by John Belliston
Few things are definitive in the Soup of Fate. Flavors muddle and combine in unexpected ways, but the hatred between Tlal, God of the Angry Heavens, and his brother Daikado, God of the Angry Earth, is one of few certainties. Within Tiala's womb the brothers grew. Their bodies and spirits expanded, as did their rage. When they exited their mother but before they breathed their first breath, the two began to fight and tear at each other.
Daikado came first, rocky skin hanging in thick plates over his fiery flesh beneath. His wide toothless mouth and stunted limbs made him look like a huge, fat toad made of obsidian, burnt stone, and molten rock. Jagged horns jutted from his brow and framed his smooth granite eyes. Tlal slipped out in his brother’s wake, a long slender serpent with sapphire scales and four short limbs ending in terrible claws. A line of ivory horns along his back crackled with electricity and ominous clouds formed and reformed constantly around the length of his body. His long and prickly beard travelled far down his neck, nearly twice the length of his long, toothy mouth.
Their teeth and claws were already buried in the other’s flesh at the moment of their birth. They screamed with such shattering violence it drew Ishari from her new child. Throughout the horror of Mar’ies fratricide and the Ice God’s exile to the mortal plane, they did nothing but stay locked in their bristling, destructive embrace. It took all the Gods an age, as mortals reckon it, to finally pull the brothers apart.
With the help of Tiala’s Lullaby the two young gods calmed enough to separate and were forced to swear temporary truce. One at a time each of the other Gods came to talk sense into the twins. Each deity tried to find the reason for the brothers' rage, but all each brother said was, “When his blood runs dry, his flesh is cold, and his bones are ground to dust, then I will tell you.”
The strain of the song made Tiala’s voice falter, and with its soothing magic cast aside the Brothers flew back into their battle. Claw met tooth. Flame met lighting. Volcano met hurricane. Trickery met brutality. Every weapon was attempted and exploited. At one point or another they dragged each of the other gods into their conflict, until in an annoyed rage, Nhoj, the Apathetic King and the Chaosgate of Void, cast them to the mortal plane.
Their new status as outcasts only escalated their conflict into complete and senseless war. Using raw elemental force and all-consuming hatred they created the Kado and the Lalt. These powerful minions went forth and gathered together armies of mortals in the names of their creators and set them upon each other.
Rivers of mortal blood flowed in tribute to their hatred. Tribes tore themselves apart with their fanatical devotion to the Earthquake and Hurricane. Families were divided and slaughtered by the rampage. Even the Dragons were not immune to the dread charms of the Kado and the Lalt, and they joined the hordes with similar abandon. The Brothers showed no remorse, no mercy, and no concern for anything but the taste of the other’s life’s blood. They only broke apart long enough to order their worshipers into the next bloody conflict. They grew drunk on mortal adoration.
The other gods stood in horror at what the brothers inflicted on the mortal plane. Ssita, Queen of the Gods and the Chaosgate of Creation, called her siblings and children about her. She demanded a solution. They were silent, until the Oldest spoke. With his bare hands he stirred the Stew of Fate, and as the God of Fate, he could see the solution. The Gods would create a barrier against their own interference. It would act as a Seal against the Gods and as a prison for Tlal, Daikado, and Mar’ies.
Focusing more power than they ever had the Gods forged the Seal. Seven elemental temples were created, each in the place where its opposite element was most powerful. They would use the conflict to bestow much more energy than they would on their own. The three prisoners would act as anchors to the mortal plane, holding the Seal in place. Mar’ies would be trapped upon his frozen throne on the north pole, Daikado trapped deep in the center of the planet, and Tlal living within a permanent hurricane on the south pole.
Out of love? Out of interest for their experiment? No mortal mind can say, but they know they are protected. If only from the Gods.