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    Thread: Family of the Gods

    1. #1
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      Cool Family of the Gods

      Family of the Gods

      Our History speaks of many Gods...Roman Gods, Greek Gods and Gods of many other religions. They are all legends which are, to this day, worshiped world wide. But...what if things had been different? What if...they really existed... and still do? Things would be really different on that world, a world where Gods walk the streets and watch over Humans.

      They still would need to exist, maybe even eat, drink and rest when they are among us. Their followers would make up their helpers, and their superiors would have a lot to say about what they could...and couldn’t do...on the Earth.

      Their reason for being there could be as simple as ‘we got bored up there’ to ‘we have a complicated plan we need to oversee’ either way their followers would be considered Family while they were here, and the number of members would say something about their respect and power.

      But what about new Gods? Little Gods that we might never have heard of? Someone’s child from some triste (constantly mentioned in ancient books) , or some one’s younger Family member which was born with little power or authority of their own. It would be tough being that child, in a world of giants and legends, so what might they do to better themselves?

      Chapter 1: Cesta’s World

      Cesta was the youngest daughter of two senior Gods. Her name was given to her by her aunt, Hestia, and she wore it well, they said. She was both terribly attractive, with long black hair and a fine, well toned body... while still slight... at 5‘2“ tall, but still quite well built, as many young men saw.

      Because she had very few powers of her own, she got picked on a lot by the other children as she grew up, and almost as a gift, her elders gave her control over alters of all types. She spent years and years learning from her betters, and she was given nick names by some, either for fun or out of respect.

      ‘Mini-Goddess’ was one and she didn’t mind the fact that she was far shorter than many others, but some just couldn’t let it go, and some of the younger males named her ‘Boob Lolly’ for obvious reasons, and got screamed at for it when anyone of importance heard it.

      But for centuries she ran about day after day and learned everything she could from anyone who would teach her, and finally in her 16 th (hundredth) year, she decided she wanted a Family of her own, and many looked either shocked, or amused, and some offered to give her one, and one got tossed through a wall for not taking ‘no’ for an answer.

      “Getting a Family isn’t as easy as you think.” She was told by some of the older women around her but she insisted, and after a while even Zeus agreed she could try, and many of her friends smiled and said they’d keep an eye on her, and she thanked them.

      Their world was filled with Humans looking for guidance, and many of the Gods went there to add new disciples to their flocks. But she had never been there and many knew nothing of her, so getting her own followers would be an uphill battle, but she felt sure she could do it.

      So with the help of her superiors she arrived in the Capital of a certain country, and was given a place of her own. A small, run down church with broken windows and a door that was hanging by one hinge, as Hestia argued for her saying that was the poorest start anyone had ever been given, but Zeus looked away smiling and said if she couldn’t make it on her own, she could always come home, and many of Cesta’s friends disagreed, but lost the argument.

      So it seemed that her days on Earth weren’t going to be much better than her days on Olympus after all, but some kept an eye on her and helped where they could, as she worked to gather friends... it seemed like she had a plan at least.

      The City Council knew right away a new Goddess had arrived, they had deals with Olympus for years about these things, and the caves and arenas around their town helped support them in the way they liked, as Gold came in from missions and bets from arena battles and many young men and women worked daily to make a name for themselves there as well.

      But while many businesses were named for the Family that started them, like the Family Hephaestus, for the great armor and sword master craftsman, she was surprised that even with dozens going into the caves daily looking for treasure, no God ever was there to see them coming or going, or to offer them a prayer or a Blessing for their safety.

      The Family Hephaestus and the Family Loki were dominant in the region but they just took their tithes and did nothing for it, and Cesta decided that she would do better, and even with her part time jobs trying to buy food and warm cloths, she spent at least a little time every day there by the cave entrance, talking to Adventurers and Soldiers coming and going and offering them a Blessing for their guests.

      So radical was this idea, that many started calling her the Patron Saint of Adventurers, while she laughed and demanded she really was a Goddess after all. The people started smiling just to see her there, and one day a large group came walking up and a massive soldier walked over and dropped to his knees, as she looked surprised.

      “Lady Cesta, please Bless me, I’ve had a terrible week and I’m starting to fear for my life. So please, if you will do this I will tithe for you from anything I gain inside today.” he said as his friends looked surprised. But Cesta stepped in as he bowed before her and kissed his forehead and said ‘Bless you my Son and be prosperous’ and he smiled and thanked her and they all went inside for the day.

      “That was nice of you...” The Gate Guard said as Cesta just smiled.” he’s a member of the Loki Family and he still asked you for a Blessing, and you gave him one, thats rare here.” he said as she felt kind of bad that a regular Family member had to go somewhere else for a simple Blessing when Loki was taking his tithes for free.

      “Someone needed to do it...” She said softly and she heard a soft ‘tisk, tisk,tisk’ in the back of her mind and she thought...loudly...'then do it yourself next time’...and nothing else was heard.

      She decided she better not antagonize a senior God, so she went home to her little hovel and went back to trying to clean it up. The upstairs was a waste, it had the old alter and some pews that were still usable, but the windows were out and had been for a while, and the front door barely was there. Luckily the bottom floor was a little better and the rooms the old priest had lived in still had a good door, a small bed, a love seat and a chair or two, so that was the only area she tried to keep clean, and with her jobs she got new blankets and pillows and even fuel for the little stove that sat in the one corner. It wasn’t much, but it was warm, and right now that was enough.

      Chapter 2: Good Timing for some, Bad Timing for Others

      A few hours later she was sitting down to have a bowl of soup when she heard someone call her name. She went to see and there was the massive soldier and his friends, all smiles, as she asked what she could do for them.

      “My tithes, my Lady...” he said and dropped some coins into her hand and she smiled and thanked him and he left her know that after her Blessing he had his best day ever, and she laughed, saying she hoped he did well from now on, and he thanked her and they all walked away.

      She got more for her Blessing than she made in a week... and that helped a lot. So this week maybe she’d get the door fixed or a new window, and she smiled and went to finish her dinner.

      But deep inside the caves a young man looked around, obviously lost. He was not dressed particularly well and he had only a small, tinny knife to defend himself with, as he growled to himself at the sights and sounds around him.

      “Damn you Grandfather...what’s the meaning of this??” He screamed as a small lizard attacked and after a second he slashed it and a small gem dropped, and he gathered it and started uphill out of there, hoping to find the entrance before too many creatures found him.

      He fought valiantly, and gathered some coins and gems and then ran for a bit, always up, he knew that much. Caves were underground puzzles and labyrinths and were everywhere, and because they were seldom explored or were the realms of some Gods, then the animals there never seemed to end. But he had not come here of his own accord. He was in a practice session with some friends and suddenly...here he was...and he knew only his Grandfather could do this so easily, but he still didn’t understand what that old fool had in mind for him.

      Onward he ran, fighting as he went, and he kept holding onto the thought that it was all a test, and he’d be home again any second, but it didn’t happen. What did happen was that the closer he got to the surface, the less he remembered, and as he stood by a wall and rubbed his aching head a rabid weasel attacked and he took a hit before he finished it.

      Now he was bleeding from a slash on his forehead, and that was bad. Because here the smell of blood would draw others and he was still not sure how far the surface was away, or where the Hell he’d find himself when he got there.

      He killed a few more and ran again after catching his breath, and as he did he heard voices and sounds and knew someone else was here, and he ran that direction. Now he saw a small Team, 3 people fighting a hoard of small animals and he ran in to help and took another hit, and went down. But they saw him helping and so covered for him, and after a good battle they won, and carried him with them back to the cave entrance where the Gate Guard looked surprised to see him, saying no one like him had entered that he saw, but everyone just laughed saying that many come and go and he probably just didn’t notice.

      “With that hair?” He screamed as people just laughed it off. The young man was in good shape if not short compared to others, but his biggest physical difference was his blinding white hair, for a man probably not more than 18 or so it was a strange sight, but others waved it away saying he was probably a Magician or something, and some types of training made certain changes to the student’s body to show their position in the world they had entered.

      “Either way,” The Guard finally said as many gathered around to see him laying there, still out of it as someone tried doing a little first aid for him. But a minute later someone screamed that the Goddess was here, and they rushed Cesta in to see the young man. She bent down and after a second checking his wounds she laid her hands on him and his bleeding stopped and they cheered for her as he opened his eyes and looked around.

      “Who are you, and what Family are you from?” She asked as he said he was Adam, and he didn’t have a Family, and many looked surprised, but seeing his barely minimal weapon and gear, they weren’t THAT surprised after all.”You’re going to need to rest for a day or so until the healing gets finished, if you have no place to stay... you can stay in my house until then.” She offered as people all around nodded happily that she’d do that for a stranger.

      “And behave yourself kid...” one big soldier said sourly,” this is our Goddess of the Caves and if you hurt her you’ll regret it.” he said as Adam looked surprised but nodded he understood.

      “We’ll help you until you get there,” One person said as they helped him up and they walked him into town on his wobbly legs and Cesta laid him on her bed and told him to rest while she was out, and he thanked her, and she followed the others back out of the building and heard the story of how he came running to help them, only to get hit himself.

