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Before the Ink Stained the Pages.
It started as all wondrous tales do, an oni Ryse receiving ominous visitations as he slumbered. Tentacles slithering forth from the space between the pages, latching onto the coveted prey as the seed of mortal and eldritch became one. Mirage, the aspect of knowledge, the gardener of wisdom, and the seeker of evolution, had planted a seed of life within man. As time passed, the cells within were contaminated, multiplying and producing a new lifeform. One night, while the Oni slept, the new organism crawled forth from his oral passageway, lying next to him in a wholly vulnerable state. The man rousing from torpor, seeing the feeble creature, having a vivid reminiscence of his sensual yet degenerate dreams, took the virtuous life as his spawn. The infant replicated its cells rapidly, expanding in mass and intelligence so that ten years of growth was akin to three decades. Seeing its accelerated development, Ryse viewed fit to tutor and train her, falling prey to her infectious bile a few times along the way.
Zelena Timanti he called her, the creature scurrying to note the significance of her name, seeing the Oni as her father and only parent. Her wiggling appendages seized all the books he had accumulated, reading through each dusty tome with incredible speed and absorbing all knowledge within like a sponge. Eventually, the emerald child inquired into her mother, of which, Ryse wisely saw fit not to lie—informing the young abomination that her mother was diligently maintaining the world, lurking within her realm, yet watching her spawn with a vigilant gaze. At first, Zelena chalked this up to her father being capricious, until one night, she too was visited by the Eldritch queen. The usually indifferent entity could not amply resist her motherly instincts, leaving behind a one-eyed hermit crab trapped within a conch. This servant was to guide the young new organism, watching over her and offer nuggets of knowledge.
The crustacean claimed it had no real name, so she bestowed on him the title of sloth, which he accepted, finding it fitting due to how slow he traversed the mortal plane without assistance. Her father was often floundering onto the emerald teenager, speaking to her imaginary friend as the conch was enchanted, protecting it from unwanted mortal eyes. The creature often roosted on her shoulder, eventually teaching the adolescent how to call upon her living armor, a mass of bubbling flesh, barnacles, and eyes. At this time, young Zelena desired to escape the home, having spent many years locked up due to her protective parent. The Oni kept informing her how dangerous the world was, how others could never see past her shell to witnessed the benevolent soul housed inside. After many botched attempts to flee, the father would resign and groom his daughter for her inevitable entry into the sands. He was conjuring forth a grand deception, using his species' innate ability to alter their powers and form to what they devour as a cover.
Zelena waited, counting down the months as she knew they would set their subterfuge into fruition. She was communing with the conch, her mother, and father, as each kept supervising her into furthering her innate powers. Mirage was unveiling aspects of the world, her nature, and her ultimate purpose. The conch on how to regulate and manifest her poisons, toxins, and decay-based skills. And Ryse taught her hand-to-hand combat tactics, etiquette, and how the world outside those walls functioned. Meanwhile, promising Zelena it was for the best, a truth the obstinate child has yet to swallow. Instead, preparing for the day she can feel the sun, talk to another, and experience what this plane of existence has to offer.
Elder One's and Play Things.
Within the mountain's swarthy heart resided a relic from the old world, a decrepit ruin tucked from prying orbs. The father and daughter traversed the smoldering sands, its bleached knolls proving arduous to trek as they ventured within the volcanic region's ashen clouds. The gaped gullet of an era long since imbibed by the sands of time. They were littered with symbols forgotten to most who walk this mortal plane. Its hallowed chambers was quite the labyrinth as the family unit ventured valiantly within the deepest recesses of its pitiless bowels. The umbra of yesteryears grandeur, humbled by the volcano stone's infringing grip, as the brittle structures showed signs of necrosis wrought by the abrasive granules. The earth was giving way, plummeting the adventurous duo down a cramp and dismal tunnel, reaching the bygone era's core. The darkness was thick, obfuscating one's vision as they fumbled within the shade.
Until reaching a codex, a room adorned in elaborate markings that seemingly repelled the influence of decay, standing eerily immaculate against the odds. The walls roused to life in an emerald fire, sweeping and encircling the chamber as pillars engraved with various figures rose from the dusty depths. These monolithic columns formed a portal as Zelena and Ryse were pulled inside the space between the pages. Here, time, sound, and all senses held no jurisdiction, the depravation maddening as they were sent hurdling through an abstruse realm of profound emptiness. They clung to one another, opening their mouths to scream, yet were unable to see, let alone hearken to one another wails. Streams of raven hair slithered while a thousand upon a thousand emerald eyes peered within the once vacuum-like state of this dominion. The framework of reality unfurled, as what seemed like pages were dancing within an otherwordly zephyr.
