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Ulm

"To create is divine. To sever connection with your true nature is the mark of a pretender." -Verse 332 of Ulm

0 · 411 views · located in Ulmish Mountains

a character in “Pantheon: Whims of the Gods”, as played by Hyllymbvyör

Description

Name:

Ulm

The allfather of giants, the first flesh, the primordial titan


God:

Of earth, it's metals and rocks and the ever changing flow that morphs them

Of flesh and blood born from the primeval cauldrons of the earth

Elemental affinity:

Earth

Alignment:

Lawful Neutral

Pictures (If applicable):

Image

Physical description of preferred forms:

His physical form is the only form he has, for he is a primordial titan of old.

He is an enormous titanic humanoid, a muscular being formed from a fusion of flesh and earth.

His skin is as coarse and hard as rock, but as warm and malleable as flesh.

His form is rigid yet smooth, his skin is dark and amber in colour yet luminous and vibrant when compared to mountains.

His yellow eyes are shrouded by long, dark strands of hair.


Preferred Gender (If applicable):

He is both genders and he is neither.

His form is a fusion of both and has features from both genders, but still remain difficult to tell apart save for the genitalia, which remains exclusively male.

Means of godhood:

In the deep furnaces of the earth he was molded.

Until in a great cacophony he burst out.

A scream which still echoes in the reaches of time.

His emergence site is now called the Titan's Scar, a great deep chasm, holy for his followers and his people.

Personality:

He is a savage artisan, a grand creator and a just leader for his people.

He strives to prove that he is a creator more powerful than the other deities, through sheer feats of physical strength and creation of matter.

He considers most non-primeval gods beneath him, he calls them Pretenders.

He believes in the superiority of the Giants, but is not above granting his blessing to lesser creatures who consider him as their true king.

He rules by sheer willpower, he is strong both mentally and physically.

For physical is all that he will ever be.

Worshiped by:

His people, the Giants, a race which he molded out of his own malleable flesh.

Giants are beings of flesh and stone, the same fusion Ulm himself is made of.

They tower over other civilizations, and strive for great creation and wisdom.

They live far up in the secluded groves, located in the Ulmish mountain ranges.

There are many lesser creatures that worship him, most of which move to mountain settlements.

But only the honored may enter the high-cities in the groves.

Symbols:

His symbol signifies creation and earth, hardiness and wisdom.

His symbol is two hands facing each other, their fingers meeting in the middle, but not the palms. Between the palms is a flame, as the fingers form an archway around it.

Divine weapon:

His preferred tool of the trade is the tool that he used to mold the great Ulmish mountain ranges, his realm.

His weapon is known as the Godsmith, a giant decorated smithing hammer molded out of living metal.

A material which is only accessible to him, and his most sacred champion.

Preferred blessing:

A devout of Ulm receives great inspiration and willpower

To his followers the earth moves swiftly beneath their feet, guiding and supporting them in their travels.

To his followers steel is a friend, and it will not harm them as much as it would others.

Steel will protect them from harm with endurance unsurpassed by unbelievers.

Preferred curse:

To be scorned by Ulm you must either betray his trust or lay waste to great creations. You must suppress the artisans and only profit from their works.

The cursed will feel the burdens of the earth as they feel tired from the sheer gravity.

They fall prey to the earth, as rockfalls and cave-ins consume them.

Rust will eat away their equipment and the touch of steel is poison to them.

Holy City State:

The grand gathering of his faith is located at the feet of his throne, high up in the summit of Giant´s Peak, the greatest mountain in this realm.

This carved out city of the Giants is called Heimstaed, the cradle of Giants, the Fortress City of Artisans, protected by the wall of the Covenant, a heavenly barrier against the unfaithful.

Most notable creation (if applicable):

Ulm is responsible for the great Ulmish mountain range, often called the Gianthomes. In the very center is Giant's Peak, the greatest mountain in this realm, and at the very top is the great throne of Ulm, where he resides. The throne is carved with countless statues and murals of events long forgotten. The holy city of Heimstaed exists at the very feet of the living god, where his people reside and spread out to the lands below. The throne itself takes the form of two hands reaching out towards the sky, creating a chair fit for a titan.

Preferred form of worship:

To prove your faith to Ulm, you must create a great work. Most travel to the Gianthomes, where they carve out their creations to stone. Many unfaithful trek to these places to marvel at the creations, but only the worthy can strike their tools at the very throne of Ulm himself.

Ulm cares not for material wealth, and does not forbid it as long as you stay wealthy in your spirit, prone for great inspiration. Though he keeps the Giants as the superior race, he judges not who will be his champion.

So begins...

Ulm's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ulm
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Ulm sat in the palms of his throne, slouching and observing the spirals of steam emerging from the contact of snow upon his body. He has done this for the entire duration of the blizzard, 43 moons had passed and it still showed no sign of stopping. He didn't remember the last time a storm had lasted this long, but then again his memories of the old ages were awfully blurry, as several millennia of focusing on earthly matters had shrouded his memories from the ascension wars. Had it always been this way? He couldn't remember. Attempts to freshen his memory once again proved futile, but he wasn't too bothered. He was sure that he'd remember if there was anything worth to remember aside from the pathetic existence of Pretenders.

He leaned forward and looked down upon the city of Heimstaed. Through the eyes of the Stonewardens he could see a crowd of devout giantkin gathering to gawk at him from down below. Even after being with them since the beginning of time, some still find great importance in following his every move. But he couldn't care less, after all he couldn't deny that he enjoyed seeing the awe he inspires. He parted his conscious from the Stonewardens, leaving them to their silent vigil.

