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Fantasy Munus Deorum (open)

Sub Genres
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  2. Adventure
  3. Historical
  4. LGTBQ
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SilverFlight

Tende altum, volare altius
Munus Deorum


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Long ago, our land was protected by gods. Great spirits of the earth, water, flame and sky. These gods walked among us, and took the forms of animals to protect us. When they grew tired, they came to rest in a large forest directly in the center of our land. Shrines were built in the forest to house them, one for each cardinal direction. They ruled with kindness and they ruled in balance, and we worshiped them, made offerings and were happy. Then, our world was torn asunder: A warlord came, with powers beyond our darkest nightmares. This warlord and his generals slew our gods, proclaimed himself and his line the true rulers of our land…that was one hundred years ago. Now, the shrines to our gods lay forgotten. Those that worship, do so in secret, and the decrees of the usurper king are only broken at the cost of our lives.

We live, some in peace, others not. The people favoured by the emperor during the war earned high places in the new world. Those that refused to renounce our old ways…were trampled under their feet. Many just try to get by, living and dreaming of the day when our world becomes better. Our gods no longer walk with us, but…

Some whisper of a prophecy: when mortal blood carries godlike strength, the elements themselves will rise up to restore balance, and make way for our gods’ return.
It is said the gods are waiting for brave believers with magical gifts to enter into their sacred wood and wake them.




















((There will be two groups to start, the Imperial group will have at least the first line of their posts in a red text colour, the Old World, Blue. Until the groups meet up. Sybis' description can be found on the npc tab on the characters page.))

The forest, at first impression, was a peaceful and truly wonderful place; lush and verdant, with sunlight playing down through the canopy, dappling leafy trails and soft mossy slopes. The heady, earthen scents and soft birdsong enveloped the senses and a lesser being would find themselves seduced by it.

To some, the forest was a paradise beyond imagining, but if you were not welcome. If you were from the Imperium, or meant its residents harm, there was a twisted note to the melody that the forest sang.

It was this that nagged at the party of Imperial gods and men sent to its borders. It was like a pressure at the back of one’s head, pressing, aching yet never quite tangible.

Sybis knew it well, and thumbed a copy of the letter they had each been given:



By Imperial orders

You have been chosen to investigate strange disturbances in the Averus Central Forest


To the Empire, it was not “The Divine Forest” only the barbarians called it that.

You are to explore the forest, note the disturbances, and if possible, collect evidence as to their nature, to be returned to the nearest outpost. If it is within your power, collect information about old world artifacts called “God Stones”, which were coveted by the four central deities, and lost when they fell one hundred years ago.

The Empire thanks you for your devoted service.

Long may we reign,


The letter was written out by hand to each of the party, and signed with the emperor’s official wax seal.


We’ll make camp here.” Sybis said. They had not gone too far into the woods yet, the sun still graced them with it’s weakening light, but the trees ahead grew more closely together, and a chilled mist was beginning to roil up from between them, a soft promise of the night to come. All in all, an ominous sign.

Then its as you like, we can stay by the fire, or, I can take you our for a taste of the dark underbelly of this place.” It was only a half-challenge, Sybis took his job seriously, but it wasn’t everyday he got to work with such powerful gods. He was more than a little curious about their powers. Svakre, Edium, Antonius, Atilius, and Athlios. He had heard of each of them, and the tails were as interesting as they were impressive.

High Moon High Moon Athanas Athanas Worthlessplebian Worthlessplebian Basil the Bulgar Slayer Basil the Bulgar Slayer Remembrance Remembrance AI10100 AI10100


*~*~*



Deep in the center of the forest, far away from the Imperial soldiers, the four cardinal temples stood like shadowy sentinels in the sea of sun-kissed leaves. Once, they had been beautiful, now they were ruined, broken and crumbling, sides stained black with fire. Nature had been quick to reclaim them. Wherever the humans were, the ones with new, strange powers, a curious pull drew them to this point. It was fierce and irresistible. The call invaded their dreams, nagged at their every waking thought. This call would not be ignored.



Beside the ruins of the Southern Cardinal temple, slowly getting to its feet, a stag raised its antlers to the sky.

Tevan blinked, leaned forward into a step and stumbled. His mind was clouded, he was disoriented. He could barely remember to breathe. Then in a flash his memories came flooding back. Tevan reeled back, tossing his head and bellowing in the voice of the deer. In a panic he took off, bolted into the woods.

He didn’t make it far. His feet, weak from a hundred years of imprisonment, caught in roots and on rocks, his antlers snagged on branches, suddenly he was careening off the path and tumbled down a low hill, straight into a thicket of thorns.

He thrashed in his panic, scoring his coat bloody until finally, bleeding and wretched, he pulled free. The pain brought him back to himself.

H-hello?” He asked, finally finding his human voice, though as a stag he remained.

He waited in the growing darkness, for any sign of an answer…

Ari Number Two Ari Number Two Frozen Thyme Frozen Thyme AncientBird AncientBird Hazmat44 Hazmat44 SilverFeathers SilverFeathers Arnalia Arnalia Lekiel Lekiel
 

SilverFeathers

Ruler of the Sky
Ralis Crasmere
Divine Wood/Averus Central Forest - Near the Cardinal Shrines
"Damn it, why..."

Ralis sighed exasperatedly, continuing his frustrating trek despite the fact that night had long fallen.
He hated it, the maddening pull to this place constantly clawing at the back of his mind. At first, he thought he could ignore it, thinking it likely just an offshoot of his awe of the Rune Temple. But the pull grew so fiercely in response to his resistance, as if it was trying to drive him insane.

But more than anything, he hated where this insanity was leading him. The Cardinal Shrines. Not only the place where the old gods were worshipped most, but also where they completely failed everyone that believed in them. Pathetic.

Whenever he used to pass through this place in the past, his mood would always sour. But now, it seems he'd unfortunately have to spend more than his usual few hurried seconds there, confronting whatever it was that annoyingly forced him all this way.

Abruptly, the yell of a deer tore through the undergrowth, instantly putting Ralis back on alert mode. A predator? He assumed the cause immediately, as he slowly backtracked away from the direction of the sound. If it were any other usual venture towards the Rune Temple, such a scream would've been more than enough reason to convince his entire family to leave this terrible place. But the aggressive tugs on his consciousness told him that course of action was definitely not an option.

As he pondered the route of a detour, through the growing rustle of leaves and cracking of wood, he realized that the chase was approaching his direction. Seriously? How unlucky could one man get? However, as he turned his body in an attempt to flee, the sounds changed into something a bit more violent, before abrupt silence, and then a faint voice just barely reaching his ears.

...a human? He pondered in shock, stealthily approaching whatever it was that had called out. Perhaps this is who had called him all the way here? He concluded, realizing that the pressure at the back of his mind had faded somewhat after hearing the voice. Though he had mixed feelings, he continued onward with a steady, cautious gait, eventually parting the bushes to reveal... a deer?

Locking eyes with the bloodied creature, he couldn't help but wonder if he had misheard. He thought it was a human voice saying something... but perhaps it was just this deer calling for help? "I'm definitely going crazy." He muttered self-derisively, scratching his head out of frustration. Glancing towards the red-dyed thorns and the wounds on the deer's body, he couldn't help but sigh.

"First, you scream for no reason in the middle of the night, and then you fall over into a bush of thorns. How dumb can you get?" He commented with contempt, though he went through a bit of a mental battle before continuing. "...Ori will beat me if she finds out that I abandoned a creature in need in the great 'Divine Wood' huh." He mumbled less audibly, pulling out the scarce medical gear he carried with him. It was just a herbal paste and some bandages... but they were not cheap. Ralis couldn't help but feel as if he was wasting precious goods and money on this random deer, as he reached out in an attempt to treat the creature.

SilverFlight SilverFlight
 

Hazmat44

Ignore the radiation. I do that all the time.
Supporter
Boscer groaned as old muscles moved, tired shoulders and tired legs nearly giving out under his own weight. One hand slammed into the dirt as he partially fell, breathing hard as he was released from whatever binds he had been subjected to. Shaking his head, he squinted up at the leafy canopy above him.

Cold clouds rolled across a blue sky, a stark contrast to the dark green of the trees below. A flurry of blackbirds fluttered about, all but ignoring the deity kneeling beneath them, and the ground gave under his knee with layers of dead leaves atop soft dirt and subtle grass.

He drew a breath, counting seconds as he pulled it into aged lungs, and then released it with much the same method. If ever there was a place and time to panic, this would be it. Boscer could sense the faintest remembrances of divinity in the surrounding area; fragments and portions that still recalled those who had lived here long before, those who had been part of something greater than anyone could have imagined.

And yet, he did not panic. Instead, he repeated the breathing exercise, and then stood.

His very bones complained at the movement, and he winced in spite of himself. How long had it been? How few followers did he now have, that his power had waned to such a degree? Surely it must have been years, at least.

But he still stood.

As he took a deep breath once more, he paused to take himself in. Gaunt ribs belied powerful muscles before them. A pair of legs like ash trees, thin and yet unbreakable, concealed by a simple pair of beige pants and a blue sash. The cool sensation of water tickled the nape of his neck, consistent but not fully clear. His face was wrinkled now, not with the contentions and experiences of age but with the sorrows of much strife.

Boscer took one final breath, and set off through the forest. There had to be someone else here.

Perhaps Tevan was still around...

SilverFlight SilverFlight AmbrosiaPuppy AmbrosiaPuppy SilverFeathers SilverFeathers

(idk who to ping so i went with the people that i know are close)
 

AncientBird

Reptile with wings and plumes.
Tamakai

Divine Wood/Averus Central Forest - Near the Cardinal Shrines


A few hours earlier

The sky was golden with the light of the evening sun, gust of wind blew through the hanging leaves and made them wobbling in unison.

Tamakai was sitting atop of a large branch, gazing to the sky. The minor god seemed relaxed and content with himself. Llife hadn’t been treating him well for a hundred years since the fall of four central gods, and with them, the old way. Still, Tamakai managed to find some joy to distract himself every now and then.

“You know Geris, perhaps tomorrow we should pay a visit to Marando down south. Haven’t heard of him for months, caught up by senility finally perhaps?… What? Caught by a leopard? What a cruel assumption you made, Geris! He is one of the last of my children, and I prefer to see him go on for another decade atleast!”

