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Pantheon: Whims of the Gods

Arkngthan

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a part of Pantheon: Whims of the Gods, by Lord Valerian.

The City of the Gods

Lord Valerian holds sovereignty over Arkngthan, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

315 readers have been here.

Setting

This majestic city is the land in which the gods live when they are not walking the face of Etheria. It is a city of indescribable beauty fitting for divinities. It's streets are paved with gold and its building composed of everything from diamonds to obsidian. In the center of the city stands the Silver Palace where the gods meet to discuss maters of importance. This city is also home to the greatest of hero's who have proven their service to their gods and have been eternally rewarded.
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Arkngthan

The City of the Gods

Minimap

Arkngthan is a part of Astral Sea.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon
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The god-king Lycaon sat in the throne room of the silver palace as he thought over the state of the world. He had little concern for the race of elves. Their friends were many and they were able to deal with the bestial gods for centuries on their own. He also had little concern for the bestial gods. His brothers had been bound for over a millennia and had showed little chance of escaping. It was the race of man who he was concerned about. There were millions of them but they were so fragile compared to the gods or the elves. He knew that if a conflict among the gods were to break out they would be quickly wiped out in the crossfire.

His mind was also concerned by the discovery of a relatively large vain of adamant lying deep in the Ulmish mountains. If the right people were to acquire it than they would have a higher chance of combating their enemies. Formally the gods had no enemies; however, Lycaon was concerned about several of their own ranks primarily the Mother and Vescteseg. The mother posed no formal threat to his reign but she was dangerous. Vesctesg on the other hand was a direct concern. He hadn't formally challenged Lycaon; however, his corruption was growing fast and with it the extent of his dominion. Had the vain been anywhere else in the world it wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately it was in the land of Ulm and his giants. Lycaon had no quarrel with the titan but he doubted that Ulm would give him the only metal that could bind a god.

Lycaon had sent out a notice to any gods available to meet him in the shining silver throne room to discuss the dangers and promise this adamant held and to discuss a means to retrieve it without incurring Ulm's wrath. As of yet no god had arrived but he expected some to be arriving soon.

OOC: As the first post of the game I just decided to have some introspection so that we could establish the state of the world and a potential beginning for conflict between gods.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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#, as written by Taunbon
The Mother
Image




The Obsidian Palace, as the name suggest, it was an impossibly immense palace that appeared to have been carved from one massive piece of Obsidian for the construction was flawless, from the immense obsidian pillars, to the beautiful walls and even to the doors, themselves, were all solid obsidian opening to the will of the user instead of something so brutish and inelegant as physical contact. Above the hall, obsidian chandeliers hung with eerily purple flames burning granting light to the abyssal palace.

Near the front of the hall, but not upon the throne, was the Mother, her lower body transformed into that of a snake, the long tail curled under her acting as an impromptu seat, her small, pale elbow planted on the cool scales of what, one could only assume, to be her 'hip'. Her dark eyes were focused on the far wall where a 'window' to the mortal realm had been opened. While no one on the mortal realm could see it, save for a fellow deity, in her dimension, it allowed her, and the exalted sitting or standing around the hall, to view the actions unfurling on the mortal world below. While she did not need it to see, Karvana would often open them to give her Exalted something... enjoyable to view.

Currently, they were watching a beastmen raid, of some tribe that wasn't worthy of her memory, on some poor human village, but what the beastmen didn't know, but she certainly did, was that a patrol from the nearby fort was coming by very, very soon, and that is what she wanted to see. The ensuing conflict and bloodshed between the raiders and the patrol, she would never admit it, but she may have... encouraged the raid to happen at that moment just so she would watch the.. festivities.

"Serena," Karvana said, her voice soft and containing warmth that did not truly exist, "My dear herald," she continued, yawning into her hand as she lowered her eyes to the small human curled up within her 'tail'.

The white skull moving as the woman in question looked up to meet her eyes, "Yes, Mother?" the human woman asked, her voice light as a feather dancing upon the breeze.

"I want you to attend our... glorious king's little meeting of his," Mother said, reaching down to tuck a lock of Serena's hair away from her face, "I have more important things to do," she finished flashing a small white smile.

"You just don't want to go, do you?" The human asked, her unnaturally bright eyes sparkling with mirth.

The Mother laid a tiny, pale hand on her chest in mock indignation, "Me? Just not want to go?" She said, her eyes widening in false shock, "Why, I never... well, yes, that is it exactly," She let her sharp chin fall on the palm of her hand as her other hand waved in the air as she spoke, "Can you fault me for it, my herald? Those little gatherings are always so terribly dull. Humans this. Humans that. Elves that. Elves this. Have to protect the world! For order! If I have to listen to another misbegotten righteous speech from our wonderful king, I may very well just fall right asleep, and you know how deities are, I would then have to pretend I cared about their feelings when I awoke."

