A Visit from the Witch

The bunker was going together nicely. The mask he’d bought from Bruja was the real deal. He’d parted with every stolen good he’d had left and he felt it might be worth far more.

It was surprising to learn just how capable the mask was, and he was always learning new ways to manipulate his environment. It certainly helped him finish his work quickly while remaining anonymous. He’d already built hundreds of robotic soldiers without lifting a finger.

The ground began to shake, and he knew something was wrong, as the Aigon forest isn’t prone to earthquakes. The doors burst open and Bruja appeared before him. “You made it incredibly hard to find you, Moe, but I have.” It was like a punch in the gut. That wasn’t his given name, but he still never used it for fear that he would be discovered. Anonymity was imperative to his survival.

“How did you find me, bitch?” She laughed. The grating sound was far more unsettling than it should have been to him. “I told you that I would always find you. You bought my wares, and now I own you.” She dropped his sack of gold onto the ground in front of him. “I have a job for you.”

He launched into an attack. He owed himself to the man that saved him. He did his bidding and nobody else’s. Not that he had a choice. He would be killed if he didn’t pledge full allegiance to the man.

She easily dodged him. “Now that’s not very nice.” She was mocking him. He really needed a more secure bunker so he wouldn’t have to deal with her. She grinned and then he found himself engulfed in her blue flames. But it didn’t hurt, and he wasn’t dying. Through the flames, Bruja appeared as a beautiful young woman who looked to be exhausted.

He shook his head, feeling a bit of pity for the woman. “I’m sorry. I can’t help you.” She flew into a rage. “I will kill you, then. Slowly.” She sounded sincere, but he could see her true self. She must not have been aware. He could see her shaking and weeping. “Leave, Bruja.” To his surprise, she listened. “I will return.” And she left.

Moe sat on the floor, now alone. He couldn’t help but feel that he’d made the wrong decision.

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A Visit from the Witch

The Ruining

Luna ran from the palace gates and immediately choked on a cloud of smoke billowing from a nearby building. She could hear the shrieks of terror from the residents of Platt, as the smoke cleared, and the horrendous scene lay before her.

The guardsmen that once proudly protected the ancient race were now wreaking havoc on the kingdom. Men, women, and children were slaughtered without so much as a second thought. Their ornate, statuesque bodies riddled the ground, like artifacts left to erode in time’s passing. They almost blended in with the rubble.

The looks of horror and pain frozen on the faces of the dead became too much to bear, and Luna fell to her knees, weeping uncontrollably. But death did not take her. She would know that relief. The guardsmen passed her by as if she never existed. Her people cried to her, reached for her, but she could not save them. She watched them die, as they cursed her name.

It was her fault, and the guilt she felt paralyzed her. She knew that had she not shown Nathaniel this place, and let him plant his seed in her, the Plattian nobility would still be dancing. The children would still be playing. The temple would still be standing. No such luck. Today was the day that Luna, giver of life, brought death upon the ancient race.

The Ruining

A New Player

When Burrito was a young boy, his mother Sapphire was distraught and unsure how to proceed. She tried her best to raise him but, in the end, the pain of knowing the love of her life had played a cruel trick on her and had been controlling every aspect of her life morphed her mind. Sapphire felt the mental snap coming on, and in her last sane moments, she sent Burrito far away and chained herself to the little wooden shack they had been living in.

She knew that one day, the structure would rot, and the chains would break loose. She hoped he’d be a well-adjusted adult by that time, and perhaps have a cure for her mental disease. She settled in and awaited his return, imagining him as a grown man, presenting the family tormenter’s head on a platter.

 

 

Luna waited for what felt like ages in the foyer of the palace. She was requesting counsel with the “King” of Platt to ask why he would do such a terrible thing to his own son. A well-dressed man glided around the corner with all of the grace and grandeur of a king, but his form did not match. He was far too short, a measly six foot, tan and somewhat muscular. These features certainly were not fit for someone with the status of King of the Gods.

His over-confident gaze gave way to a softer one, but she knew better. It was all an act, a mask of masks to hid his wickedness from those who served him. The once courageous and charismatic staffers of the palace had been reduced to mindless drones, with no opportunity for input. They barely spoke above a whisper and appeared as sickly hollows of their former selves. They slaved about the elaborate structure in mere rags, and never took a rest. It was such an undignified way for the ancient race to be treated.

Luna glared at him. “We need to talk.” “Of course, darling, that’s why we’re here.” He extended his arm to her and- reluctantly- she took it.

He led her down a long corridor so pristine it was as if nobody lived in the palace at all. He’d somehow managed to drain the life from even the walls, creating a sameness so bland, the only possible focus would be him. After an eternal silence, a soft whisper of piano music caught Luna’s ear, and she could hardly contain her delight. He gave a slight flick of the wrist and the door swung wide, giving way to a highly lit chamber of merriment. To her amazement, everyone inside was a Plattian Noble, dressed gayly and engaged in dancing so graceful, nature itself could not recreate the movements. The beautiful men and women were seven and eight feet tall, with skin of porcelain, cedar, and brass, and eyes of sapphire, emeralds, and rubies.

Floating in the air were tiny specks of gold as if it were pollen in the warm breeze of late spring or the first snowfall of winter. It accumulated at the corners of the room and stuck to everyone’s hair and skin, glimmering in the soft yellow lighting. One of the women caught a glimpse of Luna and stumbled. Ghastly screams tore through the crowd as the light dimmed and went out. The wind burst open the shutters and chilled Luna to the bone.

