Pantheon #8 (STRESS!)

Hey, all. Sorry this is coming to you so late. There has been some family drama on top of the usual busyness of the season, so I’ve been unable to focus on my writing. My apologies. I’ll try to keep up with the schedule as best I can, but I can make no guarantees at the moment. I should be able to make next Tuesday, but the 26th is a bit up in the air. Anyways, enjoy.

Showcase #7

Hopell

Hopell is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s promise of a better future. She was born in a time when the Progenitor still believed in the goodness of his firstborn, humanity. In the bleakest of night and the harshest of storms, Hopell shines like a beacon for those who dare to look beyond the cruel shadows and the crashing waves. In her heart lies the capacity for greater good and in her mind lies the confidence to strive for it. When joy fades and compassion retreats, still she keeps her vigil.

Religion:

Domain: Hope, Optimism, Aspiration

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: Mission of Hope

Native Magical Element: Growth

Symbolic Weapon: Tower Shield

Symbolic Gem: Alexandrite

Symbolic Bird: Song Thrush

Insignia: Bird Singing at Dawn

Appearance:

Body Shape: Straight, Small Frame

Eyes: Crystalline

Hair Style: Straight, Long

Hair Color: Jet Black

Skin Tone: White, Peach

Attire: Milky White Gown

Weapon: Tower Shield

Markings: None

Notable Features: Tallest of the Koeleth Sentimentals

Background:

Titles: Lady of Promise, Guiding Light, Friend of the Forsaken

Siblings: Joye

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: She hopes to find love some day, but with whom she does not know.

Antithesis: Despar

Notable Events:

Valor’s Friend: Amongst Valro’s first allies was Hopell. In the burgeoning young nation of Ekoalem she saw great hope and the will to withstand any trial. Where Valro was the force driving the Ekoalem forward, Hopell was the force shielding the Ekoalem from the chains of despair.

A Mission of Hope: Since the dawn of tragedy, there have been those who have wanted to carry the afflicted through it. With the introduction of Hopell into the equation, the Ekoalem united under one banner to bring aid to their suffering nations. The Mission of Hope serves as a show of goodwill by Koeleth towards it neighbors, even to those who they normally butt heads with.

Races of Eirmoda

The first thing to get out of the way with this post is that all races are ultimately human at their core. The world of Eirmoda is a vast, wild world, and, in order to survive, humans have had to rely on magically influenced evolution and adaptation. So when I say race here, it means about the same thing as it does in the real world: different flavors of human. Of course, any humans can reproduce perfectly fine with each other, regardless of race. Now, just to make this clear off the bat, these are fictional representations of humanity. They are not meant to be indicative of any real ethnicity or race. Now, let’s begin.

Fight the Rainbow: Races of Eirmoda

Ekloans: Ekloans are white skinned people descended from the Ekoalem branch of humanity. Though most are far enough removed from the Koelings to be seen as separate ethnicities, they are mostly descended from the first Ekoalem to rise up in the Valley of Beginnings. There are a few extant tribes of light skinned easterners who aren’t descended from the Ekoalem, but are just as old, however, for the sake of categorization, they too are considered Ekloans, because of the physical similarities. Most Ekloan peoples are a fair balance of cerebral and muscular in their build, and they typically produce the most balanced individuals.

Ariloids: Ariloids are the yellow skinned people descended from the Arilese branch of humanity. Though most are far enough removed from the Arilese to be seen as seperate ethnicities, they are mostly descended from the first Arilese to rise up in the Valley of Beginnings. There are a few extant tribes of yellow skinned westerners who aren’t descended from the Arilese, but are just as old, however, for the sake of categorization, they too are considered Ariloids, because of the physical similarities. Most Ariloid peoples are more inclined to cerebral pursuits than physical activities. They emphasize harmony and inner balance over power and physical strength.

Angmufids: Angmufids are the black skinned people descended from the Angmufi branch of humanity. Though most are far enough removed from the Nagybi to be seen as seperate ethnicities, they are mostly descended from the first Angmufi to rise up in the Valley of Beginnings. There are a few extant tribes of dark skinned southerners who aren’t descended from the Angmufi, but are just as old, however, for the sake of categorization, they too are considered Angmufids, because of the physical similarities. Most Angmufids are driven towards physical excellence in order to survive, rather than cerebral excellence. Savage beasts and cruel environments hone their bodies and minds for survival.

Elvair: Elvair are the fair skinned peoples of the forest kingdom of Elvairnian. Countless centuries of isolation from humans have led to a refined and unmistakable appearance; shimmering hair, bright eyes, pale skin, short in stature, small frames, and signature pointed ears. Despite their delicate appearance, Elvair are almost on par with humans physically and have slightly better dexterity and coordination. Beyond their natural agility and grace, the Elvair also have a stronger affinity for magic than most other humans. Their connection with their guardians is on par with that of the Trialians, whose guardians are the first ones gifted to humanity. The Elvair are the basis for countless legends featuring elves and fae.

