Post by Emet-Selch on Aug 26, 2019 11:40:27 GMT -5
How'd you find us?:
Emet-Selch, the Angel of Truth
"A bit rude, no? Let us just say... foxy."
He considers every Ascian his kin.
"You've committed the cardinal sin of boring me. And so I retire to the shade."
- Absolutely smug. Emet-Selch's face seems to have this magical punchable property to it. No matter the situation, no matter his emotional state, Emet-Selch always has this innately smug aura about him that there's always that radiating feeling of "I'm better than you" no whatter what the scenario. Whether he's the Gremlin or the Shoebill, it doesn't matter, it carries to all forms. It is so prevalent that even if he doesn't look outwardly smug, there is probably a second, smaller smug face beneath whatever his outward state is.
"A savior mighty and magnificent, deserving of reverence and gratitude... one would have thought. Yet some thought otherwise."
- Emet Selch is considered a pious man, devout to Zodiark, intent on ushering in His darkness across the Source and their Shards, and while he'd love to spread that darkness to everywhere else someday, hey, small steps. This was, of course, a result of being tempered when they first summoned the dark crystal. The result of this however, is that he is in a way, utterly devoted to Zodiark, and as such, he cannot take any actions that would go directly against His will. No matter what else he does, one can always expect him to act in such a way that is best for Zodiark's own interests, before anyone else's, including his own.
"They are gods after a fashion, yes, but no different from the kind with which you are so intimately acquainted."
- That being said, Emet-Selch's tempering doesn't seem to be as... severe as some of the other Ascians. For example, he's not someone who was once known as "The Speaker" who has since been reduced to "HYDAELYN CANNOT SAVE YOU NOW!" No, while he cannot directly act against Zodiark, it appears that Zodiark keeps Emet-Selch on a very, very long leash, giving him a surprising amount of independence, enough to even know the true nature of his own god. As such, he has managed to retain more of his original personality.
"Ahhhh, what irony. What Vauthry achieved through bliss, you shall achieve through despair."
- Emet-Selch has always been a lover of the arts. It's a carry-over from the days of Amaurot, when the creative arts, and of course, their innate creative magicks, were highly encouraged. Despite creating imperially inclined nations that would always become totalitarian nightmares after he "died", Emet-Selch would always, always encourage the creation of new arts as he did his empire building for the good of Zodiark. From Allag to Garlemald, he was always on the bard's side. Of course, this rarely lasted after he "died", with his successors cracking down, but Emet himself would always let the creative slide.
"But yes, moral relativism and all that. Case in point--I do not consider you to be truly alive. Ergo, I will not be guilty of murder if I kill you."
- The Angel of Truth carries an innate feeling of superiority over the lesser beings. He is an unbroken Amaurotine, a Sorcerer of Eld that can be dated back to the Age of Fairy Tales when the world was whole. He can perform feats attributed to gods that is as natural to him as breathing. The gulf between Emet-Selch and the average mortal is as wide as the ocean, and just as deep. In short, there is a lot to back up this feeling of superiority and apathy towards the "lesser races." He sees their lives compared to his, as akin to what one would see a plant's life compared to theirs. To be honest, this carries over to the other Ascians too. He thinks Lahabrea is a moron, and ever since Elidibus blabbed to Zenos, he's come to regret saying the Emissary was no fool. It is worth noting however, that he does not think that he is special. Merely that the other beings are so utterly broken and inferior compared to what they should be.
“I have lived a thousand thousand of your lives. I have broken bread with you, fought with you, grown ill, grown old, sired children and yes, welcomed death’s sweet embrace.”
- That isn't to say he hasn't tried to accept the new races, he has, repeatedly. He has constantly tried to see the best in them, see them thrive and succeed, to experience what they experience and has always found himself wanting. It is not because he has not bothered that he has written off the mortal races, but more that they cannot live up to the lofty standards set by the Unbroken. He compares them to a race where even the least of their kind would be gods in the new worlds, to a race that half of their population willingly and graciously sacrificed themselves to save the world, yet the mortals have torn themselves apart time and again by their selfishness. It has created a sense of cynicism and bitterness towards the new races that in his mind, necessitates the Great Work. Doesn't stop him from occasionally giving a new pet mortal a chance to prove him wrong, though.
"By your Twelve, boy, have I not told you before that everything I said was the truth?"