The elder Oni and his spawn marched forward, a tunnel made of fused tongues bloomed like a rosebud, burgeoning open as the alien world came into view. The begrimed, inky sky dotted with the same perforating gazes, the walls breathing as bone shelves decorated with innumerable tomes stretched forth as far as the eye can see. They had finally done it, found the bridge between worlds, so that Zelena and Ryse might converse with her mother, Mirage. The ubiquitous will exceeding embodiment had been plucking on intangible strings; it resonated, beckoning the family into her welcoming, albeit trying bosom. The ground was akin to crumbled papyrus paper, soft to the touch, as from a vaginal-like opening, a slab of adipose crept from now gaped barrier, a stream of feminine nectar spewing forth, glazing them all. They soon bore witness to the phallic-shaped tendrils which were seen restraining a man, burrowing their way through every orifice, expanding and contracting as if draining information like a vampire. This prisoned was known as Garnot, this human had ventured to enter their world and was requiting a hefty toll to secure passage. An incomprehensible mass of fat, tissue, teeth, hair, and eyes bubbled from nothingness before them.
Its amorphous form was constantly shifting, tantalizing just within their realm of perception as if ridiculing the bodacious wills that dared to solicit out the Elder one of knowledge and wisdom. That inert human remained as an offering. A test to record what, if anything, the experiment would do. Zelena stepped forward, grasping the pseudo genital bindings, rending them as seminal fluid and pus gushed forth, spraying every direction. Garnot was rallying from his slumber, bursting free from the stupor induced by this existence's inquisitive ruler. The father remained stagnant and soundless, while his offspring strived to reason with the bereaved and bewildered soul. The detainee's agitation quickly quelled, as the two shared in a friendly embrace. This mortal had seen the anguish behind Topaz and emerald foci. Zelena was alone, plagued by the dread of repudiation and expulsion from the other races. These lesser souls were far too prone to assume ill intentions based solely on the design of her freakish vestige.
The two were separated from Ryse, emerging within spiraling towers of skeletal structures. Scanning optics sailed after them to analyze how these rats explored this maze of ever-shifting tissue. While the Oni was kept, Mirage, the gardener of history and the cycles manifested her form, using his vessel for more carnal pursuits and experiments. Once the entire world had climaxed it flooded with an unholy concoction of male and female juices, the three appeared drenched, back within the safety of their family's manor. With nowhere else to go, Garnot stood close as Zelena spent time with the enthralling mortal to assist him with learning the tongue of this land's denizens. The incarcerated beauty of blemishless green skin would soon be freed as her father often promised her that she would be let go to traipse across the land on her eighteenth birthday.
Death and Rebirth.
The day had finally dawned, the promised event marked her coming of age celebration. The once plagued soul procured respite, reposing herself diligently as she spent her time browsing through dusty parchments and aged tomes. She gleaned knowledge while the ravenous mind endeavored to be alleviated. Her father, Ryse, the mayor of Sandslout, ventured beyond the walls to meet the lady of coin. Informing the child he birthed into this world that he'd soon return, pledging to proudly showcase his spawn before the Oni people. The atmosphere proved hopeful, jubilant as if the start of a wondrous and fortuitous chapter in Zelena's life. Garnot languished in taciturnity while this jabbering, inexplicably-spirited abomination couldn't help but express what she envisioned. Zelena was speculating over numerous potentialities of how the day would transpire. The blonde haired human abiding, persevering fervently against the deluge of overly presumptuous conjectures.
Unbeknownst to Zelena, the Saytrys, who felt displaced due to the consequences of a battle twenty years ago, had conspired against those they condemned for their fall from grace. The insurgents seized the armory's caster arms, relieving the militia as a hollow gesture of goodwill, before surrounding and opening fire on the Oni and visiting leadership. Their insidious subterfuge proved fruitful, as they had those they wanted encircled. Meanwhile, Zelena and Garnot remained blissfully ignorant of this plot. A civil war erupted from the chaos as black fire and an unknown ink-spewing horror rampaged the once amicable settlement. The empire's breadbasket blanketed in the fog of war, as Garnot had seized Zelena's hand imploring her to join him in a retreat. The two were skulking out the back door. The octopus maiden looked back, observing her father's corpse as a random Saytry shot him, bragging as if this was some extraordinary feat. The heart was petrified. Cold perspiration took hold as the light from the outside world had been swallowed by an eternal eclipse.
The child beheld her father's lifeless carcass; Garnot tugged in vain as the seed of horror succumbed to wrath. Thrashing feelers coated in bards and suctions cups flailed about, as from her maw, a thick smog of darkness regurgitated outward. The appendages were rending flesh from bone as they whipped across the scene. That ever-thickening haze extracted the prey's moisture, mummifying those unpropitious to be entangled in that trail of ruination. The concentrated fumes of annihilation tarrying to the heavens, fire, ash, and blood were the gifts the cosmos presented during her birth anniversary. Gasping wearily, varnished from the grime of battle, before the knees buckled from internalized anguish. The bereaved child wailing, lamenting, as she nested within a circle of mummified remains. A matron of the sea, an octopus merchant, had borne witness to the carnage from her porch, finding the Saytrs to be uniformly abhorrent.