Dwarvark: Dwarvark are the rough skinned peoples of the mountain kingdom of Orakdwarvark. Countless centuries of isolation from humans have led to a refined and unmistakable appearance; powerful hair and beards, appraising eyes, red skin, short in stature, stout frames, and signature sturdy muscles. Despite their gruff appearance, Dwarvark are almost on par with humans physically and have slightly better strength and constitution. Beyond their natural power and resilience, the Dwarvark also have a stronger affinity for crafting and appraising than most other humans. Their connection with their guardians is on par with that of the Trialians, whose guardians are the first ones gifted to humanity. Though many other cultures have influenced such legends, the Dwarvark are the basis of countless legends featuring dwarves and gnomes.

Bestalas: Perhaps the most different from other humans, Bestalas are the beast skinned peoples of the wild kingdom of Manibestaw. Countless centuries of isolation from humans have led to a refined and unmistakable appearance; thick hair, bestial eyes, brown skin, muscular bodies, lean frames, and signature fluffy ears and tails. Despite their bestial appearance, Bestalas are almost on par with humans mentally and have superior senses and athleticism. Beyond their natural instincts and skill, the Bestalas also have a stronger affinity for hunting and survival than most other humans. Their connection with their guardians is on par with that of the Trialians, whose guardians are the first ones gifted to humanity. Though abominations, druids and shapeshifters have influenced such legends, the Bestalas are the basis of countless legends featuring werebeasts and beastmen.

Titanolae: Titanolae are the stone skinned peoples of the island kingdom of Titanos. Countless centuries of isolation from humans have led to a refined and unmistakable appearance; no hair, large eyes, grey skin, tall in stature, large frames, and signature three fingered hands (plus thumbs). Despite their colossal appearance, Titanolae are almost on par with humans mentally and have superior strength and endurance. Beyond their natural power and toughness, the Titanolae also have a stronger affinity for seafaring than most other humans. Their connection with their guardians is on par with that of the Trialians, whose guardians are the first ones gifted to humanity. The Titanolae are the basis of countless legends featuring giants and titans.

Chapter 8: I Have A Dream…

Holy cow, it’s finally here. It’s about time that Matthew Matherne fellow got back to work, right? Jeez, what a lazy bastard.

 

Chronicles of Koeleth
Chapter VIII
Travelling Companions

“It’s going to happen again, Tommy Boy,” a voice called seductively, menacingly.

Tom knew the voice; he knew it well. She had haunted his dreams since…well, he did not want to think about then. He tried to ignore her—tried and failed.

“I know you can hear me, Tommy Boy. You look so cute when you’re trying to forget me. It’s going to happen again, darling. You know that, don’t you?”

The voice grated on his nerves, stirring up old memories, breathing life into new horrors. He saw visions of the past, of lost comrades and fatal mistakes. Blended in with them were foreboding images of a future yet to come, of great suffering and the fires of death.

“Do you see them, darling? Do you hear the shrieking? Do you feel their pain, Tommy Boy? Revel in it, as you once reveled in my affection.”

“No. No, no, no. No! NO!” Tom screamed, rousing himself from his restless slumber. “No…”

The nightmare was so real, so vivid. For a moment, he thought he was actually there, watching those horrors, reliving them, unable to change what happened. The warrior had little time to ponder this, however, as he became acutely aware of an unknown entity watching him from the shadows of his moonlit room. Carefully scanning the eerie darkness around him, his vision finally set on a pair of predatory eyes glimmering in the doorway. He was briefly unnerved by this visitor’s intrusion, until he remembered the youngest of his guests.

“Rydia, is that you?”

A timid whimper confirmed his suspicions.

“I’m sorry, did I scare you?”

Another squeal of affirmation.

“I just had a bit of nightmare. Yes, it can happen to adults, too. Now, what’s the matter? Why aren’t you with Grace and Dennis?”

The golden wolf let out a morose howl.

“Can’t sleep, huh? Well, you can stay here, and we can chat if you like. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep myself,” Tom admitted, throwing off his covers, throwing on the clothes hanging off the bedpost, and sitting at the edge of his bed.

The pup, illuminated by the light of the stars, cautiously approached Tom. After convincing herself that he was safe, she hopped up on the bed next to him.

“Look at you! I’ll bet one day you’ll be a real beauty! A natural heartbreaker, what with your lovely hair and gorgeous blue eyes! You’ll have to beat the boys off with a stick. And a few girls, I imagine. Or you could hit them with a war hammer, too,” Tom mused aloud. “Whatever suits your fancy, I suppose. I know a guy who makes great war hammers. Quality stuff, I’m telling you.”

Though she didn’t quite understand everything that Tom said, Rydia felt the kindness in it. She curled up beside the man, feeling very much at ease. Tom stroked her fur, trying to further reassure her—and himself—that everything would be fine.

