The realm of stone shifted to his want, the Mana making it so with the ease of a hand passing through air. The River followed along above the Oasis, pulled by the weight of his demand, and kept aloft by stone swiftly forming into large and thick canals for it to flow down. Simple wants, those he repeated in his mind over and over, while he used the panel in front of him to guide the Oasis towards its destination.

Gooth they called it, a flowing trade route in a sense. Many came and went through its hall heading for other Sanctums or to the realm they called Below. His Councilors agreed it was a fitting starting point to spread his offer. They were going to temporarily take over the Sanctum, give the people a chance to actually choose what they wanted. Dailin didn’t expect much trouble, not this time at least. But after they left and took with them who wished to come. Word would spread, and the Elders would send their wrath done upon him. Or try to, the only time that could come into effect was when his forces were inside a Sanctum.

The only other option was to send forces out of the Roads and search for him. A risky move with the growing number of Nightmares. Their movement upward had alleviated that a great deal, but multiple times he’d seen roaming hordes appear when stone was parted revealing their once hidden locations.

Just Nightmares so far, no Ancients and mercifully not a single sighting of a Mountain, but they would return, would follow the River he was pulling with him. Due to such a threat, the Oasis wouldn’t be directly next to the entrance to the Road. No, it would be a ways off, but near enough to render aid if required. Be it from the Voices, or the Nightmare that was sure to come.

‘It was supposed to be simple’ Dailin bemoaned. ‘Just claim a River, and improve myself till I had nothing to worry about. But no, let’s have the realm drown in Mana. Causing the whole realm to fall into even more madness.’ A madness that only worsening in new ways.

He’d somehow ended up at war with the rulers of the Vail, or at the very least a rebel. Which, from what his Councils were telling him, was considered equivalent. The Elders wouldn’t allow even a single source of that, for it would embolden the rest to similar actions. All had to be beaten into service, lest people get ideas. Wonder maybe those on top didn’t have the strength anymore to force the rest of them to serve.

Not a foreign outcome, he was familiar with it, even shallow as the memories were he could tell he’d dealt with similar rulers. But he’d been complacent, lured into that trap by the adoration he’d received from everyone and their constant bending over backward to gain his favor. Not to mention people always telling him he was above others.

Dailin, even though he’d tried not to fall to its sway, did so anyway. Began to believe, to think maybe he was perhaps somewhat special, above the matters others had to deal with.

But there was no such thing to those Above when they looked down. He could be the greatest of the Lowly, but that wouldn’t make him any less filth in the eyes of the Elders.

Lowly forever in their eyes, to serve, to spend his life making theirs better. Not that he actually did much of that, or at least not in a cumbersome manner. Sure he raised the worth of those in Hadthel, provided the seed for Worthier offspring. But not much more.

So he’d fallen into the delusion of being free, even though all were slaves to those above, just some more than others.

But not anymore, and for that denial, for not spending himself for those he was never supposed to meet. They would come for him and his plotting family. For they'd known all along while he was a blind fool trying to keep up with the demands of instinct. Trying to have the means to hold back Beasts who wished to eat him and his family alive.

‘I had such simple goals, and though I’ve technically met them, the realm seems determined to undone that.’

He had children and the realm wanted them dead. Made a home, a roof over his head. Routinely it was attacked by monsters who very much wanted to crush it to pieces. He continued to avoided death by suicide, and in turn, the realm continued throwing events at him. Ones, which made him wonder what the point of it all was.

He would keep trying, no matter how crazed the realm became. For he feared what the next life could possibly bring if he fell to repetition again. That and for all the faults of this life it wasn’t without its niceties, he had a family that adored him. One which now seemed to actually care as he did for their well being. ‘And now to keep that admiration I have to become a revolutionary.’ For his family wasn’t wrong, the Vail needed help whether they accepted that truth or not.

‘Gods I hope they know what they’re doing.’ His Councilors assured him they had everything prepared for the war ahead. Knew how to appease the masses and keep order, while they occupied the Sanctums long enough to gather those who wished to join his family. They even guaranteed many would accept the offer he was sending, but Dailin took that as blind devotion. Though he'd taken precautions just in case.

