Noctis Astrum

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He looked upon the sky, alone and afraid in the darkness of the night. Right above the misty clouds, the light enshrouded in a web came from the brightest of stars. All of them laid there, in their eternal spots, waiting,  watching. Some were brighter, other were darker, each glow the witness of their power. The weaker the glow, the harder the stars were to be seen. But deep beneath their light, in their primordial core resided their power, the vitality that once with each passing of the night could expand until their full potential.

He looked upon the weakest of the stars, barely able to bear her own light, the power of the surrounding stars threatening to consume her any moment. With no second thought, he grabbed the star into his hands and looked upon it, hoping for answers. But the light was too weak, unable to guide him on his path. Saddened, he looked upon the other stars, brighter and stronger. Intimidated, he did not reach for the strongest of them, and instead accepted the weaker one.

He continued to look upon his chosen weak star and promised that her glow and light will bloom brighter than the other stars. But his patience proved to be their worst enemy. He begun to river upon her words of hatred and sorrow, blaming, naming, shaming.

The glow flickered, twisted, letting itself manipulated by the hatred. The weak glow barely shined in the hands of words and silence, understanding that he was not the one to set her free. The glow slowly burned inside and begun to fade away with each passing of the night.

Mad and with no hope, he cursed at the weak star and looked upon the stronger ones, reminding her that she was supposed to become brighter than those. As the glow slowly begun to fade, he left behind his promises, his words that once summoned security and hope. He chose the weak star only because it was the nearest, but he never understood what that meant.

He looked upon the broken star, slowly consumed by the darkness of the night, one last curse bestowed upon it. He faced the brightest of stars and decided that the leap of faith was his only option. As he reached the desired star, horror claimed his eyes as the star proved too strong for him. With a last glance towards the weak one, he attempted to call her back, but no response came back, leaving him alone the same way he left her alone.

He looked upon the bright star that slowly consumed him, the echo of his cry reverberating in the distance. Hearing his call, a silver drop fell in the dark void, ignoring. He continued to resist the power of the bright star, once a few nights his eyes glancing towards the star that was once his, regretting.

Eons passed and the bright star slowly consumed him, now only merely a victim of her beauty. As death slowly consumed him, the weaker star begun to transform, her glow stronger than ever. Alone and lost in the twisted darkness, she continued to grow.

When time finally came, he let go of the bright star, all hurt and bruised and desperate reached to catch the nearest star. His hands touched a familiar glow, soft and strong. The glow rapidly moved, avoiding the grabbing hand and hissed in hatred. It was her time to return the favor, not to spit words of hate, but to prove the power that was once weak and small, and now blooming in the dark of the night.

Reclame

Hymn to Azazel

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Itz Rel Itz Rel Azazel

Oh, Dark Shadow of the night,
Dark God in his might,
Lay down your graceful wings
Let me touch their silver rings.

When the Darkness fall apart
Come beside me, embrace my heart
Whisper me words of wisdom and power
Awaken me in the darkest hour.

Bestow upon me, thy love eternal
Thy love which unleashes the Infernal,
The internal, eternal Dark Flame,
And I shall Ascent in thy name.

Itz Rel Itz Rel Azazel

And I shall Ascent in thy name.

Noctis Astrum IV – Leap of Faith

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It’s been years since I’ve last time heard his voice. It was still fresh in my mind as he was part of me. The path I flew upon was not just for anyone and he certainly was careful with the souls he chose to leave his mark upon. My mentor always pushed me to extend my boundaries and leave my comfort zone; ascend. There were times I could hear his voice and understand his intentions, and other times I could barely keep up the pace with him. How could a being like him understand mortal feelings even if he never experienced mortality?

I welcomed his presence in my life and left the control of my wings upon him, allowing my mentor to guide me with no restraint. Having a demon mentor proved to be the challenge of my life. I had to hide everything about me, as this was surely something that none would have understood and accepted. Following a being of darkness forced me to become one with the darkness, embrace it and follow it even in times when I had fear in my veins. Fear of darkness was natural and normal, but for me it was unacceptable. I accepted darkness in my life, and I was the one who had to fight the fear or else it threatened to devour my sanity.

Before I even heard Azazel’s name for the first time, I’ve met the only mortal I ever knew to follow such a sinister path. I felt an unworldly fascination with darkness since I was just a little hatchling, but this mortal showed me for the first time in my existence this was indeed the path I had to learn to fly on. I felt insignificant in his presence at first, knowing that I was nothing compared to him, but he… he did not view me as inferior but quite the opposite. He saw me as an equal, an ally, an individual that would rise above the tangled ropes of destiny.

