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  1. Venom Signs

    Mors glanced from Yahweh's face to his closed fist and back. He smiled when he realized why he was so suspicious of this miniature giant. "I like you, Yahweh. You remind me of myself." His decision was made. For so long as they could manage to make their wills coincide, they would be powerful. Constans turned back to Manon. He was particularly impressed by her. Our god, she said? But then, what else could she say? The green fire told: she was of their god. Mors smiled at her. His first paladin. Perhaps his only one, if the god willed it. He reached out and touched her shoulder, a reassuring caress. "Bring that sword down to the people. Show them its fire and declare a feast. We shall invest you as the first knight of the church in full public view. Our first celebration!" he said, his voice rising. "And you, Yahweh, will sit with us at the high table. We shall unveil you to the people as well, and your kin. We will drink and talk and if by the end of the night we have not killed each other, then we will make this coalition you seek." There was something below his thoughts, that instinct again urging him toward this. He couldn't see the future, but his thoughts were bittersweet; he was making a friend he was sure he would one day lose. He'd never had a friendship like that before, if it could be called a friendship. Constans wasn't sure whether he would betray this Yahweh, or if Yahweh would betray him. But one would, one day. For the same reason he had smiled before, he nearly frowned now. But he rallied quickly, there was a feast to plan.
  2. Venom Signs

    "Admirable." Constans had to admit. A group of giants with civilized culture? That was a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, he was reckoning with it now. For even if the "giants" turned out to be no more than tall barbaric men come to learn and adopt goodly culture, that would be a great achievement. His first instinct was to accept, but there was something in the back of his mind... Recently he'd been having strange, strange thoughts, usually in idle moments when he wasn't really paying attention to what he was thinking. Much in the same way you might direct a team of horses without really thinking about it, sometimes thoughts would come unbidden and he'd find himself halfway through them before he even noticed they were different. Yet when he followed those thoughts, he came to startling realizations. And now, in this moment which could hardly be called idle, he found them surfacing a bit more insistantly. Why peace? Why us? To what end? Remember, all gifts do not favor the recipient... "No doubt your people would be a great asset to us, if they would lend their strength. Upon this I look favorably. Yet questions blossom in my mind. You come here following portents of my god. My god. Not yours. Do your people have gods? What say your gods, that you might come to treat with mine? And your people? Will they stand beside our fires? Will they watch us burn sacrifice? Will they accept our ways, and do them homage as they deserve? Can we truly live in peace?" But that wasn't his real question. Let him speak, let him reveal. There is more than just friendship at stake here... "And if we can, to what end? You wish to play on the world's stage. This we could do together, for my god will one day be a name on everyone's lips. But I am a priest, my aims are clear as spring water. What is your goal?" And how will it help us? the voice added, inside Constans' mind.
  3. Green Flame Bestiary

    Entry 1: Vespoidean Vespoideans are halfling to human-sized, anthropomorphic bees. They organize into strict hierarchies based on their various natural morphologies, with a member of a higher ranked caste commanding complete obedience from inferiors. Despite this enviable respect for authority, Vespoideans scheme and politic at members of their own castes, as many species do. A notable exception to this occurs in the presence of a Vespoidean Queen. It is difficult to determine if a Queen commands actual psychic control over her subjects, however within a five mile radius of a Queen all Vespoideans certainly gain some sort of contact with her, and immediately set about completing her wishes to the exclusion of all other activity. This effect lasts for days, even when the affected Vespoideans leave her sphere of influence. Few have ever seen a Vespoidean Queen. It is said they are powerful, fearful, and vain. Vespoidean Drone - Drones are the only breed of male Vespoidean. About as large and strong as a child and able to fly, Drones are the weakest Vespoideans. They are usually summoned from a Queen's court, where most live out their whole lives. They are obsessive about their individual Queens, and often resent being called away from them. They can be swayed by great wealth as offerings to bring back to their beloved monarchs. What they lack in strength they make up for in speed and eyesight. They are highly capable scouts. Vespoidean Worker - Workers are all female and grow to five feet high. They have precise, delicate hands and powerful wings. They are peerless cooks and often carry nectar that can be applied to rapidly heal wounds. Workers can also be made to plan and construct buildings, though they refuse to deviate from their hexagonal motifs. Hexagonal drum towers, stables and outhouses are telltale signs a builder has called a Vespoidean Worker to the world. While they disdain violence, they can be swayed with rare culinary ingredients. In battle they are useful as mobile bow-women, but are too fragile for hand-to-hand combat. Vespoidean Soldier - Soldiers are six foot tall, combat ready females. Their hard carapace make them the match of any human knight, but what truly sets them apart is their suicidal courage in battle. Once set loose on an opponent, Vespoidean Soldiers will not stop fighting until killed or ordered to cease by a superior. With their four arms, they harness two barbed spears to stab and rip at their opponents with mandible-like attacks. Soldiers also possess short-sword sized stingers which can puncture armor. Successful use of this weapon against armored foes kills the Soldier, though they do not shy away from using it. Once a soldier is summoned, she must be brought to battle or sent to kill within twenty-four hours or she will leave. Vespoidean Virgin Queen - Virgin Queens have not yet developed into the peerless monarchs who so captivate their insectoid race. Instead, they appear similar to soldiers, albeit unusually colored. Unlike the black and gold of their kin, Virgin Queens are completely white. They command great respect from their inferiors, but do not exhibit the extreme effect of a mated Queen. Virgin Queens are incredibly hostile to one another. Great pains are undertaken to prevent Virgin Queens from encountering each other, for if one so much as sees another the seed of murder blossoms in her heart. Without fail all Virgin Queens attempt to kill each other in a mixture of vicious instinct and genuine hatred. They have many weapons to bring to bear against their sisters, from poison spells to strange illusions, to their incredible tactical minds. However in the end only one weapon will do to dispatch a rival Virgin Queen: the stinger. Luckily, this mad bloodlust is said to disappear once a Virgin Queen has mated.
  4. Green Flame Bestiary

