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.::||{...Hunting and Gathering...}||::.

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Phaedra had said her group was around here…. The mage was exploring outside the Pantheon now, searching for the ragtag mortals the goddess had collected and converted. They had to be tough people to have endured the march of destruction that had gripped the multiverse. With a little sigh, Malh’reth leaned against the hard, dead husk of a tree and jumped as Glyph made an angry sound in his head.

“What?” Blinking, he stepped forward, wondering what he’d done.

Treat the dead with more respect, Malh’reth.
The reply came quickly and the mage frowned, turning to regard the barren, blackened stick before him. It had been ravaged by disease and then fire it seemed… the branches twisted and distended. Yes, it has not only been mortals that have suffered the effects of Gehenna… I may not be Plant but I am Forest and trees are among those I hold dear. It is a sad thing to see such a gruesome death for one of mine.

He seemed weary, grieving for the loss of life before him. Casting his gaze down, the mage shook his head, “I’m sorry…” Reaching out, Malh’reth ran finger tips over the wood’s surface, feeling little smooth areas before his touch ran over little ripples and bumps that were deformations from what must have been a slow death. “And there’s nothing I can do… I’m sorry, Glyph.”

I know… Remember though, that the world is not limited to what can move and speak in ways you understand. The god sighed and seemed to square his shoulders, urging them to look elsewhere.

It wasn’t long before they found the small gathering in a makeshift camp within the shadow of the pantheon. Ragtag indeed! They looked weary, gaunt, and wirey… hardened by their experiences but their eyes held hints of hope and what more, belief, when he approached them. “Hello….?”

A woman looked up, glanced around as others caught her gaze and then stood tall to gaze at the Aurion, “Hello?” She seemed wary and unsure, like an animal that had not yet decided to flee or stand its ground.

They look thirsty… Indeed, they did. The ground was dry and the land was parched with many of Greed’s recruits swallowing or smacking lips.

“Mmhmm…” He nodded, “Greetings. Phaedra has asked that I call upon you and bring you to the others. You have come to do your part, yes? I can offer you some water before we go back but we must leave soon.”

At the mention of water, several gazes locked onto him, scanned and assessed his form, making him shift uncomfortably. He hated that look… that predatory glance that reduced you edible, non-edible, and profitable portions in but an instant. Coughing, he shook his head, “I don’t carry any on me but there’s enough to go around.”

Grumblings sounded at that and the woman before him shook her head, “Like the meat from Phaedra? Let’s see then… you some sort of servant? A god then?”

The Aurion smiled sadly, “Both.” Though the woman blinked and opened her mouth to respond, he cut her off as he summoned water and a basin, followed by a handful of cups. “Drink your fill then. Don’t try to hoard it or I’ll dismiss it.”

It was a moment before the group gathered around the basin to thirstily drink at the clean, crisp water but they did and with much gusto once they realized it was not poisoned. Smiling, the mage waited with arms crossed while they toyed with the water – a few even grinning at the simple pleasure. He knew they all wanted to survive. Everyone did.

“Come on now. I’ll take you to the rest of the group that share the same cause as you.” They set off then, arriving at the Pantheon a short time later. They had been fearful of entering without permission before, it seemed, but he soothed their anxiety with gentle words and soft smiles, guiding them through the main entrance.

To the side, the noticeboard he’d first summoned was covered with notes and though he only glanced at it, one name jumped out at him. Glaucon? “What here a moment, thanks.” Hurrying over to better read the notice that his friend had posted, the mage and forest paused only to have a broad smile blossom on their face. Judgement was a clever one, well deserving of the respect Forest now held for him. “Well done my friend. I will pass the idea along.” Leafing through the various other notes pinned to the board, he stopped at the fragment that Judgement’s comments had been inspired by, reading the whole thing over.

“Is this what Phaedra meant by it being foreordained?”

Likely. We should alert the other gods and see to arranging this ritual of worship, it seems.

“Agreed. Perhaps the mortals need to be in devoted worship? Nngh, let’s get these people settled and find Glaucon and the others. But what are those different things? It mentions Music, Light, Underworld, Hunt not doing very much… but maybe Knowledge, Plague, and Rebirth? I don’t know who any of these people are…. I just recognize Phaedra.” The mage frowned, disappointed. There wasn’t a whole lot to go by. It seemed the part that was emphasized was the worship… and the flowers – with the opening of the Chrysalis.

Mmn, focus on the worship. Gather the followers and organize devoted worship, that’s what we can do. We have a lot of people here now… and we need to gather the gods. Phaedra’s a start. Jin Huang and Zhijian as well, you know. There is Lisana and Cosine too.

The mage nodded and scribbled a note to stick up beside Glaucon’s before returning to the group to get them settled. It didn’t take long and it was only a few hours before the Aurion was off again, on a personal quest to gather gods now.

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This is a thread for the Edelsteine breedables shop. Please no posting if you do not have a character there, god or OC.

This thread is for IC offerings of Lotuses only.

Please no irrelevant RP.

It would be better to post offerings as solo posts to keep confusion to a minimum.

Offerings may be non real lotuses ... as long as they are presented IC it's all good.

Sevda walked nervously in the direction she had been pointed. The ones they had followed did not seem to be around though they had told them where to go. She walked first, followed by the masses of Baadris to what had been called the Throne room.

This was the temple of the gods, a true temple where the king of them all slept in a destructive coma. As they passed into the throne room a hush fell over the crowd. They stared in horror and wonder at the smashed glass and the pod that hung, waiting ... feeling all the terror that was consuming the world. Sevda swallowed hard and assumed that this is what they were supposed to bathe with oil.

Turning, she looked to the others.
"Place the Lotuses on the Dias, carpet the floor with them. Um, some, take petals and create a path from the door to the pod."

Rejali walked forwards, and bowing to both Lisana and Cosine before she held out a blossom. She had others but they would be given to the gardener to grow other than the one she would give. "For you, Ladies. I knew you would not have time to gather one to give."

As they worked their way through the crowd of people to the throneroom, Lisana glanced up to see Sevda having some spread petals. Moving forwards, she glanced over at Cosine. "Does Sevda have a particular ceremony that she used for the statues she helped take care of? I would think that is what should be done. As well as each blossom placed nearby that is presented to Him. I've never done this before either. Nothing like the blind leading the blind. I wonder if anyone else knows..." Her teeth tugged her lower lip as she held the flower in her hands gently. The fragrance was already filling the air.

Sevda watched them and looked to the pod, bound and chained by the manacles. She was not sure that she wanted to get much closer to the thing but ... if it were a way to save humanity it had to be done.

"Um, just, lay them down, close to the ... god?" She gave an uneasy smile and started forwards more, taking the oil jar and silk cloth in her hands.

Cosine followed Lisana, breathing deeply and watching as the people they had been getting to know edged forwards and layed their lotuses carefully before the throne. Each muttering their own personal prayers to the gods.

"I think she is as clueless as us. But ... this should come from the heart. She should do what she feels is right." A smirk crossed her lips and she looked at the blossom. "Shall we?" She asked, looking up to the throne.

Sevda's steps grew bolder as she walked up to the throne. What did she have to lose? Her home was gone, possibly even her true home. The world would end ... they would all die. Any risk was worth taking.

As she reached the pod she took a deep breath, filling her lungs with lotus scented air and began to sing. A low song of life, a song of spring her mother had taught her.

Carefully she uncorked the oil and poured it onto the cloth, then, slowly and gently she began to wash the pod with the oil. Bathing it as she used to bath her beloved statues in the temple she grew up in. She poured more water on the cloth and continued on, her song still uplifiting and calm. She could feel the pain of this being, this fallen lord and hoped that their prayers could take it away.

"Yes. If we do, then others will understand." Lisana said softly, standing beside Cosine. Then she walked forwards, kneeling down to place the blossom at the bottom of the pod. "For you, My Lord." Her voice was barely a whisper as she spoke to Him. "We need you to come back to us. To right all that is wrong everywhere. A gift for You to remember us when you return. The people are here now. They begin to understand and You still have much to teach them and us. I pray this gives You peace and a refreshment of spirit. We need Your laughter once more." One could hope that even the fragrance of the flowers would refresh as the oil bathed.

Lisana bowed her head low as she remained there for another moment. Reverently waiting for the goddess of Numbers to complete her own giving. She knew she and Cosine were in this together. Throughout this entire adventure she had felt a kinship to the goddess.

Rejali and her parents, and many others, waited patiently in line. Their own prayers and gift of the blossoms would join those of the goddesses. All held the flowers aiming to give to show their renewed faith, though some still questioned and were filled with confusion. All stood ready.

Cosine smiled at Lisana and walked forwards after her. She took the Lotus she had been given in her hands and knelt down next to where Lisana had placed her offering. The throne room felt warm, hopeful. She thought as she placed the living blossom on the cool, hard floor.
"For you my Lord. To show you that as much as you need us ... as much as they need us. Most of all we need you. Balance, whole, even, not an unsolved equation."

She smiled a little and bowed her head before standing.

The people behind them moved forwards a little.
"Everyone, make your offerings. Say your prayers."

"Take your time and speak from your heart." A faint smile crossed her face. "Hearts speak loudly whether the words are considered correct or not. He will know." Moving to the side to wait, Lisana glanced over at Cosine. "We will need to find a place for everyone. There is an old inn across the street I believe. Hasheem and some of the men can see if it is serviceable and free of demons. It will be convenient for everyone to return and pray. Perhaps even to grow more lotuses. This place should always have them."

Rejali and her parents moved forwards. People she knew followed her and some she did not. All three knelt down placing the flowers together. Rejali softly prayed, "Lord, these are for you. We left our world to come here. To help. To be helped. We are not an important family but we will do our best for You. For the gods who have shown they do care for us. Come back to us and teach us."

As others made their way up the stairs to the dais and then back down again, both Fashad and Hasheem took their turn in the lines. Each man knelt down humbly before the pod that contained the god they all wanted to return. All they asked was for a chance to prove their worth to him and to the Gods they now knew were still around.

Cosine nodded to Lisana and looked to the masses of people they had with them.
"Yes. Yes, we need to get them some shelter and if we can grow the Lotuses in this world it would be good. we should ask Glyph for help."

She stepped back so others could make their offerings and stepped towards the door.
"I will leave a note for the others."

Once the goddesses had made their offerings Isra and her family stepped up. Each held a lotus, even little Ziya clutching it oh so carefully in his small hands. Together they laid the lotuses before the pod and knelt. Isra held her baby daughter tightly and looked up at the frightening thing.
"Lost to some but not all of us. Our faith is true and we plea for your help. I hopd the future in my arms. We all do, a generation who will know the true gods and this horror. Who will keep their faith alive and will pass knowledge to their children."

She bowed her head and stood. Taking her son's hand, her caravan moving back so others could make their offerings.

Malh’reth stood at the threshold to the throne room flanked by Glyph’s aoidei, a large lotus blossom in each of their hands. Behind them, a small gathering of mortals twittered and shuffled restlessly, sensing the power in the room before them. Every single soul there knew they were faced with immortals and gods now… that those around them held power beyond their understanding and that salvation waited in their worship of these tangible gods. The mage had done his duty by Phaedra and spoken to several of those she’d brought with her, ushering them to join with the pilgrims from Baadris.

A tension hung in the air, anxious. As Malh’reth stepped through that doorway into the throne room and no disastrous power consumed him, there was a collective sigh of relief. All had wanted to make their offerings but none had been willing to take that first step forward – Malh’reth had broken that barrier for them. Armed with lotuses and quiet murmurings of prayers, the mage and his little gathering followed the pathway described by the décor that had been laid down beforehand. It was an eerie sort of beautiful now, the lotuses arranged as they were about the menacing pod.

Malh’reth smiled as he sank to his knees before the pod and bowed his head, held forth the lotus as he whispered, “In my time here I have come to know gods and immortals, worlds beyond what I had imagined existed and people I never expected to know. I believe in you… I want to meet the creator of these marvels before I am extinguished. Come back to us, we need you.” Closing his eyes, he imagined the energy of his prayer curling up around him, flowing through the lotus and then washing over the pod in a warm, beckoning embrace. While it was just visulization, he hoped it would help somehow.

Setting his flower down amongst the others, he offered a smile. This lotus was the physical symbolization of his belief in creation.

Looking directly at the pod for the first time, at the whirling, pulsing mass of energy before him, he paused. He could not describe it, and it struck fear into him but at the same time it made him hope all the more. The being responsible for all of of existence rest in that pod. They could call him back, he was sure.

Glyph stirred then, coming to the fore as Malh’reth stepped back to allow the god to pay his own respects to his Lord.
“I have only recently returned, my Lord… and to find you struck down pains me greatly. I am your willing subject, the Silvim Illustirre. We need you, Twin Crown.” His voice may have been borrowed but the sincerity was true. Like all the Gods, his Lord and Master was Harmodius and Glyph would see him restored.

Around them, Aisling and Natasha made similar offerings, their words echoed in the mortals as few by few, they approached and prayed. For Malh’reth it was a beautiful sight, this mingling and flaring of auras… of hearts united under support for the Twin Crown. Smiling, he took out his sketchbook and recorded this private moment.

It was some time before he stood and left, felt his vigil – guarded as always by Natasha and Aisling – was at an end. Silently, he stood and made his way out of the empty throne room.

Can I do this?

I'm not sure if I can do this.

The Pantheon loomed ahead of him, more imposing to his mind than it had ever been before. The place itself hadn't changed, but it was now the only complete structure in a world of utter ruin, its stark edges a sharp contrast to the soft and tumbled forms of the buildings nearby. It had shifted the entire world to bow in obeisance before it - before Gehenna.

He could hear the faint sound of singing coming from within. The ritual that Eliam had seen was still going on, then. Behind him, mortal footsteps sounded - Alvir, and a woman named Teril, and her young child Lita. The representatives of Solde-on-Palecliff to see what the gods had done, what the Crown had become.

Illumin was afraid. There was no denying it and no disguising it. His usual light aura flared erratically, sending odd flickers across the features of his companions, and his hands shook faintly at his sides. He was wearing the grand raiment from Wellhaven, mirrored and bright like the sun, prepared to go and face... it.

Face what he had done.

I am afraid. Father, wherever you are, whatever noxious fold you hide in - hear me. Protect me, embolden me. He paused on the steps, letting the song wash around him. "This is it."

The mortals glanced at each other. "Let's go," Alvir said, after a moment.

"Yes." There was only a faint tremble in his voice. The doors were slightly open; it was no effort to move them a bit more so he could enter.

"Mom," said Lita, quietly; Teril shushed her, and held her hand.

The hall was filled with people, quiet, exotically dressed people who echoed only the gentle song. Everywhere there were red flowers - red lotuses - their scent filling the hall, for once blocking out the scent of ash and burned things that had so long contaminated it. The mortals made Illumin's small retinue look shabby by comparison, and the three of them shrank inward behind him, Teril nearly hiding behind his wings.

Illumin ignored them, and walked forward, if only because to stop and tend to them would be to falter, and then he might never get... into the Throne Hall...

He stopped on the edge, between the first two dragon statues, his hand rising to his mouth unbidden. There, there, there was what he - what Samyaza - had wrought. A black and stained thing, a dark Chrysalis formed of his Lord's shape, noxious and foul...

Illumin dropped to his knees, tears streaming down his cheeks. Oh, my Lord, my Father... I am so sorry... But what apology could possibly make up for the enormity of what he had done? What he had enabled Samyaza to do?