      “The Guard swears that with that hair he wouldn’t have missed seeing him going in but couldn’t remember it.” The lady said as she started back towards the caves. “ But he does see dozens of people a day, so I’m sure he just missed it.” She hinted as Cesta smiled and agreed saying it was no big deal and she went to work for a few hours while Adam slept, and when he woke up some time later, he wasn’t sure of anything but his name.

      Cesta came back in later and found him sitting there in a chair with an odd look on his face. She asked if he was feeling better and he laughed, saying: ‘define better’ and told her how he could barely remember anything and she looked sad for him.

      “So, do you have an Adventurers Card, that will tell you something.” She asked and they went through his pockets and all he owned seemed to be the cloths on his back and that little knife, but he had gathered a fair number of coins and gems on his way out and she smiled saying he could buy food at least with that, and he agreed.”But without an Adventurers Card the local Office wont buy your gems and things from you. If you’re feeling better I can go with you and see you get one. Its something that you’ll need for certain from now on.” She said as he agreed, and they walked out and down the street.

      They were quite the sight, the little Goddess and the new Adventurer with the white hair, but they smiled and waved as they went and people whispered about them as they passed saying she was really a good person , not just a Goddess, because she took the time to help someone who many didn’t even know.

      They entered the big Union Hall and Cesta waved to one young woman behind the counter. The tall thin elf waved back and she asked what she could do for them as Cesta told her the story and she nodded she was doing the right thing.

      “Once you’re registered and have a card you’ll know a lot more, and we need to know your abilities, for the forms.” She said gathering a pile of papers as Adam admitted he didn’t know much even about himself.

      “Ah...but we can fix some of that... right Goddess Cesta?” She asked as Cesta nodded it was true, and they took the young man into a room off the side, had him sign the papers and then the young manager waited while Cesta threw a light blue light onto his back, and numbers and letters appeared, swirling and tossing until they formed a list and they both stopped to see it.

      “Hmm...level 1 swordsmanship...” She wrote down and then went on,” Level 2 in Daggers of course, level 3 in stamina, level 3 in strategy...and...an unknown Magic skill, its too weak and light to read yet, but it tells us something, that hair is a sign of Magical abilities.” She added making notes of everything as Adam looked happy to learn a bit more.

      “Thats great,” Cesta said as Emma, the young elf agreed.” you have skills, and that means you can make a living if you’re careful.” She added as he seemed pretty happy with that, for now.

      “I’ll have your new card made in a minute, wait here.” Emma said and left the room while Adam thanked Cesta for helping him and she said as a Goddess... it was her job... and he just laughed.

      “OK heres your new card, and let me show you around.” Emma said as Adam agreed,” When you gain something on your skills this card will show it. Its magically enhanced to keep track of it for you. When you want to do a mission or guest, then show the card when you sign up and bring the guest card from the bulletin board to the front desk and show it there. If its too hard for you it’ll be turned down though, we dont want people getting killed unnecessarily. Also if you have things for sale or trade see these ladies here...” She said walking to a banker counter.

      “Pull out the little drawer and put in whatever you want to sell, they will check it over and give you the best price for it.” She said as Adam slid out the drawer and dropped in a half dozen small stones and after a minute he got back the cash.

      “1250 credits..thank you come again.” They said as he got some more coins for his bag and Emma told him that they even had a vault behind the counter so he could start an account to deposit whenever he wanted to save something for later, as Cesta reminded him not to carry too much around, and Emma agreed.

      “Thank you both,” Adam said as they both smiled for him,” now at least I can survive here even without my memories.” he said as Emma looked sad for him.

      “Until you get your own place you can stay in my house.” Cesta said as he nodded and agreed.” Its not the best but it has a good roof and there’s lots of room on the old pews for someone to sleep.” She mentioned and he nodded and they walked out and he got a nice warm blanket, a pillow and a second outfit of cloths, and that was about the extent of his cash for now and they sat there, him on one pew and her sitting on the stairs to the alter, and she told him her story too and he nodded saying he was sure she could do it because everyone liked her, and she smiled and thanked him for his kind words.

      “This church was a nice place once,” he said rubbing his hand on the old pew where they had dusted it off and cleaned it up a bit.”this is good quality wood and it was nicely finished in the past.” he said as she asked if he maybe had carpentry skills too, and he just shrugged, but as he touched the pew the clean and polished look started to spread, and a minute later the entire length of the pew looked new and he looked oddly at his hand as she jumped to her feet.

      “Ah ha!” She said as he jumped at the sound of it,” I know your Magic Skill...its Repair Magic...thats a useful skill, and many groups will hire you to follow them into the caves, even the best swords and bows break or get dull and in a few minutes you can make them like new!” She said as Adam smiled and went to another pew and did it again, as Cesta laughed saying if he wanted to practice then he had lots of places here to do it, and he agreed and by nightfall he had a level in Magic, and Cesta had a new door and some nicely done pews.

    2. #2
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      do you expect me to keep up 2 sites now? I have my own now you know...dang people anyways.

      Chapter 3: Making Friends and Family

      While they were getting a good nights sleep someone else was not doing as well. Alice... like Cesta... was a short girl with little in skills, but she was a Human and needed to make a living too.

      She signed on as a gatherer for the Loki Family and went into the caves with several groups, gathering the gems, coins and loot they got from their quests and she got a flat rate for her work and so she made a living without having to hunt or kill animals herself.

      It was hard work, sometimes carrying around her own weight in goods and weapons, but she had a strong will and a strong back and even though she looked like a pixie under that heavy pack she wore she kept going, and got a good reputation for being a hard worker.

      But not every group treats their helpers well, and when the word got around she worked hard for a decent price, one group signed her on full time, eventually making her their private property.Now no one else asked for her help and the group she worked with were idiots and fools that thought they had it made as a member of the Loki Family. They swore they worked hard to get to that position, and they’d kill to keep it, and many just stayed away from them hoping they’d leave them alone.

      But one day when their guest was over Alice asked for her share, and got backhanded by the drunks that were spending it right in front of her. They even told her if she took other work they got her cut, because they OWNED her, and she swore she’d turn them in for this, and they beat her repeatedly.

      “Slaves have no rights...” one big man said as even the people around them turned away so as not to see. “now get to bed, we have a guest tomorrow and we need our gatherer well rested.” he said as many laughed loudly and she crawled away and laid down in the corner of the room.

      The next day wasn’t any better, they were still half drunk and as they strapped on their weapons and armor they dragged her along, barely able to stand.

      But it wasn’t going unnoticed, and Loki got a call from another God saying he needed to see this, and he turned that way to look.They went down a few levels and she did her best to keep up, gathering everything as they went, but it was never enough, and as they stopped for a drink and some food she begged for some, and got kicked in the face for asking.

      “Buy your own food...” One man said as they laughed and she screamed ‘with what?” and they all stopped and jerked the bag off her back and picked her up by the neck. “I’ve been thinking we need a better gatherer,” He said as the others agreed, “maybe one with breasts for a change instead of dead flat.” he said and walked to a cliff nearby and tossed her off and she bounced to the bottom and passed out among hordes of ants that came out of the walls to see.

      But that was the last straw, Loki didn’t get involved very often in the day to day running of his Family but even he had limits. The men were laughing and joking about maybe ‘using her first’ and the big man said ‘oops I never thought’ and they laughed some more...until...there was a sour sounding voice a second later and they turned to scream at someone for interrupting their fun when they saw a tall man coming walking their way, and he had horns, and they nearly choked on their drink.

      “Master Loki, its been a long time.” The leader said as Loki nodded and asked where their gatherer was and they all declared she fell off the cliff, and he picked one man up with one hand and threw him that way, and he fell over as well, and he looked back at the other two and said ‘what, like that?’ and they started to shake in their shoes.

      “Master Loki please, there are monstrous ants down there,” The one man said as Loki nodded and said he knew because he put them there, and they looked even worse.

      “Men like you give me a bad name,” he declared and backhanded one man into the wall, and grabbed the other, while he was screaming for mercy, and slammed him to the floor until he bounced.

      He waved his hand and all three Union cards appeared and he burned them even as they all tried to explain and then kicked the **** out of them all, even waving his hand and dragging the big man back up from the ant pit just to slap him around some more.

      “Don’t cry you babies...” he said finally after he was sure they got his message,” You no longer work for me, and after I’m done with you no one in this city will have you again. So get out of here, get healed, and get lost!” he screamed as the walls themselves shook and he just disappeared a second later, as they got to their feet or dragged each other along, and started back out of the cave for the last time.

      Loki made sure the local authorities knew what happened and that he personally disciplined the men who did it. The report was posted on the bulletin board for all to see and even people who knew these men, said they didn’t, and they were seen leaving town as fast as their horses could go.

      Now Alice was free again and Loki felt bad not seeing this sooner and finally decided she needed a change of scenery and he made a call and Alice walked into the old church a day later, still stiff and sour but getting better fast, and Cesta welcomed her and she told her story and Cesta nodded saying that would never happen here and she joined on the spot, and Cesta had her first Family member and Alice had a warm place to live and people who watched over her from now on.

