and who will then raise a pantheon of his own making

Chaos in the Pantheon

((A/N: Here it is! Marvel/Avengers Greek Pantheon AU! I so hope you guys like it. It’s starting slow, so I’m sorry, but I do promise if you can stick with it, it gets better. I’m also pretty sleep deprived, so if it’s bad I’m sorry. 

Summary: There is war in the Pantheon. The people of Greece and the worlds beyond are suffering in chaos. The one who is believed may change this, is you. It is up to you to climb Mt. Olympus and to speak with the gods, demand in whatever way you can that the destruction below stop. 

But things are never that simple, and soon you find that there is more going on than meets the idea. With no warning you are thrust into a world of gods, monsters, and so much more. You must go head to head with those you have worshiped and decide how you may save your people. And above all… why you?”

Pairing: Bucky Barnes (Ares) x Reader

Word Count: 2.5k 

Warnings: None))

Thunder boomed above your head as clouds darkened, the simple black sandals on your feet carrying you as fast as could be managed as you ran home. This would be the third storm this month, and the month itself was only half-over. For the time of year it was uncommon to have such chaos thrust into your world. Which would be fine, except your city was still reeling from the earthquake that toppled Ares’ temple. Those who weren’t picking up their homes or burying loved ones had taken to the temples, desperately making offerings and repairing statues.

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jaystrifes  asked:

About that newest Dirkjake AU -- what kind of god would Jake have as a parent, being a demigod? My first thought was maybe some kind of wilderness god but I was wondering if you'd already decided on something. Secondary question: would you mind if someone wrote fic based on this AU?

HEY HERE’S WAY MORE BACKSTORY THAN YOU EVER NEEDED:

his parent is actually Jade!! she is in fact a wilderness goddess (if you really wanted to make a Greek pantheon comparison, she’s closest to Artemis in this AU). this is my own concept and I get to make my own rules so sometimes, depending on what a deity is capable of, they can (maybe even inadvertently, or completely unknowingly) bring demigod children into the world.

in Jake’s case, I’m actually kind of ripping off thumbelina a little here lol because she grew him right out of her celestial flower garden. she was like hmm what if instead of a regular plant I grew a kid instead??? and after some love and care out comes a little baby jake from an iris (get it, because it’s the flower of hope, lol) who rapidly grows in size à la princess kaguya. it’s pretty weird but hey when you’re an immortal god sometimes you get bored and decide to grow a son inside a magic flower

they obviously become separated— I’m wracking my brain here to remember how, but I’m pretty sure I decided that some extremely foolish soul cuts some of the flowers from her guardian for bragging rights, including jake’s, which is just about to bloom when that happens (this is part of why he never develops that innate knowledge that he isn’t truly human). understandably, when they take the flowers home and suddenly there’s a kid they’re kinda freaked out and like “no thanks actually” but taking jake back and owning up to their crime would be Bad so they… abandon the baby at the doors of the nearest temple. you can guess whose temple that turns out to be

this is pretty much commonplace for unwanted babies, and the primary way Dirk’s cult temple in particular gets fresh young acolytes since normal people understandably don’t want anything to do with it. as a result, baby jake is raised as a devotee of the Death God, whom he doesn’t exactly know but thinks is probably an ok guy, even if he really doesn’t enjoy being forced to worship his statue inside a stuffy temple. (dirk is way hotter in person, as he will later find out)

so yeah there’s your really long-winded backstory about where jake comes from!! reuniting with Jade is of course a part of the story as it progresses but like I said in an earlier ask response, I am bad with writing, so I wouldn’t be the one to go super into it. I’m really flattered and honoured that you’d be interested in writing a fic based on my idea!! you have my sincere and heartfelt approval, as does anyone else who wants to take a stab at it. thank you so much!

Chaos in the Pantheon (Part 7)

((A/N: As promised, the next chapter ASAP. It’s getting rather intense, for those who haven’t noticed. I’m pretty excited about where it’s going. There’s also the potential for a ‘spin-off’ of sorts, depending on how it’s received. This one I loved writing. I love it all, but this is bananas. 

Pairing: Bucky Barnes (Ares) x Reader

Word Count: 3.3k 

Warnings: Language, awkwardness, alcohol use. Also: hilarity. 

Catch up!: Part 1// Part 2// Part 3// Part 4// Part 5// Part 6//))

Ares wasted no time in getting to you, that was for sure. He moved with the speed Hermes had endowed in him without much care for the fact that he was likely on Zeus’ radar at this point. There was a feeling of need and fear as he made his way to you as fast as his feet could take him. He saw you, in his mind’s eye, and felt your pain. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was seeing, but he knew it was the beginning of the explanation for why Zeus was so terribly interested in you.

The wonderful part about gods on earth, all of the Pantheon had found, was that they could blend with ease. In truth very few humans knew the real forms of the gods and those that did were said to have been under a spell when approached. It was how Ares was able to run towards where you were in time to watch the fire burn out.

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4

Mesopotamian Kudurru (Boundary Stone), 2nd Dynasty of Isin, 1157-1025 BC

The upper section of this finely polished black limestone kudurru is decorated in intricately carved raised relief with symbols and sacred animals representing a large group or “gathering” of Mesopotamian gods and goddesses. Kudurrus, sometimes referred to as “boundary markers,” were actually land grant documents used by kings to reward their favored servants. These monuments were set up in temples to record royal land grants. The full force of the Mesopotamian pantheon was utilized both to witness and guarantee the land grant by carving the symbols and sacred animals of the deities on the kudurru. In the shape of a cylindrical ovoid, this particular kudurru was not inscribed, perhaps because the person who was to receive the land grant died before it could be finalized, or because the king changed his mind and decided not to make the land grant after all. Each kudurru is unique; a good deal of variation exists in the number and choice of deities which appear.

Front: On this standing monument, the Mesopotamian pantheon is presented. The four great gods come first. Anu (“father of the gods” and god of heaven) and Enlil (god of wind, kingship and the earth), are shown as a multi-horned divine crown each on its own temple facade. Then Ea (god of water, magic and wisdom), is shown as a curved stick ending in a ram’s head atop a temple facade pulled by the foreparts of a horned goat. Above the first two deities, a female headdress in the shape of an omega sign, symbolizes Ninhursag (“mother of the gods” and goddess of fertility).

Reverse: The leading Babylonian god, Marduk, and his son Nabu, appear next. A triangular spade pointing up and a scribe’s wedge-shaped stylus, respectively, each sits atop a temple facade pulled by the foreparts of a snake-dragon known as a Mushus (Mushhushshu). All five temple facades float on fresh, underground waters known as the Apsu or the Deep. Following these divinities, we find the mace, perhaps a local war god, the scepter with double lion heads of Ninurta (god of war), the arrow, a symbol of the star Sirius, and the two-pronged lightning bolt of Adad. This storm god is called by the similar name Haddad in the Levant. The running bird Papsukkal (minister of the gods, associated with the constellation Orion), is followed by the scorpion Ishara (goddess of oaths), the seated dog Gula (goddess of healing) and a bird on a perch, symbolizing both Shuqamuna and Shumalia (patron deities of the Kassite royal family).

Top:The top of the kudurru, representing the heavens, is surrounded and enclosed by the body of a large snake. Nirah (the snake god) encompasses four astral deities the crescent moon of Sin (the moon god), a multi-rayed circular sun disc of Shamash (the sun god), a star inside a disc for Ishtar (the goddess of love -especially sexuality- and war) and the lamp of Nusku (the god of fire and light). Ishtar, considered the most important Mesopotamian female deity, is associated with the morning and evening star, the planet Venus.

anonymous asked:

Can we have the naming of Athens? Let's see some trash talking gods!

That is definitely something that you can have, because it is the festive season and I’m in a giving sort of mood. 

Those of you who don’t want to read an awfully told retelling of a myth about a benevolent serpent king and two trash-talkin’ gods should probably press J on their keyboard now as this is quite a lengthy post, but really, if you don’t want to read that, then you’re probably busy being boring at parties, so. Relevant historical / literary info under the Read More, as usual!

~*~

A very long time ago, there lived an immensely epic dude named Cecrops. Cecrops is kind of a big deal for two reasons: firstly because he’s half snake and guys who are half snake tend to be kind of a big deal, and secondly because he’s the king of a fruitful and civilised city state named ???. ??? is basically a utopia, with all the cool shit that you kind of expect from a city, like a social hierarchy and a hegemonic lifestyle and probably those drunk dudes that like to hang around in doorways and talk about their ex-wives and the end of the world and how we should all be wearing tin foil on our heads. Basically, ??? has everything that a city could want, except for one thing: a fucking name, which is a real problem because it’s really hard for Cecrops to brag at parties about his rad city state when he has to keep referring to it as ‘my rad city state’, and so he decides that enough is enough and it’s time to sort this shit out. I don’t really understand why this wasn’t the very first thing on his list of ‘things that would be really fab to do when I become the king of a newly established nation’, like he formed a watertight legal system and an education system and all that shit before he even thought of a fucking name, but whatever, that’s his prerogative. 

So, one glorious day, Cecrops goes to the gods and he’s like “yo, do any of you want to be the patron deity for my awesome and totally economically viable city?” and all the gods are like “are you kidding me, that sounds like a lot of work, honestly I don’t know how I’d fit that role into my busy schedule of adultery and homicide” and Cecrops is all “look, it’s not really a very big job. To be honest, you could probably do most of the work on alternate weekends with a hot nymph under your desk” and then Poseidon’s ears prick up and he’s like “wait, we get a desk? Tell me more!” and Cycrops says ”well, to be honest, I’ve told you as much as the job entails already, it’s literally just being the go-to guy in the sky” and Poseidon is like “but would the desk be big enough to fit a sea nymph under it at boring board meetings?” and Athena is like “what’s your city called?” and Cecrops is like “???” and Athena is all “wow, could you repeat that please, that’s a mouthful” and Cecrops is like “honestly, there’s no merit in repeating it, the basic premise is that I don’t have a name for it yet, so maybe we could throw that into the deal as well” and Poseidon is like “but tell me more about the desk” and Athena says “so, let me get this straight, we get to name your city for you and everyone would worship us over like every other god in this joint?” and Cecrops nods and Poseidon and Athena look at one another for like three seconds and then they turn back to Cecrops and he just swallows really hard.

