The Tale of Caiveen 3

Wrath of Illusion

The Suffering
Kiila, Goddess of Death, located in her dark citadel on the moon of Kabel, was suffering. She had not realized that before now, not until she had overheard the sad tales they wrote about her down on the world of Caiveen. Her own home was empty of life, empty of substance, empty of purpose. People died, and she had nothing to do with it. She did not greet their souls as they passed into wherever they went, despite the tales about her. She did not extend or shorten peoples lives, nor did she in any way have much of a function in life itself. She was the symbol of Death, and nothing more.

The tales described her as coldhearted and unemtional. She realized also this was true. Not even her divine brothers and sisters liked being around her. Except Lavion, though he had stoped visting her. Kiila could wander around her structure and see nothing but emptiness. A smooth citadel with no carvings or furniture except from her plain throne. Here Kiila had always existed, alone and void of feelings. Yes, no feelings. No happiness and no sadness.

She went to visit Babel. Maybe he could help her understand the nature of her suffering. And as she descended onto Babel's residence, he came out to greet her. Yet it was a business greeting and not a welcome greeting. He didn't and had never expected anything other than serious conversations with her. With the others he could laugh and joke, but with her it had always been nothing more than business. Even when he had thaught her in the beginning it had always been Lavion whom could simply talk with him. Kiila did not believe that Babel could be of any help to her after all, and so she just turned around and went away, leaving Babel with a puzzled face.

Kiila wanted to understand, so she did not go back to her citadel. Instead she went down to Caiveen, and taking the guise of a human she wandered around trying to calculate what made a person feel. At first people avoided her due to the fact that there clearly was something wrong with her appearence. She thus brightened herself up a bit, avoiding her usual dark colors, and putting on what these people called a smile. Amazing, it worked. And so she wandered among the mortals for quite some time.

She saw people talk, people argue, laugh, scream, build, snore, drink, kill, dance, stumble, and more. But she could not participate. She was always an outsider, just as before, and whenever she came upon a party she would mostly sit in a corner and watch. Sometimes people would gather around her, yet she could not hold a conversation for long. Sometimes she would dance and pretend she was having the time of her life, yet she did not truly feel anything. And eventually she tired of this and returned home to her citadel to mope.

Kiila was sitting in her chair, moping about not feeling. It was frustrating. It made her want to destroy something, anything, but what? All she had around was her chair, throne, whatever. And so she sent a massive wave of energy towards this pointless object. It made a satisfying crack, then turned to dust and settled down all over the floor. That felt good! She went out to get some big rocks, then brought them back in and made powder of them as well. Eventually she got bored with it, and decided to sit down and continue moping. As she sat down automaticly onto her throne, she realized too late that she had destroyed it, and she thus hit the ground. And it hurt.

Dust. Dust everywhere. And no chair to sit on. Kiila gave up on finding her emotions, and decided to clean up the place and get herself a new chair. She decided to get something made by humans, though, instead of replacing her previous, dull chair with a duplicate. And as she placed her sligthly more interesting chair in her citadel, she thought it looked kind of out of place. Maybe some more furnitures could fix things. Her home definetely needed some better lighting too. And some paintings. Curtains. That was better. Now she could return to moping.

Her siblings would never come to visit. They never saw any difference in her. She was Kiila, Goddess of Death, and she was always cold and serious. Lavion had always felt sorry for her, and gave her a young kitten to keep her company. He did not expect that to really help, especially not when she named the poor thing Bureacracy.

Because Lavion no longer visited his sister Kiila at her citadel, he never overheard her going "Here kitty kitty kitty"...

- - -

The Demon War
Kab'Alos, the Dark God of Brutalos, found that the time had come. With his chosen generals, lieutenants and monstrous minions they spread their wings and flew out into the void in direction of Caiveen. Millions of them swarmed away in a massive cloud, all following their masters to war.

The Dark Order of Caiveen had once more risen, sworn to their Lord Kabel, though not as an army. Placed in key positions all over society, in temples and castles, wherever there was ruling power. It was now an order of stealth and deception, and they gladly awaited the return of the One True God, Kab'Alos, just as their new Arch Priestess had prophecied.

The Order waited longer than they had expected. To Kab'Alos the time went fast, but all of his minions perceived time differently. The voyage was long and far, and they had brought little food. As they came into view of Caiveen at last, almost half his numbers had died and been eaten by their companions. Yet their numbers were still great, and soon a dark cloud passed over the sun and signaled the Dark Order of the arrival of their God.

As Babel observed the demons coming close, he called the gods to him. Lavion, Kiila, Zamar, Ekhor, Miroon, Kodd, Elma, Areda and Naida answered his call. Kara's lack of presence did not surprise anyone. Together they made what plans they could, then contacted their own Orders and told them to prepare for war.

The Demons invaded. At first the people of Caiveen had the advantage, seeing as the monsters were not used to the physical difference and the gravity itself, and the old techniques from ancient times seemed to work just as well now as then. But these creatures were smarter, and they easily adapted to the milder conditions. Soon they conquered wast areas, created defencive structures, then continued to expand and to breed.

