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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 22

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 22   June 4th 2009, 8:11 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Two

Part 1

Giluchex really did not understand why the group paused. The scene of a great crystal-clear river passing before them did have a beauty, but he saw it as just another feature of the exotic landscape. Up to now the waterways had all been easily forded, but with the view of a large mass of flowing water Giluchex considered that crossing liquid barriers might be a problem. He thus paused to consider the river along with his companions.

He stepped up to better understand at what he was looking. The massive rushing flow was very clear. Every river that he knew of this type had a brownish appearance from silt and other impurities being caught up in the hurried movement of the liquid. Suddenly, Giluchex felt that he knew at what he was looking. Dirchein had been drinking the water of this land with everyone saying that it could help her. He really did not understand what problems the lady had, but as an immortal he also had no outward indications of physical troubles. Diseases had challenged the integrity of some on Davelda, which the medical profession had put a lot of effort to cure. He had personally suffered from stress and other turmoils of pushing his capabilities. Giluchex came to accept that if the water could help Dirchein, and everyone spoke of her having some internal spiritual issues, then it might be what would be needed to restore him and the rest of his world. With a feeling of anxiety, he stepped up to the bank of the river, although a sense of caution had him turn for advice.

"Would it help?"

Straekin replied, "Help, Giluchex?"

He really had not directed the question at anyone, but smiled at having his empress speak in return, so pleasantly explained, "This is almost the pure flow from the spring of life. We are going up to that spring to get water for Terdeskollit. Well, if that water will help him, will it help me?"

"Who are you going to have children with?"

Terish said, "We have forded some streams, Giluchex. Have you felt it helping you?"

It annoyed Giluchex that the man had spoken. The question from Straekin needed answering, and Giluchex felt a need to first respond to her. The question from Terish did not have importance, and did not help. Ignoring the man was the first thought from Giluchex, but he saw his empress turn her focus upon her husband. That frustrated Giluchex, causing him to turn to the man and shout.

"DAMN IT, TERISH! Will it help? I told Cheshine that I was going out to help her. Well, is this the answer?"

Straekin asked, "Not your wife?" even as Terish asked a more practical question, "How are you going to bring it back?"

Giluchex took the metal bottle he had been using as a canteen and dumped the contents as he said, "Here. I am going to use this."

Straekin advised, "Giluchex, we were told that we could not drink any water served from a container."

"I am not talking about us. I won't drink the damn stuff myself. I am talking about Cheshine. I am talking about my wife. Will this stuff help them?"

The lady continued to try and speak wisdom. "I believe the commands would apply to any from the mortal realm."

"Oh, HELL, Empress. The gods here sleep. They don't do anything unless bothered. Are you going to tell me that they will rush through the omniverse to punish somebody back on Davelda? Will Munulva even let them?"

"You don't even believe in Munulva."

Giluchex walked up to the centaur to glare at Terish as he asked, "Will this stuff help?"

The answer came from Ferrigote, "No, it won't help, but take a drink and see if it helps you."

Giluchex kept his focus on Terish as he blared, "GIVE ME A DAMN ANSWER!"

The answer from the mounted man came very softly, "Oh, no, Giluchex. Don't think that there is no risk to this business of looking for answers. You have had decades of being able to come to me for answers. You however had to come yourself. I thus want you to learn what I do for people. I want you to give me some respect. You drink it."

Giluchex turned to again face the river, then looked to Straekin as he asked, "I could have nobody drink it. I could simply take it to our scientists. It could simply provide them with an answer."

She turned to Ferrigote for advice. "You told Giluchex this was not an answer. Why did you say that?"

"I said it because he would, at best, simply help himself or a few others. You cannot duplicate what you have here. We are far beyond science here. Terish went insane simply attempting to learn about reality. What rules apply here would drive him insane again, and he would not be able to pull himself out of that mental hole. Giluchex is however beginning to push what might be possible, so I am becoming intrigued. I take those words back."

Giluchex demanded, "So, you think that it could be an answer?"

Terish dismounted before giving his reply, "Are you going to see it through? Are you really going to put your determination to succeed before your own life? Giluchex, are you willing to go back for the treasure?"