He’d expanded the Oasis, twice. The fourth layer was solely for the use of housing people, already those of his family were working in a dizzying speed constructing the new city within it. The Fifth was like the third dedicated to storing the ever-flowing Mana. If he was going to war with the Elders and the Giver, a god, he needed as much of the substance as he could get his hands on. His Counselors had been thrilled with the additions, which he was glad about since the task had him falling into a dreamless sleep after. His mind exhausted from the ordeal of dealing with so many large and interlocking parts. Making sure everything fit perfectly and connected back to the previous layers.

All of it his fault, he’d been too experimental with the third layer, added to many things to the outer shell. Now each layer added on top of it had to have the same features. Work compounding on more work, till the task made him grimace.

A face he feared would become commonplace if his Counselors were right about the number of people they believed would accept his offer. Though the space in the Oasis was absurd. It still wasn’t enough to house all the Vail in the realm, not even close.

The thought of it had him frown at his panel as he watched the realm shift outside. ‘I rather make Thivuins all day for the rest of my life than deal with another layer.’

In truth, he practically was already. He’d been working himself to the bone similar to when he was a lowly Chanter under a Mentor. Though this time it was a rewarding fatigue, a reminder he was making his family safe. Protecting them the best he could from the madness outside.

He‘d made so many of the constructs his family was forced to house them in the fifth layer to make room for more. And he would, for those toys of his were too useful not to be made continuously. It made the Nightmare not as much of a threat. Even the weakest Vail would be able to fight back an Ancient.

A Flock of them working together made Dailin confident they could hold their own, save if a Mountain arrived. Though it wouldn’t be an instant rout as it normally would be. They’d put up a fight, last a little while before the pool of Mana carried in the suits ran dray and the giant constructs returned to being nothing more than decorative statues.

Expensive ones at that, he wanted to make them out of stone. His family, on the other hand, pleaded they be made out of solid metals, then trimmed with gold and silver lining. Even encrusted with large gems on the shoulders and chest. Dailin did as he was asked, in the beginning. But the suits were large, and it didn’t take long before they ran out of gold, then silver after he made a few more. Now, to his family disappointment, most were just plain gray iron. At least it looked like iron, but it was the strongest metal he’d ever seen. Would have made warriors from past lives flinch at its strength.

Not that there was much point to it, the Wards protected them, so the suits could be made of clay and still work just as well. Which was good, because with the fifth layer and the city being built, metal was running low. So regardless of how his family felt, the futures suits were going to be made out of rock as he intended. Sure they wouldn’t be as pretty, but they’d still make an impression. A glowing armored behemoth that stood to his knees, or used it. The Thivuins weren’t something anyone was going to scoff at regardless of the material used to make it.

He had Flocks worth of the suits now, each already filled to their limit with Mana. Ready to be sent out and let the Vail in the Sanctums know that though they were rebels. They weren’t ones to be taken lightly. Shouldn’t be crossed, or at least Dailin hoped that would be the case. It had been a while since he dealt with normal Vail.

He’d become rather spoiled with the way his family behaved, compared to the past. Though he watched them through Wards at times, and felt a bit of shame doing so. He’d yet to run into any cases of hidden violence. Of coups or people trying to remove others to better their position in the Oasis. Instead, no matter where he looked, or how long he watched, Dailin found only happy cooperation and kinship.

Plus as he suspected, singing, lots of singing. His family was mimicking his spell, were dousing themselves in it regularly, which explained a lot. Though his son said there was always a constant low pulse coming from him, that wouldn’t be enough for the resistance he was seeing. But with them using it on themselves, or one another all the time? That would do it, and no matter how potent it would get after that much use people, in general, would pick up tricks to function while under the spell. Which appeared to be often from what he’d seen. It was common for there to be a standing group singling to the masses as they worked, who in turn usually hummed along with the wordless song.

All that happily influence going around had made the Vail under his care into very kind and pleasant people. Completely at odds to how they were before, and what the Vail in the Sanctums were going to be like. People who killed their own without pause or schemed against their closest allies just for a small advancement in standing.

Hopefully, the worst of that behavior would be curbed when he sang to them. Smothered them in a feeling which seemed foreign to their lives. He found that oddity, extremely worrying, true Dailin knew he wasn’t the kindest person. He’d done things others would have condemned him for. Still, he might as well have been the holiest of saints compared to the Vail. To whatever warped souls laid within them, souls so dark they’d forgotten what caring for someone felt like.

