Notify Message
Forums
Page 1
Search
#12954606 Dec 31, 2016 at 01:43 AM · Edited 11 months ago
Scribe
75 Posts
Prologue



What horrors might they have suffered, these mortals who walk the earth? This answer, I know not, for there is a great veil of darkness draped over me, without form and without reason, without sound and without life; nothing lies before my eyes, but the deathly Void that be...

Rome, 79 CE

It is the first day of autumnal equinox, a day to celebrate Pomona and the great harvest that she brings, but she will not hear jubilation, and she will no longer give rise to the fruitful abundance that is her province. This day marked her end, and the people lamented her death as the sky filled with dark clouds that spat lightning and roared with a fearsome thunder while heavy rain spilled upon a city of souls, once proud and ambitious, now reduced to a humbled flock of sheep. Among the sea of faces, young and old, rich and poor, men and women alike, are the thousands of cries of uncertainty, penance, and panic while terror’s grip started to take hold of the entire populace as they watched the unthinkable above, as their very fates were being decided by forces from beyond the mortal realm.

A flash of blinding light stretched over the city, and a thunderous boom ripped through the air, causing both earth and mortal to quake under the sound of divine beings colliding with one another in the blackened skies. Their armor glowed with an unnatural aura, and awesome sparks sprayed when their blades crossed. To and fro they fought and flew, carried high and low with widespread wings unnatural to the mortal form. To and fro their battle raged, far from the people who trembled with fear, yet still believed themselves safe; that their own realm, though a plaything to the gods, would be unscathed. But their faces turned pale and their blood rushed quickly through their bodies as fortune turned. Though some were foolish enough to stay, many began to flee when one of them fell.

Brick and mortar erupted into the streets when the divine body crashed through the walls of a pottery kiln that quickly collapsed on itself. Soon to follow were whimpers and terrible cries of trepidation from the people, for a frightful presence came upon them, compelling them to retreat, but leaving them frozen in their stance.

They watched him, this being, this immortal, standing before the rubble with a sword in hand, unable to take fate into their own. His body was clad in pristine armor, and a Hellenic shield hung from his arm. There was a malevolent aura about him, surrounding his physique almost as if he commanded the flames of the underworld. Perhaps most disturbing to onlookers was the ominous sense that their destruction was not the worst to come. And so it seemed hope was lost.

He turned to them, confident in his step, bold in his gaze, with fiery eyes that pierced even the hardest of men. The immortal’s breath, though calm and steady, bore a deep and baleful echo, and his face bore a menacing stare. Not a single soul dared to confront or defy, and so he spoke to them with a sonorous voice, declaring to all,

“Your gods are dead.”

Immortals. They are not bound to the laws of this world. Though they were simple words, the flesh of man is weak. Four words was all it took to draw tears of blood; just four words caused men to bleed from their ears. A wretched power, indeed.

“The time of man is at its end,” he says, “and this world will be purged of its filth.”

One by one, the people fell to the ground, lifeless and still as a host of locusts descended upon the city, devouring the fallen and tormenting those who tried to flee. Diabolical flames rose from nothing, consuming all the buildings it touched, and a monstrous tremor threatened to destroy the imperial city herself. Centuries of culture and engineering were brought down within moments. The armies were long dispatched and ruined. Here was the moment where it all came to an end, where all souls met their final judgement. It was the end of days, and at the center of it all was one being whose arms were raised in victory with a smile most foul. Yet the corners of his lips sank, and his demeanor turned to sour.

A woman’s roar ripped through the air, smashing into to the destroyer and casting him through a burning wall. Brick, wood, and clay alike burst apart whence the voice came, and there atop the the rubble stood the other divine being, with battered armor and a crippled wing. She was panting heavily, weary of battle and on the edge of collapse. By the looks of her tired, hunched posture, it was clear who was winning. Yet still she raised her sword whose edges were badly chipped.

Her foe stood from the brick that covered him with an unwavering readiness to fight.

“You are a fool to fight for these mortals. You do not have to die with them.”

Blood of the divine was unseen by the eyes of man, but hers was running free, trickling down her left arm and onto the hilt of her blade. It seeped from her face where her opponent had torn out an eye. Nicks and cuts covered her bare legs, and the locusts were soon attracted to her scent. All considering, she did not back down.

He stepped forward with raised blade and shield, “Do not make this your tomb, Tyche.”