“You know, you’re part of the reason I joined this adventure. You remind me of another little girl I made a promise to. In fact, you two could be twins. She’s a couple years younger, but other than that, she’s the spitting image of you. Same blonde hair, same blue eyes. Same timid disposition, even. Why, if I didn’t know better, I would say you were sisters.”

The wolf pup perked up her ears at this news. Another little girl that looked just like her? How much fun would that be?

“You might get to meet her, too! I managed to convince Dennis to let us run by Stonewall before we get on with the main journey. Assuming she hasn’t been adopted, she’ll be at the orphanage there. Won’t that be fun?”

Despite the encroaching weariness, the child began to wag her tail as vigorously as she could manage.

“You like the sound of that, do you? Well, that’s good. I think you two will get along famously.”

Tom talked with the little girl for a little while longer until he, too, began to feel the clawing demands of sleep.

“Well, little missy, my eyelids are getting heavy and my muscles are aching, so I think I’ll be getting back to the business of sleeping. It’d be best if you ran off to your room, I think. If you want to stay longer, I won’t stop you, but I’m getting back under the covers and studying the backs of my eyelids.”

Tom tucked under the blankets and rolled onto his side, accepting the warm embrace of the bed. For a few moments, Rydia contemplated going back to Grace and Dennis, but she was exhausted, and the bed was quite comfortable. She curled up in the crook of Tom’s legs, right behind his knees, where it was warm and inviting.

The next morning Tom awoke to a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl laying sprawled across his chest. By some miracle of nature, he managed to safely escape without disturbing the child.

“Guess you didn’t quite make it back to your own bed last night,” he yawned. “I imagine this will cause a bit of a ruckus.”

He went about the business of preparing for his day, and, by the time he left his room, Rydia was beginning to stir. Walking into the hall outside his room, he heard a commotion coming from the door ahead of him. Just as he reached for the doorknob, Grace barged in, nearly breaking down the door in the process.

“What’s wrong?” Tom inquired, already having an inkling of an idea.

“We can’t find Rydia!” Grace shouted in panic.

“Rydia’s fine,” Tom said as he yawned.

“How do you know that? How can you be yawning at a time like this!?”

“She couldn’t sleep last night, so she wandered into my room. As luck would have it, I wasn’t sleeping either, so we chatted for a while. After a while, I decided to go back to sleep. She decided that the trip back to your room was too long, so she just curled up next to me. She’s still there now, if you doubt me.”

“By the guardians, you didn’t do anything to her, did you!?” Grace screamed in a panic.

The words were blurted out in fear, with no true conviction behind them, but Tom could not help but feel slightly insulted at the accusation.

“What!? No! Look, you can go check on her yourself.”

Tom had barely gotten these words out of his mouth when Grace shoved him aside and dashed towards the room. She discovered Rydia sitting on the edge of the bed, squinting in the sunlight. Grace ran up to her and hugged the confused little girl, right before collapsing from relief. Fortunately, the bed broke her fall.

After she had recovered, and everything calmed down, the company began to prepare for the day accordingly. Aside from a line for the bathroom, which Tom quickly resolved by allowing the use of his private bathroom, the morning went smoothly. Tom dragged Aaron along with him on his mission to collect his new gear and his companions. The rest of the company set about preparing for the journey ahead. By the end of the day, they were all gathered around the dinner table, sharing one last home-cooked meal before their long travels.

The next morning they found themselves loitering outside the gates of Ramsthrone, almost ready to embark. They were still waiting on one person, the only companion Tom could find to join them. With the clanking of armor and the shuffling of papers, two guards rushed towards the group.

“Halt!” the shorter, black-haired female commanded.

“Yeah, what she said!” the brown-haired male gasped.

“Um, okay. Wasn’t going anywhere anyways…” Tom muttered to himself before switching to a more cordial tone. “Is there something wrong, sir and dame?”

“You bet there is!” responded the man. “You were gonna leave without us, bro!”

“That’s a problem? I was unaware that you were a part of our company.”

“What this idiot failed to mention,” the woman responded, holding out some papers, “is that we were sent by none other than Captain Flowermaiden herself. She ordered us to join you for your mission.”

“Lilly sent you? How did she find out about our journey anyways?” Tom asked, flipping through the papers and eyeing Aaron suspiciously.

“Our deal contains certain…clauses concerning the exchange of information,” Aaron admitted cryptically.

“I see. Well, we appreciate your company, then. It might be helpful to know your names.”

“Absolutely,” the woman said. “I am Diane Shipswain, at your service.”

“And I” began the man, “am Arthur Foresthare, at your service. You can call me ‘Artie,’ though, bros and gals.”

“Nice to meet you, Diane and, uh, Artie.”

“Wait,” Dennis demanded. “How do you know we can trust them?”

“Lilly is utterly unconcerned with politics that don’t influence Ramsthrone. Either she is sending us these guys to help out a couple of friends, or, by helping us it either helps or prevents harm to Ramsthrone. Lilly knows me, she knows I have a blessed weapon, and she knows I can handle it well. She also knows Aaron, knows that Aaron would immediately recognize any deception, and knows that he would stop it if it were to his benefit. So, the chances of any trickery are low. Besides, do these two really seem like spies to you? I don’t think they even know what subterfuge is, much less how to use it.”