All of the guests were slowly wasting away into emaciated corpses and fell at her feet. The only light came from Nathaniel, who was glowing a brilliant blue and baring his teeth at her. Calmly, Luna surrounded herself with her own blue light, that of her shield, wielding a golden chain whip. But before she could use the whip, Nathaniel burst through her shield with ease and grasped her wrist firmly, staring at her hungrily. “What do you want?!” His voice was oddly soothing. “I want you to raise my son to be a great warrior. Make him hate me, make him see that I am his ultimate enemy. I want him to thirst for my blood. I want him to feel like his only purpose in life is reclaiming the throne from me.”

He let go and took a step back. “Why would I do that?” Luna fought with all her might to stay strong and not to give into his lies, the pain in his eyes was mere deceit. “You have to. I have made it so.” He turned and walked away, disappearing into the labyrinth of corridors, leaving Luna alone in the dark.

A New Player

How Not to Break the Fourth Wall

I am speaking to you about things and trying to be witty. I want to blow your mind with an obvious or totally insane twist that I am the character or that the character is aware it is being read.

Do you know what I’m doing? Is this too subtle? Let me spell it out. I do and say everything with the knowledge that you are watching, whilst you yourself do not even know of your own watchers. You peak in on others’ lives, watching as if reality does not exist to them, but is that how you want them to watch you?

As sentience goes, I am far more aware than you are. I know that you are watching me, I know where you are watching, I know how you are watching, and I can respond to you. As far as you are concerned, I am your God, and you worship me. You are worshipping me as we speak, by enjoying me, by sharing me, by becoming obsessed with me, by depicting me in your art. You worship me, as you should. I am your god.

How Not to Break the Fourth Wall

How to Break the Fourth Wall

She ascended the stairs to her den of darkness. Slowly, one step at a time, the centuries-old wood groaning under the weight of her every step, she made her way to her place of hiding. A room she both loved and feared, full of good and bad memories. She was sick of it, but there she would retreat.

When life threw the unexpected and the hard to swallow, she would sit up late nights with pen and paper weaving tapestries portraying glimpses into the vast universes trapped in her mind. She could not fathom the depth of which these fantasies contained. Day and night she never stopped dreaming, the world filtered through her own version of reality. They helped her to keep a shred of sanity, to move forward when life felt meaningless. In the alternate realities she had created, she was so important that the entire world would die without her.

Everyone depended on her for survival. Everyone loved and feared her. She was truly powerful. She wanted to continue this dreaming forever, so one day she opened the window and sent some of her best work to be consumed by the world. And now that you’re reading it, was it worth your time? Was it worth mine? Do you know what it’s like never feeling good enough, never being fully realized? Are you living up to your full potential?

How to Break the Fourth Wall

Bunker

Deep in Aigon Forest, a hardly noticeable door lay beneath an inconspicuous pile of leaves. The door lead into a deep bunker which was about a mile long and several hundred feet wide with the entrance opening into a cavernous room on the  south wall, and a series of storage, bedrooms, kitchen, restroom and sick bay along the north wall.

Piled in the southwest corner of the big room was junk and unused parts. Just a few feet away from this was a two by six foot chute that lead to a deep furnace. It’s smell gave the impression that garbage, human waste, and dead bodies all went into this furnace. The furnace safely disposed of the waste and filtered the unsanitary bits out as it piped the heat into the rooms through vents on the floor and into the oven if the vent switch were open. Clean outside ventilation ducts with filters lined the ceilings. Otherwise, this mysterious abandoned bunker was empty.

His boots made a light, echoing sound as he made his way across the vast expanse. He stopped and flipped open his burner phone, surprised to see he had service down in this tin can. He punched in the numbers and held it up to his face. He heard the telltale “click” that someone answered, but there was no reply. Speaking in code, he said, “Hello, Dad? Just calling to say thanks for  helping me out. The new house is magnificent. Plenty of room for my dogs and my collection. Anyway, tell mom I love her.” He snapped the phone shut, removing the battery and then squeezing the flimsy plastic in his left hand until he heard the phone shatter.

 

 

 

Bunker

Mexican Masquerade

In a remote village in Mexico, a stranger erected a new shop full of foreign goods of questionable origin. There was a strange aura about the shop, and the people who shopped there mentioned a different “appearance” of the shopkeeper. Soon, the village noticed mysterious sounds at night, that of a banshee, and then some people who shopped at the shop started to die. That’s when the terrifying blue lady showed herself in he town square.

She seemed to float a few inches off of the ground. Her body was very corpselike, and her magical presence could be felt by all. “I would like to introduce myself to those who do not know me.” Her dual voices chilled the crowd. “If you need any magical wares, you come to me. If you come to me, I own you. If you disobey, I kill you. Any questions?” The crowd erupted in hushed voices amongst one another, and the word “bruja” (witch) could be heard repeatedly. She silenced them. “Yes… From now on, I will be known as Bruja. If you try to harm me, I will kill you. Now, you are all dismissed.” With that, Bruja made her way back to the shop.

A man was waiting for her inside. he had a bandana over his face, a hood covering his head, and a pair of shades hiding the color of his eyes. “You have a way with words, Bruja.” She stared at him. He paused and then continued. “I want to purchase one of your magical wares. I need something that can help me manipulate my surroundings with only my mind.” She nodded, then produced a kabuki mask with black and red markings on it. “When you wear this mask, you can manipulate anything that doesn’t have a mind of it’s own. If the mask comes off, the power ceases until you return it to your face. It comes at a hefty price…” He cut her off. “I’ll take it, here’s all of the gold I have as payment.” She grinned and gave him the mask. “Best wishes. I’ll be in touch very soon.”

Mexican Masquerade

A Ritual

Nathaniel descended the stares into the dungeon holding a book and a bottle of wine. The guards let him into Elia’s cell. She was chained to the wall and in very bad shape. He smiled and offered her a drink of the special wine.