After a short period, I took the reins in my own claws and confronted darkness itself; it was the time when I’ve learned about Azazel. Everything came to me naturally, as if this was my meaning in this existence. The progress was fast and I skipped a few phases, but it did not matter as long as I had him right behind me. I enjoyed his presence for a couple of months, time when I asked him to place my life in order, but this came soon enough to an end.

I could still sense his presence there, somewhere, but I could no longer clearly hear his voice and he was now more hidden as ever before. The dark night of the soul had ended and it was my turn to take the lead. With my mentor’s presence and whispers behind I finally took my leap of faith.

‘’Seek out the one cloaked in shadows…’’ he whispered…

Noctis Astrum III

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“I know you are there.”

Her voice slowly spoke to the dark figure that awaited her in the dark of the night. With no reason to remain hidden, the shadow stepped out of its hiding as she turned her head to glance at him.

‘’Your senses are still vigilant, I take it.’ Her mentor sat down near her as she stood in silence watching the peaceful moon. “You may be one with the darkness, but there is no reason for you to remain here.’’

Her mentors’ words struck her in the deepest and oldest wound, the blood long ago drained but the cut still fresh. ‘’I’d prefer to remain home, away from the ones that are not as us.’’

Azazel lowered his head annoyed at the stubborn dragoness that stood right beside him. His eyes glowed a deep blue, a spark of his ancient wisdom. The white horse skull that covered his face reflected the glowing of his eyes, its massive horns stretching to the night sky.

‘’ Your place is not here yet. Go back in the world and fulfill your destiny.’’

The dragoness stood up and faced Azazel with hatred in her eyes. It was not hatred towards him, but towards his words and herself. “Spread your wings to the sky…” his words echoed. Her massive tail shattered the ground hearing his words.

‘’How can I reach the unlimited sky if my wings are limited?’’ shouted the dragoness. ‘’What do you know about mortal feelings?’’ Azazel ignored her challenge and remained silent. ‘’All you do is come to me and say words with no meaning.’’ Azazel rolled his eyes as he walked towards the edge of the mountain they stood upon.

‘’Remember the night I told you to have trust in me? Have you forgotten it? You had always failed to fully listen to me.’’

‘’There is no use, I give up.’’

‘’Nothing will come if you give up. Hit the walls, let yourself stabbed by the unknown. Walk blindly in the darkness, and the darkness shall grant you vision. Not the vision to see, but to perceive.’’

Surprised by his words the dragoness rose her head to the sky.

‘’Don’t you dare look up to the light when you walked all your life thought darkness.’’

Azazel’s last words struck back in the old wound, countless memories unfolding themselves before them, materializing in the thin air out of his will. “The light never gave you an answer, and it will never will.’’

Trying to ignore the demon behind her that tried to convince her to leave, she scouted the surrounding from the stone throne she called home. Bellow her wings, on the plains that stretched around the mountain base, resided a group of dragons, all carrying their mundane lives.

The dragoness never left her homeland, the group being the only creatures of her species she ever knew. None proved to be a suitable mate for her.

Before spreading her wings and took flight, Azazel’s words echoed one last time.

”Look out for the signs.”

Writing Contest Entry – placed 1st –

Won in the writing contest hosted by an user from wajas.com
Won 23.05.2018

Birthday wish

I saw the stars falling down to Lunaria. She was there. And I saw her.

Years passed over me and it was once again my birthday. My eyes closed out in sadness and sorrow, hating with all my being that day. Every fiber of me despised that cursed day, the day I came on this useless world, and the day she meet her cruel fate. The very day I was born, she died, right as she brought me to life. Her last breath, was my first breath.

My father never wanted to see me. The elders of the cave said he was from a different part of Lunaria, others said he never wanted to see me since my mother died because I was born. But I will never forget what the oldest Divine from the cave told me. „She gave her life so you could live. She loved you more than her own life. Cherish the gift she left you.”

But no matter what everybody said, I was still sad when my birthday came. I just could not enjoy this day. All the cave members celebrated that day, all happy and having fun. I tried my best to look happy even tho I felt my soul crushing under the past. The night slowly covered Lunaria and stars begun to populate the sky. The elder divine approached me.

„Come with me, I have something to show you.” And I did follow him. He brought me to a nearby forest, not very far away from the Pear Tree. I looked above me and the starry sky, unsure why I was right there.

The elder had a small sphere in his paw, a sphere that reflected the light from the stars. I looked with interest at the elder as he was smiling to me. I heard so many legends about the powers of the divine wajas, but I never witnessed their powers. He gently broke the sphere, dust covering its paw. He scattered the dust in the night wind and I watched as the dust seemed to climb up to the stars.