Poseidon is like “well, I have a solution to this whole thing” and Athena is like “what a coincidence, so do I!” and Poseidon says “it’s clear to me that we should name this city after the greatest god of all” and Athena is like “wow, I actually completely agree with you” and Poseidon says “the god with the greatest abs on Olympus” and Athena nods and says “we’re totally on the same wavelength even though I honestly thought we’d never agree on anything, you’ve risen in my lowly estimation” and Poseidon is like “we’ll name it after the god with biceps that rival Heracles’ in a hall of mirrors” and Athena is like “you mean the god with lustrous flowing locks like spun gold?” and Poseidon nods and says “the god with a jawline stronger than Hera’s desire for occasional infanticide” and Athena is like “let me just say that firstly, I agree, my stepmother really needs to step back from the whole child slaughter thing, I mean it’s becoming more than just an interesting personality quirk at this point and more of an actual complex, and secondly, I am honestly just so flattered that you agree with me that we should name this city after my fine self” and Poseidon blinks a big watery blink and says “bro, I meant me” and Athena just looks at him and starts laughing, and she says “you think you should be the patron deity of Cecrops’ fucking incredible city?” and Poseidon is like “yeah, obviously, as the god of water I’d be able to offer it protection from all its borders, and also I really want a desk” and Athena is all “but I’m the god of strategic warfare, so clearly I’d be better at the job, and anyway, I already know what I’d name it, and let me tell you, it’s bitchin’”.

At this point, Cecrops is just watching the two of them and regretting all his life choices that have led him up to this point, and Poseidon says “well, there’s only one way to settle this, isn’t there?” and Athena grits her genuinely astonishing jaw and says “I hope you’re prepared for the waters of your homestead to run red with the blood of your horribly unprepared allies” and Poseidon folds his awe-inspiringly sculpted arms and says “the only thing that will flow in my waters is the milk and honey from my new and prosperous city state” and Athena is like “bring it, Puddles” and Poseidon is about to make a really stinging quip about how Athena’s helmet totally makes her look like a giant metal thumb when Cecrops slithers in between the two of them and looks at them pleadingly, and he’s like “look, you don’t need to go to war over this, let’s just have a friendly competition that’s fun for all the family”.

Athena and Poseidon are all “what kind of competition?” and Cecrops is like “well, how about you both present the city of ??? with the greatest and most useful gift that you can create, and whichever one of you gives the best present can name the city” and Poseidon is like “I take it a Playstation 4 isn’t really the kind of thing you’re looking for” and he looks at Athena and they narrow their sparkling eyes and shake hands, and Cecrops sighs in relief.

So, the three of them make their way to the Acropolis to hold the contest, and on the way there, Poseidon and Athena are just trash-talking the entire way, slaying each other with verbal spars sharper than the silhouette of Apollo’s cheekbones against the Grecian dusk. Athena’s like “you know why you’re the god of water?” and Poseidon is like “because I make the ladies wet?” and Athena is all “no, because you’re wet” and Poseidon just shrugs and says “yeah, well, I look in the mirror a lot, so it’s an inevitable consequence. Also, do you know why you’re the god of strategic warfare?” and Athena is like “because I’m the only hero in the entire pantheon who doesn’t get immediately distracted by dick?” and Poseidon is like “no, because you’re going to be falling on your sword when you fail this challenge and have to walk out through the gates of Poseidonia” and Athena is like “Poseidonia sounds like the name of a feminine hygiene product, which I guess you could copyright at some point as it’ll never be the name of a city” and eventually they get to the Acropolis and Cecrops stands in front of them and an entire crowd of eager and terrified citizens of ???, and the metaphorical battle commences.

First, Poseidon raises his massive three-speared trident, the one that he’s always insisted isn’t compensating for anything, and then he pauses for dramatic effect, side-eyeing the crowd until he’s sure that everyone’s watching, and then he winks at this hot girl in the front of the crowd and he slams his trident down into the ground like he’s crushing the skulls of his enemies, and from the point where his trident strikes the earth, this huge spring just bursts out of the ground, flowing around the city and creating a brand new sea. Everyone is immediately impressed, and Cecrops is like “that’s honestly astonishing, as the god of the sea I had absolutely no idea that you would produce a water based miracle, this is truly something to tell the grandkids” and Poseidon grins smugly and says “yeah, it’s kind of a big deal, huh” and Cecrops is like “totally, I’m really looking forward to my city finally having a supply of clean drinking water” and Poseidon is all “the water supply of Poseidonia is the main point on my ruling mandate” and Cecrops looks confused and he’s like “why do you care about the moistness of a feminine hygiene product?”

Then this woman rushes forward from the crowd and takes a drink of the water and spits it out and Poseidon is about to make a joke about spitting and swallowing when the woman shouts “this water tastes saltier than Poseidon’s dick” and Poseidon is angry because she’s taken away his chance to make an absolutely incredibly dick joke and she’s also denounced his gift as being completely useless. Cecrops looks at Poseidon and he’s like “the people of my city can’t drink salt” and Poseidon is like “that’s not what your mum said last night, fuck you, this is an awesome gift” and Cecrops is like “well, it’s a very nice sea, but I’m not sure what use we’d have for it” and Poseidon just pouts and says “beach holidays” and Cecrops nods slowly and says “maybe Athena should give us her gift now”.

Athena grins and she’s like “looks like it’s my turn in saline“ and Poseidon just trembles with rage and steps back to let her take centre stage. Immediately, Athena kneels down and touches the earth really gently, like Zeus stroking his own enraptured reflection, and from where her fingers touch the ground this tiny olive tree sprouts. Like, it’s not really a tree, to be honest; it’s basically a sapling, all sickly and green. It’s more pitiful than Apollo at a speed dating event, and Poseidon immediately starts cackling, like "is that the best you can do? Stop, stop, I can’t even look at it any more, it’s making me cry, I want to put it out of its misery” and Athena just shrugs and says “well, it’s pretty rad actually for many reasons. Firstly, the people of ??? can use the olives to garnish their salads, so they too can partake in the bourgeois dietary habits of the millennial generation, whatever that is. Secondly, they can use the wood from the tree to build their homes, and I always thought that homes were kind of cool. Thirdly, they can use the oil from the tree to light their lanterns, which means that people can make love with the lights on and spice up their love lives in a whole variety of ways. I mean, really, I don’t know how this gift is anything but the best thing ever” and Cecrops just blinks, awestruck, and he’s like “holy fucking shit, that’s the greatest fucking thing I’ve ever seen, I want at least six of those trees in all my good rooms and also the city is yours, name it whatever you want”, and Athena is like “you know, I was going to name it Poseidon’s Salty Tears, but I think I like Athens better” and Cecrops is like “fine by me, Athens it is” and the people of Athens rejoice because finally they can pronounce the name of their own city and also they really fucking love olives.

Poseidon is furious, and he’s like “are you fucking kidding me, I literally created an entire sea for these people and she just planted a fucking tree, this is worse than the time One Direction came third on X Factor” and he goes off in a tantrum, drowning a whole load of shit and just creating new seas everywhere, because touching the ground and making it spurt salty water just does it for him somehow, and Athena goes back to Mount Olympus as the patron deity of Athens, and the whole city is ruled happily by Cecrops and they all live happily ever after under the benevolent rule of their terrifying serpent king. 

~*~

More mythological goodness can be found here, here and here. The latter two links also allow you to follow my progress in writing a whole actual book. Thrilling.

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anonymous asked:

okAY SO i just finished cesare's biography by sarah bradford and imo he and lucrezia did seem pretty close, so i'm just wondering, do you think that they were actually incestious?

nightly 2000 word baseless history extrapolations here i come

ALRIGHT LET’S GO.

the interesting thing in regards to the depiction of the borgias in popular italian rhetoric during the time - and im not saying that it isn’t true; they were incredibly debaucherous and incredibly open with sexuality and the banquet of the chestnuts most DEFINITELY HAPPENED - is that a lot of it echoes what the romans wrote about their emperors. the romans pretty much (and im thinking especially of suetonius’ twelve caesars here) had two models that they wrote to, in regards to rulers - the debauched tyrant, and the good philosopher king. caligula was the former, augustus the latter. the characteristics of the bad tyrant are as follows:

  • corruption (check for the borgias; bought the papacy)
  • extravagance (see chezza’s finery on leaving rome and lucrezia’s dowries)
  • cruelty (especially raised with regards to cesare)
  • sexual promiscuity (cesare/rodrigo/lucrezia/juan/ any of them)
  • barbarity (H U G E, we’ll get to that later)
  • and oh, yeah
  • incest.

and this is the kind of rhetoric you have to understand - was still very very very much a huge influence on political thought and writings, up to this period and beyond. the rome that the borgias lived in was a rome that still walked side by side with its history - orphans lived in the ancient bath-houses, christians worshiped their god in the pantheon, and one time when a greek writer visited rome in the 15th century, he commented that there was a piece of antiquity in every alleyway and streetcorner - how you could find phidiases (the dude who sculpted athena on the front lines which stood in the athenian acropolis) and lysippuses (the only man alexander would allow to carve his likeness; the only contemporary bust of alexander’s was from him) in private houses and galleries. tangential takeaway: the rhetoric of old rome was still incredibly INCREDIBLY influential, and likely coloured a lot of the rumours that got passed around about this family.

another thing you want to keep in mind when talking about this issue is that the borgias were very much a nouveau riche family with regards to gaining power in italy. they were second-generation italians and spaniards first and foremost - up until cesare’s death, all family business was still conducted in catalan. they were a family entering into an entire network of interwoven italian nobility forged over centuries of marriage and progeny, they made and broke contracts as they saw fit, they had no obligation to ANY OF THEM, and that made italians very, very nervous. so they were essentially living in a city that hated them - the orsini and colonna, incredibly powerful roman nobility, lived in the same city as them and were obliged to do their bidding; they couldn’t rebel openly, but it’s interesting to note that a lot of the accusations of incest came from people who had political power to be gained from tarnishing the borgia name: giovanni sforza (forced to admit impotence in order for lucrezia to divorce him and subsequently humiliated) the colonna and orsini who resented borgia power, savanarola at one point mentioned this (and of course, he and his faction were very very anti-papacy at this point, and the papacy was very anti-savanarola), ludovico sforza i think did this as well (and then of course rodrigo let the french invade milan and oust him from power) etc etc. i’m always baffled by people who go ahead and write this into their books without considering the fact that a lot of the incest rumours were politically driven? like, one roman dude wrote that lucrezia was wife, daughter and daughter-in-law to the pope, but would you really give credance to what is pretty much tabloid newspaper fare? 

