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The Oakborn

Deity of Nature and Fate

0 · 1,758 views · located in Pandeum

a character in “Divinity: Gods of Pandeum”, as played by LuckyNumber24

Description

The Oakborn
Image
God Name:
The Oakborn

Title:
Deity of Nature and Fate, the Watcher of the World

Gender:
Genderless, but its different faces come as male, female, and sometimes something in between.

Alignment:
True Neutral (Varies among the Faces)

God Appearance:
The true form of the Oakborn is that of a lifeless husk, withered and mangled within a mass of twisted tree roots. Rotting black robes have melded into its pale decaying flesh and thin white hair flows from several patches on its scalp to the floor. A tangled vine creeps through one of its eye sockets and around its neck, while its other eye is eternally open and pulsing with red light. A crown of branches with auburn leaves breaches from the top of its head.

Although this is the true body of the Oakborn, it is hidden in the roots of the Great Oak and is rarely seen, even by gods. Instead, the god manifests itself in many different forms known as the Faces of the Oakborn. While there are an infinite amount of these faces, the most frequently seen is an old woman known as Grandmother. Other faces include the Stag, the Beast, the Trickster, and the Raven.

Personality:
The Oakborn was once a proud and powerful deity and the vigilant Watcher of the World. It would sit at the roots at the Great Oak and where it would watch over the natural world and over the very threads of fate. It was a trusted councilor and a respected god that all could come to for wisdom in times of need. However, much has changed. When the mortal realm was still young, it sat at the roots of the Great Oak like so many times before and it saw the fate of Pandeum. What it witnessed was so terrible that its mind was shattered and each fragment of its soul became a separate entity, what is now known as a Face of the Oakborn. Each represents an aspect of the Oakborn and, to an extent, an aspect of its realms. There are generally kind and benevolent Faces such as the Green Woman who is known to lead lost children through the forest and grant wishes to those who bring her cream. But then there are other who thrive off of negativity and pain. The most infamous of these malevolent entities is the Beast, a predatory being that stalks the Enchanted Forest, devouring anything it comes across, even other Faces of the Oakborn. It is these differences that often lead to conflict between the Faces and to conflict between their followers. Despite these differences, one should never forget that all these entities come from the same divine source. Whether good or evil, they all have an interest in the mortal world and its workings. Some seek to only watch, other are active participants, but all of them have a love and respect for the natural world. Another interesting fact is that all Faces of the Oakborn have a love for games and wagers and many mortals have entered into these bets.

The most powerful and respected Face of the Oakborn is an entity affectionately known as Grandmother. She possesses the Oakborn's wisdom and diplomatic skills which serve her well as an emissary between the Faces and the other gods. Mortals, fairies, and deities alike come to her for counsel and all who approach her receive a warm smile and kind words. She exudes an understanding and nonjudgmental air that makes her incredibly easy to talk to. Despite this, Grandmother is not some fragile biddy. She fought fiercely alongside the Archaic Gods during the Great Rebellion and even managed to slay several Faces who sided with the Young Pantheon. Although she has not picked up her club in a millennium, she is still a force to be reckoned with. She may not be as powerful as the other gods, but she certainly doesn't let that prevent her from speaking her mind. She's outspoken and blunt when the situation calls for it and she is quite known for giving verbal lashings to any god that has earned her wrath.

Opinion of mortals:
"They are so complex, much like this world. Full of beauty and savagery, love and violence. Some of us are disgusted by them, some of us have some odd affection for their fragile hearts, but we can all agree that they are fascinating.

God’s Domain:
While not in the Enchanted Forest, the Faces reside in the Other Place. This world is an endless realm of lush foliage, humid deserts, and frozen tundra. Fairy lights illuminate this realm, especially around this world's version of the Great Oak. This massive tree is hollow on the inside and appears much like a grand palace when entered. This is where the Faces meet to discuss and debate what to do with their territory and their realms.

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Avatar Name:
Klarion le Fae "the Changeling" King of Grimmshire

Personality:
Klarion has never been the type of prince to slay beasts and save princesses. He is far more comfortable gossiping among the servants than on the battlefield with a sword in hand. He is refined and charismatic, equipped with a sharp wit and a charming smile. He is careful and meticulous, never one to take chances if it can be helped and always prepared to cut his losses. Klarion is extremely clever and talented in the art of manipulation. With a few sweet words and a heart melting smirk, no doors are closed and no secrets safe from the Bastard King. Despite his trickster-like tenancies, Klarion truly is a kind person at his core and desires to see his kingdom flourish.

Magic Abilities:
Unbeknownst to Klarion or any other mortal in his kingdom, he is the child of the Wanderer, a Face of the Oakborn. Thus, he possesses a fairly large amount of magical energy in his body. He is a skilled magician and his Oakborn blood gives him access to powerful and ancient magic. Due to his fairy roots, he specializes in the enchantment of others and in illusion magic. He also has a natural skill for shape shifting and can change into several forms at will. His natural charisma and charm is extremely heightened by passive fairy magic. Although he is still a novice in elemental magic, he shows much potential and it is believe he could one day become a true force of nature.

Hero(es):
Orion Ironback

Rank/Reason:
Bodyguard and Lover of Klarion le Fae

Personality:
Always slow to speak, Orion is a man of few words and many actions. He is serious, though Klarion can break his icy cool demeanor with ease. He is extremely honest, almost brutally so and cares not for the social niceties Klarion is fond of. He is devoted to his charge and his love for his king often manifests itself in the ferocity with which he protects him.

Hero(es):
Ahosi the Bold

Rank/Reason:
General of the Grimshire army and Advisor to the King

Personality:
Thoughtful, compassionate, and vigiliant, Ahosi has long been one of Klarion's role models and confidants. She is strong willed and brave, willing to take on anything for the good of her people and her king. She is calm and collected leader with a strategic mind and inspiring presence.

Hero(es):
Malik al Oma of House Assamn

Rank/Reason:
Wealthy Merchant, Leader of Fighters Guild, and Advisor to the King

Personality:
Malik's family came to Grimmshire hundreds of years ago and has since been associated with some of the finest crafted jewelry in Pandeum. Although he is knowledgeable in the family business and deals with their business affairs, Malik cares little for the life of a merchant. He is blunt and gruff with little patience for those who don't appreciate the quality products he has to sell. He is a fighter to the core and is one of the most deadliest warriors in Grimmshire with his signature spear and whip.

Hero(es):
Lady Meranda

Rank/Reason:
Spymistress and Advisor to the King

Personality:
Although she may appear polite and docile, Lady Meranda is not to be underestimated. She is a talented mage and her many familiars wander around the kingdom with their eyes open and their ears to the ground, watching for any information the could be of use to their lady. Although she keeps her secrets close and has ties to the criminal underworld, she is incredibly loyal to her king.

Hero(es):
Freya Eldertree

Rank/Reason:
Queen of the Seelie Court and Commander of the Seelie Knights.

Personality:
Although still new to the crown, Freya has proved herself a skilled and admired leader. She seeks to take the Fae Folk in a new direction and to really understand the minds and hearts of other races. She still struggles to fully comprehend the emotional spectrum, but is seeking true empathetic enlightenment. She is an unorthodox leader for the fairies, but is loved regardless. She is extremely talented with elemental magic and is widely accepted to be one of the best fighters among the Fae. Under her command are trusted captains of the Seelie Knights:
~Serraph Onehorn
~Katrina Bloodhair
~Robyn Halfblood
~Eros Littlefeather
~Aresia Thornmother
~Clack the Big Man

Hero(es):
Lady Rosestone

Rank/Reason:
Seelie Lady and Half-sister to the Queen

Personality:
Rosestone is the picture of grace, beauty, and poise. Everything she does is elegant, much to the infuriation of her sisters. She is calm and collected, always one to think before decisions must be made. She is beloved by all in the Seelie Court and it is often questioned why she herself did not take the throne. She is well known for her beast taming magic and mystical animal companions.

