Edges of Reality
Notes: This is an introduction to a long series I'm working on - probably of several chaptered fics. It'll have a very strong slash theme, by the way, so proceed with caution. Let me know if you enjoy this little bit… I'd like to know what people think. ^_^
*** From the Holy Text of the Mageborn, author unknown ***
There were, in the beginning, nine of those we now know as the Ancient, and they each were content to exist in oblivion, their conscious selves only aware of themselves and of each other.
But change always approaches, and the wisest of them, Ayasha, sensed this early on. It was she who brought this knowledge to the others, and she who wrought the beginnings of this change. And the others followed in her stead, now made eager by the suggestion of such change.
Ayasha the OverGoddess brought into being the potential for creation - that they, the Ancient, could build and make things. She was the decision maker, and all others deferred to her.
Beram, ever impatient, created beings that would think and move for themselves, independent of their creator. These things would exist and *be* for until their shells, or bodies, could not sustain them. Thus he became the God of Life.
Philius, Beram's lover and more practical side, created a solid place on which these beings could live and prosper. He made growing things that depended on his solidity to sustaint that life. Thus he became God of the Earth.
Everan, looking always ahead and behind, saw that this beings would each have things that would happen to them. He created, therefore, a means by which each being could live through a separate fate, and that fate, for each one, would be recorded. His place for this was called Asanmar, and only he could enter. He thus became the God of Fate.
Venn, ever fond of that which was not solid, created liquid, that the living could consume and it would sustain them. He thus became the God of the Waters.
Cael, fond of that which the eye could not see, created an atmosphere that could be inhaled and would surround Beram's beings forever more. Thus he became the God of the Air.
Trabora, seeing Everan's ideal and understanding that the past and the future could not be mixed, created the continuity of events and happenings, so that such things would flow smoothly. Thus she became the Goddess of Time.
Seia, perceiving that there would always be change, sought to create such change as to alert the beings to its constant approach. She created an alteration of Cael's atmosphere, a consistent shift in the way things were. She thus became the Goddess of the Seasons.
Titania, ever of an inconsistent temperament, created a thing that would wreck havoc and cause hurt. But this thing would also provide warmth and light. She thus became the Goddess of Fire.
And Ayasha was pleased at this.
"There will be other Gods," said she, "and they will create worlds, and play with what we have wrought. But all of the things which we have created will be present in all worlds, and we will center them in a place that is ours, which shall be the core of all things in existence."
And thus were created the BorderLands.
*** End Excerpt ***
The Holy Temple of the Order of the Mageborn was surrounded by dissention.
Currently being picked apart and bitterly argued over was the matter of an imbalance of the worst sort that was slowly beginning to cover over the heart of the universe, the place where all things were centered and controlled - the BorderLands.
And since the BorderLands were the place where the Most Holy Temple was located - and where all of the Mageborn made their home - the matter was considered to have some importance.
At the back of the Temple, hidden in the shadows, was the short, thin figure of the one known as the Star Guardian of the BorderLands. The somewhat boyish immortal appeared to be paying more attention to the glowing ball he was rolling over and between his fingers than the bickering members of the oldest institution in the history of the universe.
A taller, sleekly muscled young man entered the room without being noticed and took the seat beside him. "They've gone stupid on us," he observed blandly, shifting the sword belted to his waist.
"They always have been," the Star Guardian remarked, eyes still fixed on the little ball of light. "You just never notice until there's a crisis."
The taller immortal made a derisive sound. "I'm not sure you'd call this a crisis yet - not until it progresses. The Mageborn aren't improving over time. When you're born into a job, it doesn't encourage you to study and better your understanding."
"There are always a few useful members."
The immortal known as the Sword Guardian shrugged, dismissing the matter. "How long do you think it'll take them to decide that they need to let us handle it?"
"I'd give them another few millennia." The Star Guardian grinned impishly. "Let them talk it over enough to satisfy their need for self-importance."
His companion leaned against the wall behind them. "What needs fixing?"
"Oh, not much." The smaller redhead shrugged. "Seasons is on the verge of going all to pieces, the Tides are out of balance, we've got half a dozen Elemental forces ready to rage as soon as they get their chance, and Asanmar no longer has a Keeper."
"The Keeper died?" The Sword Guardian raised an eyebrow. "I hadn't heard."
The glowing ball stopped moving. "It was quiet." That came out almost regretfully. "We've got some time before we have to gather the Keys and attend to that - right now, we're going to have to invite a few choice individuals in."
"Great." The Sword Guardian's voice was flat. "Mortals. Just what we need."
The Star Guardian smirked. "Not necessarily 'mortals', my friend. Do you remember the world called Syph?"
The taller immortal nodded. "The one with the demons. Why? Are you thinking of calling a demon in to deal with all of this?"