She took sympathy while she approached the grief-stricken child, bequeathing her a place to nest. Their tentacles were coiling as she bowed in appreciation, Garnot sticking close, as they entered her dwelling. The disconcerted trader observed as Ryse's body had been claimed by Mirage as per their contract. From the city of corpses, the shroud of death and decay, a new life had been let loose to mold this malleable realm through unearthly actions. Zelena was desperate to find her place within this plane of existence, resisting her father's predictions that none would ever accept her. The young will embraced the concept that angels resided within mortals' hearts instead of the maleficent devils. Studying some of the vicious ink, as she ingested it learning to secrete it, developing antibodies as she vowed to find the one who was behind her father's expiration.
What sleeps beneath.
The horror panged for an escape; being locked within another set of walls did little to mollify that burdened mind. She was being lulled across the expanse of rolling dunes, traipsing over the hurdles afforded to weary travelers via its sea of knolls. Zelena eventually entered the luminescent fungal stalks of the forest, detecting the potent arcane flow coursing through the inconceivable complex labyrinth of roots under her stride. The faint rustle of an unnatural resonance penetrated the expected clamor. The melody was towering over the natural cacophony of wildlife as the tentacled creature was mesmerized by its ensorcelled song. The experiment utilized her echolocation to scan the region for prowling predators before floundering across a flutist resting on a blueish cap.
The source’s name was Sevltar, a dark-skinned white-maned hare whose idyllic romanticism caused the inert heart to drum with titillation. The tantalizing words proved flowery, coasting from the silvery tongue as a feline named Eidra equally found herself compelled by a zeal to saunter on over. Their exchange of utterances were tranquil, much like the illusion fabricated meticulously by the insidious will slumbering underneath their very feet. Their dialogues placidity would be tested, as the precariously meddlesome cat saw fit to invade Zelena’s space. Her scantily clad form evoked primal thoughts while feelers fastened onto the lithe figure of the inquisitive soul. The two, persisted close, scrutinizing into one another's eyes as the sensually charged need to subjugate, dominate, and explore this supple critter proved overpowering. Those octopi extensions were letting her go, having already varnished Eidra in its juices, as the rabbit watched with intrigue juxtaposing with disgust.
This bodacious exhibition of the unknown facilitated a lapse in judgment, as the minstrel let a well-guarded secret concerning people free. That this forest and its inhabitants were all slaves under the yoke of a wicked master. That otherworldly energy sought to enact punishment toward the man, but ultimately failed, due to a genetic aberration that abated its primordial clutches. Now freed, Eidra, having gazed into the void and shared a vision panicked. She ran away from the group as the clairvoyance unshackled the fears buried within her mind. The ruse of repose now pulverized to dust, scattered within a hellish gale, Sveltar explained the peril inspired by the information he permitted to be gleaned.
A sense of dread thickened the air around the party, accompanied by a wintry change in temperature. The forest itself sprung to life, as assassins were dispatched to exterminate those who had desecrated the sanctity of their wilderness. The unfortunate ministrel was hoisted, coiled by seaworthy feelers, and raised into the air as he employed his mastery over the wind to amplify the abomination's speed. Zelena charged forth, swatting aside debris and the attacks alike with her growths, as they zigzagged through the dense foliage. Those beads of sweat trailed down the modelesque visage, her breathing sharpened her hearts cadence now hammering avidly against the bosom. Her pupils were then dilating, as every fiber of her body was dedicated to eluding the encroaching clutches of their assailants.
Eventually, they exited the perimeter of the woodlands with the mounted warriors were close behind. They were letting loose arrows, slinging spells, and deploying toxins to erode their targets resolve. Zelena's pace kicked up a trail of haze, the dust assisting with limiting visibility. Sandslout wasn’t far, her home, her friends, there had to be someone there willing to help? By the time she made it to those walls, the newly hired guards thwarted any further pursuits. The tendril maiden had sacrificed an arm and four tentacles. An arrow still lodged into her shoulder as the poison took root. Zelena convulsed, foaming from the mouth as the late stages of that toxin manifested before the body produced the necessary antibodies to stave off the venom.
She overcame the foreign substance, adding it to her arsenal, wgile something unexpected occurred while she thrashed about on the earth. Her friends were forced to watch in sheer horror, for you see within the void of her subconscious, she floated, sailing across that space between the pages. Staring into the abyss before something glowered back.
I peered, and it gazed back.
The harrowing nature of the rapacious void slithered outward, while the inky fog of entropy abated under the pulsating gaze of jade and topaz lanterns. The body laid still, inert within the lap of torpidity. Zelena, oblivious of the outside world's beseechments, was forced to tarry within this Hadean landscape. The digits were digging into the moist earth while the fleshly ground throbbed with embedded veins. The dense smog of devastation loitered athwart this domain, as a material lullaby permeated the vastness of the unknown. Here, within the realm of intangibility, the conceptualizations of certainty were fleeting. The delusions of knowledge and understanding held no jurisdiction here. Just as the influence of the mist had been negated, those foci were inspecting with absolute trepidation.