‘Gods all I did was kill myself a few dozen time, or more.’ He wasn’t actually sure how many times, for the memories seemed to be merging together. The acts so similar that it had become a flashing scene of quick endings. ‘Still, that didn’t mean I deserve to be here, with monsters, both tangible and etheric.’

Ironically he was running from one set of monsters, straight towards another. But at least the latter he could aid, help become better people with Mana and warm thoughts. So it wasn’t a completely hopeless situation, but he didn’t expect it to not have setbacks. The Elders would be stronger than those from Below. They’d have to be, otherwise, they’d not have the means to keep such traitors and backstabbing people in line. So there was going to be some nasty fights ahead if the Elders came at him with everything they had.

It was tempting to let the Nightmares go at them first, soften up the opposition. But with how large they’d grown, and their unrelenting resolve to kill everything. Dailin wasn’t sure there would be anything left to save if he tried that plan. Also, his family would throw a fit with such a loss of life, life they now cared for. So much so he wondered if they’d secretly disobey him if he refused to lend aid. That perhaps they’d try and usher away forces while he was distracted.

It was heartening to see how much they cared now, enough he wished he’d sung to his family more when they built a House around him. Been able to sing away all the death and betrays. If only he’d known, paid a little more attention rather than spending most of his time lounging or improving himself.

‘Oh hindsight, how you pain me.’ Dailin thought as he warped the realm around him, the process being cataloged by flanking daughters who were watching through the Wards as well. They spoke with silent speech to others who were crafting the map. Which, once the map was done being added to. Would be studied with great care and the image placed into a Shard and sent to the Council Chamber. Where his Counselors were organizing everything as fast as they could. All were in the belief his offering to be bestowed to the Vail in Gooth was going to be readably expected.

Dailin kept his expectations low, the Wards had their own song, though weak. But under continuous influence and willingness to believe, most of the Vail would find the concept of leaving their Sanctum unfathomable. Only the desperate would go, those who already knew their time within such a safe place was almost at an end.

The rest would see his offer insane, and open rebellion, the Voice at least, and things would escalate after. Eventually, there wouldn’t be much they could do at first when faced against Hundreds of metal giants staring down at them. Even their Enforcers would be squashed underfoot.

It was the later part that had him worried, once word was passed to the higher places, which would be quick. It only took one person sending visions through a Channel for those Above to be informed of a new threat. After, it was a guess how quickly the Elders would act. They’d been slow about everything else, blind or uncaring of the danger growing upward.

‘It would be my luck, those once reluctant to move, would spring to their feet the moment I decide to cause trouble.’ Dailin mused as his trek of guiding the Oasis was almost at an end.

It had been an odd route, he was forced to follow the River up for some time before guiding it down to the direction he wished to go. A slow process, one he’d messed up the first time he began pulling the river to follow him.

 He’d let out a few curses when it came time for him to pull the River upward. And like water, it washed away the moment his attention was removed from it. That had been an embarrassing enough mistake it stayed clear in his mind whenever he began guiding the River. It made him committed to avoiding such a pitfall again. No matter how tempting it was to just take the most directed path, or how much time it added to their travel.

A travel which only lasted a few more minutes before he struck the Road. Or more actually put, peeled away rock revealing stone that refused to move. Dailin worked the realm of stone pushing it away and forming a large cavern. One he kept expanding till he found the entrance to the Tunnels. The only part of the structure that glowed, a helpful beacon for lost or confused Vail to find their way home.

With the entrance revealed, Dailin began shaping the realm into a more fitting form for a soon to be matching army.  Pillars rose, and massive pathed streets spread out over them all leading to his home. For now, he kept it all simple, no decorations or patterns weaved about the surfaces. The Nightmares, whenever they arrived, would only smash everything to pieces anyways. So once the Street neared his home, Dailin stopped the process and had the Oasis backtrack. After a few minutes he started shaping the realm anew. And continued that pattern till his home was At least half an hour away from the Gate,

Only then did Dailin lazily disconnect and relax into his chair. He hummed while he massaged his temples, the effort removed some of the fatigue from his mind. The smugness of his thoughts left, making him feel alert again. An illusion made by the mana to make him think all was well. But Dailin had learned from that mistake, eventually, his mind would want to rest, and he'd find himself falling into a dreamless sleep.