He stilled as he felt a rough hand on his shoulder; looked up, saw Alvir there, the old man's face grim. "And that...?"

"Is... was... Lord Harmodius," Illumin confirmed, raggedly.

"Mmm." The old man's gaze moved to the Chrysalis, took in its shape. Illumin followed, noting the curves of metal - the Manacles, surely - that wrapped around it, gilding the whole like a very strangely ornamented egg. "I don't know. I don't know if I can believe in that."


"I've never seen the god you name Creator. But..." The old man knelt and lifted a flower from the many scattered there. "I can believe in the faces I've seen. The sea, the sun, the clouds. I can believe in this flower, Light."

"I can believe in you."

Illumin felt the spark of belief in Alvir's soul kindle abruptly into a flame, and he watched, breathless, as the old man stood with the lotus in his hands and limped up to the Chrysalis with the rest, a strange face among the elegant folk. He laid the flower reverently, knelt, murmured something, then stood. As he walked past Illumin, he said something the god only barely heard.

"Your turn."

Light took a shaky breath and stood, then paused as something tugged at his robe. He looked down to see Lita looking up at him, her eyes wide, a red lotus in her hands. She held it up to him without a word.

"Thank you," Illumin whispered, and placed his hand on her head as if giving a benediction. Then he took the lotus and moved, step by step, forward towards the Chrysalis, towards the fruit of his actions. Close at hand he could see the mucus and stretched filaments, still there despite the fragrant oils that someone had bathed it in, and he knelt once more, looking down into the yellow heart of the flower.

My Lord, my Father - Creation, Destruction, Twin Crown...

I am sorry,
and the tears began again, drops of salt water anointing his offering. I do not know if I can atone for this, but I will do everything in my power to bring you back to us, even if it means I must stand before you for judgment. Even if it means my own death. He realized, softly, that he meant that - he could do it, he could die for this if he had to. Perhaps it was a fitting punishment, but that was not for him to decide. We will return, all of us, and call you by Name - she may have eaten One, but we have many, many to give you.

Be well, be at peace, be healed. My Lord.

We will return.

Light flared around the lotus, outlining each petal in radiance; he placed it down with the others, and let the glow spread to dance around the other flowers as well, curling gently up and lapping at the darkness of the Chrysalis. He felt dry, wrung out, exhausted; getting to his feet was an effort. He realized that Lita and Teril had been kneeling beside him, making their own offerings. He waited as they, too, rose.

"Let's go home," he said, quietly. "Go home, and tell them."

An arrhythmic set of footsteps was the next to echo through the throne room, the scuffing of worn-out shoes paired with the dull thud of a wooden cane. They were slow, hesitant, the face of the man approaching full of uncertainty as his tired gaze switched between the bound Chrysalis and the flower cupped in one of his hands. His eyes never met the people around him or the singing and chanting their names for Creation - he was trying to shut them out, so he could imagine that there was nobody else around while he was doing this.

David sighed, and faltered a bit. Glaucon was ready to step forward from the back of their mind, or at least offer some kind of assistance, when the mortal quietly began to speak.

Well, at first, he laughed a little, his amusement tinged with a sad bitterness.

"I never thought I'd be doing something like this," the cripple smirked, studying the lotus he was holding more closely. He had to admit that they were nice, even if he wasn't much of a flower person. "It's been years since I could think something like you could even exist... and back then I was probably just lying to my parents so I could get the Christmas gift I wanted."

Another sigh, and he allowed his eyes to trace back up to the Chrysalis, feeling for all the world like he was trying to connect with some long-lost relative. "And then I was just... pissed off at the idea of you, I guess. All of this s**t about some big powerful God out there loving everyone and everything in the whole wide world. I couldn't believe it, and I didn't want to. Not with things going the way they were." His voice was steadily increasing in volume, from an awkward murmur meant only for himself to a weary, cracking little monologue that could be heard by the others in the Throne Room with a bit of effort.

"It's not that simple after all, is it?" A weak hand tightened its grip on his cane until his knuckles turned white, and David was staring at one of the links of the Manacles as if it were a face for this Emperor of All Gods he was trying to pour his faith into. He'd spent so many years seeing bad things happening as some sort of proof for his atheism - the deterioration of his own body followed by the decline of the world around him, and all of those stupid little things that would never matter in the eons upon eons that had passed and would pass around his life.

He just... didn't... get it. Not until now.

David didn't know how long he had left to be around. Glaucon hadn't revealed to him whether had enough strength to begin his ascent, or if the god would choose to keep his mind alive in some way. He could still fall down the stairs and break his neck within the next hour. The Chrysalis could hatch and Unmake them all tomorrow.

But no matter how much time remained for him or the rest of the world, he was going to spend it all having faith - something he thought was a silly little thing a lifetime ago, but realized was essential now.

He placed his flower at the foot of the Chrysalis. Several moments later, he wouldn't be able to find it among the others in the pile.

He had always suspected that his rare blossoms were a gift of the Gods. It was very apparent now with them returning to claim some. Now it was time to give back the gift of life that his people had received so many millenia ago. He wondered briefly if his people had been the planned guardians of such. For as long as he could remember one of his family had been tending them and he remembered the stories his family told of how each sultan protected them.

The old gardener sighed at the amount of work he had done and that yet to still be finished. A place to grow the lotuses had been found but getting the right temperature, water, and condition was the tricky part. He feared for those plants left behind in Baadris. Tha he would never return to gather them. Many had been given as an offering for oil and for gifts to the God who still lay silently being reshaped in the pod.

Guards were with these plants at all times to ensure that none were taken until they had a chance to grow more. Some had to be left to grow for Him later and Lisana had already suggested when this was over that he speak to one of the gods who could control growth to make them florish. He would do so but in the meantime they had to be cared for.

But Rem had not been to offer his lotus up yet. He knew he needed to do so. His flowers were rare and it pained a portion of his very soul to give them up at all. But without the God they were all lost and so were his beautiful red blossoms. With the flower gently held in his hands, he walked towards the Pantheon, finding himself standing before the flower-strewn floor looking upwards.

People still thronged to the throneroom, praying unceasingly. it was now his turn to do so. Sayd would be angry at him for slipping away without telling him where he was going. It could not be helped.

On his knees, Rem bowed placing his deep red blossom with care amongst the others. "For you, Lord. My blossoms mean a great deal to me. They always have to my family, but I would not have them except for You. For that I humbly thank you. We need You back so that such rarities continue to exist to give joy and delight in what You have created for us all."

He was not a man of many words but his few had meaning. "Come back and right this universe. Only You can do it." A few moments later Rem got to his feet, bowing deeply once more to the God he now believed in though he had never seen him. Some portion of his prayer would be heard. He was quite certain there would be more lotuses to grow.

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.::||{...Gathering Gods...}||::.

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Gathering Gods

It was time to gather the gods and hopefully set into motion Glaucon's idea. They had wondered where to start, to speak to a god they had not yet met or to approach their comrades from Baadris. As it was, Malh'reth had been unable to find Lisana or Cosine yet and it disheartened the mage. Were they looking in the right place?

Entering one of the common rooms, the Aurion sank down onto one of the couches and yawned. It seemed they had only had the moment of respite when they'd first returned before they'd be up and running around once more.

"I hope this works Glyph." Malh'reth spoke suddenly, sounding matter-of-fact.

I do too. At the very least we've tried, no?

"I suppose. Still, I'd rather succeed then be... killed? trying." He frowned slightly as the god chuckled in response despite his agreement, "If I can't find Cosine or Lisana, should go look for the others on that list, hn?"

Agreed. We should not waste time. Though rest for a few moments is a good idea, you are tired Malh'reth.

"Mnn... Not really. Just weary." However, the mage sat back in the chair a little farther to enjoy being off his feet for a minute or two.

As Mal's luck would have it Cosine was making her way up the steps and into the Pantheon at that very moment. She had slept well in the warmth of the inn that Lisana had found and was feeling mostly refreshed after expelling her energy at Baadris.

She was coming to do two things, check the notice board and have another hunt for Echo and Nergal. This time, she decided she was just going to be brave, knock on a random door and ask to be pointed in the right direction.

As she wandered over to the notice board she stopped and smiled, a familiar face was sat on the couches.
"Hello Mal." She walked over to him and gave a small nod of greeting.

Malh'reth glanced up as his name was spoken, looking rather sleepy. Blinking away the lethargy, the mage met Cosine's gaze and smiled broadly, "Oh! I'm glad to see you! We were beginning to wonder if we'd be able to find you. How are you? I've a few things to speak to you about." Rising, to face her properly, the mage nodded as he spoke, "It's good to see you."

"Find me?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. She of course had not had time to check the notice board just yet.
"I am sorry, I have been staying at the inn with Lisana. What is it you want to talk to me about?"

"Inn?" He tilted his head to the side, "I've stayed close to the Pantheon so I haven't had a chance to go out and look at the lands beyond the Pantheon recently. No wonder we couldn't find you." Mal chuckled and bowed slightly, "Well... It's about the Lotuses and mortal belief, our quest essentially." As his gaze slid to the noticeboard he smiled once more, moving to walk over to it and tap his note and Glaucon's.

"I saw Glaucon's note not too long ago and we thought it a good idea to act upon. If we gather the Gods and the Mortals and perform the ritual mentioned in the prophecy, we might have an answer to this whole dilemma." He drew a finger over the note Zhijian's servant had left with a thoughtful expression, "And I wanted to speak to you about it. Those mentioned in this should probably be there... would you join me? Gather with the others and get still more to come together? The trumpet has sounded once more... we are running out of time."

The mage was eager in his request, wanting to give this a chance. "Surely if it has been fortold there is a likelihood it will work. The worship of God and Mortal alike to remind and call back Creation. We think it's worth a try."

"yes, Lisana found an inn where the people of Baadris are staying. It is not much but it is shelter." She explained, shrugginf a slender shoulder a little. She followed him to the board and peered at the note. The prophercy.
"I will be there, and I will help you gather others. It is not as though I have anything better to do." She smirked, glancing around the lobby. "Who would you like me to seek?"

Malh'reth smirked as well, "I would be curious if there was something more important. Ahm..." He looked the notes over once more before tapping a few names... Music, Underworld, and Plague. "Do you know any of these gods? Speaking to them would be wonderful. Everyone should gather with their followers in the Throne Room. I'm not sure what we'll do for the ritual... but it seems to us like the worship itself is the most important thing. Thank-you. It's much easier having help with this." He smiled at her, grateful for her help and her agreement.

Cosine smiled as he reeled off the names of the gods and looked over to the stairs.
"Music and Underworld ar family to me. In fact I came here to search for them." Though that was proving harder than she had imagined.

"When do we need to perform this ritual. I imagine it might take several days to track everyone down properly. I have contacted Underworld's brother, if I cannot find him then he might know of his whereabouts. Plague, however I have not met, and am not sure I would want to."

"Oh? That's good then." He smiled at her as he nodded, "I do not blame you. However, I did see Plague while I was with Phaedra during her time on the Throne... Perhaps I could track him, her? Down."

Turning away from the board to face her, the mage pondered the questions for a few moments. It was a very good point... And they needed to get the ritual running before the lotuses lost their colour. "A week today then? As word spreads I'm sure more will arrive. Perhaps ten days? What do you think?"

"Okay, that sounds perfect." The number goddess nodded her head again and pulled out her note pad to scrawl a reminder on. "One week from today, I will tell all I come across. Hopefully the more the better."

Malh'reth looked relieved and stepped forward to embrace Cosine in a quick, grateful hug, "Excellent. A wek should be quite enough to gather those needed. Thank-you."

Cosine blinked as she was hugged and returned the gesture and smiled.
"A week it is." She said nodding and stepping back. "I'll see you then if not before."

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.::||{...A Conversation with Light...}||::.

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A Conversation with Light

After speaking to a few others, he'd learned of the location of Light's room though neither name nor status. He had not found many others yet, had really only touched base with those he already knew, but did not want to wait for gods to come to him. It was faster... more efficient to approach those that they thought needed to be there.

Thus, Glyph and Malh'reth stood before Illumin's door for a moment before knocking on it. Would there be a labyrinth here as well? He hoped not... Neither Glyph nor he were in the mood for mazes. "I hope this is the right room..."

It should be... it matches the description. Glyph replied, watching from within his host with curiosity.

A single petal had managed to attach itself to his robes, to be found later. Now Illumin sat on the edge of his bed with the red petal in the palm of one hand, looking at it with a faint smile on his face.

He really wasn't alone - the offering of lotuses had proved that, and even though seeing precisely what had happened to his Lord had been terrible, the fact that gods and mortals alike were coming together was somehow more beautiful than the Chrysalis was horrible. They had found a bit of paradise in the midst of hell, somehow... and the people of Solde-on-Palecliff had seen it too.

I've never known Creation, but I can believe in this flower.

"Hm." How long had it been since he smiled?

The knock on the door startled him from his reverie. No one had come to seek him for a long time, even before all that had happened. The Aoidei were at the encampment with his people, so Illumin rose himself and walked over to the door to greet his guest, whoever it might be - but not before putting the lotus petal reverently on the side of the bed.

Hands folded in the sleeves of his robes, the mage blinked as the door opened, his expression curious and unsure. Hastily, he pulled his hands free and bowed to the god before him, "Greetings. Pardon the intrusion but you are Light, yes?" He was squinting slightly at the other's aura, stronger then Phaedra's and more brilliant. Could this be one of the older gods then? The other hosts had had fainter auras that were surpassed by those like Phaedra... and this one now was stronger yet. "We need to speak to you."

"I am indeed." Illumin gave the stranger a curious look. We, he had said - a host, then, most likely. Yes, he could feel the faint touch of divine power. "My name is Illumin. Please, come in... and you and your god, you are...?"

"Thank-you." The mage smiled and bowed slightly once more before stepping in, "I am Malh'reth. And I am Forest, the Silvim Ilustirre. Glyph by name." The Aurion's posture had shifted slightly, his smile changing just enough to suggest a different personality, "It is a pleasure to meet you. We have recently returned from a city called Baadris where we, and a few others, discovered a possible means to assist Harmodius and bring about an end to this decay... We need to speak to you because you were named in a prophecy that was posted on a noticeboard in the Pantheon."

The God turned as he stepped further into Ilumin's quarters. "Have you been to the noticeboard recently?"

"I have seen the noticeboard, yes - strange that so simple a thing should become a lynchpin in our lives now. You are one of the ones who brought back the lotuses and their keepers, then? It is an honor." You've managed so much more than I, and you are so young.

"I'm just glad that the board was replaced once Malh'reth summoned it. It would have faded otherwise." Glyph smiled then frowned slightly, tilting head to the side, "Aye. I am. We spent a handful of weeks there trying to return the populace to the true gods. Thankfully it worked and they and the lotuses came through safely."

Malh'reth grinned from within the other, honoured by the other's comments, That means we don't have to explain a lot to him then. That makes this much easier Glyph.

Glyph nodded, though he spoke to Illumin and graciously accepted the compliment, "We are only doing our duty to our Lord and the mortals both. If you know of the lotuses then we don't need to explain it to you as Malh'reth just commented. Symbols of creation and perfection, we hope they'll be foci through which mortal worship will be funneled. But..." And the god paused, met the other's gaze, "The mortals alone are not enough, we think. A gathering of gods is needed as well - especially those mentioned in the prophecy. Would you join us then? Gather your followers and go to the Throne Room to join those already there? Combined, Mortal and God alike may be enough to call Creation back. Or at least we can hope for that - as that's what the prophecy foretells."