A feeling to go dive into the river rushed through Giluchex, but he held himself firm. He focused on the face of Terish hoping to read some expression that would reveal an otherwise unspoken answer. The face however stayed unmoving providing no clues. Hoping to release something, Giluchex fell back on his historic antagonism with the man to generate a response.

"You are not going to make this easy for me, are you?"

"Having somebody do something for you does not make the task easy, Giluchex. It only means that somebody else did it. This is a decision you need to make. Dirchein has been drinking the water. She hurts, and the water does not reduce the pain, but she is taking the suffering trusting that it will restore her. I or Ferrigote cannot do that for her, even though both us would if we could. I wouldn't do it for you, Giluchex. If you thus want it done, you are going to have to do it yourself."

He turned back to the river, then spun back to say, "Listen, if this works, then Munulva has been holding out on us. She surely has such a river in her heaven."

Straekin replied, "You don't even believe in Munulva, Giluchex. Not that it matters, as by your logic she has been holding out on us the entire time. She could have made us immortal back when she first created our race. Immortality was however not what she considered proper for us."

"Yes, well I say she was wrong. I liked the idea of gaining immortality from the first, and I have liked being immortal. If this stuff works, I am going to take it to my wife. If she won't drink it, I feel fairly certain that Cheshine will."

He took a step closer to the river, then spun to declare, "And I will stay on Davelda! It was once a wonderful place where children lived and played. I will make it that way again!"

Giluchex then turned and dove into the water. He let the water soak his skin as he took a number of gulps of the liquid. The water felt warm and invigorating. A sensation of wonderful flavor washed over his mouth as he took each swallow. He rose feeling that he had made a good decision, although stepping back on shore he truthfully felt no different than he had before. Wondering about the true worth of the experience, he turned to one that he felt could supply some experience.

"How did you feel that day you were restored, Empress?"

"I somehow sensed a return of my cycles, Giluchex. I don't know what you might feel as a man."

Giluchex turned to another. "You know the damn answer, Terish. Tell me."

"I don't know the answer, but I do know that you are going to have to make a decision, Giluchex. I won't allow you do anything overly stupid or demeaning. Straek would get mad at me if I did, and I care enough for that lady not to want her angry at me. As for making you eat your words, she hasn't fussed at me for doing that in all the decades we have been together. I thus feel pretty good about letting you do what you must."

"What about diving into the actual spring of life?"

"Considering what you just did, I would probably feel less of you if you did not."

Giluchex moved up to point a finger directly between Terish's eyes as he said, "You are damn right. I am going to fill this bottle as well." He turned to look upstream as he asked, "Okay, now how much longer do we have?"

Terish said, "Give me your bottle, Giluchex. It won't hold the divine liquid, but it is all you have. You are going to get mad at me later, but I don't care. I however do care for Davelda. I am thus going to do for you what I can."

The man wanted to challenge Terish right there, but broke from making any challenge to look at his bottle. It was empty. He had been immersed in the liquid. His clothes were however dry. He went and put the bottle in the river, then lifted it to see no gushing of water from the container. Looking inside he saw no liquid. Confused, he handed the bottle to Terish.

The man went to the river and pulled out some mud that he worked to form around the bottle. He then moved to Celatia to pull out a parchment from a saddlebag and wrapped it around the mud. He took out some oil for tending to his leather items, coated the leather sheet for writing, then wrapped another around it. Having Giluchex then kneel to hold the layered container, he filled the bottle using his hands.

With the job finished, Terish said, "I cannot promise, Giluchex. I knew to ask Terdeskollit for my container. Truthfully, you needed to ask Munulva for such a container, although we both know how reluctant she is to directly speak or act. Hopefully, however, you can bring back something."

Giluchex looked around with some understanding that he was really somewhere beyond the normal rules of reality, so asked, "What if this does not work?"

"I don't know, except you figure out somewhere else to look or something else to try. Watch it, Giluchex, as you might find yourself back out on another journey with me." Before the man could reply, Terish mounted Celatia while saying, "I really do not believe there are any more reasons to hold us up. We should be there pretty soon."

"Good." Giluchex turned to Dathol to say, "I don't like this afterlife either. Those people on Davelda committing suicide are stupid. They have it better staying alive."

The holy man studied Giluchex for a moment before calmly voicing a reply, "We are tolerated guests, Giluchex. You are not gaining all the benefits of this realm."

