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Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath

Deity of Undeath and Rage

0 · 876 views · located in Pandeum

a character in “Deities: The Gods of Pandeum”, as played by Long Lost Lius

Description

God Name: Kurnos
Title: Keeper of Undeath, Bringer of Rage
Gender: Male
Alignment: Neutral Evil

God Appearance:
Image

Personality: One of the Archaic Gods, the addition to his godhood being Rage, was added during the rebellion. An absolute hate for the younger gods dominitaed his earlier life. This still lingers, if not a little appeased. Other gods can admittedly hold some contempt for Kurnos, his sometimes almost childish outbursts have cost plenty of mortal lives, and maybe even gotten close to endangering some of the younger gods.

Long, Kurnos refused the people wishing to follow his road which was stalked by death, he had no interest in a people, and would commonly slaughter the more persistant subjects. He was blinded, clouded to such a degree that his watch over the realm of death became passed by, but soon enough, the souls of those neglected warriors which had attempted his service reached out, the pure determination they displayed, breaking through the fragile walls of undeath left unattended by Kurnos. His eyes were opened to the power of mortals. And he swore, swore upon his honor as one of the Archaic Gods that he would stand by the warriors who deserved it, in both life and death.

Opinion of mortals: Mortals, is a strange subject for Kurnos. He does not see them as rats scurrying around his feet, nor as beings who can eventually grow to his strength, no matter how they wish for it. He sees nothing but potential in his mortals. As long as his subject can use every ounce of itself, if this being can scream out, and use every single fiber in it's body to get it's will across, then they're worth far more than a god.
Do you see that one, it faced down a giant, battered and bloody, lost an arm, an eye, atleast half of it's bone, but it stood, and it was glorious.


God’s Domain: Kurnos sits in a quiet, dead terrance. Large, snow white ruins scatter the relatively small domain. Atop one of the absolutely huge towers he sits. Spending practically all his time gazing down onto the mortal world. The Domain is completely devoid of any life, or any sky. Just and endless white expanse, only momentarily interrupted by the old, ruined monuments.


Avatar Appearance:

Image


Avatar Name: Yogosh God-Chosen, the Voice of Kurnos

Personality: The Draconian people had always remained rather nomadic in culture, thus, no matter how much of a lead Yogosh proved himself to be, he was never one truly capable of taking the position of a grand King. Instead, he led a small force, consisting only of the warriors he considered the very closest to him. This did not last, his force was small, way too small to be capable of facing any force backed by a nation, But Yogosh's pride got in the way. He knew, he knew very well his own power, and so, he lead his force against an entire nation, conducting guerilla tactics on them until he felt comfortable enough to head-on charge their main force.

He had long attempted to gain the favour of the god Kurnos, to no avail as he was only answered by ill omens. During this final faithful battle, battling a force far outnumbering their own, yet they were tired, hungry and weakened. He could win, he knew it! If it weren't for direct, divine intervention. A savage rage came over the enemy, they were suddenly throwing themself at his soldiers, mercilessly tearing away at his beloved. They were mad, a senseless trance over their minds, and soon enough Yogosh's forces had been cut down, nothing remained, but he. He felt nothing, but an overwhelming power flowing through his veins, he cursed the gods, he cursed his enemies and himself, his rage trumpted even the mindless horde. But soon, he fell too.

As his very essecance slowly poured out, he couldn't help but to blindly curse the gods yet again, who was Kurnos to think he could so casually end them, who the hell did he think he was. Over and over, he didn't even know who or where he was, and endless expanse, was he even alive? Yet Kurnos kept firm in his mind, the only thing, in his mind really. And soon, the unbending figure turned around, staring at him with nothing but... Surprise.

What came after was unkown even to him, he was once again on the ground, blood pouring over him. Darkness, bone and guts, seemingly attempting to crawl away from atop his body. He was no longer a being, he was dead, but alive. A mixture of the two, the piercing gaze of an immortal being atop his head, he had found a real purpose, he wanted to kill Kurnos.

Magic Abilities: Immense damage resistance, perk of being a mutation of undeath. Necromantic abilities.

Hero: Kazrak Blue-Scale
Rank/Reason: Archmage of the Kurnosian Hordes

Personality: In all honesty, the true leader behind the Kurnosian Hordes. A blue-scaled draconian making him a incredibly rare specimen among the draconians, giving an exceptional affinity with magic. As much as Yogosh leades the hordes, he couldn't possible handle anything economic or political, thus Kazrak acts as his right hand, assuring that his kingdom doesn't fall into pieces.

Hero: Darion Doombane
Rank/Reason: Undead High Commander

Personality: Darion does not hold much in the form of personality, following the path of Undeath he retains any memory and personality from before he embraced death and was accepted into Kurnos eternal duty. Yet he seemingly have chosen to not display this as he follows blindly any order from the god of rage, which in term means that he, and his undead elite follows any order from Yogosh, the voice of Kurnos.

Hero: Ysera and Yasara Curltooth.
Rank/Reason: Commanders of the Royal Draconic Guard

Personality: Both Ysera and Yasara share the same, critical way of thinking, lethal professionalism. They were in charge of the elite Draconic forces, leading the god-fearing soldiers and protecting the back of the Kurnosian Hordes, more importantly, the personal bodyguards of Yogosh God-Chosen, a job they take with immense seriousness.

Terrain Preference: The wide open plains, a purely flat ground giving no advantage to either side. In a front to front slug-out the Kurnosian hordes thrive, as warriors who embrace the inevitability that is death they'll be practically impossible to route. But this advantage is mostly used when defending their home-plains. As a people who normally tries and act nomadic, they excel at evolving to match their terrain as they often go out on large raids. Preferably their own plains, but terrain is rarely a problem.

Name of Kingdom/Empire: The Kurnosian Hordes
Capital: Camp Frenzy- The simple, huge warcamp located in the middle of the Kurnosian plains. Officially used as the meeting place for all the different warbands, additionally where the high throne which Yogosh sits, even if he most of the time is out, fighting alongside his own armies, additionally home to the "Birthplace" in which the undead commanders of Kurnos rise.

Major Cities:Qaasal, Keeper of the Plains- Qaasal, a sprawling city carved into the giant chasm which separates the Kurnosian Plains from most other countries. The impressive stoneworks keeps the entire city suspended above the endless, dark expanse underneath. This is where the merchants, traders and merchants unite. Expanding the city even further, although this city is almost solely responsible for the economy and trade for the Kurnosian Hordes, Qaasal itself functions as a terrifying fortress to defend the Plains from any unwanted visitors. Almost every building material pillaged in the many raids conducted by the Warbands have gone only to the expanse and fortification of this one city.

The Altar of Kurnos- The Altar of Kurnos lies directly opposite of Qaasal, on the other side of the Plains and deep inside the northern mountains. This is one possible way to enter the Plains of Kurnos, but a highly risky one, armies would need to march through the periless mountains covering the entire way, patrolled by the most dedicated of Kurnos followers, which in short means the most ravanous ones. The altar itself is one giant tower located at the very base of the mountain, running up along it almost to the very top. The tower itself is not to be entered, to this day, no Follower can claim that he had entered this tower, only Yogosh himself. Yet the Royal Draconic Guard, led by Ysera and Yasara, uses this Altar as the base of their operations, commanding the Zealots gathering in the mountains.

Society:

People:The followers of Kurnos are a curious people, untied under the grief and rage of loss. There is no main race which the Kurnosian Hordes consist of, perhaps the Draconians, alured by the rule of Yogosh God-Chosen. These Draconians who make up atleast half the population are generally considered a powerful species in combat, their hierarchy consists of those who are born with the most advantages, Draconians are all born with different quirks, some come with longer claws, thicker skin or even wings. A people who pride themself in being of
the same blood as dragons,
capable of almost the same destruction, and beauty. Yet, people from all over the world gather to follow in the ways of death. Those who have lost all, those with rage unimaginable cannot stand the call of Kurnos. Normally, such a wide variety of different ethnics and cultures would lead to clashes between the races. But people of the same race rarely hold much camaraderie with their own people, as they themselves are the outcasts. Along with that, Yogosh rules with an ironhand, troublemakers and inciters have no place in the hordes, many of the ones who exude too much hatred find themself beaten to death by a mob which had grown tired with them, this is how most disputes are solved among the hordes. There is no goverment who cares for you here, the heirarchy solely consists of those most favored by Kurnos, and in turn, those favored by the favorites. Kurnos call reaches far, there is no being which doesn't feel the occasional need to give in to their own wrath. To then be welcomed to the plains. But truly, do you not carry the sign of Kurnos bloodthirst, then you'll undoubtedly be killed if you as much as dare to step onto the plains, the only place where you could as much as make contact with them is in Qaasal, this also happens to be where most people get accepted into the service of Kurnos.

Standing outside the circle of barbaric politics that the rest of the horde occupies itself with, is the Undead Elite. Those warriors who had achieved the ultimate honor for the savages of Kurnos. To die in death in such a glorious manner that the keeper of Undeath itself steals their soul in order to resurrect them and assemble his greatest soldiers. They stand outside the rules that has been established between the other members, of course, noone would as much as think the thought of attempting to mess with one of the Undead Champions. The only rule that still applies to the warriors who emerge from the Birthplace] is that the word of kurnos is undeniable, and they fulfill this rule, with zealous fury.