"The prophecy mentioned me, yes... though I fear my named part is over." Illumin shook his head, then smiled, wearily. "But I will stay on the stage as long as I can. I wish the words of the prophecy weren't quite so vague, but we must work together if we are to succeed. I agree that Creation is what we must seek."

He paused. "We... must also be prepared to face the Grigori. I am sure they will not let things move so easily."

"Gods are gathering a week from now, along with their followers and servants for that ritual. I doubt your part is over... it mentioned only my involvement in Baadris but here we are, pushing forward. Speak to any of the others that you know? That would spread word and the more, we think, the better." Glyph paused to think about the last comment. He knew very little of that.

"The Grigori?" Neither Glyph nor Malh'reth had been informed very much on the subject, having arrived at the Pantheon a few days after the encounter with Samyaza, when things had settled and her marks mostly gone. There had been fight, they knew, but not what had caused it. "Face...?" His mind traveled back to the note and the mention of weapons. Frowning, he tilted his head to the side, "Are those the weapons spoken of in the prophecy? In the chaos of the waves, we learned very little beyond the Twin Crown's fall."

"I know little about the weapons the prophecy spoke of; I have heard that they may be of use against the Grigori, though..." He gave god and host together a bemused look. "If they come, we will all know soon enough. If we move before they do, then we may be fortunate and not have to face them at all." Illumin shook his head, then tried to calm the internal agitation that sprang up at the thought of Samyaza; the wing that Remuel had injured twitched a few times, beyond his control. "Gods, followers, servants. How many? I have a small enclave of my own... and, possibly, a few other resources..." Wellhaven was well and truly theirs, or it had been when they left. Could he return and call upon Julstecca again?

"Let's hope we needn't face them at all." He pursed his lips momentarily, listening to what the other had to say. "As many as you can gather. We converted a city, brought many back with us, but I highly doubt that a single city will be enough. Whomever you can bring to join our cause would be much appreciated."

"My companions and I - Music, Underworld, and Hunt as the prophesy said - journeyed to a kingdom on another plane. We won victories there. If I can find my way back to that place, I may be able to focus their belief. I do not think they can come here, as they must rebuild their torn world, but..."

"But I do not think physical presence is required so long as the belief is there." Glyph smiled, "That city would be most helpful, as would your companions. If you see them, will you pass along my message? That we gather a week from now to call the Twin Crown back."

"Of course. We meet... where? At the Throne Hall?" Illumin frowned slightly, thinking. "A focus of mortal belief and our own... and what else? It seems too simple, somehow, relying on that alone." Then again, lack of mortal belief alone had caused the Fading. It was simple, yes, but it was extremely powerful. Still...

"Yes. In the Throne Hall, with everyone else who has come together to call Him back." He paused a moment to consider that question, a frown slowly curling the edges of his lips downward, "I do not know what else. We are working only with what we know and have seen - name that prophecy. You've seen it, is there something we've missed? It does not name the specific ritual, only the players therein."

"No," Illumin said, with a sigh; he sat down on the dais steps, his wings automatically flaring behind him. "I know no more on that score than you do. It just seems too easy. Paranoia, perhaps; when the Twin Crown first began to tilt towards Destruction, the answers for balance seemed harder... but they weren't all correct, either." Boy, were they ever not all correct. True, if they called back Creation it would probably balance the Twin Crown in the process, but he doubted that narrowly avoiding the destruction of All had been part of Lord Harmodius' plan.

"Gathering the lotuses and converting a city has been no easy task. Nor has surviving the hardships of the weeks and the ties that have been broken or formed in the process... I do not remember Creation and neither my host nor I know Destruction, we both came into this puzzle with the Twin Crown already struck down." He smiled and sank into a sitting position beside Illumin, "Even in the short time I've been aware to the world once more, I realized that complexity is not the only way. Sometimes the simplest method is the most effective. I believe it will work, simple as it is - what else can we do? To not believe would doom it before the start I think."

Forest leaned forward as he spoke, "To borrow a saying, 'think positive.' If nothing else, we can pass into oblivion knowing we've at least tried to correct things."

"Perhaps... regardless, I have no better ideas to offer." Such a young god, in reborn terms; would he even have time to take control if they failed? "I am grateful for what you have already accomplished. The lotuses... were lovely."

"Keep thinking nonetheless... You can touch the world in ways I can't yet, surely that will play a role in the time to come." A broad, gentle smile touched the host's face as Glyph nodded his head in acceptance, "My comrades and I all played a part in that. Hopefully our efforts bear fruit. Where can I find you in the future? Here?"

"Here, sometimes, though I will probably spend more time with the small enclave of mortals I've 'adopted', so to speak. They're in an abandoned market area not far from here. To the northeast. If nothing else, my Aoidei can take messages. I'll have to travel across planes to get to the potential wellspring of belief I mentioned."

"At the marketplace or here then. I have Aoidei that can liaise with yours to keep you informed of what's going on. We're going to stay near the pantheon and organize things here so good luck with your trip, Illumin." Rising, he moved to stand before the god and offered a handshake and warm smile, "It was a pleasure to meet you. Hopefully we'll see things through, I'd like to meet again." Bowing slightly, he bobbed his hand a little.

"Of course - thank you for coming to me." He paused, then decided to leave it at that. There was no easy way to really explain to the young host how much that meant, to not be alone. "I hope we'll have ample time to speak later, when all has been made whole again."

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.::||{...What's Happening?...}||::.

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What's Happening?

Lisana moved towards the Pantheon at a quick pace. Hasheem was just beside her as she walked quickly there. She wanted to see if anyone else was about. There were alot of people in the streets moving here and there with tasks they apparently were trying to complete. For a moment she hesitated, glancing towards the other building. In just a few days a great many things had changed. The demons seemed to have disappeared except for a few of the creatures known as oni. She had found out from one that their loyalty lay with the god of Mystery and she had yet to meet him.

Moving quickly in the door, she glanced around. At first she hesitated as she studied the fellow before her with dark wings and hair that was partially red and a sort of indigo. Then she noted the tail and smiled. Part cat and part bird? Moving forwards towards him, she glanced over his shoulder. "What are we looking at?" she smirked faintly as he turned startled to stare at her.

His lips twitched upwards as he faced her, noting the bubbles. He shrugged, then grinned widely as he was simply studying the architecture of the building. Folding his arms he just watched her a moment and then Hasheem.

She burst into laughter. "Not quite the answer I was looking for. I'm Lisana, the goddess of Laughter. And this is Hasheem. Who are you? I don't think I've seen you before." The guard inclined his head watching the god. The marking on his face was unusual. Almost reminded him of something he'd seen once before but whatever it was slipped from his grasp.

Taj nodded still smiling. Laughter suited her. So did the bubbles. Taking the pad from his pocket, he wrote, <Tajnevaki, god of Mystery.>

"Oh! Those little demons belong to you! I was talking to one earlier. She acted afraid but I assured her I had no interest in hurting her unless she attacked someone."
Lisana frowned slightly. She realized he must not be able to speak. "I hope I didn't scare her. Have you seen anyone else? I mean I was looking to see what is going on now that things have settled and if anyone has any ideas on what to do yet to get him free of the pod."

He shook his head as he glanced around. It was one of the reasons he was there also. Karaskis and he wanted to know what was happening elsewhere.

Malh'reth had been on his way out of the Pantheon, to go look for Lisana now that he knew where she might be. Head down, expression serious, he pondered the conversations he'd had and when the ritual should convene. Soon, if possible... in the next couple days? Certainly before the lotuses wilted. It was a shame he could do nothing to preserve them beyond the water he already summoned to sustain them a little longer.

Yawning, he ticked names off on the long fingers of one hand and very nearly ran into Tajnevaki. It was the sense of power and the flash of aura that alerted him... barely enough time to jerk back and tilt head so as not impale the poor stranger on his horn. That would be lovely wouldn't it? Trying to save the multiverse and you run a stranger through accidentally. "Sorry!" Glancing up, he frowned as he did not recognize the god but the one beside him was familiar.

"Lisana! Greetings!" He smiled at her before turning back to the one before him and bowing deeply, "My apologies for nearly running into you."

Lisana glanced up and laughed. "Hello, Mahl. This is Tajnevaki, the god of Mystery. I don't think he speaks. We just met and was going to see if anyone knew anything about what we should do now. Taj, this is Mahl'reth. He's the host for Forest, better known as Glyph."

Taj nodded to Mahl, looking slightly amused at him. He bowed politely, smiling faintly. His wings flexed outwards a bit, but then settled down once more. <It happens.> he wrote on the pad, his lips turning upwards.

"Oh! I hope you saw my note on the noticeboard. We have the inn nearby and it's housing alot of the people from Baadris now. If anyone needs rooms, there are some empty yet. Those with Cosine are in one half and mine are in the other. Some of mine were with Kaelin, Water, also."
She was not sure in all the things that needed to be done that any had really done more than find a space to rest in or find a few quiet moments.

Malh'reth frowned slightly as he was introduced but it passed quickly, "Indeed I am. Though I am a traveling entertainer by profession. Glyph and I.... met under not so amicable conditions." A soft sigh as he shrugged. He'd come to terms with this whole thing and even though he was still a little uncomfortable with the thought being consumed wholly, at least he had as much time as he wished before such a thing. Glyph had promised that twice now.

"Rooms? Oh, thank-you Lisana but I've quarters with Phaedra. I serve her in a variety of ways and she shelters me. It has been a fortunate contract thus far so thanks for the offer but I'll pass." Stepping around to face the two properly, he pulled a notebook out from the depths of his sleeves, "I wanted to speak to you Laughter but both of you is even better. We are gathering Gods to attend a ritual about a week from now.... a ritual where both gods and mortals call back Creation. We don't think just the mortal worship will be enough. So...." He paused and looked from Taj to Lisana, "Would you speak to any you know to help spread the news? And come yourself as well? Now that the weeks have begun to pass again, we have little time left."

Taj nodded to Mahl, scribbling quickly. <It happens. No voice. Words. Maybe> He grinned faintly, shrugging, but then listened carefully to the information. Then his expression changed to one of seriousness. <What is owed to Creation should be given to Him.> He fully felt that Aristogeiton's example should be followed. Creation had brought them all back and the process had taken a great toll on Him.

Perhaps this is the way to bring him back, Taj.
Jaster stirred faintly whispering to the god. He had been silent for awhile and Taj was unsure if he still remained.

Perhaps, Jaster. But at least they understand now that
He needs more than he had.

Lisana nodded about the rooms but then frowned thoughtfully at the prospect of pulling him back with all of them combined. "That could work. The pod has been bathed in lotus oil to help so this fits I think. I'll tell everyone I see, Mahl. It will give us all a chance to see who has returned also." She giggled. "I can't but think if he wakes up to a party, he'd wonder what we were doing."

He heard the scratch of stylus against paper and frowned, "No voice and no sight. It would make conversation difficult I think." Reaching out, the mage touched the paper on which Taj scribbled and nodded as the words came into view, "The first wave altered my sight... I see auras now, no details unless I touch." He smirked as he looked to Lisana, "I would rather he wakes to a party then hatch and bring about the end. Glyph and I have already started mortals worshipping in the Throne Room and they've promised to continue to do so until the gods gather. Aim for a week today? That's when everyone should come together."

<Perhaps that is the fun of conversations.>
He scribbled quickly then added, <My own and Fire's live in a retaken house nearby.> Taj indicated to the south of the Pantheon. <Fire and Water will be informed.> Saljin would see that Yaxha was told when he got a chance to speak to Tempest. The man could take the message to ensure that Kaelin received such.

Lisana giggled. "Yes. Yes. I would rather He wake to a party than the other. I think it is time to put things back together. And I want to return to Baadris to help those left behind if there are any. Their city is too beautiful to let lie in ruin. And it is they we have to thank for the lotuses."

Taj listened carefully. Baadris was a place that perhaps he and Saljin would visit when this was solved. Who knew what was there if given the time to look it over? Another exploration to add to the list and he smiled faintly. He would have to look at this board more often.

We should go there too, Taj.

Perhaps, Jaster.

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.::||{...Ritual of Renaming...}||::.

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Ritual of Renaming

[Link takes you to the RP thread - was too big to record without taking up many posts in this journal]

In which the various gods, goddesses, and mortals that have gathered at the Pantheon attempt to rename and recall the Twin Crown. It is successful, if not in the way that was expected, and much rejoicing welcomes Harmodius' return. The destruction of the multiverse is averted though there are many lose ends to now take care of.

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.::||{...Unexpected Undead...}||::.

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After the initial jubilation that inevitably inundated every soul in, around and beyond the Pantheon, Malh’reth and indeed Glyph spent a solid day sound asleep. Their efforts had taken a toll on god and host alike, the exhaustion finally catching up to them now that the crisis was averted. There were murmurings of Grigori and wishes for rebuilding but that would come in time, once everyone had a chance to breathe easy for the first time in months.

“Uhnnn….” Malh’reth turned over on his cot that his Aoidei has set up in one of the alcoves and squinted, blinking in confusion at the riot of colour that shifted and made his sleep-fogged brain hurt. “Uhnn…?” Deciding it was not worth the effort to investigate, the Aurion turned over and buried his face in the pillows once more, skewering a pillow with his horn.

Starting at the sound of ripping cloth, the mage sat up and groaned as feathers drifted around his face and a weight tugged on his head. Fumbling, he slid the pillow off and set it down before him with a sigh as he rubbed his face. Natasha and Aisling were no where near, having taken to assisting the people of Baadris in their camps while their lord slept and recovered. “Glyph…?”

Hn? The faint stirring of the god within him answered Malh’reth sleepy call, Yes?

“I don’t want to get up.”

A laugh echoed around his mind as the god voiced his amusement. You’re awake now, best be up and about, otherwise you’ll be lethargic the whole time.

“Mr…” Swinging his legs off the edge of the bed, Malh’reth squinted and glanced around, noting the normal ebb and flow of energy between everything nearby… what, then, had caught his attention? It had been brighter then this… Looking further away, he saw the brightly glowing auras of the sleeping people, stranded here ever since the Sky had fallen. A feeling of remorse flickered through him, a smile playing across his lips in memory. They had not known whatever god or goddess had ruled the skies but his or her loss was easy enough to feel. Perhaps now that Harmodius had returned they might be able to recall the fallen comrade.

Rolling shoulders and stretching back, he tilted his head so he was looking behind him and the world was upside down, hands reaching for the ledge just above his cot where he’d stored a few of his things. Suddenly, a form darted past, naught but a blur of colour and motion. Blinking, the mage started and the attention of both beings fixed firmly on the creature as it jumped from the ledge and ran away with a nervous squeak.

“What?” The word was spoken in unison, their voices merging for a brief moment as the Aurion stood and ran after the creature. He had no idea what it was, let alone why it was here… only that it was a sign of life beyond the pilgrims that filled the halls and rooms and gardens of the Pantheon.

Several people grumbled as he moved past, accidentally stumbling on clothing or catching a bag and tripping as he followed the creature towards a table with bags piled high on top. It hid behind a leg, for a moment before darting behind a large sack and quivering.

Immediately feeling terrible for having frightened the little creature so, Malh’reth stopped and watched for a moment before dropping into a crouch and slowly approaching. Whatever the aura belonged to quivered and chattered nervously as he drew near, froze when his fingers reached out to offer a greeting and lashed out with a bite. “Ow! Hey!” Falling back as he clutched his now bleeding finger, Malh’reth frowned and cursed loudly as it darted away, running out towards the halls. Scrambling, he ran after it, and slid through the door of the chamber in time to watch it disappear around a corner. “Come back here you little jerk!”

