The Phoviverse https://phovos.net/phoviverse Adventures in Time, Cycle and Stasis Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:15:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 https://i2.wp.com/phovos.net/phoviverse/wp-content/uploads/Phovosdotnet-favicon-2.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 The Phoviverse https://phovos.net/phoviverse 32 32 98641862 Tale – Some Sort of Confirmation https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-some-sort-of-confirmation/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:15:41 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1809 Read more]]> Kayel sat by the river’s edge, minding his own business. Behind him was a small camp site, a temporary place of rest. There was no point trekking back to civilization if he was due to meet up with more Thraki any time soon. All they’d done recently was mess Kayel around, not giving him answers, demanding he both stay and leave, talking in riddles and all-round being annoying and he was tired of it. At least the flowing river was calming him down.

A heavy gush of wind could be heard in the distance. The sound of a Thraki hovering then taking off again. Whoever it was, they were looking for Kayel. With a flick of his and a few muttered words, he fired a small, magical flare into the sky, hoping to catch their attention.

The Thraki clearly must have seen it, as the flapping of wings became louder and louder. A shadow loomed over Kayel as they landed on the other side of the small stream.

“Kayel.”

“Vokulunax.”

Heavy armoured in gold plates, the purple Thraki lowered its head. Kayel bowed, showing respect. There was no need to annoy them.

“I must apologise to you, Unlahney. We have mistreated you.”

Kayel shrugged. He was only vaguely annoyed now that he’d had time to cool off. Really, he was used to all these years of mistreatment.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s fine. Why are you here?”

Vokulunax stretched out his wings. The trees around him didn’t seem so large now, as his clawed wing tips brushed against the canopy. He seemed to be stalling. This annoyed Kayel more than it should have.

“Vokulunax?”

“It is hard to explain. I suppose we should start with the good news, yes?”

Kayel nodded. “That would be nice.”

“Very well. The good news is that the Thraki have considered your words. We will allow you to bring your friends here, to become Thanatian citizens welcome within Thrakian territories. We will allow you to teach only basic magics to them, enough to heal their ills and that is all.”

Kayel was about to cheer, but Vokulunax stopped him.

“There is another downside though. While we allow you to teach them, we cannot allow them to teach others. If one of your fellow L-Class Ksa attempts to teach another being of any race, then all of you will be exiled. Including yourself.”

Kayel hesitated. “That… That is fair… Wouldn’t want your, uh, enemies… Okay, I get it. But you mentioned bad news?”

It was Vokulunax’s turn to hesitate. Again, he stretched his massive wings, before swinging his tail around a little, nearly knocking down several trees behind him.

“You… wished to know why you are considered worthy of learning magic. Why you even have the ability to access high level magia in the first place.”

“I did. After all, it seems weird that one Rethan out of billions is capable of all the powerful things I can do,” Kayel smiled. “Can’t be a simple matter of coincidence, right?”

The purple Thraki lowered his head, edging closer to Kayel until he was within whispering distance. “I warn you, Undead One, you will not like this knowledge that I am about to share with you. It has a high chance of haunting you, of making you doubt your own existence…”

Kayel tutted. “Really? You’re talking about someone who has been threatened, beaten, attacked, torn, raped, tortured and more. Why do you think that whatever it is you have to say will ruin me?”

Vokulunax backed away. “None of us wish to harm you. This knowledge could do that. It was damaging to us to discover this knowledge in the first place. When we first found you, when we realised what you are…”

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Kayel growled. “You going to tell me I’m not a Rethan? Or that I’m adopted? Maybe I’m actually a cyborg or something? Are you going to say that my mother was a hamster and my father smelled of elderberries?”

The Thraki blinked. “No. Far worse than that.”

“Just fucking tell me already.”

Vokulunax took a deep breath. Then another, then another. Kayel coughed, stopping him from hesitating further.

“Unlahney… You… You are basically a multi-dimensional baby maker…”

Kayel blinked. “Say what?”

“You were put into this universe mainly to mother children for higher-level beings.”

Either Kayel was confused as heck or Vokulunax wasn’t explaining properly. “Pardon?”

“You just exist so that beings like the Dragon God of Time can use you to have children.”

“Oh…”

Kayel fell silent, not really sure what to say. He eventually muttered a thank you. Noticing that perhaps the Rethan needed some time alone, Vokolunax bowed his head, thanked Kayel for his time then took off, leaving Kayel to his thoughts.

Time passed, and Kayel eventually realised that he’d been staring at the ground for a good hour or so. What Vokulunax had said finally settled inside his mind. With a grunt, Kayel decided to start putting his camping stuff away. He had plenty of time to think this over.

But no matter what, one small thought lingered in his mind.

“Guess it all makes a little more sense now…” Kayel sighed. “Still, I wonder who Elkay’s father was..?”

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Tale – Thrakian Denial https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-thrakian-denial/ Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:16:57 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1807 Read more]]> “No.”

“No?”

“No.”

It took far too long for that simple answer to sink in.

“No?”

“We said no.”

He couldn’t help but repeat his confusion, like a broken disc skipping over a track.

“Unlahney, why are you doing this?”

Kayel snapped out of his startled look, shaking his head. “I… I was really hoping you would say yes. This isn’t any more insane than anything else I have asked for. When I was sick and ill and needed somewhere to rest, you said yes. I said I wanted to teach my kids a little magia, you said yes. When I said I was going to learn necromancy, you said yes.”

“Those are different.”

Above the Rethan were five Thraki, all perched on pedestals a little too small for them. As if they had slowly grown out of them over the last few decades. While these Thraki were not the most powerful around, they were one of the few faces non-Thanatian races could talk to. More importantly, they were the council one would have to meet to discuss magic with, and they were very, very picky when it came to who they’d allow in.

“How is this different?”

“Because they are not physically fit enough.”

Kayel grunted. “That’s bullshit. I was in a way worse condition when I got here and you let me in. Just because Ksiel had an episode and Veeyel is disabled, doesn’t mean they’re not as fit as I am.”

“You naturally have an affinity for magia. They do not.”

None of this made any sense. Why were the Thraki being like this? They had always been open with Kayel in the past, but here, they were being stubborn and secretive.

“So how comes only I am the only L-Class, heck, the only Rethan in general with an affinity for magia? What’s so special about me?”

One of the Thraki rears up, growling.

“Unlahney, you KNOW we cannot say!”

“Don’t give me that, Vokulunax!” Kayel shouted back. “Actually, that goes for all of you! Krendaving, Strunvolta, Vaarotar and Farlohsun, you all taught me knowing that I’m some fucked up ball of super-magic just begging to be used and tamed. You taught me to look after others, to heal them and to mend them, you fucking taught me how to manipulate life and death. I’m a necromage now! But me bringing my friends in to live in Thrakian territories, teaching them just enough to fix themselves, that’s too much apparently? And you have the gall to lie to me and mess me around?”

The Thraki fell silent. Kayel knew he’d done… something.

“Seriously though, why am I the only Rethan worthy of using magia?”