so to answer your question - no. i don’t think there was ever real, physical incest involved in this family, between lucrezia and rodrigo or lucrezia and cesare. i think they were very very close - unhealthily so, you might even argue; it’s a very codependent relationship - and i think that closeness came from the fact that lucrezia and cesare were both members of a family that was insulated from the outside, that lived in their own bubble of isolationism, who were taught from birth that they were spanish, first and foremost, that the family was important than anything else. lucrezia’s overwhelming loyalty throughout her entire life - even during those last few frantic months of cesare’s life, when she was still trying to negotiate some kind of army for him - was to her family, but mostly to her brother, even after he murdered the man she loved. out of all of them, lucrezia loved the easiest and loved the most, but she was also completely unflinching in her loyalty; husbands come and go, but her allegiance to herself, to her father and to her brother and to the house of borgia - that wasn’t something that changed, even once in her life. her grief over cesare’s death was overwhelming, and it’s that, i think, that made her far more religious in old age than she ever as in her youth. for cesare, similarly - lucrezia was the only woman he ever respected, let alone loved. he’s… i’m hesitant to say that he was a sociopath, but in terms of intimate relationships - he’s never shown a capacity for loving anyone except her, not even his father. even that relationship soured towards the end and it’s very obvious that he was in a lot of ways placing duress on rodrigo. certainly his love for lucrezia never hindered his love for power, but you should also keep in mind that, for a man who was convinced he was going to die at the age of alexander and wanted to be ‘caesar or nothing’, he turned an entire army around to go make her laugh while she was sick. that might not seem like much, for anyone else; but for him? for someone who felt the call of power and the pressure of time as keenly as he did, who knew that fortuna could turn at a moment’s notice - well.

so no, i don’t think there was physical incest, but emotionally they were the center of each other’s lives. emotionally, they were completely incapable of loving anyone the way they loved each other. it might not be incestuous, but that shit is aristotelian as fuck.

anonymous asked:

Hades'(Klaus) brothers, golden child Zeus (Elijah) and reckless Poseidon (Kol) drop by the underworld to meet his new wife. They walk into to find Persephone(Caroline) turning the throne room into her own personal garden.

Okay, so hopefully you like this. It kind of got away from me for a bit and was a lot of Kol and Elijah just talking about Klaroline in general, as well as their own woman problems, but it has everything that your prompt asks for, so hopefully this satisfies your need ;)


And Hell’s poor souls whirl round us as they glade

Lightning flashed and the dust of Hell flew up around the man who suddenly stood in the darkness. He was tall, pale skinned but with dark, angular features – high cheekbones, a strong jawline, and a straight, aquiline nose. A slight stubble covered his strong jawline and his hair was thick, matted dark waves that fell to the tops of his shoulders. His eyes were a careful, wary hazel-brown. His lean, muscular body was encased in a suit, tense as though expecting an attack to land on him the moment he turned.

His lips quirked up at the corners as something shifted behind him, the gravel that covered the floor of the ruins skidding forwards at the movement of whomever hid from him.

“Were you attempting to slip past me, Kol?” He asked, amusedly.

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? days of Slavic mythology:

Deities whose tradition has not been confirmed:

This is very important to know. There are deities which are mentioned by some scholars, but it has never been confirmed that those deities were traditional deities of the Slavs. Some may not have been deities at all, and some, perhaps, may have been “taken” from other pantheons, hence not originating from the Slavic culture. The Slavs did not have a system of letters, so everything we know relies heavily on the scripts of other people, which, I’m sure you can assume, is quite unfair. Here is an overview:

Belobog (Belbog, Belun) - the god of light and goodness - was supposed to be the opposite of Chernobog. We all know that in pagan belief systems no such dualism ever existed. Therefore it is believed that Belobog was a product of Judeo-Christianity, among the Western and Baltic Slavs. Either that, or he was created under the influence of Persian beliefs, who did have that kind of dualism in their religion. Either way, he wasn’t widely revered. Some compare him to Baldr in Norse mythology, as he too stood out from the pantheon (some believe even Baldr was a product of Christianity.)

Devana (Dziewona, Dzewana) was the goddess which would be the closest equivalent to Aphrodite and Diana. Some believe she was a deity adopted from the Romans. She was the wild maiden of the woods, and later the wife of Veles. The myth says that she was at first against this marriage, but that he found a way to calm her wild side and make her fall in love. She is in connection to trees, lakes, and rivers, and her animal is a mare.

Koledo and Ovsenj - the twins who sent off the old year and welcomed the new one. It is not known whether they were actual deities or simply spirits of the winter and the summer. Koledo was celebrated during the winter solstice, and Ovsenj in the summer. Koledo was the one who gave the people all the knowledge that they had of the stars above and of cosmos. 

Krišnji - the Slavic version of Krishna of which there is no proof whatsoever that the pagan Slavs ever revered. It is the downside of not having your own writing system, and having to rely on other people’ texts.

Višnji - much the same as the above. The Slavic version of Vishnu. Pagan Slavs did not worship this deity, but alas.

Kupalo - It is still unknown today whether this was an actual deity, or simply a custom of bathing during the summer solstice. The point of the bathing was spiritual cleansing, and for that Slavs did not only use water, but fires as well.These bathing customs existed way before Ivan Kupala - the Christian saint in whose name it has been celebrated ever since. It is believed that these customs of bathing were in this way used so that the Slavs would accept Christianity better and with less resistance. It is listed here as a not-so-traditional deity because no source speaks of it as a deity or the worship of it; there were no temples or idols in dedication to it. It is highly unlikely that he was a god, but as there is no proof against it either, the debates still stand even today. What we know with certainty is that Kupalo was, in fact, definitely a character in one of the old Slavic mythical tales. In this tale he is not a god, but a mortal man who, by tradition of picking up her flower-crown from the water, has to marry his sister. Realizing that they’re siblings, they drown, and the gods take pity on them and turn them into flowers. Kupalo would be celebrated, therefore, as the cleansing spirit - the cleansing of both body and soul.

Trajan (Trojan) - There are many different assumptions, but it is almost certain that he was no god. Some believe it was tsar Trajan raised to the level of deity; others believe he was a mythical being of some other sort; others again believe he was the same as the character from an old Serbian folk tale “U cara Trajana kozije uši” (“The Goat’s Ears of the Emperor Trojan”); and some believe he was the demon of ruins (in terms of buildings). By some scholars, he has been likened to the Incubus, as well as Pan.

Rod - all you need to know is in this post.

Mater Sva (Mater Slava) - mentioned as “the bird of the Sun” - she was a solar warrior goddess. Much like a Valkyrie, she chose the slain, and took the men to battle, gave them courage and strength. She was also the mother of the Slavic peoples. She had the gift of prophecy, so she would inform her people of the enemy coming. And whenever they lost in battles, she’d renew their strength and passion. Some myths say she was the wife of Perun. Some, again, believe she was the counterpart of Rod, or Svarog in the creation, as the ancient solar mother goddess.

Zlata Maja (and/or Maja Zlatogorska) - definitely not a traditional deity of the Slavs, but a product of later pagan scripts. Pagan Slavs did not believe in or worship her/them. Some believe Maja Zlatogorska was Zlata Maja’s form in the mortal realm. Either way, this deity supposedly takes on the characteristics of all other mother goddesses of fertility and beauty. 

Voden - the Slavic god (or demon) of all waters: rivers, lakes, seas. He was worshiped by fishermen and sailors. Slavic women would release their offerings to the god onto the water, so that they would please him and invoke his mercy. By some myth, he was the husband of Morana, the goddess of death, so he was more likely to drown than let live. The myth also says that he was the one to send off souls to Nav, the underworld. Some claim there had even been human sacrifice as well, young women offering themselves to the water,

 

Right, let’s fucking do it. I’ve got my copy of the Covenant of Primus and I am fired up, so here we go.

I do not like the idea of Orion Pax, and thence Optimus Prime, being an avatar of the Thirteenth Prime. I really don’t. I will freely admit that at least a part of that comes from personal distaste for the directions Optimus Prime’s story took in the Covenant and the later parts of Prime. That said, there is a lot of reasoning behind that personal distaste, so while the following opinions are indeed just that, I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss them entirely.

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Tranquility - Part 15

When Isii and Solas are captured by Templars, the Inquisitor can do little more than watch as the Rite of Tranquility is performed on her lover. But the Rite was never intended for a god. The Templars’ failure will change everything for both the Inquisitor and the man she once called Solas…
Read Part 1 here.


The anchor did not seem to like this place.

Isii knew it was foolish to attribute any sort of consciousness to the mark in her hand. Perhaps it was the ancient magic still lingering in this temple that caused it to stir, flaring as if drawn to energies that felt familiar. She hissed softly, a tense breath pushed quietly through her teeth as she rubbed her thumb along the scar. Magic thrummed beneath the surface of her skin, green light pulsing from the wound like some foreign heartbeat. It didn’t concern her. This happened, from time to time. It did not cause her pain like it did in those early days - merely a feeling of pressure, like the anchor was building inside her and desperately craved release.

She was not surprised when she lifted her eyes to find him watching her.

He always did.

Especially when the anchor was active.

Once, she’d found his concern endearing. When Solas looked over the mark with that familiar furrow in his brow, she’d silently equate it to a nervous parent checking their child for scrapes or bruises after the slightest fall. She’d seen it as a gesture of affection. Her lover wanted to make certain that this strange and foreign gift she had been given wasn’t causing her distress.

His concern felt different now.

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Let's Talk About Writing!

Hello my name is Lucy and I write a large amount of fanfic at a fairly ridiculous speed. It is my superpower. That and my ability to make any radio play Billy Joel songs.

I’m gonna talk about how you build a story from the ground up. This isn’t for small ficlets, but for big ridiculous fics you curse up and down about every time you glance at your word count and discover it keeps fucking growing, FFS. Also, this is how I do things and I cannot assure it will work for you, but maybe it might help. 

Okay here we go.

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To Challenge Love Itself (A Gravepainters Origin One-Shot)

Oh hey there.  You’re probably expecting the next chapter of “Out of Place”.  Well, I’m still trying to finish that Armando picture (which is becoming a b*tch to line). And I swore that I’d finish that before getting to the next chapter.

So, instead, how about another (super freaking long) origin story?  Here’s a re-imagining of how La Muerte came to be and her eventual marriage to Xibalba, with a few notes pulled from the Greek myths “Pygmalion” and “Persephone”.