The Kurnosian horde is rarely considered anything other than a country consisting only of wild savages, which is partly true. Yet one can't deny the power behind them, they are in fact, still a country.

Politics and Economy: A rather interesting subject, one which barely anyone except for the Archmage keep tabs on. Being a civilisation completely inhibited by bloodthirsty savages this most definitely is a weakpoint. Economy mostly sustained by raiding and the immense amount of export and trade in Qaasal. Most often those wares being what they've stolen. Yet it's suprisingly easy to gain an audienece with any high-standing member of the Horde, you simply ask for them by name and they'll undoubtedly recieve the news someone is looking for them, unfortunately this would most likely mean you'll be beaten down in some alley and then brought to the one you're looking for.

The grand God-Chosen controls all, his voice is the voice of Kurnos, and as thus, cannot be denied. Underneath him sits Yasara, Ysera, Darion and Kazrak as his most loyal subjects. Underneath that the heirarchy descends into madness, singular warchiefs controlling different forces, great criminal kings and warriors who have rose to power through excellent skill on the field, yet the basic rule remains, you are, to under no circumstances, deny the word of Kurnos. If you grow to become enough of a nuisance to gain attention of Yogosh himself, you'll be swiftly struck down.

Other: Once every tenth year, on a uncertain date Kurnos materializes in the middle of the Altar of Kurnos, emerging from his tower. Without a word he walks across the plains, to Camp Frenzy and from there to Qaasal, then heading in a direction which no one can predict. This, is the most important moment of any of the hordes members life. Known as the Black March, every warrior in the horde, which happens to be practically every inhabitant follows Kurnos of their own free will, Yogosh leading the march from behind Kurnos. Together they walk for days, pillaging and razing anything that might be in their way, the march itself last simply until the Hordes forces are exhausted and lose the next battle. Usually through direct intervention from other gods attempting to stop Kurnos

So begins...

Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: Devi the Peace Bringer Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Astria Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Nike Character Portrait: Symphonia
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Grandmother and the Green Woman - The Enchanted Forest

“Unyielding is my rage.” The Green Woman shook her head defiantly, several butterflies and honeybees fluttering up from her wild hair. “The Green Skin Termites gnaw at my woods.” Her eyes flashed with all the rage of a forest fire. Her fists were clenched on Grandmother’s table, moss and vines growing where her flesh made contact with the surface. “Whether by beast or thorn or hunger or rot, death will come for each Green Termite in my forest.”

“Even termites have their place, my dear.” Grandmother’s dress skimmed the ground as she walked around the table, setting down a loaf of bread and bowl of cream before her guest. She made her way to another chair and as she sat, her bones creaked and groaned like the limbs of the Great Oak.

“Not these termites.” She leaned back into her chair, orange and blue flowers blooming from her shoulder blades. “They eat and eat until they are eaten.” Although the goblins had the Unseelie Queen’s blessing to tear down her trees and build their metal monstrosities, the Green Woman would have the final say. They were disgusting, but the king had to admit they were resilient. Even after she drained the goblin lands of plant life, their thirst for conquest remained insatiable.

“Goblins aren’t the ones suffering.” Grandmother’s voice became stern, her eyes as hard as stone. “Your famine will push all of Pandeum to the brink of chaos.” Dull aching pain flared up in her joints. She cracked her spindly fingers in an attempt to relieve herself. “I have seen it.” Grandmother leaned back in her chair, letting out a disappointed breath. “Children will suffer.”

“Children need not fear me.” The Green Woman sat up, a snarl on her lip.

“Children are starving.” Grandmother waved her hand over the table, images of emaciated corpses carving themselves into the wood. “You have taken their fruit and their grain. When the last of their cattle die from hunger, you will have taken their meat and milk and hides. And that is only the beginning.” The carvings cracked and changed, showing pillagers with weapons raised and families butchered for bags of grain. Grandmother sighed. “Hunger tends to bring out the worst in mortals.”

A tear rolled down the Green Woman’s cheek, but her features remained hard. “My judgement is hard, but justified.”

Grandmother slammed her hand on the table. “How? Why would you punish the world for the crimes of the goblins and the Unseelie?”

“They all have lost respect!” The Green Woman rose suddenly, causing the insects in her hair to swarm ferociously. “They have left the earth scorched and rivers poisoned. They fall entire forests and erect idols of iron and steel.” Her voice rumbled and Pandeum shook form the withering fields of the Republic to the blood stained plains of the Kurnosian Hordes. She walked towards the doorway, flowers blooming from the ground with each step she took. She turned back to Grandmother, sorrow in her eyes. “They have forgotten, but will remember that The Wilds bend to no mortal.” And with that, the Green Woman was gone.

Grandmother shook her head, reaching across the table to grab the bowl of cream. She drank it as fast as she could, wiping some dribble from the corner of her mouth after it was empty. She sighed loudly, sending a gust of wind throughout the Enchanted Forest. Her voice rode the breeze, sending her message to every god in Pandeum.

"I'm sorry, but the famine will not end today."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: Devi the Peace Bringer Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Astria Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Nike Character Portrait: Symphonia
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Kurnos well, he sat in a quiet giggle, as quiet and as cute he could be. Seated upon one of the bleached pillars he gazed out at seemingly absolutely nothing. Small ponds of different views circling him, they all displayed different things, one was of a burning hamlet, another on an orc who had recently escaped his slavers, now surrounded by the men and preparing to face them down. Kurnos one bright pupil glanced at the different images, but only a passing one. He was staring out over the empty landscape, thought filling him until his voice finally rung out across his domain. Of course, there wouldn't be any one to listen, atleast not to his knowledge.

"The mother is mad, angry, wrathful. Suppose I'm not the only one who's proud of her. Putting down her foot like this, it's rather impressive, who'll pay her a visit in order to make idle threats, and lowly attempts at deals? I'll play the rebellious role" He chuckled, that was a rather amsuing thought considering how much she held onto her motherlike tendencies "They will endure, I know that, and they know that I know that, of course at the cost of others, wonder if they'd try and reason with, me"

He swung his arm up, immediately shattering one of the small visions, making it dissipate around his arm like mist."Now that, that'd be foolish" Placing his other hand he took a nifty jump of the pillar, causing him to plunge down several hundred meters before hitting the blank polished marble floor with surprisingly enough not as much as a thud. He took a few strides towards another one of the pillars, still lost in thought.

The Black march was drawing near, the harsher the famine gets, the more ferociously will the hordes plunder. But perhaps, he should enact the March sooner, that'd certainly stirr the world, and make the Mother see the errors of her way...






Yogosh had been out for too long, he could practically hear Kazrak's nagging even though he had decided to stay in the capital,
"Someone needs to make sure they don't all kill eachother" as he said, and he was certainly right in that. The entire horde was in uproar, not like that was unusual, byt the sudden lack of food had forced practically most of the population to go out on raids. The few merchants who did have access to food definitely didn't think that Qaasal was the best place to start selling.

He himself, was aiding his people of course. Leading a warhost he was crossing Pandeum towards The Republic of Solaras, if there was one place with enough food, then it'd be there. With a roar he swung his cleaver of his back, pointing it towards the sky, immediately reinforced by many more raised weaponry.

This was interesting, the horde fought valiantly now, this wasn't to climb the heirarchy, it was to surivive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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 Initially, Dolores was frustrated by the childish tantrum that led to this most recent Famine. With crops failing to grow through the land, everyone was feeling the pressure even her cultists. However, Dolores did not voice her displeasure. No, she was much more patient than that. As she had done since creation, she spectated and as the time past and the chess pieces moved on the board, the Dark Lady saw the error in her initial judgement. There was little threat to her own followers by this famine. Sure, the price of food went up but her cultists, many of whom were actually the wealthy and influential nobles of nations, displayed their cunning. They flaunted their wealth and purchased grain. They continued to purchase it, in bulk, in it’s purest form and in less quality bags with bugs still in them. And, through Deleites, she encouraged them.

“Grain will be worth more than Gold and Diamonds, buy it all and hoard it to yourselves!” He would exclaim.

“Travel to the more fortunate lands where it is dirt cheap, buy it in bulk and return to your homes but do not share your newfound fortune! Guard it jealously! We shall outlast this calamity with full bellies and then we shall sell! We shall replace entire oceans with the coin we will earn at the end!”

It was impressive, what mortals would do to preserve their own comfort, to better themselves and only themselves. Yet there was an issue. As the days went on, banditry rose. Dolores did not care for her followers in that sense, some of the bandits were employed by them to aid them acquire the goods without having to actually pay for them! However with more and more people succumbing to starvation, it would not be long before the nations used force to acquire the means to sustain their people. Perhaps Dolores was really a Fox made into a God? For even this she sought to manipulate.

Her people purchased their grain cheapest from the Republic. Solaras was not completely unaffected by the famine but they were always the agricultural powerhouse of the known world. If anyone had a surplus of food in a time like this of course it was them. Dolores could see them, the Republic of Solaras, looking out from behind their borders, jealously guarding a steadily dwindling surplus of food while their neighbors starved. She imagined soon enough, they would restrict the trade of crops to extend their own supply. Now would anyone dare to battle them? Of course. Desperation brought out the worst and the best in mortals.

With a motion, the husk known as Deleites appeared before her. It collapsed to its knees and she, a masked shadow, moved towards him. “Dark Lady...what is your bidding?”.