Out of habit, Dailin stretched his arms and neck, before turning his attention to his two daughters. One on each side of the panel, which they were literally standing on. Insect was the only fitting comparison to the pedestal, but it still worked for them, allowed them to watch the realm outside.

“I’m done, if that’s what you’re wondering my dears,” Dailin said rubbing his eyes. “We can begin at any time.”

The two small children turned and bowed. Even though they’d been told numerous times not to, and spoke: “Word will be sent to the Councilors blessed Divine.” They said in unison, something the two did often. He wondered how much they practice that. They were very good at it, even able to complete each other sentences with uncanny smoothness.

“Will you be heading there as well?” The two asked together.

He shook his head. “No, the Counselors have everything well in hand, besides I’m going to keep an eye on the realm. Make sure things stay safe.”

“We are forever blest by your eternal care and need to shelter your lessers.” One stated and the other finished before both departed. They formed barriers under their feet and flew themselves to the map, telling of reports before heading off towards the Council chamber.

Most people did that nowadays, walking took to long for most liking. Dailin seeing the times ahead, had returned to his normal consumption of Mana. Draining lakes of the substance, and from it, for holding nothing back. Grew from what he could tell another ten heads tall. It would have been more, but he’d always made sure the Mana condensed itself as much as possible in his structure. Still, his size had become a problem. The estate his family had so painstaking made had to be redone. He felt awful about it, had planned to simply move himself and the controls of the Oasis to the fifth layer. But his family requested otherwise, and before he even agreed they already begun tearing down layers of the building to rework it.

Dailin had held his tongue, and rather than protest a matter that wasn’t of great concern helped in the task. None of it, like the rest of the city, was connected to the Ward network. It was simple metal and stone which he easily disassembled with Mana at his call.

In a swift manner the estate and been enlarged, some of the city also taken apart to accomplish the task. After things were settled, his family went into a frenzy of activity which had him worried they were going to work themselves to exhaustion. At the end of their whirlwind of work, his panel chamber was returned to its former self. The carved ornate stonework, telling a story of him leading the Vail to paradise, was redone. Plus all the decorations in the halls and remaining estate.

‘It was very kind of them,’ Dailin thought, but ultimately a pointless endeavor he’d let them partake in. He was still growing, after all, would eventually outgrow the estate again. Though next time he’d ignore the pleas and just move everything without telling his family first.

‘They have enough tasks to do anyway.’ Planning layouts of the city on the fifth layer, organizing the Flocks, making sure all were equipped and trained. Then just the running of the Oasis itself. All of it reminded Dailin why he’d avoided such work.

Not that he had much choice in the matter since he was usually either a farm hand or slave. Still, there were some occasions Dailin had the feeling he'd been in leadership roles. And got the impression he’d done poorly.

Mana helped to alleviate him from falling into that same path again. At least he hoped, the spell of warmth and kindness was keeping people content with the way of things. Food was bountiful, so he had no risk of riots. Everyone had a safe place to sleep, and the basic needs of life provided. Any ruler of his past would have killed to be in the same position, have access to such easy means to keep the masses pleased. Dailin barely had to lift a finger, if he failed now, with such supports holding up his reluctant rule. Then it wouldn’t be a hard sell to say he was unfit for rule in general.

He would find out soon, given the course he and his family were on. Waves of refugees, all promised a brighter future, well, brighter than where they were at now. It would be a test for him and his Counselor to keep order. Make sure things didn’t spiral into a chaotic mess of confined people fighting each other. Dailin held hope they’d see things through, though he would watch closely, wait for the inevitable to come. They'd yet to fail him, even after all the work he’d placed on their shoulders, or they took on themselves. The Flocks from the mines had been a great test, shown his Councilors were capable. Still, something would go wrong eventually. Dailin just hoped when it did, he would be able to fix the problem before it caused too much grief for his family.

The thought of problems had him lean forward and connect to the panel so he could gaze at the realm outside. For now things were peaceful, he’d outpaced the Nightmares for the moment. His journey to reach Gooth had him travailing up for quite some time. So Dailin studied the work of his sprawling streets and pathways before beginning a new spell. Mana flood into him as it pulled from the circling pools edging the room and pipes that poured more of the substance.

