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Luman and Cali

God and Goddess of Duality and Balance

0 · 1,215 views · located in Pandeum

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

Description

Luman and Cali

God Name: Luman and Cali
Title: God and Goddess of Duality and Balance

Image

God Name:
Luman

Title:
God of Duality and Balance, Lord of Light, Patron of Heroes, King of the Noble

Gender:
Typically male

Alignment:
Neutral, leaning towards good

God Appearance:
Luman is easily recognized as a divine warrior clad in gleaming armor with massive white wings to carry him into battle against evil and weapons to cut through the forces of darkness. This is indeed one of his favorite ways to appear, but just as white light is made of several different colors, Luman has many aspects of himself and many forms to represent these sides. In addition to the appearance of the golden hero, Luman often comes to others in the form of a mischievous young boy, a beautiful maiden, a blind man, or even a winged white stallion.

Image

God Name:
Cali

Title:
Goddess of Duality and Balance, Lady of Shadows, Mother of Monsters, Queen of Hags

Gender:
Typically female

Alignment:
Neutral, leaning towards evil

God Appearance:
Unlike her husband, Cali has no one set form and no two depictions of her are the same. However, she is generally believed to take the form of a beautiful temptress with monstrous features, such as horrible claws, a serpentine tail, leathery wings, or twisted horns. Sometimes, all of her beauty is ignored, leaving the image of some hideous beast. Like her companion, Cali takes many forms, though she proves even more flexible with the faces she wears. Her favorite forms, aside from the beastly seductress, are that of an emaciated old hag, a gluttonous nobleman, a bloodied barbarian, and a monstrous dragon.

Personalities:
Since the dawn of creation, the world has relied on a divine balance between all things. Everything has something to counter it, keep it in check, and make up for it's flaws. The steady unmoving earth has the free and unpredictable winds. The burning passions of fire are contained and tamed by the calm and flowing tides of the sea. It is in these harmonious acts of duality that Cali and Luman find their calling. They are tasked with keeping balance between all the energies of Pandeum, lest the world fall into utter chaos. Even in a single entity there is conflicting sides and paradoxes. The most savage of beasts may be the most loving of mothers. The kindest of men may possess the bloodiest of blades. No coin is one sided and nothing stands alone. This is what the Lord and Lady represent. They are two extremes, yet they live together with little issues. The love between these deities is practically tangible as they respect each other and the things each of them guards. That being said, neither Luman or Cali will censor their opinions for the sake of their consort. In history, the pair have typically been on opposing sides of conflicts. Even during the Great Rebellion, Luman sided with their fellow Archaic Gods while Cali assisted the Young Gods in their uprising.

Luman is a friendly and relaxed energy, easily approached and very unlike the emotionless savior many artists and poets depict him as. He is highly charismatic with an infectious smile and charming nature that causes others to instantly open up to him. He cares for others and any member of any nation may call upon him to illuminate their path or assist in a noble deed. He is a patron of those with good intentions and many stories are told of the god lending his support to heroes in need. Despite his friendly exterior, one should not underestimate the Lord of Light, as he can become a ruthless adversary is it's necessary. He is devoted to protecting the balance between all things and if anyone threatens that, he is prepared to cut them down.

Though Cali loves her husband dearly, she is nothing like him. She is confident and intimidating, sending chills up the spines those in her presence. Her stare can shake the souls of even the bravest of mortals and her voice can make even a god melt with desire. She is sensual yet frightening, combining the sweetest of dreams with the worst of nightmare. Cali is typically unconcerned with anyone other than her followers, unless a hefty offering is involved. She indulges in passions and worldly desires and her roles in history typically involve tempting the pure to do so as well. She is quick to anger and has issues with dealing with other gods in ways that don't end in war. It was she who created the first monsters and beasts to hunt man and so Cali claims guardianship of all those who are seen as wretched and monstrous. She spends much of her time creating new monsters and sending them to challenge the heroes who hide behind Luman's skirts. Cali believes herself to be the mother of all those considered dark and wretched. She cares deeply for her followers and gives them what they need in order to survive in a world that hates them. She's also quite the trickster, a quality she likes to pull out of her husband, and she's well known for meddling in the affairs of others.