Said Tamakai to one of his most loyal magpies, Geris who had developed a habit of sticking around Tamakai almost all the time ever since he fletched from his nest.

“The Divine Wood cherishes those who respects the old way, my feathery friend. And none has ever done so as much as Marando and his ancestors. I remember his grandparents being such a devoted followers to us. You can ask Tevan for that, right Master Stag?”

Not so far from the tree Tamakai was sitting on, stood one of the Cardinal Shrines, the relic of the past that had been mostly abandoned and claimed by the forest. In front of it, there stood a large stone statue in the shape of a stag. Tevanus, the god of earth had been frozen in place there since his defeat by the usurpers a hundred years ago.

“Ah… Unfortunately…” Signed Tamakai. “I forget sometimes that you and the others are just some unfunny statues now.” The minor god’s expression dimmed down and eventhough he tried to push a smile out, it was adorned with sight of pain and grief.

Suddenly, Tamakai perked up, eyes widened and mouth gaping. A magpie just contacted him through their special bond. “A group of imperialists? In the forest?” Tamakai repeated of what he made of. “This I have to see…” He mumbled to self before turning at Geris. “Let’s fly, my friend.”

….

Tamakai and Geris arrived at the destination. The minor god was in his magpie form. They land on a thick canopy, concealing themselves in leaves and shadow as they peaked at the imperialists making a camp down below. There was so many of them, more than any recent encounters Tamakai had. Typically if it was just a small imperial hunting band or scout party, he would have toyed with them a bit, like making them lose their horses, tricking them into sink holes or dropping rotten fruits on them. But this band, generating the sensation that they were here for a more serious reason and that they would fight teeth and nails to finish the task. Tamakai was also outnumbered and his powers had not been restored to its former glory yet. There was no way he could pick a fight and win…

At least he knew they were there… “This really does concerns me.” Tamakai whispered to himself. Were they here to initiate another hunt for minor gods? To try to destroy the Divine Wood again? “Let’s go…” Said Tamakai as he took off and flew away. At least if anything was to happen, he would be prepared for it… That included his allies, the other remaining old gods too.

Tamakai returned to the Cardinal Shrine ruin to plan his next move, but upon arriving, he noticed something… The statue of Tevan… Had gone, no more the stone stag was sitting in its spot.

“Tevan???…” Gasped Tamakai as he landed on the ground where the statue was. He then noticed some hoof prints on the ground, heading away and into the thickets. The track seemed fresh, but who knew how long this had occured and in that amount of time, a live stag could have gone anywhere.

Tamakai flew to another shrine, this one of the god of water Boscer… And just as he thought, his statue was also missing as well, leaving only some foot tracks. “Geris, find youself some companions and fly… Look for a stag around here. I will be after this one, he couldn’t go too far away as a human.” Said Tamakai.

The loyal magpie took off and flapped away in a hurry, so did the minor god himself.

SilverFlight SilverFlight Hazmat44 Hazmat44
 
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Vulpes lagopus

Pretend this is something clever.
Solaris
Divine Wood/Averus Central Forest - Near the Cardinal Shrines

First came the sound of the wind in the leaves. Then the Goddess of the Sun opened her eyes, and beheld the cool shimmer of twilight dancing on a sea of ivy, and knew that she was awake. All around her, trailing vines wove in and out of a jagged mass of rotted timbers, while above her, where the roof should have been, the first evening stars pierced the canopy. Only a blackened shell remained of the temple walls. At each corner of the foundation the four pillars still stood erect and proud, weathered as they were and covered with vegetation. No fires burned, nor battle cries sounded, but insects whirred and birds called softly. A quiet stillness permeated everything.

She released a long, pent-up sigh. So. The battle has ended.

Solaris tried to stand, tearing the ivy clinging to her body, and immediately stumbled over the fallen beams. Since when had she become so weak? How many years had passed since that day? Gingerly, she picked her way over to the entrance, and surveyed her surroundings from the portico, leaning against one of the pillars. A foreign landscape met her eyes. The once well-kept courtyard and well-trodden pathways were thoroughly overgrown. To her relief, she had not seen any human remains, so perhaps those marauders had kept their promise, after all. That did not explain what had happened to her followers in her absence. Likely, they had been dispersed, unable to return here... if, indeed, they still lived.

Thoughts of those final hours weighed heavily on her mind. A gnawing ache settled in her chest. Had she made the right choice? Her role was to protect this land from injustice, and yet, through her actions, evil had been allowed to prevail. Had she but sacrificed the few for the sake of the many... Nay, perish the thought! All life was sacred- that was the foundational principle of justice. There had been no other choice. Now, the only thing to do was to accept the consequences, and move forward.

First, I shall find out what has become of the other gods. Then, those who remained would ascertain what could be done to restore balance.

One step at a time.

At that moment, she heard the sound of thrashing in the undergrowth, followed soon after by the murmur of a voice. As she moved to investigate, her sandal caught on something embedded in the moss at the foot of the stairs. She bent down to retrieve her sword, now little more than a lump of rust. Useless. Once again, she cast it aside, and kept moving in the direction of the sounds. At the top of a rise, she caught sight of a deer lying in the dell below, its coat scratched and bloodied by the thorns. A young man knelt beside it, applying paste to its wounds while muttering under his breath.

On approaching the pair, she realized this was no ordinary stag, but Tevan, God of Earth, his antlers stained with golden ichor. It appeared her friend had suffered greatly at the hands of the enemy. Her chest constricted as she gazed on him with pity. Violence- the violence of just war and just retribution- belonged to her domain. That such a gentle soul had been forced to sully himself with blood was, perhaps, the greatest cruelty of all.

"Thank you for your kindness, human," she spoke suddenly into the darkness, having forgotten to announce her presence in some suitable manner before coming up softly behind the boy. Her voice sounded stiff and awkward to her own ears, as though from disuse. "How long has it been, praytell, since the four temples fell?"

Without waiting for an answer, she crouched down beside the stranger to examine Tevan's wounds, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. Perhaps, if he regained his composure, he could revert to human form. Not for the first time, she wished her expertise was in ailments of the body, as well as those of the soul. Though, even if she were a healer, it would not be much use to her now. The fire that flowed in her veins felt very faint. "I am glad to see you alive, old friend. The battle is lost, but hope is not. We will seek out the other two, and then we will gather all who remain loyal to Averus, and do what must be done."

But perhaps she was getting ahead of herself. "Once you are feeling yourself again, that is."

SilverFlight SilverFlight SilverFeathers SilverFeathers
 
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High Moon

Relic of a Bygone Age
Aetius, Lord of the Winds, Herald of Spring.

Averus Central Forest - Outskirts

The long travel from the Northern Capital of Coloniae Aetia had been a long and uneventful journey, not even meeting up with Antonius midway through the journey had not brightened up the mood much, The task at hand was bloody foolish enough but having to cut the latest Spring celebration short for the sake of the urgent and important mission had further subdued the Spirits usual cheer. When they joined up with the others it had gotten even worse, now he couldn't even joke about with the old man to pass time, the Rhino smelled of shit and mud and the Rustbucket's constant clink clack only worked to worsen his rather hefty migraine. Left idle his mind would take himself to places he'd rather not remember but as things were now, just outside where the path of Averus' future had truly diverged, it had been an inevitability...

The blood curdling screams of those who fell before the mighty onslaught was almost deafening to the ears. Any sort of order that had existed prior to the start of this one final battle had ceased to exist as soon as steel met steel, turning into a massive melee between the -barbarian- masses that had taken up arms in the name of their gods and the Imperial legionaries and converted auxiliaries.

Fiery eyes of ember gazed upon the carnage unfolding in the depths of the once sacred forest... The groves that were once filled to the brim with the representation of nature's brilliance, now covered with the blood of the mortals, dying for their gods, be it an Imperial or a native. Aetius himself had fared no better, covered in ichor, both his own and of the spirits and deities he had crossed swords with over the last hours, mixed with the blood of the mortals that had coated his sword times over by now. Heaving with exhaustion and pain, the young spirit barely felt alive, perhaps he had already died in the starting hour of the battle and this was his own personal hell. The eyes that had flared bright moments before now grew bleary, the fiery ember fading out to give way to the light green once more, as the remnants of the battle haze lifted, all that was left was a look of horror...


The words of the Imperial Emissary broke the silence that had existed prior, thus also interrupted the trail of thought that had almost dazed the young god's mind. His bright eyes regained focus once more, looking back and forth between the party and the woods, internally shuddering once he realised that they'd already entered the cursed woods while his mind was busy tormenting him with the visages of days past.

He had avoided this place as if it was a scourge for the past century and he'd have avoided it till the titans brought the very sky-dome down upon them to end the mortal plane once and for all, if it hadn't been for the orders directly from the Emperor himself that is.

He could certainly feel the disdain the spirits of the forest that laid within had for them, it was practically oozing out of them, putting everyone within the ranks of the Imperial party at unease but himself especially, the others hardly knew of the spirits here, they had no ties, hadn't been part of the war that changed everything. Only Antonius had been with him on that fateful day, as his commanding officer yet even he couldn't have really grasped his true and utter disdain of coming back to this place, no... How could he? For all his wise-words and sage advice he was still a foreigner to Averus. THe Spirits of the Forest only hated him for what he represented. A tool of the foreign conqueror, a representative of the tyrant that had crushed them, such impersonal feelings were not what they had in store for the likes of Aetius though, no. It was close and personal.They detested his very existence, they had been friends once hadn't they? Yet it was just one mere decision that had shattered the fraternity between himself and the other spirits that he'd once called his brothers and sisters.His conscious rebelled for him to turn back and ride forth back to the North, delving into the forest meant delving into the memories of a time that had existed, a time better forgotten about and he could feel all of it burdening his shoulders once more, ever more apparent as they descended father into the cursed forest.

A sly smile wormed it's way onto Aetius' features. "I wouldn't suggest staying here longer than necessary Spymaster, we are in enemy territory now, you never know what kind of vile ideas the spirits of the woods have cooked up for the likes of us." Some of the usual playfulness returned to the young usurper once more, and so he spoke with mirth "Who knows? Maybe they'll throw a party in our name, to reminisce about the old times and have us as the main course. You never know with these spirits." now there was some underlying humour to that, which made himself chuckle.