Also, be prepared for a lot of Aztec folklore, which most of which is loosely interpreted - and some even ignored due to speculation. Or blamed on the time-space continuum. *throws hands in air*

——————————————————————-

Once upon a time, when San Angel was nothing but an empty canvas of dust, there existed an Aztec city - Tenochcualli - in the heart of a deep jungle.

Now, on most days, Tenochcualli was a prospering metropolis, happy as one could be in those days.  Wars were few and far between.  Well-kept prayer temples burned bright for their respective Gods and Goddesses.  And they were never without food.  A truly blessed city.

However, Tenochcualli was plagued by…one thing.  When the sun began to set, Aztec men and women could be seen locking themselves in their homes, keeping away from windows and doors.  Proud warriors would cower, and children would hide in their beds.  For at night..Xibalba roamed.

A relatively new God to the Aztec pantheon, he was known for being a wild trickster - who had a penchant of pushing things too far for his own amusement.  Every night, when Huitzilopochtli, the Sun God, had left his post, Xibalba would get bored of his dead, dismal kingdom and sneak amongst the mortals in disguise.  Sometimes he would be a ghastly jaguar, snarling with gnashing fangs and glowing green eyes.  Other times, he would pretend to be a beautiful woman, luring men into the jungle to become hopelessly lost - or dead by walking off a cliff.

Everyone in the city feared Xibalba.  And he relished the taste of it.

One day, the people of Tenochcualli had had enough, his last trick resulting in the burning of their latest corn crop.  They gathered together when the sun arose, and debated on what to do about the God of Manipulation and Tricks.

Some suggested to pray to Xiuhtecuhtli, the God of Fire, to punish Xibalba in the most literal sense of the word.  Others suggested Metztli, Goddess of the Moon, to forbid him from breaching the surface during her time in the sky.  Finally, an elderly midwife, who had seen enough of Xibalba’s trickery, gathered her brood of women and held up a finger.

“Xibalba is a young God,” she spoke shakily, wobbling into the center of the crowd, “So he must be treated like a young man - with fire in his belly, ambition in his heart, and idle hands!”

The Tenochcualli people listened to her quietly, her brood nodding in support.

“And how does one defeat fire in the belly?  Take the ambition from the heart? Stay the idle hands?” she asked, but no one knew, “Hahaha, you can’t!  Like a river, one must direct the fire - divert the ambition.  It is so easy, can’t you see?!”

The Tenochcualli people shook their head, and the brood laughed in synchronization, their cackles rising high above the crowd.

“We give him a woman,” she raised her hands, forming an hourglass shape in the air suggestively, “One that can make his idle hands work, capture his heart, and place that fire elsewhere.  We must pray to Tlazolteotl!!!”

Tlazolteotl was the Goddess of Lust and Purity, of sexual misdeeds, trysts, and also forgiveness. The Tenochcualli people discussed it, some believing that Xochipilli, the God of Love, would be better suited to the task.

"No,” said vengeful parents, widowed women, and pride-torn warriors, “He doesn’t deserve love. He must suffer the heart’s pain, but not its rewards.”

Unable to disagree, they decided to pray to the Goddess the midwife had suggested.  She gathered her brood to congregate at Tlazolteotl’s temple, praying long and hard.

And upon hearing their heartfelt prayers, Tlazolteotl accepted their cry for help.

The next night that Xibalba visited them, he came face to face with a tall, imposing woman.  She was half-naked, but her front was covered in stone-necklaces and beads.  A feathered headdress of turquoise, bone, and gold was weaved into her long black hair, and her face was tattooed in dark ink. Her lower half was clothed in long, white robes, stained with mud and earth.

“Who’re you?” he asked, flexing his wings outward in show.

“I am Tlazolteotl.  I have heard my people’s prayers, and I have been sent to choose a companion for you.”

Xibalba scoffed, amused and offended by the idea.

"I need no companion,” he waved his gloved hand, as if to swat a fly, “Nor do I desire one.  I am content with what I have.”

“A lonely kingdom, dark and without comfort?" Tlazolteotl walked towards him, the moonlight illuminating her curves, “Not even a God can tolerate such isolation.  Why else would you come here?”

"Because mortals are ugly, stupid things that are only good for amusement,” Xibalba spat, and he moved past her, “My kingdom is boring, not lonely.  I don’t come here seeking their praise or their love like you do.  I come here for fun.”

His teeth became sharp points as he turned back to grin evilly.  Slowly, those teeth began to elongate, and he became a jaguar once more, ready to bound off into the streets of Tenochcualli to terrorize anyone still out that night.

Tlazolteotl stepped in front of him, narrowing her eyes. She was a powerful Goddess, granted with guardianship over many thresholds. Xibalba was still young, and his land new. In the hierarchy of Gods, she was above him - and to refuse Tlazolteotl was a challenge.

She waved her hands, and his form distorted into a tar ball before Xibalba changed back to his original form, confused by the forced reversal of his powers. Tlazolteotl crossed her arms, the wind blowing the black hair from her back to reveal more dark, swirling tattoos.

"You are a hopeless whelp, Xibalba,” she declared with glowing white eyes, looking down at him, “I offer you a gift, and you refuse?”

She stared down at this imp, this…fool who dared to speak such words. Like all young Gods, he was taller than a mortal, but still shorter than the other older deities in the pantheon. Xibalba’s skeletal, tar face was dotted with green symbols, and his black skull-like pupils held an air of arrogance as they narrowed at her fearlessly. A small patch of white covered his upper lip and chin, which would no doubt turn into a mustache and a beard. His regal crown resembled antlers, coal black and a poisonous shade of green, with a few black candles that glowed eerily. And his lower half was a robe that went from jagged edges to dripping, deadly tar. A pair of ash-covered wings flared out, making the thin, skeletal God bigger than he seemed. Most off-putting was the black rib cage that held blazing green hellfire, licking the bones as if cooking him from the inside out. Instead of burning him, however, it was content to remain within him, even ignoring the giant necklace made of blackened bones that covered the area from his neck to the middle of his chest.

“I know what the Tenochcualli want,” he spoke quietly, regarding the Goddess with wariness as she stopped observing him, “You offer me no ‘gift’, but a curse - a chain to bind me with.”

“It doesn’t have to be,” a beguiling smile spread on Tlazolteotl’s lips, “True, I don’t offer love like Xochipilli, but all they want is for me to find you a woman that can entice you.”

Here, Xibalba paused and smirked, an idea worming into his mind with eagerness. He started to circle her, and Tlazolteotl did the same, as if facing down an opponent.

“I say that you can’t,” his tar lips poisoning his words, “You are a mistress of the ugliness that I find so repulsive among the humans. Xochipilli would have been a better choice indeed.”

Tlazolteotl’s eyes burned hotter than red-hot coals, and he could see the anger building in her slender frame.

“Xochipilli is a foolish, prancing boy who does nothing but play,” she seethed jealously, “Take care in provoking me, Xibalba. I give forgiveness for mortal sins, not you.”

“Hmph…then prove that I am wrong,” Xibalba flexed his wings, taking in her burning white eyes with glee, “Let us wager.”

“‘God of Trickery and Games’, is it?”

Tlazolteotl knew this to be his title, but wouldn’t it be more delicious to put the bratty God in his place by beating him at his own game? She licked her lips and stood straight, a devious smile of her own forming.

“Fine. I wager that I can find someone who can capture your gaze.”

“And I wager you won’t,” Xibalba answered, just as confident as the woman in front of him, “I’ll even be generous and give you two full moons to do so. Shall we?”

He held out his hand, but Tlazolteotl was not a fool. The Goddess went to him, but instead snatched his eyes, causing him to blink at the sudden darkness.

“How do I know you won’t cheat, Xibalba? If you see one you like, but try to resist for the bet?” she held his skull pupils in the palm of her hand gingerly like a pair of dice.

Xibalba growled darkly, reaching for her blindly to take his eyes back. Tlazolteotl took a deep breath in, then blew on the skull pupils, causing the winged God to recoil at the phantom sensation.

“What have you done?!” he accused angrily, now wildly flailing towards her, “You say that I might cheat, and steal my eyes from me the next!”

The painted woman gave him his eyes back, smirking at the scalding look that immediately donned his face.

“I merely used my powers as Goddess of Lust to ensure fair play,” she began mildly, walking around him to look at Tenochcualli, “This way, if you find one who captures your vision wholly, I will know. You didn’t think I trusted you to tell me when you found one you liked, honestly?”

Xibalba touched his eyes tenderly with a single thin claw, frowning with the sulky pouting of a child that had been caught.

“By the Ancient Rules,” Tlazolteotl submitted, finally extending her hand.

“The wager is set,” he finished, and shook her hand.

—————————————————

And so, each night Xibalba would return to Tenochcualli’s borders. And each night, Tlazolteotl would present him with a bride - a human one.

With a smirk, he would reject her - instead using the failed attempts as excuses to invent new scares.  Scores of women would offer their daughters to Tlazolteotl, in hopes of stopping this new onslaught of terror.  However, Tlazolteotl knew this was not the answer.

Though many a God in the Aztec pantheon had human wives and mistresses, it would not work with Xibalba - he hated humans, after all.  Thoughts of pairing him up with a female Goddess had passed through Tlazolteotl’s mind, but none were willing to stand his pungent tar smell and foul mood.

No…Tlazolteotl would need to think differently for this one.

In the new generations of worship, two new Gods had been welcomed to the pantheon - one to protect the world above, and one to protect the world below. As both had entered godhood at the same time, they had become fast friends - despite their opposite personalities (and Xibalba’s own reluctance to label them as such). So, the Goddess traveled to the underworld, and sought the help of one God - The Candle Maker.

“Candle Maker,” she began, the cloud-bearded God lifting his head to look at her, “I am looking for a companion for Xibalba.  I must know…what must I look for to tempt him?”

The Candle Maker tightened his shoulders, looking uncomfortable.

“Well…if there was a woman that Xibalba could dig,” he raised his tattooed arm, gold wax swirling about his arm, “I don’t think she exists.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean…I know you’re trying to hook him up with a lady friend from the world up there, but he thinks all humans have bad hearts.”

“Yes, and what does that have to do with my question?”

“If you can find a woman with only pure goodness in her heart, then you might have a chance,” the Candle Maker paused, “But we all know there’s nothing like that.  You’re the Goddess of purity - she who forgives sins.”

He began to make another candle, but his mind and hands wandered as the shape started to change.