"Yes, well, I don't see enough to convince me to stop living. Come on, I am ready to leave."

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PostSubject: Part 2   June 9th 2009, 7:58 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Two

Part 2

Annalia looked up from where she was knitting to see Venicht and Nuverd pass through the door. The lad did not appear happy. Seeing the lady, he did not smile, but simply moved to sit beside her on the couch before speaking.

"The font wouldn't work."

Nuverd paused in his movement to the private quarters to say, "I have been telling the prince that the font did work, but the communication was blocked. The font went black. That is a response, just not the one desired."

Annalia spoke to the lad, "Your father and mother go into some rather dangerous places. It is not unusual for them to be gone a long time without a word."

"I miss them."

"I am sure that they miss you as well, Venicht. You however have the duty to gain an education. You are in a good place to do that while being watched over by people that love and care for you. That is something to be grateful for."

Venicht held his place next to her. Annalia heard the door shut indicating that Nuverd had left, but otherwise heard no sound. Her knitting needles did make little clicks at times, but her movement mostly had them silently slide next to each other. Understanding that the young mind would not stay still for long, she waited for his next action.

"Annalia, do you worry about my parents?"

"I used to worry about your mother long ago. She came back each time with such wonderful stories however, that I stopped worrying about her. I remember looking forward to each of her adventures with your father, because I wondered what she would return speaking about the next time."

Considering that her response did not supply anything useful to the lad, she added, "You were at the church, Venicht. Did you not pray for your mother and father?"

"Yes, but I felt Munulva was not listening."

"She was listening, Venicht. She is just usually silent. It is something that those of us of Davelda are used to."

The lad did not leave the room, but turned to move about. Annalia continued her knitting, although the needles would click when she lifted her gaze from them to check on Venicht. He had learned to be careful with reaching for any of the items put on display, because his interest would usually be followed with some lesson. Annalia actually thought that she was in the mood to listen to him practice the scales on some instrument, so watched hoping he would pick one of them up. What she heard instead caused her to put the knitting down.

"The rock, Annalia! The rock is black."

She rose to look back at the couch and assure that she had not left her body. Annalia then turned back to Venicht who stood before the pedestal that held the relic from the world of his father. Where the rock would be, only a black void could be seen. She stridently gave a warning.

"Come back, Venicht! There could be a problem."

Annalia heard movement in the hallway as she went up to grab the lad and pull him back. She had regained a place before the couch before a number of soldiers poured into the room. They did not advance upon the rock, but worked to secure the room while seeing the lady and the lad safely back to the door to their private quarters. Seeing their efficient response and action, Annalia could not help but to ask a question of the officer in charge.

"What do you expect you will need to do?"

"Don't know, but we have a priest coming."

"A priest?"

"After the earlier situation, it was decided that our response had to include gaining the aid of a priest or a horse handler. That rock is slightly beyond our capabilities. Since it is from another dimension, the horse handlers might know what to do, but the church is closer."

Venicht said, "But Munulva is not talking."

The soldier displayed some understanding as he spoke to the lad, "We are used to our goddess not speaking, Prince Venicht. That does not mean that our priests have been without their benefit. Let us see what they say. Right now, please go to your room."

Annalia felt that the lad would have resisted, except that the door opened with Nuverd present ready to drop his staff. Seeing the man, Venicht turned and moved through the door. Annalia understood that he would be asking questions, so sought to be able to answer them.

"Officer, I should work with you. I know the items in the front room, and I know about the rock."

"It has been my duty to know those things as well. Still, your knowledge is first-hand while mine came from reports and videos. You can stay, but stay here by this door."

Annalia voiced what she felt was the actual command, "Yes, I will keep Venicht out."

"Thank you."

She calmly watched the military hold their positions about the front room, and Annalia waited with them for the arrival of the priests. Annalia did not smile even as she thought about what commentary the news media might be making. She had no doubt that people had been watching the image from the public camera, and that the news media had quickly routed the picture for their own uses once alerted. Venicht was considered a national treasure with Annalia getting messages from people all over Davelda about things that they saw. She thought to watch the videos later, but at present she knew to hold her position and live through the event.

