She had to frown again. It was neither easy nor comfortable to sleep on a branch. Sometimes she would wake up in free-fall, and if she didn't fall she would suffer the morning with a pained back. There was a time when she had tried sleeping in a bed, but no matter what bed she tried, they just would not be flat, nor still, nor in any way balance well out on these branches. She knew she could use nail and saw to remedy this minor problem, but she loved her tree Biiiggg too much to harm it.
The matter of a bed was not her only worry. No furniture of any kind would hold still, no accessory would be stable, and nothing she could think of to try would work. Her wonderful clothes would either hang out in sight, or fly away on the winds. Books and paper would experience gravity or velocity. Any and all attempts to lighten the place with statues and decorations would end with groundbreaking results. Living in a tree is logical, but not practical. Not even for her.
Elma had had enough. First thing first. She sent out an invite to Kodd, letting it be taken by the wind, and Kodd came in answer. Elma presented her dilemmatic home, asking of Kodd to dismiss the wind from her wonderful home. Kodd, in his minor wisdom, refused, claiming it ridiculous and dangerous to the tree. But in his sympathy he offered her advice, and she grudgingly accepted.
Kodd is the God of the Weather, and he has had experience with both farmers and sailors. And so he offers his very first piece of advice, the advice above all other advice, the advice to end all pain. Hammocks! Tie one end here, tie one end there, let it hang like so, and sleep just so. And thus Elma cried out of joy, and her back would hurt no more.
Next Kodd moved his attention towards the question of room and wind. The tree was big, hence why it was called Biiiggg, a painfully obvious joke. Poor tree. Kodd knew something about trees. There were birds who were able to live in them, to take shelter from storms and deny Kodds fun with their feathers. And behold, this tree were no exception, for birds truly did live inside it. Before Elma could stop him, Kodd chopped out an inner piece of the tree, making it hollow, thus solving the question of storage.
Too late did kodd realize his mistake. Elma had not wanted her tree to be hurt to her benefit, and having it hollowed out caused her tremendous pain. Kodd did not escape in time, and was thrown down onto the poisonous leaves of the plants down below. Thinking himself rather lucky, Kodd fled home to ponder said luck. His luck ran out, and the itching began. Nature had it's revenge.
At first Elma tried to return to her average everyday, with blown paper and shattered furniture, but eventually having to watch the gaping hole in her tree got the better of her. And behold, a door, windows, shelves, floors, stairs, and massive order!
Against sivilization, nature has lost...
The King, lying on his dying-bed, offered up his most valued treasure to his son. A memento from the Barbarian War, the sacrificial knife of the dreaded death cult. Throughout the generations the kings had passed it down from father to son as a symbol of office. A rather plain, almost rusted, and incredibly old piece of black metal. The prince looked upon it with contempt, thinking it ridiculous that such a battered piece of junk should be valued so greatly. And as he took it in his hands, the power opened up to him.
The power consumed him!
Such a petty little prince. So unloved. So pitiful. So despised. With your father dead, you are now to be king. Will you be as him, ignored and weak? Or do you desire to be more? To become something greater? I can make it so. Just open yourself up. Let us merge. I offer you everything I am. Accept or refuse. Be a king like your silly father, or be the Emperor of Caiveen. Choose. I gave your father the same choice once, and he refused. Will you make the same mistake? Glory or decay? I await your decision.
Kab'Alos had waited long for a kindred spirit. He had been destroyed once, and only this small piece remained of his soul. He was incomplete. Now incomplete no more! The prince was so alike him, and he accepted his proposal. The knife shattered! The shattered pieces entered the body of the prince, cutting him open, spreading the blood, merging with the flesh and the bone. Prince and Dark Lord, both now one, left the dead king behind to take rule of this kingdom.
The new king succeeded the throne without incident. His petty character remained much the same, his true appearence covered by illusion. His reign was, at first, as everyone predicted. Old scores were settled, selfish desires were fulfilled, bad laws were made. It would seem this king would be no grander than any other king, barely an anecdote in the royal histories to be written. Years passed by, and the king was just as cruel as any other.
The clergy were all executed! The aristocracy were given a definite ultimatum! All peasants, young and old, male and female, were to be drafted into the army! The smithies clang with the making of weapons and armor! Any resistance was punished with instant death! The banners were rised! The marching began! The war had come!
Years of planning, of silent maneouvering, of devious manipulation. The Dark Emperor proclaimed himself as the rightful ruler of this world. With trained Summoners to unleash his demons once more, Kab'Alos conquered one kingdom after another, resupplying his armies with more soldiers and more equipment each time.