The edge of Serena's lip twitched at her Mother's antics, "We wouldn't want that, I shall go in your stead... as always," she said, untangling herself from the Mother's tail taking a few moments to straighten out her dress.

With a wave of her hand, Mother opened a portal to the King's Halls, Serena, as a mortal, could not open a gateway to another deities realm without their permission, so she had to do it for her.


Serena, Herald of the Mother
Image




Serena stepped through the portal and emerged in the silver hall of Lycaon, the sudden light and atmosphere change hurting her eyes. Blinking away the sudden pain, she let her gaze slide around the hall finding two occupants already present, Kurn, as the Mother called him, 'The God of Mind Dissolving, Soul-Crushing, Boredom,' to which Serena gave a small nod to the sitting god to show the etiquette demanded respect, and of course, the God-King Lycaon.

Serena bowed at her waist, "My Lord, I apologize for my Mother's absence and any inconvenience that it may have upon you. She is preoccupied with..." She paused, "Important business elsewhere."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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Klethi had received her summons with disappointment. The absolutely lack of fanfare left her far from excited, but a meeting of her compatriots was the spawning grounds of outcomes at all tiers of possibility. Nations could be formed, species could be exterminated, and there was a lot of money to be made in betting on it.
Before she left Azal, Klethi sent a loyal elf to the holy gambling board that stood on a pedestal at the center of her grand city. Everything from which gods would make themselves present to what would be discussed were big ticket items, with odds quickly haggled and bets placed. Scrupulous members of all races, misers of all ages, and gamblers of all predilections wagered currency, favors, land, titles, offices, food, livestock, limbs, what they'd name their first born, and more to say Klethi would sit next to a particular goddess or if the topic of discussion concerned the great class struggle or if it was secretly a wild, never-ending party and they would never see their patron again. This brought great joy to Klethi, who hesitated to leave the fervor of holy service. No one was sour to lose, not matter what it cost them; if not the next day, or the day after, or forever, there were always opportunities to recoup losses. That was how Azal functioned; one week's mayor become the next month's beggar at the whim of a die roll. It wasn't often enough she watched her servants excited for such a decisive event, however, and it was with displeasure that she willed herself to her summons before it was decided how many chickens Badzel the farmer committed to his belief that a talking fish would be served symbolically as an appetizer.

A muted trumpet sounded Klethi's arrival, which was a flourish of white dress around the shapely form of an elf. In her infinite memory of ballads she knew there was a lyrical greeting perfect for the event, but it had been more than once that another entity displayed their displeasure for her theatrics, and for the sake of Kendidy the Blacksmith (who had invested heavily that at least two gods would be happy to see her) she decided to try not influencing anyone's reception of her. "Salutations, my friends," she greeted simply (well, relatively simply; she made no attempt to suppress the sing-song inflection she was known for). "And what aether-shattering event gathers us?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Karvana
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Whisps of dark aether gather and shimmer, swirling to form a gateway. The unmistakably calm symphony of whispers are the tell tale signs that it is from Shalom, the resting place of the dead. A place much unlike its implications to be actually quite... hospitable.

The shadowy form of Hazarmaveth begins to manifest from the portal, hunched and humble, much unlike the more brightly colored gods he bears no grandeur in his entrance as the portal simply closes behind him. He stands before Lycaon and makes a gesture that can only be interpreted as a polite bow.

"An honor you would summon one so lowly such as I," he speaks softly, his voice is deep yet almost as a whisper. "I would say it were a pleasure, but I know the news not to be so."

He grows quiet momentarily, looking around at all who are currently present, politely nodding to each one. Not everyone was yet present so he stood back to wait patiently. He then turns his attention to Serena, fixating his gaze yet not turning to face her directly.

"It would appear Karvana continues to challenge my absentee record," He says, a slight hint of bemusement in his tone. "The usual plots and reveling in chaos I would presume?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Entorios
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Klethi smiled with delight at the sound of another's trumpets. She turned to Entorios and nodded her head. "I am glad I am not the only to enjoy the heralding lilt of instruments. And if it isn't any other than the inspiration for many of my bards." She moved herself to the edge of the room to prevent anything from trying to materialize inside of her (which, while not fatal, is uncomfortable). As more of her compatriots filtered into the room, she updated the records at Azath. She was rewarded with prayers and curses.
Then the king spoke, and her smile radiated. "Adamantium?" she questioned. She was almost moved to her tippy-toes as she steepled her fingers. "That's great news..." she mumbled to herself. "Another great war! An unwinnable war! A war of aeons! What stories could be told, what deaths could happen..." she turned his eyes to the floor; her fingers twitched and she moved her wrists as if writing. The records board in Azal exploded into yet more frantic bets. Which god will be slain first? How big is the vein? How open are the Titans to negotiations? What does this mean to the Transrationalist Statistician Party? Are the gods going to pick teams already? Her focus came back (the unfathomable ability for a god to multitask was testament to how deep her dedication was to setting odds) and she looked around the throne room. "Vescteseg!" she called. "To me! There is much to plot." The connotation of the words were lost on her. "I believe this can be to the benefit of both of us." He was ambitious; she just wanted a good show.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Karvana's Champions/Exalted Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Karvana Character Portrait: Selyse Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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#, as written by Taunbon
Serena shrugged at the God of 'Death', the jest not really worth commenting on. Her Mother did tend to keep to herself and away from the meetings of the Gods, and she wasn't sure if she had ever seen the Mother attend one of them, but then, she did seem to like to keep to herself very rarely going to another God's realm, and it has been even longer since the Mother last stepped foot on the mortal realms. Her silence wouldn't be noteworthy as it was quickly devoured by the various appearances from the other deities and many of them had their own antics to further draw the attention away from her, but then, as the only mortal among gods, did she truly want attention?

