Author Topic: FAQ: Bloodlines of Alluvius  (Read 3609 times)

Knightfall

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The Hollow Ones
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2017, 02:21:04 PM »
The First Tithe

Amongst the Ossaei, a woman sought to save her child.  An increasing number of women suffered tragic losses after the births of their children; the children had developed a severe photo-sensitivity, some of them dying as they burst into flames when exposed to natural light. Those who had been saved in instances by mid-wives, wise women, casters, or others, suffered an inability to properly feed.  Attempts to feed them naturally resulted in a greater than normal discomfort to the mothers and surrogates; the infants were unable to feed without drawing blood. Examination lead to the discovery of small, needle like teeth, only large enough to abrasion the skin enough to draw blood.  The discovery of the last was enough to cause a wider ranger inspection of other infants, with more found exhibiting the characteristic, but all within a small area.

Attempts to feed using bottles resulted in a slow withering of the child, and eventual starvation.  When an accident caused the corpse of one of them was resuscitated through exposure to blood, all the infants with the trait that still lived, and bodies of those who appeared dead, were cremated, in a Culling.

What none of the Ossaei realized, is that there was a Protean among them who called himself Unvarex, and he had been there for some time.  It had journeyed east from it's homeland, and in the process acquired great power, learning to take the shapes of the beasts of the land and air, the birds which dwelt in the skies, and the creatures of the deep as well.  The Ossaei were the first other 'people' that it had encountered, and it had assumed the form of one of their own who had perished. Instead of not returning home, the being called Unvarex had returned in his stead ? and in his guise.  Whether due to sinister machinations, or a more primal, bestial nature from having dwelt so long among animals, he became careless with his passions ? and had gotten many of the women pregnant with his children before realizing that he was the cause of the infanticide.

Days before the Culling had begun, he had infiltrated the hierarchy of the Ossaei and learned of their intentions. Later that same night, he took the form of a mid-wife and stole away to one of the women still waiting for their child to be tested. Unvarex, of course, was already fairly certain what the test would reveal, and so told her that he could spirit the baby away before the results were known ? and he, posing still as the midwife ? would bring it back if the tests showed her child was a healthy Ael'van.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The Hollow Ones
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2017, 02:21:57 PM »
The Second Tithe

Unvarex set off with it's offspring, travelling into the west and doing what he could to keep his offspring alive by keeping it hidden from light.  The child was nourished on blood rather than milk, given both by it's father and by Unvarex mimicking other creatures and luring them to their doom for the sake of sustaining his child.  The Proteans were no longer capable of creating children amongst themselves in the fashion that Unvarex had bred with the Ael'van, and he was unprepared for the rapid rate of his child's growth.

The child grew abnormally fast, as was befitting it's pedigree. Before Unvarex could return with it to his homeland, the child rebelled against it's father's instruction. Physically similar to a human in it's late teenage years, the child no longer had to rely on it's father for sustenance, as it was able to both mimic certain creatures and draw still others to him with his unnatural presence. What began as disagreement lead before long to physical altercation, and the child striking his father down and making off on his own.  Unvarex was not killed in the encounter, as it took more wiles than were available to his offspring to achieve that end.

The child, who had been called Unvail by his father, took for himself a new name: Vehkan, which in the tongue of his mother meant 'hollow'.  During their travels together, Vehkan had afforded himself of his fathers knowledge, learning as quickly as he grew, and able to speak the language of both parents and was also an adept student of flora and especially fauna ? so that he could easily discern what would nourish him, and what would not. The mere fact that he lived the life of a nomad and was taught to read the stars and the poles by his father lead him to being keenly aware of geography ? and in being so aware, found for himself a place to retreat.  There was an island off the western coast, within the line of travel to Unvarex's Protean realm, named Pellucid by the Ael'van.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The Hollow Ones
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2017, 02:23:08 PM »
The Third Tithe

The island did not long survive Vehkan's presence in it's natural condition, and soon he was aware of the full power, or curse, of his blood upon other living things.  After claiming one of Pellucid's ruins as his home, he began to gather a herd on which to feed. Until that time, he had had no interaction with the things which he fed on, after his thirst was slaked. It was during this time that he learned that if he drained something completely, and the body was not destroyed, it would rise again in a state similar to his ? but frenzied, rabid, and unable to control itself, suffering animation only to feed. He also learned that anything which fed on the blood of such creatures as him, or the things which were created by his draining them, were also turned into drinkers of blood, though more like himself.

