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nova deus

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[ set during 2.3 times ]

Blood still dripped down Cids' arm - his Gunblade clanging to the ground. Why had he-- why had he done that? Every time Cid felt those clicks in his head, every time his body moved without him thinking, things went wrong.

And this time, it left G’raha bleeding out, staring up at him. Eyes dulling, except for that redness. Cid couldn’t find any words - couldn’t explain himself. People rushing in, Unei trying to push them out - including Cid. It was a blur, a haze.


 The only thing that Cid could hear, repeated, though - he’d cone this. He’d done this, but it would work out. Even if when his body moved faster then he could think, it… it never had killed somebody on purpose? Had it? Cid could barely notice where he was being moved, if he was being talked to.

That is, until he felt a familiar hand to his, a familiar press to his ear. The soft lips of the Warrior of Light gently enveloped his ear, even if they needed to lean down. Their soft whispers - not even forming words to Cids’ mind - began to focus the pained Garlean. The panicked Garlean, his mind still going though possibilities.

They were outside the camp, away from people. It was quiet, Cid couldn’t have any other sound distract him. No, the Warrior of Light danced around his face, kissing his forehead - before turning away from him. Not out of anger, though. Not out of fear. But because, on their back, was their mark. The one which had appeared after they’d been sent though time, lost five years.

The one which calmed Cid, as he placed his head to it - the two now sitting. No words needed to be shared - for the Warrior of Light was not one to talk, and Cid didn’t want to talk. No, all he wanted to do was press his forehead to that mark, feel its’ warmth. Beginning to wrap his arms and legs around the Warrior of Light, Cid began to think again. His mind now clear, he had to ask himself - no, ask his love.

“…Did that happen before?”

Looking back a little, the Warrior of Light leaned forward - letting Cid get more comfortable - before nodding to themselves. “Yes. Before— you went to try and stall Nael, at least for a time. You left, and you weren’t… you, love,” they explained - beginning to stroke though Cids’ hair a little. “I had to go to aid Louisoix - couldn’t stop you.”

Cid didn’t remember. It was a haze - even after he remembered, it was spotty in places. It was spotty, and the Warrior of Light couldn’t fill in those gaps either. The only ones who could were dead. Still, Cid managed to croak out a laugh. “If I pulled a number like I did on G’raha, then - that explains how everything went well enough.”

Kissing that mark again, Cid could ignore his own burning one, deep within him. But as he did, Cid couldn’t help but begin to shift his fingers, beginning to touch the Warrior of Lights’ sides. “…Scales?” he asked.

The Warrior of Light paused, letting out a long sigh. “I got hurt fighting Ramuh,” they said, “and when I woke up, I had those on my side.” It was only the… third time the Warrior of Light had fallen down. (Died. They’d died, and not realized it. Their mark burned, and gave them Life.) More and more, myths of them had spread. And more and more, people did not know what race their savior was. And more and more, they shifted to their perceived forms. Changes were only small right now - a few scales around their torso, pointier ears - they could still pass as themselves. But they were sensitive - and as Cid rubbed his hands down them, feeling all the little patterns under the Warrior of Lights’ armour - they let out a soft moan.

It was fascinating - Cid had never felt scales quite like this. Nor had he been the little spoon (had the Warrior of Light grown a little?) but it was calming. He knew he had to go back, though - to tell the Ironworks what happened. To make sure G’raha wasn’t… dead by his hand.

 


 

 

Returning to the campsite, Cid was still shaky - but, at least, he had cleaned himself up. Mentally, too. Him and the Warrior of Light had just held each other for a while, combing though each others’ hair. His hair still messy, Cid looked around - G’raha had been moved away. At least, that’s what it seemed like. After his episodes, Cid tended to become quite unfocused.

However, a familiar voice seemed to bring him back to reality again. “Cid.” Turning a little, he couldn’t help but feel a lecture come on - it was Jessie. Her expression was harsh, but there was a deep worry that Cid knew. He carried it too. “This isn’t Garlemald anymore - there’s no need to attack your co-workers.” It was said in jest - though not with any cheer.

Cid, however, simply shook his head. “Won’t happen again,” he said - as he’d said so many times to her, over smaller things. “But he’s okay?”

Jessie shook her head - before looking over Cid. “What drove you to it? Knowing you, something about the better good.” Jessie didn’t expect an answer from Cid. He held mysteries - ones which annoyed her.

However, Cid looked back to his hands. To his hand, where he’d held his gunblade. “…Split personality,” he said, softly. After a moment, he frowned. “Only began happening after I fled Garlemald. Sometimes, I— time seems to slow, and this sounds crazy.”

“Usually, I’d agree,” Jessie said - shaking her head. “But Biggs and Wedge filled me in earlier - if it’s an excuse, it’s a damned good one.” (Honestly, Jessie was still unsure. If this was his way of coping? It wasn’t good.) Jessie, however, kept her gaze on him.

Just like other times he’d gone though it - gone though seeing so many possibilities, seeing things he couldn’t quite handle - Cid was beginning to consider why he’d done it. Answers still didn’t come, even as he began to touch his hand. That is, until Unei came rushing to see them, hair messy. She had a big grin on her lips - the first time she’d smiled since Doga and Nero had vanished to the Void.

“Cid, you— I don’t know how, but you did something, and we can get Doga and Nero back!”

“…How?” Jessie asked, looking at Unei - as Cid took a step backwards. She was more into the logistics of the Ironworks, of course, but she had a soft spot for this clone. Why, she’d been sizing her up for a uniform, if she wanted to stay.