Hero(es):
Sprigga

Rank/Reason:
Half-sister to the Queen and Captain of the Seelie Knights

Personality:
Sprigga, unlike her sisters, is not a lady and is unteathered to the duties of a Fae noble. She is fun loving and spritely with plenty of energy. She can often be found at dancing at festivals and flying with her squad of winged fairies.

Hero(es):
Lord Nightstar

Rank/Reason:
Seelie Lord and Advisor to the Queen

Personality:
A lifelong friend of Freya, Lord Nightstar has similar thoughts and feelings to his queen. He yearns to remember what experiencing the full weight of emotions truly feels like. Nightstar is scholarly with a love of learning and active curiosity. He loves to watch other mortals and study them, often sharing his findings with Freya.

Hero(es):
Lydio the Wise

Rank/Reason:
Fae Shaman

Personality:
An elderly fairy, Lydio has experienced many things and, as his name suggests, is very wise. However, when he's not leading religious ceremonies or giving council, he can be quite the crank. He is often drunk off of cream and milk and has a habit of swatting at and berating his assistants. He is a skilled caster and specializes in divination and conjuration.

Hero(es):
Leannan Blackward

Rank/Reason:
Queen of the Unseelie Court

Personality:
Bitter and distant, Queen Leannan has forgotten what it means to feel whole. She once sought fulfillment in festivals and in lovers like the Seelie did. Then she looked for it in the outside world, but still it eluded her. She could not even find it in the love she had for her mad daughters, Panic and Spite. But then it came to her from the voice of a powerful and ancient fairy creature known as the First Mother. Her longing would only cease when she had everything. Now, this wicked queen seeks to conquer all of Pandeum and her goal is to start with the domination of the Dark Forest. She is a skilled strategist and feared foe, as her ruthless and cruel ways are known to all in the fairy kingdom.

Hero(es):
Panic and Spite

Rank/Reason:
Daughters of Queen Leannan

Personality:
The crazed daughters of the Unseelie Queen, Panic and Spite leave confusion and chaos in their wake. They have little regard for mortal lives and often take pleasure in causing pain. Despite this, the sisters do have a fondness for children and would avoid causing them physical injury. Their parents, however, are a different story. Although neither sibling can be considered well adjusted, it is well known that Panic is far more unhinged than her changeling sister. Spite often acts as the voice of reason and flawed logic of the pair.

Hero(es):
Dullahan Ashentongue

Rank/Reason:
Commander of the Unseelie Knights and Lover of Queen Leannan

Personality:
As emotionless as a fairy can be, Dullahan rarely shows any feelings beyond annoyance, anger, and admiration for his queen. He is stern and hard, always prepared to slit a throat or burn a foe. He is a skilled leader and warrior, but is a realist who understands that he has limits. As commander of Leannan's forces, Dullahan has hand picked his captains to assist in the control of the Unseelie Knights:
~Syrena Lastbreath
~Lord Hawthorn
~Chirona Slaughtersteed
~White Eyes
~The Grassman
~Monta Stonemother
~The Doll

Terrain Preference:
Typically forests or other rural areas

Name of Kingdom/Empire:
The Fairy Courts, the Fae Folk

Capital:
The Enchanted Forest / The Dark Forest ~ The Enchanted Forest, also known as the Dark Forest, is an immense wooded area located around the Great Oak. It is believed that because of its proximity to the sacred tree and the true body of the Oakborn, the area is imbued with powerful magic. This is what causes the forest to be filled with rare magical plants, fantastical creatures, and powerful fairies.

Major Sites:
The Great Oak ~ The most sacred site to the Fae Folk, Seelie and Unseelie alike come here to worship all the Faces of the Oakborn and pray in times of need. They believe that the roots of this sacred tree tie all of creation together and that should it fall, the entire universe would fall apart at the seams. This tree is also believed to provide all Fae with their magic and with the Enchanted Forest with its life.

Grandmother's House ~ A small cozy cottage built at the base of the Great Oak, this is where Grandmother can be found at almost any time. This is where she gives counsel and grants favors to those who have made her proud. This home also serves as neutral ground for the leaders of the Courts to meet and discuss terms.

The Garden of Lights ~ A clearing in the woods filled with strange and exotic flowers and foliage. Fairy lights dance in the air around and portals to the Seelie Court are hidden within rings of toadstool.

The Dark Caves ~ A series of caves filled with glowing stalagmites and geodes. If one wanders through these caverns long enough, it is said they will stumble upon the abode of the Unseelie Court.

The Pool of Tears ~ Another sacred site, this body of water is thought to be the place where the Oakborn's tears landed and gave life to the first fairies. Although many dangerous creatures live in its depths, the waters of this pool have magical healing properties.

Society:

[People]
It is said that when the Oakborn's mind shattered, it began to weep and from its tears came the first fairies. The Seelie rose from its right eye and the Unseelie from the left. Fairies are a rare and fascinating race. Although they come in many forms and there are many subraces among their ranks, the common fairy is a humanoid with long pointed ears and a delicate frame and features. They are considered one of the most enchanting races and are often described as terribly beautiful, often with features that inspire terror in those unfamiliar with them. These attributes can be anything from abnormally large eyes and sharp teeth to wings, horns, and patches of foliage growing on their skin. They are a extremely long lived, some being nearly as old as the Young Gods, and their birth rates are extremely low. This is believed to be one of the reasons that they have a fascination with the children of other races, often taking special interest in those that stray too close to the forests where they dwell. The Seelie often take these children to be honored guests at their many feasts, festivals, and celebrations, but these visits often last much longer than expected. There are many cases where the child leaves for what seems like an hour and emerges decades later to discover their family and home long gone. Acts such as this cause many to distrust the Fae Folk in general and believe that all of them are malevolent in nature, when, in truth, most fairies simply struggle to understand the harm they are capable of. The older a fairy becomes, they often lose the concept of empathy and feel emotions in a much different way than their earlier days. Things such as love, loss, and pain become small matters, especially when it concerns the lives of short lived and fragile creatures such as humans. For many of the Fae Folk, life has become tedious and droll and they look for entertainment wherever it may be. It is common for fairies to fill their emotional voids with sex, feasts, and countless games, deals, and wagers. However, this rarely fills beyond a short time. This is what causes most fairies to meddle in the affairs of other races, causing situations to become better or worse depending on their mood. Fairies are also known to take lovers from other races and the rare children produced from these unions are known as Changelings.

Fairies are a very mystical race and it is extremely uncommon to find one that doesn't heavily rely on the arcane arts. Their bodies are much more delicate than those of heartier races and should their magic be disrupted or dispelled, they will be extremely vulnerable. They are also highly allergic to iron and contact with it will cause their skin to burn. Simply being around a high level of the metal will irritate their skin and eyes. They also have a strange fondness for milk and cream, both of which have an intoxicating effect on them.