Walls of bones and gangrene remains melded into one, while a pool of unimaginable soups varnished the ever-beating bodily domain. Strands of hair leaching phlegm, while sarcophaguses incarcerating innumerable victims were infused with the edifices of genetic material. Vine-like growths akin to tongues lapped at the blisters and lesions of the surface, its saliva remedying the damage brought about by entropy's spell. The melody resounding louder as despair and languish festered within the once tranquil mind. Zelena rose to her feet. The tendril maiden was breaking into a full sprint, propelling herself down a claustrophobic passageway. The foreign structures resembled tubes like intestinal tracts. Something antediluvian prowled beyond her finite perspicacity, giving off a nettlesome aura.
The sound of scurrying echoing behind as Zelena dared not look back out of concern that mania mayhap take root. She was bolting as the walls narrowed and vibrated, as what appeared to be an anus awaited at the end of the hall, covered in blood-drenched hemorrhoids. Whatever lingered beyond weighed little; all the emerald beauty knew was that the cessation of momentum equated to an unseemly demise. The writhing, ever bubbling forms of her pursuers casting umbra against the crimson light while the essence of necrosis pervaded the rapidly shriveling passageway. That hymn was getting closer, and closer as the air iced to the point her breath was witnessed twirling and dancing out from quivering lips. Where was she? How did she get here? All frivolous queries which did nothing to release herself of the extensile dread looming over her lithe form.
Zelena reached the end; those remaining feelers sprouted bards, pushing and ripping her way through the resilient orifice. A repugnant cocktail of putrid juices and fecal matter surged from the walls around her, immersing the chamber as she despairingly mustered her resolve. Just before whatever it was that stalked her could claim the prize, the tight vent loosened, ejecting the maiden forth from its grip in a deluge of molten excrement and menstrual juice onto the ground on the other side. The body was trembling as Zelena retched out her bile in objection before rising once more to those two feet. Those binary pupils dilating, as what greeted her, brought no semblance of solace, a chthonian world of embers and soot. Pods confining numberless souls and the remnants of smoldering civilizations from many planets and times stretched across the fiery domain.
A child was standing before her, its surface littered in squirming maggots that fondly feasted on the flesh of the girl as the hand stretched outward. The jaw dislodging, splitting from the right side, drooping as leeches glazed in thick pus congregated onto the earth. This wasn't her mother's world, nor was this the mortal existence; whatever she found on her "travels" was vastly more disturbing. The sound of rubble disturbed, as blister-covered stalks ruptured from the ruins. They seemed to suffer third-degree burns as the wiggling phallic organisms inundated her. The once separate parasite was fusing into a gelatinous blob whose form never tarried, as six shadowy figures floated within the heavens, watching with bewilderment at the invader. The blackened ash being thrown into the air, as an ethereal force rushed her, only being made comprehensibly known by the pollution that stained them from the charge.
As Zelena had accepted her death, a singular entity emerged amidst these unearthly as the sky ripped apart like a gaped womanhood, precipitating an unknown squalid solution onto the molten surface. She had toured the spiral, reached the end, and what awaited her was anything but rapture. The others' faint undertones reached her ears. A new verse echoed across the plane of permanence. Those eyes widened, taking it as a sign as she rushed toward the source, reminiscing the cradlesong her mother often susurrated into her ear as she slumbered. A swarm of thick clouds with golden flickering fireflies swarmed wildly about the atmosphere as something wrathful dawdled within that mass.
"Hello I walk into
Empty hallways tell me
Not to hurry
Caution sends the signal not to
Look around the bend and single
Out the shadows whisper through the Twisted corners
Waiting silently for hours
Watching every move that shiver
Eyes that glitter
Wait, I'm waiting
Say you'll save me
Where's your heart that beats for me
Eyes that pierce me
Where's my heart that beats for you
Wait, I'm waiting
Say you'll save me
Where's your heart that beats for me
Eyes that pierce me
Wheres my heart that beats for you"
The realm elongating, the earth rending, as geothermal vents forced themselves through the carcasses of the old cycles, expelling a pinkish torrent. An escape, a second chance, provided by Mirage, as it seemed whatever her purpose in continuation was, had somehow been linked to this nightmare. The body was now covered in misty shadows, like that of wailing fetuses, which ventured to slow her down as she stomped across their umbilical cords. The hand was reaching, just as the blob, swarm and feelers prepared to strike as suddenly...darkness…
The conch and the cephalopod were sailing away within the black sea of the void, weightlessness taking hold as they were suspended within the ephemeral current. The space between pages, the infinite expanse, a realm not suited for such brittle cognizances. Their brief stay was proving maddening, as, from the eclipse, a thousand eyes upon a thousand shimmered, like the tiny twinkles of stars. Longingly gazing on those ominous souls, savoring the hubris of the lesser wills. What a supreme intoxicating display of foolishness. To assume they can marshal the resolve to resist this torrent of delirium. The abyss waning, its grip slipping as raven strands of slime-coated fibers shimmied toward the prey, overlapping and submerging those fear-stricken souls. Their flesh encapsulated as the once tawny abode instantaneously erupted.
