Mal Dream Neutral Ground

Mal passed the back of his hand through his brow and blinked clearing the sweat away. He allowed himself a minute to observe the scene. He was at what had once been engine's 178 first wagon working the connections between the shoulder blade and the spine with five other moongrel mechanics. He was happy to be working again, at first they hadn't let him, wanting him to direct the opperations or not trusting his skill. He hadn't had any of it. He was meant to work. Work gave freedom to the mind from the sorrows that chased him.

With a grunt he went back to working pulling the tree branch that coiled like a living snake in his hands and using it to encircle a minute heuritical fiber connecting it to the next one. Not for the first time he considered the differences in designs. Engineers tended to do things their own way. And there was a clear difference between Lylien's and her Aita's. The moongrel believed in minute interconnected and redundant parts, the god favored grandiose unique pieces. Hers was barely magical his was overpowering.

Xelnirov Dream Neutral Ground

The rogue child had called and he had heed the call. It had taken him ten blinks to consider why he was following as a lackey and that infuriated him. Now as he went from one section to the next he had time to ponder. His claw tore free one of the engraved faces from the engine, instantly turning one of his seeds into bismuth, and he moved to the next. Why was he following the child? Wasn't the child one of his demons? Hadn't he promised that he would rule? He was meant to rule. He was one of the first even if he was neverborn. As he clawed the next soul traped within the engine, a shadow colossi, he smirked.

Eucle Dream Neutral Ground

"I speak thee. I name thee. I call thee."

The machine flared with purpose and power. Shining like a star with newfound power. It was indeed a star, a sun, an unblinking eye's reflecton. The mother's essence was strong in this one. Oussia had been before the world. It had memories and visions of untold power. The god poured into it some more, some of his own essence, so long coveted. He gave the engine Deimos happiest memories few as they were, erasing them from his own mind.

"I call thee. I name thee. I speak thee."

The machine flared with power and purpose. It shone like an old star ever powerful. This one was perhaps stronger than the last and in conjunction they gave much more than the sum would indicate. Phos had been torn in battle, with it came an unsettled grudge. A grudge against his own kind that the god couldn't help but to smile over. The eldest had torn the eye from the mother and now he had bargained for it's power. He didn't care what his kind would think. He had a purpose to see to. This engine he fired with Deimos most severe zeal, the god's dread hadn't been little but it had been overcome. With the new furious red light shining strongly against the gentle blue the room was filled with zealous dread and righteous hope. And more importantly it was sufused with power.

Lylien Dream Neutral Ground

She gasped. It was as if her heart beat for the first time. She was alive. Alive! For the first time. It was like waking up to reality. It was better than reality by far. The cables connected to her spine had been painful, the tinny tendrils inserted in her own flesh had cut deep into her. But oh boy. When the prosperity god had flared the engine with the divine essence she had felt it. She had trashed hard against her subjections like a crazed puppet turning rogue.

She could feel it. She knew it was there without needing to see it. Her flesh barely contained her now. Her essence spilled through the great machine. She felt her arm longer than the longest train and the perpetual hammering of the moongrel workers as they reshaped Purity's wood in a fitting form. Her light arm had barely started and with a thought she extended it forming it from the wood of dreams.

"You shouldn't do that."

It was her own voice or similar enough to not matter. She was becoming a goddess, or close enough, what did she care? Why should she care.

"You are not omniscient, specially when it comes to my body. Trust the engineers, that's what we are taught."

The voice made some sense, but whose voice was it? Was there already consciousness inside the machine?

"I'm engine 178."

Mal Dream Neutral Ground

When the arm had formed all by itself Mal had jumped back. It would have taken the thousand workers a full week to finish it and it had been done so fast that he would have missed had he blinked. In fact he was certain that some of the moongrels had blinked missing it. That didn't explain why they weren't unput by it. They simply kept going intermingling the wraithwood with purity's expertly crafting joints and connections.

Many had gone inside the machine repurposing the interior refitting it for living in. Wood, fed with the suns powers, reshapping to the gardeners wishes as they walked.

Xelnirov Dream Neutral Ground

The growing consciousness had made it hard to keep extracting the trapped souls within the engine's carcass. A carcass that was all too living with an overpowering dream a dream that threatened to drown even one as him if he tried to devour it. With a shrug he moved faster collecting the rest of the souls and joining the rogue child at the engine room.

Xelnirov, Eucle Dream Neutral Ground

"It's done, I've collected them all. Now will you tell me what's their purpose child?"