Opinion of mortals:
"Some are good, some are evil. All of them are necessary."

God’s Domain:
Trutina is the realm of where light and darkness meet. What seems like an endless road made from stained glass runs through the realm, separating two drastically different sides. The right side of the world is known as the Garden of Light, a lush paradise filled with fantastical creatures and the spirits of Luman's most loyal followers. The left side of Trutina is the Forest of Shadows, a desolate woodland filled with twisted dark trees. The forest is prone to playing tricks on the minds of those who enter it and the minions of Cali wander it's barren borders.

Image

Avatar Name:
Dolus Magnus the White Fox

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

Magic Abilities:
Dolus is a talented spell caster, a quality enhanced by the hag blood running through his veins. He specializes in shape shifting and has a plethora of forms that he can take whenever he pleases. He is also proficient with battle magic and is skilled with a dagger.

Hero:
Orion Gladius

Rank/Reason:
Personal body guard and lover of Dolus Magnus

Personality:
Always slow to speak, Orion is a man of few words and many actions. He is serious, though Dolus can break his icy cool demeanor with ease. He is extremely honest, almost brutally so and cares not for the social niceties Dolus is fond of. He is devoted to his charge and loves him with all his heart. He would do anything for his prince.

Hero:
Madame Silk

Rank/Reason:
Leader of the Shade, the Empire's elite force of assassins. Silk also owns and operates the Widow's Web, Parilis' most successful and high end brothel.

Personality:
Though extremely clever, Silk's sharp tougue and quick wit aren't the only things that have earned her the title of the most dangerous woman in the Empire. Much like her Lady, she is extremely manipulative and charismatic, able to easily make an impact on anyone who crosses her path. She is incredibly cunning, with an ability to think her way out of almost any situation. Despite her reputation as a cut-throat and heartless woman, Silk holds much love and respect for her workers at the Widow's Web, her fellow assassins, and for Dolus.

Hero(es):
Animus Solvo

Rank/Reason:
Leader of the Knights of Lux and a brilliant military tactician. Also a very respected artist and poet.

Personality:
Since the death of his father, Animus has made quite the name for himself within the walls of Parilis. He has proven himself countless times on the battlefield, bested some of the most skilled of opponents, and protected many innocents from harm. He is charming and smooth, with a taste for romance and sensual pleasures. He is also renowned for his more artistic abilities, namely his paintings and poetry.

Hero:
Lamina

Rank/Reason:
Queen of the Nefai

Personality:
Both beautiful and terrible to behold, there is no one more fit to lead the beasts of Cali than Lamina. She has been hardened by the world and made strong by the adversities she faced as she climbed her way to power. Though not heartless, the queen will not hesitate to spill blood for her people or to defend her title. Many have tried to steal her throne, but after centuries Lamina still reigns. Below her are leaders who command the smaller factions that make up Lamina's kingdom. Among the most notable are:

-Cassis of the Northern Beasts
-Ignis Fervor of the Fallen Star
-Raven Witchmother of the Great Oak Coven
-Vena Luna of the Half-Beasts
-Nerkron Dai of the Dark Savages
-Atropos Eyesnatcher of the Black Pond Coven
-Pecker of the Southern Scavengers
-Lady Lastbreath of the Drowners


Terrain Preference:
Large cities

Name of Kingdom/Empire:
The Dualae Empire

Capital:
Parilis- Center of trade that lies in the center of the Empire. Home of the royal family for centuries.

Major Cities:
Lumanta- Center of religion and home of Luman's largest shrine.
Umbris- Center of the Empire's shadier operations. Home to the worst Dualae prisons.
Cora- Center of art, namely theater. Also home to many brothels.
Gladion- Center of military.