As the war escalated, great betrayal from within by the Dark Order itself made sure to diminish any hope there was of ever surviving these fiendish foes. It was Miroon, God of Power, who eventually made the discovery of the Dark Order's actions, and it was his followers who captured the evil Arch Priestess and disposed of her. He took her symbolic knife for himself, and with that in hand struck a mortal blow to the Dark Order's morale. Without their guiding leader the Dark Order fell into internal struggle for power, and in the end was no longer a threat to the people of Caiveen. But it was not enough.

The war lasted for three human generations, and they were losing slowly but surely. More and more shrines dedicated to Kab'Alos had risen, with terrifying sacrifices and uncountable atrocities. Finally the demons broke through the defences and stormed against what was the heart of the remaining human sivilization. There Kab'Alos himself marched with his armies, finally ready to face his divine enemies. Along with his most trusted creatures and his most loyal bodyguards, he once more gazed upon his brother Babel and his nine godling children. And then he slew Babel.

The death of Babel was unlike anything anyone could imagine. It couldn't be imagined. It couldn't be seen. It was a fight between the two oldest conscious beings created by the Universe. Babel and Kab'Alos simply both blinked for less than a moment, and not even the gods could see what happened. In a frozen moment of time both beings fought on a plane of unimaginable energy, and because Kab'Alos was the more experienced warrior, he won.

As Kab'Alos faces once more the nine godlings, with glee, he prepares his massive powers to wipe them away as well. Everything else does not matter. So long as the pathetic divinities is within is sight, they can not fight back. After all this time, the world of Caiveen was his to experiment with as he wished.

It was at this moment that Kara, who had since the beginning guised herself and become his most trusted general of all, stabbed him in the back. Again and again. Repeatedly. Brutally. Kab'Alos was torn to bits, and every single energetical piece of him was thorn to shreds as well. Then Kara returned to her true form, bringing terror to the other demons, making them flee back to their armies. Her brothers and sisters were astonished to see her, and truly relieved to know she was okay after all. With Babel and Kabel both gone, and most of the demons taking to the sky and fleeing back into the void towards Brutalos, it was possible to restore Caiveen once more.

The ten gods returned to the moon of Babel to honor their father and master, and to celebrate their sudden victory. Kara herself was the center of attention as she told the uncomfortable tale of how she came to be a trusted minion of Kab'Alos. There were some traumatic moments she could not talk about, times she herself had to behave monstrous, times she killed and tortured the innocents so she could get closer to killing Kab'Alos himself. She had even had to eat raw meat from live humans, and she would often sob and cry at the conditions caused on the land itself by the demons. She even blamed herself over Babel's death because she had not struck Kab'Alos soon enough. It truly had not been a pleasent experience for the Goddess of Illusion.

The remaining members of the Dark Order was hunted down and slaughtered. Any live demon faced a similar fate. The knife that Miroon had taken from the dark Arch Priestess was burried deep in the caves of a mountain, as a last reminder of the terror unleashed by the demonic Kab'Alos. The moon of Kabel where the gods recided was renamed to Divinos, and the recidence of Babel on the moon of Babel would be kept forever in prime condition. But it would still take time to lick the wounds on Caiveen.

The Universe itself was sad. With both Babel and Kabel gone, it's original living creations, it felt lessened. The Universe had learned more than it had expected. It had learned it wasn't easy being alive. At least it still had Kodd to mess around with...

- - -

The Restoration
With the war over and the world in need of healing, two of the gods went together to heal the scars of the world surface itself. Lavion, God of Life, and Elma, Goddess of Nature. With so many castles and cities completely destroyed, and the remaining demon structures quickly getting taken roughly down as well, it was not unexpected to see plantlife surround the ruins. While Lavion wanted to help make things better for all the humans and creatures of the world, Elma just simply wanted to help. Before Lavion realized it, Elma had let nature expand way beyond what could possibly be normal. Where there wasn't a human settlement there was jungle. Trees, plants and more trees and plants. It all really messed up the farmer's heads.

Lavion had to have a serious talk with Elma, and she promised to hold back a little. Meanwhile there was suddenly quite a lot of wooden resources for the humans to use, though they did have to fell a lot of trees to make new roads. Because there was now more plantlife than the world could handle, Kodd, God of Weather, secretly lent a hand to fix things. The result was quite a lot of dry weather, followed by a massive storm of thunder and lightning that set massive fire to the forests. Naturally when asked, he just blamed the terrible conditions caused by the Demon War. The only one who didn't fall for it was his best friend the Universe.

While Zamar, God of War, thought his best contribution to fixing things was to not get involved, his brothers Ekhor, God of Wealth, and Miroon, God of Power, really thought they had an oportunity to do some good. The humans loved gold, so a few mines up in the mountains was suddenly dug to make people happy. With some lucky diggers who understood hard labour getting very wealthy, it opened a whole new supply of hope and interest in rebuilding. The wealthy created work, the wealthy proved honest and good, and the wealthy was helping humanity restore itself. As a reward they were granted political power, and proved excellent there as well. Ekhor and Miroon could then happily sit back and rest and let the following human generations keep things on track.

