Not sure if this has been posted yet. In case you were wondering where all those quotes came from...
1. Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you want to do something but don’t have the energy to get out of bed? There is an overpowering desire to do something, but no idea what that something is. For countless billions of years, that is how It felt. Before It had created anything, there was not even anything to try to do, so It rested. If you have tried this, you know for yourself that you can only sleep so much. So, one day, lying awake, It had the first thought. It was, “I will MAKE something,” but the next thought was, “That seems hard. I should sleep instead.” It was bored, though, and being a god, had a solution. “I will become TWO. One can sleep here, and one can make something.”
2. It broke into two pieces. The part that was to create was called Life and the part that would sleep was called Death. Life got started right away. Freed now from Death, Life felt overflowing with vigor. Anything was possible, and there was no limit to what it could accomplish. Life created matter and energy, time and space. Life shaped and reshaped the natural laws just to see the different outcomes. Aeons and aeons passed. Life started to become unsatisfied. It had tried so many things now, and it was becoming too predictable. It was kind of sad, and after making so many things, Life was tired. In addition to all of that, it was feeling lonely.
3. So life returned to its other part.
“You’re back, finally,” Death said. “You were gone a long time.”
“How did you sleep?” Life asked.
“Pretty well, actually, but I started to wonder what you were doing,” was the response.
“I made so many things, but I’m too tired to show you and it would take too long to explain it. Since you are well rested, let’s go back together, and I can show you everything.”
So they tried to go back together, but too much time had passed.
“Hey, what are you doing? This isn’t working.” Death said.
“Let me try something else. This has to work,” was Life’s reply.
“Whoa, um, ok... that is just... WEIRD.”
“I guess there is no going back, but I sort of liked what we just did. It felt good.”
“Well, I didn’t like it. It felt WRONG.”
“Maybe if we try it again you will get used to it?”
1. At Life’s insistence, they tried to go back as one many more times, without success, until one day Death noticed something strange. “There is something wrong with me. I am swelling and I feel weird. I knew something bad would come from this,” Death commented.
“You worry too much. I am swelling too, but I feel fine,” Life responded.
“Well, I don’t want to do that thing anymore. I don’t see the point, and I don’t like it. I am going back to sleep.”
2. Death slept a deep, dreamless sleep. It slept until it felt something stir deep inside its body. Feeling ill, Death woke up, and looked at itself. Its body was mottled dark purple and hideously swollen. Death called out for help. Life was nearby and heard it, and came over carrying something.
“Death, look what came out of me. It is a little version of us, but more precious. I think you have one too,” Life said, showing the small perfect god in its arms. “I will call her Lust.”
At that moment, Death was wracked with terrible pain, and, like a swollen boil, its belly burst open releasing a quivering mass.
“Oh no. What is that?” Death said with a mixture of fear and disgust.
“It’s beautiful!” Life exclaimed, scooping the dripping tumor up with its free hand. “We can call it Disease.”
“I don’t want any part of any of this. I don’t like any of the things you have made and I want nothing to do with you. I am going back to sleep. Don’t wake me up.”
1. “Hey, who are you? Wake up!” Curiosity said, shaking Death awake.
“What? Where did you come from? I’m trying to sleep!” Death answered sleepily.
“Curiosity! Leave Death alone,” Life said as it came near. “What is going on here, Life?”
“I discovered something amazing with Lust, and we have been making these tiny gods since you went to sleep. Even the lesser gods can try to join each other like we did, and make more of us. Of all the things I have created, this is the most miraculous, but I only did it with your help!”
“You did that act with your offspring? Are you insane? We are one person. For us to try to go back together is natural, but they are something else. Oh no. You did it with Disease too, didn’t you?”
“Wait until you see Cancer, she is luminous! But I did not explain the best part. Since we can make more of us, we will finally be able to use all of the space and planets I made. We will keep spreading and multiplying and everyone is so NEW and different.”
“You are mad. All of this is an abomination and it has to stop. I can’t believe you would do this, and with them!” shouted Death in a rage. “I liked the way it was before, with nothing and nobody! It was simple and quiet!” Its voice rose as it continued. “I am putting a stop to this right now!”
2. Death screeched as it reached up with one of its sharpened skull-covered appendages and slammed it down full force onto the throbbing collection of gauzy petals and genitalia that was Life’s head. Life did not even have a chance to cry out as the blade plowed through delicate flesh, freeing a torrent of watery green blood which splashed everywhere, and everywhere it splashed sprang up new growth.“What! What is this stuff?” Death yelled before bellowing a primal scream of frustration. “It’s getting everywhere! Get it off me!” Death howled as it thrashed it’s many arms and legs, uprooting flash-grown trees and giant mushrooms. Its frenzy was so complete it accidentally severed some of its own tentacles, which you know as Outrage, Bloodlust and Punishment.