Vokulunax glanced at the other Thraki, as if to ask whether they should tell him or not. The other Thraki all hesitantly nodded.

“Because you have been on the receiving end of magia. You know how it can destroy you.”

Kayel tutted. “So you’re saying that because I’ve suffered, I’m somehow worthy. But clearly no one else who has suffered is worthy. For some reason. I don’t know, but I have a feeling that is not the truth.”

Another glance. The Thraki were visibly nervous.

“Well?”

“Well… the truth… is rather degrading…” Krendaving muttered.

“It is not a nice truth…” Strunvolta added.

Kayel growled, sick of their messing around. “If you’re unwilling to tell me, then that means there’s no defined reason as to why I’m the only worthy Rethan mage, which means you have no reason for me to bring my friends here.”

“Actually,” Vaarotar interrupted. “The reason why we deny your friends is because of political turmoil on our own lands. The Tsifans are not happy with the Thraki and the Thraki are not happy with the Tsifans. To bring in a third party would be… awkward. Especially if a… war were to erupt.”

The Rethan rolled his eyes. “You’re all useless. Sitting here on your stupid thrones, talking in riddles. I’ve been following the news, as I should, and you all pushing others away is completely counter-intuitive to everything that is going on! You should be more open when the average ones are pushing everyone away!”

The Thraki all looked at each other, muttering and discussing things under their breath. Finally, Vokulunax turned back to Kayel.

“Give us a day to speak to the other Thraki. We shall have an answer for you later.”

Kayel sighed. “Thanks, I guess… Thank you for listening.”

“Thank you too, Unlahney.”

The Thraki lowered their heads as the Rethan turned around and walked off, a hint of uncertainty welling in their throats.

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Tale – Avoiding Bad Thoughts https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-avoiding-bad-thoughts/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:22:05 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1805 Read more]]> “Hi Ksiel!” Veeyel waved as he sat up straight, struggling to get a sheet off his legs.

Ksiel entered cautiously, leaving his bag by the door. The last time he was here, there wasn’t nearly as much medical equipment. A heart monitor and two saline drips stood next to Veeyel’s bed, all three attached to the former Ksa.

“Hi, brother… why are you like that?”

Veeyel remained cheerful and smiley, but the tone of his voice changed. “Uh, something happened. Medics don’t know what. I’m going to just put it down as one of those silly Ksa things.”

“Silly… Ksa things?” Ksiel scratched his head. “What do you mean?”

The smile faded completely. “We’re experiments. Medical experiments designed to create the best type of Rethan possible. The amount of genetic bullshit they did to us, it’s amazing we haven’t exploded yet. Of course this means treating simple medical conditions becomes a complicated pain in the backside. Especially when the medics realised that I’m immune to multiple types of antibiotics and have a resistance to anaesthetic…”

Veeyel fell silent and stared out of the window. While the weather had been warm and humid, it was cloudy outside. Cloudy to the point that it was almost foggy, the tops of many buildings couldn’t be seen. Ksiel shuffled over and looked for somewhere to sit down. There was a lone stool in the corner, so he dragged it to Veeyel’s bed and awkwardly perched on it.

“You aren’t doing to well, are you?”

“No. I’m dying. Really should be dead already.”

The L-Class all knew that Veeyel was ill and probably didn’t have long to live, but the way he so bluntly said that was somewhat disturbing.

“But-”

“And to think,” Veeyel interrupted, “I lectured you on not committing suicide. You know how hard it is to fight off these thoughts? I try so hard to avoid them but it never works.”

“I understand. The suicidal thoughts always nag at the back of our minds.”

Once again, Veeyel interrupted. “And we can’t even fucking take medication to help us. No sleeping meds, no relaxing drugs. Fuck all. I was hoping that Kayel would be able to get us all moved off to some far away land where we can be happy and get it all done faster but I’m honestly having doubts now.”

“Why?” Ksiel asked.

“You not been reading the news?”

Ksiel shook his head. One of the nice things of no longer being a Ksa was that he didn’t give two fucks about what was going on in the solar system. He hadn’t read a paper or watched the news in weeks.

Veeyel though just sighed. Being in hospital, he clearly had more time, or at least more boredom, to keep up with recent events.

“The Sixteen, the current rulers of all Thanatian territories, are falling apart. One of them walked out and the others are rumoured to be in-fighting, and they’ve broken some of their ties with the Thraki, with whom Kayel wanted us to work and live with.”

“But I thought that was just Thanatian planets, not the neutral territories?”

“Nope. Giant, convoluted mess.”

Ksiel shrugged, then put his hand on Veeyel’s shoulder. “Kayel is still working on it. He’s apparently got a meeting with some Thraki called, uh, Vokulunax or something like that. There’s still some hope…” Ksiel paused. He’d spotted a television set in the corner. “Does that work?”

“Yeah but there’s nothing on…”

Ksiel grinned, leaping up and grabbing his bag. He rummaged through it until he found two controllers and a small, black box – a portable console.

“You wanna play some electronic games?”

Veeyel’s eyes lit up as Ksiel started setting up the television. “I’d love to!”

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Tale – Wrong Ideas https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-wrong-ideas/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 17:42:10 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1803 Read more]]> “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Zoi shouted as she burst into the room, absolutely furious. She was surprised to find though that Phovos had hardly moved. The Raptor glanced up from her book and stared at Zoi.

“Go back outside, close the door behind you, knock and politely wait until I say you can come in.”

Zoi looked at Phovos, hesitated, then did as she was told. She knocked three times, but Phovos was clearly making her wait and cool off. After a fourth knock, Phovos allowed her to re-enter.

“Good afternoon, Zoi. How are you?” Phovos asked, pretending the last few minutes hadn’t happened.

Zoi walked in, slowly this time, and sat down next to Phovos. She noticed that the Raptor was reading something written by a Rethan. An autobiography of a former Vice General. That was an odd thing to be reading.

“I am… frustrated, master…”

“Frustrated about what?”

“About Photios. I… I believe that you suggested that he leave. I think that you are intentionally tearing us apart because you want power now. And that you fancy us and want to sleep with some of us.”

Phovos blinked, then abruptly laughed. It was a loud, deep laugh. She genuinely found Zoi’s statement to be hilarious.

“You what? You think I fancy you miserable lot? And you think I want a part of the ruling pie? What evidence do you have?”

“You went to visit Photios. Almost as soon as news got out, you were there at his temple!” Zoi tried to remain calm but Phovos’s laughter was off-putting. “Surely you were there to congratulate him and work out your next move? And then you… you know?”

Phovos wiped tears from her eyes. The idea of an insane conspiracy involving her fancying some of her nieces and nephews was hilarious. “Heh.. That’s funny… You think I went and… Really, that’s kinda disgusting. And completely against the fact I’ve spent the last five hundred years moving away from you incestuous lot. No, I went to see Photios because five of you called me up and asked me to speak to Photios and get him to rejoin the Sixteen. But I listened to him and I can see why he left.”

