(Just some background information.)
Raif = The main/central character in a world where there is a Pantheon of gods (of which I am working to create, borrowing from both Celtic and Greek mythologies.) His father was the son to the Grandfather Oak. Grandfather Oak would be comparable to Zeus, King/Father of all the Gods. They're all related in some way. Like a big happy family.
Siadhan = Raif's father, son to the Grandfather Oak. Merged with the Maelstrom to gain more power. Forced himself upon Raif's mother (who I still need to work on creating), which of course conceived Raif.
Maelstrom = Where the gods are order, the Maelstrom is the chaos. A single entity bent on not ruling the world, or anything. Just destroying it all or most of it. Thoughtless, mindless, without a goal. At least until Siadhan merged with it.
Kaard = Probably a character borrowing ideas from Loki. Will be related to Raif like an "uncle." He'll be one of the few, if not the only, gods willing to help Raif. He is, in fact, the one who gives Raif the rites of passage previewed here in this scene, to awaken the latent powers in the mixed-one's blood.
Raif is born of godling blood, and the blood of the maelstrom. For this, for the sins of his father, he has been judged by the gods before even his birth. And they found Raif guilty, and want him dead. Raif rebels against this unjust fact and seeks to live, for he has done nothing wrong. Yet.)
"This, this is your destiny."
Those words were what echoed within his mind as the world around him faded. It was almost as if he were passing into unconsciousness. Yet there was something else to it. He knew he was still awake, he could still hear, feel, but in a detached sort of sense.
Kaard had came to Raif, letting him know the Pantheon was growing restless with the fact that none of them had found the young one yet. They wanted him captured and they wanted him tried for the sins against them. Not his sins, but the sins of his father. The trial would be a lark, just to serve tradition. All involved knew that they were not judging Raif on who he was, but what he might become in time.
They were not about to give him the choice of free will. The Pantheon would damn him first.
Raif, for a moment, thought that Kaard had tricked him. That perhaps the odd one had brought him, instead of to a safe place, to the Pantheon's forest instead. At least, it looked and felt like the forest. The trees seemed to call to him, to pull his blood like a lodestone wrenches at the substance of iron. The ground was covered in a slight haze, and in the distance he thought he could see the Grandfather Oak. He turned this way, that way, looking, searching.
"Damn you, Kaard, damn you," he muttered out lightly, waiting for the Pantheon to appear about him and to take him down. To damn him as he now damned Kaard.
"What is it, boy? Do you really think I would turn you in after I've staked my entire existence on you? Foolish, I say," answered the soft murmur from behind Raif that belied Kaard's hiding presence.
"You brought me here!" replied Raif, nervousness, fear, and anger all clamoring to take precedence in the tone of his voice.
"Where, exactly, do you think here is?" A soft chuckle, a whisper from the form that stood behind Raif. The form was roughly the shape of a humanoid body, shadowy hints of angular features and elongated ears. Though the form was but a coalesced silhouette made of shades, mixed with flitters of light, mercury, and shining stars.
"Do not toy with me, you bastard. This is the Forest of the Pantheon!"
"Oh, child, how foolish you are. This is but a shade, a dream of that place. This is the place where we sprung from, now forgotten. This is where you will find out what you are. This is where you will learn. This is where you will live, or die, by your own choices.
"This, this is your destiny."
Those words, repeated, and Kaard was gone. Raif could see him nowhere, and the fear only grew as he realized he was alone.
Alone, as he had grown up. Isolated, as he had lived his life. Alone, in a place that was the root of all that was good, all that was evil to him; The Forest of the Pantheon.
The fear took him over. For all of Kaard's help, it may have been to lull Raif into a false sense of safety. These thoughts brought about anger. Feelings of anger that started as a small flame within the core of his being and grew second by second to an enraged pyre.
Never mind the fact that the Pantheon had yet to show up. Perhaps they were waiting, wanting him to be nervous.
As the hostility focussed at Kaard for this betrayal grew, it was added to by his hatred of the other gods, the Pantheon complete. Also he felt anger and hate towards Siadhan, his father, for what he had done, and his mother, for carrying him to term. It grew to encompass the world in its entirety.
::November 28, 2002 10:18 AM