Recent Statuses

15 days ago
Current Birb Scream In Morning As Battery Replacement Alarm Because Birb Not Real.
2 yrs ago
Fighting Vagrants Behind Dennys Over Pancake @ 11PM Tonight As Birb.
2 yrs ago
BE like bird. Wake in morning. SCREAM at sun. SHIT on enemy.
2 yrs ago
Girl is like bird. DO approach calmly. DO greet kindly. DO offer cornchip.
2 yrs ago
No man! No woman! Only birb!


An absolute WILDCARD of an RPer
Due to sudden and multiple very lengthy hiatus periods, please assume I don't remember who you are but, I probably think your name is familiar. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
U T R A X is a being that likes to Type Words on the INTERNET.

Most Recent Posts

Hi. I'm not sure if this is a feature I'm overlooking or what:
A clickable button that snaps to each post in a thread. Essentially a next post button. We have a button that goes to the top of the page or the bottom, but how about one that goes between individual posts. I hope I'm explaining this clearly. Thanks for all the admin stuff you do!


“Why,” sobbed the child, “Why Ma?”

Pain lined the features of Qriqic, the elder centaur, deeply as he held the little centaur close. They lay alongside each other upon on the mossy ground, which was latticed by melting snow, glittering in the light of a midday sun. With a deep sigh he replied, “Because Hvicy, ice changed."

Despite how brisk and curt the manner of his speech, Qriqic's words were offered gently as he expanded, "Was soft, that ice. Not how it been,” he shook his head slowly, “Not how before.”

Hvicy buried his head into the wooly white fur of the older centaur’s arms, which were already soaked with tears, as he lapsed into inconsolable wailing. Through his sobs as his heart continued to break, Hvicy asked the elder, over and over again, “Why?”

He begged and pleaded, his hands pounding against the elder’s back and chest, as a chill wind blew.

Qriqic winced slightly as Hvicy’s little horns, which had only just began to cut through his brow, dug into his side, but he knew it was a pain he could bear. What he struggled to bear however, was the weight of the questions and the pain in Hvicy's voice.

Why had the ice been so soft?

For moons now, many hunters had reported the ice breaking in places that it shouldn’t have. They’d reported whole shelves of it falling off of the high ice cliffs, while massive frozen mountains slid into the sea to drift alone, as huge sheets along the coast kept separating from the flat lands. Groans and moans of the frozen land echoed across the shifting snow each day as the ice underwent an abnormal transformation.

This was something that even the eldest of the Nuqtuq could not explain.

And Hvicy was not alone in his sorrow.

Some of the best places to hunt were along the ice where it met the sea. There, they could stalk and kill those great beasts which lounged and lazed atop the ice. The mighty Walrus, whose bodies were a blessing for oil, meat, bones, and many other materials, were their easiest and primary prey. When the snow ran high, while leaves fell from their few trees and the ice captured the little land they inhabited far to the east, the Nuqtuq depended on the hunting at the edge of the sea.

But lately there had been increasing disappearances where the hunting had been best.

Hunters reported others vanishing for multiple nights before one finally witnessed it in person.

“Ice opened up. Pulled him down. Closed on top,” came one story.
“Hard ice twisted him in,” reported another.
“Moved like thaw. Was not thaw time. Snow came down,” said a different party.

So when it came time that the hard snow halted and the sky warmed again; that the Walrus left for their time and the young of wild game would be ambling about the west, the Nuqtuq launched an investigation.

While it was true that they needed to go west anyway, to find those great brown beasts with their massive antlers, for they were easier for lots of meat during the sky warm, those hunters that went west were also given the task of questioning the ice.

To question the ice meant walking it, learning it, figuring out what new things it had to tell.
Were there new fissures and holes? Had the makeup of the shore shifted? Did those noisy seals change their hunting or migration paths? They considered asking the Tup’wik people down further West about the changes, but they were odd and talked too much while saying too little.

Those people didn’t know the ice like the Nuqtuq did- those people were afraid of it.

Besides, they hadn’t seen the Tup’wik in more time than any of them knew.
How many heavy snows had passed since last seeing them?
Far, far more than could be recalled.

Not a single elder had parents that knew the Tup'wik.

All the hunters knew the task of asking the ice was dangerous but necessary. So each time a hunting party went out, those who spoke to the ice the best threw themselves into the task. They taught the others, questioned the ice, and brought back Moose when they could- but Moose were also becoming difficult to hunt, so they said.

Ice which lead toward the land of evergreen trees was broken so much that they often couldn’t make it to the shore the old ways. New paths had to be made and even those kept sliding into the sea, as ice which never melted before broke off to drift and disappear.

Then one day, a hunting party came back that said their hunting route had slid into the sea completely.

With them on it.

An entire segment of the glacial cliff-face had broken off beneath their feet.

“Ice screamed- angry- ate the sled. Hunters all ate with it,” the two survivors of the eight reported upon their return. They were both half starved and covered in Frost Rot by the time they made it back to Nuqtuq. They had to paddle a bit of ice they’d been stranded on back to the shore, then walk, with nothing but a block of pemmicin to share between them, for the long six nights it took them to hike back.

One of them died nights after returning, as the Frost Rot from her hands claimed her arms and body with Hot Blood, and the Dark Cough...

“Not there,” shouted Hvicy before clicking high then low, with his mouth, so that the others knew to back away from their advance. Gently he tapped a hoof upon the ice, then shook his head, turning around to the others. He gave them two head tilts, then a whistle, and they all began to move. Together the Hunters backed away, retracing their steps with practiced precision. Several strides later and with a sharp turn right, they marched further north, and away from danger.

A Kinnaras with a particularly fluffy head of white woolen hair, which barely fit beneath the hood of his sealskin parka, whistled lowly toward Hvicy to ask for explanation.

“Light blue ice- hollow sound- sharp light on top,” returned Hvicy, with a head tilt of seeking confirmation.

Two shrill whistles came from Qriqic, who lead at the head of the group with their sled- the sound signaled confirmation and agreement with Hvicy’s assessment. Beneath his hide face covering, Hvicy grinned widely, then bobbed his head up and down in pride- the light catching his dark horns in a showy manner.

Rather aggressively, the Kinnaras flashed his horns in the same nodding motion, making a snort of friendly antagonism back.

Hvicy laughed slightly then asked, “Kopq- Jealous?”

“No. You hunt like blind. My harpoon better,” returned Kopq, flashing his horns once more, “Hvicy. Talk to ice too much.”

It was true, Hvicy had to admit inwardly, but he also told himself that he couldn’t help it.

Since the death of his Ma, the crippling of his Da, and the loss of many more hunters between then and when his horns cut in full, Hvicy had devoted himself to the ice. Questioning it, walking it, to know it deeply and fully, Hvicy went as often as he could onto the ice. As the moons and nights turned him from a boy into a young man, he spent more time speaking with the ice than with others- or so the joke went.

When he should have been focused on pulling the sled, Hvicy was talking to the ice.
When he was needed to circle after a Walrus, to help antagonize it into isolation from its main pot, he was listening to the ice.

As Kopq, his bond-kin, was carving his own harpoon to throw, Hvicy had been with the ice and the ice alone.

Yet he was an excellent guide across the ice, when it came time for hunting Moose again, so very few gave him true antagonism or ill words for his lack of skill elsewhere. With Hvicy in the Hunt party, no one was lost to the ice. Not once.

A voice called out, “Hvicy! Open eyes?”

And he lowered his horns then, deflating at the question. It was teasing and reminder both from Pngna, the human woman that rode astride Qriqic’s back. A few soft snickers followed from the other hunters- this was the extent of said antagonism, truly, and Hvicy knew it wasn't uncalled for.

Not once had Hvicy’s thrown harpoon, the one he’d carved himself, actually struck a target he aimed at.

Rather enthusiastically, he always threw it, because it was what a good hunter did! He wanted to be as good a hunter as his Ma had been, because he’d lived through how sorely her skills were missed. As many times as he’d gone out to talk to the ice, he’d thrown his harpoon, but it had missed just as much. Numerous hunters, from elders to those in his age group, had instructed and directed Hvicy. A few had even scrutinized his harpoon: Had he carved it wrong when he came of age? Was the wood crooked or unbalanced? Had the wrong kind of wood been used? It was best to use it themselves- to test it on his behalf and see-

And every other hunter struck beasts with it effortlessly.
Clearly, the problem was elsewhere.

“Today,” Hvicy mumbled into his hood with little confidence, as he’d said every other time since the taunt had been established, far too many moons and sky warms ago.

“Today,” echoed Qriqic, as confident in him as ever.

It pained Hvicy to hear.

That was the man that taught him everything about hunting, taught him to throw his harpoon even, but Hvicy could never hit a target. Though Qirqic never expressed disappointment or resentment for him, Hvicy couldn’t help but feel he had earned at least a little by now, especially since Kopq- another student of the elder Qirqic- had been doing so well...

Eventually, they came upon a ring in the ice.

Constructed from bricks, made of compacted ice and snow, and encircled by a multitude of antlers, the ring was a wall which stood higher than a Human standing upon a Centaur’s shoulders. Though there was no roof, for there was no need of one, as the place was the Nuqtuq in which they like every hunter before them, made camp for the hunting of moose. From here the towering evergreens of the nearby taiga could be seen. Some small shrubs and those few tundra transition plants were plentiful nearby too, and would make for great berry foraging later.

As the party passed beneath the massive Whale-bone arches, which acted as landmark and gate, they spread out to assess the condition of the Nuqtuq.

Despite the fact that snow came in, it had thawed enough, so that the few amenities were easily re-carved. A large slab of shaped ice, which had become quite hard over time and from multiple uses, sat to one side of the Nuqtuq, and it was red from its purpose. This long table had been used for years to dress down various game and prepare fish, before their long sled transport back to Nuqtuq.

Preparation of the camp involved re-carving the table, clearing out whatever snow they could, and repacking holes that may have melted into the ice walls. Hard work went into crafting a new wooden door for the gate, using materials they’d pushed out from Nuqtuq, especially since bears had been a problem here in the past. It took time uncounted and the majority of the hunting party was exhausted, by the time the gate was finally complete, but a watch needed to be set out despite it.

Gates were nice but would never be as good as a person watching.

Unfortunately for the watchers, this often meant a lot of standing around, and a lot of boredom.

Many nights had passed staying in the Nuqtuq, as hunts were performed during the dark dawn, and watches were set up by afternoon and night. So few moose had made their way north, that some of the hunters were getting concerned. Was that Burning Scar to the south the reason the Moose had been scarce? Everyone could see the smoke during the day and the red glow of it on the horizon at night had been disconcerting. What happened down there?

But the Nuqtuq had come blame the burning scar, concluding that it was the reason for the ice being too soft along these hunting grounds, because the waters had grown far warmer than before. The adjustment had been made some time ago to stick to the harder ice during Moose hunt, so that further deaths could be avoided, yet the sea continued to warm and the ice continued to change. Much of the old paths had melted into the sea rapidly over tome, so it was that the young like Hvicy, were of more value for speaking with the ice.

