The Siza'an and the Colossi

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  1. In the time before the world began, there was nothing but the Most High God, the Allfather.

    The Allfather, alone in the primordial void and looked upon the blank slate before Him, began to speak, and with his words thoughts and being gained substance as energy echoed and bounded throughout the void. And with this energy there came the first stars to line what had, until then, been the void. And from these stars came the worlds and upon the worlds would come forth the designs that the Most High God had in mind for this universe.

    But, in time, the Allfather found that one world in particular was perfect to host the life which He had in mind. He named it “Nahl,” which means “living” in the First Language. But to create a world of life and guide the rest of the universe, even for a being of great omnipotence such as the Most High God, required a massive amount of power and attention. So the Allfather decided to go forth and create for Himself seven children, seven Lesser Gods subservient to the Creator and Most High.

    The Lesser Gods were each given a charge, tied forever with their name. Yol, the God of Fire, was given dominion over the beasts that walked upon the land and the element of fire, with craftsmen dedicating their work to Him. Ven, the Goddess of Wind, was given dominion over all Qo, the God of Storms, was given dominion over the sky and the weather, and the harvests of creation were at at His whim. Lom, the God of Water, held in his domain all the great waters and all animal life within them, and unto him the sailors would give praise. Gol, the Goddess of Earth, created all plant life upon the world, as well as all the mountains and the coves. Krein, the Sun God, was responsible for ensuring that all life grew and thrived upon the earth and the Allfather’s teachings were spread across the corners of the globe. And then there was Iilah, the Moon Goddess, who held in her dominion the dreams of the living as well as the caves and tombs, for by Her light living souls would join their Creator.

    But while the Seven began their mission, the Allfather then wrought fourth five planes of existence, each of which was designed to perform a function separate from the others. The First Plane would serve as the home of Allfather and of the Seven, an eternal Paradise wherein just souls would live again after their earthly death. The Second Plane held the worlds of the living, where the most of creation stood in the light of the Most High God. The Third Plane was what connected the other four, serving as a great nexus- a plane between planes. The Fourth Plane was a place of penitence, where those who were of sin in life but were yet of virtue may as the Allfather forgiveness before being guided upon their way to meet Him in Paradise. The Fifth Plane was for those who sinned unforgivably, condemned to eternity in a fell blizzard.

    Once this was done, the Most High God Himself created a great many other creatures, such as angels and spirits, before making what He regarded to be His greatest gift- the races of life who would rule the earth. He created the races of humanity, elves, dwarves, orcs, and dragons to rule over the creation presented before them. He began by making two of every race, one male and one female, and He blessed them to have many children and many descendants as they shared the First Language together and lived in harmony.

    And so, generations later, the dwarves and the dragons took to living in the cool stone of the mountains, finding a great home for themselves, with the dragons living above and the dwarves below. The orcs favored the plateaus and deserts, finding a great space wherein to grow and to hunt. Humanity and some of the elves preferred the river valleys and plains, while the remainder of the elves preferred the forests, taking nicely to the abundance of life and harmonic chaos of nature.

    And soon, there arose societies and civilizations from these peaceful settlements. And of these settlements, spirits and angels became jealous and their essences’ corrupted. And with their corruption, they tricked the living into performing their first sins, becoming the first demons and devils. And even then, they gave birth to the first monsters as beings of all the races were twisted as weakened hearts were perverted and morphed along with the bodies and souls to whom the hearts belonged.

    Ranging from goblins to giants, the monsters had to be defeated. And as such, the races were forced to turn tools into weapons, but for some of the beings that had been corrupted it was not enough. And so many prayed and prayed and prayed to the Most High God in a sacred grove, and the Allfather saw the perversion of His creation and He wept. But in His sorrow, the Allfather bestowed upon the five races the gift of magic, a gift that would run in the veins of their bloodlines. It was these first mages who aided in putting the demons and monsters at bay, the Lesser Gods fighting with their mortal charges until they had amassed enough strength to cast them into the Fifth Plane.

