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Holy High(Reboot)(IC/Open)

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Theyra
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Founded: Aug 29, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Holy High(Reboot)(IC/Open)

Postby Theyra » Wed Apr 06, 2022 7:47 pm



Two years since the destructive War in Heaven that pitted god against god. Pantheon against pantheon and was only ended by the work of the few gods that employed diplomatic efforts to end the war. Only a year the war lasted, and yet it proved to be a very destructive event. For both gods and humanity. As the war wrecked both the godly realms and the planet itself. Both humanity and the gods are rebuilding after the devastation. Even weakening the gods, it will take time for them to recover. However, a new problem arose that made the gods act, for it was after the war that the topic of the younger gods. The ones too young to fight in the war and came out unscathed by it. Some fear that if nothing changes, then a new War in Heaven might happen again, and its cause might be these young gods. So after talking and discussing what to do with these young gods. An idea was formed, a school where the young gods can not only learn and use their powers wisely but, foster good relations with gods both inside and outside their pantheon.

Holy High this school came to be known, and it would be founded in a newly created godly realm located above Mount Mitchell in the Appalachian Mountains. Here these young gods can hopefully learn how to use their powers and, more importantly, learn to respect and form bonds with each other. Possible averting another War in Heaven or at least train those that would try to prevent one.

So now, as these new students, these young gods, get brought to this school by godly means that suited them. Though for one student, her uncle, Freyr, would be accompanying her as her watcher. As her past actions have made it clear that she has to be watched and is only allowed at Holy High in the hope that she could be reformed. Zeus is not so sure, but she is attending none the least. The school would have a greek aesthetic to it. Probably due to Zeus being in charge of the school, and all students would arrive at the edge of the school and would quickly be directed to the main hall, where Zeus would be waiting for them along with the rest of the faculty.

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Finsternia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Wed Apr 06, 2022 9:03 pm

Lanuru - His Royal Highness's Arrival
Tír na nÓg, Land of the Unseelie


Tír na nÓg, the Eternal Realm, stands in perpetual twilight where both sun and moon barely slips out of the horizon. It is a place of infinite beauty and splendor, but for what the inhabitants consider beautiful is beyond mortal and immortal minds. Nonetheless the realm of the Tuatha De Danann and their immortal hosts is beauty and horror perfected, the colors of the mortal world brighter and its terrors darker beyond what the mortal world's paints could create upon the worldly canvas. Primeval forests of impossible heights rise and create mazes of dizzying spaces. Crystals burst out of the ground like irridescent mountains, and rivers and lakes of all colors flow and dot the infinite landscape. In the far north of this realm stands a forbodding castle, made from white marble and glacial ice that stabs through the heavens. Winter originates from this land, and this castle is its heart. Cold, desolate, but breathtaking in life taking edges and frost this is the land of the Unseelie, the Gods and the Fair Folk who kneel before the Queen of Air and Darkness.

Within the courtroom sits a throne of ice and crystal, jagged and sharp in its countenance, that towers before its subjects. Upon it sits a woman with obsidian skin, which glimmers like freshly fallen snow. Her face is beautiful beyond words, yet the scornful look on her face sends winter's chill down one's spine. She is dressed in a long gown of snow crystals and volumous storm clouds, and she is crowned with wicked spikes of ice upon her furrowed brow. Before her kneels a young man, his features like a carbon copy of the Queen sitting upon her high throne. Soft silver locks frame his face as a halo of shadowed moonlight and sunlight shines behind him. Where the Queen wears white, the young man wears black silks that twinkle with stars. "Your Royal Majesty, I shall be leaving our realm soon in your honor and in our Court's honor." The Queen nods her head and lets the silence hang pregnant within the chamber. The Tuatha De Danann waged war and claimed Albion once again, and now as peace is signed they want it back permanently. Before Queen Mab kneels the key and trading chip for the Unseelie Court's legitimacy upon Albion's lands, and she is more than willing to bet him away. "Do remember, Prince Lanuru, that our people, OUR Court, lies heavy upon your shoulders. Do not make me proud, Prince Lanuru. Do grant me justice and righteous victory."

The Prince lowers his head, the dark halo behind him shining grimly. "...Yes... Your Royal Majesty..."

Holy High

Thunderous storm clouds descent upon the Appalachian Mountains, bringing with them winter's chill and snowfall. Riders can be seen upon the clouds, and their presence dims the sun on their wake. Wild monstrosities and grim warriors ride behind the Prince in his dark beauty, sat upon a stead of shadow and smoke that races through the sky. The Fair Folk Host arrives upon Holy High with thunder and snow, and Lanuru dismounts as he lands before the main hall's entrance. He stands tall, seven feet of elegance and uncanny height, as he gives a fisted salute to his heart. "FARE WELL, YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS!" The Unseelie Host salutes and roars their goodbyes to their Prince, racing away into the sky after their dismissal. Lanuru watches them leave before he turns and walks in the hall. Zeus sees a young man dressed in royal garb, of blacks and silvers, who grants him a salute and a bow. "Salutations to the King of the Greeks! It is an honor to be in your presence, Your Royal Majesty!" The Prince of the Unseelie Court proclaims in a deep and melodic voice, crisp and well practiced in his delivery.
Last edited by Finsternia on Wed Apr 06, 2022 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

Soon, the penguins shall rule the Earth with a cold flipper

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Hallownest Eternal
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Founded: Jan 20, 2021
Father Knows Best State

Postby Hallownest Eternal » Wed Apr 06, 2022 9:24 pm

Chapter I: The Free God

The Factory
The Factory was rumbling, as usual. The hulking mass of machinery had ceased movement after the subsiding of the natural disasters caused by the War in Heaven, but it had become by no means dormant. Rather, over time it had slowly sunk into the ground, more closely resembling a massive industrial park than it did a wandering monolith of steel.

A movement. One portion of the hulking structure opening, unfurling like a great jaw, before a figure rocketed clear of it and into the skies. A missile? No. An aircraft-maybe, headed for parts unknown. A result of negotiation. Memories of feared voices and mechanical bellows, of roaring pistons and grinding earth. But this-no, it was not as violent as the body it was ejected from. It was something...new. Something novel. An emissary, a vessel-but of what?



"Holy High"
A thunderclap as the vessel breached the magical barrier surrounding the "Holy High", as the Old Gods called it. A place of learning, masking a fear of the mistakes of the past. The Vessel rumbled in discontent. It was the war betwixt the Old Gods that had caused the Calamity to befall Humankind, and they had the audacity to ask The Factory to come. But it agreed, as to deny would have obviously meant assault, and it could not protect what was left of Humanity if it was destroyed or imprisoned.

The Vessel touched down on the grass field outside the Academy. A strange, anachronistic feature, this object-a VTOL aircraft, not some wild host of fae, an unliving machine of sharp angles and stealth polymers, downwash scorching the grass beneath it. Its components shifted, armored plating sliding aside to let a lone figure descend from the craft's belly, and make its way into the school proper.

The greek architecture of the school quickly became repetitive. With The Factory, all was moving, all was in motion, nothing was static. This was an unliving corpse. The door to the Main Hall opened, and in stepped a towering armored figure-clad head to toe in Telluric Iron plates, a soft, molten orange glow emanating from gaps comprising joints and eyeholes. It moved, taking assessment of the other two occupants of the room, and chose a position near the end of the Hall, by the door it came in. Introductions were unnecessary-impossible, even, given its lack of speech, but it endeavored nonetheless. A shoulderplate slid open, permitting an avian clockwork structure exit. It hopped once, twice as it unfolded and extended to optimal form before taking off on a puff of steam, gliding across the room to land before Zeus and producing a scroll of printed paper from its beak, stating, in simple, block-case letters:

[WE ARE THE FACTORY. GREETINGS]

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Luminesa
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Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:17 pm

Patriah - Day 1
Morning
Howling Morning Wind


Long do I creak
Hollow in the deep
Burst from the dust
My bones begin to rust
In the deep, grinding marrow
In the hot, hot sun


Patriah both loved and hated the sunlight. The Underworld did not exact have it, and yet it bore a light he could not explain. Perhaps the Underworld was continually lit by the grave command of Hades, or the echoing will of the Iron Queen. The Underworld simply was, and is, and would be for eternities to come. Stepping from an immortal realm into a mortal one, with a mortal sun almost shook him, in a way.

And yet being in the Appalachian Mountains was a holy experience, the holiest he had ever felt. He was so close to the sun, he felt like Icarus. His skin, tanned and tattooed and scarred, felt a warmth which was not boiling or bursting, but rather full of the breath and glow of life. The air was crisp, awakening, and moving. The mountains below the clouds around him vibrated with the motion of spirits and ghosts who might one day move into the Underworld. Yet for now, they roamed and watched the gods from their perch below. If he had known how to communicate in such a deep, empathic way, he would have done so. Thanatos had mentored him in such for much of his life.

And yet his inability to do so well was most likely the reason he was here.

He turned his attention to the huge, enveloping campus which sat at the top of this mystical mountainscape. In stark contrast to the glowing realm around him, and despite the shivering images behind his eyes, swirling colors domed by a beautiful sky, he could only muster a grunt of annoyance as he stared at the building.

“…The most beautiful place I’ve ever seen…and here they’re forcing me to read books. Talk about a stick and a carrot.”

And so he shuffled his way toward the other students, wearing a colorful scarf that Eurydice had stitched for him. He refused to wear a shirt, and so it was the least he could wear. He also wore wide-legged pants, because Thanatos threatened to send him to Persephone for punishment if he would not wear pants. In another act of rebellion, for better or for worse, he went barefoot as well. The ancient grasses at the top of Mount Mitchell felt like a soft carpet under his toes, and he had found himself smiling at the sensation. Yet as he approached his new classmates, his smile waned.

“…Huh. Well. I think I’m here. I followed this…map…” He had indeed been following a map of the campus, which he crumpled and threw into the trash as soon as he had spoken. He then walked back to see the classmates who had arrived, and he gave them each a long stare. An amalgamation of industrial parts which screamed with an aura of latent agony, and a Fae boy who had actually taken the time to dress himself. Not only that, he dressed himself regally, and he greeted Zeus with utmost respect.

Patriah, in the meantime, turned to Zeus and stared. Hades’s brother, whom the God of the Underworld resented deeply. He had a glowing face, enormous abs, a long cloudy beard, and a glistening toga. Giving a deep breath, he let Lanuru finish his dramatic greeting, and no sooner did the Fae Prince finish his greeting than did Patriah release a belch which could have shaken the bolts out of The Factory.

“Hey, Zeus. You look like a manwhore as usual.”

He then turned to look at his new classmates again, expecting more on the way. “So we have…Manmade Horrors Beyond Our Comprehension…and Sparkles.” He burped again, and then grabbed some grass off the ground to chew between his teeth. It was sweet, nurtured by the fresh sun and by plentiful winter snow. “Howdy.”
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
Help the Ukrainian people, here's some sources!
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
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Finsternia
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Founded: May 01, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Wed Apr 06, 2022 10:57 pm

Lanuru - Beset by Anathema and Horrible Manners

Acrid and sharp scents assaulted Lanuru's nostrils with their vulgarity. His golden eyes slowly pan towards a hulking behemoth of steel and iron, burning with flame stoked by agony within. To humanity, it would be the height of their achievements and the pinnacle of human ingenuity. However, to the Fair Folk and their Olden Gods, such being is Anathema and an insult upon their supreme majesty. Cold iron deadens imagination, forged steel dims the brilliance of fantasy. Lanuru could only force out a shaky smile as he sees it trudge forward, his eyes quivering with disgust at the being's creation and essence. The one thing he could only give a nod to is the being's professionalism, and it must mean that this being is good at what it represents 'For better, or worse...' The Prince thinks until another vulgar addition walks in.

For starters he isn't harsh to the eyes. Lanuru could even compliment his mode of attire, and the stylish addition of the scarf. The Tuatha De embody beauty and splendor, and surely they would admire and covet things and beings of the same nature. Lanuru could only frown at his speech and mannerisms. First impressions are important social events, and yet Patriah strides in with the social ineptibility of a fish out of water. "...I-Indeed... Your Royal Majesty is dressed wonderfully... for such an accomplished romanticist and lady-killer..." Whether the following words were meant to be compliments or insults remain up in the air for debate as Lanuru keeps the facade of being civil. "...Greetings to the two of you. I am Lanuru, Prince of the Dreamlands and Prince of the Unseelie Court. Whereforth did you two come, and may I know your esteemed names?"
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

Soon, the penguins shall rule the Earth with a cold flipper

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Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 59164
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Wed Apr 06, 2022 11:32 pm

Patriah - Day One
Making Friends


As he caught Lanuru staring at him, the wind god did indeed look back at him, squinting his eyes. Certainly, he was huge, at 7’2”, and he looked rough with his emerald hair and scruff. Yet his eyes were not hostile. Rather, he looked confused. “…Yeah, I have a face and chest and…arms. Cool, huh? You have them too, Sparkles.”

Patriah spent much of his time in the Underworld learning about fighting, the basics of his powers, and sword-wielding with his father and Zagreus. Unfortunately, even the politest members of Tartarus had some gruffness at best and some cruelty at worst. While the young wind god was not acting cruel, he certainly carried the awkwardness of standing with gods from other realms for the first time in many years. He had also learned his manners from both Thanatos and Zagreus, and sometimes from the shades who talked to him at times.

“Heh. ‘Romanticist.’ You know, you can always just say, ‘Big man who likes to tap the vending machine’, if you know what I mean.” He did not care much whether or not Zeus heard him. A lightning bolt to the face would only cause for Hades or even Persephones to come visit, and among the Greeks, nobody exactly wanted a family affair.

And then came more personal questions. Pat wished more students would come, so he would stop feeling uncomfortable around these two students. They were polar opposites-earthly horror and otherworldly cleanliness. Yet that ‘cleanliness’ only struck the eyes, not the heart. Even if he wanted to put this observation into words, however, he had no intention of having a normal conversation.

“My dad is Death, and he’s Zeus’s cousin or something.” He continued to chew grass, looking Lanuru lazily in the eyes. “The name’s Patriah. Last night, I got drunk and got a tattoo like a cool adult.” He pointed to a colorful, curling, wind-cloud tattoo which rolled down his right arm. “I control the wind, like when I left the window open when I meant to bring your lunch from your mom’s house this morning. Also I ate your lunch.”
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
Help the Ukrainian people, here's some sources!
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Jesus loves all of His children in Eastern Europe - pray for peace.

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Finsternia
Senator
 
Posts: 4949
Founded: May 01, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Thu Apr 07, 2022 4:07 am

Luminesa wrote:Patriah - Day One
Making Friends


As he caught Lanuru staring at him, the wind god did indeed look back at him, squinting his eyes. Certainly, he was huge, at 7’2”, and he looked rough with his emerald hair and scruff. Yet his eyes were not hostile. Rather, he looked confused. “…Yeah, I have a face and chest and…arms. Cool, huh? You have them too, Sparkles.”

Patriah spent much of his time in the Underworld learning about fighting, the basics of his powers, and sword-wielding with his father and Zagreus. Unfortunately, even the politest members of Tartarus had some gruffness at best and some cruelty at worst. While the young wind god was not acting cruel, he certainly carried the awkwardness of standing with gods from other realms for the first time in many years. He had also learned his manners from both Thanatos and Zagreus, and sometimes from the shades who talked to him at times.

“Heh. ‘Romanticist.’ You know, you can always just say, ‘Big man who likes to tap the vending machine’, if you know what I mean.” He did not care much whether or not Zeus heard him. A lightning bolt to the face would only cause for Hades or even Persephones to come visit, and among the Greeks, nobody exactly wanted a family affair.

And then came more personal questions. Pat wished more students would come, so he would stop feeling uncomfortable around these two students. They were polar opposites-earthly horror and otherworldly cleanliness. Yet that ‘cleanliness’ only struck the eyes, not the heart. Even if he wanted to put this observation into words, however, he had no intention of having a normal conversation.

“My dad is Death, and he’s Zeus’s cousin or something.” He continued to chew grass, looking Lanuru lazily in the eyes. “The name’s Patriah. Last night, I got drunk and got a tattoo like a cool adult.” He pointed to a colorful, curling, wind-cloud tattoo which rolled down his right arm. “I control the wind, like when I left the window open when I meant to bring your lunch from your mom’s house this morning. Also I ate your lunch.”