Bringing his steed to a halt as the Emissary found a camp spot, Aetius looked backwards. "Sergius! Come forth and join me for a minute will you?" he called with a certain fondness, reserved for his own followers, though the cheer in the voice sounded strained even to himself. "I have full faith in our great Spy-Master's abilities when it comes to sensing danger, oh no. Had it not been for his keen senses he wouldn't have been here with us today after all but it doesn't hurt to be extra careful in these circumstances is it not?" His tone was even, but biting, making sure that it was known that he was no fan of the idea to stay put in the woods. "So who better than my own Master of the Hunt to make sure there are no demonic spirits here to ruin our evening? Would you kindly ride forth and make sure there aren't any VILE spirits to ruin our evening?" He flashed the mortal with a characteristic smile, though it did take considerable will to make sure it reached his eyes, the stress of this place was really straining his acting abilities.

With that Aetius dismounted his regal steed, hitching her to a rather worn down, old tree. Had it always been this way? Or had it become like this after the great trial in the forest he couldn't remember. Odd to think now that once upon a time he had known this place like the back of his own hand.

Walking next to his old friend Antony, the young spirit would summon the best smirk he could with his rather dampened mood. Skittering forwards right onto the man's path to grab his attention.

Arms arching forward, pointing towards the great forest "Brings back memories doesn't it?" Aetius quipped, once more turning forwards now that he was sure he got the older being's attention on him, his gaze set straight on, looking at the road head. "Last time we stood on the edge of this cursed place, it was to carry out the Emperor's will to bring an end to the war that had ravaged the land once and for all, it's only fitting we come back once more with the Emperor's orders." his right hand instinctively searched for the wineskin that had been his only source of levity during this whole excursion. "This place used to be grand back in the day, full of life.Spirits would roam freely in between these small paths, greeting the countless pilgrims that came to ask their "gods" to grant them blessings. Now it feels more morbid than the darkest depths of the Frumentarii torture chambers, hard to imagine right?!" He let the chipper mask falter for a moment, all that was said with a solemn expression with hushed tones to make sure the conversation was kept private between himself and his old mentor. Yet the mask came back on as swift as it had been abandoned. Finally he raised the flask to drink another few swigs of the fine wine that would warm the soul against this dark reality, however his face scrunched up with disgust the moment the red goodness touched his mouth.

The wine tasted like blood in his mouth, worse yet he didn't know if it was some sick joke his own mind was playing with him, his blasted former siblings or the old man playing mind games with him.

He really wished it was the last option.

Interactions: AI10100 AI10100 Basil the Bulgar Slayer Basil the Bulgar Slayer SilverFlight SilverFlight
Mentions: Athanas Athanas Worthlessplebian Worthlessplebian
 
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SilverFlight

Tende altum, volare altius
The sound of footsteps made Tevan freeze. He saw the boy clearly enough, even in the gathering gloom. A human boy, but something felt...wrong. What was it he was sensing.
There was a connection then, he wondered if the boy felt it too. It seemed weak, but it was there. There was something about this boy...
Before Tevan could puzzle out more the mortal was approaching him. Tevan resisted the urge to bolt again. A human coming across a wounded animal usually ended in death, but, to his surprise the boy reached into a bad and drew out a healing salve. Despite his harsh words, Tevan sensed a true kindness to him. Tevan closed his eyes, and let the boy tend his wounds.
It wasn't an offering, but that small act of compassion brought him back to himself. Slowly, the wounds seeping dark red glimmered, the blood turning gold as his power returned. His eyes brightened from black to blue and about them, vines and shrubs began to bud and bloom.

Another voice startled him and in an instant he was standing over the boy, antlers lowered protectively, but he pulled them up as soon as he saw who the new voice belonged to.
"Temples...lost." Tevan repeated. He had seen the growth. Nature waited for no one and it took his home as quickly as the others.
"I couldn't...save them." He shook his great head, trying to escape the memories that surged through his mind.
"I...killed." Tevan took a few paces backwards, then he closed his eyes again and tried to steady his breathing. He took a few moments more to speak again.
"Sol, this boy...what do you sense in him?"

He lowered his head to the ground. "Something has changed, I cannot place it...but, you are right. We must find the others."
Tevan drew a breath and blew softly. Where his breath touched the moss, tiny spores began to grow, lighting up a pair of trails. They snaked out in two directions, towards the other two cardinal temples. They would stop only when they reached them, giving a lighted path to the other two gods if they were there, and any others nearby.

"It is good to see you." Tevan looked up to his old friend once the trails glittered their way into the trees. Tevan was larger than a normal stag, and so could match her gaze evenly without craning his neck, but a stag he remained for now. It was the form he was most comfortable in.

Vulpes lagopus Vulpes lagopus SilverFeathers SilverFeathers

Hazmat44 Hazmat44 AncientBird AncientBird Ari Number Two Ari Number Two Frozen Thyme Frozen Thyme Arnalia Arnalia Lekiel Lekiel
 
Antonius, Lord of Pestilence
Averus Central Forest


Ever since the envoy had ridden to Antonius’ palace
, he felt an overwhelming sensation of disappointment with his regal master. To dispatch the chief defenders of Averus and have them go trekking into the once hallowed woodlands was far from mysterious. As soon as the Lord of Pestilence read the letter, he saw through these shallow excuses and only just resisted the innate desire to ride for Xiir and absolve his majesty of these fears. The gods had not returned and the spirits that haunted Averus’ every shadowed corner were not gaining power. Antonius had been stalwart on this for decades now, the notion of everything they worked towards being undone by a pesky old world deity was a frighteningly common facet of the mortal mindsets.

But Antonius was certain they were done for. They were reduced to stone and many of the Usurpers Generals were in places of worship instead of these magnanimous old gods. Should they regain flesh and bone, they would be shriveled messes, their death rattles escaping them with the very first breath of fresh air.

They were gone and their worshippers broke down over three generations of the Usurper’s rule. Yet their shadow hung large over the mortals and it irritated Antonius to no end. Did they doubt in the generals of old and their abilities? Did they doubt his abilities?

The Lord of Pestilence suppressed a growl. Naturally their fears were irrational, they did not fight with the old ones, they only heard stories of the viciousness of the forest’s defenders and felt woefully inadequate when it came to matching these tales. If his Imperial Majesty required four of his chief lieutenants to quell these nightmarish ghouls with a wasteful search… So be it.

‘And what a collection of loyalists we have here,’ The Lord of Pestilence thought with a sneer.

Svakre, Aetius and Athlios.

Beyond the small tidbit that all three were of the native stock, the Lord of Pestilence questioned the usefulness of two of them. Athlios was a being of madness and violence whose rape of the land appalled the Lord of Pestilence. To be paired with a being of such inability lit a fire in Antonius’ stomach and made every exchange between the two terse. Aetius was also not in any state of mind to be in these woodlands—The Lord of Pestilence knew the Wind God better than any other and he could perceive these hidden maladies that plagued Aetius.

‘Remnants of Ælfweard sing to life in this living tomb and admonish Aetius for his practicality.’

An emerald eye was always glancing at Aetius, surveying the features of his face and burning them into his mind as he scrutinized them. He could not have his friend and ally getting skittish on them and making both blond deities of the North look bad.

The final member of this troupe that Antonius considered worthwhile was Svakre. And unlike the others, Antonius was willing to trust this deity. He was more reserved than Athlios and had no qualms about betraying his kind as Aetius did. In this scenario, he’d consider Svakre as his principal ally. It was a dreary realization that a god he’d normally keep at arms length due to his lethargic role in the war, only joining after the violence was receding, was now the man he’d rely on most. The Lord of Pestilence couldn’t hope to escape the woodland fast enough.

Antonius patted his destrier, a magnificent white beauty with ropes taken from fantastical creatures’ hair and silver metals mined from deep in the earth making up its horse tack. The destrier’s caparison matched his rider, a flowing gown of green intercut with gold in triangular patterns ensured the destrier was secure and warm. Both the horse and the Lord of Pestilence were dressed for a pageant rather than a hike through spirit infested woodlands yet neither complained with Antonius managing to look especially clean despite their situation. He pulled on his steed's reigns as the emissary instructed the deities to halt for the night. Antonius scoffed at the warning, another night of camping with his companions was a sour thought, especially when Antonius was confident he could traverse these trees without incident.

After all, anything capable of besting him was dead.

Descending from his mount, Antonius caught Aetius’ eye and the younger blond quipped his way. This earned a fleeting smile that didn’t quite make it to Antonius’ eyes.

“You’re not wrong, the Central Forest is not so alive as we remember it.” The Lord of Pestilence stared beyond Aetius, finding a few birds flying overhead. The closest any bit of local fauna was to this band of usurpers all day. “I am fond of it though—melancholy as it may be, it commands a silent reverence still.”

The Lord of Pestilence was nomadic before the Usurper found him. Such silent forests were not unknown to his feet as he treaded over similar sights in ages past. His hands flew to a few modest bags tied to his horse’s rear and flanks, untying them as he readied himself for rest.

“I suppose we’ll be venturing into the heart of this land.” Antonius spoke aloud, his eyes on Aetius but his words carrying on the wind for all to hear. “Any familiar haunts we should descend to? Afterall, this was the heartland for your kind once, I wouldn’t judge you poorly if you wished to visit the temple of your old masters for nostalgia’s sake.”

“What of you, Svakre? Is there a hallowed grove you wish to revisit?”
He did not ask Athlios on purpose. He was certain that the mad god would only seek to blacken this land with his ravenous corruption. He’d rather not bare witness to the raw destruction Athlios could bring on such mundane beauty. The sight of Aetius swallow something that was certainly not water made the Lord of Pestilence suppress a sigh—it appeared his friend and trusted ally needed a little cheering up if he was already set on drinking alone.

As Antonius unfurled a blanket and two packed mugs within, he spoke once more in the open. “If I’m not wrong, there was a waterfall not far from the Wind Goddesses temple. Its bounty held an exquisite flavor.” Rattling the mugs together, Antonius practically shoved one into Aetius’ hand.

“Why drink alone when you’re in my company?” He pressed before grabbing another of the bags adjacent to his horse. Pulling a bottle from it, Antonius pried the cork off and poured the honey substance into his mug and then Aetius’. “Whatever you’re drowning in,” He spoke with a tilted grin, “Cannot compare to the mead my worshippers provide for me. It’s a little thought of home on this dreary trip we’ve been set on.”