“What do you mean?” Zoi asked.

“You’re all fucking retarded.”

“WE ARE NOT RETARDED!” Zoi bellowed as she leaped from her chair, knocking it over. “You constantly call us dumb and stupid!”

“But you are,” Phovos sighed, rolling her eyes. “The Thraki came to warn you about storms and to tell you their grievances and you told them to fuck off.”

“I… I didn’t…”

“Yeah you did.”

Zoi sighed, then picked her chair up and sat back down.

“The Thraki are-”

“They are vital to Thanatian society!” Phovos interrupted. “The same way every Thanatian is. But you never seemed to understand that. You never learned that lesson.”

“Then help me learn!” Zoi protested. “Help the Sixteen!”

Phovos growled, leaning back in her seat. “No.”

“No?”

“Nope. I wasted so many years trying to teach you all. I’m tired. So I built my own little place, which you all excluded me from. I spent all that time over-protecting you. Then I realised that you all need to fuck yourselves up so you can learn properly.”

Zoi sighed. “Are… are you abandoning us?”

Phovos shook her head. “I’m letting you fail on your own for a change. Can’t always prop you up. Now off you go. Go find a way to fix what you have done.”

Zoi said nothing as she got up and left. There was no point trying to argue. She walked out of the room, trying to concentrate. Maybe the Raptor was right. Maybe the Raptor was wrong. She didn’t know.

Maybe she’d have to remove the Raptor somehow…

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Tale – A Lack of Fiery Anger https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-a-lack-of-fiery-anger/ Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:28:29 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1801 Read more]]> Photios sat in his throne, a golden seat studded in red rubies and furnished with a lush red cushion. The rest of this room was just as extravagant, but elsewhere, everything was plain, dark stone, carved from ancient, volcanic rock. This was his temple, his sanctum, his quiet place.

What the Raptor was doing here, he did not know.

“You look nice,” Phovos smiled as she stood next to Photios. “Is that your ceremonial garb?”

Photios glanced down. He was wearing nothing but a fire red sash and his standard belt, adorned with a three-pronged flame buckle, an emblem he used to represent himself.

“No. Normal wear.”

The Fire Lord’s reply was blunt. It had been a long, arduous walk back from the Sixteen Temple, and word had spread quickly about what he had done. He’d expected to arrive home and see an army threatening to tear everything apart, but the place was mostly empty. Those who may have had grievances with his decisions had already moved on.

“Huh. Suits you. Despite your not being well, you’re still as beautiful as ever.”

Compared to Photios, Phovos’s attire was rather terrifying. A complete leather armour set with steel shoulder plates, padding on her thighs and that distinctive chest plate she always wore, the one that was shaped like a rounded Y. She had been wearing a full helmet as well, carved with vertical lines and metal horns, but she’d taken it off once Photios entered. She’d actually managed to get here faster than Photios had and he had no idea how she’d managed it.

“Thank you… You look beautiful yourself…” Photios muttered. Many Thanatians considered Phovos to be incredibly ugly. Short, stumpy, chunky, lacking that thin, toned look that the female members of the Sixteen were known for. But the Raptor was always someone who did whatever she wanted. After all, she was considered one of the most powerful Thanatians alive. “Why… Why are you here?”

Phovos leaned against the throne, sighing. “Kindyna called me as soon as she could and told me. So did Dilitir. So did Skios. So did Trisma. Is everything okay?”

Photios sighed. He pulled out a small, ceremonial dagger that he normally kept hidden underneath the cushion on his throne and started fiddling with it. “No. They have lost their way.”

“No, really?” Phovos’s reply was overly sarcastic.

“They make bad decisions behind my back. We are falling as a species, Phovos. Falling apart.”

“Because we have lost our unity.”

The Fire Lord looked up at Phovos. “Should I not have left? I do not know how to fix this.”

“I’ll be honest, neither do I,” the Raptor admitted. “Perhaps this time, we just let them fail.”

“You don’t support us any more, do you?”

“No.”

Phovos got up and stood in front of Photios.

“I thought not. Is this because of-”

“No. It is not because if your overthrowing Mavri and Thymos. I let you do that. Because I saw that they were failing their duties and that it was too late for them to correct their path. I thought that maybe, after all these years, you’d move in the direction that was best for the Thanatoforic races.”

“You were wrong.”

“I was. Because I didn’t realise that insane Temthan mindset would get in. Those Temthans wanted us to join them and we said no. But we’ve been unwittingly adopting their ways anyway. Well… Zoi has…”

Photios rolled his eyes, then sunk in his seat. He was tired. He wasn’t feeling well. He wished he had the strength he used to have.

“So we let them fail. What then?”

“We do to the rest of the Thanatian territories what I have been doing to Vriskera,” Phovos smiled. “Starting with your Ember Canyons. Just have to hope that the Fifteen don’t declare war on us…”

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Tale – Wings of Concern https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-wings-of-concern/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:02:22 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1799 Read more]]> Darkness loomed over the Sixteen Temple. A tribe of Thraki were circling over, their draconic forms casting shadows over the normally brightly lit stone. High winds did nothing to interrupt their flight. Lightning did nothing to dissuade them.

Below, Zoi, the eldest of the Sixteen, watched on. By her side was her brother Thanatos. Despite his powerful, brutish, overly-armoured form, it was Thanatos who was more worried about the Thraki. He had not seen so many gathered in one place. They had always been rather solitary creatures, only leaving their lairs to find mates. Whenever Thraki gathered in numbers larger than four, everyone would know something was wrong. Today, with what looked like about fifty flying around, there had to be something incredibly bad happening for them all to be here.

“Zoi, Thanatos, my Lords?”

A voice spoke up from behind them. It was Zoi’s assistant, Azoa. Unlike Zoi who was standing around naked, she was wearing standard Thanatian attire – simple fabrics wrapped around her chest and crotch.

“What is it?”

“Kindyna and Dilitir have arrived.”

Zoi tutted and stormed off back towards the temple. Thanatos nodded a thank you and followed.

The rest of the Sixteen had gathered on the top floor of the temple, a place sealed off and protected by heavily armed Thanatians. In the centre of the main room was a large, shimmering chandelier. Everything else was decorated in gems, gold and crystals, glued onto the walls and furniture and depicting historic scenes of victory. Each of the Sixteen were dressed in beautiful clothing, matching the elements they represented. They all also wore a single silver medallion around their necks, tied on with simple string, the symbol of the Sixteen carved into them. A stark contrast to their extravagant looks.

“I see you failed to convince the Raptor to join us!” Zoi growled as she dismissed the guards, slamming the door behind her. The door quickly reopened though, as Thanatos walked though, rubbing his snout. “You’re supposed to be the Mistress of Seduction, the Queen of Mind Control, yet I see no Raptor here!”

Kindyna simply rolled her eyes. “You don’t simply mind control the Raptor. Perhaps you’ve forgotten the injuries sustained from the last time we attempted that. Why are there fifty Thraki circling the temple? What have you done?”