- Fitting as the Angel of Truth, Emet-Selch doesn't lie. Usually. He may lie, if pressed, but he finds it distasteful, and if he must weave some manner of deception, prefers to cloak his words in so many truths that the issue isn't whether what he said was believable or not, but from which angle one must best examine his words. Regardless though, if one receives any information from Emet-Selch, it can generally be taken on good faith that it's reliable, well, barring something that is completely outdated (time still moves after all) by the time it is acted upon. If he doesn't wish to answer however, he will most likely just say so.
"You're plotting something."
"Every hour of every day. But never you mind about that. As I have told you a thousand times before: I like to watch. Nothing more."
- That doesn't mean he's upfront about everything. The man is ultimately a schemer, always creating many paths that he may choose to take as the situation warrants. While its meaning may have changed with time, he still remains The Architect, after all. Emet-Selch will make multiple moves from the shadows and in the spotlight, as necessary, and while he tends to blind himself with sheer cynicism (and at times, optimism), he does have a good enough read on people that he's able to come up with a general prediction of what will happen next, and act accordingly, all with that ever-present smugness.
"What of this anguish which yet burns in my breast, even after the passing of eons?!"
- Beneath his flippant, smug, secretive nature, and general glib ease however, lies a sheer exhaustion and sorrow that has come from millennia of isolation and loss. Emet-Selch feels he failed his people, and it is because of this he is so devoted to what he calls the Great Work--The rejoining of all the shards, restoration of Zodiark, and resurrection of the Unbroken. He sees himself as their last hope, because Zodiark knows it can't be left to Lahabrea's devices and Elidibus... well he's not sure what's gotten into Elidibus, a sudden phobia of katanas or something? Regardless, the anguish he feels at the loss of the Sundered Paradise is palpable.
"Before the great sundering, there was one world. A world that knew naught but peace and prosperity."
Once upon a time, in the Age of Fairy Tales, there was a paradise in which one race, each member a god by modern standards, lived in harmony. An end to violence, an end to bloodshed, an end to want, an end to despair. Contentment and cooperation filled the air with vibrancy. Differences were handled by proper debate, but even then they paled in comparison to all everyone had in common. New life was brought into the world by simply willing it. Light, dark, it was all meaningless, in this world, there was only life, and joy, and peace.
"Until it was faced with a crisis. Unprecedented, terrifying. Civilization found itself perched upon a precipe, staring into oblivion."
While the details are a bit hazy, even for him, the world... collapsed, for lack of a better word. Emet-Selch knew of three separate disasters that struck his paradise. The first, he knew, was a sound coming from the center of the planet. He had the good fortune not to hear the sound itself, but that was the first disaster. The second disaster was that said sound from earlier caused the Creation Magicks of the world to go haywire, and as his people began to fall into a sense of dread and panic, it created the first beasts, a feedback loop of disaster as the Unbroken created monsters that would go on to devour them, fueling the panic and creating even more monsters. With their magic unchecked, everything spiraled out of control.
The third disaster, however, Emet-Selch has a theory at best. All he knows for sure is that it didn't come from his world. It had nothing to do with the sound, and it was nothing that their magic had created.
"But through prayer and sacrifice, the will of the star was made manifest. Zodiark was His name, and by His grace was the calamity averted."
With heavy hearts, the council emerged and proposed its solution, and the costs. To no one's surprise, half the populace immediately offered themselves with no fuss at all. The cost was met, the ritual crafted by Lahabrea, and the summoning commenced. Zodiark, the will of the star made manifest, was born, and he wove the cosmic laws anew for His people. However, to do so was not cheap. The Amaurotines had miscalculated, and a full half of what remained of their populace would be required to set everything right. Once again, without any fuss, another half freely offered themselves up. The sacrifice was made, the world was saved, and their kin were not lost, Zodiark agreed to return the sacrificed, in return for a full sacrifice of the newly born races.
It was a matter of time, of course, but time was of little meaning to the Unbroken.
"From the fears of these naysayers would rise Hydaelyn--She who was to serve as His shackles. To bind Him and hold Him in check. And so they fought, and they fought, and they fought. And in the end... Hydaelyn was victorious. With all Her strength She smote Him--dealing a blow so devastating that it split the very fabric of reality. And thus was Zodiark banished and His being divided."