They stared upon one another, poised to resume. This clash of deities was for all the world, but Tyche was alone, for her allies were already defeated, and the fate of all mankind rested solely upon her shoulders. With a clenched hand and loud battle cry, the winged woman sailed forth to meet his blade one last time. Their swords clanged hard, and Tyche pushed forward with her last ounce of strength, but it proved no match for the destroyer, for he was far too skilled and far too strong. It was not that she was unskilled or weak from birth. No, he was made for this, born to tear existence apart.

Every attack tried was parried, and her defenses were too little and often too late. Smashed by his pommel, beaten by his fist, cut by his blade, and harassed by the locusts, Tyche found herself soundly defeated having been knocked to the ground again, except this time she found not the strength to stand. It was he who picked her up by her damaged cuirass, holding her steady at eye level, and drawing back the point of his sword.

“Your foolishness has cost you your life, Blind Mistress of Fortune.”

Tyche’s mouth opened, letting out a terrible scream at the sensation of divine steel being driven through her body which quivered as it clung to the last moments of life while her golden aura faded away.

“A fitting name that you cannot see even your own errors,” he says with great arrogance.

But not all was as it seemed, for Tyche had deceived him. A struggling laugh escaped her lips, and his victorious expression turned to a scowl.

“No, Apollyon. The mortals…” she wheezed, coughing blood in between, “they have delivered the orb, and soon you will be locked back into your abyss.”

A relic discovered at the far side of Asia was said to be his bane, and the look of anger and surprise confirmed this threat as golden sparkles fell upon the city as would graceful flakes during a light winter snow. The fires began to subside, and the trembling earth grew still. He was close to achieving his goal, but in the end his efforts proved fruitless. Though he had defeated her in a battle of speed and strength, she had triumphed by placing her faith in mortals and sheer luck.

“Though you destroy my body, fortune smiles upon the mortals this day…”

Her final words echoed as her corporeal form disappeared, giving way to a cluster of golden sparkles that danced their way to the ground. Much to his dismay, so too did the locusts fall, and the storm in the skies became calm. Apollyon, the one who would end mankind, could only draw upon his ire, yelling into the sky in defeat before being cast away into the dark abyss whence he came, a threat upon the world no more.

“Fortuna,” a woman says, heavily shaken by the ordeal, “she has saved us.”

The people bent their knees and gave praise to the last deity, who gave up her life for all the peoples across the world. Their existence was spared by good fortune, and the rest of their days would no longer be dictated by the will of the divine, for with a bit of luck they might carve a path of their own.

This, however, begged the question of what happens to a god whose life expires.
+2
#12954607 Dec 31, 2016 at 01:44 AM · Edited 11 months ago
Scribe
75 Posts
Prologue Continued


Some Years Later…

All who are mortal and divine have an end, and at each end is a new beginning. Life which has expired and crumbled away shall be reborn anew to serve a new purpose among the cosmos.

“I exist, and it is dark. That is all I know. Am I a part of the darkness? For I have no body. I cannot conceive of what else might be should there be another existence. I have no voice, but only thoughts and words I am unable to explain. What else lie in the dark? Perhaps it is infinite, and I exist only to ponder, or perhaps this is only a moment, and I am its essence. Perhaps I am something else. Most of all, I am curious if I am alone and if these thoughts are exclusively my own.”

These were her earliest memories, what she believed she experienced.

“What is that I see?” she questioned, having not seen anything else before.

Curiosity had captivated her.

“It is not darkness. No, a light. It is so very small, but it is growing. What is that? I feel that it is coming to me, becoming larger and less of a blur. Wait, I see something else. It is faint, but there is color. Are these manifested from my thoughts, or are these real?”

Suddenly, her mind was racing with greater curiosity. Her existence before was nothing, and it was all changing with the gift of light, but not all was meant to be understood, for her reality was just getting started.

“Wait. What is that? A sound. Yes, I hear a sound. What is it of? Whatever it is, it is becoming louder as the light grows brighter. How splendorous an experience? If I had lips I would smile, and if I had a voice I would sing praises. Time has stood still for me in all this darkness, but I now find myself blessed with a vision.”

Light and sound were an early blessing for her, but they would soon reveal the price of that accord.

