Hokubu Ocean (257)

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Coming from: https://animebase.me/threads/kasumi-straight-256.757189/post-22055644

Lucifer finally arrived over the Hokubu ocean, Solomon had been correct, something here wasn't right. The area usually teemed with the overwhelming force of life, but it was still and silent now. The child of Tiamat had seen the strange tear in the Hokubu before, but he had dared not delve in to the depths. Now however it seemed he had no choice, something was very wrong here after all.

His wings furled in to his back as he descended from the sky, breaking the surface of the water at high speed, he noted the absence of the usual rush he felt upon coming in to contact with the primordial remnants of the mothers sea. His eyes slowly adjusted to the inky blackness as his form shifted, growing fins instead of wings, gills appearing on the sides of his neck, Lucifer pressed onwards in his aquatic form, swimming in to a still darkness, void like.

"Time to find out what has happened here." Lucifer thought to himself, unsure what to expect.
 
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Coming from: https://animebase.me/threads/kasumi-straight-256.757189/post-22055644

Lucifer finally arrived over the Hokubu ocean, Solomon had been correct, something here wasn't right. The area usually teemed with the overwhelming force of life, but it was still and silent now. The child of Tiamat had seen the strange tear in the Hokubu before, but he had dared not delve in to the depths. Now however it seemed he had no choice, something was very wrong here after all.

His wings furled in to his back as he descended from the sky, breaking the surface of the water at high speed, he noted the absence of the usual rush he felt upon coming in to contact with the primordial remnants of the mothers sea. His eyes slowly adjusted to the inky blackness as his form shifted, growing fins instead of wings, gills appearing on the sides of his neck, Lucifer pressed onwards in his aquatic form, swimming in to a still darkness, void like.

"Time to find out what has happened here." Lucifer thought to himself, unsure what to expect.
For a time there was nothing but silence, broken only by the sound of the thick waters of the Sea of Life sloshing in the massive Hokubu. Visibility was low, shrouded in the dark and muddy waters. But as Lucifer dove deeper that silence eventually was replaced by what sounded like a chorus of female voices faintly singing in the distance, though it was difficult to discern exactly what.
 
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For a time there was nothing but silence, broken only by the sound of the thick waters of the Sea of Life sloshing in the massive Hokubu. Visibility was low, shrouded in the dark and muddy waters. But as Lucifer dove deeper that silence eventually was replaced by what sounded like a chorus of female voices faintly singing in the distance, though it was difficult to discern exactly what.
Lucifer dove deeper in to the Hokubu ocean, the silence permeated everything around him, even his life sensing abilities seemed to be overwhelmed here in the depths of the primordial sea. Solomon's words were the only thing that convinced the child of Tiamat to press on despite seeing nothing, but then as if out of nowhere he heard the first sounds.

"Are those... Voices?" Lucifer thought as his senses, dulled by the pressure of the depths struggled to discern the noise, but it was unmistakeable after a moment, clearly voices they sounded feminine and high pitched which was incredibly surprising given the depths they were at, to create such decibels. Lucifer pressed on towards the singing, struggling to make out the language he could tell that the voices were singing nevertheless, harmonic as they were.
 
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Lucifer dove deeper in to the Hokubu ocean, the silence permeated everything around him, even his life sensing abilities seemed to be overwhelmed here in the depths of the primordial sea. Solomon's words were the only thing that convinced the child of Tiamat to press on despite seeing nothing, but then as if out of nowhere he heard the first sounds.