“I have done nothing!” Zoi screeched, catching everyone else off guard. “I do not know why they are here!”

“Perhaps a natural disaster is on its way?” Photianos, adorned in glowing gold and white gems, suggested.

“Or maybe they are angry at us for removing the King and Queen?” Magnetin had always been loyal to the Sixteen’s heritage, and she hadn’t been happy since they’d taken over.

“The Thraki were never that loyal to anyone,” Neraida countered as she swirled around, her translucent clothes flowing like water. “No, they must be here for a solemn reason. But none of them have come down to speak to us.”

“We haven’t exactly done well to listen to them in the past,” Anemos interjected. “While I do my best to cater for them in my own territories, we do often leave them by the wayside.”

“Even so,” Pagia butted in, not letting her wind-swept brother finish. “The only reasons they have done this in the past is because of incoming disasters. They have been right in the past. Always correct. That MUST be what it is.”

In the corner of the room, Photios listened to his siblings squabble. He had been sitting quietly in his chair, mulling over each of the Sixteen’s ideas and questions. Photios was once the leader of the Sixteen, but illnesses and poor health over the last decade or so had meant he’d allowed a more democratic way of doing business. Unfortunately, they had all played neatly into Zoi’s claws, and now she was considered in charge.

“Why do we not simply ask them?”

The rest of the Sixteen turned to face Photios. Some of them felt bad for ignoring him.

“That’s a good idea,” Kindyna smiled as she walked over to the glass door that lead out onto the balcony. Photios slowly got out of his seat and followed Kindyna, prompting the others to do the same.

The largest of the Thraki, a dark wyvern with far more spikes and spines coming out of its head and back than it needed, spotted the Thanatians and awkwardly landed on the balcony ledge, its winged arms reaching forward and leaning on the temple walls.

“What is your name?” Photios asked.

Behind him, Zoi hissed something about not getting to the point, but he ignored her.

“I am Virliyaan.” The Thraki’s voice was deep and harsh.

“It is nice to meet you, Virliyaan. Why are you here today?”

Virliyaan looked up at the other Thraki, then down at the Sixteen. His eyes scanned each Thanatian, silently judging them. With a long, rumbling sigh, he answered.

“Us Thraki feel oppressed by your new… direction…”

“How so?” Photios didn’t get angry or anything. His voice remained calm.

“Normal Thanatians have been taking our lands, extending their territories into our feeding grounds. Those have always been standard problems. But now your kind are pushing religious beliefs and corrupting our magia rituals. These rituals are important to both our tradition and our protection, and interrupting them upsets us.”

Photios gently placed a claw on Virliyaan’s snout. “I understand. We shall work out how to rectify this issue together. Do you know the names of the tribes that bother you? Perhaps we could speak to them.”

The Thraki shook its head. “No, no, you do not understand. The Thraki I have gathered here are from across the planet. We are facing discrimination from all angles. We would like our own private territories, rather than share space with intruders.”

Photios fell silent. “We… we will have to consider some better solutions then… Some more… all-encompassing solutions.”

Suddenly, Zoi burst forward, interrupting both Thanatian and Thraki. “Are you really telling me that you all came here to essentially complain about noisy neighbours?”

“Actually, I came here to warn you all of a coming heatwave, followed by tremendous storms. But while myself and my fellow Thraki were heading this way, I wished to speak to you. It seems you do not care.”

Virliyaan straightened himself out and flapped his massive wings, leaping into the air. The other Thraki who had been listening started to fly off in various directions, away from the Sixteen Temple.

“Perhaps it is a waste of our time to offer further services to the Thanatians…” the Thraki growled as he flew away.

The Sixteen fell silent, all staring at Zoi. Most of them weren’t really sure what had just happened.

Finally, Photios limped towards to Zoi. “It seems you wish to fix your problems without me. Perhaps I have done something wrong. But you do not seem to value my presence any more. Perhaps now is the time…” He ripped his silver medallion from his neck and forced it into Zoi’s hands. With a sigh, Photios calmly walked away, a weight lifted from his shoulders.

“You are the Fifteen now. Use your power wisely.”

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Tale – Waking up in a Dumb Place https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-waking-up-in-a-dumb-place/ Sun, 13 Aug 2017 08:15:50 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1796 Read more]]> “What the fuck? Where the fuck am I? How did I end up in fucking bed? What the fuck happened?” Arkay continued to swear, curse and ask questions for a good couple of minutes. He threw himself out of bed, ran around the random room looking for an exit and could not work out what had happened.

The last thing Arkay could remember was someone telling him that ‘body guards were not allowed in’ and some being called Syklia making a fuss about all that, but Kinisis didn’t really seem to care. Then some large, green, slightly Veth-like being led him and Helkas away and that was it. There was a huge gap between then and waking up in this weird room.

And it really was weird. Up against the wall was a large bed, big enough for two people. On each side was a long table, with candles, leaflets, toothbrushes and glasses of water on them. Next to the tables, on both sides of the room, were weird, metal things that were warm to the touch. Arkay was sure he could hear water going through them.

In the opposite corners of the room were a miniature bathroom and kitchen, both separated from the main room via frosted glass panes. A fridge, oven, microwave and several cupboards could be seen in the kitchen; a sink, mirror, space to shower and a weird looking toilet could be seen in the bathroom.

Opposite the bed was a single, tall window, hidden behind a curtain. There was no obvious door.

“Seriously, what the fuck? I am so fucking sick and tired of all this random bullshit. I feel like a fucking retarded character in a dumb kids’ story and the fucking author doesn’t know what to do with him!”

Something stirred in the bed. Arkay suddenly realised he wasn’t alone. Worse, he realised he’d been sharing a bed with someone and he hadn’t even noticed.

“Good morning,” Helkan yawned as he slowly got up. “Huh. How did we get in here?”

“I don’t fucking know!” Arkay shouted. “We’re just being thrown through fucking space like timeless rag dolls. Doesn’t matter if we get hurt or whatever. Someone’s having fun but it ain’t us!”

Arkay paused and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Helkan hinted for him to come and sit down next to him, which Arkay did.

“It’s okay. It’s awkward at first, but you get used to it. You’ll enjoy all these adventures some day!” Helkan smiled as he put an arm around Arkay.

“I guess… Wait. You’re younger than me. You have to be since you’re based on me. But you talk like you’ve been doing this stuff for decades. Does… time run faster for you?”

“Probably. After all, not all Time Drakes are the same.”

Arkay sighed, not knowing what to do with himself. He got up and decided to check out what was in the kitchen. It turned out it was all empty, apart from a single loaf of bread, which had long ago decided it didn’t want to be eaten and had really let itself go. It was more green mold than bread now.

Helkan though clearly had other ideas. Rather than inspect the room, he walked right over to the lone window, moved the curtain, then smashed the glass.

“What the fuck…” Arkay had basically given up on making sense of anything. Outside was a weird, rocky landscape with weird, floating bubbles of water and weird, twisted trees.

Helkan’s smile widened as he grabbed Arkay by the hand and pulled him though.