Society:

[People]
The people of the Dualae Empire come from all walks of life and are generally very well rounded. They are a welcoming melting pot of countless races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds as their gates are always open to friendly peoples. However, this causes their military to always be on guard and willing to stomp out enemies who hide behind masks of camaraderie. The Dualae are a strong people whose empire has fallen and re-risen many times. They are friendly and accepting, yet always prepared to defend what is there's. They emphasize balance and celebrate the differences between all people. They are poets, warriors, philosophers, prostitutes, mages, thieves, and many more. The Empire is home to many factions, each of which serves a purpose in Empire. Some of the major factions are:

The Knights of Lux- Order dedicated to fighting injustice and protecting the pure. Many Dualae heroes of legend come from this group. More recently, they have been charged with the protection of Parilis and guarding the royal family.

The Shade- The Empire's elite force of assassins who are always prepared deal with the dirtier sides of Empire politics. Not only do they carry out contract kills, but the Shades also deals in the interrogation and questioning of Empire enemies.

The Aura- An offshoot of the Shade, the Aura is an order that acts as a personal troop of spies under the employment of the crown. They are believed to be everywhere and were once feared for their skills of espionage and blackmail. Despite this, Dolus typically only uses them to catch up on the latest gossip in his court.

The Order of Mentis- A group of philosophers and mages who offer their knowledge and insight to the crown. They spend most of their time in their temples or wandering Pandeum in search of enlightenment.

The Hand of Incito- A group of artists who use their various skills to inspire and delight the population of the Empire. Though they have no general political agenda, many of them tend to be quite the revolutionaries.

The Blunt Blade- A troop of warriors who look for nothing but a good battle to fight and some wine to drink. They can be quite a rowdy group but are valuable assets to the Empire on the battlefield.

[Economy]
The Empire has one of the strongest economies in Pandeum and relies largely on it's trade with other nations. They produce a number of products, such as fine art, weapons, exotic foods, spices, fabrics, jewelry, magic tomes, and basically anything else one can use to make a profit. If it can be sold, at least one Dualae will being willing to sell it.

[Politics]
The Empire is made up of several large city-states, each with a council of fifty elected and respected representatives who handle the day to day activities of their respective cities. Over all the councils reigned the Concilium Maximus, a congregation of representatives from each city, personal advisors, and the Emperor. The Emperor has the final say in all things, but has traditionally followed the advice of his council.

Other: The Empire currently has no emperor. There is only Dolus, the bastard son of the late Emperor Solas and a mysterious hag. Since Dolus is the only heir to the throne, he will be crowned emperor on his upcoming birthday.

Terrain Preference:
Anywhere

Name of Kingdom/Empire:
The Nefai

Capital:
The Black Forest

Major Cities:
None

Society:

[People]
The Nefai, much like the Dualae, are a diverse and complicated people. They are made up of what the rest of the world considers monsters or outsiders. The many cults of Cali find themselves all over Pandeum and a good deal of these groups are nomadic. Countless races and creatures form these strange groups.

Oakborn
Every year, in the spring, the Great Oak, a large tree that supplies all of the Black Forest with it's magic, spawns hoards of young monsters from it's roots and branches. The Oakborn, as they're known, They come in many shapes and sizes, with a variety of abilities and personalities. No two Oakborn look quite the same. Typically, they are raised by the hags of the Great Oak Coven until they reach an age where they can fend for themselves. They have a deep connection with the Great Oak and it is believed that if the Oak is harmed, all it's brood will feel the pain.

The Fallen
Unlike the Oakborn, who where born into the lives of beasts, the Fallen were all once members of another race. In most cases they were undesirable or unwanted in their own society and chose to follow the goddess Cali, whose magic would slowly transform them into monstrous versions of themselves. In other instances, Cali or some other deity cursed them to their fate as a hideous best. Similar to their Oakborn brethren, they come in many different forms, which usually corresponds to their personalities and vices in their former lives.