Perhaps you should stop yelling at the poor thing, Mal. You’ll only make it run faster.

”Mrph. I want to know what it is. I’ve never seen something like that before… And it bit me!” As if to prove the point to Glyph, he held up his finger before sticking it back in his mouth.

Glyph chuckled, I know. Try to get it to come to you. That might work.

“We’ll see.” Around the next corner now with his eyes on the ground, searching for any sign of the creature, he did not notice the zombie standing there and ran into him with a loud thud, the two going down in a tangle of limbs and surprised sounds.

“What!?” Adoniram cried out as he fell back and knocked his head against the stone of the floor, the small creature echoing the cry as it found itself between the two larger beings, “G-get off me!” With only one free arm, he pushed against Malh’reth.

The Aurion, in a similar fashion, shoved off of the zombie and paled at the sight that met his touch. Blue skin, beautiful in its own right… but that beauty was tempered by the exposed muscle and slight aroma of death that clung to the Aoide. Wrinkling his nose as he recoiled, he rather hoped the flash of black skeletal cheek was his imagination rather then reality. “Why are you lurking about?” Grumbling as he picked himself up, the mage brushed clothing free of any dirt and eyed the stranger.

“Lurking?” Confusion laced his voiced as he shook his head, “Hardly. I’ve been looking for my companion… and it seems you’ve scared her half to death. Why were you chasing the poor thing?” Stroking the curious thing, he returned Malh’reth’s steady gaze.

Mal frowned, taken aback by the brisk response, “I.. well it’s the first time I’ve seen anything animal-like around here. The Pantheon grounds aren’t exactly teeming with life, after all. The dull buzz of dead and inorganic things gets tedious after a while…” Frowning, he glanced at the feline creature.

“Ihintza? Really?” Adoniram shook his head, “I don’t mind the grounds, sort of reflects the general mood, I think. And ever since the sky went black….?” He trailed off with a shrug.

“Tell me, where did you come from and where did you find your pet?” Glyph interjected suddenly, “Do you know where you are?”

The zombie blinked at the sudden change in tone and arched an eyebrow at the god, “I’m not really sure where I came from – I just sort of found myself here after a rather incredible earthquake along with a bunch of other demons. As for Ihintza here… I rescued her from being harassed by a couple of minor demons.” He frowned and shifted his weight to his other leg as he nodded, “And yes, I do know where I am. I am an Aoide after all. The home of the True Gods is not a foreign concept to me, I just never expected to find myself here.”

“I see.” Glyph replied, smiling now, “I am Glyph, God of the Forest and my host is Malh’reth. You’ve truly seen no signs of life – plant or animal – since being here?” He sighed.

“Ah… Adoniram. Pleasure…?” Trailing off as he wondered at the wisdom of calling the crash a pleasant meeting before continuing on, “And unfortunately no, I haven’t. It’s pretty barren, or rotted and dead. Most life’s around here, which is why I came. “ He caught sight of the Aurion’s gem as he shifted, the gem’s glitter drawing the zombie’s attention to Mal’s throat though he kept quiet.

“Ah, I see. Do you serve anyone?” The question was curious, “Most Aoidei I’ve come across have a master – or is yours not yet returned?”

The zombie shook his head, laughing softly, “An Aoide I might be, but I am no servant. I call no god master.”

Tilting his head to the side, Glyph nodded, “Curious. So you are a free agent of a kind?”

I thought Aoide were servants…? Malh’reth queried, confused. Were they simply drawn to the divine then?

“Apparently Adoniram is not, in fact, a servant.” Glyph responded thoughtfully. While he was not hurting for servants, he did rather find Adoniram a curiosity – the Aoidei he’d met up until now had all ‘belonged’ to someone. “If you call no god master, do you then assist when there is need of you?” He arched a brow.

Adoniram, nonplussed by the apparent internal conversation, shrugged at the comment, “If there is need, I help. But that isn’t particularly often, however. Why?”

It was Glyph’s turn to shrug, “Because there is much to be done and if you are simply wandering aimlessly I aim to give you direction. There are numerous mortal refugees that need to be tended to – perhaps you could help the other Aoidei in that endeavour. Ask for Aisling, she will give you more details.” He gestured back the way he’d come from, “And if that does not suit you, then I ask that you look for signs of recovery while you wander and note the locations. Now that Gehenna has been averted I hope to assist in the recovery of the realms.”

Aaah so that’s what the god was after. Adoniram smiled and nodded, finding no fault in either suggestion. “Perhaps I will. Though the mortals may not find the sight of me reassuring.” He laughed softly, “I will, however, see if I cannot be of service. If you’ll excuse me…?”

Glyph nodded and the zombie departed, Ihintza circling his feet as he walked.

Do you suppose he’ll actually help? Malh’reth asked curiously, And he does have a point. I’m not particularly fond of dead things and I doubt the refugees will be either. I’ve had quite enough of dead things.

“I expect he’ll at least try. What else does he to do when he’s already admitted to being without a master. Purpose is never a bad thing, Mal.” Glyph smiled as he turned to regard the hall before them, “And a warm smile will likely be welcome, regardless of the face that wears it. Now that we’re up, perhaps we should also offer our assistance to the refugees… and thank them for their part in the Ceremony.”

Malh’reth gave a mental nod, Agreed.

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.::||{...Meeting the Maker...}||::.

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Meeting the Maker

David, please try and stay awake.

The mortal grunted in response, begrudgingly shifting himself into more upright position, scratching his neck and stifling a yawn that ended up pushing out through his nose. He was seated what was probably a little too comfortably in one of the little couches downstairs - which were now noticeably less grimy than they were before, though there were patches of ash and dirt worked into the fabric that hadn't yet agreed to be cleaned off. Someone would have to salvage some pretty powerful cleaning solution to fix those stains. Or the will of the proper god could probably fix it up, but David figured that sort of power was being focused on more important things right now, seeing as some sizable chunks of existence were in need of renewal.

Leaning forward and idly drumming his fingers on his walking stick, he swept his gaze across the... well... the 'lobby' of the Pantheon. There didn't seem to be any sign of Malh'reth yet. Glyph was probably monologuing at him with a bunch of etiquette rules for dealing with the Emperor, same as the flood of information Glaucon had given him for breakfast earlier that morning. He could only hope that his bedraggled appearance could be forgiven: along with really not having much to wear besides the same set of street clothes he had been wearing for who knows how long, the hair on the right side of his head was matted with a crop of cowlicks. It wasn't as if he could do more with it than shake his head and hope it fell into place. Maybe rake some into place with his fingertips on a good day.

He would have expected to feel at least a little anxious about essentially meeting God, but instead he was just impatient and lethargic. It felt a bit like a childhood visit to Sunday mass.

As it was, Glyph and Malh'reth were getting along quite well for both were anxious to meet the Twin Crown. For Glyph it was an opportunity to present himself and offer his services as needed, however minimal they were right now; and for Mal... it was the keystone to this whole concept. From the moment he'd seen Harmodius emerge from the Chrysalis, he'd known deep down that this wasn't just a bad dream or anything of the sort. His friend and destroyer was real, the hardship and decay that had eaten away at the worlds was true. It was both comforting and depressing at the same time for he couldn't simply pinch himself awake and find the world as beautiful as it had always been.

Running a bit late after asking that his Aoide and his new found pets remain behind, they approached the lobby with a slight spring in their step. Yes, they were dishevelled and weary in appearance but the world wasn't going to end any more and there was a certain calming peace that settled within him. "David!" Malh'reth waved as he approached before tucking hands into long sleeves and smiling as his friend, "How've you been? Past few days have been... surprisingly quiet, haven't they? Sorta nice."

As far as Judgment's feelings on the matter were, he wasn't the type to get anxious about much of anything. Such emotions would have threatened to cloud his influence. It was just a matter of being aware of his place, following protocol, and speaking his opinions where appropriate - though it would have been a lie to say that he wasn't looking forward to this meeting. It was good to see the world on its way to restoration, the rebirth of Emperor being the very manifestation of such events. Hopefully when the time came for society to be rebuilt, Glaucon would be able to play an important role in it, and Harmodius would be able to provide some guidance on how he could do so in his currently (very) limited form.

"Yeaaaah," David half-drawled in response, the corner of his mouth twitching into a smile as he heard Malh'reth approaching. "It's a hell of a nice change, that's for sure." In particular, he liked the fact that he could sleep at night without worrying he would wake up to see the ground just as absent as the sky. It was something that he had been taking advantage of since the Ritual of Renaming had ended-- and here he was now, bloated on rest and still hungry for more.

Oh, he had forgotten how good it was to be lazy. It was the one luxury that no amount of damage to the world could have gotten rid of.

The slack, easygoing smirk faded into something more cool and formal, Glaucon's smooth voice sneaking out from behind David's raspy mumbling. "It is always a pleasure to see you both. Are we all prepared to approach the Throne?"

Wow, someone's eager today.

My apologies, but I believe I should be allowed some moments of eagerness now and again.

Malh'reth nodded in complete agreement. He too, despite being an active individual, had taken the opportunity to rest and relax in truth now that he wasn't living in fear of... nothingness? Destruction? He wasn't entirely sure, still, what it had been they'd been fighting - only that they'd had to solve it.

At Glaucon's question, Malh'reth nodded ( a motion reflected in his mind by Glyph's own nod) and replied,
"I am. I hope we're not interrupting anything... it's been such a sort time since He returned." Their voices flowed into one another easily, the mage no longer fought against the other's presence. "Come, let's go greet Him."

Turning, Glyph moved towards the entrance to the Throne Room, a smile upon his face and back straight, head held high. He'd been looking forward to this.

"If He is attending to more important matters right now, we can return at a more appropriate time," Judgment replied, and after a moment of thought he added, "Or perhaps we could offer Him our aid." Although it was still such a short time after the Chrysalis had hatched, he felt he could still hope that there was some task he could set his idle mind to. After all, there was so much that needed to be done now that there was time to do it.

He followed Forest to the Throne with slow, careful steps, David's cane making muffled clacks against the floor. With this body he wasn't quite able to keep a straight posture, but still managed something a bit presentable.

Creation sat, weight levered onto the side of his hip and turned for sitting direct and forward as a king might on his throne. Instead, he seemed more as a youth might be, his legs were drawn up from the floor and folded back along himself, and his temple and cheek rested against the back. He was unmoving, more like a sculpture then a living thing, until they drew nearer and the eye that was visible opened and looked slowly over first. Then he shifted from his lean on the back and sat a little more upright, "Many Greetings."

As they approached, Glyph paused when addressed then nodded in return and offered a smile, "Many greetings as well." Glancing back at Glaucon, he waited for the other to come up even to him before speaking again, "We've come to pay our respects and to introduce ourselves - or perhaps reintroduce ourselves." His tone was somewhere between hopeful and wry, unsure of where to start. He knew of Creation and yet could remember little to nothing of the past, what would it be like for the one sitting upon the throne?

A bow followed then, "I am Glyph. Silvim Illustirre... Forest. We returned shortly after you were... struck down." Even now, he wasn't too sure just what, exactly, had happened before their rebirth.

Judgement was along soon enough. He stopped next to Forest, clasping both of his hands on the thin support in front of his feet and allowing it to hold most of his weight. He offered a polite incline of his head in greeting instead of presenting himself with a bow, as both David and himself didn't want to risk losing their balance by trying the latter. "It is a pleasure to see your Form at last," he replied, "and it is my wish that you consider this my proper welcome back into it, Emperor." The god momentarily wished that he could have found some sort of gift for the restored Crown. Offerings of words would have to do.

"Glaucon, the Verdict of Midas. Judgment." He punctuated his name and title shortly after Glyph, and nodded in confirmation of the circumstances of their rebirth. They had found their hosts at similar times... which meant that they might also ascend at similar times as well, he realized. His mind would have threatened to drift to realms that involved their hosts, were it not for the ivory figure on the Throne keeping it firmly in place.

"Unlooked for are introductions when close it was to the End of all names. But I am glad to be given those of you both, " Creation nodded to each, and his smile was quick. "You may call me as you like, though Harmodius seemed to be the preference of general moniker."

"While there are many things that are to come, is there service that I may render to either of your needs?"

Glaucon's reply quickly trailed after the soft reverb of Creation's words. "I believe the greatest service I would request is that you allow my aid in any tasks that currently need doing, should you deem me capable and my skills fitting for them." The change in his desire to work seemed inversely proportional to that of his host-- while David saw no problem with taking an extended breather after making his contributions to the aversion of a crisis, the intact state of the world was making the god want to do more.

It was something that elicited an exaggerated groan from the mortal, crossing imaginary arms and glaring across their shared mindscape, loudly projecting his own ideas for what he would want from a creator deity who was offering to see to their needs.

Before we get into more of this fantasy adventure s**t, how about some real food? Or a shower. And a bed.

His gaze slid to the right of the room in attempted thought over David's rambling before returning it to the Throne. The mortal had a point, as he did a noteworthy number of times. "My host requests that a room upstairs be made to accommodate us. It is probably best that I give Lord Silence back the space he lent to me."

Glyph nodded, agreeing fully with Glaucon. "And I as well. There is much to be done - we've helped up to this point and would see it through to the very end." The god smiled, hoping he could be of service. He did want some rest first, however, and the idea of a room resonated with god and host alike.

"A room would be greatly appreciated as well. Phaedra... is very possessive of my host and some space between us would likely be for the best." Glyph mused.

Are you sure about that...? I've never had trouble with her. Malh'reth murmured from his corner, frowning. Greed and he got along, why part them?

Glyph, however, merely shook his head.

"So shall it be, " his gaze lengthened, at once present and yet remote, before he continued to speak. "In the walks above you will find doors suited to you. 8, 11, the sword-bearer blind and crowned whom weighs the heart against a feather. The Grove, the wooded lands, at once named by the nobility of men as their hunting grounds. Home to the many. Echoed, tall, stately. Tree-bearer and soil-walker. "

"Apartments are set aside for you, and they will shift, at first, according to yoru pleasure. I beg you to call on this but once, at the start......for my strength is new bought. In time, the mutability will return, but I cannot now foresee the exact time. It is meager gift to the loyal, but hearth and home will seem greater and warmer when faced by the darks of recent woe out of doors? Indeed, a place to call one's own....with food and bed, and bath beside. " His eyes sparkled as he spoke the last, his gaze resting on Glaucon.

"Thank-you." He smiled and nodded his head in appreciation, tucking that number away as he assumed the eleventh door was his, "Do not worry, I will not try to push the bounds so soon after your return. A room, regardless, is much appreciated."

Glyph drew a little closer to the throne, expression curious as he spoke,
"However, is there anything we can do for you? Besides tending to the realms, that is - something for you?" Forest's concerns lay not with himself but in the well being of Harmodius at this point. So soon after his return... was the other 'well', all things considered? Perhaps there would be something of personal comfort they could offer him.

David's consciousness shifted in surprise at Creation's last words, giving off the impression that he would be staring dumbfoundedly back were he in control of his body. There was little doubt to it: the Emperor wasn't just gazing at Glaucon... he was looking at him, too!

He can hear me?

The god broke into a smile at that, slight and almost cheeky in nature. Considering that he is the foundation upon which all of existence is built, it doesn't seem impossible.

"Your hospitality is most appreciated, Lord," Judgment spoke, inclining himself into another half-bow. "I, as well, will be sure to put your power to as minimal use as possible."