Within the vacuum, within the placidity of impassivity. The mind floated, the body back in the tangible realm began to steam, vomiting out the excess of fluids Zelena swallowed during that daring escape. The green-tinted canvas covered in the begriming of the previous world, while leeches with barbed tails appeared adhering to the voluptuary figure. There within the nothingness, the space between the pages, something ancient and primordial had awoken. That world of morbid wonderment belonged to no elder one she knew. As the deafness and sightlessness of the abyss just thawed, the mind and spirit were returning to the body that tethered it. The poison consumed as antibodies had finished their job, snaking backward as she lunged herself away in fright. The chest was expanding and deflating rapidly, perspiration traveling down her form.
Zelena was hysterical, she rocked back and forth while the mind blundered to compartmentalize that sordid ordeal. Those alien entities were whisked free from the body. The parasites flogged about hopelessly on the sands seeking a fitting host. Their mouths parted, as spiraling rows of teeth stained in blackened ink exposed themselves. Zelena frantically searched about. Sloth understood what had occurred. Those inquisitive pools were bounding from her friends Valerna, Watari, Garnot, and Sveltar, before drifting to the others. Was this home? What if this was just some cruel illusion? Those binary hued lanterns noticed the monstrosities verifying that the other plane was indeed real. Wordlessly, the tentacle maiden rose and ran toward the merchant of the sea, hugging her.
The body was hot, reeking while painted in unknown pollution as a tendril uprooted that poisoned arrow, throwing it onto the sands. The face buried itself into Ara'thyrel's chest. The Conch annotated all that had unfurled since her "return" to the mortal world. Resplendence took hold, while relief had been digested from the acceptance that she still lingered, at least for the day. Recounting that song once more, as the parasites seemed to turn to blackened dust, shortly afterward they were disseminated in the wind. The head pitched itself rearward, while she stepped away from the pursuer of the coin, pivoting to face everyone as she noted many new faces, each no doubt perplexed.
Zelena paused, shifting about as she recalled a few fragmentary words amongst the sea of kerfuffles within that smoldering existence. Falling to the floor, panting, wheezing. The body was weakened from this whole affair. What was happening? Why did the Elder ones interfere? And who or what was behind what she bore witness to? So many questions, and no bread crumbs to follow. Calming down, as she knew, for now, she was safe, or as secure as one could be in this forsaken realm. Zelena was wholly besides herself, sulking within thought.
The Master of Roots
War was an unsightly byproduct of mortal kind; the tentacle maiden swept alongside its tumultous current. She rested on a ship, loitering amidst the giant's forces while they set sail to Clockwork city from Sandslout. Clouds of blackened smoke blotted the welkin as lamenting wails of innocents resounded beyond the horizon. The empire's technological wonderment, brought to its knees, as the comprehensive information buried within partially set ablaze. Such erudition squandered, devastated by savages, rallied together by events beyond their finite understanding. Those drums of war rousing intrepidity in some whilst stimulating sorrow within the heart of the cephalopod. These brutes had won the day at the cost of generations of knowledge. Their warships harbored at the port, using ramps to ferry their troops into the city.
The people, their visages declared a foreboding tale riddled with despondency. Anguish weighed their hearts, the Jungle forces' wastefulness, did little to place them in a favorable position. Following the troops, the units considering themselves as victorious. What had been earned this day, what benefit did this ridiculous extermination serve? They entered the palace, Zelena followed the others in muteness, keeping up with their thunderous march. The soldiers poured into the throne room, bowing before their Khan, as the emerald beauty refused to bend the knee. The bold proclamation was gaining her moderate ire and a jagged glare from the mythical Kitsune of war.
The epiphany of the Varenkun's assault, filling Matsumota with fury, as honor obliged penitence or retribution. Sveltar, fearful for his people, attempted to advocate for their well-being. The Hare was met with an impossible task. Seventy-two hours is as long as their stay of execution would be. If the master of roots wasn't usurped, purged from the land, then rabbit's would be deemed far too risky to tolerate. Something within the abomination beseeched her to tag along, endeavoring conceivably in futility. The two set out posthaste, with Zanryue the Goatkin, as they needed to secure passage into the Jackalfolks metropolis. They strolled through the blistering badland, eventually approaching the sealed gates. initially, their entry was refused.
That was until a dignified man named Amun stepped forward and stretched his neck out for the odd travelers. Zelena was enamored by his pecs, that height, and ambitious soul sheltered from prying eyes. The sentries were hesitant to take the word of the pristine example of their kind before faltering, begrudging capitulating as those jaws were opened for the party. This dashing assembler of corpses, gave them a tour, all the while, those binary foci found it impossible not to admire the pinnacle of art bequeathed for her perverse pleasure. Zelena's degeneracy was kept at bay, as the inner calling to breed, meld, and produce heirs had been abated while they sauntered deeper into the bowels of the earth. The defiler of carcasses pointing toward a long, winding tunnel, as it appeared their target resided somewhere within those ominous passagway.
