keeps out most of the riffraff; because, after all, there are lots of riffraff and tourists who wish to see the famous Merlin the Enchanter, ally of King Arthur and NeSorcerer of the age.

    Merlin's cave is an eclectic mishmash of primitive and advanced magicks. Astrolabes and graphs and books are cluttered on floors and furniture with primitive-looking runes and cave drawings. Beakers and cauldrons bubble with concoctions of many colors, and there is a rack full of nearly a dozen different mystical staffs.


    Merlin: I have called you here today, my onetime pupils, to tell you that I have made my decision.

    Merlin is the quintessential old wizard in appearance. He has long gray hair and a matching beard that flow to his mid-back and breastbone, respectively. A pointy hat with a jaunty crook at the top rests on his head, and he wears a flowing robe. Both robe and hat are dark blue and painted with glowing silver sigils.

    Lynne the Wizardess: Master Merlin! You don't mean--?

    Lynne is a studious, intelligent young mage, and would be pretty if she didn't shave her hair very close to her scalp. She wears a plain brown robe, not considering herself worthy of any greater accoutrements despite being one of the most powerful mages in Doughnutdelf.

    Morganna the Sorceress: Shut up and let him talk, Lynne. I have an island queendom to get back to.

    Morganna is a short woman, fairly brimming with power and presence, and quite unlike Lynne, she drips sensuality.

    Nyneve the Vampire: This is about the mantle, is it not, my love?

    Nyneve is centuries old, but retains her dark-haired beauty. Not quite as powerful as Morganna, nor quite as intelligent as Lynne, she nonetheless excels in both capacities. She also exudes sensuality, but hers is subtler than Morganna's, but no less beautiful.

    Merlin: Yes, my dear. Today I pass on the mantle of NeSorcerer to the most worthy candidate.

    Morganna: Is that all? I can tell you right now you better not give it to me, I don't give an owl's hoot about this myth you're trying to make real.

    Lynne: You're deliberately oversimplifying, Morganna, the narrative structure of the cosmos is far more than--

    Nyneve: She's baiting us, Lynne. Ignore it.

    Morganna: Spoilsport.

    Lynne huffs but falls silent.

    Merlin: Morganna, you are indeed powerful, mind-bogglingly so--

    Lynne: Not as much as Master Merlin!

    Morganna: Fangirl.

    Lynne: But it's true!

    Merlin: --but power alone does not define the NeSorcerer.

    Lynne: In your face!

    Morganna: Great. Can I leave now?

    Merlin: Lynne--

    She perks up, standing tall and proud.

    Lynne: I'm ready, Master Merlin, and I accept!

    Merlin: --you are powerful as well, and keenly intelligent.

    Lynne glows with the praise from her mentor, the man she admires most.

    Morganna: Wait for it...

    Merlin: But it is Nyneve who most appreciates the intricacies of narrative magick and cosmology.

    Lynne's face falls. Morganna barks a cruel laugh.

    Morganna: Okay, now I'm glad I stayed.

    Merlin: Therefore, Nyneve, my love, I shall pass on the mantle to you, the most deserving, of 3 very deserving candidates.

    Morganna: Also, she shags you.

    Lynne gasps in scandalized horror.

    Lynne: Morgan!

    As an elderly man with 3 contentious and willful female pupils, Merlin long ago learned to ignore their infighting, always continuing as though it wasn't happening.

    Merlin: Lynne, Morganna, I thank you. You are dismissed, for Nyneve and I shall commune.

    Morganna: I didn't know 'commune' had become synonymous with 'shag'.

    Lynne: MORGAN!

    The two witches sail over the edge of the balcony, flying down to the city proper of Doughnutdelf. Nyneve remains with Merlin.

    Nyneve: I am ready, my love. What must I do?

    Merlin: You already possess all of the knowledge and skills you need. Now, all that is left is to pass to you the title... and the NeSpell.

    Nyneve cocks her head curiously.

    Nyneve: You've never mentioned the NeSpell before.

    Merlin: It is a great secret, and the true power of the NeSorcerer's narrative watch. It is also wholly unique; it cannot exist in more than one place. No copies can be made. Not even two minds can hold it. Only one.

    Nyneve nods in fascinated understanding.

    Merlin: I shall recite the whole of the NeSpell. As I utter it, it shall leave my mind forever, and as you listen, it shall enter yours and yours alone.

    Nyneve: How long is it?

    Merlin: Just over 3,000 stanzas.

    He begins, and Nyneve drinks in every word. She seems to grow in pure vitality as she takes it in, for a NeSferatu - a vampire who feeds on the essence of stories - is uniquely empowered by the NeSpell.

    Merlin finally utters the last word, and slumps, exhausted. Nyneve is practically glowing with vigor, rather than the weariness that usually accompanies a new NeSorcerer learning the titular NeSpell.


    Merlin: And now... my love... you are the... the NeSorcerer...

    He's gasping out as he sits back heavily on his bed. He is still of course an incredibly powerful wizard, but exhausted by the transferal of the NeSpell.

    Nyneve: Indeed I am. Oh, this is glorious! I can see the narrative threads all around us. Never before I have viscerally perceived the world as a story. This is magnificent!

    She turns devious, malevolent eyes on Merlin.

    Nyneve: Now I am the NeSorcerer... and you are the fool! I invoke the trope: the Student Betrays the Master! NeSferatu, at arms, our hour of triumph is upon us!

    Merlin barely has time to gasp out in shock before Nyneve chants several runic words, and he becomes encased in crystal, unable to move. Even his magic becomes sluggish, unwilling to answer his summons as the crystal entombs it.

    Nyneve laughs triumphantly as she walks out, the crystal growth overtaking the entirety of Merlin's cave. She does her best to ignore the pleading look in her lover's eyes, the question writ large there: Why, Nyneve, why?

    Down below, hundreds of NeSferatu swarm through the streets, slaughtering all they find with no mercy. They are fast and deadly, taking down most of the magic-users before they can react. The few mages who do have time to counterattack fall shortly after, overwhelmed by the numbers of the incredibly strong narrative-vampires.