The Gods united the kingdoms against him. Sending their priests to combat the summoners, the war proved bloodier than expected by far. Yet the Dark Emperor had his limitations, and eventually he fell back. The evil armies retreated, revealing horrendous ruins and blooded wastelands. Human and demon corpses littered the barren ground where once had stood fields and forests. Evidence of torture and human sacrifice remained for all to see. And the horrors continued to be revealed.
The Dark Emperor's armies were exterminated, his summoners shredded, his castle besieged. And thus the Gods confronted this maddened king. The gates smashed open through sheer power of divine wrath, and the gods of Life, Death, War, Wealth, Power, Weather, Nature, Dreams, Destiny and Illusion beheld the remains of this so-called Dark Emperor. On his throne they found nothing but a corpse. Rotted flesh, malformed limbs, leathered wings, little humanity remained to be seen. His claws, not fingers, settled on a battered knife plunged into his heart.
There were no answers to be found...
Kara, Goddess of Illusion, beheld the world of Brutalos once more. Little had truly changed, yet a happiness existed. This harsh and cruel world was free of Kab'Alos influence, yet his legacy remains. Black crystals covered the ground as plants, the red sky giving off lightning as it's primary source of light. Despite everything about this world, Kara felt more at home here than back at Caiveen. This was a feeling she had gained shortly after she had pryed this battered knife off the mad emperors dead claws.
Home. Once she had lived on this world as a spy, infiltrating the ranks of the Dark Lord, until she finally had the chance to stab him in the back. She, Kara, Goddess of Illusion, was the one who had killed the dreadful Kab'Alos. She was the one who, in secret, enabled the people on Caiveen to summon the demons of Brutalos to experince the gentleness of her homeworld. And she was the smartest of all the ten gods.
Yes. Clutching the knife i her hands, the thoughts came to her with amazing clarity. She was the smartest. She was the greatest. The others knew only what she let them know. She was truly the Mistress of Deception! She could manipulate the others with successful ease! There was nothing she couldn't do! Nothing could stop her! Yes! She was utterly amazing!
Gripping the knife hard, she broke it in two, annihilating the last remains of Kab'Alos' soul. She left the broken blade lying there, allowing it to be consumed by the crystal plants. Kab'Alos just hadn't been subtle enough. Not against the Mistress of Illusion.
One thing ended, another began...
The party had started. Ekhor, in a continuously break of character, had gathered everyone to another splendid celebration at Babel's residence. Toasting to the defeat and death of the maddened emperor monster, all the gods tried to put on a jovial face.
Lavion was being his somber and cheerful self. Kiila was being distant yet present. Zamar was being brutal as always. Ekhor was being generous with the wine. Miroon was being high and almighty. Kodd was being talkative to both everyone and empty space. Elma was busy listening in on Kodd. Areda kept falling asleep. Naida kept trying to wake up Areda. And Kara arrived late.
Then things went downhill. As Kara entered the residence, Lavion approached her for all to see and for all to hear. She had hid her tracks well, but he had still discovered the truth. Kara was responsible for the ability to summon the demons of Brutalos to Caiveen. She was responsible for that king being consumed by demonic power. She was responsible for the millions of dead in the last war. And no, blaming everything on that battered knife was not helping her case!
Kara did not know what to think, or what to feel. Lavion would not listen to her explanations. He refused to understand. The demons had merely been a small part of the war, and they had had nothing to do with the king's madness. Yes, she admitted that the demonic presence were her fault, but not the war. He was being unfair, and he was wrong. Lavion is wrong to hold her responsible.
Kara and Lavion faced each other with sharp looks. Lavion had always been something of a leader, yet Kara had never been lead. A divide among the gods broke out. Kiila, Kodd and Areda chose to stand with Kara, thinking this all unfair. Zamar, Ekhor and Naida chose to stand with Lavion, thinking his anger fully justified. Miroon and Elma both just left, not wanting to get involved.
Lavion, Zamar, Ekhor and Naida all chose to move to the moon of Babel, leaving Kara, Kiila, Kodd and Areda to stay on Divinos. Miroon and Elma chose to stay on Divinos too, though they did remain strictly neutral about the whole Demon-issue.
Time passes. Neither side choose to speak with the other. The tenseness gets broken as Kodd performs a prank with the weather on Babel. A small storm gets out of hand, and the residence is smashed. Due to anger and frustration, they invoke massive retaliation. Divinos gets singed in fire, causing resentment even from Elma and Miroon. Kodd attempts to apologize, yet get chased away by all, and he eventually just leaves to live on the oceans of Caiveen. Kara, Kiila and Areda do not desire to stay, and so all three leave Divinos and Caiveen to settle far away on Brutalos. Lavion, Zamar, Ekhor and Naida remain on Babel, and Miroon and Elma remain on Divinos.
Thus the Gods are truly divided, and no hope remains to mend the gap...
Kab'Alos is dead.
His legacy remains...
The Tale of Caiveen is far from over...