“I wouldn’t mind a lady friend for myself, ya know,” he grinned, drifting in thought as he shaped the wax, “The Cave of Souls gets pretty lonely from time to time, even with Xibalba around.”

Slowly, the Candle Maker made the face of a beautiful woman, her lips full and her eyes half-lidded with temptation. Intrigued, Tlazolteotl circled the wax sculpture, and in her mind’s eye, she could see Xibalba at least doing a double-take.  Tlazolteotl licked her lips, a twinkle in her eyes.  Her instincts were never wrong when it came to this sort of thing.

“Is this your…type?”

“N-Naw, she’s just…well, I mean…” he shrugged with an embarrassed look on his face, “I’m gonna be honest - I sort of got a little inspiration from you.”

“…Candle Maker,” she spoke suddenly, and he blinked at the way she called his name, “Do it again, but this time, make a whole woman.”

With Tlazolteotl’s guiding hand, the Candle Maker started to mold and shape various figures, using Tlazolteotl as a model.  Little statues, big statues, and all the sizes in between were made.  Eventually, the blushing Candle Maker was able to make one that he had put his heart and soul into, resulting in a tall, naked, fiery woman with her arms out - as if dancing.  Tlazolteotl asked for kindness and a gentleness in her features, but her painted eyes smoldered as if hiding a secret.  Long hair fell and rose in beautiful, but wild waves.  And her lips were full and luscious, spread apart in a heart-stopping smile. Innocent and naive, but knowing and secretive - all at once.

Yes…this would do.  A plan, a perfect plan, formed in her mind.

Tlazolteotl thanked the tired Candle Maker and whisked the wax figure off back to her realm. In an instant, she began to work on the wax figure intensely. She searched through gifts from suitors and worshippers, and appropriated them on the statue like a doll.

The best and sweetest sugar from a crop harvest years ago became its dazzling white skin. Eternal marigolds that never died adorned its hair, made from spun obsidian, and its wrists and ankles. Wax eyes were replaced with blood-orange ruby marbles. Her best paint and inks went into designing an intricate painted skull on the statue’s face, starry blue saved for its eye lids and vivacious red for its lips.

Gently, Tlazolteotl began to dress her: red cloth, patterned with yellow swirls, became a short, bare-shouldered blouse that ended just under her bosom. A long-tailed loincloth, similarly of crimson and gold, hugged her voluptuous hips and left her long legs bare. Last, but not least, she took a feather from her own headdress, and placed it in a headband lined with skull patterns and marigolds. She put it on the statue’s head tenderly, and sighed happily, proud of her work.

“Now,” she spoke, pointing a finger over its heart, “I command you to breathe.”

Simple as it sounded, the statue came to life and began to breathe, its eyes blinking wide. Tlazolteotl opened her mouth to address it when she paused, realizing something. It had become a she. But what ‘she’ was she? More accurately, ‘who’?

“Hmmm, what to name you…” she put a dark finger to her mouth, pondering, “If all goes well, I suppose you’ll be entwined with the Prince of the Dead. For a name, I shall give you…’La Muerte’.”

“Thank you, mamá,” La Muerte spoke, and Tlazolteotl froze in place.

Tlazolteotl had never been a mother before, but a new warm, melty glow awoke in her heart at the beautiful little creature staring up at her. With genuine pride and unexpected joy, she smiled down at La Muerte and put her hands on the young woman’s face. Her new daughter beamed and hugged Tlazolteotl around the middle, lovingly.

"Come, child,” she pulled the girl from her to lead her, “I have much to teach you.”

And teach she did. From her craft of seduction, to the Gods of the Aztec Pantheon, Tlazolteotl gave her a solid schooling in the remainder time of the bet. She taught her the beauty of the worlds around her, both Above and Below, and the cycle of nature as one is born and as one is dying. She taught her smiles that could weaken knees and hypnotizing dancing that could allure both Mortal and God, though there was an air of innocence in La Muerte when she did the same. When it came to Man, Tlazolteotl was surprised when La Muerte embraced them so wholeheartedly, but couldn’t help smiling at the love in those beautiful orange orbs.

Finally came the last day of the bet. As Huitzilopochtli waved to her, signaling that he was about to relinquish his place to his fellow Sky God, Tlazolteotl knew the end was near. She told La Muerte that she had taught her everything there was to teach, and as a graduation present, relinquished one of her necklaces to her. It was originally large and blocky, as was most of her jewelry, but when placed on La Muerte, it morphed to a small gold token that hung lightly from thin black thread.

“What is it, mamá?” La Muerte asked, touching a sugary finger to it.

"No God or Goddess is complete without their own threshold,” Tlazolteotl answered softly, smiling warmly at her daughter, “I give you Guardianship of Forgiveness - of mortal sins and wrongdoing. So that you may always have compassion in your heart.”

Overjoyed, La Muerte hugged her once more, and became the Goddess of Forgiveness in the Aztec pantheon. Never had Tlazolteotl been so proud. Or worried. In her bonding with the sugar skull, Tlazolteotl had come to love La Muerte as though she’d birthed her herself - and the thought of giving her to that whelp Xibalba made her boiling mad. So…she concocted another plan.

————————————————————————

On the last night of the wager, just as predicted, the dark Prince of the Underworld came back to the world of the living.  He looked around, wondering where Tlazolteotl had gone off to.  She hadn’t shown up for the past few days, and he smirked to himself, wondering if she’d finally given up.

Glee welled up inside him - because it would mean that he won, and she lost. Her! A supposed ancient God of the cosmos - losing to a younger God!

Then, he heard festive music playing, something that was unheard of during this time of night - especially with Xibalba skulking about. He narrowed his eyes, teeth sharpening to fangs as he grew outraged. How dare they celebrate in his presence?! They knew he hated those types of sounds - panicked and terrified screams were much more to his liking, after all.

Xibalba looked around one more time, trying to see if Tlazolteotl was around, before deciding to have some extra fun before claiming his victory. Taking on his familiar jaguar form, he galloped towards the noise and burst through the jungle with speed that scared all the birds and animals into a frenzy. When he’d reached the border just outside of Tenochcualli, Xibalba let out a mighty roar and leapt out of his tropical cover to scare whoever was on the other side.

Instead of a group of humans, as he’d expected, it was merely one tall girl - with magical instruments playing by themselves in time to a happy beat. And as soon as he’d crashed the party, literally, the instruments dropped to the ground - lifeless.

The girl - no, woman - had jumped and fallen to the ground on her back, startled by his intrusion. In the soft moonlight, Xibalba was given a full view of his prey - and he was absolutely floored.

Starlight twinkled on her pure, white skin, which sparkled so intensely it almost hurt his eyes - yet he couldn’t look away. Midnight-blue hair fanned out under her, making it look as though she were lying on a dark ocean made of the night sky. Her hourglass shape didn’t help much either, as his green jaguar eyes traced her outline with awe. But the most outstanding was her painted face - wide glowing eyes that burned like suns stared at him, outlined in orange and gold petals. A perfect little nose that was colored black, as though it were like a skull’s. And those lips…they were open slightly in surprise, then closed like a lusciously-red venus flytrap, and finally opened again in a blooming smile.

“I’m sorry,” her words flowed like honey, making Xibalba’s stomach do backflips over and over, “Did I wake you up, little one?”

Xibalba remained in his tensed position, frozen as if in stone. The beautiful woman stood up and approached him, Xibalba’s poor heart beating harder and harder with each step she took. Long legs of startling white flexed and stretched, taking up his entire vision when they’d stopped before him. Then, a small delicate hand reached out tentatively before placing itself on his head. He felt himself relax all at once at her touch, sighing happily as the soft, gentle hand ran down his head and over his neck. Xibalba’s tail swished to and fro, bells chiming delicately in his mind as a second hand joined the first to rub his long, furry neck.

Then, those mesmerizing lips of hers placed themselves on his muzzle, and he practically melted into her arms. Any dignity or pride he had left had floated away, just like his sensibilities. He purred drowsily and dazed, and a happy, silly cheshire grin appeared on his face.

Never had someone this beautiful or kind approached him, cared for him like this. Most of the other Goddesses and Gods preferred not to interact with him, his horrid tar smell and tendency to play tricks driving them away. Yet, this one gorgeous, innocent being embraced him - and he felt a peculiar feeling well up in him…this strangely-hot, sticky feeling that bubbled and jumped in his stomach up to his out-of-beat heart, making it burn hotter than lava. Oh, how good she felt! How right everything seemed when she pressed her face to his!

“There…feeling better?” she asked softly, and he spoke without a second thought.

“Yes…” he hissed in sheer giddiness, pressing himself further into her embrace when he felt her suddenly retreate.

The God-turned-jaguar fell on his face with a painful thud, and he looked up quickly, realizing his mistake. The lovely maiden put her hands to her mouth, surprised that he could talk, and backed away. Immediately, his form swarmed with ash and he flew in front of her, reluctantly becoming Xibalba the Trickster God once more.

“P-please, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he put his thin hands up, desperate and nervous, “I just…I mean, what I wanted was…uhmmm…”

As he struggled to explain himself, Xibalba started to fuss and stumble over his words. And the more he tried to fix what he was saying, the worse it got. The candles on his shoulders and crown nearly went out, cowardly sputtering once or twice. He couldn’t even think or breathe with her staring at him. How could he form words properly? What were words?!? What was he even trying to —

Then, like the parting of dark clouds that opened into curtains of sunlight, he heard a giggle. His wide eyes turned to her. Xibalba had expected her to flee in terror, or wear a look of disgust. Instead, a playful, innocent smile was all that she gave him, and it was gloriously beautiful.

“Shhhhh,” she shushed him, those heavenly hands coming up to hold his shoulders, “And breathe.”

Xibalba wanted to tell her that he couldn’t - she took his breath away. It was as if the world around him fell away, and only she remained, in all her wondrous, amazing glory. She made him feel complete, as if nothing else in the world would make him as happy as he felt now - with this woman by his side.

“Are you a God?” she asked curiously, and he straightened his posture.

“Yes,” he replied, but blushed when it came out hoarsely and broke over the vowel like a pubescent mortal boy.

Again, another tiny giggle escaped her lips, and he had half a mind to smile with her like a fool. Xibalba cleared his throat, steeling himself.

“Yes, I am,” he spoke once more, and thanked the heavens he didn’t screw up, “My name is Xibalba, and I rule over the Land of the Dead.”