Lanuru - First Day's Offense

The trying smile upon Lanuru's face fades as Patriah cracks the unfortunate joke. Jabbing at a Fae's pride is a horrible idea, jabbing at a Fae God's dignity and crossing the line is even more so. The joke is nothing truly offensive, to other beings anyway, but to speak of stealing a Fae's food is to speak of stealing one's fortunes and favors without the repayment of debts. It is also rather unfortunate that Patriah besmirched the name of Lanuru's own mother for a simple nonsensical joke. The area around the Unseelie Prince grows darker as his halo of an eclipse tremors, its darkness becoming all consuming and the struggling sunlight that escapes the shadow burns brightly like a dying flame. "...Then I would like to witness your capabilities sometime in the future, Patriah the Fortune Stealer. I do hope that you have the power and the capability to back your claims and insults against the Queen. That will be all." He straightens his back as he gestures with a grand sweep of his hand, as if physically cutting away the space between them, before turning towards Zeus in silence.
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

Soon, the penguins shall rule the Earth with a cold flipper

User avatar
Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 59164
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Thu Apr 07, 2022 5:54 am

Finsternia wrote:
Luminesa wrote:Patriah - Day One
Making Friends


As he caught Lanuru staring at him, the wind god did indeed look back at him, squinting his eyes. Certainly, he was huge, at 7’2”, and he looked rough with his emerald hair and scruff. Yet his eyes were not hostile. Rather, he looked confused. “…Yeah, I have a face and chest and…arms. Cool, huh? You have them too, Sparkles.”

Patriah spent much of his time in the Underworld learning about fighting, the basics of his powers, and sword-wielding with his father and Zagreus. Unfortunately, even the politest members of Tartarus had some gruffness at best and some cruelty at worst. While the young wind god was not acting cruel, he certainly carried the awkwardness of standing with gods from other realms for the first time in many years. He had also learned his manners from both Thanatos and Zagreus, and sometimes from the shades who talked to him at times.

“Heh. ‘Romanticist.’ You know, you can always just say, ‘Big man who likes to tap the vending machine’, if you know what I mean.” He did not care much whether or not Zeus heard him. A lightning bolt to the face would only cause for Hades or even Persephones to come visit, and among the Greeks, nobody exactly wanted a family affair.

And then came more personal questions. Pat wished more students would come, so he would stop feeling uncomfortable around these two students. They were polar opposites-earthly horror and otherworldly cleanliness. Yet that ‘cleanliness’ only struck the eyes, not the heart. Even if he wanted to put this observation into words, however, he had no intention of having a normal conversation.

“My dad is Death, and he’s Zeus’s cousin or something.” He continued to chew grass, looking Lanuru lazily in the eyes. “The name’s Patriah. Last night, I got drunk and got a tattoo like a cool adult.” He pointed to a colorful, curling, wind-cloud tattoo which rolled down his right arm. “I control the wind, like when I left the window open when I meant to bring your lunch from your mom’s house this morning. Also I ate your lunch.”

Lanuru - First Day's Offense

The trying smile upon Lanuru's face fades as Patriah cracks the unfortunate joke. Jabbing at a Fae's pride is a horrible idea, jabbing at a Fae God's dignity and crossing the line is even more so. The joke is nothing truly offensive, to other beings anyway, but to speak of stealing a Fae's food is to speak of stealing one's fortunes and favors without the repayment of debts. It is also rather unfortunate that Patriah besmirched the name of Lanuru's own mother for a simple nonsensical joke. The area around the Unseelie Prince grows darker as his halo of an eclipse tremors, its darkness becoming all consuming and the struggling sunlight that escapes the shadow burns brightly like a dying flame. "...Then I would like to witness your capabilities sometime in the future, Patriah the Fortune Stealer. I do hope that you have the power and the capability to back your claims and insults against the Queen. That will be all." He straightens his back as he gestures with a grand sweep of his hand, as if physically cutting away the space between them, before turning towards Zeus in silence.

Patriah - Consequences and Social Cues

Zagreus would have laughed at the joke. Even Thanatos would have simply bonked him over the head. Sure, he was expecting perhaps a punch or two, but the look in Lanuru’s eyes was a little more serious than just the look he might have from someone who was about to punch him. In fact, he did not look simply insulted at the juvenile joke. He looked infuriated, in a cold and biting manner.

He raised his eyebrows as Lanuru responded in kind, and for once he started to wonder if he had done something mortally wrong. He knew nothing of the Fae. Thanatos did not tend to interact with them, Hades and Persephone did not talk about them. The closest thing he could imagine to interacting with Fae would be hanging with the nymphs, who bored him. All they did was talk about whoever Zeus was deciding to spend time chasing, or maybe who Hera wanted to punish today.

“…Uh…I didn’t actually mean the literal joke, buddy. I’ve never actually stolen a…I’ve never actually been with…hm…Ah…” He actually started to fumble for words, and he stepped back from Zeus and The Factory for a few moments in order to try and formulate a response. Even if he was emotionally not very mature, his eyes darted around as though he had started to understand that he had done something wrong.

“Oh no, he took the joke literally?! And why did he give me a nickname? ‘Fortune Stealer’?! What the heck does that mean?”

His face started to get red, and he took a breath. “Uh…listen, I…” He coughed into his scarf, and cleared his throat. “…You’re uh…you’re a Fae, right? Yeah. Uh. That was uh…I was only just joking, I uh…my friend told me that joke would be funny, and uh…eh heh…I’m not very smart.” He spoke the last few words with a combined deep sigh, as if he knew he had already made a mistake coming here. “I’m uh…I’m sure your mom is actually nice. I didn’t know she was a Queen…” If other students were coming, maybe he would not kill his shot with them. Yet consequences were consequences, and he looked rather glum at the idea of not being met with a slap, a punch, or an eyeroll for his behavior. Everything else was complicated, and required tact and maturity.

“Why do I have to be at school again? Can’t I just go hide somewhere? Do they really need me here? Gods, why did nobody tell me a Fae was going to be coming here?”
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
Help the Ukrainian people, here's some sources!
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Jesus loves all of His children in Eastern Europe - pray for peace.

User avatar
Finsternia
Senator
 
Posts: 4949
Founded: May 01, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:40 am

Luminesa wrote:
Finsternia wrote:Lanuru - First Day's Offense

The trying smile upon Lanuru's face fades as Patriah cracks the unfortunate joke. Jabbing at a Fae's pride is a horrible idea, jabbing at a Fae God's dignity and crossing the line is even more so. The joke is nothing truly offensive, to other beings anyway, but to speak of stealing a Fae's food is to speak of stealing one's fortunes and favors without the repayment of debts. It is also rather unfortunate that Patriah besmirched the name of Lanuru's own mother for a simple nonsensical joke. The area around the Unseelie Prince grows darker as his halo of an eclipse tremors, its darkness becoming all consuming and the struggling sunlight that escapes the shadow burns brightly like a dying flame. "...Then I would like to witness your capabilities sometime in the future, Patriah the Fortune Stealer. I do hope that you have the power and the capability to back your claims and insults against the Queen. That will be all." He straightens his back as he gestures with a grand sweep of his hand, as if physically cutting away the space between them, before turning towards Zeus in silence.

Patriah - Consequences and Social Cues

Zagreus would have laughed at the joke. Even Thanatos would have simply bonked him over the head. Sure, he was expecting perhaps a punch or two, but the look in Lanuru’s eyes was a little more serious than just the look he might have from someone who was about to punch him. In fact, he did not look simply insulted at the juvenile joke. He looked infuriated, in a cold and biting manner.

He raised his eyebrows as Lanuru responded in kind, and for once he started to wonder if he had done something mortally wrong. He knew nothing of the Fae. Thanatos did not tend to interact with them, Hades and Persephone did not talk about them. The closest thing he could imagine to interacting with Fae would be hanging with the nymphs, who bored him. All they did was talk about whoever Zeus was deciding to spend time chasing, or maybe who Hera wanted to punish today.

“…Uh…I didn’t actually mean the literal joke, buddy. I’ve never actually stolen a…I’ve never actually been with…hm…Ah…” He actually started to fumble for words, and he stepped back from Zeus and The Factory for a few moments in order to try and formulate a response. Even if he was emotionally not very mature, his eyes darted around as though he had started to understand that he had done something wrong.

“Oh no, he took the joke literally?! And why did he give me a nickname? ‘Fortune Stealer’?! What the heck does that mean?”

His face started to get red, and he took a breath. “Uh…listen, I…” He coughed into his scarf, and cleared his throat. “…You’re uh…you’re a Fae, right? Yeah. Uh. That was uh…I was only just joking, I uh…my friend told me that joke would be funny, and uh…eh heh…I’m not very smart.” He spoke the last few words with a combined deep sigh, as if he knew he had already made a mistake coming here. “I’m uh…I’m sure your mom is actually nice. I didn’t know she was a Queen…” If other students were coming, maybe he would not kill his shot with them. Yet consequences were consequences, and he looked rather glum at the idea of not being met with a slap, a punch, or an eyeroll for his behavior. Everything else was complicated, and required tact and maturity.

“Why do I have to be at school again? Can’t I just go hide somewhere? Do they really need me here? Gods, why did nobody tell me a Fae was going to be coming here?”

Lanuru - The Price of Forgiveness

And there goes the quivering that is usually reserved for foolish mortals that trespass the Fair Folk's laws. They speak of jests and jokes, of not knowing better, of sheltering under the guise of ignorance. The Dark Prince slowly turns to Patriah, and the Wind God could see disappointment within his eyes. A stare that fires daggers that hit harder than a furious slap to the face for an indignant act. Lanuru has already started doubting the existence of this school, and also the pedigree and level of courtesy that the students would have. Surely the Pantheons would have grace and etiquette just like the noble Courts of the Eternal Ones? But alas many things are not set in stone nor guaranteed and expected to happen, even for Gods. The young Wind God continued to stutter and trip over his words until they escape his tongue's grasp with silence finally taking over.

It's now clicking to Lanuru that this school's aim is to reach out to Pantheons all over and have the future generations come in camaraderie and learn of their cultures and become comrades. He will be exposed to new heirs to the Powers That Be that do not have the same grandiose as their predecessors, or even Pantheons with no shred of... civility. This Patriah looks like he has not interacted with one of the Fair Folk, nevermind their elusive Gods. "Her Royal Majesty is terrific in her countenance, and awe striking in her power and grace. Do not presume you may steal her fortunes, nor may you dirty her name with jests. Words have power, Patriah of the Deathlands, as you have witnessed. You felt shame, frustration, and fear when you've heard my reaction and statement. I hope you keep that in mind. Let us speak not of this incident anymore, but I would like to have a word with you later on. To which I hope would be at a friendlier manner." The Prince keeps his face neutral throughout the conversation, but the deep abyss of his halo continues to swirl and consume behind him like a sickening maw hungry for light.
Last edited by Finsternia on Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nantoraka
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nantoraka » Thu Apr 07, 2022 11:25 am

Abaguabana, God of the Sea, Storms, Waves, and Whales
Aumatex, the Land of the Sky

Aumatex, the land of the sky and the realm of winds, is a place of contradictions. The sky of Aumatex is an endless turmoil, a hurricane of Guabancex that spins faster than a speeding tornado, thunder and rain spilling throughout the world in the endless deep, soulless grey storm that rages above, illuminated by constant flashes of lightning. However, though the sky is dangerous and dwarfs even the largest of the tropical storms in its rage, the land is oddly peaceful, with deep green grasses growing long and healthy, and large trees of all varieties growing across the land, growing tall and strong, and all this flora was punctuated by a gentle, soft breeze. Though stoke pathways constructed out of dappled stone blocks weaved and meandered across the endless realm of the sky, the realm felt more or less impassable for those who were not gods themselves; off the passageways, the grass gave way to trees, which grew more and more thick in their growth, becoming a veritable jungle across the mountains of Aumatex. These pathways began at the corners of the realm, where mortals who somehow landed in Aumatex could find their way. The realm, an “island in the sky”, was surrounded by sandy beaches, though there was no true water to compose the seas that surrounded Aumatex. No, this “water” seemed to be the sky itself in liquid form, washing gently over the sandy beaches as if it were the soft waves of the sea itself.

The roads would begin at the edges of these beaches, meandering through the realm before eventually coalescing in the center of Aumatex, beneath the great eye of the hurricane where the light of the sun itself shone down upon the enormous stone thrones that ruled the land, thrones which were decorated with the sacred guanin of the gods that resided here, a reddish gold that signified nobility and holiness. This was of course, the land of Aumatex, the mystical island in the sky, far from mortal men, where the mighty goddess Guabancex ruled all, and the many minor spirits of the wind, the zèmis, called this land home. And though Guabancex was meant to sit upon this great stone throne, she was nowhere to be seen, and neither was her children and cohorts, the wind and thunder gods Coastriquie and Guatauba, their belligerence and crimes against the realms of men in the War in Heaven seemingly punished. Instead, sat the great deity Yúcahu, the god of the yuca root and the highest and second oldest of the still-living deities. Clad in multicolored robes, with storm clouds gathering at his feet, sat the king of all with the feather crown atop his head, a golden rod tipped with a beautiful guanin eagle sculpture atop it. His blue skirt and cape were topped with the feathers of parrots, alongside that of his gauntlets and boots, and a quilted yellow cape billowed behind him to signify his status. Decorating his body were various symbolic tattoos, from his feet, to his waist, to his forehead, and across all square inch of his body. These tattoos were a metallic golden color, a glimmering glow that radiated power and authority. All in all, like all the deities and his people, he wasn't particularly fully-clad.

Beneath him kneeled a somewhat young man, tall and able-bodied, dressed in a long yellow and purple skirt-like dress, tied together over his waist with a light brown leather belt. Across his shoulders was a great shawl of leaves, tied over his shoulders and around his head through a leather “necklace” draped with large shark teeth, a billowing ocean-blue cloth cape extended from this shawl behind his back, billowing gently in the wind. Within his hand stood his spear, a fishing spear with a stone hook and pointed tip, decorated with snakeskin handles and gleaming guanin hooks. Attached to his ears were golden earrings, which held two red feathers plucked from those of a parrot. This was Abagueybana, The Great Sea, youngest son of Guabancex, summoned to Yúcahu’s court. Speaking first, Yúcahu raised his open palm to signify Abaguabana to Riess. ”Great Sea, my youngest child, I have a task for you. It will be difficult, but you have always shown me that adversity means little to us.”

Abaguabana leaned on his spear, which was nearly as tall as he was. Curious, he replied; “I can do anything you ask of me Grandfather, you need only tell me, and it will be so.”

Yúcahu smiled, always proud of the young god’s reliability and willingness to obey the wishes of his elders, a key virtue. “Our…conflict with the other pantheons has led to certain sentiments of you younger ones. My Greek equivalent, Zeus, has decided to personally invest in the education of you younger types.”

Yúcahu clapped his hands, as magical energies swirled and formed in front of him, the school forming. “This is…’Holy High’. As much as I think the name is…how do I say…” Yúcahu seemed to visibly struggle with coming up the word. ”...stupid, as you are no teenager but the Great Sea, it will do you much good. I know you have heard him.”

Yúcahu, at the mention of the word “him”, visibly grimaced. Abaguabana averted his eyes from his grandfather, and sighed in surrender. ”I have, Grandfather. He is a cruel temptation, always trying to encourage me to release my power. I take a lot of comfort in his frustration at his current state.”

Yúcahu nodded, the one being he spoke of being the great god of destruction Juracan, the hurricane that menaced the creations of Yúcahu, who he punished by splitting him in half and sealing him within the children of Guabancex. ”The teachers there will show you how to control Juracan, put his power to good use, and ultimately, show you your new capabilities as the God of Waves more than I already have. Your duties alongside your eldest brothers will begin soon, and you will be taught by the great gods of the pantheons of the east. I have no doubts you'll do fine, but I only ask that you watch out for Moboyas and his creations. I've tasked Maquetaurie with ensuring your safety, though he has his business and will not always be there.”

Abaguabana smiled, and nodded. He looked back; he could not see the sea, nobody could, but Abaguabana was always capable of feeling the presence of the farthest oceans. It was his calling, after all. ”But what of the ocean? The sea? What will happen if I am gone?”