They were the ones that knew this new ice and all its new paths.

But there were still so few that knew the creatures of the land and how they’d changed their paths, due to the Burning Scar. Moose had proven to be unpredictable at first but the Nuqtuq had found a slight way to change that, some time ago. It had taken many thaws but the Nuqtuq were the sole reason why so many berries grew so close to the ice here. Growing them was working for the Nuqtuq back home so of course it could work for the ground where the taiga met the ice here too- for it was precisely like their lands far to the east.

Sometimes the moose would come by, more frequently the bears would be scavenging but, other times there was nothing but coming back to the Nuqtuq empty handed...

And a lot of standing watch.
A whole lot of standing watch.

As the ice turned purple and gold with the early hints of sunset, a snowball soared cleanly through the points on a set of caribou horns, which decorated the high wall of the Nuqtuq.

“Two,” Hvicy chuffed in a self congratulatory fashion.
“Hvicy? Better at snow-toss. Not Harpoon,” snickered Kopq, as he watched, impressed.

Together they continued walking the perimeter of the Nuqtuq, if only to keep themselves warm. This was a game everyone liked to play during the watch- see who could throw snowballs through the points on antlers and horns which decorated the wall. The more difficult the throw was, the more “points” it counted for. Elders liked to tell the story whenever they played this game to those younger, about the living shadows which once lived with the Nuqtuq when they ways were young- they had taught them how to count and what numbers meant back then.

They always spoke of the Umbra fondly but every story about them ended with, “But sun melted them.”

Kopq threw his snowball through a set of points on a massive moose rack, which passed through a second set of caribou points, and he laughed aloud, “Four! Hvicy, see?”

But Hvicy’s eyes were turned in the opposite direction.
“Moose- Kopq,” he clicked twice then nodded forward.
Turning to stare toward where Hvicy indicated, Kopq made an uncertain grunt.

Together they stared across the ice, were the white line of ice shelf met a backdrop of evergreen forest. A breeze swept loose snow up into a sparkling powder. Kopq made another uncertain grunt just as two ivory points, curved and crooked, broke their line of sight with the forest.

Hvicy clicked then whistled sharply, shifting the position of his harpoon from his side, to being tucked beneath his arm.

Looking up at him Kopq asked, with an edge of excitement to his voice, “Us. Alone?”

Rousing another hunter would take time and the others had settled to sleep a while ago. Elders often took the opportunity to kill any stray game that wandered too closely anyway, especially if they knew it wouldn’t lead them too far from the Nuqtuq, while they were on watch.

It was with this reasoning that Hvicy sucked his teeth rapidly in enthusiastic agreement, whilst pawing the ground with his front hoof eagerly. If they could down the Moose, then dragging the carcass back to the Nuqtuq could wait while they doubled back and roused hunters- if bears didn’t come out when smelling the blood of course- but that wasn’t going to happen, surely!

Presenting his back to Kopq, Hvicy kept his eyes toward where the Moose antlers had shown, while flashing his own horns eagerly, waiting for his kin to climb aboard.

Kopq grunted in disagreement, before picking up a jog toward the moose, “Too heavy together. Hvicy, be swift. Open eyes!”

And Hvicy felt the encouragement in a heated rush. In silent gratitude and joy both, Hvicy picked up speed sharply- in the way that only a Nuqtuq Centaur could. Due to the harsh conditions in the Northern climates, their bodies had changed, as Kinnaras, Human, and Centaur each found a place within their tribe- a place that utilized their strengths as a team. Their bodies had adapted as a result of years filling their particular positions in the Nuqtuq.

A Nuqtuq Centaur was now distinct for being a head or two shorter than the typical Centaur. Their bodies were more compact, lighter, but this gave them speed that outpaced most other Centaur, especially from a single point burst. Though maintaining their speeds through deep snow was a bit of a challenge, their legs could still carve through it with nearly the same ease as a Moose, and they scarcely acknowledged the cold of wind speed, due to their thick woolly fur.

And the wind rushed loudly in Hvicy’s ears as he sprinted forward- his eyes locked on the reappearance of the Moose’s antlers. Good! They were still where he’d seen them. To harpoon a Moose meant getting closer, quickly, then slowing down before it perceived a threat. He came within a good position, sliding down to a halt, as he palmed his throwing harpoon, balancing the weight upon his shoulder. Hvicy’s eyes watched the Moose’s points dip, then reappear once more- he squinted to observe their orientation.

Which way is it facing?

As they turned, Hvicy felt another rush of panic- had it heard him? Why was it turning away?

And then the Moose’s pace picked up- No.

This was his chance, he could do it alone- he had to get it now- Hvicy couldn’t suffer another miss.
Oh no.
It was getting further away and his hand shook as the grip upon his harpoon tightened. He needed to get the angle right- the wind had stopped blowing- everything was perfect- this should be the one, it should, it should, IT HAD to be the one-
A fearful glance was cast back- Kopq was nearing him- perhaps he should be the one to- no.

He couldn’t keep relying on Kopq to do the difficult throws for him- he wasn’t going to mess up in front of him either- not anymore- not this time-

His eyes were OPEN!

Leaning back on his hind quarters, Hvicy felt the back of his harpoon brush the ground as he cocked his arm back, his free arm casting before him, straight out to track the target. All at once he took his burst sprint forward, leapt, then HURLED the harpoon directly toward the sight- angled to strike the back of the Moose’s neck.

Air whistled sharply- Hvicy’s hooves planted atop the icy ground- and he half-doubled over with the follow-through, turning about on his hooves to resolve the powerful motion.

Kopq made a sound of wordless cheer for Hvicy as he saw the harpoon fly.

Together, they heard the Moose call out as it had been struck.

Together, they ran toward the edge of the ice sheet, to stare down at the Moose that had been struck below.

Together, they realized that what was bleeding out on the ice below, was not a moose at all.

Wailing on the ice below was a moose horned Centaur. His blood painted the ice red.

Myrtu danced about in a circle as several Sanguis Equis circled overhead, which emitted shrill cries of glee and contentment. Such fun had been had sprinting about the Bloodmire! There were so many different and interesting things here that Myrtu felt quite glad they'd answered the earlier prayer. And these horses?

Wow, these horses were phenomenal!
ACTUALLY. Weren't ALL horses phenomenal? NO! EQUINES were!
Anything with an Euqine-adjacent form, as Myrtu had always known, was simply better. Hooves for traversing all the world, wings for extended flights, their backs and legs were powerful, stamina and endurance were high enough to make resting earned and enjoyable- even the simple means of communication that all horses shared, were better than complicated words or writing, and not to mention that most Equines were simply the best size to experience the various landscapes of the world.

In fact, as Myrtu thought about it, weren't they, themselves, the Ultimate Horse in the world? The Supreme and Majestic Equine? The Unmatched Hooved God capable of traversing the stars and planets themselves?

Well now...

Clearly it meant that it was their DUTY to let everyone and anyone know just how fantastic Equines were. And to let the other creatures know how fantastic it was to Have Hooves. No- EVEN BETTER- those hoofless Mortals all needed companions with hooves! Ones that could help them carry loads, protect them, carry them great distances, and inspire others to run and be free!

Plus, Myrtu now had let the horses themselves know how fantastic they were!

And they couldn't forget the Donkeys and Zebras- they were just as fantastic- and if there were none out in the wilderness, then they MUST bring them into being. Though Myrtu had not yet brought fourth the Unicorns, nor had they completed their project up north deep beneath the ice, and they hadn't breathed life into the template for the Pegasus, this Suddenly Sacred Duty took immediate precedence.

All those other bits and whatever could wait.

And so they communicated a farewell to their friend-horses in the Bloodmire. This elicited an interesting response from most of the Blood Horses, as they tried to pretend that they hadn't been having a great time, that they didn't mind Myrtu leaving despite how sad their little clicks were, and that Myrtu was very free to go and stuff whatever. Such a response only made Myrtu add the fact that Equines had such charming personalities to their list of "why horses are better than everything." A promise to visit again was given before Myrtu leapt high into the sky, far above where mortals could fly, passing some very interesting flying creatures along the way.

As they were Not Horses, Myrtu scarcely paid them attention as they ascended, for now was the time for important business and they heeded not the flying lizards, fish, and whatever else that other thing was.

Rearing up, as if the air itself were stable enough to stand upon, Myrtu then began to sprint across the sky above the continent. As they sprinted they summoned their power and blessed every Equine within sight of their passing.

To showcase the many abilities and uses of Equines, Myrtu needed the Equines to adapt far quicker than natural processes would make them, and so it was that they unlocked the potential of every single one, even as they sprinted along, and brought into the world simultaneously Donkeys, Mules, Zebras, Kiangs, Onagers, Kungas, Zorses, and Hinnies.

The adaptations of the Equines happened rapidly then stabilized just as quickly. Within a matter of months, their mutations were highly varied and extremely specific for the climates they frequented: Some of the Equines that preferred the seaside, had learned to prefer the sea itself- becoming a hybrid horse with a powerful tail fin; While some desert Equines, adapted to the hot days and cold nights, growing coarse fur and organs to support the retention of water - some became more akin to the cacti with sharp spines and skin that loved the sun; Others on the plains grew swift and lean, with far more acute senses, and camouflage stripes, as the Zebras became green with black stripes in some cases; There was also no small amount of northern Equines that grew shaggy fur and thick powerful bodies, capable of outrunning even moose in deep snow.

A surprising amount of Equines also developed symbiotic bonds with plants, other animals, even fungi that lived upon or inside of their bodies as well, despite how swift their adaptation to the world had gone.

By the end of their year long blessing, Equines were so wildly varying and suited for filling their new niches in their ecosystems, that there would likely be long lists of their different variations, in the distant future.

Myrtu could hardly take in all the changes their blessing had resulted in! When all was done, Myrtu even felt the presence of more Equines, untouched by their blessing, that were contained within a... bubble... wall... thing? Hovering and sparkling brightly HIGH above Earthwall for a moment, Myrtu considered going in, but there had been something else odd sighted along the way.

What was that thing in the desert?
Or that thing on that mountain?
That burning thing on that island?
When had people went to that strange place to the west of the glaciers?
Were those Elves in those trees?
Why was the coast on fire?

Before their hovering could be defined as "too long" or "a little weird" or "archers take aim," they sprinted away to tend to the first question on their list of questions. Well.

Until they got sidetracked by a few more things along the way.

In Divinus VII 15 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay


Wailing came to the hunter's ears.

"The time has come, partner," came a whispering voice to the hunter's right ear.