“Come on. Let’s go adventuring.”

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Tale – Jealous Veth https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-jealous-veth/ Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:25:09 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1794 Read more]]> “You’ve been staring at that thing for ten minutes.”

Arkay blinked, then shook his head, snapping himself out of a chance. A heavy slap from Iatre brought him properly back to reality. Sitting ahead of them, with his back facing them, was Helkan, a strange being from another universe who happened to look a lot like Arkay, but in red rather than yellow. Helkan was happily passing the time by playing some sort of hand-held electronic game system.

“I’m sorry.”

“You’re not though,” Iatre hissed. “You keep on looking back. You’ve always been searching for things you want and just when you think you’ve settled, you want more. Thank heavens that everyone around here has open relationships, otherwise I’d be rather angry.”

“Ye- wait, what?” Arkay rubbed his eyes. What the fuck was wrong with him. Why wasn’t he paying attention?

Iatre tutted and leaned back. “I’m just saying, I don’t think a monogamic relationship between us is feasible.”

“What? I’m sorry, I don’t get what you’re talking about!” Arkay stood up and looked around. He needed something to drink. “I’m really sorry, I’m just…”

“You’re drunk on lust. I’ve seen it before. Not in Veth like us. Back when I was alive. I don’t think you’re even aware that you’re doing it.” Iatre was still tutting but he hadn’t gotten up. He sat on the floor, arms crossed in anger. “I may not remember who I was but I remember what I did. I was a man of science. I know things. And I know that you have been acting different ever since that Syklia being arrived here bringing that… THING with her.”

“You seem angry…” That was the only thing Arkay could think to say. He’d given up trying to find something to drink. He sat back down next to Iatre, before suddenly realising that Helkan was now walking towards them.

Helkan was smiling. He had clearly heard their conversation but had decided to ignore it. Really, he was just happy to be there.

“Am I interrupting anything?” Helkan asked cheerfully.

“Not really,” Iatre grumbled. “Just me breaking up with Arkay because he’s a cuntbag who can’t keep his eyes off other beings.” With one final tut, Iatre leaped to his feet and stormed off.

Arkay watched Iatre leave, then stared at the ground. A wave of emotions, from embarrassment to anger and back again, washed over him.

Helkan didn’t say anything at first. He threw himself down next to Arkay, still smiling.

“He’s not very nice.”

“That wasn’t nice of him,” Arkay sighed. “But Iatre is correct. I’m a massive douche who always manages to chase away good beings.”

“If he is a good being, he will forgive you,” Helkan was grinning now. “I am sure he is. But I am glad you like me, as we shall most likely have no choice but to spend some time together.”

Once again, Arkay was suddenly incredibly confused.

“What.”

“I believe Syklia wishes to meet with other Universal Personifications, and that Kinisis may join her. I assume you will come along too?”

“Fuck!” Arkay shouted. “I hope not! Fuck… Way to go, me, constantly saying the wrong things… I didn’t mean… You know what, I’m going to go throw myself into that stream over there.”

The Veth Prime rolled over and did exactly as he said he would, throwing himself head first into a stream. The High Guardian simply continued to smile as he walked over, trying to hide his laughter.

“It’s not funny.”

“If you say so,” Helkan snickered. “But you should come. It will be fun.”

Arkay grunted. “Okay, fine. It’s not like I’ll have any say in the matter anyway…”

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Tale – Defective Blueprint https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-defective-blueprint/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:05:37 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1792 Read more]]> Helkan found himself trapped inside a small, metal cage. It was just large enough to stand up in, but he couldn’t really move around. It had dropped down on him, seemingly appearing from nowhere. He could have dug downwards, into the weird, pink sand, since there were no bard on the ground, but he couldn’t bend down to reach the ground even if he wanted to.

But Helkan wasn’t worried about himself. He was more worried about his Mistress, Syklia. She was nowhere to be seen.

Well, that was a lie. He’d seen Syklia wander off somewhere. She clearly had forgotten she’d brought Helkan with her. So she’d left him. Abandoned him to this cage. Worse, something was watching him.

“I mean no harm!” Helkan shouted, not expecting a reply.

“Who the fuck are you?”

The being drifted into view. They’d been a ghost, a flash of smoke before, drifting around Helkan’s cage. Now, it was standing exactly like Helkas, staring at him as if it was looking at something truly horrific. The weird thing was that it looked almost exactly like Helkan, except for the fact it was yellow.

“I… I am Helkan, the High Guardian. I serve my Lady Syklia and protect her Universe.” Helkan stuttered over his words. This creature was so eerily similar to him.

“Why do you look exactly like me but in red rather than yellow?” the being asked.

Helkan had no answer. The creature growled, then looked around.

“I swear, someone’s fucking with me. Probably one of the other Veth. They like to do that. Bad enough I already have multiple personality problems…”

“I don’t know why we look so similar,” Helkan finally answered as the other being continued to rant and grumble. “My duty is to protect Syklia. Why have you trapped me here?”

The creature sighed, then tore the bars of the cage open, freeing Helkan. No longer confined, he gave the creature a proper look up and down. They were so similar looking, it was eerie.

“Syklia is the Personification that just wandered in here, yes?” the creature tutted. “The Mistress told me to expect a strange visitor. Stuff like this, if there’s more than expected, I lock them all down. No one told me Syklia was bringing a friend. But we can’t be too careful, we had a Corruption here not too long ago…”

Helkan blinked. “Really? We did as well. It was not… It was bad. Very bad. Lots of dead Void Keepers. Syklia’s breeding more now.”

“You did? The damn corruption here got in and so nearly destroyed us. We had to throw everything we had on it…” The creature paused, swallowing. “Too many died. If only I’d known sooner…”

“I… understand…”

The being sighed then shook its head. After a long, awkward silence, the creature offered its hand to Helkan, smiling.

“Sorry about that. My name is Arkay. I am the Veth Prime around here and Kinisis’s favourite little test subject. Nice to meet you.”

“Kinisis!?!” Helkan exclaimed. “Holy fuck, KINISIS? She’s the Personification who gave Syklia her new Void Keeper blueprint! It all makes so much sense now?”

Arkay blinked. “Pardon?”

“She redesigned me, based on you!”

Arkay remained confused and blinking. “She… based you… on me..?”

“Yes. The Veth Prime’s form was used as a base for Syklia’s newest version of the Void Keepers,” Helkan explained. But Arkay was still incredibly confused.

“That’s… Why would anyone do that? I’m defective!” Arkay suddenly blurted out.

“Maybe we should speak to Syklia…” Helkan suggested as he looked around. “Um… Where did she go?”

“Oh. This way. Follow me!” Arkay waved as he ran off, towards a large, green dome on the horizon.

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Tale – The Exhausted Universe https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-the-exhausted-universe/ Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:13:31 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1790 Read more]]> Syklia took a deep breath as normality returned to her universe. At its centre, nebulae had started forming stars again. Along its edge, the Void Walls were repairing themselves. Scattered across the universe, galaxies began to spin once more.