The Stonewardens were constructs, rock statues reminiscent of a giant in a praying motion. Ulm had left them spread around the realm, mostly overlooking the local civilizations. Mortals usually steer clear or pay no mind to them. He remembers one having a fountain built around it in the very center of a human city. But most of them have been unused for ages.

Ulm laid back once again to ponder upon his designs. He had been toying around with ideas of a new landmark overlooking the Great Sea. He did also need to appoint a new exalted champion among the populace, perhaps he should give out a quest?

Either way he decided that he need to cleanse his skin for the first time since time immemorial. He had created a lava lake somewhere for this purpose. Unfortunately that somewhere had become the Corruption, domain of a toothless corrupt pretender by the name of Vescteseg. The thought of having to deal with him made Ulm feel a deep sense of loathing for the amount of three moons. . .

But finally he stood up from his throne and begun striding towards the Corruption. Hopefully he would not be home.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ulm
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(double post you shitlords)

The setting changes from Ulmish Mountains to Etheria and the Astral Sea

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Selyse Character Portrait: Aeristhatia Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment Character Portrait: Entorios
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#, as written by Mr.Sol
Vescteseg stood tall as Lycaon civilly berated him for his little display, but Vescteseg could not be bothered to care. He crossed his arms and said "Aye brother, then it will have caught up with you!" chuckling at his little bit of wit, he moved more to the edge of the room, standing seperate from the other gods. A voice calling his name caught his attention however, and he moved towards she who had called him: Klethi, the goddess of Chance. Grimacing at her choice of praising, his attention was piqued by a seeming willingness to work with him. Moving towards her, he was interrupted by the lackluster god of enlightenment Kurn, who prattled on about sending a mortal of all things to secure the adamant veins. Now of all things, Vescteseg did not want Lycaon renewing his stockpile of Adamant, for that would mean he would be putting his neck under a sword of Damocles. Vescteseg would have to strike first. All these thoughts raced through his mind, and inside he was cursing virulently.

Then once more, another one of the weaker gods bothered him. This time it was that pathetic godling Hazarmaveth, bleating about his entrance and keeping things civil. Turning towards him his eyes glowed with purple fire, and he said in a voice that sounded like a pleasant enough male baritone, but was wreathed in nastiness, "Civil? Why Dear Hazarmaveth I simply OOZE civility. It is others who offend me. Whining to our King Lycaon about all the souls 'trapped' in the Corruption when you think I'm not paying attention. You can come and try and collect them if you dare. You will find my strength is much grown."

And all the while the discussion was going on. Thus he decided to intrude. "Brothers, Sisters! I have a solution. We must make Ulm a trade! Within my realm there is a great lake of lava, created by the great Titan. However, it was taken as my land expanded. I can offer this land back to him, with a corridor leading back to his mountains if he grants us rights to the adamant. However, seeing as I will be sacrificing a not so small portion of territory I demand the right to half the Adamant." Thus speaking, he crossed his arms and set his stance to await the others' responses.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Selyse Character Portrait: Aeristhatia Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment Character Portrait: Entorios
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Kurn, God of Enlightenment

Kurn listened to the new ideas sprouting from the deities present. Each one added something new into the creative discussion they were all having. The plan was growing, and so far it seemed like it might succeed with a bit of luck. The champions they were discussing being chosen were well qualified for the task, but than Vescteseg comes in with a completely new plan. Kurn liked this idea of his despite the risks. If it failed than Ulm would know about the adamant and they would have nothing. Still, it was a peaceful solution that benefited everyone, and that is what Kurn wanted most of all.

Kurn raised his hand up near his shoulder to signal he was about to speak. "I second Vescteseg's idea. However I suggest being subtle about the offer of trade. Let Ulm offer the Adamant on his own, or perhaps if he is stuck on a counter offer mention it in passing." Kurn felt one of his followers offering him something at his temple, and he kept one eye at the meeting so he could appear at his temple in a spectral form.

In Kurn's 'Temple of the Mind's Eye' there was a nomadic patron on his knees in front of a large mirror where one would lay offerings at it's base. The offering was a bowl of flowers in a variety of colors. A glowing outline of Kurn appeared in the mirror and surprised the man making the offering. Kurn sucked the bowl of flowers into the mirror and laid a blessing on the man in respect of his long journey, allowing the man to travel out of his body in his sleep for the rest of his life. His will now finished, Kurn's specter returned to his body and with it came the bowl of flowers which he now held in front of him.

The setting changes from Etheria and the Astral Sea to Arkngthan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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#, as written by Taunbon
Serena watched with disguised interest as the deities began pitching their various champions and heroes for this 'quest'. Even Klethi which surprised her, Serena was unaware of the Goddess having any such champions, perhaps it was just a mortal she doted on? The God-King, of course, elected to send his daughter, a demi-god. Beings Serena never had much respect for, power should be earned, clawed for, killed for. Beings born with power handed to them weakened them, a person should be beaten, burned and tempered like a fine blade. If they broke, they should be discarded as worthless and flawed never to be thought of again.

When the God-King turned to her, Serena blinked in surprise never expecting for him to desire a member of the Mother's Exalted to join in this quest which is why she never intended to offer. She pondered the situation, her mind trying to wrap around the request, she wasn't sure if this was worthy of the Mother sending an Exalted, a mortal champion? Perhaps, but then, her Mother did like to surprise her by doing things counter to her expectations. Sometimes, Serena was sure she did so purely for the sake of spiting her ideals.