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Lioness075

Everyone's fighting some battle of their own.
Sun Wukong.png
Name: FalarionMinor God: Light
Affiliation: Old godFavorite Offering: Anything cat-related

Another day in the forest, another strew of questionable life decisions. After proposing some new similes to a bear and then nearly getting mauled for trying to eat his berries, Falarion fled and sought shelter in some bushes. He watched the bear run past and then moved on to find some magpies in a tree nearby. One flew down to the ground and Falarion happily pounced on it only to feel terrible when it went into full panic mode. Apparently, the magpie did not understand he was just playing. He thought he had explained it rather clearly, but the magpie promptly pecked him on the nose and he retreated to nurse the minor injury.

"Tamakai, you really need to teach your magpies some manners...and how to have a little fun!" He muttered while rubbing his nose.

It always befuddled Falarion how so few seemed to understand how to simply let loose and have some fun every once in a while. He swore everyone was rather uptight these days. Sure, things had been better and less...dismal in the past. But they could still smile and have fun!

Deciding to seek out a warm rock to nap on so he could recover from his grievous nose injury, Falarion began walking through the forest, staring up at the canopy with his arms behind his head. He wondered what was going on in the world at this moment, how he could try to better reach out to his followers. Despite how that bear had reacted earlier, Falarion felt confident that some fresh similes were the perfect way to bolster spirits once more.

Nodding to himself, Falarion's gaze returned to the forest floor just in time to see a trail of tiny spores creep past him. His eyes widened at the sight and he audibly gasped.

"T-Tevan!?!"

Falarion wasted no time, as he bounded forward and followed the spore trail backwards to where it had originated from. His heart was in his throat and his mind raced with thoughts of what had occurred in the past. Where they truly back now? Was Solaris back?

Excitement soon overwhelmed him and he was in his lion form, sprinting through the forest. His soft glow illuminated the area around him and he let loose a celebratory roar to try and get the attention of anyone nearby.

Falarion nearly sprinted past the trio, desperately skidding to a halt on his hindquarters and leaving quite the dirt trail behind himself and on his rump. Standing up and shaking the dirt loose, Falarion happily trotted up to Tevan and Solaris, his toothy grin as a lion looking back and forth between the two.

"You're alive! I can't believe it! This is such great news! I missed you so much!" He exclaimed this to both of them, but then found himself staring at Solaris longer.

It was then that he realized the two gods were not alone and he cocked his head at the human.
"Who's your new friend?" He asked no one in particular.

SilverFlight SilverFlight Vulpes lagopus Vulpes lagopus SilverFeathers SilverFeathers
 

Athanas

You needed someone to blame, so you cast it on me.
The Thrice-Cursed Prophet, The Scion of the Forge, Athlios

Athlios despised nature. Where others saw beautiful fauna, he saw vicious beasts, eager to gouge out eyes and claw at flesh. Where fools believed lie birdsong and sounds of harmony, Athlios knew there was the howling of monsters and the screeching of flensing wind.The lush treeline was akin to the walls of a maze, trapping the unwary in it and never letting them leave until they were consumed, devoured by roots and beasts and vines and insects, not a single trace of them left to mourn.


And this, here, this one was the worst amongst them. They called it divine, and rightly so, for it was the perfect encapsulation of the tyrants that blessed it. Outwardly verdant and beautiful, but only to a select few-for everyone else, the thing radiated with malice and spite. Yet Athlios stood tall against this mental onslaught. He turned his mind to fantasizing about a terrible fire consuming this blasted place, spires of metal rupturing forth from the ground, overwhelming even the tallest trees. All the while, metallic legions advanced, slaughtering all denizens, big or small, and adding further fuel.

Thinking about it did not immediately make it so, much to his sorrow, but he found the thought comforting. The forest thought it understood hatred. It thought it knew what it meant to have suffered, and to lash out. Pathetic thing, it’s hours were numbered.

The ghosts of memories still swam around his head. Vague cheers and prayers and festivities that he might have once been a part of. More insidious memories yet threatened his resolve-glimpses of beauty, of fine smells and jovial laughter that he was free to be a part of. He focused on the hatred instead, trying to drown out these sentiments. They would only impede his mission.

The letter was quite clear, and it’s bearer was trustworthy enough, which made it all the more puzzling. Four important deities and two lesser ones, gathered in the same place, at the very heart of Old God magic. If Athlios did not know any better, he would’ve certainly thought this was a plot by the supporters of the Tyrants to cause their demise.
As consolation, perhaps, their posse was at least fairly powerful. Aetius and Antonius, arrogant ponces both, still possessed decent power. Svakre was an unstoppable force of nature, and Sybis’s reputation painted him as someone reliable.

But the mortal…What was the mortal doing here? He remained quite confused for several moments, trying to understand, before his eyes fell upon the spear. Of course, he had made that one! His mind was distracted by the terrible thoughts for but a few brief moments as it was instead replaced with mirth. He moved closer to Felix, saluting to get his attention.

“At last! I meet the legendary lobster slayer, hah!”
Though the entity’s voice was still metallic, and, by the accounts of several people, grating, the mirth in it was not completely drowned. “I see you have your well-earned reward with you still. I trust it has served you well?”

The mortal was quite inspiring. Not fanatical, like his followers, yet possessing an indomitable will that allowed him to pursue even prey as towering as demons and come out victorious. A true fighter against tyranny, that one.

On a whim, perhaps, he decided that such bravery must be protected. “Grant me your shield a moment, would you? I promise you will not regret it.”

When his request was fulfilled Athlios extended his additional arms, making a terrible, grinding noise as they unfolded from his back, not too different from the limbs of a squid. They held the shield steady while one appendage brandished a small chisel and dipped it in the dreadful liquid, beginning to draw over the front of the shield.

“I will be the first to admit, I was more than a little confused when I first received your offering. Considering your tally of slain demons, I was fully expecting some form of weapon. But I do not complain, it is sufficiently different so as to be interesting.”

Having finished the Inscription, the arms handed the shield back to Felix. There was no obvious change, besides it feeling much lighter to hold than it did a minute ago. Feeling content with this demonstration of favor, he diverted his attention to the others.

“It is my belief that an early scouting expedition is wise. The less time we give our foes to prepare and set an ambush, the better. Besides, it should be noted that I fully intend to make a map of our endeavors. Though it would not surprise me if this accursed place were to intentionally change shape and size only to confound me… What do you think, Aetius? Is such magic possible here? You are the most knowledgeable in the ways of this realm.”
As if backing up his point, his additional appendages reached into his satchel, retrieving parchment and ink with which to make good on his words. This land presented itself as wild and untameable, but he would prove it wrong, if only as a matter of principle, rather than any tangible benefit.


Antonius callously ignored his presence once more, questioning all of their allies but himself. The verminlord’s spite was poorly-hidden, and Athlios once again had to restrain himself from making a poisonous remark. A large percentage of plowshares and tills were created in the Northern Mountains. Weapons with which bandits and demons were hunted were produced in the Northern Mountains. Jewelry, Coins, and talismans were all mined and crafted in the Northern Mountains. Medicines and tonics were inventions of the guilds of the Northern Mountains. Athlios had transformed the land from a barren war-torn wreck to the most industrious corner of the empire.

And this stunted fool would ignore all of that. He saw only the cut forests, the drained swamps and the dug-out earth. He was completely blind to the rebuilt homes, the affordable tools, and the purge of demons. That Antonius was not dimwitted, and yet managed to somehow ignore this fact told him that the plague God was simply too taken with his own accolades to see the future-he did not understand the impermanence of stagnancy, the capacity of the tyrants to recover for as long as the world that they belonged to existed.

And this forest was the most dazzling example thereof. Imperials claimed dominance over it, of course, much like the rest of Averus, but no Imperial dared enter-The “balance” deities servants would butcher them.-, and even as deities they all could feel it’s enmity towards themselves. It’s beauty was superficial and a trap-a trap that Antonius was supposed to be too intelligent to fall into.

But enough ruminating about his detractors, thought Athlios. For now, they would work together, and he would assist and support the verminlord as he would any other ally.


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SilverFeathers

Ruler of the Sky
Ralis Crasmere
Divine Wood/Averus Central Forest - Near the Cardinal Shrines

Strangely enough, the wounded deer did not shy from his touch at all as he reached out, instead choosing to close its eyes peacefully as if accepting his presence. "You really have no sense of danger huh." Ralis couldn't help but continue to mutter, though he too felt a strange soothing peacefulness settling within him as he carefully applied the herbal paste. Focusing completely on his work, he almost didn't notice the fact that the red mess he was wiping away... was slowly turning golden. His eyes widening, he blinked a couple of times in trying to discern if it was really turning gold right before his eyes, or if it was just the remnants of the sunset's glow playing with him.

Before he could come to a conclusion however, another voice, one audibly different to the one he had heard earlier, startled him from behind. Another pilgrim? At this hour? He pondered internally, before realizing the deer he was treating had risen from his lying position to stand before him and the newcomer. Oi, this guy didn't need my help at all. Ralis couldn't help but complain, glancing towards the half-empty salve container in his hands before training them on the lady standing before them.

Almost immediately, the fog in his mind felt uplifted. If meeting the deer had eased the madness in his mind, then facing this woman almost dispelled it completely. "I wasn't doing this to be thanked." He replied plainly, before looking aside for a moment and relishing the feeling of near clarity soothing his consciousness. He never wanted to go through something like this again, it had hindered his everyday life until it became near unbearable. He hoped that he could just return to his everyday life now that this was near solved... but something told him that things weren't that simple.

The stranger's consequent question puzzled him. Is she serious? He cocked his head to the side in thought, scrutinizing the woman for malicious or sarcastic intent. Before he could respond however, a voice, the same one that had called out from the darkness earlier, came from the very deer he had been treating. Looks like I wasn't going crazy afterall. He reflexively thought triumphantly, though Ralis stared in wonder at what he assumed to be a minor deer deity of sorts as he continued to speak weakly.

He wasn't sure of the true context of their words, but it vaguely seemed as if they had lost their temples and fled here. Likely remnant spirits from those that supported the old gods. Ralis concluded faintly, though he didn't like how the woman seemed to be speaking of a rebellion against the imperial empire right beside him. For being present here in the Divine Wood, he understood why she assumed he was a human on their side, but... confidential info y'know? They were lucky he would turn a blind eye to it, if only for the sake of his oh-so pious and indignant family.