    The following will be a roster of creatures and monstrosities brought to Valucre via the influence of Vansin, the god of the Foreign Flame. It occurs to me that this might have found a more appropriate home in a forum designated for lore. However I am posting it here because the following creatures will be playable by myself only. That is to say whenever a fellow player-character invokes a spell or ability to call any of the following creatures, they are inviting me personally to roleplay with them. Isn't that nice?
  5. Venom Signs

    Paladin, Constans said to himself. Why hadn't I thought of that? "I'd not thought to look to frost-giants for advice on how to spread a fire." Constans quipped, not yet ready to consider himself outclassed. He nonetheless regarded the man with a bit more airs, a sign of respect if there ever was one. His lips shaped his words more precisely. He threw his arms akimbo and stood powerfully. Let this frost-giant see he was unafraid. If this was as giant as they got (still a bit taller than Constans, but only by two or three inches) his fire would make short work of them. "And glad as I am to hear that you seek peace, I have already found some myself. You may have seen it on your way here, everywhere. It seems, instead, what you bring is a disturbance." he said all that, but his tone promised more than outright rejection. "But they call me wise, and I am foolish enough to pretend they are right." he played humble so poorly, "So I would hear what disturbance you bring, and what you want in return." He turned to Manon. "Are you inclined to hear him? Do you trust a frost-giant? I have not always heard good things of their kind." forget that one of them was standing right in front of him (but really, was one?) Constans knew that a king in his court could say anything he pleased. Especially with a paladin at his back. "If you will listen, I will listen too."
  6. Finding Paradise in Hell

    "I bet." Vansin said with oily sarcasm. "Passing by onto...where, exactly?" They were literally at the end of the world here. There were no settlements beyond Valjer, just snow and trees for miles before a steep cliff and a very cold ocean. Maybe, if she chose to be difficult, he'd introduce her to those half-frozen waves. A little speck of sunlight drowned in an ocean. Vansin smiled; it was a sweet thought, for a physchopath. "You know what, you don't need to answer that. I happen to know exactly why you're here," he said, almost certain he wasn't lying, "You're here because you're different from everyone else and you heard there's someone here who is different too. Someone a bit bigger, a bit badder than your common..." he said, trailing off to look at the groups of human filth around them, "...mortal." "Here's the problem." he continued, stepping toward her, well aware that she wanted distance, "You found him." Green eyes, hungry smile. Vansin seemed to take up the whole room. The bonfires were as though candles next to his burning stare. Every bit of him seemed focused on her. "And worse, he found you. It wasn't very hard. Who taught you how to be what you are? They clearly didn't do a very good job of it. You're spilling that sunlight all over the place. This whole town reeks of you by now, don't you know? It's a good thing I'm the only one with a sensitive nose here." he said, tapping that long, handsome bridge between his eyes. "Start talking, star-girl."
  7. Venom Signs