Yúcahu put his hand up in a disarming fashion, to soothe the nerves of his grandson. ”I have already tasked Boinayel, to take care of your charge when you leave. He is far older than you, and he was there when the first oceans formed, he knows all that there is to know of the ocean. Now go, take your staff, take the sea trumpet, and learn. I will watch over you and ensure your success.”

Yúcahu aimed his eagle rod towards Abaguabana, who, in a disorienting and dizzying glow of light, suddenly found himself cast out of Aumatex. In fact, all was dark, and muted, as he found his lungs filled with water and what would be a endlessly crushing pressure, had he not been a water god. He recognized the area, felt the area, as being within the Cayman Trough; one of his favored areas as he enjoyed the silence and isolation for meditation or simple alone time.

Holy High
Slightly late to the party, came the arrival of Abaguabana. A localized storm cloud, swirling in its wake like a supercell yet to form a tornado, formed in the pathway of the school’s frontmost yards. The storm was only several feet across, but was intense - power and wind radiated like heat from a fire - before lightning, though oddly not deafening in its thunderous crash, but tuned down to a somewhat annoying clang, struck the ground, and the storm faded as fast as it appeared. When the lightning struck, out spread a large puddle of pure, clear - almost supernaturally so, water, which quickly formed into the 6’ 6” figure of Abaguabana, the sea god of the Caribbean. On him was the same purple and yellow cloth he was clad in, clean and devoid of moisture, and despite the clothing of the other deities, his top still remained bare. It was comfortable, after all.

Quietly, Abaguabana simply smiled towards Zeus, and bowed in respect to the elder deity. ”Good to see you, king of the skies.” Turning further, Abaguabana took notice of the other two deities, but simply watched, instead of actually rudely butting into whatever conversations the two were having; he wasn't particularly interested in elevating, joining in, or otherwise interacting with what clear tensions were going on between the two. However, there was one deity that caught his eye: the Factory. What an interesting metal being was the initial thought, but as it became clear that the being before him was a god, Abaguabana’s curiosity only grew, especially given that the god before him seemed not be from any pantheon he could recognize. Regardless, Abaguabana simply stood away from the others, his right hand clasped behind his back, simply observing the situation before him.

Holding his spear in his hands, he let it go - the spear hovered, before turning into water, and rushing into a sealed, golden bottle on his hip. An easy way of carrying his spear without alarming people to its presence.
Last edited by Nantoraka on Thu Apr 07, 2022 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Danceria
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Postby Danceria » Thu Apr 07, 2022 2:41 pm

Chapter 1: The Start of Schooling

Foregrounds of Holy High
Bozhidor & Belobozhii



To the current attendants of Holy High, they may have been used to many odd and extravagant entrances. But what appeared to be an old post-Soviet era car trudging across the mountains at breakneck speed may not be one of them. To those whose sight was clear and whose intuition was sharp, it appeared more of a bygone road trip before the War, complete with bickering and recitations. Within the car, one could see five entities crammed into the Lada, with a tremor in the wind and earth heralded by a ruddy-gold spark floating above the automobile. The Belobozhi-the Slavic gods-had come, defying the natural terrain with assistance from wind, earth, and the very warp of space itself, for this automobile-as perhaps a certain mechanical deity would note was not fashioned by human hands, but godforged with the powers of Iriy on High, and the curve of the cosmos it's road. Through the supercell of the storm, the automobile raged and rode the winds of ice and thunder-the tropical haze meeting the frigid British north nearly resulting in a tornado, but still the winds calmed in due time, though the machine itself careened to the very edge of the foregrounds with a "clunk".

Emerging from the earth, like fresh black dirt molding together to create a raven haired woman with shimmering green eyes, her aura spoke of primordial age for she was Mokosh-the Mother Earth and grandmother of all gods, upon her left the red star burned before calming to form a vibrant, red haired woman while her right had a bearded blond man rush down from the torrent of wind. "While We admire your security efforts." The eldest Goddess spoke with he sigh of grass in the wind and the rumble of the earth beneath, "It is hardly inconspicuous-the world has suffered enough because of Us-let Us not overburden any further." The last was the groan of earthquakes beneath the waters and the covetous coil of roots, directly squarely at Zeus. No Pantheon was guiltless in the War, but the toll upon humanity affected the Slavs far more than others-who held the luxury of cultural civilization to gather worshippers from. She, being Grandmother Earth, sorely endured the conflict between Pantheons.

Back with the lada, the doors opened to reveal a burst of light as though it were the furnace for stars-and emerged the next escort of the Slavic Pantheon. First came Zhiva, the spark of Light of fertility and life itself, she sprang forth like an ember from a fire landing gracefully and surveying the new school with wonder. After her came her dread husband, Radegast, the fire of war and defender of the hearth, sprang forth likewise let stood poised like a lancer, his head scowling at Zeus, and his arm thoroughly joined around Zhiva's. Next came the student in question, broad bodied and red haired with merry eyes, who's presence was that of a wandering star, and politely offered his arm to his "great auntie". She, the Auntie, was strange. Pale and foreboding, in spite of her venerable age, she seemed to have three heads simultaneously if you didn't look hard enough, and she accepted the offer, wiping a thumb upon his forehead and speaking in hushed ominous tones to the young lad. This was Dola, the Fate-giver, and longtime tutor to the young man. Last but not least, he was not seen first but heard and felt, when the clang of his hammer-headed cane shook the storms back for a time. His beard was white as bright-hot fire, his eyes calm as the sky itself, the Godsire-Svarog-husband of the Earth and Father of the Sky and Civilization-had come, suffering no pretenders or lookalikes.

Svarog's intimidation would have been much better had Mokosh not dove back into the earth, springing back up like a sapling, and planted a smooch on his wizened cheek.

What came after was another round of hugs and helping the young lad get his luggage out of the way, before last but not least the gods finally approached the “headmaster”. Now comes the final stretch of ceremony.

“I, Bozhidor, do declare my intent to be under your care.” Came the short burst from the ruddy-haired godling. First came the blond-bearded man, who placed his hand on the right shoulder of the now-named “Bozhidar”.

“I, Stribog, Lord of the Winds, father of this child,” He gave one last ruffle of his son’s ruddy hair. “beseech Zeus Kronovich, to impart strength and wisdom upon my son.”

Next came the red-haired woman, placing her hand upon his left shoulder, giving her son an encouraging smile. “I, Zvezda Utrenica, the Morning Star, and mother of this child, do petition that you grant him hospitality and health.”

Facing north and south, forming a circle around the young man, and flanking Zeus, came the strange three-faced goddess and the Godsire of the Slavic Deities. The north facing Svarog spoke first, his voice the deep resounding pressure of heaven. “I, Svarog Rodivich, grant this boon of departure, and wish the one called Bozhidar well.”

Lastly, but not leastly, came the Goddess, who spoke with threefold voices amplified by the whispers of secret things. “I, Dola Rozhanitsy, the Fate-Giver, bear witness to this.”

With that, all was done, and the rather bashful looking bear of a man offered a handshake to the Olympian.

“It is good to finally meet you, Mr. Zeus.”
Last edited by Danceria on Thu Apr 07, 2022 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nantoraka
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Posts: 566
Founded: Oct 19, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nantoraka » Thu Apr 07, 2022 6:10 pm

Danceria wrote:
Chapter 1: The Start of Schooling

Foregrounds of Holy High
Bozhidor & Belobozhii



To the current attendants of Holy High, they may have been used to many odd and extravagant entrances. But what appeared to be an old post-Soviet era car trudging across the mountains at breakneck speed may not be one of them. To those whose sight was clear and whose intuition was sharp, it appeared more of a bygone road trip before the War, complete with bickering and recitations. Within the car, one could see five entities crammed into the Lada, with a tremor in the wind and earth heralded by a ruddy-gold spark floating above the automobile. The Belobozhi-the Slavic gods-had come, defying the natural terrain with assistance from wind, earth, and the very warp of space itself, for this automobile-as perhaps a certain mechanical deity would note was not fashioned by human hands, but godforged with the powers of Iriy on High, and the curve of the cosmos it's road. Through the supercell of the storm, the automobile raged and rode the winds of ice and thunder-the tropical haze meeting the frigid British north nearly resulting in a tornado, but still the winds calmed in due time, though the machine itself careened to the very edge of the foregrounds with a "clunk".

Emerging from the earth, like fresh black dirt molding together to create a raven haired woman with shimmering green eyes, her aura spoke of primordial age for she was Mokosh-the Mother Earth and grandmother of all gods, upon her left the red star burned before calming to form a vibrant, red haired woman while her right had a bearded blond man rush down from the torrent of wind. "While We admire your security efforts." The eldest Goddess spoke with he sigh of grass in the wind and the rumble of the earth beneath, "It is hardly inconspicuous-the world has suffered enough because of Us-let Us not overburden any further." The last was the groan of earthquakes beneath the waters and the covetous coil of roots, directly squarely at Zeus. No Pantheon was guiltless in the War, but the toll upon humanity affected the Slavs far more than others-who held the luxury of cultural civilization to gather worshippers from. She, being Grandmother Earth, sorely endured the conflict between Pantheons.

Back with the lada, the doors opened to reveal a burst of light as though it were the furnace for stars-and emerged the next escort of the Slavic Pantheon. First came Zhiva, the spark of Light of fertility and life itself, she sprang forth like an ember from a fire landing gracefully and surveying the new school with wonder. After her came her dread husband, Radegast, the fire of war and defender of the hearth, sprang forth likewise let stood poised like a lancer, his head scowling at Zeus, and his arm thoroughly joined around Zhiva's. Next came the student in question, broad bodied and red haired with merry eyes, who's presence was that of a wandering star, and politely offered his arm to his "great auntie". She, the Auntie, was strange. Pale and foreboding, in spite of her venerable age, she seemed to have three heads simultaneously if you didn't look hard enough, and she accepted the offer, wiping a thumb upon his forehead and speaking in hushed ominous tones to the young lad. This was Dola, the Fate-giver, and longtime tutor to the young man. Last but not least, he was not seen first but heard and felt, when the clang of his hammer-headed cane shook the storms back for a time. His beard was white as bright-hot fire, his eyes calm as the sky itself, the Godsire-Svarog-husband of the Earth and Father of the Sky and Civilization-had come, suffering no pretenders or lookalikes.

Svarog's intimidation would have been much better had Mokosh not dove back into the earth, springing back up like a sapling, and planted a smooch on his wizened cheek.

What came after was another round of hugs and helping the young lad get his luggage out of the way, before last but not least the gods finally approached the “headmaster”. Now comes the final stretch of ceremony.

“I, Bozhidor, do declare my intent to be under your care.” Came the short burst from the ruddy-haired godling. First came the blond-bearded man, who placed his hand on the right shoulder of the now-named “Bozhidar”.

“I, Stribog, Lord of the Winds, father of this child,” He gave one last ruffle of his son’s ruddy hair. “beseech Zeus Kronovich, to impart strength and wisdom upon my son.”

Next came the red-haired woman, placing her hand upon his left shoulder, giving her son an encouraging smile. “I, Zvezda Utrenica, the Morning Star, and mother of this child, do petition that you grant him hospitality and health.”

Facing north and south, forming a circle around the young man, and flanking Zeus, came the strange three-faced goddess and the Godsire of the Slavic Deities. The north facing Svarog spoke first, his voice the deep resounding pressure of heaven. “I, Svarog Rodivich, grant this boon of departure, and wish the one called Bozhidar well.”

Lastly, but not leastly, came the Goddess, who spoke with threefold voices amplified by the whispers of secret things. “I, Dola Rozhanitsy, the Fate-Giver, bear witness to this.”

With that, all was done, and the rather bashful looking bear of a man offered a handshake to the Olympian.

“It is good to finally meet you, Mr. Zeus.”

Seeing the car and the entire pantheon of deities played no small part in Abaguabana's mind. He wasn't a particularly tech-savvy god, preferring to spend his days within the ocean, and he had gone out of his way to ensure his particular entrance wouldn't actually inconvenience anyone, but even then, he was spent wondering whether or not he should've had a car supplied to him as well. Regardless, the presence of the pantheon had a bit of an intimidating factor on him - he should've brought the hound of Coabey, or his siblings, or anyone else, now that there were so many other deities in one place. If anything, he felt vulnerable. There was no possible way he was going to be on the bad side of these many gods.

Abaguabana took note of the individuals before him. Radegast's rather dour and angered look reminded him of Bayamanaco, the Old Spirit of Fire, who's own belligerence spun tales of their own, and though Bayamanaco had not been seen in eons, he was still somewhat fearful at the prospect of angering the fire spirit, let alone angering the god before him that reminded him of the fire spirit. From Svarog came reminders of his own grandfather, Yucahu, though the others didn't particularly interest him. Of all the deities, the young one, the student, actually interested him the most. Abaguabana wanted to know exactly who his other "students" would be. He made a mental note of Bozhidar.

Abaguabana simply watched the procession, and the formality these deities conducted themselves with, a stark contrast to the others that had arrived. Taking the golden bottle from his hip, Abaguabana simply waved at Bozhidar and the others, and took a sip, observing the sight before him.
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Hallownest Eternal
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Founded: Jan 20, 2021
Father Knows Best State

Postby Hallownest Eternal » Thu Apr 07, 2022 9:12 pm

Chapter II: Introductions

The Main Hall
The birdlike automaton had more agency than most would assume of it, considering its origin and simplistic construction. It could hear just fine, and its proximity to the verbally sparring New Gods had unveiled much. A sire of the Greco-Roman Pantheon, and a Sire of...

The Fae.

Memories flashed within The Factory's soul-the suffering of smothering plant life, scorching heat, consuming decay, and terrible cold. Of an entire region sundered by petty feuds from a people that did not belong. The spark of Humanity hidden deep within the Vessel writhed and cried out, smothered by its own protective layers and emerging as little more than steam vented from ports along The Factory's body.

The Factory lowered its head, molten glare leveling with the Prince, before sliding on to other members in the room. Yet for that split instant, the agony of all those lost to the Fae's petty conflict and the ensuant displeasure were communicated crystal clear across the room. The avian automaton hopped along the floor after depositing the scroll at Zeus' feet, nimbly avoiding the stampede of other gods as it took back to the air and ascended, clockwork wing structures mutating into rotors as it began to hover near the ceiling, granting The Factory a bird's-eye view of the Main Hall. The new arrivals-a singular God that appeared to possess an aquatic theme, and a gaggle of Gods all seeming to hail from the same Pantheon-were both curious in their own right, with the aquatic God seeming to briefly take intrigue in The Factory before being distracted by the Pantheon. Perhaps a partner in conversation? No. It would not intrude rudely. Thus, the Automaton and Vessel remained as they were-in corners of the room, watching the events of the gathering unfold.

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Zei-Aeiytenia
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Founded: Mar 12, 2022
Democratic Socialists

Postby Zei-Aeiytenia » Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:56 pm

Astrid
The Rebel Princess


The Ice Prison

Defiant


A rolling winds roar brushes across endless fields of verdant grasses and golden wheats, leaving a pleasured landscape of the shining magnificence of royal beauty. Though her voice brings the earth and the heavens alike to tremble, her touch upon life is a soothing and gentle caress, a winding cradle of natures freedom to hold gently against every soul. The stout forests of this land stand at an ever might attention abreast the borders of the endless field of muster. Upon this fertile cradle of land, the hills and outcrops are all but eliminated, endless time beneath the endless roar of the wind, blown away forever.

On one of those few which yet remain, defiant in the face of natures will, she sits beneath a grove of wise trees, themselves denying natures wish as they break up the flat plains, and hold the hill firm to its roots. Under this grove, upon this hill, she sits, as she does for many hours of near every day. Few ever come here, despite it's standing out over the land, but she does, time and time again, partaking of the shade and that gentle serenity which comes from the noble solitude of nature along all the senses. It is her hallowed place, a small land all for herself which she treasures, for she - like the hill, like the trees - comes here to bask in her own unyielding defiance of what the world yet demands of her.

This day has changed though, the wind is slightly different now, her roar the ever slightest gentler. Solitude has been broken, she does not yet see by whom, even from her forested perch, it is a merely a feeling which she possesses. There is nothing she can do now, but take each breath closely and deeply into her chest, serenity is more than natures presence, it is also within oneself, she cannot allow this disturbance to shake her resolve to conquer this day. She hears the footsteps now, and as she glances from the page where her hand arcs dashingly across in determined flourish, he appears. A man, alone, as he rounds the base of the hill. He looks lost - as do most - when they find themselves standing atop this lonely place. She is likely the first person he has seen in some time now, and instinct guides him towards the crest of her abode.