The latter blood drinkers, Hollow Ones they came to think of themselves for their endless thirst, were able to 'live' much as they had before ? with the caveat that they must abandon the light of day, and drink blood to survive. At first only predatory animals which naturally fed on blood were subject to transforming, but they were soon joined by sailors and other explorers who from time to time found themselves on the otherwise wild island. The curious among those Hollow Ones soon turned to experimentation on other animals; herbivores, and intentionally turning various breeds of bird.  

Soon the entire island was under the seeming pall of undeath.  As blood became more scarce, Hunters began leaving the island to bring back food, both to eat, and to breed ? though everything that goes there eventually shares the same fate.

More and more frequently tales of their people spread to the mainlands, both east and west. Never are there any tales which seem able to accurately illustrate the power behind sending such emissaries forth, though it is impossible to believe that an entire people suffering the same condition could have thrived without the benefit of their progenitors will.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The High Eternals
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2017, 10:16:04 PM »
[size=20]The High Eternals[/size]


The existence of the High Eternals defies questions of origin regarding the when, and the where, as the origin of their existence takes place between the folds of both time and space. Herein we find their origins, and the beginnings of their connections to the reservoirs for power known as Myriad. Whether or not they necessarily belong with the other races is a matter of debate, as their existence is not necessarily restricted to Alluvius.


[size=13]The First Tree[/size]

Each multiverse contains an infinite number of multiverses, which are in turn combination of an infinite number of universes, and in some of the spaces between these expressions of infinitely expanding potential are the Nexuses ? at least some of them.

The ultimate expressions of both chaos and law, good and evil, the Nexuses were melting pots of everything offered by each reality which happens to pay them a glancing blow. While the walls between some realities and the Nexuses are rigidly calcified, some are infinitely flexible, allowing limitless movement to or from. In it's infinite expansion away from it's centre, the top and bottom broadened out into an infinite multitude of connecting roots and branches; all extremities connected by virtue of the Nexuses, which served as nodes that both fostered energy transference between the universes, and served as mutual points of termination for opposing universes ? Nexuses marked the boundaries between one universe or multiverse, and the next.
     
Reality grew as a great tree, extending root and branch to the infinite celestial predecessors of land below and sky above.  As it grew, however, there were certain spaces between the roots and branches which seemed to be filled with dead space ? though that was the wrong term. They were empty, when juxtaposed against the fullness of reality, and in the beginning it went without effect. But as the tree, the First Tree, continued to grow outwards the gaps between its branches became larger, more pronounced, as the boundless energy of existence became more directed away from the dead spaces ? towards living realities, growing them even further them ever further, even as the roots of those realities reached deeper, and also grew. It was growth on such an infinite scale that it beggared the mind to even consider the infinite of space and time. It was easy to miss the equally infinite rot which had taken heart in the empty spaces, and the Tree itself did not perceive the danger until it was perhaps too late; it had begun with the smaller branches and roots mostly, dying away, figuratively drying up, the flow of energy to and between them exhausting itself. The lifelines of the Nexuses, beginning with those smallest, were being eaten away.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The High Eternals
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2017, 10:19:19 PM »
[size=13]The Black Wind[/size]

The desecration and eventual destruction of realities and Nexuses went unnoticed at first, due to the literally limitless expanse of existence. Only an equally illimitable mind could say if the Tree reacted as it did to answer out of awareness, or some simple means of self-preservation which makes its analog to flora all the more apt. Just as a plant would do, as whatever internal mechanism detected the end of its life, increasing energy was redirected from those branches that were dead, and pushed towards the still living, still thriving canopy above and root system below, until every branch was rife with knots of glowing, concentrated power.

As if sensing the first sign of opposition, the emptiness which ate at the branches of the First Tree seemed to be empowered by recognition ? real or imagined - of it's plight.  Nexuses, once like bright lights of limitless potential that twinkled like stars, winked out. Whatever was destroying, desecrating the Tree, was not doing so from within existence; more accurately, it was taking something from existence, sucking it into itself, like a parasite but not even leaving the part of the body which had been fed upon.