In truth, it was a valid concern. The idea of a supreme overgod lording it over a bunch of godlike beings capable of creating anything they desired on a whim was not a good one. At the time, it was necessary, but in the long run, Zodiark would be nothing short of devastating if left unchecked. So, half of the now one-fourth remaining population sacrificed themselves again in order to summon Zodiark's counterpart; a light to the dark, Hydaelyn, for the sole purpose of putting Zodiark into check, and binding His in chains, and sealing His power away. It worked perhaps too well for any of their liking, as with one mighty blow, Hydaelyn sundered Zodiark, splitting His power into fourteen fragments, but also sundering their very star into fourteen fragments.
When he gazed upon the remnants of his world, Emet-Selch knew naught but deepest despair. He was one of the three fortunate enough to avoid being sundered, and remain a complete being. He saw who now took their place; feeble and frail. He knew what had to be done, and so, with the two remaining Unbroken, the Great Work began.
"We Ascians know because it is our history. Our story."
It took them time to realize how the rejoinings worked. The first time, they simply set Igeyohrm on the thirteenth shard and watched her go. A flood of darkness took the shard, and it became worthless, thus, they realized they must keep a balancing act. The other Ascians would work on the shards, whilst he, Elidibus, and Lahabrea would keep the Source trim and tidy for each rejoining. For his part, if there was an imperially inclined nation like say, Allag, or Garlemald, well, you could bet that was Emet-Selch's handiwork.
Seven times the shards were rejoined, seven times the beings of the source became more complete, seven times had they succeeded. For seven eras, Emet-Selch lived amongst the new races. He came to know them, broke bread with them. He fought with them, he forged bonds with them, he tried to experience love and sire children. He did everything--everything he could to see value in them, so that they could be worthy inheritors of the Ascian legacy, that way, even if his people never returned, Emet-Selch could know peace knowing that the star was in trustworthy hands.
And every time, he was disappointed, and became more and more bitter, and longed more and more for his people, his burden going from heavy, to soul crushing, as the eons slowly passed. Whereas the others were active, Emet-Selch was more than happy to sleep the pain away.
It was the eighth attempt at a rejoining that a thorn in their side finally appeared. A true thorn. Oh, the Warriors of Light had appeared throughout history, but this one... perhaps they were to blame for this. A Warrior of Light from the Source would grow more powerful the more rejoinings took place. It would only be a matter of time before one that could become a true problem would emerge, and become a problem they did.
Of course, it wasn't Emet-Selch's problem. He'd been allowed to retire after growing old and dying as Solus zos Galvus, even throwing in another rejoining to boot! Yes, his time had been quite productive. After building up Garlemald, going through the same song and dance once again, siring a son, and his son siring a grandson, he was allowed to peacefully embrace death, beloved by a nation that he saw only as pawns. It was time for him to retire and rest. The others could deal with this new Warrior of Light, wouldn't be the first time.
Every time they tried to kill the Warrior of Light, it had backfired spectacularly. Lahabrea gave Gaius the Ultima Weapon? It got blown up by Her Chosen. Lahabrea conspires with Thordan, the Theocracy is overthrown. Elidibus tries to kill them personally in Zenos' body? He gets thrashed by the Warrior of Light. It never ended!
And so, cranky and a bit grouchy, Emet-Selch returned.
"I played my part to perfection. I had earned my rest. And then, thanks to Lahabrea's crowning act of idiocy, our favorite emissary sees fit to summon me back."
Emet-Selch began to devise a way to kill the Warrior of Light, and throw in another calamity to boot, proving, to himself anyway, that he was the competent one. There had been talk of a biological weapon of sorts--Black Rose? That was light-aspected aether, was it not? Hadn't they sent an Ascian to tilt the balance of one of the shards in Light's favor? That'll do it.
"A hundred years ago, I entrusted my comrade Loghrif with the task of increasing Light's sway over this world. This we sought to do by manipulating heroes."
And originally, it worked. Norvrandt was consumed by Light, Black Rose became apocalyptic, the Warrior of Light and the Scions died, and the Eighth Umbral Calamity struck.
Time travel though, always such a bother. The remnants of the calamity mastered the wings of time and learned to navigate the rift, hurling the Crystal Tower--The same one he built to boot, not only onto the First Shard, but into the past as well. The supposed Exarch of that tower summoned not only the Scions, but the Warrior of Light to prevent Norvrandt's fall. It raised so many questions that Emet-Selch was burning to find out. Oh some of it made sense, whoever the Exarch was, they were Allagan royalty, they couldn't manipulate the tower otherwise. But these new functions... well... time travel could be quite handy.
It would be such a shame if something prevented Hydaelyn's summoning, wouldn't it?