    Constans sucked in air as he watched the green fire race up the ornate blade. It was the real stuff. This young girl, given such a gift. Magnificent. In the fire he could see her more clearly. It struck him how smooth her skin was, how effortlessly easy her hair fell. She was no ordinary person. She seemed, like him, to hide refinement under the guise of simplicity. Where was she from? Not here, surely. He met her eyes, licked his lips. Whatever her story was, she was one of his kind now. He knew that. "The fire comes from-" But where it came from Manon would have to learn later. For at that moment Constans' ears twitched. A new presence. He felt it only seconds before it made itself apparent. Yet when it did, when this stranger walked down into the library and spoke, Constans was not caught entirely unawares. He turned to behold the bowing man, his green eyes narrowed. He stepped between Manon and the stranger by pure reflex. A silly reflex, as she was the one holding the flaming sword. He listened as the newcomer requested an audience. "You seem to have found your way into one," Constans said warily, "I am the man you seek. Constans is my name. This is Manon." he said, glancing back at the girl.
  8. Venom Signs

    "I just so happen to have a sword." he admitted. There seemed to him nothing strange about her needing a tool to conjure the fire. He'd only produced it twice, and on the second time the fire had channeled through a farmer's tool. Not the first, though. That time it had sprung from his bare hands. In his heart, he believed the fire would come to him via whatever medium pleased the god, for it was the god who sent the fire, and the god who really controlled it. Constans swept an inviting arm toward the ruined entrance to the church. "We must go this way. It is underground." He guided her through what had been the front parlor, then past the empty shrine room. They descended a flight of stone steps into the relative darkness of the library. Long, unlit wax candles were strewn everywhere, their half-melted wax rooting them to their spots. There were six rows of books, and in the far back was a small wooden cot, where the priest slept. There was a desk as well, a simple and well made thing, which sat under a small window. The window let in what little natural light the room could boast, and even allowed a little breeze of fresh air from time to time. The sword hung on the back wall above the cot. Constans was no warrior but he knew the blade was something special. He'd never touched it, not once in all his years here. The blade had belonged to a saint, a warrior priest. He'd never felt worthy. He still didn't. But if she could make it spit green fire, he knew, she would be worthy of it. Constans pushed aside his meager bed. "Take it. Show me the gift our god gave you."
  9. Finding Paradise in Hell

    Vansin stepped out into the night. Behind him, the wooden door of a wind-blasted homestead slammed shut. He held his hands in front of him and shook them, remembering what it was like to be himself again. He'd spent the past few years in borrowed bodies, never feeling quite right. It had been for self-preservation that he'd hidden himself away for so long. First, he really didn't need his enemies knowing he was alive, or even that he was here at all. Second, putting himself all at once onto the material world was extremely dangerous. When he was all here, as it were, he could be killed. It was plain as that. Was it easy to kill him? No. For most it was absolutely impossible. He was about as strong as it was possible to be in this dimension. He could access the most forbidden powers, and he had so much personal power besides that he could spare hundreds of spells for thousands of chosen followers without any noticeable dip in his own energy. He was a god, or as near as this awful place was ever going to get. Genesaris. Terrenus. The other ones. If he spoke their names, they'd be curses. They were so docile, so mute, so static. They ground on like gears, slowly chewing their way through this trivial little universe. Why the hell so many interesting people from his world had come to this backwater dimension was beyond him. He was here because he needed a rest. And this place was so mind-numbingly dull that he was practically napping his way through his grand scheme for it. So to say Vansin was excited when he smelled Jezebel's scent on the wind was an understatement. Why? Well, she smelled like she was important. That is to say she smelled clean. No one in Valjer smelled clean, mostly because no one ever bothered to clean themselves. It was disgusting. The people here were awful. He had gotten so sick of them that he had installed a fira simulacra in his church-- a giant, flaming, half alive statue of him that could access his memories and provide useless cryptic answers to his followers. He'd created it with a spell, which he hated to do because he ought to be beyond spells by now, but it had been great for morale. His morale. Because he didn't need to talk to any of those shit shoveling barbarians anymore. He would, however, consider talking to Jezebel. It was more than just cleanliness he smelled on her, obviously. It was a smell like ozone, or a sniff of sunlight. And it was tinged with magic. Big magic. It was the kind of thing that would only be here because he was here, which meant it was at least worth checking out. Sure, it might be someone who could kill him, but he'd endured that sort of risk for hundreds of years on his homeworld, and really what the hell could be here that was so unimportant that he didn't know about it but so powerful that it could kill him? Yeah, not much in the middle of that venn diagram. So he followed his nose, sniffing his way through the newborn surface town of Valjer and into the hot, sweaty town hall. "Town hall" was a pretty fucking ridiculous name for the place. The town gathered there, sure, but probably because it was the only place where you could eat while you watched your friends fuck. Seriously, that was the highest form of art this place had to offer: dinner and a show. Vansin walked up behind Jezebel and honestly considered just killing her right there. He certainly didn't need her alive to find out why she'd come. He'd have to use more spells, which was a drag, but he'd know what he needed to know quick enough and then he could just forget he'd done it. That was how he was handling all the other niggling times he'd had to bust out his old spells to solve minor inconveniences. Repression. A god couldn't think of himself as a spellcaster. It was just too damn mortal. Looking back, Vansin had no idea how he'd ever stomached it before. Maybe he'd been repressing back then too. "Hey, girl." he said, tapping Jezebel on the shoulder. When she turned around she'd see Vansin. He was a god. He looked like a god. First off, he was absolutely totally naked. Second, he had horns; very nicely sized, polished smooth ram's horns that ended with their sharpened tips pointed toward the moon. He was gorgeous as only a god could make himself. Irresistible by design. His eyes were two drops of green venom. Absolutely no one in the room seemed to notice him. Or her, for that matter. Not since he'd stepped into the room. "I think you took a wrong turn on the way to the sun." if it sounded like a pickup line, well, it wasn't. There was no way someone with so much light in her meant to be in this frozen puckered asshole of a village. If she hadn't come for him, he'd be blown away. If she had come for him, she might actually try to blow him away. He wasn't worried. Now that he was standing close to her he could tell what she had going on for her. She was good. He was better. It was that easy. When you started playing in the big leagues the difference between one god and next got colossal in scale. He was probably older, for sure, and he wasn't bound in space and time like she was. He sensed she could be free from the physical world, though. It was a start. More than he'd ever achieved in his mortal or immortal life. Spells could do it for a while, but she didn't need spells. That was what it came down to. No one could take her power away from her. If they wanted to use it, they needed her to be on board. Vansin was already thinking how to get her on board with him.
  10. Venom Signs