After so much being taken, consumed by the empty, something had to be given back; like a husk, a thing emerged from the empty, stripped of everything that had made it belong. It's new reality was as a mockery, and it's coming claimed the border that lay between the myriad realities and true oblivion. It had no form, but it had malignant presence which to the Tree manifested as a black wind, tearing at limbs and branches, cold beyond reasoning, and insidious in it's ability to pierce reality. It moved around the Tree, caressing it with its cold, enervating breeze; it's magnitude was as if it were the amassed emptiness which had grown in the hollows of branches and roots since the Tree had taken form. While the Tree itself can only be seen as questionably aware, it is certain that there was something of awareness within the Black Wind: it's mind was full of madness, and it thought and spoke with the collective corrupted will of those who had been destroyed, in such a way that even the memory of them was perverted, by the Black Wind of Oblivion.

As the empty grew in power, the Tree reacted to the terminal danger, the massing power within began coalescing into nodes. The nodes were myriad within all the branches and roots ? each offshoot of the Tree held at least one small concentration of power, just as a plant blooms flowers or grows tubers when it knows it's cycle is shortening. The vigour and potency of the blooms defied the entropy of the Black Wind.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The High Eternals
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 11:24:24 PM »
[size=13]The Gathering[/size]

The wind blew, and despite their strength, even the branches heavily laden with the energy rich nodes began to wither. It seemed that no concentration of power, no potency, was enough to prevail against Oblivion's first servant.

Then came the Progenitors.

Until the Progenitors arrived, the Tree, and everything connected to it, were all. The energy thought of as souls, elemental energy, and all types of potential and exotic energy were as one. The Progenitors changed that. They were beings that were kindred to the Tree, cosmic beings of creation, who saw the need for the Tree to grow not in power, but in scope. They could not defend the Tree directly against the Black Wind ? they were subject to it's depredations as well, and the names of those Progenitors who fell to Oblivion are now lost.  

When they began to take action, each of them worked alone. It is said that they sang to the Tree, and their song moved the energy from the nodes back into the trunk and main branches of the tree, forcing new shoots to grow faster than the Black Wind could devour them. The growth of the Tree was slowed, rather than halted or turned back.

In time the success they enjoyed as gardeners of the Tree brought them back into contact with each other, the Black Wind was held at bay and instead of only fighting for survival, they were once again able to establish a more nuanced sense of community.

Within the Gathering culture developed, and the Progenitors were able to share their very essences with one another, and the offspring of those couplings were not bound by the same laws that mortals are, for not only were the Progenitors not mortal, but they were not human, nor animal, nor plant they simply were, and the children they brought forth were made in ways that allowed them to similarly defy classification.  

One offspring of the Progenitors were artifacts of creation, ideas and thoughts and dreams forged into physical form, that manifest in numerous ways in every universe. The intensity of the power fused into them was mitigated by the fact that they merely existed, timeless, eternal bulwarks testifying to the strength of their parents, but fused into common marks, symbols, and items ? for their birth into any universe was not subject to the rules of time, and one could be born into a stone, or headdress, or any other item at any time. Those offspring were Myriad.

The other common child, if any of them could be called such, were the Eternals. Unlike the Myriad, power diffused through living beings across countless infinite universes ? people; men, women, even some animals infused with the very essence of an ideal, or dream, or purpose. Unlike Myriad, each incarnation mortal ? it's lifespan limited, but also unlike the Myriad, they were capable of birthing, changing, into something else.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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The High Eternals
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 01:43:57 AM »
[size=13]Echoes of the Word[/size]

The Gathering of the Progenitors articulated their power and influence upon the spans of the First Tree, upon the multiverse, by means of their Word. The Word was interpreted differently by each of the Progenitors, and each was influenced by the aspects of Creation which the Progenitors sought to embody. Working in unison, the combined Words of the Progenitors spun out tapestries of worlds and universes, flora, fauna, and sentient things; their sung Words were as the music of the spheres.

Where the Progenitors music touched, the nascent energy and materials of Myriad were formed; they would lay dormant, until several millennium later when the worlds population would give birth to suitable hosts for the other children of the Progenitors ? the Eternals.