She turned her head to face the King of the Gods as he begun his speech, a fairly standard one although she wasn't sure why he looked her when speaking of the mortal races. Personally, she found an eternal war between Gods and Mortals that brought about the extinction of numerous races as rather exciting. She didn't need to ponder on it to quickly figure out her Mother's opinion would closely match her own. This discussion wouldn't require her input much, if at all, but it was her duty to remain there and listen to it in order to give the important information to her Mother.

The discussion died before it even began as the God of Corruption, Vescteseg, made his entrance smashing the floor and making Serena grip a nearby wall as the earth trembled beneath her feet. No doubt she was the only one to notice as the only 'lesser life' in the room. As the God of Corruption and the King of the Gods exchanged words, Serena hazarded that this meeting may just be interesting after all, it was rare for Vescteseg to come to these meetings, akin to how it was for Hazarmaveth and her Mother. The tension was broken by the arrival of Selyse, the Klethi waved Vescteseg to come over to 'plot', and, of course, the God of Boredom gave a cryptic message about getting a mortal to do it. He just couldn't resist it, Serena idly wondered if it was some sort of... compulsion.

Crossing her arms, Serena continued to watch the discussion in her adopted silence, her sharp green eyes moving from deity to deity within the silver hall.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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At the mention of adamant he grasped Quell tightly, he dreaded an upturn in his business, and yet he finds an infuriating part of himself captivated by its shine. As he pondered over this on what to say, Vescteseg made his dramatic entrance.

He takes some steps back, he wished not to create an incident despite having more than a few misgivings with the God of Corruption. He has made his job particularly difficult with all those souls that can no longer find peace. Undeath to him was something beyond abominable.

"Always have to make your entrances the most... extravagant." He says casually not to give away his annoyance. "Let us keep this at least marginally civil."

He stepped back again and listened to the ideas bouncing back and forth, the plots and forming, he started realizing that "civil" was a very unlikely outcome. Then he heard the idea of Kurn's of using a mortal. The idea worries him, manipulating any sapient being worries him, the fragility of life regardless of its form being a matter he is beyond an expert in.

"Would we choose such a special transient, or would they choose us?" He questions Kurn, doing his best to stifle his concerns.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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"A mortal?" Klethi repeated. "God-King, I implore you consider a mortal of my choosing. An Elf. He is young, but unquestionably loyal, and it never hurts to hedge that bet; the normally whimsical, fickle nature of mortals has been the downfall of my compatriots before. But this actor in particular knows his role." She often spoke of mortals in terms of actors and performers (with the deciders of other men's fates playwrights or stars). All a part of the Divine Play. That she-knowing full well her proclivity for jeopardizing even her own goals for a more exciting story-would vouch so immediately for a champion spoke well of her choice, but the other gods (who kept tabs on the other minor gods) knew she had no divine hero. That would be playing favorites, and Klethi felt bestowing any level of power to a mortal would be unfair. "He's skilled in many things, whether securing this critical ore comes by guile or a feat-of-arms."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi
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"Yes! A party of heroes!" That was the stuff of legend, and Kelthi's overflowing joy became a shrill, triumphant exclamation. "With the strangest, unlikeliest of animal companions in tow. I for one sport a mortal as unlike his race as a platypus to other mammals. They will have much to discuss." She was torn between trying to get the death god's attention once more and the God-King's. She chose to address Lycaon first: "Not that I would question your judgement, but I believe nothing to be unpredictable, Lycaon. That would make damn fools out of my followers, wouldn't it? Nay, I'd say the titan is very predictable in deed. And that will be his downfall. Either that or-" she held up a hand for silence (thought she didn't expect any of the other gods to respect it) and thought "-an unfortunate trip on a slippery patch of grass. Either way I have the utmost confidence in our expedition. Regardless I understand the interest expressed in trying to negotiate with the titan, and-sacrificing my own desire to see what daring and excitement would come from subterfuge-second that opinion." That wasn't entirely true; in fact, it wasn't very true at all; she only wanted to see the titan contacted and told of the discovery to increase the danger of the quest to secure it. The higher the odds against her hero the better her payout, after all. "Vescetesg, I would hardly equate such a supply of adamantium to a stolen tract of land. No offense meant, of course, but slaying gods is far more impressive than some very hot rocks." That didn't mean she didn't want the death god to have the adamantium; she just wanted her own slice, too. "Surely the precognition and insight I offer as the decider of fates would be of more value. And you can trust me to be careful in what advice I'd give, Lycaon; while I may not have always acted in your interest in the past, I ask only for a tenth of what is discovered." She looked at Vescetesg. It wasn't her desire to draw his ire; she preferred to stir the proverbial pot without making herself an ingredient. "Regardless of which route we elect, I can have my elf be made available immediately."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi
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Hazarmaveth stood unphased by Vescteseg's bolstering and his challenge.

