Friday, January 27, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Rulers of the Sky: Issue 3

 

Issue 3: The Fox Comes Out To Play


    The world continues on. We few that remember what was required? We will maintain the Vigil. --Arcane Footnotes of History


    All the world is a mere shadow. I was chosen to cleanse it all. --Thoth


    Make sure the Light Mirror network is cleansed. Leave only one sector open to...-Light Shaman Report 22A-1


    My whole life has lead to this moment. Back to the basics. The Banner will protect everyone. No matter what happens. I pray I get to see what lies beyond the old pathways.--Fragmented Entry, Time Stamp Corrupted


    It would be foolish to say I’m not afraid. I have seen much. But now at the Twilight of it all? We will find peace. All those who flee the Ninth Circle will find their final notes soured.--Sleeping in Starlight: Final Volume


Earth

Temple of Slumber(Sleeping Starlight Archives)

12th Orbit of Awe (Local Timekeeping)



    Abbadon flipped through the final tome. He turned to the little black clad android. The Curator of the Emporium. No matter which age he went to past the Convergence of the Banner’s existence, this final book did not change. Thoth grinned within his mental prison.


    Godling not getting the ending he wants?


    Abbadon sneered. Flicked his fingers to toss the former Atlantian into a pain web.


    Thoth let out a howl of laughter. You think this hurts?!


    He made a swiping motion. Thoth’s head separated from his shoulders.


    The head rolled about. Still the madman grinned, “Oh! POOOR Godling!”


    Abbadon paused as the semi human’s eyes bled to a robust purple. The Dreamweaver grated out, “You do not deserve my power!”


    Abbadon fell to his knees. Collecting Thoth’s body for possession had been folly from the start. If this shell couldn't survive what was coming? Who could!? Abbadon hauled himself to his feet. He would find the perfect Sleeve to ride out the apocalypse. No matter the cost.


    The Climb would not claim him.




    Cain watched the Thronebearer approach.


    Black Scrawl sparked with each footstep. Dying within the black hole that suffused the aura around the Oversoul’s minion. This one fed off the aspect of True Death. The murderer held his knife steady. There was more here. He spat, “You think us fools?” The sharp crack of plasma lit the deep dark of the Nightrealm. Warbling howls filled the air. Cain let the heat pass his body. The Markav was a mere irritant. He sliced the stone knife across his left forearm. Black blood dripped from the wound.




    Sul’sandra flew back.


    Her head rang as the portal closed. Sparks of violet and blue crackled. Her connection to Taleer evaporated. She dashed towards the anchor. The stone orb dissolved as she closed in. Its Light Shaman and Spirit wards dead. No trace remained.


    A giant obsidian hand materialized and flung her skyward. Black’s voice echoed, “Find Abel’s body.”


    “How?!” She screamed into the infinite as she careened past stars and planets. Her suit absorbed the energy flowing past. She let out a gasp as gentle hands removed her helm. A Texan drawl echoed, “I guess old Silver Fox gave me another answer.”


    Sul peered up groggily into the face of Eliza Murphy. Her uniform glinted silver and gold. Three rings above the breastplate. The flag wasn't quite Old Glory. Sul’ shot forward as Doctor Impossible steadied her. “Where are we?”


    Eliza rubbed the back of her neck. Sheepishly she replied, “More like When. It's always When nowadays.” All around them, buildings merged into the mountainside.


    A city nestled into the canyons below.


    Impossible’s uniform glimmered it's usual white, black and green. Her belt rippled.


    <<Adapting cloak for proper cycle protection.>>


    Humans went about their business. Giving no attention to the three strangers in their midst. Eliza noted, “Welcome to the First City of Man.”


    Sul tapped her chrono. It spun endlessly.


    Eliza smiled. Her eyes knowing. “Yep. Won’t work.” The Markav leader watched as Eliza plucked a feather from her back. It sank into the earth. She turned to Doc, “Where’s the next marker?”