[Economy]
Fairies are traders, but not in the typical sense of the word. Their courts and the natural world around them provide them with anything they physically need such as shelter or food, but beyond that, each fairy must fend for themselves. If a fairy wants an item, service, favor, or piece of knowledge an exchange is customary. These deals are often sealed with a Shee Feerinyeh, more commonly known as a Fairy's Truth. This is a common ritual that binds a fairy to the words of their agreement, however fairies are notorious for finding loopholes that allow them to fulfill the contract without fully fulfilling their side of the deal. However, other races still come to the fairies to have their wishes granted and to purpose deals, convinced that they can outsmart this ancient and clever race.

[Politics]
There are many factions of fairies throughout Pandeum, but they are often called to serve one of two great fairy courts; the Seelie and the Unseelie. Over the millenniums, these proud houses have warred time and time again, only for Grandmother and the other Faces to intervene at the last possible moment. Each court is ruled by a queen with several lords and ladies under her to give her counsel and supply her with resources.

Fairies have very few rules and are often left by their leaders to do as they please. The only laws in place are to prevent more war from breaking out between the courts and the various factions under them.

Name of Kingdom/Empire:
The Kingdom of Grimmshire

Society:
[People]
Although a predominately human society, the small kingdom of Grimmshire is known to be extremely open and accepting of outsiders. They are fairly diverse with people of nearly every race and ethnicity within Pandeum. Despite this, the people of Grimmshire are wary of the Fae Folk, as the two societies have a long and complicated history. Despite not having laws discriminating against or limiting the rights of Changlings, they are often distrusted by the people of Grimmshire.

Although they do not know it, many people in Grimmshire worship a Face of the Oakborn known as the Shepherd.

[Economy]
Grimmshire is located on the edge of the Enchanted Forest and also near a number of mines rich with precious metals and stones. Because of this, many jewelers and metal workers travel far and wide to study under the master smiths and lapidaries of Grimmshire. Besides their jewels and metal workings, this kingdom is also famous for its expeditions into the Enchanted Forest, from which it obtains many rare and magical materials for trade.

[Politics]
Grimmshire is currently ruled by Klarion le Fae, the changeling bastard of the late King Icarus, with assistance from a council of advisors. Although his reign is still met with resistance by a vocal few, the majority of the population has come to see him as a genuine person and competent ruler.

Other:
Very few of the Oakborn's faces have a substantial amount of power. Besides Grandmother, the four most powerful Faces are called the Kings of the Wild. The rule over the forest and over the Oakborn's realms passes between the four kings with the changing of the seasons.

The Green Woman rules during the spring. The Green Woman is considered the kindest of the Kings and most flourish under her rule. She is considered the mother of the Enchanted Forest and will never turn away a creature in need. However, her wrath should be avoided at all costs.

The Stag rules during the summer. This King is characterized by a love of parties and by his palpable sensuality. He can often be found drinking, dancing, fighting, or seducing. He is known for his prideful and larger than life personality.

The Raven rules during the fall. A clever godling, the Raven is fond of trickery and games of wits. She can often be found tinkering with the affairs of others or simply watching mortals with intense fascination.

The Snow King rules during the winter. The Snow King is disinterested in most things and spends most of his rule locked away in his frozen castle. On his rare outings, his stoic and cold demeanor is considered frightening.

So begins...

The Oakborn's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: LiesseiL Character Portrait: Sargon Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Ai Character Portrait: Anwen the Starsinger Character Portrait: Kairos & Laylandra Character Portrait: Houdan

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The Enchanted Forest
Morning


The Enchanted Forest was a picture of tranquility. The sun gently washed over the field surrounding the Great Oak and fantastical birds fluttered overhead whistling charming songs. Kneeling in the tall grass below them were dozens of fairies, listening to the words of Lydio the Wise, the most respected shaman in the forest. Among this congregation were the two queens of the Fairy Courts and all their closest advisors. Although the monarchs sat next to each other as a sign of unity, nearly every fairy watching them could feel the distance between the matriarchs. Lydio, however, seemed unbothered.

The great horned fairy sat with his legs crossed and a wooden bowl of cream with one hand, while he gestured with the other. “The Faces of the Oakborn are many and none of them are like the other. Some are kind, some are cruel, some are civilized, and some are savage. However, at the end of the day, they are all the same god.” He paused, taking a swig of cream and gulping loudly, causing the Unseelie Queen’s features to harden with impatience.

“They are much like us,” He continued. “Although we come in many shapes and sizes, we all fit together to make a whole. Seelie or Unseelie, it matters not.”

Freya could hear her sister, Sprigga, as she struggled to stifle her laughter in the row behind. The Seelie Queen looked at the grass below her, embarrassed, and sighed as quietly as she could.

Lydio shook his head, his antlers nearly knocking a bird from the air. “You may laugh, but we are all the children of the Oakborn. Our ancestors rose from the same pool and we all come to the same tree to pray. In uncertain times, we must remember that far more unites us than divides us.” He lifted his bowl in the air and smiled at the queens before him. “Do you agree, Your Majesties?”

Freya looked up and smiled as genuinely as she could. She looked over to see unconcealed distaste in Leannan’s dark eyes. “Of course.” The corners of Unseelie Queen’s mouth twisted as she spoke, pulling her lips into an unnatural grin. Freya nodded in agreement, taking her rival’s cold, smooth hand into her own. “Yes.” she said. “Far more unites us.”

Grandmother watched from the window of her cottage, a look of worry on her face. The roots of the Great Oak were restless, constantly whispering to all the Faces of the Oakborn and they knew for certain that war was coming to the Enchanted Forest. However, they spoke of far greater dangers that threatened not only the Fae Folk, but all creation in Pandeum. Grandmother would have to let others keep an eye on this matter.

She turned to a simple wooden table in the middle of a bare room, four fantastic beings seated around it, waiting for her to speak. They were the Kings of the Wild, the proudest and most powerful of the Oakborn Faces. They were forces of nature and rulers of a plentiful realm, but at this moment they looked terribly frightened.

“I’m not sure what it means.” Grandmother’s voice was raspy and tired as she took a chair and slowly sat in it, her body groaning like the Great Oak’s limbs on a windy day. “All we can do is tell the Gods what we know and allow them to prepare.”

The Raven shook her head. “But we don’t even know what’s coming. How will any of us prepare?”

Grandmother patted the Raven’s hand from across the table. “Relax, dear. We will figure this all out.”

The Snow King nervously scratched the shape of a snowflake into the table with claw like nails as he looked over to Grandmother. “But what if our plan doesn’t work?”

Grandmother shrugged. “Then it all ends.” She slowly stood up again and looked out the window to watch as the fairies disbanded and went back to their respective courts. “Well, children, I believe it’s time to go. The Gods hate to be left waiting.”

She clapped three times and by the last echo of the last clap, they were in the great hall of the Other Place, seated at a large round table filled with the gods of Pandeum.

Grandmother stood to address the pantheon, a warm smile on her face. “Greetings brothers and sisters.” She did not yell, yet her voice echoed across the hall so every deity could hear her. “I have called you because the Faces of the Oakborn believe the threat that shattered our mind so long ago is on the horizon.” She paused to look at the Kings. They wore strong faces now, unwilling to let the “true gods” see them cower or worry. They were such prideful creatures. “We have little information about the threat, other than the fact that it is real and it is imminent.”

“We believe that there may be someone with answers.” The Green Woman spoke, sending butterflies fluttering around her. “The true Oakborn may know enough to help us and the mortals defeat whatever great terror will be unleashed on the world.”