      On Mt.Olympus the name ‘Cesta’s Family’ appeared magically on the list hanging on the wall and while some cheered and applauded for her Zeus turned away saying it was a gift from Loki, and she hadn’t earned it, as some saw that maybe he was never going to give her a decent chance at all.

      Chapter 4: Family helps Family

      Adam was doing a little work around town now, and he still slept in the old church at night. In exchange he repaired some of the windows and the old outhouse was new again, and all the pews were now like new and not too bad at all to sleep on now that the wind didn’t blow through.

      For Alice it was the best she’d had it in a while, and even Cesta and Adam shared their food with her and she was very happy.

      So one day when Adam saw her moping around just sweeping floors and daydreaming, he asked if she wanted to go with him into the caves, as she looked surprised.

      “I’ve been working on my Magic skills for a little while.” he said with a wave of his hand as she agreed. “Now I need to get back to leveling my combat, and making some decent money.” he added as she asked what he would pay her and he smiled and said 25% ...without stopping for a second,.. as her eyes popped and she asked if he was sure.

      “I worked for the Family Loki before this but their gatherers get 10% with bonuses if its a good trip.” She explained as Adam just smiled and said with her along he could do more, see more and loot more and so he felt she was worth it, and she agreed immediately and they left the next morning for a trip into the caves and when they returned Adam was very happy and they went to the Union hall and sold their goods and Alice got her share without even asking, and she was very pleased to see the little bag of coins he handed her and thanked him for the job.

      “We can work together any time you want,” Adam said as she agreed and it became a sort of thing. Not a full time contract, that scared her badly yet, but just two people working together and Cesta walked them to the caves a few times and gave them a Blessing and a few others decided that they couldn’t start their day without one now, and so she got a little more busy around the caves after that, and her tithes started going up.

      For two weeks after that things went pretty well. Adam did some missions and quests and did pretty well too. Alice was his partner now carrying everything in and out and getting paid what she was worth for a real change, and Cesta was getting more in tithes from people that she gave Blessings to than what she made working part time, and so she quit that job and did Goddess work full time, and everyone thought it was a good idea.

      On one such day a young boy came out badly stabbed and bruised, carried by his teammates. they screamed for help and Cesta ran and gave him first aid and stopped the bleeding and started the healing process. Then they took him into town for some rest and to get him out of the chill morning air, and one of his mates thanked her profusely for her help, as they ran to catch up.

      The word got around that Cesta had helped someone yet again, and a few days later she awoke to hear pounding and talking as she ran out to see. Adam was there talking to a crowd of men and women and they were working at fixing things around and in her little church. The pews were nice now thanks to Adam and his practice, and the older men and women were dusting and repairing stairs and cracks in walls and she asked what they were doing this for, as the one old man smiled and said she saved his grandson yesterday, and so his family owed her this much at least.

      She thanked them for saying so and said she would have done it anyways it was her job after all, as many laughed and the men went back to work while the women took her back downstairs saying she shouldn’t let herself be seen by men and boys in her nightgown, and she laughed and thanked them all for coming.

      By noon the job was done and as they gathered their tools to go Cesta gave them all a Blessing and they smiled and thanked her for it. The interior had never looked better, and the stairs coming up to the front door were fixed and that made getting in and out safer. The old church was looking like it might survive after all, and the townsfolk smiled more that they had gained a small wonder that went out of her way to help others.

      In two days a young man leading a group of 3 knocked on her door and when she answered it she saw the man she had helped that day.

      “Goddess Cesta...” he said with a polite bow as she smiled for him.” I am Charles... the man you helped save the other day. My wounds are healed and today I go back to avenge the wound those animals gave me. I asked for your Blessing before we return to the fight.” he said as she agreed and Blessed each of them in turn, and they thanked her.

      “We seek revenge for our friend,” one young woman said waving her sword in the air, and we will accept your Blessing and tithe whatever we get on this trip to you and your Family.” She said as Cesta said they needed to eat and pay for repairs so this was too much.

      “Just this one day, let us be members of your Family, my Goddess...” She said with a deep bow they all did as well and Cesta agreed and wished them well as they turned and ran towards the caves and their day of revenge.

      This made Cesta feel wonderful for that one day. Gods get their powers from the love and respect of others. Their skills are born in, but the power of belief and respect, is given to them by others and with these three asking to be hers for today, she felt like she could do almost anything for a change.

      “Good for you...” She heard as Adam came out with his gear on as well. “we will be going too, so Bless us and hope for a good day, my Goddess.” he said and bowed for a second as Alice did too and she Blessed them both and laughed saying that Alice was a registered Family member but Adam was just living there and had never asked to join them, as Alice agreed it was true.

      “Freeloader..” Alice whispered as Adam looked shocked... and Cesta looked away smiling.

      “I’m sorry Cesta, after all this time I guess I just assumed...” he said as she gave him a big smile and waited.” may I join your Family, Goddess Cesta?” He asked as she agreed and she took his hand and he kissed hers and the deal was done, and the Team went to the caves and Cesta waved for them until they were out of sight.

      “I’ve been hearing good things about you and your Family...” The Gate Guard said as Cesta just smiled and said nothing, but she was happy today, she had 2 full time Family members and 3 part time members, and for today at least she felt her Blessings and healing magic would be greater than ever before.

      Chapter 5: Enemies and Mysteries

      A month went by and things were going well. Cesta and her Team were on their way to the cave one morning when a lot of excitement seemed to be happening in town. She asked a running Adventurer what was happening and she informed her bandits were approaching and all Adventurers were being called to protect the town.

      At the far end of Main Street a dozen or more Adventurers waited, swords drawn, as a group of 20 bandits rode towards them from the outer countryside. Their leader was a big man, riding slowly in, looking the men and women over, and seeing two archers on the house tops nearby, and he smiled that they were more ready than he had hoped for so early in the morning.

      He stopped just out of archery range and smiled. It looked like it wasn’t going to be as easy as he hoped, but they had ridden for 4 days to get here, so they weren’t going back now.

      “Bring your Gold and Silver out to us and we’ll go without a fight.” he declared, as many chuckled and someone yelled ‘bite me’ and he looked happy they weren’t going to do it.

      “Perhaps you should leave instead...” he heard as the crowd parted and out walked a young woman in a fine dress and a young man, with the whitest hair he had ever seen.

      “ Are you the local Gods?” He asked and he wasn’t happy thinking it either.

      “I am Cesta, Goddess of the Caves, and this is Adam, a member of my Family, and a Wizard.” She said softly as the man looked less happy by the minute. A Wizard was a real problem... but a Goddess... that was a completely different type of fear, and some of his men were whispering among themselves even now. “This town is protected by the Families of Cesta, Loki and Hephaestus...so if you think you can defeat all of us, please try.” She said seriously as a bright light appeared and Loki was there too and a second later, another and not the God Hephaestus, but his wife the Lady Hephaestus arrived, as the big man looked less sure than at any time before.

      He made a motion, and everyone put their swords away as Loki laughed saying he hadn’t gotten enough exercise lately, and some felt really happy with that.

      “Ahem...” The big man said now that they all were acting more civilized suddenly.” my men and I rode for days to get here, so, is it possible we can get a meal before we must leave?” he asked as Cesta gave him her patented smile, and he felt things would be alright.

      “Follow me then,” She said as Loki growled at her and disappeared, and the Lady Hephaestus walked along beside her as they led them to a good restaurant and bar, and they all went in and Cesta said her ‘friends’ needed food and drink and the owner looked less than sure at the hoard of soldiers there, but their Gold was good and they got served, as Cesta and Hephaestus sat at a small table on the other side of the room and shared a drink and some talk.

      “This was surprising...” The Lady said as Cesta smiled and agreed.” I meant to come see you but things have been a little busy at the store.” She hinted as Cesta just laughed. The Family Hephaestus had a store here in town to sell their wares, swords and armors of the finest quality, and people came from all over to buy here, and that made her Family both wealthy, and busy most of the time.

      “You seem to have matured since you came down here...I think this trip did you good.” She hinted as Cesta thanked her for saying so.”Maybe its having a prime young man around thats making you act more like a fine young woman.” She teased as Cesta gave her a dirty look and said that she had no such person around, as Hephaestus poked her softly saying ‘uh..huh’..and Cesta tried ignoring her but she knew that wouldn’t work.

      “And a Wizard...and good looking too.” She hinted as Cesta said he was a Family member, nothing more...and The Lady Hephaestus acted like she didn’t believe her, as one of the bandits came walking over to thank them for being so kind, and asked if Cesta would join him for a drink, as she looked shocked he had that kind of nerve. But a second later a stout young man was standing by her side and the look on his face said it all, and the dagger he was resting his hand on was well cleaned and sharpened, as anyone could tell.

      “The Goddess isn’t interested, be gone!” he said as the man backed away and Cesta thanked him for the invitation but politely refused. ‘well you had the stones to ask anyways’ was heard as he sat back down and many chuckled as Adam stood there looking as impenetrable as he possibly could, and Hephaestus smiled a wide smile as Cesta tried not to see, and after staring at Adam for a minute she got a funny look on her face that Cesta didn’t notice.