    Lorain replied, “By the Temple of the Three Songs.” To her spirit sense, Eliza just lost a fraction of power. The Thronebeaer energy fused with the land itself. She pulled Murphy up short, “...but we need your power!”

    I replied, “They need the Life Anchor’s to survive. I won’t.”


    Sul’s heart rate sped up. I had a long talk with Silver Fox. My role as a Thronebeaer was coming to an end. It was never meant to be mine. Not like the others. Or my brother. White would take my place on the Throne of Life. As she had been meant to. Lorain crouched. Her fingers digging into the dirt.


    Lethe pointed, “We must keep going forward if everyone is to be saved.”


    Sul recoiled, “Who are you!” She demanded. I could see her Soul Sense sparking behind her green within green orbs.


    I interjected quickly, “Lethe is the original soulform of Lorain. The weight of memory would be too much. She often acted as the Lady of the Isles during Ta’mathon’s time. I was the Arbiter of the Sands.”


    Sul pressed her fingers to my temple. Her gaze narrowed, “Sweet Creator.”


    She knew a piece of the truth now. At certain points in my life? Silver Fox had taken control. Without me knowing of course. All to set us on the Path. Helios. The final reformation of Mankind. Demis. My Bardaxian friends. All to the singular moment. I was not meant for the Throne of Life.


    The Dreamweaver’s Tears rippled against the barriers placed within my mind. That knowledge would lay dorment until my final meeting with Thoth. Abbadon was no longer in the running for the dark had already claimed another as their champion.


    That was my mantle. I would protect the dreams of the Final Rebirth. No matter the cost. Sul dug deeper, “That is why you….” Her expression cooled. I indicated the silver white city streets. Ringed with vibrant trees. My vision darkened for a moment.


    The Oversoul spoke, “I needed a willing servant. In order to access the mortal world without overwhelming it.”


    Twin voices from the throat of a friend. One male. One female.


    “In past cycles? A piece of me was inserted into the soul shard pairs.”


    Sul whispered, “Each taken by you or the Devil. Swayed to a purpose.”


    She bowed her head, “Why not cleanse everything from the moment of the Dreamweaver’s betrayal?” It didn’t matter the cycle. Each one had a different name for the Deceiver of all Dreams.


    The Oversoul replied, “Because the spirit cannot be destroyed. No matter how much the Dark wishes it. We all must exist. So that mortals may choose. But it can be contained.”


    Eliza waved a hand. Lethe remarked, “Elysium!” As it was during the Rise of Unity. Another ploy by the Dreamweaver. They watched as the Piper cradled the two infant Thronebears to the Stone of Memory. The Oversoul’s energy flowed into both. The voice echoed, “Do you swear to serve the Throne of True Death. The Gentle Cleansing of the Soul?”


    Piper bowed. “I so do swear!”


    The boy infant stilled. His eyes opened. Drinking in the Compact to the Throne.


    They watched as the waters swirled around the girl infant. “Onto you. Thou are a new soul. Already aware. I give you a choice. You know the twins heart of your brother. What say you little one? Will you be a shield unyielding?”


    I gripped the side of the wall. Lethe smiled up at me. “Keep on the Path.” Sul was already descending into the city. My nose twitched. She had been crying. Lorain muttered, “How on earth do you handle all that?”


    I wrapped my other arm around her shoulders, “A whole lot of practice.”


    Sul glanced back at us. Like she was seeing everything for the first time.


    She put her hands on her hips. “Let’s be about it.”


    My heart beat in time with my brother’s.


    My spear materialized. I marked the buildings as we passed. We would transport as many as we could aboard the shield worlds. No matter the cycle. The Climb would cleanse us all. One way or another. The Dreamweaver giggled, <<You think so? I shall feast on your flesh.>>

    It continued its tirade, <<What use are demis? What spark is contained in those mortal powers? Even God has no hold over me. What do you expect to do little cripple?>>


    It flashed images at me. Of Hilary stabbing my mother through the chest. Of my father’s corpse at the feet of Chronos. Its lies were poison. These were the images Lethe kept hidden from Doc. Everything had its opposite. We would bring balance. Not by combining the sets of Tears but by marshaling them for their intended purpose. Choice.