When Glyph approached the throne further, the other god followed, head tilted to listen to the Forest's words and soon nodding his approval of them. "It seems as though the trees often whisper ideas that I tend to agree with..."

"Simple tasks may yet seem the harder for the state of things, " Harmodius looked at the gaping holes of the broken windows. They were eyes to a black nothing. "If you like, collect for me vessels of glass, large or small. Globes, goblets, cups, dishes, saucers......anything as long as it is glass and will hold water. Bring the things here to Seat. You can lay them out on the floor as you like, it need not be neat or arranged. I know it is a strange asking, and difficult with the devastation that occurred...much that was so fragile will be in mean shards. But whatever you manage will be appreciated. "

Glyph nodded at that, bowing slightly as he accepted the task and glanced at Glaucon. Glass vessels, hm? That was going to be a difficult task, truth be told, especially now when so much was in pieces. "I will do as you ask. I-" He paused as Malh'reth perked suddenly, the mage's conciousness stirring with thought.

I have some nuggets of glass we might use. And a sphere, too, somewhere if someone can work the glass into a shape that will hold water. He smiled, showing which of the myriad pockets in his sleeves might contain them. As rough and ragged as they were, few things were still intact – his sketchbook, his worry stones, and his favourite glass marble, things left over from his childhood that served to remind of where he’d come from and where he was going. But, for Harmodius, he saw it as a small thing to part with them, they could find more eventually.

His attention turned inward as the god reached into his sleeves and fumbled about until he found the small pouch contained three palm-sized glass worry stones, “These?”

Yes. If someone can melt them down and blow them into a globe, it might be helpful right? Hopeful it might some place to start, Malh’reth seemed to smile.

“If we can find someone to that, though.” Glyph nodded as he held up the pouch, “Glaucon my friend, we have a starting point if nothing else. Think we can find a glassworker or two?” Smiling, he turned back to Harmodius, “We will start immediately.”

When Creation had finished describing the task he had assigned to the two gods and their hosts, Glaucon could feel David heaving a heavy sigh... of relief. After fearing that Judgment's and Forest's requests to be of service would end up being another plane-traversing adventure full of demons and dealing with stupid people, he was thankful to the point of amusement that they had instead been more or less sent dumpster-diving. Hunting for glass things. He could handle that.

The god perked more when he heard Glyph's verbal nudging at him, not being able to resist cracking into a knowing smile. "I doubt one will be hard to find. If you would like to go meet with one together..."

After we check out the room.

"...after we take a moment to find our room. But be assured I will not trail too far behind you," he finished. Turning back to Harmodius, he gave a final bow, and said, "Simple task though it may be, it is still a joy to be of service to you. I wish you the best in returning to your full strength."

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User Image The Grove, he had said, the wooded lands. His door would reflect that then. What did it look like, this private getaway? Were there memories there that would haunt or enlighten? Forest was eager to see his past, to find forgotten fragment and remember, perhaps, glimpses of an age long gone. Glyph doubted he’d changed much now and then, hoped to feel he was going home though he knew his realm was elsewhere, raped and burned by Gehenna’s poisonous touch.

Aisling had told him of the devastation that had taken the Gatewood, the clear cutting and the burning of trees to fuel greed and fear and war alike. It was a sacred place, he knew, but vulnerable to the whims of mortals. He would have to visit it at some point and reclaim his land… or what remained, in any case. After this, after the people of Baadris were returned to their home (his Aoide had volunteered to help look after the pilgrims until such a time). His personal things could come once the world around them was at least partially patched up.

Grove…. Grove…. Passing door after door, he found none to resonate with him. Indeed, scene of conquest, beasts, and countless other things were not of his domain. At length he wondered if he’d missed it… or he’d come to the right place at all. There be no difficult in finding a door that paid homage to his sacred groves. Stopping, he eyed the door before him then glanced first back then forward.

Where was it?

Frowning, Glyph turned to go back, thinking it best to try the other win when the quiet tug of something caught his eye. Turning down the side hall, he found his door… a great arching portal with a forest carved into relief and glazed in gold. Beautiful, really.

Stepping up to run fingers down the centerline, he smiled gratefully as he murmured, “Thank-you.” There were no handle, just metal plates where some might be it was these he pressed the palms of his hands to. A loud click heralded the door’s opening and they swung inward to reveal whiteness. Malh’reth’s vision was no longer a serious of silhouettes and floating lines but a startling, piercing whiteness.

Hnn… stepping tentatively in, Forest blinked as each step echoed his thoughts in brief rippled of vision. Grass then carpet then water… the space was so reception, even expectant as he moved further in – the door a dark rectangle in a sea of white. He could choose, then, the shape of his comfort. But it was a single choice only – as Harmodius had said – and there was no sense in overstepping those simple boundaries. Glyph was no greedy god.

What then, what would his room be?

Closing his eyes, Glyph spun images across the mind of his host and watched the reaction as he shifted from idea to idea. Comfort not only for him, but for Malh’reth as well… white, stones, splashes of green and crystal or glass constructs, even a lounging space overlooking the skeletal forests outside.

For several moments, the room around him shifted and morphed, one thing flowing into another as ideas ghosted between god and host. Finally, when his eyes began to open once more, the world seemed to settle, and come into focus. Sharp colours, almost cold, played an airy background to lush potted plants and everwood furniture. In the corner, a semi circle dotted with cushions and ringed by a small strip of indoor garden offered a wonderful view of the nearby woods… or it would have been wonderful had the trees not been dead or dying.

Curling up in that pile of pillows, Forest gazed sadly out at the view as he sighed heavily, “Home… May better times find us.” Playing fingers over the small ferns and wild roses, he smiled at the comfort they offered, “Home indeed. A sanctuary for all of us.”


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.::||{...Of Thoughts and Baubles...}||::.

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User ImageA marble, a paperweight, and a tall pile of glass shards… Not enough. Not right. These things needed to be made to hold water, formed and altered to the purpose but his search had proved fruitless yet. Very little remained of the baubles and treasures that once adorned every house – the decay and the apocalypse had not been kind to creation. The lands around were dry, cracked, and scarred, ancient forest now stood as charred reminders of a fate barely averted. Above all, the empty sky loomed distant and cold, frightening for any mortal who gazed upon it and saddening for the gods. Somewhere, in a world now an isolated pocket of survival, a child’s tale would no longer be taken lightly for the sky truly had fallen.

And yet, among all the settling dust and ruined lives, they were to find delicate containers wrought of glass? Containers that must be whole enough to hold water? Glyph sighed as fell back onto the cushioned bench in the pantheon’s entrance. Even what remained of the glass had mostly become dust, blown away on hot winds. He knew rebuilding the world have to start somewhere… but even somewhere needed to exist. The people Baadris knew how to work glass well enough to craft it they needed supplies and blasted rock and scraps of glass were not enough. A furnace must be built, fuel secured, and tools made if they were to forge new vessels for Harmodius.

Host and god alike knew Greed had profited during the downfall, knew she’d hoarded away baubles and trinkets… and both knew she would no sooner part with them then she would her power. Who else then? Who would know where vases and bowls and cups and objects would be hidden, safe? Zhijian..? No. Glaucon was helping, so not him either. Laughter? Numbers? Perhaps… they’d traveled together, were comrades if nothing else. Maybe they might know. The mortals of Baadris too, though they’d fled in haste… could he ask yet more of them? Stranded, homeless, and helpless, the Silvim Illustiire would rater avoid confiscating their remaining comforts if possible.

Who then? Continuing to work his way through the list of acquaintances, Forest paused. It had been a brief meeting, true, but… perhaps it would prove a boon. The Treasurer, the dragon king Jing, surely he must know of where the needed baubles might hide. A shot in the dark, yes, but the Dragon Kings were said to answer to Harmodius alone. Such a dedicated follower was sure to help. Now… to find the man. A little detective work wouldn’t hurt it was more productive then lazing around trying to will glass into existence.

Rising, Glyph stretched and yawned, attention turned for a moment on Malh’reth. The mase slumbering now, quiet and exhausted – taking the lull between storms as a chance to recuperate. The god did not blame him, thought him wise, for order would not be restored quite so quickly. They’d heard Gehenna had been triggered by an outside force – a force they neither knew the name or source of. Others did, though, but obtaining information had been patchy at best. Perhaps he should seek out Knowledge and ask to be filled in as well. Another item to add to the ever growing to do list, that.

Oh well, it couldn’t be helped. Knowledge was power and what better way to shelter and protect then to know the ebb and flow of the world around oneself? He would weather the storm, especially now when his rebirth was so near at hand. No enemy of the Twin Crown would strike Creation down again and her would not fade into grey obvlivion once more. Life was simply too fleeting and too precious to give up on. Smiling suddenly, he shook his head. Regardless of their nature, whether it be aligned to creation or destruction, every willful thing in this existence would fight for its right to live. Gods clawed and coaxed their way back into broken thrones while mortals clung and howled defiance to any that might take away their future.

And he could not fault them for their selfish need – he was no different after all. The mere thought of having life ripped from his grasp had set his hackles to rising. Chuckling softly, Glyph gazed out the shattered window that overlooked the pantheon’s approach before collection their finds and slinging the bundle over his shoulder. Perhaps that’s why, despite being rooted enough now, he refrained from devouring his host’s soul. Life would be his, given a little patience, and his sacrifice deserved what time he had left. To rob him of it would truly be cruel.

User ImageNudging the debris that had blown in to mingle with the window’s shattered remains, he blinked as some slid off to uncover the quilted, pillowy pattern of a vase. Crouching, Forest sifted through the rubble to find a heavy vase cushioned on the inside by rotted florals and the outside by tattered fabric. Gingerly, he ran borrowed fingers over its cool surface, marveling at it survival. “Quite the survivor, little one. Here, you’re meant for bigger things,” as gently as he could, he lifted it from the floor, “then to brighten a dirty floor. Oh!” As he lifted it full away, the top third fracture and fell away, thick chunks now decorating the floor in the vase’s place. Frowning, he packed the shards away and cradled the vase as he went off in search of more.

At least the vase would still hold water.

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.::||{...Treasure Among Ash...}||::.

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Reserved for PRP with Jin - Treasures Among Ash

A search of the grounds outside had proved even more fruitless then his brief walkaround on the inside had. Nothing but ash and cinder out here... leaning against the charred remains of a tree some distanace away from the Pantheon, Glyph sighed and looked to the heavens for a moment before continuing on, taking the time to nudge piles of debris and to offer quiet words of parting when he'd happen across a body. The refugees had not gone without suffering, that much was clear.

At least the bodies gave way to less gruesome finds the further out he went. People gathered in places they found hope and the deadness out here harboured none. So much to rebuild... so much to rekindle. Hopefully the plant life would begin to return soon and lay down the foundations for recovery. Patting a wilted flower bush, Glyph glanced up to find a house not too far away. And it was surprisingly in tact. Hm.

In the distance, the Pantheon stood, a dark shape against the sky and he chuckled, realizing he'd wandered far in his half-automatic search. Leave no stone unturned indeed - it was quite a bit of work, really.

Why not give it a look? Still cradling the vase, Glyph approached the home and knocked on the door as a matter of respect. If no one answered... he'd let himself in.

It took only a moment after Glyph had stopped knocking before the door opened slightly, enough to reveal the dark features of what was clearly an Aoide. Her grey eyes flicked up and down the Aurion, resting curiously for an instant on the glass vase before locking her gaze challengingly with Glyph's. "Yes?" Xu Yong asked peremptorily, making no attempt to further open the door. It was obvious from her demeanor that visitors were not only unexpected, but almost entirely unwelcome. The sound of a raised voice could be heard indistinctly from behind her before falling silent, but the goat-girl made no indication that she had heard.

Glyph blinked at the rude response, tilting his head to the side but refraining from saying anything though he neither looked away nor was intimidated by the Aoide's boldness. Pursing his lips for a moment, the god gave a half shrug before turning the contemplative expression into a broad, genial smile, "Do you have a moment? I wish to speak to those who dwell here. It's... pertaining glass for the Twin Crown." Hefting his vase as if to demonstrate, Glyph tilted his head, "I am Glyph, God of the Forests. You need not be so hostile, my dear, I'm not looking to impose."

He remained where he stood, however, waiting patiently.

The Aoide stared at him for a moment longer, then the door was abruptly opened fully. "Your name is not one I recognize, but my Lord has explained, rather firmly, that those of the Pantheon are allowed entry." Unspoken was that any who came with ill intent would be dealt with, Pantheon ties or no. But Glyph's open nature did not bespoke a desire to help, not harm. Waving Glyph inside, Xu Yong shut the door behind him, leading the Aurion-godling a short way down the entry hall. She stopped in front of a small room, and bowed slightly. "Please, wait here. I shall let my Lord know that you wish to speak with him." Ignoring any response or questions, the Aoide left, the sounds of her cloven hooves fading away as she ascended the nearby stairs.

The room was simple, two sturdy looking wooden chairs and a small table the only furniture. An overhead light was turned off, as the amount of light coming in from the small window was more than enough to illuminate the room. The outline of a stylized dragon had been painted on one wall, apparently intended to be finished and part of a larger mural, was the only decoration.

"I'm glad he has ordered such." Glyph murmured, brow arching once more, gaze sharpening. Was this a test then? He was a god, entitled to the respect such a creature deserved and while a pleasant demeanor was his preferred method, the Silvum Illustirre did not like having his intentions and his status questioned - even if it was by implication. "If my presence so offends you dear Aoide, I've no doubts your master would enjoy his being summoned to his own door."

Still, however, she lead them through the portal and into a bare room where he turned to gaze out the window. Such an abrasive servant... he was glad those Aoide that had come to him were not so very rude. He was a friend, an ally, not a lurking enemy wishing to deal harm to someone.

So you do get mad! Malh'reth spoke suddenly, amusement colouring his thoughts, I had thought you truly neutral, Glyph. But even you are not immune to the legendary pride of the gods, it seems.

"I am not angry, Malh'reth. Such a cold greeting is hardly something to encourage friendship however. Being doubted is not something I care to endure." Loss of faith and doubt had, after all, played a roll in his death long ago. It was a lurking fear, sourceless and unexplained, but presence nonetheless. Lack of faith was a threat. "As for pride, I am indeed a god and to imply otherwise is entirely too rude."

I don't think she meant it that way though. Malh'reth sighed, the bubbles of laughter subsiding.

"Caution, I know. But there is no reason to a doubt a member of the Pantheon." Glyph responded, pursing lips.

The two fell silent then, watching the glowing, pulsing lines of the outdoors paint a vivid picture in the mage's altered sight as they waited.

Xu Yong offered no reply to the comment, a slight twitch of her ear the only indication she had even heard it. After leaving the 'pair', the Aoide ascended the spiral staircase leading to the upper floor. The doors to her left were partially closed, and she could hear a few demons idly talking within. The two doors on the right were firmly closed, and it was at the second and farthest back on that side that she stopped to knock. "My Lord?" she asked respectfully, not opening the door. It had been made quite clear that without express permission, no one was to enter the bedroom when the door was closed. "We have...guests."