“I am La Muerte,” she let go of his hands, to his disappointment, and bowed slightly, “Goddess of Forgiveness.”

She must be fairly new, he thought. He’d never heard of a Goddess like that in the pantheon. This would explain why she didn’t run in terror…she’d never heard of the things he’s done. A small panicked feeling welled up in his gut, and he was tempted to sweep her up in his wings and carry her off to his dark kingdom - keep her isolated from the truth of his nature.

“Your wings…I don’t think I’ve ever seen another God with wings before,” she admired in an awestruck voice, taking notice of the black appendages behind Xibalba’s back.

It was true that none of the other Gods or Goddesses had wings - and he knew that it was a topic of jealousy that none of them spoke of. Usually, he would preen and show off his extraordinary wings, but in front of La Muerte, all he could think about was how dusty and disgusting they looked. He turned his head to look at them, opening them meekly as pieces of ash fell like embarrassing dandruff.

“They’re beautiful,” she breathed, leaning in closer to brush a sugary finger tip or two across his feathers.

His eyes widened, her lithe body pressed against his, and he started to feel his thoughts stray to places he had never thought of before - particularly the way her curves softly molded against him oh so well. His wings popped out with an audible snap, stretching out fully to shadow the both of them. La Muerte drew back in response, biting her lip in a worried manner.

Lo siento,” she apologized, thinking she’d done something wrong, “I didn’t realize they were so sensitive -“

To reassure her, Xibalba turned before the Goddess, to her surprise, and opened his wings shyly.

“It’s all right,” he offered, his black skull now alight with his green blush, “You can touch them if you’d like.”

Xibalba’s knees quivered at the way an excited smile broke out on her face, and her hands started to do the most marvelous things to his wings. Rubbing, stroking, tracing - and she just had to run her fingers through his feathers so damn temptingly…

“La Muerte!” a voice broke Xibalba from the trance La Muerte was placing him in and the pair looked to see Tlazolteotl emerge from the brush with a raised eyebrow.

Mamá!” La Muerte cried, and Xibalba’s jaw dropped when she ran to Tlazolteotl to hug her.

That Tlazolteotl was this beautiful creature’s mother?!

“Hmph, here you are, Xibalba!” Tlazolteotl briefly returned the hug before directing her attention to the shocked God before her, “Tonight, I found a particularly good bride for you to — ”

She stopped mid-sentence, and the wide-eyed look she had soon gave way to a full, devious grin.

“Your eyes,” she said, “They’ve changed.”

Blinking, Xibalba touched his eyes before Tlazolteotl summoned one of her personal mirrors, letting him see that his eyes had indeed changed - from their usual black to a bright, telltale red.

“You’ve found someone that’s captured your attention!” Tlazolteotl smirked maliciously, “That means I’ve won, Xibalba!”

There was a subtle rage that crept into his bones, gritting his teeth as he prepared to howl at the victory that was snatched away from him. However, as he noticed La Muerte staring at him, that rage was snuffed out like the light on a candle - and only sweet, amorous feelings filled his head. He might’ve lost the wager, but he found someone so wonderful, someone so beautiful to become his companion.

“Heh, fine, you got me,” he shrugged off the loss as if it were nothing, surprising the older Goddess, “I lost. I submit to your gift, Tlazolteotl. You did well in finding such a lovely -”

“The wager was if I found someone who could match you, Xibalba,” Tlazolteotl reminded him in a sing-song voice, interrupting him, “I never said you were to have the person I’d offered. And…when did I ever offer my beloved La Muerte, hmm?”

His heart dropped into the dark, empty pit of his stomach. And Tlazolteotl couldn’t help but grin at the way the realization began to dawn on his face, like a slow-motion scream.

"Meeting La Muerte here was…by complete chance,” Tlazolteotl spoke nonchalantly, though even a rock could tell that she was telling a lie, “She was never intended to become a bridal candidate for you. Not in a million years. In fact, I was planning on you meeting her at her wedding!”

"Wedding?” he echoed after a short pause, then growled deeply as the flames on his crown exploded into an inferno, “To who?

"The Candle Maker, who else?”

Xibalba started to protest before he registered the name. The Candle Maker? His only friend, though he was loathe to admit it, was going to marry the woman of his dreams? His wings sagged to the ground, and his candles settled into a low flame.

The Candle Maker was the exact opposite of Xibalba - kind, energetic, happy, and always eager to make others laugh. Looking at the beautiful La Muerte, he knew that she deserved happiness. And to think of her in his dark kingdom, surrounded by souls of the dead that moaned and cried, with not a shred of sun or moon to give comfort…it would be like burying a flower in a stone tomb.

Would he really be able to make her happy, like the Candle Maker could?

“I see you understand, whelp,” Tlazolteotl shook her hair out behind her, sighing, “What could you possibly give her down there? Hmm? Everything you have, everything you possess is dead and cold and hopeless. I will not have my La Muerte have the same fate.”

Xibalba looked at La Muerte, who seemed confused. Then, those burning orange eyes looked to him, and he felt Tlazolteotl’s words sink in harder.

“I told you to take care in provoking me, Xibalba,” Tlazolteotl walked towards him, pushing her daughter behind her to hide in the forest, “I am thousands of centuries older than you, boy. To have the audacity to challenge me, I’m not sure whether it’s bravery or stupidity…but you know the truth now, don’t you?”

The clouds above Tenochcualli and its borders darkened as Aztec Gods and Goddesses from all corners of the heavens gathered above to watch the spectacle. Rumors of the wager between a new God and old had sparked interest in the pantheon. What’s more, it was the impetuous upstart Xibalba who had challenged the Goddess Tlazolteotl. Many were eager to see the dark God fall, either jealous of his wings or hateful of his tricks.

"You could never win against me, whelp,” Tlazolteotl whispered close to his head in a dark, saccharine tone, “You’d do well to remember that.”

Standing up proudly, the heavens applauded her in thunderclaps and lightning that arced between the clouds with excitement. Xibalba, crushed not by the victory but of Tlazolteotl’s trickery, had fallen to his knees, Tlazolteotl bowed deeply to her fellow Gods, and made a gesture to whisk herself and La Muerte away when the softest words reached her ears.

"Please don’t take her.”

“…What did you say?” she asked, though she knew perfectly well what he said.

“Tlazolteotl,” Xibalba began, still looking down at the ground, “I beg you…don’t take her away.”

“Did we not discuss this? La Muerte would never be happy with you. The Candle Maker would ensure - ”

“I’ll give you whatever you want. I swear by the Ancient Rules.”

…The clouds seemed to quell its excitement, a feeling of tension gathering as Tlazolteotl turned around with interest.

“You are a bigger fool than I thought, Xibalba. Do you have any idea what you’ve promised?” the taller Goddess whispered venomously, “I could turn you into my personal slave. Make you my errand boy until the end of time. Or perhaps I could make you disappear into nothingness?”

La Muerte came out of her hiding place, eyes wide as she watched the confrontation between the God she’d just met and her mother. What in heaven’s name was he doing?!

“…” he remained silent, only staring at the ground.

“Hmph,” Tlazolteotl walked around him, then noticed his wings twitching nervously, “…You’ve only just met La Muerte. And yet…you care for her enough to promise me anything that I desire from you?”

“For a brief moment, we met,” he agreed, finally speaking, “And in that moment, I glimpsed a future with her. Something wonderful, and beautiful. I would worship her far better than any mortal, protect her better than any guardian, and do everything to make her happier than she ever thought she could be.”

Desperate red skull pupils peered up at Tlazolteotl slowly, the sort of eyes that unnerved the Goddess. They held a spark of something genuinely true, and pure. It shocked her.

“I love her, Tlazolteotl,” he admitted hoarsely, and La Muerte put her hands over her mouth to stop the gasp, “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. And now, I cannot live without her.”

Tlazolteotl stared down at him, trying to determine the amount of truth to his words, but her stubborn nature made her untrusting and cruel at times.

“Would you even give up your wings, Xibalba?” she asked, and grinned when he stiffened, “Your prized wings, that not even us old Gods have?”

He looked behind him, fanning his wings out before turning back to Tlazolteotl.

“Yes,” he answered, and the clouds started to thunder once more.

Egged on by her fellow Gods, and angry that Xibalba could think all would be forgiven by his sacrifice, Tlazolteotl raised her hands and the ground began to shake.

“You never should have challenged me, boy” she yelled above the din, thunder clashing above her and the earth shaking below, “Now you pay the price! By the Ancient Rules!”

Xibalba merely shut his eyes and prepared for the worst as Tlazolteotl’s hands reached for his wings.

“YOUR…WINGS…ARE…MI - !!!”

“STOP!!!”

All at once, the noise did indeed stop. The ground halted in place, and the Gods above stopped shaking the heavens, settling down into hushed repose. Tlazolteotl herself had stopped just before her fingers reached Xibalba’s wings, instead almost brushing a glaring sugar skull. The older Goddess pulled back and stared at La Muerte, who had dared to stand between her and Xibalba. Long moments passed before Tlazolteotl spoke again.

“La Muerte, this has nothing to do with you. Stand aside.

"No,” the brilliantly white Goddess refused, and continued to stand firm, “He doesn’t need to give up his wings for me.”

La Muerte turned to look down at Xibalba, and reached her hands out to touch his shoulders. He jerked, thinking it was Tlazolteotl, but was surprised to see La Muerte’s beautiful smile greeting him instead. She took his hands and helped him stand, her eyes wide and a blush arising on her cheeks.

“I choose him, mamá,” she whispered softly, staring into his eyes, “I choose him.”

Simultaneously, everyone’s jaws dropped. Xibalba’s. Tlazolteotl’s. The Gods’. Even the Tenochcualli people’s, who were watching nearby.

"…La Muerte,” Tlazolteotl finally gathered her wits to speak, “Surely you don’t mean…?”

The sugar-spun woman nodded, and Xibalba nearly fainted.

“I’ve never heard anyone talk about me like that before,” she explained breathlessly, squeezing his hands gently, “And I started to feel something deep inside…I love him, too.”

The winged God all but collapsed in her arms, happiness spreading into every fiber of his being. She loved him! She said she loved him!

“B-But he is corrupt! Cruel! A monster!” Tlazolteotl sputtered, trying to convince La Muerte, “He’s done terrible things to the mortals! He’s tricked many Gods and Goddesses, and didn’t bat an eye at the consequences!”

“I forgive him,” La Muerte stated simply, smiling, “After all, didn’t you give me threshold of Forgiveness to be compassionate?”

