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The Gods have fallen. It is hard to believe, but the kingdom above has crumbled, and the six deities have disappeared from their thrones, leaving the world in the grasp of demons, who burn up the earth and destroy life in the absence of the great powers who have held them back for so long.

Though must of humanity is suffering, a few have risen up, with the single goal of finding the Deities, to restore order once more and banish the demons back where they belong.


DEITIES

~Ban, Deity of Balance
~Nimue, Deity of the Waters and Rains
~Vanadey, Deity of the Earth and Storms
~Hamos, Deity of the Home and Family
~Nagash, Deity of Knowledge and Fate
~The Unknown Deity of Peace and Pleasures


Setting


A time in the past, before technology, where mankind still relied on swords and horses, where phones and cars did not exist. The town is known as Deermire, and is placed in a valley protected by mountainous peaks. At the top of the tallest mountain, known as the Flamespire, there is believed to be a cave that leads straight to the realm of the gods. The town itself is situated by a large, flowing river and bordered by a thick forest that augments the protection that the mountains give them. The forest is full of wildlife, and the river stocked with fish, so the people never have to fear starvation. All in all, it is truly a land blessed by gods, far from what its name implies it is.

Currently, it is early spring. There may be a little snow in the peaks, but its getting warmer. Several deer have already given birth to new young, and new growth is wherever one looks. All in all, all is peaceful other than the looming threats of demons.


Link To Original Post And Forms


https://www.rprepository.com/community/forumthread.php?t=78547&p=1#5002598

The gods had fallen. To the humans, this was disasterous. To the gods, however, they viewed this fall as nothing more than a well-needed retirement after millenia of serving humans who no longer seemed to care. They scattered on the earth, some going to human lives, though others slumbered in caves or altars, formless.

One of these included what was known as the 'head' of the gods, Ban, god of Balance. He had ascended gracefully down, a silver mist that swept over the town, giving a burst of warmth through each human as he passed, before he sealed himself away in the form of metallic stag that hid in the forest, leading a comfortable life, as he was no prey, but instead respected by even the most hungry of predators. What happened to the others, well, he didn't know. But he didn't care, either. This was his time to relax now, yes, his time to relax indeed.

The Gods had fallen. In the midst of chaos and destruction, there was a calm. There was a peace. Not within the confines of the city, but within the forest which lay outside it.

Trees danced in elation in a soft wind, flowers stretching and exhibiting their brightly colored petals, long grass waving to try and catch the eye. A light fog rolled over the forest floor, a figure emerging. It was the Goddess of Earth and Storms, Vanadey, having replaced her throne in the heavens for a humble human life on earth. She appeared as a young woman of almost unearthly beauty, with fair unblemished skin, glittering green eyes, and soft hair the color of the sun. She wore the colors of the earth on her body; The silky dress she wore a deep green, her cloak brown.

Her eyes darted around, soaking in the scene of the forest. It had been neglected in her absence, but she shall take care of it in her time of rest. She walked, letting her hands brush against the shrubs she passed. She walked, touching the rough bark of the towering trees. The plants rejoiced at her touch, seeming to breathe under her fingertips.

As she walked, a cottage appeared before her. It was homely, small, and overtaken by the surrounding nature. A small smile formed on her rosy lips, a d she entered the home. It was hers. And this is where she would rest.

Hamos was not the first one to suggest that they retire to the realm of men. Yet, he believed he yearned for it longer than his companions. Between answering prayers for the return of wayward children and blessing the hearths of new homes, Hamos longed to walk about Deermire as a father, husband and brother. There was something reminiscent about the bonds between mortals, something that he could never quite replicate with his divine brethren.

At last, they had decided that they would return. His mind raced as he thought of all the forms he could take. A grandparent with dozens of grandchildren? Or maybe a child with the most loving parents? Or maybe even a mother duck with an entourage of waddling ducklings? The last image brought him so much laughter and joy that even the deity of peace and pleasures looked at him inquisitively.

He chose to take the form of a young man, with what would seem like an eternity of life ahead of him. The possibilities would be endless, would he end up on his deathbed surrounded by loved ones or cold and alone, penniless. Hamos did not know but he welcomed the uncertainty.

The Deermire folk were wary of strangers. The secluded town defended by favoring terrain usually kept outsiders at bay. But if you were well mannered and well intentioned, you would not be hard pressed to find a warm bed and even warmer food. He introduced himself the folk as Hammel. A young man who had decided that he would find his fortune far from home. He would work with his bare hands to create something that was his. He had skill with axe and bow, but other than that he was an empty vessel waiting to be filled.