    After this time, the Allfather blessed the first priests and prophets to begin to teach the whole of creation to return to Him and to seek absolution and forgiveness of their sins. For sin could not be removed from this tainted plane, and it could not be removed from what was once pure and it could not be prevented in the generations to come. Sin, forevermore, was attached to the lives of mortals.

    In later generations, there lived a great nomad by the name of Relen was approach by one of the messengers of the Allfather, for Relen was a pious man who was among the most faithful to the commandments and the Most High and Lesser Gods. In garb of an elderly human dressed in a white cloak, the messenger of the Most High God pretended to be one who had lost everything. Out of the kindness of his heart, Relen brought the messenger into his tent and gave him finery and a good meal. Seeing the merits of Relen for himself, the messenger extended upon the nomad a covenant that for as long as Relen’s bloodline practiced their true faith in the Allfather, they would be great rulers upon the land, beginning with Relen’s newly born son, Aegion. To celebrate, Relen praised and blessed the Most High God and sacrificed the fattest calf as a burnt offering unto Him.

    And soon enough, Relen passed and Aegion came into ownership of his father’s herds, continuing his father’s work until he came upon a maiden of the citadel Eowan, and the two fell for one another. She was a woman by the name of Isa van Hise, and was the daughter of the mayor of Eowan. When the two were wed Aegion, who had no last name, took the surname of his bride and inherited the office of mayor from his father-in-law. It was in his first few years in his mayoral tenure that the citadel became the Kingdom of Relen after assaults from nearby city-states, which were then annexed into Eowan, which became the capital city of Relen. Aegion then began to expand the power of Relen by annexing more of the scattered citadels and city-states, eventually building a nation that stretched hundreds of leagues across as he filled it with temples and wayshrines to the Most High and Lesser Gods.

    And it was so until the time of Aegion’s death, after which his eldest son, Caraphras, took upon himself the mantle of King of Relen. Like his father and grandfather, Caraphras van Hiles was a devout man who expanded the land of Relen across the continent, becoming one of the greatest nations after great conquests lead by armies of faithful soldiers. This would continue for generations and generations as the bloodline was interrupted and the prayers never ceased.

    However, this all changed with the reign of King Solon.

    Solon began his reign in the steps of his forebears, but in a time of tension he took upon himself a wife and many honor-wives to ease the tensions Relen had amassed in the past few generations But, even with all he had, he still lusted after one woman in particular- the wife of one of the castle guards. Solon was determined to have her, to the point that the fallen king arranged for the murder of her husband so that she would be added unto his harem.

    This angered the Most High God, who then sought out the high priest and prophet of His temple at the, a human man by the name of Nathan. He gave Nathan specific instructions to confront Solon in the court and offer the King of Relen a chance to confess to his sins and repent before the Allfather, lest He have to punish His beloved people. And so Nathan, girding himself and bringing forth a black shroud on which King Solon may confess to his sins, departed from the temple of the Most High, leaving to the royal palace wherein he would speak to the king with staff in hand and the Allfather’s seal hanging from his neck.

    When arrived at the temple the high priest saw that Solon had amassed even more sins, as some of the king’s honor-wives worshipped false gods and practiced ways and arts that the Allfather had forbidden. Solon was appalled and frightened by the actions of his ruler and what he allowed to be done, which had even more reason for Solon to confess to his deeds so that Relen may truly prosper and not have to suffer the divine punishment that the Most High God had given Nathan the power to deliver.

    It was then that, in the midst of a heathen festival conducted by two of the honor-wives, Nathan raised his staff and banged it against the floor of the throne room, drawing all eyes unto him. There the prophet spoke, his head high as the royal scribe recorded every word.