Eucle ignored the veiled disrespect, he didn't need the demon's respect. He took the seeds freeing them from the fruits and the branches and started to cast them in the wraith wood wall. They were like droplets, forming a constellation illuminated by the reflection of the cosmic mother's eyes. The connections grow fast as tiny sprouts sparkled from one seed nesting with the next and so on.

"They are seeds. What other purpose could they have than to provide life?"

Lylien Dream Neutral Ground

Lylien was engine 178 as much as engine 178 was Lylien. But they were much more. A choir had joined them mortal souls that had been trapped inside the engine's wood were now taking root from their seeds growing with the new god. Ghost memories were forming inside them, expanding their experiences making them ancient.

When she was finished she was mortal and engine no longer. Her form took to the skies, much taller than the tallest tree or building. A divine mechanical contraption made of mortals dreams, souls, memories and cased in wood. Powered with the power of creation the living city was now brimming with the engineers that had created it, all moongrel except for a single human.

Inside her were many living creatures, comparatively tiny like mites or perhaps microbes. Still she knew them all by name and trade. How was she capable of knowing that was beyond the understanding of a mortal. As a mortal she would have theorized that it somehow was a genius loci, a gramaric mind construct feeding her the information. As an engine she would have found it obvious, those that had entered had used tickets to do so, giving the information. But now divinity proved much more.

She blinked and transfered some or most of her consciousness to what had once been a mortal body connected to a machine.

Lylien, Mal, Xelnirov, Eucle - Lylien (inside Dream Neutral Ground)

Her dais was beatufilly carved by hand to resemble an interconnection of gears and leaves. She liked it. She sat there with thick cables of data and energy connecting her body to... well her body. She opened her eyes that had been purple but now were alit with red and blue and she smiled at those gathered.

"Aita"

Eucle smiles at the word, there is still some of the mortal inside the goddess.

"Lylien."

"What should I do now?"

"You are your own, and won't be treated as a child but as an aid. You are aware of the plan."

"I am, but others are not, and that troubles you for in their misinterpretation they struggle. I'll go help them."

The eldest god nods and signals Xelnirov and Mal.

"Take them with you, they will be of help."

"Why would I do such thing?"

"An army needs a general Xelnirov, the seeds you collected will be given bodies of wood and purpose. Lead them well."

And I? How will I help?

"Not only the dead will need direction, the living too, and I cannot be at all places at once. You are the last trade soldier, we will need you."

"Now go."

Neutral Ground

The different factions within the city, those that feel envy of one another are fighting ultimately to be more powerful. To have more resources. But in a city built on dreams and over the prosperity's god back material wealth lacks meaning. Psionic power, that is the power to harness ones dreams, was a good indicator of power between each other. The more one could change reality the more powerful one was. Still changing reality too much in Neutral Ground was complicated, the city was crafted by the gods and they had put many dreaming trees in it that while not strong individually when bundled their dreams were tough to bend.

Since a good show of wealth was in fact things that couldn't be produced by magic the wealthiest had set their gaze upon the world below. There magic wasn't as commonplace as in the moon and people still crafted things by hand taking their time. Time, to invest upon something, was a valuable commodity. And valuable commodities were always valued within the moon.

It had taken some effort to repurpose the luck's god curse to more fiting uses. But at last the prosperity god had reached some success. He could perhaps not unroot envy, but neutrality was a strong mortar in Neutral Ground. Open intestine fights between factions would not be tolerated. Ruthless clandestine trade wars were on the other hand encouraged. He gifted bits and pieces of the plan, incomplete and harmless, to the most envious of his followers. Those prophecies were when put together self defeating and apparently random. Wether they ultimately furthered the god's intention was pointless. By chasing them they competed in a manner that was propicous and it culled the weak.

That's how the Great Game, the Fair Game, or the Xorvintaal started. The prosperity god would give tiny smites of promises to some wealth dragon letting them interpret them and act upon them. Many would see prophecies were there were none, others would miss the prophecies entirely or make up their own. The god didn't care.

The players were sworn to the game and their prophecies. Always acting by proxies and in a roundabout manner trying to gain their god's favor and stronger promises. The world was their playground and their chips were only limited by their imagination. But like a god marks his mortals so would a player.

Spoiler
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AP 8 + 1 PAP

Beget God 5 (3+2 to raise DR to 2): Eucle has created Lylien animating her core body through gramarie and souls
PAP 1 Create Concept: The Great Game.
AP 0 Create Subrace (using mirror of maybes): Great Game exarchs (will expand later)

3 AP remaining

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Lylien 6 AP