The City of Godville is the center of the known world. However, before this age of heroes, there were once other populated lands, with their own cities, their own monsters, and their own stories. While their histories have been lost to modern civilization, the goddess Melandre remembers Eldov; the land she once favored, the lives that were lost there, and the life her hero Dreyus led before she spirited him away to begin anew as her champion.
The Clans of Eldov
The Valorum Clan was a noble family with a strong bloodline. Named after the first hero that the venerable goddess Melandre created to spread her name and increase her dominion, it had produced strong successors in each generation to carry on the glorious worship of their family’s patron. Under Melandre’s favor, this family slew many monsters, heretics, unbelievers, and anyone who was an obstacle to their successes and creeds. However one family patriarch, Cheron, displeased his goddess in a particular fashion that would eventually lead to not only the end of this powerful family, but the land of Eldov itself.
Before their marriage, Cheron’s wife Vashne had been the matriarch of the Ryoros Clan. Unlike the Valorum, the Ryoros weren’t necessarily related by blood. In fact, they had a reputation for accepting many shady figures as “family”. Rogues, assassins, refugees, those seeking political asylum, and many others were added to the strength of the Ryoros under Vashne’s ancestors, and Vashne continued this tradition. Their goddess Mhisya valued her favored clan though, and hoped to one day use their devotion to propel herself to the position of top deity in the Pantheon of Eldov.
Only the Ryoros clan matched the power of the Valorum in Eldov, and due to the rivalry of their goddesses, it seemed inevitable that the two would war someday. However, when the two forces grew too great and the two clan leaders met for the first time, Cheron was stricken by the beauty of Vashne and proposed marriage immediately, much to the annoyance of Melandre. Under the command of her goddess Mhisya, Vashne was compelled to accept, not only to spare her fighting forces from losses, but under hope that the Valorum clan would begin to see the power of Mhisya and increase her divine power further. As a result, the Clans were united and seized control of all of Eldov, and two temples were erected side by side in each city for Melandre and Mhisya, now condemned to be equals.
The Fall of Mhisya
For many years, Eldov was kept in peace due to the combined efforts of the Valorum and the Ryoros. Not only did they unite the people of Eldov, but they solidified their fighting power to subjugate the monsters of the land and secure the safety of the humans. The birth of Cheron and Vashne’s child Cala was the start of the dissent between the clans. Both families raised their children as the champions of their respective goddesses, and both the Valorum and the Ryoros began to argue over which goddess the child would pledge her allegiance to. Localized fights began to break out across the land, and both goddesses smote many for desecration of their temples. Two years of unrest later, the birth of their second child, Dreyus, dispelled the arguments for a time, as it was assumed that each child would choose to champion one goddess and keep a balance between the two.
From a young age, Cala was noted to be a harsh child. She cared little for pleasantries or politeness, caring more for direct words and actions. These flaws were overlooked due to the girl’s great potential. She displayed great intelligence, an ability to learn quickly, and a talent at swordplay. Both goddesses desired her greatly as their champion, especially when comparing her to her brother Dreyus, whose own talents were so unremarkable they were practically non existent. Melandre promised Cheron greater power, and forgiveness for the marriage to Vashne, if he was able to sway his gifted daughter into her divine service. Mhisya in particular saw in Cala the traits of her first champion Ryoros, who had established his family as a power in Eldov, and took it for granted that Cala would choose the goddess of her mother’s people. So when Cala took the Oath of Servitude in Melandre’s temple on her fifteenth birthday, Mhisya’s anger was by no means small in size.
After Cala pledged her sword to the goddess Melandre, Vashne began to instruct her younger child into the ways of serving Mhisya as their ancestors had done for generations. Unfortunately, Dreyus did not take so keenly to his lessons as his older sister had done in the past. Furthermore, Dreyus had a stubborn streak that would cause him to be quite more like a mule than a boy when given orders, hardly a quality one would desire in a goddess’s tool for enacting her will upon the land. In Mhisya’s mind, her champion should have been Cala, and cursed her lack of initiative in trying to get the girl to her side in the first place. Instead of dedicating her time to try and mold Dreyus into a more fitting champion, Mhisya began to communicate with Cala instead, keeping her influence out of the sight of Melandre.
