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Twisted Confessional | Jastivad

The Usurper And The Gatekeeper

The Usurper and the Gatekeeper

In the old days, before Coteur came to the world, and the surface was still inflicted with a sated warmth, a child was born to a vineyard family known as Talon, and he was called Pangledon. And he was raised much the same as his brothers and sisters, and they were all plagued by the god called Trestan, who spoke with the voice of a woman and smelled of almonds. Trestan was the Sorrow’s Sacrifice and Pangledon lived a life of bitter grief, for he was taught naught else.

There came a time when Pangledon felt the pull of wanderlust, and left his family to travel the great disk of Abaddon. And there he met another guise, an elf, one of the incestuous children of the dream, named Lanarthaura, who was called Anar. And Anar confronted Pangledon on the road, and beat him, and taught him a lesson. Anar drove the dream of Trestan from Pangledon, and they became best of friends. And Pangledon became known as Ledon, and was the lost member of his family.

So it came to pass that Ledon returned to his family with Anar, and they drank the sour grapes and dreamed of the smell of almonds. And in the dream, Anar stood up against Tristen, and she slit his throat, and the love of fire consumed her and overflowed. But Ledon woke and fled, while behind him a bitter fire raged, that consumed his family. And when he exhausted his legs, he fell to his knees at the base of a mountain, and poured out his tears, and took the name ol’Talon, for he was the last of his line. So he climbed the mountain, and stumbled across Cth Tholon, the Hungry One, who sat digesting himself in thought.

In his sorrow and grief, ol’Talon decided to risk the Rifter’s vortex, and nearly lost himself, yet came back with a touch of the divine, and the hunger inside him. Old Man Solitude took pride in him, and spoke to him, and taught him of ways. As is the nature of the shaman, ol’Talon acquired the countenance of his deity, and his hunger grew. He turned this hunger against Trestan, and his desire for vengeance grew strong.

So Old Man Solitude’s hunger grew dangerously, until one day he sent ol’Talon away, so as not to be consumed. And ol’Talon returned to the grove of his family to challenge the Bitter Tongue. But the grove was empty, save for the vineyard, which had grown wild. And ol’Talon wept, and his tears mixed with the ashes of his family and the blood of Anar, and saturated the soul, and crept up the vines. To this day, the grove of Talon is overgrown with the vines of sorrow and blood and ash.

And he became Talon, taking on the guise of his family, and began his hunt of Trestan, a hunt so perverse that the Bloody Maiden was attracted, and seduced him, and bedded him, and deceived him so that they could hunt together. And the Vixen also taught him of ways, and eventually bore him a son, whom they named Anar, after Talon’s only friend. And like all of Sharl’s children, Anar took on the name Emban, and the Talon family remained but one. And Talon grew old, but persevered, and eventually found the Bitter Tongue, and commanded her to show herself. So impressed was she by his audacity that she allowed him to see her form, which so few guises had seen that they could be counted on one hand. As she appeared, Talon raised his hand to slay her, but he was old and tired, and Trestan vanquished her challenger. All this was witnessed by Sharl and Anar Emban.

Enraged by the outcome, the son of Talon beckoned to the soul of his father, which was still emptying from its shell, and channeled him. With their combined strength, he threw himself at Trasten and slew her, and drank of her power, which mixed with the blood of Sharl Emban and the hunger of Cth Tholon. And the Bloody Maiden ran, horrified at the changes wrought, and at the death of one she thought eternal.

The rupturing force of Trestan’s divinity poured into the body of Anar Emban, and tore the barrier between father and son, and they became one, the il’Talon, the cleaved. Only that the mind was twain was it saved, and soldered. For as the power flowed into the body of Anar Emban, il’Talon’s dissolution began. Pain soared through his body as he waxed deformed, but he held his own until it felt so as he would burst. And the power il’Talon could not drink splashed over the world, and merged into the wilderness, and mixed with the forces of rebirth, and infected many with its divinity. Coteur, who was in the world at that time, sipped of the divinity as it splashed, and was tempted by greater power than his own. And as il’Talon writhed in agony, Coteur began his search for Idevess, who he knew held the bottle of divine power. Thus did il'Talon take the divine power of Trestan, and became the Usurper.

As this ended, the Usurper donned his cloak, covered his face, and went out among the many guises, and tried to help them with his powers, but they twisted around him like his body twisted around his soul, and his good intentions turned to ash. So our Benevolent Monstrosity fled in grief, and built himself a tower in one of the canyon-valleys made by the Rifter, back when most everyone lived on the surface. And with his power, he fortified the canyon, so that it would never fall, and this became Gran Kerilax.

So it passed that Coteur slew Idevess, and Time turned his back on the world, and the heat was driven from the surface. Many died, and the survivors were forced to take refuge beneath the surface, and in the rifts dug by Cth Tholon, which were kept warm by his passing, where air still flowed and plants still took root. So the Usurper found his wasteland crowded, and resented it, and left Gran Kerilax to wander the world. And wander he did, for a good long while, and whenever he attempted to help, his powers would twist around him, and harm others, and he would be discovered and run away in shame. And he spent much time with Cth Tholon, whom he still considered a patron and someone to listen to, and learned much of his wisdom.

Finally, soon after visiting the Prismatic City, il’Talon took it upon himself to speak to his fellows. “The time has come,” he said, “to talk of many things.” And he spoke on, saying, “We need a home of our own, apart from the land and wind and water.” And he gestured at the realm of the Prismatic City as an illustration. And there was a clamor of disbelief amongst the gods, who still remembered Time’s restrictions and commands. Only the Rifter stayed silent, waiting. After the gods finished their complaints, the Usurper laughed, and gestured at Pas Coteur. “We have a portion of Time among us! Surely something can be done.” And with those words, he convinced them, even Nyx and Idevess.

So the gods gathered on the shore of a sea, Nyx with them, and The Preacher and The Prophet, safe from the water, joined his hands with her, and the gods of the land joined hands with each other, and with Pas Coteur. But the Rifter stood apart, saying, “I am content with my lot. I am satisfied with the mountains, and the cold. It staves my hunger. I need not another home.” And he walked away, and the rest of the gods pretended not to listen to his words. So the gods formed a circle, and swirled their power, and Wexirat, the Godshome, was formed apart; and with the creation of Godshome, as is often when the gods perform, came the unexpected. Moch Murgoi was created out of the excess of the gods, the power that they thought they could control, and he became the Gatekeeper, and the number of the gods was again increased by one. Moch Murgoi took for himself dominion of all the paths and roads and doors of Godshome, for those were the ties that bound it. And he parsed Godshome, giving an equal portion to each, except for Cth Tholon, who did not contribute. But Idevess took umbrage with that, and chose to live with Nyx, and ceded his portion to Cth Tholon, though it would lay empty for a long while. And the gods swarmed Wexiral, to build themselves new homes.

But the gods could not break their ties to the land, save Nyx and Moch Murgoi, each of whom were tied to their own domains, and Pas Coteur, who was tied to nothing save himself. So the gods still came to the world, ravishing it as they passed, but found the time and desire to retreat to their respective realms and dwell there for a time too. For removing the deities from the world, the Usurper was decorated a demon-hero. And the sphere of the heavens rolled on.