"Are those... Voices?" Lucifer thought as his senses, dulled by the pressure of the depths struggled to discern the noise, but it was unmistakeable after a moment, clearly voices they sounded feminine and high pitched which was incredibly surprising given the depths they were at, to create such decibels. Lucifer pressed on towards the singing, struggling to make out the language he could tell that the voices were singing nevertheless, harmonic as they were.
As Lucifer dove deeper, the voices grew louder and clearer. They were in another language, indecipherable from English but sounding themselves quite angelic. But perhaps even more shocking was that once Lucifer dove deep enough, as if a switch was flipped, the dark and cloudy Sea of Life suddenly vanished as if crossing a barrier threshold. The water became crystal clear, chilled, and illuminated. Above him was absolute darkness still encased in the Sea of Life, making the Hokubu very toxic. But below him was... a city. A massive underwater city built from marble and granite. Its buildings looked Hangurian-esque, neoclassical, and gothic. They towered underwater, and surrounding them were hundreds, if not thousands of fish-people. The same that were encountered at the Ruins of Chungsu many weeks ago. Lucifer's Relic Core would pulsate warmly as he crossed the threshold, entering what was the Sentinel's territory.
 
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As Lucifer dove deeper, the voices grew louder and clearer. They were in another language, indecipherable from English but sounding themselves quite angelic. But perhaps even more shocking was that once Lucifer dove deep enough, as if a switch was flipped, the dark and cloudy Sea of Life suddenly vanished as if crossing a barrier threshold. The water became crystal clear, chilled, and illuminated. Above him was absolute darkness still encased in the Sea of Life, making the Hokubu very toxic. But below him was... a city. A massive underwater city built from marble and granite. Its buildings looked Hangurian-esque, neoclassical, and gothic. They towered underwater, and surrounding them were hundreds, if not thousands of fish-people. The same that were encountered at the Ruins of Chungsu many weeks ago. Lucifer's Relic Core would pulsate warmly as he crossed the threshold, entering what was the Sentinel's territory.
Change was slow most times, that was something Lucifer had observed in his short time amongst the mortals. Even those long lived like Solomon seemed to face the same problems now as they had hundreds of years prior, yet the Hokubu had changed in what felt like mere weeks. Lucifer was unsure how he felt about this change and it's rapid occurence, it seemed things were accelerating but could they slow down before disaster?

A question that swam through his mind as he himself passed the threshold the inky black waters giving way to a huge city hidden in the depths of the ocean, titanic structures of shiny stone stretched out before the child of Tiamat and despite everything he had seen in his life, he was left stunned.

Seemingly this place was inhabited by an entire species, they were not human that much was clear, but they had slightly similar features, bodies more tuned for aquatic life however. Lucifer could feel the lifeforce of the fish like people, they numbered in the thousands, their life force feeling unusually potent, far above what the average human seemed to carry at least. Though Lucifer was unsure if that feeling was caused by the sheer volume of them or not.

Intrigued, the child began to swim towards them, attempting to appear as non threatening as possible, he had no idea if these beings had ever encountered another species before, he had never heard the humans mention them and he had never seen them in any of the genetic memories he carried, it was possible they had no knowledge of the world above the waves.
 
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Change was slow most times, that was something Lucifer had observed in his short time amongst the mortals. Even those long lived like Solomon seemed to face the same problems now as they had hundreds of years prior, yet the Hokubu had changed in what felt like mere weeks. Lucifer was unsure how he felt about this change and it's rapid occurence, it seemed things were accelerating but could they slow down before disaster?

A question that swam through his mind as he himself passed the threshold the inky black waters giving way to a huge city hidden in the depths of the ocean, titanic structures of shiny stone stretched out before the child of Tiamat and despite everything he had seen in his life, he was left stunned.

Seemingly this place was inhabited by an entire species, they were not human that much was clear, but they had slightly similar features, bodies more tuned for aquatic life however. Lucifer could feel the lifeforce of the fish like people, they numbered in the thousands, their life force feeling unusually potent, far above what the average human seemed to carry at least. Though Lucifer was unsure if that feeling was caused by the sheer volume of them or not.