Slowly, the Hunter looked up into the bright blue sky, which was broken by the dense foliage of the tall evergreens. Smiling as his head tilted back, his crown of great scooped antlers making the motion slightly straining, the Hunter listened with joy to the wailing. From beneath the darkness of his antlers, his Second Shadow whispered, "Here, shall Utilaik be, to dance alongside you, Maliuit. As ever this one has. Look. Here comes the Mother." Looking to the side, the Hunter rose to his hooved feet as, from a hut made of bear hides and sturdy logs, there emerged three.

Bereft of clothing, two walked toward the hunter, as the third was held, swaddled in a covering made of soft hide, which was insulated by the Hunter's shorn tail and mane hair.

The Human, whose face was covered by a simple wooden mask- with silts only for eyes and a crooked carved grin- lead the Kinneras Mother along by walking before her. Blindfolded, the Mother- T'unucra- walked slowly, her twelve point antlers wavering as she fought to keep her steps balanced and sure, for she had only just finished giving birth. The Hunter watched the Mother's strong yet pained steps in admiring silence. He yearned to help her but these were the traditional first strides, which were vital to the survival of the child, and he could do nothing but watch.

For her to falter or fall in this walk would mean death for the child when the snow fell, as all who were Tup'wik knew.

Gently, the Masked Human blew into a simple wooden flute. It was a tune of a few long and joyous notes, which acted as chorus with the wailing of the baby. These sounds helped to guide the Mother on her walk in blindfolded "darkness". The Hunter held his silence as they approached. He did not hold back the overflowing of his eyes as they filled with emotion. Proudly, he watched the Mother's surefooted steps toward him, as she carried his Child.

His firstborn.

Biting his lip so that he did not sob aloud, the Hunter bowed his head as the Mother came within one stride of him. As he should, he fell to his knees before her, keeping his silence.

She halted from taking the final stride.

All of the omens were good: she'd stepped steadily, halted when feeling his presence near, and had not faltered or stumbled. His heart was soaring with quiet elation. Slowly, T'unucra knelt before him, then placed the child upon the ground between them. Warmly, she placed her hands soothingly atop the crying babe. Shakily he slowly reached his hands out, to place them atop hers, giving a gentle and reassuring squeeze.

The Hunter couldn't see a thing for all his tears. He felt only the warmth- the joy- of his hands atop his child, atop the second half of their beautiful creation, and all the hands of Ancestors who had done the same for each of them.

This position, the two held in silence as the moments passed. As if knowing they were safe, the babe soon began to quiet beneath the quiet palms of their parents, steadily sinking into a contentedness, which held in it a quiet plea. In the wordless manner in which all infants plead, the soft babbling beneath the parents palms begged them: protect me, love me, teach me.

And then the Hunter's Second Shadow reached from under his antlers, toward the Second Shadow of the Mother. The blindfold was removed from the Mother by the Umbra which resided in her shadow, then passed to the other Umbra, who tied it about the eyes of the Hunter.
The Father.

Once it was secured, the Father rose to his feet, and the Masked Human began to sing. These were the sounds of the throat and chest- the early music of those who lived in the cold, those who breathed in the bitter air of frozen earth and frosted pine.

On cue, the Father took three strides away from the Mother, as she took up their child in her hands. Her eyes lifted toward the Father- Maliuit- with joy and unfathomable trust. She held their baby close, to warm them against her bare skin, as her eyes too, began to flow with joyous tears.

To the sounds of voice and flute, the Father began to dance.

He had to be as swift as the Cold Star in such a dance, for this would grant vigor to his Child, to the Mother, and to both of their Second Shadow protectors. That Cold Star, which graced the Ancestors with it's appearance on the day of the Tup'wik's birth, was called Myrtu by the Umbra. They told tales of it having been a God and so the Tup'wik hailed the Cold Star as God and Progenitor both. They admired its swiftness, it's freedom and vigor, as it sprinted across the sky, and their Ancestors taught them always to value such traits. To value freedom.

His steps had to be as sure as the blackness of the space between stars, as he danced around, leapt and spun, to dance in sacred circle around the kneeling Mother- for what else was so certain as the darkness from whence they'd came? They had been left behind by the Cold Star- fragments of that Godly power- and they'd come from that space between the stars themselves, just as the Cold Star had come fourth too. The Tup'wik knew that they were but fragments of the night sky as well and would return there in death.

When he danced, his hooves clicked against stones- the perimeter circle which told him to dance back toward the sound of song- for even they, wild and free, needed to know their limits and boundaries. Some of their Ancestors spoke of those who had ventured north, those who didn't know their limits, and how most had never returned. Stores of the few that were out there spoke of how and they'd grown foul, had turned into frozen hard people that still reached for more than they were given. They were of cold hearts, with frozen pale fur and hard bodies, and a frozen fury toward the Cold Star Myrtu- a fury that the Tup'wik could not understand.

They knew of those people's name- what they called themselves- and used it as the name for this vital lesson in knowing restraint: To always be as free and joyous as one could, but to never go beyond limits and strive for more than was given by the land and the Cold Star.

To dance within the boundaries was to bless the child with a level head, a sureness that would be as steady as their hooves, and as stable as the humans that balanced often atop the backs of Centaur at full canter. To survive within the Taiga, facing off against the creatures and hunting the great beasts, one needed to be sure of themselves and every action they took.

And for all these things the Father danced. And danced.
He danced until the sun set and his heart pounded furiously.

He danced as his name became Maliuit'cra- the father of T'unucra's child- and beloved by them both.
And he danced until the sky grew deep and dark...


It was the the horrified edge in the voice which caused her to look away from the tracks, which she'd been examining in the snow blown foliage. Toward her a Cenatur rushed. This Centaur's antlers were freshly growing and covered in downy fuzz, and so her approach was swift indeed.

Without stopping to breathe, the Centaur shouted, "We need your medicine!" She turned just shy of T'unucra and presented her hide covered back to her, "The hunters- they were attacked- the Hunters were-" the Centaur let out a grunt, as T'unucra's weight landed atop her back roughly.

"Go," she shouted, her eyes already burning with fear.
Who had gone out?
Who all had gone out this time?

As the Centaur sprinted across the snow, dashed between the trees, T'unucra shouted in alarm, "We're nearing the Ice?!"
"-something terrible-" the Cenatur managed while sprinting, her voice raw with emotion "-oh terrible."



Who could have made it back in time?
T'unucra could not blame her for not moving.

Howling, something was howling over the sound of the frigid wind.
No. Wailing.
Wailing came to her ears.

Much like their babe, he was wailing now, too.

Maliuit'cra lay upon the ice with a harpoon, thicker than his own arm, thrust through his center and out of his back. His blood pooled around him, steaming and hot, in the frigid temperatures. Icy spires reflected the light across the surface of the intricately carved harpoon. T'nunucra noted sickly how beautiful the walrus rendition carved into the handle of the harpoon was, as it was not coated by Maliuit'cra's blood. He'd been struck in the back, for the pointed tip was blindingly red with his life's essence.

Two hunters, a duo of Kinnaras, stood next to T'unucra, speaking to her and... and?
Had she gone deaf?

No, she could hear the wailing. She couldn't hear the hunter, but she could hear the wailing.

Numbly, she knelt next to Maliuit'cra, as he screamed and fought for his life, which he had no chance of holding on to.
Holding. On to.

Gently, as he had laid his hands atop hers, oh so many moons ago, she placed her hands atop his. His tears and screaming forced more blood onto the ice in pouring rivulets. Curls of steam rose from the pools he created. Frosted tears coated his face. Desperately, he grasped her hands while taking pained inhales, as he stared into her eyes.

"I don't- I- I can't- not- so. So- soon-" he wailed "-T-T-T'nuc-"

His grip released.

The only cold she noticed was in his eyes, as they stared unblinking into hers.
She had gone deaf, hadn't she? For the silence itself, as his wailing ceased, blocked out all other sounds. From beneath his antlers, his Second Shadow materialized in full. Despite how the light harmed them, Utilaik stared down at Maliut'cra in silence, and did not move. Alongside T'nucra the Umbra stared at the husk that was once Maliuit'cra.

Their beloved Maliuit'cra.
Beloved by them both.

How long she'd knelt there on the ice she could not say.

Those other Hunters had huddled around her and the Umbra Utilaik at some point. The other Hunters had kept watch, offered silent company, and pressed in closely for heat sharing while they mourned at the edge of the glacial lands. So it was the Hunters that were surprised when T'unucra suddenly moved, abruptly after having knelt for so long. Without a word, stood, walked, then grasped the harpoon sticking out of Maliut'cra's body.

It took multiple pulls, as the blood had turned to ice in the freezing wind, but she wrest it from his corpse, having had to do so by grasping its pointed edge. Collectively, the other hunters had turned with a start to watch with fascination and horror, none of them having made a move to stop her, nor uttered a word.

Quietly as she let the large harpoon lean against her shoulder, she removed a few herbs from her medicine pouch, then chewed them. She couldn't feel it, but her hands had been cut from her grasp upon the weapon, despite her gloves, and would require something to halt the bleeding at least. The others exchanged worried glances as T'unucra treated her wounds, by placing the herbs into them, before taking up the large weapon.

Despite its weight and size, she leaned it over her shoulder, for she felt no pain for now, and the weight was far lighter than that... of...

"Utilaik offers their service to T'unucra as third shadow.. in... in exchange for. Trust," spoke the Umbra, with a tone heavy in emotion. These were the words a Second Shadow said before becoming a guardian, partner, and companion to a Tup'wik. They echoed grimly now in the silence where Maliut'cra's voice should have been.

"Then come," T'unucra told the other coldly, "Walk the ice with me. We will speak to the Nuqtuq of this. Return to them this kakivak. Tell them of Maliuit'cra and how he was loved. Second Shadow will stay behind and tend to-" her voice choked before she could utter the name of their child.
Their fatherless. Child.
That last living fragment of Maliuit'cra.

"Utilaik... cannot be trusted alone in Second Shadow's place. To guard. To give help. Not anymore," replied the Umbra, sinking toward the body of Maliuit'cra, "This is why. Utilaik offers as Third."

"No. You cannot be trusted. Not at the moment. But walk the ice with me and prove yourself again, is what I offer. A trade for your guilt as I offer my trust," T'unucra told Utilaik firmly.

"Umpanitit believes this fair and valuable trade," came the whispering voice of T'unucra's normally silent Umbra partner, for all in attendance to hear, "Generous on part of T'unucra. Far generous. Utilaik will have debt lingering still but less so, if they do not walk the ice."

Utilaik gently placed a hand atop Maliuit'cra's, before looking to T'unucra with glowing blue eyes, nodding hesitantly, "Umpanitit has wisdom."

"We return to the others now," T'unucra addressed the collective coldly, "I will bury Maliuit'cra. Then I will leave. I will make the Nuqtuq answer all that I ask."

And without another word, nor waiting for the others, T'unucra turned toward the migration path.