      “So...you’re the Wizard Cesta spoke of?” She asked as Adam relaxed just a bit and gave her a deep, respectful bow.

      “I am Adam a member of the Family Cesta.” he admitted as she nodded with a big smile.

      “You have quite a powerful aura... for a Human.” She said as he thanked her for the compliment but he didn’t get it either.”well things look like they’ve been settled here, so I’ll be going.” She said and chugged her drink down and disappeared as Cesta waved and Adam sat down watching the crew across from them the whole time.

      “I think things are fine now, lets go...” Cesta said and sat her glass down and Adam walked out beside her as the group of Adventurers that came running were now standing all along the walk, and they opened a path and left Cesta and Adam out, while watching the bandits the entire time they ate and drank and even as they rode out of town.

      “I believe thats the first time we’ve ever had 3 Gods here at once.” Said the Mayor, as many around him agreed.” Having Cesta here is a great thing I think.” he said as they all went back to their business, and Lady Hephaestus had a new job to do, and she went quickly back to Olympus to check on something.

      In the Main Hall on Olympus there is a great mirror, and when asked it can tell you the answer to anything. This was the place Lady Hephaestus was heading towards when she was stopped by a familiar face, as an older man with a big white beard stepped up smiling.

      “Master Zeus, how nice to see you again.” she said with a bow as he thanked her for her kindness.”Can I help you with something?” She asked as he just smiled and asked if things were OK now down on the surface and she nodded saying Cesta had handled it well, and she wasn’t sure she even needed to go... after seeing that.

      “Good, I’m glad to hear it, it does seem she’s maturing a bit now and thats never a bad thing for a young Goddess,” he hinted, taking her by the arm and walking back out of the Great hall while she looked oddly at him.

      “Zeus...” She whispered softly,” what are you doing?” And he looked shocked and said he had no idea what she meant. “You’re leading me away from the place I need to be... so...you know! You know why I came here!” She said getting louder as others looked their way while he tried to keep his ‘fatherly figure’ attitude going and smiled while declining the whole thing.

      “Why cant I use the Great Mirror, what are you up to?” She asked seriously while he stepped back a bit saying he didn’t know what she meant, as she turned and went right back in... with him right behind her... saying that her business was swamped and maybe she should hurry back.

      “I know you..” She said with a squinty look, as he didn’t deny that either, but he did swear that nothing was going on, and she walked up to the big mirror and before she could speak he asked what she thought she was going to find.”A young God with white hair and Repair Magic...sounds familiar doesnt it?” She asked as he thought as fast as his mind could run, then agreed that maybe she had a point, as she looked shocked he agreed now.

      “Great Mirror...” he called as it started to swirl and a mist seemed to form.” show me any member of the Hephaestus Family named Adam with white hair and repair magic.” he said standing there looking very pleased and she knew right that second that it wasn’t going to work.

      In a minute the results came back... none found... as he smiled and said she was lucky it seemed, her husband didn’t have any secret children that she didn’t know about, and she looked surprised he thought that and turned and left in a huff, and he smiled and went back to his office for the day and a crises was averted.

    3. #3
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      Chapter 6: Suspicions and Secrets

      Lady Hephaestus was in shock to think that their King thought that her husband....and it took her about an hour to cool off so that her brain kicked back in again... and suddenly, sitting in her home eating dinner, it hit her...she was conned.

      “That old fool!” She screamed as even her husband nearly choked on his food at the dinner table and asked what she was screaming about. “Zeus made a fool of me in the Great hall, you wait! I’ll go back tomorrow and figure out what he’s up to!” She decided as her husband just smiled and left it go, once her mind was made up he was staying well out of it, and Father Zeus was no one to mess with, so he acted like he didn’t know a thing.

      “You two having a fight then?” He whispered not really wanting to know, but she told him the story anyways, as he nodded every now and then acting like he really cared, but she knew better, he was just letting her talk so she would feel better, and she loved him for trying.

      “I met the young man yesterday, he has the aura of a God... strong and proud... but Zeus stopped me from checking the Mirror, or should I say he chose how to word it...the old *******..” She went on as her husband looked away with a big smile.”are you laughing it me?” She screamed as he looked shocked and serious and said ‘I wouldn’t dare!’ and she agreed, but she was calmer now thanks to him and she settled back down and after a while, she thanked him for listening.

      “You know what he’s like when he has some project going. If he is doing something you’ll not find out what it is before he’s done I’ll wager.” he hinted as she admitted that Father Zeus was a formidable man when he wanted to be.

      “But...he’s a nice young man, and Cesta seems to like him... so I feel like I have to try.” She said much more calmly, as he smiled and agreed and they finished their meal and went to bed.

      The next day she took her sweet time. Talking to friends and slowly working her way back to the great hall. Once inside she watched all around and saw no one and ran to use the machine and as she ran around the corner of the big doorway and into the room there....was an empty table and just the mount where the Great Mirror had stood... and next to it a sign saying ‘out for repairs’ and she nearly screamed.

      “What the Hell??” She finally asked to no one in particular as a voice was heard and she looked around to see Zeus walking in, staff in hand, saying that the mirror hadn’t been cleaned and repaired for a thousand years and was well over due.

      “I told my husband about this last night, and he said all this is probably one of your projects and that you’d stop me from finding out until it was all done.” She said as people looked at them... there once more, face to face and arguing... as Zeus looked around oddly at them and those people went back to their normal jobs.

      “Who is Adam? I met him myself and his aura is unmistakable,and why has his memory been erased?” She asked as the Great Father just gave her a huge grin...and turned his back and walked away. “I’m not going to quit trying you know!” She screamed as he just disappeared and she got even more angry and decided to go talk to Cesta some more, but she found out her travel permit to Earth had been canceled due to some technicality, and she was soo angry she screamed standing there by the portal, and Zeus sat back in his office laughing because this was getting entertaining, and she hadn’t planned far enough ahead.

      Meanwhile things on the surface were going along pretty well. The townsfolk had long ago accepted Cesta as their local Goddess. Her little church was getting fixed up nicely and they even reminded her to get a heater for the upstairs for her members before the cold season came, and she agreed.

      The big upper room was made for it, with a round hole in one wall for the smoke pipe, and they were doing much better now since she had regular members and got her regular tithes when they went out. Even other people tithed if she gave them a Blessing, and neither the Family Hephaestus nor the Family Loki said a word about it.

      Adam was now a regular feature around the caves and his skills were going up steadily, and Alice was always by his side even when things got tough, and Zeus saw it just like that and sat back grinding his teeth. Surely with the amazingly attractive Cesta around this fool wasn’t going to fall for some little gatherer was he? But then he always was a smart ass and a bit of a fool, and he sent a near silent message to him and in his mind Adam started thinking some pretty amazing things about his Goddess and it embarrassed him badly.

      But Zeus couldn’t leave well enough alone, so he placed similar thoughts into Cesta as well and she suddenly felt this growing urge, and it surprised her too. Adam was certainly attractive and she had noticed that long ago, but these thoughts were something that she had never felt for anyone, and she sat right down to analyze them and soon saw how very quickly they had popped up, and something just didn’t seem right.

      “ Master Lucifer...is that you?” She asked as was quickly told that he had no interest in someone so pure, as she nodded and thanked him for saying so. “hmm then who?” She asked almost to herself as a chuckle was heard and he said maybe she was looking to low on the proverbial totem pole, and as she asked what that meant her communications failed, and she was even more upset.

      “I will most certainly not act on any of these feelings until I know who is forcing me...got that?” She asked loudly and no one answered and after trying a few times to talk to her friends she found out she couldn’t, or they couldn’t answer, and she got even more suspicious.

      “Not far enough up the totem pole huh?” She whispered sitting there in her room thinking, as Zeus gave Lucifer a good talking to about butting in on his fun, and he laughed at him and went away.

      But things were speeding up now and soon many would know what was happening. So, Zeus called in a strong warrior, someone who had fought beside many of his own people in the past and he gave him an order that surprised him badly.

      “A creature that would challenge even me?” He asked as the Great Father agreed.”You do realize that once we set something like that free in the lower levels, any regular soldiers or Adventurers nearby will perish?” he asked as Zeus said he could control things from here, and no one would die that wasnt supposed to, and with a small amount of hesitation the great warrior agreed and went into the caves to find the perfect creature for his Masters ‘test’.

      Chapter 7: Testing the Blood

      For two days the soldier fought many foes and easily defeated them. Now on a different level he found a massive bull, carrying an ax as massive as he, and the fight began. An hour later it was still going on as both opponents seemed to be getting tired and they stood back watching each other and waiting to catch their breath.

      “This one I think...” he said softly and the great creature was gone, and the man wondered what was going to happen, as he too was given a ride back to the surface.

      The word got out that a massive creature from deep within the Earth was raiding near the opening to the caves and many Adventurers ran to clear the area, and were forced back. Adam ran in too and Alice dropped her big bag and got a small crossbow she used for defense and ran in after him.