Unei shook her head. “I— It’s hard to explain, without Doga. He was always… better at that then I. But due to— though his injuries, G’raha can control the tower. He can restore the Voidgate.”

The truth was a lot more messy. It was not meant to be like this - Allag was not meant to have a being like Primal. Not one which stood for them - for that would have made Allagans lesser then the people they conquered. However, the worship of knowledge focused on the Syrcus Tower - no, not just it. But the area around it became tainted by these desires, and gave it a will. This was not lost to Princess Salina, who gave the Mark of the slumbering Primal-esque tower to Desch, and his descendants.

The meaning forgotten, the one with the mark was to become like those new Twelve - if they were to be awoken. And it just so happened that nearly killing G’raha, so close to the slumbering Primal, was the key to awakening that knowledge. It wasn’t Cid who knew this, however. But it was the Primal who slumbered within his own mark, the one unknown to Cid - influencing him and his action.

Then again - wasn’t that what Alexander did?

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The most important thing here was that it was warm. Far warmer then Moenbryda had accepted - but then again, she'd been consumed by a coldness after sacrificing herself.

That's what she'd done, right? But sacrifices didn't mean walking up, stumbling. Well, stumbling after having to dig up, having to displace so much crystal and dirt. It caked her skin and under her fingernails, it filled her mouth. Even as she moved to spit some out - her mouth was far too dry.


 

Much like before she'd been buried (alive? She'd need to get on to somebody about that), Moenbryda could feel the moonlight on her. Unlike before, however, she could feel a slight tingling on her non-tattooed thigh. The one where she'd had a birthmark that looked like Menphina. Goddess of both the moon and of love, huh. If Moenbryda could get to her feet, she'd look - but her whole body felt weak. Shaky. Probably part of her sacrifice. Hah, they'd really killed an Ascian, huh? She'd have to get back for the celebrations.

Still, what now? She'd really expected to die with her sacrifice, and now she was back. Well, she had to get back to Urianger, first of all. See how he reacted. Then she could continue some of her other projects - finding more ways to utilize the same techniques used to get to Shiva. Even she had a soft spot for the Warrior of Light - and who knew, perhaps she'd have a great breakthough.

Moenbryda had no clue how long it had been - how she'd been mourned. The symbolic place of her burial had become where she'd began to come back. Or that, at this time, nine of the marked twelve had gathered over at the Waking Sands. (They had gathered there for Urianger was in danger, if he were to leave.) The only others who couldn't, that weren't her and literally had no clue, well. They were Yda and Louisoix. Yda - Rhalgr - hadn't returned after seeming to die, even if she'd continued her own fight. (She couldn't return. There were people who needed her.) And Louisoix was still recovering, still bundled away and visited by Alisaie (and on good days, Alphinaud). Though they were immune to tempering, the latest avatar of Thaliak had still gotten manipulated.

Even immortal beings had to recover. But to recover from nothing... it was a miracle, one that Moenbryda was unaware of. Perhaps she could rest for a while - it felt natural, under the moonlight, to simply relax. She could go into town later - go ask how everybody was. Find out it’d been a year or so.

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They bled. How many times had they bled? Honestly, they'd lost track.

The Warrior of Light needed to continue moving. The first time they'd fallen down, the first time they'd died (though really, was it death if you woke up), they'd not noticed much was wrong. After all, they were trying to stand up to Ultima Weapon - getting shot point-blank would make anybody black out for a few seconds, before shakily standing once more. Swinging their axe - barely noticing their ears had grown pointed. Perhaps it was just a joke, when they got outside? The burning at the back of their neck was just part of their pain.


 

Should they have tried to not fall down? Feeling dust at their fingers, that was just one thing the Warrior of Light had time to consider, now that Nidhogg was... well... dead was the wrong word for that as well, wasn't it? That would need to be seen, once Estinien woke. Marks still embedded themselves where the Eyes had been - and with all this running around learning these marks seemed to signify Primal and the Twelve both, well. Hopefully, they'd have time to follow that up later.


 

Small changes were easy to hide. Easy to laugh off, claim they were a half-breed. When they fell down from Ramuh, they felt a determination to prove that a just judgement for both man and beast could be passed. Scales seemed to cover their sides, but it was fine. Just a place for Cid to hold, as they seemed to nearly tower of Roegadyn. They remembered, though, that the first time it felt wrong was when they stood up to Nabriales, inside the White Auracite.

Moenbryda had faded, and they'd even tried to give some of themselves. And when it shattered, they fell down again - crackling seeming to fill their ears. But it almost made a twisted sense at that point - they destroyed an Ascian, they died - and they sprouted features of another Spoken. Secondary ears, just under their main ones. But why? If they could ask anybody, they'd know what to do - but there was nobody. Their friends knew nothing. The Scions of the Seventh Dawn were blind to what was happening, in a way.

That was, until they had time, in Fortemps Manor. Again, they'd collapsed - they'd stayed behind, as Alphinaud and Tataru fled. But they'd followed later, confused at the fact they'd survived having an arrow go though them. What was more surprising was that Cid had waited. Alphinaud was sure the Warrior of Light would be right behind them.

As soon as Cid saw them, he rushed forward - only stopping at the sight of the arrow. Gently cupping their head in their hands, he gave the Warrior of Light a kiss. Even if he needed to lean up. "Twelve, you've been though a lot." Cid said - though he seemed to choke on their name. (What was their name? The Warrior of Light only knew that term for themselves. They'd forgotten their name, as time had flowed past them. Perhaps they'd ask a friend. Perhaps they'd ask Cid.)