    “Behold and repent, all who have sinned against our Most High God! I, Nathan, have been charged by the Allfather and the Seven to deliver this message unto you, King Solon, and enact what our Creator deigns necessary. ‘I do urge you, Nathan, My priest and prophet, to go into the house of your king, Solon, and speak unto him. Tell him that the Most High God has seen his many grievous and or horrid sine against the Most High and against his own people, whom He has blessed since the days of Relen, and of Aegion, and of Caraphras, his forefathers. Tell him that he is to confess and repent his sins unto you, Nathan- who shall forgive him in the name of the Most High should he admit to his sins- before his house. But, should Solon omit his sins and disregard the wishes of the Allfather, you shall be given the power to curse his house and his land until the rulers of Relen confess their forebears’ sins and their own sins unto the high priesthood of My worship. Until such is done the presence of the Most High and of the Seven shall be gone from the Kingdom of Relen, and all divine favor stay only with the priesthood and those who truly put their trust and faith in the Most High.’

    “Adhere and take heed, Solon! The Most High has given me these powers and charges, so that I may enact them in His Name. Let me lay down the black shroud so that you may fall in prayer and confess.”

    But Solon was angered, crying out against the prophet Nathan, as is written in the ancient texts.

    “You fool! If the Most High was truly angry with me, would he have bestowed upon me these great riches and powers? Would I have such bountiful food and beautiful wives and many heirs to my throne? No, I am in the right! Therefore, I will tear down the High Temple of the Allfather in Eowan, for I need not confess my sins! Away with you, Nathan, and preach your word elsewhere!”

    Nathan was angered, but he did not show it. Instead he spoke aloud in the First Language, and by the grace of the Most High God, those in the court heard every word in their native tongue.

    “Hi golah prakem! Hi lost nev aaz do faal Zok Lok, ahrk fah hin dolok ulaan do Relen los wah kos pentaar. Ko faan do faal Gein ahrk Zud Zu'u, Nathan, Kul do Isaiah, dreh dur hi ahrk hin fron ahrk hin rinik junaar! Ol mund do Eowan gevul daar vulon, lot luvnulok fent mah voknau Relen, ahrk nii fent laat fah zud eruvos! Ruz fent sahrot vedkrasom mah voknau , beinoz sivaas ahrk nidrin ahrk pah wo sum, membrah nust tinvaak sahvot do faal Zok Lok, ahrk wah daar vedkrasom pah nuz gein do hin vahriik ahrk zin-kiim fen saluk! Ahrk ful fent kogaan do faal Pahbormah ahrk faal Atumei Rah kos nusaan nol daar himdah ahrk priidah wah vorey nor do Nahl wo fent ukuz hi erei gein do hin fron onvok hin vosod ahrk niist meyar wah lok sonaak do faal Zok Lok Rah! Ful nii los saag, ful nii fent kos. “

    “<You stubborn viper! You have squandered the mercy of the Most High, and for your impudence the whole of Relen is to be punished. In the names of the One and Seven I, Nathan, Son of Isaiah, do curse you and your bloodline and your very kingdom! As the halls of Eowan darken this night, a great drought shall fall upon Relen, and it shall last for seven years! Then shall a mighty plague fall upon the land, infecting beast and heathen and all who breathe, unless they profess the faith of the Most High, and to this plague all but one of your heirs and honor-wives will perish! And so shall the blessing of the Allfather and the Lesser Gods be gone from this land and spread to the other nations of Nahl who shall oppress you until one of your kin confesses your sins and their own to a high priest of the Most High God! So it is said, so it shall be.>”

    And so Nathan left the palace of Solon, finding the temple in rubble save for the Great Altar of the Most High and the innermost shrine, which were preserved by the grace of the Most High God. That night, a full lunar eclipse took place as the people of Relen could feel stretched as the invisible hands of the One and Seven stripped Relen of the blessings that had been afforded to them, save for the holy places where faithful tongues gave glory to their gods.

    From thereon out, the people of Relen relied upon the word of their rulers, who- consumed by pride- refused to admit to the sins of their ancestors. And so many wars were fought with the other nations of Nahl as Relen shrunk, to the point that Eowan was sacked and the whole nation was colonized by foreign powers.