“True,” Dennis agreed.

“Hey!” Diane blurted out. “Rude!”

“Not cool, brotaku!” Artie exclaimed, turning to Diane and whispering, “What does ‘subterfuge’ mean?”

“…I am pretty sure we’re safe from subterfuge,” Grace sighed. “But are they any good in a fight?”

“We are former members of the Ramsthrone Castle Guard. We know how to fight, bro. Or is it ‘sis?’”

“Former? Why former?” Colin inquired.

Since Artie was still pondering the important questions about life and the universe, Diane answered.

“As you may have noticed,” Diane said sheepishly, her face the hue of a tomato, “we are lacking in tact and decorum, so there may have been an incident concerning a guest of Lord Ramsrest.”

“I heard about that,” Aaron interjected. “That was funny.”

“You can’t tell them!” Diane declared desperately.

Before Aaron could continue the story, another man approached the group, a big smile adorning his face; Tom recognized the man immediately.

“Theo! What took you so long?”

“Sorry, Tom. The man in charge had a few words for me before I left,” the man bellowed.

“But I’m here now!”

“I’m telling you, man, you should freelance with me.”

“What is he talking about?” Dennis inquired.

“Ah! My apologies!” the man said. “I am Lieutenant Theodore Mapleleaf of the Adventurers’ Guild, Ramsthrone Chapter.”

“He’s my best friend from the Guild. We go back to when he first joined the Cradle-of-the-Moon chapter, and he’s perfect for this mission,” Tom explained.

The man grinned again, his smile as large as the rest of his features. Though he was not much larger than Tom, his larger frame and overall appearance made him look like a giant. Standing an inch taller than Tom, and being a good fifteen pounds more muscle-bound, he definitely made an impression. The brown mane that framed his face was similar to Tom’s black facial hair, but Theodore’s head hair was notably better groomed. The warrior’s eyes had a unique mix of brown and hazel hues. His travelling robe was a clean, beige equivalent to the ratty, weatherworn black robe that Tom wore. The sleeves fit tightly on Theodore’s arms, in contrast to the loose sleeves on his friend’s, but that was due to his size and not a difference in style. A small pin on the neck of the robe indicated his rank in the Guild, and the shadow of one could be found on Tom’s robe, if one looked hard enough. The seasoned warrior carried a falchion on either side of his waist, indicative of his prowess as a dual-wielder.

“Good to meet you all!” Theodore announced in a booming, happy-go-lucky voice. “I assume this is only part of the company?”

“You assume correctly,” Dennis answered, shaking the man’s hand. “I am Dennis Starcurse, pack alpha.”

“And I am Grace Nightstalker, the neck that turns the head.”

Theodore dignified her with a bow.

“Your name fits you, fair lady.”

“Smooth as a landslide, Theo,” Tom jested.

“Oh, and your many relationships have been so successful?” Theo readily countered.

“Fair enough.”

“Joking aside, we have business to attend to, don’t we?”

“Yeah, let’s get that over with.”

The four of them discussed what little business there was left to discuss, and soon enough the journey truly began.

“Wait, you’re Theodore Mapleleaf? The Theodore Mapleleaf?” Artie asked, upon discovering Theo’s identity.

“The one and only.”

“Theodore the Sabertooth?” Diane eagerly pressed.

“Yep.”

“Theodore of the Twirling Blades?” Artie continued.

“That’s me.”

“Theodore the Twin Fanged Warrior? Theodore the Nightprowler!? The Hero of Blackfalls!? The Beast of—“

“I see you are fans of mine. Yes, yes, I am all those things,” the merry soldier interrupted.

“He’s not that great, guys,” Tom jabbed. “In fact, the reason for the title ‘Theo of the Twirling Blades’ is more humorous than it is heroic.”

“Yes, well, Thomas Riversedge the Golden Wall isn’t all that flattering either.”

“Wait…you’re the Thomas Riversedge?” the two fans said in unison. “Thomas the Bulwark? Thomas the Bloodless? Thomas—“

“The Hero of Shoreland, and many other titles, yes. Just titles, guys.”

“So you two are the famous Thomas and Theodore of the devastating duo, ‘The River Brothers?’”

“Yep, that’s us!” Theo laughed.

“So awesome!”

“I didn’t know you were famous, Tom,” Amelia declared in shock.

“I’m not. You earn a title for every mission you complete above a certain level in the Adventurers’ Guild, and I was really good at my job. So was Theo. These two are nerds just for knowing them all. Now let’s head out.”

The two star struck soldiers continued to babble on about the accomplishments of their idols as they left the city walls behind them. The company decided to push late into the night to reach the camp, arriving just in time to see most of the camp off to sleep. Gabriel remained awake so he could ensure that the newcomers were trustworthy. After a lengthy conversation, he was convinced that they were reliable enough to join them. Not that he had the power to make that decision, as Dennis reminded him. Agreeing that it was in the camp’s best interest to set out a guard overnight, they eventually decided on Theo, who was eager to do the job, despite his long day of travel.

