This is a continuation of the Mortis Custos Part 49 by @lex-zaiya.
To start at the beginning of the story please see the links provided at the end of this post!
Viewer discretion is advised due to gory violence! Undead! Swords! Death! Beware!
On the last episode
It has been bombshell after bombshell revealed in the story and @lex-zaiya and I throw this one back and forth. We still have plenty to accomplish in order to make this a complete book of sorts, but we have a wonderful story wrought here already.
If you are reading this for the first time I suggest you go back to the beginning and work from there! 50 episodes now! Wow!
"There are a lot of things that I have kept secret." Adiran began. Magna found that she still thought of him as such, it was difficult to reconcile that old and mysterious man was really her twin brother. "And a part of the reason I did so was that I needed to protect you from the truth. I also did not want you... or your brother involved with the Gods. They are the reason that I got to where I am now in the first place."
"But why not just tell us so we know how to best help you?" Magna asked. It still felt like being treated like a child, which she hated.
"Well, the problem is when you are dealing with Gods..." Adiran said, and then he smiled. "... and time. Time has been my only ally when dealing with the Gods. You see, we are caught in a struggle between two vast entities."
"The ones who had caught me?" She asked.
"In a manner of speaking." Adiran picked up a long-handled ladle from their pack of provisions they had scarcely had the chance to use. There had been so much running and not a lot of time for settling to make a decent supper.
For a brief moment, Magna missed the banquet hall in the castle at home and the simpler times. She had been a princess that was training to defend her homeland as queen or heir apparent. Her brother was alive and well and reading his books. Mother watched over them without a care and father...
"Ah... You see. This is why I am here and this is why I kept secrets." Adiran's one hand was up, palm outwards. Magna could see a faint magical symbol floating in the air before his hand.
"Why are you using magic again?"
Adiran smiled slyly. "This little trick is for detection. I saw your look of deep thought and wanted to know of what sort you were pondering. I can't read minds." He added quickly as Magna began to frown. "But I can detect what manner specifically you are thinking about, specifically if you are thinking of those entities that I would rather keep away from you and this realm."
"I was thinking about the past." Magna said. "But that does not make sense. How does thinking about someone make trouble for us?"
Adiran drew lines on the ground. He put several parallel lines next to one another. "Reality as you know it has many layers. You have seen that first hand now. We live on one of these layers. Not even I can tell you if we live on one end or another or in the middle, I do not even think it works that way. It really does matter where we are, the important thing to know is that there are gates between them."
"Right." Magna said. "We passed through two gates and we are now in a third... layer?"
"Indeed." Adiran agreed. "The magefolk call them planes. The Gods exist or are able to exist across multiple planes simultaneously. Their servants live in one plane at a time but certain servants are able to travel from one plane to another like we have done."
"What has this got to do with names and thoughts?" She asked.
"Well they hear them, they feel them. The Gods..." Adiran spat the word. "... are nothing other than extra-spiritual leeches who feed off the emotions and energies of mortals. They have harvested so much power, this gives them power. Power to do great and terrible things. To dwell on a God or to know its name... or one of its names it to invite its presence to you."
"I thought that the Gods were meant to be good..." Magna thought about it. "Well... actually, what am I saying? The priests in the castle teach us that there is only one true God. And that God is good and just and is the giver of life and justice."
Adiran smirked. "Gods need followers. Churches and temples are places of worship to a God. Tell me, if you were a spiritual entity that needed worshippers, would you let your priests teach people that there are other Gods or that there is only one and that all others are false Gods or Demons?"
Magna shrugged her shoulders. "Fair enough. So they are all Gods then and they make their followers believe the others are Demons."
"I think of all of them as Demons." Adiran said. "They are parasites and if you serve no purpose, they take from you what they can and abandon you."
"But the God of our Church has been said to have done many great things." Magna countered. "I am doing my best not to use the names Adiran. But we were taught that God drove away the darkness and wrought the heavens and gave mankind fire."
Adiran rolled his eyes. "I appreciate you keeping the names downplayed. The God of which they speak is indeed a lightbringer, but also a bringer of the inferno. The God against which it battles here the most is seen as a savior and rain bringer to other cultures or the guardian of dreams while the one our culture sees as good is seen as a destroyer and bringer of drought. They are played off against one another."
Magna thought about it for a while. "You still have not told me everything."
Adiran chuckled. "I have more than a lifetime of knowledge. It's all strange. Would you have believed me if I told you all this a year ago?"
"I guess not." Magna agreed. "But you still have not really told me why YOU are here. You, you're Adrian. Old Adrian... my brother is also Adrian. None of this..." She pointed at the lines on the dirt. "...explains why there are two of you of different ages."
Adiran laughed again. "Are you sure you were not supposed to be the magic wielder between the two of you?"
"You mean Adrian can do magic? Wait... obviously he can. You can, so can he."
"Actually I have discovered that this is not true." Adiran said. "I have travelled before and facts are not certain..." The mage saw the expression on her face. "Yes. This is why it is difficult to tell you. Every time time has more than one possibility... they both exist... and it is the one thing that the Gods do not fully comprehend."
"The Gods exist beyond time. They don't percieve it. That is why I jump, and try to..."
"Adiran!" A shout came from outside their protective barrier. The party was returning, at speed.
"Oh what now?" Adrian said and started to get up.
Back to you then @lex-zaiya!
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