Today he trekked through the woods looking for game. A few rabbits or a doe would make him even with the innkeeper that hosted him. He knelt in the newborn spring grass just beginning to peek through the fertile soil. There were tracks aplenty, yet one seemed peculiar. The markings of a stag, yet heavy enough to be an elk. He followed it for a few mere moments before he knew exactly what had created these footfalls.

Hamos felt his presence before he saw him. It seemed Ban had chosen a form with four legs rather than two.

“Hail brother Ban!” he exclaimed to the metallic stag, “I see you have found your way to the forest. I doubt we are alone. Our sister Vanadey I’m sure would have taken refuge among the flora instead of the fauna.”

He dug out a few winterberries he had picked upon entering the glade. They would only grow for a few more weeks as winter had begun to fade.

“Here have some, even in that form, I’m sure you would find them delicious!” Hamos said as he extended an open palm piled with little red berries.

For several days now, Ban had been roaming the forest. Immortal, he had no need for food or drink, and so he spent his time resting in the meadows his presence had once graced. The people left him alone, naturally, choosing that a shimmering stag was merely a gift from the gods that they were always looking over him. And so he spent his time resting in lush grasses, warm spring sun shining off his smooth fur. His only friends were the wind and small woodland creatures who occasionally joined him in his silent, peaceful solitude. And so his surprise was evident when he encountered Hamos.

Lifting his elegant head, he stepped gracefully towards the god of the home and family, form becoming liquidy as he went from four-legged beast to a tall man just as graceful as the stag he had been moments ago, though his horns did not leave him, shining just as bright in the light as the silvery pelt wrapped around his shoulders, as this god was a shapeshifter, he always had been.

"Hamos, how unexpected to see you in my forest, though I suppose I cannot be surprised. Have you found yourself your home to rest eternally? For I have, and I know that now I can rest, for all is balanced now, as it always should be." He pulled the fur of the stag more close around his body, perfectly comfortable and relaxed.

"Our sister, I am sure, has found her home away from humans, though her presence can be felt wherever you go. She has given her divinity to the forest, to nurture it for many, many years to come. A great final act of a goddess before she has chosen to leave her graces behind, something I wish I could do, though my soul is bound to this place until I fade for good." He told Hamon softly, stepping towards a tree and examining the soft growths bursting from the ends. "For a world cannot exist without balance. Only I keep it from chaos, a duty that I can never leave." He shook his head sadly. "But at least I know that this is a beautiful world, untainted and flawless."

The gods had fallen. The world could feel it, curling in on itself and crying out as the chaos raged. Destruction was hungry, devouring everything in its path. But the gods turned their backs, just as the humans had turned their backs to them. And they were at peace with it.

The river, ever still and ever peaceful, rippled, the image of the sky reflected in its surface. A gentle mist curled over the grounds, coming to stop on the banks. For a moment, the cloud hovered, then rose a few feet into the air. The figure of a woman stepped out, her dark hair falling in messy waves to the small of her back. The curls seemed to twist into the air on their own, as if she was underwater. A thin, shimmering blue dress fluttered about her ankles. Beneath the hem, bare feet dug into the mud. Nimue, goddess of Waters and Rains, had stepped onto the earth.

She took a moment to gather her wits. It had been so long since she had last come down. The river sang at her arrival, but it seemed that was the only thing to welcome her. Once, there was a time where fishermen and farmers sang her praise. But that was ages ago, and her love had dropped only to what she commanded. She waded further into the river with a smile before slipping beneath the surface. She need not worry about breathing. She was a goddess, and this was her domain. She lay on the floor of the river, watching the sunlight dance upon the tiny waves.

Peace. At long last.

~*~

Declan sat perched in a tree just beyond the reaches of town. His crossbow was loaded, but his finger was far from the trigger, and his mind far from hunting. The gods had fallen. It was obvious now. His mother had always said that it would happen, sooner or later. She only prayed that they would not turn their backs while her children grew. Clearly, that was not their wish.

And why should they care about one family? The humans had forgotten. Most of them, at least. Declan and his sister had kept the faith. Their father had strayed long ago, after their mother died. He said that the gods were just stories, silly little beings that people created when they couldn’t explain the ways of the world. The altars in their home had been burned or smashed. Declan and Kathika had to pray out in the woods.

No one ever answered. And around them, the world burned.

Declan was half aware of a wild grouse strutting around beneath the tree. He watched it with disinterest. It was a female, not very large, and probably had chicks somewhere. Animal or not, he would not leave a creature without its mother.