Still, the Warrior of Light smiled. "Had to... hold some persistant soldiers off. Don't think they'll let me back there," he said. But, would he want to? "...Couldn't see any others. Sorry."

As they walked, though, as they boarded the Enterprise - Cid remained gripping to his dear love. Before looking back casually, and-- "A tail."

"A tail?"

Alphinaud nodded, touching it - a Miqo'te tail had made its' way out of the Warrior of Lights' broken armour. "...I fell down again," the Warrior of Light reasoned. Their lips trembled, and they moved closer to Cid. "I... need to know. Come on-- there has to be books on this."

There weren't - but Alphinaud went off while Haurchefant pertitioned his father. (His own form had caused concern, and so he'd grown closer to his family.) Alphinaud couldn't tell the Warrior of Light he was asking Louisoix - after that betrayal, there were still secrets he had to hide. The fact that Louisoix survived becoming Phoenix was one of them - only him and Alisaie knew. And Urianger, as well. Once he returned, though, there was at least a theory.

"You're the Warrior of Light, right? Well, not everybody knows you. People might percieve you differently. And that might influence your... survival. Taking bits of that belief and merging it with you."

Louisoix knew that the Warrior of Light was not what they seemed. That being exposed to the flow of Althyk would have marked them, turned them to a being like the Twelve. (He'd not told the twins what they were - no, it wouldn't be right to put that on them. Not yet. If things calm, it would be for the best. It hurt him from when he saw those children with those marks, so long ago.)

But, at least for now, the Warrior of Light didn't know they were a Primal - or a thing like that. No, they simply smiled at Alphinaud. "So... it's normal? But-- won't it hurt how others see me? If I'm a creep."

"According to my sources," Alphinaud said, trying to still sound mature, "it won't. They'll... see you as they want you to be, unless they're... special. For example, Ishgardians would see you as another noble Elezen." Special, in this case, meant marked. It had been something Louisoix had seen from this poor youth back years ago, and even as Phoenix - the way they charmed people, the way they seemed to both blend in and stand out. Another skill, was it?

Another curse, if you asked the Warrior of Light.

But Haurchefant could see their multiple ears, and tended to touch at them while he talked. Calling them beautiful, for they truly were. Cid, too, came to cherish these traits - even if it was mostly because now he could be the small spoon, curled up and safe from his own strange snapping.


 

The next time they fell down was in the Aery. Nidhogg had snapped down on them. Right in half - that, clearly, was the first time the Warrior of Light couldn't deny they'd died. But again, it was that determination that they needed to stop this, needed to stop the song, that meant they stood again. (As Estinien claimed the eye, he stared at the Warrior of Light. He'd seen that, too.) And a new heavy tail flopped to the ground, invisible to most. A second tail - though other people saw them as a regular Spoken, the Warrior of Light had to get special clothes tailored.

That night, though, they went to Cid. Instead of going to see why the Eye was wrong, they needed to simply cuddle with their love. Their deep love - sometimes, Cid did the same thing. “…I don’t want to be like this,” the Warrior of Light said to him. Wrapped him up, made Cid feel comfortable.

Cid leaned back into them, softly letting them do as they wanted. “As long as you’re still you, I’ll stick by you.”


 

That didn’t help the next time they fell, the time they felt their legs seem to break and buckle - trying to shield Haurchefant, as Haurchefant shielded them. That story is one for another day - but they woke with strange wolf-like legs. Lupin were seen as Spoken - and perhaps their tales had spread that far? (Or Lupin had come this far. That was the truth of the matter, but the Warrior of Light had not learned of them.)

However, they were almost glad they had two tails - for these new legs were awkward. What they couldn’t explain were the small buds on their back. What they didn’t recall is that even the Beast Tribes saw them as a true Warrior of all. (They had, after all, done all the Beast Tribe quests - to distract in their downtime.)

They hurt. They bled. Falling down more and more, the Warrior of Light couldn’t quite remember what state they were meant to be in. Nameless, shapeless. Nidhogg had taken them again, and they had scars from their rather impressive fight with Ravana. (Ravana… they hadn’t killed the Warrior of Light, but had done worse.

Ravana had asked their name.)

That was what the Warrior of Light was. Blending in with what was wanted, a freak to those who knew them. They could hide it - glamours had been weaved for those of the now-known Twelve so they could hide what was happening. At the same time, Cid still kissed them, even if their face barely looked like it used to. Sure, they still looked Hyuran - a little. They still looked like one of the Six Races - well, a mix of all six, if you ignored the flowers down their body, the Lupin legs they stood proudly on.

Despite everything, the Warrior of Light was still themselves. And as they sat with Cid, Cid trembling from his own exploration of Alexander, perhaps that was all they needed to be - bleeding or not, immortal or not.

Chapter Text

Perhaps camping in Alyz Lla had not been the best idea the Warrior of Light had made - but they did not have the energy to remain awake for over many days. Even with the threat of the Archbishop, they knew it would take those people quite some time to find their own power. Plus, they had gotten hurt by Regula - they had fallen down.

(They kept falling down. More and more. But there were others that relied on them.)


 

However, camping near the now basically abandoned Garlean campsite might have been a bad idea. For the Warrior of Light woke to flames licking at them, dancing around them. Sure, it was warm and that was nice, but it was dangerous. Standing with them was Lahabrea, foot pressing on the Warrior of Lights' chest. Perhaps that would have woken them up first. That understated smirk visible dancing in the moonlit flames...

Were they about to fall down again? As if reading their mind, Lahabrea pressed down on their chest. "Your journey ends here."