Thankfully, she was given a retrieve from answering by the God of Corruption offering a trade. Serena doubted the value in the offer, and even more in should the Titan be fool enough to agree to it. She, herself, would not trust the deity to keep his word as there was nothing stopping him from simply retaking the land once he had his, outrageously high, demand of Adamant were met. But that would likely spark a war, one between Giants and the creatures of Corruption which would be beyond amusing to witness, and if she were so lucky, get to bloody her own hands it, "As speaker for the Mother, I also support the idea of a trade." She also would advise a negotiation on the amount of Adamant being given, but that wasn't her place.

The God of 'Deaths' champion captured her attention in a vice. A halfbreed? While they were not uncommon, Beastmen raiders tended to get their passions up and slaves were often taken, but to see an adult halfbreed that wasn't a wretched creature was rare. The beastmen tended to look down upon them as weak for their human blood, they were often social outcast left ot die on the fringes, if they were born to a human mother away from the tribe, they were often killed or left in the forest. This halfbreed didn't have the more... distinguished characteristics, but Serena knew her Mother would be amused greatly by his existence and participation in the quest... But Klethi was opposed to it, and Serena could not find fault in her reasoning.

Serena stepped forward bowing slightly, "I second Lord Hazramaveth's.... hero. If accepted into the party, God-King, I, on behalf of the Mother, pledge she will also send a member to join be it Exalted or Mortal Champion."

The setting changes from Arkngthan to Etheria and the Astral Sea

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Selyse Character Portrait: Aeristhatia Character Portrait: Entorios
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Kurn, God of Enlightenment

As the planning seemed to reach it's apex, Kurn seemed to be pleased with the overall outcome. He saw that the meeting was soon at an end, so he moved a little ways away from the main group and wandered to the back corner of the room. Creating an orb of light he sent it into the corner of the room as it took physical form as a table of exotic foods with chairs around it. Kurn took one of the seats and grabbed some fruits as he ate for the fun of it. As a god he did not need to eat so it as just for the flavor that he even bothered putting food in his mouth.

His conciousness raced to several different places again, moving from place to place as it searched out several things of interest. His physical body kept eating without really having need be given the command to do so. Kurn's eyes if anyone noticed swam with rippling color across their surface as he was deep in thought at the table. He always had one ear on the discussion however, and kept track of what the current topic was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm
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One silver lining about Ulm for lesser creatures is that they can see him coming from far away, he isn't exactly a creature prone to discretion. That, and the fact that his sheer physical form rivals the clouds in height.

His feet had touched the soil of Corruption by now. The earth felt twisted with hatred, and though his domain still extended even to these parts, it felt foreign and hostile. Even to Ulm's earthen skin it felt uncomfortable. The absence of Vesceteseg was a relief, though he was sure the lost souls he was occasionally trampling with his titanic footsteps were on their way to fetch their master here.

A pillar of smoke loomed in the distance. There was his destination, the Baleful Cauldron as lesser beings had come to call it, atleast before it fell before the influence of this filth. He felt deep loathing every time he passed the remnants of a temple. Weak minded fools worshiping a crooked god with nothing but power in mind and no interest in living things. He would wish to see a day where this influence could be reverted, but not without someone with immense willpower and force when it came to influencing the life force of his surroundings. Ulm felt like he would know someone like that, but couldn't put his finger on it. Another memory shrouded by time, it seemed. A thought was trying to surface from the back of his mind, but couldn't quite make it as Ulm's attention ran elsewhere.

As he drew ever closer to the lava lake, he pondered upon the selection of a champion, and suddenly he was struck by inspiration. He had the perfect idea to test the mettle of mortals, including his own people. He would create the ultimate test, to defeat the perfect life form created by his hand in a test of strength and wits. He would use the most beautiful and sturdy of metals in his domain to mold it, to prove his greatness. As divine designs were thrown around in his mind, he came to wonder if the Undervaults of Giant's Peak still had Adamant in store.

[[OOC Edit: I forgot to change the location, this post is supposed to be located in the Corruption.]]

The setting changes from Etheria and the Astral Sea to Arkngthan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Aeristhatia Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment Character Portrait: Entorios
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#, as written by Mr.Sol
Vescteseg rolled his eyes as the feeble god Entorios broke into song. A decision of this magnitude was being discussed and the fool sings? This, this is why Vescteseg needs to be lord. Then after the long winded thing finally finished the weak goddess of Mischief spoke, looking up at him and quivering in not a little fear. Vescteseg looked at her, and asked "What is the matter Aeristhatia? You seem a little... fearful. Is there something that the assembly here should know about? Hmm?" His voice rolled with distaste.

Striding back into the center of the room, he said "Comrades, I do not see why we should try to offend Ulm by sending heroes sneaking into his territory like criminals! Why, if any of you tried to do something of that sort I'd send back their head on a pike. Oh wait, I think I have" and with that he turned towards the crowd suddenly "We don't need a war with the Giants. That would end badly. For everyone involved, seeing as Ulm possesses the Adamant. We need to be cautious, and offer him things in return. Do you all understand what I'm saying. What you have suggested is tantamount to a declaration of war!"