The grouse waddled away. Declan leaned back against the tree. Food was scarce these days. He should have shot the grouse, he knew. The animals had retreated further into the forest. And while he was a skilled tracker, and knew the woods well, he doubted his safety. The world was crumbling. Whispers of a dark and ancient force had reached his ears. He feared that if he ventured too far, he would not make it back to his family.

He waited a few more minutes. No other animal appeared. They would just have to ration the buck he’d taken down a few weeks ago. He fired the bolt into the ground, slipped the crossbow over his shoulder, and swung down from the tree. He landed lightly on the ground. As he scooped up the bolt and cleaned the arrow head, he noticed something. Tracks. A deer’s it seemed. A little too heavy to be a doe.

He peered into the trees. Maybe...maybe he could bring home some food after all.

Nagash silently watched the world from the entrance of a nice damp cave he found from his trek across the land for a home far from any civilized eyes. His appearance was that of a light-brown, bald, middle-aged man with a short goatee. He then thought of the many different situations that led him to his current predicament as a hermit within the mountain he now calls home. He had left the humans and went into hiding for they took his gifts for granted and used them in ways that he had not intended them to be used for. He went unappreciated for the blessings he had given and at times wanted to purge mankind of this realm for their insolence and damn their souls to eternal suffering. But he was talked down out of it by his siblings and was grateful for their intervention.

After his reminiscing, he turned around and entered the cave to head to his house within the inner sanctum of the cave He eventually arrived at the front of his house, to those who would see it, the front was a simple oak door and a glass window by the door with oak logs held together by the magic of Nagash. He walked inside and the inside was very plain to most mortal eyes. At the back of the house, there was a chair by the fireplace where he would spend most of his days reading any books he had on him and a table with food that he put there for decor. There was also a cellar door in the corner near the fireplace that led underground to a small library with around one hundred and fifty books on their shelves. It wasn't like the "Black Library" that had every book under the sun back in his original home but to him, it would do until he had to head back down to the Deermire for more.

As Nagash sat down in his chair he began to wonder about Arkan. He created the man to act his eyes and ears that informed him of the current politics of the world while he stayed in his cave. Arkan was an average-sized man with olive skin but his unique signature was that of his teeth. His teeth were a deep black because of his addiction of chewing tobacco and the people of the town gave him the nickname "The Black" for it. He started wondering when Arkan next message, he wanted to believe Arkan's next message will have something interesting next time.

It had always pained Hamos to see Ban carry the burden of balance. His own devotees could always see the fruits of their worship. The growth of family and sense of home was tangible to all laypeople. They could hold their children, and build their hearths knowing that Hamos would watch over them. But, balance, the scope of it was unimaginable to the average mortal. Only the most dedicated and devoted could even grasp at comprehending the effort Ban considered his duty.

“I will not pretend to understand all that rests on your shoulders Ban, but you should know by now that I am always willing to help share the burden.” Hamos said as he offered a comforting squeeze on Ban’s stag fur adorned shoulder.

He too reached for the tree that his elder brother was now inspecting. It was an Oak tree, one of his many children in the forest. A gift to him from their mother, Vanadey. Hamos was so overjoyed by the gift that he considered it his emblem. They were beautiful creations of his sister and he cherished them as much as he could.

“Alas, I have not found my home yet. I will build it like the mortals do and ask Vanadey to bless me with some lumber that I may use.” Hamos said. He ran his palm against the rough bark of the tree. This tree was just maturing and still had decades before it would wilt.

He continued, “Maybe I will build it where forest and river meet. So that our sisters of the elements may visit. Of course you and the rest of our siblings are always welcome. A home is never really a home without family. Plus, if I am ordained to have children, I would love for them to meet their aunts and uncles.”

He let out a delighted fit of laughter. The image of mortal young-lings meeting gods and goddesses was extremely amusing.

“Come brother, let me offer you small distraction. I owe an old man and his lovely wife a meal. A creature that has lived a fulfilling life will do. They took in a wayward traveler with no money, trusting in faith to Hamos that their kindness would be rewarded.” he said still laughing at the paradox of it all.

Though outwardly he seemed so young, Ban gazed at Hamos with ancient eyes, weary from years of fulfilling his duty. "Alas, Hamos, if only my burden could be shared. But it is a blessing and a curse, and I am destined to carry it forever. But the strain is not bad, often, and I have grown used to it." He rested a light palm on the rough bark, sharing his energy with it, a silent push for it to grow big and strong.