In Divinus VII 17 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
A Distressed Treasure

Ashes-Ablaze had to admit that she was starting to panic. As she stared into the massive emerald eye of her captor, she figured it was probably alright to panic, if not begin screaming in fear, so she decided she should get right to it.

Taking a deep breath, Ashes-Ablaze inhaled sharply-

“-shh! Shh sh, no- we were doing very well, hmm yes, very good and well without the screaming, yes,” a deep sigh came afterward from the beast, “I am not liking when do the screaming so, perhaps maybe, yes, do not scream.”

Deflating slightly, Ashes-Ablaze run her hand over her flaming head, then asked, “But what else can I do? We been staring at each other for a while now-”

“-two hours-”

“For two-” Ashes-Ablaze went breathless for a beat “-you ain't serious.”

“Hm, see, I am not doing the exaggeration of things, yes,” replied the beast, “I was enjoying the resting but then you looked as if you were going to commence the, hm, screaming, hmm? Yeees?”

Pulling her knees to her chest, Ashes-Ablaze shook her head, “Ain’t like there anything else to do. We just been sittin' here and I don't even know where here is.”

“No, hm, wait in silence, yes, this is what you will be doing now, the waiting,” huffed the beast with an exhale that sent Ashes-Ablaze’s flaming hair to fluttering.

“You wanna at least answer something for me?”

“Hm? No, I will not answer-”

“-what’re you supposed to be anyway?”

It was then that the beast heaved another large sigh yet, it seemed taken aback slightly by Ashes-Ablaze's ignorance. Slowly, it began reorienting itself within the darkness of the cave. Ashes-Ablaze could hear the scales and body of the beast scraping gently across the smooth stones, with such a heavy sound that she knew it must be massive- far more so than she could see from her light alone in such dim surroundings. As the beast moved, a few hollow clatters sounded out from the inside of the cavern, and Ashes-Ablaze eyed her surroundings warily, slightly fearful that-

Oh, nope.

All those stacked boats, rafts, and other rudimentary sea-faring vessels, which were piled high from floor to ceiling along the dark cave walls- in amounts that were more numerous than she cared to count- looked stable enough around her. Perhaps the beast had instead knocked loose some of the stray oars, sticks, and poles that were collected in the massive pile behind itself?


“I am Tisslith the Dragon, of the Wings and Flight innumerable, from the Immortal Mother of Dragons, Sathira, may her name be ever blessed and eternal,” declared the beast, holding its scaly head and neck high within the confines of the cave, “Mm, ah, yes.”

“You ain’t got wings,” Ashes-Ablaze pointed out immediately.

Tisslith then deflated slightly but flexed her mighty fins outward. Along her serpentine body, those webbed crests and fins, caught the light in a dazzling display of blue and silver, as it showed off its form proudly. “These are the wings of flying, yes you see, I fly through the waters and seas, mmhm,” Tisslith replied haughtily.

“Nah, them fins,” Ashes-Ablaze shook her head at the Dragon, “We Porry know what fins is. You a fish-”

“-am not fish, no, you are doing the. Wrong. Assuming. Yes, for you see, you are incorrect, yes,” Tisslith said then, rather self-consciously coiling her body onto itself, stacking her long serpentine form before the Porry.

Sucking her teeth, Ashes-Abalaze scoffed, sensing the subtle shift in power, as she went on to insist, “Nah you a fish and you got all these boats- what you got all these boats for if you ain’t no fish?”

“Wrong and incorrect still, yes, for you see, I am to collect treasure, as the Immortal Mother of Dragons, Sathira, may her name be ever blessed and eternal, has told all of us, yes, my brethren, to gather precious treasures from across all the lands!” Tisslith gestured to its collection of boats, with a triumphant lift of its head, “I have observed, yes, that you mortals do value and love and cherish, see, these boats as you call them, hm? And is it also not true, yes, that the sticks and log-flaps-”

“-oars and push-rods-”

“-the whats?”

Scoffing yet again, Ashes-Abalaze rolled her eyes at the dragon, “And you don’t even know what you collecting either? You even know what I am?”

“A porry!”

“Yeah, but I told you that,” Ashes-Ablaze shook her head, “Only a dumb fish don’t know what no oar is.”

Tisslith scrunched slightly, a hesitant pause lingering, before it spoke again, with uncertainty weighing heavily in its tone, “Treasures… these are treasured things. They. Are.”

“Bet you don’t even know why I’m still here do you, fish?”

Letting out a SHARP hiss, the Dragon declared in a show of intense insecurity, “Tisslith is NOT a fish? You keep calling it a fish but It Is Not! How dare you?”

“Nah, you still got me here cause you a bored and lonely fish. Keepin’ me hostage to talk to, huh fish? Bet nobody even wanna talk to you-”

“No, you foolish stinky Porky-”


Uninterrupted, Tisslith went on, “-I am keeping you for the collector of precious creatures will come to here, yes, and will come for you! For you see, Porky-”


“-you are also treasure!” And Tisslith laughed then, in the manner that the unclever tended to when they believed themselves to be clever, “Ha! HO! Ha!” Its head waves side to side, in a mesmerizing manner, as bioluminescent lights flashed across its fins to convey its joyous emotion.

A beat of laughter passed before Ashes-Ablaze, edging slightly back toward panic, mumbled, “Weird compliment but aight.”

“Yes! Mmhm, you shall be given to my brethren which collects those kids of treasures for Mother! Those treasured beings who are much and many loved. We have seen how so many come in boats for you, little Porky-”

-porry,” though Ashes-Ablaze swallowed nervously.

“-and we know that love means value! Therefore, as with the others my brethren, Yalisith has collected, which he tends to very kindly and with gentle givings, yes, of good food and meals, for they must be, mm, very nice and well taken care of to keep their value, yes, due to diminishing returns, see, yes.” Tisslith’s head wavered slightly as it steered its digression back on track, “You are treasure and will be going to our Immortal Mother of Dragons, Sathira, may her name be ever blessed and eternal!”

And so it was that Ashes-Ablaze finally admitted she was going to panic, any moment now, and that there was nothing to be done for it but to take a deep breath, once more with feeling, and-

“Do not perform the screaming! For that shall only tire you out and you will need such rest, before the flight to Yalisith’s collection- whenever it is that the Yalisith arrives- hm,” Tisslith hissed with far more aggression than before.

For the first time since having woken up in the cave, Ashes-Ablaze finally realized just how massive the Dragon before her was. The mouth of the beast was large enough to bite her in half and she could see its curved fangs- every single one of them jagged for tearing lesser creatures apart- and its scales looked like the razor skin of a shark- then she could see how muscular its serpentine body was- how the stones beneath its dripping maw bubbled and eroded with the contact of its acidic spittle- death...

She could see death slithering before her and it was a long. Fish.

Tilting its head back and fourth as it stared at Ashes-Ablaze, who had grown frozen and tense with fear, Tisslith nodded with satisfaction.

“Very good, Porky, you shall go to mother," Tisslith hissed in amusement.

"You shall go to the Mother in silence and alive, yes.”

In Divinus VII 26 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

She could sense it.

Even before the beasts and creatures of the Steppe did, Myrtu could feel the change within the world. Without wasting a moment longer to consider or contemplate, she took to the sky in a mighty leap. With her horn aglow, an aura of light and sparkles engulfed the protohumans, still in their statue forms. A single swish of her head and an exertion of divine effort later, and they all gathered alongside her, as she sprinted across the sky.

North… far north.

To where the Tundra ended then beyond.

Past the icy mausoleum.

To where the glaciers began, then still more north.

Myrtu needed time and moments undisturbed with these beings to be shaped and knew that none would likely bother her here. Now past the top of the world, among the ice which stretched endlessly and mercilessly so as to be a desert of sorts, where it was far too cold to snow.

And it was here, at these great latitudes, that the protohumans were placed gently upon the ice in groups, their numbers divided evenly. They each longed for waking, for guidance, and she could see within them all the numerous, infinite, possibilities- their potential- and her eyes swirled brilliantly as the ideas poured in.

This time, her eyes- which swirled with infinite colors known and unknown- did not cease their kaleidoscopic display of light and color. All that was potential and possible- all the beautiful variables- to behold them, was simply Divine. No more, were her eyes stable as they had been, for the stream of potential and possibility now forever danced within them, as she beheld all in her gaze.

As the night stretched in deep and howling blackness, Myrtu stood in the howling icy winds. Still as the ice and for long moments uncounted. Much time was spent, contemplating all that could be of these proto-humans, all that she could unlock in the creation of these new mortals, and just how far they could go… all that they could be…

“… and we saw him, just as he departed, as a shooting star in the night sky, leaving us in this place so cold, yet welcoming…”

So as to give them a fighting chance- a chance to be- Myrtu, after crafting from the protohumans, hundreds of variations, gave them potential- both within and without. In large groups, so as to give them a world of variation and challenge, along with the possibility of teamwork, he spread them across the continent, in numbers of three hundred plus twelve:

One hundred members of the groups were the speedy and sturdy Centaurs. Their lower bodies were that of full four-legged horses, with a variety of spots, splotches, and stripes possible in their coats of fur. The length, texture, growth pattern, and color of their hair was wildly varying with potential to adaptation for a variety of environments, should they choose to stay within them and procreate. Where would be the neck of the horse, began the body of a human, strong and sturdy- with skin colors variable and able to adapt as the generations went on. There were climates which would require darker skin, after all, to help minimize the damage of the sun naturally, before those poultices and protective paints could be produced. There was also the potential within them for the same splotches, stripes, and colors as their fur coats, to be upon the skin as lighter or darker markings. Each had too, the possibility for growing horns, antlers, and hardened bony crests, for their heads should be defended and Myrtu admitted a preference for horns, of course.

One hundred members of the groups were called the Kinnaras. Their lower bodies maintained the two-legged nature of the proto-humans, but where the waist began, so too did the equine legs, fur, tail, and large hooves. They were going to be swift and strong with such legs, but Myrtu had no further clue as to what the change would do for the. As with the other creations of Myrtu, the Kinnaras' potential for variation was unlocked, in their skin-tone variety, fur color patterning and marking variation, and potential for horns. Their upper bodies maintained the same human appearance as was the basis for their creation, with the variation of hair growth patterns, beards, chest head hair being uniform- across whatever “differences” there were between the ones with the weird “lower snouts” and the ones with the “flabby chest sacs” –

(-for Myrtu does not understand the difference between them, has never heard of gender, doesn’t understand human birth, and will not ask, because they absolutely do not know this is a question that requires asking–)

One hundred of the group members are simply Human. Their possibility for growth, variation, and adaptation to climates, latitudes, and different environments has also been unlocked by Myrtu. Even now, as the groups are settled into their new environments, the wide variety in their appearances has already been thrust upon them. Some have red hair and deep brown skin, others have green eyes and skin of gold undertones, while there among them are pale skinned and silver haired individuals. Also randomized were their builds, with some starting heavy-set, others being considerably muscular, and still others presenting underweight- heights were wildly varied as well, with maximum being nearly as tall as Centaurs and others being scarcely taller than younglings.