"Only because someone felt too proud to discuss the matter," Hazarmaveth said somberly, his eyes giving off a ghostly blue haze. "And do not confuse a choice of non-violence as synonymous with weakness, perhaps you will learn that eventually, perhaps after this skirmish."

His staff Quell shakes in his hand, he was losing his composure and he did not like it. He bows his head politely and turns away in an effort to avert his thoughts and evade making matters worse. This was one of the few things that worried him, to lose himself to anger, giving in to wrath. This was one important reason behind his choice of solitude.

He listened to the proceeding plans, wincing at Vescteseg wanting half of the adamant for himself in exchange for some of his land but he says nothing. He wanted a hand in this now, however, he had hardly any worshipers, most of which were hardly warriors. His only servants being the Seekers, souls of those who's lives were cut too short in his eyes remade in new form. Then something hit him, other than Kelthi's sharp shrill voice.

"Ah, I... may have a suggestion," he says carefully as he steps forward, realizing how bizarre it was for him to speak out so much, let alone put a mortal on the pedestal.

He holds out a hand, aether warping into a figure of a man of modest stature and moderate build throwing knives at a target pinned to a tree. His attire a far-from-lavish mess of cloth forming a brown and gray cloak, his face partially obscured, only his wild green eyes and his unkempt black hair show. The sleeve of his arm was limp, there was no arm there to fill it, what is visible of his skin is dark, scars mar it here and there. The man looked less a hero and more a bandit or a beggar, but there was something strange about him. The target was the symbol of a god but hard to make out through the viewing portal.

"His name is Winston Borne, he has been before me many times, near death, he has no extraordinary skills, a very minor grasp on magic, and no respect for gods," He says so plainly making no efforts to elevate this mortal, "either the luckiest transient or cursed strongly upon birth, he's been denied death fourteen times in his entire life, first time being when his mother was murdered by raiders."

Hazarmaveth closed the view port and paced back and forth, he was not done with this sudden bizarre display. He twirls Quell proudly despite the amount of unheroic traits he's listing off. If this were a sales pitch he'd already have lost the business.

"He's not of noble birth, he's crude, and tell not Karvana this but also an illegitimate halfbreed, though I suppose the more bestial traits didn't show so well, few want him around, not even he wants himself." Hazarmaveth stamps his staff down then waves a finger around, a but coming to his downhill speech. "He's clever though, and fearless, surviving alone has given him excellent instincts and he's compensated well for his handicaps as you could see."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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Klethi rolled her eyes with an unimpressed smile at Hazarmaveth. "That is your hero? While I can always appreciate an oversold introduction, I hardly think his 'suffering' is his biggest selling point. Don't be so melodramatic. Fenris has survived tenfold risks of death, and has met the destruction and ruination of his family and people with unshakable grace. Lycaon, if we're drawing straws I'd like to ask each contestant draw with as many hands as he has available. After all climbing and other ambidextrous activities should be expected." She didn't mean to hurt the other god's feelings, but she did mean to insult him and his choice. Why not? If both their mortals had to work together it would be all the more interesting to place a few wagers on the successes of the one-armed bandit and her elf. "Hazarmaveth, how would thrown knives ever hope to fell the servants of Ulm?" she asked with grating inflection. "You all know how I value a good underdog story but I won't see my mortal's time wasted because every Tim, Tom, and Terry wants to throw their own dog into this fight. Lycaon I implore you weigh your choice of mortals carefully. Being fearless doesn't stop a warhammer, and being clever doesn't help you climb or dig when down an appendage. His survival is as due to his instincts as how sorry I felt for making his circumstances so... inopportune."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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Hazarmaveth bursts forth in laughter, his head held up.

"Oh I too can enjoy a good gamble, Klethi," he says with uncharacteristic joviality. "I thought you of all of us would enjoy a real wildcard."

He chuckles slightly, calming down some from his sudden outburst returning to his hunched visage.

"But in all seriousness, he's managed to live without a god's blessing, I swear I've had no hand on his chances," He says looking to Lycaon. "Self made and surviving through adapting to new situations, indomitable will, and stubbornness."