    "Yes, that's right. Green is the color of his fire. Green." he repeated, pointing up at his eyes. "Before he chose me, my eyes were brown." now, she would see, they were very green and almost exactly the color of the fire she used when igniting swords. No dye could match it and so, fine as his clothes were, his outfit never looked green enough by comparison. He rolled his sleeves up as he studied her. She was a thing of great curiosity to him, now that his emotions were settling down. He had never met his god, in person at least, but he admired the god's taste. Holy men, purehearted young girls-- there was a flair for style hidden in the whims of their new master. Already, Constans was looking forward to who he might meet next. But, of course, he had to refocus. Be in the here and now, stop daydreaming about the future. "Well then," Constans decided to say, "I will be your guide. But first, I must see these fires you possess, Manon."
  11. Thanks for the like, I love your writing! We should write together sometime, PM me! 

    1. Rin


      Welcome, and thank you. I'll be sending one shortly 😁

  12. Venom Signs

    Green flames!? Constans couldn't figure out which thought to think first. Was she a fraud? Was she telling the truth? If she was, if she could make green fire then she might also be chosen by their god. Nothing in his visions had prepared Constans for a moment like this. Was his position being challenged? Not yet, he reassured himself, after all she had come to him as a supplicant. She wanted to learn from him. She might put herself under his authority, at least at first- Wait. He dispelled the thoughts. What was wrong with him? Why was he worrying? If she was telling the truth, shouldn't he be overjoyed? Another person chosen by the god would prove how real his religion was! It was proof that the god was working on their behalf, equipping chosen people with the ability to better serve him. It was a good thing no matter what and it would be Constans job to make sure it stayed a good thing, that people like this girl were harnessed correctly, focused on the work of their lord god. All this he thought silently as he listened to her, his face remained a smiling mask. "If what you say is true, girl, then you have been given an unbelievable gift. It remains to be seen who gave you this gift, however." he wasn't prepared to embrace her right away, but... "Green fire you say...this is a holy color to our god. I myself have cast green fire and it has marked me apart from the common folk. If our god has marked you too, then you may have also been chosen to do great works in his name." he said thoughtfully, flicking through the pages of his knowledge to puzzle out the mystery she presented him. "What is your name, child. Who are you?" he asked, realizing at once that he didn't know. She didn't seem like a local, somehow. Perhaps it was her bold claim to green fire, or perhaps she seemed just a bit cleaner than most of his people, but it was clear to him now that she was different from ordinary folk.
  13. Venom Signs