Only a few moments passed and I begun to see stars falling down to Lunaria, a nebula of colors and lights. A star suddenly became more and more light in color as it fell down to the ground. I followed the light with my eyes, mesmerized by it. Soon enough it touched the ground.

That was the moment when i saw the star forming a figure, a familiar yet unknown silhouette. The light figure took the shape of a beautiful tempest, blue nebulas emanating from her heavenly eyes. My breath stopped as I followed her shape with my eyes, unsure on who that figure was.

As the figure approached me, I soon realized who she was. She was my mother. The spirit of my mother was there, right in front of me, looking at me with sadness in her eyes. I was breathless, speechless in the face of my most burning wish that was granted that night.

That very night I had my wish fulfilled, my wish that hunted every birthday of my existence, the wish that I could meet the very creature that gave me life. She approached me and cuddled me just like a mother would do with her cubs. She did not spoke to me, she just glanced at me and somehow I could understand her thoughts. She never regretted her death. For her it was enough that she could watch all my steps from the night sky. I felt the sorrow slowly elevated from my shoulders and empty soul.

It didn’t last long, her spirit slowly begun to shatter in the air, returning to her eternal celestial place. She returned to her rightful place, and I had my birthday wish granted.

Tears of the Divine

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„Here it is.”
His soft voice got carried along with the spring wind.

The night slowly engulfed Lunaria, giving it’s lands an enigmatic feel. The two Divines climbed up the hill, their paws embedded in the soft warm soil. Reaching their destination, Xibalba rose his gaze to the very top, following with his eyes the ancient branches of the old tree. The branches abruptly ended, seeming that a part of its core went missing.

„I can sense your thoughts as you watch the ripped branches. There is were I emerged from when Apollo came to me. There is the spot were I and the tree became one.”

Xibalba watched his father, lost in thoughts. How could one become one with the land, he thought for himself. „What do you mean when you say you became one with the tree?” asked Xibalba.

„I fell in a coma, and the branches entangled around me, giving me protection. My coma connected me to the land, feeling it’s heartbeat. I didn’t transform in a tree, of course.” joked Zarek as a faded smile formed on Xibalba’s lips.

Above the ancient tree, light descended from the stars, gently making its way to the earth. The light separated in several glowing orbs and they begun to dance in the wind. Zarek glanced at them in wonder, soon understanding what they were. His son, mesmerized, remained frozen in place watching the glowing spheres. The wise Divine rose its paw in the air, allowing an orb to rest in its soft fur. He soon realized who they were and a tear glided down its cheek. Upon hitting the ground, the tear hardened and became a light blue colored pearl.

Legends spoke of the Divines as being heavenly creatures, so enigmatic that nobody ever saw them cry. Touching the soul of a Divine was considered an impossible task as they rarely showed their true emotions to those around them. It was believed that their tears possessed magical powers able to heal death and decay, powers that could resurrect or destroy entire worlds.

„What are those?” whispered Xibalba as he glanced at the orb in Zarek’s paw.
„They are the soul of my family. The family I’ve lost that cursed night, the family I failed to protect.”

A second orb flew around Xibalba’s head until stopping and resting on his nose. Tears continued to flow down Zarek’s cheeks, all transforming in pearls at the roots of the tree. Sensing his son’s questions, Zarek spoke.

„They came to pay me their last visit. They had forgive me for my failure and are ready to go beyond the stars, leaving this world for all eternity.”

Xibalba gathered the pearls as he listened to his father. Zarek reached to his paw and took all the pearls, crushing them in a fine powder. As the orb begun to ascent to the sky, Zarek spread the powder to the sky, the wind carrying it beyond their realm. The dust formed new stars to light the night sky.

„We Divines are descendants of the Gods. Once our soul is touched, our tears reveal themselves. Our tears are known as the Tears of the Divines, and their powder guide the lost souls to pass beyond our world, and join the night sky as stars. They are now there, up in the universe. This is one of our duties, to guide the souls towards their eternal peace.”

Waja’s Writing competition – 1st place winning

 

Entry one

Name / ID: Occultess / 136244

The Chosen Waja: The Chosen Divine, Zarek

Edit: Placed 1st with this entry

Story:

I remember that night as it was yesterday. The night my beloved family fell prey to a strange dark apparition that attached us. I will never forgive myself for being unable to protect them, to fight for their lives.

A sharp pain hit me, blurring my vision as I tried to banish the dark figure. I closed my eyes and fell from the night sky, all my senses long gone. My beaten body fell upon a mighty and ancient tree.