In it went coursing through his body, then out through the Ward network, it exited and flowed over the paths. Given the distance it took some time for his spell to travel and encase the objects completely. But when it did the Mana fused with the stone, formed lines which danced upon the surfaces, interlocking with each other. Then finally solidified and the streets were left covered in protective Wards.

He sighed as the spell came to an end, one that cost a great deal of the substance. Though he was unable to measure how much. More just kept coming, fast enough his instruments never even marked a dip in the stores of Mana. But it should have been a large expenditure, the further away the spell had to travel the more it took to complete it.

But he had every right to be a little extravagant with its use, the River wasn’t slowing, no it continued to rise in pressure, the current strength rising to new heights. Dailin had given up all hope those Above were fixing the mess that was causing such a scene to take place. If they had the means to stop the Rivers they have done so by now, and he would be seeing the current weakening rather than the opposite.

‘Is my home going to be the new future?’ Dailin wondered, a home that could move, could run from the horde of screeching maws but could fight back to, if the situation called for it. One look at his instruments tracking the Mana in his Home, the River constantly flooding in and at times over the Oasis. Dailin knew his question was coming more and more likely to be yes.

Perhaps his family saw this vision as well, was why they were so adamant about saving all they could, even with the possible harm such an act could bring. Because the alternative was watching the rest die. As they believed blindly the Sanctums would keep them safe. Wards which would assure to them they would not fail, that all was well.

‘They’ll believe all the way to the end.’ Would refuse the bitter truth as much as his family had at first, crying to him and trying to shut out the words he spoke. Words they were only able to listen to after he sang to them repeatedly. The Vail in the Sanctums weren’t going to have that luxury, so it would fall to deaf ears. The problem ignored till a Mountain was right on top of them smashing through the Wards.

It will happen, Dailin knew, the Rivers were flooding the realm and the beasts would follow the flow. At some point a Sanctum would be in the path of such and the Nightmares would crash into it.

‘They may have already,” Dailin thought as he saw the gates to his home open. His Councils weren’t waiting it seemed, barely a handful of minute’s had passed and already forces were being sent out. Another notch of achievement for them, being able to ready his forces so quickly.

Dailin found his eyes stuck on the scene, metal giants glowing with power striding out of his home in neat rows. A Flock marching in perfect formation as they strode towards the Road entrance far off into the distance.

‘How easy it had been.’ Dailin recalled, difficult at first but now he put little thought into their creation, each was the same as the other, so memorization came into play. Allowed him to produce one after the other in quick order. An army that, before the Rivers started flooding down, would have let him taken over anything he wanted. Would have had him believe there was nothing that could challenge their might.

Now, they were just another tool to stave off certain death. Though regular Nightmares seemed endless, the Ancients, once hard to come by and consider the beast champions. Were slowly becoming just as common, and soon if things kept their course, the Mountains would follow that trend. A realm filled with beasts larger than cities, larger than mountains. All aimed at devouring everything in their path.

‘How many of you will fall to despair when that truth is revealed?’ Dailin considered, watching the flow of polished metal. ‘How many will just curl up into balls and wait for the end to come?’ He recalled his own family, their refusal to listen at first.

‘It’s going to be a slaughter.’ That was the only sound conclusion there was, doom was coming, each day brought it a little closer. And Dailin wondered if perhaps it was almost at hand.

‘Gods preserve us.’ Dailin prayed, his mind elsewhere, thinking of additions he needed to make, while his eyes gazed at the waves of his army.


Bliss swelled as she moved the Flock forward. Finally able to personally get involved in cleansing the realm. No longer forced to send off smaller versions of herself to do the work. Though that didn’t mean she hadn’t been busy. Keeping her Maker happily and ignorant of her was a task in itself.

The trials within the Sanctums had harmed her Maker, He waited for an inevitable betrayal, another coup to prop up and harm those He cared for. His Kindness called out to remain vigilant even with all the displays that His family was free of such wrongs. It would take time for Him to heal from that event, and her reveal to soothe his nagging Worry.