    To rise above.


    To fall below.

    I scrambled up the blasted cliffside.


    Taleer on my heels. Black linked in, <<Meathook is following.>>


    Considering we were trapped with the first Murderer of Mankind? Things were going smoothly! My trident flew from my back. Bright rays of white light pierced the darkness. We would win. No matter the cost. My sister walked the Path. There would be no stopping the Climb now. No matter what the Dreamweaver threw at us. We would come back transformed. My sister most of all.


    Wiry beasts converged on us as we reached the lip of the next rise. Their pale ghostly skin covered in scars. They had been mortal once. Men of the First City. Taken by Cain.


    I let out a warcry. Taleer readied his ordinance. His yellowed eyes hardened. “Be cleansed and sundered from this world!” Black ichor exploded from their nostrils. Tendrils climbed ever higher. I held my weapon at the ready.


    I hit the switch on my forearm.


    Arcane fires rose against the black of twilight.


    Cain laughed, “What else does the puppet have in its arsenal?!”


    I muttered the Thronebearer word for ignite.


    Dreamweaver snapped, <<Not good enough!>>


    My nose bled as his wicked magics hit my barrier.


    I would hold the line. I had to buy us all enough time.


Issue 2: Here

Issue 4:

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Mega Entertainment Post: Part 3

 Part 1: Here

Part 2: Here

Indies Found!

Why? Because Con Inc Is USELESS!


Odds and Ends (Will edit later!)


TTRPG Supplementals:

Important Pictures/Collections of Book Titles:






Big Archive to all sorts of Literature and Books:



Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Rulers of the Sky: Issue 2

Issue 2: Do You See It?


    The first to die. The first to cry. The first to never die. To continue on. Beyond all reason and flesh. That is the Bone Man.--Fragments of the Void.


    What is left of hope but ash within the mouth of its followers?--Outer Archway of the Ninth Circle


    What do they have left? She gave it up! The power of the Thronebearer is near that of the Oversoul. It is madness! What chance do the Shield Worlds have now?!--Ruminations Vol 8


    We await the Future. Question the Present. Regret the Past.--Markav Histories Vol 1


    The Golden Days are gone yet a field of new growth remains. I will tend to it. One last time.--Fragment noted by the Curator.


Final Home Shield Hub

Light Mirror Network

Date Redacted


    I stood nose to nose with myself.


    She handed me a piece of paper. The words bore into me.


    What would you give up to save everyone?


    Silver Fox held up a hand, “You don’t have to answer now. Even though I know what you’d say.” The Weave rippled around us. Her wings were gone. Silver Fox grinned. “Each step brings us closer to home.”


    I focused on her heartbeat. My other senses caught the gaping hole.


    No trace of Thronebearer ability or aura.


    She rose. Dozens of feet into the air. I followed. Blazing white spheres circled us. We landed upon a silver disk. Notifications flashed too quick for my eye to follow. I edged to the lip of the disk. My eyes widened. “Goodness.”


    It was a rather lame response. Below us? The bright white metal network housed countless Shield Worlds. Each hummed at a different tune while circling the core. A trio of planets.


    Earth.

    

    Typha.


    Bardax.


    All vibrated at the frequency of Edenverse.


    Sentinel remarked helpfully, <<We will always provide assistance to our friends!>>


    I gawked. On the flip-side? The Titans remained curled about the Ninth Circle. Silver Fox said, “It will be required. Where do you think all the corrupted will go? Light cannot exist without the Dark but we will contain it properly for the renewed Path of Ancients.”


    It was all smoke and mirrors. “Why let me see this?”


