|Image Source: http://tituslunter.deviantart.com/art/H-I-V-E-origins-484344787|
On the off chance you missed it somehow, +Monte Cook Games is running a Kickstarter for Worlds of the Cypher System, featuring three settings that will use the Cypher System Rulebook. One of these settings, Gods of the Fall, features a dark fantasy world where the gods have perished and the heavens fell to the earth. Character travel the path of divinity as they try to attain godhood and either save or destroy the world. +James Walls is running a live on-air session of Gods of the Fall this evening titled "A Vigil for Cows." As part of this event I'll be playing Lakini, a Sleen Destroyer who Moves Like the Wind. Today's story seed is part of the background I came up with for Lakini ...
Ever since I was just a hatchling I enjoyed going fast. I ran everywhere. Always. Being fast just helped me find new places to explore, new sights to see, and new experiences. Being fast also meant I got into trouble a lot by going where I wasn't wanted. Thankfully I could get out of trouble just as quickly. Running is what made me realize my destiny. I wasn't just fast, I was faster than anybody I had ever met. I was so fast others started to talk, to ask what magic made it so.
The town had stories of thing in the ruins. We'd all heard them. There was a treasure of the old gods that was waiting to be claimed. There was a monster, a thing left over from before the fall. There was danger an darkness and death. The stories did what they were intended to do, they kept the foolish scared enough to stay out of the ruins, they reminded the smart why they too stayed away, and they reminded all of us that there were things best left undisturbed.
Well, almost all of us. God of Wisdom I am not.
I was curious, more curious than cautious, and far more so than afraid. That made all the difference. Where others balked, or dreaded, or quaked fully in fear, I saw mystery. I saw a sight unseen in ages. I was faster than anybody that anybody had ever heard of wasn't I? If I was so fast maybe I could go and explore and return before any monster could catch me, or any trap could hold me.
I was partially right.
I raced into those ruins like a swift breeze. I opened doors that crumbled to dust at my touch. I trod on dust that was untouched in uncounted years. I pillaged treasures of inconsequential value to all but myself. And then I found the old temple. It lay at the very heart of the ruin, obscured by the rubble of time and neglect, but it still retained a stately austerity that was clear even to my eyes.
It was also lived in.
The creature was indeed real, and while nothing else of the stories seemed to be true this proved to be the exception that proved the wisdom of the tales. Even now I cannot describe the thing that dwelt there. It seemed without form, or perhaps it was simply shrouded in raiment that disguised its shape.
It reached for me and I evaded it. I slipped from its grasp and yet I could not lay hand on it either. We sparred and traded almost blows. It taunted me silently, and I, hardly one with words, mutely refuted it. We were well matched, and it seemed that perhaps the ferocity of the thing had been exaggerated greatly. I finally devised a plan. I had raced about this ruin and in doing so I could hopefully use it's form to my advantage.
I put forth my best speed, my greatest effort, and I raced the thing through the maze-like temple. I at last began to gain on the creature by using the shortcuts and pathways I had learned as we sparred. Faster I raced, and closer I got, until at last I laid my hands on it, grappled with it and finally subdued it.
As I held the creature, who's form I still could not discern, there was a sudden flare of light. I looked and saw a winged serpent embossed in the air in divine light. I knew it for what it was, my symbol of power. What shocked me was not this sudden awakening to my potential but instead the identity of the creature I grappled with; my own shadow.