Of course, Lahabrea pressed more on their chest - before his ankle was grabbed, he was pulled down. Right next to the Warrior of Light - right onto the ground. Struggling and kicking them, Lahabrea snarled. Snarled so... softly, looking at the Warrior of Light.

Unlike many, they could see though whatever protection they had. To see the beast below, of many ears and eyes and animal-esque fur. Of being a monster. Of being a... Lahabrea broke out into a deep laugh, even as the Warrior rolled on top of him, pinning him. Placing a clawed glove to the Warrior, Lahabrea scratched at their face - leaving a mark. But no blood dripped out.

Why would it? "How pitiful," Lahabrea whispered, echoing though the air.

The Warrior of Light - still nameless, still having that stolen from them - tilted their head. "...Pitiful? I'm-- not following." Honestly, they were more curious at how that mask sat on Lahabrea. Now, they hadn't gotten a good look at them ever since their last meeting. But they knew how things sat on Ascian faces. Nabriales had proven that. It was almost cute, the way a single golden lock hung in front of it. However, the Warrior of Light loosened their pin. Of course, that was an opening.

Rolling on top of the Warrior - using a hand to steady their mask (they couldn't let the Warrior of Light know what was happening to them, it wasn't something they quite understood, and that was the worst thing of all,) - Lahabrea had the upper hand. Moving his hand swiftly to their neck, Lahabrea couldn't help but gloat. But laugh in their face. "You work against us, to destroy Primal? But you're one - you're the biggest threat to everything you care about!" Really, Lahabrea couldn't be more amused! Though... at the same time... there were so many Primal who didn't consume Aether. Primal forced into the forms of Men - a mistake, one that he didn't cause. (The one who caused it - they needed to be found. Elidibus was quite focused on that - hah. Running around, focusing on Urianger. It was disgusting - some form of primal lust.) "Why - you've likely tempered your friends already~! Turning them to mere shells of what they were - feeding the destruction of your acursed Hydaelyn!"

However, though his taunting and tightening of his hands, Lahabrea barely noticed the expression the Warrior of Light was giving. It wasn't fear, nor shock. (Though there was a tremble from them, a pleased tremble.) For a moment, Lahabrea thought the Primal known as the Warrior of Light doubted his perfect words - but, no. Instead, they simply nodded. "That makes sense."

"What?"

The Warrior of Light gently brushed away the hand strangling them. Well, gentle for the Primal. For Lahabrea, it was a shock of pain-- pain. Damnit. Their own condition was frightening enough, but their pain burned. Or was that because their hand had been brushed into flames?

Yeah. Yeah - Lahabrea pulled it out of the flames, and the Warrior of Light suddenly showed concern. Still, they continued. "I kept falling down--"

"Dying. You died."

"...And kept getting up. Mister Louisoix said it was... to do with my mark, but didn't say more. But, uh... are you okay?"

Even after learning they were a Primal - a threat - this beast worried? Just what was the Warrior of Light? Before he could protest, Lahabrea felt his hand being touched--

--his glove was removed. It hadn't been a glove before, but. Now, it was just one, and the skin under looked... red. Blistered. Lahabrea stared - he was injured? What the--?! And even worse, the Warrior of Light was bringing it closer, even when pinned, and...

...Kissing it. This damned fool of a Primal was kissing the injury. "Now what? You can't enthrall me, vermin," Lahabrea said.

But the Warrior of Light seemed to smile a little. "Haven't you ever been kissed better? Back home..." they trailed off. What happened, back home? (The sands were harsh, and the beasts moreso. But there was no name they could put to it. No family they could think of. So much had been washed away to make them the Warrior of Light.

And so much more was to be washed away, they feared. Even having other friends now, they were terrified.) Either way, they continued to kiss - even as Lahabrea pinned them down more. Thighs tightening around their own, making the Warrior of Light tense a little. Lahabrea did this only because they couldn't admit... well... this felt sort of... not bad?

Damnit. However, the Warrior of Light put one of their hands up his sleeve, and Lahabrea pulled away his burnt hand. "Are those really robes? I always thought they were part of you," the Warrior of Light asked - innocently.

"For your information," Lahabrea snarled, getting up in the others' face, "these forms are simply what your pathetic mind can comprehend."

That was a bad idea. For the Warrior of Light swiftly removed Lahabreas' mask - to look at them, stare at their eyes and--

--Lahabrea was Hyur. There was no signs of anything other then that in their face, in their expression. Their aether shimmered just like that of a Spoken - the Warrior of Light could feel it. For a moment, everything was silent. Until Lahabreas' hand began to flicker with dark magic. "You-- how dare you--!?"

The Warrior of Light flipped Lahabrea back under themselves, smiling. Not looking surperior at all, but trying to simply reassure. "I, um. Something weird happened, didn't it?" they asked - before Lahabrea forced his tongue into the Warrior of Lights' mouth, pushing upwards, trying to assert dominance. Even if he was more then aware that this Primal told the truth. What he didn't expect, however, was the Warrior of Light to let out a small squeak, a small moan. Before sitting up, sitting on his stomach. "Listen. I know-- I know you've done bad things.

But if you're becoming something weird, I can help. Besides, I'm a Primal. I'm no Warrior of Light, now am I?"

Lahabrea didn't respond. It was true - this... thing wasn't fighting for Hydaelyn, were they? They'd never done that. Even when they had been forced out of Thancred, they'd not struck with Light - they'd simply used that very worship that now kept them alive. It was... interesting. This could be an interesting team up. More interesting than with Thordan, that was for sure.