    In this dark time, there were seven monstrous demons- beings known as Colossi of Argonath- saw their opportunity. Disguising themselves as the Seven Lesser Gods, their leader, Kyphora, disguised herself Iilah and appeared to the reigning Queen of Relen, Ishtari, claiming that the Most High no longer wished to see the people of Relen suffer. So long as the people of Relen gave offerings to the Seven and built great monuments and burnt offerings to them, Relen would prosper once more. Desperate, Ishtari agreed and unknowingly pledged her allegiance to the Colossi.

    It would be then that the current high priest of the Allfather, an elven man by the name of Illuvatar, was sleeping within the innermost shrine as a messenger of the Most High God appeared, as it had to prophets and judges to give them ministry to try and restore the faithfulness of the people. The messenger spoke, telling Illuvatar of the colossus who tainted the Queen’s mind, and telling him of how one may kill the colossi.

    And so, when Illuvatar awoke, he found a great chunk of ore belonging to the sacred metal adamantite, which when forged into a blade was indestructible, never losing its sharpness nor rusting. So Illuvatar, along with some of his priests and acolytes, when to a dwarvish grandmaster blacksmith and a great dragon in order to have the ore forged into twenty-one different weapons, all of which were capable of slaying the colossi, whose souls were resistant to magic. The dwarf forged and molded the blades of the weapons while the dragon tempted them in the arcane fire and blood of his ilk, even permitting the weapons’ bodies to have dragonbone cores as a symbol of unity and blessing. Out of these weapons, Illuvatar took for himself an adamantite longsword, which he named “Vahzah,” meaning “Truth.” Soon enough, Illuvatar and his twenty fellow companions entered the throne room at Eowan, demanding that the queen call upon the false gods as the priesthood of the Most High God knew the hidden truth. Reluctant and curious, Ishtari called upon the colossi, and they sent for Uthrem, who was in the guise of Krein. Illuvatar questioned the colossus, and after a while the high priest struck out at the false deity, effectively wounding him and came close to slaying him until the other colossi appeared and overwhelmed the faithful, killing ten of their number as wounds were scored on both sides. Having enough, Ishtari then proclaimed Illuvatar and his followers exiled, to be referred to as the Siza’an- the Lost Ones- from thereon out. Gathering the adamantite weapons from their fallen brethren, the priesthood of the Most High God and all who wished to follow Illuvatar as opposed to Queen Ishtari gathered at the remains of the high temple, and fashioned what was left of the High Altar and the reliquary within into the Tabernacle of the Most High God, which was to be carried by eight priests or to rest upon a wagon in the travels to come. For the presence of the Allfather remained in the Tabernacle and in the innermost shrine, though only acolytes tended to it and there were no longer any priests to go inside.

    Then, while Relen suffered, the Siza’an wandered Nahl for one-hundred and seventy years as seven generations passed across the face of the world. To lead the Siza’an and act as an intercessor- for without the innermost shrine there could no longer be a high priest- the people turned to the bloodline of Illuvatar, who proved to be fair and wise leaders among the exiled people.

    The Siza’an, despite being saved from the plagues the Relen endured in their wandering through the nations and wildernesses, were subject to a great many hardships as they were hunted by those faithful to the colossi and those who sought the power of the Most High God for themselves. There were others, however, who sought them out to join them or give aid, or even to give burnt offerings to one of the last true sanctuaries of the Allfather.

    But, in the eighth generation of Illuvatar’s line, there was a firstborn son by the name of Alvar. Like those immediately before him, he was gifted in the ways of magic and with an understanding mind, that he may lead the Siza’an well and understand the sacred writings of their faith. But it wasn’t too long after he was born that, after hearing the news of a princess' birth in Eowan and sacrifice, the current leader of the Siza’an, Alvar’s mother, received a vision in her sleep. The elf Namora dreamt of the twentieth year after this event, wherein if the sacrifice was successful the colossus Kyphora took for herself a new form upon the complete possession of the princess, plunging the world into a new darkness. It was then decided that, for the first time since their exile, the Siza’an would return to Relen.