Judging by the way he gawked in retaliation, there was a chance that for the first time in her bleak life, Zelena may yet experience courtship. Sveltar seemed to enjoy being the third wheel, the hare skulking within her umbra, as the regal octopus postulated why this beta kept showering her with vapid praise? Did this wind user desire friendship, or was there something more carnal putrefying out of view? At first, his whimsical soul had demonstrated itself a welcomed philosophy, but to maintain such a chipper mood despite all they endured, seemed more akin to mental illness than a wholly unique perspective. Whether or not Sveltar had been afflicted with derangement, or feared to relinquish the man he was, remained unseen. The three saw fit to move as one, leaving the Goat behind, for Zelena didn't trust this monk given her prior affiliation with the giants. The consequences of Zanryue's alliance may verify elusive to most, but one thing prevailed as self-evident, that their meddling would permanently alter this arid domain's trajectory.
The world beneath the sands was anything but welcoming. The valiant collective tethered by fate slithered deeper and deeper into the soul of their planet. The world was dying, and while what may nest under the surface might be monstrous in appearance, Zelena labored as a living testimonial concerning the folly of sentencing one's worth by their exterior. From the confines of these rocky tunnels, saturated roots and faint shimmers emerged into view. Within a vast antechamber, shielded by fungal growths, persisted a drumming heart. The great master of roots, terrified, exposing the same emotions as before when the cephlapod gallivanted through his toadstool forest. The reasoning for his extensile dread was abundantly clear to the jaded-hued sphinx.
Sveltar and Amun fanned out, guaranteeing they were alone, while the path forward failed to influence Zelena. While lethal to most, his spores did not affect this otherworldly scourge that had squirmed its way into his abode. Those broad hips were swaying as he hand rested upon the degrading organ. The bubbling mass that sheltered her nude form, jolted to life as it latched onto and encased both Zelena and the dictator within a cacoon. The cells solidifying, as nothing but the sporadic rhythmic hum and glow answered her confederates' inquisitions. The daughter of worlds, Sloth, and the armor worked as one, merging with the antiquated entity, gradually assimilating him for the next stage in that unnatural evolution. During this metamorphosis, the emerald beauty meditated and communed with the garb for the first time.
Rorschach was its name, while the crustacean perched on those shoulders was commanded to edify, it wasn't dispatched to protect. The three maintaining a symbiotic relationship, all essential to germinate and proliferate Zelena's properly. They were not three, but one, each with their wills, contradictory, but such words were often employed to muddle immaterial solutions. A final message reached her comrades, not audibly, but through the resonations of their minds.
"I will awake, and when I do, something new must emerge. It will be the next step up the ladder of perfection. When I stir from this process, I will find you both."
The mutation process was a laborious affair, as even the ingenious mind of Zelena found itself being whittled away. The accumulated reminiscences of a people, their annals both written and omitted, vortexed around the sojourner. This delirium enriched torrent jostling the emerald wayfarer like a deluge devoid of clemency. Their words, the kerfuffle of preceding catastrophes, the dirges of the fallen, comingled impeccably with the achievements of the varenkun. The former Master of Roots was no more, his will and powers long since ingested, as the aberration donned his mantel. The accolade and its burden irrefutable, as the experiment's very soul and prudence had their mettle thoroughly appraised. Sloth and Rorschach, each manifestations of the child, comforted her during this most somber of times.
Epiphany after revelation, each justified their merit as the jade-colored temptress grinded her pearly fangs. The fleshy canvas, bending, contorting, sprouting many new ligaments, as its very design was nearing the breaking point. Each cell rotted, then was reborn, only to re-experience this traumatic cycle. The resilence of not just the vessel, but even the perceived breadth of her sagacity was brazenly contested. The reasoning for permanence, that cosmic hierarchy, and the unsettling truths interred within being exhumed. Their dream, like all realities, seemed predestined to trek down a serpentine path of ruination. A circulatory armageddon that all life, no matter its enlightenment, appeared poised to bungle in futility without the chance of an iota of success.
While most might have lost themselves within the sea of information, Zelena inexplicably found herself finding solace in that turmoil. Instead of being swallowed, the tendril matron surfeited in retaliation, merging seamlessly with all that had been unveiled. With each world rummaged through, the entity molded, yielding to the odyssey that is self-discovery. Once the transmutation had completed, the harmonized humming of her egg, and its gentle glow, desisted their palpable drummings. The exterior cracked, as the barbed aquatic feelers paddled through the amniotic depths, puncturing beyond the uterus and fragmenting the solidified covering. A rivulet of juices, expelling the trembling body outward as the woman that was had partially expired, and what lingered, was by all definitions something utterly newfangled. Rising from the soup of creation, she awoke those squirming tentacles as they erected to the firmaments, letting out a harrowing hymn of veneration.