The morning arrived without incident, and the camp packed up for travel. Aaron and Collin, who were unaccustomed to travelling with large camps, were shocked at how quickly they could pick up and leave. After another couple days of travel, with a quick stop at Pasture’s Edge to let Tom say goodbye to Cleo, the camp settled outside of Stonewall, as Dennis and Grace promised they would. While Tom had a promise to keep here, there was another valid reason to rest here. The whole of Darwin’s Expanse lay before them, and it was a harsh land. They would need to be as prepared as they could be, because it would be some time before they could rest in a safe place, near a well stocked town. After some discussion, the group decided that the camp would be safe enough near Stonewall that a few people would be better off staying in town, gathering supplies. Tom set up a few rooms at the local inn for himself and the other non-abominations. Grace and Dennis also rented a room, which they shared with Rydia, who refused to be left back at camp. They decided to use what was left of their first day in town to adjust their plans and to rest. The next day, while the others set about gathering supplies, Tom, Grace, and Rydia went to the orphanage. Tom knocked on the thick wooden door.

“Hello, welcome to—Tom!” Angela started, but was shocked by the face she saw. “I wasn’t expecting to see you for some time. I figured you would be off on one of your jobs.”

Tom detected a tinge of bitterness in that last remark, but Grace seemed oblivious. Nevertheless, she gave him a brief friendly hug while she said it.

“It’s funny you should mention that. I’m actually on a job now. I’ll be gone for a while, probably a couple months, so I figured I should drop in before I left.”

“Oh? What job are you on now?” Angela asked with genuine curiosity.

“I’m escorting some villagers to a new location. For reasons I’m not at liberty to discuss, they’ve been driven from their homes.”

“Oh, that sounds interesting. You’ll have to tell me all about it when you get back. By the way, you haven’t introduced your two companions yet,” Angela mentioned, motioning towards Grace and Rydia.

“Oh, man, I totally forgot! Angela, this is Grace. She’s one of the people I’m escorting.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Grace said politely.

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” Angela replied.

“And this is Rydia,” Tom said, introducing the abnormally excited little girl.

“Hey, there, sweetie! How are you today?” Angela leaned down and smiled at the little girl.

Rydia simply smiled in response, wagging her butt back and forth in a very doglike manner.

“Umm, I’m Angela, Rydia. You can call me ‘Miss Angie.’” Angela’s response rolled out awkwardly.

“Oh! Sorry!” Grace exclaimed, snapping to attention. “She’s mute. She can’t speak.”

“Oh, okay! Sorry, I didn’t realize,” Angela blushed at her own mistake.

Rydia kept smiling and wagging a non-existent tail, oblivious to the young woman’s mistake.

“Well, I imagine Tom brought you here because of your strong resemblance to Anna. Let me take you to her, and you’ll understand. And have a new friend, I imagine.”

Angela led them to a large open playroom where several of the orphans were playing. She called to a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Anna was bashful and hid behind Angela at first.

“Wow!” Grace blurted out. “The resemblance is beyond surprising. Aside from the age, they could be twins!”

“Right? It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Tom said.

“I was shocked when I first saw Rydia myself,” Angela admitted. “I thought Anna
had run away.”

“Well, thank goodness she didn’t,” Tom expressed, “because it would be difficult for me to keep my promise to a person who wasn’t here.”

“Mister Tom! You’re really here to tell us another story?” Anna asked hopefully.

“You bet, but Rydia’s been waiting to see you, so I’ll tell it after you two get to know each other, okay?”

“Yeah! Okay! Hi, Rydia! Wow, you look a lot like me! What do you like to do for fun? I like to play with dolls, and I like Mister Tom’s stories, too.”

Anna’s quick change of attitude made Rydia ecstatic, and she began to “talk” back. Despite Rydia’s muteness, Anna seemed to understand her perfectly, and the two doppelgangers chatted for quite some time. When the two girls had become the best of friends, Tom and Angela gathered the children around them, and the young man began. As promised, the tales were much better than the last time. After several fairy tales and adventures, Tom drew his session to a close. Angela and Anna followed Tom, Rydia and Grace to the door.

“Bye, Rydia! Come back soon!” Anna gleefully exclaimed.

Rydia excitedly waved back.

“What, no goodbye for me? I’m crushed!” Tom declared with mock insult.

“Bye, Mister Tom!” Anna said, hugging him tightly.

“Bye, Anna,” he replied, hugging her back.

With a final smile, Anna darted back into the orphanage.

“Hey, Tom,” Angela spoke in a serious tone. “Be careful out there. I’ve heard that some dangerous criminal escaped from the Vanguard Prison. They don’t know where he headed.”

“Alright, thanks, Angela. I’ll keep my eyes out for anyone suspicious. And you take care of yourself, too. I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“I’ll do my best, Tom. Don’t forget about us here in Stonewall while you are on your journey.”