“Drink, for this is my blood.” He let loose a howl of laughter after that made her reluctant to drink. But having not eaten or drank anything in quite a while, she took a sip. It tasted funny.

After she sipped, he stepped back and started reading form the book in Plattian. She started to feel warm, and then her body elongated and her hair flew about her as if blown by an unseen wind.

She pulled herself free of her restraints, revealing rows and rows of pointed white teeth. She unhinged her jaw and let out an ear piercing scream, killing the guards and knocking Nathaniel down. That’s when she escaped and Nathaniel picked himself up, dumbfounded. “Have I just created a monster worse than I?”

A Ritual

Nathaniel’s Meal

Nathaniel walked the full length of the palace in seven minutes. He was eager and hungry. The guards presented a young woman with incredible insight. She stared at him unblinking, and he licked his lips. “Leave us.” he motioned for the guards to leave.

“What is your name, young lady?” She wouldn’t answer him, her eyes squinting slightly with effort. “I see you’re going to make this difficult Elia.” he smiled. “I like that.”

She hissed at him. “Your amount of power is impossible for someone supposedly human. What are you really?” He grinned again, his teeth now pointed and glinting pure white, his hair flowing about him as if blown by a massive unseen wind. His body elongated and the ground around him lit with blue flames that didn’t actually burn anything.

“I don’t know what I am, but I know what I want.” He approached her, and she screamed and tried to get away, but to no avail. In just an instant, his mouth was on hers, draining her of her power and life force. But something within her intrigued him, and he spared her life.

She lay on the ground, breathing labored breath. He returned to his human state and tapped his finger on an ornate tabletop. “I think I can use you for something. I’ll see you soon.” He left the room and the guards collected her. She sent dagger stares at his back before they took her back to the dungeon.

Nathaniel’s Meal

Valu, King of the Dead Part 2

After fifty years of war, Jasper grew bored and released Valu at the gate of the Kingdom of the Fey. The fairies hadn’t seen war in quite some time, and going up against angels who had been at war most of their lives took it’s toll.

The shields were down and the town lay in ruins. As he walked, he saw men women and children laying in the rubble. He rushed to them only to find them long dead. He found himself in front of the palace, and walked inside.

Having been a part of a long and brutal war, the palace was largely untouched. There was something rather eerie about the emptiness. His steps echoed in the large halls and his heart was pounding in his ears.

He reached the throne room, praying to see his parents waiting for him with outstretched arms. When he opened the large tomb added to the room. Reading the description, this was the final resting place of his mother.

He started to cry and called out for his father who did not answer him. Searching the palace for hours, he finally found him in the ballroom. The large windows once overlooked the beautiful kingdom, but now it overlooked ruins death. It was here that his father took his own life.

The only thing Valu could do was accept his new reality. He moved his father to his mother’s tomb, took some gold from the treasury, and set the kingdom on fire. He stood in the tree line watching everything he had ever known burn to ash, before setting off for a new life.

 

Valu, King of the Dead Part 2

Family Matters

Jasper sat on a makeshift throne in the Great Cave just north of the Kingdom of the Fey, tapping his nails impatiently on it’s arm. “They’re taking quite a while to show up.”

Valu looked up from where he was chained with tired swollen eyes, his gray hair matted with blood. And through it all, he kept his composure. “You’ll never win.”

Jasper grinned. “But haven’t I already won? I have a real live fairy chained to my wall, and not just any fairy, a royal one. And last I saw, my actions have caused your mother so much grief that she has fallen ill.” Valu’s eye twitched. He wanted to wait a bit longer before he unleashed his wings. But Jasper was really pushing it.

The cave was cold, and he shivered. He went for humility, and let his weakness show. “…Please, may I have a blanket?” Valu turned his gaze upward at the blind angel, and he watched him frown. “And why should I do that?” “Because you know I am of no use to you dead. They will not compromise their safety for my carcass.”

Jasper took a deep breath. “Very well.” He snapped his fingers and a young boy angel came at once. “Orion, fetch me a blanket for our dear ‘guest.'” At once, Orion ran off in search of a blanket. “Good boy.”

Family Matters

The King’s Decree

My dear loyal subjects our safety has been compromised. Sometimes during the night, our beloved Prince Valu of the Fey has gone missing. Our heart sinks as there are clues that angels might be to blame, although there is no indication of how they found us or how they have taken Valu.

The terrible news has shocked and destroyed Queen Merriment so much that she has taken ill. There will be periodic updates on her condition and our Valu as they come. Please refrain from leaving these walls until we are sure you are safe.

We could use more guardsmen and militia. If you are interested, please see a guardsmen and he will direct you to the proper official to begin the training process.

Good day, my people.

You may go.

The King’s Decree

Valu the King of the Dead

In the pale moonlight, his wings shimmered and shone. Nobody could capture his interest and the ancient prince’s eyes drooped. For centuries, humans and creature’s alike had searched hither and yon in attempt to locate the Kingdom of the Fey, whilst they debated among-st themselves whether fairies even existed or not.

On this night, his carelessness would lead to the compromise of his beloved kingdom, and the end to any peace he may have taken for granted.

Jasper saw in his orb a sleeping young fairy, and pointed his silent militia toward the entrance of the Kingdom of the Fey. The rouge angels glided across the ground, and easily seized their young prince.

With him in their possession, they returned to their hideout in the woods and awaited the Royals’ realization that their son had been stolen. When the sun was high, the trumpets sounded and the kingdom gathered at the palace gates to hear what would be said, and the guards stood on high alert. The king stood in front of his loyal subjects, clearing his throat, and they all went silent.