      They found the monster chasing some young soldiers out of the caves, and the fight began. Adam’s skills had always been in daggers and swords and his magic ability was in keeping those items as sharp as Humanly possible. But even his knives bounced and slid off the huge creature, and Alice’s arrows were even less effective, as Adam ordered her back a bit and tried again.

      He was barely staying out of the range of that large ax the creature swung, but he managed to get a tiny hit on the creatures neck and it got even more angry and screamed at the top of its lungs.

      “So...your chest and back are armored...” Adam whispered as the great creature ran towards him again and Adam was forced back. Now he tried again, throwing his one knifes, while drawing another from his belt and the one struck the side of the creatures neck and dug in and it almost lost consciousness from the pain. Then Adam jumped up and tried a kill strike to the back of the neck but was smashed by the big ax and slid across the floor on his back for several yards until he came to a stop by the opening to the cave and he saw many young people outside, friends he had met and worked with, and he knew they would not fair well against this, and he got to his feet looking for his knives as a soft voice was heard, and Cesta handed one back to him, and it was glowing in her hands.

      “I Bless this weapon and give it strength...” She said as Adam nodded for her and grabbed it and ran back in and this time the knife cut, right through the animals chest as blood ran everywhere, and Cesta ran and picked up the other knife Adam had dropped and Blessed it too, and he took it and with one in each hand went back in, again and again as the big creature was slowly cut to ribbons and soon enough it fell, and the big ax clambered to the floor and he died there and disappeared into dust, and a gem the size of Adam’s fist dropped and so did he... battered and bruised... and there was a great cheer and his friends ran in and gathered him and his prize, and carried him back to the church.

      But as they left them there, Cesta tried healing him a bit and then looked up at the ceiling and called softly.

      “What were you thinking?” She asked sadly, but of course no one replied.”Many could have died and Adam was one of them, surely this is over now?” She asked and again, nothing was heard, as Zeus sat back all smiles and admitted that Adam had the blood of a warrior inside him after all, and he knew how to use it when the time came, and even as Adam slept ...his skills went up a great amount... and no one noticed, for now, that the local hero had a skill multiplier that had just activated, that they hadn’t even discovered yet.

      He rested for a week and was good as new again. The gem that dropped was worth a lot, and he traded in his old small knives for a matched set of new ones and Cesta Blessed them too, and after that long rest he and Alice went back inside and she was amazed at how well the new knives worked, and how fast they went through levels now.

      When they were attacked by small to mid sized creatures , Adam walked through them like water off a ducks back, and everyone that saw him were impressed saying that was why he did so well against the great bull when others couldn’t. But Cesta knew better, something was going on and she asked to see his card when they came in one night and the numbers surprised even him.

      “I never really check it,” he admitted as she nodded and read it again. His skills had gone up 3 levels in a month, nearly impossible, but they had... no doubt about it... and she asked to check him herself and of course he didn’t mind, And when she did there were more skills than before and she wrote it down and had him take the note to the Union Hall and get them added, because without that the card would not know to check, and they were impressed to see a skill many didn’t recognize, and they had to do a little research to understand.

      In two days Emma was knocking on the door of the church and Cesta left her in, and shook her hand, and asked why she was here.

      “We finally translated that other skill,” She said opening her notebook as Cesta waited.” Its in an old dialect that no one uses anymore. It took us a couple days to find a linguistics Master who knew it.” She went on as Cesta started getting angry.

      “Its says...literally... Argonaught. And the translation in that language means ‘spirit of the hero’.” She read as Cesta nodded agreement.”Tell me Lady Cesta...do you think something odd is going on here? Because I have to say, this is the first time this skill has been seen in our Unions history.” She said as Cesta looked sad to have her ask, but she agreed that she thought so too.

      “I started to question why Adam has no memory of his past a few days ago.” She added as Emma agreed.” Then I asked to go to Olympus and see people and tools there to check, but my request was denied.” She said as Emma looked shocked that a Goddess could be denied access to her own home.

      “Then I heard whispers in my mind and some odd...thoughts... appeared, and I asked if Lucifer was tempting me, but he refused saying he wasn’t.” She said as Emma agreed.” But he hinted that someone else might be doing something, and that same day my communications with my home went down.” Cesta said as Emma looked surprised yet again.

      “So...someone is testing you and Adam then?” Emma asked as Cesta just shrugged. Without proof she had nothing to go on but some odd thoughts and one persons hint, and now she couldn’t even talk to anyone else about it. “Sounds too neat to be a coincidence though doesn’t it?” Emma asked as she got up to go, and Cesta agreed looking sad right now.

      “Be careful, some Gods like to tease and torture people, so maybe this isn’t over yet.” Emma added as she walked out and Cesta looked very sad to think that almost killing someone wasn’t close enough.
      Chapter 8: The Best Laid Plans....

      “I need to be more careful they’re starting to catch on.” Zeus said, right out loud in his office as a serious voice was heard asking him what he was doing that didn’t need known, and he looked up slowly from his work to see his wandering wife had returned, just in time to hear him talking.

      “Ah, um....nothing dear, how was your trip?” He asked trying to hide his work while she gave him a serious stare.

      “You’re up to something, I can tell.” She added as she walked in and sat down and he looked very uncomfortable.

      “No, nothing really...” he said with a big smile as she gave him a dirty look and said that they’d talk more about this after her bath, and she left a message saying what she wanted for dinner, and went out of the room for a while to freshen up.

      “Damn it...” He thought to himself,” why did she have to come home now? She was out traveling and sightseeing for months and that gave him the chance to see about this little problem he had, but she had come home way to soon, and this meant he needed to rush things to a conclusion.

      He was thinking about another test when Hera called saying dinner was ready, and he said he’d be there in a minute but her voice left nothing to the imagination, and he stopped what he was doing and went down to sit and listen to her going on and on about sunsets, and ocean waves, and he nodded repeatedly and ate and she finally asked why the Great mirror was sitting in the hall, and he nearly choked that he forgot about it.

      “I had it brought in for a good cleaning,” he said with a smile as she nodded seriously and watched his face as she asked if it hadn’t been done just last century? And he looked away.

      “Zeus darling...” She started, laying down her fork, as he saw bad times coming.” why did the guards at the portal asked me if the travel passes to the Earth were still frozen?” She asked as he choked on his wine.

      “We had some....trouble...while you were gone, but nothing I couldnt handle.” he admitted while she gave him a huge grin and he looked down at his plate.

      “Lady Hephaestus was waiting to go down and said her pass was frozen too...so I allowed it while I was there...it must have been a mistake or problem somewhere because she runs a thriving business and has to have access to it right?” She asked as he refused to say anything with his mouth full.

      “She thanked me fully and ran through right that second. I hope her business is alright...” She said as Zeus saw his life flashing before him. If Hephaestus was on Earth right now and Cesta had been shut up for a week or more those two would figure this out too quickly for his plan to work, as he begged her forgiveness, but said he wasn’t hungry and he too ran for the portal.

      He hated to get involved himself, but things were getting out of hand, and if he could stop Hephaestus from talking to Cesta, then he might just save things yet.

      He arrived on Earth disguised as an old beggar and as he ran through the streets looking for Lady Hephaestus, one person said he saw her at the shop, and then another said she just left there and was walking down the street, and he ran to see where she was now, and to grab her and take her back before things went wrong.

      He searched everywhere and soon had only one more place to look, and with his head covered by a dirty old hood, he snuck into Cesta’s church to see Cesta, Lady Hephaestus, and Hera all waiting and he turned and started back out but the door slammed shut of it own will before he could escape, and Hera was waiting very impatiently for his explanation, and Cesta and Hephaestus didn’t look much better.

      “You did WHAT to Adam??” She screamed as Cesta asked if she knew him and she nodded saying he was her grandson...and even Cesta looked shocked.

      “The Grandson of the King and Queen?” Hephaestus asked as Hera agreed while Zeus tried his best to explain... but none of his stories were going to fly tonight.

      “He was a late bloomer and I was worried about him...” he tried but Hera left him know that he too was a ‘late bloomer’ and he hadn’t gotten much better either, as Lady Hephaestus tried desperately not to laugh.

      “Cesta is one of the prettiest young Goddesses we have. if he couldn’t get interested in her, what chance did he have finding someone else?” he demanded as Cesta thanked him for the compliments but added that Adam was almost killed... and at that... Hera went off the wall.

      “But Honey...” Zeus pleaded as she gave him a royal chewing out.”you know his relatives, their history, and he has the blood in him, so he needed to be tested and he won, just as heroically as his ancestors had.” he declared as she had Adam called in from the caves, and she lifted the memory block herself, and Adam gave Zeus a really dirty look for what he had done, and Hera apologized to Cesta for all the trouble he had caused.

      “I suppose now that your memories have returned you’ll be going home?” Cesta asked as Hera waited to hear and it seemed to take a little while for him to decide. But in the end he said no, that living here with Cesta and Alice was ‘fun’ and he got more practice and exercise this way too, and Hera looked pleased and nodded agreement and she and Zeus were gone a minute later as Lady Hephaestus finally got her good laugh from it all.