Within these groups, Myrtu saw fit to shuffle the age range too, for how interesting would it be to see how they’d adapt to caring for young. Among the groups, the youngest are equivalent to toddlers and the oldest are equivalent to prime forties. This was shifted to Centaur, Human, and Kinnaras species evenly, so that there weren’t too many children of one species, with too many teenagers in the next. The children were few, the teenagers more, and the adults were abundant among the shuffled ages.

Then, within the groups, Myrtu divided the received Umbra equally as groups of twelve, after having unlocked their potential too- granting them the possibility to shape, color, and mass variation, with one very important addition, to which he blessed all his new creatures...

“… and from us, as he left us to roam freely in the tall grass, where the warm sea wind did blow, we saw him depart across the night sky, as magnificent as the wondrous moon…”

As the group was dispersed within the Taiga, three-hundred twelve, they awakened groggily with knowledge. How to survive, to hunt, cook, clean, to craft clothing and shelter, to seek others out for help, a common tongue with which to converse aloud with their weird mouths- but most importantly, the deeply seated knowledge that they could do as they saw fit. That they were as wild and free as they should be.

No matter where they went, all of Myrtu's blessed knew that freedom meant searching and seeking, doing and being, however their hearts chose to guide them. Freedom went hand in hand with potential and possibility. Theirs was the world and to the world they belonged. It would be the canvas upon which they made their legacy, as was the right of mortals.

Far to the east of the Darkwood, the Centaur and Kinnaras along the sandy shore, spoke philosophically to each other of what this Freedom and Possibility meant, as some Humans immediately separated themselves from the others, some few Kinnaras following them. Those few Umbra, as was their nature, sought exchanges between them all that could be harmonious: To use their efforts together to build, for mutual benefit, and to use their individual talents for fair coexistence.

And at the edge of the south western desert, those Centaur among the Kinnaras proclaimed dominance, for theirs was the image closest to that of the God-Which-Strode-The-Sky. The Umbra among them took side with the Humans that disagreed, while seeing the potential they represented as both allies and labor. Within the hearts of the Kinnaras, there brewed confusion and fury at the Centaur’s declarations, but there was merit in their argument… there was truth. But they would have to decide for themselves.

All of Myrtu's Blessed Creations would have to decide for themselves.

“… truly we were the forsaken ones, yet were we chosen. Hard and hearty. Strong and sturdy. We were the closest to the God… the closest to that point high in the ice where we could be reborn…”

Together, those in the Tundra huddled, as the snow and ash came down heavily. They trembled of the cold, from fear of the unknown world, and their hearts were full of doubt. Even at this distance, they could see the horizon burning violet, and smelled the air slowly growing thick with nothing but smoke and death.

Why had they been placed here?
Was this world truly so horrible?
Were they to die before using any of the ideas they’d been given?
Without freedom? Without realizing their potential?

“Look- my friends, behold-” a white maned Centaur proclaimed, pointing to the jagged edge to the East “- those mountains are not ablaze and there opens, in the side thusly, a cavern into which we may seek shelter.” To the proclaimer, the others looked, then followed. Deep they went, into the depths of the world, where they were not truly meant to dwell. Descent into the safety of the dark- beneath the rumbling and burning surface- and perhaps into a place they could survive. Anything was better than up there.

Within them, they knew, was the freedom to do as they wished. This gave them confidence and determination both, to survive by any means, even if it meant diving into the cavernous unknown. Through their willpower, through their pull toward freedom and possibility, they knew they could carve out a life no matter where they went. That was the lesson of this land, some did say, that freedom and hope could be found even within the cage of despair.

Yet, despite this welcoming possibility of safety, there were still those that sought the freedom of the surface, and those few did remain behind in the Ashen Tundra. Their eyes turned north, where they saw that Galloping God travel away from them, across the sky.

How could they get there? How could they find their God?
And then what?
To ask her why?
To slay her out of spite?

What was beyond the Tundra would be what they sought, for even to such a harsh land, could they adapt, even if it was through tool and cloth- through way of life and myth- they were to become nomads of the mountains and glaciers both, with their hearts ever in agreement, that trekking far to the north across the wastelands, would lead them to the answers they sought.

"... we knew not that ours would become the way of culture, to trade in song and tale, but we witnessed still, that which would spark the idea for the dramatic reenactment..."

Two of Myrtu's Umbra, who were the odd count out of the fifty, and could not be evenly dispersed into other lands, hovered anxiously within Myrtu's shadow. Fearful of death, yet fascinated with that which they were witnessing, the Umbra knew what happened now was of some importance. They alone, were the sole witnesses to what was to come, and the only company for a lonely task to which Myrtu had invested herself.

Myrtu's horn was thrust deeply into that past-northern glacial ice, infusing it with their divine will and might- freeing it to shift, to change, to become a symbol and representation of the boundless and endless freedom of the soul. Yes, Myrtu understood what the soul was, now that they'd had the ambiguous encounter with the Ferryman, and knew that the soul would spend time in a Ghostel. A waste!

A waste of the very heart of willpower and freedom and potential contained within all mortal beings!

This would not be so for those who lived and died as freely as they could- for those that sought return to one more free life- for those that could be, were, and would never be.

Deep within the ice, there opened a spiraling tunnel downward, which mimicked the spiral horn atop Myrtu's glorious head. It traveled steadily and far down, unimpeded, until it met soil which should never have been found bare, for the Ice here went so deep so as touch the bottom of- what would be were it thawed- a deep-sea floor. Diving to the bottom of this tunnel, Myrtu then opened a tunnel forward, for some few paces, before beginning to sculpt.

Ice was removed the hard way: by breaking it, then transporting it to the surface through the spiraling tunnel. From Myrtu's steps up and down, the staircase was formed, as their hooves wore it into the ice. Sweat and saliva dripped from them, unheeded as the ice was moved, and it illuminated the staircase with subtle glow. Those mighty fractured glacial boulders, were tossed about the landscape, which would break up the howling wind as it came to this point, as mounds became formed, from the sheer amount of ice Myrtu moved.

When Myrtu needed to fly, to see to that ice high in the ceiling, as their wings did brush the cave walls and the soon to be fractured icy boulders, there was left behind some shimmering color within the ice, which would remain so long as the ice went unmelted. These were added to the mounds, which served as accent and indication both, that the work of a Divine had been performed here.

This task took Myrtu quite a long time, for they were surprisingly single minded in its execution, and therefore went missing from the world for a time, as a result...

Edit: cute new nametag

Species Created Detailed Info Dump

In Divinus VII 30 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Ashevelen, The Ferryman, & Myrtu

The Steppe, prior to devastation…

Standing among the spiral formation in which a large group of proto-humans had been deposited, in the very center of the nearly uninhabited lands of the vast Steppe, there was a unicorn staring at the sky. For moments uncounted, Myrtu had stood there, waiting for Anath Homura to be out of sight, then further waiting for the ‘coast to be clear’. Slowly, ever so gingerly, she moved her hooves to the side, shrinking them as she went, so as to avoid yet another accident. Beneath each hoof was the strange ichor of the unformed human, which had been crushed beneath her landing, having been killed before it even understood what living was. Those still dormant vessels had not witnessed this act- a thing for which Mytru was grateful- so it was easy to make up for. Very simple to cover up. Easy.

Dipping her head, Myrtu skewered the half-statue half-squishy parts (of which they still could not name) upon the tip of their divine unicorn horn, then leapt into the air. At first, she’d thought to simply toss it into the nearby star, but that was a little anticlimactic. This was more than likely the first death on the Steppe, unless there were more Elves freezing to death out here too, and it deserved to be given some form of fanfare! Maybe the weird transparent screaming soul it’d left behind would stop screaming with a celebration? Right. A ghost was screaming in its formless-shapeless-sort of soundless voice beneath Myrtu. While the noise wasn’t loud it was somehow loud-without-sound which was even worse and she wanted it gone.

So, without further ado, Myrtu dashed a small distance into the air above, then charged up what they hoped would be the most brilliant funeral-death-celebration-laserbeam of them all! A lightshow began in a myriad of colors and unnamed shapes, as Myrtu incinerated the corpse, and used the ashes as sparkling dust within the light show.

“Oop! A new arrival,” said the Ferryman and extracted a scroll from the breast of his robe. “Oh, neat - this one’s on the way, actually. Bit north of here and we should be there soon. Very unfortunate death, gotta say. Celestial objects are generally not a common murder weapon. Will be a hell of a tale to share in the afterlife.”

Ashevelen enjoyed the view and while the Ferryman wasn’t one for small talk, occasionally he’d chip in. The conversation was always light, never something truly important. Eventually, Ashe settled on just observing the world, far away from the Umbral Woods. That is, until the Ferryman spoke.

Celestial object death? Correct me if I’m wrong, wouldn’t that mean that one of our brothers or sisters killed the mortal? Celestial objects don’t randomly fall out of the sky.” asked Ashe, curiously.

"I wouldn't know. The Universe is full of secrets and while I wasn't born yesterday, it hasn't been all that long." The Ferryman backed up his argument with one of his signature shrugs, then he gave the note another look. "Huh. No name. Not a lot of details at all, actually. Tch… Well, guess that's another one for the Ghostel."

No name? Maybe a new mortal created by other divines and got killed by accident. How funny would it be if someone stepped on another divine’s mortals by mistake?” said Ashe with a grin, aware of the grim joke she just made.

"Not sure it'd be funny at all, I'll be frank," the Ferryman replied matter-of-factly. "But to each their own, I suppose." The forest eventually gave way to giant mountains, and beyond, an unending sea of grass intermittently broken up by small, wave-like hills or on the rare occasion mountain tsunamis. Here ran the occasional horse flock, and on occasion Wellington would almost crash into an indignant eagle, but otherwise, it was fairly empty. The Ferryman scratched his head. "Can't fault anyone for dying out here, 'cept maybe ruminants."

Not for them that for sure. Bah, Ferryman you need to learn how to laugh. ” said Ashe laughing out loud. Truly a curious sound from the boat of the Ferryman, joyous laughter.

Amazing. Maybe I should’ve made the home of the Umbra here. This place looks quite nice, a lot of grass and places where you can run around. Imagine a massive bazaar built on these plains, mortals from everywhere would come. Ahhh…” said Ashe with a hopeful voice, half-daydreaming the day she’ll instruct the Umbra to build her the bazaar.

"A migrating settlement of sorts sure would be a doozy," the Ferryman agreed. "Sell a bit'a this, a bit'a that - all that good stuff." They sailed a bit further on, their altitude bringing them on collision course with a ribbon of dancing aurorae. Wellington dove down below and the Ferryman ran his fingers through the colours, magic dust spotting his hand. "Neat!"