“Inform the Cultists of a vision you had from me, tell them soon the markets of foreign nations will not permit them to purchase. They will try to hoard what is left for themselves and those that run out first will go to war. A war may be on it’s way even as we speak… We shall see what I can make of it.”.

The Husk, with it’s head still facing towards the ground, responded to her. “I will tell them your words, M’lady.”.

With Deleites gone, the Lady of Dark Delights set out to put her plan into motion. She must first delay any conflict that would deter the profiteering of her followers for as long as she could while at the same time ensuring that the continuation of the Famine to an extent. It was a delicate balancing act she was performing. War was unavoidable if the famine persisted and once that occurred her plans may become complicated. However if the famine suddenly ended, her followers may not be able to maximize on profit. Surely this was something that would be easier with allies and allies she would seek out. First she would go to those most likely to listen to her, those who despite having different views from her, shared common ground in allegiance.

The ones who, like her, were portrayed as evil. Palchard, an unpredictable God whom despite his lack of consistency, Dolores was quite fond of him. Perhaps he could be convinced to aid her in her endeavor. Then there was Breeder. Dolores and him had no quarrels that she could recall but she was also did not recall them really working together in anything either. It was only natural once one analyzed them why this was so. Dolores normally only spectated and went with the flow of whatever it was that transpired and in the long term, Entropy would see his experiments come to an end... Breeder Argan preferred a much more hands on approach compared to her and was too enamored by his breeds to see the grandness of the end game as she did. If she wanted to collaborate with him, she would need to discover his desires and appeal to them. Lastly and perhaps her least favored option was Kurnos. Undeath was a concept that betrayed Dolores’s purpose. Kurnos never truly proceeded in his matters in such a fashion as to directly oppose Dolores but the potential was there. If everything came to an end...Undeath could make a new beginning... It was because of this possibility that she heralded him as her second biggest threat, the larger one being the Creator God, Archanian. Yet perhaps...if only this once...Undeath and Entropy could see eye to eye?

Dolores prepared her messages. Each God in question would receive one and she would see them, if they permitted, according to how they responded.

To the God of Mischief:
“Palchard, my dear, have you found sufficient amusement during these ‘famined’ times? I believe I have stumbled upon something very amusing but I would require your aid if I wished to truly enjoy this. I am certain you too would delight in the mischief that will follow.”

To the Breeder Argan:
“Breeder Argan. Did you leave us for good, I would surely hope not for no good would come of it… A childish tantrum has caused a most unpleasant Famine in the mortal realm, as I am sure you know. Yet I and mine do not know the meaning of suffering nor are we inconvenienced by the foolishness of the lesser Liar Gods...if you so wished I could make it so you too gained much from this but if you are not interested, I’ve no quarrels with not sharing the fruit of my labour.”

To the Keeper of Undeath:
“Kurnos...no doubt this famine is a weight upon the backs of your followers but I have a proposition. My followers do not suffer despite the great suffering that has befallen the mortal realms. Instead, they saw an opportunity and are making the most of it and in hopes of exploiting this as much as possible, I seek to collaborate with you. Perhaps this plan of mine may not seem suitable for you at first but I assure you, once you know of all it’s details, you will see what will be lose will be severely outweighed by what we gain.”

It was then that Dolores heard the words of the Oakborn. “I am sorry, but the famine will not end today.”

“I see nothing but Good coming from this. Perhaps not in the coming days but surely the mortals will learn from this…” She encouraged. “Stay on course, Face of the Oak...not all of the Gods can see as far as we can…”.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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Kurnos scoffed, things were so terribly difficult nowadays, it used to be just terrible. The goddess of entropy had sent him her word, which struck him as just a little interesting, not suprising though. Kassius would undoubtedly be trying to regain the prosperity in his land, and only his land. Yet Dolores was a likely candidate to those who would contact him. Her damnable games were always in play at times like these. After all, she was practically as much of a trickster as Palchard himself.

Which was infuriating.

He continued to the bleached pillar. Reaching his right arm out while walking, quickly, the light of the room twisted and bent into darkness instead, soft black talons carefully weaving themself into a weapon. The double edged axe Cladeheim, forged by the God of creating himself. It was an exquisite weapon made specifically for him during the uproar of the younger gods, one worthy of being wielded by a god, capable if injuring a god. But what Kurnos enjoyed the very most about, was the fact that this axe was almost capable of channeling all his wrath.

Today, even if time was a distant subject in his domain, it had a different purpose. With one swift heave he slammed the weapon into the pillar, cracking it immediately, brilliant light spilling out through the crack. He was easy to manipulate, but having a defense against it thanks to him knowing the fact that he was. He would not sit idly while someone spouted cryptic crap into his ears. With a rather large crack the pillar split, leaving a bright portal were it had been struck. It was of course terribly rude by the standards of a god, but Kurnos was invading Dolores domain, stepping into the gate he had created, directly into the world that the Dark Lady called her own.

Of course, as always her world was a a large swirling mass of worlds and delights, her endless sick games were simply revolting. Kurnos couldn't bother to specifically find the right room, entering her domain had after all mostly been an impulse, instead, a violent crack in reality tore open inside the sixth Circle of Dolores world, she would definitely know of his presence, Kurnos wasn't the most subtle of beings. Stepping out, with Cladeheim swung up onto his shoulder he gave disapproving swing of his head, the place around him was consisting of absolutely nothing, and endless landscape, without the landscape part. He could feel Dolores magic work its way around him, attempting to physically enter him, he thought of it as pitiful.

Finally striking the handle of his axe down into what we be the "floor" here he swung his head back, letting out a roar into the nothingness "Show yourself Dolores! I do not wish to play any of your childish games! Come before me truly and let us speak, in person, as the mortals would say."




Yogosh sat upon the mobile throne which had been constructed for him. He generally disliked using it, but even he couldn't deny that it was pleasing to sit down now and then. The throne was mounted atop a giant salamander, one hunted and then tamed as a self bestowed challenge for a few warriors which had desired to prove themself, it wasn't much use in combat, simply possessing sizable claws and teeth, but it made for a mighty mount, one which was used to traveling large distances.

The Draconian warlord was lost in thought, surely the republic would be preparing themself, they had always been a prime target for raiding, and the famine certainly wouldn't lower the amount of bands constantly swarming their border, it would be well enforced, but surely the republic would need almost their entire military might to hold the God-Chosen off. But the republic isn't that stupid, if that was done then their raiding parties would be able to begin looting again, surely, they would need to think of another solution, aid from the dwarves or winter-people? Their God had always been the caring sort, what if he aided them?

Throughout this he fiddled with the skull adornment atop his shoulder, the head of former king Pirith, Yogosh had almost drowned that day, yet it was still something that the Warriors yelled and cheered about to this day, more titles had been brought upon Yogosh from that day, some wanted to add King-slayer, some said Conquerer of the drowned city, he had never considered that a victory himself, the city was never conquered, no proper loot gained. It was shameful.

Yet he drew near the lands belonging to the Republic, he could see the sun drenched lands in the horizon. His warhost would soon reach them, they were less than a day away from the River Timaeus.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Nike
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Before she was interrupted by the invader, Kurnos, Dolores had dispatched an invitation to the God Argan and her instructions to the God Palchard.

To Palchard:

Certainly you have seen the madness that has befallen the mortals in these times but we both know that these are done out of mere desperation and not true madness. They murder one another and steal from one another, justifying it as survival… However to achieve my goal, I wish to make them succumb to true madness. In my realm, within one of my six Courts, I produce a kind of food that has no flavor. With your aid, we could poison it, have my followers distribute it amongst the rich and powerful of the land, and enjoy a true spectacle as they succumb to the true desires of their hearts. Of course is this is not sufficient for you, Dear Palchard, I can always reward you in other means. I only need to know the craving you wish to have satisfied.

Like a demon who came once you spoke its’ name, Dolores appeared before the angry God Kurnos. Her face was masked, her true expression hidden from the trespasser. Was she angry at this breach of etiquette? Did she find it amusing? Perhaps one day that mystery would be solved. Unlike Kurnos, she came unarmed. The Lady of Dark Delights was no God of War, never in her existence had she asked for Archanian for a weapon, never had she raised a sword against her kin...Yet she had claimed so many of her kin within the very Court Kurnos had trespassed into. Made one wonder who was truly powerful.

“Kurnos…” The Dark Lady commenced to speak as she boldly closed the gap between them. “You seem so well versed in mortal speak, to quote their sayings so aptly...forgive me for asking such a foolish question but can you tell me from which mortal folktale is this quote from? How it relates to our current predicament?”

At this point, there was no space between Dolores and Kurnos. Arms extending out from the blackness that concealed most of her form, they wrapped around his neck. Her form pressed into his, one could mistake them as lovers if they were to stumble upon this sight, but there was a lingering feeling of dread in the air...This was dangerous. In a lecherous tone she whispered into his ear.

“Step into my parlor...said the spider to the fly?....Are you the spider, Kurnos...Or. Am. I.”

Laughter erupted from beneath the mask, a centipede casually walked out from beneath one eye socket and then entered the next.

“You say you don’t want to play...yet here you are in my playground...Your such a cruel tease, Keeper of Undeath. Never do this to me, ever, without due warning...I may cave in to my cravings.”

It was without warrant that there was reason that Dolores was so confident in herself despite not being a combative God. In her realm, the only absolute was the will of the Goddess. Basically she had the homefield advantage and even as she spoke to him, Kurnos would surely feel her Hedonistic spell attempting to afflict him. The goddess separated herself from him and took in the surrounding abyss.