After all, what sort of Warrior befriended an Ascian?

Chapter Text

It was long before they woke as gods. It was long before things changed, long before their marks had meanings. And yet, one late night, the younger Lyse and Moenbryda stared at the sky.

"So, did your parents call you Moenbryda 'cause of your mark?" Lyse asked, carefully cuddling up to Moenbryda. Though she could go cuddle Yda, Yda was busy with Papalymo. And besides, though she was a Hext and Moenbryda was a Wulfsunnwyn, they were... sisters.


 

Moenbryda, though, casually looked over to Lyse - cuddling close to the Hyur. "Nah. Our family... we've always been named after the sky. The Moon Bride, daughter to the Wolf-Sun - strong, and beautiful." But Moenbryda paused, softly placing a gentle kiss to Lyses' forehead. "Did yours?"

"Oh? No," Lyse said. "I mean, mine didn't become visibly like Nymeia until recently? It was a little squished. But Yda called me her stardust sometimes.

Because she was born with hers, and takes it pretty seriously. Like... she'll be like the star to lead Ala Mhigo back? She'll be a new burning star, like Rhalgr. And since I'm her little sister, I'm in her trail."

Considering this, Moenbryda let out a soft hm. "You know," she said, pointing up. "We can see Menphina and Dalamud up there - maid and protector. But I don't think Dalamud is the only one who looks out for Menphina." Lyse let out a soft hm, following that gaze. "There's stars out there... watching over us as well, weaving our fates. And that's sort of like us, right?"

"How so?"

"Well. Even if I'm the older and smarter one," Moenbryda said as she stretched out, "I couldn't be my best without you. And the same for you, right?"

The moon and the starlight - beaming down on the two of them. Lyse didn't quite get it, but... it did make a little sense. And it made her smile, her pale white freckles almost seeming to glisten like starlight. The two of them had their roles - though they didn't know how they'd grow, as the world changed. As they grew as gods, and their simple conversation turned to so much more...

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Terminals. Of course it was terminals - Nero looked around him, to the tower surrounding him. To the thing which both seemed to be G'raha and not, for he knew G'rahas' body was off having adventures, and not slowly mutating into one of the Warring Triad. But as he'd promised, he began to read out the information.

"There had been three plans that Amon had crafted - three, to preserve Allag. One was the one we all know, to revive Xande, bring him back.

But there were two others, two he had crafted so his own knowledge would live as well. One of them was to create a robotic duplicate of himself - and the other was to exploit the will of Allagans, to create an Eikon of Allag itself."

Nero scoffed, crossing his arms. "A robotic duplicate? Hah - that fool's crazier then me. Anyway, there was another plan half-formed, to figure out how Ascian were created and to create his own. There's nothing on that here, however.

But unlike most Primal, Gnaritas - as he turned to telling it - could have their essence passed down. As long as the tower slumbered, the heart could be kept alive, to continue analyzing the world - waiting for a proper time to re-awaken Allag. This wasn't all Amons' planning, however - he's got mentioned of another Primal in here. Not one I've heard of."

It wasn't like Nero could know Amon was talking about Alexander, from his translating, now could he? That even Allag was influenced by things like that. He continued to casually read, as G'raha listened from afar. Even if Nero had retreated from public, hiding as he changed to Zurvan, there was at least one place he wasn't judged. One place he was safe... and loved.

Chapter Text

It was not often that the Warrior of Light lingered, but tonight was different. They looked out to the sky, their hands trenbling. Night had come long ago, but they hadn't fallen to sleep.

Or, well, they had. But tonight, they had woken from a nightmare - and had woken alone. Alone, looking to themselves, looking so very monster-like. And so, they had made their way out. The Warrior of Light had fallen asleep in one of their estates - one of their gifts.

But as they walked out, they hadn't expected to see Cid there - leaning on one of their chairs, shakily fluffing out his wings. Right - he was still growing into them, after everything that had gone on. Without words, the Warrior of Light came - but before they could hug Cid, the Garlean turned and they ended up in a hard embrace. Bringing them close.

"...I remembered your name," Cid whispered. "The whole of it - G'raha only remembered the start of it." The Warrior of Light stopped struggling in his arms, suddenly looking up. Even if they had nightmares, a joy entered their expression - grinning. Grinning too big, but still. "Cordis Leneneut.

...A Dalmascan name. You're Dalmascan, Cordis. Explains what you remembered," Cid gently said - brushing a hand though the shaking Primal-esque man. Noticing his shudders, Cid began to whisper his name over and over - until Cordis quietened him.

"I had a nightmare," Cordis admitted. "There was-- somebody. I couldn't understand them - their words. They kept coming closer, and-- I had to run." As they spoke, Cordis seemed to slink down. After all, they wanted to understand - that was their goal, more then being a savoir. Becoming a Primal such as this was only something to help, was it not?

...It had to be. Right? But Cid sighed, shifting slightly so they were sitting and laying on the arm rests. "Need a distraction?" Cordis nodded, and Cid gave a small grunt. "Well, I've got some projects I'd like a non-mechanical eye on. Come on, let's go."

A distraction would do them both well. Cid ignoring his pain, and Cordis ignoring memories bubbling up disguised as nightmares.

Chapter Text

Now, it had been years since Moenbryda had seen Urianger. And Urianger hadn't said much, in letters he'd sent. Usually asking for supplies from Sharlayan, ones relating to the Twelve. (And that one letter musing on the nature of Moogle, which she had brushed off as him forgetting to check what he'd packed.) So, when she'd seen him, she hadn't said anything about, well...