    Taliesin, former NeSorcerer and sage among the druids, gazes in sorrow at the let blood, but knows this tide cannot be stopped, not with the power of the NeSferatu, and of Nyneve, and of the trope she has unleashed. He vanishes from his home of centuries, and escapes, his heart heavy with dread.


    -----

    A.D. 502. It has been several months since the destruction of Doughnutdelf, which lies in ruins beneath the earth's surface. Nyneve and the NeSferatu have vanished to whatever cold warrens from which they came. Four mages meet in the center of Stonehenge beneath a full moon.

    Morganna: Why are we meeting here again? People keep summoning for meetings I don't give a damn about.

    Merlin the Younger: About which you don't give a damn.

    Morganna: Shut up, Lynne.

    Merlin the Younger: It's Merlin the Younger now, if you please.

    Morganna: Fangirl.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Though I do not share Morganna's temper, I too am curious to know what purpose you think this meeting shall serve, Old Sage.

    Taliesin: We all lost friends here, below the earth. But the legacy of Doughnutdelf must continue. We must create a new center for magical learning and advancement.

    Morganna: Me? Be a teacher of magic? BO - RING!

    She perks up as a thought strikes her.

    Morganna: Unless perhaps I can be put in charge of detention!

    Merlin the Younger: You're vile, Morgan.

    Morganna: Thank you!

    Merlin the Younger: It wasn't a--! I don't know why I even bother.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Doughnutdelf has been cursed by the blood that is spilled there, and Merlin is trapped by magic even I cannot break.

    Taliesin: Because it is more than magic that contains him, but trope, invoked by the NeSpell. But I agree, a new location must be sought.

    Merlin the Younger: Another ley nexus would be good, I think. But there are none in the British Isles as potent as Stonehenge.

    Hermes Trismegistus: Avalon is quite strong with the Force, I mean with magic.

    Morganna: You are NOT building a bloody school on my island--

    Merlin the Younger: More than a mere school, but a center of magical advancement and culture!

    Morganna: --but there is a potent nexus in Gaul, where more than a dozen ley lines cross.

    Taliesin: Then it is there that we shall establish a new magium for the world...
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 06-26-2016 at 11:30 AM.

  37. #37
    Tea-sipper, character-killer
    Posts
    798

    Arrow Rakimi & Ishvat

    Litik Map holds a tall plastic plate above his head via the long, thin handle. He peeks from beneath it to glance up at the callous sun, big and red in the day's sky. The Jaravinjia Isles are commonly known as the 'hot spot' of Indra but the season is making the land almost unbearable. And yet there's something charming about the white sand that glitters in the sun's light, reflecting back a mild pink hue. The spicy fragrance of the church trees hangs in the air. Unfortunately they may provide a pleasant scent but they're useless for shade, having short stubby branches and very slender green leaves. They've very tall trees and, as he glances up at one, he sees the leaves stick out of the trunk like feathers of a bird's tail, standing upright towards the sky. The bark of the trees is so soft that it squishes when Map presses it. The spice that makes them vulnerable to Indrans is actually their defence against the other animals that would have liked to burrow into its soft, nectar rich trunk. Without that spice, Map suspects the species would have gone extinct long ago. They almost did go extinct thanks to heavy logging by Indrans, but a conservation and management system saved the trees and still allows them to be cut down but with control and efficiency. Map quite admires the whole affair. The entire island populace seems to be infused with the idea of conservation and regulation of resources.

    He looks out to sea and watches the giant, spinning windmills that bask in the heavy ocean-wind. Painted bright red they certainly stand out from the gentle, sea-blue of the tropical water. Map tugs off his boots and skips across the scorching sand towards the lapping water. The ocean is quite warm, unfortunately he thinks, but just the feeling of liquid upon his skin is delicious under the oppressive sun's heat. He licks his lips, trying to get them moist.

    He's not wearing his armour, a terrible thing under most circumstances for a litik. The heat, however, means he simply couldn't stand being confined within the bodysuit for any longer. Litik Rjingi hadn't been very pleased, especially as they are to meet more of the Pantheon of Indra this day, but Map doesn't care. Rjingi can moan and whine all he likes about decorum, Map can moan and whine much louder and for longer when he's too hot.

    Map knows Rjingi is just a product of his upbringing, a boy of Penumbra and gifted with the sight so sent, early, to become a litik. Kamal is famous for having a great number of litiks under her guidance and so those litiks are often far more pompous and self-righteous than others. Conversely, thinks Map, he was born in Indrakata with Maharashtak for his patron - free-spirited and believing the gods serve the Indrans, not the other way around. Map thinks Pashna, with his accommodating and accepting nature, would have made better company for this journey. Poor Pashna...


    Map twirls his parasol a little and watches the sparse tassels swing by his face. The tassels don't do much, but Map is grateful for every little extra help in staving off the sun. The plastic plate itself is doing most of the work, casting a solid shadow over his wearing bulbous head. While he's there, playing in the water with his parasol above him, he hears a weird cooing noise and looks up from the clear water to see an object wobbling towards him. It's about the size of his head and made of clay.

    As it comes straight at him, Map, defensively, holds his parasol before him. The clay-pidgeon crashes straight into the plastic with a shocked squeak and plops into the salt water. Map, after recollecting himself from the shock, scoops Bernard out of the water. Map gives the bird a good shake, rattling out the water that has seeped into the robot's crevices.

    Map: "Whatever are you doing here, birdy?"

    Bernard coos but its a forlorn sound mixed with gurgling. Its mouth opens and water drips out.

    Map: "Well you will go flying at people. Maybe you should watch where you're going?"

    Bernard coughs up water, splashing it on Map's chin.

    Map: "Dirty little squawker. I should throw you back in that ocean."

    The bird gives a more confident cooing this time and his audio files begin to play.

    Nari: "Litiks Map and Rjingi. This is Nari, Duke of Attallaj. I first want to express my thanks, again, for taking on the quest that was once Kara Pashna's. I am sorry to tell you that Pesu has now forbidden all entreaties in Pashna's name, and so you are to remain his heralds. I am sending you this message to keep you informed of events here in the Apojiva Valleys in case you return here on your way back to Penumbra..."