"I am sure, though, brother, you will find your home just like us among the townspeople that have worshipped you for so many years. May you receive blessed wood that always keeps you safe and warm. Between the river and the wood, yes, that would be nice indeed. It would be a shame to lose my dearest brother forever, though little restricts my movement." He grinned gently.

The god then spread his hands slightly, giving a slight, graceful bow. "May your children grow up to find glory in this world. I give you my blessing, and to them in the future as well. May your family spread throughout this world and bring great honor to your name." He murmured solemnly, eyes shining.

"I suppose you have yet to find your offering to them, so I suppose I shall help you find an elder buck who's life has been fulfilling, unless, of course, you would prefer bear?" He smiled, becoming his towering stag form once more, looking up at Hamos.

Plenty of souls here were approaching the end, the loss of one surely would not disturb the balance he had always worked so hard for.

Hamos answered Ban’s blessing with a bow of his own. It was a kindness that was invaluable, for now he knew that his mortal lineage would not only have the favor of Hamos, but the guidance of Ban, should they be worthy of it. A boon that he considered invaluable and did not take lightly. His children would know the greatness that surrounded the god of balance.

“As always, you honor me Ban” he replied.

He allowed the now majestic stag to take point as they traversed the woods. His mortal form would be hard pressed to keep up with the creature. Especially one whose hooves seemed to never touch the earth that they set upon. As if it was instead galloping across a breeze.

“A bear! Imagine their faces!” Hamos exclaimed between breaths, “You know how these folk are. I bring them a bear and they will appoint me the town’s huntsman. I rather do without much notoriety just yet.”

The forest flew past them as they traveled. The land was teeming with life. Brooks and streams were like brushstrokes in a background of emerald and ebony forestry. Creatures large and small hunted for their next meal while remaining wary should they be meal to something else. A natural cycle that would remain unchanged for years to come. They, the gods, had indeed created something glorious. It was a wonder to experience it all in the eyes of a mortal. Their respite from the halls of Flamespire was much needed.

It was just as well that Ban, in stag form, had come to a halt. Hamos’ human body needed to catch its breath. It felt as if a small fire burned up from his toes to his calves. Mortal stamina was such a fragile thing. He whispered a small invocation of rest and found his limbs anew with energy once more. If he wanted to truly experience the ways of man, he would have to let go of such tricks eventually.

He looked to why Ban had stopped. In a small clearing stood a sturdy buck. Its weathered crown of antlers signified its age, but he still carried a hefty amount of meat. Surely enough to feed the elderly couple for a week of not two.

Silently and cautiously, Hamos nocked an arrow onto his bow. He decided that he would not use any divine favor to shoot the creature. It was time to practice this skill just like his followers did. With a twang, the arrow soared across the clearing and…

...found purchase in the trunk of a tree. The spooked buck darted into the nearby brush, it would take nearly an hour to find him again without Ban’s help. However, Hamos had no intention of chasing it for the time being. It may have just been his poor aim, but he could have swore he felt a presence just on the other side of the clearing that provoked the buck before he shot it. He looked to Ban to see whether he felt the same.

His theory proved correct, as shrouded in shadows behind the brush stood Vanadey in her mortal form. The goddess had sensed the presence of other holy figures nearby, and saw through the eyes of the trees the source. Seeing Ban and Hamos, she was nearly jumping with glee. At last, she had found her brothers. And so, she had taken off, continuously glimpsing through the trees' perspective to guess at where they were.

Her heart ached to see them. Her feet hit the forest floor lightly as she ran, her having to hike up the long skirt of her dress. It frustrated her how the delicate body of a human woman required rest after short bouts of time, and it frustrated her how her legs ached with every step. But soon, to her enlightenment, she came upon where her brothers stood.

She had come across the clearing from the other side, seeing her brother, well, one of them, about to take down a marvelous stag. (Her other brother was one himself, albeit much different from from a normal one). Perhaps it had been her dress brushing against a shrub that had spooked the deer, sending it off before an arrow narrowly missed it.

She caught Hamos' sense of hesitation and suspicion, and surrendered to it. Stepping out from the shadows, she opened her arms welcoming, a wide, sincere smile on her lips. "My beloved brothers." She spoke, her voice smooth and silvery, "At last I have had the pleasure of long last seeing you in these forms. I have missed you two dearly."

Nagash was sitting in his chair near the fireplace and using the light from the fire to read another of his book and rocking back and forth in it. That is when his mind began to drift from the book to his thoughts. He began thinking of his current lifestyle of a hermit in mountains and was wonder how his siblings were doing. He would never say he loved them right in faces or even say quietly behind their backs but the Deity of Knowledge and Fate would show his love in praises and sometimes gift.