Valu the King of the Dead

How to Spot a God

  • Check for ears. A large portion of gods and goddesses hiding in Aigon are nekomimi, and those that aren’t gods are probably angels.
  • Blue eyes. If they have blue eyes, with only a few exceptions, they are likely Plattian gods, due to their region of birth.
  • Wearing Plattian armor. They love armor.
  • Impractical clothing. Showing up in a cloak for a battle requiring agility, or wearing full armor to the swimming pool, or showing up nude in the Arctic, are all practices of out of touch gods posing as mere mortals.
  • Using magic in front of mortals without thinking about how they’ll react.
  • Eating copious amounts of candy or other sweets and not gaining an ounce.
  • Owning a temple in their backyard.
  • Slaying enemies with incredible ease.
  • Announcing to the world that they are gods.
How to Spot a God

Unlikely Prisoner

He lay on the floor, battered and bruised, struggling for breath after the last punch he endured. After several minutes of complete silence, his captor burst forth in a fit of howling laughter.

“What a sight! How pitiful our Great King is on his knees… Oh, how I have missed seeing you like this…” Nathaniel stepped forward, stomping on Adrian’s hands and grinding the heel of his boot into them. “I have longed for you for many months, but ever since your sister was escorted to a fitting location, you have denied me. How dare you.”

There was a knock on the door. Nathaniel’s smile faded and he feigned a look of torment and pain, as he said, “Come in”. His servant came in and bowed before him, before whispering something in his ear. Adrian could see in Nathaniel’s eyes that he was holding back laughter.

As the servant left, he broke into an evil grin. “It would seem that one of my servants has taken his own life. How hilarious. I shall make a spectacle out of it at his funeral. After all, the kingdom started to believe that he and I were secretly having an affair while your majesty is… ill.” He chuckled again.

“I will make your sister fall to her knees like I have made you. I want to see her broken and begging.”

Adrian slowly looked up at Nathaniel, and when their eyes met, he was temporarily startled. The deep red color had returned to the Death God’s eyes, and the fire was behind them again. “You won’t defeat her.”

Nathaniel’s smile returned as he picked up a small leather-bound book and slid it into his inside pocket. “I just did.”

 

 

Unlikely Prisoner

Betrayal

I never realized just how clueless the human race is. We can have entire wars, the battles raging around them, the wounded soldiers sleeping in their houses and feeding on their livestock, and yet, not a single human caught on long enough to inform the world that there are gods and goddesses.

The Angels war lasted for a thousand years, and I made many friends amongst my supposed enemies. It was never my decision to enslave them, not in my interest to hold them back from their happiness.

Fighting for the angels while maintaining the trust of my beloved kingdom was a constant struggle. My own brother –the boy that I grew up playing with, the boy who told me all of his secrets, the boy who was supposed to help me and rule alongside me- despised me.

Imagine my surprise and the sheer terror that I experienced when I met his lover for the first time. Adrian had been keeping their relationship a secret, and at first, I thought it was because he is gay. I assured him that the kingdom would be proud of their young leader, regardless of sexuality, but he never did tell them.

I started becoming suspicious when I realized that they never met within the city of Platt, or even on the spiritual plane. He would arrive home, pretending to be tired, hiding their notes in his inner coat pocket. I nearly begged him to let me meet this mystery man, but he would just look away, his shaggy dark hair falling into his face, and he mumbled, “In time, in time.”

My brother has the opposite powers of me so that we may keep the balance of the earth together. That being said, the god of death and decay is not required to look the part. My brother has always been rather handsome, though a bit pale, but healthy in size and shape. His eyes are a deep shade of red, a striking color against the paleness of his skin and the darkness of his hair. A color of Life, and Vitality.

I started to notice the difference when my brother started to look thinner and more fragile, and the paleness was less the color of a sculpture and more the color of a corpse. His eyes changed too, darkening and becoming almost black, and when I would look into his eyes –which was rare because he never met my gaze anymore –they were so hollow.

It was mid-festival of springtime, and he hadn’t appeared before the kingdom as he should have. My heart was racing as I scrambled around to find him, afraid that something terrible had happened to him, concerned about his current state of health. I saw him then, letting in a cloaked figure.

I rushed to meet them, rushed to stop them, and was greeted by an angry, hollow shell that somewhat resembled my brother and a very tall, very handsome, and very human man. His smile made my heart flutter, yet there was something uncanny about him. He grabbed me hard by the wrist –it shouldn’t have hurt me, he is only mortal –and escorted me inside with my brother.

“I have long awaited our meeting.” He paced back and forth in front of me. “But I can’t say I was ready to do this so soon.” His face was now inches from mine, and I could see the storm raging in his soul. “I’m going to turn this place around because you have ruined it. And I am going to kill you one day, sometime soon, but not today.”

Without much of a warning, two of the guards, my guards, my friends, took me to the edge of the city. My brother watched on, emotionless, or perhaps helpless, as I pled with them to just let me be. I could see the struggle in their eyes, the sheer terror. They were no longer in control, and I had to accept my fate.

They threw me down from Platt, and I landed in the middle of Aigon forest. I was laying there for days, healing my wounds and my broken heart. Once I was able, I stood, and I wandered throughout the forest, until I met the people that I now call my family. That’s how I got here.