Three priests moved into the room calmly followed by a couple of soldiers that maintained a position a couple of steps behind them. The lady and two men of the clergy performed no rite, although Annalia felt that she did see them pray. Whatever action they took, when they turned from the rock their body language displayed no sign of having an answer. Annalia knew the priests and the priestess, and waited for a blessing from the lady before listening to her words.

"We know that Terdeskollit is active. We also know that our empress went with her husband to confront the God. Our prince has been giving us proof of Munulva's existence. Every time Venicht contacted the couple using the Font of Transmission, they were in a holy place. There was a blackness in the font when Venicht recently tried to contact his parents. It is thus believed that Munulva is preventing any contact with his parents as they directly confront Terdeskollit."

Annalia spoke her disapproval with the words. "Are you saying that Munulva is preventing us from helping our empress?"

"Our empress is working against a God. If they have a plan, they need to keep it from the knowledge of Terdeskollit. Prince Venicht surely misses his parents, but at present their words of comfort to their son could be their undoing."

"What?" Annalia looked at the camera with a shocked expression of having made a mistake, and quickly spoke to try and cover her error. "I mean, that was an answer. I really was not expecting it."

The priestess shared a smile with the other clergy before saying, "We are in new times. The historic answers just don't meet the need."

"Excuse me, but I never thought the usual answers met the need."

"Well, we of the priesthood always felt that we were open to the words of the goddess. She might not have been as visible or audible to us as she has been with Prince Venicht, but we always believed that our experience and years of devotion to the goddess enabled us to catch the words that Munulva was saying. While the words we said tended to become stale to us as well, we put our faith that those were what Munulva was directing us to say."

Annalia felt the door behind her, and while she desired to pass through it she instead used it as inspiration on what to say. "I believe that Venicht has been watching. I thus thank you for a solid answer."

"I promise that what I did today was no different than what I have done for the last many centuries. Munulva might be acting on her own, but she has said nothing about her priesthood lacking in their duties."

"No, priestess, sorry. Prince Venicht has never spoken against the church or those of the priesthood."

A priest moved up to whisper something to the priestess. She heard the words, then moved off to converse softly with her fellow clergy. Annalia considered it strange that the military leader was called over to join the conversation. While Annalia wanted to go over and listen in, she knew that her status only enabled her to be informed of the conclusion. She thus waited for the priestess to return.

"Attendant, it is felt wise to keep a priest on duty. The military also desire to keep an active presence."

"Yes, of course, thank you. Venicht has one more lesson, science, but that is usually a video."

The military officer returned, "Let us know if you need us to authorize anyone to pass."

"Well, this occurrence should not restrict traffic. I mean, Munulva is active, but that is not something bad."

"It is still something unusual. Sorry, Attendant Annalia, but your safety, General Nuverd's safety, and especially the safety of Prince Venicht must be assured. We, uh, have people watching."

The lady smiled as she turned to the camera this time, then said, "I hope that you enjoy being on display. I can say with experience that by now most of our world is watching. I am going to check on Venicht."

Both the priests and the military leader stated that such was a wise thing for Annalia to do. She really believed otherwise, although could not imagine how she could help by staying in the room. After having a soldier bring her knitting, she moved back into the private residence to almost immediately be met by Venicht.

"Annalia, I'm scared."

"Why are you scared, Venicht? Munulva is working to protect your mother and father."

"I know, but she has never done anything like this before."

"Knowing your mother and father, they are probably doing something no one has done before."

While she smiled with pleasure at her statement, the lad showed no relief from the words. The lady thus moved to hug the lad while she thought of something to help him deal with the situation. She felt herself no better than the priests when an aged response was all she could come up with.

"Come on, Venicht. Let us go to your room and pray."

"Pray?"

"Venicht, Munulva has come forth to speak to you. The Font of Transmission has suddenly become active. If the goddess feels a need to reveal herself and have legendary items again perform their magic, let us give her the support to send an army of angels to help your mother and father if necessary."

Hands tightened around the lady as the lad asked, "Will she do that?"

"Let us believe that she will, Venicht. Let us make certain that we believe she will, and remove any doubt from our mind that she won't."

A voice came from down the hallway to say, "Prince Venicht, I want you to know that I am praying for your father and mother as well. If I believe that my gods, which are a world away, can hear my prayers and take action, then you should have no doubt that the goddess of this world would hear."