He stared plainly as the deer deity then casually used his godly powers and lit a path to their allies through the forest floor, prompting Ralis to finally speak up once again, at least hoping to get a word in before this could turn into a sudden gathering of rebels. Afterall... he was only here to solve his headaches okay?

"Well, I guess I'm glad you both have reunited and whatnot. But I should get going, it's pretty late." He spoke whilst tidying up his gear and slinging his bag back over his back. He felt oddly reluctant to leave this pair of strangers, but he felt that he had to dispel these urges at the back of his mind once and for all. And to do that, it seemed he'd have to go to stand before the Cardinal Shrines or something. Though... they were unfortunately and inconveniently in the same general direction as these glowing spore trails.

"Oh, and for your question." He glanced back towards the oddly-dressed brown-haired woman. "It's been one hundred years. A whole century since they failed us all." The blunt coldness in his reply was hard to miss. Ralis still wasn't sure whether the woman was messing with him with that question, but he didn't write off the possibility that she and this deer spirit had lived in seclusion for a long while. But then, how could they speak of a rebellion against the empire without knowing about what happened to the central gods? Hm. He wasn't sure what to think, but it didn't matter.

Just before he stepped out however, the fierce roar of a beast reverberated through his surroundings, followed by a glow rapidly approaching along one of the trails. Before he had time to react, a golden lion flew out from the forest, skidding against the floor violently before greeting his assumed allies or friends. Trying to wrap his head around the fact that he was meeting spirit after spirit today, Ralis was dazed for a few moments after recovering from the adrenaline rush, though he quickly responded once the beast addressed his presence. "No one. Don't worry, I'll be out of your hair now." He waved them off vaguely, as he quickly continued on his initial trek towards the Cardinal Shrines. Unbeknownst to him, despite initially asserting himself to try and stray from the spore trails, he found his feet subconsciously following them regardless.

SilverFlight SilverFlight Vulpes lagopus Vulpes lagopus Lioness075 Lioness075
 

Frozen Thyme

There’s a little witch in all of us.
Aluma, Goddess of Autumn
Rumor has it that, for several years, the brisk autumn winds carried a hushed message of comfort to the old gods’ faithful. A curious prophecy made its way across Averus—perhaps one that seemed too good to be true, perhaps just that: a rumor. But for the spirit facilitating that spread of information, it would be so...

The autumn goddess Aluma had fought for a century to sustain life in an increasingly unsustainable environment plagued and terrorized by imperial tyrants and backstabbers. Even when faced with death and betrayal, the resilient deity soldiered on towards her end goal. This day was different. She could feel a unique change in the air, a faint spark of hope that few felt. Like the humans whose coming was foretold, she felt the drive to seek the old temples at the heart of the mighty forest.

Aluma swept through the woods, her fiery-hued leaves twisting through the trees, contrasting with the verdant canopy. The cool gale carried her towards the temples until she heard the crunch of dead foliage below her. It had already begun; there was Boscer, emerging from near his water temple, likely in search of the others. Aluma made her descent, her leaves spiraling down to the ground and tightening into one solid mass that morphed into a human form. There she stood before the weakened water god, cornucopia in hand. Sure enough, it was he; she could sense this was no cruel deception.

“Boscer! It really is you... I knew this day would come,” the autumn goddess declared, as though she had won a bet. The context would certainly be lost on the reawakened deity. She beamed at Boscer before producing a flawless red apple from the deep wicker horn, a much-needed gift to welcome him back from his petrification. “Do you remember me? It is I, Aluma. I have come here anticipating this very moment, the fulfillment of a prophecy one hundred years in the making.”

However, she did not see any humans nearby. Could they be near, maybe at another temple? “We should seek the others when you are ready. Best not tarry long,” she advised. The trail of glowing spores indicated Tevan already on his way. Her heart leapt with joy at the impending reunion.

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AncientBird

Reptile with wings and plumes.
Tamakai

A group of magpies descended from the sky where they saw 4 figures gathering. A large stag, as they were told to look for, and there were also a young man, a brown hair woman and a golden lion. It would be a questionable sight for someone knows no better, but the magpies just did what they were informed to. They inspected each individuals and then started shattering loudly.

Tamakai flew through the trees. His good eyes fixated on the foot prints on the ground. Eventually, he saw 2 figures in a distance. One was Aluma the goddess of autumn… With her trusty cornucopia fulled of treats. Tamakai knew the goddess well. The bright colored leaves and cool wind of her domain had inspired him for inventing several dance moves he’s so proud of.

But next to her… Tamakai’s eyes widened. It was him, Boscer the god of water, alive in a flesh. The magpie landed right next to them and transformed back to human form.

“Dear Aluma, you have found him!” Spoke Tamakai. “I came from the shrines a while ago, all of them had really returned! The statues lay no more!”

Tamakai turned to Boscer. “Happy to see you again, Master Fish.” Spoke Tamakai, trying to keep up the smuck look although at the time he was about to burst with joy. “My magpies had located the whereabouts of Tevan and possibly, Solaria but we would need to find them for confirma-“

Just before Tamakai finished his word, a trail of sprouts slithered toward them, a clear sign that confirmed the magpies’ report.

“Ah… That’s definitely true then…” Spoke Tamakai. “This may be a joyous day, but I do have an urgent matter to report… This may interest you too Red Leaf.” Said Tamakai as he turned to Aluma. “A band of imperialists are in the outer side of the forest as we speak. They are quite large and I am totally certain they brought some of their so called “gods” with them… I didn’t make much of them, but I do feel that the mad god Athlios who had turned against us, along with the rhinoceros one I had never caught his name were among them too… This is quite concerning.”

Said Tamakai, adopting a more serious expression.

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Hazmat44

Ignore the radiation. I do that all the time.
Supporter
Boscer didn't make it far before a windstorm of leaves swirled before him, forming into a familiar sight. “Boscer! It really is you... I knew this day would come,” the autumn goddess declared, as though she had won a bet. Boscer couldn't help but feel that he was missing some context, but it was nevertheless good to see her once more. “Do you remember me? It is I, Aluma. I have come here anticipating this very moment, the fulfillment of a prophecy one hundred years in the making.”

His forehead furrowed at the statement. A hundred years? Surely it hadn't been that long. Moreover, what was this statement of a prophecy?

“We should seek the others when you are ready. Best not tarry long,” Aluma advised. A glance behind her enabled him to see the trail of glowing spores, a clear indication that Tevan was already on his way. His heart rose somewhat at the realization; Tevan was an honest person through and through.

A magpie shot from the trees and turned into a familiar man. “Dear Aluma, you have found him!” Spoke Tamakai. “I came from the shrines a while ago, all of them had really returned! The statues lay no more!”

Boscer's mood diminished, ignoring the inexplicable dislike that arose whenever he was around Tamakai. "Statues?"

“Happy to see you again, Master Fish.” Tamakai said, and Boscer suddenly remembered why he didn't like Tamakai. “My magpies had located the whereabouts of Tevan and possibly Solaria, but we would need to find them for confirma-“

“Ah… That’s definitely true then…” Spoke Tamakai. “This may be a joyous day, but I do have an urgent matter to report… This may interest you too, Red Leaf.” Said Tamakai as he turned to Aluma. Boscer did his level best to pay attention, knuckles and fingers and toes popping as he ran his joints through a series of flexible motions. He continued to listen to Tamakai, however. For whatever his faults, his information was often reliable.

“A band of imperialists are in the outer side of the forest as we speak. They are quite large and I am totally certain they brought some of their so-called “gods” with them… I didn’t make much of them, but I do feel that the mad god Athlios who had turned against us, along with the rhinoceros one whose name I had never caught were among them too… This is quite concerning.”

"Concerning?" Boscer muttered, and then repeated in a louder tone, "Concerning? Tamakai, Aluma. It is good to see both of you." He paused briefly, surprised to find he meant it, but continued. "I seem to have missed much, and I remember little. Lead us to Tevan, Tamakai. On the way, perhaps you might shed some light on what I have missed during these... hundred years?"

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Arnalia

Junior Member
Rufia Dolabellae,
The Priestess
,
Sacred Forest


She still couldn't believe her Gods were all, well almost all, not just standing, but walking in front of her.

This was suppose to be a cursory check that no one, especially her superiors, cared about. And there as soon as she met her escort, four god with a guide came out of nowhere stating that this was a highly important mission and to state their business.

Her habits saved her from embarrassing herself too much. But this was a lot.
Really a LOT, to take in. The gods she looked up to where here, in flesh, moving and talking before her eyes. She never thought a simple priestess from the South like her would get this one of a lifetime chance.

This almost made her forget that this strange and ominous forest seemed to give her the side eyes. She couldn't explain it but she felt like there were multiples eyes watching her. Now, judging would be the bad word, it seemed more....disappointed ? This made her feel like a child that disobeyed her parent. She didn't like it. And she stopped counting how many time she almost lost herself.

At last after the shock of meeting her heroes wear off a bit she thought about what to say and how to act.
Argh, she should have wear her priestess attire, this would have look more on point then the huntress gears she carried. At least she was fully prepared to camp and hunt or forage.

But what more could she even ask to her beloved gods ? She couldn't just scream about how amazing she hear Lord Aetius party were, or how she hear rumor that Lord Antonius could cure any disease, or how Lord Svakre fighting skill were as good as how he manage his domain, which was thriving, or how Lord Athlios-....well she remember the rumor about his EXTREMELY devoted followers BUT the North technology has made leaps and bound since he is here so she guess it counted.

Aaah, if only she wasn't SO useless, Felix was a trained fighter and Sybis seemed to knew the forest like the back of his hand. And her....she knew how to shoot a bow...and worship the gods.....and some medicine and..... how to not die outside?

Speaking about Felix, where was he ?
"Felix ! Where are you???" She called. He was the only one she has spoke too for more than 10 minutes. With great joy, he seemed serious but pretty easygoing so she didn't hesitate to chat at her heart content with him.

By the way, Where was she ? She knew that she was at the back of the camp looking for woods for the fire, but last time Felix wasn't so far away. Did she daydream again ? She did, didn't she ? She sign and put the wood near the camp then turned and looked for Felix.

"Felix ! I got the wood ! Do you know if there's anything else to do?", she called again.

But she had a forbidding feeling, sure Felix was a great fellow but...he seemed troubled ? No, more like "elsewhere" she would say. As if he was feeling something and this was bothering him. She felt it and this bothered her too. She continued to look for him.