    Silver Fox responded, “Because the Enemy finds you utterly useless.” Her eyes gleamed. I crossed my arms. She continued, “For information. The Oversoul wanted me sans Us to understand the stakes. We are not out of the woods yet.”


    With my enhanced vision I examined the surface of Earth.

    New Ashbury was a bright 8 pointed star. A mega city.

    A familiar structure rose: The CCT Tower.


    I turned to glance at my future self, “So that’s why I never got to see the 42nd century proper.”


    She tapped the side of her nose, “Hiding in plain sight.”


    All to transport every resident we could muster into a newly formed Multiverse. The Ur-Flow ignited around me. Helping me to connect the dots. “This Climb?” I faced myself directly. “What is the goal?”


    I didn’t expect an answer. She replied, “Not all souls are stuck within the confines of Unity-infested universes. He keeps many for sustenance.”


    He.


    Not Abbadon. The one who held the leash.


    I muttered, “I know the taste of her Tears.”


    Each of our enemies thought themselves the rightful ruler of Creation. Unity, Abbadon, Chronos, Lucifer. Even Hilary desired power beyond her reach. My heart locked up in my chest as I managed to utter a single word.


    “Epiales.”


    Every bit of history had been obfuscated. To protect us.


    My vision darkened around the edges. I sat cross-legged as every other thought fled.


    Much like the Highest? The Oversoul had many names.


    Silver Fox rested a comforting hand on my shoulder.


    “How can we guard everyone’s dreams?”


    She replied, “By taking up the mantle. We were always meant to be the shield.”



    Lorain watched until she could no longer see her Eliza. She faced her double. Her mirror. Never aging. She asked, “Why do I get the impression all of this is just a pitstop?”


    Lethe responded, “Just so. There will come a day where you must let her go.”


    As Doctor Impossible she had faced down an array of situations well outside what most would consider normal. Lorain spotted an oval white bench. As she sat it warmed her back. Lethe kept her tone and mannerisms close to Lorain’s normal output. There would be a day when all pretenses were gone. Only the future would remain. Only a few would remember the Fractured Multiverse. Herself included. With all cycle memories intact. Passed on through the annals of Starlight.


    Lethe rubbed her right palm against her uniform. The Tears of Man’s Nightmares responded.


    You think you can hold us here?


    The Oversoul is foolish. We are beyond Mortal consideration!


    To save everyone Eliza would bear the Tears of Dreams. Together they would hold back the Eternal Night. So that the next cycles could live in peace.



    I stood quickly. My head swam, “They were a bonded pair!” The vision coalesced into a vivid landscape. The apex of the Dream realm. Before the split. Before the Three Lands of Mortal Kind existed. The Ur-Flows commentary whispered incessantly.


    The Dreamweaver stood over two slumbering forms. One female. One male.


    Each touched by the power of the Oversoul. He knelt. Bone knife in hand, “One should know better!” He placed a bright crimson apple next to the woman’s mouth. “Eat.”


    The landscape changed. The first mortal woman cried out as the frigid winds of the Physical realm hit her face. The man jerked awake. In his panic he grasped a limp of a white tree. He struck the Dreamweaver. Its beastly laughter mocked the human.


    The man bared his teeth. He spat upon the pristine green foliage of the Dreaming. He joined his mate within the barren physical realm. The tree limb still grasped in one hand. Light Shaman sigils flared to life.


    Dreamweaver turned as footsteps approached. The bone knife concealed within his belt. He gesticulated wildly!


    “See! Your creations have fallen from grace!”


    The Highest peered around his father. His child-like visage contained a note of suspicion. The Oversoul gently prodded his son, “Go see to the Icath.” The boy dutifully obeyed. Dreamweaver indicated the spoiled patch of grass. “You see? They spat as they left!”


    The Oversoul turned to the man wreathed within obsidian armor, “Find these new mortals.” Dreamweaver recoiled as the armored monstrocity withdrew his golden blade.


    “As you will it.”



    Meathook let out a high-pitched squeal, “Yes!”