Its branched soon entangled around me, offering me protection. I was well aware of what was happening around me and Lunaria. I became one with the land, and the land became one with me, feeling its breath and pain even tho I was in a deep coma.

Eons passed and at last my eye opened once again. He was there, in front of me. The mighty Apollo stood before me, his wings spread to the skies. As I heard his words, I felt a surge of power traveling my body and mind.

It was not long until I could stay on my own paws once again. I received the Mark of the Chosen. I am Zarek, wisest of the wise, chosen of Apollo.

Entry two

Name / ID: Occultess 136244
The Selected Waja: Artemis Corps Forest = ???, a harbinger of destruction
Name suggestions: Xibalba, Deithess

Edit: Not placed in contest
Story:

I was there. I saw the very feather as it glided towards our devastated and dead lands. A glimpse of hope glittered in the eye of Artemis, a smile slowly forming as she meet up with the Mad Scientist.

I witnessed the horrors of the experiments, all needles deep down in my flesh, leather strips pinning me down as a faded howl escaped my exhausted lungs. I closed my eyes in relief as the needles left my beaten body. Raw power begun to circle my body as it flowed through my blood.

Time passed and my body already healed as I was learning more about my destructive powers I gained from the experiments. A portal opened before me and as I passed through it I saw a group of divines flying on the night sky. „There is no point in peace when the world is destroyed” I thought as I attacked with no mercy the group of wajas. One by one fell under my claws and fangs, except one of them.

He looked shocked in my eyes, his breath almost missing. I could read sorrow and pain in his eyes, and my heart skipped a beat as it made me almost regret all I’ve done. I could feel for the first time the pain of those I tortured.

He fell. I saw him fell to the earth. I knew my wings were not powerful enough to save him. At least him. I closed my eyes as I waited to hear the impact with the ground, but it never came. I looked down and saw an ancient tree entangling its roots around him, protecting his weakened body. Raw power engulfed the tree, a power that came from withing the divine.

„Farewell, my dear divine. I hope we will one day meet. Forgive me.”

I left his world back through the portal. Something was missing from my heart. I wanted to see him once more, but the portal was long closed. I still wait for the time when I will meet him once again.

Noctis Astrum II – The farewell

Silence.

Silence engulfed the dark sky as a fading light made its way to the earth, falling, forever lost and left behind. He closed his eyes as he laid broken and beaten upon the cold ground, no trace of life around.

A soft and warm breeze caressed his face as he looked above. In the distance, a massive dark silhouette circled him, the sound of the wings creating a slow melody. With the wings spread to the stars, the dark silhouette landed, starring him deeply in the eyes. The glow of her eyes looked familiar. He soon understood.

„We meet again.” said his fading voice.

The dragon remained silent a few moments. Her dark scales reflected the glow of the stars, a blue aura surrounding her.

„Indeed, we meet again. Not much time passed since the last day we saw each other. Merely months had passed. However the memory lingers still fresh in my mind.”

A smile formed as she spoke.

„Here you are. All alone. Again.”

He turned his head as she stood behind him, his eyes writing sorrow. Upon their eyes meeting, he turned and watched the sky, silent and unable to speak.

„When we said out last goodbye, do you remember what you’ve told me?”

Her question peaked him interest as he glanced again towards her. The mighty dragoness laid down near him, her wings closed around her body. With a smile and fire in her eyes, she looked in his eyes, waiting for an answer.

„You told me, that if there is true love between us, we will meet again.”

Her words awoke countless memories, still fresh and vivid in her mind, so vivid, the stars above could reflect them and project them on the night sky. Memories, moments frozen in time and preserved in the back of her mind. He finally spoke.

„I do remember. And it is true. If there is true love between us, we will meet again. And it happened.”

His words, made her smile.

„Too bad, this time, you will remain alone.”

Surprised to hear her words, he stood up and glanced at her, frozen in place. Before he could speak, she continued.

„Have you forgotten the way you abandoned everything? The way you gave up?” she whispered as she got closer to him. „Have you forgotten when you promised that you will never leave? Of course you had forgotten. But I did not. Everything happened, as I foretold.”

„There is still hope.” he attempted.

„Only time will tell. Until then, farewell.”

Spreading her wings, the dark dragon conquered the skies leaving him behind.

„It is your time to remain alone, the same way you left me alone. You hoped to find someone to replace me. And you failed.”

ABYSSANCTUM – CHAPTER 1 – FALL OF THE HEIR

Far beyond the mighty Caputalis mountains, in the deep and dense jungle of Uligo, the Shrine of Umbra was animated by coats of many horses. Mares, foals and stallions, all stood around the Shrine, enjoying the few sun rays that escaped through the tree branches. Foals chased one another, mares groomed their coats or crafted delicious treats for their herd while stallions spared in tests of strength and patrolled.