Intrigued, the child began to swim towards them, attempting to appear as non threatening as possible, he had no idea if these beings had ever encountered another species before, he had never heard the humans mention them and he had never seen them in any of the genetic memories he carried, it was possible they had no knowledge of the world above the waves.
As Lucifer swam closer suddenly his core would glow, vibrate, and become warm to the touch. Whispers emitted from it as it began speaking to him from the distance; like before the whispers came from a woman's voice. But they were inaudible, perhaps spoken in an entirely different language like the ones being chanted from deep below the Hokubu. The voices only grew louder as Lucifer continued traveling downward from beneath the barrier that separated the Sea of Life from the crystalline blue waters above this wondrous civilization. Suddenly his body would be overcome by a vision, his sight being overwhelmed by a bright light. The woman's whispers turned into a seductive lull. "Finally you have come to the northeast, champion of Life. Though it had taken you quite some time. Look before you, Lucifer. Your eyes are witnessing the birth of something entirely new. The rise of a phoenix deep below the sea. Much like yourself these are also Children of Tiamat. But their breed and creation is far different from your own. Your anatomy was born human, and transformed by the Sea of Life's genetic manipulations. But they were born directly from the Sea of Life itself. Shaped from nothingness. A product of Tiamat's own will. And look upon them and what they have built within a few short months. Soon they will become the True Inheritors of the World; this is what you needed to see. A choice must be made in time, son of Tiamat. War is coming. Ancient ones stir deep below the depths of the world and you must be prepared. Three things you must obtain to awaken what rightfully belongs to you: a shard of the chasm which grants entrance to Irkalla, Essence of the Twin Fates, and the blessings of the Sentinels. The Primordial Life-Shaper used her hands to shape the Gods, and her hands shaped the Sentinels before you. For we are in the era of the Kamiumi."

Suddenly the core went silent again and Lucifer's vision returned to normal. Before him were two fish-women awkwardly staring at the Son of Tiamat. It seemed that during his vision he had accidentally, and blindly, swum into a marketplace-like area of the underwater civilization. Neither of these women had ever seen a human, let alone a warped human under the influence of the Sea of Life itself. They simply crooked their heads in confusion, remaining silent.
 
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As Lucifer swam closer suddenly his core would glow, vibrate, and become warm to the touch. Whispers emitted from it as it began speaking to him from the distance; like before the whispers came from a woman's voice. But they were inaudible, perhaps spoken in an entirely different language like the ones being chanted from deep below the Hokubu. The voices only grew louder as Lucifer continued traveling downward from beneath the barrier that separated the Sea of Life from the crystalline blue waters above this wondrous civilization. Suddenly his body would be overcome by a vision, his sight being overwhelmed by a bright light. The woman's whispers turned into a seductive lull. "Finally you have come to the northeast, champion of Life. Though it had taken you quite some time. Look before you, Lucifer. Your eyes are witnessing the birth of something entirely new. The rise of a phoenix deep below the sea. Much like yourself these are also Children of Tiamat. But their breed and creation is far different from your own. Your anatomy was born human, and transformed by the Sea of Life's genetic manipulations. But they were born directly from the Sea of Life itself. Shaped from nothingness. A product of Tiamat's own will. And look upon them and what they have built within a few short months. Soon they will become the True Inheritors of the World; this is what you needed to see. A choice must be made in time, son of Tiamat. War is coming. Ancient ones stir deep below the depths of the world and you must be prepared. Three things you must obtain to awaken what rightfully belongs to you: a shard of the chasm which grants entrance to Irkalla, Essence of the Twin Fates, and the blessings of the Sentinels. The Primordial Life-Shaper used her hands to shape the Gods, and her hands shaped the Sentinels before you. For we are in the era of the Kamiumi."

Suddenly the core went silent again and Lucifer's vision returned to normal. Before him were two fish-women awkwardly staring at the Son of Tiamat. It seemed that during his vision he had accidentally, and blindly, swum into a marketplace-like area of the underwater civilization. Neither of these women had ever seen a human, let alone a warped human under the influence of the Sea of Life itself. They simply crooked their heads in confusion, remaining silent.
The voice permeated Lucifer's very soul, causing a feeling of distortion and confusion as a bright blinding light engulfed him, images swam before his eyes like a genjutsu almost, but it felt different than that, it was intrusive but not aggressively so. What was occuring now was more akin to a vision than an illusion, nonetheless it was stunning.