He glances over to Klethi.

"And besides, if Ulm knew this Elf boy was working under you, who do you think he'd be more compelled to squash?"

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."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Klethi
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Klethi laughed a short, two-syllable laugh preceded by a snort. "I do enjoy a good wild card. I am the goddess of gambling, for Lycaon's sake. Either way you sound oddly eager to jump at the challenge. Has this mortal been your gimped ace-in-the-hole for some time now? It's rare anyone here is more eager to throw the actors into the tragedy than me or Vescetesg. Either way I'd gladly see your challenge, Hazarmaveth, and whatever you are willing to risk I can return in spades. I say that Fenris will himself slay Uln without need for your half-man or anyone else who is lucky enough to accompany him. As I am not the only one excited for the prospect of a grand adventuring party I will not ask that the rest of you restrain your choices, but I wish to make it clear to everyone present that whoever and whatever they send is wholly superfluous. If your champion can prove-beyond a reasonable doubt-to be a necessary companion for this expedition, I will-"
Serena took her interest. "You second the trade?" She narrowed her eyes and calculated, her fingers again twitching as if marking an invisible paper. Unlike the other gods she had on desire to hide her thoughts. "You have much to benefit when suffering and war brings you amusement. That is why I would also consent to the trade. I appreciate your callousness; it stops this world from growing dull." She smiled. Klethi could make friends with anyone. Nothing was too abhorrent, repulsive, or vile for Klethi to dip her fingers in. She let anything and everything attempt to satiate her thirst for entertainment. "It would be more interesting if you proved less predictable." Knowing everyone's angle was her business. Guessing right was convenient, but even if she thought there was a positive outcome Serena wanted, being able to be wrong was an important part of the joy of guessing. That's why she always chose such high stakes-which brought her attention back to the robed aethriate.
"If Fenris is unable to succeed independently, I will see the souls you want so determinedly rendered unto you." That was perfect, absolutely perfect: Fenris would defeat Ulm, secure the adamant, she would buy the souls from Vescetesg herself and pit Hazarmaveth against him. Anyone who challenged her would face the empowered Death God and-
Klethi's fingers twitched more; she closed her eyes and thought. What would she do with the adamant? If she dispensed it evenly, their would either be uneasy peace of undecidable war. If she gave it to the minor gods, there could be a powershift. If she kept it for herself she could decide any outcome she wanted. If she gave it to mortals that would be an even more climatic event. Or she could sit on it, fake Fenris's failure, secretly pay off Vescetesg for the souls who would undoubtedly use his new adamant to conquer, unknowingly brewing conflict with whomever she gave a much more substantial supply to resulting in his doom... I am thankful always for the almost palpable possibilities adamant generates just by having its name whispered.

Klethi became aware of the room again. The other gods knew of her slippery nature. She never acted maliciously, never with malice, never acted against another god because of a feud or hatred. The reasons for what she did were not charged with any emotion but excitement, and that was why she was scary. It was her complete disregard for the well being of others. She did not want to see anyone suffer, she wanted to see suffering. And crying and laughing and dying and living and romance and conquest and war and famine and plagues and sunshine and horses and elves and humans and titans and volcanic eruptions and cosmic annihilation.

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Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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Klethi bristled. Lycaon named the other god's choices and praised them, excluding her own. "I don't want to misinterpret anything, my lord, but you left Fenris from that party. Is that to mean that he isn't allowed, or that you've counted him out already? Either way you will see my servant victorious. With or without your blessing." Again she didn't meant to challenge Lycaon; only give him an interest (no matter how slight) in seeing Fenris fail.

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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?"

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Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon
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A Shalom gate opens and closes as the old psychopomp emerges. He was restless, distracted, even without an expression to read it was obvious in how he paced himself. Old ghosts plagued his mind, memories of times long gone haunting him. It was a long time since he had felt this, worry. One of his seekers, wrapped in robes of gray warps in beside him.

"You are not yourself, you need to rest." The seeker says, concern in her tone.

"Interesting statement, what is 'myself'?" Hazarmaveth responds, his tone being somewhat irate.

"The one who gave us a chance at life we never had, even when he needed not do so." She responds.

"Yes, and I would take not any of it back," he says, calming. "But must I betray them once again, and like this?"

The seeker looks confused, it was too cryptic for her, as even her master held secrets from his servants. He sees this confusion and pats her on the head.

"I am sorry, I am just being a nostalgic old fool putting confusing thoughts in an innocent young mind, your mother never saw your potential... to cast away a life is..." he says to her slowly, a sad tone in his voice. "The man you've found, the one you spoke of, go to him."

"But, why? Why this all of a sudden? I am your seeker, now and f-" She says, but cut off suddenly by Hazarmaveth.

"The joy of creation is to also in seeing it flourish, you have been with me long enough and I will not stifle you further."