As Vescteseg was about to continue his speech to convince them of his plan's worth, he felt it. Like a tingle across his whole body a being of immense power had stepped into the Corruption. His eyes widened for it was Ulm himself. Turning back to the Gods, he said "Ulm has crossed into my territory, I must depart." And with that he slammed his hands together causing a concussion of air to spread through the room, causing a new portal to open which he stepped through. He was transported right in front of the Titan.

Bowing deeply, he called out "Greetings O Titan. What brings you to my fair land?"

The setting changes from Arkngthan to The Corruption

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm
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Ulm's stride was stopped to a halt by a brief flash in front of his face, well above the clouds that lay upon the land below. There in the air hovered the wretch of a host in this vile joke of a realm. His face twisted into a bestial expression of scorn. In a booming and condescending voice he spoke:

"What brings me to your fair land? To walk on your fair soil that serves only to wound the feet that strengthen it? To breathe your fair atmosphere of noxious air that carries the whisper of desolation? To see your fair people whom have sold their soul to a pretender god of corruption, only to become mindless husks of their former selves to serve as puppets?"

Towards the end the tone of his voice grew sharper and more savage, but he calmed his breath soon after. He further spoke:

"I have come to bathe in the Baleful Cauldron, my skin grows itchy and covered in the dust of ages. You will grant pass to this creation of mine, and i will ensure our relations will keep steady regardless of my opinion towards you."

Of all the Pretenders, Vescteseg was perhaps towards the bottom in his list of favourites, though none were really that likable to begin with.

The setting changes from The Corruption to Etheria and the Astral Sea

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Aeristhatia
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"My hero is ready immediately!" Klethi declared. "And whether the rest of you have your heroes prepared is your own problem. I will be setting Fenris on his journey immediately. Not that he needs it, but I'd appreciate greatly if your platypus companion would be ready to accompany him soon. He is a fan of animals and I have no oxymorons of my own to provide. If you lot will excuse me, I have words of my own to exchange with the big V and Ulm."

And Klethi was gone.

And Klethi was there in the swirls of corruption of death that was Vesctseg's realm. She seemed undisturbed (perhaps even content) by her environment. Her face was filled with delight on seeing Ulm, which wasn't the reaction he normally drew. "You! Titan! I have words to exchange," she declared. "I should have you know, because I believe in a fair fight, that a contingent of mortals will soon be marching on your mountain to relieve you of your stores of adamant. They will be sorely disappointed on arrival, not because of any threat your giants could pose, but because they will find the ground unexpectedly empty. Preceding their misadventure will be the greatest story of guile, skill, agility, daring, heroism, and death that this world has seen for a thousand years, by the end of which you will become the sore butt of many a mortal and god's joke when I, Klethi, Goddess of all Probability, will be the owner of your stolen wondermetal thanks to the efforts of the most loyal protagonist, Fenris the Lucky!" She crossed her arms like she expected an answer, but whatever Ulm's response would have been she wasn't patient enough to wait for. "Even now I bet he is slaying your top commanders with nothing but his bare hands and platypus companion. What an embarrassment this must be for you, Ulm. You'll surely want to crush Lycaon's daughter to relief the sudden rage and depression that will be overcoming you with this loss." She nodded triumphantly. "Don't say I didn't warn you. But it's hard to prevent Fenris from achieving something, even when his own Goddess is betraying his secret plan to his enemy. Go ahead. Go back to your mountain right now. Find it emptied of all its riches."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Entorios
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#, as written by Taunbon
Serena, Herald of the Mother
Image




Serena loathed Entorios more than most other deities. When he sung, she was compelled, as a mortal, to listen and be enchanted even when she did not wish to be. It was both demeaning and robbed her of what little power she had. It was violating and wrong, robbing away free will as it tried to shove its own hollow, empty 'emotions' there instead. Why the God had decided to sing a pointless tale was beyond here, if the other gods were so foolish as to base this off a story from old then they were equal fools.

Then, to her eternal annoyance, the Godking decided that Entorios' mindless rabbles had sense to them, perhaps his musics stole the freewill and violated the gods just as it did mortals? If so, perhaps they should fashion a muzzle from the adamant when they got their hands on it. If they wanted deniability then an Exalted could not come, Mother would protect them, and their numbers were fairly well known in the mortal realms even if they were, more often than naught, cursed and hissed with loathing by the 'civilized' races like those pathetic elves.

She assumed the God of Corruptions issue with the heroes was more to do with the lack of his share if they should succeed, but Serena didn't much care if a war against the giants 'ended' badly for everyone. With that, it came to an end as they all left one after another after, Ulm, had 'coincidentally' wandered into Vescteseg's realm at such a peculiar time and then Klethi, herself, departed after making some declaration or another, Serena hadn't been fully listening as she had been pondering on how convenient it was for Ulm, the Titan that rarely left his mountain, to move just as they planned on sending some 'heroes' into his realm.

Bowing her head to the Godking, Serena sent a silent prayer to the Mother and, moments later, a dark portal swallowed her up returning her home.

Back within the Obsidian Palace, she let her shoulders fall ever so slightly as her green eyes found her Mother had changed her shape, again. This time, her lower body had become a monstrous spider abdomen and legs, with large insect appendages sprouting from her back, a look she used often.


The Mother
Image





"Over so soon?" Karvana asked, surprised that the meeting had ended so soon given her fellow deities... natures. Turning her head away from the portal that was showing the final moments of the raid, the Beastmen leader, Shaggroth, having just been slain by the human captain in single combat, "Come here, my herald, tell me what transpired," out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the captain removing the head of Shaggroth to be shown to his leaders as a grizzly trophy, the corner of her lips twitched at the action.