Little by little, Mhisya’s presence began to turn the convictions of Cala. She had always displayed traits seen in her mother’s clan, so she began to wonder why it was that she had chosen her father’s goddess. But once Mhisya actually bothered to speak to Cala she started to understand. Mhisya sent whispers in Cala’s dreams of the values of pragmatism and victory gained regardless of ethics. Cala began to see in her mind not a unified Eldov, but Eldov unified under one ruler and one goddess. On the day that Dreyus was being led to the Temple of Mhisya to take his own Oath of Servitude, Cala listened to the suggestion of Mhisya and slaughtered the priests in Melandre’s temple, becoming a fallen hero.
Melandre’s wrath was great, and before Dreyus could pledge his sword to Mhisya as well, Melandre seized him in a flash of light and imprisoned him within her realm, freezing him in time and space. However, before she could enact her vengeance upon her fallen champion Cala, Cheron overpowered his daughter and slew her upon the blood drenched altar for her betrayal of their goddess. In a fit of rage, Vashne rushed upon Cheron and slashed his throat open, slaying him only moments before Melandre in continued anger decided to cleanse the entire town with a blazing inferno.
With both Vashne and Cheron dead, the fragile peace in Eldov was shattered, and fighting broke out throughout all of the land between the Valorum, the Ryoros, and those caught between. Not only did they fight each other, but they also fought within their own families for leadership and control. This also gave the monsters of the land the chance that they had not possessed ever since the union of the clans, and they fell upon the weakened humans. Soon, nothing was left of the great civilization that Cheron and Vashne had created, with the land returning to the monsters and the forces of nature. Mhisya was left to rule a land with no followers, and lost the majority of her godly powers as a result. She had only herself to blame.
When Melandre saw that the humans of Eldov were dead, but for one sole exception, she realized she must take action if she still desired a mortal champion. After waiting twelve years, she released Dreyus, the last remaining member of the Valorum bloodline, from his preserved captivity and set him down in Godville. There she gave him the instructions to take the Oath of Servitude to her, and set him to work at building her new temple in this new land. But she never forgot that her last heroes had disappointed and betrayed her, and never failed to see every misstep and flaw of this descendent of Valorum who seemed to possess a remarkable talent for incompetency. Meanwhile Dreyus never forgot the actions his family had taken and how it had led to their downfall, at least until he discovered the local taverns set the drinking age at 14. Now the hero Dreyus seeks to rebuild the Valorum legacy, if only to appease his very bitter goddess.
PART 1: THE GODDESS OF NIGHTMARES
Oct. 16th, 3 AM
The nice thing about Eldov’s pantheon was that there was no real need to go around proclaiming yourself the god or goddess of this or that. We were gods, plain and simple. Superior in every way and unquestionable in our actions. But then again, there really weren’t that many of us. In Godville, I can’t turn sideways without bumping into yet another deity. Powerful godesses of war or humble gods of commerce, all titled by themselves in vain attempts to make themselves more unique. I really don’t know what to do about this when it comes to how it relates to me, or at least that would be the case if I weren’t a goddess, so uncertainty shouldn’t be possible should it? Unless I were a goddess of uncertainty but then that would be boring, self pandering, and even worse, boring, and all these circling thoughts certainly cannot be the best for me.
I should probably stop spinning in place too; I doubt that’s helping. I don’t know why I’m doing it really, but it helps to pass the time.
I don’t know why I’m still speaking, it’s not like you can hear me. Unless you have a subconscious link to my mind in your dreams that is. Although, it’s not like that hasn’t happened before. I think the last one of your sorry line who could actually commune with me even while asleep was your great-great-something grandmother Cressalia. Actually, she was one of my favorites, she actually listened to my instructions. But when it comes to you I try not to have any hopes at all.
Still asleep? Well that’s going to have to end sometime, I’m bored and I’m still spinning. Have you ever done that Dreyus? Spin round and round and round and round until your sight becomes a cacophony of color and motion? I’d imagine as a mortal it would make you violently ill but for me it’s rather relaxing. Images start to form at the corners of your eyes and they twist and gyrate into unnatural forms and colors and you spin and spin and they creep closer … and closer… and closer…and closer? Perhaps that wouldn’t sound fun to you, but then again, better this. Better this than other, slightly unseemly emotions and displays. Better this than…what was it?