“I feel something. It envelops me. A hand. I have a hand, two of them. I want to inquire, but suddenly I do not feel well. I feel… discomfort. I feel that I am unable to draw breath. Am I dying? I do not want to die. What is this around me, and why does it harm me? Water? What is going on? What is this?”

It sounded like thunder when she rolled upon the beach, spat out of a rolling current onto a strange new world. Her lungs forced water out, and she coughed for some time, leaving her throat feeling as though she had swallowed flame itself. Confusion filled her head, for she knew not what had transpired. At one moment, she was consumed by darkness and surrounded by nothing only to find herself upon a sandy beach under a blue sky with white clouds where a gentle sun kissed her naked form which she had no memory of and a breeze that ruffled the feathers of wings she did not recognize.

“Do not make this your tomb, Tyche...”

These words echoed in her mind, and she turned about with hopes to capture view of who spoke, but there was no one. If there was one thing that had not changed, it was that she was still alone.
+2
#12956149 Jan 01, 2017 at 03:54 AM · Edited 11 months ago
Scribe
75 Posts
There is a foul omen that plagues time. I hear it, I sense it, and I have see what terrors crawl forth from the farthest reaches of the cosmos. A great burden will soon be upon us, for what was once a future of promise has become shrouded in darkness.

The Present


Two hundred years of sorrow and strife have taken a toll on me. Two centuries of travel between worlds and throughout the many spaces in time have taxed me beyond my bounds. One lifetime of grief has broken my pride and strength. My eyes have seen wars waged by many peoples, the destruction of civilization, and the loss of countless innocent lives in the face of doom. Time and time again, I have been unable to save even one being. Strangely, what has been chasing me chooses not to end my life, but to make me suffer while I watch the light of those around me fade away. As time continued, I had lost my confidence to serve the Creator as her herald as I have seen my divinity diminish; and as my power waned, so too has my body.

I look at my skin. It is no longer the flawless flesh that radiates with divine light, but an imperfect shell with extensive scarring. My lungs burn with exhaustion after long runs. Aches and pain are a constant sensation that I fight from day to day. In fact, I can no longer control my left hand without the aid of the sky man's technology, and walking without it is chore in itself. There are even times when my vision fails me, and I am forced to abandon my day's plans. Several bones have not healed as well as they should have, and at times I feel my joints give way and hinder me from carrying out basic tasks. Some days, I can barely feel parts of my body which leaves me pining over what I have lost. Sadly, I cannot recount the number of blessings bestowed upon me, for I have long forgotten what it is to be healthy. Yet, my body is the least of my worries as I fear that I have gone mad.

Years have gone by, and I am struggling to maintain control over myself, over my mind. Faces of long dead friends perpetually haunt my waking thoughts, and they torment me during my slumber in the form of nightmares. I see things that are not there at all, sometimes things that never even existed. I hear the voices around me, but when I turn there is no one to be seen. There are even moments when I wake from a daydream after realizing I have been talking to myself for hours, babbling incoherently about anything and nothing, and the constant voice of Ren harping the same words in my ear all day tries my dwindling patience. Constant self-doubt wracks my head with worry about the future, and knowing the pain that others have felt so much has filled me with fear, an emotion that was once unknown to me. Fear is always at the forefront of my mind, and now I can say that I truly understand what mortality is like. Among all this are the others that dwell upon these lands, those who do not know - should not know - what I have seen.

These people who are minded by the mysterious Overseer have been kind, but I try not to bond, for I fear that they may perish and be replaced by shadows.

For years, they have chased me. These shadows appear to as people I once knew, and they taunt me by speaking with their voices and tongues, acting as if they are friends returned to life. Countless shadows have fallen to my blade and the technology I have found. Yet, I still see them. I know they walk among us here. What worries me more is that I am finding it difficult to determine friend from foe, those who are real and those who are shadow, for the dark beings no longer bear those dark red eyes I saw before. This experience and knowledge has led me to doubt even those I considered my closest allies, some who have recently returned from a place I thought destroyed.

The river lands among the jungles are quite unique on this plane. Their waters are just as clear as the sea, and the paths they carve are beautifully filled with life and majesty. It is here where I found Zaira and Thargar, an impossible encounter by my estimation, for I watched them die before my very eyes two hundred years ago when the Black Hands fell from the sky and tore through the earth, sundering Wolf Song's entire pack without hindrance. Even after speaking with them, I am wary. When they presented Edward to me, I was wary. I believed that my eyes deceived me and that the shadows had returned to hunt me once more, but they stand here before me alive and well. However, it seems that they are not from my past. Instead, they belong to another Tyche who may be lost in some far away existence within the Omni.