She did so love when they did that. Killed the terrible 'monsters' then desecrated their corpses, paraded their corpses around and spoke about how they were the 'glorious heroes' that slain the monsters while oblivious to their own monstrous actions, but it was always easier to ignore the monster within their own souls by loathing the monsters around them. She would keep an eye on the captain, perhaps he would become one of her children yet.

Focusing her attention on Serena, she watched with a small smile flirting across her lips as her herald sat on the steps and leaned against her leg, the skull on her head being pushed back as she took solace in her comfort. Her six knees bent as one as she leaned down to run her knuckles over Serena's pale cheek, "Speak, my dear."




Tapping her finger against her lips, her eyes were dancing with amusement, "A quest? How amusing," tilting her head to exaggerate her body language, "What to bring to the little party... I wonder?" After a few seconds, Karvana waved her hand, "No matter, I have time to think on it later, let us view this little half-breed morsel, shall we?"

Waving her hand, the 'window' changed to that of a bar showing Winston Borne speaking to Hazarmareth in a tavern. While the 'window' was impossible to see for mortals, Karvana didn't doubt Hazarmareth could not see it if he looked. Her eyes traced the half-breed, taking note of his missing eye and arm, the scars, and his more bestial adornments, "How precious," Karvana said, "What stories I missed due to Hazarmareth keeping him a secret from me. Tsk, tsk."

"He doesn't like the gods," Serena said, her eyes closed uninterested in the 'boy' as she continued to rest against Karvana's leg.

"So it seems," Karvana said as he left after speaking on whatever 'agreement' they had, "But now I am here. With a few pushes and nudges, he will come to me, his mother."

"I wouldn't be so sure," Serena said, "He seems close to Hazarmareth," her tone annoyed at the 'boy' taking attention away from her. Perhaps she should tag along and 'remove' him. Making sure to leave so few pieces not even Hazarmareth could put him back together again.

"He will. They always do," she said, a hint of finality in her voice, "But let us see what else is on? Shall we? Let us watch this demi-god," Karvana said, her voice mocking the word, "that will be leading this little 'quest'."

With a wave of her hand, the window changed once more, this time, to the demi-god sitting in the bar. Hands at her side, Karvana watched the woman, content to see what skills she had, and to determine what to send with their party, perhaps she would even let the little demi-goddess pick?

The setting changes from Etheria and the Astral Sea to The Corruption

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi
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#, as written by Mr.Sol
Vescteseg placed a hand upon his heart in mock indignation at the Titan's harsh words. Eyeing Ulm more carefully, he said "O Titan, you wound me deeply with your accusations! I of course shall grant you access to that which is your creation. I only ask that you tread carefully, and avoid breaking any of my creations. They tend to be rather.... Tempermental. And I doubt even one such as you could deal with thousands of that which is already dead..." And then just as he finished his little statement Klethi appeared as well, babbling like a brook, and about as useful to Vescteseg as one. Rolling his eyes, He said once again "Well, I i bid thee both welcome to mine realm, and may you both find that which you seek. Fare thee well, for I have matters I need to attend to in my capitol. With this parting statement, he departed the scene, leaving the Titan and the Goddess to talk as they wished.

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Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi
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#, as written by Mr.Sol
Vescteseg placed a hand upon his heart in mock indignation at the Titan's harsh words. Eyeing Ulm more carefully, he said "O Titan, you wound me deeply with your accusations! I of course shall grant you access to that which is your creation. I only ask that you tread carefully, and avoid breaking any of my creations. They tend to be rather.... Tempermental. And I doubt even one such as you could deal with thousands of that which is already dead..." And then just as he finished his little statement Klethi appeared as well, babbling like a brook, and about as useful to Vescteseg as one. Rolling his eyes, He said once again "Well, I i bid thee both welcome to mine realm, and may you both find that which you seek. Fare thee well, for I have matters I need to attend to in my capitol. With this parting statement, he departed the scene, leaving the Titan and the Goddess to talk as they wished.

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Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi
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Ulm was both amused and satisfied to see that Vesceteseg showed submission to him. His bestial face twisted into a grin and he spoke again with booming voice:

"Most excellent. You choose wisely to benefit the both of us. Now step aside and i'll-"

As he spoke, a buzzing sound grew louder in his ear. At first he did not pay attention, but soon it grew so irritating that his speech was stopped. His grin was gone and he turned his head slightly to the left and there it was, a puny elf floating in the air. Through a train of thought Ulm figured that the noise was coming from the elf, possibly one of the pretenders. He snapped out of his cycle of deep loathing to recognize the insect as Klethi, the Goddess of Compulsive Gambling. She was currently babbling an empty threat about invading Heimstaed, to which Ulm, in response, let out a roaring laugh. In a splitsecond he spread his consciousness to the Stonewardens around the mountains, only to prove Klethi's threat baseless.

"For a halfwit jester you spin tales most ridiculous and unbelievable in nature. For the benefit of your dear peoples i shall pass this empty threat as another one of your tricks. What, you expect me to open my gates for your carnival and march into the Undervaults? Allow me to laugh even harder!"

He began striding away towards the Cauldron, laughing as he went.

"Go sing your songs to Lycaeon and his band of buffoons. I care not for your tricks."