“This Court makes the world as the individual within would like it...unless you are resisting its magic, it should have conjured something to decieve you...or perhaps this is what you want the world to be like… We seem to be more compatible than I thought if that is the case. Now, God of Wrath and Undeath. As to why you came. I seek to end the famine. No doubt your followers march on those who are least affected by it in order to take what they need by force, I only ask that you do not deter from this course. Beat their armies in battle and then pillage their land. Surely you wonder how this benefits me and mine, I will tell you. My followers are currently amassing food. They steal it, they purchase it, and they even kill for it. When your war and the famine ends, The mortals will still be starving and that is when we shall sell the food to them, the scarcity of it will justify our outlandish prices...Between the loot you will obtain from war and the portion of the profits we will give you, I would think your people would be satisfied.”

____________________________

From the Hall Of Heroes, the Domain of Nike


It was here that the Heroes of old came to rest, where they shared drinks despite the allegiances they once held and the grudges they once had. There was no need to harbor hatred towards one another in this plane of existence, for even if they did strike against one another, what harm could they do? None. Such actions would only anger her, Nike, the Mother of All Heroes. Here there was nothing but spars amongst friends and tale after tale of their heroic deeds. With all this laughter, it was odd that Kassius was not around. Yet she did not partake in the merriment. While the patrons of her domain drowned themselves in merriment, she took on to her duties.

War was coming. Soldiers were asking for her blessings, for the courage to fufill their duties, mothers and wives, fathers and husbands, were asking for victory and the safe return of their loved ones. It burdened her, knowing that such prayers of safe passage, were beyond her but she listened to them regardless. Many Dwarves were praying to her, Many Goblins offered her sacrifices, but her favor would not guarantee victory. As it had been since she had realized that she was existing, she would only give Victory to those who had the strength to obtain it.

“Forgive me, Archanian...but I can only interpret the lose of those mines as the Dwarves lacking the strength to hold them. If one cannot defend what they call theirs, is it truly their possession?” She asked herself as the blessings of Courage was bestowed upon the Goblin warriors who invaded the mines. “Perhaps your people will prove to me that they have the strength to be worthy of my blessings… but until then.”

Nike’s gaze turned to the Republic of Solaras. “Kassius...despite the famine your people remain strong but war creeps on their doorstep. Do they have the strength to protect their prosperity or shall they too prove to be too weak to gain my blessings?... I should go and enjoy myself too, while everyone is in a fighting mood but who should I pester for a battle?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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It was... In all honesty amusing, Kurnos remained expressionless as Dolores made her usual invite, well, expressionless was rather easy considering the pitch black patch seemingly stitched over where most his face should be, the small maw drew up into what could only be called a smile with his one eye increasing in intensity, illuminating the goddess infront of him. His thoughts on Dolores was interesting, yet deeply, he couldn't hide the fact that he somewhat enjoyed her company, atleast more than with the other gods. He allowed the Lady of Dark Delights to practice her usual antics, all the while he carefully glanced around the empty space around him.

Dolores grip on this world was impressively powerful, of course, most of her magical-centered power went to fueling these "Playgrounds" and the influence piercing his mind was most powerful. It wasn't enough to fully affect him, atleast not without his permission, yet he knew that this endless landscape was some form of the truth, even if only partly. Looking back at the Lady of Dark Delighs he took a few strides after her as she left their embrace. He considered himself someone, who when not on on his usual rampages could become rather reasonable, walking a half circle around the woman he murmured: "When so openly spelling out your plan, I can help but to feel like yet another one of your little pawns...

Finishing the circle around Dolores he faced her, offering as much of a smile as someone like him could, wrapping an arm around her hip to yet again join into the same embrace this terrifying lady had given him, squeezing the writhing mass of whatever underneath her dress "Spiders and flies, craving and courts, you know my followers are venturing on their own whims, not my words. You should also know how much I dislike your games, yet enjoy you, lady or Dark Delights. I know oh, so very well that no matter what, another one of your cruel jests will await me at the end of this, in that sense, you're almost rather predictable." The God of Rage held a surprisingly jovial tone while talking, well again as jovial as he could be, taking another step to the side, spinning Dolores with him.

"I almost, just almost want to demand those warriors return, just to avoid dancing along your flute. Yet I'm not that cruel, right?

His eye kept changing in intensity, every emphasized word giving it a short burst of light before it gradually decreased, never once tearing away from the terrifying holes in the Lady's mask. She was strange, what was it that made him feel so different about her than any other god? Was it fear, was it the feeling that she was perhaps the one being he couldn't simply cut down?

He scoffed, ridiculous really, yet amusing.




Yogosh suddnely twitched, his eyes darting upwards and his hand flying of the skull of Pirith. Had he lost himself completely in thought, or fallen asleep? He shook his head, how silly of him. It was time, and here he was sleeping, or thinking. He simply couldn't help but to give out a low chuckle, his scarred maw contorting into a smile as he shifted upon his throne. Taking a few seconds to enjoy himself he finally rose from it, wringing a shoulder while looking out at both of his sides.

As always, there was the absolute savages in the front, those that were too much of a hassle to properly work into a formation, or simply too stupid. Several trolls, a few zealouts from The Altar of Kurnos and even an fully armored Giant moving in a loose line infront of the horde, this was a deceptfully good tactic as the warriors own stupidity made them into excellent battering rams, or line breakers, if you so wish. The army marching behind him was such a mix of different warriors that no sense could be made. There were low tier Draconians holding the bulk of it while the rest consisted of Ogres who wished to gain new meat through the horde, Nords having lost the favor of Astria, savage Orcs wielding cruel weaponry, demons wishing for the endless bloodshed found here to fuel their rituals and many more

Yogosh was happy about the host he had managed to assemble, his call had reached many ears and the army itself was strong. It'd be a good raid, if only they could punch through the front. That front being River Timaeus, a painfully defensive position, yet, if anyone could punch through a front, then it was them. That River in fact now being completely in view, along with the banners of the Republic. With yet another wicked laugh Yogosh's Salamander recieved a tug on the leash from the driver, making it leap over the hordes front and go off into a dash towards the River

Only by the stern leadership of the different regiment leaders of the horde did the linebreakers keep back and not charge alongside the God-Chosen. From a distance, most soldiers would see a messenger come forward, one atop a threatening mount sure. Those versed in the horde would know they didn't send messengers, and a trained eye would notice the avatar, wielding his wicked cleaver atop the over-sized lizard.

It stopped short just a few feet from River Timaeus, warily looking out over the soldiers guarding the fort other side. Yet Yogosh took a few steps from his throne swinging his equally oversized cleaver out towards the opposing armies. "Where is Cyrus!? Where is the chosen one of the Sun-Bearer!? Today, we will shed blood, let his be the first so all know what's coming! Or is he too afraid and requires his servants to die first!? Magically enchanced or maybe just enforced by pure physical power his voice easily carried out across the mass of soldiers on the other side of the river, even perhaps all the way back to his own.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Symphonia
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The River Timaeus

Cyrus was reasonably proud of his legions. It wasn't an unusual feeling considering the great portion of his immortal life he dedicated to creating the framework of his legions. His men did not merely learn to fight. They learned to be a self-sustaining machine. Under the direction of the architecti, the soldiers were almost finished completing a fortified camp, a castra consisting of timber, earth, and ballistae placed at key points. Of course, the camp was kept under guard by three cohurts consisting of a hundred men, just incase. The horde would come face to face with the might of the civilized world and would fall just as they always did.

He looked up as a bird appeared in his tent and he smiled slightly.

"Hello, my old friend. No, you come just in time. I suspect we shall be under attack soon enough. Judging by the frequency pf the raids, the main host should be upon us any moment."

He smiled slightly at his offer of aid.

"Thank you."

He paused in thought as he listened to what he proposed. He gazed at his friend sternly.

"The Green Woman is an old and powerful goddess or part of a goddess... The Oakborn is ridiculously powerful. Even my own lord treads carefully with her. Out of love for his people, Lord Kassius will surely agree and if this can be replicated..."

"It is worth an attempt. But we must be cautious."

"Imperator!"

Lucius Pullo entered the tent with a salute.

"The horde is approaching. The Avatar of Kurnos is among them."

Cyrus nodded, not surprised at all at this development.

"Yogosh... Perhaps I will take his head today. Position the ballistae if they are not already. Position the men along the banks of the river, archers in front and ready to duck behind the legionairres. I want one cohort working double time on the camp. If they get across the river, I still want the terrain to favor us."

As he walked among the well-ordered chaos that was his legions preparing for battle, he spied a griffin in the sky. He raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. If the rider served who he thought, they wouldn't be a friend to the horde."

"Yogosh, you cowardly bastard! I see you there on that ridiculous throne? Do you challenge me to single combat then? Or are you too afraid to face me without your dim-witted barbarians?"

He gestured for a group of mages to freeze a narrow stretch of water from their side to theirs.. It was not an area of magic his people specialized in, but it was simple enough to learn how to freeze water or to keep it from freezing. He stepped in the middle of the walkway, sword drawn and shield ready.