 

His skin had changed, become much more... Duskwight. She'd tried to question him about it in private, however, in that time they'd had before she... died. Urianger had refused to admit what had happened, but he had waved it off as a side effect of one spell or another. Besides, they had study to do - and Moenbryda had time to catch up with G'raha, as well. Before he went back to the Crystal Tower - by the time G'raha had returned, Moenbryda had died.

Sure, she'd come back again, but that took her quite some time. And longer to get back to the Scions, right in the middle of a meeting. As soon as they were done, Moenbryda insisted to see Urianger - alone.

Urianger was far too pleased to see her, simply gripping to her - as she had to guide him to one of the spare rooms. One she'd been given.

"Alright. So we're... deities," Moenbryda began, guiding Urianger to stand with her, near the pile of weirdly discarded plush dolls. "Is that the big secret about your skin, then?"

She'd gone right into the questions, and Urianger let out an uncomfortable groan. No lying to her. "...As Althyk flows, my skin altered. If I had stayed alone, it would be as shapeless as the ocean - but it has turned to a flowing river of time. But it has tinted myself to--"

"--Look like a Duskwight," Moenbryda finished, pointing a finger at the nervous Elezen. "You could have just said it was magic - you don't need to make it a big deal."

Moenbryda said that, but she liked... she liked how he tried to make everything a big deal. "Does that explain the freckles, too?"

Urianger looked away, beginning to explain more. "...Time flows, and destiny is weaved. It shows on my skin, gently glittering."

Huh. From what she'd heard... Moenbryda snorted. "So now you're gonna get cuddles from L-- Yda, like, all the time? Lucky!"

Really, her optimism made Urianger crack his own smile. Perhaps his curse was not the worst?

Chapter Text

In Sharlayan, there was little that was unforgivable, if it was in the pursuit of knowledge. If it could bring kindness and protection to the world, then it was just. If it was kept to only those in Sharlayan, it was just.

And yet, Louisoix knew his final deed before departing for Eorzean as an Archom would cross both lines. From the outside, he was a beacon of calm and kindness. From the outside, the mark of Thaliak glistening slightly on his bald head, nobody knew what he had seen. Why he had gathered as many of those with Marks of the Twelve that he could find. It was not just them who would make the passage, of course. They were simply the ones that had a chance to change what had happened before. One had fallen, and they had not found all of the rest. Even then, it was like the times before.

Last time, they had nearly lost one of their own to the tragety of losing what they loved. They had made a prison, one which ended up filled with gold, to trap one of their own. Althyk likely still lingered there, and yet Louisoix had seen another Awaken in this Era. There was too much he had not learned from his Awakening. The one thing he had learned for certain, however, was that he could not let them die.

Hydaelym had chosen his beloved grandchildren, the two resting eleven year olds in front of him. One blessed by Halone, one blessed by Azeyma. Their marks had been visible ever since the two were born, cursing them to die early and young. Ever since then, Louisoix had studied a way to save them. Though this plan was just one of many so they could grow, it was one that made sense.

Severing the bond between body and soul. Between god and mortal.

Louisoix knew he would never return to Sharlayan once this was done - but if he could save them, then he would gladly lose everything. Holding his staff to the children, he began to quietly cast the spell. Quiet, gentle, so they would not wake.

Within minutes, it was done. In the arms of each of the twins were Carbuncle, glowing ever gently in the moonlight. Twin grimoire left for them, left for the newly seperated souls. Though they could still control their bodies, they were the Carbuncle. If their bodies were destroyed, they could be rebuilt.

And if the gods called to them, they would be safe. Or so Louisoix hoped, as he left. None would believe his reason. The rebirth of the Twelve was only myth, after all.

Chapter Text

It was usual for the awakening of new deity to be when their followers called out to them. Such as when Ifrit carved a path though the Twelveswood in her Hyur flesh, that feeling of being needed overwhelmed her. Or when Shiva had fell from using her strength, and yet had survived for heretics still needed her. Still needed the hope brought on by having somebody who'd listen to them, who'd carve out a better path.

But sometimes, newborn Deity resisted that call. Kobold cried out in desperation for Titan, and that beast took quite some time to arrive. (Not long enough, mind you, to allow the Warrior of Light to stop Livia.) Or, in the case of Good King Moggle Mog XII? Their Primal never showed up, as the Moogle kept calling out. The Twin Adder took the Moogle who tried to summon the Primal away, and the idea of them having a Primal faded from memory.

At least, for a time. The Warrior of Light had still wondered, still stayed around the area for a little. But when Leviathan woke - rumours of Garlemald battleships nearby swirling - they had to let it go, slip away as clearly something to forget. (When Ramuh did not show up, however, that was a little more worrying. At the time, the Warrior of Light was not aware of how Ramuh and Rhalgr were bonded...)

However, Good King Moggle Mog did exist. They existed, but had been battling these thoughts for quite some time. After all, Aymeric de Borel could not leave his position as Lord Commander of the Temple Knights, even if every bone in his body told him people needed him in Gridiana. People needed him more in Ishgard. Ever since he'd felt that call in his bones, however, Aymeric had begun to feel odd pains. Almost like puberty, but in reverse. Just more to ignore, as Ishgard grew more and more desperate in the Dragonsong War.