It flashes in my mind again unbidden yet ever present…
Better this than the blinding rage I happen to feel every time I think of your thrice-damned hellspawn of a sister MAY HER FESTERING WOUNDS GIVE BIRTH TO PLAGUE AND DEVASTATION MAY HER TONGUE SWELL AND BLOAT AND TASTE MAGGOTS FOR ETERNITY MAY HER EYES BE STABBED AND STABBED AND STABBED AGAIN AND AGAIN MAY HER EARS BE RIPPED OFF MAY HER BODY BURN AND HER SKIN BE FLAYED AND . . . spin…and spin…and spin…and round and round…
See there it goes again. I suppose that this comes with being a goddess, having a thought process so naturally fast leads to unwanted remembrance. All these years have done nothing to ease the anger over Eldov. And you don’t even care, do you? Look at you, just blissfully snoring away. I killed your mother. I scorched her skin, seared her eyeballs, set her very blood ablaze. You do know that, right? Although maybe you really don’t care. Maybe you do have more brain cells than I gave you credit for. Your mother never loved you. You were a chore to her. You knew, didn’t you? She loved the traitor she-devil much more than she ever loved you. Of course, your baboon-brained dunce of a father preferred the oath-breaking harlot over you as well, but at least that didn’t stop him from cutting her open like the pig she really was.
I savored that moment you know. The moment that her blood hit the floor and her guts spilled out and she just started spasming all over my altar. It was beautiful really. Delicious. You were in that suspended animation prison when that happened, one of my rare oversights. I should have let you watch it. I should have let you watch as the chunks of life spilled out of her perfect body. That strong mind, heart, and soul grew dark and greedy and in the end she died tainted and ugly. I should have let you watch my fires claimed your mother’s flesh. I should have let you watch as your people were torn apart, devoured by monsters, betrayed, slaughtered, and cannibalized by their neighbors.
Well then. I shall take this chance to share the boon I denied you twelve years ago. Let this be my gift to you tonight. Let your dreams spin and spin and spin and the image in the corners of your eyes be of the pigs whose guts and bile spilled onto priceless gold, and the symphony of screams they offered, pleading, begging for mercy, and their torture increased further and further. Let the sight of your family’s demise fill your mind, the maggots that crawl through their corpses become your nightly nourishment, the lamentations of the slain be your lullabies, and the dead be your bedfellows. Until the morning’s light, watch, listen, learn. And spin . . . And spin . . . And spin . . . And spin . . . And spin . . . and spin . . .
Oct. 16th, 6:45 AM
My Lady, my dreams were certainly. . . different. . . last night. . .
i can’t stop laughing
PART 1 END
PART 2: A LITANY OF POORLY THOUGHT-OUT LOGIC
Aug. 12th, 12:10 AM
It happened 12 years ago
It happened 12 years ago but you forgot
It happened 12 years ago but I forgot
so whatever it was, it must not have been important
If you cant remember what you were going to say, it was never that important
Nothing you say is ever that important
The only words permitted here are those draped in relevance and elegance
so we are lexical undesirables
And words that shape us have no meaning
and words that we shape have no meaning
and a picture is worth a thousand words
so a picture we paint has no meaning
so art in general has no meaning
so all of history has no…
What did happen 12 years ago?
How long ago was that?
When one subtracts 21 from 12, you get a palindrome interrupted by a dash
But that is not my age. How old is that?
Simple math I did so long ago refuses to come to my mind
words can come to my mind
meaningless words are pulled from mind to pen to paper yet simple math refuses
I count on my fingers. the answer is still elusive
I did not know the answer. It refuses to be reasoned.
does that give it meaning?
I think I almost remember something
I think I remember it was important to me
I think I remember I waited and waited for you to turn to me
I think I remember calling and calling
I think I remember spinning until all thought turned to flashes of color
I remember opening my mouth
I remember the absence of words, of thought
I remember color dancing behind my eyes
I don’t remember who you were
I don’t remember who I was
I don’t remember what I wanted to say
I don’t remember what I was going to say anymore
Oh well. If that’s the case, it couldn’t have been important.
If I can’t remember it, it was never that important.
Nothing happened 12 years ago. It was never that important.
PART 2 END
PART 3: LAMENTATION OF THE PASSIONLESS DREAMER