The Corruption was gone.

Okay, it had killed most of her Stasispawn, her timepets and, more importantly, her Void Keepers, but she could always create more them later. Her Stasis was healing. Her Time Snake was resting.

Everything was slowly fixing itself up.

Everything was going to be okay.

Or was it?

There was a feeling deep in Syklia’s mind that she was still in danger. Despite the fact that she had utterly and completely destroyed the threat to her universe. Despite the fact that everything was getting better.

With a sigh and a wave of her hand, Syklia’s fortress burst into view. This was where she commanded her universe, how she got from A to B. It was also her home, her safe space. But right now, with the corpses of her Void Keeper children scattered everywhere, it felt like a horror show. Luckily, most of the corpses were dissolving and dripping down into a central collection pot, which meant Syklia didn’t need to clean them up herself. The goo would be used later to create new Void Keepers.

Speaking of the Void, Syklia spun around to check that the Void Walls were repairing properly. The Corruption had sneaked in through a pinhole. If one of her Void Keepers hadn’t spotted it, or if they had spotted it too late… Well, Syklia didn’t want to think about it.

She didn’t want to think about a lot of things.

The thought of what could have happened though was lingering in Syklia’s mind. No matter what she thought of, that idea of failing, of dying, of no longer existing, was still lurking beneath the surface. Goodness knows what that Corruption would have done to her broken body.

Syklia tried to push those thoughts away, but they were still coming back. She needed to talk to someone.

“Helkas!”

A Void Keeper, her finest Void Keeper, appeared in front of Syklia, puffing and panting.

“My Lady, what do you need?”

This Void Keeper was the High Guardian, Syklia’s favourite. She’d only recently created him, based on a design she had been given by another Universal Personification. But Syklia had used the design wisely, making Helkas completely loyal to her and only her. Unlike other Void Keepers, he had no connections to either Stason or Timon, Syklia’s fellow six-dimensional beings that helped her mould this universe.

“I need someone to talk to. To calm me down. I am bereft by the deaths of so many of my humble servants, of so many of my darling children.”

Helkas hesitated, his arms behind his back. He was so cute whenever he was scared and confused.

“My Lady Syklia, I do not… I believe I am not the right person to speak to. I too am traumatized by recent events. I… I just… I watched my new friends die. That hurt. A lot.”

Syklia nodded in agreement. Perhaps Helkas was worried she’d be upset with him. Not at all. Without his help, they’d all be gone.

“We need to speak to someone… not from here…” Syklia mused to herself. “Speak to others who have been through our pain and come through it. Others who have seen the light.”

“We?” Helkas asked.

“Yes, we…” Syklia smiled as she took Helkas by the hand. “Come now. Let’s go and visit some of my outside friends…”

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Tale – A Broken Light Beast https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-a-broken-light-beast/ Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:15:46 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1788 Read more]]> “I don’t know who’s dumber, you or the whimpering baby down there,” Syklos snorted as he walked past Iatre. “You both sat there for what, twenty four hours? You’re both dumber than a barrel of spagloops.”

“I notice you’re not saying that to Arkay’s face,” Iatre retorted. “You’re just saying it to me because you know you can get away with it.”

“Well, I’m not dumb like you!” Syklos struggled with his comeback.

“Really? You’re not dumb like the one guy around here who can approach the Veth Prime with ease?”

Syklos gave up and decided to sit down next to Iatre. Below them, Arkay was lying down in a puddle of goo. He’d recently torn something bloody and horrible apart and was now just lying in it.

“He’s not well… Sicker than a Varga on a vegetable diet…” Syklos finally muttered.

“Duh,” Iatre grumbled. “He’s depressed and torn. And schizophrenic. Bits of his mind screaming for attention, trying to control him. Losing that pendant of his did more than break that stupid mortal anchor thing you lot mentioned yesterday. It broke his mental anchor too. Well, I’m not sure if such a thing could exist, but a focus device for a mentally ill person sounds like a really good idea.”

Syklos blinked. “Pardon?”

“What I said was perfectly understandable. Not like your weird phrases. What the fuck is a barrel of spagloops anyway? I kinda know what a Varga is, but what is a Light Beast and what’s so good about their tongues?”

The elder Veth leaned back, smiling and no longer feeling so stupid. “It’s just the way us old Thantai speak. Lots of synonyms and similes and things like that. Describe something like something else.”

Iatre shrugged. “I assume that Thantai was your species before you became a Veth?”

“Kinda. Thantai is a general name. All those varied warm-blooded, intelligent, carnivorous reptile creatures that evolved all over the place, like a spinning star. There were loads of different species. We’re generally called Death-Likes now. Thanatoforics. The other mass evolving group consists of the All Beasts. The Panvok. Spagloops are like this pasta thing we eat.”

Iatre jumped up. “You mean spaghetti loops? In tomato sauce?”

“In blood sauce.”

“Spaghetti loops…” Iatre repeated to himself. “That is so silly. Maybe I’ll have to steal that phrase… But what about Light Beasts? They sound like a name for Veth or something.”

Syklos continued to smile. “Oh, they’re vicious bastards. Well, they were when I was alive. You don’t go near them, unless you want to get fucked to Kinigi and back. A few hundred million years ago, they were horrible monsters who would kill, eat or fuck anything. We always called them Light Beasts, from the literal translation of the Vohra term. The tongue thing is kinda a bad translation, since Vohra for some reason call their downstairs parts tongues. Apparently they are a sentient race now, calling themselves Rethans.”

“What?”

Suddenly, Arkay had stood up, and had leaped up towards where they were sitting. Iatre couldn’t work out why, but he quickly remembered. Wasn’t Arkay a Rethan?

“What did you just say?”

Syklos squirmed slightly. “I was just saying that Light Beasts were known for their powerful jaws and cocks. Back when I was alive. Why… why do you suddenly care?”

Arkay’s eyes narrowed. “I’m a Rethan.”

“No, you’re a Veth.”

Iatre cringed as Arkay slapped Syklos around the face.

“I was a Rethan.”

“I thought you were a Shadow Beast? You’re, like, way too small to be a Light Beast.”

“No, I was a Rethan.”

Syklos smiled. “Well, you sure fooled me. You’re fucking tiny. And small. And weak. And dumb. And probably not even that well-endowed.”

Arkay had had enough. He grabbed Syklos by the tail and threw him over his shoulder, down into the arena below. Syklos scrambled to his feet and wisely decided to leg it. He was in no position to mess with an angry Veth Prime.

Iatre waited for a moment for Arkay to calm down before speaking.

“You clearly hate it when people insult your kind.”

“No…” Arkay sighed. “I just hate people insulting me.”

“Understandable,” Iatre replied as he yawned and stretched. “Glad to see you out of that stupid pit though. I was starting to get worried.”

“Sorry…”

“Nah, don’t be,” Iatre grinned, leaping to his feet, his yawns turning into a sly smile. “We all know that Syklos is wrong about you though. Especially about that last thing. He’s just jealous that he doesn’t get any. Speaking of which, it’s been a while…”

Arkay seemed confused at first, before finally getting at what Iatre was hinting at. A smile grew across Arkay’s face as Iatre grabbed his hand and pulled him away.