The Abyssanctum herd was the permanent inhabitant herd of Uligo, always near the Shrine, guarding it and enjoying the energy it gave them. From time to time other herds came to the Shrine but rarely incidents happened, the herd known to be peaceful and open to other herds, Azazel known to help from time to time herds or horses in need. Over the course of years, several mares that were held hostage by their stallions asked Azazel for assistance, the black stallion immediately taking action and sending all herd to release the mare. However, once attacked, the stallions and diplomats fought back day and night to get back their mares and took other mares as revenge. As long as no horse threatened it, the herd remained calm and friendly.

The herd was formed by Umbra’s followers, practitioners or not, all were welcomed and respected under the leadership of Azazel and Occultess assisted by their best friends, Xibalba and Sephiroth. Years passed and the offsprings of Azazel slowly returned to their birth herd and acted as guardians, forming their own herd that contained mostly stallions.

Theldrassil, the first Demigod of Umbra had been born in the heart of the herd after his death, and joined the guardian herd continuing his eternal duty as a Guardian of the Mortal World. Ancient, the son of Theldrassil and Dawngazer, the well known Demigod pair returned too after spending years in bands of stallions, proving to be a very powerful and influential diplomat, returning home five mares that had been stolen from the Abyssanctum herd.

Umbra, the mortal Shadow of Umbra watched from the shadows the well being of the herd from distance, intervening only when needed. He was the most secretive member of the community, no horse ever seeing him in the presence of mares, yet foals from his blood joined the herd shortly after the wet seasons, his most powerful offspring, Abaddon, born from Nocturnal, the Dark Mare of the Woods, a mare that only the darkest of stallions could approach. Most of his offsprings left the herd soon after growing up, only Filios, the incarnation of the famous stallion of Reveri promising to remain longer with the herd.

Valkorion, the first arabian to be born on Vesanus joined the guardian herd acting as a scout and storyteller, many ancient lore stories revived once with the words he spoke. The mares loved him and as a result, many arabian offspring bloomed in the herd offering a wider diversity to the draft and warmblood dominated herd.

The most curious young foal was the one that called himself Lucifer ever since his birth. Azazel was aware that the foal’s mother was one of the last foals of Lucifer, the founder of the herd that worshiped Nox, but he could not tell if the foal was indeed its true reincarnation or not. The herd members celebrated Nox and honored her too, but the foal proved to be attached to Nox more than the other dark followers.

During a dark night with full moon a pure black arabian stallion introduced himself to the herd, the proud offspring of Tiamat, the Incarnated Chaos and Calamity Embers, the beautiful pale mare. The stallion proved to be a powerful stallion with a power similar with the one of Theldrassil. While Theldrassil had the power to blind and use Darkness against its opponents, able to ever hurt them physically with the power of the Shadows, Obliterum had the power to drive its opponents into insanity, tearing apart their minds and emerging them into despair. Obliterum had a sadistic satisfaction in having revenge against the herds that attacked Abyssanctum and once he sent a pack of jaguars to attack and tear apart the leader of a herd, killing him after countless hours. This made the Abyssanctum herd gain a darker reputation and herds begun to keep their distance from the herd, but this did not anger Azazel. Azazel knew that was the true nature of Obliterum and accepted it, allowing the stallion to follow its destiny and act upon its own desire.

At first it was thought that Obliterum was the most curious individual, but after turning three years old, one of the strongest offsprings of Azazel stood before the herd, all heads turned in his direction. The muscles tensed under his dark coat with each gracious step, arching his neck. His aura was strong, but his physical power was way more grater, being able to defeat multiple opponents at the same time.

He was the son of Theldrassil, sired during his first incarnation, the mother being Bellasona, daughter of Azazel and Occultess during their second life. This made Darkness a pureblood, born from both incarnations of Azazel and Occultess, making him to be more powerful than their normal offsprings. The charisma of Darkness made all the mares look upon him, his gaze intimidating the stallions and seducing the mares, his confidence increasing his charm. Even if Darkness had been born from a warmblood and a draft, the stallion was an arabian, gracious and slender.

At first glance he seemed calm and peaceful with no display of aggression. Knowing the immense physical power he possessed, Darkness dared to challenge Obliterum for the leadership of the guardian herd remaining calm while demanding his rightful position. Obliterum, angered by the challenge attempted to use all his will power upon Darkness, but the arabian stallion didn’t move a muscle, unaffected by Obliterum’s chaotic power and influence.