But as he finished, he felt something snap in the back of his head. He turned around and stared at Klethi the way a cow stares at an oncoming train. He spoke with a calm tone:

"Did you just mention adamant?"

The mention of adamant was too specific for the little bugger. Why would they covet that? Surely they would first take the store of gems he had in the Undervaults. Besides, he had plans for this green metal, he would not let go of it so surely. . .

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Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi
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Klethi smiled the wide, dangerous smile she did while plotting the deaths of demigods. "I would assume by now you've asked your subjects what condition your realm is in, and what interlopers may have invaded it." She laughed. "I would call you a liar if you said anything could detect the guileful, witty, cunning elf that has made you his fool!" She hovered after Ulm (much of the pain and suffering happened as results of Klethi's disfavor, but even with all the warriors and betrayed lovers she'd tripped, disarmed, or fooled and sent here, The Corruption was not somewhere she was fond of touching). She laughed again her two-syllable triumphant chuckle. "I see now that you realize just what you loose at misunderestimating the race you call my people, Ulm. I'd think the sooner you apologize to the tree-people the more opportune; it may be even now that your stolen metals are being forged against you. Soon you will join the other old gods in ruination, unless you..." she thought about it. There wasn't much that she wanted that Ulm could offer; ennui was difficult to cure in material goods. "...unless you..." she tapped her chin. "...commission your finest craftsman to make... a large pair of twenty-sided die. From impenetrable, unshatterable glass. The twenties shall be images of my favor, and the ones symbols of my displeasure. Anything less and I cannot promise you'll ever see Heimstaed again. Perhaps I will make it my vacation home. And I could auction your belongings off to charity. An elf-helping charity, of course." She turned to look at Vescteseg. "Or maybe I'll give him the adamant, and I'll let him take your mountain from you. He's already taken your cauldron away. I'm surprised he hasn't knocked you out of the runnings yet altogether, with or without it." She shrugged. "So have those dice commissioned, or I won't be able to say I didn't give you a fair warning. Not that any warning could come in time to prevent the Fenris from burglarizing your home, though."

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Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi
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Ulm was growing tired of this display. The lava-bath had to wait, the pretenders were surely up to something, they coveted the adamant for whatever reason. He hated the fact that Klethi got him to return, soon she'll claim that she got the mighty titan to turn back and run back home paranoid. Phah! He had all right to be angry and paranoid when a group of ascendant whores wanted his head on a platter for being the only titan left since the other titans were-. . . . were-. . .
He couldn't really remember where the others went, this was really starting to bug him. Doesn't matter, the pretenders were up to something again. It was time to put his designs into fruition.

He made a sharp turn and began striding back towards Heimstaed. To Klethi he said with a booming and angry voice:

"I will not take any further lip from an insolent brat! I have nothing to apologize to a race of failures, much less to you, a spineless bug who has to resort to a cheap gimmick to attain power! You will cease your threats and ridicule, for you do not understand the consequences you face! Now begone! I must return to the Underforges, for i must complete designs that rival the immaterium!"

He cared not if Klethi followed him, he was going to ignore her completely from now on. He was going to return to the Underforge and mold the perfect life form, a fusion of flesh and metal. He knew that it would have use in events to come, if the pretenders were truly trying to steal the adamant. He did not understand what properties it had that were worth coveting . . .

The setting changes from The Corruption to Etheria and the Astral Sea

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Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Ulm
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Klethi watched Ulm leave with disappointment. She had hoped for a more exciting display (whether it be anger or fear), but the seeds were set. I couldn't very well make it easy for Fenris and the would-be 'heroes' who hope to accompany him. She regarded Vescteseg for a brief moment. "We still have much to plot, but I have other events to influence in the mean time." And, like Ulm, she was gone.