3. At this point you may be asking yourself, “Lore, how do you know all this when you didn’t even exist yet?” That’s a good question. I got most of the story from Lust, who heard it from Life, and the juicy parts there at the end I heard from my friend Curiosity. The last part of this story I do know firsthand. Long after it killed Life, Death regretted its mistake. It came to us one day to explain how bad it felt, and how it didn’t know that its act would make us all mortal. It realizes now that in the far future, after all of us have died, he will get its wish of being totally alone for eternity. It spoke of the need for penance. Right then and there, it severed the limb that it had used to kill its other part. We call that limb Remorse.
1. After that, Death wandered off. It is sleeping somewhere or feeling sorry for itself no doubt. The damage was done. Everything got a lot more dangerous after we realized you could extend your lives by eating the plants and each other. For the smaller ones, like you, life was short and especially brutal. Because I am your grandfather, I have done everything I can for humans, but I am not a fighter. I am not strong. All I have to give you are stories. But humans have the best stories so I will tell them, but first there is one other story of a god you need to hear.
2. Life’s most wondrous offspring was the one that inherited its power to create something out of nothing. His name was Magic, and he was one of the first old gods to die.
3. We didn’t know at first that when you have a piece of a powerful god, you are able to use some of his power. When we found out, it was kind of amusing. My father, Knowledge, was the first to think to ask for a few strands of Magic’s lustrous silver hair. You can thank him for accidentally creating snakes.
4. When word got out of Magic’s power, everyone wanted something from him. Lesser gods were starting to die, and a few strands of Magic’s hair could bring small gods back from the dead. At first he obliged the beggars; a strand here or a strand there. Soon though his once beautiful hair was looking thin and patchy. We should have known that things were going to get nasty when Brutality and Torture showed up wanting ‘their share.’ Some hair wasn’t enough. They wanted all of it. When that was gone they took his fingernails, and then started on the teeth. Justice was still too young to do more than watch. We were all so weak.
When Brutality and Torture got to Magic’s last tooth, there was a fight over who was going to get it. Brutality abruptly ended the argument by tearing Magic’s frail body in half.
5. All true magic in this world still comes from that corpse. Diluted blood infused parchment is used for scrolls, or ground up bones to fortify staffs. If you are lucky, a tiny chip of his blue crystal irises.
6. Humans need magic more than most. Like those that begat you, you are soft and weak, and with more intellect than you know what to do with. It was only natural that you would search for knowledge to gain power. The first humans to turn towards using magic were the wizards.
7. The first three wizards met in the Libritorium while researching magic. The Libritorium sees very few visitors during a human lifetime, and so minor beasts are often found roaming the rows of engraved cylinders. These animals are below the notice of the caretakers, but still a threat to humans, which is why when the wizards ran into each other they decided to stick together. The red wizard was from the desert, the blue from a remote atoll and black from the volcanic mountains, so they spoke no common tongue. At first could only communicate in writing using what they all understood from the engravings. In order to speak aloud to each other, they invented a sound to go with each runic symbol. All wizards still speak this language to this day.
8. In the constant war of minor gods and their vassal races, the wizards and their institutions have proven to be critical to humanity’s survival. In the battle against Spectral Grace and its bird minions, a coalition of wizards were able to, at great loss of life, activate a divine artifact, destroying Spectral Grace, and virtually eradicating the birdmen.
9. Wizards are not the only defense humans have. A sect has become vassals to a minor god named Perfect Kill, and in return this god will fight with them on any three occasions. Life under Perfect Kill consists of constant martial training that culminates in life and death duels. All of this is done while wearing a bag over their heads. They are only allowed to remove the bag to eat, or before a battle, and so are often called bagheads. Bagheads are ferocious fighters by any standard and fight as well in complete darkness as they do in daylight.
10. In groups, humans are stronger, but on the scale of human suffering even individuals can make a difference. I have heard of one knight who single handedly defeated several large flying reptiles that threatened human towns. On one of these hunts, he was able to sneak into the creature’s lair by removing his armor, and when confronted with hatchlings, dispatched them silently by choking them to death. In this way he was able to get close to the sleeping mother reptile and stab it in the head until it died.
