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Twisted Confessional | Jastivad

The Reapers

Reapers

Before death, there was no rebirth. New things came into the land at the expense of power, and old things never faded, releasing the power they contained. By breaking the universe, noble Kato gave it a way to move forward, to progress, and blasted open the paths of fate. And by giving himself an end, he made the way for eternal beginnings.

Death was an accident. Kato and Nyx and the dreams failed to realize the nature of multiplied power, and neglected to use all they had gathered. As they sundered their circle, the excess swirled around them, threatening to tear their creation apart. When noble Kato created death, it was his sacrifice to save his sister, and the universe. And as he drew the power until himself so that it would not sunder their creation, he whispered into his sister’s ear, telling her where she could flee. And as he ruptured, he ensured that the insanity of divinity would not harm her in his domain.

Later, as Idevess’s children spread, and the essence of dream echoed through the world, the limits of death began to be seen. The pure dreams were all but immune to it, and soon lay with each other through boredom and familiarity, and from them sprang children borne of incest, against the wishes of Time. And many humans, and the other guises, and even some beasts, were living after their death, their ghosts stronger than the forces of rebirth Kato introduced and Time refined. For many of these inconstant dead, an escape was all they sought, though few could find it, for how does one kill the dead? Finally, some of these inconstant dead brought the matter to Time, shortly before He rejoined Idevess and left the world for the emptiness of the stars.

Time listened to the problem, and thought on it, and decided to appoint some of the dead to become the gatherers of the incomplete rebirths. Time chose from among the volunteers, and remade them, molding them until they resembled their former selves only in memory, and the volunteers turned truly into nightmares.

“To conquer something,” Time spoke to them, “you must be apart from it. I have made it impossible for you to die. There are now other ways to defeat you; those you will find out for yourselves.” And the Reapers roared, for they were enraged and excited. “It is to be your job to harvest those souls that survive their bodies, should they desire to be taken. These souls shall be sundered, and you shall eat them, and there their energies will be returned to the universe, to fuel rebirth.” Time continued, “Separated from death, you are also separated from life, and may no longer bear children.” And again the Reapers roared, this time in grief. “There are enough of you to handle the job that is required of you, and more Reapers will be fashioned from time to time.” And Time set them out into Abaddon, denying them a home so that they would wander and collect their souls.

So it passed that Time left the world, and the Reapers waxed greedy, and began to hunger for the souls of the living. In due course, they discovered the means by which they could be defeated, and some even found ways to escape their immortality. And the world turned its eyes to the sky, and cried to Time, and after a while Time answered through Coteur, who had been sent to the world for many reasons. And as Coteur walked the world, he struck the chords of the Reapers, jarring them, and they were mollified, vowing never to hunt the souls of the living again.

As Idevess was slain, Coteur divided, and the tongue of Abaddon shattered, the world turned cold. Death came quick to many, far too many for the Reapers to handle, and numerous souls slipped through their hands. Some of these souls gathered together and formed a community of their own, which was an affront to the Reapers, who declared war on the inconstant spirits. They battled for ages in the cold wastes of the surface, but to no avail, and the battle took Reapers away from their other duties, causing even more souls to escape. But the Reapers had the advantage, and the ghosts knew that eventually, they would be defeated. So they appealed to Time, who stayed silent, and the ghosts were distraught. And some of them appealed to the lesser gods in desperation.

Finally, it was the Rifter who answered them, offering them his place in the Wexirat, the Godshome, which had been given him by Idevess and had been left empty in favor of his mountains and his cold. And so the ghosts fled to Wexirat, led into the realm of Cthon by Moch Murgoi, and made it their own. And the Reapers, then as now, could not touch that place. And they howled in anger, and broke their oaths and once again victimized the living and chased the dead.

And the Eye of Time blinked in its regular course until Sharl Emban seduced the Prophet and the Preacher in succession, and bore a daughter of both their seed who was a goddess. And this daughter, who she named Cassienna, was a hellion and a firebrand, and took a liking to the many guises, and walked among them. Her mother, overprotective as she is, grew wroth when Cassienna left Godshome, and would always hunt her down. But Cassienna, like all daughters, would not listen to her mother, and eventually set out again. And eventually, during one of her attempts to escape her mother, she fled to Cthon, and met the inconstant dead, and grew to like them as she did the many guises, and began to spend her time among them, and sought them out when she ventured into the world.

Thus, Cassienna and the Reapers ran afoul of each other, one wanting to help the dead, the other choosing to devour them. And Cassienna smote any Reapers that came near her favorite dead, and helped lead them to the realm of Cthon, and protected them while they were there. So she inherited the name Deathstalker, for she would seek out the dead in the world of the living, and she would hunt the Reapers when they acted too rashly. The Reapers she smote were born again as mortals, and lived another life, only to become Reapers again when they succumbed to death, and this made the Reapers tremble in fear more than anything else before.

So the choice remains for anybody whose soul survives their body: succumb to the Reapers, who are sure to come, or survive long enough to find the Deathhome, Cthon, which the ghosts staked out in the Rifter’s emptiness. There are many paths to Cthon, but not everyone survives the perilous journeys, as the Reapers are wroth and quick to destroy any apparition who happens along the way. And the Eye of Time looks on, but stays silent. And the sphere of heaven rolls.