Azal was frantic with activity. Well, it always was, but there had been thirteen changes of mayor and two changes of viscount and an entirely new office had been created to settle a bet that was entirely staffed by frogs. Her citizens were glad to see her (even the one's that she had acted against), but most were too busy to do anything about her arrival. She moved through the chaotic streets, controlling her vanity well enough to appear as a normal human (albeit dressed far more extravagantly than the average). She crossed through the city center, pausing long enough to read the holy board (which was pointless, as she was always aware of whatever was written on it; it was how the citizens forced each other to pay their losses) before entering the section of the city that catered to betting on sports. It had many funny juxtapositions (the dog fighting den was next to the chess hall, for example), but she wasn't here for amusement. It had the majority of Azal's eldest citizens, who most often prayed to Klethi to overcome disease ("Please, don't let me be the forty-seven percent of citizens who will die of tetanus this year") or misfortune. That made it the easiest place to find Fenris, the intermediary they made their prayers known to.
He was an octogenarian himself, but by Elf standards that hardly made him old. He was average looking; whatever genes he inherited from his parents made him no more attractive than the regular human. He was also short and spriggy. But he was good at math, caring, genuine, and Klethi pitied him.
"Fenris!" She roared after quietly walking right up behind him. The elf fumbled, throwing a notebook and a pen down. "How have the odds favored you today?"
"...w-well. Until now." He turned around with a less-than-pleased expression. "The woman in that house wants the woman in that house to give birth to a three-legged child."
"It is done."
"What? No. I don't want that. It's terrible. Why would you ask that to happen to someone?" But Klethi waved her hand; when she said "it was done" it was. "Don't worry about it. Some people are terrible. Speaking of which, walk with me." She walked past him; he stopped to collect his things before following. "...while you're in a 'generous' mood, there are some things that I do want to ask you about." He tapped the book. "These are all of today's requests."
"I'll look at them later. There are more pressing matters than a successful harvest right now." Klethi took alleys and found a dark place like she was trying to avoid being overheard. In reality she'd put them under the windows of known town gossips. "You don't like Ulm very much, do you?"
"I've never met him." Klethi crossed her arms; he knew that wasn't what she meant. "But no, I don't think I do."
"How would you like to kill him?"
"What?!" Fenris shook his head. "That's ridiculous. You know I've forsworn violence."
"Yes I do. And as disappointing as that answer is, I know you're an elf of your word and that's exactly why you've been volunteered to sneak into Ulm's home and steal his supply of adamant."
Fenris opened his mouth, then closed it. He categorized his complaints and reservations. "...by myself?"
"You will be accompanied by a platypus."
"A... platypus. A platypus and I are going to sneak past a giant in his own house?"
"Well," Klethi replied impatiently, "You'll also have a one-armed friend and Lycaon's daughter. And I don't know who else is being sent. But I'm willing to bet that Platypus is going to be the more valuable companion."
"...right." Fenris was, clearly, unconvinced. "And how am I going to transport a heavy, dense metal en masse from underground to anywhere?"
"I'm confidant you'll figure out the details as you need to."
"Klethi, with all due respect, I think you've confused me with someone that can actually do that."
"I know you can't do it. That's why it will be so exciting when you do. And if you fail Vescteseg will turn you into an Alfar and you'll spend eternity serving the forces of Corruption."
"What? That's-"
And he was in the God-King's hall. Fenris looked at Lycaon, but he either didn't recognize him or didn't care. "That is hardly fair."
"Are you questioning me, Fenris?"
"Yes. Yes I am. This is insane. You should have an army of demi-gods doing this."
"...what if I told you that I've been keeping your world-shattering powers a secret for eighty-nine years and you're actually the most powerful warrior ever known?"
"I'd call you a bloody liar."
Klethi smiled. "Good luck." She turned away-
"...are you just going to leave me here?"
"Well the party is supposed to disembark in a week."
"What am I going to do here for a week?"
Klethi shrugged. "Try not to annoy Lycaon. He wasn't a fan of the last mortal I left in here."

The setting changes from Etheria and the Astral Sea to Ulmish Mountains

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Orest
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MEANWHILE, SOMEWHERE IN THE ULMISH MOUNTAINS


The mountain titan Ulm observed as his minuscule servants hauled materials from the Undervaults to a small plateau amidst the rocks. Giants pulled carts of steel and adamant ingots to a pile as Ulm prepared his rigid hands for a ritual of creation. The last time this was performed was at the dawn of time, when Ulm parted the race of Giants from his own being during the course of 100 years. Scholars refer to this event as The Emergence.

This was a different process, however. A living construct of breathing steel, the next step in the evolution of the giant race, an exciting challenge for Ulm, another feat to prove his greatness over the pretenders. A portion of the population had trekked to the plateau to witness this event. Scholars and clerics from across the land had arrived to study this process to further understand how Ulm created an entire race from his own flesh. The last of the materials was finally in place according to Ulm's orders. Steel ingots were placed in a large circle with smaller circles inside spiraling towards the center circle, where the adamant ingots were placed in a ring, facing each other vertically.

And thus, Ulm began his work. He contracted his index fingers forward and pulled the rest of his fingers back. He connected the tips of his index fingers and gently pressed them in the exact center of the ingot pattern, on top of the adamant ingots. As he did the iron ingots in the pattern started liquefying and slowly streaming towards the center where Ulm's titanic fingers only ever so slightly touched the ground. He started pulling the fingers up slowly, and it seemed like they were fused to the liquid form that he was lifting up from the earth.

The metal mass was becoming warmer in tone, slowly. Scribes in the crowd were busy writing down the divine phenomenon before their eyes as the rest stood silent. With gentle movement of his fingers the metallic mass took a shape and form, reminiscent of a giant statue. As the figure took form, Ulm suddenly severed the connection between his fingers and the metal. And then, suddenly the figure came to life. He separated his limbs from each other as muscles started to shape the being. Burning red eyes opened and glared as crimson locks of hair sprouted from his rigid metallic head. He flexed it's body to get a feel for it, as runes started appearing on his skin like veins. He looked down to see two green handles sprouting from his stomach. He grasped them firmly and yanked them, pulling twin swords out of his abdomen.

The being was now complete, and it looked up upon it's creator. Ulm was exhausted, but was satisfied in the result of his creation. He looked the construct in his red eyes spoke with a booming and low voice:

"Behold! You are Orest, a perfected life form born from the mountain! You will be the extent of my will throughout the land, a divine champion! "

Orest looked down upon his body and his hands which held two adamant swords. Then he looked back up.

"To all those who have come to witness Orest, spread word across the land of him. He is the perfect life form, and heathens should tread carefully under his eternal vigil!", Ulm further spoke. He then left to climb back to Giant's Peak, where he would have a long rest.


The crowd now surrounded Orest, who, without speaking a word, started walking to Heimstaed. He knew exactly what he would have to do, first order of business being the acquisition of sheathes for his swords. He didn't really think that much, being a shard of consciousness originating from Ulm didn't leave much room for thought, especially when he was tired out of his mind. His walk was much lighter and controlled than that of Ulm. Perhaps the size was a factor. Either way, his primary mission was to acquire information of what the pretenders were doing. Rumors told that many divine figures were seen in the last days, relatively close to each other. He needed to gather information from across the land for this mission to succeed.