She sighs heavily, "Who sent you looking for me? Tell them i'm busy, not today..." The man stops, taking pause. He closer now, enough to see her clearly. She is young, a maiden before her blooming years, yet she radiates a simple and quiet beauty that brings questions to this land - its beauty - products of nature, or of this lone, young girl, far from anyone who must know her, yet speaks with total confidence and resolve, even to strangers. The wind roars gently once more, and its calming touch sways locks of radiant golden blonde across shimmering blue eyes.

"I uh... have no idea who you are!" The man says, as he relents the situation with an awkward laugh, "To be honest, i have just arrived here. I don't know where i am, but i saw a hill... seemed like a good vantage point to learn things from. I'm sorry, i won't bother you." He turns and begins to stroll away, back into the ancient breeze which had brought him in.

".... No, its fine. You can stay. No one really comes here, unless they're looking for me... sometimes it might be nice, not to be the only one." He turns again, looking back towards the summit of the hill, she remained ever focused on her. Once more, he begins to scale it, smiling gently.

"Gets lonely here, huh... uh... i didn't ask your name. I am Rune, Rune Erikson. Pleased to make your acquaintance." He says, crossing infront of her in his slow but deliberate stride, to take comfort beneath the next tree and rest his head upon it.

"Astrid... i, don't have a second name. Yours, you are human then, aren't you Rune?"

"I am or, i was, i'm not sure if being dead now changes that much... i suppose by your wording, you're... not?" At last her gaze rises up from the book below, as she brushes her hair back to look to him, catching a glimpse of her long, inhuman, ears. "Woah... an elf, i see." She shrug.

"Something like that, or... who knows what. Nobody has any clue who my dad is, and with my mom who she is... i could be anything at all." A look of frustration momentarily overtakes her face, as she begins to forcefully drag an eraser across the page, stretching the hand with which she wrote.

"Didn't know absentee fathers were a thing in the afterlife. Certainly not something i expected." Her hands begins to draw pencil on paper once more, accompanied by a long sigh.

"You're going to find lots of surprises here you're not exactly happy about, i assure you."

"Not everything hoped, that's why you're up here alone, drawing with such determination? What is it, you're drawing anyway." She pauses, looking to the sky as she gives passive thought, and turns to him.

"Normally i don't let anyone see anything in this book but... this page isn't secret or anything." She slides next to him, holding the page before him. It contains among many eraser marks, rather detailed drawings, diagrams, and even processes, in various stages of... a grain elevator?

"That's pretty good, might i ask though, uh, whys a little kid drawing a grain elevator? Like, building blueprints to one? And why do you erase so much? You're clearly talented at this, especially given, what, you're like 10?" That look returns, the frustration, now with an undercoating of sadness.

"Because i intend to build it. 'Talented' isn't good enough, it doesn't mean anything. Anyone can do that, whats the point if ive not mastered it, i dont have real strength, am i just supposed to accept this pitiful weakness, not even able to masterfully depict a grain elevator?"

"I... jeez kid, what the hell have you been listening to? Seriously what the hell is your mum doing to have a ten year old talking like this? What does she tell you how weak you are?"

"I'm not even ten! I'm nine actually. And yes, she does, so does.... so does everyone. Everyone has always told me that, to stop pushing so hard, stop crying, stop throwing rage fits, stop desperately clawing at anything you can do. Just accept you're powerless, Astrid, like your sisters, just quietly sway in the breeze and do nothing, be nothing, it's not important. You're Powerless. Everyone... except my uncle, i guess, but he's even busier than mom is now."

"Who the hell is your goddamn mom - and - and your family at large!?" Rune shouted in shock, "I just... why?"

"Why? Probably cause its my family. My mom is Freyja. Yes, THAT Freyja, fertility and beauty and war and yada yada blah blah blah mother of 3 total incomprehensible failures of daughters. Hi there, Astrid, i'm the newest one. Except unlike my sisters i refuse to just be a potted plant occasionally glanced at." Astrid by now, visibly showing her sorrow and anger, as her calm demeanor shatters under the stress. Quietly, Rune reaches out and gently pats her head. She gives pause, looking shocked towards him. "W-what are you doing?"

"Sorry, force of habit..." His hand recoils quickly from her reaction, "I had a daughter your age, on earth. She didn't get treated how you did, but, she was still filled with that bitter determination and stress. This calmed her down. I... hope she'll be okay..." He trails off quietly, choking back tears. Silently, Astrid stood up, to account for her height difference, and returned the head pats. "Yanno... nobody's ever done that for me before."

"Well, does it work?"

"Yeah... it does. Thanks, Astrid." He suddenly burst with laughter, knocking his head off the tree as he bellowed into the sky. Astrid shocked, stops back, gazing with worry at him. "Sorry about that! I just... i was thinking about what you said. Powerless... you know, Astrid i wasn't just a warrior in my world. I was their leader, i built my own elite team for our operations. When i started they'd always doubt my choices, always make bets that the 'weaklings' i chose would be dead in a week. I became a very comfortably lived man from their foolishness! It's hard to describe, i just, had this feeling. Like i could see a light in them, yanno? It was a faint sort of thing, but it was there, quietly shimmering beneath the surface, beneath all the fear and hate and sorrow and self doubt. No one else could see it, but i could. I can see it shining bright, that light, that power within everyone. Always could, i saw alot of it walking over here. Alot... alot except for the kids, Astrid. I'm guessing, native born here like you. All of them, actually, were like that..."

"Well, sorry to disappoint, but i guess its all of us here." Rune looked up, with a smirk.

"Nuh uh. Not even close. I saw many bright lights among the people down, there, many brighter than i'd ever seen. You, on the other hand, are not bright. Nono, that word is too... powerless. I'd call it more, more of a, blinding elucidation. Like, i'm glad this weird power of mine can't hurt my eyes or i'd be blind for the rest of eternity." Astrid sighed, dropping to the grass beside him.

"Thanks, i guess, but a human and their superstition doesn't really mean much..."

"So... you want to be powerful and strong, but don't want to take any chances on it?"

"Couldn't if i wanted to, i'm not really allowed to do much but this, haven't even been in the Hjaðningavíg. My sisters were already by my age, thought maybe the pressure of battle would awaken something." Rune paused, staring at her, with a blank sort of exasperation.

"Well? What the hell are you waiting for? You just went on telling me your moms hardly around. Who is here to stop you? Your family all seems to be gods so i'm pretty sure i'd have noticed if they were around. There's no magical force, no chaperone, no guard - you're literally the daughter of a goddess running off into the wilderness alone. I'm not entirely surely how i feel about a kid my daughters age walking onto a battlefield but fuck, if it's what you want, YOU ARE THE ONLY OBSTRUCTION. Just do it."

"I can't just... what am i supposed to do when i end up like my sisters? Slapped around into a bloody pulp. I'm not chained in a dark room by them now, but my family isn't exactly appreciative of even my little acts of defiance." The end of her sentence is nearly perfectly punctuated by a painful flick on the nose, as Rune stands up and takes a few steps down the hill.

"When? I'd say you misspoke and meant if, but, honestly. No. No you didn't. There is no if. There's never been an if. I've taken this stand a hundred times on my soul in life, and i'll happily start the count again in death. This is count one. There is no if. Not a chance, not a probability, not a nothing. The only thing there is right now is another scared kid with no hope at best hoping for the light to come to them, while they hide in the goddamn shadows. 'Oh what do i do, oh what if, but i cant,' shut the hell up! You want to know what to do? You've got one thing you can do about it, Astrid, same thing they could do. It's your choice if you want to do it, it's your choice if you want to be anything what you are right now." She nods, looking both confused and taken aback at the sudden leadership pep talk, "Yes? Alright then, so stand up and fight, Astrid, because we're losing time. You're losing time." He turns, walking down the hill, and around the bend from which he came. He stops, for just a moment, as he looks back. She's stood up now, clutching her book to her chest, looking frightened at first, before she takes a deep breath, and runs off into the plains.

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She runs across the field, back towards the mustering camp. She's not sure, yet, if she'll do it. Maybe not today, she needs time to prepare. For now though, she has to get back home to do that, racing across evergreen seas of grass as the autumn wind chases at her back. The whishing of the grains and whistling of the trees accompanied by the gentle roar of the skies... her hand reaches forward...

Everything is dark... then light again. Green tides and golden waves becomes blue and white sheets of glassy ice. Darkness. Then light, Ice, and then grass. Snow, and wheat. The gentle roar of the autumn winds, now a slicing, screeching shriek across a white void. The suns warmth has become the mountains cold. She grips her fist, but her hand does not move, not in the autumn world of endless fields. Her eyes dart around, as the world of ice and cold returns. There it is, her first, gripped tightly, her wrist a mere movement away from barbed chains of icy metal. It's covered in blood, some dried, some is fresher, frozen, a few small drops drip out even now from the digging prong.

She closes her eyes, her other senses hone. The whistling howl of the winter wind. There, the tearing of branches in the forests, an entire mountain below. The scent of the mist, far below this storm. The feeling of the ever biting cold against her skin. Her eyes open, the world of Folkvangr fades away.

Astrid breathes heavily, taking slow, labored deep breaths, as she slowly pulls her arm back against the wall. "Not today... you should've learned.... that on... one.... doesn't work. Not anymore..." She rests her head against the cold stone wall, completely exhausted. There is almost no light in this cave turned prison, only a small door of frozen stone lets through the slimmest glimpses of the frozen terror outside. She flexes her fist again, gently, a small crystal falls from her pocket and glows, transforming into a book. It was still there. She could never remember anymore if it was, it was difficult to know what memories were real, or what reality was. This, her most prized possession of all, was the only confirmation of where reality lie. It had everything, everything she knew, everyone, everything which happened. She'd even found ways, though she doesn't know how long ago, to fill page after page in this unending hellworld of eternal night and cold.

She released her hand, and the book returned to a crystal, and returned to her pocket. Her eyes became heavy, sleep rarely came in this world. Or, that's how it felt... there was no way to really know. She couldn't even tell when her eyes had closed, not until she would wake up. Whenever that may be from now.

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"Astrid! Astriiiiid! Astrid Astrid Astrid!!! WAKE UPPP!!!" Astrid yelped slightly, jumping a bit as the shouting and tugging was replaced with a sudden kick to the shoulder. Around her were several young children, orphans, some of them. All of them may as well be, they'd been all but abandoned here, the same fate as had befell her. With groggy vision she rubbed her eyes, quickly scanning the landscape. She had fallen asleep upon her sanctuary grove, for some time now it would seem, as the sun had advanced far into the afternoon. Hardly given time to take account of her consciousness, the children began tugging and yelling for her to come with them, pulling her down the hill.

"Guys... happened? I'm not even awake yet." She stumbled, in her half awake daze, she could feel herself tumbling towards the loamy earth. With instinct, she reached out her hand, digging into the ground as she vaulted herself over her right arm and onto her feet again, all in time to reach out the left and catch the young girl. "Sorry! At least i never fall right? What's so important?"

"Everyone's hungry!" She rolled her eyes, not this conversation again, surely not.

"I told you... eat without me, it's fine." The mustering camp now grew closer in sight, as some of the children began yelling to the others still there.

"They're not letting us! Stuff about warriors and hosts and things..." She had figured, this day might come. Traditionally, those who dined at the feast in the encampment were either warriors themselves, or, if they were not and were lucky, part of the host to a great warrior. Normally, orphaned or abandoned children would be taken under by such a warrior, or by Freyja herself, though, it's been many centuries since that happened. From time to time... there is no one to play host, and no one willing to do so. She sprinted ahead, into the encampment and the group of very hungry, and increasingly upset, children.

"Ahhhhh, the Princess has arrived from her fort upon high! To what do we owe this honor?" The sarcasm met with boisterous laughs from tables all around, as the grizzled and drunk man stood up to face her.

"Apparently the 'noble warriors' of the plains see right to starve children. You already knew that, though." He smirked, and laughed in her face.

"You are but a child yourself, Astrid. We did the whole asking around for volunteers while you were sleepin. So, now what?" She rolled her eyes, groaning.

"Just drop the bullshitting already i stopped buying this shit when i was 7. It's pathetic." Astrid crosses her arms, in the same instant the warrior, smashes his hammer into the table with a menacing glare. The children, now cowering behind Astrid, release a cacophony of shrieks and screams and jumps. Astrid, however, is completely unmoved, a fact which brings a most grand smile to his face.

"Ohohoho... you're ready, kid." She only sighs heavily at him.

"You know that's not happening."

"Why? Cause your mommy said so? She's far away, and these kids are hungry. Your sisters are cowards who ran away years ago, but when they were your age, they stepped in for the kids back then." Her eyes narrow into a glare, she had known once upon a time each of her sisters had the done she had. To an inferior extent, of course, as Astrid would remind, but did the same nonetheless. What she was not aware of, was that they had been meat piñatas in exchange for meals.

"So that's why you've been all for getting me in there. You want three for three on the useless daughters of a goddess. Glad i'm not a man, i'd really pity having a dick small enough that this is what i need to feel big again." An audience of surprised gasps and Ooooooo's echoes from the nearby tables, but the warrior just smirks.

"Cute words, lass. But those and your angry little eyes won't change shit. Nobody cares how mad you are. Nobody gives a fuck less your gonna do something about it."

"Astrid..." The smaller children, they were all children - Astrid is only nine - but the rest are mostly 4-7. Their frustration and hungry faces have subsidized now to fear, as she pats their heads.

"Aina," She says, Aina is the next oldest after her, she is merely eight. Though her ability is far from Astrid's in everything, she has done her best to help wherever she can, "Keep watch of them and maintain their safety. Don't let them watch. I'll be back soon." The warrior erupts into laughter, shouting into the sky.

"BOYS! WE'VE GOT ASTRID!" The whole camp explodes into cheers and, literally, sword rattling. All around the ringed off battlefield they start piling in, as Astrid heads to the fence, she closes her eyes, and breathes deeply into the calm, roaring wind. Her eyes open, but she does not look back, one last gaze of the peaceful golden plains of plenty before her, before their memory will be forever stained by blood. She hops over the fence, and is joined near her by one of... thousands, it must be, thousands of warriors.

"Hah! My lucky day!" He shouts, tossing onto the ground before her a seaxe. "At least is fair if you have a weapon, not that it will matter." She calmly picks up the seaxe, probably better than the swords would be for her, the last time she held one it only felt heavy.

The horns of war bellowed, and she barely noticed the sound, as the whole world became the endless repetitive clang of steel upon steel, she did not hear the wind, nor could she see the grassy plains. In an instant, everything became dark. Everything but the one warrior before her. Time felt like it had slowed. She was used to being told by the children how well she could hear, but she never put stock into the thought. She could hear him breathe, hear his heart beat, his blood rush, the grounds subtle crackles as his weight shifted. Every little twitch of every tendon, every ligament, stood out. The smell of blood, metal and alcohol was joined by sweat and adrenaline. Air tensed all around her, before every movement it shifted, and she felt every bit of its gentle caress. Blood and steel could be tasted in the air itself. Her body tensed, and she ran forward, the warrior cast, what may the laziest thrust anyone had ever seen, he did not take her seriously.

Neither did she. Easily dodged, Astrid lunged in to attack. With experienced quickness, his shield appeared readily, pushing her arm back and away, which he followed swiftly with a kick to her wrist, and the seaxe left her grasp. Without hesitation, the shield flung forward and darkened her vision with its impact. Her vision blurred as she reeled, her right side bled from the rimmed impact of the shield, stumble, spin, stumble, spin, stumble, stumble,... stand. She never did fall, even now.

"Oi ya must be getting weaker! The other two woulda been barely alive after that, she's still standing!" The muffled voices said.

"Nah nah, she's just alot tougher than those ones." He took several steps forward striking backhand into her head again. She stumbled to the right, nearly standing, as fate instead insisted her knees finally give out into the mud below. This was it, what her sisters must've felt. What death feels like. What it feels like, to be powerless, in a world where only power matters.