***
Rednaag

"It is to be expected. Regardless, the Republic thanks you for your aid. I shall see about negotiating the details with your merchants," the Consul told the king with a smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Astria Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Nike Character Portrait: Symphonia Character Portrait: Anwen
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If knowledge is power then it makes perfect sense to fear the unknown. Not knowing was the difference between the wrong response and the right answer, the difference between life and death. Speaking of Life and Death, this explains why Death is so feared. Who has explored Death and returned to speak of it? Do you truly go to one of the blessed realms or hellscapes belonging to a God? The uncertainty was enough to overwhelm the ponderer in question with dread. Even children so innocent were made to cry whenever they dwell too long on the question of what happens after death, stopping only when given a certain answer by their parents who knew all too well what they said might be a lie. In light of that, immortality seemed the preferable alternative to discovering the answer. Why bother knowing when you will never need to know? Who would ever think it a burden to live forever? The answer...he whose’ burden is as immortal as he. That was the burden given to Argon.

 He wandered the land in ethereal form, hidden from the eyes of all except other ethereals, Gods, and their chosen. His fate had already been written, the path for him had been paved long before he was cursed with immortality, he only needed to walk it. And walk it he did. The benevolent spirit of an Undying Hero, he appeared only in times of great calamity to smite the raising odds. Yet like a vengeful Revenant forbidden from finding true eternal rest, he roamed the lands. Argon had nothing. He could confess to no one and have them say. “I know what it is like.”

 His culture and tradition, his kingdom and his banner, the people he had sworn to live for, he lost them all. The petty squabbling of the Gods had taken his reason to live and now, after so  long, it appeared that they wished to take from him his reason to die. Everywhere he went, he saw suffering. They struggled for nothing and he could not understand how those with omnipotence could not conjure a punishment that only harmed the responsible. To make it worse, he could do nothing. What good would a sword do in these times? What could he shield them from? His spear could keep at bay the armies of neighboring kingdoms but not the hunger that was peaking. What good was one who knew nothing but battle and war in times of famine? Argon continued to roam, it was all he could do but this would pass soon enough. Desperate times often bring violent measures...soon he would have take physical form and become of use to the world.

Without a destination in mind, he continued his eternal march. Days passed. Yet his body did not fatigue. He did not thirst. He did not hunger. He truly was a Revenant. It was his fate and it was the one he had begged for at the feet of his Goddess. He grovelled and wailed like the child he was back then. His pleads were unending and he did not know shame. He poured dirt and dust over himself, he threw himself at her feet and whimpered and cried, the snot pouring from his nose. It was a pathetic sight to behold, his present self blushed when he recalled that moment. Yet it seemed to move her, the Goddess Nike. She truly did favor the underdogs or perhaps it was because unlike all the others who asked for Herculian strength or prowess in battle or even their own safe return from the frontlines, he asked for one miniscule thing.

“I don’t know how strong I am, I don’t know if I’m any good with a sword, and I don’t know if I could actually save anyone if I tried but please, Nike, please I beg of you! I want the strength to stand, the courage to overcome my fear! When we were attacked I could do nothing because I was afraid...Please Nike grant me courage to try, the courage to stand my ground against even the most impossible of odds so that I may atone for my failures. If I am to die in battle, so be be it, but I want to die trying to save someone other than myself!”.

Eventually he came before an interesting sight. At one opposite end of the river crossing, the Armies that followed Kurnos, at the other, the Armies that followed the God of Laughter and Light, Kassius. It did not surprise him however, his path would naturally take him to battle but it was not necessary for him to partake. The Cohorts of Solaras had been assembled into a singular Legion, under the command of someone competent and the Horde before them was most likely attacking out of a need to feed, not solely a want to conquer or create chaos. It wouldn’t be right for him to interfere as things were. But there was nothing wrong with watching and so he did. He collapsed onto the earth and seated himself to spectate the battle, the only ones capable of noticing him would be the Gods themselves and their chosen avatars. Perhaps they would see him as a lingering threat, for like his Goddess, he did not always choose the side that claimed to stand for Justice.

A scaled back, a Dragonkin, a lizardman, whichever named you prefer to address those humanoid reptiles, road atop a threatening mount. Monsters, riding monsters, thought Argon. It took center stage and with a voice as loud as the roaring thunder of Merwyn’s storms, he challenged the Sun bringer’s Chosen. This peaked his interest in the battle further as now even Nike would be alerted of this engagement.

It had been some time since the blades of two Gods’ Chosen had crossed. This could only be a reflection of what was occurring in the heavens, thought Argon. Calamity in Heaven meant Calamity upon the Mortals and when the Mortals invoked war in the name of their Gods, so too would the Gods battle their kin in the name of their followers. This was an observed law that had held true for some time now but only two questions remained for Argon. Who would gain Nike’s blessings in this battle and who would acquire Victory?
_______________________________________________________________________

The Cult Of Dolores the name itself was a taboo to the Public, a slur used by some to address the people who worshipped the Dark Lady. According to the public, the followers of Dolores were no different than them, their God only asked them to pursue their desires without restraint. So if one wished to have relations before marriage, Dolores did not frown upon them. If one sought to become a famous adventurer, Dolores did not frown upon them either. Regardless of the want, if they wanted it and worshipped her, supposedly she would bestow her blessings and aid them in it’s pursuit. Hunting down the worshippers of Dolores was difficult in that aspect, the public saw them as just worshippers of a different God, a Goddess who had no true ill intent but was viewed as evil because she represented Entropy. Not to mention, they were not a single entity, but a number of entities who collaborated because of their unified worship of the Lady of Dark Delights.

Today these individuals met in the Republic of Solaras, in the city of Nikea. In the open streets, Delietes and 4 others met. One was a hooded woman with a roguish look to her. She had a belt with many pouches and throwing daggers, the guards seemed to keep an eye on her, especially when the group would stop to examine the goods of the bazaars, her eyes seemed to always wander towards the vendor’s coin purse. Following closely next to her was a man whom like Deleites, had the look of a warrior. He wore a shirt of mail with a layer of studded leather beneath, over it all there was a tunic with the symbol of the Dawn Treaders, a rather famous group of adventurers and explorers. Then after him was another woman, dressed in red and white silk robes with a rather extravagant floral pattern, her hair was put up in a bun and she wore a mask that covered only her eyes. An attendant followed her and guided her by the hand, she was blind but seemed like she had no want for anything and when she spoke the ears of all who heard her perked up, her voice was like a melody composed by Anwen herself.

“Why are we here in plain sight Deleites, asked the Rogue.”.

“The Head of the local Merchants Guild,The Light Minded Profits, is meeting with in this bazaar. He is a brother in worship and believer in the gospel of our Lady. Be patient, Red.”

Red crossed her arms and the man whom mimicked a knight spoke up. “I assume they are the ones who have been seeing to our investments? If so, I don’t see the need to meet with him. He is a brother, yes? I need no other assurance than that!”.

“Robin, you’re just eager to go on that expedition of yours are you not? I’ve never known a man who so eager to sail into the unknown as you are… Are there any women in your group? I’ve heard sailors say it is bad luck to bring women to sea.”

“They are an unnecessary distraction and Merwyn’s seas are without mercy, Lady No. Though it makes me wonder why many ships feature a topless maiden at the bow...Hmm what a mystery that is, perhaps the sailors I will be with may have an answer.”.

Deleites chimmed in. “Perhaps Merwyn is like Kassius, Lustful. It would be difficult for such a man to strike down a ship with such an appealing maiden onboard, a distraction for him perhaps?”.

“Were I him, I’d only settle for the real thing.” Red answered, resulting in many questioning looks being thrown her way.

________________________________________________________

“ Kurnos you don’t get it do you?....I don’t need you… Attack, delay, retreat...regardless of what you do… It will all come to pass. My aim is make the profits greater than they are. I only want you. Your compliance will be rewarded accordingly even if you fail but it is not needed. Please Understand. You are an option. Be happy I choose you.”

Her words were seemingly laced with an aphrodisiac it seemed, the very magic of the 6th Court he had invaded worked its way into him steadily. The more he permitted in and let it whisper in his mind, the more power it would gain over him. This was a truly quite the tangled web Kurnos had managed to fly into. She placed herself at his ear and whispered in a suggestive tone.

“Now answer me quickly, God of Undeath, your presence and actions are making my cravings reach their peak… Unless that is what you came for in truth, to tease me and see if I’ll make a meal of you?”.

Though her tone was suggestive and her look that of a temptress, those words...they like daggers into the ears of whom ever recieved them. Kurnos was in danger if he remained here, that much was certain and the carnivorous look that the Mask of Dolores could not hide lingered in her eyes. Ants begun to crawl up her neck, maggots fell from her robe. A Spider’s legs could be seen moving from under her lips.

“So what will be Kurnos? Deny me...Obey me….or Satisfy me?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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Palchard - The Palace of Pleasures - 6th Court



A slow clap could be heard in the distance. "Oh ho! What a sight this is!" Palchard chuckled. "It's a good thing I became rather bored waiting on your doorstep. This really is too sweet a sight to miss! Now if I didn't know any better...I'd say you two are getting rather chummy?" His smile stretched from cheek to cheek as he nonchalantly sat upon a ledge above the two Gods. "Oops! I hope I didn't interrupt anything...hm, private?" He laughed as he suddenly disappeared. "Don't mind me now, I won't bother or pry...," the God of Mischief suddenly reappears as he placed his hands on his hips and saunters up to the pair in his curved-toe boots, "...Oh Kurnos, it's so good to see you come out of your armored shell! I mean truly, I understand! A God does get rather lonely and from time to time he needs to.....uh...consort, with another." He said as he nudged the God of Rage with his elbow.