"How, is this even possible? Wasn't the mothers presence sealed away?" Lucifer spoke to himself as much as the strange voice, but the question went unanswered, the voice pressed on explaining that they were to inherit the world. How could they inherit something from the humans, Lucifer was confused until the voice mentioned war.

Not an inheritance, they would rise up and take the planet that was the implication, had the mother truly wished this? Creating life who's purpose was to erase her own works, it seemed so cruel for both parties, the humans meeting a brutal end and these new beings to enter the world with nothing but violence and death in their wake, it seemed so... Barbaric.

However the voice wasn't explicit in this intention, it was simply what Lucifer had gleaned from the conversation thus far, she seemed to wish to help him though her motives were still unknown and the child of Tiamat did not place his trust in her so easily as of yet. She spoke again of objects that Lucifer needed to attain to awaken something she claimed belonged to him, the items were a shard, an essence and the blessing of the people who's home Lucifer had entered, she called them sentinels.

Lost in thought, Lucifer saw the vision fade and became acutely aware that he was stood in front of two females of the Sentinel species, at least they appeared feminine but he shouldn't assume. The child of Tiamat attempted to speak instinctively, however underwater sound doesn't carry so easily and his attempt was in vain with nothing but some bubbles escaping his mouth.

Focusing on the sea of life in his veins he augmented his body, changing it's composition that his lungs swelled and his vocal cords thickened becoming far more powerful, until he was able to project his voice even here.

"My name is Lucifer, I come from the world above this one, I mean you no harm I wish merely to speak with your leaders, that I might ascertain a blessing. Unfortunately I know little more than that, until moments ago I had no idea a place like this even existed so forgive me if I seem ignorant to you."
 
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The voice permeated Lucifer's very soul, causing a feeling of distortion and confusion as a bright blinding light engulfed him, images swam before his eyes like a genjutsu almost, but it felt different than that, it was intrusive but not aggressively so. What was occuring now was more akin to a vision than an illusion, nonetheless it was stunning.

"How, is this even possible? Wasn't the mothers presence sealed away?" Lucifer spoke to himself as much as the strange voice, but the question went unanswered, the voice pressed on explaining that they were to inherit the world. How could they inherit something from the humans, Lucifer was confused until the voice mentioned war.

Not an inheritance, they would rise up and take the planet that was the implication, had the mother truly wished this? Creating life who's purpose was to erase her own works, it seemed so cruel for both parties, the humans meeting a brutal end and these new beings to enter the world with nothing but violence and death in their wake, it seemed so... Barbaric.

However the voice wasn't explicit in this intention, it was simply what Lucifer had gleaned from the conversation thus far, she seemed to wish to help him though her motives were still unknown and the child of Tiamat did not place his trust in her so easily as of yet. She spoke again of objects that Lucifer needed to attain to awaken something she claimed belonged to him, the items were a shard, an essence and the blessing of the people who's home Lucifer had entered, she called them sentinels.

Lost in thought, Lucifer saw the vision fade and became acutely aware that he was stood in front of two females of the Sentinel species, at least they appeared feminine but he shouldn't assume. The child of Tiamat attempted to speak instinctively, however underwater sound doesn't carry so easily and his attempt was in vain with nothing but some bubbles escaping his mouth.

Focusing on the sea of life in his veins he augmented his body, changing it's composition that his lungs swelled and his vocal cords thickened becoming far more powerful, until he was able to project his voice even here.

"My name is Lucifer, I come from the world above this one, I mean you no harm I wish merely to speak with your leaders, that I might ascertain a blessing. Unfortunately I know little more than that, until moments ago I had no idea a place like this even existed so forgive me if I seem ignorant to you."
The woman on the left spoke first, "We know who you are. Though you look somewhat different from the humans we learned about sometime ago. The Queen commanded we learn your tongue and culture to better acclimate us to when we one day come to the world above." She spoke very straight forward and to the point. The Sentinels had taught their people human ways, something that was likely discovered when they made their first incursion to the surface world at the Ruins of Chungsu. It was not to hurt anyone. It was simply to learn.