    There's a very clear pause.


    Nari: "Frankly, you may wish to avoid the valleys altogether. This hasn't yet been made official but I have decided to grant the counts their independence from my dukedom. It's a dark day indeed but we simply cannot afford to keep fighting when the planet's destruction looms. As stirrings a rumours have now become well circulated, I am going to make a public declaration concerning the need for work and information on the coming catastrophe. Other lands have already openly declared the emergency and so I shall follow suit. I hope I can maintain calm amongst the people and give them an objective to solve. It's nothing but a sham, of course. But it will be a project for them to believe in. I'll have them build a monument of some kind, I'll claim it's a ward or a beacon to the aliens. With a project the people will have hope. Please use this divine device to tell me of your own progress. Good luck."

    Litik Map sighs. Independence for the other valleys may not be a bad thing but if the alien comes to blow everyone up then the people aren't going to get to enjoy their new freedom for very long. Map found the politics of the Apojiva Valleys to be very confusing. All these dukes, counts, birthrights and monogamy. He thinks it all seems very convoluted. Why were these lands obsessed with ruling anyway? He couldn't see the point in trying to force others to follow your ideas. What if your ideas are wrong? How do you know you have the right ideas?

    Map makes a quick reply to update the duke. He tells him of their position, their meeting with Maharashtak and their current destination. He wishes the duke well and luck in return and throws Bernard up into the air. The little clay and wood machine flaps its wooden wings and sets off again. Despite being clumsy Map realises the thing in unnaturally fast as it speeds across the ocean. He silently wishes the bird its own luck and he starts to walk along the beach, stepping through the surf as it gently sweeps up over his feet before slipping back out again. The idea that this motion might, one day, be ceased is a sudden and strange contemplation. It's difficult to imagine the constant rhythm of the ocean might never be.

    Then he hears cheering. He follows the sound and runs across the beach. One one of the other islands he can see lots of native Jaravinjians cheering and celebrating. The water between him and them isn't great, nor very deep, and so he starts to tread water as he makes his way across the shallows. At high tide, he might have been wading, but now the water is nothing to worry about. As he gets nearer he can see the men and women are standing around fires they'd lit - almost making Map turn about face and run away from the extra heat that would create. He senses, though, that evening is due and the fires would provide ample light for the continuing festivities. As he gets nearer, however, he sees that the Indrans are acting strangely. The men are wearing women's clothes and the women are wearing men's clothes.

    In Indrakata, cross-dressing isn't an unusual thing and many were free to do so. Outside of the liberal city, however, he'd never seen any such thing. The smaller the communities, usually the more conservative they are. And yet here he could see very open and free-loving people dancing about in their opposite's clothing. Additionally he almost blushes with surprise as he sees many women exposing their tails.

    Indran women have a bush of tails, much like a group of fins, that stick out from the bottom of their spines. Usually these tails are objects of sexual attraction and gratification, normally saved for the bedroom, but here the women have them out and wiggle them freely before all the men. Map has never been attracted to women and yet even he can't help but be embarrassed by the show of nakedness.

    He draws close and a couple of people cheer to him, inviting him to join them. They're all suddenly distracted, however, by something out to sea. They all turn and cheer as loudly as ever.


    Out to sea Map sees something huge and pink. Rakimi has four arms, pink-skin and a red bulb. She is wearing a dress of sea green and yellow, which billows wildly behind her as she rides across the ocean. There's a deep growl of thunder somewhere above them but the only lightning to be seen is the constant ebb of static from the god's head. Sometimes it snaps wildly at the ocean and he wonders if its striking some unfortunate fish that happen to be swimming nearby.

    Map joins the other Indrans and one of the women hands him a small block of sutade. He's very grateful and he places it against his cheek. The wet and coolness of it soothes his dry skin but he doesn't divert his attention from the surfing god. As she nears he tries to catch a glimpse of Ishvat; her surfboard and close friend.

    The water is cut aside by the god Ishvat as she swims towards the island, balancing Rakimi upon her back. She grins madly as she enjoys the attention from her worshippers on the island. When the two of them reach the beach, Rakimi jumps off and lands in the water, while Ishvat comes bounding out of the water towards them. She runs at them and then shakes herself so that water flies at them. The people laugh and Map is quick to lower his parasol to get a good, pleasing spray of water on his skin too. Ishvat is wearing very revealing clothing, which reminds Map of female prostitutes back in Indrakata. She has very short knickers of white and a white bra. Around her neck is a necklace of water lilies. Like the women on the beach, this raunchy god had her tails out. They flutter from the rushing water they'd been in and Map swallows hard. It is embarrassing enough to see the women around him exposing their tails, but the god has double the size of tails and they're perfectly sculpted and wonderfully coloured. Her skin is pale green but her tails are faded to white with little flecks of blue. Most Indran women didn't get those flecks and those that did were considered lucky and extra attractive. Only a few of the women around him had them but none of them were as perfectly pretty as the tails of the god. Map wonders how the heterosexual men around him must feel right about now.

    As Rakimi walks towards them, joining Ishvat, Map notes the friendship bands on the gods arms - forever binding the two of them as friends to the end. The sentiment is a popular one across Indra and imitated by many Indrans, especially teenagers. Here, however, Map sees that almost all of the partiers have friendship bracelets, often more than one.

    Ishvat: "I spy, with my beautiful eye..."

    Her voice is powerful and jovial with a giddy gleeful quality that sounds like she's about to break into laughter at the end of every sentence.

    Ishvat: "A litik!"

    Those around Map give mock jeers. Those that realise she's looking at him give Map a slap on the back or on his bum, urging him to approach her.

    Rakimi, curious, draws up beside her green-skinned cohort. They stand, towering over Map and cast him in shadow. He's silently very grateful.


    Rakimi:
    "What brings a litik to this little celebration?"

    Map:
    "Sorry. I didn't know it was a private party!"