      “Hera’s back again and after this time she wont be going away any time soon I’ll wager.” She said as Alice looked too shocked to speak, as Adam looked her way and gave her a wink and a big smile and she knew that other than his memories, nothing else had changed.

    4. #4
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      Chapter 9: Local Gods
      Cesta had always been the local God in town. Loki and Hephaestus had places and groups under their name, but they seldom ever showed themselves. Now that Adam had been confirmed as a God too the city was all abuzz with the news.

      He was asked if he would stay down here or return to Olympus and he said he liked it here, and that he was still in training, so working the caves was good practice for him. And everyone agreed, and it got mentioned that half the town’s Adventurers would line up to work with him, and see his fabulous skills, and that made him think twice about putting together a group of his own. His Team had always been just him and Alice, but even he knew that the deeper you go, the more creatures you find, and the higher levels had more powerful creatures too, like fire breathing wolves, and colonies of man eating spiders and ants. In the deeper reaches of the caves,. numbers mattered and that gave him pause when people asked when he might start his own Team, since he had openly said he already had one.

      He mentioned it to Cesta who agreed, saying even professional Union Leaders with high rankings had teams of up to 30 members they took along when they entered the deeper parts of the caves. It was said that they had been explored down to level 50 with no end in sight, and right now Adam and Alice had barely seen level 8...so he had to seriously consider it.

      Also, until now he had been using leather armor, mostly just heavy pants and a heavy coat, but after this maybe he better consider something else, as even Alice agreed.So he went for a walk, into the store house where armor and weapons were sold. Here, Hephaestus sold all their wares, and the prices made his toes curl just looking at them. A set of dagger for 50,000 credits, a sword for 120,000 and he just shook his head and went on. But as he searched a friendly voice was heard as he turned to see Lady Hephaestus smiling wide for him and he gave her a respectful bow and said hello.

      “Looking for something special?” She asked as Adam laughed out loud as many turned to see him there for the first time.

      “I’m a level 8 Adventurer...” he hinted as she just smiled wider,” I cant afford things like this I’m afraid.” he said waving to the many displays around him as she nodded and got a quick giggle in there.

      “Come with me...” She said and took him into the warehouse and over to three rows of boxes and things stacked on shelves and Adam saw the prices here were much, much different. “These are our rejects, which only means ‘less than perfect’ “ She hinted as Adam agreed.

      “Many are from our apprentices too, and some aren’t that bad. If you see something you like, I give a deal to young Gods in Training..” She hinted while the man behind the counter just smiled and looked away..it was news to him.

      “Thank you Lady Hephaestus I’ll see what I can find.” Adam hinted as she went back outside to see about other guests while Adam dragged out boxes and went through piles of things looking for something light and inexpensive, and after half an hour he was down on his knees going through a box full of armor, and the design was nice and clean and it wasn’t fancy, but smooth and well rounded. It was silvery in color and had red trim and he liked it, and the box had a partial set, no helmet or gloves, but the torso armor was there, the arm armor from the wrist to the elbow,and the leg armor from the shoes to the knees.

      It was lightly made but good and solid, and when Adam thought about it, it probably was 3x the protection of what he wore now, and that made him consider it even more. The price wasn’t bad, for a partial set, and the chest plates had the initials C.G. on the inside and Adam figured that was one of Lady Hephaestus’s apprentices, and so he carried the box to the counter and he and the man there dickered for a few minutes and Adam got the set for 500 credits...and he gained another 3-4 levels in the caves for certain now.

      Lady Hephaestus saw him leaving and stepped into the back and asked if he found something he liked back here, and the older man agreed.

      “A Partial set of light armor...” he admitted while she asked if it was some of hers, and he disagreed.

      “Goodwin’s armor...” He admitted while she just smiled and nodded and went back outside. Carl Goodwin had taken a few lessons from her and her husband, and because of that he could sell his stuff here. He was young, talented and brash, but he didn’t want to be a armor builder, he wanted to be an Adventurer and she tried unsuccessfully to stop him saying his family had long been good builders, and had in the past made enchanted armors and swords of great power. But he refused that saying that they were only tools...and the person him or herself had to be able to carry the battle, not the weapon they carried... and because of his beliefs, he never made an enchanted item after the first, a sword that to this day hung in Lady Hephaestus’s office.

      But the Union Leaders and many group leaders knew him well. He carried a sword he made himself, a large one, and he wasn’t that bad using it either. But once a Goddess demands from you, then people step back, and she knew he had asked many to let him travel and adventure with them and they all refused, in no small part to her demanding he use his skills for building instead, and now they didn’t get along well at all.

      He could have had a very profitable business here, but instead his attitude got his stuff thrown in the back room, and when he could be well off, he was living day to day and hand to mouth. She felt bad for what happened but he wouldn’t even talk to her now, and she hinted to a few people that his skills weren’t that bad, but the stigma remained.

      Adam took his treasure home and tried it on and Cesta gave him a nice round of applause, as did Alice who said they weren’t going to have to worry about him as much now.

      “Especially the way you’ve been lately.” She hinted as he hushed her but Cesta gave him a dirty look and asked what she meant by that, as Adam saw he was caught between two women who worried about him and tried to get out of it.

      “I just need to get stronger...” he hinted as Alice looked away and Cesta saw it right away.

      “ Alice?” Cesta asked as Adam gave her a dirty look and Cesta gave him a soft slap along the head that brought everyone back to Earth and Alice got a good laugh as she reminded him that since he got his new skill he ran wildly into battle with small animals, and sometimes was half a room ahead of her while she ran to keep up.

      “That is NOT teamwork.” Cesta added sourly, as he looked a little sheepish that he got turned in.

      “I have no problems now cutting down these little creatures, and getting ahead saves Alice from getting involved in the fight too.” he hinted as Alice now gave him a sour look too.

      “Every trip we make he stops to check his status now, he never used to worry about it before.” She hinted as Adam looked sad, saying that he was a God now, before he was just an average Adventurer and no one expected much from him.

      “Now that your skills as a God are working again you may be getting stronger by the day now...but Alice isn’t. Getting her in trouble because you ran ahead and didn’t protect her will make you very sad if something were to happen to her down there.” Cesta argued as Adam declared he’d never let her get hurt...and Alice looked surprised but grateful... and she thanked him for saying so.

      “And I thought you were going to put together a bigger Team for working down into the lower levels?” Cesta asked as Adam said they just hadn’t gotten around to it yet, as even Alice agreed to that. “More people, more safety. even a silly little God- in- training cant be everywhere at once.” She hinted as Adam’s mouth dropped and Alice looked away to keep from laughing.

      “Even though your skills are rising rapidly this last big fight shows you’re not indestructible, so this...new armor...is a good idea, now start thinking about finding some new members before you even think of going any lower.” She said as Adam agreed, and the big speech was over for today and Alice gave her a big smile and a wink, as Adam looked properly chastised for not being careful enough.

      Chapter 10: Young and Brash,both Gods and Humans

      Carl Goodman walked in and looked around at all the great things here. To a skilled craftsman like him he didn’t see the fancy colors and designs, he saw the hard work each had gone into it. He walked back into the back and the older man waved and smiled and told him one partial set of his armor had sold, and dropped 500 credits into his hand as Carl looked sad.

      “500..you’ve got to be kidding! That armor was worth every bit of 1,000...” he demanded as the man just nodded agreement, but reminded him that it had been sitting here for months and it wasn’t even a full set, and this wasn’t his shop either, and after a minute listening to that he agreed, softly and turned to walk out.

      “Who bought it anyways?” He asked as the man smiled and said the new Local God, Adam the young man with the white hair, and Carl got a big grin and thanked him because having his armor being worn by a God was worth the loss, because his name would be getting around in better circles now and he decided to go see Adam and ask what he liked about that set, and maybe get a contract to make the other pieces for him at a ‘special price’.

      He went looking and found Adam walking towards the caves and yelled and ran over and introduced himself as Adam and Alice shook his hand.

      “That suit of armor was just a test piece,” he admitted and he asked why Adam liked that set, as he made sure their talk was heard by many people walking by.

      “It was a nice, clean practical set.” Adam mentioned as Carl, nodded and waited. “I wish it had the gloves with it in an emergency you can punch some smaller animals with an armored fist and do decent damage.” He hinted as even Alice gritted her teeth... yep that would hurt.

      “That was another reason I wanted to meet you, if you like I’ll give you a special price on the gloves and hip guards. Many people use those but not the helmet around here, ego I guess.” Carl hinted as Adam just laughed and agreed.

      “How much for the gloves and hip guards then?” Adam asked as many going by paused to listen.

      “Since a God is wearing my armor I’ll give you a special price of...300 credits... and make them custom for you.” He said as Adam agreed and some people listening got a huge grin and Carl saw some better advertisement coming soon.

      “It’ll just be a couple of days...” Carl said and ran to get started and Alice said it was a good deal and Adam agreed.

      “Lets get going then, I need to be able to pay for my new armor pieces...” he joked as they walked inside and Carl got more business, and Adam would have a better armor set and be ready for some deeper levels.