Before the Seeker could say another word, Hazarmaveth sends her away. He stands there and sighs, already missing the company. After taking a moment to compose himself he heads towards the throne of Lycaon.

"My chosen has been notified, and I can present him at any time." He puts a hand on his forehead, a bit of exasperation coming into his tone. "I... had to withdraw him into my realm from a bit of a... predicament, however. I hope the elves forgive him on the grounds of intoxication..."

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Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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Hazarmaveth pauses, staring at Fenris who had been rather inelegantly shanghaied into this. He sighs and then politely greets the elf.

"Well, he seems sane... an astonishing feat given his... circumstances."

It was a light jab to Klethi, but an honest one. He then motions towards Fenris attempting to make a friendly gesture.

"Hello, welcome to Arkngthan, I am Hazarmaveth but you are free to call me as you see fit," he says politely. "And I'm sure no such incident will occur here."

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Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Klethi
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Fenris recognized Hazarmaveth, and clearly had more reverence for him than either Klethi or Lycaon. He bowed his head. "I'm... ill prepared, to be in the presence of... you so suddenly." He stood again, as if to stay something, but allowed instead an awkward silence.
"Are you still an atheist, Fenris?"
Fenris looked between the two gods and their king, clearly unsure of how to answer. It wouldn't be the first time she had challenged his honesty with potential death. He trusted Hazarmaveth not to smite him but not the tyrant-king Lycaon. "Yes, I still am." Klethi smiled. She appreciated his honesty; it made him consistent to wager on. "Are you gay?"
The question caught him off guard. After a fashion, he shook his head. Klethi deflated. "That is disappointing."
"...disappointing?" He looked at her, at once both interested and offended.
"Well it appears aside the platypus that has been offered, the majority of your companions will be male."
"And?"
"And, well, it'd be a lot more interesting if you fell madly in love with someone and they died in a dramatic attempt to rescue you from certain death. And quite honestly Fenris, as the Goddess of Chance I can say I don't see you sharing your bed with a demi-god."
"You aren't going to make me, are you?"
"I can't make you do anything. If I could make everything I wanted happen Lycaon or someone else would have killed me a long time ago."
"Well if you can't make me, can I go home?"
"No. There's important work to be done. There are lives at stake. A tyrant sits on a dangerous weapon! And-" Klethi spoke intentionally loudly, sure Lycaon would hear her, "I mean a real tyrant. Not what you call Lycaon. Now go do some calisthenics or something. You're hardly in the shape I told Ulm you were in."
"Wait, he knows I'm coming?"
"Yes. And don't worry, he sounds quite mad about it."
"How is that possibly a good thing?"
"Well, I wouldn't want it to be easy for you. Now if you're done questioning my motivations and spoiling the story, I have other matters to attend to. There's a certain God of Corruption I'm going to go ask not to turn you into an Alfar. Unless you'd prefer I didn't."
"...I'd very much prefer you did."
"Then I shall. Hazarmaveth, have a nice day." And Fenris was suddenly alone. He didn't dare look at Lycaon, in case being called a tyrant was going to get him erased from existence (or worse; he wasn't entirely sure what the creatures that called themselves gods could do). He decided to remain silent.

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Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Vescteseg Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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Fenris's head snapped up. Even if he was (reasonably) afraid for his life, he would show someone speaking him to the respect of eye contact. "I'm not trying to sleep with your daughter," he blurted, defensively. "I swear. But whatever Klethi makes happen..." His face was red. "Not that that's an excuse for adultery or anything, but, you know, I, I-"
Fenris didn't know how much Nymeria heard before she spoke. He was startled, and did little to hide it. "...I'm Fenris." He answered simply. Her list of titles was much more impressive than his. "S-some people call me lucky. B-but not because I like to get lucky!"

Klethi literally rolled on the floor giggling, which was an uncommon sight in the Corruption.

"I'm awfully sorry can I please get a second chance? I mean, I know Klethi is who you ask for second chances, but-not that I'm questioning your own abilities, Lycaon. Uh, sir? I-I don't know how to address you." And suddenly someone else was addressing him, and adorning him in a flower wreath. His skin crawled and he sneezed violently. "Oh please! That's not a very nice way to kill someone." He struggled through a clogged nose; he was deathly allergic to the particular flowers in the wreath. It wasn't clear whether he took his melodramatism from Klethi or didn't know the wreath had changed, but he sneezed again and pulled it off. "It's not that I'm ungrateful for..." He stared at the necklace, clearly confused. "...this is very pretty." But he sneezed and dropped it and wiped something gross with the back of his hand.

Klethi cackled. If she was mortal she would have asphyxiated from laughter. "Why did I make an elf allergic to flowers? It's so cruel, and so hilarious!" She struggled to control herself. "Oh my... Vescteseg! I'm not here to laugh. Where are you?"