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Tale – Silent Company https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-silent-company/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:36:05 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1785 Read more]]> “What’s wrong with Arkay?” Iatre asked as he helped himself to some of Istoria’s popcorn. “And why are you three just watching him rather than helping him?”

Below them, the Veth Prime, the most powerful of the Veth, was tearing things apart in an arena known locally as “Death’s Playground”. It was supposed to be a training area, but it normally sat empty and ignored. Most Veth prepared to hunt live prey, not the ghastly, marshmallow-filled forms that could be manipulated, ripped to shreds then remade with ease.

Syklos stole some of Istoria’s popcorn and shovelled it into his mouth. After a second mouthful, he decided to explain. As he spoke, bits of chewed up food dribbled from his jaws.

“Pfft. Idiot’s all depressed again. So he’s actually using this place.”

Sick of her food being stolen, she slapped Syklos and gave a proper explanation.

“Arkay finally snapped. His last connection to mortality was severed, and he’s under the same control as the rest of us. Mostly. He still feels betrayed and all that, but he’s no longer tied to that old mortal anchor that we all had.”

Iatre blinked, still not really sure what either Veth was talking about.

“Mortal anchors? What?”

Continuity decided to be the voice of reason and explain what was going on in a way that the young Veth could understand.

“Most Veth when they get here are sad that they died and want to go back to being alive and mortal. That feeling fades away a few days after one becomes a Veth. If it doesn’t, it generally gets beaten out of us. Either way, after a week, that feeling is gone and we embrace our new, Vethic forms.”

“But I don’t remember-” Iatre was about to interrupt, but Istoria slapped him.

“Shush and listen.”

Iatre fell silent and sat down, so Continuity could continue.

“As I was saying, many of us embrace this. Those who take longer to crack tend to have something on them, a reminder of their mortal selves. In Arkay’s case, when he manifested in Kinigi, he was wearing a necklace made by a friend of his. Something he treasured dearly. That necklace was recently destroyed by Kinisis. By accident, of course.”

“And that broke him?” Iatre asked.

“Somewhat,” Continuity rambled on. “Arkay’s Vethic form makes him hard to pin down. That necklace was both his mortal anchor and his Vethic anchor. So he’s… kinda having a breakdown.”

“And we’re all watching him break shit!” Syklos grinned. “He’s a fucking monster when he wants to be. Stronger than a Light Beast’s tongue.”

Iatre continued to blink in confusion. Continuity offered him some sugary sweets, but he declined, instead just watching Arkay swing wildly below.

“How comes I didn’t really have a mortal anchor thingy?” he finally asked.

Istoria shrugged. “You probably died happy.”

“You don’t know how you died?” Syklos butted in.

“No. Don’t really mind. I just wondered why I wasn’t like other Veth, and I’m pretty sure something like that is the reason why.”

The Veth fell silent, their eyes drifting back to the arena, which had suddenly gotten quieter. Arkay had noticed them and was no longer really trying. Soon, he flat out gave up, leaving the ghastly training dummies to fade away. After a few moments, he sat down on the fine sand, drawing lines in it and letting the sand fall between his fingers.

“He needs help…” Iatre whispered.

“He doesn’t want it…” Continuity sighed as the other Veth got up and left. “Trust me, we already tried.”

“Maybe we should try some more?” Iatre insisted.

“Later, when he’s calmed down a little.”

Iatre remained seated. “Alright. I’ll see you guys later tonight then. I’m going to wait here for Arkay. I think he could do with some silent company…”

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The Broken Chain https://phovos.net/phoviverse/the-broken-chain/ Sun, 06 Aug 2017 18:04:30 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1783 Read more]]> The straps were finally off. Arkay was finally free of his duty. A normal being once more. Mostly normal. Still a Veth but no longer chained to existence itself.

Above him, up the stairs, in the galaxy-laden room, Kinisis was waking up. A weight had been lifted from Arkay’s shoulders and handed back to the true ruler of this little universe.

“Go on, go outside. Enjoy yourself.”

Kinisis was happy. She was no longer tired. A few days asleep and she was refreshed. Arkay did not feel the same way. He was exhausted. He was not meant to do her duties. Kinisis would need a few hours in her room, folding and manipulating existence around her as she rebuilt and strengthened herself, before coming out whole once more. The whole little ritual was too dangerous for Arkay to see first hand.

Arkay did as he was told. He was in no mood to defy Kinisis, not over something so simple. But as he slinked outside, he felt something was missing. Like a piece of him had been left behind. He couldn’t work out what it was.

As Arkay looked down, he noticed that one of the chains he had been wearing was broken. There was a small loop on it, but the rest of the pendant that had been hanging on the chain had disappeared. Realising which chain it was, Arkay spun around and tried to get back inside.

But the doors had already slammed shut. The air was beginning to vibrate. A low hum, almost like chanting, could be heard. Inside, bright lights could be seen, tearing their way through tiny cracks in the walls of the building. The walls were warping. The windows had disappeared. The door was gone, having absorbed itself into the walls.

Arkay tried bashing on the walls, hoping that Kinisis could hear him. The commotion continued. Reality continued to warp and shift. Anything inside that room was being warped, altered, destroyed with it.

Arkay’s pendant was in there.

His favourite pendant.

The only one he cared about.

The one Retvik had made for him. They’d had one each. One for Retvik, one for Elksia, one for Tenuk and one for Arkay. Arkay’s pendant was silver with a purple gem in the middle. A cross and a circle overlapping each other. It was a simple design, but it was something that had been made for him and only him. It was unique. Arkay had worn that chain and pendant almost every single day, since the day he received it. He’d cherished it, to the point that it was the one item that had carried over when Arkay became the Veth Prime.

And now it was gone.

Forever.

Arkay screamed, the realisation breaking through, crushing his hopes, burning his mind. His voice was tired and hollow. Cold, dead words limped from his mouth. His fists clenched, his stomach turned, a lump formed in his throat.

One of the few things that had made Arkay feel special was no more.

With desperation and exhaustion finally beating him down, Arkay fell to his knees. Bright, glowing tears, hot with pain and anger, streamed from his eyes, dripping down his face.

His pendant was gone.

And with it, so was his spirit.

As everything around the Veth Prime settled down, all he could do was whimper.

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Tale – Citizens’ Advice https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-citizens-advice/ Fri, 04 Aug 2017 08:54:33 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1781 Read more]]> Kayel sat in the dark, staring at the tiny screen of a pocket computer, noting things down. His hot chocolate drink had long gone cold, his small tub of ice cream had melted long before that. A half-empty bottle of water had been ignored for nearly a day now.

With a sigh, Kayel looked away. His eyes were going to regret that. Should have turned the light on earlier. But Kayel had been so busy scrolling through rules and regulations and advice and he’s gotten absolutely nowhere. He was trying to find out how a Rethan would be able to get either dual citizenship as a Thanatian or Thanatian Ally, or if that was impossible, just get Thanatian citizenship on its own.