“Don’t worry. I couldn’t do that if I tried.”

Tom and Angela shared a brief hug and said their farewells. Grace jostled him a little bit about “cheating on” Amelia, but it was all in good humor.

“So, how did the visit go?” Dennis asked when they had reunited with the group.

“It went really well,” Grace chimed. “Rydia made a new friend. Didn’t you?”

Rydia nodded vigorously.

“Good for you,” Dennis replied. “We’ve gathered everything we can for now, so I guess we should head back to the inn.”

“Yeah.”

After a few minutes of walking, however, Rydia’s ears began to twitch, clearly in pain.

Even in human form, her hearing was sensitive.

“Is a noise coming from the camp?” Theo asked, his acute intuition coming into play.

Rydia morphed into her wolf form and ran under Tom’s legs to hide from the sound.

“Let’s go!” Tom said, scooping up the wolf pup in his arms.

Upon reaching the city gate, they all heard it: an ungodly screeching sound like nothing else.

“Alistair!” Dennis and Grace announced, locking eyes with each other.

 

Pantheon #7 (A Day Late and A Dollar Short)

Is it even worth it to make excuses anymore? (Also I updated Isolati’s relationship status (kind of), so check that out.)

Showcase #7

Joye

Joye is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s bliss. Where celebration is to be had, there you will find her. Even in the midst of ceaseless tragedies, Joye finds a reason to make merry. Laughter and song are her gifts to humanity. Despite her hopelessly optimistic view of the world, she genuinely seeks to bring cheer to those around her.

Continue reading Pantheon #7 (A Day Late and A Dollar Short)

Pantheon #5

Sorry this is late. This one’s entirely my own fault. I forgot what day it was, and I hadn’t established the post ahead of time. Also, I don’t like the whole symbolic plant thing, so I’m going to stop using it. Too much complexity to it in real life, and I’m certainly no expert on symbolism.

Showcase #5

Fearl

Fearl is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s cautious nature. It is a curious point that even the father of guardians understood fear. Perhaps that is what makes Fearl so unique. He is righteous, holy fear, both foreign and familiar to man. The doubts and worries that crawl out of the shadows of your mind are the domain of Fearl. He is an everpresent nightmare, for himself just as much as for others. Fearl is the first mark of a broken god.

Religion:

Domain: Fear, Cowardice, Terror

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: The Temple of the Creeping Shadows (commoner), The Inquisition of Koeleth (warrior)

Native Magical Element: Dark

Symbolic Weapon: Knife

Symbolic Gem: Golden Tiger’s Eye

Symbolic Bird: Killdeer

Insignia: Wraith, Sunburst

Appearance:

Body Shape: Straight, Medium Frame

Eyes: Jaundiced

Hair Style: Disheveled, Short

Hair Color: Sandy Blonde

Facial Hair: Stubble, Sandy Blonde

Skin Tone: White, Pallid

Attire: Ragged Hooded Cloak

Weapon: Dagger

Markings: None

Notable Features: Lanky, Wraith-like

Background:

Titles: Lord of Nightmares, Lurking Shadow, Coward’s Spirit

Siblings: Despar

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: Why won’t Enthusia just leave him alone? She’s scarier than anything.

Antithesis: Valro

Notable Events:

The Straggler: Fearl’s paranoia and horror had led him to avoid the company of other guardians in the early days. After the formation of Koeleth, it was, ironically, Valro who invited Fearl to join the pantheon of Koeleth. Valro saw it as a kind gesture to a guardian in need. Fearl was too scared to turn him down.

The First Inquisition: Orgalav went through a rapid fall and decay. As a result of Atoriti’s wrath, a curse was laid upon the Orgalav people who became wild and savage abominations who had no control. The Inquisitors rose to defend Koeleth against the dangerous abominations that wandered into their land. Fearl blessed these men for weaponising their dread and harnessing it to destroy the threat before them. As time went on, the threat from Orgalav grew weaker, and the Inquisitors, finding themselves purposeless, started hunting any abominations, whether they could control their powers or not.

 

Pantheon #4: Better Late Than Never (Or Something)

Yeah. Sorry this is late. Been busy with both my jobs, personal things, and being sick (I think I’m stressing about things more than I need to and it’s affecting my health more than I care for.) At any rate, the next main story chapter is on its way. Putting on the finishing touches, and then I’ve also worked on chapter 2 of Ender of Worlds and I’m getting back into the legends. Sorry about the delays in, well, everything. When I don’t get a paycheck to write, it unfortunately ends up being put off when other things come up. Anyways, enough chitchat. Pantheon.

Showcase #4

Valro

Valro is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s adventurous spirit. Everywhere he looks, he sees an epic journey waiting to happen. Staunch defender of the innocent and fearless leader of the vigilant, Valro relentlessly pursues wicked hearts and guides the weak through the fiercest of trials. Though pathetically idiotic when it comes to social situations, he is a battlefield genius who guides mankind through the darkest of storms.