Delmin lay sprawled with one arm across his eyes across the larger bed some enterprising demon had found or made; neither god nor host were that interested in where it had come from. He and Jin Huang had retreated from the first floor earlier, claiming a headache. It was not far from the truth, as both had long since grown weary of the incessant 'discussions' they and the dragon's erstwhile servants engaged in daily. Though the topics varied regularly, the overall argument was framed around the question of control. The demons, of course, were all very respectful in their suggestions, and while most were genuinely grateful for Jin Huang's renewed existence, they had become quite used to operating independently. And every time that it seemed like an accommodation had been reached, a straggler would arrive and the delicate dance would begin all over again. It was with this in mind that Delmin finally replied to the Aoide. "Who is it?" he asked, moving his arm but not lifting his head. "Please let it not be another demon," he continued under his breath, Jin Huang fervently agreeing.

"A member of the Pantheon," came the reply, distorted slightly by the still closed door. "Glyph, God of Forests. He claims to be here regarding the Twin Crown." Xu Yong's voice was carefully neutral, having some idea of how that news would affect her Lord.

Indeed, had she been able to view the reaction, the Aoide would have been well pleased. Jin Huang shot upright, having easily and subconsciously shifted Delmin from control. "I don't suppose he mentioned what sort of business?" the dragon asked, dry tone concealing a surge of nervousness. Had the Crown noted his nonappearance at the Ceremony and sent this Glyph to issue a summons? Idly thumbing the hem of a shirt sleeve, Jin Huang waited for an answer, if she had one.

"Something about glass." Xu Yong paused. "I think I offended him," she continued, sounding amused at the thought. Rolling his eyes, Jin Huang stood, brushing his hands over his clothes in a largely ineffectual effort to smooth them. Delmin's sartorial choices tended towards unrelieved black, which was something the dragon didn't mind. However, they'd found that one of the surviving demons possessed some skill in embroidery and sewing, and slowly splashes of color were being added. In most cases, the designs were simple, like the gold bands now circling the cuffs of his shirt. Quickly running a hand through his hair, he strode over to the door, pulling it open to reveal his servant, her arms crossed beneath her rather impressive chest.

"Well?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. The Aoide said nothing, merely offering an impudent grin before heading back downstairs. Resisting the urge to straighten himself up further, Jin Huang stopped slightly behind Xu Yong once she had halted in front of the former parlor.

"Lord Glyph? My Lord Jin Huang, the Dragon King Futs Lung, will speak with you now." Offering a small bow to both gods, she departed, leaving the dragon alone with his guest.

"Malh'reth?" he asked, sounding somewhat surprised.

Glyph blinked as the mage's name was unexpectedly called and turned as the speaker entered the room. Tilting his head, the god offered a warm smile and stepped towards the other, "Yes... and no. Malh'reth is my host. I am Glyph." His expression shifted slightly as Malh'reth came to the fore and smiled more broadly, happy to hear a familiar voice, "Jin!? ...Treasurer! You remember me? I'm glad. I did not expect to find you here! Pardon the intrusion, we're looking for glass. Though... we were considering finding you as well. Perhaps you could help us? We need information, and maybe a favour if you've the time and ability to do so."

The Aurion stepped to the side, warding off Glyph's request to speak instead, "Harmodius has charged Glaucon and I with gathering up glass vessels capable of holding water. I'm not entirely sure what, exactly, the glass is for but he requested it so here we are. I remembered that you're the Treasurer and was hoping you might know where such things would be? Anything works so long as it's glass and can still hold water. I thought, perhaps, that the treasury might have a few things to spare or at the very least would be a place to start." His gaze did not falter from the dragon king's and he spoke, both hopeful and respectful at the same time.

Jin Huang had taken a step forward, about to offer his hand to the other god when the Aurion shifted into control. Blinking in surprise at the sudden onslaught of words, he paused for a moment to think about what Malh'reth had said. "I'm sure Phaedra is overjoyed at your return," he commented dryly, that being the first thing that came to his mind. Delmin snorted in the back of his head, but offered no further comment. "I am glad to hear that you and Glaucon survived the Weeks." The dragon paused again, running a mental tally of what he had available here that might meet the request's requirements.

"I may have some small items here, glasses and bowls. As for the Treasury, I cannot say what it now contains." A regretful look flashed across his face at that admission. "I would hope that it remains locked, however," Jin Huang added thoughtfully, as Mahl'reth's former patron would no doubt happily plunder a Treasury left unlocked and unguarded. "But you are welcome to what I am able to find here."

Malh'reth smiled, shrugging modestly, "We did... though I cannot say it was easy. I am glad to see you well, Jin."

The mage frowned as the dragon admitted a lack of knowledge and sighed softly, "I see... Well, what you can offer is most definitely appreciated - every little bit will help, even more so if it is whole." Glyph laughed softly from his point of observation before easing into control once more, taking a moment to smooth the Aurion's tunic and run fingers through mussed hair
,"Anything you are willing to spare would be appreciated. Please forgive the sudden intrusion."

Jin Huang waved the remark away. Well? His side still ached from where one of the rogue demons had managed to wound him. But he had survived, and that was all that mattered. "If you'll excuse me for a moment, I shall set a few of my servants to looking." With a slightly absent-minded bow, the dragon stepped out of the room, summoning one of the nearby demons with an imperious snap of his fingers. A few hurriedly whispered commands later, and Jin Huang was back.

"It's no intrusion. Normally our...visitors are of a more hostile nature, since few of the Pantheon are aware of where I dwell." Off the top of his head, only Glaucon, and now Glyph, knew about this house. It was something that bothered and reassured him; he liked his privacy, but what if someone, say, one of his brothers, had need of him? Thumbing the cuff of his sleeve in a nervous gesture, Jin Huang debated once more going to the Pantheon.

Glyph waited the moment for Jin set his servants to searching and nodded when he returned, "I did not know you lived here, though. I've simply been coming the grounds for cast offs from refugees and the like. A rather large stretch so far out but it was worth a try... and then I spotted this house. If it is a matter of privacy, I will keep its location quiet." His tone had grown polite even as he posed the pseudo-question.

"It's not an issue. We've simply been plagued with, hm. More aggresive demons than you'll see about the property otherwise. It may have discouraged other visitors," he added with a careless shrug. And that was likely all he would say on the rather sensitive subject; the attacking demons were of minor concern, but the ones prodding them to continually attack were apparently former servants of his. And that was something he would rather be kept quiet. The location of his house, on the other hand, was not a secret, nor should it be.

The tinkle of glass behind him caused the dragon to turn with a small, pleased smile. "This is all we could find on short notice, Lord," Xu Yong said, indicating the small stack of glass bowls she held in one arm. A demon behind her held glasses that had been carefully packed into a box.

"I'm sure it will be fine," he replied, casting a quick glance back at Glyph/Malh'reth. "Will you require assitance to bring this to the Pantheon? Or wherever you wish it to go."

Glyph nodded when the glass was presented and smiled his thanks as he moved to set the broken vase he'd been carrying into the box with the glasses. "Thank-you, that is quite enough actually - I was not expecting so much. It is appreciated. As for transport... do you have a box for the bowls as well? I can take your contributions by myself if you do. I would not want to impose any more then I already have." His flicked to the demoness who had greeted him briefly, though it quickly returned to the dragon king.

"If you find anything more - shards or vessels, I would appreciate them being brought to my room. Look for the Grove emblazoned on it. You'll know the door when you see it."

"If you don't mind," Jin Huang said after a thoughtful look at his Aoide, "I think I shall detail one of the others to go with you." It was unlikely that Glyph would be at any risk traveling back to the Pantheon; the renegades tended to only attack when he was moving about. It was an odd sort of seige. "And please, you have been no imposition. I am glad to have been of assitance," he continued, offering a shallow bow as he filed away the information about Glyph's quarters within the Pantheon's halls.

When the demon returned with another box, the bowls were carefully placed within. A moment of indecision resulted in the demon carrying the glasses and vase being assigned the duty of escorting Glyph. "Fare well, Glyph. And you, Malh'reth," Jin Huang said as they were leaving. He bit his tounge to keep the rather sarcastic request to give his regards to Phaedra. She'd likely not be in the mood for such things, even if she did already know about her pet's acquisition.

Glyph paused a moment, considering the dragon king's suggestion and nodded, "Of course. Thank-you." Waiting the brief moments for the demons to sort themselves out, he then stepped back and made for the door.

Bowing at the exit, he flashed a smile to Jin,
"Farewell to you as well, Dragon King. Thank you once again."

With that, he turned to lead the demons back towards the Pantheon.

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AIM RP Log - Umbra/Torrent and Glyph/Malh'reth

It was good to be out and about again, he had to admit. Torrent had become...less grouchy...when it came to letting Umbra take over. The strange, subtle changes in the world, the staving off of the apocalypse, well...those things might have had something to do with the shifter's sudden...apathy...towards his own, inevitable fate. Umbra, having ditched his adoring, but now frightfully child-swollen Aoide, was currently 'gathering firewood'...but that, again, had been nothing more than an excuse. With their ever-growing household in the suddenly strangely 'homey' cave, Umbra had begun to feel cramped. He was, after all, a god, no matter that he didn't yet have this body to himself...and being a deity, he desired his own space back. Selfishly, he was once more looking forward to the day when he could traipse the Shadow Realm with ease. Having chosen a rather prominent, moss-covered rock as his perch, he had propped up his chin in one hand, arm resting on one knee, and was staring out into the distance at absolutely nothing in particular.

Malh'reth and Glyph were also out this day, though not for a stroll. The pair were searching, yet again, for some scraps of glass that might hold water. It was proving to be quite the difficult task, really, so when Glyph stood and surveyed the area, he noted the presence of another perched on a rock. It could not hurt to ask if he would help, after all.

Thus, Forest approached and waved as he offered a smile to the stranger. Mal's altered vision offered no clues as to what this person might look like, only that his aura was exceptionally strong.... Godly strong, Glyph. You've seen that enough by now. I wonder who it is...

"Indeed, a fellow deity it seems."
Nodding, he offered a hand to the other, "Greetings my friend. How are you this afternoon?"

Umbra raised his head, startled from his reverie, much like a grazing deer, eyes suddenly wide...rather disappointed at himself for being caught so. However, a certain amount of alarm eased quickly upon noting who it was. "Ah, Malh'reth..." He greeted with a smile, moving from his perch with typical feline grace. It had been some time since he'd seen the other, and last...well...things to save the world had just started to truly snowball. "A pleasure seeing you again, I see you survived the near-apocalypse...." Umbra noted, however, that he could sense the god within the other a bit clearer...interesting...mayhap similar changes had occured within the Aurion as had happened with Torrent since last the two had met. It would be...most interesting to find out.

"Not quite," Glyph chuckled, canting his head to the side, "One Forest, Glyph, speaks now. We survived, yes, though we found ourselves adventuring from end of the cosmos to the other in the midterm."

Malh'reth, however, was curious and wondering who spoke that knew him. Who is it? Touch him, so we can see. Glyph nodded at that.

"Care to shake hands? You seem familiar." Again, he offered long-fingered hands to Umbra.

"Ah, Glyph...he told me of you." With that smile still in place, he offered his hand in return, extending it to the other gladly, clasping it in his own. He had wanted to meet the god, after all, but last time it had not occured.

"So what brings you here, friend Glyph, in your wanderings?" Umbra, after all, knew very little of the comings and goings these days. So much had occured, but the Shadow god had chosen to focus on contact with his realm...accustoming this body to transitions within it. No easy task either.

When their hands touched, Mal blinked and grinned from within Glyph. It's Torrent and Umbra! It had been a while.

Glyph smiled at his host's reaction,
"Aaah, Umbra then? I hope he said some good of me." Forest glanced to the skies then, sighing, "Harmodius has asked myself and Judgement to gather water-holding vessels and bring them to him. I assume it is to help repair the Pantheon but.... finding glass thing whole enough to hole water has been rather difficult. And we don't want to return with only a few pieces of glass and no more."

How has"he been? I'm glad to see he's survived Gehenna well enough." Mal blinked as he recognized his own voice and smiled, shrugging slight. It was harder and harder to tell when they switch control now. The cadence of his voice different now, it was obvious the Aurion had come to the fore, "How have you fared, Umbra? So much has happened..."

"I think he was unsure of you, when first we met." He admitted with a wry smile, "But if you're here on an errand from Harmodius then I will welcome you gladly." Feeling Torrent nudge him at that, he tilted his head thoughtfully, "It seems that my host informs me we might have something for you, in that case. Will you walk with me?"

The easy switch betwixt host and deity was quite noticable indeed, though a slight smirk tugged at the Shadow-god's lips, bemused by it. "Ah, hello...I have fared quite well...though I will admit that I'm frustrated in attempts to garner steady contact with the Shadow Plane. And yes...much has happened, though only the wind tells me tales of the goings-on these days. Mayhap you can catch me up?"

"Ah, I can. Though I only my small portion of the tale. Lotuses, a king of glass, and a great ceremony that birthed Hardmodius is a quick overview. I will speak more of it as we walk?" He moved, then, to follow after Umbra, "You really have something? That would be greatly appreciated! Anything you can spare. Even broken glass. Glyph and Glaucon plan on building a glass furnace to blow vessels for Harmodius from the shards we're collecting."

And so, as they moved, Malh'reth spoke of his trip to Baadris... of the statues and the dragon he summoned, the difficult king and the kingdom wrought from crystal and glass. The lotuses they found and the followers they ushered back to the pantheon. He walked slowly, thoughtfully as he reached back for all that he knew, "Universe has fallen, though that's easy enough to see...." Sadness shadowed his words as he glanced up, "Harmodius was returned soon thereafter. It was a marvelous ceremony, the others re-enacted the creation of the universe and the Worldshield had found his strength once more. I'm not sure what else to tell you..." Indeed, Glyph had approved of his account, only poking tidbits in here and there for a more complete story as he spoke.

"Goodness, so much to be told and so many questions raised in so few words." He laughed softly, "By all means, please explain. I have...something of a vase, though it's only been used to put little bits of things in, nothing important, it would be better used in your hands, I think."

Umbra listened intently as the other talked, quite enraptured by the tale. He lamented, almost, that he had not been a part of the epic tale, but he knew well that he would likely have been...near to useless. Torrent had convinced him to gather some few followers, but Umbra had specifically chosen not to get...directly involved with such preceedings, no with to step out into the light just yet. Was he lazy? Likely. "And what a tale..." He murmured softly, "I am simply glad...that an order has been reestablished, so close were we to plunging into utter chaos." Head snapping up then, he noted that they were in sight of the hollow place where Torrent and the other's had made their home. "Wait for me just a moment..." He murmured, the last thing he wanted was for his darling aoide to have something new to fuss over that would likely drive him mad later.

Malh'reth nodded, frowning slighty, "Not much of an order yet... the planes are still crushed against one another. And there is no sky. The mortals are stuck here, and theworlds are separated." As he'd spoken, his voice had given way to Glyph's as he resumed control, "The Twin Crown is restored but not settled yet I think. He gave me a room but asked I choose its form only once. You might wish to speak to him about accomodations..." He trailed off as the other suddenly asked they wait here, shrugging slightly.

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"True enough, but...it is still something...something better than it was, would you not agree? Not descending further into chaos?" Then, he glided away and was gone, only to reappear a moment later, gently cradling a piece of glass in his fingertips. It had once been a fine vase, but it was missing the upper half, lost in some catastrophe or another. "Here...this still holds water well enough, it should serve your purpose..." A bright smile, "And your advice to speak to Harmodius is a good one, perhaps when things here are more stable...right now, one of my servants is increasingly heavy with child, and I have no desire to move her."

"Oh, this is wonderful, thank-you." Glyph smiled broadly as the other handed him the object, carefully holding it so as not to cut fingers, "Expecting a child....? It might be best to have her near where there is help. A cave may not be the wisest place." He frowned, slightly, not sure if he should go and investigate.... pregnant women were vulnerable.

