Continued from 51/366 – In Between
Morn stood there, staring at the creature in front of him in disbelief. He wasn’t sure what was happening, but the ideas this thing was putting out there for him to hear seemed crazy. He had seen the field, and the light, but it didn’t make it any easier to process.
“What do you mean, Rashem’s brother?” Morn repeated.
“I mean, your father is not a mortal,” Findecno said.
Morn shook his head, “There would have been signs, he would have said something. Why would he just leave without saying anything?”
“Gods are funny that way,” Findecno said, waving his hand as two chairs made of ice rose from the surface of the lake. “We pride ourselves on creating the mortals that worship us but have no idea how to actually interact with them. I’m sorry if this is upsetting.”
“You’re a god too? Is anyone I know not a god? I don’t know that I can handle all this,” Morn said, falling into the chair.
“There are plenty of people that aren’t gods around you, but you have to understand, because of your blood, you will likely meet more of us,” Findecno said.
Morn sat in silence for a minute, processing what was happening. He thought about the gargoyle and how easily it had broken, the activated sigils in Azariah’s prison, the elemental stone in the cavern that hadn’t killed him, and everything else leading up to this point. None of it made sense to him, least of all his father being a god. Then he thought about Azariah’s Prison, and the one he was currently in.
“Why are there so may god prisons here?” Morn asked. “And why do I keep finding them, or interacting with them, or whatever?”
“The short answer is that fate has put you on the path to free those of us which are imprisoned, except for me,” Findecno said.
“Why not you? If I’m expected to free gods, why shouldn’t I free you?” Morn asked.
“I’m different than the others. The others were trapped and sealed. I created my own prison here because I had been corrupted,” Findecno said.
“Okay,” Morn said with a slow nod, “where’s my father now?”
“He’s likely talking to Rashem and deciding what he is going to do next,” Findecno said. “It’s draining for a god to live so long in a mortal shell. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did.”
“How do you know all this?” Morn asked.
“With the stone broken, I was able to see outside the prison, now that you have fixed it, I can return to my slumber,” Findecno said, yawning. “It has been some time since I was able to get some sleep.”
A sudden vibration traveled through the ice beneath them. Morn looked down to see a massive face, twisted in anger and agony under them, it was beating its fists against the bottom of the ice.
“That is the corrupted portion of me,” Findecno said, looking down at the creature. “It is bloodthirsty and chaotic at best.”
“How are you here, and there?” Morn asked.
“A very long time ago, I was whole. I was a god of nature and saw that everything was best when it was balanced. A wizard, who’s name I will never speak again, began practicing magics that broke the systems I had once built. He bent the elements to his will and angered many gods, me included.
“When he pushed too far and broke the very fabric of reality by creating a tear between the material plane and the deific plane in a vain attempt to get more power, we began to chase him. Alas, it was too late. He was already too powerful. He trapped dozens of gods before he fell, as for me, the tear between the realms was vast and had to be repaired. I did what I could, but in the process, a small piece of me grew dark and vengeful.
“I spent a few centuries forcing the dark parts of me down inside as I went about trying to fix the things the wizard had broken. The more things I had to fix, the stronger that part of me became until it was nearly all-consuming. That part of me ravaged the world and brought so much death and destruction that my brothers and sisters had to step in to stop me.
“Rashem, being as wise as he is, split me in two, removing the corrupted parts of me and funneled them into another being. We all tried to chain that part away in other planes and the astral sea, but it always returned stronger and more deadly. I knew what was happening, I was either trapped, or I wasn’t, it couldn’t be both. So, I built this prison and lured that half of me in, locking the door behind me so it would never be free.”
“How did the stone break?” Morn asked.
“Nature is pure and powerful magic that exists with or without me in the world. I assume that over time the enchantments weakened, and nature took its course, eroding and destroying the exposed rock,” Findecno said.
“All this because of a wizard?” Morn asked, looking around.
“Sadly, yes. Wizards can, and often do, great things, but some are terrifyingly passionate about the accumulation of power,” Findecno said as another thud came from the ice. “I believe it is time for you to return to your friends.”
“Why didn’t Azariah tell me about my father?” Morn asked.
“You would have to ask Azariah about that,” Findecno said.
“Why did you bring me here?” Morn asked.
“You seem to be doing a great number of things for us gods, I figured you should at least hear the truth and understand why these things are happening to you,” Findecno said.
“What was my-” Morn began as Findecno waved a hand.
Morn felt his body lift up in the ensuing winds and travel back to the stone where his journey had started. This time, as he got closer, the runes glowed and flashed brightly as he landed and rolled toward it. His hands went up instinctually to stop himself from running into the stone, but when he touched it, he fell forward like nothing was there.
“Morn, are you okay?” Helem was saying, shaking him frantically.
“Mom?” Morn said, his eyes bursting open.
Helem pulled him into a hug, sobbing into his shoulder, “We thought you had died. You weren’t breathing.”
“I’m okay, mom. I’m fine,” he said. Master Scaine was standing next to the now rebuilt stone with Celeste next to him. Tears were running down their cheeks. “How long was I gone?”
“Four hours,” Master Scaine said.
“I tried to talk to Rashem,” Celeste said, “but he didn’t answer.”
Continued 54/366 – A God’s Child