Azazel assisted at the scene and examined his pureblood offspring, curious to see his true power and determination. He knew the risks of a true battle between the two powerful behemoths, but after understanding that Darkness was immune to any influence, Azazel knew his offspring was no ordinary equine.

With a swift move, Darkness moved behind Obliterum surprising him with his speed and agility, the stallion arching his back during his trot, the flexibility of the bones greater than of the average horse. Changing his position with a fast jump, Darkness turned his back to his opponent and delivered a kick with a single hoof, making Obliterum to lose his balance and fall while all equines watched him. Before Obliterum could recover from the shock, Darkness turned and left the battle, heading towards the guardian herd and claiming his rightful position as leader. After claiming his position, Darkness gazed to Azazel and bowed his head, making him understand he was there to protect his herd, recognizing his superiority.

Time passed and more mares joined Abyssanctum, the guardian herd chased off entire rival herds and foals grew up into majestic stallions and mares, all following their natural course of life. Azazel continued to keep the herd together with an iron hoof, as always calm and meditative , most of the times communing with Umbra. But his time was near and he could feel it, his time running low.

During the course of three years, Azazel prepared one of his sons to follow his hoof prints and to lead the herd until his return. Occultum proved up for the challenge and listened to his father, learning every word he said about leadership. Once with the approaching time of claiming the herd, Occultum kept his distance from his father, standing far away, analyzing. Azazel thought it was sadness, but he was destined to reincarnate again, the second time, retuning to lead Abyssanctum.

Darkness however, did not believe this, feeling a hidden reason behind Occultum’s behavior. He kept his eyes on Occultum waiting to understand his intentions. The heir became more and more prideful, bragging to the herd mares about the great future of the herd. His pride and ego extended until he demanded all mares to grant him foals each season, no exceptions being accepted and he threatened all the stallions to not mate any mare as none had the right at offsprings.

Nox circled around Azazel for days, slowly preparing the old stallion for his departure to the Realm of the Gods until his reincarnation. One faithful night, Azazel and his mate, Occultess, disappeared, both claimed by Nox, making Occultum the new leader.

Occultum savored his title and his pride made the mares look confused at him, unimpressed. After the mare recovered from the loss of their old leader, Occultum begun to tell the mares the old ways of Azazel were wrong. He believed that all the dark followers were superior and that Abyssanctum should be feared, all herds and horses running away from its way. The dark followers were the pure in his vision, while the other followers or the non believer were the impure, and considered them a useless shadow cast upon the ground.

Seeing that no mare shared his visions, Occultum forced the herd to move, herd that was now under the command of Darkmantra, the daughter of Xibalba and Sephiroth. The herd slowly moved away a thundering sound echoing in Uligo as the horses trotted away. Darkness and the guardian herd followed Abyssanctum, Darkness already knowing what was about to happen. During the day, after reaching Aequor, Occultum begun his reign over the other herds, challenging weaker stallions and keeping mares captive while the diplomats went after trusting mares to steal them. A few herds attempted to retrieve their lost mares, but Darkness had a duty; protect the herd at all costs. After Darkness fought with the attackers, Occultum’s confidence grew stronger as he saw the herds leaving the zone as soon as possible.

Mares that had nothing to do with the Dark Gods were forced to live with the herd but Occultum did not accept them, treating them with hate and indifference calling them impure mares. After a mare got stolen, her foal galloped towards her just to be killed by Occultum. “I will not accept offsprings from other stallions than me. The present foals are an exception, but from this moment only my foals will stay around the herd.” The hopeless mares glanced at Darkness, the only stallion that could do something, hoping to see a change.

Theldrassil sick to see the legacy of Azazel destroyed called for Darkness, getting away from the herd to not be heard by Occultum.

“We can’t stay and watch. There are mares that have nothing to do with Umbra, innocent foals killed and a bad name for the herd. We must do something.”

“Azazel had already been reincarnated, Umbra told me his current location. Obliterum will send a pack of mountain lions after the herd, forcing the lead mare to move the herd into the desert. I will tell you the rest when the time will be right.”

The following days Obliterum manipulated the mountain lions, making Occultum to retreat into the desert, unable to fight the felines on his own. Darkness ignored his calls to protect the herd, only following the herd doing nothing. Umbra’s presence grew stronger and stronger as the herd approached the location where Azazel had been reborn the second time, being his 3rd life on Paradisus.