Grandmother nodded. “We will attempt to repair what damage has been done to our mind and hopefully it will be enough to awaken the Oakborn. For now, go home and do as you will. Indulge in your petty wars and torrid affairs, but keep in mind that we all may only have a limited time left in these worlds."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: LiesseiL Character Portrait: Sargon Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Ai Character Portrait: Anwen the Starsinger Character Portrait: Kairos & Laylandra Character Portrait: Houdan

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#, as written by Zalgo
“Greetings brothers and sisters. I have called you because the Faces of the Oakborn believe the threat that shattered our mind so long ago is on the horizon. We have little information about the threat, other than the fact that it is real and it is imminent.”

“We believe that there may be someone with answers. The true Oakborn may know enough to help us and the mortals defeat whatever great terror will be unleashed on the world."

"We will attempt to repair what damage has been done to our mind and hopefully it will be enough to awaken the Oakborn. For now, go home and do as you will. Indulge in your petty wars and torrid affairs, but keep in mind that we all may only have a limited time left in these worlds."


A man sat at one of the chairs of the round table. He wore a strange mask upon his face. One half of the mask was golden and made to represent the visage of the sun. The other half of the mask was silvery and modeled after the face of the man in the moon. Upon his body he wore a massive black hooded cloak which enshrouded all but his mask. The trim of the cloak were colors of orange and deep red tinged at the base with a hint of sky blue, the colors of both sunset and sunrise.

Deep within the eye sockets of the mask blazed two burning eyes of phantasmal purple flame, an expression of psionic energy deep within the darkness of it's almost endless emptiness. Underneath the hood a faint shadow of what could be considered a head laid within but such could only be discerned through glimpses as the cloak seemed to move to obscure any glimpse of the form which existed within.


"That of many faces, the Oakborn, may be of many bodies but all share the same dream. Different sides to the dreaming yet all the same dream, no?"

The voice was not natural nor was the sound by which he was heard. His voice seemed distant yet all too close as though it were in each deity's own head. Naturally this was because the speaker was not speaking through vibrations of the air but directly into the minds of all attendees. This created the illusion of speech whilst betraying the very notion of speaking. It was much like the man himself, present yet not actually there.

"I haven't brought those who walk with me but we exist in a similar symbiosis. As it has come to be understood I, Mask of Many Masks, serve to speak for the minds of the Dream Walkers. In turn we act in The Watcher of The Lines's place as it desired. As of those who walk the dream we humbly respect each deity's authority but our kind have always shown fondness towards the Oakborn and towards nature in general for they are united even despite his state of fracture."


The Mask of Many Masks's eyes scanned across the faces of each deity as if to evaluate their expressions before finally setting his blazing gaze on The Great Grandmother herself.

"It is brought to attention that at one stage of history several faces of yours were destroyed. Should the Oakborn come back together would it have an answer that none of the other living faces hold? Would it possess an answer that might of been lost with the departure of the fallen faces?"

The blazing purple fires within his mask closed, vanishing from sight. The Mask of Many Masks seemed to meditate for a moment. He was consulting the other Dream Walkers briefly before opening his eyes, meeting the eyes of the Grandmother once more.


"We do heed your warning in our considerations. We ask questions only out of respect for your warnings. We would assist to see the mending of your mind accelerated if only to grant more time to prepare regardless of whether the Oakborn has the answers to this foreseen threat or not. Our only caveat is that the role we play in your future does not contravene our role as minders of the dreaming. The permission to lend our expertise to your cause of course lays with your general approval. Our desire is not to combat all faces should they all refuse our aid. We do understand if your opinions are... divided as to your choices."

With that said the Mask of Many Masks lifted it's unseeable hands from it's lap and placed them together, palm to palm, while the sleeves mingled in effort to ever conceal what lay beneath.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Sargon Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Ai Character Portrait: Anwen the Starsinger Character Portrait: Kairos & Laylandra Character Portrait: Houdan Character Portrait: Krieg

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Image
While many of the others had simply taken their places within the chamber; Anwen instead sat on a chair which floated above the smooth floor with her knees pulled up close against her body while she glanced feverishly between each of those present. On the whole there weren’t many that she trusted and even fewer that she would openly approach, least of all in such a confined space. Perhaps were they in the endless void far above the war-torn world she would be at peace with the others, less unnerved by such close proximity.

The flickering shards of light which adorned her head shifted in time with her thoughts, mirroring the light in the room as much as they cast their own for each was but the pale reflection of a true star

As each of the gods spoke back in forth, listening and advising eachother as well as musing on the warning of their host she instead tried to make herself less of a presence here so as to avoid the discussion. However as the words of each god echoed from the walls she began to quietly sing to herself, a sweet and calming tune to be lost among the words of her fellows but a sound that would linger in the quiet moments to come once they had all went their separate ways. The song itself was heard across the lands of Pandeum as Bards began to sing to their patrons of the tune that filled their hearts with sorrow.

Do you ever think of me, In the quiet, in the crowd?


Image
Laylandra lounged in one of the beautifully carved thrones, her delicate fingers creating faint sparks as she lightly traced them up and down the armrests. It was rare that they all gathered like this as while she looked forward to understanding the purpose of this gathering the wait for it to begin was bothersome to her for her mind was lost to other things that she wished to return.

At last the one to have summoned them spoke their peace and offered them council should they take it or not. When the multi-faceted deity had finished her warning the storm queen couldn’t help but cast uncertain glances towards the split stone of the throne on her right. No matter how far apart they could be the two were always entwined; even now she felt the sorrow and pain her twin had endured for her and how much it mirrored that of the Oakborn. So she too, understood their suffering as he did.

”Petty though the wars may be the storm will endure; the storm shall not cease its thunder. Knowledge will endure madness for even fractured the concept can still exist, simply awaiting those who can piece it back together. If we are indeed threatened then you shall not stand alone, united once we were though fractured we are now the concept is not beyond our reach. Beyond us all.”

As she finished she shook her head gingerly and firmly rested her hand against the rough stone of Kairos’ broken seat, her mind wandering to wherever he might be.


Image
While the others gathered around to listen to the warning of the Oakborn, Kairos was instead overseeing a storm as it gathered around the snow-covered peaks of a range of mountains in the northern half of the main continent. His eyes glowed brightly while his fingers danced among the darkening clouds; causing sparks of multi-coloured lightning to flash across the sky. As the clouds began to expand outwards across the horizon the deity closed his eyes and simply let himself fall, carrying the storm on his shoulders as it billowed outwards like a cloak.

At first he soared gently in freefall his silhouette appeared momentarily at the heart of the storm with each crack of lightning across the sky. However as his momentum slowed he at last opened his eyes and brought his hands forward to guide the storm down towards the lush lowlands, rain and wind carried in their wake as electric pillars burst down between the crisscrossed fields and luscious farmsteads.

By now the storm had begun in earnest, and Kairos was lost within the turbulent sea of rolling cloud.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: LiesseiL Character Portrait: Sargon Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Ai Character Portrait: Anwen the Starsinger Character Portrait: Kairos & Laylandra Character Portrait: Houdan Character Portrait: Anansi, The Spider Goddess Character Portrait: Krieg

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Throne Room of the Other Place

Houdan sat in the Hall lost in pensive thought. He took note of how the other Gods felt and he wasn't surprised the reactions would be mixed as they are. He was intensely invested in the warnings of the Oakborn and despite the Deity's current state Houdan trusts in the wisdom the Grandmother is trying to impart. He felt a certain kinship with that particularly Face of the Oakborn, perhaps because they seem similar in many ways. In fact some of the Young Gods have affectionately called him the Grandfather, which the God of Strength found amusing. While Houdan wished to keep this meeting civil some of the more rebellious youth intend to raise some dissent.