"Hmn, if you wish a place to stay, simply call on me and you're welcome to lodge in my room." Forest nodded, though his lips were pursed. Her safety should really be seen to... "I do hope you haven't had troubles with demons and their ilk, they've been running wild for some time now. I wouldn't want her or her child to be hurt."

"Perhaps so, but...I honestly...she gets very cranky if such a thing is suggested." He made a face, "And she has been with me for so very long I can hardly tell her no, that and the fact that her little...tryst with my host during the week of Lust brought about her current situation." There was a grand sigh at that, "But what can you do...?"

At mention of demons, Umbra's smile only widened, "Well...about that, we have had trouble, of a sort, but it was resolved, as the demon had a desire to remain at my side, willingly harnessed as you will. He's become a decent guardian, all told, so long as you don't get him talking. I must say I don't care at all for his stories." Strange, how he'd seemed to have collected a little family of his own, each one odder than the last.

He arched a brow, chuckling with amusement. "Aaah, I see. Well, if the mother wishes to be here then there is not much to be done about it. My host... found himself enamored of Phaedra that week." He smirked as Mal'reth offered a small protest; the Aurion was not ashamed of his tryst with the goddess, rather proud in point of fact.

"Ah guardian then, that is good. It would be a shame if you had no defenses to assist you." Glyph turned to regard the other, tilting his head slightly, "And I really must thank you. It was you who set Malh'reth on the path to acceptance... and I am grateful. Your words started much thought."

Glyph! Malh'reth frowned, embarassed as he tried to hide his conciousness from the god.

He laughed softly, a low sound that was pleasant on the ears. "Indeed, you speak wisdom. And so I hear, twould seem that Greed was much enamoured of your host, if rumors be true." Surely she couldn't have been particularly happy that Glyph had taken up residence, no indeed.

"My host is also...surprisingly useful when it comes to such things, being a shapeshifter by nature." Teal eyes flickered then, curiosity and perhaps a little bit of satisfaction creeping into his gaze. "Ah, did I? Well good then, you have a very pleasant host, Glyph, a shame I could not do so well." Though it was teasing, almost fond, that last.

Umbra!!! An echoing scold from Torrent, who then stalked off muttering to himself in some dark corner of his mind. Oh he didn't really find the shadow god irritating, it just rankled his fur a bit when he called attention to such things.

"Agreed. Though... I have yet to tell her that Malh'reth will be residing in my apartments. That shall be an interesting meeting." And not one he particularly looked forward to, if the previous encounters had been any sort of sign.

"Mmm." He nodded appreciatively, "More then pleasant, I would think. You do not seem the sort to bend and twist your host, perhaps a kinship will be forged at some point. I wish the best for you."

Glyph! Don't talk like I can't tell what you're saying! Came the terse reply, Can't you somehow gossip without my knowing?

"Unfortunately... I cannot. I am no god of thought, Malh'reth, nor do I possess much power in any case. Do not worry, I will spare you too much embarassment."

Finished - Remaining portion of log lost in various computer deaths.

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Where the lotus Aoide Aelondrael finally locates Malh'reth.
-came through after the pilgrims and before the portal crashed, chased by demons
-became lost and wandered outside the pantheon for days, settling down to meditate
-eventually came back to the pantheon, having followed the ebb and flow of mortal movements
-why become servant? learned of his and the other's deeds in Baadris, was impressed and wishes to devote her life to supporting Glyph's
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Ashoka and Malh'reth/Glyph

After eyeing her collection of pilfered glass with satisfaction - and instructing Dan to leave it alone - Ashoka slipped out the door into the hallway and headed for the stairs. Someone needed glass things, and she was going to run into them...well, there had been a possiblity that someone might come knocking, but she was impatient. Besides, the longer the stuff sat around, the more likely it was that a pardmentling might break something. Being shiny and off-limits, it was certainly very tempting.

When a quick look downstairs revealed no one, the naked pardess curled up on a couch to wait.

It was around then that Glyph was returning from another round of searching, having widened the area again. A glass bowl, chipped and abused but whole enough to serve their purpose, was all that he'd managed to find - that and the usual scraps of glass, though they'd been too small to be useful. His gaze slid over to the pardess lounging on the seat and offered a friendly smile as he began to head up the stairs and back to his rooms.

It seemed the inhabitants were settling down and relaxing at last. The triumph of the ceremony hadn't been that long ago, perhaps some were still bouyed on that high? There was so much to be done, really, and it made Glyph wish he were better able to assist in the rebuilding of the lands. As it stood, this task was what he had and he would go about it with pride.

Aha! There he was~! Returning his smile, Ashoka slipped off the couch to tail him to the stairs. "Hello!" she chirped, "Been waiting for you - I have some things for you."

He paused, turning to face the woman with a curious expression. "Pardon? I... don't recall speaking to you before..." Confusion plain upon his face, he clicked fingernails against the glass as he tried to puzzle out just what this woman wanted. "What things?"

"You haven't," she confirmed cheerfully, tail flicking at her ankles. "But you need glass, yes?" She tapped on his chipped bowl. "I have some! And we had better get it before Dan breaks something."

Ashoka paused, looking thoughtful. "No, too late. But most of it is still fine."

Glyph blinked again before grinning, bowing his head in grateful thanks. "Really? That's much appreciated. Broken or not, glass is glass and that's what we need. Thank-you!" Quite pleased at the unexpected help, the god turned to follow Ashoka, "What may I call you? I am Glyph, God of Forests."

With ears perked and a pleasant sparkle in his eye, it was clear she'd cheered him up quite a bit.

"Ashoka," she answered cheerfully, "I'm Zhiji's!" He hated it when she called him that, but he wasn't here to care - not that that ever stopped her, really. The Prophet headed up the stairs without delay, hoping to catch Dan before she broke something else. Now that she had, she was that much more likely to do it again, and they'd both be in all kinds of trouble if she moved on to something of Zhijian's.

"Zhiji's?" Chuckling, the god shrugged. Shouldn't be surprising, really. Smiling, Glyph followed her up the stairs, looking thoughtful, "Is the glass in danger of some sort? You said it was too late... and while I don't mind any sort of stuff, whole vessels would be preferred." Speaking to continue conversation as they reached the Fangbridle's quarters, he wondered what would be in the god's room that would break such things.

"A little," she said, "From Dan. She has been waiting and waiting to break it, because it is shiny and she's not supposed to. It is also a nice sound, I think. But so far it's only a glass, and there's plenty more."

Ashoka opened the jade door to Zhijian's rooms, which were relatively sparse, with little more than a couch, a chair, and a pile of furs on the floor. Most of his actual hoard had been moved into another room and locked to keep nosy pardmentlings out of it, but a few sturdier-looking artifacts remained on a lone bookshelf. Aside from that, all sorts of glass containers were arranged against the walls.

The pard had gathered them - with permission - from Iden and Sabah. There were several vases from small to large, one big decorative bowl, a handful of smaller bowls, a number of ordinary drinking glasses, and even a few wine glasses. One of the latter was in pieces on the floor.

Batting the largest piece across the room was the aforementioned Dan, a sort of strange amalgam of canine and feline with a few extras - namely wings, four nubby horns, and a third eye set vertically in the middle of her forehead. Already the size of a large dog, but with even larger paws a sure sign she still had plenty of growing to do, she was not precisely cute. Well, unless you asked Ashoka.

"Aaaah." He replied, nodding as he came to understand the 'danger'. A young one then, tempted by what was off limits. Chuckling softly, Forest blinked in surprise as the door swung open to reveal a relatively empty veritably filled with glass vessels. Self consciously, he held the glass bowl a little closer to himself.

"This.... is quite the surprise." He murmured, stepping in after Ashoka as a smile spread across his features. All his time spent collecting bits and planning to reforge them and here was this treasure trove of glass! He'd really have to thank Zhijian after his little assignment was finished. "How did all of it survive Gehenna?"

Gaze same rest on Dan, then and he waved, wiggling his fingers as he winked. Glyph loved children, of any species, and quite enjoyed any attention they showered upon him.

"It's from Sabah, mostly, and Iden - they've both come out better than most, between what they are and all their friends. It is not very smart to try and take from a sorceress or from a vampire, especially not when they live with lots of very big cats. And some zombie things that they can sic on you, and some other things too." Together, the two of them had an impressive, if sometimes-disturbing, menagerie of friends and pets.

"Still, there was twice as much broken stuff," she admitted. "But Sabah has a very big house and a lot of stuff, so there was plenty left for this."

Who was this? Dan abandoned her game to eye the stranger, head tilted to the side. They had very nice, wiggly fingers. Never able to resist such temptation, she sidled towards the horned man.

Sabah didn't sound familiar but Iden did and Glyph tilted his head to side as Malh'reth perked. I met Iden. Before I met you, Glyph. She had a critter that jumped into the fire. We spoke for a while. The mage then called up memories from that brief nocturnal encounter.

"Aah, Iden." He smiled at that, nodding to himself, "The vampire. I'm glad to hear she's alright. My host knows her apparently. She sounds like an interesting person, she and Sabah will be needed to be thanked as well."

Lowering himself into a crouch, bowl in one hand, the other held out to offer fingers to the curious little one. "Hello there. You might hurt yourself if you play with broken glass. Do you like petings?" He wiggled his fingers again.

"They have been good pard-friends," Ashoka said, nodding, "And friends to others as well. It was time we took care of them too."

"Careful," she warned then, "She likes to bite. It's from Fragment, I think. I don't remember being so bitey."

Dan wagged her tail a little, and sniffed at those wiggly fingers before trying to have a nibble.

"Fragment?" Glyph glanced up, confused. A fragment of what? "Oh, you're her mother? I wouldn't have guessed family." He chuckled softly as he settled onto his knees and pulled fingers away just before Dan could bite them.

I better not loose a finger! Mal murmured, though he too rather liked the little one.

"Too slow!" He called, reaching to scritch the young creature behind an ear.

"She's quite adorable."

"He is a dragon-host," Ashoka explained, before nodding in confirmation. "It's easier to see when I'm not shifted, but I can't really talk that way, so I mostly stay like this anymore. Her brother is more obvious - he has more of my patches, and color."

Hey! Dan's tufted ears drooped when she missed out on the tasty-looking fingers, but she seemed somewhat mollified by the ear-scritchings, which she leaned her head into. He also had a very nice horn, she couldn't help but notice, and she eyed it curiously.

Glyph nodded absently, hearing what Ashoka said and registering it but not really sparing her much attention as he played with the little pardmentling. "I see. May I pick her up?" He asked, reaching round to tickle her sides.

"Though," he paused as he moved a glass out of range of Dan's tails, "I suppose we should move the glass first. I really do appreciate it, Ashoka."

Ashoka shrugged, though she was quite pleased that someone actually liked her spawn. Whether or not that would last, however, she had no idea. "If you're careful," she allowed. "She is sneaky about being bad."

Avoiding the boken glass, the pard moved to pick up her favorite bit of the collection - a set of mixing bowls all stacked inside each other. The littlest one had been missing for ages, and a few of the middle-sized ones had been broken, but there were six left.

Distracted from her admiration of the lovely horn by Glyph's tickling, Dan whuffed and wriggled and batted at him with her big paws and their cat-claws.

"I'll keep that in mind." He laughed as he sat down and crossed his legs, wincing when her claws scraped and scrabbled at him, thankful the sleeves they wore hung down to the wrist. Bell shaped, much of the fabric pooled on the ground as he reached hooked the bowls with a finger and quickly pulled it across the floor.

He'd get to work on the glass after this. Both God and host were enjoying the simple pleasure of playing with a puppy too much. "Will she be able to shift as you do? What are your people called?" He asked, enticing Dan back towards him so he could hold her in his lap and give her a hug.

"Yes, when she's older. And I'm a pard! Most of us can't shift, though. It's very rare. We're mostly very big cats with wings, with different types. I am a wingzelle, like Zhiji's host was." Setting the bowls back down, since it seemed Glyph had decided to play first, Ashoka decided to demonstrate and shift to her four-legged form.

She was, really, quite a bit bigger in her normal pard-form than her shifted form; while still on the small side for her type, with the somewhat delicate features of a wingzelle, a pard was a pard, and that made her the size of a small horse or large pony.

Maybe not a hug. Once Glyph was one the floor, Dan wasted no time in trying to pounce on him - and maybe nibble an ear.

Glyph glanced over at Ashoka as she spoke then shifted, and blinked when there was quite suddenly a very big cat standing in the room. "A rare gift indeed. You are quite big! This one has a lot of growing to do still then." He smiled as he turned back to Dan only fall back in surprise, elbows thudding against the ground when he suddenly had a mischeivous Dan on his lap. "Heey!"

Turning his face aside, and tilting ears backs didn't quite help though and she managed to nom the furry feature. As Malh'reth's ears were mostly thick fur, it didn't hurt much unless she tried to tug it off. "Dan!" With the way he was grinning, it would be hard to guess that Glyph was indeed a God.

Once Glyph had had a look, Ashoka shifted back. Not being able to talk got horribly annoying, even if being four-legged was better for playing, and their guest had his hands full with just Dan, anyway.

Haha! Dan's tail wagged fiercely, and she nommed on the ear in triumph for a bit before leaving it alone in favor of licking his face and having a curious snuffle at his horn. It was like what most of the erras-things had - just one, instead of a pair or two or tree.

He was fine until Malh'reth's instinctive reaction brought the host to the fore, "Don't do that!" he cried out, holding Dan away. That mage despised thing coming near his horn and while a puppy was cute, he didn't need one chomping on his horn too! Heaving a sigh, he shook his head, alarmed expression quickly giving way to apologies. "I'm sorry... just. Not the horn, okay?"

Glyph merely stayed silent, surprised by the sudden surge of strength by Mal. His host hadn't had much inclination to take over for some time now... apparently some things simply too strong to ignore.

Dan's whole posture drooped, and her ears fell to the sides to hang pitifully. After fixing Malh'reth with a poutingly accusatory stare, she wriggled away to sit in the corner and mope. Denied something she wanted, it was one of her two standard reactions - be upset and sulk, or be angry and bite. Sometimes it was both, with the second merely delayed.

"I'm sorry Dan... but you can't touch my horn, okay?" He murmured, immediately feeling horrid even though she really couldn't have what she wanted. "How about this?" Reaching into his sleeves to pull out his sketchbook, the mage flipped through the myriad of drawings to where a bird was depicted mid flight. Calling his magic, the Aurion drew the picture from the page and cast it into the air, where it fluttered about as an ethereal thing, a living drawing.

Playfully, it swooped near where Dan moped then arced around to circle her.

We should move the glass, then, so she doesn't break any more. Glyph suggested, easily seeing how this could end in disaster.

Mal nodded, "Right. Ashoka, we should probably move the glass. Is it alright if we do that now? Glyph's room isn't too far from here."

Under ordinary circumstances, Dan would have been very enamored of the drawing-bird, but now she did her best to ignore it out of spite. Though she clearly found it tempting, following it just a little with her eyes, she refused to play with it. It was not what she wanted.

"Okay!" Ashoka smiled brightly and picked up the mixing bowls, unbothered by Dan and her moping. She did it all the time, really.

Malh'reth sighed when the little one wouldn't play with the bird and gave a little shrug. Not much he could do about that... Rising, he picked up the bowl Glyph had dropped when Dan had pounced them and gathered a few other of the items. "Thanks!"