    In order to prepare, Alvar and twenty other members of his generation were offered by their parents to become priests of the Most High God and to be trained in the art of fighting monsters and demons, with each learning in their own form and style. For Alvar, who favored the sword, a balance between the use of magic and the use of a blade was critical to combat, as the correct use of the various forms of magic parried with the styles of swordsman could make or break a large battle or a single duel in his eyes.

    When all twenty-one reached the age of eighteen they were ordained into the priesthood, so that the Allfather might bless them with the strength to defeat the colossi. They were each given full possession of the adamantite weapon they had trained with, as well, in addition to a blessed medallion that had the seal of the Allfather’s temples carved into it. For Alvar, much like his ancestor, it was time to wield Vahzah into battle. After a few more years of travel and training, the Siza’an had reached the outskirts of Eowan, and the time had come to end things. And a few days before the princess’ birthday, the twenty-one priests would enter the city from separate gates, posing as travelling scribes from the far reaches of the kingdom sent to document the “sacrifice.” But, in reality, their aim was to find an enchanted rose given to the princess and burn it. For without it, the colossus could not possess the princess’ form.

    Of the twenty-one, Alvar was the first who managed to make his way inside the royal palace, while the others waited for his signal that the time to descend upon the palace and fight the colossi had come. But first, he needed to attempt to find the rose and destroy it in a holy flame. Passing by the name of “Scholar Ferdinand of Orzan,” he asked to be escorted to the castle’s shrine, and one of the heavily armored guards escorted him there. It was amidst the stained glass and corrupted altars that the elf’s grey-blue eyes and dark hair stood out as Vahzah rested upon his belt. His form was easily a swordsman’s, leanly muscular with a focus on the core muscles and the back and shoulders. His skin was somewhere between pale and olive with the occasional freckle appearing on his form and concentrated close to his nose, a result of sojourning under the sun for so long. Brown, roughspun boots covered his feet while tan traveler’s pants covered his legs. His tunic beneath his black cloak was grey and long-sleeved, fitting for the late autumn weather. Atop of the tunic and underneath the cloak the elf had a satchel and his sword-belt, with Vahzah resting within the scabbard of the latter. Finally, the elf pulled out his holy medallion, the sacred seal upon which was composed of seven interconnected rings.

    The medallion had a faint glow to it, mainly due to the fact that it was one of the few remaining sacred objects in the room. Otherwise, the carved stone floor had two pews made of a polished oak wood atop of it, while in the center of the wall opposite the entrance was a giant limestone altar, dressed in purple linens as seven cylindrical shrines lined the top of the altar. Within each shrine was a graven image of the forms the various colossi took to impersonate one of the Lesser Gods, while in the rectangular shrine above- which was traditionally marked only with a burning candle to symbolise the presence of the Allfather- there was a pile of unusual ash.

    But what caught his attention most was the budding blood-red rose upon a marble pedestal in the side of room, contained within a glass container. It radiated an unholy aura as the elf approached it was resting, the podium itself nestled by the altar. Alvar made his way to the podium, removing the covering and setting it aside, grabbing the rose as there was a small explosion as the two different forms of magical energy collided, repelling one another as the elf was flung into the first row of pews. He then stood up, trying again as he grasped the rose further, causing it to wither slightly despite the fact that horrific images- surely some defense mechanism by the colossus- ran through his head until he heard an inhuman scream, dropping the enchanted rose onto the floor hand he grabbed his ears, chanting something in the First Language as the colossus’ will penetrated the minds of the guards, who would throw the elf into a dungeon without even going so far as to see if he had any weapons on his person.

    Keeping his mouth shut as the guards failed to realize their mistakes, Alvar merely laid back against the wall, deeming it best to bide his time for the moment as the other twenty took their positions.

    (Please PM me with information about your character if you choose to join. I would prefer your character to be the princess, but that is not the only option.)
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