Also Areda, Goddess of Dreams, and Naida, Goddess of Destiny, did what they could to help. Sending out dreams and prophecies of hope and happiness they lifted the human spirits even further. It truly had become a golden age. But Areda and Naida also had another important responicibility. Kara, Goddess of Illusion, had become extremely traumatized by her experiences, and her two sisters spent a great deal of time together with her to help the depression go away. Having pretended to be a monster for such a long time did leave deep marks, and they would sometimes find her reverting to the demon shape she had used. But eventually she did calm down.

The gods, each in their way, helped restoring Caiveen. The Universe was very proud of them all, and it found Zamar's way to actually be the right choice for him. But the Universe found one god missing, and it wasn't Kara this time. It was Kiila, Goddess of Death. Whatever could she be doing? The Universe did not find the death goddess in her citadel on Divinos, and it didn't feel like doing an extensive search right now anyway. And so the Universe returned it's focus back into the void among it's other worlds.

And far down on Caiveen there was a lovely lady wandering the world telling happy stories about ages past. Whenever she presented herself as Kiila to someone, they just smiled, thinking it had been a sick, parental joke...

- - -

The Nightmare
Areda, Goddess of Dreams, had taken the death of Babel the hardest. When she had been raised by him she had seen his dreams of the past and his dreams for the future. Her bond with him had been the most personal, and all that remained of him were the memories. Wandering the maze in her cave she would leave memories of the dreams for dreamers to experience. This way he would at least never be forgotten by the mortal humans.

Together with Naida she had helped take care of Kara, but Areda could not always be with her siblings. She had never told anyone, not even Babel, but to her life was a dream. She could wander into anyone's dreams, and she would be as real there as in the real world. As with Babel she could go into anyone's dreams, even her fellow gods. And because she wanted to help Kara, she made a bad mistake...

Gods can sleep. Kara can sleep. And while Kara took a nap while visiting Areda's cave, Areda decided to enter and see if there was anything she could do to heal her sister. It was a mistake. Kara did not dream, she went blank. Too late did Areda realize that to Kara her own illusions were her dreams, and when she slept she went away from both her dreams and illusions. Areda found herself in an empty void, with no sound or light or emotion. Blank. Areda could not think there. She could not move there. She could not escape. Areda was all about dreams. There were no dreams.

Then Kara awoke, and Areda could finally escape. Kara did not seem to have noticed anything, and Areda was not in condition to tell. And when Naida later came by to see how Kara was doing, Areda behaved as if everything was normal. But once Areda was finally alone, she also finally cracked, and for a long time afterwards she once more wandered her maze, trying to absorb as many memories and dreams as she could. She did not wish to experience that blankness ever again, and she promised herself never to enter the dreams of her fellow brothers and sisters again. Had this been close to how Kiila went through life?

Areda had finally experienced her own nightmare, and her personal dreams would remember it for a long time...

- - -

The Competitions
Zamar, God of War, was bored. The Demon War had been a horrible time for him, as it had with the others, but it had also been the most fun he had ever had as well. Constant fighting, that is what he was all about. The blood, the combats, the kills, the thrills and the sound of sword through metal and rock. While the other gods had slowly diminished, he had gained powers beyond what he thought possible. If Kara had not killed Kab'Alos first, then Zamar surely would have.

Zamar knew it was his ego talking, of course, and that against the Dark One he wouldn't really have stood a chance. But a part of him still missed it all, and another war like this would never happen again. And he knew it shouldn't happen again. But maybe it could happen again? If it did, would they be prepared? Not likely. And in that instant Zamar had inspiration. He contacted his own Order and gave them special instructions. Fighting didn't need war, wounds and death.

Zamar's Order went out and organized arranged, competetive fights. Small at first, but with time great arenaes with great crowds could gather and enjoy the display of fighting sport. Both with and without weapons, with carefully structured rules, and quite a lot of noise. It proved inspirational, and soon these same arenaes were used in other types of sport as well. Zamar would often hide in the crowd to see the fighting duels, though he didn't get what was so interesting about those other sports they planted in. A bunch of guys running down a long, straight line? Two groups of people throwing a leather balloon betwen them? Some guy lifting a big rock?

Zamar felt his good idea had suddenly turned into a joke. Clearly the people needed more excitement. Well, maybe if they could see some blood once in a while they would start taking it seriously? Thus a new event was put into the arena. Two groups facing each other, fully armed, would then attempt to kill each other in any way possible. At first the crowd didn't hold very much with it, but as time passed they eventually started finally getting into it. It went so well that suddenly Zamar noticed that people were killing each other in the streets in mock competitions.

Zamar finally realized that what he wanted and what the crowds needed was not the same thing. He ordered the fight event removed, and eventually most of the mock battles ended too. The killings had ended, but the fighting moved elsewhere. And since then Zamar has been much happier during the leather balloon events. Sometimes he would even participate in the goal discussions.

Zamar, God of War and Sport. He had finally cured his boredom. He didn't mention the sport thing to his siblings...

The Tale of Caiveen is far from over...

Agnar Idsøe
2. July 2008

End

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