We’re more alike that I initially thought, Mr. Ferryman. I do have to say, I enjoy your company. ” replied Ashe then proceeded to take some magic dust into her hands, only to put it inside her pockets. Surely it would be useful later.

"Thank you!" the Ferryman said with an ambiguous smile. "It's the joy of any ferryman to please one's passenger. And…" He breathed a relieved sigh. "... It's nice to sail with a friendly face for once."

"It must be lonely to always travel alone. Well, then, let me provide a gift. You've given me a lift and I'll give you something else in exchange. A trade if you want to call it that. " said Ashevelen, smiling.

She pulled her robes apart and from the shadows, a group of 6 Umbras appeared. Hiding in the shadows of their creator.

" I give them to you, my creations. As long as they follow my commands, they are free to do whatever you may wish them to do. "

The Ferryman blinked and eyed the shadows behind him. “I, uh…” He rubbed the back of his head humbly. “Thank you, miss, but, uh… I don’t know if I can accept them. I’m on the job all day and night, and if these things need to eat, then I won’t have time to feed ‘em. I, uh…” He looked over the edge of his boat. “Do they mind bartending? Wait, hang on, they’d have to be dead to even see the Ghostel…”

The Umbra in his shadow quivered at the mention.

Dead? No, no. They don’t need to be dead to see ghosts. ” smiled Ashe and with a wave of her hand, dark light flashed in the usually blank eyes of the Umbra. The Umbra were very much scared initially and then, if their faces could have expressions, it would’ve been one of amazement. Blessed with the ability to see the dead, the Umbra were amazed by the number of souls around them.

And done, they can now see the dead. As for bartending, I have given them the ability to understand the nature of a trade. Offer them your divine protection and in exchange, they’ll do what you need. They can eat pretty much anything but I can help them a bit more if you wish or just use your own power, let them eat souls or whatever else you wish. ” smiled Ashevelen, kindly.

The Ferryman, not really knowing any other ways to politely decline a gift, conceded defeat and nodded. “Thank you, ma’am. I’m sure they’ll come to good use.”

And on the Steppe, still so early in its stage of growth and population, any sound but that of the wind, was carried as unbroken as a wave, until it rolled ashore. Laughter, bright and babbling- yet somehow contradictingly imperceptible- echoed from a place somewhere beneath those dusty multicolored lights.

An oddity amongst oddities would be the sight of the statuesque and dormant humans, of which there is a sizable number, arranged in a great spiral formation, atop the rolling golden grass, at whose center-point danced a god. A large winged Unicorn, whose colorful mane and fur did shift hues as they moved, was putting on a show for an audience of one.

Myrtu moved in a precise manner-bucking and leaping- tossing their mane and leaving trails of light and color with their wings. Before them a formless unnamed soul giggled, in the soundless-cacophonous manner of those whose voices would forever go unheard by mortals.

The Ferryman slowed down the pace of Wellington and blinked. He waved his hand with a small movement and greeted, “Afternoon, friend!”

Ashevelen looked, a bit amazed, at the other divine. A truly majestic form they’ve chosen.

Amazing horn brother! And your mane !

Myrtu halted, then leapt into the air- his wings of light glittering brightly behind him- until he was even with the front Wellington. A moment of equine examination took place, as he looked the two over. Finally, in a voice that came without the use of his mouth, he spoke brightly, "Greetings! Where art thine hooves? Does this vessel act in the place of them?"

The Ferryman looked over the edge of the boat to behold the magnificent quad of polished hooves attached to the amazingly fabulous unicorn. After a very jealous spot of pondering, he managed to muster a small, “I suppose so. Sure wish she was as shiny as yours are, though.”

"Only a paltry few granules of stardust would be required for shining the vessel- though the collection of stardust involves going near those stars which have collapsed without falling into the collapsing void thyself- one need simply outrun it. Or," he tossed his mane about, along with a few sparkles, "Partake of a sum from mine flowing tresses, I have much to spare."

Myrtu abruptly gave Ashevelen a stare down, "And where art thy hooves? Unless- ah, a duo of Divines which sail the skies?"

My hooves? I have hooves, look again brother. Hooves, tail and everything in between. ” answered Ashe and to prove her words, she lifted one leg in the air and lo’ and behold, one of feet was turned into a hoof. A parlor trick for a divine but hopefully, the other divine would’ve found it mildly amusing at least.

I just went along for a ride, to answer your question. My mortals need time to grow and more places to be than they can travel on their own. As such, the good Ferryman offered us a space on his boat.

"Yup," the Ferryman said with a nod.

When Ashevelen revealed the hoof, Myrtu bounded about midair in amusement, making a little circle before facing the two again. "I have, in mine contemplations, asked why each Divine does choose their forms, and why, upon this world, there is a startling of hooves, so far as I have seen."

"-and did you say mortals? Ah, I've quite the collection- "

Below, the infantile soul cried out in confusion, to which Myrtu abruptly and immediately responded. He went toward it with a spiraling descent, so careful not to go near any of the dormant human statues.

"Here I am! Please do not begin the wailing again-" Myrtu shouted upward "-twas nice to meet you however I am quite busy!"

The Ferryman blinked and extracted the little scroll from his breast pocket. “Say, uh…” He unfurled it. “... Would that soul have happened to have been squashed by a celestial object in its living days? Would you know anything about that, mister…?”

Myrtu stared up at the Ferryman, then back to the soul, then back upward. A tense moment of silence passed. A very deep sigh left Myrtu as he explained, "Accidentally there was a most unfortunate and unintentional crushing of one of these statues, which represent a dormant race of mortals called Humans, by mine most mistaken and accidental misstep, in which I unwittingly smooshed a statue with mine hoof. Accidentally. Unfortunately. Thereby rendering it unto a state most deceased."

“Huh. Guess that’s one-oh to you, Miss Ashevelen,” the Ferryman conceded.

Ashevelen listened to Myrtu’s very unfortunate tale, on how he killed this mortal race called humans and then nodded to the Ferryman with a grin.

Wow. A joke I made turned out to be real. Who’d have thought about that? ” quickly replied Ashevelen while laughing and tapping the Wellington with her hand in delight.

Divine brother, may you offer us your name? I am Ashevelen, lady of the trade and this here…” pointing to the Ferryman “ the Ferryman of the dead. Called to ferry across the world, the souls of the dead. In other words, the one below there.

Myrtu shook his head about anxiously, stepping into a little dance for the soul, which cooed and giggled, before he responded, "I am called Myrtu, and full glad am I that this one may be sent elsewhere- I've nary a clue as to how much entertainment I could provide for much longer."

“Oh, very kind of you, mister Myrtu,” said the Ferryman and beckoned the soul aboard his vessel (it didn’t have much of a choice in the matter). It was seated very politely on one of the plank seats next to a myriad of Umbral shades, one of whom conjured forth a fraction of Ashevelen’s shadow and made a little puppet show for the soul. It received copious applause for its mimicry of a skipping foal. “This one’ll…” The Ferryman regarded the soul scroll. “... Go to the Ghostel for the time being, it seems. But hey, it’s somewhere.”

Ashe watched with great interest the Umbra’s puppet show and laughed copiously at the story they portrayed. The souls seemed to enjoy it as well but she soon lost interest in them, instead, she turned towards Myrtu.

Myrtu, it seems to me that you’ve got quite a few humans down there. What do you say about a trade? I give you some of my Umbra and in exchange, I’ll take some of your humans. How does that sound? ” asked Ashevelen. "Humans and Umbra might get along," replied Ashevelen, "The Umbra could use some new trade partners and maybe, some new food if they don't prove themselves useful."

Heaving a great and weary sigh, Myrtu settled down, folding his legs beneath him. Ashevelen's words were taken in with a quiet moment of equine thought, as he shifted his head about, taking in the sight of the humans at different angles. Calculating? Idly, as he looked about, Myrtu asked, "Ghostel? I... will have to find this place, in due time. What is this Ghostel? The afterlife for mortals?"

Then to Ashevelen he responded, "And if there will be a trade, I'd ask only for equal numbers of these hoofless blobs in exchange," he shook his mane about with some amusement, "These are mortal creatures both with potential which awaits unbinding and realization. Only as they grow might we know what their capabilities truly are."

That is a fair trade. Say, 50 of mine vs 50 of yours? Enough for them to grow on their own without us needing to shepherd them. ” quickly replied Ashevelen.

“I agree- that number will be suitable- these mortals will quite overwhelm them with amount, however, among them shall I unleash variation in form and build, so that they might engage in teamwork and compensate for each other's strengths and weaknesses. These.. Umbra, will make excellent variation to that which is planned,” Myrtu bobbed his head, “Though forgive me, as I am quite weary, and will not be able to transport that number easily until mine breath hath returned to me.”

The Ferryman followed the logic of the conversation, as well as Ashevelen’s frequent eye shifts back to him and mumbled something like, “... Well, I guess there’s space in Wellington for a few.”

Only if you allow it, Ferryman. You can drop them at any time in the Umbral Forests. Pretty sure some of the Umbras are dying as we speak, seeing that I haven’t offered them much to begin with.” smiled Ashe, shyly towards the Ferryman. She realized a bit too late that the Ferryman will end up…ferrying alive mortals as well.

With a knock on her robe, a few more Umbras came out. These, like the other ones, hid in Ashe’s shadow and just waited for her to allow them to come out whenever they were required. Of course, the blessing which affected the Ferryman’s Umbra, affected them as well. Giving birth to a new type of Umbra.

There, 50 Umbras for you, Myrtu. Thank you for your trade.” said Ashe as she gently let the Umbras on the ground, next to Myrtu’s humans.

Myrtu regarded the Umbra on the ground with an ambiguous expression, as most of his expressions were, seeing as he’s a horse, before looking back up to Ashevelen. “These humans are bound in statue form and, though I am certain they may be transported with ease, I’ve no idea as to their weight and if such a tiny vessel would be able to carry them. Therefore I propose that I, in due time, transport them myself to your forest. I am capable of carrying numerous objects at once, with the powers of mine Divine Mind.”

What in tarnation did you just say about my vessel, you little foal? I’ll have you know that I graduated top of my class at the Ferryman Academy and that I have over three hundred confirmed deliveries. I am trained in navigation and I am the top sailor in the entire Intercosmic Undertaker Association. You are nothing to me but just another colleague. I will ship you away with speed and comfort the likes of which has never been seen before on this Galbar, mark my darn words. You think you can get away with saying that stuff over telepathy? Think again, horsey. As we speak, I am contacting my known network of souls all across the planet and your mind is being filled now with positive reviews, so you better prepare for the storm, stallion. The storm that tells you that I actually do a pretty decent job. You will learn a lesson, foal. I can be anywhere (within reason), anytime (well, virtually), and I can transport you in over three ways, and that’s just with my boat Wellington. Not only am I extensively trained in rowboating, but I have access to the entire fleet of the Intercosmic Undertaker Association and I will use it to its full extent to ferry your respectable self off the face of this Steppe, you kind sir. If only you could have known what comfortable service your little ‘clever’ comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your respectable tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t and now you won’t be paying the price (I ship for free, see), you respectable gentlehorse. I will ship cordially all over and you will enjoy it. You’re damned welcome, foaly.”