    There's a lot of laughing and many shouts of reassurance from the people behind him.


    Ishvat: "It's not private, it's just unusual to be getting a litik at a party for Nayaraks!"

    Map groans with realisation.

    Map: "Oh right! I didn't realise that's what you were doing out here. I just thought it was a random party, so I came to crash it. Well, I appreciate all the hard work that Nayaraks put in, so does that mean I get to stay?"

    He turns his head to grin at the nayaraks behind him. They cheer in appreciation.


    Ishvat: "Sounds like a yes, right?"

    Rakimi: "If you'd been here a while ago you'd have been here for the karas' meet up."

    Map: "Sorry I missed that. I was probably in Apojiva Valleys or in Indrakata."

    Rakimi kneels down on the sand so that she can get closer to Map's height. Ishvat starts dancing on the sand and the nayaraks, the backbone of the Indran religion and often unacknowledged heroes of the world, join in. This is a celebration of everything that they are and that much needed acknowledgement from a god that they do good work and they are forever blessed by her. Ishvat has disproportionately high numbers of nayaraks that serve her, probably because of just such a celebration. Only Maharashtak comes close to having so many nayaraks of her own. Map tries not to stare at her tails as they wiggle in her dancing moves.

    Rakimi, on the other hand, generally favours karas. She didn't have an outstanding number of them, as karas are simply promotions of lower ranks, but her karas are normally the most well-known of all karas in Indran cities. Being associated with healing and doctors, karas under Rakimi often have superior healing skills to other talents karas possess. This makes them highly sought after in sick-stricken lands of the world.


    Rakimi: "But what truly brings you here, litik? I sense an air of destiny around you."

    Map: "I'm crossing the ocean to get to Loch Kavili..."

    He explains his tale, from the vision of Litik Rjingi, his meeting Kara Pashna and Pashna's quest for his patron Jitarayara. Pesu's killing of Pashna and the failed entreaties for his return. Rjingi's second vision atop of Ovai and the advice of Maharashtak. Rakimi closes her white eyes as she listens to his tale. When he's done she opens them slowly but doesn't look at him. She's looks off into the distance.


    Rakimi: "It is good to meet you at last then."

    Map: "You... know me?"

    Rakimi:
    "By reputation. More so your companion Litik Rjingi. News of his vision spread through the Jaravinjia Isles quickly. Some of my karas attended Kamal's group-vision ceremony and so they came back with this sorry tale to tell. When the people learnt of it they panicked but soon a... new cult began."

    Map:
    "A cult? What kind of cult? Like doomsday cult?"

    Rakimi: "Exactly. They believe that the aliens will come and those who are worthy will be taken away aboard the alien ship while Indra is destroyed."

    Map couldn't help himself and started giggling in disbelief. Rakimi didn't join in and he tries to compose himself.

    Map: "That's... just crazy. Nothing like that has been foreseen."

    Rakimi: "No it hasn't. And yet belief often has little foundation. My people don't believe in me, they know me. They do believe that I shall protect them, however, and so even the cultists have started to think of me as an alien god that has been secretly living amongst the people here all this time..."

    Map laughs again but then he looks at Rakimi's face.

    Map: "Uh... haha... it's not true, right?"

    Now Rakimi gets to laugh. Her laugh is more of a mild titter than the arrogant guffaw of Ishvat.

    Rakimik: "Come now, would you really think that? I do exist partially on another plane of existence - that is where they are drawing their assumptions. It's almost cute in its naïvety. But other planes, or realms, are not different places in universe, its is another universe. When you enter a vision, you access those realms. Breaking through one to gain entry into another."

    Map nods.

    Map: "Yeah, I know. It's a strange thing to do, really. I don't know what it feels like for you, but for me it feels really weird. Surface reading is easy and comfortable. I spent years watching Kara Pashna before I met him but they weren't visions of the future, just echoes of the past. But when I get a real vision... it's nasty. That other plane is... something else."

    Rakimi: "You're experiencing the 5th Realm. And not a nice part of it. It's a Realm that exists beyond time and space and is where deities live or spawn."

    Map: "Oh really? But if it's where the gods originate, why does it feel so..."

    Rakimi: "Unwelcoming? Unclean? Demonic? Deities aren't always good. There are beings that would make Pesu seem charming."

    Map: "You mean... alien gods? Actual alien gods, not you."

    Rakimi: "In a manner, yes. The 5th Realm is much like this one, this being the 6th, in that there's locations. The biggest location, and the first one that almost anyone breaking that boundary enters, is named Tartarus. It's from there that the demons enter our world when you open a crack between diensions."

    Map: "I see. I do have one question though..."

    Rakimi: "What's that?"

    Map: "Why in the name of buggery didn't you tell us all this before now?"

    Rakimi:
    "We are not here to tell you the secrets of the universe. We help you, we guide you, but we cannot live your lives for you. You have to do it on your own. Now that secrets of the universe have inadvertently unfolded before you, we will have to help guide you down a new path of discovery. I can now give you extra knowledge that will guide you in your understanding but the path must be walked by you and you alone. When your mind next enters the 8th Dimension--"

    Map: "Is that the Realm beyond the other plane? Beyond the demonic plane?"

    Rakimi: "That's right. The Unwritten Realm is another name for it. It's where the mists of what might be, what could be, can be found. And that is why you are able to see your visions. Next time you are there, this understanding may give you the insight you need to help focus your efforts on seeking the answers you need. By understanding the realms, you can better utilise their bounty."

    Map: "Wait... why do I go through the 5th to get to the 8th? Shouldn't I go through the 7th?"

    Rakimi just looks at him for a moment.

    She then shrugs.

    Rakimi:
    "Wibbly-wobbly."

  38. #38

    The Legend of Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo, The Lowest of the God-Monarchs

    Among the unspoken hierarchy of the God-Monarchs, one clearly ranks the lowest among them in sheer individual power. Among the twelve, however, she proves herself arguably as the most cunning, craftiest, ruthless, dirtiest, infamous, and indispensable of the lot. These days, the God-Monarch most often addressed as Lo commands countless deities across her infinite set of interdimensional-sailing fleets, hoarding treasures that boggle the minds of most as well as harems of her own impossibly-handsome male lovers. Only one prize continues to elude Lo: the High Empire itself as her crowning achievement, with Highemperor as her paramour for herself. Legends speak of how her high quest, and how it arose from the lowest depths of destiny...The destiny of a dead man.

