In the after
Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
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#1
Sah

Sah took a deep breath to steady himself as he entered the shrine. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever truly be comfortable seeking out Caido’s gods. He’d spoken one on one with The Voice, with the spirits, but never any of the Old. A fact that was honestly a little amusing given that he’d long since chosen their side in the coming war.

But that wasn’t the purpose of his visit today. Approaching the shrine, Sah set his offerings down. It was the skull and antlers of a moose, as well as the claws of an ursur. Each item had been hand carved with images of death. Weapons, fire, poisonous plants, etc. Each had its visage carved into the bone.

Offerings in place, Sah kneeled and took one last steadying breath. “Mort. If you have the time and are willing, could you answer some questions for me please? With the war looming, as an Outlander, I’ve been wondering a few things. And if you’d rather not answer an Abandoned Outlander, I understand.”  

Collecting his thoughts, Sah posed his questions to the shrine. “If there is an afterlife, when an Outlander dies, do they go to Caido’s afterlife, or the afterlife of their original world? And regardless of which, do they only get to rest with those of that specific world?”

“Will I…?” Sah let out a shaky breath, “When I die. Will I be reunited with those I lost in my home world? Or only those I’ve lost in Caido?” Gods he wanted both, but he knew that it was most certainly only one. But to never see his mother and pack long passed in his world, or to never see Aino again. Both sounded like a form of hell.

“And if it’s something no mortal is supposed to know, I understand that as well. I just.. I just wanted to ask. Just in case.


~
Sah offers a moose skull/antlers and a set of ursur claws. All of which have been carved with images of types of death. He’s asking Mort about the fate of Outlander souls in Caido in terms of which afterlife they go to.

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I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#2
The world around Sah begins to sigh and shiver with a warmth unknown to Halo. Streaks of light splay through a sky suddenly painted in lilacs and rose, as the buildings and hustle and bustle of the citadel grow still and strong until all that is left are the trunks of towering white aspens that stretch towards the clouds. Silence descends save for the sound of birdsong.

Seated where the shrine had been is a man of an indiscernible age. Though his eyes are old and though there are many laugh lines around his mouth, still he looks incredibly boyish with his tangle of dark curls. "Hello Sah." Mort says as he reaches for the moose skull. Placing it onto his lap he runs his fingers over the engravings as a small smile slips across his lips. "I do so love the things Rae makes." He muses. "And even moreso knowing that it's Vi's breath that carries them through their life until they finally come to rest with me." In the distance, a massive bull moose walks through the fingers of sunlight. It turns to look briefly at the two men, before continuing on to some unseen glade.

"Just like this moose, your soul shall remain here. With me." Setting down the skull, Mort folds his hands into his lap and turns a soft brown gaze towards Sah. "What the Voice did in bringing the Outlanders here..." Mort's smile faulters slightly, though the shine in his eyes never dulls. "It is why one must be so careful when creating life." He adds, before answering Sah's questions in a more concrete way. "Whatever world you came from I have no access to nor knowledge of. Your soul shall remain with all the souls created here in Caido."
mort

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Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
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#3
Sah

The air turns warm Sah's eyes widen as the deity appears, truly astounded that he was being answered. "Hello." He manages to respond, his voice going up an octave from shock. He watches with wonder as the moose vanishes in the sunlight, giving the creature a nod of respect as it goes. Rae creates, Vi animates, and Mort preserves. The balance that the God paints with his words is beautiful and familiar to the Outlander.

Mort's next words sting as Sah's fears are proved true and his voice cracks slightly. "I see." He lets out a shaky sigh, "I suspected as much." The mere energy in Caido was different from his home world, it was no wonder that the afterlife was too. "Thank you answering me."

The Outlander can't help the tear that escapes, but he quickly wipes it away and tries to shove his pain down. He can break down later in the privacy of his home. Where he could mourn anew those that he's forever lost.

The comment about the Voice catches Sah attention and shakes him from his grief just enough for him to continue his questions. "Given what the Voice has done to the Ascended, do they even get an afterlife? Or are they trapped from entering your realm in the end?" If the New God's actions had affected his soul to the extent Mort spoke of, the Outlander felt a spark of fear for the Ascended. Did they simply fade to darkness because of their Goddesses' actions?
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#4
Again Mort's smile flinches slightly. "I try not to judge too harshly. I know what temptations come with the power to breathe life into the bodies you've made." And that he certainly did, he was in love with the most powerful creator of them all. "Trapped is...perhaps not the word I would use. But she does keep them. You will not find the souls of the ascended in my lands when you finally do enter them. Not unless she lets them go...but we know how powerful a mother's love is, don't we. How tight her grasp on her children."