 

Betrayal

Artifacts

  • Sol’s dagger: Supernatural eternal prison
  • Crystal goblet: reveals dreams of others and the truth
  • Wooden goblet: poisons drinkers
  • Golden goblet: Doubles magical strength
  • Leviathan scales: invisibility
  • Book of spells: spellcasting and spellbinding
  • Book of Fate: tells the fate of the reader
  • Love potion: Incorrectly named. Creates an unnatural and hypnotic dependency to the maker of the potion, while slowly draining the drinker’s powers.
  • Morph crystal: Changes you into your inner creature.
  • Soldier of shadow: Will fight in favor of someone pure of heart-unkillable.
  • Bitter rocks: dissolvable pellets of poison that can kill thousands with one “rock” in the water supply.
  • Mirror shard: shows your true self.
Artifacts

The Winning Stroke

Oracle stood before the open window in the palace, solemnly and quietly saying his goodbyes to Platt. He looked to the temple and said his prayers to Luna that Nathaniel would not succeed.

Turning to the scroll lain across his room’s table, he readied his pen and began to write. He wrote of the impending doom of the kingdom that he had come to love. He wrote of all of Nathaniel’s secrets.

When he finished, he made a map of Aigon, and marked on the map all of the places that he his essential relics. He knew that Nathaniel’s power wavered in the presence of such relics.

He then marked all of the places that he hid the artifacts that could be used as a weapon against Nathaniel and his army. Once the map was drafted, he rolled it and the scroll together, and sent a pigeon to deliver it to a human that lived in Aigon.

This human would later find Anika and deliver the information to her so that she could find the artifacts before Nathaniel could.

Oracle walked back to the edge of the window and looked over the ledge to see how far it was down. After a deep breath, he resigned to his fate.

The Winning Stroke

Dear Anika

My dear sister, I am so sorry for what I’ve done. I’ve fallen prey to an ancient predator, one you could not imagine. He’s going to be difficult to fight, but I believe in you. I always did.

If anyone can end his reign of terror before it begins, it is you, Anika.

I’m not sure you’ll get this, and I’ll likely be dead when you do. Just know this, the day they kill me is the day our good city falls. If we cannot restore the balance, none shall enter.

Swiftly, dearest sister.

Kill that sonofabitch.

Dear Anika

Side Stories # 5: The New Baby

Kitten was desperate to feel like a real family, and everyone poked fun at her for such. As a child, despite her magical properties and obvious tie to the most royal of them all, she did not seem to care for combat, nor was she swayed by money and shiney objects. She just wanted a family. Annoyed by this, her parents did not follow her when she left just before her sixteenth birthday. Anglios, the God of Hunt, and Kitten’s own father, denied her.

Here she lay, next to her husband, whom she was sure would be beaming had he possessed a face, holding her three day old daughter. She was beautiful from the minute Kitten laid eyes on her, with the signature Plattian traits, and also sharing a few traits from her father. But there was this nagging feeling in the back of her mind. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

Later that night, after putting Emily to sleep, she pulled out her journal and took a look inside to refresh her memory of the future she was said to fulfill. She was greatly displeased with what she saw…

 

Side Stories # 5: The New Baby

The Silence of Aigon

Plattian rule began eons ago before the sun had ever risen before on the earth before we started to build fires and hunt animals until we started building empires and hunting each other. The Plattian Gods were kind to us, but we knew little to nothing about them, and they liked that secret. But one day, the royal heirs to the throne were torn apart at the seams, by none other than a human. This human was a vile, deceitful one, hellbent on finding a cure for his own mortality, and destroying all that humanity had created, masked as the same Gods that had let them build in peace.

But the great queen Anika was no match for this man, and she killed him. Unfortunately, her fate was already sealed. Her eventual death would bring a suffering and slow fall of the kingdom, and the rest of the royal Plattian line. High above the forest of Aigon, whereupon the city of diety sat, there was silence. Complete silence.

The Silence of Aigon

The House

Anika woke to the sound of crickets and an eerie howl in the distance. She didn’t know how long she had slept, but it was night, and she needed to find shelter until morning.

She picked up Otirik’s blanket and chose a direction to start walking. Not long after, she saw the warm glow of a little house, almost on the line between Aigon and the Forest of Souls. As she approached the house, she could hear the news on the television.

“Since this morning, there have been two earthquakes, killing almost five hundred and counting. A raging wildfire is sweeping across the countryside, and experts say, with the wind patterns, it looks to hit Aigon next, posing a rather alarming threat to the nearby village. Evacuation plans…”

Anika knocked on the door, and Otirik opened. “Hi.” he said, stepping aside to let her in. She walked inside, taking in her surroundings before turning to face him. “Thank you, for everything… Here’s your blanket.”

He set the blanket aside and embraced her, kissing her. She pulled away, and he backed up, looking at his feet. “I’m sorry. ” Anika was blushing. “I need a place to stay…” Otirik perked up at this. “You can have my room. I’ll take the couch.”

The House

Side Stories #4: Mysterious Ring

Slenderman kept staring at the ring he found in his pocket. How could it have gotten there? He didn’t know, he couldn’t remember. He did, however, know that the size of the ring was the same size Kitty wore.

They had been living together in the mansion for almost a year, without complication. She still had yet to meet his proxies, but he was certain she would be liked by them. She even turned the other way, ignoring when Slender killed periodically, understanding that he had to kill in order to survive.

She had recently started asking Slender to stay with her until she fell asleep at night. But last night, when she fell asleep, he didn’t leave. He couldn’t. He layed with her all night. He had never noticed how warm she was, or how beautiful she was when asleep, until then.

He knew she would stay no matter what, and it wasn’t like they were worried about “living in sin”, but the gesture mattered to him. He knew that that night was the night to make Kitty his wife.

Side Stories #4: Mysterious Ring

The Ultimate Betrayal

Adrian paced back and forth across the Planning Room floor, gazing at the map of Aigon. Twenty-three hours before, he had decided to kill his own twin sister. But now he had his doubts about ending her life. Without growth and health, there was nothing to destroy, and therefore, nothing to truly gain from this great loss.