Religion:

Domain: Valor, Bravery, Courage,

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Orders: Order of Valor’s Rest (for the common man), Order of the Valiant Blades (for the warrior)

Native Magical Element: Earth

Symbolic Weapon: Greatsword

Symbolic Gem: Sardonyx

Symbolic Plant: Gladiolus

Symbolic Bird: Eagle

Insignia: Holy Sword, Cruciform Greatsword

Appearance:

Body Shape: V Shape, Large Frame

Eyes: Brown

Hair Style: Business Cut

Hair Color: Brown

Facial Hair: None

Skin Tone: White, Tan

Attire: Greek Tunic, Paludamentum

Weapon: Greatsword

Markings: None

Notable Features: Does a well chiseled chin count?

Background:

Titles: Lord of Valiance, Mighty Vanguard, Wolfbane

Siblings: Angern

Significant Subordinates: Fulhart, The Thorn Mountain King (I forgot his name)

Relationships: Hmm? Hmmm! Hmm… What was the cute one’s name again?

Antithesis: Fearl

Notable Events:

The Rise of Koeleth: Valro was the first guardian of the Koelings. When the miniscule Kingdom of Ekoal rose from the dust, he chose their leader to be his paragon. Thus, the legend of Hero King Baldric was born. Certainly he and his line had to contend with other hero kings for control, but with Valro at his back, Baldric birthed a nation.

The Great War of the Triad: Before the advent of the Orgalav Empire, a great war waged between the Nagyb, Koeleth and Ariluo. At that time, Disciplina was not amongst the ranks of the Koeleth Sentimentals, so when it came to matters of war, Valro, Detremenat and Angern took charge. Valro singlehandedly fought off Warrdu, Slaverus, and Faminu, the greatest warriors of the Nagybi guardians. No one questions Valro’s battle skill.

The Rise of the Valiant Blades: During a tumultuous time in history, Valro and Angern chose the same man as their paragon. The man gathered around several others like him, the double blessed, and together they fought to find a place in a world that had grown to hate their power. They earned their place as heroes by risking life and limb for the very people that loathed them, earning them the colloquial name of “Valro’s Blades.” Over time, they became the Order of the Valiant Blades, the hero’s guild.

Pantheon #3

Showcase #3

Angern

Angern is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s righteous fury. His rage burns away his foes with scorching flames. Angern detests wickedness and prefers fierce but fair justice over blind vengeance. He waits for a day when his ire will be quenched by the waters of peace. Until such a time, he shall forge a path to the future by any means necessary.

Religion:

Domain: Anger, Wrath, Ferocity

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: The Cult of the Eternal Flame

Native Magical Element: Fire

Symbolic Weapon: Battle Axe

Symbolic Gem: Fire Opal

Symbolic Plant: Peony

Symbolic Bird: Hawk

Insignia: Flaming Fist

Appearance:

Body Shape: V Shape, Large Frame

Eyes: Orange

Hair Style: Shoulder Length, Unkempt

Hair Color: Brown

Facial Hair: Full Beard, Brown

Skin Tone: White, Tan

Attire: Bearskin Tunic, Horned Helm

Weapon: Battle Axe

Markings: None

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Lord of Wrath, Purging Fire, Fierce Avenger

Siblings: Valro

Significant Subordinates: Venjenz, Vulcanis (Formerly)

Relationships: Detremenat (It’s Complicated)

Antithesis: Peaz

Notable Events:

Leviathan’s Departure: When Leviathan split from Sorowa, he managed to convince several other earthbound guardians to join him. Vulcanis, Angern’s trusted second in command, was one of those who agreed, if only to keep the balance of powers in check. Angern was furious at first, but Peaz convinced him to let events unfold as they would.

Warrdu and Angern: Warrdu, Angern’s Nagybi counterpart and the guardian of warfare, led the Nagybi tragedies in a war against the Koeleth sentimentals when the nations were still forming. The sentimentals were ultimately victorious, but Warrdu and Angern never determined who was the stronger force. This has led to an intense rivalry and some unsavory fanfics.

The Razing of the Cult: In the Cult of the Eternal Flame’s early days, a significant subset of the priesthood began making human sacrifices to gain the favor and invoke the powers of Angern. Angern was, predictably, enraged by this egregious act, and he wiped out the Cult, beginning anew with wiser, less cruel priests.

Pantheon #2

Showcase #2

Isolati

Isolati is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s separation from other beings. She bears no kinship with the world. Where most other guardians have a strong interest in the affairs of mortals, she would rather remove herself from the mortal world. She yearns for peace and seclusion. Her cold exterior hides a heart plagued by loneliness.