    The true beginning. They all reveled within the Realm of Gods and Dreams.” He knew that knife. Lucifer had aquired it for a time. But now it rested with Abbadon via Thoth’s mortal form. Thoth. The vessel for the Dreaming God. It was all lining up. The Banner was a false Thronebearer. She would meet her end at the milky white edge of that blade. The ground shuddered. White hot flames erupted around them. The Bone Man howled, “The Tears are not for you!”


    A deep baritone voice replied, “Excellent!”


    Shards of bone crumbled to dust as the yellowed mottled creature backpedaled into a bush of black scrawl. The voice called out, “I see with my little three eyes….”


    A tall Markav male in Soul Armor joined the shrouded figure.


    The Bone Man rose from the rocky blasted surface. His fingers twisted. Fell sigils exploded all around them. “Thronebearer.” That one word laced with abject hatred. Meathook pressed his belly into the jagged earth.


    Nyx’s words came back to him.


    Watch. Wait. Observe. Information is key.


    I motioned to Taleer. <<Get ready.>>


    I taunted the Bone Man, “So this is where Cain spends his days.”


    Cain withdrew a simple stone knife, “I will cut your wings, little Host.”


    My back twitched in response. My wings folded tightly against my back. I would not allow him an opening. It didn’t look like much but the Dreamweaver had imbued that bit of stone with the ability to hobble Thronebearer auras. I caught a whiff of Meathook’s horrid flesh. Made from the carcass of an Artock, Lesser Thronebearer, made to hide. It was time to hurl Cain back into the abyss. He would adorn the Doorway to the Ninth Circle. Taleer’s rifle crackled with purple energy. Yellowed lantern eyes fled.


    Wraiths. Those souls so far gone they hungered for the scraps Cain threw at them.


    The time for waiting was over.


    My fist tightened as I connected with Cain’s lower jaw. I sent him sprawling. He climbed unsteadily to his feet. His sunken sockets flashed crimson. “Is that all?” He sucked in a wheezing breath. Black pustules formed on his head. “Abel. Dear Abel.”


    Cain chortled, “He was never one to die quietly you see!”


    Taleer emptied his entire energized clip into Cain’s chest.


    Cain pulled off his blackened rags. Each rib adorned with Black Scrawl tattoos.


    “The Children of Abel shall perish in the fires of the First Lord.”


    I filed his ravings away for later. I had to draw Meathook out.

    

    My thigh burned as Cain scored a hit.


    One punch at a time.


    The Dreaming was not my realm. It would be hers. No, I amended. Theirs.


    Meathook glared.


    Why was this Thronebearer holding back? Surely the Eden Universe had all the best toys available. It made no sense. He crawled from the protective bramble of Black Scrawl. The humans were the descendants of Abel. The first Mortal Man to fall from the Dreaming. From that sacred place of divinity. Each cycle had built upon this truth. Yet the Oversoul and his son hid this from the Humans. As each age circled, expanded, exploited the bones of the past. He froze. A black feline tail twitched mere inches from his extended eye stalks.


    Black.


    His hearts pounded.


    Three golden eyes flitted about in that massive tiger face. Black’s nose quivered.


    Meathook clutched at the ruby around his neck.



    Abbadon whispered into the ruby, “What did Cain learn from Abel?!”


    He had to know. Rarely did his master give him a concrete answer.


    Thoth’s voice clamored around his mind, “Who’s the almighty Red King God now?”


    Stupid human. He motioned to the orbs circling his throne, “Find that body will you!”


    There had to be a reason why one such as Thoth had been given a sliver of….



    Dreamweaver rested one delicate cup against the flow of black scrawl. “Cain. Why must you play with your food?” He sent the threads into the Barrens. That which housed all the souls the murder had farmed for himself. “I know you can hear me dear Oversoul. Is this the best you can do? I think not. What are you really hiding hmmm?”


Issue 1: Here

Issue 3: Here