Although they are not the same people I once knew so long ago, I will do what I can to watch over them. Yet I fear that I cannot do for them as I was once able to, for I am no longer divine; I am just a lost winged mortal.
+0
#12956179 Jan 01, 2017 at 04:21 AM
Scribe
75 Posts
There is a foul omen that plagues time. I hear it, I sense it, and I have see what terrors crawl forth from the farthest reaches of the cosmos. A great burden will soon be upon us, for what was once a future of promise has become shrouded in darkness.

The Present


Two hundred years of sorrow and strife have taken a toll on me. Two centuries of travel between worlds and throughout the many spaces in time have taxed me beyond my bounds. One lifetime of grief has broken my pride and strength. My eyes have seen wars waged by many peoples, the destruction of civilization, and the loss of countless innocent lives in the face of doom. Time and time again, I have been unable to save even one being. Strangely, what has been chasing me chooses not to end my life, but to make me suffer while I watch the light of those around me fade away. As time continued, I had lost my confidence to serve the Creator as her herald as I have seen my divinity diminish; and as my power waned, so too has my body.

I look at my skin. It is no longer the flawless flesh that radiates with divine light, but an imperfect shell with extensive scarring. My lungs burn with exhaustion after long runs. Aches and pain are a constant sensation that I fight from day to day. In fact, I can no longer control my left hand without the aid of the sky man's technology, and walking without it is chore in itself. There are even times when my vision fails me, and I am forced to abandon my day's plans. Several bones have not healed as well as they should have, and at times I feel my joints give way and hinder me from carrying out basic tasks. Some days, I can barely feel parts of my body which leaves me pining over what I have lost. Sadly, I cannot recount the number of blessings bestowed upon me, for I have long forgotten what it is to be healthy. Yet, my body is the least of my worries as I fear that I have gone mad.

Years have gone by, and I am struggling to maintain control over myself, over my mind. Faces of long dead friends perpetually haunt my waking thoughts, and they torment me during my slumber in the form of nightmares. I see things that are not there at all, sometimes things that never even existed. I hear the voices around me, but when I turn there is no one to be seen. There are even moments when I wake from a daydream after realizing I have been talking to myself for hours, babbling incoherently about anything and nothing, and the constant voice of Ren harping the same words in my ear all day tries my dwindling patience. Constant self-doubt wracks my head with worry about the future, and knowing the pain that others have felt so much has filled me with fear, an emotion that was once unknown to me. Fear is always at the forefront of my mind, and now I can say that I truly understand what mortality is like. Among all this are the others that dwell upon these lands, those who do not know - should not know - what I have seen.

These people who are minded by the mysterious Overseer have been kind, but I try not to bond, for I fear that they may perish and be replaced by shadows.

For years, they have chased me. These shadows appear to as people I once knew, and they taunt me by speaking with their voices and tongues, acting as if they are friends returned to life. Countless shadows have fallen to my blade and the technology I have found. Yet, I still see them. I know they walk among us here. What worries me more is that I am finding it difficult to determine friend from foe, those who are real and those who are shadow, for the dark beings no longer bear those dark red eyes I saw before. This experience and knowledge has led me to doubt even those I considered my closest allies, some who have recently returned from a place I thought destroyed.

The river lands among the jungles are quite unique on this plane. Their waters are just as clear as the sea, and the paths they carve are beautifully filled with life and majesty. It is here where I found Zaira and Thargar, an impossible encounter by my estimation, for I watched them die before my very eyes two hundred years ago when the Black Hands fell from the sky and tore through the earth, sundering Wolf Song's entire pack without hindrance. Even after speaking with them, I am wary. When they presented Edward to me, I was wary. I believed that my eyes deceived me and that the shadows had returned to hunt me once more, but they stand here before me alive and well. However, it seems that they are not from my past. Instead, they belong to another Tyche who may be lost in some far away existence within the Omni.

Although they are not the same people I once knew so long ago, I will do what I can to watch over them. Yet I fear that I cannot do for them as I was once able to, for I am no longer divine; I am just a lost winged mortal.
+2
Page 1