"Oh quit fucking around! She ain't dead yet! Use the damned sword already!" Some sort of argument ensued between them, though she barely heard it, barely listened. For some reason... she was standing up again. Her vision returned, the ringing pain faded, her heart began to beat speeds she did not know were ever possible. Every sound could be heard, every drink set down, mutton bitten into, every child's scream, every vein curdling blood from its wound. She could smell the stream miles away, and the fish within it. Her hill lie far behind her, but was seen clear as in person. The warrior, too, seems he lost the argument. His sword was coming. What was this feeling though, flush with immeasurable heat and power? This is what Rune had meant. No more Losing Time.

She spun around, right past his strike, everything was so slow. She took his hilt, ripping it from his hands, and jumped towards the sky. It was without thought, without a though she somersaulted, delivering a kick straight to the jaw, and landed with perfect balance. Not a thought, she charged forward, brushed the shield aside, leap, left leg on right shoulder, reverse grip slash, head down, right arm into the shield grip, forward somersault over the blade. A visceral sound of blood and bone, reverse flip midair to detwist right arm, land. She was breathing heavily now... not like exhaustion, something she did not recognize. Her vision turned black, the last sight of the shield flying forward, and striking one man in the head.

She had only faint memory of the next events, spinning, slashing, jumping, the sounds of thunder. The wind, the ice, rain, the power of it all. She lost memory of all her senses, save faint sounds of thunder and explosive force. Slowly, they came back, slash, thrust, evade, flank, jump, flip, spin. There was a dane axe. It broke in half after cleaving a man. She simply took the bit still attached to the head. Evade, take spear, thrust, turn, jump, left handed horizontal cleave to the head, overswing, spin, change orientation from vertical to horizontal, move weapon to right hand. Slash downward in spin, cleave in half. Axe head digs into ground, the handle disintegrates. Spin, land on right leg, jump again, reverse somersault, land on both feet.

The blurs rescinded to full vision. She was still breathing heavily. Her hands and arms... legs... her reflection in the puddle. All of her was covered in blood. All around her, the battlefield was empty, save for thousands of corpses, and small rampaging storms in what were clear skies not long ago.

She was smiling. In a ways she never she could. The haze began to fade, and Astrid held her hands towards the sun, admiring the glimmering red that had completely covered them. She began to laugh, right to the face of the heavens themselves. To the gods themselves. She smiled again.

"Whose powerless now?" Her smile became a smirk, as she left the battle field to the feasting tables. The calm winds roar had returned, louder than it had ever been. The green and gold blanketing the land did not shine, but glowed under the light of the sun above. Shouting prevailed all around the camp. "Astrid! Astrid! Astrid!" They yelled, everyone yelled. Over, and over, and over again. The children swarmed her, screaming shouts of joy and hugging her, not a care in the world she was covered in red. She reached out to hug them back...

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The old world faded in an instant. Screeching winds and the icy eternal darkness invaded without hesitation. The sounds of the world disappeared. All she could hear was her own screaming. Screaming, heart racing, every movement of the chains, every piercing, every tugging, every slashing, every ripping of the barbs. Moments passed, as the pain arced through every cell of her body, each one visited upon the feeling of yet another blade slashing, plunging, directly and only onto it.

This is not what death felt like. Screams became cries of wailing agony and screeching. Death was eternal. She convulsed from the pain, trying to control herself. Death was merciful. The sounds were drown it, a gargling throaty sound. Death was ideal. She coughed up blood, barely conscious. The cutting pains had stopped, thought it felt like she no longer had flesh remain to cut. This was not death. For death would be done with her.

The cold began to creep in. This was not from the icy tundra, its origin was supernatural. Her body did not freeze, her skin did not dehydrate and become frost, her blood did not turn to ice. Yet it felt like nothing else. From ten lacerations across her body, the freeze took hold. Slowly marching across. Feeling every limb, every organ, every blood vessel freeze. Until it reached her heart. The brief respite, the unending hope, for unconsciousness eternally. But again she awoke. Then the freeze began again, from every chain, nine more times now... endless darkness.

...
...
...
...

Endless darkness never came. Instead she was awoken by a new sound. Footsteps. They had gotten surprisingly close before waking her. At the gate now, the frozen lock being broken open. A strained creak accompanied its opening, and the flooding light burned her eyes for a moment. The footsteps entered, and sighed.

"Simple advice... don't fight the chains. Simple advice. Even you're powerless to them, figures you couldn't accept that though." That voice... heh. Hello, Freyja. How long has it been since she was able to face her daughter without terror in her eyes?

"It's been a long while since i was harassed by the stench of cowardice... to whom might i owe this most extravagant displeasure, Freyja?" Astrid smirked, as best she could, to go with her quip, though recovery from the recent torment begrudged her efforts.

"I see the two years have been a waste of time." She sighed heavily, walking briskly forward as Astrid struggled to her feet.

"And given you a new spirit of bravado! Approaching me so brazenly now, pray tell how did that work out last time?" Freyja stopped before her, reaching out a hand to pull up her chin. "This whole brave act is almost adorable..."

"Bravery is not needed for that which holds no fear over me." They stared now, eye to eye. Astrid smirked again, beginning to laugh, and shaking her face from Freyja's grasp. She relaxed for a moment, and then, in a sudden instant, lunged forward just shy of the chains reach with a beastial growl, eyes of bloodlust. Out of reflex, Freyja stepped back, and readied a guard... fully body muscle tension, heart rate spike, respiration spike, and that... that would be the smell of adrenaline.

"Liiiiaaaaaaaarrrrrr!" Astrid relaxed again, laughing hysterically into the ceiling now, as Freyja's patience vanished into the cold.

"Little bitch... Thor, come on! Let's do this already, she's not strong enough to try anything." A loud sigh came from the door, and a tall lumbering figure came through, without word, Thor walked to the chained mess of a godling, and began slamming away at the chains which bind.

"My, my, awfully confident declaring that now aren't we? I guess it helped to have your stage fright relieved down your legs just before?" Freyja began to speak, when a hand from Thor stopped her.

"Freyja, could we NOT antagonize the fucking murderous psychopath, who i remind you, i am currently freeing from the chains that stopped her rampaging? Could we not do that? Could you do that for me?" She backed down, as Thor returned to hammering the chains, and Astrid laughed.

"I always did like you better, Thorypoo. So much more honest than Frey-Frey. Walked all in here with the big talk and false courage. I like that you didn't bother trying though." Thor spared a momentary glare to the smirking hunter, no doubt recalling how many seconds away fate was from letting her arrow end him. "I know, you didn't even say anything. But it's okay..." She leaned close to him, eyes widening in a predatory glare, "You didn't need to." A loud, final ping, knocked the last chain from her body. A soldier... one of many whose rustling she could hear outside, stepped in to throw a large bag to the Storm God. He turned promptly, throwing it with obvious force into the recently freed prisoner.

"Get yourself dressed and get outside. And, clean up the blood, for gods sake. Knowing you you'd leave it there as your 'war paint'." He began to walk away, Freyja exiting just before him as he stopped and turned back, "Seriously, clean the damn blood. Look like you just got done eating a family of four." He stepped out without further word, closing the door behind him. Astrid took a deep breath, finally relaxing. That was... much more difficult than she anticipated. Gently, carefully, she allowed thunder to arc over her fingers, leaving them against the icy walls as a cloth was retrieved from the bag. There was no water included, she would need her own it seems. Each time it happened, every run of the cloth, every brush of her clothes as she donned them, each and every time they grazed her scars, there was a biting pain, followed by a searing freeze. Her heart raced, and lungs struggled for breath. It was still freezing here, yet one look at the sweat beads down her face would have you think they were in Muspelheim.

The door opened, and Astrid stepped foot into the sun for the first time in two years. She held her hands up to block the light, and as she looked up, found the familiar sight of the great ball of fire in her hands. The sky of the frozen tundra began to blend with the memory of the fields of the Hjaðningavíg. A calm began to over take her. The biting winds of Niflheim blended together with the serenity of the harvest fields, as the frigid skies and temperate winds became one, and the chains she could still see upon her began to melt. What were those were words then? When she looked to the sky, those words. Whose Power-

"Hands." Vision torn from the sky, tossed callously down the slope, as her cursed chains were exchanged for magic cuffs, and links around her ankles. "Now quit wasting my damn time." Thor carelessly lifted her, and with ease tossed her into the back of an armored truck. There weren't many modern contraptions on Folkvangr, this was Astrid's first time seeing one. What a first impression.

"So, do you guys usually bring small armies for lone prisoners, or just the ones who nearly killed you?" A mechanical roar followed by methodical hum of the engine punctuated her sentence, and the transport descended from the mountaintop. The cold rattling of metal, and a little window through which light came. Hardly a noteworthy change of scenery.

"Small armies are for important prisoners and important tasks. We take the task of these peace accords rather seriously. Enjoy your new life as a political betting chip, you psychotic harpy." Freyja remained silent, as Thor calmly let alone some pent up frustration, or, so he tried. Astrid responded as always, with laughter.

"Imagine if you put this much thought and care into responding to all your lives many failures! Maybe this set of them wouldn't have ever happened!" She smiled to herself, but no response came. No facial expressions, no physiological response. It seems their batteries for dealing with this had even less charge than her own. She relaxed once more, content with accepting this modicum of a victory as a chance to rest. "So, where are you taking me exactly? Some... inter-pantheon prison?"

"I wish, but no. Of all the things..." He sighed, "It's a goddamn school." Astrid opened her mouth to say something, but drew only a blank. A... school? Why would they send her to a... school? Of all places? "It's fine, i don't get it either. Odin insists its all about politics, and not abandoning the youth, and giving them a new chance! I guess you're the poster child of that last one." A new chance... how utterly worthless. She should've been born with one to begin with, not abandoned as they claim to want to avoid. Poster child of all your biggest, most unbelievable hopes for a new dawn? Poster child of all your weakness and failures, the very ones that needed you to have such big, sappy, foolish dreams to begin with. Because anything else might let reality in, might let you take the blame instead of her. "Look, just do us all a favor and use the first actual bit of peace you've got to go to sleep." Hmph, finally an idea she could get behind. The shaking of the cab, the puttering of the engine, and the wind outside rushing by. To many this would be a terrible place to sleep. It was, however, for now, an improvement, as her eyes set on Niflheim for the last time.

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The truck jolted forward with a high-pitched screech, coming to a stop as the engine deadened. The drivers door opened, and Astrid awoke to the determined footsteps. They stopped, and the door opened, a hand waving her out. She jumped from the short drop, and took in the mountains around her. It was unclear where exactly this was, but the biome was temperate. Deciduous and evergreen forests dominated the landscape, gentle clouds brushed overhead with the winds, and the sounds flooded in from all directions. The rivers, the streams, the birds above, from deer to bears, as small as crickets and beetles roaming about. The school itself... and, it was indeed just that, from the looks of it. Somehow, she could not find it in her to be shocked anymore, somehow this chain of events just couldn't be taken seriously anymore. Had reality become a parody of itself? Had they all gone mad? Desperation? When she was dragged to cell two years ago it was nothing but talk of the evil monster who brainwashed children to act as an army for her.

And now? Now they bring her here? Presumably with whom? Other child gods? What madman brings a supposed monster that turns children into unwilling soldiers to a place filled with them... now with the powers of gods. She sighs, of course, they contradicted themselves again. Never has she seen anything but opportunistic of whatever lies or half truths best served the moment from these people. What random spool of lies and misdirections they're taking as truth and which one they're casting aside for this is irrelevant. In truth, they're doing neither of those anyway, just bits and bobs they like to make a third.

Thor by now had removed her bonds, and brought her to the front of the truck, numerous bags had been tossed infront of her. "We didn't touch any of your stuff, by the way. Aina packed it, she's doing well as are the others, she's become a fine leader for them. Your friend Rune, too. Of course that just makes both of them pains in our ass." He tosses her a small, ornately engraved baton, with two crystals at its end. She holds it up, and the crystals glow, the baton taking the form of her bow once again, with Thor, a bit unintentionally, down its sights.

"Oh my, is this deja vu? Have we met like this before?" She giggled and smirked, though the thunder god remained unmoved. With an eyeroll, she returned the bow to its storage form, and placed it in its hold under her cloak.

"One day, if you ever get to see them again, i hope you'll have gained the humility to take forty days and nights thanking them. That's the low end estimate. Don't worry, Odin's orders are not to harm them." He climbed back into the cab, closing the door. As soon as he had done so, Freyja pulled herself up over the cab to see her.

"One last of Odin's commandments you'll need to hear, Astrid. Don't come back. Until you graduated here, if you graduate here, if you're changed at all and haven't burned the world to the ground. From today until that fantastical future, you have no home." Her mother said nothing further, returning to the cab and closing the door. The engine roared to life, and in a few moments, they had turned around and drove away.

Humorous. No home, eh? Not much of a threat, as if she ever really had one to begin with. It seems for now, this school of Greek architecture on its own godly plane, with all the bustling fools she could already here within, would be all she had. She began to walk forward. One... two... something doesn't feel right. It's not the watching, she isn't surprised by that. Three... four... her heart is racing, the wind blows harder, and the clouds gather in. Her breaths are desperate once more, and she begins to sweat. Five... she comes to a sudden stop. Her screams stopped only by the immediate vacation of the air in her lungs. The wind felt cold. The sky had become grey... and then white, white as snow and ice. The wildlife was gone, and the air began to screech to howl. The pain was there again. Blood drained from her face, and eyes widened, slowly her gaze turned towards the sun, forcing it's focused light just through the clouds. It grew dimmer, as she struggled to lift her arms. Another scream choked down, the chains biting ever more forcefully into her flesh as she reached for heaven. The greenery began to fade, and the cold set in. Her hands reached the sun, and she stared, but the chains only tightened.

Her eyes closed tightly, her other senses honed further. She must hear them, the temperate breeze, the flowing rivers and babbling brooks. The life, big and small. Smell the flowers, the grasses, the pollens all around. Feel the temperate suns embrace, and the airs shiver against the thunders crackling roar against the ice. Force the two worlds to collide, and break free. Begone with the winter storm, and let rage the autumn cyclone. The temperate winds fly into a rage, the snow is replace by rain, and the winter screech submits to unyielding thunder. She opens her eyes, as the ice world fades, and the fields of memory return. But the chains remain, determined to not ever let her go, to have no escape in the past. She closes her eyes once more, and the thunder struck with such force, that for but a moment, the world was nothing else. Her eyes opened as the first faded, and a fusillade outpoured from the skies above, the autumn cyclone raged, and memories of old blew away.

The present took command, the chains continued their struggle to keep her. She stared into the sun, adrenaline flowed, and her body felt at once weightless and immovable. Lightning arced across the sky, and one by one, the chains ruptured under the rage of the storm. She held her determined gaze, as piece after piece of shattered ice sublimated away. The present held its place, she held her place, at least for now.

Adrenaline subsided, and she doubled over for breath. Deep, one. Two. Three. Four. Five. She stood upright once more, continuing to control her breath. Stray hair was brushed back, as her look forward, to the school, to the now grey thundering skies, became a glare. She hated it already. Everything it stood for, everything it meant, everyone in it, everyone responsible for it, it's very existence would be the future essence of her rage. Some distance away, the thunder fragmented the very earth with its roar once more. She asked of the skies, her only audience...

"Whose powerless now?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Holy High



The storm outside had subsided with the same brevity it had enflamed in. The sun and it's blue skies had begun to own the world above once more as Astrid passed the gates of realities newest iteration of hell. Her stride was deliberate and swift, and she broke into the main hall with an empty glare worn across her radiant beauty. Straight ahead... An entire family? No matter, they're clearly Slavs, the Norse are... rather familiar with them. Also in the room... a towering Greek boy who smells a bit like death but looks otherwise like a virgin to the craft, and off to the side is a tall man of dark complexion. Too light to be of African descent, and their appearance suggests they hail from the western hemisphere. Not something she's particularly familiar with, but that should be no big deal. Engaging with the Greek virgin, well, she's never seen one, but based on everything she's heard, that would be a Fae. Finally for the students currently around is... a sentient hulk of metal? As unexpected as that is, it is hardly what's got her attention now.

As she storms straight up the center of the room, eyes fixed on the real *prize* of this shitshow. Reality just kept asking not to be taken seriously, and Astrid now, was all too happy to oblige. I mean really, what idiot puts Zeus in charge of a school? Well, she intended to ask, but.... not before some stress relief. She came to a stop, charging right past the Slav and his family, glaring into the eyes of the ancient Greek. After a moment, she began to laugh. At first quietly, then more loudly, then finally, cackling to the heavens above as she doubled over in it.