After reaching the herd, Occultum came muzzle to muzzle with his own father, Azazel, this time a black and intimidating warmblood stallion darker than ever. His body was muscular than the average warmblood, standing at an astonishing 18.00 height, the height the most powerful draft stallions reached. His coat was black with small white sparkles across his body, resembling the night sky. His feathering was wider and longer, starting from his knees, covering his black hooves. Black stripes marked his body , running wide over his back, torso and legs. The mane, a dark void that absorbed the light reflected it back making his mane a moving mist dancing once with the wind. The black stallion held his tail high, the dark and dense hair almost covering his legs and touching the warm sand.

“You dared to change the herd and make a bad name for it. Not to mention that you don’t share the same ideology as us. You are not worthy of this herd.” Azazel had a deeper and colder voice, his aura darker and more powerful, visibly different than his past two lives. Seeing that his father was more powerful only by looking at him, Occultum backed off attempting to escape the confrontation.

“Darkness, help me kill father and I will let you be the lead, I will be the second, just let’s bring his down together.” Darkness smiled sadistic, pleased to have Occultum cornered. Before he could run, Azazel kicked Occultum crushing his muzzle, blood racing down, painting the sand with the blood of his own upcoming death. Avoiding his father, the stallion managed to run away, only to have two predators after him chasing him, sent by Obliterum who watched in silence all the scene. The felines bit the stallions back legs, the stallion falling to the ground with his hooves bloody, breaking his bones.

Nox gently galloped across the skies, waiting to take Occultum’s soul to the Realm of the Gods, his end coming painfully slow. Azazel, disappointed and sorrowful to have his own son fall into the hooves of death approached the draft.

“I regret to see you like this, but I cannot accept that my own son planned my death. And I cannot accept all the pain the herd had to endure because of you. You are not worthy of my legacy.” Azazel’s words cut deep into Occultum’s flesh, knowing what his punishment was going to be. As the stallion gave his last breath under Nox’s eyes, Darkmantra galloped away disappearing into the distance leaving the herd, leaving behind a colt, the only offspring from the founders of Abyssanctum.

The colt that had no name had been neglected by its parents and he watched how his father died, feeling no remorse or regrets. Azazel glanced at the foal, happy to see a colt bearing his blood and the blood of his trusted friends, Xibalba and Sephiroth. However, he knew the foal was broken inside. Xibalba and Sephiroth did not reach the herd, their incarnations recently begun their journey towards the herd. Being only a few days old, Azazel become its father, taking him under his protective hooves.

As the herd recovered from its mounds, the night slowly begun to engulf the desert and Azazel released all the captive mares and claimed his rightful leadership position, continuing his legacy.

Chapter 12 – Birth of the Demigod

The couple continued to travel towards Exilis, making a stop in Lenio Forest at Nox’s Shrine for a short communing with the Goddess of Death. Meanwhile, Azazel continued to train his abilities and understood better how the shadows did, learning to get answers from the silence. Slowly their caterva got a name on their own, The Abyssanctum caterva, after both Azazel and Occultess learned to travel the Realm of the Gods through dreams and visions. The warmblood stallion communed with Umbra on a regular basis, his dark aura getting stronger until he could manipulate it for a short period of time, shaping it as he desired.

Umbra watched over them and decided to grant to their next foal a powerful blessing. After they reached Exilis Forest, through Azazel, Umbra sired their next foal, bestowing upon the unborn foal grate power. Old and forgotten legends spoke about horses born from Gods that had immense power compared to the simple mortals. Their duty was to watch over the mortal worlds and make sure all was in its place. But the knowledge this horses had was forbidden to be passed to the simple mortals, only the most hardworking diplomats having a chance at attaining it. This guardians had from their god parent the power to reincarnate and return to watch once again the mortal worlds. During those times, Umbra gave away secrets to a dedicated diplomat, only to find out that those secrets became known by the simple mortals. The other gods questioned and blamed Umbra for his decision leaving him with no other option than to destroy the island, sinking it to the depths of the ocean. Once with the destruction of the island, the guardians born from gods disappeared and no god ever gave away their powers to the mortals. But Umbra decided to leave behind the past and risked, hoping a new guardian to be born to become the protector of the Dark Followers.

During the pregnancy, Umbra and Azazel kept their eyes upon Occultess, knowing that the draft mare loved to explore and interact with the wildlife she encountered, sometimes interacting with massive felines that never attacked her. Even if all the wildlife was causing her no harm, Azazel continued to guard her with his own life, scouting the forest after lone horses and herds that could be hostile to her. Months passed and the foal in her womb grew bigger and bigger, being closer to its birth. As she felt the first kicks and pains, the draft mare laid on a flower bed, waiting for the birth.