Tlazolteotl wanted to kick herself.

“You may forgive him for his sins now, my child,” she warned, becoming desperate, “But how will you stop him from continuing to play tricks in the future? Even you will tire of pardoning him!”

La Muerte thought for a moment, pondering as she looked at Xibalba’s loopy, distant gaze. Appearing to have found an answer, her eyes lit up and she tapped the tar on Xibalba’s face insistently. He awakened and looked down at her, grinning like an idiot. La Muerte beckoned his head to come down towards hers with a single finger, and he leaned in, eyes half-lidded.

“Yes?” he asked, thinking she was to whisper something, when all of a sudden, he found himself being kissed.

And not just any kiss - but a deep, fiery, passionate kiss! She moaned lightly as she opened her lips against his, her hands grasping his green neck to keep his head to hers. The heat from his soft, tar lips melded against the harder sugar of La Muerte’s, making his head spin. Xibalba’s wings flapped wide open in surprise, then began to flutter rapidly as the kiss went on for one more second…three…six……..

By the time she’d finished, pulling back with a satisfied, wet pop and a seductively coy grin on her face, Xibalba had melted in a puddle of goop in her arms. He dripped to the earth, slipping from her fingers to make a large pit of tar. La Muerte giggled as she knelt and ran a finger underneath his dripping, melty chin, making him chuckle in a dizzy, drunk gurgle.

Tlazolteotl gaped at the scene. Was everything she taught and gave to La Muerte going to bite her in the ass?

“Xibalba…” La Muerte cooed as she held his skull, or what remained of it, against her chest.

The strange black liquid he’d become shook at the sweet sound of her voice, and slowly embraced her back, snuggling and enfolding her in its sticky mess.

“Yessss?” he answered, oozing around her.

“Would you like me to kiss you like that again?” she whispered suggestively, “Or maybe something…more?”

No sooner had she purred the implication to him did he snap back into his original form, a wolfish look in his red skull pupils as he leaned into her eagerly. And he nodded so fast that those skulls of his rattled about in his head like a pair of die in a cup.

"Then you have to promise me not to trick anymore Gods or humans, at least not as terribly you’ve done before,” La Muerte put a finger on his lips, stopping him from leaning in further, “Can you do that?”

Xibalba was roused from his lust-driven thoughts to realize what she was asking. He enjoyed playing tricks on the others, it was his bread and butter! How could she possibly think that he could even think of -

“For me?” La Muerte removed her finger and brought her lips to ghost over his temptingly, “Balbiiii…?”

Instantly, he was back under her spell and he sighed with a tremble in his breath.

"Anything for you,” Xibalba brought his wings forward to wrap around La Muerte securely, “Mi amor…

"You swear? By the Ancient Rules?” she asked innocently, and he nodded in return.

“I swear by the Ancient Rules…”

La Muerte then turned her head to Tlazolteotl with a smile of victory, her mother finally admitting defeat. In the blink of an eye, the turmoil between Tlazolteotl and Xibalba and the people of Tenochcualli had been settled - all because of La Muerte.

——————————————————

In the next month, La Muerte and Xibalba had been married, to the shock of many Gods and Goddesses. However, drawn to La Muerte’s beauty and kindness, they found it within themselves to forgive Xibalba and granted the happy couple numerous gifts - one of which being more land for them to rule.

La Muerte became a Queen of Souls, and Xibalba a King of the Dead. The Candle Maker welcomed the new Goddess with a great big hug, though under Xibalba’s watchful and wary gaze. And Tlazolteotl…

————————————————-

“…What are you doing here, Tlazolteotl? Your beloved daughter just became the happiest bride in all the pantheon,” a voice echoed to the forlorn Goddess of Lust as she watched the proceedings from her lonely perch above the party, “Shouldn’t you be receiving well-wishes and congratulations from the others?”

Gloomily, she’d attended the wedding, but had decided to stay out of the festivities for the most part. She wasn’t exactly thrilled with the outcome, but she wanted to show her support (if minimally) for La Muerte. Tlazolteotl sighed, her eyes glancing at the figure that stood nearby.

“Spare me your condescending remarks, Xochipilli,” she reprimanded him tiredly, “You knew this would happen, you brat.”

The youthful-looking God, as though an 18-year old boy, stepped into the light, smirking at her. He was a bit shorter than Tlazolteotl, with dark hair curling underneath a large helmet that was lined with gold and flowers. Tattoos patterned his dark face and bare chest, trailing all the way down his arms and into his loin cloth. Strips of white and gold cloth were wrapped around his arms and legs in a fringe, and blocks of precious stones hung from his ears.

“Not at all!” he exclaimed, “I was just as surprised as the others when it happened.”

“Mhmm…” she murmured, unconvinced, “You did this to spite me. For my words.”

“On the contrary,” Xochipilli slid in close to Tlazolteotl, joining her, “I only pushed Xibalba a little like you asked. And he fell, surprisingly hard, more than I thought he would. La Muerte fell in love all on her own.”

Tlazolteotl grumbled a few ancient profanities before realizing a creeping sensation along her hip. She looked down and saw a hand encircling her waist. She narrowed her eyes and glared at Xochipilli, who looked all but innocent.

“Release me, Xochipilli,” she commanded, but he continued his assault, pushing her down with force that didn’t match his size.

“On the other hand, calling me a ‘boy’ is a bit unfair,” he whispered sinfully to her, remaining on top of her, “A ‘boy’ wouldn’t have made you scream his name night after night, some years ago.”

Tlazolteotl’s face burned hot and she pushed him away, rolling to sit and draw her knees up, looking like a pouting child.

“Don’t be like that, Tlazolteotl,” he laughed, walking to her and coming behind her, “You know I only tease you because I love you.”

He snuck a kiss to peck her cheek, and she buried her head further into her arms. Xochipilli grinned and traced a finger down from her shoulder to her elbow. She shivered, her knees squeezing together in a rather tell-tale sign.

“At least come down and talk to La Muerte,” Xochipilli implored, deciding to show her mercy, “She looks so beautiful, Tlazolteotl. You’d be proud.”

“…All right,” she replied sulkily, taking Xochipilli’s hand as he lead her downstairs, “You’re still a brat.”

“I know, I know,” he chuckled knowingly, “Just don’t forget that you promised me your companionship for my services. My bedchamber has been so cold without you…”

——————————————-

Even Tlazolteotl got her own sort of happy ending!

emospritelet  asked:

I'd love to see a fic where a grown-up Roland seeks vengeance on Zelena :)

You wanna see the first part?

It starts with a story.

“You have to tell me,” Roland begs for the hundredth time, by the light of the campfire, Little John’s steady eyes blinking back. “I’m thirteen now, I’m old enough to know.”

“Aye, lad,” Little John finally sighs, for the first time. Roland’s spine straightens, his stomach coiling: he’s asked so many times, he never really thought he’d get a yes. “Perhaps you are. What do you want to know?”

“Everything,” Roland insists, heart racing in his chest. “I need to know the whole story.”

“Well, all I know’s what they told me after,” Little John scratches his beard in thought, and Roland notices how the camp’s muttering has gone quieter, everyone watching him closely. The Merry Men are all the family he has, and they all guard him like their own. “But I’ll tell you that.”

Roland remembers the next words for the rest of his life, the story of his father’s death etched into his brain, carved on his soul like tally-marks.

“First they went to the Underworld, to save the pirate.

But a demon came back with them on the way home; he had the baby captive with her mother the witch.

Your father went with the Queen to save her, but the witch and the demon were there too.

The shot was meant for the Queen, but your father dived in front.

His soul melted away.

Just… melted away.”

Keep reading

It’s taken me a while, but here’s a post I’ve slowly been writing up for fyeahffgirls! Final Fantasy fans love honoring the wonderful ladies of the series, but many brush over XI and XIV in their creative works because they just don’t know enough about the games or their characters. Hopefully this post will serve as an introduction to the women of Eorzea, and hopefully it will help spark some interest in the game as a whole!

It should be noted that nearly all of Eorzea’s political factions are governed by women. (The only exception to this is the eternally absent Holy See of Ishgard, who have very little influence in XIV’s plot.) All of these leaders are completely different in their morals and their approaches to ruling their respective peoples. There are even a few female antagonists; they are shown to be just as brutal, if not more so, than their male counterparts.

Eorzea is generally far more friendly to women than most fictional fantasy worlds and even many other Final Fantasy worlds. We see this not only in the high-ranking political spheres but also in almost every aspect of everyday Eorzean society. Female NPCS own and operate businesses just as often as the male ones do, and women make up a significant portion of each city-state’s armed forces. Exactly half of Eorzea’s pantheon - known as the Twelve - are female. In the English text, gendered phrases such as “brother in arms” and “sister in arms” are used with equal respect. XIV is not perfect in terms of its portrayal of women - sexual harassment is occasionally played as a joke, there’s some violence against women that’s shrugged off as “the norm”, there are hardly any notable women of color or openly lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women - but there’s a lot to appreciate in XIV’s established lore all the same.

Here are some of XIV’s most influential female characters, who together make up most of the game’s cast. All images are either official character renders or screenshots pulled from my own XIV: A Realm Reborn playthrough.

Y'shtola (pronounced “yahsh-TOH-la”)

  • I’m putting Y'shtola first not because she’s the most important but because she’s become something of a representative for Final Fantasy XIV. She’s a favorite among Japanese fans and has been given the most attention outside of her own game. She’s slated to appear in both Theatrhythm: Curtain Call and Final Fantasy Tactics S.
  • Y'shtola is a Seeker of the Sun Miqo'te, and she is the Scions’ agent in La Noscea. If the player begins their journey in Limsa Lominsa, Y'shtola is the one who will recruit them to the Scions. She is a conjurer.
  • Y'shtola is intelligent and kind but often critical of other people’s failings. She is at odds with Merlwyb, admiral of Limsa Lominsa, for the Maelstrom’s treatment of the beast tribes.

Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn (pronounced “MERL-vib BLOO-fiss-vin”)

  • Merlwyb is the admiral of the thalassocracy of Limsa Lominsa. She is a Sea Wolf Roegadyn. In the original Final Fantasy XIV, when only male Roegadyn were playable, Merlwyb was the first female Roegadyn ever to make an appearance in the game. (Read this post for an account of one fan’s efforts to include female Roegadyn - their efforts paid off!) In the Roegadyn language, Merlwyb’s name means “Sea Woman, daughter of Blue Fish.”
  • Before becoming admiral, Merlwyb followed in her father Bloefhis’s footsteps as a pirate by succeeding him as the captain of the League of Lost Bastards. To attain the rank of admiral, she competed in an event called the Trident, which is essentially a no-holds-barred nautical race around the southern coast of Vylbrand.
  • Although formerly one of the most notorious pirates of the age, she has taken steps to crack down on piracy since becoming admiral. She is an authoritarian ruler, and more than one freedom-loving Lominsan has labeled her a tyrant. She has also received criticism for her overwhelmingly aggressive policies against the sahagin and kobold beast tribes of La Noscea, and many argue that the actions she’s taken against these beast tribes borders on immoral.

Kan-E-Senna (pronounced “KAHN-eh SEN-ah”)

  • Kan-E-Senna (referred to more informally as Kan-E) is a Padjal, a non-playable race. She is the leader of Gridania and its armed forces, the Order of the Twin Adder; her title is Elder Seedseer. As a Padjal, she is able to communicate with the elementals of the Black Shroud and govern Gridania in accordance with their will.
  • Kan-E is much older than she appears, although her exact age is unknown. She was able to hear the elementals from a very young age, and she was only five years old when she was able to avert several natural disasters with her gift of prophecy. This granted her inclusion into the Stillglade Fane, Gridania’s elite league of conjurers, and she soon rose to the rank of Elder Seedseer.
  • She has two younger siblings, Raya-O and A-Ruhn. Although she used to live with them deep in the Twelveswood, her duties in Gridania now keep her away from them most of the time.

Nanamo Ul Namo (shown here with Raubahn Aldynn)

  • Nanamo is a Dunesfolk Lalafell. She is sultana of the desert city-state of Ul'dah.
  • Though she is the seventeenth of her line to rule over Ul'dah, Nanamo’s powers of authority are severely weakened by another branch of the city-state’s government. The Syndicate, who are comprised of the six wealthiest people in Ul'dah, seek to undermine Nanamo’s capabilities as leader. Some even seek an end to the sultanate altogether. Not by any means naïve to these internal threats, Nanamo finds herself hard-pressed to carry out her will.
  • Nanamo’s greatest ally and confidant is Raubahn Aldynn, the only member of the Syndicate to prove his unwavering loyalty to her. Raubahn organized the Immortal Flames, a new branch of Ul'dah’s military, for the purpose of returning more military power to the sultanate. Raubahn himself leads the Immortal Flames as their general, and he represents Nanamo in all foreign affairs of war.
  • Nanamo has done her best to provide for the countless refugees seeking asylum in Ul'dah, but some dialogue in the 2.2 story hints that she has not always done so. For twenty years, Nanamo has chosen to turn away refugees from the Garlean-occupied city-state of Ala Mhigo, leaving them to stay in camps scattered throughout the desert of Thanalan.

Minfilia

  • Minfilia is a Midlander Hyur of Ala Mhigan descent. She has acted as the leader of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn since Louisoix Leveilleur’s death at Carteneau five years ago.
  • Minfilia, though a capable leader, struggles to follow in her late mentor Louisoix’s footsteps. She loves each of the members of the Scions and fears for not only their safety but for the safety of all Eorzea.
  • Her birth name is Ascilia, although this is kept hidden from others for her own safety. Minfilia’s father, Warburton, was a key figure in the Ala Mhigan resistance against the Garlean Empire, and he stole Garlean intelligence for several years. Much of the Scions’ knowledge of the primals comes from his efforts. Warburton was killed in the year 1562 of the Sixth Astral Era, however, and Minfilia was adopted and raised by the famous dancer F'lhaminn.
  • Minfilia expresses more of a desire to learn about the Echo than any of her comrades. This curiosity has been the driving force behind her motivations as a character from 2.1 onward.

Yda (pronounced “EE-dah”)

  • Yda is a Midlander Hyur. She is the Scions’ agent in the Black Shroud, along with her partner Papalymo. If the player begins their journey in Gridania, both Yda and Papalymo will recruit them to the Scions. She is a pugilist.
  • Yda is upbeat and cheerful, although she often receives criticism from Papalymo for her laid-back attitude. Despite her tendencies to be a little ditzy, however, she is a skilled fighter and has proven her match against even the most dangerous of foes.
  • She likes sylphs and moogles.

Livia sas Junius

(CONTENT WARNING: Livia’s bio contains details that some may associate with incest.)

  • Livia sas Junius is a tribunus of the Garlean Empire. She serves directly under Gaius van Baelsar, one of XIV’s key antagonists, and helps carry out his plans to conquer Eorzea. As of yet, Livia is the only female Garlean antagonist.
  • Livia is extremely sadistic and has no qualms about destroying those of no use to her. She demands nothing less than absolute respect of her subordinates.
  • Livia was adopted and raised by Gaius van Baelsar after her homeland was conquered by the Empire. She is fiercely loyal to him and will obey any of his orders without question. It is also heavily implied that the two are lovers, although this doesn’t by any means decrease her credibility as a villain.
  • She is never seen without her mask, but her towering height and graceful posture suggest that she is Elezen.

Alisaie Leveilleur (shown here with her twin brother Alphinaud; Alisaie is on the right)

  • Alisaie is the granddaughter of the late Archon Louisoix Leveilleur, the former leader of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. She is a Wildwood Elezen.
  • Like her brother, Alisaie has a sharp, sarcastic wit, although she usually lets him do most of the talking when they’re together.
  • Alisaie is working with Urianger of the Students of Baldesion to unlock the secrets of the Binding Coil of Bahamut; she believes that this is the key to securing Eorzea’s continued safety.

Yugiri

  • Yugiri is a relatively new character from the 2.2 story plot. She hails from the nation of Doma, which was recently destroyed by its Garlean conquerors.
  • She is of an unknown race, although it is speculated that this race may eventually become playable in a future patch.
  • Yugiri struggles to find a place of safety for what remains of her countrymen, and she will go to any lengths to keep her people safe. She has a special fondness for Doma’s children, and many of them look up to her as a role model.
  • Yugiri is highly proficient in Doman fighting techniques, and she eventually joins a league in Limsa Lominsa where she can hone her skills. It’s possible that Yugiri will eventually be the guildmaster for a new, undisclosed job.

Tataru

  • Tataru is a Dunesfolk Lalafell. Her name is most likely a reference to the Tarutaru race from Final Fantasy XI.
  • She is the Scions’ secretary. Despite her lack of battle experience, she’s a valued member of the family.
  • She is extremely romantic and loves to sing love songs.
  • Look at her, she’s just such a cutie.
  • Okay, she’s not that influential, but I couldn’t make a list and not include Tataru.

If anyone has any questions at all about Final Fantasy XIV, please feel free to ask me! I’m not a loremaster by any means, but I’ll do my best to help you. As a longtime fan of the Final Fantasy series, I’ve loved every bit of my adventures in Eorzea and couldn’t give the game a higher recommendation, especially because of its complex and well-written female characters.

Bread Wolf - Chapter 9

A Modern AU in which Solas owns a bakery. Read part 1 here.


Chapter 9 - Sweet Tooth

Isii curled herself into the corner of the heavily padded chair, blocking out the noise of the student lounge as she flipped through the baker’s book. She’d been keeping it in her purse, tackling it bit by bit in the idle moments of her days and was finally nearing the end. She was in the middle of a chapter on the relationship between Creators worship and the proto-elvhen pantheon when she frowned, smoothing her fingers over the handwritten notes she found scrawled in the margins of the page. His penmanship was neat and orderly, though obviously written with haste as he underlined passages, annotating them as he went along. Funny, she thought. He didn’t strike her as someone who would mark his books. So far there hadn’t been so much as a creased corner, let alone writing in it. She continued to read:

“But what of the legends that predate the Creators? While records are even more scarce as we seek to understand a time that existed before the founding of Elvhenan, we do find some hints that suggest the foundation of elvhen faith was not as consistent as we previously believed. There were stories of spirits and deities that appear to have been at some point merged or altogether abandoned for the sake of these new gods. The being associated with fire, later called Sylaise, ranged from man to woman to non-gendered entity. It was a fierce bear-like creature in one tale and a meek child in the next. Deceivers appear in nearly all mythologies and this proto-elvhen lore is no exception. Yet these early tales lack the distinctive lycanthropic imagery attached to the betrayer Fen’Harel. Earlier tricksters were shown as helpful, harmless, and altogether toothless compared to the monstrous being the elves seemed so keen to worship. Perhaps a reflection of their character as a race that they would wish to praise something they find so inherently fearsome and ruthless?” The last two lines were underlined hastily with a note scribbled in the margin.

Author slips into unnecessary bias. Disregards changes to both the language and legend that occurred in Towers Age. The simplest of searches would have enlightened him in this regard. Ignores facts in favor of racial prejudice that has little to do with the subject at hand. I should not be surprised.  

Isii hummed a soft chuckle under her breath. She agreed with his point, however. Any historian who claimed enough expertise on the religious practices of Elvhenan to write a book on the subject should know the meaning of harellan changed in the Towers Age - thus altering the fundamental understanding of Fen’Harel’s name. To be fair, it wasn’t something she learned until she went to university. She was raised to fear him, just like any other Dalish child. Still - it was a sloppy mistake on the author’s behalf.

“As a precursor to the merging of these faiths into the more familiar form of the Creators, we see a startling amount of archeological variance, from styles of adornment to pottery techniques. Yet variety gives way to uniformity around the same time as the historical record begins to mention Elgar’nan and his progeny.”

Progeny was underlined. An annoying oversimplification.

“This shift implies cultural unity where there had not been any before – and a rather sudden change in religious beliefs virtually overnight. It implies a dramatic turning point, rather than a gradual transition. This isn’t the cultural exchange of trade relations. This is what one would expect in the aftermath of a startlingly efficient conquering force that convinced all in their wake to unite into one people. Perhaps these Creators were once nothing more than warlords, mere mortals-” Mortals was crossed out. “-who sought to unify what was once a varied cultural landscape under a single rule. It would explain the sudden abandonment of established mythology in favor of a new pantheon. The question is, did these men and women demand their worship, or did the people hold such adoration for the immensity of their power and achievements that their stories preserved them as gods after their deaths?”

The text ended there, continuing on the next page. At the very bottom, he’d written a final note. Flawed - but closer than most.

She flipped the page, but the notes ended there. She glanced over them again, her brow arching.

You are an odd one, baker.

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