      They made it into level 4 today, and saw some better creatures. Adam did stay close to Alice now and she worked just as hard as he did to keep up and gather everything. They killed everything that popped up before them and took a break and started back. In a couple hours the trip was over, and even Alice’s share could get her better equipment, as Adam mentioned, and she laughed saying it was his job to kill things, it was hers to pick up the pieces not fight alongside him, and he agreed with a short laugh, and they went to the Union Bank and sold their wares and divided up the loot, and went to the bar to get something to eat, and they took Cesta along and paid for her dinner too and they sat and laughed and talked right along with the other Adventurers that gathered there every night, and then went home to get some rest.

      By the weekend they were ready again but early that morning a knock on the door got their attention and Adam answered it to see Carl standing there with his armor in his hands and a 4 foot sword over his back.

      “I wanted to get here before you got ready to go inside today.” he said and handed the pieces to Adam who looked them over and smiled wide. The craftsmanship was nice and they matched his other pieces perfectly, and Adam invited him in and he met Cesta and she shook his hand saying she was glad that Adam was getting better equipment, and Carl took that as a great thing, coming from a Goddess.

      “If its OK with you, can I go along?” Carl asked tapping his blade sitting next to him at the table where they were drinking coffee and eating breakfast.” I like getting a little practice in from time to time, and this way I can see how well the armor is working for you.” he said as Adam agreed and Cesta mentioned that Adam was looking for full time Team members, as Carl’s face lit up and he asked if that was true.

      “I guess it is...” Adam said sourly as Alice elbowed him and he jumped, as Carl laughed out loud at him.

      “Then its settled...I can become a member of your Team... we can test out new weapons and armor I make and I’ll know what needs improving and what doesn’t. “ He added as Adam agreed and they shook on it and in less than an hour they were on their way to the caves and their first day together.

      They entered and walked past a small group that were hunting rabbits and went right to the second level. There Adam drew his knives and said ‘repair’ and his hands glowed and the little blades looked like they were brand new, and Carl laughed saying he really could use him back at his shop, as Adam asked why.

      “Even the best Craftsmen have bad pieces...” he hinted as Adam nodded it was probably true.”unless I melt them down and start again, I usually have a dozen pieces sitting around in need of repair, or used for scrap for new pieces. If you’d stop by sometime and give me a hand, I’ll get maybe half a dozen more things for sale, and in exchange I’ll make you a new weapon to your specs, hows that?” he asked as Adam thought that was great, and Alice saw that Carl really was trying to fit in.

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      Chapter 11: Better Deals all Around

      They made it into level 5 today with the new helper, and they got some good money too. Once or twice Carl stopped to see old broken or chipped weapons left behind by other Teams, some many years old, and asked if he could have them for raw materials and Adam agreed and by the time they got back outside, Carl was really happy, and Adam was too, because it had been their best day ever.

      “We’ll take tomorrow off,” Adam said as Alice agreed, and Carl asked if he’d come by his shop tomorrow then and Adam asked where it was.

      They dropped off their stuff and Alice took their gems and things to the bank while Carl showed Adam where his shop was. It was a broken down little place on a back street, but inside it had everything he needed... he insisted... as Adam looked at some of the weapons he had sitting around or stuck in barrels out of the way.

      “These the ones you were talking about?” Adam asked pulling one sword from the barrel as Carl agreed showing him a small crack in it saying that even at the best of times things can go wrong at the last minute and Adam agreed and called ‘repair’ and the sword lit up and a light traveled from handle to end and when it was over it shone like a dozen suns and then the light went out and even Carl couldn’t see where the crack had been.

      “Here...” Adam said after a minute and handed it to Carl,” call it a bonus for signing on with us today.” he said as Carl smiled wide and thanked him and checked the sword over very carefully and it was perfect now, and he admitted that it would be worth some serious cash now, as Adam just waved it away saying that making him his personal weapons smith was worth it, and Carl felt like his life might just be turning around.

      After Adam left Carl took that piece to the Hephaestus shops and showed it to lady Hephaestus herself and she admitted the workmanship was pretty good. But she had a odd look on her face and she looked at Carl and asked a serious question.

      “Is this a Blessed Sword?” She asked while Carl said he didn’t do it, but that Adam had helped him with it so he really couldn’t say for sure, since it never struck him to check. Lady Hephaestus took it and looked it over carefully, then her hands glowed a soft red ...but the sword answered by glowing a soft blue... and she nodded seriously and said it wasn’t Enchanted with Magic power, but the strength of the blade went well past the normal design she normally saw.

      “It was one of my failures...” Carl admitted as she looked surprised he was being so honest.” Adam saw it and repaired it using his magic, so I really don’t know what he did.” he said as Hephaestus got a huge grin that made Carl look away.

      “He repaired it and now this blade has the Blessing of a God...” She admitted as Carl looked surprised.”Its not a rare thing, but it might well be better than any normal blade you make.” She said as he admitted he and Adam were going to work together on some things and he was going to teach him about weapons and weapon design, as she nodded and smiled even wider. “Then here...” She said and walked back out side and opened a case and slid the weapon inside putting it on display for all to see, as some nearby looked surprised.

      “Put a price on it and I’ll tell people its a Blessed sword, so you’ll get a good price for it.” She said as Carl agreed and before he left it was on display and he felt a certain pride in that, and the price...2500 credits...that Hephaestus added to it and he walked out of there a proud and happy craftsman.

      The next day he was back at the church as Adam and Alice helped clean up a bit. Carl asked if they really slept every night on benches and Adam admitted they weren’t too bad as Cesta nodded agreement.

      “Do you ever give sermons here? I mean you have a church and its full of pews after all...” Carl asked as Cesta said her Family wasn’t about sermons, they were here to help others and thats how she got Adam and Alice to join, as they both agreed.

      “So...why have the pews anyways? If you use this room as a dormitory, then sell or take out the pews, add some pillars or posts and rope or wire to make closed off rooms maybe from some blankets or canvas...” he added as Cesta had to think about that for a minute.” I’m sure Alice would like a little privacy from time to time just like you. Adam is a nice guy for sure, but he’s still a man and they can see everything the other is doing...” he said as Alice’s face went red and so did Adam’s but they didn’t say it wasn’t true.

      “I guess I hadn’t thought of it...” Cesta said and she seemed sad about that too.” Sorry Alice, I just wasn’t thinking.” She added as Alice said that compared to other places she had been forced to sleep this was great, and that made Cesta even sadder to think she thought that way. “OK lets see about something like this, it shouldn’t cost that much and we can do a lot of the work ourselves.” She mentioned as Carl agreed and he had some other ideas too, so she put him in charge.

      The weather was nice so they set some pews out for people to see and put for sale signs on therm. One other church across town heard about it and in 4 days half the pews were sold, and Carl used that money to buy heavy blankets and some medium thick rope. Then some wooden posts and boards and they nailed them together and stood them up making 8 foot squares around the room. Now the blankets and by the end of the first week they had 4 rooms made and framework for 4 more. They built some small bed frames from left over lumber and soon had straw mattresses in place, and Alice was never more happy. She sat down and made straw pillows for everyone too and in a month they were warm and happy in their own little rooms.

      “That looks better.” Carl said standing there smiling as Alice said she was getting spoiled, as everyone laughed.

      “Now one little stove in the corner there, and we’ll be ready for winter.” Adam added as everyone agreed and Carl agreed saying if they couldn’t find anything in time he could make something, but stoves weren’t his specialty, as Adam said, but it was an idea at least.

      “The way things are going I’m sure we’ll be fine.” Cesta added and thanked Carl for his help as he smiled and gave her a nice bow.

      “I live to serve.” he said as everyone smiled at that and now that the hard work was done around the church they could get back to the caves and make some good money, and Cesta mentioned they had rooms now so if they wanted to buy other furniture or decorations they could, and Alice smiled saying she hadn’t had a room of her own since her parents died and she was happier now than any time for years, and even Adam had a tear in his eye that something so little could make such a big difference in someone’s life, and as a God, he was slowly learning the truth about Humans.

      Chapter 12: Friends and Partners

      Gods and Goddesses have their own troubles but Humans have even more. Alice was found before she died and even at the last second Loki saved her and sent her here. But she had been a victim ,roped into a series of bad decisions, and she admitted it seriously when asked. But then Nature has an odd sense of humor, and some people live hard lives because of things they do every day, and never seem to notice.

      Phil Jenner was one such young man. He tried hard to get along, and had friends but even they started backing away after a while. His situation was caused by bad luck, the worst kind of problem that can be forced on someone.

      If he went into the caves looking for work it was a sure thing that he’d come running out with a hoard of creatures hot on his tail. If he worked for some contractor or builder, he fell from the roof, or nearly got buried in the ditch he was digging.

      He got hurt so many times, that even the Union Healers that found him started to charge for their services, and he sold off everything he owned for a place to sleep and some food, and soon had nothing to sell and no place to go.

      So after weeks sleeping behind buildings and in out houses, the rainy season came and with it cold nights and blustery winds. He nearly died one night of hypothermia, and so felt he had no choice, as one friend pushed him into the door at Cesta’s little church, and Adam ran to check on him when he collapsed there.