"Though I must say you have rather interesting tastes my boy...but being the God of Undeath, I shouldn't be surprised that Necrophilia is what it takes for that thing between your legs to...hm, grow with...anticipation." He laughed out loud.

Palchard's devious eyes then turned to the Dark Lady. "And Dolores!" He then made a bow. "A pleasure as always!" He then looked up and took in a deep breath. "Ah! As usual your illusions are like a pleasant little daydream." He sighs. "Now, while it would be a certain...fantasy come true to see you tear into big, bad, Kurnos with such savagery, and trust me, the thought excites me," Then came a sudden pause. "Ahem! Now before our demons get the better of us, how about we take this little, rendezvous, back to your throne room, my Lady?" He suggested with a smile. "After all, I got your letter and I'm just dying to see where this might lead us!" He said with a laugh as he waved the piece of parchment around.

"After the both of you?" He spoke with his arm outstretched.


_______________



Goblin Outpost-Abandoned Mine-Pandeum


What the Goblins saw as a quiet end to another shift, were shocked when they heard the war horn blow. "Alright, yah maggots! It's time to fight the bloody Beardies!" Shouted their Captain. "Oi! Captain Rugen, wot be the trouble now?" Asked a subordinate. "I've got word from the ol' warchief! He claims the time is nigh! Now is the moment to strike and we must strike quickly! Gather the garrison! We join the other posts in the assault on Sivdzid!!!" He commanded. "Right away Cap'n!" The Goblin saluted as he ran to gather the warriors.

It was during this time that a Goblin Scout came with curious news. "Sir! There be golems coming towards the gates!!!" He squeaked. "Wot!? Just wot in bloody Hell are you talkin' about!?" The Captain barked. "Just look!!!" He cried. The Goblin warriors then made a lot of hollering and howling as if something had spooked them. "Just wot the bloody Hell is it now!?" Rugen shouted as he came outside the gates. There he saw the Golems the Goblins had spoke of and then, of all sights to see, "Oh bloody Hell..," was all he could say when he saw the Unseelie ride upon them.

“Greetings, Toads!” Monta Stonemother, a beautiful and horrid woman, smiled as she called out to them. She scratched the top of her stone beast’s skull. “We were sent to assist in your efforts against the Wee Folk by Maeve Blackward, High Queen of the Unseelie Court and the most valuable ally to your king.”

Rugen looked behind them to see a company of Unseelie behind them. The Hobgoblin looked at the pair quizzically and most suspiciously. "Really now? And how come I haven't heard a bloody thing about it!? How do I know you're not lying She-Fairy!?" He asked. "Ahem, Cap'n." Spoke a Hobgoblin. "Wot!?" "Letter from Warchief Krillock." He said as he held out the letter from him to take. "Give me that!!" He snapped as he ripped it from his hands. The Captain furiously read through the letter and then seemed to grow pail afterwards. "Well...this...changes things....well, Unseelie, we are about to begin our assault on a Dwarven Town. We seek to capture it and use it as a launching point for greater invasions deeper into Beardie territory. After all, these mines are not that defensible and do not garrison large amounts of troops well. Conquering this town, will not only provide better space but can be made into sturdier fortifications." The Captain explained.

"Alright lads! We are to work with the Unseelie and they will help us capture this town for the Goblin King!!!" He cried. The Goblins then cheered. "Lets get to work."

Within moments the Goblin forces had formed as they began their march from the outposts to the town of Sivdzid. "'Ello mate. Who would've thought we be marchin' on the Beardies today? I thought the assault wouldn't be for another fortnight!" Spoke a Hobgoblin soldier. "Yeah, methinks the Warchief has gotten rather bold all of a sudden. Must be the new calvary." He spoke in a whispered sneer as he looked at the Unseelie. "Right...who would've thought we be workin' with Softskins after all?" The Soldier responded. "Hm, I don't like it but the Warchief vouches for 'em, so, not much we grunts can say." "Well all least we can be, happy about one thing...we're about to cut into some Dwarves!" "Here, here!"

****


Sivdzid


It was quiet in the town of Sivdzid as it's citizen went about their business unaware of the Goblin Host that approaches them. The Goblins marched through the conquered mines without much trouble. Any Dwarves that dared to bar them where easily outnumbered. It was lucky on their end that the Dwarves were not yet fully mobilized, soon their invasion was upon Sivdzid and once in sight the Goblins revealed themselves within the tunnels.

It must have been a horrifying sight for the town guards, to see a Goblin army quickly appear from over the horizon. The Green Skins quickly moved in on the city gates as the city lookouts signaled for the alarm. Screams could be heard only to be deafened by the sound of war cries and the trumpeting of Goblin Horns. "Alright! While the advance force attacks their walls, I want cannons and archers set up along the ridges!" Ordered Rugen. "Right away!" The Goblins responded. The Goblin Cannoneers worked to position their cannons upon the nearby ridges for a better field of vision. They aimed the necks towards any point of interest, like guard towers, ramparts, and any other defensible structures. "Load the Cannons!" A Hobgoblin officer shouted. He walked towards a vantage point as he looked down upon the town. He then raised his arm as the cannoneers stood by waiting to fire the initial volley. "FIRE!!!" He yelled. The fuses were lit and in moments cannon fire rained down upon them.

The Siege had begun.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Devi the Peace Bringer Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Nike Character Portrait: Symphonia
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The Sky Palace: Zephyrus


Symphonia held her eyes closed as she took in the different happenings of the world that the wind carried to her. She leaned slight over the banister of the single room tower that gave the best view of the world below. It was her place to relax and feel at ease if the winds permitted. Sometimes they carried ill omens and others the sounds of tranquility from the various forms of nature below. But when Symphonia listened intently she could hear and make out many things.

This time she could make out sound of anticipated battle. It was easy to hear details since the conflict happened right below her own kingdom. And even more so because Faith was down there as well. Symphonia couldn’t help but worry for her Avatar like a child of her own. Even with Cyrus being her ally for now. The goddess knew that the Republic wasn’t in favor of some of bordering territories but the land was respected. And Symphonia would not see an ally invaded without help. Especially, by the likes of anything under Kurnos’ banner. What he represented was an abomination to the cycle of life. And his obsession with reckless violence costing countless mortals their lives instantly slated him as an enemy. Even though Symphonia was publically neutral there were some gods she didn’t sit well with.

Kurnos was only one of them. The Breeder and his people were another territory Symphonia wouldn’t be seen helping even though their god has long since been absent.

Palchard was another one for the sheer fact that unending trickery wasn’t something that the goddess fancied. But he wasn’t beyond allying with in the long run. Symphonia would much rather make dealings with his Avatar, the goblin king, than Palchard himself.

Dolores, to Symphonia, was almost one and the same as Palchard to Symphonia except the Dark Lady often held much more ill intent behind her trickery than a mere laugh. The Lady had a tongue of a snake and would never be trusted. Especially, since she expect the end of all life and that was the opposite of what Symphonia sought after.

Finally, there was Devi. Symphonia tried to like the Peace Bringer but their ways of bringing peace was normally with violence. And it almost seemed like Devi loved the fighting. But like Palchard the goddess’ quirks and habits wouldn’t get in the way of Symphonia lending aid if needed.

The winds also told the goddess that the other deities were holding a meeting to try and persuade The Lady of Oak to reverse or cease the famine for their own people. Symphonia thought about going as well but she wanted to end the famine for everyone. She wanted once again listen to the winds bring peace to her ears. Not the cries of war torn countries and the cries of mortals on every corner of the lands. The winds were loud with the sounds of despair and Symphonia wish she could help everyone. Not to mention the famine was bringing about more bloodshed than the goddess had seen in quite some time.

It wasn’t long till Symphonia found herself summoning her White Mage to the tower. The goddess could make the winds carry her voice to whomever she wanted. It was the easiest way to communicate with people that prayed to her. She would hear their prayers and she would give answer to help soothe their souls.

“My Lady.” Tylia said as she approached and curtsied. “You called for me?” Symphonia turned to face her White Mage.

“I am traveling below.” Even the cold-faced Tylia couldn’t mask the shock that briefly portrayed on her face. It was just her eyes widening for a moment but it was enough to give away what was on her mind. “It is to talk with the Grandmother of the land. Some of the other gods are already pleading their case of mercy for their people.”

“Will you also do the same for us?” Tylia asked.

“I am sure Grandmother has heard an earful already. I would rather understand the reasoning for her actions first. Maybe then I can get an idea on how to reverse whatever it is that caused this famine in the first place. In the meantime, I leave you in charge. It shouldn’t be any different than normal.” Symphonia paused for a moment before speaking again. “And could you also send reinforcements to Faith’s location? There seems to be a battle between Kurnos’ and Kassius’ Avatars. Faith is there to aid Cyrus and his men and might need help. Argonaut is there as well and I don’t know what his intentions are. Nike’s intentions are normally unpredictable in times of battle so send word for Faith to be wary.” Tylia nodded and a sudden gust of wind came, making the mage shield herself. When the wind faded she could see a dove flying to the grounds below.