11. Humanity faces many common threats to its existence beyond just flying lizards. Besides normal dumb beasts such as bears, wolves and serpents, there are all manner of strange and unique creatures. Guardians of the dark places long forgotten. Discarded living experiments created on a whim. Amorphous and gelatinous monsters whose touch will dissolve flesh. Those that once lived that don’t realize they are dead. Previously sentient races, warped and driven mad through exposure to their selfish gods. The ones that have grasped power they could not wield. Mindlessly they live on and procreate, forever recombining into something new and awful.
12. There are also many sentient races besides humans. Among those that are successful are the inscrutable elves, observing from their hidden palaces. Their fickle nature makes them dangerous and unpredictable. They value nothing more than fresh, raw experience and care almost not at all if it is good or bad. Then there are the orcs whose love of honor and conquest drive them to dominate everyone they can. They worship savage, powerful gods, and expect little more from life than a chance to fight and die.
13. Even more terrifying for humans than the prospect of large scale war is the possibility of encountering minor gods. These small gods still control incredible power. One that has been stalking humans for millennia is called Sympathetic Shadow. This minor god sees the struggling of humans as tragic and meaningless. It seeks to put them to rest. Looking at his face is enough to blot out a human and its offspring. I even heard one story that not only was a man and his family obliterated, but his favorite dog too. I don’t believe it though.
14. With severe threats like these, it’s good that humanity has so many heros. People willing to risk their life for their fellow man. Their incredible stories of bravery give meaning to the lives of men, and serve as examples for why you deserve to exist.
1. When you read this I may already be dead. Gods live a very long time, but not forever. Perhaps in a billion years from now you are reading this. Maybe your people have taken the powers they could control, and shunned those powers they couldn’t. Have they have steered a course to the stars and beyond? You, the children of my children with so much promise will live on, struggle and overcome. It is your birthright.
1. Of particular interest to humans are the varied relics of power derived from the bodies of powerful gods. The gods are so numerous and varied that I have attempted to provide a concise guide to their use in the creation of magical artifacts.
2. The primary ingredient in most magical artifacts is the powdered flesh and bone of Magic’s corpse. Used in small amounts, it is able to produce an endless variety of effects. Because of its rarity, it is often combined with another god’s bodily material. Hair, blood or other bodily fluids are common for this purpose. For the enchantment of a weapon or armor often only a relic of a lesser god is needed, but used in larger amounts. An eye or heart carry much of the god’s aspect with it, and can make an artifact that grants amazing physical characteristics, or that has exceptional material properties.
3. Although the creation of artifacts is dangerous and always involves risk, some combinations of components are known to produce more stable results. Traditional artifacts used by wizards are staffs and gems. These are usually created using Magic and the blood of a god who is well disposed to humanity. Empathy has been a great patron of humanity. Her blood crystallizes to form the gems that wizards use to store magical spells, allowing those spells to be reused. My own physical detritus is often used by humans to fortify staffs which grant their user heightened wisdom and intellect. Scrolls are also common and used as the catalyst to create spells. Magic and Creativity are bound to the parchment, and a series of well tested words known to put the user in to the proper mental state are written on it. Once the holder of the scroll is in the proper state of mind, the spell can be cast, destructing the scroll in the process. Because of the sensitive nature of these scrolls, it is important that they do not come into physical contact with one’s skin or else they may be cast accidentally, and with unpredictable results.
4. Justice has granted many races favor for acts he approves of. The swords he bestows are forged from his toenail clippings. It is kind of gross. I wouldn’t want one. They do give humans supernatural strength, and are far more durable than any material found in nature. Darker gods have also created swords for their vassals in this nature. If the sword’s aspect is in conflict with the user, it will often cause madness, unless the sword was bestowed by Madness, because then it will absolutely drive you crazy for sure.
5. Other enchanted equipment is created in the same way. When Alacrity’s hand was severed, the skin from it was tanned and made into a number of fine boots that grant their wearers heightened dexterity. Constitution has had many ivory suits of armor carved from his extracted teeth, which grow back. The armor protects the wearer from disease, and regenerates when damaged.
6. There are countless artifacts in existence, and more being made, while others are destroyed. Attempting to list all of them would be pointless. The nature of the artifacts is as varied as the gods themselves. Some still hold a portion of the living will of the god they are a part of. Other seemingly powerful artifacts are created from an unstable combination of components that could detonate or dissolve under stress. Those who accept the power of the gods always also lose some of themselves. The best advice I can give you in regards to artifacts is to choose wisely.
1. Since writing the original text, I have been asked many times by humans about this animal or that minor god. I have decided to compile a small guide explaining more about the creatures you may encounter, where they came from and why they are dangerous.
2. Minor g... [damaged text beyond this point]