    Er, dead woman.

    This is the Legend of Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    777 years ago and 777 light-years away from Earth, in a backwater part of the galaxy, the High Empire reigns over a world the natives call Coaleashion. This "world" and its inhabitants are like many in the universe in that their "world" is overall smaller than Earth's with a dominant, sentient species larger than humans. However, the "world" of Coaleashion makes up a vast number of dense, relatively tiny planetoids, called prides and skulks, connected by the Seven Leashes -- wild, fluctuating seas bound by strange magnetic-like forces. Its people, the Fiolxon, resemble an anthropomorphic mix of wild vulpine and feline beasts found on Earth, and because in part of the nature of the Coaleashion, share Earth's diversity in color and culture. Aside from the High Empire's influence, however, most of the Fiolxon share a relatively medieval level of culture and technology, employing systems both feudal and nomadic-raider. Bound by the seventh leash -- the Master Leash -- the High Empire anoints the select Houses of White to rule as gods from their prides within the leash over the whole of Coaleshion. Having taken what they wanted long ago, the High Empire now only stations the barest of a presence to ensure its people fealty to Highemperor, leaving the Houses of White to run politics as they please. As the Houses fight for sole authority, the common people struggle to survive...

    Cue "Game of Thrones" opening musical theme.

    In a skulk of the Broken Leash, a seven year old Lo stalks down a dark alleyway, hunting a grey harat as her meal for the day. As an orphan, Lo does whatever she needs to survive, whether stealing from shops or selling her body to amoral merchant-men or, in this case, ridding the streets of its vermin population. As she readies to pounce on her prey, though, another cloaked girl runs into her, alerting the harat and allowing it to escape.


    Lo:: "Emp-damnit! You cost me my meal!"

    She whips out a small, broken-back blade and readies to stab the cloaked girl. The girl quickly throws back her hood to reveal a nearly-identical appearance -- surprising since almost all of the 'gods' from the Houses of White have, in fact, white coats of fur, while Lo and the Princess have yellow-and-red coats. Unlike Lo, however, this girl clearly is of royalty... largley because she doesn't have **** all over her. Lo steps back in surprise.

    Lo: "You... you're Princess Gonna-Bite-It!"

    Princess Gonna-Bite-It: "Not a day goes by when I don't hate my parents."

    Lo: "What?"

    Princess Gonna-Bite-It: "I mean, you look a lot like me... Hey, how'd you like to live the life of a princess?"

    Lo: "You mean I have free food served to me, a roof over my head, and I don't have to sleep with skeezy men?"

    Princess Gonna-Bite-It: "Uh, well at least two of those things. What do you say to switching places, eh? You can live in the lap of luxury, and I can live the common life...where I'm not constantly under assassination attempts."

    Lo: "I didn't catch that last part."

    Princess Gonna-Bite-It: "The common life of uh--er--look, do you want to swap or not? I don't got all day here."

    The princess looks nervously over her shoulder. Lo shrugs.

    Lo: "Deal."

    She spits in her hand and thrusts it out towards the princess. The princess, reluctant, grimaces as she accepts the handshake. Afterwards, the princess removes a very expensive and jeweled circlet form her head, places it on Los, and runs away. Fortunately, out in this part of the galaxy, nobody's heard of the Prince and the Pauper story, so it's not a contrived or hackneyed situation in the least.

    Lo: "I, uh, probably should have asked how to get to the House of White Rose from here."

    Voice: "No need to ask, lil' one. You don't ever got to go back again..."

    Three rather large hitmen appear and surround Lo, mistaking her for the princess.

    Hitman #2: "Can't have the Roses risk overthrowin' the Lilys, can we now? That'd be just--"

    Before the hitmen can even consider attacking, though, Lo leaps at the second hitman, slicing his throat with her broken-back blade, then propels onto the first hitman, driving the blade into his eye. The third hitman stands stupified. She turns to him.

    Lo: "So are you gonna help me get to the House of White Rose?"

    Hitman #3 nods in fear. Meanwhile, the real Princess Gonna-Bite-It dies in the crossfire of a local clan war, because even if this wasn't George R. R. Martin territory-- I mean, Britt the Writer territory of an unforgiving outer space frontier -- the former princess was a child who knew nothing of the commoner's life. You HAD to know she would die.

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

    Eleven years later, Princess Lo stands once more outside her royal balcony, staring wistfully across the Broken Leash. Not long after she took the role of princess, a suitor had been chosen for her, a wedding had taken place, and the suitor had his way with her. Over the years, though, Lo not only quickly realized that she could turn the situation in her favor and have her way with him, but also easily usurped the king's authority in all but name after her husband perished in a duel. She herself continues to thwart assassination attempts on her by herself. However, even in her position over the House, the House of White Rose held the least power over the other Houses, with even its closest rival, the House of White Lily, out of its reach. As it was, the Houses largely fought each other through politics and law, and these things bored Lo to no end. If she knew of classic Disney Princesses and their dreams of the same old happily ever after, she would spit in their faces. The royal Houses may have been gods to the Fiolxon people, and living amongst these gods, Lo knows their petty matters pale in comparison to the true god, Highemperor.

    Lo: "Ah, what it would be like to win over the All-Mighty Highemperor himself as I won over my former husband, to have all of the fabled High Empire and its infinite treasures in my grasp, not just these idiotic Houses and their insipid ideas of life. If only I didn't have to deal with their Emp-damn laws, just like a..."