And so, Emet-Selch did what he liked to do; observed, and watched as the Warrior of Light struck down the first Lightwarden, restoring the night to Lakeland. Just like that, all their efforts on the First had been delayed and ruined. In truth, Emet-Selch was initially furious, contemplating just siding with Vauthry and killing them all, but after realizing that was what Lahabrea did, which naturally made it a terrible idea, he decided to take a different approach; one of cooperation.
And cooperate he did! He freely provided information (well, most of it), and even saved that stray cat everyone seemed so fond of ogling. He even gave them the truth of the world, of Hydaelyn and Zodiark's nature, and even what the world was like before the sundering. Alas, they refused to trust him. Nevertheless, as the Warrior of Light continued to absorb Lightwarden after Lightwarden, Emet-Selch began to feel hope for the first time in a long time. Here this specimen stood stalwart in their duty, unfailing. Perhaps, he had found someone worthy of his patronage, worthy of their legacy. For the first time in eons, he had begun to hope that his wait might finally be over. Alas, like every time before, that hope was crushed.
The light threatened to consume them, and the Exarch played his hand, beginning to siphon the light from the, he supposed Warrior of Darkness, now that he thought about it, in order to travel into the Rift--The Rift, and die, rendering it all for nothing. It was a disappointment, true, but it seemed he had a consolation prize of sorts, simply shooting the Exarch in the back, kidnapping the cat, and inviting the growing Lightwarden to die with some dignity in a recreation of Amaurot.
And come they did, with all their friends that he told them to leave behind. What happened next, he chalked up to a tad of frustration on his part. He revealed the truth of his plan which was... exactly what he had told them before. Granted, he left out the part of mass sacrifice, but eh. One final test then, an easy one, to be sure. He would take them through the final days of Amaurot, and let them save the world themselves. All they had to do was crush the opposition, and crush the opposition they did, just... not as well as he had hoped they would.
What happened next was a brief conflict. With the Warrior of Darkness already half Sin-Eater with a foot in the grave, it was a simple effort to swat away the rest of the Scions, right up until they seemed fine. He wasn't sure what was going on there, to be honest. In fact, the light was playing a trick on him, seeing an image of his dearest friend. Really, that was some weird stuff right there.
No matter, it was one-on-one, the rest of the Scions were out of commission, and Emet-Selch wasn't Elidibus, this would be qui--
"Let expanse contract, eon become instant! Champions from beyond the rift, heed my call!"
Oh, that was bad.
Emet-Selch knew exactly what was coming. He hadn't exactly accounted for the Exarch to be up and about, not after what he put him through. Resilient cat, too, wouldn't tell him anything. But he had time, all the time in creation. But that could wait a moment or two. The wave of light was coming, and he would have to drown it out. His true name revealed, his true form taken, his vessel of flesh discarded, Emet-Selch took up arms against the Eight Warriors of Light. He was confident he could win, but man was it going to be a rough ride.
He went all in, trying to snuff out the light, drown the area in darkness, and unleash his ultimate attack, Black Cauldron, at full power, hoping to immediately kill the Warriors of Light. It was a battle of attrition, and fortunately for creation, it was a battle he lost. As he disappeared into the void, it seemed the battle was over.
"I... will... not... yield..."
He refused. Everything--everything was riding on him winning this fight. He couldn't let his brethren fall, let them be forgotten. Through nothing more than sheer willpower, he roused himself for another battle, and this time, with no other Warriors present, he would crush the Warrior of Light, once and for all. Even the Scions, attempting that Auracite trick of theirs, were found wanting. It was then however, that he realized his carefully laid plan with the Lightwardens had well and truly backfired. The Warrior of Light created a weapon of pure light, forged from all the light of Norvrandt, and hurled it with all their might.
Even Emet-Selch, Unbroken Amaurotine, Architect, and Sorcerer of Eld, could not stand against the light of an entire world arrayed against him. When the darkness was burned away, all he could do was calmly touch the gaping, and fatal, wound that he had been struck with. It was the end then, truly? He looked up, the sunrise looked ever so beautiful, as he pulled his hood back. This was the end, he understood that. He just had one request.
"Remember... Remember us... Remember that we once lived."
With the Warrior of Light's agreement, Emet-Selch found peace, here stood a worthy inheritor, and he was finally able to let go, and faded into the light with a soft smile, never to return.
Well, until he returned anyway.