For the first time, those binary foci had culled acumen, perceiving now why her father tucked her away from this bitter world. Zelena masterminded to impede a disease, a virulent blight that eroded the very foundations of the universe since the dawn of civilization. For you see, war may never change; if perpetually unwavering, then people would needed to improve. Be it from their volition or not, the obligation to bend for evolution was indisputable.
The inditerminable season.
Fate was a stern mistress, notwithstanding her metamorphosis, Zelena found herself once more swept by the undertow. The turbulence of the desert brought with it a fleeting opportunity. Foolishly, Zelena found herself becoming the representative of the varenkuns and oni's during a political assemblage. The wasteland's most prominent figures were there to discuss unification, an endeavor fated to fail before it took off. This unity fractured due to internal squabblings and ancient feuds. Appalled, she watched as the chance at reconciliation slipped through their fingers. Wordlessly, she waited only to have to engage in battle as the council devolved into absolute anarchy.
A foreign interloper, Valerna Jorgenskull, had disseminated seeds of chaos amongst that assemblage. The giantess played the still pullulating union like pawns, stoking their contempt to further her influence. Divided they were feeble to oppose her dynasty as they commandeered authority over the sands. And no matter how loud she screamed; the others weren't inclined to hearken to her words. War had returned as those formerly bleached sands were varnished in the blood of the unsullied. Amun and Zelena withdrew, gathered their forces, and hunkered down waiting out the era of strife. Ultimately the conflict settled down, as they emerged as newlyweds to unite their people as one.
Just as she had assumed she had procured rapture the bitterness of this earth struck again. Her husband vilified his station, turning brother against brother. His appetite for dominion knew no bounds as he eventually turned his forces against the Oni. The cephalopod was away on diplomatic business, only to return to the morbid sight of her brethren reduced to shambling carcasses within his undead army. Fearing for her children, Zelena conspired against the despot. In the end, she arose victoriously and was forced to execute the one person left in her life. This treachery, coupled with one of her children's lapses in judgment, accumulated into the death of their house.
Her three babes were executed in front of her, as the eldritch creature was taken into custody. The eternal house, the new faction that usurped control had no intention to dispose of a valuable resource. Their alchemist and magicians experimented on the horror of the sea. Needles, serums, electroshock, even partial vivisection were all entertained. The once free girl, whose heart of gold was filled with dreams and aspirations, now only new nightmares. There, within her prison, Zelena recalled the warnings of her father Ryse. That this world would never accept her, no matter her wants.
Time passed. The days blended together as each torturous experiment was followed by another. However, one day, the monstrosity of worlds had managed to escape from her cell and retreat into the ocean. There, far away from her motherland and resting on a rock. She lamented. Mourning for her children she failed. Zelena came to accept that this world was no place for a lampoon against the natural order such as herself. her babies depended on her, looked upon her for guidance. Ultimately, when it was all said and done, she guided them into the troughs of despair. Her permanence was the dearth of mirth and an interminable season of anguish.
Death, while eluded, would have been a sweet release from this bitter world. For a parent to witness the passing of her offspring was arguably the most tremendous pain that could be afflicted. For two decades, she developed within the body of her family's killer. Samara, the crimson menace, while to blame, held hardly as much culpability as Valerna. The land knew prosperity, and so, with great difficultly, she slithered from the Tieflings orifice without incident. Sparring the transgressor, less her sanctimonious wrath uproots the very foundations of the land. Zelena, in a larva state, slithered to the balcony before plummeting into the ocean. Here, within those murky waters, she needed only wait for her metamorphosis to conclude.
This speck hovering within the abyss was in great peril. A sweeping void awoke, encroaching toward their domain, incapable of comprehending or bestowing clemency. This thing, whatever it was, couldn't cherish nor experience life, only vicariously compartmentalizing it through consumption of all that is sentient. Whether Elf or beast, all were equal food to propel its self-centered ambitions. The cephalopod tried to warn the world, but no one hearkened to her pleas. They were dismissing the whole affair as the delusional mind and overreactive imagination. Within the deepest bowels of the sea, she waited, meditating, deliberating over her course of action. The world of land needed to experience but a fragment of what was to come to believe her "fantastical" claims.
Sloth and Rorsache were keeping the studious soul engaged as they conversed while treading the ocean. Until one day, during her introspection, she heard that siren's song. Its harrowing composition unchanged since her time spent within that world of tarnished filth and soot. They were here, had been for some time, what commenced as a murmur expanded into quite a thunderous choir. Ergo, what brought the tendril maiden toward these shores. Those binary eyes staring from the sea as the head raised itself from the surface. Ships were coming and going as those blameless souls remained oblivious of the tempest seething just exceeding the horizon.