He looked towards Palchard and found his blatant disregard for anything the Oakborn says as utterly rude. Still there is a reason he is called the Mad God and madness is not very privy to wisdom were it may concern. Still he took off in a relatively quick fashion, as he did not care to stick around further and ask questions or even offer some aid. He also found his side conversation with Anansi whilst the Oakborn spoke to be also in poor taste. Then harsh words came from the God of War, Krieg. Houdan looked towards the wispy form of the War God. Before coming here he had been made aware by his servants in Shadolbha that some poor fools have attempted to invade the Realm of Harmony. Their aim was apparently the Zen Monastery and the secrets it contained behind it's walls.

Worst of all it was said to have been servants of Krieg himself. Houdan looked at the God of War with an angered stare, he felt it rather audacious for Krieg to attempt such a thing and then present himself before his very eyes as if nothing had happen. He wasn't entirely sure if Krieg was daring to challenge him out in the open. Houdan wouldn't think it wise, yes, before the war he would have been concerned, a fight between the God of War and the God of Strength would be a particularly devastating one. Yet in Krieg's current shape of being he did not expect he would out right challenge him in physical combat. If he did Houdan was certain he could over come him if need be.

This matter is an issue for another time, however, for now Houdan would not act upon Krieg's transgressions, not until this business is settled. Still, that does not mean Houdan would let this slide, he shall keep on eye on him for further actions he may take against him. The God of Wisdom then looked over to the Oakborn and voiced his own concerns, "Grandmother, if I may? I too shall lend whatever aid that is required of me. Whether it be my wisdom or my strength you, for any reason, may call upon me when needed." He said. "Furthermore, what has happened does not mean the same will always happen. Nature does change...sometimes in the most unexpected of ways. I advise none of us let our guards down...if the threat is eminent then what crime that was done to the Oakborn could easily be done on to us." Houdan spoke, his voice resolute, strong, yet caring at the same time.

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Earthrend, Capital of Zoadia, Throne Room of the Goblin King

On the world of Pandeum sat a barren land ravaged by the throes of industry and mayhem, sat the Goblin Kingdom of Zoadia. In the heart of Goblin Country was the capital of Earthrend, like the name suggests, the very land was torn asunder and like a great pustulent boil it has burrowed and embedded itself deeply. Smoke rises from the various foundries and factories creating a black cloud of pollution that hangs over the city threatening to blotch out the sky. The echoes of miserable shouts and screams could be heard deep beneath the city within miles and miles of underground mines. There the laborious slave force was in full effect as chained Humans and other denizens of Pandeum are forced to toil away for unspeakable hours.

Cruel Hobgoblin and Goblin slave drivers force them to work until they are no longer of use. While the Goblins do enjoy overworking their slaves to the point of death, it seemed their work day had alas finished. "Awlright, git on yeh mewlin' buggers! Yeh lucky ya survived the day! Git home to yer stinkin' shacks yeh bunch of pissants!" Shouted the Goblin Foreman. Soon the drivers were whipping and kicking the weakened workers shoving them out by the tens of hundreds. High above them however, sat the royal keep of the Goblin King, the vile and despotic Gulbrand, Avatar of the God of Cruelty himself! Deep within it's gilded halls sat the tyrannical ruler upon his throne. In his presence was the Chief of the Slave Trade, a Goblin named Greken. "Good evenin' yer Majesty. It is a honor to be within yer presence oh great and terrible King of Goblins!" Greken proclaimed.

"I trust the latest shipment of slaves was to yer likin'?" Greken asked. Gulbrand sat on his throne paying more attention to his pet Barghest, Meathook than the Goblin Slaver in front of him. Meathook growled at Greken as the little Goblin tensed up as the lupine fiend bared it's deadly fangs. "Yes, yes they were quite alright, a most lucrative selection this time." The Goblin King spoke, sounding as refined as any Monarch should be. "Aye! I see m'King has quite the eye for wares? Yes theys are quite the strong lot, all of 'em! We got them not too far off from the Wolflunds! Of course m'sire, we didn't enter their lunds, just pick'em off the outskirts ye see?" Greken explained.

"The Empire of the Wolf? None of them were Lycans I take it? I would hate to see my subjects killed in the middle of the night by maulings all on the count of one stupid Slaver." Gulbrand calmly spoke. Meathook was practically salivating at the thought of attacking the Goblin and eating his flesh. "Why, no...eh, of course not yer Grace! These be some outcasts that did not accept the Bite! Bunch of ingrates, they are! Deserved to be captured and placed into labour, they is!" Greken reassured. "Well, then pray for your sake they are just that...ingrates. Lest you be mauled several times over for every Goblin found dead in the streets at the hands of your slaves." Gulbrand threatened ever so slightly. Meathook snarled. "Yes...uh, right you would be, sire. I...shall take me leave then, I will." Greken finished obviously shaken. He then quickly left the Throne Room with his fellow Slavers seeking to leave the Capital as soon as possible.

"Greetings, sire." Spoke Kob, Gulbrand's personal Adviser. "Oh, Kob, what news have you?" Gulbrand his demeanor noticeably more friendly than earlier. "Well sire, talks with the Unseelie continues." Kob responds. "Oh? And what do the Fae want this time?" Gulbrand asks. "Well they seek an ally for some war of their's and they have chosen us to be that ally." Kob answers. "Really? And why should I help the Unseelie? Or any Paleskin for that matter?" Gulbrand questions. "I'm not sure, sire. We have no love for the Paleskins either and I dare say they could care less for our own. Still the Unseelie Queen herself has asked for an audience with you mi King." Gulbrand mulled Kob's words over in his head and after awhile he responded. "So, one of the Paleskin Queens wishes to have an audience with me? Very well, I'll see what the Fae Filth want with me...go and respond to their request, that the Goblin King shall receive her! I only ask when and where?" Gulbrand commanded. "Of course right away mi King." Kob bowed as he ran off to give the word.

Gulbrand stood up and paced about his Great Hall. "Hmph, Fae Filth. Of all the people I despise, none so more than those wretched Paleskins! They believe themselves fairest of all creations and therefore spit upon all others! I cannot stand their smug sense of self-assurance! They'll soon be begging me to end them once my great war begins." Gulbrand said to himself. Meathook growled as another Barghest entered the room, it was Mangore followed by his owner, Krillock the Red. "Bloody, Paleskins, they don't know how good they got it." The Hobgoblin sneered. "Ah, Krillock, how good it is to see one of my top Warchiefs. Tell me why are you here?" He asked. "I've come asking for more gold. I intend to march on the bloody Pinkskins of Solara...they're about to have their little festivals soon. Now's a good a time as any to harass them." Krillock laughed with savage glee. "Hmph, Pinkskins, yet another nuisance that earns my ire...still, I am not one to forward gold without any results to support this transaction." Gulbrand responded. "Well, I have sent envoys to speak with the Orcs! I have a feelin' they'll agree to side with me." Krillock answered. "Perhaps...the Orcs have been good to us in the past...fine, if you have their support I shall agree to lend you more gold." Gulbrand finished.