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Worthlessplebian

Worthless pleb
Svakre, The Onyx Rhino

The Giant of the Mountains, The Horned God, marched into this reminder of days past. Yet this towering warrior of flesh and metal had footsteps as light as feathers. Even his breathing melded with the surrounding flora and fauna, deep with primal undertones. One could easily forget his presence if his shadow didn't hound the ground beneath them. Or the massive sword that rested lazily over his shoulder. Too big, too irregular to properly sheath yet impervious to degradation. None, save for Svakre and select individuals, know the weapon's origin. A bleak mystery. On the topic of enigmas, Svakre could not fathom the importance of their assembly. He understood the assignment, but for what reason: did Emperor see fit to deploy his generals? Spiriting them away from their fiefs? It must have been important, such as scryers foretelling some foreboding conclusion.

A vexatious irritation slithered through the rhino's head. A feeling that he knew all too well. This forest is the cause, vainly encroaching on their minds. A warning to depart or a tactic to erode them. Svakre does not care for it, pushing it aside.

The Obsidian Baron's thoughts travelled towards his paisans. Rulers in their own right, of element and dwellings. Though he shuddered to imagine just how exactly did their worshippers and people lived. Aetius, more fitting to be hot air than the cool breeze, likely led a city full of ceaseless pleasantries. And not much else. His people surely mirror their deity: a vain populace wrapped by a shawl of diffidence. But that is speculation on Svakre's part, based on information that he heard via the mouth. Svakre knew not to discuss the perpetually enraged prophet. Blessed thrice with the fortune to be cursed thrice. Eternally bound to hate, seeking to embrace all with steel. Though no pity is earned from the Onyx Rhino.

His attention momentarily drifted when the beating wings of birds flapped overhead. "Avians. His poor eyesight meant that they appeared more as floating blobs with protruding daggers. Normally, he'd welcome the avifauna but in here? The Central Averus Forest? The Divine Forest? These were spies.

His mind returned to the analyses. Antonius was next in the Rhino's mental palace. A God who is certainly capable, perhaps more so, than the other two. But plagued with an unyielding ambition, if Svakre even thought of allowing it then that disease bringer would snatch up his followers, his possessions, his Kornekrine, and his life. Without even a second thought. Aspirations are an important factor in any creature, for if no creature had an aspiration then no creature would survive. The same applies to the deities, each one filled to the brim with vocations. To see this land become theirs or their followers. Svakre admits that he is the same.

The Emperor's Emissary bid them rest here for the day. Very well, the Onyx Rhino admitted. His lumbering sword was lifted off his shoulder and plunged gently into the Earth. Aetius blabbered away, his lips clearly possessing a mind of their own. Other than ordering Sergius to certain doom, the whimsy wind deity did mention something interesting. Recalling or describing memories with his ancient pal, Antonius. This prompted Antonius to probe the airhead for further recollections of the Central Forest. Then moved to Svakre, himself. The Onyx Rhino placed bare palm and gauntleted hand over the spiked pommel of the Abyssal Wake. Thinking back to his feral days. "No such place in particular. Though there exists a burrow that I dug for shelter, I wonder if it endured these one-hundred years."

The industrious Athlios claimed that he will begin to map these lands, an interesting proposal if nothing else. He also suggested that they scout immediately, a notion that Svakre was in agreement. "The proposal is agreeable, Sybis, Athlios. But take heed," His head swivelled to envision everyone. "Our presence here is already deciphered. If not from the beasts and critters then from the vegetation." A stern voice accompanied by an unflinching resolve.

But a tactical worry existed in Svakre as well, the human half of this troupe is less durable than the Gods. Making them more susceptible to attacks during an ambush.

Basil the Bulgar Slayer Basil the Bulgar Slayer Athanas Athanas High Moon High Moon Arnalia Arnalia AI10100 AI10100
 

AI10100

Expert Lurker

Felix Valerius Sergius
Location: Outskirts of the Divine Forest
Interacting with: High Moon High Moon Athanas Athanas Arnalia Arnalia

The Central Forest called— it beckoned to him like a haunting ghost.

As Felix drew closer to the edge of the forest, he felt the back of his neck prickle. It was unwelcoming of his presence, danger settled beyond the treeline. And yet, within him, he was being urged to enter. To simply throw himself to the whimsical nature of the forest that devoured Imperials with no mercy. He knew these facts. It was why his squad kept their distance from it when they hunted demons. It was a suicide mission to enter— and they weren't permitted to do so either. Felix had no wish to enter the forest before.

Yet why now?

When he had received the letter of command, Felix knew there was no coming back from that. Only he had received the letter and, as such, he had passed down the command of his squadron to his trustworthy second-in-command and had them stationed at their usual town. They were still capable of fighting back demons if need be, but he would rather not leave them alone for long.

At Lord Sybis's order, they all stopped near the entrance. They were to camp out for the night before charging in. Felix dismounted his horse, allowing it to graze and rest for the moment. It was almost terrifying to be in his position. To be in the presence of multiple gods— generals of the Emperor even. He was unsure why he had been called in with them. His eyes followed Rufia. Both her and himself were in over their heads— but there was no room for cold feet. They had to do what they were ordered to do and perhaps they would be rewarded for their efforts.

He stood at attention when he was called by his Lord. Quickly, Felix made his way toward him. Lord Aetius sounded strained, but that was not his business to point out. He spoke of making another cursory patrol around the perimeter to make sure that nothing would come at them for the night. Extra precautions never hurt anyone. In fact, extra precautions were the reason he still lived despite his profession. "Your will be done, my Lord." He said with a firm nod and a salute.

As Lord Aetius headed over to the other gods, Felix was about to make his way back to his horse when another hollered. Lord Athlios came forward and it was the very first time Felix had ever truly spoken with the god. Their correspondence was often made through his followers instead of him personally going to the territory. Immediately, Felix saluted as well. "Indeed, Lord Athlios, the spear had been a great boon in our continued hunt against demons." It had made everything marginally easier, that was for sure. Of course, he still couldn't hold a candle to demons alone— but that had never been an option. Had he been born a god, perhaps, but mortality has its limits.

Upon his request, Felix quickly handed his shield over and watched with thinly veiled fascination as Lord Athlios' extra arms folded out of him. The sound was terribly grating to the ears, but Felix schooled his surprise down. It would be unwise to seem ungrateful or irritated to a god. "Ah, apologies. Smithing had never been a skill of mine and I had figured that my offering had to be one of my finer creations within my ability." He claimed, sounding a little embarrassed. He received the shield once again, the weight seemed to have diminished yet the shield remained the same. Fascinating. "Thank you, Lord Athlios, for yet another boon." With another bow, he watched as the forgemaster headed back to the other gods.

He let out a breath. He considered praying to the gods on giving him continued strength, but that seemed to be counterproductive considering they all stood before him and were the source of his nervousness.

Felix headed back to his horse and mounted it. Secure the perimeter and return. Should be simple enough. He urged the horse towards the forest first, skirting the edge— never quite entering but so very close to doing so. Once again, the yearning grew stronger. It was within reach. There was something to find within the forest. Yet what would he find? Did the letters ring true? Would it be the statues of these old gods of some sort? Perhaps he should share these concerns with the gods for they knew more than himself. But, on the other hand, this seemed like a trivial matter that doesn't concern the gods. He could certainly figure it out himself. He looked down at his hands, the air billowing around it. That... as well. The newly gained powers that accompanied this urge.

Rufia's voice snapped him out of his thoughts and he crushed the wind forming around his hand. He rode towards her, riding past the gods. "Lord Aetius had given me an order to secure the perimeter." Felix alerted her, looking over his shoulder towards their Lords. "I do not think it would be wise for me to bring you, Priestess. You must stay safe within the camp. Perhaps you can help Lord Sybis with forming the camp?" He said, dipping his head towards the minor god. She was a priestess, not a soldier. Felix wouldn't intentionally put her in harm's way. Even if the area around them was relatively safe, Felix was not going to risk it. "I must go now. We can talk again later." He said, bowing his head before riding off to check the perimeter of their camp.

The call of the forest was strong, but his duty to his Lords was stronger.
 
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Vulpes lagopus

Pretend this is something clever.
Solaris
Divine Wood/Averus Central Forest - Near the Cardinal Shrines​

On rising, having regained his strength, Tevan relayed, in halting fashion, his experience of their final stand- the pain of loss, the burden of killing. "I know," she murmured, her tone conveying the depths of her sympathy. "We all did what we had to do."

After a moment's pause to regain his composure, the Earth God directed her attention to the human. A cursory examination revealed the cause of interest. There was something different about him... an energy that seemed out of place, in a mortal. "I sense..." she trailed off, furrowing her brow. Divine energy was what she might have posited, on more reflection. Curious. Most curious.

Trails of glowing spores winked to life, winding away into the gathering gloom, like lanterns lighted to guide weary souls home. Solaris met her friend's gaze, favoring him with a nod and a quirk of the lips that almost resembled a smile. Justice and compassion. Two pillars of one plane; two halves of one balance. Yes, it was good to be together. Though even alone she would have been bound to forge ahead, any burden was more easily borne with a companion at one's side.

Meanwhile, the young human asserted that he had not acted to win gratitude. "Indeed. So much the better," she remarked, with a bemused flick of her eyebrow. Her query concerning the time elapsed was met with a quizzical look, then apparently disregarded, as he made to leave. Curiosity urged Solaris to detain him. But then he answered anyway, casting the words over his shoulder like an afterthought- deliberation veiled in nonchalance.

One hundred years. Like a shock of cold, they sapped the breath from her lungs. One. Hundred. Years. Enough time to produce four generations of men. Enough time for those she had known as youths to have grown old and died. Enough time for a land to be crushed and remade in the image of its conqueror. One full century of suffering had elapsed in her absence. The growth of the forest and the state of the ruins had pointed to such an expanse, and yet... How could this be? Master yourself, she admonished. Denial is unbecoming of you.