The door finally opened, and Nathaniel entered the room with his hand wrapped. He’d already helped himself to a highly decorated set of Plattian armor.

Adrian shook his head slowly. “I can’t do this…” Nathaniel’s smile was broad, but it didn’t reach his eyes. The tension in the room was palpable. “Why is that, love?”

“Can we really gain anything from initiating an apocalyptic war?” The laugh was subtle and menacing, and when Nathaniel’s voice rang out again, it was hoarse with contempt. “Not for you, but I will be King of All. And my son as well.” He approached Adrian with Sol’s dagger, an eternal prison, and struck him with it, sucking the young monarch into a prison lined with some of the worst creatures of all time.

“I’ll be damned if my lover will get in my way.” He smiled and walked out of the room, tucking Sol’s dagger into his belt.

The Ultimate Betrayal

Side Stories #3: Treehouse

Kitty and Slenderman walked through the woods leisurely for a short while, Kitty laughing as they talked for hours.

They ran across an old treehouse, but the ladder was long gone. “Slender? Is it safe to go up there?” Slenderman teleported up to the treehouse, taking a look around, determining it was safe. He had a feeling he’d been there before, but no recollection of actually being there.

“Slender!” Kitty called. “May I come up with you?” Slenderman teleported her into the treehouse with him. As they sat in the treehouse, Kitty picked up a journal that was laying in the corner and opened it to the first page.

After reading silently with Slenderman peering over her shoulder, she looked up into the blank faceless face. “You helped a little girl survive?” He shrugged. “I don’t remember.” She smiled. “There’s hope for you yet.”

Side Stories #3: Treehouse

Back in the Palace

“I don’t know. I do still love her. She’s my sister. I’d hate to kill her if I don’t have to.”

Nathaniel smirked. I hate it when he does that. “My love, you know that you can’t let her live. She is very resourceful and strong to top that. She can also heal all of her fallen soldiers, and you cannot scare her away from battle. She is every bit as stubborn as you.”

“More so.” I agreed.

“Now, Adrian, about the throne… I was thinking, maybe you would allow me to sit in the dark seat instead of the light one…”

“Why the hell would I do that?” I slammed my fist on the table and it crumbled with termites. He backed away a few steps, a wave of fear overtaking his features. For a mortal, his whole appearance could pass for a god’s. “It was just a suggestion… You know I’ll die if I attempt to sit in the light throne. And I know how much you loathe responsibility. But love, you know that I will serve your interests ahead of my own.”

I paused, contemplating the possibility. Every word made sense. Who was I to keep him from the crown, when I knew with all of my heart that he was trustworthy. Still… It made me a little uneasy. “I’ll sleep on it.”

Back in the Palace

Sleeping Goddess

Anika was tired from playing with Neko for days at a time. Neko himself was napping on a rock deep within the Aigon forest.

She started walking aimlessly, searching for a nice place to rest. She found a tree with a thick, soft patch of grass beneath it. To her surprise, when she started to lay down, Otirik appeared from behind another tree, and shouted at her.

“This is my napping place!” She sighed warily, and began to shuffle along. Otirik felt bad for this, “Wait…” he looked down as she turned her gaze to him; the emerald in her eyes caught a ray of sunlight that had penetrated the canopy.

“Y-you can rest here, if you like.” She paused, then nodded to him and layed on the soft grass. He gave her his blanket, and sat and talked with her for hours until she finally fell asleep. Then he walked off quietly toward his nearby house, wondering how it would feel to tell her he loved her.

Sleeping Goddess

Sealing Fate

Oracle paced the shack that Nathaniel and he had met in the week before, awaiting the arrival of his master. He knew he needed to brace himself for another order he wasn’t quite ready to swallow.

He felt sick to his stomach betraying Anika like that.

He heard the door open and close, and turned to greet his master. Before he could even kneel, Nathaniel hit him hard across the face, sending him crashing into the shelf, one of three pieces of furniture in the place. He slumped and cowered in the corner as Nathaniel stood over him. “Have you sealed her fate?” “Yes master…” he muttered weakly. “Good. But not good enough. But don’t worry. One day you’ll be repayed for what you’ve done to me.”

With that, he stormed out.

Oracle picked himself up off of the floor and watched from the window as Nathaniel ascended an invisible staircase, before he turned and opened a trap door, going down into the cellar. He walked toward a bubbling cauldron, allowing a drop of blood-from a gash that had opened on his face from the impact-to drop in.

“You’ve sealed your own fate, Nathaniel. If I must betray one, I must betray all.”

Sealing Fate

Side Stories #2: Kitty in the Mansion

Kitty was always a little bit afraid of fulfilling her destiny. She was unsure that she could be trusted to carry the child that would spawn a long line of Platt’s best warriors in it’s history. She wasn’t even sure that Platt would still be standing in the end. She turned her colar to the wind and looked up at the tall creature who would one day be her husband, and she smiled politely at him.

Then she took of skipping childishly through the forest, Slenderman openly pursued, but lagged behind. She hopped across the river, to which she heard him rather calmly remind her to be careful. Once across the river, Slender teleported behind and continued following her until he caught up with her. She turned to face him, smiling.

“I know who you are. I know what you are. And I’m not afraid of you.” To which he replied. “I am very glad to hear that. Would you like to see my mansion?” She nodded and followed him inside.

In the rather large entryway, full of dust and broken furniture, she could see something large covered in a sheet. Before he could stop her, she removed the sheet, revealing a large enchanted mirror. In the refelection, Slender had a handsome face, while Kitty had none. She turned and asked him why.

“This mirror is enchanted to show you what you wish to be… who you are at heart.”