"Not quite." His companion slid one finger beside his nose, and smiled. "A full demon wouldn't help us anyway. But I've been looking into things… and I think I might have one solution that isn't mortal or fully a demon."
"In that case, why don't you set things up?" the Sword Guardian suggested blandly. "Get your chosen champions to put up a couple of fires in that elemental world or something."
"Ayr," the shorter immortal supplied. "And yeah. That's what I was thinking. I'll just have to do it in stages."
The faintest hint of a smile tugged at his companion's mouth. "What do you plan to tell them?" he asked, turning away from the Mageborn scornfully.
"As much as they need to know." The Star Guardian shrugged, and offered another impudent grin. "We're going to save the universe again. What else is there to tell them?"
"Good point." The Sword Guardian stayed seated as the shorter immortal rose to break up the 'meeting'. The Mageborn wouldn't like being interrupted, but then, they didn't approve of much that the Guardians did.
"You'd best watch your step, mage," the warrior murmured, his hand drifting to his sword's hilt as he watched the other Guardian approach the wrangling Mageborn. "When we next meet, I'll be out for your blood once again."
*** From 'Prophecies of the Ancient Ones' ***
It was Beram who was the God of Living Things, but Beram had ever been impetuous, and his concerns, as always, lay in acts of mischief and in his ever-heated love affair with Philius, God of the Earth. Thus, it was Everan, the God of Fate and so concerned with the destiny of those live beings, who took a less conspicuous human form and undertook the task of living among them.
Everan, though kindly, was well-noted for his impatient nature, and was not content to wait and watch idly. And so, he immersed himself in the daily life of the people, introducing himself in the village he had chosen as a traveler seeking a place to settle and live.
In doing so, he invited misfortune upon himself.
There was in the village a young man of some twenty or more years, and he was fair and pleasantly natured. The God Everan, himself in the form of a boy no older, found the sight of this human attractive, and his company even more so. Long had he observed the relationship of Beram and Philius, and here was that curiosity satisfied, for such feelings as he now knew were sweet indeed.
Being inexperienced in matters of the heart, Everan then opened himself up for a great suffering. Any who have felt the call in their soul of true love will too understand the immense sorrow that would come with an extended parting.
And so it was, for while humans will age and die in time, a God will live eternally.
Bitter was Everan when this was brought to his attention, for the prospect of spending an eternity without the one who had captured his heart and soul was, in a word, unbearable. In the days that followed, the only comfort left to him was the presence of his beloved.
It was Ayasha the OverGoddess who suggested a solution, but that plan did involve a sacrifice - a sacrifice that would, in fact, be shared by all nine of the Ancient Ones. For in the moment that all of the Ancient, as one, were to will themselves to be reborn in mortal guise, would Everan's beloved be allowed to reincarnate in a form immortal. And then, once their identities were revealed once again, would the nine Ancient take their place, once more, as protectors of their chosen creation.
Though Everan was reluctant to impose his misfortune on his dear friends, Ayasha was insistent, and the others did readily agree.
And so it was that the God of Fate and his cherished lover were brought forth into the grip of pure chance, hoping that, when they did again met, it would be a most happy reunion. All enfolded in blind love did they submit themselves entirely to whatever might happen between them in the distant future.
And of this reunion, only time will tell.
*** End Excerpt ***
There was a smell in the air like cinnamon… or some other sweet spice, one that tickled at the back of the brown-haired young man's memory. Everything was hazy, like in a dream or when a person was tired or groggy, and unable to be fully aware.
Oh, this can't be real…
The room was something out of an Arabian fantasy. Draped with luxurious silk, consisting almost entirely of the large, soft bed, it drew the eye directly to the other occupant - a young man with a face and body that weren't quite human in their perfection. The sheets of the bed seemed to be all that covered him; his eyes were closed, and his muscles relaxed in sleep.
It would have to be him, wouldn't it? The first boy turned his face away, eyes squeezing painfully shut. There was something about this set-up… something that hinted at danger… But he couldn't keep his eyes away - the vision in front of him tugged at his heart. I want… I want…
The boy on the bed moved then, lids sliding open as he did to reveal their brilliant silver-blue depths. He said nothing, but his eyes locked on his companion, and with that instant, the contact ensnared them both.
Without another thought of any unseen threats, the first young man bent over the bed, resting one elbow on either side of his partner's face. He was so close he could almost feel the other boy's heartbeat. He could certainly feel his own; it pounded against his chest, battering with the force of his desire.
Beneath him, the second boy's eyes fell shut again, soft lips parting sensuously as he tilted his face up to meet the kiss inevitably building between them.
The brown-haired boy claimed that long-desired physical contact, and willingly surrendered his soul up to the darkness that would consume him for it.
To be continued