The Ferryman blinked as he realized what he had just said and mumbled, “Sorry, dunno what came over me just there.”

And unto the Ferryman, Myrtu asked in a deadpan, “Can thine vessel transport fifty statues?”

The Ferryman looked around his little dory. “Uh, probably. Guess we’ll have to try, huh?”

“If it cannot,” Myrtu got to his feet, shimmering, “Then it shall be declared the teeny tiny shipping container from the Intercosmic Undertaker Association.”

“You’re on, horsey.”

With a Single flip of his magnificent sparkling mane, Myrtu’s horn glowed brightly- illuminating outlines around some fifty grouped human statues. With a second swish of hair, which rained down significant sparkles, the statues lifted all at once toward the Wellington. Like a true dock-loader, Myrtu asked then, “Lengthwise, stacked, or other way, transport?”

“Stacked lengthwise. Don’t you worry, sir - she’s handled her share before.” The Ferryman gently put his Umbral Six in a dark corner in the back, gestured for Ashevelen to move back some and stood up to guide the shipment down in the ship’s belly with his hands. Ashe just stood there, wide-eyed. Her face was of utter disbelief. Looking at the Ferryman and then back at Myrtu, their exchange getting heatedly-polite. Eventually, she started laughing and laughing and continued to do that until the Ferryman gestured for her to move and then, afterwards, she continued to laugh again.

Amazing. Divines everywhere, this was just amazing. Wow, just…wow. I’m speechless. Ferryman, Myrtu, I have to say, I quite like you two. Please visit my realm later on when I’ll build one. We need to have a brew and talk more. Pure entertainment. ” said Ashe, barely managing to speak in-between laughs. A tear slowly rolling down her cheek from pure joy.

As Myrtu lowered the fifty statues into the Wellington, one by one, as guided by the Ferryman, he mumbled, “Well, foolish would I be to turn down a chance to entertain and bring joy to others.” Oh, Myrtu absolutely was going to passive-aggressively keep loading up the Wellington, even if things looked as if they weren’t going to work. With an amused shake of his head, Myrtu added, “Mayhaps next we meet, we may share progress on how our mortals are faring.”

The Ferryman, with a competitive glint in his eye, pursed his ambiguous lips as the vessel sank deeper and deeper into the magical river it sailed. “Mayhaps we shall.” The Umbra had already flowed out from their hidey hole and tried desperately to keep the tower of humans in balance. The barrier barring souls from exiting the vessel without the Ferryman’s leave would have helped - if it had been calibrated for the living. The Ferryman tried to hide the beads of sweat on his forehead. “Mayhaps, indeed.”

Myrtu continued loading statues without any sign of slowing down. He remained silent.

Do you need help, Ferryman? More than happy to row as well, for a price. Maybe some more divine power is required? You can accept after we leave from here, out of the eyes of Myrtu, of course. ” said Ashe with a grin while helping stabilize the human tower from falling over.

“No need,” the Ferryman insisted as he cast a soul spell to balance the tower at the top while also transporting a panicked Umbra back aboard after they almost fell to their death. “Wellington has never lost a passenger before. She won’t lose one today.”

Pride doesn’t suit you, my friend. ” quickly replied Ashe with a friendly smile.

“I thank you both for stopping by,” Myrtu spoke up, after placing the final statue atop the stack, “Please do visit again.”

Goodbye divine brother! It was a pleasure meeting you!” shouted Ashe with a wave.

“Oh, this’ll probably be the sort’a place I return to often,” said the Ferryman with feigned confidence. “A very good day to ya, mister Myrtu.” With that, they sailed off like a stack of plates on a skateboard, statues dropping off and being put back with telekinesis like an endless game of jenga.

edit: fixed some scuffed spelling, formatting, and inserted the elusive myrtu token

A Strange Neigh-bor

Myrtu & Anath Homura

As far as the new deities went, Myrtu was likely the hardest to track down, seeing as he rarely stayed still for long. Anyone seeking the Unicorn would also likely find it frustrating that he tended to sprint off at random or completely derail conversation. So when it was that Myrtu instead found others, then initiated conversation with them, it was like… well… seeing a Unicorn.

He'd spotted the massive metal horse from a distance and used quite the enthusiastic pace to catch up with it. Now, he was running about beneath it, shouting up at it with a very excited, "GREETINGS FELLOW EQUINE! Would you care to partake in a fine bit of prancing?"

“The colossus cannot speak, but I have no specific destination I am going to now. If you wish to prance beside me, then so be it.” The voice of Anath Homura echoed from above, where she stood atop its crown, as the colossus itself continued to canter onward with a strange and ethereal whirlwind left in its wake.

At the sound of the voice, Myrtu kept into the air, their winds expanding into a brilliant multitude of lights behind them. He flew to hover alongside the crown and its passenger. His head chanted in confusion, "Then it is you I sensed and not the Colossus itself?" The disappointment in his tone was heavy.

“Indeed.” The red goddess replied, her voice remaining neutral akin to her impassive visage as she stared at Myrtu with her sole eye, before she spoke again with an otherworldly authority. “I am Anath Homura, and I come to offer you peaceful greetings and the bestowal of gifts.”

"Anath Homura- ah! Twas your voice which called out through space as mine comet did venture close enough to hear it- finally, we have met," Myrtu danced about in the air rather gaily for a moment. "Thine greetings peaceful are welcomed and returned in kind! However, I am at a disadvantage- for I've no gifts ready to offer in exchange."

She whom once called from across the cosmos simply raised her hand in an attempt to alleviate his concerns as she endeavored to speak cordially. “Hmm… your amusing antics are an equal exchange for these gifts then. Or otherwise, you may merely consider my gifts a charitable act, as the world would flourish with more mortals.”

Myrtu gasped, “Mortals? Then truly-” their eyes went to the massive form of the colossus, “- they shall be as grand as that which I see before me? Tiny ones made of metal with hooves that many a road would pass beneath effortlessly?”

“You are free to shape and sculpt the humans you receive, as you wish.” Anath Homura answered, before she gestured to the colossus itself and solemnly asked of Myrtu: “Do you accept my gift then?”

“Humans?” The confusion in his voice was palpable, “I– before me I see a great and mighty horse- are there not horses which this one shall create? And is not the horse itself an item which could be copied?” A beat of pause, “Are Humans a type of horse? If it is so then I shall graciously accept. Though,” as the logistics of the situation bounced around within Myrtu’s godly equine mind, their eyes swirled with a myriad of colors, as the endless possibilities poured in, “From what has been presently explained, if they are not, then horses they might become! Therefore they are already a type of horse!” Tossing his head about so that his mane shimmered unnecessarily, Myrtu doubled down, “Tis a fine gift indeed! A vast herd of horses!”

The red goddess slightly arched her brow while she replied to each and every question. “Indeed, humans currently reside within this colossus. I am the one that created the two, and the latter shall not further reproduce, though as an artifact itself - its mechanism and function could be replicated.” She idly stepped forward, leaning over the edges of the large crown she stood upon, and glanced at the landscape below her where the process of transporting the slumbering humans from the interior of the colossus to outside had begun.

Thousands of statues resembling the shape and size of Anath Homura were laid upon the earth once again, but they were pale and lacking any distinguishing features among them. They stayed in a state of dormancy, however a hint of life flickered within all of them, and sought the attention of the Divine. The primordial vessels were seeking to be given a new form and function - to be finally awakened. Without halting in her speech, Anath Homura continued to converse as her gift was arranged into a multitude of intricate spiral rows scattered across the land below both Myrtu and herself.“In this scenario, it would be more accurate to assert that horses are a type of human, though vice versa is equally true should the coming changes be enacted in reverse. Since you have accepted, you shall have your vast herd of horses.”

Tilting his head back and forth, Myrtu took in the given information, with what seemed to be mild disappointment at first, which was swiftly swept away by the sheer curiosity at the emergence of the primordial humans- those formless statues calling for influence. To say that Myrtu’s attention was absolutely captured by both the form of the beings emerging from the horse and the manner in which they were laid out, would be an understatement. Already, it seemed that the Red Goddess was becoming an afterthought. The further proof of this was in how abruptly Myrtu landed among the spiral formation. As if in awe of them, he stalked among the formation with a series of leaps and bounds, skillful precision to see the forms at different angles. After such a lengthy pause, finally he looked up, then declared with a full heart and inspired voice:

“By the nameless, glorious, and swirling cosmos, they are Hideous! With a muted leap back up, ending in a spiraling corkscrew for flourish, Myrtu was once again level with Anath Homura, as he said, “Deeply, I am grateful for such creatures- for this disgusting form shall serve as excellent indication for their coming venture into spectactacularity! It is one I shall keep always in mind as I usher them undo their truest, freest, most GLORIOUS selves.”

“So it shall be. Now, I must continue my travels, and then I will be returning to my realm once I have greeted the other gods and goddesses that are willing to speak with me. Myrtu, I ask that you please visit my home, and share the gift of your mirth with me again.” Anath Homura said after she had allowed herself to sigh aloud with seeming content, and afterwards bowed respectfully towards him.

Returning the bow as it was given, Myrtu asked his last question, “And how does one find thy realm?”

“Ask the Archai after the celestial celebration, and my messengers will show you the way.” She answered, indicating with a wave of one hand towards the shimmering stars in the sky that had continually illuminated the land with their bright and boisterous festivities. There was a pulse of otherworld power, as the colossus heeded an unspoken command and continued its cantering onward.

Myrtu watched her depart for only a moment before descending rapidly, excited for working with those primordial humans, and shaping them into beautiful and glorious forms! Beneath his diving hooves, something crunched- or was it more of a pop? Squished? Myrtu looked down, then back up to Anath Homura’s departing form, then moved a few steps to the right to conceal the crushed protohuman from any over the shoulder glances, trying their hardest to maintain an air of innocence.

Sorry, I have covid and am super sick. When my body's doing better I'll get a post up.

Get well soon! Send a ping if you ever start up in the future.


Northern Glaciers

High in the northern glaciers atop the world, beneath a sky which danced with random colors and dazzling glimmers, there came crackling lights and dazzling bursts of raw godly power, erupting from the surface of the ice, as the unicorn god bucked and danced about. She was creating! And who could possibly create without proper song or dance? All of those beautiful rainbow sparkling lights she had placed in the sky had been inspiring. Before her stood a statue delicately carved from the glacial ice by her godly horn.