The lad nodded to the man, then moved to pull Annalia into his room. She only put up enough resistance to have the moment to smile and nod at Nuverd. He returned the smile before moving back into his room. Feeling that she now had the confidence to keep herself positive around the lad, she moved with Venicht into his room to pray.

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PostSubject: Part 3   June 14th 2009, 8:11 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Two

Part 3

Giluchex lifted his hand while attempting to see beyond the brilliant glare that radiated from the middle of a great turbulent body of water. Waves lapped at his feet as if he stood on the shore of what appeared to be a great ocean. He however knew that he was a few thousand feet up where no major body of water could be. The great river they had followed had also flowed from this grand lake and not to it. Attempting to look out over the water, Giluchex could only make out the source of the waves where a bubbling froth of crystal clear water could be seen out in the distance almost obscured by a bright glow.

He turned to look where Terish and Straekin worked to create a holder for the cup from Terdeskollit. Giluchex looked at his own empty bottle and felt the parchments crumble as if no insulating divine mud was present between them. He opened the lid to see no water inside, and looked around wondering what had happened and what more he could possibly do. He dumped out a plastic bag, then worked to fit the parchment covered container inside. With the work done, he moved back to the shore.

Looking into the distance scared Giluchex. He realized that the actual eruption of water was too far to swim and too turbulent to challenge. He also accepted that he was not a great swimmer. He did occasionally go to a private pool, but it was mostly to see Cheshine in a bikini while he worked at keeping some tone to his own form. While the travel probably had helped his physique, Giluchex still did not feel himself able to swim out where Terish planned to go. He thus sought another solution to his situation.

"Terish, could I just get water here at the shore? Would it be pure enough?"

The man turned from his work to say, "Sure. You were willing to get river water. What would make the water at your feet impure?"

The answer bolstered Giluchex's feelings, so he moved to fill the bottle by answering, "The ground, I guess."

"Dirchein's feet began hurting because they walked on the ground, Giluchex. The ground is divine. There is nothing to reduce the purity of the water."

Giluchex really did not understand why he had paused, but jerked his head up as his conscious mind realized what his subconscious had discerned. "Hold it. Are you saying that we could have gained water way back where we started?"

"Yes."

A number of eyes turned to glare at Terish. He did not say anything in return, but began removing the leather garments that covered his regular clothes. Giluchex waited for someone else to challenge the man, but finally voiced what he felt was the relevant question.

"Then why did we travel all this way?"

"Because there is more to being a hero than gaining an objective. I did not come here to get water. I am not Terdeskollit's errand boy. I came here as part of my struggle to overcome Terdeskollit. I however cannot simply attack and kill him. As powerful as I am, Terdeskollit can defeat me. I thus want a dinner and a handshake, Giluchex. Terdeskollit is however a God, and to claim any respect from a God takes more than simply meeting the letter of the law. Ferrigote and I did not gain immortality by simply getting the object Fergush requested. We gained a whole regiment of demons to restore the object and the church it was taken from. When I stand before Terdeskollit with this cup of water, I want him knowing what I did to obtain it with an understanding of how far I will go to obtain my objective with him."

Giluchex looked back over the water. He saw the turbulence and the divine glow. Swimming towards the center of the lake did not seem wise to him. The words, 'I am going back to get the treasure,' again rang through his mind, and that caused him to turn back to Terish.

"We cannot help you out there."

Terish smiled as he said in return, "It is not dangerous, Giluchex. The current is back to shore, so getting back is simply keeping my nose above water. I will simply go as far as I can. It is all that I can do, so all that I must do. The dangerous part will be facing Terdeskollit again."

Straekin mumbled, "All you have to do is hand him the cup."

"I don't believe that is what I am going to do, Straek."

"What?"

Giluchex had been taking off his shoes, but suddenly rose as Terish's reply to his wife lost any positive cadence. "I am not helping Terdeskollit. I am not his servant. If he wants to make life difficult for me, well I want him to know that I can do the same for him."

Stress entered the voice of Straekin as she stated her displeasure with her husband's words, "You cannot fight a God, Terish."