And then Halone appeared to him. Well, not quite. After Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light - with Estinien - had left, a young lady who looked a lot like Alphinaud had arrived. Cloaked heavily, she had nearly begged for all the knowledge she could have about Ishgard. Stories of the reborn deity had been told to him by Haurchefant, who was still parading around as a half-bird Garuda. (It was still strange that the Ixal had become an ally, but it was not unwanted by those lower down in Ishgard. Nobles saw it as barbaric.) It did not take long for Alisaie - the young lady - to be taken in by Thordan.

A mistake that Aymeric hated himself for, once the truth of the Dragonsong War became clear to him. He had rushed to speak with Thordan, but was blocked by the now awoken Halone. She had frozen him in place, only prevented from killing him for he was to be interrogated. Not killed. Her icy cold eyes burned into his flesh, asked him a single question. What has he been denying? None of the Heavens Ward were there this night, as the Warrior of Light ripped though the Brume to find help.

Halone had sat by him, door frozen over. Anger in Her fists. "...As long as I'm in Ishgard, I'll keep losing myself," she said, trying to look at her hands. Adult hands, burdened by war she'd never battled in. "But I can't leave. This damned belief-- it worms its way into you."

Aymeric listened, his ears twitching. His ears which, for the last year or so, had been covered in a slight fuzz. (Natural protection from the cold.) "I don't like fighting this much," Halone continued. "At least, I didn't until I woke up as Halone. But I want to protect Ishgard - from anybody who'd harm our people."

Our people. Alisaie hadn't even realised she'd referred to Ishgard as hers. But that's what happened when you were the deity of a city. Aymeric was looking at her so softly, so kindly. "Then once my father sees reason, I will help you leave Ishgard. I do not see us no longer worshipping you." Aymeric still looked anxiously to the door. He knew that no kindness awaited him, nor his father seeing reason. He knew this was just a front. But somewhere in his oddly beating heart, Aymeric hoped things could still be reasoned out. For what could he do? What would he do? But his body still ached, more then his heart.


Seeing Haurchefant collapse had made something deep inside Aymeric stir, as his father left. These deity could not perish, but Haurchefant still needed time to recover. He couldn't go and help his dearest Warrior, nor could he even witness it from an airship or the such. And Aymeric couldn't go either... he had to make his peace.

It was this time that the cries from afar finally overwhelmed him. Something snapped in his head, though it did not appear externally. Calm almost seemed to fill him - he could do this now. It was only two moons later that the truth of his state was revealed to even him. He was face to face with one of the True Brotherhood of the Faith - unable to react as their blade slid though his body, like a knife though butter. Where he expected to see blood, feel pain, instead out came... feathers. Almost like his body was a plush cushion. No pain came, and Aymeric drew his blade against the other. (Knocking them out, to be taken in for their own interrogation.) Still, a white fur seemed to sprout from where he'd been stabbed. Aymeric couldn't just go to a doctor. No, he had to ask the Scions of the Seventh Dawn - or, at least, those who remained. They had a healer on their side, even if she had become quite distracted lately. (Y'shtola was hurt by Flow, burdened with a curse she didn't know had hurt her.) The meeting was swiftly put together, for Y'shtola was taking a break from assisting the search for other Scion. Figuring out the strange letters they'd been getting, which seemed to ease her need. (They demanded Minfilia, however, in exchange for riches beyond their greatest desires. Which really was both impossible and not something they'd give up easily.)

Aymeric laid down, as Y'shtola examined him. Aether flickering around her, her cane being used to press at his body. "...You are a deity," Y'shtola stated after so very long. "You are not one of us Twelve, but that is to be expected. We've discovered all of our kind."

"Then...?" Aymeric asked, looking at her. "I'd like to be able to help both them and me."

Y'shtola couldn't help but smile to herself. The mystery had been solved - if only Lyse and Papalymo were here to learn it. "Two years ago, the Primal of the Moogle was called for. However, they did not appear. Our first running theory was that there was no Moogle Primal, but that's not true.

You are the Primal of the Moogle."


Adjusting to being open about being the Primal of the Moogle was something Aymeric had tried to resist, but now he was aware, his behaviour had seemed to change. His appearance, as well. By the time Estinien was saved, Aymeric had almost fully changed. (Which was really something which made Estinien sneer when he saw his best friend. Something about Halone having it out for him.) He stood like the Moogles drawn in stories of Ivalice, around the size of a Lalafell. However, he was both still respected and still remained as a man of Ishgard. A lot more Moogle had tried to make their home in the city, but many were frightened off by the many people who still saw them as just beasts.

Changing a nation took time, and Aymeric needed that time to adjust as well. To have people still take him as seriously now he was cute and fluffy and adorable.

Chapter Text

Zurvan had fallen, and with it, so had Regula. A sacrifice for the greater good - these beasts were connected to the new deity, but only driven by madness and pain. Sustained for so long, they could have ended Garlemald. Would they want that? And so, Regula had died.

Deeper, deeper.

But his eyes had opened, on the airship he was being transported back in. Only a few remained. His body woke, changes beginning. Scales sprouting, legs fusing, armour fusing into his skin. Had that one of the Warring Triad done something? He had become a thrall, had he not? There was no returning home like this, dead or alive. (Being a thrall was worse then death, for his mind was not his own.)

Deeper, deeper.

Regula couldnt help but think of Varis. How the news may reach his ears. His death had not been known outside the Garleans on this ship - it was to be reported when they arrived. And now, they never would. Would his name be more stained, abandoning his post and duty? Quiet rumours of his relations with Varis, rumours that they had copulated and had Zenos together, they had never gone away. No matter how hard they tried.

Deeper, deeper.