Always a lover of the arts, Emet-Selch really could not have written a more beautiful ending to that. The antagonist is more than a caricature, and he pulls the heart strings just as much, if not better, than the protagonist. In his final moments, the antagonist finds peace and worth in his adversary, and he departs this world fulfilled. If there was ever a note to retire on, that was it.
Alas, where Lahabrea's crowning act of idiocy drew him back out, so did Elidibus's crowning act of idiocy.
"Elidibus may be an insufferable bore, but he is no fool. His choices as emissary seldom err."
He was really regretting those words now.
"I understand that you could not best him, he is my great-grandson after all. But did you have to tell him everything before you teleported away? Why not just teleport immediately?"
And so, more bitter than ever, though mostly at his own peers, Emet-Selch is back in the Reaper's Game.
Really, it's whatever he's feeling like. A gremlin, a shoebill, an Allagan, whatever. Right now, he seems rather fond of his current form as Solus Zos Galvus.
This preferred form is a Garlean male of middle age. Old enough to be a grandfather--who just had the grandkid mind you. Most notable is his amber eyes and brown hair with a skunk stripe. He thinks he's a silver fox, but he's not entirely silver. He stands and walks with a lackadaisical slouch that gives him a sort of glib ease. However, those who know Emet-Selch, truly know him that this is less glib ease and more a slouch resulting from all the burdens he bears weighing down on him.
He prefers regal wear, fit for a king--or a dictator in this case. An ornate military overcoat with a fur mantle, adorned with gold epaulets, medals, and so on. He also has the standard Ascian fare robes, but he really doesn't like wearing it all that much. He has nothing against it in particular, but he prefers his own personal clothing, thank you very much!
Oh shit I forgot this section. Uh, look above, I guess.
It was a case of the Mondays.
He'd been quite happy to stay retired. A chance to put his feet up and watch his fellow Ascians do their jobs without him. Well, what was left of them. While that normally would have left a sour taste in his mouth, that now included everyone. Emet-Selch noted that still left something regarding of a sour taste in his mouth. Having that idiot Lahabrea back had its merits; he was one of the only three that could raise an Ascian up to their full potential, the other two being him and Elidibus, of course.
But Igeyohrm? Nabriales? He was fairly certain that they would be better off without those two helping. And then the worlds opened up.
Oh he'd always suspected, mind you. He had doubts that even in the days of Amaurot, they were all that ever existed. Whereas anyone would have been shocked at this reality altering information, Emet-Selch didn't seem too surprised. "It seems we are no longer the only players in the Game." He remarked, the right corner of his lips twitching upward in that smug smile towards Elidibus. He was pulled to go look into the new worlds, and look into them, he did, finding his portals effortlessly serving their purpose.
Everywhere he went, it was the same, frail and feeble beings battling that conflict of Light and Dark. The more things change. The idea of using those worlds as Rejoinings came up, and he quickly shot them down. "You can't rejoin worlds that were never joined to begin with, Nabriales."
Their little realm had begun to see incursions from dark creatures. At first they seemed a problem, until Emet-Selch noticed they listened to him. "Adorable little things, no?" He remarked in reference to one of their lesser kind; bipedal with antennae. Though, it seemed even the mightiest of their kind paled in comparison to him, as a Hunter of the Dark learned.
Elidibus was also starting to push for more aggressive excursions. "Build an empire amongst the stars" was what the Emissary was pushing for. A star empire, did he have to? "An Imperium of Man that exists without recourse to gods. A united galaxy striving for the glorious destiny of mankind through my Great Crusade!" Emet-Selch threw his arms up to match the dramatic declaration, before said arms flopped uselessly to his sides. "No, thank you, I fail to see how it relates to our Great Work, and quite frankly, I don't want to."
If Elidibus wanted a star empire to siphon so damn bad, he could get over his katana phobia and do it himself.
Of course, there was one topic that interested him. Apparently the Garlean empire managed to salvage the Ultima Weapon. Mostly. By salvage, it turned out that meant get the remaining parts and turn some broken creature into the new Ultima Weapon. Project Altima, or something like that, was now traveling these stars. "Oh, very well." He sighed, as he stretched his limbs. "I suppose if nothing else, meeting this surrogate daughter will prove a decent distraction." Well, more of a crude mockery of his handiwork in truth, but he had nothing better to do, and he didn't want anything better to do.
So, with a shrug, he vanished into the darkness, leaving his brethren to their own devices.
How'd you find us?:
I legitimately cannot remember.