Fenris had never been more out of his element. His god wanted him to be gay and he made himself look like an ass in front of three others. Worse the murder-pile of a god's daughter that was Nymeria probably thought he was some kind of sex-fiend. He didn't know which of those issues to address first. Kurn had turned into a ball of light and floated away, so he would deal with that last; "M-Ms. Nymeria, your reputation precedes you. I watched many people lose their homes after your defeat of Belirand." He wasn't aware that in other parts of the world life and death weren't given odds. That probably sounded terrible. "But you may be mistaken; I am an elf. Lycaon isn't the god-king of my people. He's the god-king of your people. You must have me confused with another demi-god." Of course, he had no idea how pompous that sounded; he intended only to be factual. "But I am pleased to make your acquaintance." He looked again at Lycaon. "Will she be accompanying us? I am glad to have her. T-to be with her, I mean. No, glad to be beside her. In history, not physically." Alarmed, his eyes went back to her. "N-not that being near you physically is bad either. It's not, like, the best thing ever, b-but it's not... I..." He shook his head. "I'm so sorry. I don't talk to people very much. Not that I'm calling you a person, Lycaon! You're clearly a very big, very powerful, very... more-than-person thing." Not a god, but more than a person. "A-and you're half of that, Ms. Nymeria. A-and not a bad half!"

Klethi almost felt bad for him. Mentally she adjusted the odds on the notice board in Azal greatly in favor of him sleeping with the demi-god within the month. Ladies love a comedic idiot. Just don't sneeze on her again. I can't wait to see how he fucks up meeting a platypus.

Fenris stepped away from Lycaon and his daughter. "...y-you have a very lovely throne room." That compliment couldn't hurt, could it? "I doubt many mortals get to stand here and boast about atheism, amiright?" He joked with a weak chuckle. He hadn't been smote yet. Was that a good sign? Or was he going to be buried in flowers to sneeze himself into the grave? His face slowly returned to its normal color. "I'm very happy to meet you all."

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Character Portrait: Hazarmaveth Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Klethi Character Portrait: Kurn, God of Enlightenment
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Hazarmaveth just leans back as poor Fenris has his episode, starting to consider withdrawing his statement of sanity, not that he blames him for it. The sound of a Shalom gateway closing is heard and out of the corner of his eye he catches a glimpse of Borne and one of his seekers, the former hunched and mouth agape. It is implied he may have been there for a while.

"What was that?" Borne mutters.

He storms up to Fenris and Hazarmaveth, latter whom looks to his seeker motioning towards the clearly still intoxicated halfbreed. The seeker reacts only by shrugging while holding and petting Enyo.

"Di-did you bribe seeker Tulin with a ferret?" The god of death asks in disbelief. "You weren't supposed to arrive until you were sobe-"

"Yeah, I'm s-sober enough," he says, his speech somewhat slurred and slouching quite a bit, "Sober enough to see... this... t-this..."

He looks Fenris over, scrutinizing him for every detail. He then leans back and his eyes widen into a look of disbelief.

"Eh... elf?" a clear uncertainty in his tone as he gets up into Fenris's face. "You... are elven, right, boy?"

"Yes, he is." Hazarmaveth responds.

Borne glances over at his mentor then back to Fenris and shrugs backing away, Hazarmaveth clearly relieved and a bit surprised he didn't strike poor Fenris. The halfbreed turns towards Lycaon and his daughter Nymeria.

"Oh, would you look at this place and you guys, do any good smiting lately?"

Hazarmaveth pokes Borne in the back of the head with his cane, to which nearly causes him to lose balance and topple into the floor.

"Greetings lord Lycaon, lady Nymeria..." he says with forced elegance, then he looks to Fenris. "I am Winston Borne, the divine joke and apparent cheater of death."

He takes a bow, then raises up with a smirk upon his face.

"Hope you don't take offense but I do have a request should we succeed in this... venture."

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Fenris did not like animals. He did not like flowers, or Lycaon, or the quest ahead of him. He really didn't like Nymeria's misunderstandings. He wanted, desperately, to explain just how disinterested he was in trying to seduce her, but he knew his tongue would only make more of a fool of him. "...I apologize, Ms. Nymeria." That 'king' is nothing to the true elf people. You can't read my thoughts can you? Why am I here?! Even the man with one-arm was more qualified than Fenris.
"A request?" Fenris asked. Is it that I stay here? Because I would gladly do so. "There is not much that I can do or offer." He stepped away from the owl. "I was told there would be a platypus accompanying us, not an avian." He didn't like flying creatures. He didn't like mammals either, but at least platipodes had the good decency to realize what a mistake mammals were and did their damnedest to do something else. "I'm sorry, everyone. I do not ask to be left out of cowardice, but it is clear I'm the least suited for this. Perhaps I should be sent ahead; I will do what I can to soften Ulm's defenses and the rest of you can benefit from my absence. Unless you need a scribe, cartographer, cook, caddy, armorer, scout, or musician." He didn't list his proficiencies as any level of boast. "...I don't mean to be rude, but I can't supply my own instrument. Any string or wind would be acceptable. Bagpipes? I know some wilting funeral orations. N-not that I expect to need them for any of you, of course. You're all... great warriors and everything... and I'm..." he sighed and scratched his jaw. "Lycaon, I very humbly appreciate you offering your home, but I would be more comfortable in Azal. Not that your palace is subpar in any respect. I just wouldn't want to inconvenience you. I'm sure there's plenty of space and everything, though."
Fenris wouldn't turn down the owl if everyone else did, but he wouldn't jump at the opportunity either. Nymeria's overreaction to a misunderstanding of his romantic intentions (or lack thereof) was insulting but not unexpected. He finally bet down to collect the necklace; he examined it before putting it back around his neck. At the very least his sneezing had subsided before he covered the rest of his new friends. "Ms. Nymeria again I very much apologize. It is a pleasure to meet you and I want nothing more. Of all Klethi's qualities, understanding is foremost and she won't make anything happen I don't want to." Unfortunately, he believed that. "So don't worry at all about me, or you, or us, or whatever."

