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Aleksei

[GS] Vita.

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・・・】 God: Vita
・・・】 God Slayer: @vielle
・・・】 OOC: Thread


Gigantic trees are scattered across the relatively flat area; spears of sharp grass protrude from every crack and crevice, dripping with morning dew. Vita sits in silence, her shoulders shaking with the tears she sheds while the air around her becomes poisonous with her hate.

   
         
     

 

Edited by Aleksei

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It is the sounds that stick with him, like blood to marrow. 

There had been nothing surprising of the events of that day, the choice his Commander had taken, the stance he had embodied by siding with the Cult and all that it entailed. From the first moment he had clasped Lilith’s hand and accepted the cost of becoming a Paragon, he had known: there would be consequences.

He should’ve thought further than what he had first realized. The implications are now more far-reaching than he had ever imagined; now, he stands amongst the ruins of a land forever changed, and his hand has dealt a personal stake in it.

Perhaps there is a limit to this madness. He is about to reach the end of it.

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Of that day when Nu Martyr had burned and the face of the region had darkened, scorched beyond all hope of returning to the normalcy it had once enjoyed before, all Samael can recall are the sounds of death, and dying, and destruction.

He recalls the violent crackle of fire raining from the heavens, the rolling waves of sulfur and ash sweeping over the urban shore of structures and people. He recalls the cries for death, wails for mercy, for a savior that would not come for them before the reaper takes them first. He recalls the silent toll of the bell, the end to all ends. 

He recalls his own steady heartbeat drumming in his ears: unflinching, unshakeable.

This is a notion that proves to be an unsettling one.

Edited by vielle

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“Where are we headed?”

The query does not reach Samael as intended, at first, and so Rami repeats the question a fair few times, each repetition more frustrated than the last. When the boy finally deems it a worthy use of his time to gaze upon the older man, it is with a blank stare that speaks volumes of the puzzlement he holds for such an inquiry.

“We are taking the scenic route,” is what he thinks to respond, a statement vague enough to capture the sandman’s attention; it sends Rami into a downwards spiral of thinking that one hopes he will not easily find his way out of.

Ephah, ever the stoic sentry shrouded in silence and shadow, merely looks on and says nothing of their course. Truth be told, Samael had always felt that her eyes can see all, and so he avoids her gaze whenever he can.

She must not know of the doubt wracking his heart.

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There is a change in the air, and each of them feels it.

Rami describes the sensation as the direct opposite of a heatwave: a trail of ice down his spine where there ought to be nothing but comfortable warmth, a cold tumultuous sea where there should be nothing but endless stretches of sand dunes and desert wind.

Ephah explains that she too feels the same phenomenon as the sandman, with a cold draft enveloped about her like the cool touch of death, the temperature of a corpse long left alone to grow stiff and dry. It is as if the warm pressure of blood—the bread and butter of her powers—has been taken away with nothing left to show for it.

Samael feels it as if he had his old heart back to begin with: an odd ticking metronome buried within the depths of the cage he calls his ribs. His is by far the strangest one, and so he does not share this knowledge with the rest of the group.

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There is a change in the air, and apparently everyone around them feels it.

They hear the news of the Grand Kommadant’s plan to relinquish the hold of the gods from her lands, the enactment of a nullifying veil across the face of Nehalen to starve the gods of their powers and so allow enterprising godslayers to come claim their glory by decimating the remaining deities left to hunt down. He cannot claim to understand the thinking of those who rule over vast lands and peoples, but he knows only that this is a prime opportunity for business concerning the process of godslaying and the inevitable destruction that would come from it.

If this is what the air feels like when the gods are actively dying, Samael rather thinks he does not wish to stay here for long. Perhaps they should help put the gods out of their misery, for the betterment of the general populace.

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It is not only the air that changes; the land itself seems to be dying.

As they travel further south, the world becomes all too grey, as if the very life had been sucked dry from it. The birds no longer sing from where they perch amongst the emerald green leaves; the rivers no longer play their lazy tune as they flow through the forests. It can be unsettling, traveling through the countryside where there is very little sightings of fauna and the flora appear to be wasting away wherever they appear.

Samael reckons it might be caused by a poisoning of the arcane kind, based on what he has studied, the knowledge he had acquired when he had once lived amongst the women of the Blackspear Cartel.

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There are only a few number of powers left in this world that can cause such a thing similar to what they are witnessing unravel before their very eyes, and so it must be connected to the dying gods in the land. So entwined are the deities with their domains that the face of the landscape seems to be at war with itself, and through this, it is the people of Nehalen that suffer the most.

The group passes by caravans of travelers hoping to outrun the cause of the disease creeping slowly over their homes, and many of these pilgrims soon fall ill to the poison that seeps in through the dying land around them.

They have never been the altruistic sort of people, not after what they had done in the name of their Commander, but Samael urges his companions to help wherever they can: a guiding hand to those who are in need. It is not quite the recompense he had been hoping for, but their efforts would have to be enough.