"But a blessing? Whatever could you mean?" The second woman spoke now. Neither was reluctant and filled with suspicion. They were almost naive in a sense. People that were taught humans were not necessarily bad, and that not being filled with alarm at the sight of one was normal. Though it also helped that stationed around the wondrous marble city were massive towers, each filled with Sentinel Guards ready to strike at invaders that did have ill intent. "A human has never ventured here before. Perhaps it would be appropriate if you met Lady Aria...."
 
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The woman on the left spoke first, "We know who you are. Though you look somewhat different from the humans we learned about sometime ago. The Queen commanded we learn your tongue and culture to better acclimate us to when we one day come to the world above." She spoke very straight forward and to the point. The Sentinels had taught their people human ways, something that was likely discovered when they made their first incursion to the surface world at the Ruins of Chungsu. It was not to hurt anyone. It was simply to learn.

"But a blessing? Whatever could you mean?" The second woman spoke now. Neither was reluctant and filled with suspicion. They were almost naive in a sense. People that were taught humans were not necessarily bad, and that not being filled with alarm at the sight of one was normal. Though it also helped that stationed around the wondrous marble city were massive towers, each filled with Sentinel Guards ready to strike at invaders that did have ill intent. "A human has never ventured here before. Perhaps it would be appropriate if you met Lady Aria...."
Lucifer listened as they spoke, surprised by their command of the human tongue, these children of Tiamat recognised him as human not of the mother, it was strange for Lucifer to be addressed as such since other humans rarely mistook his nature. Though it was easier to notice the differences between yourself and someone else in the long run, it was almost ironic in that way, the pure children didn't recognise him as a child and the humans didn't see him as human.

"Aria, is that a leader of your people? Though I admit freely, I am not entirely human. I was, once upon a time I believe. But then fate led me to the mothers side, I'm what the humans call a child of Tiamat. Born of her incursion in to this world, much like yourselves if the rumours are true. Though, maybe much like them in your eyes."

Lucifer answered, his tone respectful and somewhat curious, he truly had no idea how to seek the blessing but solutions could often be found in the rarefied airs of power, if this Aria was a leader then perhaps she could help him, that seemed to be the path forwards.

"I would greatly appreciate you showing me how to find this lady Aria, I mean no harm to any of you I came here seeking answers and found a whole civilizations worth of questions, it's quite a lot to process."
 
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Lucifer listened as they spoke, surprised by their command of the human tongue, these children of Tiamat recognised him as human not of the mother, it was strange for Lucifer to be addressed as such since other humans rarely mistook his nature. Though it was easier to notice the differences between yourself and someone else in the long run, it was almost ironic in that way, the pure children didn't recognise him as a child and the humans didn't see him as human.

"Aria, is that a leader of your people? Though I admit freely, I am not entirely human. I was, once upon a time I believe. But then fate led me to the mothers side, I'm what the humans call a child of Tiamat. Born of her incursion in to this world, much like yourselves if the rumours are true. Though, maybe much like them in your eyes."

Lucifer answered, his tone respectful and somewhat curious, he truly had no idea how to seek the blessing but solutions could often be found in the rarefied airs of power, if this Aria was a leader then perhaps she could help him, that seemed to be the path forwards.

"I would greatly appreciate you showing me how to find this lady Aria, I mean no harm to any of you I came here seeking answers and found a whole civilizations worth of questions, it's quite a lot to process."
The pair of Sentinels motioned for Lucifer to follow them, making no response but other than a mere hand gesture. They turned around with their baskets, leading him closer to the ocean's floor and the heart of the immense city. As the trio swam, they began speaking to him again. "Our home, here, is called Eridu. In your human measurements we have been here for seven months, constructing our city diligently in the aftermath of the Great Ordering. For a time the waters here were as corrupted as they are above, until we were born from them. Lady Aria tamed the great beasts that once roamed the waters, and established the first home of the Sentinels. We may be young, but we learn quickly. Perhaps our great speed in learning was designed by the Primordial Mother. In the first months Lady Aria commanded her Elite Guard to visit the surface world, to see human culture and civilization for themselves. From the rumors we heard...it was quite interesting."