"Oh my, what magnificent and untold fresh hell is this?" She stood herself upright again, her eyes widened again, a mix of her hate, anger and exhaustion with just the right dash of simmering madness. "Come now, has reality become but an insidious joke upon itself? Anyone? No? This is real?" She gestures towards Zeus, laughing hard again, "Oh pray tell which feeble minded imbeciles do i have to thank? No, truly, i mean it, whose fucking mastermind of an idea was it to put the serial rapist in charge of a school with young girls in attendance?" She planned to speak freely, totally freely, because no matter what she said, how offensive out rude, the violent response she'd tempt would never be worth the risk. All their hopes, their meanings to this and that, all the political imagery and maneuvering. She's the proof a new future can come from anywhere, with hope and effort! And besides, its day one, she can pretend to start trying tomorrow.

"No? No one wants to take credit? A rarity truly, the vultures of avarice are always so eager to claim credit, yet not a one. Shocker." She began to calm, returning to stare at Zeus with an arrogant smirk, "Oh i can hear the whispers already. 'So rude!' 'How uncouth!' 'He's changed!' Oh yeah i'm sure he has, cause the best part, isn't it, Zeusy? You grow older and older and change with the wind. But the mean little schoolgirls, we're always the same age, just a little different faces, eh?" She turned around, beginning to take a couple steps away, before spinning to face him once more, "You know, i'd say this was a first for schools anywhere, but, the humans practiced this lauded tradition for centuries! I Guess virginities weren't the only thing you were taking from them." She laughed modestly, turning around again, "Oh well. I mean, how bad could a school of predators be anyway." She threw her head back, giving her predator's glare, bloodthirsty eyes and twisted smile included, "Afterall, it's not even like you're the most dangerous one here." She returned her head forward, running her right hand through the locks which draped to just below her hips into a snarky flip as she walked away to stand at the back of the room, and close her eyes.

As therapeutic as that all was... she needs time to breathe to maintain this control. Dealing with these people will be endlessly exhausting.
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Luminesa
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Fri Apr 08, 2022 7:35 pm

Patriah - Clowns to the Left, Jokers to the Right...

His interaction with Lanuru had already left him confused and a little spent. He realized that here, he was mostly out of his depth. He would meet gods from many other pantheons, and he lived in a realm in which the gods hardly interacted happily with their own family members, never mind those from other realms. He blinked a few times, trying to commit to memory not to use such jokes around Lan. And yet if he could not make normal jokes, he had to wonder what exactly he could say. He scratched his head, and found another piece of grass to chew.

As soon as he started to chew, more gods began to arrive on campus. The ugliest car he had ever seen-and also the first car he had ever seen personally-had managed to drive up and down the hallowed mountains as if they were just a rocky road. He jumped out of the way, even though he was not concerned about dying from being hit by a beaten-down European car. Any sane person would have said that the driver should have been shot, but Pat simply smirked and hid a cackle. The Slavic god Bozhidor poured out of the contraption along with the rest of his family, and they almost seemed like the most well-functioning group he had seen all day. They acted like a loving family, and Boz even greeted Zeus with a casual-yet-respectful tone. The rest of his family seemed proud of him as well, and one of the gods behind him even ruffled his hair affectionately.

"Dawwww that's kinda cute. A little family portrait! And he's kinda almost a nice guy," he muttered, more toward The Factory. He had not spoken much to the mechanical god, and he felt a little worried about how he had insulted the Fae Prince. He hoped that this other god would be friendlier, or at least less complicated.

Another god came with him, a storm god in beautiful, feathered garmented covered in feathers of every size and color. He came down into the campus out of a tornado, which caught and kept Patriah's focus. For once, he was impressed. He watched as the young god appeared from a flash of lightning, in a manner which would have raised the hairs and scorched the souls of any humans who happened to watch. Yet for the other young wind god, he was just another fascinating deity who would be his classmate. He even clapped as he arrived, and he smirked. "Heyyyyyy now that's an appearance!" This time he leaned away from The Factory, and looked toward the newcomer with excitement. Another wind deity might make his life easier.

The one who came after him, and after Boz, would most certainly make his life harder. If not his, than someone else's. Zeus in particular.

She had arrived on a prison bus, which somehow was more hideous than Boz's family clown car. It screeched with an unholy rage to a halt, and a young girl hopped out of the bus and onto the campus. She did not look quite as enormous as the storm god or Boz, or as otherworldly as Lanuru, or even as inhuman as The Factory. Yet every deity was unique, and he himself certainly was his own man. And yet this girl's most defining feature was how she carried herself with such boiling rage, like a hot spring trying to burst through permafrost. Even worse, she had arrived in chains, and with supervision from another deity. A low whistle escaped his throat, one that determined that somehow, she was someone who might even enrage Thanatos in the right circumstances.

She certainly managed to make a worse impression on Zeus than he had. Whereas Patriah had simply made a casual joke, one which Zeus could have dismissed as a family member's rough banter, Astrid lashed into him. Given, Zeus was no victim. Pat had heard enough stories about his exploits both lecherous and murderous. When she managed to pause in her rant, he looked around at the rest of the gods before turning back to her. She continued to rave, and he did not even know what exactly to say. She even claimed that she was stronger than him, a boast which would have definitely earned him a slap back home.

"...Huh. Uh...well. Ho boy. Uh...alright. So uh...I know who I'm gonna be in detention with..."
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Theyra
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Theyra » Fri Apr 08, 2022 7:49 pm

Morten
First Day
Holy High


"So this is Holy High," coming from a soft-sounding voice at the edge of the school. From a young white hair person with a visible scar on his face and a door behind him that closed and disappeared once he spoke. Unlike some other gods that had a noticeable entrance. Morten chose to be not flashy with his entrance and simply traveled along Yggdrasil by horse to make his journey here, it was a short journey. Taking a deep breath of the cold mountain air, he felt mixed feelings about this place. It was foreign to him being in Midgard, too used to living in the realm of the dead and with only servants and his mother as his company. And now he is here in Midgard and now at this school. He did not mind the greek architecture of the place thought he would have liked some more Norse or just mixed buildings at least.

Either way, he spotted what he guessed to be fellow students and followed them to the main hall. Taking in the sights of the school and he felt a bit nervous. He is not used to talking to other gods, and the only one he has met almost killed him. So this is bound to be a new experience for him and hopefully a good one.

Walking inside the main hall and took a brief look around and that is when he heard her voice. Morten snapped to attention and heard Astrid's spiel. What, Morten started looking around the main hall, where is Freyr? Isn't he suppose to be her watcher in case he tries something?

Then came a voice from behind him, "Shut your mouth girl, or do you want to be kicked out of here and thrown back to your pit on your first day?" Annoyance in his voice, and it was Freyr. Astrid's uncle and now her watcher. A task he agreed to take up and what she did to her own mother and his sister. And he walked calmly to Astrid's side and stopped once he was there. "Because insulting the principal of your school on your first day is just more reason why you should not be here and back in chains." Saying it dead serious and simply waiting for Astrid's response. Because she is oblivious going to respond to this.

Meanwhile, Morten seeing this and not wanting to be part of it. Quickly walked up to Zeus did a respectful bow and walked over to the side where some other gods were standing. Content to simply watch the processions from there.

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Danceria
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Founded: Aug 13, 2015
New York Times Democracy

Postby Danceria » Fri Apr 08, 2022 8:26 pm

Foregrounds of Holy High[/b]
Bozhidor & others



The first who knew the arrival of the newcomer were the Fate-Giver and Svarog, as one would expect such deities to not be caught unawares. Shortly after the other Belobozhi would turn and see the oncoming...Norse. The relationship between the Germanics and the Slavs had been...complicated to say the least. Doubly so when the prison bus arrived-an all too common tragedy seen in the Eastern Bloc.

When Astrid had her...outburst, the Belobozhi had their own opinions:

The Fate-Giver looked on, and for a moment the memories felt like they crawled under Astrid like the children under their blankets, and she...pitied her. Stribog stepped forward with gales at his command, Zvedza held her son close, her skin luminescing like the morning star. Despite the godling's insistence-and embarrassment-they would not back down without a fight.

"She's feisty!" Zhiva complimented, and Radegost nodded, "A bit like Devana-" "She's too much alike." the War-God would grumble. "Two would be far too many."

While one couple bickered, another stifled their laughter-the eldest in fact. With the chuckle of earth and sky touching and ringing out, the two primordial deities looked on her as a precocious child-Mokosh relishing any opportunity to take Zeus down a peg-and Svarog seemed also to regard the godling with respect. Only a god would dare insult another in his own realm and hope to live, and to be honest she reminded him of his own son-Perun. Still, he wasn't going to encourage upstart behaviour, even against someone he disliked.

But to the Norse-woman herself came not a condemnation, but a fairly innocent question. "You've said a lot about Mr. Zeus." Bozhidor called out, freeing himself from his mother's protection, and standing in front of Svarog-not that the Godsire needed protecting, but out of politeness. "Yet...who are you? You're the most dangerous predator...are you a hunting goddess? Goddess of bears, wolves...or is this ah, like how humans are considered "the most dangerous game" but you are most dangerous predator...?"

You didn't need nanometer sharp senses to detect that this man was blissfully ignorant, and genuinely curious, somehow not a shred of fear upon him. What Astrid could sense was a collective internal groan-loudest from his mother. She did raise the boy to be polite and interested in others-and that was to a fault.

Svarog shrugged, and answered. "Someone with a set of eyes, and a set of stones." he gave one last dirty glance over his shoulder. "But mostly a set of eyes and the barest of morals. Nothing too uncommon."
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Nantoraka
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nantoraka » Fri Apr 08, 2022 10:09 pm

Abaguabana, Scruncher of Foreheads, Roller of Eyes
Shaking himself of the deep-rooted, nearly instinctual, fear of Bayamanaco that the god had briefly instilled in him, Abaguabana's ears perked up at the comments of the Greek deity before him; the one he snuffed earlier, in particular. The comment was appreciated; especially as he had the idea that the god was a bit of a, for a lack of a better word, a dick. All the better to have a compliment, he was hoping for some positive interactions at the start. The appearance of the prison bus was certainly a rather surprising, and worrying, development, but after the show with the Slavic deities showing up in their "car", he didn't think it was a particularly interesting sight. Abaguabana turned towards Patriah with a slight smirk across his face. "Thank you. I do try to make a good impression with m...-"

And of course, the sudden appearance of the goddess that came from the bus, was enough to silence Abaguabana in the middle of the sentence. In fact, it was enough to shock him into silence, as the speed and carelessness of the goddess' sudden sprint was briefly untraceable to Abaguabana's eyes. Abaguabana entirely forgot to continue his remark to Patriah, fixating himself on the goddess that was unleashing an endless tirade against Zeus. If not for the rudeness of the gesture and how she disregarded the others in the area, he almost found it decently amusing; however, her proclivity to refer to Zeus as "Zeusy" and speak in the way she was almost made him visibly scrunch his forehead in a mixture of what could be either disappointment or disgust. Though he resisted, he absolutely took the chance to roll his eyes.

Seems he wouldn't be seeing much of her anyways, with the attitude she brought straight to the headmaster himself. If he said even a quarter of the insults she uttered in her tirade against his own family, Grandfather would have certainly fed him to Opiyel. Snapping out of it, Abaguabana turned back to the foreign god he was just speaking to, and the...almost alien god of metal before him, looking to hopefully break the ice with a half-serious remark.

"...How fast do you believe she will fly once Zeus hits her?" Abaguanbana's expression did not betray a single element of sarcasm, he was clearly being genuine.
Last edited by Nantoraka on Fri Apr 08, 2022 10:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Finsternia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:03 am

Lanuru - Procession of the Beautiful and the Damned

There is always a first time for many. Even Lanuru himself needed to be instructed by his Mother Most High and the Venerable Court. To see Patriah stop for a moment to recollect his throughts, to silently ponder about mistakes and hopefully to rectify and compensate in the future, moves the Prince of the Unseelie to nod. Improvements and continuous evolution is needed for an individual, mortal or not. A God who claims immovable and perfect is simply something to be dethroned, shamed, destroyed by the cycles of the seasons. To see that Patriah is amicable to learn brings him great joy. Even the most fuzzyheaded can be taught, be sharpened into a well respected member of the peerage. Lanuru clings to that hope, to that dream, that if ever there are other students and classmates of the same caliber they can be polished to their most glorious forms and be the shining light of their Pantheons.

Soon the other Gods filtered in the hall. First was a young God whose followed by storm clouds and heralded by thunder. The Prince watched for awhile, golden eyes looking at him from head to toe. Quite pleasing to the eyes, and is civil, Abaguabana showed the bearing of a lauded heir to the Powers That Be. Watching him withdraw his spear, Lanuru gives him a curt nod. "Greetings. Please do not mind our prior discussion. It is simply an exchange between... peers. I am Lanuru, Prince of the Unseelie Court. May I know your esteemed name?" The Prince gives off a practiced smile, before his thoughts are interrupted by the honking of not one but two vehicles that comes in to offload their inhabitants. A family of deities for the first one, Lanuru could only momentarily frown at the choice of transportation as the entire Pantheon comes to send their young heir off. A ceremony of partings and farewells, of a contract to be brought into tutorship, and the bestowal of blessings by elders. It seems that the quality of character for the Godlings continue to rise, and Lanuru stays to the side with a bow towards the family. This is a procession of status for the Pantheon, to show their utmost support for what Holy High represents, and their willingness to hand over their future to the instructors of this most holy establishment.

And then comes the vile entrance of a young Goddess with fire in her eyes and spikes for a tongue. Her entranced overshadowed all the pomp and circumstance that has happened, as well as the entrance of the white haired deity that followed her own entrance. Like a blotch of ink thrown across a canvas, Astrid's outburst ruined the picturesque and, quite honestly, shaky glamour of civility and peace. Perhaps the closest Gods in proximity to Lanuru, the Factory and Patriah, could see the Fair Prince's face immediately come to a halt. The smile fades into a set jaw and his eyes stare forward silently, wide open in ridicule. The Prince raises a hand to his lips, unnaturally long and adorned by silver guards shaped like claws, as if in either shock or the will to suppress laughter. A madwoman in chains, screaming bloody murder, is allowed in this most sacred establishment? What a cruel and pitiful joke, to educate a feral thing into a grace it has lost for many aeons ago. His gaze continues to stare down at the chained Goddess, and the Factory could catch a glint within the Prince's eyes that they have seen in his lesser kin. Derision and abject dismissal of what they think are their lessers, and utter disgust of what these "lessers" have become. Lanuru keeps his hand to his mouth even as the verbal beatdown from the Slavs started, simply content to watch this nightmarish show of who puts on the idiot hat the longest.

"Please settle down at once, our most honored guests." A voice of iron will announces its bearer, a woman with ashen hair pulled back tightly and dark skin reminescent of forged iron. She is tall, towering over most except for the titanic ones like Patriah, Lanuru and the Factory. Her method of dress is a tight suit made from the golden scales of dragonkind, and she is armed by a sword to her hip and a shield to her back. The Goddess stands beside Zeus as she address the Slavic Pantheon before her. "Rest easy, good friends, for we will make sure that she will learn how to channel her tempers. We were all young once, reckless and brash during our formative years. She simply needs... some guidance on the path she walks." Athena then turns her iron face towards the offending student as she frowns. "Young lady, this is your second chance at life. A second and final chance that your Lord Uncle has fought by staking his own dignity for. If you do not care so much for your own face and reputation, there are many who would on the top branches of Yggdrassil who now watch on high. You represent them now in this era of peace, young lady, whether you want to or not. I believe you wouldn't want Odin to come in to personally judge you, and you most certainly do not wish to return to your chains. So if you wish to stay warm, far away from Helheim, then rein your tongue young lady and cooperate."
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

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Luminesa
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:03 pm

Patriah - Eating Potted Plants

"Uhhhhhhhh I think he could hit uh...what do they call it...a 'home run'?" Patriah smirked at Abaguabana, glad that someone was at least happy to engage with him. Sure, Astrid's talk of Zeus being a womanizer and a lecher were accurate, but he would never claim to be stronger than Zeus without a proper duel. He took a step or two away from Astrid's location, and moved more toward the other wind god. Even if he was not scared, he did not need to try and decipher more complicated deities at the moment. He just wanted to stand and to wait for introductions from the teachers to begin.