"Good, mi King...I shall conquer more of their lunds in you're name!" Krillock saluted as he marched out of the throne room. "MANGORE! COME!" He shouted as the two barghests spent the time growling at each other. Mangore quickly followed after it's master leaving Gulbrand alone to ponder the future of the Goblins in Pandeum.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: LiesseiL Character Portrait: Sargon Character Portrait: Palchard Character Portrait: Kassius Character Portrait: Ai Character Portrait: Anwen the Starsinger Character Portrait: Kairos & Laylandra Character Portrait: Houdan Character Portrait: Anansi, The Spider Goddess Character Portrait: Krieg

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The Oakborn
The Otherplace


Grandmother’s face hardened. Her eyes became like steel as she listened to several gods mock the threat that they were called to discuss. They acted as if the Oakborn was nothing. As if it had not vigilantly watched the world for danger. As if they had not all come to it at one point or another for counsel or a favor. Her jaw tensed, her eyes narrowed, and the air around her went cold. The Raven, Snow King, and Green Woman took note of this change in mood and sat back in their chairs to avoid the carnage to come. The Stag, however, paid no mind and continued to laugh with Cassius. “Well, my friend, I already have quite a few of those running around! Perhaps your kingdom needs a few Changelings! Perhaps some Oakborn blood could bring some more life to the Solaran cities!”

Grandmother stood up and the Stag immediately silenced himself. “Whoever believes that this does not concern them is a fool.” The rasp in her voice scratched at the air with restrained rage. Her eyes ran over the forms of Krieg and Palchard, two extremely vexing individuals. “Need I remind you that the Oakborn was a god in its prime when it was assualted?” She saw Palchard and his sister, Anansi move towards the exit. With a wave of her hand, the great wooden doors slammed shut. Oh course she knew that closing the siblings in would not prevent them from leaving, but she never wasted a chance to be theatric.

“Has it been so long that you don’t recall?” Her voice boomed throughout the room, echoing off the walls. “We were more powerful than all of you.” Grandmother shook her head and laughed. “And you have the audacity to mock such grave danger? Do you believe you would fare better than us against this threat?” Her eyes shot to the war god, Krieg. “What room do you have to speak, Warmonger? You’re too busy wasting away to stand a chance against whatever waits on the horizon.” She spat her words towards the corpselike body of the dark one. “The rules of this world have never been set in stone. Things are the way they are because we, as the gods, have willed it. But, as the Watchers of the World, we can tell you that there is nothing stopping our dynasy from being toppled by something stronger.”

She looked towards Palchard with cold anger in her eyes. “And I won’t even waste my breath on you. You will simply brush off what I say with a joke and tumble out of here like a common street performer, unfazed and ignorant to the meaning of my words.” The Grandmother sat back down in her chair, as if the passion fueling her speech had exhausted her. She watched the trickster god, still seething with anger. Perhaps the mysterious force would take that troublesome deity off her hands. She sighed and the doors opened once more. “I am tired of your disrespect. Leave this ‘old rotting tree’ before I have to suffer another moment of your company.” She glanced at Anansi, but said nothing to her. The spider goddess had done nothing to offend the Grandmother, but she was wary of the storyteller. Although she was nowhere near as irritating as her brother, she was a dangerous being all the same.

She took a breath as she addressed the table once more. “I thank you all who have offered your support.” She looked to Houdan and smiled, bunching up the crows feet by her eyes. “Thank you, Enlightened One. Your Wisdom and Strength will be greatly appreciated in the coming trials.” The Grandmother smiled at Ai. “Thank you as well, my lovely. I know these matters don’t interest you, but it is kind that you entertain an old woman. You must come over to my cottage for tea some time.”

The Raven rubbed her temples and shook her head. “Well, I suppose that was an unexpected turn in the meeting. Grandmother, you really must work on that temper of yours.” The older face chuckled. “My temper is fine just the way it is.” The Raven shrugged, smirking. She told no one of the whispers in her mind, the voices of the Great Oak’s roots. They pleaded desperately with her as they repeated the same phrase over and over again.

'The Beast is awakening. The God Eater Cometh. The Beast is awakening. The God Eater Cometh. The Beast is Awakening. The God Eater Cometh.'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Oakborn Character Portrait: Palchard

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Abandoned Temple

((Collab Post made by Lucky and Seven))

Leannan stood behind a large stone table, tracing her fingers across the intricate carvings along its edges. Although the cruel Face of the Oakborn that once received worship here was long dead, the fairy queen could still feel magic in this crumbling temple. She stroked the cool surface of the table and the edges of her mouth twitched, as if she were attempting to smile. This place, although it laid outside the Enchanted Forest or any other Fae territory, held fond memories for her. As a child, she and her mother would come here to witness the most sacred sacrificial rituals of the Unseelie. In their eyes, it was the greatest exchange; the sacrifice of a life for the favor of a deity. The thought of it exhilarated her.

She was different now. The world was different now. She was not a child, but a queen and the life that once lit this place had left it long ago. Leannan didn't look behind her, but she knew that Dullahan and several of his knights hid in the trees, just in case the meeting with this Goblin King went sour. She kept a large silver box on the table. It shook violently, rattling the chains wrapped around it and hisses and scratching sounds came from its contents.

This Goblin King was the last piece in the puzzle. Leannan would conquer the world and bask in the glory of it all. She would finally feel again.

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"Sire, we shall be approaching the meeting area soon. We should prepare for any eventualities...the Fae Filth will most certainly conspire to harm you if they feel like it. That is why I have sent forth our top Blackblades to scout out the area. I am told it is an old temple, that much is true, and the Queen herself is there, but not alone. We have them positioned in place should the time to attack arise." Kob reported. The Royal Adviser and the Goblin King himself sat within the confines of an imposing carriage being pulled along by two Worgs.

"Kaeva herself has said to have trained this lot, so I'm sure that comforts you, mi King." Kob continued. "Even so, we have a squad of your Royal Guard in tow just in case." Gulbrand was half-listening to his Adviser as he looked out the window of his carriage. It was odd, traveling beyond his Kingdom...he never expected to leave it for any other reason besides conquest. He nearly called off the meeting when it couldn't be arranged for Gulbrand to host this little talk within his walls. Of course he could understand, he would never want to enter the Faelunds for a little chat either.

So here they are, they agreed to a neutral location to minimize any treachery from both parties. Even so, Gulbrand was no fool as he took caution as they neared their destination, he wouldn't put it past the Queen to try something anyway. Not too far off from his convoy was Meathook, he knew the Barghest would come if it sensed it's master was in danger. He doubted the Fae would wish to tangle with a Fiend if they could avoid it. He heard the carriage driver call for the Worgs to stop as the carriage came to a halt. "Aye, it seems we have arrived, Sire." Kob spoke as a Hobgoblin guard opened the door.

Gulbrand stepped out first followed by Kob as their feet meet with the old, hallowed grounds of this abandoned temple. Gulbrand looked up at the old chapel and sneered as it seemed of a Fae denomination. "Let us hope these delegations are brisk." Gulbrand grumbled as the Goblin King ascended the steps of the Temple. Soon enough Gulbrand entered the building followed by Kob and a group of armed guards. The Goblin King looked upon the visage of the Unseelie Queen, despite the animosity he has towards the Fae, Gulbrand was nevertheless civil as he bowed his head, "Greetings, Queen Leannan of the Unseelie Court." Gulbrand spoke in the Fae Tongue. "It is an honor to make your acquaintance. I do apologize forthwith if my Fae is difficult to understand, but I'm sure you could oblige?" His accent was heavy, and very guttural to the ear.

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Leannan grabbed her skirts and curtsied to the Goblin King. "Greeting, King Gulbrand. The honor is mine." The queen nodded at Gulbrand, watching him with interest. "I must say that I'm impressed. It is rare for other races to even attempt learning our language and you seem to have a true grasp of the tongue." She grabbed the silver box from the table and seemingly floated around the stone table to her face her fellow monarch, however she knew better than to invade his space. "To thank you for attending this meeting, I've brought a gift that I hope you'll enjoy."