But it will be done, He will be with Peace once her work was complete. And they would have a realm to basket in and be together forever. Free from all Others, from all wrongs, a task that was becoming more difficult than she'd originally anticipated. Bliss felt it around her now, after she left the protection of the Oasis. An aura permeated the air, tried to snuff out Others, those aligned with Fear and Worry most of all. But it did try to weigh her down, hinder her movement, though she brushed it away easily, it didn’t change what it meant.

The Giver was stronger than she originally guessed, her time with those Below had shown a poor definition of what the Giver could do.

It would slow things, where before she was hoping for a quick resolve, and then turn her full might against the Nightmare. Instead, it seemed she was going to have a drawn out fight. Bliss also had the impression the Giver was aware of her now, thanks to the aura. Plus the Oasis, since it was repulsing the Givers Working with great effect. The desirer woven into the Wards of the Oasis saw the aura as yet another threat to repelled.

Bliss cast a warm gaze at the object and her Maker who watched within. He wasn’t pleased with how events were falling, His Kindness at odds with the reality of the situation. Causing a duality in Him, one she continually had to work around. He wanted the Vail made better, but at the same time was hesitate to force it. Even though He wanted it so badly, was proud of the changes she'd done to their family. Still, He held His warmth back, believing it fit to let the Wrong decide what they wanted. Even when it was opposite to His own desire. His Kindness stayed his hand, so she had to act on His behalf.

One of which was to make sure his Fear didn't come to fruition, an easy task considering he wasn't joining in the Task. The Wrong would be her before they were ever sent towards the Oasis, free of thoughts and desires that would cause harm for her Maker. It would be a swift action, considering the army at her disposal, her Maker kept His word, as He always did. Churning out Thivuins as fast as He could to protect her vessels from the ill desires of Others.

The march to the gate was quick considering the suits long strides, so to their march towards the Sanctum Gooth. If her knowledge was correct it would be easy to march in and cleanse the Wrong. If they were as laid back about their defense as the memories implied. Though that could abruptly change when the Unclaimed caught sight of the Flock headed their way. But Bliss was confident she could stop the gate from closing in time. The Makers suits could travel far in a short frame of time when forced to run, or she merely hovered them forward.

An assertion which provided mute when the gate to the Sanctum came into view. It was closed, and the tent city where the Vail trade wears with travelers had been removed. Things had changed, and recently.

Bliss kept her Flock moving forward, had them near the gate and wait. She knew the Vail inside were aware of her, there was always someone posted to watch for movement outside when the Sanctum was closed off. Yet the minutes passed by with no change, it could of course be largely due to the suit constructs her Maker made for her. Plus the working of Curses to keep Vail from acting how they should and at least send a Lowly one out to greet the guests. Instead, she remained waiting, half an hour, then a full. Still no movement, no changes.

Things were getting in her way and though her smile began to fall she remained polite. A Thivuin moved forward and placed a metal hand on the gate. She sent a request for an audience, of matters to be discussed.

Minutes passed, then another half an hour before she decided the Vail weren’t going to behave. Bliss sent her instructions down the line of her Flock, all the way to those near to the Oasis. A request was sent, one to the Maker. She had to be careful with him around, His Kindness wouldn't let her act in ways that could harm the ones He wanted to save. Not without His permission first.

It didn’t take long, He likely knew something had gone awry before the message reached him, given he was watching through the Wards of the Oasis.

The message was passed from one vessel to the next, even though all already knew. She had to act her part, so slowly down the line of vessels it went. Till one of the daughters watching over him in his Guiding chamber moved forward to ask the question.

“Glorious Divine, protector of all.” She spoke, outwardly He showed a face of patience, inward disapproving, but there was a portion of Him that secretly liked the affection. “The gates to Gooth are closed, and so far have refused all requests sent.” His eyes for a fraction of time gazed away from the vessel as He fell into thought. His face remained mostly the same, the smile was there, but diluted with concern, with Worry.

“The Flock wonders if you’ll allow and help provide the means to break through the Gate that stands in their way?” The daughter asked.

Her Maker went still, is mind a chaotic sea of Others, but oddly none took shape, all remained simple things, thoughts nothing more. “We could head for another, one lower in the realm.” Her Maker wondered out loud, a thought she didn’t agree with and voiced her complaint.

“Others could do the same, Divine, likely will or already have closed themselves off. Hosts have been sent, word may have traveled of the wonders you build.  And in turn, the Voices are cracking down on the masses who wish to take up your offer. A promised place free from the suffocating rule of the Elders.”