All the while, he watched as Boz's entire family seemed to give their opinions of their son's classmate, and he snickered. They were a lively bunch, but not malicious. Then another student, Morten, arrived and joined the party. He was a quiet classmate, whom Pat would have never noticed without seeing his ivory hair and scarred face. He could see the anxiety on his face, and he gave a nod to him, being unwilling to break apart the lecture that Athena was giving. After all, she was Zeus's own daughter, and one of the few Greek children who could legitimately stand to him in regards to intelligence and authority.

When he saw Lanuru's face, however, he took an extra step toward the wind god and The Factory. Something about his smile on his glowing, pretty face was uncanny. His keen eyes were able to see behind his hand, which covered his mouth, and he shuddered. His lips did not fit his jaws, nor did his teeth fit his mouth. He had stretched his maw thin with malicious glee, and Pat figured that he did not want to mess with him outside of a duel. "Yeah...but I wouldn't hit that one..." he murmured to Abaguabana.

As he was muttering and worrying, however, more deities came to join the fray. One of them made himself present through his smell and his music, before he even appeared before his students' eyes.

Hyperion - My God is the Sun

His Hawaiian shirt was faded, but somehow held a nostalgic elegance in its hues of golden foliage and vermillion in the background. Any quaint, Southern-California vibes he might have given were only supported by the fact that he was playing Weezer very loudly from a boombox that he carried over his shoulder. Athena's speech certainly did not drown in it, but anything anyone else said at the same time would have found themselves clashing with a song about pulling the threads off sweaters. Even worse, he smelled very much of cheap alcohol, his cargo shorts had pockets without buttons, and he had socks with sandals. "Unprofessional" did not begin to describe his appearance.

However, the being was glowing faintly, with a brightness behind his sunglasses that seemed to reflect the pure energy of the sun. He did not look particularly bothered by anything, and he stood next to Hyperion with a glint of nonchalance in his face. Even that was not certain. "Uh gods. The sun is so bright today...Oh wait, that's just me. HAHA! Eyyyyyyyy look, we have some students!" He pointed to the class, and he gave a wide smirk. He even seemed to not mind Astrid's rage at Zeus, and in fact he simply gave a snicker at it.

"Oh boy, this one's a tough cookie. But uhhhh if you've got her, Theen, I'll take the rest." He then gave a disgusting burp, which would have wafted ungraciously into the Goddess of Wisdom's face. Grinning toward the class once again, he greeted them. "HELLO, YOU WEIRD KIDS. I'm Hyperion, I'm the sun, and I hate myself!" To prove his point, he pulled a flask of a reddish-brown liquid and downed it, without stopping for air. He then mercifully turned the boombox off. "Well...I hate mornings, let's say that. And my liver hates me. But I like living, I make plants grow, and all of your followers are alive because I haven't decided to spontaneously combust this morning. Which mostly means the Jack-in-the-Box I consumed last night finally leaves my body along with the weed. How do you do, kids?"

Hestia - The Good Aunt

Hyperion's ridiculous introduction would have earned him at the very least stares of judgment from almost anyone in any reputable academic institution, and Holy High was no different. Before Athena could even give a word about his behavior, another goddess arrived and unhooked the heavy boombox from the sun god's shoulder. She was much shorter than Athena, but she had a motherly grace about her. Her eyes also had a show of motherly disappointment. "Hyperion! That's no way to act toward the students! They are here to learn, not to pass around a...what do you call it?"

"Toke? Bong? Incense? Hallucinogenic of your choice?"

"Any of those things! They are here to learn about our institution and about themselves!" The lovely goddess then placed the boombox under a tree, very unlike some other gods who would have gladly smashed it with a large blunt object. She then walked back over to the line, and she adjusted her gown, a beautiful Greco-inspired garment in a buttercream color with a shawl of red, blue, and gold around her shoulders. She wore her auburn hair in a braided bun, with some strands curling lazily around her round cheeks. Her eyes had some slight wrinkles, as did her smile, and while she was not an elder goddess, she was a hardworking one whose face showed her priorities.

"Hello, students. I am Hestia, and I shall be teaching Home Economics. I see we have had some squabbles among us, and some confusion, and perhaps some anger. I understand that...some among us may have some difficulties with each other, and I hope to help rectify those difficulties while all of you are here. Please, as you await our word from Lord Zeus, help yourselves to the spread I've prepared!"

With a wave of her hand, the tables around them in the halls magically filled with beautiful food. Sandwiches, pastries, soups, and several different hams, turkeys, ducks, and quails all prepared with luxurious sauces. Drinks also came with the spread, and the hall filled with the warm smells of filling foods, both healthy and not-so-healthy. Hestia smiled at her work, which she hoped would assuage some of the immediate tension.

She then turned her eyes toward Astrid. "Young dear, I can assure you that as long as you are here, Lady Athena and I, and all of the teachers, shall make sure that your experience here is fulfilling. While Lord Zeus has...not behaved himself well in the past...we are hoping to change things and to make you feel more comfortable with us. We are now waiting for the rest of the teachers and students, and I hope you will find them agreeable as well." She then looked to the rest of the class and adjusted her shawl around her shoulders with a welcoming smile.
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"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
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Nantoraka
Diplomat
 
Posts: 566
Founded: Oct 19, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nantoraka » Sat Apr 09, 2022 5:25 pm

Abaguabana, Assailed by Many Sounds
Though hearing the greeting from the god that had greeted him in a rather respectful manner - Abaguabana once again enjoying being disproved by his initial apprehension - he chose not to reply at that moment; he simply put up a finger, indicating that his response would be somewhat delayed, due to the rather loud and obnoxious scene before him. By the time the Norse godling-ess was finished with her angry, vengeful tirade against Zeus, Abaguabana let out a sigh and resumed his attentions to the other deities that surrounded him. Putting his hand back down, Abaguabana took the golden bottle within his hands and uncorked it once more, taking another sip of water. Though his spear seemed to be the water itself, Abaguabana still drank it, subtly underlining his power and his station. Once he finished, Abaguabana steadily and carefully screwed the cork back into the reddish-golden bottle, taking the time to glance at Lanuru. In contrast to Lanuru's golden eyes, his sclera was black, and his irises resembled the blue of the sky, but at the same time, the blue of the ocean, and the blue of icy death, with his irises forming into an almost reptilian slit. Eyes were the windows to the soul, and his was a trademark identifying feature of powerful spirits.

With a friendly smile, Abaguabana finally returned the greeting. "Good to meet you, prince. In our little universal language here, I am The Great Sea, but you'll find it easier to call me by Abaguabana instead." Abaguabana placed his golden bottle back onto its strap on his hip, and reached his right hand forward as a friendly gesture, a "handshake" from what he knows of European courtesy. "I'm no prince, but I am heir to chieftain of the seas. I suppose that's close enough, but not quite as esteemed as prince of a court, is it?"

As he did so, Abaguabana turned his head to Patriah in response to his question, and nodded, a wordless and silent agreement with his statement. At the same time, his senses were assaulted by the scent of booze. Turning away from Lanuru and Patriah, he watched as Hyperion walked in, cracking "jokes", if he could even call them that, with impunity. He did his best to suppress a smirk, however; as bad as his "jokes" were, the sheer absurdity of such statements almost made him laugh. Hyperion reminded him a lot of his uncle, Albeborael, who made such "jokes" outwitting his enemies on his journeys during the creation of the earth.

Still retaining the friendly expression he wore towards Lanuru, he decided to speak to his future teacher. "I'M doing quite well, in fact. I'm not entirely sure you can say the same to the unmuzzled hound currently assailing the headmaster."
Factbooks are designed for dark theme users with vision that hasn't been burned away by light theme.

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Zei-Aeiytenia
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Posts: 21
Founded: Mar 12, 2022
Democratic Socialists

Postby Zei-Aeiytenia » Sat Apr 09, 2022 7:34 pm

Astrid
Gripping at Sanity



Astrid walked away briskly as she entered, as if Freyr had not spoken a word. She came to an abrupt stop, twirling around with a surprised demeanor and smile that was beyond blatantly fake. "Ohhhh, it really is Uncle Freyr! Usually when i think i hear my own family around it's just a random auditory hallucination! Yanno, what with the family tradition of disappearing and all." She smiled and waved, acting almost innocent about it all, "Now that you mention it, Thor and Freyja really did seem to have mixed feelings about this. Given all the trouble taken to get me the first time..." She stops, tilting her head to think, "Wanna place bets on a body count for take two? Could be fun!" Her demeanor changed again to, yet more, blatantly fake casual joking, even pulling out the ol' fingerguns. She waited a moment before throwing her hands up, "No? Oh well, suit yourself."

She continued onward to her original trajectory, a quiet area of wall near the doorway she had stormed past, when yet more interruptions presented themselves - from the Slavs now. Starting with the young one, the student, what was his name? Bozhidor... right. In a room so far full of silence and one irritating disappearing uncle whose returned, it's the boy who speaks first? Not even Zeus himself? Might someone here actually have courage worth.... noting. She sighed deeply, sensing the quiet internal reactions to his line of questioning from his family. Of course not. Then there was the matter of the bearded man and his cane. An Elder God speaking of morality without irony? What a boring cliché.

"Well, this is all very disappointing." She spins around, fading from view and detection of those without the specialized ability to see through, admittedly, somewhat amateurish imperceptibility in the broad open. Which, no doubt, likely included most of the Gods surrounding the doofus. Not that it mattered, she only considered doing something fanciful like using her balance and agility to mimic a little chase to appear behind him... but. If these can't be bothered to be interesting, why the hell would she carry the slack for them? Nope, she's just gonna walk. Straight. Up. To. Him. Except not detectable to most of the rooms occupants. How exciting.

She stopped infront of him, her own body height of just under six feet away, and without ceremony, dropped the stealth. "Yeaaaah if you want a more interesting answer, don't be so boring next time." She sighed yet again, and stared at Bozhidor. Though, in reality, she was paying attention to Svarog, "Really? An Elder God waxing nonsense about morality? Even more boring than the well meaning fool here. Don't get me wrong, i'm used to ill meaning fools so i appreciate the upgrade, but that was a low bar, and you passed right under it. You're in a room, with this guy," She gestures once more to Zeus, "And, in effect, speaking up for him, even vaguely, in his defense - and your go to, here, for this - is morals? I would seriously prefer to listen to the human ants fumble on about topics incomprehensible to them like eternal life, then to listen to ancient charlatans and rapacious fiends in ascended form speak of their 'morality'. The words which would spill from both would be equally filled with meaningless trite and hokum, but at least with the ants i can take comfort knowing they were trying their earnest from the most honest spot in their hearts."

Astrid's small diatribe on morality and Elder Gods, fresh off the presses from the newest mass murderer in Yggdrasil, had barely ended when a booming, dominating voice sounded over the room. She grasped her right wrist with her left hand, positioning and moving herself to appear natural as she stepped past Bozhidor to lay eyes upon none other than Athena. In that moment, the gentle pulse of little volts of lightning she now worked to keep hidden ran across still freshly left scars. She sighed yet again, putting further effort to seem as exasperated and annoyed as possible, and keep prying eyes from the cracking mess of stress threatening to rend apart all sense of control. She stayed quiet, as Athena spoke, taking brief moments to close her eyes and breathe deeply. Listening, feeling, sensing the world around her, to keep at a bay a phantom cold which refused to acknowledge the trying binds of time or space. She mentioned Freyr, specifically, and his own stake in this endeavor. A stake which, of course, Astrid was never aware. Her eyes could not help but dart back for a moment, an action all the more telling for anyone who'd figured out from her little parlor trick with Bozhidor that she did not need move her eyes to see all around her.

She was unsure that difference that truly made either. Any of it, it had been eleven years to this day and then some which she had seen her uncle. Before the Stormlands, before the Battlefield, before Rune had ever stepped upon her hill. It was over half her life ago, and he knew nothing of what had happened, nothing of course but the story they crafted to tell. The same story Athena surely knew. Why else would she invoke the name of that fetid corpse on a throne to her face? Odin.

"Judge me? Odin? Once more the gods seek to sink beneath the mud the human ants tread upon. They at least make a habit of trying to keep criminals from presiding as judge over anyone. Especially other criminals." Chains and cold... she gripped her wrist tightly, and casually swayed her footing, and her right hand to grip her left wrist as she did, giving it as well the only remedy she had for a freezing pain which should not be. "The cold and the chains... that's all you've got. Did they ask you to play dumb, or did they just not tell you to begin with? Knowing my kin and their cowardice, i suppose it's both. My apologies on their behalf, allow a brief explanation. Those wouldbe hunters who finally dragged me back from my home, with their comparatively minor wounds and most of their troupe never to be seen again, spent the last two years struggling in their sleep, and shaking in their chairs when they remembered that day. I know they did, i saw the looks in their eyes as it happened. They spent that whole time praying for a freezing, binding hell to drag my heart into the ice and turn it to a reflective stone easily shattered, easily put to rest so that they could sleep again." She tossed her head to the side, blank expression worn the entire time as she stared off into the distant corner of a room, "I am only here, Athena, because they realized that no such thing, of no such capability, has ever existed. If it had, i would already be gone." Another deep breath, this was almost... relaxing, in a weird way. It's been a long time since she faced a peer of her domain whom she'd not nearly slain before, and whom did not hold fear for her embedded deep in their psyche until times end.

She faced forward once more, taking a step towards Athena, "Regardless, however, i will see to your request to be granted my silence for a time. Even if only because it is refreshing to see a so-called 'war deity' that can look me in the eye without playing a vile and pathetic masquerade to hide their shaking. The ones i knew lost their mettle long ago." She performed a shallow bow, and turned to briskly take herself, at last, to the back of the room. It occurred to her however that she had not answered the Foolish Slav's first question, a thought which brought her pause just before him again, and she turned her head briefly, "I am Astrid, third, and probably, final, daughter of Freyja. I'd tell you of my father, but all i know of him is that his identity is the subject of many a betting pool. If you'd prefer my family has some loving nicknames, Thor gets a bit blunt and humorless with me, he merely calls me "Murderous Psychopath" and storms off hiding that limp of his. My mother is much more creative, 'Rabid psycho bitch that nearly killed me', 'Deranged swine they insist on calling a princess', and i think she was drunk, this is the best one, 'My greatest argument for abstinence'. They're all normal to me now." She remained perfectly calm and candid, waving her hand dismissively as she walked swiftly to her earmarked place against the wall.

The room began to bustle behind her, a loud racket as the other staff began to introduce themselves. She gripped her wrist in near a death vice, and the lightning coursed a bit stronger, as the clouds outside played a gentle roar through the air in response. Her back leaned against the wall at last, far from any other students or staff. Both her hands became fists, and electric current rode across her whole body, intensifying across the many bloody fault lines laid upon her skin. Eyes, she could feel Hestia's eyes on her, for a moment the Goddess spoke to her. Where Athena was an imposing and controlling force over the room, Hestia was calm and gentle. Though she tried, Astrid could not help her feeling of some respect of the former, and her lingering, smothered appreciation for the latter. She fashioned as best she could, a quick glare, a final silent warning to be left alone, but she knew it had almost certainly failed in that task. She was too focused on maintaining the storms surge over her body, the pulsating voltage was the only thing making the searing cold and digging pain bearable. All she need do now was remain quiet, and to herself, keep her senses avail of the world around, and keep control on the storm.
Sakura - She/Her

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Luminesa
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 59164
Founded: Dec 09, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Luminesa » Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:21 am

Patriah - About a Girl

Something about Astrid's speech and her ranting threw Pat for a loop, even more so than Lanuru's own mannerisms had done. She seemed to have endless frenetic tension, bouncing and spinning invisibly in the air around her. She spoke in a long-winded manner, very passionate, and yet also a little disjointed. And she aimed at anything else that took aim. He was a man who loved a good brawl and a good round of banter. And yet as he watched her march toward Boz's family and rave at them, he could not help but feel a wave of secondhand embarrassment. Another situation in which Thanatos would have smacked him for misbehaving. He could even imagine Persephone getting involved if he showed that much disrespect to the parents of another deity.

All he could do, for the most part, was listen as the bullets rained from Astrid's mouth. He imagined that this polite Slavic deity's parents were no strangers to odd or harsh behavior, and yet she also managed to compare them to regular humans as well. Her focus was still definitely on Zeus, and on her anger with him, but she continued to shout at Boz's...aunt? Uncle? Someone. Greek relations were complicated enough, he hardly had the brain-space to figure the family trees of other deities. Even worse, she had done something like turning invisible to throw her weight around, as she snuck behind Boris and attempted to scare him in the process. And she seemed to get a thrill out of the process.