"I am supposed to provide salvation to the next race of intelligent species that Terdeskollit creates. That is not an easy task, Straek."

"I understand, Terish. So, what are you going to do?"

"I am not going to tell you."

"You're WHAT!"

Giluchex actually found himself surprised to see Straekin show anger towards Terish. She had released her displeasure with almost all members of the council at some time with Giluchex remembering many times she had directly become irate at him. She had however always kept a positive attitude towards Terish. His response was completely different than any other man, as he kept about his business seemingly unaffected by the tone of her voice.

"I am not going to tell you. Terdeskollit is a God. If I am to have any advantage, I cannot have my plans being broadcast by others. He can read your mind, Straek. He has done it. He did it when he restored your ability to have children. It was due to your thoughts that he restored Thaunya. He cannot read my mind, because I do not exist to him. He forgot me. Everything about me he thus has to research or confront me to learn."

Straekin continued to look at the man, but his eyes dropped as he softly spoke further words. "I discuss everything with you, Straek, so I understand your reaction. I leave myself open to your later council, but at present I will keep my own."

The tone of the lady's voice softened as she said, "I trust you, Terish. If you feel it is necessary, I will wait."

Giluchex saw Terish turn to him before turning back to say to his wife, "You wouldn't like what I am going to do anyway, Straek. If I told you, you would probably get mad at me. I am thus going to allow you to vent your anger at what I had planned and how stupid the plan was at the same time. I would rather not have you mad at me twice."

She moved to put the cord holding the crystal chalice around her husband's neck as she said, "I want to get mad at you, Terish, because I want you alive to get mad at. Don't get yourself killed."

"It is always a possibility, Straek, but I really am hoping that my relationship with Terdeskollit improves."

"You are dealing with a cruel, malicious entity, Terish."

The man again looked to Giluchex, smiled, then turned back to his wife to ask, "Do you believe centuries of manipulating the council to qualify you for opposing Terdeskollit?"

"There are times that I do."

"Well, I already said that you can get mad at me. However glad you are that I survived, please get mad at me. If I made a mistake, I want to know just how wrong I was. I cannot afford to make the mistake again."

Straekin moved up to kiss the man before she said, "I will always love you, Terish."

"I will always love you as well, Straek. Now, let me go make this swim. I need to do it. It will be rough, but I am not scared of dying while doing it. The exercise will also possibly help me think about what I am going to do. You can thus ask me again about what I am going to do when I get back."

"Terish, I know that we are not in her realm, but I hope Munulva watches over you."

Giluchex looked at his bottle, then said to Terish, "Yes, Terish, may Munulva go with you."

The man looked back at him, then said, "I didn't think you believed."

"I understand where I am. I understand what you are attempting. Also, I believe that I know what you are going to do. Let me say that I support you. If Straekin kicks you out of your castle, you can come sleep on my couch."

The eyes of Giluchex turned to his empress who advanced to ask, "But Giluchex, are you saying that you are going to start truly worshipping Munulva?"

"I have always publicly worshipped Munulva."

"Yes, but you were obviously only there for show. I am sorry, Giluchex, but you never appeared to be truly worshiping Munulva."

Giluchex thought it strange to debate religion with this lady. The propaganda during the war did not promote a religious message. The debates over the laws of the land did not rest upon the edicts set forth in the holy texts. Straekin had always been a religious person, but such beliefs had stayed separated from her life as Empress of Davelda. Giluchex thus did not believe that an entirely serious response needed to be said.

"Well, I tend to act better when the lady in charge will berate me if I act out of line. Cheshine will get rough with me, so I enjoy being around her. My wife is nice, but I get bored around her."

The tone of Straekin's reply revealed no humor. "I don't fuss at you to make you desire being with me, Giluchex. I also feel certain that Munulva is not going to yell at you just to make you want to worship her. She is the Goddess, and expects you to meet her level of expectations. You have been in the presence of gods on this adventure, Giluchex, and none of them have forced us to act in certain ways. They will hold you accountable for your actions, but will not stop you from acting a certain way. Munulva might not be the most responsive of deities, but her ways are known. If you don't want to abide by them, she will simply mark your fate while allowing your own efforts to earn you what they will."

"I hope that my Goddess recognizes that what I do, I do to support her people."

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 22   

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Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 22
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