    The priest raised his brow at her question. She didn't know who he was? Everyone here didn't know who he was? He'd have to fix that. By now, he had assumed everyone who lived near Church on the-- wait, that is to say, Constans' Church-- knew who Constans was. Had she never attended one of his sermons? Had she never been one of the hundreds of faces in his attentive crowds? Perhaps she was a newcomer, one of the last stragglers to arrive at his little hilltop utopia? "I am Constans, dear girl." he corrected. There was no need to be unkind about it, so he wasn't. He'd make a good first impression with this pretty girl and then he would see her, like all the others, drinking up his words after a long day's work was done. No doubt she was here to beg for his favor or ask if she could live here. She could, of course. There was a serious lack of healthy and attractive people in his congregation, so she had that going for her, but even the ugly and the lame could find a place below the church. "You must be new here, am I right? I don't recall having seen you before. If so, welcome to my church. What brings you here?"
  14. Venom Signs

    Though word was going around about a young woman with a flaming sword, it had not yet reached the Church-on-the-Hill-- the building proper, that is, where newly dubbed patriarch Constans resided. While the entire burgeoning village was called "Church-on-the-Hill" so too was the actual church on the actual hill. Constans found this irksome. Indeed, he was determined to change it. It was, after all, his home. Once, it had been an artistic testament to the beauty Gaianism cloaked itself in to distract from its hollowness. Now, the building actually was hollow. The night the god had chosen Constans a great fire had erupted and obliterated the roof (and almost everything else, for that matter). For this reason among others, Church-on-the-Hill, soon to be renamed, was not a very nice place to live. Constans didn't care. He'd set up a living space in the old underground library, which had been spared the flames, and it suited him just fine. He was rarely there except to sleep. And there was something comforting about the way the church was now; stripped bare, just a few standing walls and a doorframe. Standing in front of the west wall, Constans imagined a day far in the future when these ruins were covered in ivy, and Gaianism, perhaps even Constans, were long distant memories. Who might one day walk up the hill, he wondered, and wander amongst these tombstones of gods and men? It excited him. He felt so full of purpose here. Constans shook his head, patting the scorched wall of the church with a faraway smile. He had these moments more and more these days, reveries like he'd never experienced before. He felt so many sweet and sad thoughts, so many painful and satisfying daydreams. He felt he had never thought so much in his entire life. He'd read a lot, surely, but it was all doctrinal. He'd realized his "education" in the faith had been little more than outdated propaganda. He knew this because he was now making his own sort of propaganda, for himself. Right now, the church was his and the town was his. If he could truly make something out of it, he might really be worth something to a god. To this, he put his entire effort. The people had to love him, fear him, and work for him. For his god, that is. "Alright, you're just four walls and some broken stones." he said to the ruins, "We'll call you...the Church of the Foreign Flame!" No, he decided. That was too on the nose. Or, perhaps on the nose was good? He considered his people. They weren't ones to appreciate subtlety. But what of history? What of the religion? His efforts were for more than these few thousand workers. One day, the symbol of his religion would hang off the banners of kings! He would create a righteous empire of faith, across Terrenus! They would need a finer name than foreign flame. Let that name be the religion, but the home of the patriarch? It had to be something memorable on its own, something to remember Constans by-- That was it! Constans' Church! Simple, easy to remember for the little people, iconic enough to inspire awe in a thousand generations of faithful. Yes, good job. Constans looked over Constans' Church approvingly. It was really his now. He'd lived in it for nearly twenty years, but now it belonged to him. With a strange sense he couldn't identify, Constans knew someone was coming up the hill to his church. He turned around, his hands clasped behind his back, and watched a young figure walk up. It was a girl, he could tell that from far away. Probably one of the townsfolk, he figured-- she didn't look like very much. As she came nearer he realized she was pretty, and despite himself he was happier to look upon her because. Constans was comely himself. He was young for a priest, only twenty-nine. In his excessively silky, bloodstained robes (his blood, unfortunately) he seemed both a little bit richer than he was and a little bit more savage. Yet his jaw was square and his hair streamed back in effortless waves. A scar crossed over the bridge of his nose. Whatever had cut him had come perilously close to taking his eye. Yet it remained-- they both remained, vibrant green and glinting in the sunlight. "Hello!" he waved when she was within earshot.
  15. Write With Me!

    I am usually able to post every 1-3 days. Great! What interests you and your pardner specifically?