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Vitalia, the Renovation people call her, or Vita: the herald of water, earth, and life.

They only learn this as they pass through a small village, its people so far-flung from the catastrophe of Nu Martyr that their humble ways have been left untouched, unmarred, free of troubles but for the food they choose to eat and the lives they choose to live. The community had a temple dedicated to the supreme seraphim of life, and through their visitation to the holy site, Samael understands that perhaps it is this particular goddess that is causing the slow death of the lands around them. 

The group chooses to halt their journey for a few days, opting to stay within the village’s confines and resting themselves. It is here, then, that the plan was born.

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“Have you ever had the thought,” Rami begins, “of killing a god?”

Ephah reclines in her seat, her raven hair spilling across the length of her back as she makes herself comfortable on her perch, a brandy tucked around her slender fingers. “Do not cause harm to yourself by thinking of such convoluted things, my friend; they do not suit you.”

The sandman sputters, choking even as he laughs at what he believes to be a jest, and Samael intervenes with a quiet voice. “Perhaps he is onto something, Ephah.”

She blinks once, twice. The air of disbelief hangs heavy between them. “You are not joking, then?” Samael shakes his head, and Ephah hums in thought. “You mean we ought to search for Vitalia and—what, hunt her down?”

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“Yes! Perhaps we may go and look upon the goddess,” the sandman continues, “and determine her worth. She may yet prove to be an interesting quarry for us, and it might even send us on the road to being hailed as heroes. I do like the sound of that last one,” Rami finishes with a flourish, starlight in his eyes at the thought of fame and renown.

His mouth moves without prompting; it is only by the force of habit that had once been instilled into his core that Samael speaks now. “We could bring more good attention to the name of the Cult.”

“I agree!  Who knows,” says Rami, and Samael turns his eyes away from Ephah’s unflinching gaze pinning him down, “but we might even be able to bring a trophy back to our Commander!”

The boy waits for guilt that does not come; what does that make him?

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Early the next morning, they begin their travels into the wildlands of Oo’Xora, taking a detour from the well-trodden beaten path and moving through the vast forests of giant trees that stretch out into the horizon.

For some godforsaken reason, Rami is in remarkably high spirits, and after a few hours of incessant whistling and riotous singing of folk tunes, Samael begins to feel a slight pinch of concern for the man, if only for the brewing storm of annoyance apparent on their lady companion’s brow.

“Here we are hunting a god,” Ephah remarks, eyebrows at the pinnacle of her hairline, “and for all we know, you could simply be taking a walk through a damned rose garden.”

The sandman laughs, grin as sunny as the desert land his powers hail from. “One can never know when the time will come for laughter to cease, so I must make the most of the time I do have now.” Rami jumps about, plucking a leaf and twirling it between his fingers. “Don’t be such a downer.”

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He has never been the sort to mourn over the slow fading of what perhaps had once been a thriving green paradise, but Samael cannot help the strange tugging in his chest at the sight of the vast forest dying a quiet death.

As they move through the undergrowth, the canopy of trees towering above them like giants in the sky, there are many other telltale traces of the environment’s expiry: dead birds littering the thicket, wilted flowers scattered about the forest floor, corpses of deer laid askew over rocks as if they had wished to move and could no longer do so.

The sight of so many things caught in a state of demise does little to affect Rami’s buoyant mood, but Samael does catch glimpses of Ephah’s discomfort. Perhaps even the most stoic among them can be shaken too.

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Gigantic trees are scattered across the relatively flat area; spears of sharp grass protrude from every crack and crevice, dripping with morning dew. Vita sits in silence, her shoulders shaking with the tears she sheds while the air around her becomes poisonous with her hate.

 

It is Ephah who sees the seraphim first. With a quick, wordless nod, she alerts the others of her discovery, and it is almost a work of art, the disciplined way they fall into place: soldiers trained only for the promise of battle and little else. They approach the goddess slow, methodical, wary; one cannot be too careful when dealing with the unknown. With the praise and adoration heaped upon the very name of the goddess, it would only be too easy to let their guard down around her.

However, it soon becomes all too clear—Vitalia is no longer the good and serene nature spirit that she had once been. It is almost tangible in the atmosphere, the hate and outrage fueling her, and so the group keeps their wits about them, keeping their advance careful and calm.

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How does one speak to a god on earth? How does one move to stand in the presence of divinity and not quail in fear of what may yet occur?

Samael steps forth to lead his other companions closer; his toe gets caught on a wayward twig that snaps under the weight of his footfall. At the sudden noise breaking clean through the silence like a knife through butter, the seraphim raises her head, the painted-glass feathers of her head seemingly catching the light of the sunshine and burning like a lighthouse in the midst of a tumultuous green sea.

“ωнσ gσєѕ тнєяє?”

The group is silent, assessing. They look amongst themselves for a possible reply to the voice that shakes the earth with its power, and find themselves starched dry of all words.

“нσω ∂αяє тнσυ ¢σмєтн ηєαя?”

Edited by vielle

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