Failed us all. Belatedly, his last words struck home, snaking into her thoughts like a barb at the end of a whip. It was hard not to feel stung. Yet, even as her fists clenched, and her pulse hammered, she could not deny the truth of his words. They had, indeed, failed. Though they were not morally at fault, the fact remained that, despite their intentions, the four central gods had not been strong enough, or prepared enough, or cunning enough to protect what had been entrusted to them. They had not upheld their people's confidence. Theirs alone was the failure, and theirs the responsibility of restitution. On her own shoulders, she thought, rested a particular burden, for it was she who was appointed guardian of order, enemy of oppression, antithesis of unjust rule. She, warrior, judge, and executioner. Who could prevent such a fate for the people of Averus, if not her?

Gods were not meant to fall.

Yet, they had. Brooding on it would serve no purpose. Rally. Rally, and press on.

While she was lost in abstraction, a lion's roar had rent the stillness of the forest, heralding the arrival of another familiar face. With an effort, Solaris shifted her focus to the matter at hand. Falarion, the minor god to whom she'd delegated the management of wildfires to allot more time to her legal duties, had changed little since last she saw him. Ever exuberant, ever in motion, and somehow, ever underfoot. Ah, yes. It was heartening to see him, too.

"We have indeed awakened, and far too late, it would seem. Celebration is premature, with so much work ahead of us." She did not wish to dampen his spirits, but, with the twin prods of guilt and duty urging her onward, she would not permit herself to rest. "But I am glad to see you unharmed, as well."

"That is for him to relate," she said, when he asked about the boy, only to find the aforementioned person hastening away. Doubtless, he had not meant to linger at so late an hour, and was eager to resume his own affairs. She had no legitimate reason to deter him. Nonetheless, she continued to observe. An interesting human, aside from his strange aura. Independent, forthright; with a spark of cynicism in those sharp eyes that betrayed the harshness of this new world.

"Young man," she called after him. "I sense fate's design behind our meeting. It would not be amiss to exchange names, before parting ways."

"Come," she said to the others, starting down the illuminated path in the same direction the boy had gone. "We accomplish little good by standing here. Let us see who else may meet us on our way. Falarion, no doubt you have been abroad in our absence. What can you tell us of the present state of affairs?"

SilverFlight SilverFlight SilverFeathers SilverFeathers Lioness075 Lioness075
 
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Lekiel

Two Thousand Club
Supporter
Siuhaydis, Goddess of Air, Lightning & Change
I. . . am sorry. . .

A searing flash of pain cutting deeper than the blade in her side ever could.

Betrayal.

Then the stifling smog of death choked her, and she was no more.

But with sudden clarity, she’d be thrust awake once more. Awake in an endless void of umbral shadows and shifting grays. Then the torment assailed her. Consumed her in a cycle of anguish. It was all she knew. . . the pain of betrayal and the crushing despair of inadequacy. It devoured her until she was no more than a tiny spec. And even that was taken away.

Was this what death was? How could a Goddess know? To have lived for eons they’d forgotten that even they could cease to exist one day. Change was inevitable, she of all should have known that yet in what could only be hubris, she’d somehow expected it of everyone and everything else but herself.

Hypocrite. Yes. The immortal was very much mortal.

She didn’t know how long she drifted in the void, reliving each cycle of death until she grew numb to the pain. She didn't know what to do, and a part of her wished to end her miserable existence. But in some twisted sense of selflessness and self-inflicted torment, she saw that as the easy way out. She didn't deserve it. She had to continue suffering for all eternity. It was her only penance for not being strong enough when those she loved were wrenched from her grasp. Thus Siuhaydis kept being, though she was anything but alive.

Then one day, a day just like any other, she felt a stirring. A minute shift in the depths of her soul. She'd forgotten who she was by then, obtund by the torture of being unliving for ages, drifting in the void of nothingness. So the sudden feeling, if indeed it could be called that, was like a spark of light in a fathomless dark, a flash of colour in endless gray. She felt herself withdraw from it at first, afraid that the iridescent colour might taint her. She observed it from a distance, curious, for there was nothing like it that she'd ever seen. She drifted closer. Then reached out, and touched it. It felt warm, cradled in the palm of her hands. Then all of a sudden, it disappeared into her palms. A brief illumination shining out from beneath pellucid skin as it traveled inexorably to the core of her being. She panicked. Her world grew brighter and brighter, the dark muted gray beaten back by an unknown source of light. Blinding light, scorching at her fragile skin. She screamed, but there was no sound. It grew brighter still, if at all that was possible. A flash. Then she felt the beat again.

The pall of twilight enclosed in on the still forest, all quiet except for a faint trickle. The stream wove its silvery way through worn and shattered rock. The remains of what had once been the Temple Of Storms lay strewn in an overgrown clearing, covered in vines and flowers of tyrian purple.

An eyelid laboriously cracked open, as the dust and dirt of eons shifted. Silver blood flowed through her veins, a flush of colour under a once pallid squalor as stone turned to flesh. At once, weakness overtook her and the Goddess of Air collapsed to the floor of the desecrated atrium, cerulean hair spilling out to the ground like a shimmering halo.

Move... Walk. Something within compelled her.

She stood up. Too fast. She fell to the ground, knees scraping against the dirt and pebbles. Her head lolled to one side, thudding against the cold dirt. Pain. She felt... pain. Her knees were weak, as if they were nothing more than stilts wrapped in skin.

Get up... Walk. Again it bade her.

She tried again. And again she stumbled back on her knees, though this time, she managed to prop herself up with her hands. There was fairly smooth stone to the side. A fallen pillar. She crawled over. Dug her fingers into its grainy surface. Nails splintered.

Get up... Move. She gritted her teeth and pulled herself to her feet.

Almost at once, the treetops susurrated with a breeze as if the forests welcomed her home, carrying with it the sweet woody scent of Moonglimmers. Siuhaydis took a steadying breath, lungs learning to breathe again as silver eyes surveyed her surroundings. So much for home. She stumbled through her first few steps, but eventually regained her balance. The goddess flitted through the ruins like a forgotten wisp, pausing every now and then as if something jogged her hazy memory. Each time she paused, what could only be torment flashed before her eyes.

How long had it been? How much has changed? Why was she awake now?

Finally reaching the end of the ruins, she cast her gaze up and it was then she noticed the spore lit trail leading up to her temple.

Tevan.
 

Lioness075

Everyone's fighting some battle of their own.
Sun Wukong.png
Name: FalarionMinor God: Light
Affiliation: Old godFavorite Offering: Anything cat-related

Falarion was left dumbstruck when the human muttered a reply and then walked off just like that. He was not used to being brushed off so easily and was not certain of how to respond.

"Ah, um, okay?" He said while sitting in the dirt and staring after the human.

A moment passed and then his face lit up once more as he remembered Solaris and Tevan being with him. He listened to Solaris' response, tilting his head to the side.
Having missed the discussion prior to his arrival, Falarion was thrown off by Solaris skipping any pretense of welcoming him. Until she did express her happiness that he was unharmed and he scoffed before flipping a paw petulantly.
"But of course I'm unharmed! Nothing can keep me down!" He exclaimed this while jumping to all four paws and grinning at her.

Even Falarion knew better than to get in the way of anything Solaris planned to do, so he merely added, "I'll do whatever I can to aid you all," while giving a determined nod.

Happy to continue moving before his antsy movements kicked in, Falarion began walking alongside Solaris while they followed Tevan's path.

Tilting his head again and then peering to the side to accentuate himself thinking deeply, Falarion pondered how best to deliver the news without further dampening Solaris' mood.
"Right, well...there's the warlord who declared himself the ruler of our world. His bloodline has ruled ever since. They have an...interesting manner of keeping people in line with what they deem lawful. Mostly this involves people just not questioning what they're told to do. I've still got plenty of devout followers in secret, though! In fact, one of my more recent offerings was a wooden carving of a little lion!" Falarion's sour mood quickly brightened as he remembered the figurine he had left in his hovel.
But then he looked crestfallen, as he recounted, "Your shrines were forgotten many years ago. Everyone believed you all were gone forever and so they tried to rely on themselves and us minor deities to make due."
Brightening again, Falarion added, "I've been helping give people hope despite everything! Do you want to hear some of my new similes I made up recently? I tried telling a bear earlier, but he got really defensive when I wanted to try his berries."

At this point, Falarion paused to catch his breath and then glanced sideways at Solaris and then at Tevan to see what their reactions were.

SilverFlight SilverFlight Vulpes lagopus Vulpes lagopus
 
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Frozen Thyme

There’s a little witch in all of us.
Aluma, Goddess of Autumn

Another familiar face had joined the pair: the lord of magpies, Tamakai. "Ah, Tamakai," the autumn goddess responded gleefully, offering a curtsy. Her balance was impeccable; not a single berry fell from the cornucopia during the gesture. "This will be the largest gathering of our kind in over a century. I look forward to seeing who else will join us."

Though Aluma was glad to see the trickster god, the information he brought was of grave concern to the fugitives from imperial law. "Did they sense it, as well?" she pondered seriously, her brow furrowing. The few Tamakai had mentioned were known warmongers and hardened killers. The message was clear to her. "They will seize the opportunity to strike our cardinal gods at their weakest. Agh, curse that Athlios a fourth time..."

With a sigh, Aluma looked to Boscer. "We cannot let that happen. We should hurry and gather all who came here to herald your return. Only then can we determine the best course of action."

AncientBird AncientBird Hazmat44 Hazmat44
 

AmbrosiaPuppy

New Member
In the depths of the Divine Wood, Kona makes his way through the trees. His steps are quick, light, his frame wavering as he ducks beneath branches and slips past the occasional animal. He grips the cloth bag slung across his body, twisting it back and forth in an effort to sooth the ache in his chest.
The soft glow of the spores beside him led the way, fueling the insistent tugging, yet he took care to not step on them as much as he could. Any other time he would perhaps stop to observe them, maybe try to describe their beauty in words and scratchy doodles far below amateur, but his focus was set on other thoughts.

Kona didn't know why he felt such a need to delve deep into the ancient forest before him. These desires (at least, those past wanting to document every inch of this primordial environment) were nonexistent a few weeks ago, so why now?
He could not help himself from hoping it had to do with his family. Perhaps it was meant to signal they were safe? But if so, why now and not years ago? Was his mother well?
In the end he really didn't understand why he so desperately wanted to enter the woods, no matter how hard he racked his brain and searched through old folklore in order to think of a logical answer. The closest he could think of were the Cardinal Shrines, but once more he was stumped as to why exactly he'd want to see that place. They were ruins after all, essentially a graveyard from the Old World. What use could they give?
"Perhaps I'm just dense," he reasons. "Wouldn't be the first time,".