It wasn't long before they reached the heart of the city. A towering underwater metropolis with glorious buildings formed of marble and granite throughout. The Sentinels here all looked similar; some wore white robes, others donned armor crafted from a deep blue metallic substance that shined in the shimmering crystal blue waters. "These were among the first buildings we formed. Lady Aria reigns from the Terrace of the Grovetenders. In your culture we might be best compared to Sages; people in tune with nature." It was the second woman that spoke as she led Lucifer up the steps of the Terrace. They were in the heart of the city now. Hundreds, if not thousands, of industrious Sentinels roamed the waters. They came in and out of tall buildings that lined the area, all seemingly centered around this Terrace. The front of the Terrace was unguarded, but it seemed there were towers that surrounded it. Each with some of kind of automatons stationed at the top.

Once they entered the first room of the Terrace shined with white marble. It was a relatively empty room, but it led out into an inner open courtyard that couldn't really be seen from the outside. From the doorway into the Terrace Lucifer would be able to see to the other end of the room and into the courtyard. From within Lucifer would be able to make out three Sentinels surrounding...something...at the heart of the courtyard. But what was it?

As they entered and rounded the bend on a tall pillar what was at the center of the courtyard could be seen better. "These are the Grovetenders. Three of our own that directly serve Lady Aria. They are sort of the...elders in your culture. They watch over the Great Tree." It was just that. In the middle of the three Grovetenders was a small tree, growing from a marble pot at the center filled with not soil but sand. And in the pot the tree itself was unique; small, newborn, with blue and white bark and bare branches that reached no more than a meter in height from the pot itself. The Grovetenders surrounding it were seemingly praying to the tree to care for it.

But Lucifer, as a Child of Tiamat, would be able to sense something else about the tree. There was something off about the tree, and it was nothing like a generic tree from the surface world. And while its true nature couldn't be discerned it was clear that the tree itself was touched by the Void. But...how could that be possible? Living things never emerged from the Void. Only Gods and lesser Divinities emerged from the great depths of the Abyss. And yet this tree was clearly not of this world, touched by the Void itself.

"We will find Lady Aria. Wait here a moment." The first woman firmly said, not wanting Lucifer to wander too much into the Grove itself or the city.
 
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The pair of Sentinels motioned for Lucifer to follow them, making no response but other than a mere hand gesture. They turned around with their baskets, leading him closer to the ocean's floor and the heart of the immense city. As the trio swam, they began speaking to him again. "Our home, here, is called Eridu. In your human measurements we have been here for seven months, constructing our city diligently in the aftermath of the Great Ordering. For a time the waters here were as corrupted as they are above, until we were born from them. Lady Aria tamed the great beasts that once roamed the waters, and established the first home of the Sentinels. We may be young, but we learn quickly. Perhaps our great speed in learning was designed by the Primordial Mother. In the first months Lady Aria commanded her Elite Guard to visit the surface world, to see human culture and civilization for themselves. From the rumors we heard...it was quite interesting."

It wasn't long before they reached the heart of the city. A towering underwater metropolis with glorious buildings formed of marble and granite throughout. The Sentinels here all looked similar; some wore white robes, others donned armor crafted from a deep blue metallic substance that shined in the shimmering crystal blue waters. "These were among the first buildings we formed. Lady Aria reigns from the Terrace of the Grovetenders. In your culture we might be best compared to Sages; people in tune with nature." It was the second woman that spoke as she led Lucifer up the steps of the Terrace. They were in the heart of the city now. Hundreds, if not thousands, of industrious Sentinels roamed the waters. They came in and out of tall buildings that lined the area, all seemingly centered around this Terrace. The front of the Terrace was unguarded, but it seemed there were towers that surrounded it. Each with some of kind of automatons stationed at the top.

Once they entered the first room of the Terrace shined with white marble. It was a relatively empty room, but it led out into an inner open courtyard that couldn't really be seen from the outside. From the doorway into the Terrace Lucifer would be able to see to the other end of the room and into the courtyard. From within Lucifer would be able to make out three Sentinels surrounding...something...at the heart of the courtyard. But what was it?