It didn’t take long to reach the land full of trees where the Oakborn was known to inhabit. Much different than the lands around it. Voices of the other gods could already be heard as Symphonia approached the Enchanted Forest. The goddess descended into the realm of The Oakborn and into a graceful dive that ended with her returning to her original form standing in the tall grass. She curtsied to the Green Woman who sat on a throne of tangled vines and roots just as The Breeder, Argan, finished a word about Devi, who was also among them. Though she would never admit it, what she heard Argan say about the Peace Keeper was along the exact thoughts that Symphonia had for Devi. After The Breeder finished Symphonia turned to the Green Lady and curtsied again, this time with her head bowed.

“Sorry for my delayed appearance, Grandmother. You can guess as to why I am here but I do not come to plead for you to lift your curse from my people and their lands. I come to seek an understanding and possible solutions that would appease The Oakborn. As you know, my people are always eager to help in any way possible.”


Faith Lenotte - River Timaeus


Faith out a whistled when her and her healers approached their destination.

“Down there.” The scout pointed to a temporary tent.

“Okay, let’s get doun thare.” Faith said as she steered her griffen down towards the tent, making sure no arrows were threatening to shoot them down. Her and here people landed and it was then she could feel how many people she was amongst. She turned to Xandria as the woman dismounted her pegasus.

“I think we are gunna need more healers, Xandria.” It was then that she heard shouting coming from the center of the river. She immediately recognized beast that the voice belonged to. Yogosh was just as intimidating as Faith had read and heard about. His mount looked even more intimidating than her own and griffins were quite frightening creatures. Faith then saw the man known as Cyrus coming out to meet Yogosh on river frozen by mages. Xandria joined Symphonia’s Avatar in observing the confrontation.

“Faith, our healers are getting themselves in place for when the fighting starts.”

“It might nae come tae that. Mebbes set’le this by wey of duel by tae looks of it.” The two girls looked on with anticipation of what was going to happen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Archanian Character Portrait: Devi the Peace Bringer Character Portrait: The Breeder Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Astria Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath Character Portrait: Symphonia
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Grandmother - Demon Outpost

“After you left” Grandmother smiled. “The True Oakborn witnessed the fate of this world and witnessed something so terrible that it’s mind- our mind - was shattered.” She touched a newly formed tree near her, blossoms popping from where her wrinkled hands touched the bark. “From the Oakborn were born many deities, each representing a part of the great god we once were. You may call me Grandmother.” She smiled warmly, taking the Breeder’s hand into her own. “I am the Oakborn’s wisdom and, in its stead, I oversee the strands of fate.”

She released him as he spoke of the famine, nodding slightly. Grandmother sighed heavily, pushing back a strand of silver hair behind her ear. “I admit, I don’t agree with the Green Woman’s logic, but I believe it’s more than the goblins.” It pained Grandmother to think about the pain her sister had brought onto the earth. She had always been so kind and generous with all races, blessing them with growth and bounty each spring. “We forget that she is a force of nature. She is the soil and all things that grow from it.” Grandmother pursed her lips. “Although she was once fond of mortals and beasts, she is not bound to them as we are.”

Grandmother paused to listen to Argan. She smiled. “Yes, I do remember that. This part of me still wishes you had taken our suggestion.” She shrugged. “But it wasn’t our choice to make.” After Argon left, many of his duties fell to the Oakborn who watched over the creatures that the Breeder had left behind. It did as well as it could, but even gods had limits. Another weak smile flashed across the old woman’s lips. “I suppose any of us would tear apart the world for our children.” Her mind drifted back to the Green Woman. Perhaps the famine was her sister’s way of protecting her children; the trees, the flowers, the grass, and all plant life on Pandeum.

She chuckled. “Devi certainly has her flaws, but without her we’d still be fighting an endless war.” Grandmother leaned against one of Argan’s children. “She was created by a desperate world. She is what they needed. Perhaps, what they still need.” The old goddess waved a hand dismissively. “Don’t worry about her. I was only half serious. I’m sure in times like these, she has much bigger matters to attend to.” She winked at the Breeder. “Not to say you aren’t a big matter.”

The Snow King - The Snow King’s Castle

“Hm.” The Snow King’s steps echoed throughout the room as he walked to his throne. He kept his hands hidden in fur lined sleeves. “I’m afraid she hasn’t been in a very diplomatic mood lately.” He rolled his eyes. “I suppose everyone believes that their lands should be spared.” He sat and waved his hand, a smaller less intricate chair forming opposite of him. “But, because of our bond, I will speak to the Green Woman, but I promise you nothing about the outcome.”

In all honestly, the Snow King did not care if Astria’s people starved or if they destroyed the Republic in search of grain. He wouldn’t care if the Green Woman strangled every mortal on Pandeum with her vines because, in the end, it would all rot and freeze away. Then, he would be King and ruled once more. Well, alongside Astria, that is.

A chess board appeared between the winter gods. A rare smile played across the king’s lips.

“Do you have time for a quick game?”

Devi - Swarga Loka

“Of course.” Devi nodded slowly. Although any conflict was enough to cause Devi concern, this felt different. Underneath the usual selfishness and greed that ushered in war, the Peace Bringer felt something far darker slithering underneath. It was like a black claw scratching at her stomach. “All conflicts concern me, but this one seems unlike most others.”

She turned towards Archanian, kneeling slightly to look into his eyes. “I did not see the Great Rebellion begin, but did it feel anything like this? This storm of tension and desperation?”

Monta Stonemother & Eban Lordkiller - Sivdzid

“In the shadows! The Wee Folk will not know we’re here!”

As the goblins began their siege on the walls of Sivdzid, the Unseelie seemed to float through an unnatural darkness. Even as cannons fired and explosions illuminated the entire cavern, they went silent and unseen, obscured by powerful illusion magic. Monta Stonemother, assisted by several other fairies, began to carve symbols across the dwarven wall. As they chanted their ancient incantation, the runes began to glow and burn themselves deeper into the wall. The Stonemother looked up and smiled, pleased.

Above them, Eban and several knights rode up the wall on stone golems, careful to avoid any cannon balls shot from their allies’ cannons. Although they were cloaked by their fairy illusions and surrounded by the chaos of war, it was unlikely that the dwarves on the wall could ignore the sounds of growling and stone talons digging into the wall.

When one unlikely dwarf looked over the edge, the Lordkiller’s blade impaled itself through his skull. As his comrades rushed to assist, each fell with a fairy dart in their eyes. Eban turned to his knights. “Take out the rest of the guards on the wall. Remain unseen.”

Aros - The River Timaeus

The Winter Charm formed in Aros’ hand as followed Cyrus out of the tent. The wand was supernaturally cold in his palm, but its burn felt unusually comforting to the Summer King. His heart nearly stopped when he saw the massive horde beyond the river. Although the savage draconians, nords, and ogres were troubling, nothing concerned him as much as the avatar of Kurnos sitting atop a giant salamander. As Yogosh swung his cleaver and taunted the Republic forces, Cyrus readied himself to cross a bridge of ice extending across the river.

Aros watched, his lips pursed. His eyes darted around, searching for a way to help. He could enchant the water attack the horde or cast an illusion over them to cause infighting among themselves. He looked at Cyrus and then at Yogosh. If they were to duel, it would be a clash of two mighty forces and, although Cyrus was skilled, Yogosh contained a massive amount of raw strength and killer instincts. The Sun Bearer’s Chosen would need all the help he could get. “Cyrus!” The Summer King reached into his pocket and tossed a coin in his direction. It gleamed in the sunlight and disappeared, finding itself tucked away in Cyrus’ pocket. The Autumn Charm could provide him with the luck he needed.

Aros looked towards the horde. He lifted his wand and twirled it in the air, golden dust swirling around him. “Twist the sight and cloud the mind,” Aros closed his eyes, allowing deep fairy magic to flow out from him. “Where once were friends, now foes you’ll find.”

He held the magic back, but if he released it, any member of the horde affected would fill with anxiety and delusion, seeing nothing but Republic forces surrounding them.

The Green Woman - The Other Place

The Green Woman rolled her eyes as yet another deity came to beg for mercy. She looked at Symphonia, a mild air of annoyance flickering across her features. Although the goddess’ sudden appearance was slightly irritating, the King certainly enjoyed the curtsy.

“Yes, yes, yes. Very nice of you.” The Green Woman stood up, the plants from her throne reaching for her as they reached for the sun, desperate for her return. “Walk with me.” She walked past Symphonia, expecting the goddess to follow her. As they walked, bright beautiful flowers bloomed to greet them and the plant life seemed to come alive as the deities passed them. Blue birds and butterflies fluttered out from the Green Woman’s hair. “I am tired, Symphonia. Spring after spring, I give all to the fleshlings.” She sighed. The weight of the world seemed to pull her body down. “Yet they chop down my trees, poison my rivers, and drown the soil in blood.”

She kneeled down, digging her fingertips into the dirt. The earth was crying out to her, desperate for a champion. “I do not enjoy starving the fleshlings, but they must be reminded that I do not serve them. The Wilds will not be trifled with or tamed.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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Fear, yes it was definitely fear, how curious. Yet Kurnos couldn't help but to continue to let each edge of his mouth creep into a smile, it was so long he had found something, or rather someone that was this exhilarating, outside battle at that. He would call it a deadly dance, the slow fight of wills that was quietly going on between them, yet he knew, that even if he was to abruptly draw his axe and savagely engage the Lady of Dark delights then at most he'd only be able to tear a wound into her, before her terrifying presence took dominion over him.