Side Stories #2: Kitty in the Mansion

Side Stories #1: Kitty the Demigod

Kitty was born of the Neko God of war, and a simple flower merchant’s daughter. Her father being the brother of Luna, Anika and Adrian’s mother, she was their cousin, and of course, key in the war. But she had different plans, and thought she could outrun her fate.

She took a deep breath and stepped through the magical barrier that separated Aigon forest from the Forest of Souls. Once on the other side, she walked the forty paces to the nearby river, and sat down by the bank to read a small leather-bound journal that her mother had given her. Originally, it was just a diary, but when her mother was on her deathbed, she had it enchanted to tell of her daughter’s destiny, and help guide the poor child.

She opened to the first page, and recognised the signature Plattian symbols of her father’s native tongue. She began to read:

“Long ago, I was created with the purpose to destroy. I was a different entity, a more whole one. But four of those personalities were too strong to stay as one, and we split into four brothers, I being the oldest and quite alone. I never knew anything other than an instinct to kill, until I saw her.”

She sighed. It was another typical love story. She’d read it a thousand times and still couldn’t believe that it had everything to do with where she came from and who her mother was, and her destiny. She felt as if someone were watching her, which only seemed to confirm her destiny. “Hello, Mr. Slender.” she said quietly, and waited for him to emerge from his hiding place.

Side Stories #1: Kitty the Demigod

Neko Regime

When the twins were born and Sol passed away, the twins were given the throne. There was a growing population of nekos in both the powerful light creatures and the powerful nether creatures. And now, as the rulers of their gods, were also two of the most powerful nekos to walk in the presence of the humans.

It was strange to see so many nekos crowding the counsels and lining the halls, in the battlefields, and the hospitals, but none made quite an impression like the one whose image would be copied over and over from now into eternity.

The angel prince sat on a rock, meditating in the meadow, awaiting the return of his newest and favorite playmate. “Neko!” Anika called. “Neko, come on out!” She stepped into the clearing to find herself staring at a silent little kitten. He was the most beautiful and childlike of the neko, because he was the first and the one true Neko. Genderless in appearance and fearless in heart, he had made himself a warrior that nobody could come up against, even when his odds were sinking and he was on the brink of death. With Zaika around, nobody could ever kill the prince.

Anika approached with caution and grace. When she reached his rock, she took a silent seat next to him.

He made a plate of food appear in front of her, and she realized she had been very hungry. As she silently thanked him and began to eat, he went back to meditating. The child that he was at heart, was not as old as he was at soul.

Neko Regime

Forest

Anika paced around the forest in search of a place to rest. She had spent three and a half days running after the Prince of Angels, and he was still playing when she left. She needed to sleep, but she knew that there were creatures and unknown beings lurking in the woods, and had no idea where would be a safe place for a nap, so she kept searching. She came to a clearing at around noon, and the sun was hot. On the other side of the clearing was a familiar man. She remembered him from the encounter with the bear, but today he wore a simple t-shirt and blue jeans, with sneakers, untied. He was leaning against a tree trunk, eyes closed, but he greeted her as soon as she was within a distance that she could hear him at.

“Hello Anika, nice to see you again.”

She stopped, confused. When had she ever mentioned her name. He continued.

“My name is Otirik. I own a house on the edge of these woods, and I occasionally fight in a supernatural war. So, what brings you here to the Forest?”

Anika cleared her throat. “To find an heir to my throne.” She left it at that, she didn’t want to get into all of the details just yet. She sat across from Otirik, pointing to a nasty scar on his left arm. “How did you get that?”

He looked down at his arm, flexing gently for a moment. “I lost a battle. It was the only battle I ever lost, and it nearly cost me my life. How about you? Do you have any scars?” Anika shook her head slowly. Otirik mocked her, “Pretty princess to afraid to get her hands dirty?”

In an instant, she had him pinned back against the tree, eyes glowing gold and face twisted in anger and triumph. “That’s QUEEN. And I don’t have scars because I am a healer. But trust me, I AM a very skilled warrior.” She let him up and stalked back off in the other direction.

“What!” Otirik cried. But she wasn’t listening. And he was madly in love.

Forest

Otirik

There was a sound in the woods that day. The sound was awful. The rain poured down in sheets, but I remembered that my dear friend Neko was on his way to meditate in the meadow, and I rushed out of the house without a second thought. I found him rolling around on the grass, having an incredible amount of fun, it seemed.

Then I heard a rustling in the woods. I bristled, and tensed my wings to attack. It had been hundreds of years since my last fight. A beautiful woman with long blonde hair and a crown of stars, it seemed, stepped out into the new sunlight that had overtaken the clouds. She wore an ankle length garment, that seemed completely seamless, and was in the same color as the sky in the sun, yet somehow also the same color as heavy rain clouds. Her lips were pink and shaped in the most perfect way, and her green eyes pierced right through to my blackened soul.

“Hello,” she said quietly. She was hesitant, and seemed just as stricken by me as I was by her. I fell deeply in love. She was almost as tall as I was, and I smiled. “I have something for you.” she said, stepping toward me. “Oh…?” She reached into her satchel and handed me a small package. I opened it, and there was a jewelry box. I was puzzled, but before I could ask a question, Neko rolled off a cliff.

“Are you kidding me?” I grumbled. She stuttered, “D-did he just roll off a cliff?” I nodded. “Seems so.” Then he made a sound of distress and we both rushed over to see that he had encountered a bear. Before the bear even had time to injure him, I jumped down on top of him, and killed him. But this made Neko very sad, and I was upset at the whole situation, so I left.