As they entered and rounded the bend on a tall pillar what was at the center of the courtyard could be seen better. "These are the Grovetenders. Three of our own that directly serve Lady Aria. They are sort of the...elders in your culture. They watch over the Great Tree." It was just that. In the middle of the three Grovetenders was a small tree, growing from a marble pot at the center filled with not soil but sand. And in the pot the tree itself was unique; small, newborn, with blue and white bark and bare branches that reached no more than a meter in height from the pot itself. The Grovetenders surrounding it were seemingly praying to the tree to care for it.

But Lucifer, as a Child of Tiamat, would be able to sense something else about the tree. There was something off about the tree, and it was nothing like a generic tree from the surface world. And while its true nature couldn't be discerned it was clear that the tree itself was touched by the Void. But...how could that be possible? Living things never emerged from the Void. Only Gods and lesser Divinities emerged from the great depths of the Abyss. And yet this tree was clearly not of this world, touched by the Void itself.

"We will find Lady Aria. Wait here a moment." The first woman firmly said, not wanting Lucifer to wander too much into the Grove itself or the city.
Lucifer followed along behind the Sentinel civilians, it seemed they were leading him to Aria potentially, the winding pathways lead through the city and Lucifer took in all the sights and sounds of the home of the sentinels. White marble structures were the most heavily featured piece of architecture that Lucifer noticed, it gave the place a somewhat ethereal glow due to the light refracting from above in the Hokubu ocean.

The sentinels told Lucifer to wait, but the words seemed to wash over him and dissipate, he was focused on something else, something that seemed to be heavily guarded by the sentinels. The tree sat in the center of a veritable convoy of guards, something about it was alluring, it drew his gaze and refused to let go, it's pale blue and white frame was devoid of leaves, the tree appeared to be little more than a sproutling at the moment.

Yet it held the gaze of the child of Tiamat, something felt strange about the tree, it felt otherworldly it didn't belong here on this plane, it reminded Lucifer in some ways of the child the humans heralded as a god, the sentinel women had departed to find lady Aria and yet Lucifer remained bewitched by the tree his eyes fixed upon it as he stood motionless.
 
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Lucifer followed along behind the Sentinel civilians, it seemed they were leading him to Aria potentially, the winding pathways lead through the city and Lucifer took in all the sights and sounds of the home of the sentinels. White marble structures were the most heavily featured piece of architecture that Lucifer noticed, it gave the place a somewhat ethereal glow due to the light refracting from above in the Hokubu ocean.

The sentinels told Lucifer to wait, but the words seemed to wash over him and dissipate, he was focused on something else, something that seemed to be heavily guarded by the sentinels. The tree sat in the center of a veritable convoy of guards, something about it was alluring, it drew his gaze and refused to let go, it's pale blue and white frame was devoid of leaves, the tree appeared to be little more than a sproutling at the moment.

Yet it held the gaze of the child of Tiamat, something felt strange about the tree, it felt otherworldly it didn't belong here on this plane, it reminded Lucifer in some ways of the child the humans heralded as a god, the sentinel women had departed to find lady Aria and yet Lucifer remained bewitched by the tree his eyes fixed upon it as he stood motionless.
It was indeed a mysterious tree indeed. The longer that Lucifer remained transfixed on it, the more alluring it seemed to become. It wasn't enough to simply describe the tree as Void-touched. It was something more, something deeper. As if it actually originated from the Void itself. After an unclear amount of time transpired Lucifer would even hear voices, once again, in his own head. They were similar to the first that he had heard when he first arrived in the Sentinels home of Eridu. Though this time it spoke of something much more ominous, She has slept silently, staring into an abyss; a black serpent with eight eyes stares back. Have you wondered what has driven the Goddess of Life to madness? It was a gentle whisper, almost tantalizingly quiet. Though this would be the only whisper delivered before Lucifer's concentration would break upon hearing Lady Aria arrive.