Patting the rock next to him that Sah might sit with the weight of what he was learning, Mort continues. "They have an afterlife of their own sort, with the rest of the ascended."
mort

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Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
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#5
Sah

Sah nods, "Trapped probably was a poor choice of words." He's seen how tightly the Voice grasps her children, and her care for them is clear. It especially shows in the whole 'family' aspect of the Ascended and Sah has no doubts that whatever 'after' she provides is suitable for the Ascended.

The notion of a mother's love takes his breath away for a moment, at the reminder that he's well and truly lost his forever. "My mother certainly would have never let me go. Neither would have the Goddess I served. " The Outlander notes, unsure if it's wise to mention Mune. But Mort's soothing presence pulls the honest truth from him, nonetheless.

Sah almost startles at the offered seat but quietly walks over to sit beside the God. The weight of the conversation makes the small respite welcome. "I'm glad that they can rest with their family in some manner when they die." Sah might have a bone to pick with the Voice, but not with the Ascended. Never with them as a whole.

"Regarding souls, is it true that having magic is a taint of the soul? And do the Ascended have their own version of such a mark?" Those questions have weighed heavily on his mind since coming to Caido.

Magic back home was a gift, a tool, sometimes a blessing. For it to have such negative connotations in Caido had caught him off guard when he first arrived. And if being an Ascended was against nature has some extremists claim, wouldn't that too effect the soul? Especially if they had their own sort of afterlife?

Part of Sah wonders if he should stop asking such hard questions, given the flinches given by the deity. But he also knows that he'll likely never get another chance like this. And the Outlander so desperately wants to understand this world. But if Mort flinches one last time, he'll have to stop. The God is already doing so much for him by answering his questions. Sah would hate to push him too far.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#6
'Trapped is how many see them.' Mort says soothingly. "But it seems to me that understanding is often not extended towards the Voice, so I do what I can, even if it is only to be careful with my language." He adds with a boyish shrug, before nodding to Sah. "So it is with mothers. From the outside what we might see as smothering and controlling from the inside looks like adoration and devotion." Mort's expression remains unbothered as Sah speaks of his past, and indeed the god nods slightly that the Outlander might continue to speak freely.

"It is." Mort acknowledges. "Or at least...it is a marking. A way of denoting that those souls are more likely to pose the same risk and detriment to our world that the Voice has. No other race, not the accepted, the attuned, the fae, nor the merfolk have the ability to reach such levels of power on their own." As for the ascended? "The ascended are marked insofar as the Voice has taken them as her own."
mort

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Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
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#7
Sah

Sah finds himself relaxing slightly as a small smile appears. Hearing how Mort views the Ascended and the Voice is reassuring to say the least. Knowing that his own concern and empathy for the Ascended is echoed in one of the Old Gods makes him feel better about his own view. Less guilty for not having the same stance as so many of those he's sided with.

The Abandoned's brow furrows as Mort answers his most pressing question. "I see. A marking certainly sounds better than a taint." Sah's lips twitch up slightly, "Word choice and all that." A tag of being a potential threat is as harrowing as it is flattering. An eternal reminder to check himself. lest he become the very thing he fights against. Or lest he appear to others as such.

Sah smiles slightly at Mort, grief still apparent but soothed for now. "Thank you. For answering my questions. I think that was the bulk of them." Letting out a sigh, he tilts his head questioningly, "Is there anything I can do to repay you?" It feels wrong to not return the favor in some way. Mort has given him answers to questions that have been prodding at him for almost two years. Answers that he honestly hadn't were meant for mortals to know. At least, not before their own death.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#8
"As the god of death there is little I can do for the living. How I speak of them is one of the few kindnesses I can offer." Mort agrees with a dimpled smile. Turning to Sah, the god extends his hand, placing it on the other man's shoulder and giving it a soft squeeze. "Live the best life you can, Sah. Most who see me do so only in death and can never heed my advice. I know it is hard to see the bigger picture, but know that Vi and Rae and myself love this world more than you could ever know, and we tend to it like a garden. There is much hidden beneath the soil and in the cocoons which keep their secrets tightly wrapped, but rest assured that while you might not understand, we do.