Her wisdom had the Makers mind go still, then change as He thought upon the words provided. Worry grew but remained unthinking, an extension of Him. Like the Maker simply peered into its realm then away when he found what he wanted.

The Maker's eyes returned to the vessel, glowing beautifully as he stared down at her. “By the word break, do they mean literally? Spend the Wards of the Sanctum?” Bliss had the vessel nod her head in agreement.

A long silence stretched on between them before the Maker sighed, a sight he only showed to those of his inner circle. “Very well.”

Bliss had the vessel bow her head in thanks, then spoke: “Though the Souls within the Thivuin are great. The Flock isn’t certain if it will be enough, so they request Hearts for the possible task.” 

The Maker rose from his seat, “They aren’t to spend the Thivuins, I’ll send them all the Hearts they needed for this Task.” He spoke, she sent the vessel gliding after Him as He made His way to the lake. Bliss performed the act of sending word of the Makers decision while she waited.

It wasn’t long, her Maker pulled from the lake creating one large Heart after the other. He stacked them on floating carts He's crafted as well. There was serval as the Maker Himself didn’t know how much was needed to break through the Sanctum defenses. Bliss had vessels begin tugging the gifts away, a slow process till Thivuins got involved and the Hearts were guided to the waiting Flock.

Bliss sent another missive through the gate to the Vail hiding on the other side. While the rest of the Flock began to pull back. With a metal hand pressed against the gate, she waited while the Hearts were delivered. When enough was brought, and still no word came from those she wished to save. Bliss pulled away from the gate and had the vessel join the others. She had them stand a ways off, and form tight ranks. A myriad of giant arms pointed at the gate.

‘Here I come, Wrong,’ Bliss thought, as she began forming her Chant, the Flocks Wards glowed brightly as the Hearts were drained and her army became primed for the task at hand.


The hardest of shells broke, crumbling inward by one last might strike. What filled Lust shared vessel next was the cries of Hungers frustration. A joining which grew in pitch as the clicking’s passed, Hungers smashed aside the shapes the prey like to hide in. But even there none were to be found.

The Hungers swiveled their carapaces around, maws open wide, teeth readied to rip foes to wondrous sweet nectar. “This is your Fault Lusts” they screamed, stomping their claws which cracked the stone under them.

“Wait you all said.” one the Hungers spoke.

“Need to build our strength, you said,” another added.

“The prey would fight back you said.” A Third offered, followed by many other examples of her selves being wrong.

“Look what that got us now Lusts!” Hungers spat, their maws drenched in drool. “Barren hives, empty stomachs, and vessel screaming at us!”

It had gone well at first, the vessels willing to listen to almost anything they had to say. After Hives so full of prey had been claimed and devoured. But now each, as the Hungers had said, were empty, barren, abandoned. For the prey weren’t simple things. They had run, left their most protective hives to rot.

But that wasn’t all terrible, Lust opened her own maw, flashing a seductive tongue. “They ran, as they do when danger is close, but think Hungers, what does that mean?”

“It means we go empty,” Many of the Hungers said in unison, the vessels becoming more aligned with their nature. Not that it did much, nor was her point.

“It means their bunching up,” another one of her selves answered knowing her meaning. “Other nests growing fatter than ever before, bloated, and ripe for your fangs.”

The Hungers and the rebelling vessels stilled their movements, the words aligned to their wants. “We just have to find them, follow their little trails.” Lust spoke.

Lust pointed her many clawed hands upward. “And we all know where those go. Up,” Lust added just to be sure the Hunger's followed its meaning. “Up they run, up they hide, so Hungers, and Lusts perhaps we should change tack. Perhaps we should hunt above, and work our way back down.”

The Hungers looked at each other, but in the end they weren’t who she was speaking to. The vessels listened, the urge to find their prey so strong it exited the realm of Pleasure and traveled to Pain. Before the Hungers made up their slow minds, their vessels charged into stone and began tunneling up.

To Lust shock so did her own. The vessels were in agreement, the urge too strong to ignore. So she held on tight to her shared vessel, listened to the screeches sent echoing out into the real, one which called for massing. One sending that the time for hunting below was done, the time to head for bountiful stone above had come.


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