She tapped the box with a golden claw, earning more thrashing and screeches from the inside. The Goblin King was not the ugly little creature she expected him to be. He was both terrible and regal with an intelligent gleam in his eye. He reminded her much of the Unseelie Lords in her court. Obviously proud, clever, and strong, but in the end, he would submit to her.

"They're called Tande Fee or, more commonly, Tooth Fairies. They're hungry little beasts and they feed largely on teeth and bones, but they'll eat whatever you give them." A cold ghost of a smile appeared on her face. "A swarm of this size can shred their way through a group of men within minutes. Usually, they're quite hard to tame, but these have been enchanted with Fae magic. They will obey anyone who releases them." She extended her arms, offering the chest to her potential ally. "I hope you find use for them."

_________

Gulbrand watched as the Unseelie Queen returned his politeness with a curtsy. She must realize it is rare for a Goblin to show respect to anyone but their own and even then that's fickle in nature. Yet this is the reason he is the Goblin King, he understands the value of politics something Goblins care little for. Still it provides results which is something every Goblin values, results give what they seek whether it be gold or the death of a foe. "Well, I have no claims to be any good at speaking it...you don't make the tongue any easier to learn." He responded with a grin.

While she may be impressed, the Goblin King wasn't so easily taken with the Queen. She looked how he imagined every Fae, pale skinned and fair, far fairer than most creatures that's for sure. Even so, her wardrobe was quite conservative and dour something that he found curious. The Fae love their bodies and love to flaunt them every chance they get. Receiving satisfaction by shoving their beauty down everyone's throats! It sickened him and he couldn't wait for the day when their beauty will not save them from his terror.

At least he can stomach this Fae Queen but alas he did hear the Two Courts operate very differently from each other, he supposes that includes appearances as well. She approached him although forward he didn't suspect the Queen to try anything funny, not with his Royal Guard standing only a couple feet away. While the Hobgoblins tensed up, Gulbrand waved his hand dismissively as she handed him a box. Intrigued by what was within, the Goblin King, albeit cautiously, took the box. The Hobgoblins gasped, they were definitely on edge.

"If you lot are going to act so spineless you best leave us!" He sneered in the Goblin Tongue. The Hobgoblins held in their apparent trepidation in fear of the Goblin King's wrath. "Apologies, Goblins can be so paranoid...but, rightfully so." He spoke in Fae. "Kob, take this for me." He told his Adviser. "But, Sire, do you believe it's wise to accept a gift from a Fae?" He asked concernedly. "I gave you an order Kob, take this or I shall open it and have them kill you." He threatened. "Right, Sire." Kob reluctantly took the box from his Lord. "You there! Place it in the King's carriage!" Kob barked as a Guard, trembling, took the box. "And for fuck's sake! Don't drop it!" Kob shouted.

"Thank you Queen Leannan for the gift, it shall serve me well. Now, shall we begin?" He asked. He wasn't one for wasting time and saw no reason for stalling any business they have with each other.

_______

Leannan's eye flicked back and forth between the king and his guards as they interacted, sure to add a look of uncertainty into her eyes as she did so. They were certainly...entertaining, although it would not show upon her face. It was common for fairies to know many tongues and Leannan was no exception. The Goblin language was crude and an assault upon her ears, however she could understand every one of their savage words.

"Yes, let us continue." She nodded. The queen walked back behind the table, waving her hand over the surface. Arcane light flashed in her eyes as the dark stone disappeared and was replaced by an image of a large and beautiful woodland that, even through this illusion, oozed mystic energy. "This is the Dark Forest, the Holy Lands of my people. It is also the home of the Fairy Courts that rule over all the Fae Folk in Pandeum." She touched the table and swirling mists swirled into the image, transforming into the visage of a beautiful blonde fairy queen wearing a large smile as she placed a flower crown onto a human child who wandered into the forest. Sounds of merriment could be heard as Seelie nobles and knights danced and drank around them. Leannan's features hardened considerably. "This is my rival, Queen Freya. I would like her and her merry band of flower pickers slaughtered."

The image changed once more, showing the bloodied bodies of Freya, her knights, and all the Seelie nobility littering their throneroom. She looked up at Gulbrand. "Your people have a reputation as conquerors, something that the Fae have had little interest in." The light in her eyes flickered. " I seek to change that, beginning with the Dark Forest."

The table returned to its original stone surface. "If you assist me in the taking of the taking of the Forest, I can offer a large portions of the land we seize, which is rich with rare magical materials and precious metals and stones." She looked towards the Hobgoblins around Gulbrand and resisted the urge to wrinkle her nose. They were truly disgusting. Her eyes returned to the king. "I would also be able to offer you the Unseelie as permanent allies in your conquests to come. If you take my proposal and we are successful, I would suggest your gaze move to the human kingdom of Grimmshire. They are incredibly wealthy and possess the richest mines in Pandeum. You could strip them bare and equip your armies with the highest quality of armor and weapons, while draping yourself in jewels."

She watched the Goblin King patiently as she waited for him to think over her offer.

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The Goblin King watched as Leannan transformed the stone table into a magical illusion of the Fae Lands. Gulbrand watched with great interest in the performance, even sneering in disgust once he saw the Seelie, especially their Queen. These were the sort of Fae he recognizes most and despises the most. The Queen's request to have them slaughtered was something he was most definitely interested in.

The job grew sweeter still as he marveled over the spoils of war that he would receive. Yes it all seemed so good...perhaps too good. She was certainly laying the rewards on thickly and it's making it hard for Gulbrand to refuse. Any lesser Goblin Warlord would have caved in by now and would rush headlong into an agreement...thankfully Gulbrand isn't a lesser Goblin. He looked at Queen Leannan with a shrewd eye as he gave a toothy grin.

"My, my, you do paint quite the picture. It's quite hard to look away." He mused. Despite seeming transfixed, almost intoxicated with the idea he looked at the Unseelie Queen dead in the eye and asked, "But why should I trust in anything you say? You are offering an awful lot, might make one wonder if you're just baiting them in to some trap." Gulbrand spoke skeptically. He was right to doubt, a good hunter knows the right bait to trap his prey. Riches galore certainly is a Goblin's bait and he wouldn't put it past the Unseelie Queen to double-cross him.

"How shall I know you'll make good on your promises? How do I know that my forces will not be betrayed the moment they step foot in your lunds?" Gulbrand questioned. "I don't know you from a hole in the wall. Yes, you gave me a gift but do you really expect me to be so easily agreeable?" He rhetorically asked.

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"King Gulbrand," Leannan tilted her head slightly as she looked at the goblin. "I have been alive for a very long time and I am tired of my people's way of life. We stay in our lands and hold festivals. We pray to our gods. We have sex, we eat, we drink, and we deceive each other. We only leave to meddle in the affairs of lesser races and make mischief in their lives. We do this all so that we may entertain ourselves for a fragment of our long, miserable existences." Her face remained still, but her eyes shone with excitement. "I am done with that. I see the other races conquer and cement their legacies in stone. I want that. I believe that tying my fate to yours will help achieve that goal."

The fairy queen smiled. "If you doubt my integrity, I am more than prepared to bind myself to my word with a Shee Feerinyeh. With that magic, I will be unable to break my promises to you." She nodded reassuringly. Perhaps that would satisfy him. "And, if that is not enough to sate your distrust, I will offer you something extremely precious to me." Her heart quickened for a second and for a moment she felt uneasy with what she was going to say. However, it was necessary. "If you accept our alliance, you will also be accepting one of my daughters' hands in marriage. Our two dynasties will be joined and any child produced from your union will be the heir to the Unseelie throne." The queen knew it was an extreme offer, but hopefully it was enough to gain the Goblin's favor. "I am indeed offering a lot, King Gulbrand, but I will gain just as much as you from this alliance."