      They gave him a bed to sleep in and some warm cloths and when lunch time came he nearly ate them out of house and home, before apologizing for his actions and telling his story. Cesta nodded seriously to hear it and started to wonder what God his Family had forsaken, or at least pissed off badly. Bad luck came and went in all people, but this young man had a permanent addiction to it and his life up until now proved it.

      “If you’re willing to work you can stay here for a while.” Cesta offered as Phil thanked her saying that left alone he would die for sure. “Then you can sleep in that room and you’ll help around here as a cleaner,sweeping the floors and taking out trash. When things get better for you then maybe you can start going into the caves with our Team and earn enough to get better cloths and equipment.” She added as Phil agreed wholeheartedly, and everyone saw they had a new member for a while.

      But she had no idea what the depth of his problem really was like, and even sweeping, he knocked things over and ripped down the blankets that formed the walls of the rooms. His luck seemed destined to get him in trouble, and even Cesta’s Blessing didn’t seem to stop it entirely.

      “I’m sorry Lady Cesta...” Phil apologized for the hundredth time since he got there, as they sat down to eat one day as even Adam and Alice looked sad for him by now. “I’m trying, really I am, but things just never go the way I want.” he admitted as she nodded she understood.

      “My Blessing has helped...but I’m asking around to see if someone in your Family has been cursed by a God. This level of bad luck is extremely rare.” She mentioned as he thanked her for trying to help him.

      “Maybe if more than one God Blessed him?” Adam asked as even Cesta nodded and smiled. Adam was a God himself, but he had never offered his Blessing to anyone before, so maybe it might work.

      He took a minute to think,then walked around the table and close his eyes, laying one hand on Phil’s shoulder and mumbling something to himself. Then he opened his eyes again and smiled and said ‘ I Bless you my friend ' and Phil thanked him and they finished their meal.

      It was worth a try, and when they got up the next day a knock was heard at the door, and Phil ran and answered it. There stood a man with a sword in his hands and he apologized for taking advantage of Phil when he was down and out.

      “I stole this from your things while you slept about a month ago, but I just found out you joined Lady Cesta’s Family, so I wanted to return it.” he said sadly as Phil thanked him saying he forgave him, as the man nodded with a big smile and then walked away, and Phil got his sword back and showed Adam who smiled and said maybe his luck was changing after all.

      Now that he was armed, Adam suggested they go to the caves for a while so he could see his skills, and Phil agreed. They walked in from the pouring rain and started down the slope...and Phil got to kill a few small animals and made a few credits, and Adam admitted he needed practice but he wasn’t helpless, as Phil thanked him for saying so.

      They made it to the second level and Adam smiled saying that Phil might make an Adventurer after all, and they both laughed. Phil made some cash, got some practice and even leveled up that day and when they returned they brought back food for the evening meal, and Cesta thanked them and she and Alice started preparing while the men sat and talked about their day.

      “I cant believe it, I leveled up!” Phil added as Adam shook his hand and laughed. Phil told him that no matter how hard he worked he never got a level before. His skills were weak as hell, but he worked hard and never gave up, and today it paid off.

      “Level 3 is no big deal, but it certainly should help.” Adam added as Phil beamed, saying he felt better already and Adam felt good knowing his Blessing had helped this much.

      They had a little celebration that night and Phil officially joined the church and Cesta’s Family got stronger again. And she was very happy that Adam’s Blessing made such a big difference. Hers usually did the trick for people having a bad week or something but Phil was an exception, and she decided to see why.

      After their meal, she made the jump to Olympus and many there saw her for the first time in a while and shook her hand and patted her back saying she was really doing it..she was making her own Family...as she smiled wide and thanked them for saying so.

      “To what do we owe this Honor?” She heard as Lady Hephaestus walked up and gave her a hug, and Cesta told her the story, and Hephaestus growled softly saying that even for a God this was excessive. “What’s his name again?” She asked and Cesta told her...Phillip Jenner...and a minute later her face got red.

      “The Jenners...ask Loki” She said as Cesta looked surprised. Master Loki was a tough cookie and took no **** from anyone. But this was even harsh for him and she thanked her for saying so and then went looking for him.

      She found him coming out of the mens bath, and he saw her coming and looked away as she called for him and he stopped and leaned on a wall, wrapped in his big towel fresh from the bath.

      “Why do this?” Cesta asked as his eyes dropped,” Even if he said something or did something...his life was in danger and he nearly died before coming to me. It’s not like you to kill someone without good reason.” She mentioned as even he agreed.

      “I have nothing against the boy himself.” he admitted as she waited to hear.” I cursed his Family long ago...for stealing from my church. They had been good members for a long time but bad luck fell on them and instead of waiting it out, they lost everything due to bad decisions. Then to pay their bills they stole from my church not once but several times. I can forgive someone a bad decision, but not over and over again. So I cursed them with the same bad luck they found for themselves and it stayed with them until their dieing day.” he admitted as she looked sad for them all.

      “But you didn’t stop the curse when they died did you...and now Phillip has to live with it too.” Cesta added softly as he admitted it was true. “Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had to pay for everything your other Family members had done in the past?” She asked as he rolled his eyes just thinking about it.

      “Point well made...” he admitted and with a wave of his hand the curse was gone.”You’ve matured nicely these past few years I think. You never would have questioned me like this in the past.” he said with a big smile as she turned to go.

      “We all grow up someday,” She said and was gone in a flash and he smiled wider because many watched and waited to see her future too, and not just the growth of her Families name.

      Chapter 13: Preparations

      Cesta returned home and announced that the curse was officially lifted, and Phil cheered and dropped to his knees and thanked her, as she just smiled and said it was her job to watch over her people.

      She told the story and even Phillip was shocked. He had no idea what was causing this, but it did seem to make some sense when he heard it. At least now he knew it wasn’t his fault, and that seemed to give him closure.

      “Now you can live a more normal life...” Adam said with a slap on Phil’s back, as everyone agreed, and Phil seemed more than ready to get his life back. They celebrated with a good meal and finally got to bed. The next day Phil would go inside with them again, and start saving for his own future.

      This was all seen from the Mountain too, many there thought Loki had done the right thing in removing the curse and some agreed that Phil had suffered more than enough to teach anyone a lesson.

      But Zeus was watching for a different reason. Adam was still not making any moves on Cesta, and his grandfather was starting to worry about him. But even his attentions towards Alice didn’t go anywhere and so that made Zeus feel a little better. It seemed the kid was just a late bloomer after all, and he just shook his head and left it go.

      There were bigger things to worry about, as his research showed, the people of the world were getting tired of worshiping their Gods, in no small part because they gave and gave but many gave nothing in return.

      Many had become complacent, and spoiled, and where they worked hard to gather a Family to support them, once they had one they ignored them even during times of hardship. He had given some serious talks about this, but they just couldn’t see it. If something wasn’t done soon their power levels would be so low... as their Families turned away from them... that they would be stuck here, living like mortals forever, and he would not let his people drop so far because of stupidity or ego. So he made a plan, and had meetings to announce it. If the power levels didn’t return they would take their city and leave, and find a new world to watch over, and many went into shock.

      He was really serious this time...and some started going back to Earth more often and doing great things for their followers... and after a while the power levels started back up, and new people joined some Families.

      It seemed his talk and threats had worked...this time...and he made sure the new power was saved and channeled into their city, where it could be saved forever. Someday it would be needed, someday when the world turned on them for their own actions, and he saw that clearly wasn’t far away, and made it his mission to prepare for it.

      The People had new idols, like Adam and Cesta, children of the Gods that walked along them and lived a normal life there. They were the future, and the old Gods were the fading past. And slowly the Gods of Olympus would fade away, until even their city would be gone and their offspring would help make the world a better place for Humans well into the future.

      He had seen it himself, and the Great Mirror had confirmed it. Their time here was at an end, and he pushed them a little every week, and the power levels inside the city started up towards the levels he knew they’d need soon enough.

      And on the 12 thousandth year after their arrival, the city of Olympus rose once more...into a cloudy and rainy sky, and disappeared into the sky forever. Their grandchildren would spread the word for generations, and some artists made grand paintings of the Gods that would be saved and shone forever, and those that stayed, like Adam and Cesta were welcomed as normal people, and they acted like it, and soon their Godly powers were forgotten, and the world invented new Gods to worship and these old ones just sat back and smiled, as they silently made the world a better place for themselves and their offspring for generations to come. The End

    6. #6
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      There...caught up again...next time this site goes down for a week or more just come to my FB site to read. The link was listed above.

      **EDIT** For those wondering, here's the link to kev's FaceBook site: https://www.facebook.com/krm398/ (BTW he was bitching at me with that comment in the start of chapter 3 on this page... ) Cheers, NC **END EDIT**

      Last edited by NovaCatt; 14-04-2016 at 10:41 AM. Reason: added link to site.. NC ;)

    7. #7
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      wow, its been ages since I was on here, I remember adding a new first chapter for a story a long time ago, but then the site went down or something. oh well, I see its back. Not even sure what it was after all this time and with my new computer, that story is long gone by now.But stopped by to see and say hi anyways.

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