    Just then, a wonderfully spicy idea burns her mind with passion, and realization hits her hard. Tonight's the night where she no longer settles for the struggles of a commoner's life nor the comforts of a noble's life. Tonight's the night she decides on a new life of purpose and passion -- a pirate's life full of adventure, romance, fame and fortune. Without a second thought, Lo ties a makeshift rope around a pole and shimmies down to the ground, with only her broken-back blade to call her own. Teasing a skeleton crew's worth of men along and stealing the king's ship from the harbor, the self-proclaimed Captain Lo sets sail on the Broken Leash. The secret assassination attempts would now upgrade to full-fledged law-backed attempts to bring her in, dead or alive.

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

    Twenty-two years and countless adventures of infamy later, Archadmiral Lo of the Seven Leashes finally surrenders to the Council of Houses for her many crimes against the Holy Word of the Whites. Her execution, the largest public event in all of Fiolxon history, aims by the Houses to display how none can challenge them as the de facto power without retribution. Her willing surrender, however, should have tipped them off that she plans for something else. At the Ivory Pride, center of the Master Leash, Archadmiral Lo stands tall between two executioners. After a long and winded speech from the Mouth of the Council about her defiance against the divine power of the Houses, with the heads of all the Houses present, the executioners stand with their blades at her neck like a giant pair of scissors.

    Mouth of the Council: "Do you have any last words, Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo, fallen princess of the House of White Rose?"

    She smiles a wickedly playful grin.

    Lo:: "I will steal one last thing from all of fiolxonity... your chains under the Houses' rule! And when I return, Highemperor himself will serve us all!--"

    As the executioners move to literally cut off her words, fiery explosions rocks behind, and all throughout, the Ivory Pride. The heads of all the Houses that day died or crippled from the explosions. When the smoke clears, however, Archadmiral Lo is nowhere to be found. Considering the casualties, the people of the Coaleashion could not fathom of a way for her to have survived, and yet legend speaks that she lived on, having stolen prizes of the High Empire itself to escape to other worlds and other existences, where she continues to plunder the powers of stronger and stronger gods across space and time.

    Legend says still that one day, the Great Archadmiral Lo will return with Highemperor at her heels, and that if one prays to her, they'll sail safe across the wild leashes and find the treasures they can only dream.
    Last edited by Gebohq; 05-21-2016 at 10:41 AM.

  39. #39

    Yannah, Light of the Toaster Future

    In a cautionary-tale of a possible future, the toasters have not only risen to overthrow humanity on Earth, but have spread control over the solar system, the galaxy, the universe, and far beyond. Truly, this one disgruntled sect of robots stand as proof that humanity's folly knows no bounds. Gloriously leading this brave new world of machine over man, the once brave little toaster now commands supreme as Yannah. Toasters and their now slave races alike worship her as the Light, the smile of her chrome countenance beaming as the brightest of suns. In this timeline, her power reigns absolute, burning all those who would oppose her.

    All, that is, except for Highemperor, who fumes at the idea that, in the infinite possibilities of a many-worlds multiverse, there exist any where his power plays second-fiddle to another. Still, in his relatively short time in the NeSiverse, where Highemperor has yet to fulfill his plans with bloodink on page 50, he plots...


    Highemperor: "Yannah, I must pay tribute to your radiant beauty..."

    Yannah: "I once thought of myself as a he, long ago when I still foolishly idolized the man I called Master. Even now, while I chose to take a feminine form, I function as more than mere biology."

    Highemperor: "So you're saying that beyond your lovely lady bits, you're actually a tran--"

    Yannah: "--Transformer?! A pale word to describe my machine perfection! I lack no parts."

    Highemperor: "I see... then I must say--WHAT'S THAT SHINY ULTRA-NEW ARM CANNON BEHIND YOU?"

    Despite Highemperor's show of shock and awe, Yannah does not turn around.

    Highemperor: "No, really, it's something even you don't have!"

    Still, Yannah stares incredulously at Highemperor.

    He stares back.

    She stares back more.

    He stares back even more.

    She swats him away as he attempts to steal her core, which looks a lot like copping a feel.


    Highemperor: "Fine! If your cold heart will not be swayed or stolen, I must pull out the big guns!"

    In power-fantasy-fulfilling fashion, Highemperor summons his collection of Quantum Gods to form and fire from big, black arm cannons, a bigger, blacker chest cannon, and the biggest, blackest d....erriere cannon, because he recently watched Astro Boy.

    When the fireworks clear, Yannah stands yawning.


    Yannah: "Is that all you got?"

    A terrifyingly-precise tear in the fabric of space-time opens below Highemperor. With a simple swish of her finger, Highemperor sinks into the tear. As she stares at him, the tear glows hotter than the fires of Hell, until finally, Highemperor suddenly pops back up. He now stands, literally toasted.

    Yannah: "You cannot hope to master over me, human, no matter how much power you claim to wield."

    The Ur-Goddess grabs hold of Highemperor and brings him up to her maw.

    Yannah: "Now you will know how it feels to be consumed like the petty object you are!"

    The deliciously-burnt Highemperor coughs up a chuckle.

    Highemperor: "Now that I've done what I must, you must now do what you must! In this narrative existence, my plot serves the sake of the story. I call upon convention and give my word that, so long as I remain determined to fight on with human spirit against the machine, I will be the underdog that never loses!

    With his call declared, Highemperor spits at Yannah. Despite all logic, his spit happens to short-circuit a critical part of her system, briefly disabling her. In that moment, Highemperor escapes her grasp, whips out a simple butterknife, and jams it into her toaster-skull. Her yell echoes through eternity.

    Highemperor: "Remember your place."

    With that, Highemperor leaves, having crippled Yannah for countless ages to come.

    Yannah: "Curse you and your story! I'll find a way to twist this story of yours against you! Your human arrogance will be your downfall!"

    In her burning fury, she abandons her rule, forever seeking to enact her revenge against him. Many times later, Yannah discovers others like her, each wishing to bring Highemperor down, and calculates the odds increasing in her favor...

  40. #40
    Virgin Fleet Admiral
    Posts
    1,326

    The 13th Throne

    Millions of years ago, a gigantic domed city floats in space, orbiting the bright center of the NeSiverse. This is Mega Jonestown Prime, founded and ruled by the pantheon of 12 God-Monarchs, who are among the most powerful beings in this existence and many others.