As I left, I saw the woman scramble down the face of the cliff with ease. She and Neko talked for a few minutes, and I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was HEALING THE BEAR. I stopped, hidden behind a boulder, watching as she and Neko  talked. Her name was Anika, the Goddess of Fertility and Health. And she was down on earth, mingling? I shook my head as she stalked off into the woods with Neko. “Anika.” I whispered to myself, before I took flight, back to my house.

This was an interesting turn of events.

Otirik

The Letter

“Dear Anika,

“I’m sorry to tell you that I have had a terrible vision. You are not safe here. Your brother and his lover plan to kill you. However, if you have a child, they cannot kill you and they will lose all rights to the throne.

“I know that your duty is to your kingdom, Anika, but your duty is also to the Earth. As goddess of fertility and healing, it is your duty to go forth and spread your powers across the Earth. Go and build an army, and save your precious mortals and angels from the death that they will receive. Tell nobody where you are going or why, or chaos will ensue.

“You need to land in a place called the enchanted forest. There, you will meet a young boy named Neko. Do not be fooled, this boy is hundreds of years old. When you meet him, you will meet all of his friends. Seduce one an produce and heir to your throne. If you do so, the succession will no longer link at all to Adrian, and he and his army will fall away.

Yours Truly,

Oracle”

Oracle finished reading and watched the pacing Nathaniel. “Is this urgent and specific enough?” Nathaniel paused and gazed out over the desolation of the desert that his palace stood in. “It sounds positively terrible.” he said as a smug smile crept onto his face. “And she will definitely fall for it. I’m impressed.” He dismissed Oracle and the god tied the letter to a carrier pigeon and sent him away. With a nod to his master, he set off into the desert.

The Letter

Nathaniel

 

It was all too easy to convince Adrian that I loved him. He would have believed anything that I told him, after that amazing date by the ocean. I told him that we could rule together, like kings. But I never intend to leave him alive.

I never intend to leave Anika alive, either. I don’t want to restore balance. I just want full control. I was once mortal, and now I must live forever. All of the other mortals will scream my name in agony as I torture and torment them into extinction. It’s almost too easy…

But with Anika expecting my attack, I must somehow lead her away from Platt. I’ll kill her mother (and oh how lucky am I that she killed her own father) and I will take control over Zaika, the Angel Queen, and relieve her of her duties… I will take back their ability to reproduce and send them into extinction as well, as I turn them back into my very own warriors. I will locate Neko, and I will release the evil trapped within him. Akito will thrive. We shall see who has the upper hand when the Devil Himself is playing the game.

I will leave a friendly note to drive her away.

Nathaniel

Adrian

It’s been 5000 years since we arrived on Earth. And I never thought that it would end up like this. My mother Luna and my father Sol had been ruling this planet alone for thousands of years, appointed by Platt as the official King and Queen of the galaxy. There was a Light throne and a Dark throne, and they kept each other balanced, in order to keep the world a never ending circle, and a happy one at that. Until we arrived, there was no evil.

My twin sister and I were born of a supernova. We came to Platt, the place of the gods, which is very near to Earth. Luna and Sol raised us as their own, but soon, all in Platt saw that we were more powerful… More capable… The committee decided that once we had come of age, we would sit on the thrones and rule the Earth as husband and wife, brother and sister, light and dark. But we never wanted that. We had no idea why we were created, but we each felt we were supposed to be something greater.

When my twin sister Anika and I were married, we ascended the throne together, and there was balance in the world. But the angels began a civil war, and we needed to end it. By the end of our 4555 year war, the angels would clearly win if we didn’t act fast. I choked, I couldn’t make a decision, so I gave up my power to her, and walked away forever. Her decision appalled me. Anika granted the angels their very own special place, gave them souls, and the ability to reproduce. And so the war of power began.

I can’t let Anika get in my way again. I can’t let her make another mistake. Mortals sin, but mortals die once or twice and make it into the afterlife. Immortals, such as angels and demons, monsters, creatures, split souls, neko, vampires, and master warriors do not die, at least not easily. And they are never dead long. Their sins could corrupt the whole of humanity. They could prove detrimental. But she knows of my plan, and she’ll do anything to keep me off of the throne.

Nathaniel was right about her all along.

Adrian

私は最後に残っている神です。あなたの助けが必要です。 ナサニエルはタコを殺そうとしており、時間はあまりありません。 私に従ってください、私は後で説明します。 背の中に小さな寺がある汚れの道の終わりに家があります。 小さな猫の少年と夫、狼男がいるはずです。 彼らはあなたを入れて、次に何をすべきか教えてくれるでしょう。 ここでは、この短剣を取るが、何をするにせよ、何らかの理由でそれを誰にも使用しないで、素手で触れないでください。 私はあなたがBoboからのさらなる指示を受けた後で、あなたの森のどこかであなたに会います。 私は彼が子供だと知っていますが、彼を過小評価しないでください、それは彼の悪い面を持ち出します。 私たちはもう時間がありません! 行く。 私は来て、私の愛!

私は最後に残っている神です。あなたの助けが必要です。 ナサニエルはタコを殺そうとしており、時間はあまりありません。 私に従ってください、私は後で説明します。 背の中に小さな寺がある汚れの道の終わりに家があります。 小さな猫の少年と夫、狼男がいるはずです。 彼らはあなたを入れて、次に何をすべきか教えてくれるでしょう。 ここでは、この短剣を取るが、何をするにせよ、何らかの理由でそれを誰にも使用しないで、素手で触れないでください。 私はあなたがBoboからのさらなる指示を受けた後で、あなたの森のどこかであなたに会います。 私は彼が子供だと知っていますが、彼を過小評価しないでください、それは彼の悪い面を持ち出します。 私たちはもう時間がありません! 行く。 私は来て、私の愛!