Leading the way to Glyph's rooms, he gestured for Ashoka to enter the quarters before he as he held the doors open. The fine scent of a wooded area greeted them, that crisp, clean smell of greenery matched to the whites and neutrals that Malh'reth so enjoyed. "Just put the things on that wall there, next to the other things. Or the bookcase. There's lots of room there still." He gestured to the opposite wall where the mostly empty shelves awaited items.

It was a very nice room! Ashoka sniffed approvingly, looking around to see what else Malh'reth-Glyph had gathered. After a moment, she set the bowls on one of the waiting shelves. There! That done, she headed back to Zhiji's rooms to grab something else.

There wasn't a whole lot to add to, really. There was two or three broken vases, a cup, and a bowl and a rather large container of shards that would be taken to the Baadris glass artisans once he met back up with Glaucon.

His motions echoing hers, he turned to go grab some more as well. "I hope your daughter isn't too mad at me. I just don't like anything touching my horn..." He murmured as he trailed fingers across one of the living pillars.

"Dan's just fussy," Ashoka assured him. "She'll forget it by tomorrow, probably. She gets bored with pouting eventually, although sometimes she does stay angry. I would watch that she doesn't sneak and bite you if you stop paying attention."

The mage chuckled, relieved. "I'm glad I haven't made an enemy then - I can remember to keep an eye on her as we work."

It wasn't too much longer before everything was transferred to Glyph's rooms. "Thank-you Ashoka! There's so much more now - actual headway." He grinned as he turned about, scanning the now filled bookcase and the decorated half wall that separated bed from room.

It wouldn't be too much longer now, then. "Just have to find some more and talk to Judgement about reforging the scraps. Then we'll be done. I wonder what it's all for, though." Though he spoke out loud, his back was turned to the pardess and his tone such that he seemed to be speaking to himself.

"You're welcome!" Ashoka beamed, tail wrapping around her leg. At Malh'reth's wondering aloud, she eyed the collected glass speculatively and shrugged. "Mm...nope, can't tell."

"Well, I will go back to Dan now and see if I can distract her with eating. It was nice to meet you!"

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.::||{...Unexpected Assistance - More Glass?...}||::.

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Unexpected Assistance - More Glass?

So far so good, he thought as he set the bundle of glass down and nodded at the clinking sound it made. He’d collected a fair amount, but it still didn’t seem like a whole lot either… would it be enough to forge into new vessels when he spoke to the people of Baadris? Just how much did Harmodius need? Forest had come to the Pantheon to ask just that question, having rather sheepishly realized that that piece of information for his current duties was missing. Some help he was, if he brought too little.

Thus, the small collection he’d gathered and stored in his chambers was now spread out before him, the cracked containers lining the half wall that ran alongside the sleeping area and the bucket of glass scraps down on the floor. He’d managed to find a rather large clay urn and had wheeled it to his room to use as a storage container until he was finished – hauling the weight of the glass was no simple task for his host and the urn itself had taken a long while to push and pull up the stairs to this floor.

Satisfied with the current collection, he nudge the sleeping mind of his host awake with a smile,
“Malh’reth. Would you mind sketching this out? It’d be easier to show if we don’t have to drag it everywhere.”

Hn? Oh. No problem. You think there’s enough? It was obvious the Aurion was skeptical as he resumed control of his body and withdrew his precious sketch book. Playing fingers of the things before him as he sketched, a realistic drawing soon took shape on the papers, ready to be cast into the air.

No, it’s not done yet, but we need to know just how much we need, after all. So I’m going to go ask Harmodius for clarification. Chances are… we need a lot.
Glyph nodded, always amazed at Malh’reth’s abilities to bring what the mind’s eye saw into reality.

“Alright. Let’s go then, I’m done.” Mal responded genially, turning to leave the room. As they exited, the mage trailed longer fingers over the everwood pillars in the entry way and smiled at the texture and life they held. Such curious things… and so wonderful. He’d truly appreciated what Glyph has done in choosing the furnishings. Glass and crystal, open spaces and greenery – much like the home he missed.

Downstairs, Glyph took control of the body once more and approached the throne hoping, hoping to find Harmodius.

In the throne room, The Emblem Pillar was holding court with his Lord and Master; rather, he was staying near Creation should the Crown have need of him. In any manner - from a crutch to lean against when the multi-hued god moved from the throne to a listening ear. Whatever was needed, Xia Lu Ling was filled with a quiet pride and joy at being able to provide Him with aid.

A scent came across the room and tickled the sensitive nose of his host; his ears moved forward to capture the sounds being made by whomever was coming forward.

Yu glanced at Creation before rising to his feet and moving down the dais to greet the newcomer; form going from four-footed beast to two-legged humanoid. It was much easier for him to speak like that. "Greetings, Host." The scent of one touched by the gods was strong and sure, else the Dragon King would not have addressed the man so.

Bowing to Creation as he entered the hall, Glyph stopped rather suddenly as Malh'reth lurched in surprise and fear. Before them, a creature walked on all fours then rose to an upright position like a bear would and it set the Aurion's nerves tingling. Such things were the stuff of stories, the predator to his prey. Up until now, the people he'd run into had been recognizable beings... humanoid in shape.... but this, this was new and surprisingly frightening. It had to be some sort of guard to Creation!

"I highly doubt he's going to eat you, Mal." Glyph murmured, bemused as he nodded to Xia Lu as well.

But- Glyph cut the reflexive response off by gesturing at the dragon king, or more precisely, the aura that surrounded him. He didn't need to say anything, thankfully, as Malh'reth finally calmed down and nodded. The Aurion were more skittish around those things that posed obvious threats and even logic sometimes took a moment to sink in.

Inhaling and exhaling with relief, Glyph smiled at the Emblem Pillar,
"Greetings my peer. Pardon the intrusion but I come seeking a few answers. He has asked that Judgement and I collect glass vessels capable of holding water but... I'm not sure just how much we need." He chuckled softly, slightly embarassed before he held out a hand in greeting as he continued, "Glyph, Silvim Illustirre, Forest."

Oh, his host would have been more than happy to attempt eating Malh'reth - he was a beast with a beast's urges and tendencies: sleep, hunt, rut. Luckily for them all then, that the Dragon King himself was in control now; host having been all but devoured by Xia Lu Ling. Indeed, only the barest traces remained - and that was a concession the King made to the beast's "family" rather than the beast itself.

"Forest." The King breathed the name through his sharp teeth but declined to smile as he shook the proffered hand; that would have been frightening rather than reassuring. "I am Yu the Five Claws, Emblem Pillar to the Crown." He did not give out his name, only titles. His name was held back for the moment; something small and treasured between himself and He Who Fashions All.

"My Lord has requested you fetch all you can, yes?" He didn't wait for any such response as he felt sure of the answer though he had not been in the throne room when the request had been made. "He will be pleased with whatever you are able to gather, Glyph-the-Forest." That Creation was weary, his energies being put towards salving the tortured planes of existence, was something the King knew well. He was the Emblem Pillar, was he not? And such a simple thing could certainly be handled without pressing Him for further answers.

"Ah, Dragon King." Nodding, Glyph smiled as Malh'reth settled back down. A God was a different creature altogether. Thinking back, the god pursed his lips, "Whatever we manage, actually. But there's not very much any more, not with the devastation, and bringing back only meager offerings doesn't feel right."

Turning slightly to cast his gaze around the Throne Room, Glyph sighed,
"If I knew where to find pieces that could be spared I would seek those out. The mortals, however, have had enough stripped from them - what little comfort remains, I would prefer to leave untouched. It would be a cruel thing to take the artifacts of better days from them."

Yu's thick fur rippled in amusement; though his domain was not Silence, nor had he the...ability to read such as the pale-haired god did, it was very obvious that Glyph - or his host - felt great relief at knowing who he was. "I am sure that He will be pleased by whatever you are able to find." The Dragon King nodded sagely and moved to draw the horned host creature further from his resting Lord.

"Mortals that came here to worship and pay homage to Creation. Ask mortals, give them a choice. There are many that would give yet more of themselves for the greater good." His words carried weight and much thought behind them; this was very true -- the mortals had lost much during the weeks...but they were supplicants before the Throne. Giving to one that would give back in much richer ways. "I understand your reluctance in this matter. If you would like, I will send some of my servants out to help you gather glass vessels. They may be of use to you in this task."

Following Yu, Glyph shook his head, "The mortals I would ask were fleeing their home, chased by demons and comforted by the promise that they could return. And," he paused sighing, "with the sky fallen, they cannot return home. They are stranded here, for good or ill. I'm sure you saw the lotus flowers at the ceremony? They brought nothing but those. The people of Baadris have only the clothing on their backs and the trinkets in their pockets. I will not take more from them I can help it - I already plan on building a forge that they might use to create new vessels from the scraps of the old." Glyph smiled, "I do not intend to leave them out entirely, merely ask only what they can give."

Forest's gaze returned to Yu then, having wandered to take in the Throne Room, recalling the lotuses as he conversed, "Assistance would be much appreciated, Emblem Pillar. You know of some vessels?"

"There are, perhaps some surviving pieces at the church or school my followers were hiding in before I brought them round the Pantheon." He frowned a bit, then gave a low, sharp whistle as though calling someone. A few moments after, a naked demoness with scales covering her...assets came clattering in on split hooves; she bowed before Yu and did not raise her eyes to the King.

"Your servant, Lord. Direct and I shall follow." Artimesh was deliciously polite and very appropriate with words despite her inappropriate (to some) nudity. She glanced over at Mal/Glyph with sharp eyes; weighing them...judging them...finding them lacking when stacked up to her Master.

"Artimesh, this is Glyph, Lord of Forest. You will treat his words as my own and assist him in his quest to find glass vessels for Creation. You will need to venture out - talk with Harlan first to see if there is any reason to visit his church or the school. If there is, take the others and fetch any and all you find." Yu nodded at the demoness and the god next to him. "She will aid you now - by herself and with any of mine." The Dragon King reached out with one thickly furred, claw-tipped hand and touched the Aoide lightly; she trembled as though his touch were pure pleasure, the greatest accolade from her Master she could get.

Once more, the Emblem Pillar turned to Forest, muzzle scrunching a bit as he very nearly smiled. "If you wish to go with her, you may. Or you can simply tell her where to bring what she finds. Going out....with the Sky missing as it is, is not easy." He would know.

Glyph listened intently as the other spoke, turning when he whistled to watch the demoness come in. Flashing a smile, and a nod, Glyph returned his attention to the Emblem Pillar, "Thank-you. We will look in the church and school then, as starting points and fan out from there." He nodded once more at the difficulty of moving about without the Sky above, "It is. I will keep that in mind keep the searches short then - I won't abuse your followers."

Glyph smiled as he turned to face Artimesh properly and offered a hand,
"I do, however, prefer to see the eyes of those I work with. Greetings Artimesh."

"My thanks to you for being so steadfast in your task for Him. My servants will do well with a steady, firm hand to guide them. I feel you will have no problems with them." Yu's thick tail twitched and his eyes took in much of the room; scanning constantly was part of what he did.

"Greetings, Lord Forest." Scales covered the back of the hand she reached out with; returning the unfamiliar gesture as though she had always greeted others in this way. "It will be our pleasure to serve in our Master's stead. Will we be leaving immediately, Lord, or have you further business with my Master?"

His gaze flicked to Jin for a moment before returning to the Aoide's, "I think, perhaps, we should attend to the task at hand and then return for a bit of socializing. A brief meeting like this is not enough of a proper introduction." Glyph nodded once before turning to regard the Emblem Pillar once more, "Many thanks. I'll seek you out for a more proper discourse once I've made arrangements for your charity. It is greatly appreciated."

"Now, Artimesh, where do we start? Harlan yes? Lead the way."

The Dragon King bobbed his head a little, tail flicking just a bit. "I look forward to it, Glyph of Forest. I will be at my Lord's side, most likely. If not, Artimesh will show you where I make my berth." With that, he simply watched as his capable servant led the way out of the throne-room proper.

"Harlan will be the best place to start; he will be able to tell if it worth our while to return to the church and school." Artimesh moved rapidly; tail swishing behind her like a flag, a banner. She was steadfast and sure-footed as they made their way through the Pantheon to where Harlan's small group had taken up residence. The older man was sitting with a cup of stale water, speaking in quiet tones to a lovely, waifish girl that nearly bolted when the demoness and godling came striding up. Harlan's face was disfigured, burned horribly along one side - he was as disconcerting to look at as the girl was lovely.

"Lord Glyph, this is Harlan, servant to the Emblem Pillar. The child is Blessed, favored of my Lord as well. Harlan, Blessed...we present Glyph, Lord of Forest. We are to assist him in his task--" She would, after Glyph had gotten a chance to speak via his host in greeting, explain to the mortal just what they needed and why they were asking him first.

It was a very good thing that they did take the time to ask, Harlan was able to let the two know that they would find very few vessels at the church, but that they may have some luck with the school - especially in the science labs.

Glyph followed Artimesh as she lead the way to Harlan and introduced himself upon meeting, expressing gratitude for their help. When the labs were described, Malh'reth blinked from within his corner of their mind and wondered at what a science lab was. They had nothing of the sort where he was from, the term itself a foreign thing. What's a science lab, Glyph?

"You'll see." He replied softly, not wanting to spoil the surprise. The term was familiar to him, at least, but names and purposes changed frequently and it was better to learn before assuming. His attention returned to Harlan then, "Which way is the school? And how soon might we explore it?"

Artimesh was fine with stepping back to allow the mortals to speak with Glyph through his host. Though she took on any task given her with a stead-fast purpose, she did not particularly relish the invisible fetters put on her actions. She was a demoness, after all; humans had once been her prey of choice...it was only when the Dragon King had bent her to his will that she had ceased to feed upon them.

Harlan brought one scarred hand up to rub his chin thoughtfully. "We can go when you like, Lord Glyph. The school is not overly-distant. If we set out now, going eastward, we could be there in a day or so." Of course ,that depended upon how quickly they were able to travel. When Yu the Five Claw had led the sect to the rotting Pantheon, it had been slow going because they had to practically fight through those yet living along the way. It would be faster going now; probably a journey of only two days at the most - especially if they only took the more mobile of the sect members...and Artimesh.

The demoness cocked her head at the mortals, tail flicking with impatience at all the delays. She stomped one of her cloven hoovles against the ground and shifted her weight from leg to leg and then spoke up, "We should go, quickly. Gather those that are able to move swiftly. We will need things with which to transport the glass found, so be certain we have something of the sort."

Harlan nodded at Artimesh; he was getting used to taking orders from the demoness - she was often the one that took care of things when the Lord Dragon himself was unable to leave his post. "Of course, Lady Artimesh. We will bring a wagon or something with wheels to make the transport more easy for all."

It would only take a short amount of time - perhaps an hour before Artimesh was able to gather the mortals so that they were able to head out towards the school (and it's laboratories).

Glyph nodded as Harlan spoke of leaving soon and Artimesh confirmed it, "I would indeed like to get this done as soon as possible. I do not want to keep you from your lord overlong and there is so little intact glass left... it would be a shame to lose more pieces if only because we were delayed in acquiring it."

He'd stood to the side as the demoness and the mortals had gathered their supplies and people, watching with mild interest. Malh'reth was also silent, though the god knew his host was watching as well, puzzling at what a laboratory might be.

The hour passed swiftly and when they were ready, he fell into step alongside whomever was leading the group. Two days would pass quickly, he hoped.

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