Religion:

Domain: Isolation, Solitude, Independence

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: The Cult of the Lone Wanderer

Native Magical Element: Cold

Symbolic Weapon: Swordstaff

Symbolic Gem: Moonstone

Symbolic Plant: Hydrangea

Symbolic Bird: Great Blue Heron

Insignia: Crescent Moon

Appearance:

Body Shape: Rectangle, Small Frame

Eyes: Opalescent

Hair Style: Shoulder Length, Ponytail

Hair Color: Bluish-White

Skin Tone: White, Pale

Attire: Navy Blue Mouth Mask, Navy Blue Leather Vest, White Long Sleeved Blouse, Navy Blue Leather Slacks

Weapon: Swordstaff

Markings: None

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Lady of Solitude, Lone Wanderer, Ghost Traveler

Siblings: Sorowa

Significant Subordinates: None

Relationships: No, of course not, connecting with others is pointless. All she needs is a strong drink and a quiet corner. The Bartender can do that for her just fine.

Antithesis: Empathae

Notable Events:

The Progenitor’s Disappearance: Due to her introverted nature, Isolati always stayed on the outskirts of guardian society, but it did not become truly isolationist until the Progenitor disappeared. She loved her father, despite his ever increasing aloofness. Thus, when he left the guardians behind, Isolati was utterly crushed, resulting in her withdrawing from most other guardians.

Welcome to the Pantheon, A Guardian Showcase

This is the first entry in a series of short profiles of the guardians that will update regularly. Dead serious, I’m going to write up a few of these while I’m waiting for chapter 8 to come back from the editing process, and then I’m going to set them to release at the same time every week. These won’t contain spoilers for the stories that they appear in, but will provide some context for and information on the guardians. For the sake of those who might know better than me about symbolism, the items I use for symbols are subject to my own creative license. For example, just because a sapphire stands for fidelity and insight in the real world doesn’t mean it’s going to represent that in my world. Also, brief update: remember Aaron’s newer character profile? Yeah, I’m making a minor update.

The Pantheon

An Introduction

The guardians are deific beings, but with a bit of twist: they were “created”. The guardians are a product of the Progenitor, the Creator of Eirmoda and the First God, shedding aspects of himself in order to create peers he could commune with. It must be stated that the guardians were created after the advent of humanity, because humanity was originally meant to serve this purpose, but they strayed from the Progenitor’s vision (which is pretty sad, he wasn’t asking much). With each new guardian, the Progenitor himself lost more of himself, growing weaker with every passing moment. He watched as his creations, extensions of himself, turned their eyes to the pursuits of man, just as he would, and their came a day when he no longer had a place in this world. Thus, he disappeared. He did, however, give on final gift to humanity before leaving; he established earthbound guardians to keep the world around them in balance. In the aftermath, the intelligent guardians took on the role of guiding humanity and the excess of residual magic left behind from the Progenitor’s work spawned several weaker, sometimes even bestial guardians.

Showcase #1

Sorowa

Sorowa is the incarnation of the Progenitor’s woes. Everything she sees in the world is a tragedy. She cannot help but weep for the state of the world. She yearns for happy endings but can never find them. Despite her comically exaggerated crying, she genuinely cares for humans and their sorrows.

Religion:

Domain: Sorrow, Sadness, Lamentation

Associated Pantheon: Koeleth Sentimentals

Religious Order: The Weeping Temple

Native Magical Element: Water

Symbolic Weapon: Halberd

Symbolic Gem: Lapis Lazuli

Symbolic Plant: Cypress

Symbolic Bird: Loon

Insignia: A Tear Held in Hand

Appearance:

Body Shape: Hourglass, Medium Frame

Eyes: Azure

Hair Style: Waist Length, Straight

Hair Color: Bluish-Black

Skin Tone: White, Pale

Attire: Ornate Sapphire Kimono

Weapon: Halberd

Markings: None

Notable Features: None

Background:

Titles: Lady of Tears, Mourning Maiden, Weeping Woman

Siblings: Isolati

Significant Subordinates: The River Dragon (Formerly), Leviathan (Formerly)

Relationships: There would be, if only only Apathos would care about her

Antithesis: Joye

Notable Events:

Leviathan’s Departure: Leviathan is one of the most powerful earthbound guardians. He was appointed by the Progenitor to guard the oceans and rivers of Eirmoda. Initially, he was subservient to Sorowa, when Sorowa had a broader range of duties, a position which he held no reservations about. As Sorowa’s focus drifted towards exclusively human concerns, Leviathan began to distance himself from her command, relegated himself to the darkest depths of his eponymous home ocean. The Progenitor’s departure was the final nail in the coffin for Leviathan, who promptly declared that he was severing all ties to greater guardians.

The River Dragon’s Downfall: After the departure of Leviathin, the River Dragon’s loyalty was split. He was sworn to serve directly under Leviathan, but also was beholden to Sorowa. As a result, Sorowa and Leviathan frequently clashed over the role of the River Dragon. The River Dragon put forth his best effort to perform as many tasks as he could for the both of them. After some time of this, he resorted to just concerning himself with the needs of his people. In the conflict that arose around the rise of the River People, he was slain by a human barbarian with exceptional strength and skill. With his unfortunate demise, the war over his allegiance also died.