Hags
Perhaps one of Cali's favorite creations, the hags combine the ferocity of a beast with the learned refinement of a magician. A largely female group, hags typically appear as average or even beautiful women, but when provoked they transform into ghastly versions of their former selves, often including sickly pale skin and animalistic features. They are respected as priestesses of Cali and are honored within the Nefai, but typically shunned by the outside world. They are powerful spell casters and spiritual beings. To keep herself strong and beautiful, a hag must feed on the life force of others. Despite this, most of them are fairly peaceful and choose to feed off of energy in small doses. However, hags who practice are darker craft feed on the flesh in order to sustain themselves.

The Spawn
Contrary to the Oakborn who come from the Oak and the Fallen who changed into monster, the Spawn are born in the same fashion that other species are traditionally born. They mostly resemble their parents, who may be Spawn, Oakborn, Fallen, Hag, or Crafted and tend to grow up with similar abilities and strengths.

The Crafted
Perhaps the rarest of all monsters, the Crafted are creatures created by Cali herself and released into the world to do her bidding. They range from malicious seductresses to sea monsters and demonic beasts. Most of them serve to test the strength of some hero that Luman is guiding or to punish those who have wronged their goddess.

[Economy]
The Nefai economy is different from faction to faction, but they are overall a fairly self-reliant group. They tend to trade amongst themselves and some of the more aggressive tribes pillage and plunder to get supplies. They have no united currency, but food, gold, and weapons are almost always accepted.

[Politics]
The Nefai are a loose network of tribes and clans that are united under a single monarch. Relations among these groups are subject to change as civil war is always a threat when Nefai leaders come together. The Nefai have a bloody past and the factions are constantly fighting for supremacy and rank. Not much is written in stone and the only permanent law is that one keeps what one kills. The crown of the Nefai is stained with the blood of countless kings and queens and Lamina is the longest in generations to wear it.

They usually don't involve themselves in the affairs of other nations and, as they are often shunned or hated, they stay in the presence of others like themselves. The Nefai have a bad reputation as pillagers and monsters, which is fairly accurate in some cases.

Other:

So begins...

Luman and Cali's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Luman and Cali Character Portrait: Asger and Tryne Character Portrait: Tyler Character Portrait: Ulmo Character Portrait: Montayzuomah Character Portrait: Tashiek Character Portrait: Shem Character Portrait: Norack/ Rinen T. Hawk Character Portrait: Adharc'aon Character Portrait: Anaria'tal Character Portrait: LiesseiL Character Portrait: Muertina Character Portrait: Kaellarak Character Portrait: Kairos & Kallandra
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Cali and Luman

“There is a shift in energy manifesting.” Luman said as he stroked his chin, two golden eyes focused on checkered board in front of him. He reached out, moving his the white form of one of his knights several spaces forward. “Yes, I’m very away, my love.” Cali said as she cornered her husband’s ivory king with a dark queen. “It’s a emptiness unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.” She looked up from the board, amusement flickering in her ebony colored eyes. “I believe I won this game.” Luman chuckled, running his fingers through his hair as leaned back in his throne. “I believe so, my dear. Your cleverness knows no bounds.” The Lady of Shadows smirked, rising from her obsidian seat and walking about the chessboard. She sat in her husband’s lap, draping her legs over his throne’s armrest. “Now,” she started. “We must prepare for this coming change, whatever it is. Regardless of whether it’s dark or light, something with this much energy is bound to knock everything out of balance.”

Luman nodded. “I know, that’s what I’m worried about. We’ve all come to such a good place. The nations are healthy, the Treaty goes unthreatened, and for a while, I thought we’d have actual harmony.” “Well, you know what they say.” Cali said. “A God’s work is never finished.” Luman smiled weakly and leaned over, kissing the goddess on her nose. “Why must you always be so insightful?” “It’s a blessing and a curse, to be quite frank.” Ebony smirked as she got up, her leathery wings lifting her several inches off the ground. “We should spread the word among the gods.” Luman nodded, standing up and walking over to the nearest window. A ball of light formed in his hand and he brought it to his lips. “Go give word to our brothers.” And it flew off into the realms of the other gods, where it would give the same message.

“Something is coming. Be prepared.”