The foal proved to be a warmblood colt, his coat a dark brown covered in large black markings. The colt stood on his small and long legs as fast as he could and already begun to trot around the two horses. Umbra watched his birth from the shadows of the forest a smile forming on his muzzle as the first Demigod had been born again after decades of extinction.

During the day, after Theldrassil’s birth, Umbra and Azazel discussed about the Demigod foal and Azazel had to make sure no horse learned the truth. Umbra was unsure about the reactions this could create among the gods but he could not accept if any god would touch his legacy, the foal being his full responsibility. He could already see the dark aura of the foal, darker then the aura of his parents and the future of the foal seemed promising.

But not only Umbra was watching the scene, two gods glancing with hatred in their eyes at the black warmblood stallion. “They will pay!” said one of them. “At night we will strike and kill Azazel first. The mare and the foal will soon follow his in death!”

Honestas continued to spy on the group and waited patiently for Umbra to leave. As the dark god left, Honestas begun to plot his attack. The full moon rose on the night sky and the colt nested near his mother while Azazel watched around guarding them. The stallion glanced around the forest, sensing something he could not explain, a power similar to Umbra’s but different. Ignoring his senses, Azazel thought the power he felt to be the power of Theldrassil, his Demigod son. He laid near his mate and tried to fall asleep, but a heavy sound made him to jolt, ready for battle.

Chapter 11 – The Cure

The last event exhausted them, being unable to enjoy anything anymore, a piece from their very soul missing. All their hope for the foal came crushing down and their regret grew stronger over the days. Sometimes, they stopped and looked behind, hoping to see the filly following them, but it proved to be just a beautiful dream.

After days of traveling, the caterva finally reached the safe zone, and attempted to enter it. A few massive stallions blocked their path until a few caretakers inspected them both to make sure they did not have the disease. After proved to be healthy, both entered the safe zone and found a cave around the Caputalis Mountains, claiming it as their own. Azazel never saw so many horses at the same location, herds, clans, bands and lone horses, all stood crowded while the caretakers used all their skills to find the cure for the sickness. The caretakers already managed to find a powerful mixing that could boost the immune system, preventing the disease to be contacted by the healthy horses.

The sickness was called Periculo Tussi and it was highly contagious, able to spread carried by the wind. At first it was thought the sickness started in Aequor, but almost at the same time the disease spread all over the island, its starting point being impossible to be determined. Foals and old horses were the first to get sick, the principal factor in contacting it being the immune system.

The panic was high and the security checks grew, the safe zone accepting now only horses with high immune systems that could fight the disease. A few foals contacted Periculo Tussi while in the safe zone and with no second thought, the guardian stallions took the foal away from the zone, their mares fighting to get back their foals or deciding to leave once with the sick foals. Lympha, the most well-known caretaker joined the effort but the progress was advancing slowly.

A brave stallion took the boost mixture and got in contact with sick horses and dead bodies, testing if the he could contact the sickness. Upon its return, no sign of sickness were visible and a few herds left the safe zone just to be found later, all dead. Diplomats prayed to their beloved gods asking for protection and guidance, but no answer came. Azazel and Occultess attempted to contact Umbra and yet again, no answers, but they could sense their presence around.

Scouting teams took the mixture and observed the evolution of the disease, over time becoming more and more violent. Lympha, with the intention of cutting the suffering of the sick ones, crafted a powerful poison that made the sick horse fall asleep and killing them during sleep, allowing the sick ones to end their suffering.

A few caretakers revolted and called her immoral for crafting such a poison. “They will die anyway, so why prolonging their suffering? Let them die in peace and with no pain, this is the last thing we ca do for them.” explained Lympha.

Days and nights passed, and the hard working caretakers managed to find the cure for the violent cough, only the pain remaining. The pain was no ordinary one and the process proved to be harder, the sickness affecting multiple parts of the body.

Azazel and Occultess slowly recovered from their loss and they hoped to get a foal of their own once the Periculo Tussi plague was over. The plague slowly disappeared and the herds begun to leave the safe zone, having now the full cure of the Periculo Tussi. The couple remained even after the island was once again secure and attempted to call Umbra.

“Our first foal just died.” declared Azazel. “I don’t wish to ever see this again, we need a location where we can take care of our foal.”

“I saw the spirit of the foal. I wanders the forests during night and guides lost foals to their herds. She found her peace and meaning.”

Umbra’s words made the couple smile, happy to hear the filly was there somewhere. “There is a small and dark forest, inhabited by very few horses, herds never remaining there. Travel to the Exilis Forest, there it will be safe for your foal.”

“Then we will leave as fast as possible to Exilis. By the time we get there, the breeding season will start.” decided Occultess with Azazel following her closely.