Judgment for those that persecuted her would have to wait, although this diversion could only defer the imminent bloodletting. Zelena paddled forward; the aquatic emerald traversed the coastline, coming up to a nearby cluster of rocks where she abode. That fog, while ostensibly a natural phenomenon, couldn't swindle this heiress of worlds. The head tilted, befuddlement lingered only to be thrust back by the Conch insisted need for dialogue. His concerns for the host were commendable, but he needn't chafe over such trifling thoughts. Those tentacles were gliding across one another as those boneless extremities formed into what could only be described as an organic, portable throne of feelers. The suit of flesh concealing her ample curves bubbled as mandibles and eyes protruded up from its abnormal state before dissolving once more.
Those oral rims curled into a simper as Zelena savored her front-row seats at the edge of the world. That tongue elongated, vibrating, letting out her echolocation call. Secretly reveling that belatedly, her woes would be realized, and civilization can take the unavoidable steps to escape its looming demise. This town, its guests, even her wellbeing were all tolerable collateral damage if it meant shunting extirpation. The veil of twilight stretched athwart the land. As that acumen of otherworldliness washed over the gemstone of the sea.
"It is time..."
There was nothing left to do but wait and see what horrors would make themselves known.
Those bicolored eyes watched as the uncanny film crashed against the shore, speeding across the town, swallowing it whole. That sensation, the likes of which words failed to describe. They incited the hairs to rise on the back of her neck, as the descendant of worlds could ascertain something prowled within that cloud. This otherwordly menace, an anchor, had cinched the terrain approximately as promptly as it had crept—this plot of land, tarnished by the begriming of the unknown—Commadeered from the material realm. Those foci dividing, veering to the edge of their penitentiary, before convening and merging within the center. Time, like a river frozen by the kiss of winter, ceased its flow. Shadows sped betwixt the buildings, as one by one, she observed the shambling populace meander to the beach. Something was wrong; the manner in which they moved was unnatural as if bewitched by some spell-induced stupor.
That stillness a void that confounded her senses persevered as an all too familiar scourge. Zelena, she had borne witness to this before, rode the spiral, and tasted those delirium enriched springs. Whatever nefarious wills were behind this incursion possessed quite a degree of intelligence. While eluding the comprehension of most, the aptitude of their design hadn't slinked away from this Cephalopods awareness. There, perched on the rocks, She noted how the waves ceased their crashing. Ostensibly even the sea and its tides were subject to their decrees. This epiphany, while unsettling, would do little to whittle down her resolve. This emerald diamond had trekked across the ocean, stalking the echo, and intended to study this phenomenon with the aim of measuring their true adversary.
Most might persist inert, seized by trepidation, as they remained hunkered down in the optimism that this tempest would pass them by without incident. However, Zelena knew better; her time within this rancorous world was anything but cordial. When faced with adversity, it was best to keep moving while exercising a hearty measure of prudence. Those boneless limbs propelled the mistress forward as she sat upon their twisting biomass like a throne. Those things, whatever they were, rushed after her—keeping up with her pace as they stared into each other's eyes. The Cephalopod beleaguered, yet, for whatever reason, they hadn't cut off her forward approach. Zelena pondered if perhaps this stratagem failed her, only to be met with an auditory gurgle. Their carapace mouths, tearing open, issuing a glow, their shades shifted with each step.
She halted her gait, the creature looking at her curiously, as she returned the favor by tilting her head—those feelers, brushing through her raven mane while she recognized their native tongue. Her teeth were clattering, clicking against one another. Those Outsiders looked about somewhat mystified, flabbergasted that this meddler understood their language. Zelena slipped off her seat, settling those organic shielded feet onto the earth. The beings angered, shot forth their blackened goo. This toxic ink stuck to her voluptuous body as it attempted to glide through the very pores of her exposed skin. The enigma, the child between Eldritch and known, dropped to the floor, vehemently convulsing. Those crustaceans were encircling their prey, laughing, as it seemed she wasn't anything deserving of their time after all.
The pack leader grabbed her by the ankle, hauling their treasure across the sands toward the swaying masses. Abruptly, he stopped, looking back, as a tentacle shot forward coiling around his neck. The others panicked as each tendril followed suit, reciprocating the same treatment. Their boney legs, kicking about vainly, as the enraged octopi kept bludgeon them against the wall—her biology, produced antibodies to their infection, as she appeared above their capacity to contaminate. She repeated, banging them harder and harder while she snaked across the town. Their debilitated bodies dented, transmitting splotches of darkened blood on each impact. She roared in their tongue; the vibrations were provoking the others to gaze over their shoulders. Then, facing toward the challenger's general location across the settlement.
Those corpses whipped through the windows of the tavern; before long, the spinning mass of thrashing growths broke through what remained of the door. Perspiration, flowing down Zelena's unclothed body as those orbs shone a brilliant radiance of ochroid and emerald. There glued to the walls, encased by phallic roots, she beheld the others. Those eyes, swerving toward Tahira, nictitating from bewilderment as the child seemed to be fidgeting, fighting what should otherwise subjugate her with ease. Stepping forward, as those slimy tentacles smeared across her face, this elf's magic, the energy she softly radiated in defiance. It was somehow different, unlike any she had sensed within this world before. Could it be? Was this woman like her? No, she was different, yet, familiar...