Lady Aria, a woman of great beauty by any measure, even if she was one of these fish-people, had pale green skin, almost blue, with a pair of small white eyes. Long black hair fell from her head, hiding pairs of gills on her shoulders and flanks. She wore a white dress, with beautiful aquamarine jewelry draped around it. Perhaps the most wondrous of them was a necklace with a variety of pearls and sapphires, with turquoise bracelets and anklets on her. "I knew eventually someone not of our kind would come here, though it wouldn't be quite accurate to call you human. It was written in the stars, and foretold by our Grovetenders, that someone that was formerly human would come to the city of Eridu in search of answers." Lady Aria's voice was quite gentle, though very stern. Her appearance was not accompanied by the two Sentinel women that had been with Lucifer originally.

"I am Lady Aria; to some in your culture I might be considered the leader of the Sentinels in Eridu. And in many ways I am. But in others I am a simple servant of truth on a conquest for knowledge. How many we help you, traveler and Child of Tiamat?"
 
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It was indeed a mysterious tree indeed. The longer that Lucifer remained transfixed on it, the more alluring it seemed to become. It wasn't enough to simply describe the tree as Void-touched. It was something more, something deeper. As if it actually originated from the Void itself. After an unclear amount of time transpired Lucifer would even hear voices, once again, in his own head. They were similar to the first that he had heard when he first arrived in the Sentinels home of Eridu. Though this time it spoke of something much more ominous, She has slept silently, staring into an abyss; a black serpent with eight eyes stares back. Have you wondered what has driven the Goddess of Life to madness? It was a gentle whisper, almost tantalizingly quiet. Though this would be the only whisper delivered before Lucifer's concentration would break upon hearing Lady Aria arrive.

Lady Aria, a woman of great beauty by any measure, even if she was one of these fish-people, had pale green skin, almost blue, with a pair of small white eyes. Long black hair fell from her head, hiding pairs of gills on her shoulders and flanks. She wore a white dress, with beautiful aquamarine jewelry draped around it. Perhaps the most wondrous of them was a necklace with a variety of pearls and sapphires, with turquoise bracelets and anklets on her. "I knew eventually someone not of our kind would come here, though it wouldn't be quite accurate to call you human. It was written in the stars, and foretold by our Grovetenders, that someone that was formerly human would come to the city of Eridu in search of answers." Lady Aria's voice was quite gentle, though very stern. Her appearance was not accompanied by the two Sentinel women that had been with Lucifer originally.

"I am Lady Aria; to some in your culture I might be considered the leader of the Sentinels in Eridu. And in many ways I am. But in others I am a simple servant of truth on a conquest for knowledge. How many we help you, traveler and Child of Tiamat?"
Lucifer stood transfixed as the whispers seemed to permeate through his soul, this talk of a black serpent that drove the mother to madness, could this be the truth he was looking for all along. Lucifer had never believed that the mother had abandoned humanity, let alone that she would seek to callously destroy them, but until now he had never truly saw another option. Tiamat, had she been driven to insanity in the void that housed her, a world of numbers that existed outside of the understanding of mortals, what secrets could such a place hold.

Assuming this voice spoke even a fraction of the truth it simply steeled Lucifer's resolve to free Tiamat, to repair the damage done to her. Before he had time to contemplate further lady Aria approached the scene, she spoke in gentle tones but her voice was hard nevertheless, Lucifer sensed a hint of distrust or perhaps it was simply his imagination. She spoke of prophecy involving his arrival, perhaps that was where the hint of distrust came from, after all it was hard to completely put faith in such things as messages in the stars and the words of those who interpret them.

"I am Lucifer, born again of Tiamat, I too seek knowledge. I came to be here with guidance from a mysterious benefactor who reveals a path before me. Though I do know not where that path ends, they have informed me I require a shard of the chasm which grants entrance to Irkalla, Essence of the Twin Fates, and the blessings of the Sentinels, those were the words spoken to me and yet I have little beyond these words to go on. Perhaps it truly was fate if I heard these words and then discovered your people, the sentinels."
 
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