The hunger of Oblivion, however, knew no rest and no satiation ? and the Black Wind swept through the tree as though it were a thing alive, and sentient, though it could not be as it was a thing from outside. Entire multiverses were devoured, some full of pure light, some of dreams, some even of darkness,  for darkness in itself has no inherent protection against Oblivion. Worlds that had been created by single Progenitors were the first to fall, as they were inherently focused around one Word ? one way of being, and thus even if the strength and integrity of the world was great, it's existence was very focused, very refined. Those that were able to stand against Oblivion were almost alien to human ? to mortal ? comprehension; imagine a universe composed of elemental justice, for example.

Those worlds which were wrought from the combined Word of more than one Progenitor, however, proved to be more durable. The most durable, however, were those wrought by enough Progenitors ? by enough Words ? that they were able to sustain life. While the nascent but unfocused energy of the Myriad invested all worlds, only those that could support life were invested with the inherent seed energy of an Eternal waiting to be born into the cycle of life. Even before they were born into worlds, though, their energy seemed inherently repulsive to the Black Wind; though one Eternal might live a thousand lives over a thousand worlds, their lifespans were so short that the might of their energy seemed magnified when juxtaposed against it's brevity.

Although the energies and latent unbirthed theurgy of the Eternals kept the Black Wind at bay, it also served as a beacon of challenge; echoes of the Progenitors Word bounded throughout existence, and to its edges. Other things heard the echoes, some of the listeners were from inside creation ? things which had been born in the empty space before an Eternal awakened to power, things which had their own power, but were natural in that they were also a part of creation. Some of these things were hostile in their primal nature, and some merely curious after what might awaken in the arrival of the Eternal. Some few other sentient things were also born before and during the Eternals gestation; those things that could perceive the Eternals power were also variously curious ? and sometimes covetous of it. The Eternals existence proved more than durable against Oblivion ? for it is the nature of living things to endeavour to survive.

It was their capacity to articulate both their power and knowledge that set Eternals apart from the mortals which they were born and lived side by side with, most often without ever arousing suspicion that they were anything other than those they lived among. For every instance of them living low key lives, there are of course, worlds where they are hailed for their power as gods or prophesied rules of great import; their articulations of power allowed them to defy the laws of common men, wielding the elements as though they were tools, healing the terribly sick, and in some cases even appearing to raise the dead. It was in these latter worlds that Oblivion found the first of its agents, worlds where Eternals were obvious for whatever reasons; when to so many, it appears that so few have so much, betrayal finds fertile ground to breed ? even at the cost of existence.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]

Knightfall

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High Eternals
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 08:16:48 PM »
[size=13]The Unnamed[/size]

Eternal is forever, but Oblivion is both insatiable and inexhaustible; many are the roads to despair, and the number that walk upon them are legion.  While many give in to despair, and many serve it, one had to be the first to choose despair, despite, and oblivion as a path to power.

In all the great span of the First Tree, through all the branches, all the universes, and multiverses, one sentient being - one soul - had to be the first to eschew all higher purpose, and even the primal, bestial need to survive, in favor annihilation. Of that one, little can be said, for there is less than remembrance left; the One's work was complete, it's world gone in total - no myth, or legend, or memory remains - and nothing remained but a scar on reality. Before that world ended, however, the being which wrought it's destruction stepped outside reality - to the empty planes of that which had answered his despair by granting him power.

Oblivion had found its loophole, by being invited in by the Unnamed - the one who had destroyed his own world in total, even the memory of his True Name was lost to him.  Through the agency of the Unnamed, Oblivion found a way to circumvent the protections of the Progenitors and their created guardians.  The Unnamed wielded the powers of Oblivion in a way none had experienced before, or could anticipate; those powers began to manifest in the worlds at alarming rates, and they were as despair, blight, entropy and vice. The Unnamed could do things that Oblivion could not accomplish before because he actually existed.

As the First Tree and it's keepers braced themselves, the Unnamed summoned the Black Wind and focused it narrowly, on one reality, one branch, at a time. Previous, the Black Wind had worked against the entire Tree, and it's effects were broad, it had lacked the intelligence, the understanding of realities, to be lethal. Now it tore branches from the First Tree anew, and as they fell they struck against others, branch against branch, universe against universe, multiverse against multiverse, each collision point forming a temporary nexus of realities where all things may be made possible.

Against the looming threat of Oblivion, the nexuses themselves were pitiful, but those that they summoned, those who were keyed to them, were filled with potential.
[color=darkred:8d169d8f3d][i:8d169d8f3d]A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
-Mark Twain[/color:8d169d8f3d][/i:8d169d8f3d]