Dolus Magnus

The crown was heavy on Dolus’ head. It’s golden halo and sparkling jewels filled the white of his hair with colored light. The tips of his elongated ears rubbed against the crown’s rim, causing their pointed ends to slightly redden with irritation. As the bastard prince looked into the mirror, he couldn’t bring himself to smile. The crown wasn’t meant to be worn by someone who looked like him. The dull silver in his eyes deepened with the slight pang of sadness he felt. He starred in the mirror for several moments, a look of concentration on his face, before his appearance began to subtly ripple and change.

The marks on his skin faded, his hair turned a warm brown, and his ears shortened and rounded out, not leaving a hint of their barbs. The sad metallics of his eyes filled with a sharp amber and for a moment, Dolus flickered with genuine satisfaction. This is what the people wanted. “Dolus? Are you ready?” Orion walked in, a mixture of sadness and anger covering his face when he saw his prince. “You aren’t trying this again.” A smile formed on Dolus’ lips as he turned around. It was mostly sincere, which became progressively more difficult for the prince as he coronation closened. “Oh, hush. This is a good idea. The people will be much more comfortable if I look like this.” Dolus gestured to his face. Orion rolled his eyes and shook his head. “They’ll love you. They’ll love you without your tricks and spells. Just as I do.” Dolus let out a laugh. “Many late nights have proven that you’re a big fan of my ‘tricks.’” A smile cracked on the bodyguard’s face.

A moment of silence passed between them. “Well,” Orion started. “We should be on our way. You have to discuss plans for the Harvest Festival.” He paused before continuing. “And, at the end of the day, it’s your coronation. It’s your decision how the Empire sees you. You’re the Emperor, so I won’t tell you how to live your life.” Dolus shook his head, the color draining from his hair and the marks slowly rising back onto his skin. “I’m not the Emperor yet. Let’s not get too dramatic.” He walked toward his guard and placed a hand on his cheek, the other man’s stubble pricking him slightly. “Thank you, Orion.” “It’s my pleasure, Prince Dolus.” The future emperor smiled. “Let’s not delay then. I feel like this festival will be a grand time, don’t you?” They began walking. “If you have a hand in it, this festival will be like none that anyone has ever seen before.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luman and Cali Character Portrait: Tyler
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Tyler


Something is coming. Be prepared.

Tyler glared at the messenger. "Of course something is coming," she said, "of course something is coming. Something is always coming. It doesn't matter to me. Why should it? We'll find a way. And, also, maybe the mortals. What else can we do? Fail? Bah, failing is for failures who don't know how to win. And one of things I know how to do is win."

Tyler glanced back to the messenger, the ball of light, "I'm going to get you to send me a reply, okay? Well, here it is: You'd think the God and Goddess of Duality and Balance wouldn't send something so obvious. Really, what else could we do except get prepared for anything? And this was why I didn't enter the War. To many obvious plans and messages. Luman, Cali, I know that you miss me, but you could've at least sent a message of something more, like, 'how are you doing?' I'm hurt now. Okay, now I'm rambling. Survival is wanting to take over, and, as always, I am prone to the whims of Success and Survival." Tyler, who's form was changing, looked at the ball of light. "What are you waiting for? Go!"

The ball of light disappeared. Tyler grew a few feet, to a more gruff and dangerous appearance. The only thing he could do now, was go into a dangerous area and survive. This was going to be fun.



Oriander Nequin

Oriander Nequin, otherwise known as the Great King (he would never call himself that, it was the people who coined the title), was walking the beaches of his island. Earlier that morning Matilda Wonder and Malice Savvory had been entered in an argument. Or, rather, an angered man ready to hit a not caring woman. It happened. And when Oriander turned his head to see the conflict he saw Matilda with a red face, and Malice standing over her.

Oriander looked at Malice, "Malice, what have I told you about your anger?"

"T-to hold it in," was the shaky, deep voice of Malice. He was now terrified for his life. "And to release it when needed."

The Great King laughed, before standing from his throne and walking towards the general of his army. "Remove your helmet," was what Oriander said.