This, too, would act as inspiration for... whatever those Mortals were? Truth was, when she had found them crawling across the ice, freezing to death, their appearance had been met with both surprise and disgust. Why didn't they have any hooves? Or fur, for that matter? Their bodies were large, sure, but they were not STRONG. Nor did they have the speed to set themselves FREE from the approaching icy grasp of death. A whole heard (which might be the proper term for the skinbacks) of them lay frozen atop the ice around her creation.

She would show these (now) transparent observers (that were probably ghosts) what a truly perfect form was! Of course, Myrtu considered herself to be perfect, but hers was not a form achievable for mortals. No! They needed something to aspire to. Something that they'd ask to be blessed as, if ever they sought the freedom of the skies or the freedom of dashing across the land.

“Who is causing these colors?” Ravdur asked himself as he was making his way to the glaciers. He was busy admiring the landscape that he had created when strange lights appeared in the sky. Curious what is behind these sudden colors in the sky, he ventured north to where they seemed the strongest, and soon then, he could sense something. A god, like him, and he moved faster to see who this god is and what these colors mean.

After some time, he arrived at the glacier and found both dead and light. The area was bursting with light and rainbow colors, but that did not distract Ravdur from the frozen remains of the mortals. Kneeing down to one of the bodies to study it and like the rest. They were clearly killed by the cold, and he wondered why these mortals were here? Explorers maybe and but either way, unprepared for the cold.

After going further north, that was when Ravdur saw the god he was looking for and was surprised. He was expecting something humanoid like him and instead found a creature dancing around blinding colorful lights. He can easily sense that this creature was a god and probably the one responsible for the strange lights. So after walking a bit further to the god, Ravdur made himself known. “Hello, I am Ravdur, and who are you? You the one that made these strange lights in the sky?"

The large Unicorn, four legged with a set of wings that seemed made of rainbow light itself, turned its head to Ravdur. All of her motions halted and, for a long quiet pause, she looked Ravdur over in curiosity. When she spoke, the voice came not from the movement of the mouth or lips, but projected by some other means aloud for the other god to hear.

"Twas I who colored the sky, behold– ah- Where are thine hooves?"

Turning her sparkling eyes of no one color toward the frozen mortals, she spoke, "These creatures had not swift hooves to spirit them from this place- which seem illsuited for furless hides, so supple– and so they did meet their fate in the ice but you. How is it that you, with same hoofless feet as theirs, made your way so far north?" She shook her head, her mane dancing wildly about as she asked a third question,"I sense within you that which makes thee like me, yet... you have no hooves. How could you be like me without hooves?"

Ravdur's glowing blue eyes met with her colorful eyes and he spoke. "I do not have hooves, and I can ask you the same thing hooved one. For I have not have thought I would have met a goddess like me.” The first of the gods he meets, and this one is a curiosity.

"I am a god, we move much faster than a mortal, and why I do not freeze like them. I am the lord of ice, it is my domain, the cold never bothered me. And how we can be the same while different. For while we are clearly different, we both share the spark of the divine. A spark that separates us from the mortals and that others that have come to this world share. I take it you have not met them yet, but neither have I. Only seen their marks on this world and the one that called us here.”

Then his tone shifted slightly to somewhat serious, “I have answered your questions, but you only answered half of mine. Who are you, what is your name, hooved one?”

She listened with attention, her ears perked toward Ravdur, as his words were analyzed and agreed upon with a slight nod. "I doth suppose there is merit in thine response- that we are indeed the same. How interesting!" Shaking her mane about in a shimmering display, she replied, "I am called Myrtu, in the tongue of mine kin which sprint now across the depths of the cosmos."

"I have seen-" Myrtu paused "-mine reason that I, in past tense, did believe the others had hooves as I; Atop a snowy peak, I did behold one whose legs ended in mighty hooves, though their upper half were more similar to thy own. From there, did I sprint here, for your domain, Lord of Ice, brings me comfort. The cold reminds me of a home I did claim amidst the stars," and as she turned her eyes to her sculpture of ice, Myrtu replied, "And I do enjoy shaping the ice into forms upon which I shall bestow life, in eventuality."

There are more of her in the cosmos? Ravdur thought to himself.

More godly hooved creatures that roam the stars and speak without speaking? What oddities did he miss while sleepily wandering the void? Did her kind cross paths once? Better to think about that later, “Hmm, so the gods of this world are not what I expect in this case.”

What do the others look like? He wondered, but his thought shifted when Myrtu spoke of home. "Home… that word, I am not sure I had a home or ever had one. My memory is not the best, and I guess this world is my home now.” He said with a sigh, he does not remember much about his past before being called and wonders why that is so.

But he forced his mind to focus on the matter at hand. “You spoke of shaping the ice and giving it life. What kind of life are you making?”

"We say that home is beneath thine hooves, anyway- or… whatever those things you possess are- feet! Yes, in such case, therefore- you truly are home," Myrtu responded, before turning to their carved ice. "This shall act as guide and mold for coming Pegasus- a winged and hooved, creature, with a strong back, and determination enough to define its own freedom and purpose! Though I have worn myself weary and require rest before granting it freedom from its icy form."

She moves so that Ravdur can see the carving better. It appears to be a creature similar to Myrtu, though it lacks horns or the same stature, and it is reared up on its hind legs, with finely carved feathered wings. "The ice acts only as template, for I've not the ability to do.. likely what you're able- what are you able to do, Lord of Ice? Create ice sculptures with ease, no doubt," she laughed slightly before waiting on the answer.

“Hmmm, I see Myrtu and a Pegasus, you say,” intrigued he is. So Ravdur walked to the carving to get a better look. Stopping just a few feet from it and it studied it for a bit. An interesting mount if one could tame it but based on what Myrtu said. It will be a challenge, or maybe a different method be used.

Ravdur, chuckled, "Yeah, I can make ice sculptures with ease.” Looking down at his hands and briefly ice formed in his hands, “I have created some for this world, though so far only making cold ecosystems for this world. Since these mortals have ventured this far north, they had to have crossed it.”

Ravdur took a minute to think and then spoke in time, looking at Myrtu. “I do have plans for this world, and I think my next creation will be black ice. Something for the mortals and myself. When they discover how to use it, and do you have plans for this world too?”

Myrtu briefly looked down at the frozen Elves, shaking her mane disparagingly, "If they crossed through better zones of habitation then truly, they were foolish, yet admirable to have come so far."

Then to Ravdur, she said, "I have come to understand those odd non-hooves and will bless the world with examples of a multitude of superiorly hooved creatures. So, for now, there shall be Horses I'll bring into this world. Many and more. For if these creatures cannot have the freedom of being born with hooves, then perhaps an alliance with those that possess them, will alleviate what must surely be a source of sorrow and pain. All should be free to know what it is like to be carried swiftly by hooves of liberation!"

Myrtu danced about with her front legs only briefly before asking, "And what shall thine black ice do for the world? What creature is there that can withstand the cold- for if these creatures are what populate the world, then they are weak indeed."

“Yeah, they did, the zones I made were, yes, cold but habitable. Where one could thrive.” Ravdur looked back at the frozen elves and then back at Myrtu. “I am sure they had a reason for coming this far north but were unprepared. Perhaps exploring the world and ventured too far for their limits.” Bold and yet foolish, he thought.

He chuckled once again, “So more horses into the world, a noble endeavor.” He is not sure about the superiority of hooved creatures but giving the world possible mounts is not a bad thing. Only he hopes they are not as… odd as Myrtu.

“As for what is black ice, it is a ice that is blackish in appearance and never melts. Stronger than any metal the mortals can make. One that can be used to make strong weapons or reinforcement of buildings. Making them stronger, keeping them insulated from the cold if done right and even used to it to make special armor.” Ravdur paused, and a smile appeared on his face.

“Soon, I think I will make it and see how it takes for mortals can figure out how to use it.” Then that smile went away, “But as for elves, they are called, weak maybe. But, if they to survive in this world, they need to adapt, or perhaps a more hardy race needs to show them how?” That last sentence made him think, Should I make such a race?

But he quickly got his mind back on track.

“Still, we will see if these elves will stay foolish and weak. As I said, they need to adapt and learn if they wish to survive and thrive in this world. For it will not show them mercy as these elves have seen.”

"The world is young yet- plenty of time for adaptation, if there is any to be had among their kind- but perhaps the motivation of a competing species could, indeed, propel them swiftly along the path of growth," Myrtu replied, before suddenly going stiff. Her eyes began to dance with multitude and myriad of colors so swiftly that it was always a question of what color had been in place previously.

Sounding surprised, she gasped, then proclaimed, "They could be anything. Everything. Possibilities endlessly contained within all that makes the creatures of creation- needing only but a nudge here- a blessing there- and perhaps the whispers of freedom indeed." Her head tilted to the side, "And if it true that your Black Ice would have such usefulness, then that grants them even more profound possibilities! How would they adapt to a world with creations wrought from a substance with such potential?"

Whinnying excitedly, Myrtu danced about again, moving her legs up and down, "Are you going to make it now? Here? Right here and now?! Shall the Black Ice come from this place?"

Ravdur was taken back by Myrtu’s sudden excitement and dancing but did not show it. “Not here, not this far north. But someplace where it would not be exploited by everyone. Somewhere only by those willing to make the journey and have the tools and knowledge to gather it, can use it. And that knowledge will be accessible only by a temple of my make, and I know where to place it.”

Myrtu halted once more, regarding Ravdur with a steady gaze, and a brief silence. "I see," her head lowered slightly as if disappointed. A soft huff left her as a hoof pawed the ground dejectedly, "Very well then. Please, mind not the sculpture of Pegasus. I shall leave it here for a while, mayhaps come back to redesign the proportions. I've need to stretch mine legs and wings--" she lept high into the air without kicking up so much as a snowflake, her wings of light burst forth brilliantly.

Speeding off, without giving the Lord of Ice so much as a moment to protest or even say goodbye, Myrtu was already dashing across the sky and out of sight.

“Guess I disappointed her,” Ravdur said to himself as he watched the goddess fly out of sight. He felt kinda bad about it but at the same time. He could not feel about how Myrtu was an odd goddess, and his gaze turned to the Pegasus and had half a mind to surprise her with a living one.

But went against that idea since he did not have the power right now nor wished to disappoint the godly horse more. So at that spot, using what power he had, Ravdur created black ice and spread it in a small area. The area between two of the mountains that next to the stonebreaker mountains. And placed his temple that held the knowledge needed to gather and use black ice and a clue to where it could be found in the area where three mountains meet. Which is made of black ice and can not be damaged or removed.

Satisfied with his creations, Ravdur left the area and headed south. With Myrtu unintentionally giving him an idea and now to see if these elves can find his temple and the black ice. If they have the drive to venture this far north, albeit unprepared. Then maybe they can uncover the temple and discover the strength of black ice. But, for now, Ravdur has other plans though waits to see if these elves or someone else finds the temple first.

edit: some missplaced text color
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