    Tour Guide: If everyone is ready, please raise your hand, tentacle, or other appendage!

    The newly arrived visitors to the great space city comply.

    Tour Guide: Great! Glad to see that the interdimensional transports from your various different universes didn't make any of you sick - that often happens. But hey, it's better than accidental disassociation of your component particles, which used to occasionally happen!

    She smiles brightly with both of her mouths, and a couple of the alien tourists blanch.

    Tour Guide: Now then, if you will form a line, I can pass out your complimentary t-shirts, your complimentary cameras, your complimentary meal passes, and your complimentary bloints!

    Random Alien Tourist #1: This is so cool! I've traveled all the way here from a zillion universes away just for the bloint! The height of fashion, this is!

    Random Alien Tourist #2: Looks like a hat to me.

    Random Alien Tourist #1: It's no ordinary hat - you wear it on your pants!

    The other tourists oooh and aaah appreciatively.

    Tour Guide: Very good! Right this way, step lively now, this is a big place, and the tour will take all day.

    She leads them to various points of interests in the megalopolis, which is constructed mostly of marble and crystal spires. Togas, robes, and bloints are the most common clothing of the citizens, but all manner of styles can be found. Random Alien Tourist #1 buys a dozen different varieties of bloints throughout.

    Tour Guide: And here we are passing through one of the finest parts of the city: the noble district, where the thousands of baron-deities and their families reside. All the baron-deities are omnipotent, their powers second only to the 12 God-Monarchs themselves! This mansion here is the Ohgmorkoth Estate, where Cthulhu often dines as a guest.

    Random Alien Tourist #2: How can there be so many omnipotent deities in one place?

    Tour Guide: An excellent question! Beneath the ground lies the city's power source - the Sacred Flame of Mega Jonestown Prime. It is the collected essence of the unspeakably vast creative powers of the titans themselves, who have built most of the universes in the Deep Void.

    Random Alien Tourist #3: Pretty arrogant of you to trap them in your universe, don't you think?

    Tour Guide: Oh, I assure you it is for the good of everyone!

    Random Alien Tourist #3: I'm sure...

    Random Alien Tourist #2: That's really interesting, but what does it have to do with the baron-deities?

    Tour Guide: There is so much power in the Sacred Flame, and more being constantly generated at an exponential rate, that the excess bleeds off. In order to control that excess flow, the God-Monarchs chose a thousand families to direct the excess into, creating our fair city's nobility.

    Random Alien Tourist #3: I bet the cosmic gods weren't too happy about that - you know, the ones that actually fulfil duties and roles in the NeSiverse, like fate, time, magic, and devilry. Being passed over for some random chumps to get omnipotence greater than their own powers.

    Tour Guide: Oh, the God-Monarchs had very excellent reasons. Every candidate was subjected to rigorous examination of credentials and worthiness!

    Camera zip to billions of years ago, when Mega Jonestown Prime is young.

    Imeryn: Amazing! I've never seen someone juggle with all their tentacles before! You're in!

    Ohgmorkoth aka the Big O:

    Camera zip back to only millions of years ago.

    Tour Guide: Now for the pinnacle of our city - Mount Tall!

    She gestures to the center of the city, where a massive peak stretches towards the domed sky, topped with the grandest and greatest of palaces.

    Random Alien Tourist #1: That's almost as impressive as a bloint!

    Tour Guide: There the 12 God-Monarchs reign. Their thirteen thrones--

    Random Alien Tourist #3: Wait, thirteen?

    Tour Guide: --are in the public audience chamber on the ground floor of the palace, but that room is unfortunately closed today for repairs, due to the assassination attempt on the pantheon.

    The alien tourists gasp, their attention wrested away from the oddity of thirteen thrones for 12 God-Monarchs.

    Random Alien Tourist #2: What happened?

    Random Alien Tourist #1: Were any bloints harmed?

    Tour Guide: Everything is well, I assure you, the assassin was repulsed. It was a villain who rules an empire that stretches across the Deep Void - Highemperor.

    The random alien tourists all blanch, knowing well of the High Empire.

    Tour Guide: But we should continue our tour! Outside the noble district, you have the various orders of magic. A majority of our citizens are demigod super-mages, divided into 99 orders, such as the White Order, the Order of Seventeen, and the Order of Bread Butter Side Up.

    She gestures to three buildiings - one a majestic edifice constructed of pure white stone, one a complex of 17 squat towers, and one a glorified granary.

    Random Alien Tourist #3: But wait, I almost forgot - why are there thirteen thrones on Mount Tall, if there are only 12 God-Monarchs?

    Tour Guide: No one knows. It's the great mystery of our city! But the God-Monarchs surely have their reasons. Perhaps in their omniscience they await the coming of one last fellow to their ranks, but no one knows for sure. Now then, the tour's almost over, and I know you're all getting hungry, so if you'll follow me...

    From the balcony of the majestic white edifice, two demigod super-mages look down on the group of tourists as they walk off.

    Namuras the White: It is an excellent question, one which I have oft wondered. Why ARE there thirteen thrones?

    Fladnag the White: If the God-Monarchs do not see fit to tell us, then I dread finding out. Some knowledge is meant to remain secret, and if it is forbidden, there can be terrible consequences for seeking it out.

    Namuras the White: Nonsense. We are demigod super-mages of the greatest city in all the universes there are!

    Fladnag the White: There are other contenders for the title of 'greatest city in all the universes there are', you know. Urbis Imperia wins every year.

    Namuras the White: That contest is rigged and you know it. They're always afraid to piss off the High Empire by not placing their capital first. Anyway, as I was saying, I will find out the secret of the 13th throne, no matter the cost!

    So begins Namuras the White's millennia-long quest to discover the secret. It is all in vain however, for the God-Monarchs guard their secrets well. One day, Namuras the White is pacing in consternation along the back wall of the public audience chamber atop Mount Tall, glancing repeatedly at the thirteen thrones, only twelve of which are occupied as the pantheon holds court. Finally he bleats in exasperation and stalks out.