Malice did so quickly, only to receive the hardest backhand he had ever felt in his life, stronger than his father's, even. "You will not touch the Magister Wondrous," Oriander snarled, "she is in a higher station than you. You are lucky that I need you, or you would have received a harsher punishment. Go back to Dervin and only contact me if it is a matter of importance. I will contact you otherwise."

Malice frowned before nodding. He then left, not wanting to face anymore of the anger of Oriander Nequin. "Matilda, you a relieved of your duties for today. Go do something," the king said to Matilda as he left.

Many bows, a horse and a few kilometres later, Oriander was on the beach, walking. Walking towards the rowboat that was grounded on the hot sand. Walking towards the captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge. Walking towards the Queen of Pirates, Erin Teach. Erin Teach with all her one eyed-ness, her pirate-ness, and her harshness. She saw Oriander, and smirked. I was a minute later when Oriander finally reached Erin. "So, Great King, how's the Isle?" was Erin's usual greeting.

Oriander raised an eyebrow, "The Isle is warm, as always." Was the usual reply from Oriander. Before anymore words could be shared, Erin pushed the rowboat out into the sea and jumped on.

"Coming, Great King?" she was teasing him.

"Of course, Madam Teach," and he teased back relentlessly as he jumped towards the rowboat. The rest of that day was a day of party. Party and love...lots of love...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luman and Cali Character Portrait: Asger and Tryne Character Portrait: Ulmo
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Asger

The Goddess watched from on high, smiling. A cup of mead in her hand as she observed from her throne in Valhalla. Whilst the rest of the world wasted it's time at peace, the Frozen Norths enjoyed a civil war. It was her favorite past time, though of course not what she wanted for the Frostborn, it still amused her very much to see them battle. She drank the mead leaned in to watch a dual. Jarl Wilhelm of the Bearclaw had cut a path straight to Jarl Belgruf of the Shattersheild and now the two were engaged in heated battle to the death. Both were seasoned veterans and proud Danes, it should be a lengthy duel worthy of her attention but her ears caught sound of something else, a message.

" Something is coming.Be prepared.".

She laughed loudly, the mead spilling on the floor. When she finished she rested her head on her hand. "I already am, fools.They think I've been sitting her doing nothing all these years? Am I not the Goddess of War?". Asger jokingly said to herself. She went back to the battle at hand, clapping her hands for more mead. "I guess I should end this pety squabble of a civil war, if it makes my fellow Gods feel safe knowing that I am "prepared.".


With that Asger expanded her arm forward and with motion, swiped before her away. Now before here was an expanse of open ocean. "What is that girl up to?". The Goddess of War asked herself and leaned in to get a better view, a servant bringing her more mead as she did this.

Astrid of the Shattershield


The city of Atlantae was in sight, the Huskarlars of the four boats gave the word for the horns to be sounded, to warn the people of their arrival. The Thegns shouted things in old Northsmen, a language forgotten to all but the Frostborn, and the Drengs rushed to execute their orders. Along with the Huskarls were the Merkismathrs, men and women of great skill and renown in battle. Each ship had atleast two of these champions onboard, each one distinquished by the animal pelt they were or the trophy they had (and trophies varied from simple things like a ring of a rival Merkismathr's corpse to his weapon to his severed head hooked to their belt). However regardless of how decorated these men and women were and all their years of experience, there was one amongst them that stood out.

She was as tall as the men and though she was indeed beautiful, her stance was intimidating. Her eyes were like two hawks, observing the crew for flaw, for weakness, and she found it, she pounced. Her commanding voice was like the barking of the Norths Wolf. It put the fear of the Gods in them. The Huskarlar, being a smart man, could only support her and chewed out his men for not meeting her standards. Her shield was scarred from battle, her warpaint was fresh, and the spear in her hand seemed to be yearning for blood. They knew her by many names for despite her youth she had done many things but the title she had earned most recently was Avatar of Asger and Tryne. This woman was Astrid, Daughter of Jarl Belgruf, and it was she who led these men and women to Atlantae.