What finally seemed to awaken something in him was the way she spoke to Athena. The fiery, bruising manner in which she spoke to the Goddess of Wisdom, who had extended an olive branch to her, actually enraged him. The very idea that she would indicate Athena sinking in the mud was insulting. And yet this girl wanted a challenge. A challenge to make everyone hate her in some way. Even the goddess who was most likely to help her, even Hestia. His skin bristled, but then he got a nod from someone else standing much closer to the front of the room.

"Right. Uhhhhh..." Hyperion lifted his sunglasses, revealing a gaze of illuminated-gold eyes which turned toward the students. He stopped himself for a moment, and clutched his stomach with a sickened burp. "Oof. Uh that was the vodka. Or whatever that farmer gave me on the way up here...No that was almost definitely moonshine. Uh...alright." He steadied himself, and kept his sunglasses neatly on the top of his head. "The speech is cute. The introduction sounds very anime-esque, if any of you kids are weebs. And don't tell me you're not. Daily reminder that Faye Valentine is the best girl, of all girls, and I will not be told otherwise. You kids don't know the boon of B-tier and C-tier women you get shown on TV. Gods, if only you had lived during the glory days. ANYHOO."

He blinked, and there was a sudden wave of heat which fell over the room. The sunlight from outdoors seemed to waft its way into and around the room, making everything shimmer with morning sunlight. Of course, this only made Hyperion gag a little more, and he had to put his sunglasses back over his eyes. Yet when he composed himself, he almost looked professional. "All of our families are absolutely screwed-up. We are all in one big house with kids who look, smell, and act differently than you. Their parents might be complete bellends! And that's why I'm such a good father to my three kids! Helios, Selune, and uh..." He turned and looked toward Hestia, who nodded as if she wanted him to continue his speech. Yet he seemed to be stumped by the name of his third child. "Eggs. That's it. Eggs. Helios, Selune, and Eggs. I am a perfect parent with absolutely no ill qualities whatsoever."

Hestia immediately facepalmed, though even her facepalm was graceful and performed with the kindest hand against her kind, pumpkin cheek. When she looked back up, she sighed. "Ah, I believe Hyperion makes a point for all of us. The first day of school can be very stressful, but whatever you have experienced, we will do our best to make sure that you are safe and well-educated in the ways of godhood here. But please. We ask that as we go through this together, that you will consider your relations with your classmates and their families. This is a time to make new bonds for everyone. New bonds, friendships, and-"

"If you meet someone's family, spit in their food, defecate on their front lawn, and then push their kid into the pool, even if that kid DID break your window, don't expect the parents to invite you back over to their house. And if you need to know this from someone who has experienced this, yes. I once defecated on Apollo's front lawn during a family reunion. I have no secrets. Last night I drank enough vodka to kill Boris Yeltsin. If you don't know who that is, you'll get history lessons too kids!"

Another long stare from Hestia ensued, while Patriah could barely hold back a snicker. Yet he seemed to make his point, and so Patriah walked away to start getting food. He hoped that other gods would join him, as he stared to pile his plate high with chicken, turkey, various cups full of beans, a salad, several bean desserts, flan, cakes, an entire Cornish hen, and an entire watermelon. As Hestia saw him take the watermelon, which had not yet been chopped by the chef standing in attendance, her eyes almost widened. Hyperion just watched with a smirk. "See? The boy's got spirit! Get some food in your stomachs and then we'll introduce all your classes and answer more questions!"
Catholic, pro-life, and proud of it. I prefer my debates on religion, politics, and sports with some coffee and a little Aquinas and G.K. CHESTERTON here and there. :3
Unofficial #1 fan of the Who Dat Nation.
"I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man. I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran. But I know Jesus, and I talk to God, and I remember this from when I was young:
faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us...
and the greatest is love."
-Alan Jackson
Help the Ukrainian people, here's some sources!
Help bring home First Nation girls! Now with more ways to help!
Jesus loves all of His children in Eastern Europe - pray for peace.

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Finsternia
Senator
 
Posts: 4949
Founded: May 01, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Finsternia » Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:52 am

Lanuru - Blinding Irreverence

At first the show was funny, entertaining even. It was like watching a rabid dog snap at anything in its wake after having been let loose out of its kennels. But this charade surely dragged on. The enjoyment in Lanuru's eyes faded like a bored noble that has moved on from their fleeting fancies, and now he is looking with even more derision in his eyes. There's no pity; perhaps only contempt, and some slight amusement of futures uncertain. To the Fair Folk, those punished deserve their punishment. The Fair Folk are fair, their judgment may not be just but are as fair as their exchanges. Those in chains deserve the weight of their manacles, those in agony deserve the bite of each wound. The poor little girl continued to fight back, despite the olive branch granted by a Goddess that many would trust and defer to.

The Goddess in question, Athena, only kept silent. Despite the accusations and remarks that seems to aim at her pride, the Goddess of Wisdom remains stalwart against her efforts. She nods as Astrid backs away, simply letting her exhaust whatever flame still burns within her from all the time she spent wallowing in her imprisonment. The girl simply needs time, and a better environment where she is given her needs and the proper teachers to tell her where to aim that fire of hers. She does, however, give Hyperion a firm elbow strike on his lower back. "...Mind your manners, Lord Uncle. You've brought enough shame to the family." She frowns at the Titan. Hyperion might be a bumbling drunkard, and a barely functional individual nevermind a God, but sometimes he can say things that make sense... despite the vulgarity of his tongue. There might be many things that are unsavory within and between Pantheons, but this in an era of peace. The hard won treaty is shaky at best, and barely functional at most, but this moment in time is a crucial step towards a better tomorrow. The Old Gods are exhausted, and soon these new Gods would be at the center stage. Athena wasn't lying that the Gods on High atop Yggdrassil are watching closely. It's all in these young Godlings if peace continues beyond its first breath.

As Hestia and Hyperion continue to try and break the horrible ice on the situation, the Unseelie Prince couldn't help but recoil and step away as the Solar Titan essentially screams out his words. His speech is vulgar with no sense of dignity, no finesse in his mannerisms, and his light ever so blinding. The God of Dreams grow pale before the blinding light, his face blanching and reflecting moonlight upon its smooth and dark surface. The nearby Godlings could see his eyes slowly droop and lull in the process. He looks around, before turning to Abaguabana with a forced smile. He looks at his hand, outstretched in a greeting, before taking it with an unsure grip. "There is... no need for you to be... worried of your title... You are... a most exalted heir... whose... domain stretches... the sapphire horizon..." The sea God notices that the once sharp Prince is now speaking slowly, as if in a lethargic daze. The dark halo behind him trembles and pulses, as if trying to consume the blinding light that assaults his form and visage. "I am... pleased to meet you... Ah... Is this... a foreign... ritual of... greeting... one another?" He pries his eyes open to look at their hands, with which Abaguabana now notices that the Prince's fingers are supernaturally long due to the presence of extra knuckles.
Last edited by Finsternia on Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
Random stuff here. Random stuff there. Bla bla bla. Whatever I don't care.

Soon, the penguins shall rule the Earth with a cold flipper

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Kingdom of Irhk
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6346
Founded: Aug 30, 2015
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Kingdom of Irhk » Sun Apr 10, 2022 3:08 pm

Anup - Son of Anubis
University of Cairo, Giza, Egypt

It was a sunny morning, as the light emanated by the celestial body seemed to enlighten the way to the classroom where Dr. Hussein eagerly awaited his students: half of his life was certainly spent in places like these, filled with papers, the fine dust of the chalk lightly staining his sleeves as he frantically wrote on the board the information he gathered throughout the years. Certainly, his complexion gave away that unlike others who studied the Ancient Egypt, he was a local: the shadows of the Pharaohs of old were cast upon him, a past he knew that how troublesome it was, but equally enchanting.

His passion could be sensed in many, yet small details: The hands that eventually escaped that invisible box professors build in front of their torsos; his smile grew bigger as the students entered his classroom and with each one of them - some born when he was already teaching - got their minds driven away from their notebooks, from the world of pen and paper and fell to the world of his words, imbued with the love of his research... yet in the sea of knowledge he built minute after minute, he saw a hand, raised and ready to ask him.

"Professor, I am sorry for this question but... You're an authority on your field, I can say for some of us here that we are here because of your extensive work on the Egyptian religion and religiousness. What drew you, personally, to this line of research?"

The old professor looked around, as if he was pulled from a trance: his eyes looked for his table, as his legs got tired quicker than in his golden days. He took a deep breath, allowing himself to recollect the thoughts of many years and experiences. He looked at her, adjusting his glasses to see her better.

"Well, miss... Some people, back in my day, they all were hoping to make a... big breakthrough. To find another tomb, the mummy of a forgotten Pharaoh, relics hidden somewhere, maybe even bring them back here. It isn't a secret to us here that some of our patrimony isn't exactly here, in this nation, taken away years ago by those who came to explore. I wasn't drawn to this particular desire of being in the headlines. This, for me, was a... consequence.

At the very first start of my research, I remind that studies regarding Akhenaton pointed out that he tried to replace the Egyptian Pantheon by a system somewhat similar to the monotheistic nature of some of our contemporaneous forms of worship. Nobility followed him, but a huge part of the populace defied this statement, even if it was theoretically divine in its nature: after all, he was the Pharaoh! But upon closer inspection, they returned to the old Pantheon, but if we build a timeline, gods will fluctuate in their roles and importance.

The question was simple, yet it had so many layers that I could not find myself anything but enchanted by it: what allowed one changed, but completely disavowed the other? We would see hybrid forms, mixing the Egyptian Pantheon with the Roman one years later. We would also see changes in the nature of Ma'at, who fluctuated between Goddess and a concept. I turned to philosophy: Some philosophers would point out that gods and goddesses are built as a manifestation of the human subconsciousness as a desire to translate their world into terms, bind it into a logic that we, as humans, can work on. Is it the fact that Akhenaton did a conscious change, which alerted against the very own nature of the gods they worship? Or was it the pace that startled them, as some historians in the 20th century would point out related to things such as revolutions or new ways to organize the society?

These questions still plague my mind, miss. They never faded, and I doubt they will. I did... my best to properly comprehend the dynamic that changed the gods and their Pantheon, and I still try to comprehend if these gods - or concepts, if you will - carried on to our culture and the way we read some things today. Can we find similarities? Or is it a different logic, given we are obviously in a different world with different places, physically and temporally speaking?

I do not know the answer... and I firmly believe that is the fun part."

As the class progressed, Dr. Hussein watched his students imagine the scenes he described. The Hall of the Dead. Osiris' rebirth. Apep, destined to end it all. Sekhmet and her wrath. Sobek, in his waters. The entire world of the old Pantheon, unraveled before the eyes of his students, until the class came to its inevitable end.

"That's all for today. We will meet in... two weeks, yes? The chapters I recommended for your reading will be the foundation of our discussion next time we meet, so please, those with enough time to spare, read them!"

His steps dragged back to his office. Filled with books, essays, pictures and the memorabilia he gathered throughout the years, it was definitely his own space in the old institution that was the University. He placed his books on the table, before reminding himself that he needed some rest. His body fell on the chair, as a deep sigh indicated to himself that maybe, just maybe, it was time to retire. But that was a thought that needed coffee. Rushing - to the best his age allowed him to rush - to the cafeteria, he got himself a cup of coffee and went back to his office, his eyes adjusting to the man that was waiting for him in his room.

Tall, with black hair and black suit, his young, inquisitive eyes went through the titles of the professor's publications.

"- I did not see someone this well-dressed in my classroom, Mr...?
- Professor Hussein? Yes, I was... late for your class.
- Oh, it happens in the first weeks. Hard to navigate here sometimes, but I didn't catch your name... please, sit!"

The younger man calmly pulled a chair for himself, calmly observing as the professor sipped his coffee at the other side of the table.

"- Professor Hussein, I am Anup. Pleasure to meet you.
- Anup... Anup... quite a curious name for a young boy, I'd say. But once I went to the U.S. and there was this... that football they play, with their hands? There was this family with brothers named Amon-Ra and Osiris, would you believe that? But tell me, do you need a brief summary of what was taught today?
- I don't think it will be necessary, Professor. I am quite familiar with your... work.
- Oh... Thank you! Some find it absurdly boring... This is a lovely brooch you have. Jackal head?
- Yes, it was a... gift from my father.
- Your father has an excellent taste. You know, in old Egypt, these heads were masks for Anubis' priests were modeled after their heads.
- Then please enlighten me, Professor."

Once again, Hussein sipped on his coffee and started another detailed explanation on how the celebrations were done: how death was a passage, a well described one and revered by those who knew that it was an inescapable fate. Minutes went by, until the professor realized that his coffee didn't seem to end and the sun didn't seem to move outside...

Anup quietly stood up, staring at the eyes of the professor, waiting for the realization that would come.

"- Am... Am I...
- Dead? Yes, Professor. I am sorry.
- But... how can I...
- Magic, Professor. I do that to... avoid shocks. I heard that it is, for humans, quite unsettling to face themselves dead.
- But... who...
- I am Anup, son of Anubis.
- Your... father?
- It is a long story, Professor. One that I can tell you on our way, however...
- Wait. I never professed any religion, how... how can I be... here?
- A blessing bestowed upon you, Professor. You admired us. You studied us. You carried yourself with elegance and respect to our pantheon, trying to understand us better than most people ever tried to do in your day and age. Let us walk, shall we?"

With a gesture of his hand, the door opened again. No corridor would be found outside, yet a staircase going down and down would be seen. The professor went down, amazed and worried as Anup told him of the war between the deities, and how Gods could produce descendants, until he stopped in the middle of the path.

"- But... what... what will be of my students? My wife? My kids and grandkids and my research and...
- Why do you humans worry so much about life once you reach death, Professor? I can not comprehend it. You know you will die from the moment you are born, yet you choose to allocate its existence in the tasks you did. Is that a concern over their continuity, or hopes that you'll be reminded as a great one, Professor?
- Huh... I do wish to be remembered. Will that happen?
- I can not say for sure. But you will be, by those that mattered to you, Professor. In different ways: such as the Pharaohs of old chose different names for themselves, you will have different legacies. By your wife: the dedicated lover. The man who had enough passion to produce books, classes, but also cared for his home. By your children, you'll be remembered as the father, the figure that always found a way to be there. By your grandchildren: You'll be the grandfather, the one who showed them the wonders of History, a subject they would find so boring. Your students will enshrine you as the beacon of passion for research in the cold, grey landscape of academia. Many names you will have, as many names I inherited from my father, as every person who passed through the Scales is reminded. Humanity will judge and keep you... and so will I, Professor. Are you ready?
- ... Yes."

Suddenly, the staircase flattened. The extensive Hall was observed by the Gods, once again filling the Professor with amazement. Yet his body felt pain, and his eyes met his own heart in the hands of Anup.

"I assume you do not need to tell you what happens now, Professor. Allow me, will you?"

With a gesture, the Scales appeared, floating in front of him, with the feather readied for the weighting. As the Professor closed his eyes, Anup placed the beating heart on the instruments of his trade, watching as the plates fluctuated... until he was found worthy.

"Professor. Your heart is only heavy with knowledge and passion for what you did in your life. It isn't heavy with guilt, and therefore I judge you worthy of the afterlife. You'll not face damnation, as the Scales deem you worthy. I, Anup, First of the Westerners, Lord of the Sacred Land, He Who is Upon his Sacred Mountain, Ruler of the Nine Bows, The Dog who Swallows Millions, Master of Secrets, He Who is in the Place of Embalming, Foremost of the Divine Booth, grant you passage."

As the Professor's soul passed the test, in the blink of an eye Anup was at his office. In his front, the body of the Professor faced the table, victim of a heart condition he left untreated for years so he could keep teaching. An avoidable death, yet death nonetheless. Passing to the Duat, he reminded himself his newly found mission...

Holy High - Present Day

The Greek aesthetic of the architecture caught his eye: Anup hoped for a neutral choice, yet could understand the reasons behind this particular choice. With calm steps - after all, he had theoretically all the time in the world - he walked on to the main hall, hoping to see the new Gods and Goddesses and their assignments...
Nothing to see here, move along.

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