He smirked at the memories of the past and yearned for those days again. But he had to move on and keep living hiding in this lifestyle he chose to live in and he would keep up his status-quo until anything important requires his attention and skills for one of his power.

He wondered if mankind found one of the 10 artifacts that he left for them so that they may gain the knowledge required for their survival and help them on their quest for either learning and to give the populace knowledge or gain an upper hand on their rivals. He then chuckled at certain a requisite for the artifacts to be used. To even touch it they had to have a strong will, and if they didn't their head would then explode in a gory mess. But he shouldn't be bothered by that even if they had a strong will, another requirement was that they had to be knowledgeable about the world and Nagash himself to even read the artifacts pages, for if they didn't have that, they shall be blinded eternally until Nagash himself undo the curse brought upon them.

Ban turned to look at Vanadey, dipping his head in acknowledgment of her, a smile on his delicate face. "Sister." He murmured in a honey-like voice, approaching her. "I see this world has been quite good to you. It is nice to finally see you once more, though it only makes me question where our other sisters and brothers have settled." He frowned, his stag form shimmering once again to reveal himself, golden hair tumbling to his shoulders, thinking.

"I am sure they'll make themselves known eventually." He finally decided. "But for now, sister, you did scare away our stag. A shame, we were planning on making that a gift, as it has had a long, fulfilling life." He shook his head, peering around with crystalline eyes, attempting to pick up on something else, though the mere presence of his siblings overflowed his senses.

Fortunately, he could tell the buck had not gone far. It had injured itself in its previous dodge of their arrow, and couldn't go far. If they did not take him down, somebody else surely would. He could no longer escape death. Brushing past their sister, he stepped through the bushes, taking the arrow that had missed the deer, more focused on the poor stag than his siblings, as he had noticed one thing odd: the lack of prey that normally filled this forest.

Ban crept quietly around trees, soon finding the elder stag, who stood there with a hind leg cocked off the ground, which must have been what part of himself he injured. He held out a hand, mumbling praises, blessings, wishes for the soul of the stag to have a restful eternity before he dispatched it with the sharp arrow, piercing through the eyes to the brain, where he knew a quick death would be upon it. He grumbled and lifted the creature over his shoulder, bringing it back to where his other siblings stood and gently setting down at Hamos's feet.

"Here, a gift to serve to those who have sheltered you. Its flight from Vanadey injured it, it had no hope in running anyways. It only would reach a slow death in the forest without one of us getting to it first."

Nimue woke from a nap at the bottom of the river. It seemed the current had taken her down a ways, but it did not bother her. She lay there for a moment, watching the surface. That’s when she felt it. A faint call, a familiar tug to the heartstrings. One of her siblings was near.

She kicked upwards. It suddenly struck her how difficult it was to swim in human form. She’d taken a few measures to not have to worry about breathing, but it was a wonder to her how humans managed on such weak legs. They were such delicate creatures. It was a miracle that they could survive at all, with or without the help of gods.

At last she reached the surface and gracefully stepped onto the bank. It seemed that the river had deposited her before a mountain. A faint smile touched her lips. She didn’t need to see who this was to know.

The trek through the mountains was tough on her weakened form. By the time she’d reached the cave where the feeling was strongest, her bare feet ached and her legs felt ready to give out on her. Nimue silently cursed the frailty of the form she had chosen. With a faint huff, she stumbled up to the door. She knocked, and without waiting for an answer, stepped inside.

“Nagash, my dear brother!” She called, walking into the room where his presence was strongest. It took her eyes a moment to adjust. She found him sitting by the fireplace, book in hand. “So this is where you’ve been hiding. A little bit cold for my tastes, but...” her elegant shoulders shrugged and she beamed down at him.

“It is good to see you again, brother. You look well.”

"It quite has," she replied. "I see it has been good to you as well. I am glad." His comment of their other siblings had gotten her thinking as well. "I wonder where they are myself at times. I do hope this world has been as well to them as it has us."

Guilt struck her as he had told her of the stag's purpose. She bowed her head, "I deeply apologize. I did not mean to frighten it off," she spoke regretfully. She had considered aiding in their search for the stag, but Ban had been off before she could.

Soon he returned, dropping the killed stag at the feet of Hamos. "It has been blessed with a fruitful life, and the forest has been blessed by its presence. May whom you gift it to enjoy it well."

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