When the four ships came close enough to begun noticing the features of the city, they all stood in awe. Their walls were like mountains. When they pulled into the harbor, the Avuvian warships casted shadows over their long boats. It was no wonder taht the mighty Frostborn respected the Avuvians, and heralded them as equals. Astrid stood at the bow and took in the sights, her sword and shield still gripped in her hands. It was a city untouched by war, unlike the cities of the Frostborn, and beautiful. "My people once swore to burn this city to the ground. Yet here it is still, flourishing and untouched, and here we are coming to it not to fulfill our promise but to go against it. We may near mock the Ancestors by doing this. Yet here we are...are the Avuvians that mighty of a foe father?".

In the absence of her father, the wind responded for him and blew gently against her face. "Sound the horns again," she called over her shoulder. "Tell the men to prepare to dock and shore leave. I shall see for myself if these Avuvians are worth our hospitality or the sharp end of our spears.".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Luman and Cali Character Portrait: Asger and Tryne Character Portrait: Ulmo
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Ulmo


There were some among the Archaic Gods that said that the god of the seas would not be able to abide with peace for long. To be fair to them, he hadn't exactly behaved as a peaceful or tranquil deity and he still did not as many a sailor or mariner could attest. Nonetheless, since the war's end, Ulmo had been content to pursue his own interests without provoking his fellow deities. He found that he had enjoyed teaching mortals about the sea and he had laughed with delight when he saw the humans' first boat centuries ago. And he grew proud of the humans who chose him for their patron deity, gifting his Avatars with near-immortality and creating a paradise for them in the afterlife. A few even understood the sea. It simply was. It was dangerous, untamed, as was he and mortalkind, oddly enough. He approved.

At the moment, he stood on the pearly white beaches of the Isles of the Blessed even as a ball of light appeared. He recognized it as a creation of Luman's. He had respected the elder deity even as he roared in rebellion, demanding his rightful freedom.

“Something is coming. Be prepared.”


The sea god raised an eyebrow at this.

"Interesting... What will you do, young Caspian? Before, I could guide you, but now, something new is coming. Something, I feel, that neither of us have seen before."

Caspian


Atalantae's docks and markets were bustling with crowds and goods as it nearly always was. It was said in the city that as long as good and people flowed through the docks and marketplaces, the city was alive. Caspian had long since grown used to the smell of spices in the air and the sun shining on its great white walls, looking as though the gods themselves had chiseled them, but that never stopped him from marveling at is size, the sheer life emanating from the city as the wind blew the smell of the sea and spices down the streets and crowd thrummed with a thousand voices bartering over the price of goods or the mariners. Today, he stood at the docks and he smiled as he saw a convoy of longboats edge into view. He admired the longboats. The craftsmanship was clearly the equal of Avuvian shipcraft despite their small size. He knew from experience that they could easily navigate rivers and lakes inland, giving their raiders the ability to strike deeper into enemy territory than one might expect.

The Akros Ekklesia had been in an uproar when he had proposed that they host a delegation from the Shattershield clan. Their peoples had a checkered past and currently, the Frostborn were warring over who among them should become the new king. Could they be trusted? Would this be seen as the Avuvians taking a position in a local civil war? In the end, Caspian's will had prevailed over those of the Ekklesia. Trade and diplomacy were important if trade routes to the North were to be maintained. Besides, he was curious about the new Avatar of the war gods. He could not suspend trade, however.

Beside him stood Themis, the Confederation's Chief Diplomat, the Sýmvoulos , and the rest of the Ekklesia who had deigned to attend along with a few military and naval officers and important merchants. Behind them, the guards were clearing a path in the streets to allow the Frostborn delegation to accompany them to the upper levels of the city. As the boats neared, heralds blew a response in their own horns.

"Your curiosity has led you to take a risk," Themis whispered. Caspian frowned but was relieved as she continued, "But I sense no deception in them."

"Interesting... What will you do, young Caspian? Before, I could guide you, but now, something new is coming. Something, I feel, that neither of us have seen before."