Perhaps some clothes would be needed, too.

The setting changes from Ulmish Mountains to Etheria and the Astral Sea

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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#, as written by Taunbon
Skarruk watched the human woman, Nymeria, with trepidation to see if his tribute would be accepted or not, and to his relief and pain, it was deemed acceptable. To his surprise, she dug into a pouch, one he took special note of and would keep note to look for any such bags on the others, and produced several silver coins. He had heard the other races use such coins as payment, he had found a few himself left behind by adventurers or taken on raids, of course, the goblins preferred the superior way of bartering, or stealing, for goods.

His black eyes rested on the coins in her outstretched hands. A trade? Was that what she wanted? Had she been trying to measure his worth by seeing what he could offer then providing a trade afterwords? If so, he approved. This, Nymeria, had a lick of goblin sense. Reaching out, he took the coins and placed them in one of the numerous satchels, "Good trade," Skarruk said, his squeaky voice rang out with a nod of confirmation along with it.

'Ulm' yet another name he did not know, but the others seemed to. Was he supposed to know who, or what, that was? It seemed that was where they had to go, to this 'Ulm'. Skarruk wasn't sure what they were doing, but if these people were going, this... 'Ulm' had to have valuables worth taking.

"Shebaba," Skarruk said, tapping the spider lightly on the flank. Shebaba chittered in response, her large fangs rubbing together to produce the unique T'sukan Spider sound. His body rode with the odd movements and motions of the large spider as it approached a nearby tree and scaled up its rough surface as simply as one might take a stroll along the road. It came to rest on one of the large bottom branch, while the branch bent from the weight, it made very little sound and no leaves were dislodged from the 'light' step of the spider.

He had taken the high ground not only because it was safer, the leaves above provided him more shade from the harsh sun, and it got him a bit further from the new found smells, some of which which were going to be hard to get used to. When they moved, he would have shebaba jump from tree to tree to keep pace.

The setting changes from Etheria and the Astral Sea to Ulmish Mountains

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Orest Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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A patrol approached the intrepid party on the borders of Ulm's lands. It consisted of three giants-at-arms and led by the steel-skin giant, Orest. He led the three soldiers through the woods, moving in a lithe manner. The stonewardens had seen a peculiar group of people materialize near the border, proving Ulm's suspicions true. Ulm himself was sitting in his throne, waiting. Orest was sent to intercept this party.

The giants appeared to a clearing on the path, facing the travelers. They almost towered over the trees nearby, standing in a ready pose. Perhaps they were startled, perhaps they tried to fight or run, but either way Orest delivered his line in a sultry, yet monotone and almost echoing voice:

"The All-father demands to know your business here. State your reasons truthfully and ensure co-operation."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Orest Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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Orest's expression showed no change. It was probably capable of producing expressions, but it wasn't needed at the moment. Nevertheless Orest heard exactly what he thought he'd hear. He registered the remark at his weapons and made a demonstration of power. He unsheathed his second sword from the left holster, swinging it like it was a part of his body. He struck a swift slash at the air and rested the sword at his side.

The sword was very balanced and thin in structure. It seemed like it was a living organism from the looks of the hilt and the handle, seeing as they were almost fused together in a sleek and organic manner.

Orest then sheathed his glimmering sword and spoke with his trademark monotonous yet sultry voice:

"Hmmm, i see. Come along then, we will escort you to Heimstaed. The All-father is expecting you there."

He raised a metallic brow and looked at the party expectantly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Orest Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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A quizzical expression appeared on Orest's metal face. He eyed at Nymeria and Fenris for a bit and then spoke:

"It wouldn't be very wise to disregard the All-father's wishes, he has invited you all to his court in Heimstaed. This is not a typical occasion to let outsiders inside the Wall of the Covenant and we would not like to question our lord's will."

Orest's face turned back to it's plain expression. His master Ulm does not have patience for frauds, especially at a time like this. He spoke again with a more serious tone, if that is even possible:

"So listen up. Either you comply to our and ultimately His orders and come with us, being treated as guests, or you turn away and never come back. This is your last chance at hospitality from Him. What say you?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Orest Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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Orest motioned for the party to follow them. Two giants would stay behind them while Orest and the third one take lead. He spoke to the party before embarking:

"You have chosen wisely, come along now. Try to keep up now, the road to Heimstaed is long and perilous, but i'm sure the daughters and sons of "gods" will pull through this task like any other."

Orest finished with speech with a light snigger as he led the travelers on. The road up indeed would be perilous, but not exactly for giants. They would have to climb some of the higher ledges giant pass with ease. Perhaps on the way they can admire the works of craftsmanship left in rock; carvings and entire murals depicting events beyond mortal memory.

Ulm himself was sated with how the events had turned out, seeing as how the joke god Klethi managed to reveal their intentions long before they arrived.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Ulm Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Orest Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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He looks at the murals and artwork along the way, interested particularly in ones regarding the origin of the giants.

"You must be proud." Borne says to the giants. "Such history n' all, and always in the presence of the hands that crafted you."

While he was being genuine, there was an ulterior motive for his behavior and one unrelated to the adamant, though he still intended to seize it, and he did not want his comrades to be put in danger. Though somewhat deranged from his isolation, he is at the very least not given to being a backstabber.

"I wonder what it was like," he comments quietly. "Creatin' life."