Some things must not be allowed to grow for the good of the whole, but I can promise you that the life Vi has breathed into this world is echoed in mine. Death is not darkness nor the end. It is simply a new beginning."
And had the Voice not kept the souls of the ascended from him, Mort would have made sure that no matter their start to life, that the conclusion of it was just as beautiful as all those that Vi and Rae had created.

Alas..
mort

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Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
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#9
Sah

Sah relaxes completely at the reassuring touch of the God of Death. The irony of that isn't lost on him but he ignores it as he listens intently to Mort's words. His brow furrows as he absorbs them, mind going a mile a minute.  The love that the God has for this world is apparent. "I will, I promise. And I'd say I understand as much as I can at the moment, but I think that'd be a stretch to say the least." A small chuckle leaves him at the words.

Mort's following words hint at so much. More than he can process at the moment. But the question of simply having faith is something he's not new to. But having such faith in a Caido deity is brand new, but not unwelcome. Out of all of the deities he's encountered or heard of, Mort's views seem to best align with his own. As such, Sah chooses at this moment to put his faith in Mort.

"These things that currently need to be stopped from growing. Do you have any advice on how to do that?" Sah is fairly certain that the God means the Voice, but it's entirely possible that it's some other threat he's yet to hear of. And he won't dismiss that possibility.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#10
Mort chuckles understandingly. "I know it is a lot to take in Sah, but you're doing very well." Giving the man's shoulder another squeeze, Mort allows his hands to fall back comfortably into his lap.

Sighing sadly, the god gives his head a shake. "Your place is in Halo, I think, for what is to come. To keep those you love safe. We have our chosen who will take on the brunt of the danger, but that doesn't mean that the fallout won't require just as much caution and care. And," Lowering his head that his brown eyes might find Sah's, Mort adds: "-that they aren't just as important."
mort

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Sah Lovi
the Wild Thunder
Hunter

Age: 26 | Height: 6'0" | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Outlander | Citizenship: Halo
Level: 11 - Strg: 38 - Dext: 38 - Endr: 43 - Luck: 37 - Int: 1
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#11
Sah

Sah nods in understanding, giving the god a reassuring smile, "Understood." The Voice and any other threat that Mort was alluding to was something only the Demi-gods could deal with. That the Outlander understands perfectly. And frankly, something he's mostly fine with. Mostly.

It's just as Mort says, his place is in Halo. A fact that the Abandoned has long since accepted. "I think you're right. I was already planning to stay in Halo and guard it's people. I just wish I had the capacity to help protect my loved ones on the front line as well." Deimos and Noah were going to be in the thick of it all. And as much as Sah understands and accepts that he has to protect Halo in their stead, it's nerve-wracking to all but sit back and wait, hoping that they'll be ok and come home safe. It's still hard to accept that aspect of it all.

Sah's eyes meet Mort's steadily. "I know. It's... difficult. But I know. I just wish that I could protect them all." The Outlander smiles sadly, "Thank you again for your time Mort. I truly appreciate you answering my questions."  Sah really wasn't sure if any of Caido's other Gods would have taken the time to do so. Not from what he's heard that is.
I think there for I am,
But what if all I do is bleed?


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#12
'There will be other frontlines.' Mort says with a sigh. "There always are. It is not an impossible feat for one such as yourself to become more in the eyes of the gods. Just look at Deimos." The man had once been an abandoned when he'd been pulled in, before been bronzed by Safrin's love.

"If it helps, know that when death finds them, they will never know fear nor pain ever again in my realm. All of creation will stand before them, so while an early loss is something to be grieved, know that despite death, you will see them all again." All those from Caido, anyways.

Nodding, Mort reaches out and puts his arm around Sah. Though the god was smaller in stature, the other man would feel as though he was being embraced by a mountain or a vast and warm wind. 'Until we meet again.' Turning his head to press a kiss against one of Sah's temples, Mort would slowly fade away though the love and benevolence of his presence would sink into Sah's bones and there it would remain.

~FIN
mort

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