Rethan citizenship was always easy to get. A handful of biometric scans, personal information, a few hours to cross check all the data you give them and you can become a citizen in a couple of days. Sure, it means going to a Rethan Administrative Office a few times but there’s at least one in every major city and town. When it came to Thanatian citizenship, Kayel was unable to find anything online. Just tidbits of information from various other beings who had managed to obtain citizenship.

Really, Kayel’s own experience was of no help. He’d been given citizenship in the city of Palaestra because he had nowhere else to go. He only managed to get Thanatian citizenship via his Thrakian allies and an Honoured Right from saving a Kshan village. This meant that, legally, Kayel was more Thanatian than he was Rethan. Then again, when it came to legal things, Kayel was supposed to be legally dead.

That wouldn’t work for the rest of the L-Class. There was no way he could fake the deaths of the whole team. That would be both really suspicious and almost impossible to pull off. He also didn’t want to ruin their reputation – after all, the L-Class were somewhat famous for their past successes. This all had to be done legally. And quietly.

Running out of options, Kayel decided to go through his contacts book. Maybe he could talk to someone. Normally though, he’d ask Phovos, the Raptor of Palaestra, the Thanatian who got him his citizenship. Helped him out when he needed it. But she hadn’t been answering his messages for a while now.

There was someone else he could call though. Lokmahro. Phovos’s assistant.

Kayel hesitated, before finally tapping the call button.

Three rings, and he picked up.

“Hello, Kayel.”

“Hello, Lokmahro. How are you?”

The Thraki grunted. “I am well. I assume you are in need of some assistance. You rarely call for social or pleasurable reasons.”

Kayel shrugged to himself. “Sorry.”

“It is fine. What do you need?”

“I am looking for some advice. I want to get some Rethans to have Thanatian citizenship. So they can live with me.”

“How many?”

“Eleven.”

“That is a lot…” Lokmahro mused to himself. “May I ask why?”

“The L-Class want a better life, free from Rethan restraints,” Kayel replied, intentionally being vague.

“Is this about your friend Veeyel?” Lokmahro asked.

“No. Not entirely.”

“Well, I think there is something I can do to help. I would need to meet some of your L-Class friends though. Whichever one of you is in charge of the L-Class, that is.”

“When can I arrange a meeting?” Kayel queried, his eyes lighting up.

“I shall speak to the other Thraki. Then I shall contact you. See you soon.”

Lokmahro abruptly closed the line, leaving Kayel slightly confused. Was there something going on back home that he didn’t know about? Or was Lokmahro always like that on the phone?

After some thought, Kayel decided he’d had enough. He turned off his pocket computer and decided to go to sleep. He could ponder all of this tomorrow. Perhaps with a mug of hot chocolate.

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Tale – Tea with Not Quite Death https://phovos.net/phoviverse/tale-tea-with-not-quite-death/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:55:04 +0000 http://phovos.net/phoviverse/?p=1779 Read more]]> “Woah…”

Tenuk’s jaw fell open as he stood in the doorway. In one hand he had a box of chocolates, in the other he had a boxed selection of luxury teas. He’d nearly dropped both of them.

“What?” Arkay blinked. The Veth Prime was happily idling in a large rocking chair. A seat normally reserved for Death herself.

After an awkward second of standing there like a twat, Tenuk snapped out of his shock and entered the room properly. Arkay summoned a chair for him to sit down.

“Where’s Death?”

“Hi Arkay, how are you? Is Kinisis treating you nicely? Oh, I’m good thanks, bit tired but…” Arkay’s reply was both sarcastic and rather annoyed. “You come all this way to see her but never to see me.”

The Kronoreth shifted awkwardly. Rather than taking a seat, he put the gifts on the chair and remained standing. “She normally invites me here, and she’s always told me to avoid talking to Veth.”

“Even Veth like me?”

“Especially Veth like you. I’m not allowed to distract you from your work.”

Arkay rolled his eyes, then glanced at the box of chocolates. “Are those for Kinisis?”

Tenuk nodded. “They are. But where is she? She asked me to come here a couple of weeks ago. And if the Mistress of the Cycle says come here, it’s never a good idea to refuse her demands.”

“She’s asleep,” Arkay sighed. “She snores, really loudly. I haven’t slept since she went to sleep. I actually never really realised that she never really goes to sleep unless she hands everything over to someone else to run subconsciously. It’s a really weird feeling, to be honest.”

“Wait, you’re running the whole universe?”

“No. Just the cycle stuff.”

“Is that why you look like a galaxy about to go to a BDSM convention?”

Arkay blinked in confusion. This the second time in the last ten minutes that he’d blinked in confusion. “What?”

“You look like a galaxy going to a BDSM convention,” Tenuk repeated himself. “The star-scattered look, the vast number of belts you are wearing…”

“What’s BDSM?”

Tenuk sighed and gave up. “You look weird.”

“This is what happens when you’re subconsciously running a universe. You get all covered in stars and galaxies and stuff,” Arkay explained. “The belts are to stop me from overloading and blowing up. The collar around my neck stops my head from exploding and the universe dying.”

Tenuk didn’t know how to respond to that, so he picked up the box of chocolates, opened it up and offered them to Arkay. Arkay took one at random, took a bite out of it and realised it was a hard toffee. He chewed on it anyway, since he did kinda like toffee. Not as much as other sweets though.

“So what’s BDSM?” Arkay asked again, his mouth clogged up with caramel.

“Uh…” Tenuk hesitated. “It’s a silly thing. To do with being restrained and tied up and slaves and masters and things like that.”

“Like roleplaying?”

“Roleplaying with sex, yes…” Tenuk shook his head. “How is it that you’re sitting here, running the whole universe, and you don’t know basic sexual fetish stuff?”

Arkay shrugged. “I don’t really NEED to know about that. Not exactly required information when it comes to maintaining this place… Although I hope Kinisis wakes up soon. This is making me pretty tired.”

“Can’t you just go to sleep?”

The Veth Prime shuddered. “I’ve been sitting around doing nothing for the last week or so. I’m too scared to do anything because I don’t want to inadvertently destroy part of the universe… again… Are you not sticking around?” Arkay suddenly changed the subject. “You haven’t sat down.”

“I… I wasn’t planning on staying long. I have a date tonight and, well, I’d forgotten about my meeting with Death and I was worried I’d screwed up. I bought the chocolates and the gift for Death to appease her. I can’t say no to Death but… I’m really looking forward to this date…”

Arkay smiled and stood up. “Well, I won’t keep you here. You should go and keep your obligations to your fellow mortals. After all, you’ve got forever to spend with us. I’ll tell Kinisis you stopped by.”

Tenuk bowed, then quickly headed off. “Thank you, Arkay. Have a nice day!”

“You too,” Arkay grinned as he helped himself to more chocolate. “Enjoy your date!”

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