"Well, that is helpful," Caspian thought sarcastically even as he stood to receive the Avatar of Asger and Tryne, his long gold hair and armor glinting in the sun. He hated it when Ulmo was vague.

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Queen of Beasts

Lamina sat in her throne of obsidian and bone. Her skeleton wings spread out to her sides, hanging loosely in boredom. She rested her chin in the palm of her clawed hand, the fiery glow of her eyes staring distastefully at the scene before her. Her commanders were arguing once more, discord filling the air like the drone of locust swarm. Irrelevant arguments and accusations were flung from monster to monster. The Northern Beasts thought the Southern Scavengers were cowards. The Black Pond Coven accused the Great Oak Coven of being weak willed and worn out. The Fallen Star were cross with the Dark Savages because their rotting flesh stunk up their camp when the Savages forced the Star to shelter them. Despite all the points each of them were trying to make, Lamina seriously doubted that even one of them had been heard and understood. “Shut up.” The Queen of the Nefai spoke, rising from her seat. The room went quiet. “I don’t care about your squabbles and feuds and trivial little fights. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what you do to each other. But-” She narrowed her eyes. “How can we protect the Black Forest and the Nefai from outside forces, when we’re too busy tearing out each other’s throats?” She walked forward until her thighs leaned against the stone table where her commanders sat. “I don’t need to tell you that the hunters that serve the Horned God have been more aggressive of late. They’re abandoning the natural order between hunter and beast and now, they are quickly losing their honor and quickly losing my respect.” Cassis, a large hideous beast, barked in agreement as he nodded his ugly head. “A whole tribe of Northern Beasts, slaughtered by those so-called hunters. Not even a big tribe. Not even a fierce tribe. They were shepherds.”

Atropos Eyesnatcher, a hooded hag with pale hair and red eyes, played with her metallic claws as she spoke. “They never showed any real interest in hags before, I suppose our heads aren’t very tasteful when they’re mounted on walls. However, I heard that the Artrabi burned half of a coven just because they could ” Belladonna, a hag with golden hair and skin like marble, looked at Atropos with distrust. “Did this coven practice any dark arts that harmed the Artrabi?” Atropos glared at her fellow hag. “Would it matter?” Lamina rolled her eyes and placed a finger to her lips, silencing the hags. “Regardless of what tribes or coven you represent, the Artrabi should be your biggest threat, not each other.” She walked back to her throne and sat back down. “I understand peace among all the Nefai is difficult. We’ve been fighting and struggling with each other since the days of the First Mother. But when she was taken by the Hunter, the Nefai banded together to show the children of the Horned God what real predators are like. Let us do so again, my brothers and sisters.” A sense of understanding came over the room, each of the commanders suddenly looking ashamed for their actions. Lamina sighed. “You may all leave, except for you, Belladonna. We need to discuss some important items.”

As the other left, the hag walked up to her queen and bowed. “How may I help you, my Grace?” Lamina smiled. “It stills feel strange, after all these years to hear you call me that, Witchmother.” Belladonna smiled. “And it’s strange for me, after all these years, to look at you and see a queen, not the little Oakborn that I raised.” The Queen laughed. “That’s actually what I wanted to speak with you about. The Oakborn from the spring, how do they fare? Are they grown?” Belladonna sighed. “They grow at different rates. Some will need many years to grow, like the humans and like you at one time. Others will be leaving the coven within a week. Others will need until the winter. Why?” Lamina took her former caretakers’ hand. “I need as many warriors as I can obtain if we are to protect ourselves.” Belladonna shook her head. “You have many great warriors. Even if these Oakborn were grown and strong, they are untrained and unseasoned. They’ve known nothing but the forest.” “Monsters don’t need much training, dear Witchmother. Hunting comes naturally to us.” “But war does not. Do not confuse the two, my queen.” Lamina sighed. “True.” She paused. “Would you mind reading some omens tonight? And also sending some spies to the Artrabi?” The hag bowed. “Of course, Queen of Beasts.”

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