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Gulbrand looked at Leannan with a skeptical stare but he did mull her words over. He then rubbed his pointed chin as Kob spoke into one of his elongated ears. "Sire, would you really accept a Fae as your wife?! What wretched union would that bring!?" Kob asked incredulously. "Silence, Kob! These are matters of royalty!" He shouted. Kob then sat down clearly defeated. It was quite the offer of a lifetime and while Gulbrand doesn't mind laying with other races having them for a wife is another matter entirely.

It might not be a popular decision for the Goblin King to marry a Fae Princess but it's one that no subject of his would dare question. He could gain more power than he previously thought and began to question Leannan's intelligence. Was she a fool or was she truly a master of deception? One thing he can tell for certain is the disdain she has for her own race of beings. It's that same gleam in her eye, that tone in her voice that mirrors his own. That is something the Goblin King cannot deny. Still he was an opportunist and he will have everything she said and have it bound to her with her Fae magic.

With a grin he spoke, "Then so be it. I shall lend you my aid but you must first swear with the power of Shee Feerinyeh, on everything you've promised me. That means the Faelunds that I shall own, the Kingdom of Grimmshire that I shall own, your Court's fealty and the hand of your daughter of my choosing!" Gulbrand declared. "Do this and I shall help you win your war. But heed my words, if you dare cross me...then it will be your Court that is destroyed." Gulbrand warned. "I truly hope it doesn't come to that, I would prefer to have a fruitful alliance instead."

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Leannan bowed her head slightly as her lips curled into a pleased smirk. “Lovely.” She said. She paid no mind to his threat as many mortals had made similar claims in the past. None had ever come to fruition. “However, before I seal this pact, I do have few conditions of my own.” There was a sudden cold edge to her voice as she spoke. “You will appoint the commander of my knights, Dullahan Ashentongue, as the Warchief of the Fae Lands we conquer. Although he will still be loyal to the Unseelie, he will manage your new territories on behalf of Zoadia and will be subject to your rule. I also demand a fairy presence in your court. A small number of my people will accompany my daughter to her new home in Earthrend to assure her safety and assist you however they can.” She tapped her claw against the stone table. “And we will receive a decent portion of the spoils with whatever conquests we assist you with. Particularly when it comes to riches of mystical potential.”

She felt her core vibrate with anticipation. This was her path. This would be her legacy to the Fae Folk. Leannan Blackward, the Conqueror Queen. “And I would also like a safeguard to assure me that you won't betray my trust.” She said. “You will be protected by the Shee Feerinyeh, but there is nothing to shield my court from potential treachery. I would like something to insure our safety, at least until the wedding that will bind our kingdoms.”

Leannan was no fool. She knew that the goblins, although they were vile and ugly things, were much like her own people in action. They were clever and fickle and were prone to betrayal. “If you agree to these terms, I will swear my Shee Feerinyeh and we may move forward as allies.”

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Gulbrand began to groan when the Queen asked for her terms. No Goblin ever liked this part of negotiations but they were a necessary evil. He listened to her terms and then nodded, "Fine, you may have one of your Fae be Warchief but he is bound to my word of law regarding my property." He mentioned. The next request nearly caused Kob to faint, "A fairy in Earthrend!? Surely you must jest sire!" Gulbrand ignored Kob as he nodded ,"Yes, yes I understand." It was then the last request sort of pinched a nerve in the Goblin King.

He really didn't wish to share his spoils of war, he can understand in this instance since this is her war but his? As much as he would protest he decided it best to not push it. "Fine, I'll have my Chief Hoarder meet with whomever manages your riches to discuss the terms." Gulbrand spoke. Then Gulbrand was stumped, a safeguard for her? Normally they would offer up lands for holding but it seemed that might not be enough. He then looked at the Unseelie Queen and then after a moment, "How about I sign a contact? In Zoadia contracts are legally binding, even more so than in other nations. We do pride ourselves on our ill-repute but we did have to find away to trust ourselves sometimes, otherwise, how else would we get anything done?" Gulbrand spoke. "I'm sure with your magic you could perhaps add some sort of condition to make me follow through in case my word isn't good enough?" Gulbrand suggested, he then waited for her response.

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She smirked. "That will work marvelously." Something resembling golden dust fell from her palms as a piece of parchment and black quill appeared in her hands. She unrolled the yellowing paper with a snap and as she did, words appeared on its surface. "The Fae have a binding spell called the Shee Conradh. It is similar to a standard contract. Both parties agree to terms and sign, but the oath is then watched over by a Face of the Oakborn. If either party breaks the agreement, a terrible curse will be released on the perpetrator." She placed the paper on the stone table and took the black feather quill. She stabbed herself in the hand with the sharp tip of the pen and looked up at Gulbrand. "I'll take the liberty to combine my Shee Feerinyeh with the Shee Conradh." She lifted her hand as it bled. The fluid that leaked out of the wound was almost certainly blood, but it was an almost unnaturally dark shade of red and its consistency was closer to that of tree sap.

"I, Leannan Blackward, Queen of the Unseelie Court, swear to keep my word to Gulbrand the Goblin King. If he assists me in the taking of the Dark Forest, I will reward him with a large portion of the lands we've conquered, a permanent alliance with the Unseelie Court, the human kingdom of Grimmshire, and a marriage to my daughter of his choosing." She then leaned over the table and, with the blood in her quill, signed her name at the bottom of the contract. She turned to her new ally and offered him the pen. Now, they were just a signature away from Pandeum's deadliest partnership.

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Gulbrand listened intently about what was to transpire. He nodded and found that the Shee Conradh is acceptable in his eyes, he wouldn't wish to get on the wrong side of a deity. Kob looked like death warmed over, he wasn't very comfortable with this at all. Still it was not his decision to make and as she read the terms, Gulbrand agreed. He then took the pen and paper contract as he looked at her he said, "I suppose I must prick myself, yes?"

He took the pin and pricked himself in his finger causing a rather, dark, oozy, foul smelling blood to drip on the pen. "And I, Gulbrand, King of the Goblins, Monarch of Zoadia, and Avatar of my Lord Palchard, shall be binded by both word and by the Shee Conradh to assist Queen Leannan Blackward in her conquest of the Dark Forest. Upon success, I hereby declare Dullahan Ashentongue as Warchief of Fae Lunds conquered. The Unseelie shall have a presence in my royal court, the Unseelie Princess chosen, is allowed to enter Zoadia with her escorts given security and shelter within my Keep, and finally, all spoils of war shall be divided accordingly to the terms yet specified." Gulbrand finished this long-winded oath as he signed the paper in his blood.

"Finished, and I hope this makes us trusted allies. I have a feeling we'll have much to discuss on the invasion." He said with a wicked grin, handing over the contract.

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"Lovely." Leannan smiled as the contract and the pen disappeared into golden star dust. The contract would soon find itself buried within the roots of the Great Oak, where it would be held close to an ancient Face of the Oakborn. "I must return to the forest to make preparations and I will send representatives to Zoadia for the initial discussions of battle plans, but we will meet again in the near future." She smiled, a feeling of satisfaction filling her chest. "And I will bring my daughters." She curtsied and turned to leave. "Farewell, King Gulbrand. I look forward to conquering the world with you."