He scoffed, throwing Dolores a sideways glance, it was becoming increasingly more difficult not to let any pressure show on his voice, the words of Dolores slathered in aphrodisiac and the oppressive atmosphere of this world were much to his own dismay taking their toll "Satisfying you, is something we both know is very much impossible." With a hand on her hip he pushed her back to a arms length "I will be your tool, for now. Hopefully you'll feel it fit to genuinely make me a night to remember, one lacking the lethal undertone. Consider your deal accepted."

Like a teenage couple who had suddenly been caught romancing Kurnos took a step back from Dolores upon Palchards sudden appearance, Kurnos shrewd smile replaced by a piercing stare. "Ever the same Palchard? Can't say I haven't grown a rather detestable fondess to your attitude, you think an axe between the eyes would improve it?" Perhaps the dark lady wouldn't enjoy having suddenly completely lost Kurnos attention, yet he took a simple turn towards the trickster, a few threatening strides, Cladeheim giving off an equally threatening pulse of energy. Palchard antics had removed atleast some of the stinging tension in the air, reinforcing Kurnos mind, for atleast a small moment more.

"Although... I know you'd never dare, too many tricks make one afraid of trying to solve things any other way, yes? Thus, I'll agree, it'd be nice to move the conversation from this awful intrusion of my head, what do you say Dolores?" How amusing for him to complain about intruding, nevertheless, he was thinking about leaving, he would've left Dolores to whatever perverted antics she might have, especially with the pressing matter as he felt blood being shed, his bastard of a lizard being one of the reasons. Yet he couldn't pass on the moment to listen in on these two, that, was far too tempting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Dolores Character Portrait: Kurnos, Keeper of Undeath
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With a sigh the Dark Lady fully resigned her previous intention. It had been a long time since Dolores had feasted upon a divine but she would see her gluttony sated eventually, besides it would be a shame if her new pawn was felled before he got to be useful.

“My apologies Palchard, I got distracted setting the table I forgot about the guests I had invited over to feast.”

 With a clap of her hands, they departed the court and appeared inside her Palace, the room in particular representing a war room. Dominating the center was a table with a rather lifelike map of Pandeum. Though things like geographical features and cities were miniaturized, close inspection proved that they were indeed accurate models of the things they represented.

 “When I get bored I come here and amuse myself by playing with my pawns. It is rather convenient I can use this to explain the grand scheme of things.”

 With hands white like alabaster, The Dark Lady plucked each pawn off the table and set them to display what occurred in the mortal realm, as she knew it. Each piece morphed itself so their appearance suited the event they were to display. Some were farmers, toiling the lands without success. Others were peasants forced to starve, greedy merchants buying food where it still growed and selling it at outlandish prices were none could be found. Soldiers resorting to banditry. At the borders of Kassius’s realm various pawns had gathered, taking form as legionnaires and the savages under Yogosh’s banner. Yet there were others in the nations...all of them dressed as cultists of Dolores...the most interesting of them were to the south.

“The Nations of Pandeum, stricken by famine, have been thrown into disarray. Our “Brothers and Sisters” will seek to unite them to bring about peace. So in light of this I propose we increase our power and influence in the mortal realm whilst they are distracted. Kurnos. I told you, I would profit regardless and I did not lie. However, if you cooperate with me I will have reason to reward you. The money my Cultists make, a portion of it will go to you and a portion of the food they have amassed. I will also aid your image.”

Dolores placed Pawns in the city of Nyke which was in Solaras, revealing the Cultists who had gathered there and her avatar. “Delietes as we speak is talking to the heads of various sects of my Cult of Dolores. Together they seek to amass wealth and cause confusion to distract those who would otherwise persecute them for their underhanded methods. One of them is the leader of a bard’s guild, the Sirens of No Sacrifice. They can romanticize the savage invaders of Kurnos, humanize their cause. Sing of their starving children and wives to sway the noble hearted fool and recite epics depicting Yogosh as a kind ruler whom was denied forgiveness and food by Cyrus, justifying your people’s invasion. Any further action against you will cause a divide amongst the countries that wish to do so, something we can exploit. Palchard to you personally, I offer amusement. In one of my courts, the mortals who seek their gluttonous desires sated, are tested to see if they are worthy of an audience. I have gathered the food from that court and with your help, wish to have it altered further. After the famine ends, I will have you put it amongst the food my cultists sell, Kurnos I will be sure your portion is not tainted myself. The expected results of this tainted food should be maddening and ruin the reputation of the food sold by Solaras. At the very least they will cause confusion amongst the mortals and many of them will become feral. I am sure you will find both of these fun to witness. However I also offer the allegiance of my cultists, some do worship you but with a word, I can have them integrate you into the normal doctrine. You will gain more power, more worshippers, and most importantly through my cult, influence into other nations where you would otherwise struggle to conjure a decent prank. However I will warn you both, whether you do as I ask or not I benefit the most from this.”
As she spoke her final sentence, a great many pawns that mimicked Dolores’s cultists went south. All under one region. “ They will unite to bring peace but for peace to come there must first be war and make no mistake. I have observed this world and you all since my birth. We will become their scape goats and they will call it Justice. Together we can show the mortals the truth, that there are no Gods of Justice or Law, that the Pantheon the see as Black or White is as gray and unfair as the world they live in.”

______________________________________________________________________
(Somewhere in the South.)


 In a land where silenced reigned. A land absent of mortals. Their touch had long been wiped away by the sands. Only one thing remained as evidence that man had once reigned here. Some miles off the coast, a singular colossal monument stood as reminder of what once was. A Pyramid, black like obsidian. The ancient archives of various nations would have knowledge on this place, the capitol of a nation. Similar to the Great Kingdom of Rime, that belonged to Nike, this one was surrounded by enemies and filled with corruption from within. The end result being ruin. Yet unlike Rime who had but one son, Argon, to remember it’s name. This Kingdom left behind many inheritors and reclaimers...All who shared the ambition of their ancestors.

For centuries they had remained silent. Hiding beneath the sands… Enclosed within the earth. Moving only under the cloak of night, they uncovered crypt after crypt and with each discovery the claimed more and more riches left behind from their ancestors. It was in these crypts that they toiled and worked. Expanding as necessary, making use of all that their ancestors left. Perhaps one would think they had defiled their graves, that they were lowly grave robbers. Yet surely, their ancestors smiled upon them, if they could. Afterall, all things had their end. They had been fooled by the lesser Gods into thinking otherwise and prepared their burials thinking that they could carry with them their riches into the afterlife. Yet they knew the truth. There was no afterlife. All things were to come to an end, it was as the Dark Lady had observed.

When the world came out fresh from Archanian’s Forge, it was doomed. Some of their less learned members called it the Flaw of Creation but that was a taboo name. It was not a flaw, Archanian was not a fool. All things that had a beginning, must also have an end. Not many whom worshipped the Dark Lady appreciated the aspect of Entropy but the Sect of Necroferi, unlike the other Sects, did. They accepted the truth that was the End and mimicked their Goddess.

Tracing their origins to an that empire has long been buried beneath the sands of the southern deserts, the Necroferi Cultists acted separate from the main cult. While they sought to over indulge in worldly desires, they had a different purpose. Protect that which Dolores called, the "The Flaw in Creation", the Decay that had plagued existence itself from the very moment Archanian pulled the World out from his Forge and to Witness the Endtimes alongside their Lady.

To that end,, they tried to observe the world and the Rot but their lives were far too short. In hopes of expanding their life, they begun to dabble in healing and worship Symphonia, but they only learned the limitations of Healing, not the secrets of Longevity. Next they mixed the worship of Kurnos in their Doctrine, hoping that perhaps through Undeath they could gain their answer and they did... but the wrong one. The Dark Lady's wrath fell upon them for resorting to Necromancy and those that survived her anger, realized through experiencing what it was like to be nothing but bone and rotting flesh that Eternal Life lacked the pleasures of Eternal Youth. Yet they continued on this peril less quest for knowledge, the truths they acquired along the way only working to perverse their perception of the Pantheon and their reverence for Entropy and Death even further. They sought something just before death but without the withering of life. Something that would not bind them to eternity but would permit them to last until the end. Perhaps it was for this devotion, Dolores permitted them to conjure an answer.
Bounding their souls to magic imbued phylacteries...
Reciting incantations requiring days to finish...
Imbuing by hand warding scripts upon linen and wrapping their bodies to preserve themselves…

The process was long. It was arduous. Those who learned how to do it spent their entire lives doing so and only the most masterful were permitted to attempt it on another. If the incantation was uttered wrong, if the phylactery cracked and the soul leaked, if the linen with which the body was wrapped had even the slightest flaw, the power they called upon would become wild and tore them asunder. And even these, if left to fend against the Decay by themselves would lose. The Phylacteries cracked as the soul tried to return to it’s natural vessel, the incantations would wear off eventually and linen would also give way, taking the words with them. (Thus the hierarchy was determined accordingly. Those worthy to be preserved, those who did the preserving, and those who served one or the other above them.)

It had been a perilous journey through the ages for the Necroferi Dolores Cultists, but they had secured the means to see the End. Now they only needed that ensure no one stopped the End from coming.

A singular femine voice resonated throughout the interior of the Black Pyramid. “Our Hour is it hand…”.
Preserved and made to sleep to her safety, the one whom Dolores herself had acknowledged as her Hero, had awoken. Her name was Khalida the Forever Queen. and her purpose was to recreate the nation they traced their lineage through and use the power they would gain from doing so to smite anyone or anything that sought to stop Dolores.

"It is time for our return."