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Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Aeristhatia Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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"L-lycaon, thank you very much." Fenris took the lute from the servant slowly, like it might metamorphize into a snake at any moment. He pulled at each string once with his index finger. "...it can be any instrument? Can it be multiple at once?" He could orchestrate an entire band. Hopefully a sufficient performance would make Klethi forget about his seduction sidequest.
"Liquor?" Fenris asked Nymeria. In Azal it was still morning. Regardless, "I don't like alcohol. If a milk or fruit juice can be substituted, I would be much obliged. I mean, I'm obliged at all to be welcome in Lycaon's great hall. But I do not wish to partake in quaffing from the chalice of inebriation. But I a appreciate the offer, thank you."
And there was a platypus. That could talk. And it had better manners than him? Well excuse me Ms. Nymeria, but he wasn't given an introduction by the goddess of awkward situations. "Are you Aeristhatia's champion?" He disregarded the goddess herself entirely; she didn't receive the same difference Hazarmaveth did. "I am Fenris. It is... a rarity to make your acquaintance. "If I may, noble platypode, may I suggest you refrain from using terms like 'robust' to describe women. It is my belief they prefer affections like 'perky.'"

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Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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Fenris had, fortunately, found quiet places of solace where he was able to test his gift without interruption and without bothering anyone. He asked where he could acquire food and drink, rather than requesting it be brought to him, had no preference for his sleeping quarters, and-despite the abundance the god-king experienced-asked for and took as little as he could. It was clear to everyone he was uncomfortable in Arkngthan.
More than once Fenris would be caught staring at his future companions. Despite his dislike for animals, Mercutio was treated well. By and large he avoided everyone when he could, especially when trying his new instrument. He couldn't avoid everyone when summoned by Lycaon, though. He stood in a line with everyone, near the center despite his preference to be standing on the wings, with a silver flute in his pocket. While he hadn't asked for much, he wore new clothes better suited to the mountains than what he had worn in Azal. Klethi was foremost in judging the collection. "Nymeria will no doubt kill a few things, but I still don't see how anyone expects one-arm to beat Fenris," she remarked while secretly betting very well against her chosen hero.
The display of wolves didn't impress Fenris. In fact, it annoyed him. It bothered him that Lycaon manipulated the world so carelessly. He also hated riding animals, so when they were instantly transported however many miles and dimensions away, he materialized in a bad mood. "I would prefer to walk."

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Character Portrait: Winston Borne Character Portrait: Lycaon Character Portrait: Nymeria Character Portrait: Fenris Character Portrait: Mercutio the Platypus
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In the weeks Borne had spent much of his time to himself, and surprisingly kept relatively sober. When he wasn't trying to keep his skills sharp he was carving a piece of wood with his nail, talking to his ferret, and looking into a jar of black liquid. What interactions he did with the others were brief and at times awkward, but he tried to be more courteous than he was before. With the platypus he kept mentioning that Enyo is a talking animal too and that it was nice for her to no longer be the only one, likely to even Mercutio's confusion. It grew clear that he had very little interactions with other people, having hinted he essentially been raised by Hazarmaveth after his mother's death, some of it showed more but he remained relatively crude, sleeping wherever he felt tired not too unlike an animal.

At the time of the gathering he had taken his cloak and worn it specifically over his missing arm. It was clear from the weight that it was converted in order to hold his various instruments including knives and self-made devices, knowing well he'd need quite a few.

He squinted quite a bit in front of Lycaon, all the bright light was a bit much for him, in between each flash trying to make some he had tried to pose a question, then soon found himself atop a warg and not far from the Ulmish mountain border.

"Well," Borne groaned. "At least we are done zapping about... I think."

Enyo squirms in the pack on his back. As usual he acts as if this means something more than being restless.

"Huh? What? Yeah, did we happen to have a... plan?"