But now the ship was sinking, the few soldiers remaining from the sealed Zurvan - no, from that former Tol, Nero - fight screaming, trying to escape. Anything to prevent them also turning to thrall. Anything to stop that pain. Regula knew he had died, after all. Whatever this was - it was not something for Varis to know. It would be his final duty to his dearest love.

Deeper, deeper.

A thought. A far-off memory of a warm lady, one who had helped tend to Zenos when he was young. One that Varis trusted with his life, almost closer then the two of them. Perhaps she would return and he could forget that his love had sunk, his last song finished.

Regula had no clue he had become Leviathan. That Hydrus had become the Water Serpent, Garlean airship breaking apart at his flails. Regula couldnt let himself be found. The metal pierced his skin, aether leaking from his newly-formed hide. That was of no concern.

He had to go deeper. Deeper. Far from where he'd endanger anybody. Far from where any could find him, unless the Twelve that Eorzea worshiped existed. Far from where he'd be a stain on the reputation of the Galvus family line. The depths, with his first drowned, those brave men who went down with the ship. Those who he'd destroy.

Chapter Text

Asking if Cid believed in fate was not the right question, and it was not what the Warrior of Light should have asked, as they lay together. As the man formerly known as Cordis kissed at Cid, tried to dry his tears.

No, the proper question for the man who heard the very thoughts of the Deity, God above Gods, who had created their home? Was if he could control his own fate. If he was chained to a Deity who actually cared for how they lived, if he could do things it didn't want.

Then again - Alexander could see all possible futures. Who was to say that it wasn't guiding Cid to the best one? Still, Cid wanted freedom. Not the fear that the Deity would someday see all his allies - his friends, his dear love - as nothing but things to be destroyed.

As Alexander saw these futures, Cid could not. However, he could feel them. It was different - Cid could hear whispers of why he did this. Not just stabbing G'raha back then, not just sacrificing himself in a way. But this being judged him. It was almost unfair, in a way. Others awoke as Deity. Their souls became one and the same.

But an Elder Deity was different. They kept their wills. It was a little like the Esper who watched from afar, or how Hydaelyn kept her Will and yet gave her subject her own will. Did Hydaelyn give Minfilia this kind of whisper, this kind of lack of control?

The right question was... if Cid believed he was in control of his own fate. And he did not. But still... times like this were worth them, as Cordis gave him love. It had taken so much for them to restore the name of the Warrior of Light. Traveling though time and getting their name from before it was wiped from time... even if Cordis had changed from his time carried by one of the Twelve. Their hair had pailed to a deep white, and their eyes were nearly white. Both of them had marks of their Deity - well, the Warrior of Light wasn not really a Deity, but was worshipped like one.

Cid shuddered a little, as Cordis began to kiss the parts of his flesh which turned to machine. As Cordis continued to mumble about fate, if this was fate. It was almost romantic - well, there was no almost about it.

Alexander did not protest, as Cid let himself relax a little. As he felt the clicking of the Deity thinking silence. Perhaps, for one night, he could rest with the soft sweet Dalmascan who journeyed simply to figure out why Garlemald began this war. Though he did not have control of his fate - even if sometime Alexander would need him and his flesh again - these nights were worth it, listening to the soft kindness of Cordis Leneneut, Deity of the people.

Chapter Text

"You know, G'raha."

Zurvan - Nero - laid relaxed in the Crystal Tower, on his back. Ever since fully shifting, he'd gotten used to laying like this - often holding multiple tools in his lower legs, while he fiddled with this or that. He was also used to talking openly to G'raha wherever he was in the tower. After all, it was a Primal. Every part of the Tower was alive, and could hear him. Yet, Nero didn't care about that. Really, he had other things on his mind. Other then being the best Primal around. "A lot of visitors have been popping in. Seeking the authentic experience - and you give it to them?"

"I think it's a good idea," G'raha replied, his voice coming from near to Nero for once. For he was in a human form, coming to look at the automation in Neros' hands. A simple one. "They pay a fee to keep the Tower running, and they keep the legend alive."

"And so, you stay alive." Of course, none of the Primal here could fade, as long as they lingered around the Twelve. It was weird and dangerous.

Instead, though, G'raha let out a little sigh. "It's not just that. I also want them to be educated on what the Tower might be able to do. Especially with my research notes as gone as Val."

Right. The Island of Val, and... right. Nero put down his tools, rolling over. "That reminds me, 'raha. The word you used to name yourself, Gnaritas."

"Yes? It means knowledge, in the Allagan tongue..."

"And there's a lot of other words which mean that. One which we're both familiar with," Nero said, as he moved to pick up a book. One he'd bookmarked. On tales of old Eikon and Primal, or whatever they were called a summoned beast. He stretched, and casually turned to a page.

Before looking up to G'raha, body very long. "...what else can this tower do? Or is rumoured to do."

"Well," G'raha said, tail wagging, "In Allagan times, it was said that anything and everything would come from the might of Allag, and this tower was a symbol of that. What're you showing me...

...oh."

The page Nero had turned to, with his shit-eating grin, was one on Eureka. Two different natural elements were called Eureka, and one of them was the tower. At least, that's what his brief translation told him, from simply scanning over the page. (Part of his power was to understand Allagan writing.) But still, G'raha gave a little nod. "I prefer Gnaritas."

"Hm?"

"Gnaritas is something I've made for myself - as we're all doing. I wouldn't want to take the name of another deity - not unless it truly wasn't around. We didn't think that the kami existed before our adventures in the Far East - by the way, you done with that book? We might as well read up on more deity while we're together."

Grumbling, shifting over, Nero gave G'raha somewhere to lay as he continued to tinker. All though the night...