Sunday, August 11, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 50 - Ultimatum

There was no warning when the ghost appeared.  One moment the corner of the room was empty, and the next it wasn't, with no fanfare.
The Seer slept as the Magician studied, neither noticing the additional presence in the room.  The flame-wreathed figure raised one hand and the Magician's tome shut with a sharp snap.  That got his attention, and the vampire set the book down before rising to his feet.  He turned to face the ghost.
Magician: "I believe it is customary to announce your presence when entering the home of another."
Ghost: "This home does not belong to you."
While this was strictly true, the Magician preferred to operate under older laws.  Why should an vacant property not be taken up by someone who needed a home?  Letting it sit, benefiting only a bank, was surely the greater crime.  He opened his mouth to defend himself, but the ghost spoke first.
Ghost: "You seem to have a habit of taking things which are not yours for the taking."
The Magician kept his face carefully neutral as he answered, not letting the spirit see his anger at being interrupted.  It was best to find out what the ghost knew before feeding him any more information to make guesses from.
Magician: "I seem to be at a disadvantage.  I would know who I speak with, surely I have that right."
The ghost nodded assent, and replied.
Ghost: "My true name is ancient, lost to time.  Today, I am referred to by many names across many cultures."
He paused there and studied the Magician's face, as if peering through to his soul.
Ghost: "You, Septimus Iuventius, knew me as Orcus."
The Magician worked carefully to keep his face expressionless.  So the spirit knew his name, and where he came from.  What else did he know?  In contrast to his internal worry, he twisted his face into a derisive smirk.
Magician: "You take the name of a god?"
Orcus: "I am a god."
Magician: "There is no such thing.  There are mortals, and those who transcend mortality, but no gods.  But you didn't come here to debate theology."
Orcus: "No.  I came to issue an ultimatum.  Return what you have taken, or the retribution will be swift and without mercy."
Magician: "Ah, and here we come to the reason for your visit.  I am sorry to say that I simply can't submit to your demands, as I do not have the item in question anymore."
Orcus: "Find it.  Or, perhaps, you do not take me seriously."
As Orcus spoke, the words seemed to fill the Magician's mind, evoking images from memories that were not his own.  Some ancient magic was at work here, and it scared him; even if he had thought it wise to speak, he didn't believe that the magic would let him.

"Listen, for I would have you understand your place.  Long ago, those who came before walked this soil.  There was conflict, and war.  The peaceful Alakar stood above, apart, protected by their superior intellect and technology.  But those below grew too many, and even the great citadels of the Alakar began to fall.  So they took to the stars, leaving behind the world of chaos on which they had grown."
"And so it was that the Lifewell stood unguarded.  She sought new protectors, finding them in the Fae.  Their magic hid her, kept her safe, and the gift of immortality was given in return.  All was as it should be once again."
"War continued to rage, brother turning on brother, locked in eternal bloodlust.  From the temples of death emerged the Vampar, leading cults of destruction across the lands.  Only the most devoted were allowed to join the ranks, becoming as death itself."
"As war continued to devastate the land, new defenders emerged.  The Werekin, children of man and beast, stood as protectors of the forests and lands.  Drawing on the power of the moon, as all Kin do, they stood against the Vampar and their armies of death.  And so the Vampar were driven from the ancient forests they had once corrupted."
"Emboldened by the success of their brothers, the Mer took up arms and made the seas their kingdom.  Even as conflict yet raged among the peoples of the world, through the efforts of Kin the tide had turned.  The Vampar were forced back to their underground lairs, their great armies broken, resigned to an existence in the shadows."
"Even with this great victory, many sought freedom and peace that was impossible to attain, for those left behind by the Alakar were inherently savage.  The Genu built their towers, in imitation of the great citadels, and chose to live in solitude, apart."
"The Magen, rather than seeking solitude, formed Covens as they searched for the knowledge required to follow in the Alakar's footsteps, away from this cursed world.  Rather than technology, they turned to the study of focused magic, in hopes that it could prove equally powerful."
"Before, during and after all of this, there was, is and will always be the Dead.  You are Death, but we are the Dead.  There is no place on this world where we can not see, nothing we can not touch.  Tread carefully, Vampar, or you may find your own Death sooner than you'd planned.  You have three years to set things right."
Orcus stopped speaking and the Magician became aware that his eyes were closed.  He opened them, only to find the room empty - Orcus had gone.  Three years.  To him, who had always had an eternity, it wasn't enough.

~ * ~

And the plot thickens!

For your convenience, here's the wiki entry for Orcus.  He was a Roman god associated with the underworld, and known for exacting punishment for broken oaths.  Seemed appropriate to me.


  1. Whoa... Now that's how you incorporate supes! And you covered them all so well! Loved the pics too! And now just what is it he's taken?

    1. Thanks! Keep in mind that this story is from the mouth of Orcus, who is quite old. While it's accurate, there's a lot he left out, especially about how the various groups have evolved in the time since they became distinct(occasional lone wolves rather than packs, necromancers who aren't involved with vampires, etc). I also didn't cover a few life states, on purpose. Either Orcus disregards them as lesser creations rather than life states in their own right(simbots, zombies, mummies) or they don't exist yet(plant sims, or whatever they're calling them in sims 3). But yay for background lore infodumps anyway!

      I had a lot of fun taking the pictures, I'm glad you liked them.

      The object has been referenced in several chapters, but I have yet to completely lay it all out straight. It's the same one that he's been attempting to recover since the beginning of generation 2. So this isn't just him being stubborn, he really is having difficulties!

  2. :O Wow.. I can't wait to see how this fits in!! I'm assuming Epsilon has a major part in all this somehow, I just hope she can work it out!

    1. Well, the three years are due to expire right about when both children have reached YA, so this definitely does seem to be tying into the transition from generation 3 to 4. The question is, will the plotline be taken up by the heir or the spare? And who's that pesky heir going to be, anyway? ;)

    2. Heir is Epsi, right? Or, that's what I assumed? I had a feeling you told me... :|
      Now I'm not sure! Maybe Omi will pop up out of nowhere and steal the crown? ARGH! WHYYYY!!!??

    3. All I've said on the subject of the heir was that it wasn't Alpha. ;) James is going to throw a fit about his lack of suitable heirs next chapter, so we'll have to wait and see if Omi(or anybody, knowing James) impresses.

  3. Awesome! I love the way you've told a brief history of supernaturals so simply and given a flavour of each race in a few sentences. I can't wait to see how this is all going to kick off with Epsilon and Omicron (especially Epsilon)

    1. Thanks! I know, it's going to be an eventful generation transition, and I hope to be able to keep you guys guessing as to which one the heir will be until the chaos subsides.