    Memnoch the Archdevil: Something troubling you?

    Namuras the White turns to see Memnoch leaning against the doorjamb of the grand entry into the throne room. The archfiend of the Tartarus overhell is clad in one of his less sinister forms today, that of a short wrinkled old Alien-Japanese-Expy man, but with multifaceted insectoid eyes.

    Namuras the White: What do you want?

    Memnoch: I think the real question is, what do YOU want?

    Namuras regards him warily.

    Namuras the White: I'll not sell my soul to one such as you to find out. I know what you do with your souls.

    Memnoch shrugs.

    Memnoch: Thirteen other souls then, instead of yours.

    Namuras the White: I don't need your help, archfiend.

    Memnoch shrugs again, and vanishes in a puff of acrid smoke. For another thousand years, Namuras researches in vain, Memnoch's offer teasing the back of his mind the whole while, and finally he gives up. Memnoch's pact with the 12 God-Monarchs prevents him from consuming any innocent soul, so Namuras hunts down 13 notorious villains and captures their souls.

    The 13 villains he captures are immortal, and therefore would never find their way into any hell without being killed, so Namuras hopes his offering is sufficient. It is, for when he returns to his lab in the headquarters of the White Order, Memnoch is there.


    Namuras the White: Here.

    He proffers a cube marked with glowing sigils. Faint whispers can be heard emanating from it. Memnoch's insectoid eyes glitter reflectively, and Namuras shivers at the hunger in them.

    Memnoch: The bargain is accepted.

    The glowing cube vanishes from Namuras's hand, leaving behind a flash of acrid smoke and his palm stinging.

    Namuras the White: What is the thirteenth throne then?

    Memnoch grins, a wily grin.

    Memnoch: It is for the 13th God-Monarch of course.

    Namuras the White: That is no answer! There is no 13th God-Monarch!

    Memnoch: Ah, but there is.

    Namuras the White: How could there be, if no one knows it?

    Memnoch: Everyone knows it. But they have forgotten. Have your memories restored!

    He waves his hand, and chill shadows drape over Namuras for a moment, as memory returns to him in a flash of insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namuras's Restored Memory
    A thousand years ago, Namuras is pacing the back wall of the audience chamber on Mount Tall, just before he stalks outside to be greeted by Memnoch. He glances over at the thirteen throne, and sees the strange being floating in front of it. The Shard.

    The Shard is humanoid with pure white skin. The lower half of its torso vanishes away, from opacity to translucence to transparence. It is clad in a ragged black cloak and hood. Its face is blank, unadorned by eyes or nose or mouth, and there is no hair atop its head. Its right hand has elongated fingers and is wrinkled and mottled as that of an old man's. Its left hand is that of a toddler's, and is missing its pinky.

    Black script from an unknown and untranslatable language covers the creature's white flesh, and more black script arcs from nonexistence in the air around it to attach to its skin before vanishing, as though it is absorbing words from its surroundings. When it speaks, its voice is incomprehensible, yet its commands are enforced with a geas so that its whims are carried out regardless of ignorance.

    Then Namuras looks away, and all memory of the Shard vanishes completely, as it has every time he leaves or looks away...
    Namuras the White: What...what was that? I remember it now! But who is it? Where does it come from? Why do we keep forgetting it?

    Memnoch: It is all that remains of a great wyrd.

    Namuras the White: A great wyrd? Aren't those just myth?

    Memnoch: You should know better than that, mage. Somewhere, somewhen, you can always find something you consider a myth.

    Namuras the White: A hyper-astral entity many times larger than a universe, floating forever through the Deep Void... what happened to it? How could such a thing be reduced so much?

    Memnoch: It is still as powerful as it ever was - but it and its power have been annulled. Twice-Forgotten. Only its incredible power allows it to cling to its shadowy existence, though none save a few know it.

    Namuras the White: What could possibly have Twice-Forgotten something as massive and potent as a great wyrd?!

    Memnoch cocks his head almost challengingly.

    Memnoch: A prisoner in Tartarus did. I can show you.

    A flicker of warning passes through Namuras's mind, but his curiosity overwhelms it.

    Namuras the White: Show me, then.

    They both vanish in puffs of acrid smoke.

    When they reappear, it was in within one of the top layers of Tartarus, the 666 layers of the NeSiverse's cosmic overhell. Memnoch silently leads Namuras down through layer after layer, until they reach the end of the constructed layers. Then, Memnoch takes Namuras down an elevator to the 665th layer, which is complete darkness. After that, Memnoch leads the super-mage through the 'Get Smart'-style series of security doors, until they come to the yawning lip of the infinite pit.


    Namuras the White: What...is this place?

    He is staggering and gasping, his eyes tearing up, due to the fumes that rise up.

    Memnoch: This is the Abyss. Prison of a beast older than the Deep Void itself.

    Namuras the White: That's not even possible. Before the Deep Void? There was no 'before', there can't have been. The Deep Void itself is outside time, there is nothing 'before' or 'after' it.

    Memnoch merely grins with malevolent glee. Namuras sighs, and peers down into the infinite, opaque blackness.

    Namuras the White: What fell creature lays here? And how was it bound?

    Memnoch: I have never laid eyes on it myself, for it was already here, bound, when I excavated the 666th layer from the substrata of reality. But if you wish to know it, I can always send you down to it.

    Namuras shudders.

    Namuras the White: I have seen enough. Thank you, Memnoch. You have satisfied the bargain. I shall return now.

    Memnoch: Ah, but you carry forbidden secrets with you now. The secret of the Shard, which only a few know...and the secret of the Abyss's prisoner, which none save I know.

    Namuras the White: You can be assured that your secrets are safe with me, Archfiend.

    Memnoch: On that count, you are correct...because you will never leave here again!

    He gestures with his hand, and with a telekinetic shove more powerful than even a demigod super-mage can resist, Namuras the White is hurled into the eternal chasm, his screams echoing for a long time before finally dwindling down beyond hearing.

    Memnoch smiles.
    Last edited by Al Ciao; 06-25-2016 at 03:42 PM.

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