Like most things, Kona shoves his doubts into a deep corner of his brain and resolves to take things as they come. He focuses on the spores at his feet instead, small blurs of color he makes sure not to trample. Such oddly pretty things, weren't they?
He hadn't intended to follow the little beauties originally; It just felt like the best choice when he had first noticed them. The pulling in his chest guided him along it like a compass, so he assumed what he was looking for was at the end of it. He wasn't willing to fight against the feeling again, especially not since it felt like it was going to eat him alive back when he was still making his way to the Divine Wood.

In the end, who or what he finds might be good for him anyways.
 

SilverFlight

Tende altum, volare altius
A hundred years…” Tevan had to sit down on his haunches as the weight of the news hit him.
It can’t be…” He looked to Solaris helplessly. “Then…all our friends…everyone we knew could be…

The sound of leaves alerted him to Falarion’s coming. The relief and joy upon seeing the lion god flooded onto his features.

Falarion! You’re okay! Are any of the others…is Tamakai all right? And Rieve? Aluma?” Tevan felt bad bombarding the other god with questions, but he had to know. Just then a group of magpies began calling overhead. Tevan smiled, one of his inquiries at least, answered. "Those are Tamakai's friends! They have to be!"

He almost didn’t notice the human turn to go.
W-wait please! Don’t leave.” Tevan trotted to catch up with him. “I cannot make sense of it…but I feel we are supposed to be with you.” Then he thought of something. “Oh, human lives are shorter than a hundred years…perhaps he does not know who we are?

The stag moved to a small clearing ahead of the human boy and bowed his head. As he did so, little flowers bloomed in the shrubs around him.
I am Tevanus, Guardian of the Earth of Averus, and master of the woods.
He stood again, gesturing with a cloven hoof to the goddess of fire and her lion ally.

It has always been dangerous in this wood at night for those that do not know it.” Tevan explained to the mortal boy, “I cannot think it has become any safer while we have been asleep…it might be prudent to allow us to escort you, to the edge of it at least…but, would you permit us to locate the others before we do?

SilverFeathers SilverFeathers Lioness075 Lioness075 Vulpes lagopus Vulpes lagopus AncientBird AncientBird

Hazmat44 Hazmat44 Frozen Thyme Frozen Thyme AmbrosiaPuppy AmbrosiaPuppy Lekiel Lekiel Ari Number Two Ari Number Two


*~*~*

Sybis listened to them with an easy smile on his lips.

The forest may yet have teeth, but there are only animals and minor deities that come through it, and the demons, of course. There is no one we would be alerting save them.” Sybis replied to Svakre’s cautioning

He meant of course that they were free from threat of an organized attack. There was no one left in the forest to organize. “Still, I can’t recommend the mortal scouts too far…especially if he wants to keep his innards...well, in.

Not long after they stopped, Sybis had a roaring fire going. The heat of the flames warmed the site and its light pushed back the encroaching mist, a civilized beacon in the hostile night.

He hadn’t sat down for more than a moment before the flapping of wings caused him to look up.

A black steppe eagle, and one of the messenger birds of the empire. It carried a letter, and a small bag.

Looks like we have this month’s news report!” Sybis said happily. The empire always organized for the higher ups to be informed, wherever they may be, about the goings on across the empire. Sybis appreciated this, being stationed in the middle of nowhere for so long. It was one of his most cherished forms of entertainment.

A rebellion in the East was suppressed, new flows of taxes should help better things over there, and they can begin construction of the Eastern Ziggurat.

The Ziggurat project was well known to most, four massive towers, one at each cardinal point of Averus. Though construction in two of the three directions had been slowed because of rebels. It looked like the only problem left was in the South.
General Adamantus was promoted to councilor and recalled to the capital, I suppose rule of his Western lands now get divvied up, you should submit applications.” Sybis continued.

There was mention of new roads, the change of province borders and…Sybis paused.
His eyes scanned the rest of the letter quickly, his lips unmoving. When he had finished, he drew a breath, threw the letter into the fire and took up the small bag.
It looks like the emperor has decided to give you very powerful gifts.” His expression was grave. He glanced at Antonius, the only other Imperial-born god. “You…already have one.

Sybis reached into the bag and drew out three translucent stones, set into metal holders. The stones matched the one he himself carried around his neck.

"Svakre, Athlios, Aetius…Take these stones and keep them on your person at all times. It is the will of the emperor it seems." In all their days traveling together, Sybis had never been more serious than in that moment. Though, he said no more than that, not explaining the purpose or reason for the gifts.

I suppose…our leader expects something to happen here.


Deep in the forest, something stalked; a dark, black shape, slinking low to the ground, a maw of jagged teeth, dripping with a black liquid. It circled the camp cautiously, shying away from the fierce light of the fire...but someone was venturing beyond the protective light...

Worthlessplebian Worthlessplebian AI10100 AI10100 High Moon High Moon Arnalia Arnalia Athanas Athanas Basil the Bulgar Slayer Basil the Bulgar Slayer
 
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Ari Number Two

Don't lose Ari~♪ Shine bright Ari~♪

art by Inesanemona
Adiris.%28Dead.By.Daylight%29.full.2588899.jpg
"Could... Could it be true...?"

The voice, hoarse and desperate, rang suddenly through the trees. The first any would have seen of the source was a lantern, ornately shaped, billowing a glowing fog. As she drew nearer, so did the buzzing wings of insects and the scurrying diggings of beetles. There was a mushing squish to each of her steps, as though marching through swampland. Then, Rieve stopped, panting through her mouth. Her countenance flickered with glimmering hope.

Rieve's gaze flicked between the three in seconds. Aluma, the Goddess of Autumn; Tamaki, the God of Entertainment; Boscer... one of the cardinal gods, imprisoned as a stone statue—just like Tevan—now freed. "Tevan," she muttered weakly, falling to her knees before them. Water seemed to well in Rieve's eyes. "You're free... This means Tevan is free as well...!" Rieve rose back to her feet in a wobble, cackling giddily to herself amid steady tears. "It's been so long!"

Like a child, she began hopping in circles, beaming at her own guess. She needed to find him as soon as possible! To embrace him after so long! To tell him of her deeds in his favor! To pet her unspoken feelings at ease! Rieve stopped jumping, taking another abrupt shift to a solemn frown. And... to apologize for her failure...

Finally, she took truer notice of her fellow deities. She would have gone through with the usual pleasantries at this point, but even she could tell they had something on their mind. Rieve had been too focused on the idea of Tevan's revival that she only caught on to the tail-end presence of a "they."

The insect Goddess' smile twitched. Only one group of a "they" came to mind, and Rieve could not bear the thought of their presence ruining such a tremendous moment. She recomposed herself for the group in front of her. "Excuse me... I believe I need some catching up on what's happened...?"
 

Coyote Hart

Misguideful Moniker
Cicero Tarquinius.png
What an interesting conglomeration of power, whether that be influence or strength. Gods of which Cicero had heard countless tales of, mere steps away and talking away like old friends, just steps away from the presence of mortals. If he wanted to, he could've dismounted his horse and walked over to them and strike up a conversation. But of course he didn't, as he wasn't exactly invited to the party. He wouldn't want to risk getting kicked out.

He had been in the area by sheer coincidence after deciding a vacation was in order. Keeping track of family assets was a pain after all. Felix, who was also stationed in the area, had met up with him. And after Cicero was able to take a glimpse of the commands that Felix had received, Cicero had insisted on coming along, along with the priestess, Rufia, that he was with. It would liven up the vacation experience, he thought.

What a terrible idea. The atmosphere in the area was tense. It felt as if there were demons just waiting right outside of their vision, looking for the perfect moment to strike. The foliage cast an ominous shadow over the flora and fauna, concealing whatever may sneak within them. The birds didn't even chirp. It only got worse as the sun set and they were trudging through dim light. That aside, Cicero had no idea how dainty nobles were able to go on a 'casual' horseback ride. After an hour or so of fighting against the sway of his horse Cicero's ass felt like it was probably bruised black and blue. It wasn't like he had an alternative option anyway. If he attempted to walk more than a few paces, Cicero would feel like he was going to pass out.

So when Sybis called for them to rest for the night, Cicero practically slid off of the back of his horse in relief. In order to stretch his ride worn legs, Cicero gathered a few bits of branches, but nothing in volume compared to what Rufia was able to provide. As he placed his offerings down where Sybis started the fire, he also took the opportunity to jump into the conversation that Rufia and Felix were engaged in, the first time he talked that afternoon.

"Well, whether or not she should join you depends on how good of a shot she is, ey?" Cicero commented to Felix, "Besides, I get worried when you're going off on your own. Why they couldn't spare some extra soldiers to give you some backup in case there's something in the perimeter is a mystery to me."

To ease those fears, Cicero brushed out a clean place on a fallen tree and sat down. Within a couple of seconds, he had taken out a piece of paper and eloquently folded it into a paper crane, which he patted down onto Felix's shoulder.

"Stay safe, bro," Cicero said. It was the best he could do considering if he joined in with Felix, he would only be dragging his old friend down.

Usually the crane would be a representation of good luck, something Cicero would give Felix when the two of them were mere teenagers. But not this time. Cicero wasn't sure how, but a few weeks or so ago he had developed the ability to see through the paper crane's eyes and even control it. He had known all his life that he was destined for great things... but this hadn't been what he had in mind. Originally a bit taken aback, now Cicero just used the power to spy on whoever he liked. Except in this case, it was only to give Felix a second pair of eyes. But he was still hesitant to use it boldly, as it was an odd phenomenon that Cicero couldn't wrap his head around.

With that, Cicero began to gravitate towards Rufia, the only other human in the godly congregation, taking the time to listen in on the synopsis that Sybis had received. Applications for the western lands... Cicero quietly mused about whether he had any chance of receiving any land if he applied.

"It's quite intimidating being in their presences, isn't it?" Cicero quietly mentioned to Rufia despite the fact that he felt more wonder rather than fear, "I wonder if I had the audacity to pitch in my two cents if they'd strike me down where I stand."

Despite the seriousness of that consequence, Cicero chuckled under his breath at the prospect.

AI10100 AI10100 Arnalia Arnalia
Worthlessplebian Worthlessplebian High Moon High Moon Athanas Athanas Basil the Bulgar Slayer Basil the Bulgar Slayer
 
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